Editor’s Note: As our coverage of the 2016 NFL Draft and its impact on fantasy football continues, we will be finishing up our 2016 Rookie SWOT series. These articles featured video highlights, combine reviews, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, short-term expectations, long-term expectations and rookie draft advice for over 30 of the best dynasty league prospects from this year’s draft.
Make sure you’re ready for your dynasty league rookie draft and season by staying up on all these articles, checking out our rookie draft guide, rookie rankings, rookie draft cheat sheet and mock draft rooms. There are simply no better resources out there for dynasty fantasy football enthusiasts.
In case you weren’t paying attention the last five months, the Cleveland Browns went from a suspended superstar receiver and a bunch of cigarette butts to a stud rookie, an almost no-longer suspended superstar, a dynamic ex-QB, three more rookies, and two nondescript holdovers. There hasn’t been this much excitement in Cleveland since they invented city chicken, which is actually pork, which is basically a metaphor for their QB situation over the last two decades except backwards. (Don’t worry, I have no idea what that means either.)
I think I just stroked out there. So, uh, let’s talk about Ricardo Louis.
[am4show have=’g1;’ guest_error=’sub_message’ user_error=’sub_message’ ]
Born: March 23, 1994 (Age 22)
Position: Wide Receiver
Pro Team: Cleveland Browns
College Team: Auburn
Draft Status: Round Four, Pick 114
- Height: 6’2”
- Weight: 215
- Hand Size: 9.5”
- 40 Time: 4.43
- Bench Press: 18 reps
- Vertical Jump: 38”
- Broad Jump: 132”
- Short Shuttle: 4.32
- 3 Cone Drill: 6.96
- Ideal size, speed, and athleticism
- Runs refined routes
- Dynamic with the ball in his hands
- Versatile playmaker who saw lots of action out of the backfield
- Way too many drops and fumbles (six on 177 touches)
- Highly inconsistent at the point of the catch
- Shows little aggressiveness when the ball is in the air
- Not as physical as you’d hope considering size and strength
Despite a suddenly crowded receiving corps, there is still opportunity to be had. Terrelle Pryor is unproven and raw, Corey Coleman has had health issues, Josh Gordon is suspended, and nobody else on the roster combines Louis’ size/speed combination. It would take a lot of breaks, but if things go perfectly, the Auburn rookie could find his way into meaningful snaps.
Immediately post-draft, I would have said only Coleman. Since then, it has gotten considerably tougher with the reinstatement of Gordon and the emergence of Pryor as a boundary threat. We’ve also seen Andrew Hawkins, Taylor Gabriel and fellow rookies Jordan Payton and Rashard Higgins all run ahead of Louis this fall. By my count, that puts him seventh on the depth chart, eighth once Gordon returns for week five.
I would be hard pressed to believe the Browns cut the 114th pick of the draft, which means Louis is either headed to the practice squad, or they will cut loose at least one of Hawkins, Gabriel and Payton (Higgins seems to have a role sewn up). Considering he hasn’t had so much as a target through two preseason games, I have to wonder if he is practice squad bound, which is more than a little concerning considering his draft pedigree. Even if Louis does stick, once Gordon returns another cut will need to be made. On the whole, I’d be surprised if he catches so much as a dozen passes in 2016.
While the Browns offer a bunch of interesting guys at the position, aside from Gordon and Coleman, I don’t think anybody would stand in the way of a polished Louis. The question is whether he can get himself to that point, and even if he does, whether he can get the requisite opportunity. I, for one, am dubious as to the odds it ever happens for him.
NFL Player Comparison
Rookie Draft Advice
I own Louis in a handful of leagues as either a post-rookie draft waiver add or a late fourth round pick. I’ll do my best to hold him for the season to see what 2017 brings because I love the kid’s upside, but I’m not holding my breath as this reeks of a situation that will never break his way, even if he is deserving of the chance.
- How to Win Without Watching Football - July 22, 2021
- 2018 Summer Sleeper: Chicago Bears - July 9, 2018
- NFL Draft Aftermath: Winners and Losers from the AFC North - June 18, 2018