But the question is, should you burn high waiver wire priorities on either or both or are they this year's Kevin Ogletree (Akbar Gbajabiamila's words not mine!), a guy who in 2012 exploded in Week 1 for eight catches, 114 yards and two touchdowns but would largely be unheard from again.
My quick answer: Invest heavily in Hurns and yes, invest in Crowell as well, but expect that to be the long play.
We'll start with Hurns who went to the U and believe it or not, last year set Miami's single-season record for receiving yards, having passed such luminaries as Andre Johnson and Michael Irvin. Hurns collected 62 catches for 1,162 yards and six touchdowns. (Yes, I know, 1,162 is really the record. I thought it was more as well!) Visual evidence here.
Not only does Hurns have the big-school pedigree and the production, but more importantly he has the size and hands to play at a high level. He's 6-foot-3 and just shy of 200 pounds. I.e. prototypical NFL size ladies and gentlemen.
His overall draft stock was undoubtedly hurt by his measurable athleticism as he ran a pedestrian 4.55 40-yard dash and didn't blow anyone away with any of his other combine results either.
Another cause for concern, and maybe more impactful on his draft status, is a long history of injuries. According to the Florida Times-Union, Hurns tore a meniscus in his knee in high school, a shoulder labrum his sophomore year at Miami, and then a suffered a concussion and a broken thumb his junior year.
The setbacks could have broken many a player, but by all accounts, Hurns is a good kid and was named Miami's team MVP, not just because of his stats but because of his attitude as well.
"Pretty much, the injuries kept me positive because once you go through that, it humbles you in a lot of ways," Hurns told the Florida Times-Union.
And if Hurns was a stock, his arrow would be and has been pointing upwards. He got healthy his senior year, produced, then went to Jags camp, impressed, and as the preseason wore on he got stronger. His efforts were highlighted by a seven-catch, 118-yard effort with a touchdown in his third preseason game.
Maybe I buried the lead here a bit, but the reason Hurns chose Jacksonville and the reason the rookie is picking up the offense so quickly is because of Jags' offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch.
Fisch was Hurns' offensive coordinator at Miami his sophomore and junior seasons.
It's always tough to trust rookie wideouts but the reason I like Hurns is the same reason I like Kelvin Benjamin. It's a passing league and the balls have to go somewhere right? Who else does Jacksonville have? Justin Blackmon is out, Cecil Shorts is banged up and just average anyways, Hurns is essentially competing against fellow rookies Marquis Lee and Allen Robinson. I like them odds.
Add with confidence as an immediate flex starter in 12-team leagues and an awesome bye week, fill-in guy for everyone else with the upside to be a legit WR2.
In regards to Isaiah Crowell, the talent has always been there ... he was a highly touted/pursued prospect out of high school and before Trinidad James made it cool (#AllGoldEverything), Crowell was using puppies to help generate buzz, pulling out an adorable bulldog pup to announce his intentions to attend Georgia.
In his freshman campaign, Crowell ran well. Toting the rock 185 times for 850 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged a solid 4.6 yards per carry against those vaunted SEC defenses. He was particularly effective against Ole Miss and Auburn running roughshod over both teams for 147 yards and 132 yards respectively.
But then those dreaded "off the field issues" reared their ugly heads. In 2012, Crowell was arrested on felony weapons charges when Athens-Clarke police found a stolen gun in his car during a routine police checkpoint. Ultimately the police couldn't prove the gun belonged to Crowell or that he even knew the gun was there. The charges were dismissed but not before Crowell himself was dismissed from Georgia.
Crowell picked up his career at Alabama State and was able to collect 15 touchdowns in each of his sophomore and junior seasons as a Hornet.
Lesser competition or not, it's like Shakira said, the hips don't lie. Crowell has fluid hips and moves extremely well both in space and in traffic. From what I can tell, Crowell is decisive running the rock, doesn't shy away from contact but at the same time has good shifty moves in small spaces that could yield solid yards after contact.
And when it comes to the measurables, Crowell is legit. He's 5-11 and 225 pounds and ran a completely respectable 4.57 40-yard dash to go along with a very impressive 38-inch vertical and a 9.75 foot broad jump -- numbers you don't see very often for running backs of his size. That burst was on full display when he capped off a 48-yard touchdown run by leaping and breaking into the end zone during the preseason.
What he doesn't do is catch the ball, having only 26 receptions in three seasons of college ball. But if we're talking about strictly running the ball, my apologies to Adam Rank, but I actually like him better than his fellow rookie/small-school backfield mate Terrance West.
It's hard not to be impressed by a back who can power his way in from close AND make plays in space.
Again, Crowell is the long play but if he can continue to develop or if West himself were to get dinged up, Crowell has the tools to really make an impact for both the Browns and fantasy managers.