The Cleveland Browns, on former boss Butch Davis’ watch, traded a second round draft pick last season, just so they could move up one spot in the first round of the National Football League draft in order to select Miami tight end Kellen Winslow, Jr. Davis and the entire organization took some heat for the move, which didn’t improve its standing when Winslow went down with a season-ending injury in week two, with a whopping five catches, 50 yards and no touchdowns.
You might think this makes Winslow very difficult to evaluate, when weeding through fantasy football information for your fantasy football draft in 2005. How does one measure the potential of a player who played in only two games and hauled in a minuscule five passes? Although it’s not an exact science, the answer is fairly simple. Treat Winslow sort of like a promising rookie, but keep in mind that he had a full season of rehab for his injury, as well as a full year of adapting to the National Football League. Also, in terms of Winslow, it’s important to note the arrival of a new coaching staff, one that will surely find ways to involve the talented tight end.
Finally, what few observers and fantasy football experts will notice is Winslow’s amazing athletic ability and raw talent. This guy may be the LeBron James of the gridiron. At 6-4 and 250 pounds, Winslow runs like most tailbacks, jumps like a world class hurdler, and is as strong as most linebackers. In just one short preseason and two regular season football games, Clevelanders saw frightening ability from Winslow, as he
dodged, sidestepped and often ran over would-be tacklers. Plus, he has a certain confidence that most young players lack, likely due to his great genes. He is, after all, the son of a hall of fame tight end.
Is Winslow an unknown and a risk? Yes. Is he worth a middle-round pick in your fantasy football draft? Probably, depending on how strong you are overall. If you have a good draft, heading into the fifth or sixth round, don’t hesitate. Winslow could have an Antonio Gates-type season. He’s this good, and you might just wind up with your fantasy football draft’s Super Sleeper.
Mark Barnes is the author of the new novel, The League, a shocking, sports-related conspiracy. Learn more about his suspense thriller at http://www.sportsnovels.com. He is also an investment real estate and home loan finance expert. Get his free mortgage finance course at http://www.winningthemortgagegame.com