I can't recall anyone of my FF drafts where ANY rookie was taken (at least not untill the last couple rounds). I think there is a high expectance for Jones, Winslows, Evans, & Reggie Williams to stand out immediately. More specifically the first two. But, when is too early to pick up a rookie?
Winlsow is already a top 5 (not my opinion) TE on most draft therefore he will likely go in the 5-7 rd range. Also the Jones' who are most likely rookie starters for there teams will go high, I would guess anywhere from 5 and up... may be higher but doubtful. A starting 20 touch rb is getting rare in the NFL.
Also, you may have a short memory... C. Rogers and A. Johnson probably went in your draft last year. They did in mine.
The only ones I've seen consistently taken in the 5th round are Winslow and Julius Jones. Kevin Jones goes next, 6th or 7th. Fitzgerald usually goes in the 8th or later but I have seen him taken in the 5th one time. I consider that an anomaly. Everyone else will probably be taken after the 10th round.
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The only rookie I predict getting picked relatively early is KW2 because most are immediately making him a top 5 TE. However, TEs are generally taken late to begin with, so I don't see any rookies that should go in the first 4-5 rounds.
I'm doing a 16 team keeper league draft right now. We're in the middle of round 4. Rookies taken so far are:
Julius Jones (pick 39 - rnd 3.7)
Steven Jackson (pick 40 - rnd 3.8)
Kevin Jones (pick 43 - rnd 3.11)
Eli Manning (pick 52 - rnd 4.4)
K Winslow (pick 53 - rnd 4.5)
I should note that the guy who took Jackson also took Faulk in the second round. He explained that he really wanted to handcuff the two of them and was afraid Jackson wouldn't be there with the RBs flying off the board. Personally, I think anyone would be crazy to take Jackson before the 5th round, but I won't complain about his paranoia causing him to pick Jackson early.
Also, the guy who took Manning may be in high school and therefore susceptible to hype. His language skills are lacking and frequently interspersed with foul languaged. Which is to say, he uses the f-bomb like a comma.
Our purpose on this planet is to laugh. For in Hell we shall not be able to and in Heaven it would not be proper.
Julius Jones, sadly, is probably worth taking in the late fourth/early fifth, provided Dallas doesn't aquire another RB before the draft (I've heard some Eddie George rumors, among other possibilities). Kellen Winslow should be a top TE, but drafting a TE in the first third of the draft is lunacy unless his name rhymes with Schonzalez. I like Larry Fitzgerald, especially with Dennis Green coaching the Cards, but eigth round sounds about right. I'm not really sold on any of the other rookie WRs as guys to take until at least after round 10. Do not, under any circumstances, have a rookie QB playing an important role on your fantasy team (and don't even count on any of the second year guys to start for you).