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EBF

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EBF last won the day on May 18 2013

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  1. I really thought he would be a great pick for them. Early, but looks like I was wrong. The size/speed people may have had it right. Been underwhelming so far, and when I looked at him for redraft I wasn't blown away by the rookie highlights. Just doesn't have anything special in his locker to trouble NFL defenses. Even though he's got some nice feet and cuts, there's not enough speed and/or power to back it up. Looking pretty JAG-y so far at the pro level.
  2. Big year for Edmonds. I'm not saying it's now-or-never, but he's been flirting with relevance for several years and this might be his last chance to cement himself as "the guy" for a team. His ADP seems to be around RB25 in redraft, and I think he's solid value there. If it works out, you get a top 15 RB for a RB3 price. If it goes south, he's probably still a worthwhile bye week fill in for your starters. Low risk with a pretty good ceiling.
  3. I was middle-of-the-road on him going into his rookie year. Didn't hate him, but also passed on him for Aiyuk in some rookie drafts. Looking at it now though, it's clear that he's underrated going into year 2. He's outside the top 50 dynasty WRs on some lists I've seen. Crazy low for a guy with his draft pedigree and skill set. His rookie year really wasn't terrible. 452 yards on just 43 targets. If they ramp up his targets in future seasons (very likely) and his production scales, he can pretty quickly become a quality FF starter. I also think he LOOKED good last season, not just in terms of stats. I'm thinking a range of realistic outcomes can easily see him jump into Santonio Holmes/Will Fuller territory in year 2-3, so he's an obvious buy candidate in startup drafts and trades.
  4. I watched a few of Lawrence's games, but I didn't dive in enough to have an extremely nuanced perspective on every aspect of his game. I noted his poise, accuracy, arm, and decision-making as the main positives. He is a good athlete, but his athleticism is somewhat overstated. Like Rodgers or Luck, he's faster than average to buy time and evade the pass rush, but not someone that you want doing Lamar/Cam stuff as a designed runner. I also noted that the pass rush could affect him negatively, which is true of basically every QB in history. The main reason the Giants beat Brady was because of their pass rush. Lawrence seems to have more innate passing skills than people like Carson Palmer and JaMarcus Russell, who also went first overall. I compared him to Eli and Matt Ryan, but he's a more physically gifted version of that, both in terms of speed/athleticism and arm talent. That starts to shade towards Andrew Luck territory. Luck was a prodigy with rare improvisational skills. He made more "wow" type of throws, IMO. But If Lawrence is a more athletic Palmer/Ryan or a slightly less instinctive Luck, that's still a pretty rosy outlook. That suggests probably a top 5-6 dynasty QB trajectory. Hitting the elite level is difficult and it's not always the guys you expect (Russ, Rodgers, Mahomes, Brees, Brady). I don't think I've ever projected a QB to be that level of player except for Luck, who was a generational talent that I also happened to be very familiar with (watched basically his whole college career).
  5. The HyperActive leagues folded this offseason, right as I was set to bow out of them, so I lost three dynasty teams. I now just have two dynasty teams remaining and both formats are unique, so the draft outcomes are misleading. League #1 (QB premium): Lawrence (1.03), Elijah Moore (2.03), Eskridge (2.08), Stevenson (3.03) My second choice was Waddle here and he was still available when I picked at 1.03, but as my only two QBs of note are the unreliable Mayfield and the aging Roethlisberger, I felt it was time to finally pay the piper and get a top tier QB prospect onto the squad. I have a pretty solid RB/WR/TE group in this league (Chubb, M Sanders, C Edmonds, Diggs, JuJu, A-Rob, Deebo, M Andrews, Jonnu Smith, H Henry), so didn't feel forced to take a RB/WR or Pitts. League #2 (TE premium + devy): Freiermuth (1.10), irrelevant flyers with my last two picks (Rountree, Knox) This league wiped out most of the top talents in the dev draft last summer (Chase, Pitts, Knox, Bateman, Waddle, etc). So the 1.10 here is effectively like a mid-late 2nd in a normal league. I would never prioritize Freiermuth in a standard format. I went with him here because, in a deep 14 team league with 1.5 PPR for TE and lots of flex spots, a Hunter Henry type can be an every week starter. St. Brown went one pick before me, and someone traded into that spot to take him, so they probably thought I was going to take him, which I might have. I was surprised to see him go so high. This roster is also pretty strong and I just wanted a high-floor depth body instead of a home run swing (I have Mahomes, Saquon, Mixon, J Jacobs, Edmonds, Gaskin, Tyreek, M Andrews, JuJu, Ruggs, and a few other warm bodies). In hindsight I would probably take Palmer, Eskridge, or Collins here for the upside though, as they are more likely to become league-winners than Freiermuth.
  6. RE: Chase vs. Waddle, I don't think it's an obvious slam dunk, but I am surprised at the amount of pushback on that one considering they were drafted one spot apart. Maybe it's valid or maybe it's because Chase was the marquee name all summer whereas Waddle was more of a late-riser. I know from being in dev leagues for many years that preseason takes can calcify and bleed into post-draft feelings, even when new information suggests they should be modified. If we go by draft position, it's the slimmest margin possible between those two, which suggests it should at least be open to debate as to who's better. I'm not a gigantic Sermon fan, but it's a thin RB crop and obviously I have some reservations about Etienne and Williams, who were the only other RBs drafted higher that I didn't rank higher (also Najee). I've always favored agile backs over straight-line backs, and that's part of the rationale here. I'm worried that Etienne and Williams are too limited, and too straight-line as runners. It's one-cut-and-go with them, whereas a player like Carter, Sermon, or Najee does a better job of changing momentum and evading tackles. The catch with Williams is that the Broncos spent big draft capital on him, so will surely give him chances to shine. I'm just skeptical of the long-term outlook. Toney is a really tough player to slot into the list because he's a non-traditional type of WR who doesn't necessarily have the overwhelming physical qualities to translate into a full-time outside WR, so there's some risk that he tops out with a low ceiling like 700-800 yards. I do have Elijah Moore ahead of him, which is notable because he was drafted lower. I also think there's some genuinely interesting talent in that R Moore/Eskridge/Palmer/St. Brown/Collins cluster. That's one of the most interesting regions of these rookie drafts and there's likely 1-2 great NFL players hiding in there, but it's hard to say exactly who's going to do what. Almost all of them have some type of red flag or situational issue. Bateman is another guy whose raw value seems restricted by his landing spot, as Lamar has shown no real ability to sustain multiple useful FF WRs. That's why I made the Robert Woods comparison, because even if he's a solid player, he doesn't obviously have transcendent talent to overcome a bad landing spot. So it's a little bit strange with Toney. #11 sounds high, but this is a WR who was picked 20th overall in the draft. Typically a WR picked that high would be top 4-8 on my list. I'm somewhat down on Toney relative to his NFL draft slot, just not as down on him as most other people seem to be.
  7. Also worth repeating that Smith last year was a 4th year player whereas Waddle was a 3rd year player, so there's a one year stagger in terms of age/development/time in the program. Alabama under Saban has typically respected seniority. If two players are close in talent, it's usually been the older player who has gotten the starting opportunity. Consider the RB continuity. Ingram starts ahead of Richardson Richardson starts ahead of Lacy Lacy starts ahead of Yeldon Yeldon starts ahead of Henry Henry starts ahead of D Harris D Harris starts ahead of Jacobs You can basically draw a straight chronological line where seniority is respected and the older guys are given the nod over the younger guy even if there's probably a talent disparity. Maybe the one exception is Henry starting as a third year junior over a fourth year Kenyan Drake. Henry was absurdly good that season, rushing for 2200+ yards and winning the Heisman. As good as Henry was, he still sat behind TJ Yeldon earlier in his college career. Is Yeldon a better back than Henry? We all know the answer now. Saban doesn't tend to rock the boat. Even big time prospects like Richardson, D Harris, and Najee had to come in and accept a small initial role. They would've walked into the starting lineup at 95% of college programs. With Jeudy/Ruggs/Smith (all first round WRs) ahead of Waddle in seniority, there's no great mystery as to why his college production was modest. Once Jeudy and Ruggs were gone, he came out of the gates blistering hot in 2020 and was only slowed down by injury. We saw what a 4th year version of Smith looks like at Alabama. We'll never know what a 4th year version of Waddle would look like at Alabama because his stock was so high after three seasons that he could bolt for the draft and be a top 10 pick.
  8. Waddle was great this season. Here are his week-by-week stats: 8/134 5/142 6/120 6/161 Then he got injured on literally the opening kickoff against Tennessee, so he "played" in the game, but not really. Rushed back for the bowl game, obviously still injured, and went 3/30 against Ohio State. So 557 in the first four games. 30 in the gimped bowl game. 117 receiving yards per game, even including the bowl game. I would say that is "actual productivity" and not just potential. Interestingly, DeVonta Smith had "only" 483 receiving yards in the first four games of the season. 74 fewer yards than Waddle to that point. It almost looks like Waddle's injury is the reason Smith won the Biletnikoff, as Waddle had been outproducing him the whole way until he got hurt.
  9. Yet the Dolphins took Waddle when they could've had Smith. None of this stuff is concrete. Teams are trying to do the same calculus we are in terms of projecting futures and what someone will look like against pro competition. Smith was a 4 year collegiate who played in 13 games last year. Waddle was a 3 year collegiate who played in 5 games, suffered a serious injury, and then came back prematurely for the bowl game. Waddle did a lot of damage when he was healthy. The per-game averages are at least in the same general ballpark. Alabama is a unique college program. They tend to have a lot more talent than the typical NCAA team. That's why you can have situations where people like Josh Jacobs, Alvin Kamara, Eddie Lacy, Henry Ruggs, Kenyan Drake, DeVonta Smith, and Najee Harris are buried on the depth chart by more established players. To use Jacobs as an example, he never rushed for more than 640 yards in a season at Alabama. He had 1,150 rushing yards in his rookie NFL season, and 1,065 rushing yards last year. I've watched a lot of WRs over the years and some of the stuff Waddle does is special. The 2010s decade had only six WRs drafted in the top 6 of their class: Corey Davis, Amari Cooper, Sammy Watkins, Justin Blackmon, AJ Green, and Julio Jones. Good company. That can be used as an argument to be bullish on Chase, but also as an argument to be bullish on Waddle. That he was taken so high suggests a very rosy evaluation from NFL personnel people, which often correlates with success. It's not some big contrarian take to have him in the mix for the top few spots in a rookie draft when he was the second WR or RB off the board. The size issue is something that people like Julio and Green never had to answer, but the fact that Waddle went top 6 despite being 182 pounds is also a testament to the unusual qualities that he has. He's a more agile version of Ruggs, and Ruggs was the first WR picked last year. Seems like some people are underestimating his potential.
  10. Situation can be a tie-breaker for me if two guys are close in talent level, but when we look at the difference in situation between Chase and Waddle, we're not talking about a Mahomes/Bortles type of obvious disparity here. Neither Burrow nor Tua has proven much of anything in the NFL. There were similar conversations the past two years about Brandon Aiyuk and AJ Brown. "How can you tout him if he has no QB?" If the player is good enough, I'll bet on the talent and let the situation solve itself. Bad starting QBs don't stay starters. You are ideally going to have these players for 5-10 years, and that's enough time for a sea change in terms of situation. So while supporting cast matters a lot for fringe players whose value is dependent solely on opportunity, such as Cornell Powell, I view it as a lot less important for potential elite talents. Hubbard was always a stats > tape type of guy, and didn't shine for me when I looked at this class last summer for my devy drafts. Not all players who dominate in college have the right qualities to make the jump, and he appears to have some physical limitations. Since I don't think he has the talent to be situation-proof, the situation matters a lot. Landing behind McCaffrey is pretty far from ideal for a young RB.
  11. Enough, sure. They have an empty cupboard at WR. He's the best they have. He more or less had the rookie year you would've expected in 2020. Modest volume, but high explosiveness. 452 yards on just 43 targets. If that scales up to a decent level, he could flirt with 1k yards this season. The dynasty WR landscape is pretty crowded right now, but he's someone I'd be looking at in trades and startup drafts if people have really soured on him. Looks like he's carrying a price somewhere in the WR40-50 range. He could finish top 25-30 this year.
  12. With day three guys, usually you're looking at low-ceiling players who are drafted to fill out backup roles and special teams spots. When real talent slips through the cracks, it's sometimes because it's a small school guy who never had a chance to show his wares against top competition. Davidson fits that mold. He went to Central Missouri, so was basically off the map in terms of scouting and level of competition. For a guy who is 6'7", he shows some interesting suddenness, vertical speed, and fluidity. It's a case where maybe if he plays for a major program like Alabama or Notre Dame and he's in the shop window every weekend on national TV, we're talking about him as a top 60 pick and not a late round flyer. I'd generally rather roll the dice on someone like that than a player who got all the national exposure at a big program and still came up as a day three talent by the scouts. He has a better excuse for falling besides being just mediocre. The most likely scenario with a guy like this is a Moritz Boehringer situation where he flops completely, but you're talking about zero risk for a player with a decent ceiling. Every once in a while you will hit on a prospect like this, and add a lot of value to your roster for free.
  13. They took him in the top 5, so they must think he's special. I found his film underwhelming for an alleged all-world type of talent. Certainly possible that I'm wrong, but I'm higher on the other three guys in my top tier. Waddle was selected literally one spot after Chase, so we're talking the finest of margins. I'd push back on the prevalent idea that Chase is clearly ahead of him. I didn't see it that way in the summer. I don't see it that way now. Waddle smokes him for play speed and mobility, but Chase is bigger and more physical. College production is not a perfect predictor of pro value. We've seen it many times. Alvin Kamara was so far down on the depth chart at Alabama that he had to transfer to Tennessee to get playing time. Peter Warrick was a star for Florida State. Laveranues Coles was the afterthought. Coles had three seasons of 1,000+ yards in the NFL. Warrick had zero. I try to look at the tool kit and project what the player will be in the NFL, not necessarily who he was in college. Certain skills are stressed more at the pro level, and scheme/usage are an important variable at both levels. That's not to say it's impossible for Chase to be incredible. For me, the tape didn't quite match the reputation/draft slot. Totally possible that I'm missing something, but I'm rolling with that evaluation. The guys I ranked ahead of him are all very strong prospects too (Waddle, Pitts, Harris), so it's not like I have him behind a bunch of day three JAGs.
  14. I updated the rankings after posting the initial list and doing more study. I'm more satisfied with those: https://forums.footballguys.com/topic/785441-top-28-rookies-2020/?do=findComment&comment=22739139 That being said, one year removed is not really enough time to assess rankings. Some players come out of the gates early and cool off. Others do the opposite. I passed on Ruggs in several drafts last year, but at this point he's undervalued. He actually looked pretty good as a rookie and still has a chance to be a productive player.
  15. Yea, I burned some early picks on Eifert and Ebron in various leagues, and they never fully lived up to the potential. I like Pitts more as a prospect, but TE is usually a low priority slot where you can find compelling prospects in the 20-30 range of rookie drafts (i.e. Hurst, Andrews, Graham, Kelce, Gronk, etc). If you pass on Pitts, you'll surely be able to find promising TEs in future seasons. They won't carry his pedigree, but they may have similar upside. You're aiming at a small target with Pitts because he effectively needs to become a perennial 900-1000+ yard type of TE to justify the entry price, but if anyone seems equipped to achieve that, he fits the bill. Highest TE ever drafted. Relatively close to a can't-miss talent. It's a tricky dilemma if you're sitting there on the clock in the first few picks because the RB/WR options aren't necessarily locks to give you anything.
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