NFL News & Analysis

5 things to know for Sunday

TUSCALOOSA, AL - APRIL 18: Reuben Foster #10 of the Crimson team reacts to a play during the University of Alabama Crimson Tide A-day spring game at Bryant-Denny Stadium on April 18, 2015 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Hello football fans! Here are the five things you need to know from Saturday to start your day:

  1. The generally accepted “truth” of the NFL used to be that wide receivers didn’t really develop until their third year in the league. But over the last decade or so, that’s changed, and receivers have been coming into their own earlier and earlier. Aaron Resnick investigated receivers grading highly in their first and second years in recent seasons to see how the trends have changed.
  2. Speaking of receivers who become stars early, New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. — who was PFF’s top-graded receiver as a 2014 rookie — is expected to attend Giants minicamp next week. Beckham missed the team’s OTAs, but is expected to be with the team during its mandatory minicamp despite some contract concerns.
  3. The San Francisco 49ers agreed to terms with one of their first-round picks, ex-Alabama LB Reuben Foster. Foster was one of the top-rated players in the draft, but he slipped to 31st overall after some off-field concerns popped up during the combine. On PFF’s big board heading into the draft, Foster was the top linebacker and the No. 5 overall prospect.
  4. Despite the team spending a first-round pick on uber-prospect TE O.J. Howard, reports out of Tampa Bay indicate Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate could hold onto the team’s starting job, in part because of his chemistry with QB Jameis Winston. Brate had a breakout 2016, tying for the position league lead with eight touchdowns. Howard will see plenty of time in two-TE sets, but might take some time to unseat Brate atop the depth chart.
  5. You wouldn’t have to talk about Miami RB Jay Ajayi’s fantasy stock long before someone brings up the notion that the vast majority of his 2016 production was tied up in his three huge games. Ajayi ran for 200-plus yards three times in 2016, but only topped 100 yards one other time all season. PFF Senior Fantasy Analyst Scott Barrett investigated that idea, looking at Ajayi’s advanced metrics in and out of those huge games to see whether he’s a smart season-long investment in 2017.

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