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gianmarco

***Official Julius Thomas Hype Train***

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I'd probably be looking to sell, assuming that I already had a starting TE who I felt good about (and I'm guessing that many JT owners do, especially in dynasty).

The offense is going to be dynamite and maybe it will carry him to a top 5 finish. OTOH, at risk of sounding like a complete hater, I'm not actually convinced that he's an incredible talent. He doesn't look as athletic as Graham or even Finley to me. More like a Marcedes Lewis, with the benefit of playing in a Peyton Manning offense.

Lewis as three 40+ catches in 96 starts. JT had a 44 yard catch and run in what, his 2nd ever start? I mean, I'm 100% convinced he's a no-brainer top 5 after a single performance but I think it's safe to assume he's a bit more athletic than Marcedes Lewis.

I'm not sure how number of catches per start is an effective metric for gauging athleticism? :confused:

So there's absolutely no correlation between the number of longer (40+ yard in this case) passes caught and a players athletic ability? Of course, YAC amongst other things would be more telling but to imply that there's no correlation..

He seemed pretty athletic to me on that 44 yard catch and run.

I'm not saying there is absolutely no correlation. I'm just not sure that's the best metric as it involves a TON of external variables... Number of targets, Types of routes targeted, Defensive coverages faced, Quality of defenses faced, and most obviously an EXTREMELY small sample size in the case of Julius Thomas. You're welcome to make those sort of comparison in the face of that but I'm not comfortable doing so.

What I AM willing to do, given the absurdly small data set of actual game time (where IMO he looked good but moved akwardly at times).... and look at something fairly standardized: NFL Combine data. Now unfortunately we don't have combine data for Gronk but here's a comparison of Graham and Thomas:

40yd Dash: 4.56 (graham) vs 4.68 (Thomas)

Vert Leap: 38.5" vs 35.5"

Broad Jump: 120" vs 111"

3 Cone Drill: 6.90 vs 6.96sec

60yd Shuttle: 11.76 vs 11.95sec

Height: 6'6" vs 6'5"

Reach: 35" vs 33"

Graham Notes:

STRENGTHS

Graham has an outstanding combination of size and speed for the tight end position. A former basketball player, he shows impressive natural athleticism on the gridiron. Despite limited experience, he has capable hands to make a play in traffic. High-character guy. Possesses tremendous potential.

WEAKNESSES

Graham lacks game experience with only one year of football under his belt. At this time, work ethic as a pure football player needs to improve. His toughness is in question as he still carries the basketball player label. Blocking tenacity and overall technique need polish and refinement.

Thomas Notes:

STRENGTHS

Thomas possesses excellent size coupled with enough speed for the NFL. Displays some savvy and athleticism setting up defenders in his stem. Tough matchup for linebackers in man coverage. Has very good ball skills. Plucks and snatches away from frame and adjusts to poorly thrown ball. Can get up the seam for big plays.

WEAKNESSES

Very limited football experience. Blocking is not adequate. Lacks the lower body power to get movement. Lacks the upper body power needed to sustain blocks. Very raw in pass protection. Displays hip stiffness cutting out of his stem. Still developing his awareness against zone coverage. Drops the occasional pass.

-

The numbers, combined with the scout analysis of the two players tell me two things. Thomas has very solid speed given his size, but isn't as fluid or naturally athletic as Graham (or Gronk IMO). Notice there are multiple knocks on Thomas' athleticism and they use words like enough and some.... whereas for Graham the knocks are on polish/toughness and they use words like tremendous, impressive, and outstanding describing his athleticism and potential?

Thomas looked very good last night but also looked akward and robotic at times. IMO his long catches had as much to do with Peyton identifying broken coverage as it did with him using his athleticism to get open and to gain YAC. I'm just not ready to put him in the same camp athletically as the elite tight ends. YMMV.

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I'd probably be looking to sell, assuming that I already had a starting TE who I felt good about (and I'm guessing that many JT owners do, especially in dynasty).

The offense is going to be dynamite and maybe it will carry him to a top 5 finish. OTOH, at risk of sounding like a complete hater, I'm not actually convinced that he's an incredible talent. He doesn't look as athletic as Graham or even Finley to me. More like a Marcedes Lewis, with the benefit of playing in a Peyton Manning offense.

Lewis as three 40+ catches in 96 starts. JT had a 44 yard catch and run in what, his 2nd ever start? I mean, I'm 100% convinced he's a no-brainer top 5 after a single performance but I think it's safe to assume he's a bit more athletic than Marcedes Lewis.

I'm not sure how number of catches per start is an effective metric for gauging athleticism? :confused:

So there's absolutely no correlation between the number of longer (40+ yard in this case) passes caught and a players athletic ability? Of course, YAC amongst other things would be more telling but to imply that there's no correlation..

He seemed pretty athletic to me on that 44 yard catch and run.

I'm not saying there is absolutely no correlation. I'm just not sure that's the best metric as it involves a TON of external variables... Number of targets, Types of routes targeted, Defensive coverages faced, Quality of defenses faced, and most obviously an EXTREMELY small sample size in the case of Julius Thomas. You're welcome to make those sort of comparison in the face of that but I'm not comfortable doing so.

What I AM willing to do, given the absurdly small data set of actual game time (where IMO he looked good but moved akwardly at times).... and look at something fairly standardized: NFL Combine data. Now unfortunately we don't have combine data for Gronk but here's a comparison of Graham and Thomas:

40yd Dash: 4.56 (graham) vs 4.68 (Thomas)

Vert Leap: 38.5" vs 35.5"

Broad Jump: 120" vs 111"

3 Cone Drill: 6.90 vs 6.96sec

60yd Shuttle: 11.76 vs 11.95sec

Height: 6'6" vs 6'5"

Reach: 35" vs 33"

Graham Notes:

STRENGTHS

Graham has an outstanding combination of size and speed for the tight end position. A former basketball player, he shows impressive natural athleticism on the gridiron. Despite limited experience, he has capable hands to make a play in traffic. High-character guy. Possesses tremendous potential.

WEAKNESSES

Graham lacks game experience with only one year of football under his belt. At this time, work ethic as a pure football player needs to improve. His toughness is in question as he still carries the basketball player label. Blocking tenacity and overall technique need polish and refinement.

Thomas Notes:

STRENGTHS

Thomas possesses excellent size coupled with enough speed for the NFL. Displays some savvy and athleticism setting up defenders in his stem. Tough matchup for linebackers in man coverage. Has very good ball skills. Plucks and snatches away from frame and adjusts to poorly thrown ball. Can get up the seam for big plays.

WEAKNESSES

Very limited football experience. Blocking is not adequate. Lacks the lower body power to get movement. Lacks the upper body power needed to sustain blocks. Very raw in pass protection. Displays hip stiffness cutting out of his stem. Still developing his awareness against zone coverage. Drops the occasional pass.

-

The numbers, combined with the scout analysis of the two players tell me two things. Thomas has very solid speed given his size, but isn't as fluid or naturally athletic as Graham (or Gronk IMO). Notice there are multiple knocks on Thomas' athleticism and they use words like enough and some.... whereas for Graham the knocks are on polish/toughness and they use words like tremendous, impressive, and outstanding describing his athleticism and potential?

Thomas looked very good last night but also looked akward and robotic at times. IMO his long catches had as much to do with Peyton identifying broken coverage as it did with him using his athleticism to get open and to gain YAC. I'm just not ready to put him in the same camp athletically as the elite tight ends. YMMV.

I'll preface this with saying I never said he possessed elite athleticism, just that he was more athletic than Marcedes Lewis.

I took the time to read through this entire thread the other day and I believe the comparison to Graham has already been made somewhere in this thread. Then I think someone (was it EBF?) posted Vernon Davis's combine results to show what a true freak looked like. I thought the conclusion drawn was that it's not very fair to compare TEs to both Graham and Davis, at least, I'm not doing so with JT.

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What I liked last night:

Showed toughness by taking a wicked hit on the first play and staying in.

Displayed conditioning when he caught a long pass and stayed in the game. Scored on the next play.

He rarely came off the field. Huge plus, especially on a Manning led offense because if he's on the field and Manning sees a mismatch he'll find him. Evidenced by the TD when he was wide open. Manning called that on the line.

On his other TD he showed a great feel for TE route running when he ran half speed to set up the LB then once he was even he was leavin by turning on another gear.

I was very impressed and now understand what everyone was excited about, especially when alot of what I posted above are intangibles and not just raw athletic ability.

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Is he worth picking up if it means dropping either Cameron or Finley?

hmm would I rather have Brandon Weedon's TE or both Aaron Rodgers Peyton Mannings? I'm sure you can answer that.

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What % of a waiver budget do you think this guy is worth?

im bidding 25%. Maybe i wont get him but i cant imagine spending 75% on a TE this early in a season Edited by shadyridr

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Whats amazing to me is some of you would spend 75% of the entire's years WW budget on a 1 week performance. I"m sure he could be had for $30-$35 in our league ($100 yearly budget) but feel that is a stretch even.

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Really depends on the league - size, and what teams really need a TE. I would not think teams that have Gronk, Graham, Whitten, Gonzalez would waste a significant bid. Then you have teams with Davis, Cook, and Finley who are probably intrigued, but may have bigger holes elsewhere to waste much on the FA budget for a guy who may be marginally better than what they already have, or just a TE2.

We'll see this weekend how some of the lower tier TEs play - if one has an off game, I'f expect that team to make a significant bid, particularly if they are stacked at other positions.

Obviously an injury to a good TE this weekend would bring that team into the bidding.

I would be wary of spending too much on a guy who almost certainly had his best game of the year this week - you don't get credit for those yards/TDs later.

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What I liked last night:

Showed toughness by taking a wicked hit on the first play and staying in.

Displayed conditioning when he caught a long pass and stayed in the game. Scored on the next play.

He rarely came off the field. Huge plus, especially on a Manning led offense because if he's on the field and Manning sees a mismatch he'll find him. Evidenced by the TD when he was wide open. Manning called that on the line.

On his other TD he showed a great feel for TE route running when he ran half speed to set up the LB then once he was even he was leavin by turning on another gear.

He never came off the field. Julius was out there for every snap Manning took. No other Denver receiver did that.

http://www.milehighreport.com/2013/9/6/4701684/denver-broncos-vs-baltimore-ravens-snap-counts

:wub:

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Whats amazing to me is some of you would spend 75% of the entire's years WW budget on a 1 week performance. I"m sure he could be had for $30-$35 in our league ($100 yearly budget) but feel that is a stretch even.

I had him in all 3 of my leagues before the game ever started. If I needed him now, and I didnt have a TE, I would consider spending 75%. Think: Colston.

Edited by BigSteelThrill

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He honestly reminds me of a young Antonio Gates. Big athletic basketball player converted to a TE who isn't fast but has quick feet and nice hands.

I think he's just scraping the surface and even though I'm bummed I didn't take a week 1 chance on him, I'll ride him from here on out in a dynasty league that I was desperate for a TE.

I might just put him on the block for shiza and giggles to see what gets offered with no real intentions to trade.

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Manning curious how teams will play Julius Thomas

Chris Wesseling

Around the League Writer

SHARE

Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas has been an "Around The League Podcast" favorite since the former Portland State basketball player began running with the starters in offseason practices.

Although fantasy football "experts" who missed the boat on Thursday's 110-yard, two-touchdown performance have cautioned that the best performance by a Broncos tight end since 2002 is unrepeatable, Peyton Manning wants to know how defenses are going to stop his new weapon.

"I am not sure how they will answer it, or if they will, but it will be interesting to see how teams play Julius all season," Manning said, via the Broncos' official website. "He is a big guy, he definitely will make teams have a conversation, and that is what you want."

Manning told "Pro Football Talk" on NBC Sports Network last week that Thomas would play a big role this season. That much was apparent by halftime of Thursday's game, when Thomas had racked up the most yards by a Broncos tight end in the first half since Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe tallied 154 in November of 1997.

"He responded, did a good job," coach John Fox said, via the Denver Post. "That did not surprise me at all."

Fantasy footballers should not assign "Orange Julius" to the same one-game wonder category as Kevin Ogletree and Frisman Jackson.

Thomas led the team in receiving during the preseason. He was on the field for all 74 snaps in Thursday's win over the Baltimore Ravens. As a fourth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, it's telling that the Broncos kept him on the roster through two seasons lost to lingering high-ankle sprains. The coaching staff and front office obviously believe in his talent.

This up-tempo Broncos offense will play more snaps than most while chasing the 2007 Patriots' scoring record. Manning is right. It will be interesting to see how defenses stop Thomas while also devoting extra attention to receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker.

You're next on the docket, Tom Coughlin. Pick your poison.

The "Around The League Podcast" is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.

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What I liked last night:

Showed toughness by taking a wicked hit on the first play and staying in.

Displayed conditioning when he caught a long pass and stayed in the game. Scored on the next play.

He rarely came off the field. Huge plus, especially on a Manning led offense because if he's on the field and Manning sees a mismatch he'll find him. Evidenced by the TD when he was wide open. Manning called that on the line.

On his other TD he showed a great feel for TE route running when he ran half speed to set up the LB then once he was even he was leavin by turning on another gear.

He never came off the field. Julius was out there for every snap Manning took. No other Denver receiver did that.

http://www.milehighreport.com/2013/9/6/4701684/denver-broncos-vs-baltimore-ravens-snap-counts

:wub:

:yes::goodposting:

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In Las Vegas for the FFPC and checked out todays drafts. Went late 3rd to mid 4th in virtually every draft.

I know people want to take advantage of his big game and put him in this weeks line up, but was surprised he went so early............

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Whats amazing to me is some of you would spend 75% of the entire's years WW budget on a 1 week performance. I"m sure he could be had for $30-$35 in our league ($100 yearly budget) but feel that is a stretch even.

I had him in all 3 of my leagues before the game ever started. If I needed him now, and I didnt have a TE, I would consider spending 75%. Think: Colston.

That's just it, how far down the TE list would you go to say you don't have a TE? 12-team league, and you have Cook, are you spending 75% on Thomas?

A lot is still going to depend on performances and injuries this weekend.

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Manning curious how teams will play Julius Thomas

By Chris Wesseling

Around the League Writer

Denver Broncos tight end Julius Thomas has been an "Around The League Podcast" favorite since the former Portland State basketball player began running with the starters in offseason practices.

Although fantasy football "experts" who missed the boat on Thursday's 110-yard, two-touchdown performance have cautioned that the best performance by a Broncos tight end since 2002 is unrepeatable, Peyton Manning wants to know how defenses are going to stop his new weapon.

"I am not sure how they will answer it, or if they will, but it will be interesting to see how teams play Julius all season," Manning said, via the Broncos' official website. "He is a big guy, he definitely will make teams have a conversation, and that is what you want."

Manning told "Pro Football Talk" on NBC Sports Network last week that Thomas would play a big role this season. That much was apparent by halftime of Thursday's game, when Thomas had racked up the most yards by a Broncos tight end in the first half since Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe tallied 154 in November of 1997.

"He responded, did a good job," coach John Fox said, via the Denver Post. "That did not surprise me at all."

Fantasy footballers should not assign "Orange Julius" to the same one-game wonder category as Kevin Ogletree and Frisman Jackson.

Thomas led the team in receiving during the preseason. He was on the field for all 74 snaps in Thursday's win over the Baltimore Ravens. As a fourth-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, it's telling that the Broncos kept him on the roster through two seasons lost to lingering high-ankle sprains. The coaching staff and front office obviously believe in his talent.

This up-tempo Broncos offense will play more snaps than most while chasing the 2007 Patriots' scoring record. Manning is right. It will be interesting to see how defenses stop Thomas while also devoting extra attention to receivers Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker and Wes Welker.

You're next on the docket, Tom Coughlin. Pick your poison.

The "Around The League Podcast" is now available on iTunes! Click here to listen and subscribe.

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Manning is also curious how teams will play in the rest of his offense. With Welker, D.Thomas, J.Thomas, and a Decker who can catch playing like they did on Thursday, it could be an interesting year for the Broncos. I'm a Julius backer through and through. I've stuck around for 3 years waiting... He's taken a spot on a few dynasty teams where there were much better options on the wire to take his place. But he's looking like he'll pay up this year. In dynasty he's a hold. In redraft through, I'm putting him on the block with an RB or WR that ended up on my roster that I'm not all that confident in and trying to make my team better. If you drafted Julius, he was drafted as a TE2. If you have someone you can trust at TE, I'd be selling high this week packaged with another solid RB2/WR2 and attempting to grab a stud who under-produced week one.

Over reactions are a-plenty week one. Cash in while you can IMO, this will be Julius' best week this season.

IMO.

Edited by werdnoynek

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Is any one concerned that he had a big first half but was relatively quiet the second half? Didn't get to watch the game but did the Baltimore D adjust? If so, will other teams do the same?

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Is any one concerned that he had a big first half but was relatively quiet the second half? Didn't get to watch the game but did the Baltimore D adjust? If so, will other teams do the same?

There wasn't any additional coverage, he was spending more time blocking. He was the only skill position player not named Peyton Manning to be in on every single offensive snap.

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Over reactions are a-plenty week one. Cash in while you can IMO, this will be Julius' best week this season.

IMO.

I agree about over reactions abounding this week. But I don't think you're going out on a limb that this will be JT's best week of the season. This week would be the best of almost any TE in a season, or close to it.

If this is indeed his best week, that's fine if you're a JT owner. You'll take half this on a week to week basis and be pleased. I'm not sure I've seen anyone say this is to be expected week to week (although I'm sure some are out there).

I would only cash in if you have a stupendous option sitting at TE right now, or are REALLY hurting at another position. The fact is, when he comes back down to reality, which is likely, he'll still exceed expectations this year unless he just falls flat or gets injured (again).

Sell high if you need to, but don't do it just to do it. If you think you've got a shot at winning this year then JT could really help the cause.

Edited by Hoss Style

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Whether the stat line is repeatable or not, the snap count probably won't be once Dressen is available. They're going to want to get their run game going better than it did Thursday.

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In case people missed it, I never said JT was not a decent fantasy flyer or backup TE. I did say (and still do) that if the DEN Big 3 WR are going to be as productive as many (most?) people feel, JT will not have quite the season that a few people are suggesting (I think someone mentioned like 60 catches and 800+ yards). The history of Manning-led teams has shown that having a 4th player put up decent numbers is rare, as is having 4 players on the same team with 80 targets.

And I still fell that when all the TEs are healthy, they will rotate and one guy will not get all the targets and TE production. The other consideration for the TEs is having to block, and if the RBs struggle to protect Manning, they may have to block more and catch less.

do you still think 60+ catches and 800+ yards is unrealistic? to get there, he needs to average 4-46 over the remaining 15 games.

IMO, with full benefit of hindsight, this seems realistic - conservative, even.

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Is any one concerned that he had a big first half but was relatively quiet the second half? Didn't get to watch the game but did the Baltimore D adjust? If so, will other teams do the same?

There wasn't any additional coverage, he was spending more time blocking. He was the only skill position player not named Peyton Manning to be in on every single offensive snap.

Even if the defense adjusted, it went toward him leaving the WR's to do damage. At the begining of a game if the defense plans for JT in a similar way, the WR's will benefit forcing halftime adjustments in that direction giving JT one on one in the second half.

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In case people missed it, I never said JT was not a decent fantasy flyer or backup TE. I did say (and still do) that if the DEN Big 3 WR are going to be as productive as many (most?) people feel, JT will not have quite the season that a few people are suggesting (I think someone mentioned like 60 catches and 800+ yards). The history of Manning-led teams has shown that having a 4th player put up decent numbers is rare, as is having 4 players on the same team with 80 targets.

And I still fell that when all the TEs are healthy, they will rotate and one guy will not get all the targets and TE production. The other consideration for the TEs is having to block, and if the RBs struggle to protect Manning, they may have to block more and catch less.

do you still think 60+ catches and 800+ yards is unrealistic? to get there, he needs to average 4-46 over the remaining 15 games.

IMO, with full benefit of hindsight, this seems realistic - conservative, even.

:goodposting:

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Whether the stat line is repeatable or not, the snap count probably won't be once Dressen is available. They're going to want to get their run game going better than it did Thursday.

seriously? the guy just had a monster game and manning threw 7 tds, I think he gives them the mismatches they want in the passing game and they wont even need to run it all that much. i still dont know what to think of the ravens defense, but with the schedule the broncos have this may be the toughest game besides the giants that they will have for a while. the only thing i see is if they get a big enough lead that they will run it to run out the clock, but it looks like they may be more inclined to run up the score this year

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Whether the stat line is repeatable or not, the snap count probably won't be once Dressen is available. They're going to want to get their run game going better than it did Thursday.

seriously? the guy just had a monster game and manning threw 7 tds, I think he gives them the mismatches they want in the passing game and they wont even need to run it all that much. i still dont know what to think of the ravens defense, but with the schedule the broncos have this may be the toughest game besides the giants that they will have for a while. the only thing i see is if they get a big enough lead that they will run it to run out the clock, but it looks like they may be more inclined to run up the score this year

Not runing well vs the Balt front isnt a big deal. Against the divisional patsies the running game will be fine.

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What I liked last night:

Showed toughness by taking a wicked hit on the first play and staying in.

Displayed conditioning when he caught a long pass and stayed in the game. Scored on the next play.

He rarely came off the field. Huge plus, especially on a Manning led offense because if he's on the field and Manning sees a mismatch he'll find him. Evidenced by the TD when he was wide open. Manning called that on the line.

On his other TD he showed a great feel for TE route running when he ran half speed to set up the LB then once he was even he was leavin by turning on another gear.

He never came off the field. Julius was out there for every snap Manning took. No other Denver receiver did that.

http://www.milehighreport.com/2013/9/6/4701684/denver-broncos-vs-baltimore-ravens-snap-counts

:wub:

:yes::goodposting:

People are focusing on snap counts, but I think the more important stat in that link is the number of pass routes he ran. The top TEs tend to be at or near the top on their team. JT had 27 compared to 47, 46, and 43 for Decker, DT, and Welker. That number likely needs to increase (and maybe it will with the return of Dreesen) if he's going to get enough targets to produce as a top TE.

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What I liked last night:

Showed toughness by taking a wicked hit on the first play and staying in.

Displayed conditioning when he caught a long pass and stayed in the game. Scored on the next play.

He rarely came off the field. Huge plus, especially on a Manning led offense because if he's on the field and Manning sees a mismatch he'll find him. Evidenced by the TD when he was wide open. Manning called that on the line.

On his other TD he showed a great feel for TE route running when he ran half speed to set up the LB then once he was even he was leavin by turning on another gear.

He never came off the field. Julius was out there for every snap Manning took. No other Denver receiver did that.

http://www.milehighreport.com/2013/9/6/4701684/denver-broncos-vs-baltimore-ravens-snap-counts

:wub:

:yes::goodposting:

People are focusing on snap counts, but I think the more important stat in that link is the number of pass routes he ran. The top TEs tend to be at or near the top on their team. JT had 27 compared to 47, 46, and 43 for Decker, DT, and Welker. That number likely needs to increase (and maybe it will with the return of Dreesen) if he's going to get enough targets to produce as a top TE.

Except for Gronk... he blocks on over half his snaps.

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In case people missed it, I never said JT was not a decent fantasy flyer or backup TE. I did say (and still do) that if the DEN Big 3 WR are going to be as productive as many (most?) people feel, JT will not have quite the season that a few people are suggesting (I think someone mentioned like 60 catches and 800+ yards). The history of Manning-led teams has shown that having a 4th player put up decent numbers is rare, as is having 4 players on the same team with 80 targets.

And I still fell that when all the TEs are healthy, they will rotate and one guy will not get all the targets and TE production. The other consideration for the TEs is having to block, and if the RBs struggle to protect Manning, they may have to block more and catch less.

do you still think 60+ catches and 800+ yards is unrealistic? to get there, he needs to average 4-46 over the remaining 15 games.

IMO, with full benefit of hindsight, this seems realistic - conservative, even.

:goodposting:

In case people missed it, I never said JT was not a decent fantasy flyer or backup TE. I did say (and still do) that if the DEN Big 3 WR are going to be as productive as many (most?) people feel, JT will not have quite the season that a few people are suggesting (I think someone mentioned like 60 catches and 800+ yards). The history of Manning-led teams has shown that having a 4th player put up decent numbers is rare, as is having 4 players on the same team with 80 targets.

And I still fell that when all the TEs are healthy, they will rotate and one guy will not get all the targets and TE production. The other consideration for the TEs is having to block, and if the RBs struggle to protect Manning, they may have to block more and catch less.

do you still think 60+ catches and 800+ yards is unrealistic? to get there, he needs to average 4-46 over the remaining 15 games.

IMO, with full benefit of hindsight, this seems realistic - conservative, even.

:goodposting:

Only 8 TE's last year averaged more than 46 yards/game.

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Graham and Gronk comparisons are understandable considering the timing but not really fair

Graham and Gronk are in historically elite TE range in terms of upside. If JT can approach Gates numbers type upside it should still be highly valued. I can actually see Gates/Thomas athletic comparisons.

The only problem with the Gates comparisons is that if Gates was just a rookie or 2nd (or 3rd) year guy now, he wouldn't be as dominant positionally speaking (I mean in terms of his value versus other TEs) ...ironically, because Gates himself helped push the position of TE to what it is. That is to say, there are many more "Gates-like" TEs (big, fast, mismatch-causing, move TEs) around now. Graham, Gronk, Finley, V.Davis, Rudolph, etc. While J.Thomas might be in that top tier or two soon, he is in a tier with 3-5 other TEs...at least. Gates WAS a tier (some would argue Gonzo was with him, but the point stands).

Great post. Very true. He may be just as good as Gates one day, but he will never be as valuable as Gates was in his prime.

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What I liked last night:

Showed toughness by taking a wicked hit on the first play and staying in.

Displayed conditioning when he caught a long pass and stayed in the game. Scored on the next play.

He rarely came off the field. Huge plus, especially on a Manning led offense because if he's on the field and Manning sees a mismatch he'll find him. Evidenced by the TD when he was wide open. Manning called that on the line.

On his other TD he showed a great feel for TE route running when he ran half speed to set up the LB then once he was even he was leavin by turning on another gear.

He never came off the field. Julius was out there for every snap Manning took. No other Denver receiver did that.

http://www.milehighreport.com/2013/9/6/4701684/denver-broncos-vs-baltimore-ravens-snap-counts

:wub:

:yes::goodposting:

People are focusing on snap counts, but I think the more important stat in that link is the number of pass routes he ran. The top TEs tend to be at or near the top on their team. JT had 27 compared to 47, 46, and 43 for Decker, DT, and Welker. That number likely needs to increase (and maybe it will with the return of Dreesen) if he's going to get enough targets to produce as a top TE.

Except for Gronk... he blocks on over half his snaps.
In 2011, he was 2nd on the team with 589 (to Welker's 637).

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Whether the stat line is repeatable or not, the snap count probably won't be once Dressen is available. They're going to want to get their run game going better than it did Thursday.

we will see. the gameplan will likely vary from week to week, but the up-tempo pace seems to be something that will limit offensive substitutions and Orange Julius presents greater matchup problems for defenses. I think, barring injury, his snap count will remain high if/when Dreessen returns.

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I'd probably be looking to sell, assuming that I already had a starting TE who I felt good about (and I'm guessing that many JT owners do, especially in dynasty).

The offense is going to be dynamite and maybe it will carry him to a top 5 finish. OTOH, at risk of sounding like a complete hater, I'm not actually convinced that he's an incredible talent. He doesn't look as athletic as Graham or even Finley to me. More like a Marcedes Lewis, with the benefit of playing in a Peyton Manning offense.

I can understand wanting to sell in redraft. Dreessen will still come back at some point, Manning won't throw for 7 TDs in every game, there's a lot of uncertainty there. Julius could be a top-5 TE the rest of the way, or he could be like Martellus Bennett last year (averaged 5/62/1 in the first three weeks, averaged 3/34/0.2 the rest of the way). Neither outcome would really be surprising.

In dynasty, though, I don't understand how anyone could be down on Julius Thomas. His arrow is pointing up, and has been for years. The fact that Denver even bothered to carry him on their roster last year showed how much they liked him. He's now been the most dominant player in each of his two healthy training camps (one with Orton, one with Manning), he's had an amazing preseason, and he had a regular season coming-out party. Clearly his skills translate. Clearly the coaches and his teammates love him. Dreessen may hurt his upside in the short term (or, then again, if Thomas keeps playing this well, Dreessen may not). In the long term, though, Tamme and Dreessen are both gone, Virgil Green has clearly been passed, and Julius Thomas is obviously the future at TE for Denver.

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I'd probably be looking to sell, assuming that I already had a starting TE who I felt good about (and I'm guessing that many JT owners do, especially in dynasty).

The offense is going to be dynamite and maybe it will carry him to a top 5 finish. OTOH, at risk of sounding like a complete hater, I'm not actually convinced that he's an incredible talent. He doesn't look as athletic as Graham or even Finley to me. More like a Marcedes Lewis, with the benefit of playing in a Peyton Manning offense.

Lewis as three 40+ catches in 96 starts. JT had a 44 yard catch and run in what, his 2nd ever start? I mean, I'm 100% convinced he's a no-brainer top 5 after a single performance but I think it's safe to assume he's a bit more athletic than Marcedes Lewis.

I'm not sure how number of catches per start is an effective metric for gauging athleticism? :confused:

So there's absolutely no correlation between the number of longer (40+ yard in this case) passes caught and a players athletic ability? Of course, YAC amongst other things would be more telling but to imply that there's no correlation..

He seemed pretty athletic to me on that 44 yard catch and run.

I'm not saying there is absolutely no correlation. I'm just not sure that's the best metric as it involves a TON of external variables... Number of targets, Types of routes targeted, Defensive coverages faced, Quality of defenses faced, and most obviously an EXTREMELY small sample size in the case of Julius Thomas. You're welcome to make those sort of comparison in the face of that but I'm not comfortable doing so.

What I AM willing to do, given the absurdly small data set of actual game time (where IMO he looked good but moved akwardly at times).... and look at something fairly standardized: NFL Combine data. Now unfortunately we don't have combine data for Gronk but here's a comparison of Graham and Thomas:

40yd Dash: 4.56 (graham) vs 4.68 (Thomas)

Vert Leap: 38.5" vs 35.5"

Broad Jump: 120" vs 111"

3 Cone Drill: 6.90 vs 6.96sec

60yd Shuttle: 11.76 vs 11.95sec

Height: 6'6" vs 6'5"

Reach: 35" vs 33"

Graham Notes:

STRENGTHS

Graham has an outstanding combination of size and speed for the tight end position. A former basketball player, he shows impressive natural athleticism on the gridiron. Despite limited experience, he has capable hands to make a play in traffic. High-character guy. Possesses tremendous potential.

WEAKNESSES

Graham lacks game experience with only one year of football under his belt. At this time, work ethic as a pure football player needs to improve. His toughness is in question as he still carries the basketball player label. Blocking tenacity and overall technique need polish and refinement.

Thomas Notes:

STRENGTHS

Thomas possesses excellent size coupled with enough speed for the NFL. Displays some savvy and athleticism setting up defenders in his stem. Tough matchup for linebackers in man coverage. Has very good ball skills. Plucks and snatches away from frame and adjusts to poorly thrown ball. Can get up the seam for big plays.

WEAKNESSES

Very limited football experience. Blocking is not adequate. Lacks the lower body power to get movement. Lacks the upper body power needed to sustain blocks. Very raw in pass protection. Displays hip stiffness cutting out of his stem. Still developing his awareness against zone coverage. Drops the occasional pass.

-

The numbers, combined with the scout analysis of the two players tell me two things. Thomas has very solid speed given his size, but isn't as fluid or naturally athletic as Graham (or Gronk IMO). Notice there are multiple knocks on Thomas' athleticism and they use words like enough and some.... whereas for Graham the knocks are on polish/toughness and they use words like tremendous, impressive, and outstanding describing his athleticism and potential?

Thomas looked very good last night but also looked akward and robotic at times. IMO his long catches had as much to do with Peyton identifying broken coverage as it did with him using his athleticism to get open and to gain YAC. I'm just not ready to put him in the same camp athletically as the elite tight ends. YMMV.

I'll preface this with saying I never said he possessed elite athleticism, just that he was more athletic than Marcedes Lewis.

I took the time to read through this entire thread the other day and I believe the comparison to Graham has already been made somewhere in this thread. Then I think someone (was it EBF?) posted Vernon Davis's combine results to show what a true freak looked like. I thought the conclusion drawn was that it's not very fair to compare TEs to both Graham and Davis, at least, I'm not doing so with JT.

That was me, and the conclusion stands. Vernon Davis and Jimmy Graham are not some sort of baseline of athleticism. They're freaks of nature. There's plenty of room for a guy to be less athletic than Jimmy Graham and still athletic enough to dominate the NFL.

I also posted Fendi Onobun's combine stats, too. Given the choice between an athletic freak like Onobun with no NFL skills and a more average athlete like Thomas with top-notch ball skills, I'll take Thomas every time.

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Is any one concerned that he had a big first half but was relatively quiet the second half? Didn't get to watch the game but did the Baltimore D adjust? If so, will other teams do the same?

There wasn't any additional coverage, he was spending more time blocking. He was the only skill position player not named Peyton Manning to be in on every single offensive snap.

Even if the defense adjusted, it went toward him leaving the WR's to do damage. At the begining of a game if the defense plans for JT in a similar way, the WR's will benefit forcing halftime adjustments in that direction giving JT one on one in the second half.

Plus, in the second half , Manning was desperately trying to get DT and Decker more involved. On DTs first TD, JT was wide open running down the seam.....easily could have been his third TD.

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all this negative talk is silly... it was the guys first NFL game... he exploded

he passed the eye ball test, is going to play a huge role in the offense, is a perfect compliment to Welker in the middle, is a huge red zone target with great hands, has great speed and athleticism, Peyton loves him, linebackers and safeties will have difficulty covering him all year due to speed and size... and not to mention Peyton Manning is throwing the ball to him....

honestly if you are not expecting this guy to have a huge year after seeing what he did on Thursday than it is just because you weren't ballzy enough to pick him up before everyone else did... stop the Pessimism and get over yourself

75 rec, 950 yds, 10tds

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all this negative talk is silly... it was the guys first NFL game... he exploded

he passed the eye ball test, is going to play a huge role in the offense, is a perfect compliment to Welker in the middle, is a huge red zone target with great hands, has great speed and athleticism, Peyton loves him, linebackers and safeties will have difficulty covering him all year due to speed and size... and not to mention Peyton Manning is throwing the ball to him....

honestly if you are not expecting this guy to have a huge year after seeing what he did on Thursday than it is just because you weren't ballzy enough to pick him up before everyone else did... stop the Pessimism and get over yourself

75 rec, 950 yds, 10tds

Really dude, how did Ogletree do after Game 1 last year?

Stop believing this will happen in every game, get over yourself.

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Really dude, how did Ogletree do after Game 1 last year?

what does Ogletree have to do with the starting TE in Peyton Manning's offence?

Edited by Buffaloes
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What I liked last night:

Showed toughness by taking a wicked hit on the first play and staying in.

Displayed conditioning when he caught a long pass and stayed in the game. Scored on the next play.

He rarely came off the field. Huge plus, especially on a Manning led offense because if he's on the field and Manning sees a mismatch he'll find him. Evidenced by the TD when he was wide open. Manning called that on the line.

On his other TD he showed a great feel for TE route running when he ran half speed to set up the LB then once he was even he was leavin by turning on another gear.

He never came off the field. Julius was out there for every snap Manning took. No other Denver receiver did that.

http://www.milehighreport.com/2013/9/6/4701684/denver-broncos-vs-baltimore-ravens-snap-counts

:wub:

:yes::goodposting:

People are focusing on snap counts, but I think the more important stat in that link is the number of pass routes he ran. The top TEs tend to be at or near the top on their team. JT had 27 compared to 47, 46, and 43 for Decker, DT, and Welker. That number likely needs to increase (and maybe it will with the return of Dreesen) if he's going to get enough targets to produce as a top TE.

You know whats more important than running routes? Getting open - which Thomas seemed to do pretty well on Thursday, given he only ran 27 routes.

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Serious question for anyone:

How would you prepare to defend the Broncos?

A. Focus on stopping run game

B. Focus on stopping Julius Thomas and/or TE

C. Focus on stopping Demaryius Thomas and/or Eric Decker/ outside WRs

D. Focus on stopping Wes Welker and/or slot WR

Despite J.Thomas' big game, I think he is still low on the priority list for opposing defensive coordinators compared to "known" dangers in Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker - who incidentally also had big games on Thursday. Defenses generally can't stop everything - so I expect that J. Thomas will continue to get opportunities to make plays. With Manning at QB, he will find the mismatches.

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Really dude, how did Ogletree do after Game 1 last year?

what does Ogletree have to do with the starting TE in Peyton Manning's offence?

The fact that anyone player can blow up in the first week of the year and do nothing afterwards.

I understand if it was a word not used often, but OFFENCE? gees man.

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Really dude, how did Ogletree do after Game 1 last year?

what does Ogletree have to do with the starting TE in Peyton Manning's offence?

The fact that anyone player can blow up in the first week of the year and do nothing afterwards.

so aside from each of them having a big week, there isn't a comparison?

The flipside of this is Victor Cruz had a huge week, but he sustained it. Where is the evidence to suggest Orange Julius won't just be the next Cruz?

Denver has a high-octane offence and Manning has a propensity for using his TE. A lot.

Edited by Buffaloes

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Serious question for anyone:

How would you prepare to defend the Broncos?

A. Focus on stopping run game

B. Focus on stopping Julius Thomas and/or TE

C. Focus on stopping Demaryius Thomas and/or Eric Decker/ outside WRs

D. Focus on stopping Wes Welker and/or slot WR

Despite J.Thomas' big game, I think he is still low on the priority list for opposing defensive coordinators compared to "known" dangers in Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker - who incidentally also had big games on Thursday. Defenses generally can't stop everything - so I expect that J. Thomas will continue to get opportunities to make plays. With Manning at QB, he will find the mismatches.

That just might be the problem assessing JT. Opposing Ds can't take away all the weapons Denver has. They'll have to pick and chose. This could lead to inconsistent production from Thomas. But I want to be on the upside of that inconsistency.

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You guys know Dreesen didn't play right? I would be trying to sell high on Thomas.

WHO??

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You guys know Dreesen didn't play right? I would be trying to sell high on Thomas.

yes, and iirc he didn't practice at all in TC. I'm not under the assumption that a middling inline TE--with a balky knee--who has largely been unimpressive as a between the 20s receiver will play a lot in Denver's uptempo offence.

Edited by Buffaloes
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Serious question for anyone:

How would you prepare to defend the Broncos?

A. Focus on stopping run game

B. Focus on stopping Julius Thomas and/or TE

C. Focus on stopping Demaryius Thomas and/or Eric Decker/ outside WRs

D. Focus on stopping Wes Welker and/or slot WR

Despite J.Thomas' big game, I think he is still low on the priority list for opposing defensive coordinators compared to "known" dangers in Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker - who incidentally also had big games on Thursday. Defenses generally can't stop everything - so I expect that J. Thomas will continue to get opportunities to make plays. With Manning at QB, he will find the mismatches.

The Broncos are essentially going 4 wide which gives all of their receivers one-on-one matchups. If teams don't have a safety account for JT then he's going to eat LB's alive all season.

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You guys know Dreesen didn't play right? I would be trying to sell high on Thomas.

Ah, such is the life of an underrated JT owner.

Yeah, I think we're all aware. I'll start worrying when Dreessen turns in a practice.

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