Dorial Green-Beckham represents one of the most polarizing, intruiging and mysterious prospects in the entire NFL draft. Standing 6-foot-5, weighing 237 pounds and possessing the kind of freakish athleticism teams dream of, on the surface Green-Beckham is a slam dunk. However, repeated off the field troubles and character concerns led to him being dismissed from the University of Missouri in April 2014. He transferred to the University of Oklahoma, but after sitting out the entire season due to the transfer rules he decided to declare for the NFL draft. Now, teams will have to decide when and where they take a chance on Green-Beckham's upside in the draft. For fantasy purposes, I dove into his 2013 tape to see what we should expect once he hits an NFL field.
» Impressive catch radius
» Long strides cover ground quickly
» Big body can shield defenders
» Natural hands-catcher, runner
Green-Beckham is a natural when it comes to catching the football. He's able to contort his body in all sorts of positions to secure the catch, making him a beast in the red zone. He isn't perfect when it comes to shielding defenders with his body, but his frame is so naturally large that even when he doesn't try he boxes out smaller corners. With practice, this will become a huge asset for him.
Green-Beckham is a natural hands catcher, and is adept at spearing the ball from the air at its highest point. In the games I watched, he was also consistently winning contested catches, which is a trait he'll need in the NFL. It's also great to see him switch hands with the ball when changing directions in the open field as well. Small fundamentals like this count in the big leagues.
» Lacks strength/physicality in play
» Lackluster route-running
» Needs to improve footwork
» Disappointing vertical leap
For as big as Green-Beckham is, he really doesn't play with much physicality or strength. He was frequently redirected off of his routes and didn't have the look of a willing blocker, often looking timid or indecisive when trying to block on running plays. He has been dogged by character and work ethic concerns for years, and these type of plays could be evidence of that showing up on tape, but that's all conjecture.
DGB can cover a lot of ground with his long strides and blow past flat-footed or over-zealous corners, but other than that his route-running remains a work in progress. And despite being a dynamic red zone threat, Green-Beckham lacked the explosive vertical leap and other measurables one typically finds in a receiver of his caliber. Some time in an NFL weight room might help him bring up those numbers a bit and be even scarier for opposing defenses around the goal line.
Ideal NFL fantasy fits
Dez Bryant and Green-Beckham could make beautiful fantasy music together in Dallas, and Dez could also double as a role model for the youngster, having endured similar struggles during his college years and draft leadup. How much fun would it be to see Tom Brady throwing the football to a physical specimen like DGB in New England? A lot of fun. Lastly, Larry Fitzgerald is no spring chicken and Michael Floyd disappeared at times last year. Arizona could look to the future by grabbing Green-Beckham, who could learn a lot from Fitzgerald for a few years before taking over the reins himself
Early fantasy draft projection
Green-Beckham has all of the talent in the world and could make a splash in fantasy from Week 1, but there's also a very real concern that he becomes the next Josh Gordon or Justin Blackmon -- a cautionary tale. For now, I'm going to bank on his potential and motivation and assume he hits the NFL running with a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. I'm an optimist, so I'm always going to root for a guy making a comeback. Green-Beckham's a legitimate mid- to late-round target in redrafts, especially if he lands with a good quarterback. His upside is high enough that I think he could be a first-round pick in dynasty rookie drafts depending on where he lands in the NFL and which running backs are already off the board.