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Everything posted by EBF

  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.
  16. Rookie RBs who flash potential are usually a hot commodity going into the next season, but only a fraction of them achieve sustained success. I don't see Williams as a special back. The best thing about him is that the Broncos drafted him with an early second, so they'll be incentivized to give him a lot of chances. My rankings acknowledged the possibility for a bump in value after year one. That doesn't mean his career will be anything special. We've seen many times a RB come in, look decent in the first year, become overrated in the offseason, and ultimately flame out with a mediocre or worse career (i.e. Anthony Thomas, Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, Ameer Abdullah, Jordan Howard, Julius Jones, Kevin Jones, Eddie Lacy, Leonard Fournette, etc). My rankings try to center on career value, not who will be the best trade chip in 12 months. Those are two different questions. That said, this highlights an argument for taking Najee #1, as you know he's going to be an early startup pick next year with even a mediocre rookie season. Very good chance he'll be valued ahead of Waddle/Chase/Pitts in 12 months by virtue of immediate returns and positional demand in FF leagues. I don't think it would be a bad move to take Najee #1. He's not a generational type of talent though. In a vacuum, Waddle and Pitts are closer to a special type of talent. In terms of who fits what's coveted in FF leagues, Najee has a solid case for the 1.01. I wouldn't fault anyone for picking him. As for Williams, numerous QB/RB/WR/TE were valued more by the NFL than him, and his tape looks mediocre to me, so I think where I have him is fair. I had other 2nd round backs like Sanders, Mixon, and Cook higher in recent years, but IMO they were more impressive prospects.
  17. I took a quick look at Herbert. He didn't really pop for me. With the day three guys, it often just comes down to injuries and opportunity. Players like Rountree and Evans aren't necessarily starting material either, but are capable of thriving in spurts if they get an opportunity. That's an apt description of the typical NFL backup RB. If you give them 25 touches, they can get 100 yards, but very few of them have the talent to sustain the opportunity across multiple seasons. We've seen it a million times with people like Stacy, Lindsay, Howard, etc. They play okay for a while, but then they get supplanted when a better talent shows up. It's a tough business. Waddle was the sixth pick in the draft, so was considered a premium prospect by the league. I don't see it as a big stretch to have him as a 1.01 candidate. I was banging the drum already last summer. I think he would've been top 3 on my board last year along with CEH and Taylor. Ruggs is a decent baseline for Waddle, except Waddle is more agile than Ruggs (BTW I think Ruggs has a chance to be pretty good and is probably underrated now). Both are really fast. I think the class is deep. There are lots of interesting prospects. I like the 2nd round rookie picks this year. If you can solve that 2nd-3rd round group of WRs, you can find value for a modest price. There's a good chance that there's a home run somewhere in that cluster. I just think the class lacks headliners. There's no Saquon or Dez Bryant where you know he's the real deal. Waddle and Pitts are close, but Pitts is a TE and Waddle has some size/workload questions. I guess I'm a little down on Chase/Smith/Toney/Etienne/Bateman compared to the level of WR/RB you usually see drafted in those slots.
  18. A few notes before I get into this list: - I watched at least two games (condensed into all-snap highlights) for all of the first round QBs, but QB is the hardest position to evaluate and the one that requires the most time commitment, so I feel like I still don't have a great handle on those guys. Mainly I am going with the party line at that position, and not moving anything around too radically. I'm not the guy to ask for a lot of insights on the finer points of these QBs. - These rankings are for standard PPR and non-PPR formats where RB/WR positions are emphasized. If you are in a league that lends added weight to another position like TE or QB, you will have to think about how that might change the equation. - Overall, I felt this class lacked true marquee talent at the top. However, it's deep with viable QB prospects and has some day 2-3 players with a pulse. I'm sure it will yield a fair share of strong FF contributors. The third tier is the most interesting spot to me, as it features a variety of interesting talents who don't carry a huge price tag. There's most likely some great value to be mined there if you can pick the right players. - The trend in the NFL is obviously towards specialists and players who can add value-over-replacement with chunk plays, which is reflected in this population of players. In particular it's an odd WR class that lacks conventional outside X receiver types, but offers a variety of smaller gadget and hybrid weapons. It's the year of the chess piece. FIRST TIER 1. WR Jaylen Waddle, Dolphins - His tape is better than Chase's, so he's my WR1. Waddle is like a human joystick, with instant speed, agility, and acceleration. ELITE athleticism. One of the most explosive and sudden WRs you will see. He can burn people down field, but also shed coverage and tacklers in small windows with his top tier quickness. Think of him as an even better version of TY Hilton. I call him the WR version of Darren Sproles because he's the smallest guy on the field, but also the most athletic. The only limitation on his game is size and durability. He's shorter than ideal and relatively light. What kind of workload can he handle at 182 pounds? He should thrive, though he may end up as more of a WR2 in FF terms than a WR1 depending on target volume. Without size, he doesn't automatically project as someone who can handle 140+ targets. 2. RB Najee Harris, Steelers - He's an easy evaluation. High-floor prospect with a mid-level ceiling. The B+ version of Steven Jackson. Above average size coupled with quality speed, cutting ability, and receiving skills. You know what you're getting here: a reliable three down player who can step in and handle a high volume of touches from year one. A lot of big backs struggle with agility, but Harris plays on a swivel and has pretty good feet and hips for a taller back (not elite, but good enough). He's not a generational talent or a special prospect, but he projects to be a solid starter at a position of high value in most FF formats. The role itself is valuable. Consider him as high as 1.01 depending on team needs and league format. 3. TE Kyle Pitts, Falcons - He's a 6'6" WR with TE eligibility. Pitts is very athletic and mobile, with rare vertical speed for a TE. He was a big play waiting to happen in college, and a lot of that should translate to the next level. He'll be a seam threat with exceptional RAC ability and strong red zone value. In terms of negatives, he runs a bit pigeon-toed and can get caught up in his routes sometimes, so defenders may be able to frustrate him in the short-intermediate game with tight coverage. The other glaring issue is that TE is a tertiary position in most FF leagues. If you spend a top 3-4 rookie pick on Pitts, you need him to become a Gonzo/Gronk/Kittle type of producer to justify the price tag, and there's always some risk that he won't hit that ceiling. Prospects usually don't become the best version of who we think they can be. Moreover, you can typically find high-ceiling TEs late in a rookie draft (i.e. Gronk/Graham/Kelce/Kittle/Witten), so it may not be maximizing the value of your picks to select a TE this high. I would compare Pitts to a pre-injury Tyler Eifert, another athletic TE who was quick enough to be split out wide and win against defensive backs in 1v1 situations. Injuries derailed Eifert's career, but Pitts can become a better version of him. He might be the best skill position prospect in this draft, but low positional value makes him a questionable choice over Waddle or Harris. You'd need him to become an all-timer. 4. WR Ja'Marr Chase, Bengals - When a team drafts a WR in the top 5, they are saying he's a special talent and likely Pro Bowler. I can't say Chase is a guaranteed bust, but I found his tape slightly underwhelming for a player with such a lofty reputation. He has an atypical, squatty frame for the position. He lacks elite open field agility and has a questionable vertical push off the line of scrimmage, often wearing a lot of coverage. He lacks elite body control and suddenness. Hindsight is 20/20 now that we've seen Justin Jefferson thrive in the NFL, but when you watch them side by side at LSU, Jefferson is the more elastic, explosive, and agile athlete. Chase is more compact and powerful, relying on solid break point separation and physicality to generate production. He has some other things going in his favor. He was a prolific stat machine in college. He tested well at his pro day. Perhaps more importantly, all of his film is from the 2019 season, so we haven't really seen him play lately. What we saw in 2019 may not be the maxed out version of Chase. The lofty draft spot also can't completely be ignored. Still, my sense is that he's closer to a Golden Tate type of player than a truly elite WR prospect. Squatty straight-line bull with toughness and burst. Not a top tier Pro Bowl type though. I feel more comfortable with the other options in the top 4 and would be inclined to trade out of Chase and let someone else see what they have. SECOND TIER 5. WR DeVonta Smith, Eagles - Immensely productive. Mobile, loose, and has a real vertical burst. Quality route runner with good position-specific skills. The elephant in the room is more like the flamingo in the room in his case: he's painfully skinny at 6'0" and just 170 pounds. Can he hold up in the NFL? Will cornerbacks be able to smother him? I tend to be more comfortable with prospects who fit a well-defined mold than with players who are unprecedented, and I've never seen a WR as skinny as Smith with the same play style. Even Marvin Harrison and Calvin Ridley were significantly heavier. Ridley is the most logical comparison for Smith given size/play style/draft slot/alma mater. He has become a good pro and that bodes well for Smith's chances, but Smith is a unique proposition. Hard to classify. From a skill standpoint, I like what I see. The rail thin frame adds a significant layer of risk though. It could be a Paul Richardson type of situation where he's just never able to stay on the field. 6. RB Trey Sermon, 49ers - A nice synergy of talent and situation. Sermon isn't an elite back and probably doesn't have the ceiling to supernova in the NFL, but he has a well-rounded skill set and should push Mostert for a starting role as a rookie. Sermon has decent size and adequate quickness, with added value as serviceable receiving option out of the backfield. In terms of body type and play style, he's a poor man's Adrian Peterson. He has a similar frame, but lacks the elite wheels and evasiveness. His agility is not bad, but not special. He should be a useful starter in the NFL. Long-term, there's some risk that he gets Kerryon'd by a better talent because he's not sensational, merely solid. 7. QB Trevor Lawrence, Jaguars - The hype and college career might have you thinking he's an Andrew Luck level QB prospect, but my sense is that he's closer to Eli Manning or Matt Ryan, albeit more athletic than either. Seemingly a high-floor QB prospect with a quality ceiling. He's tall and fast, though he's not Cam or Lamar from an athleticism standpoint. You'd want him in the pocket in the NFL, not running often. He's decisive and accurate, keeping his eyes active when forced to run. The arm strength looks good to me and he generally makes good decisions. He's an experienced player with a long track record of elite production against quality opposition. However, he'll sometimes throw off his back foot when pressured. With four other QBs selected in the first round and several more on day two, it's likely that one of them will end up being better than Lawrence in the long run. Still, he seems to be a quality franchise QB prospect with a high floor. You can take him as high as #5 in standard formats if you have acute QB needs. Also a strong option in superflex and QB-premium leagues, but his tape fell a little short of wowing me. 8. RB Travis Etienne, Jaguars - This is a low ranking for Etienne, but I don't see him becoming a reliable franchise back in the NFL. He's a bursty home run threat who lacks consistency, agility, and functional power. He is not a natural or smooth RB. Questionable feet. He's a one-cut-and-go sprinter who takes a lot of punishment and struggles to create in the second level of the defense. Elite speed is enough to dominate in college, but the windows are smaller in the NFL, so cutting ability and elusiveness are stressed to a much greater degree. Etienne is sub par in these categories and projects as a Duke Johnson type on Sundays. His chunk play potential and versatility may explain his high draft slot. He presents value-over-replacement in these areas, but his overall game is lacking to become a true lead back. If you are in position to draft him and your dynasty team has RB needs, I would look into trade possibilities for Edwards-Helaire, Josh Jacobs, or Mixon. They are ranked in similar territory on overall dynasty RB lists, but offer more talent than Etienne. I'm fading Etienne at his market value. Avoid. 9. RB Javonte Williams, Broncos - The Broncos RB spot has a been a graveyard for overrated mediocre RB prospects in recent years. Will Williams become another Devontae Booker or Royce Freeman, an early pick who yields disappointing returns? He has good size and straight-line burst. His reputation is as a tough, competitive runner. When I watched his clips, I felt he had some clear limitations. He lacks true agility and is clearly inferior to his college teammate Michael Carter in terms of cutting ability and elusiveness. You don't see him weaving through traffic or making a lot of great cuts in the second level. Instead he looks to break everything to the outside and rely on his linear speed. He's faster than quick, reminiscent of someone like DeMarco Murray or Leonard Fournette in that regard. Once he reaches full speed, he struggles to throttle down or redirect his momentum. I think he'll have a chance to be a productive starter if his team can highlight his positive traits (straight-line speed, momentum) and minimize his weaknesses (agility, creating in small windows). I would say he's unlikely to become an elite pro back though, and will be vulnerable to replacement. Given the nature of FF leagues, he'll be a coveted asset if he has a strong rookie year, which is possible, but I don't see enduring starter talent, so I'm ranking him lower than where most probably have him. Overrated and overdrafted, but has short-term boom potential by virtue of opportunity. 10. WR Elijah Moore, Jets - I think he's essentially Brandin Cooks-lite. He's not quite as sudden in his routes as Cooks was and that may be why he fell further in the draft, but he has a similar frame and does some similar things. Fast. He can get vertical and is also a dangerous open field runner due more to his high end speed than his average quickness. He's not a naturally elusive player, but his sheer speed makes him a RAC threat on short throws and crossing patterns. Route running is just okay and he's a little undersized to handle a heavy workload. That could lead to Cooks-like issues down the road with big hits and durability. Still, I like his tape and think he can be a 1000 yard receiver in the NFL. He's the best WR talent on the Jets and even if they go out and get an elite #1 in the future, Moore will be a dangerous complementary piece. Not an elite prospect, but a solid value around the 10-12 range of rookie drafts as a possible long-term WR2-WR3 for your FF team. 11. WR Kadarius Toney, Giants - He's the second best athlete in this WR class behind Waddle. Very elastic and smooth in his movement. Fluid and sudden. Adequate size to play outside. The issue is that his usage makes it difficult to project exactly what he'll be on Sundays. Like Jalen Reagor last year, you don't quite know what you're getting. He did a lot of work out of the slot at Florida, which makes it hard to evaluate his ability to thrive as an outside receiver. Purely as a slot, he doesn't have "wow" speed or figure to be a high volume target. Essentially what you have here is a ball of clay, an athletic project that the Giants will try to develop into a receiver. You could compare him to former Gator Percy Harvin in that regard, but Harvin was a more explosive athlete and flashed more pure WR skill in college. A player like Cordarrelle Patterson illustrates the risk of these athlete types. Sometimes they never develop into more than a gadget player/return man (although Patterson had a very different body type + movement compared to Toney). Still, Toney is athletic enough to justify a gamble relatively early. The Giants spent a high pick on him and have a barren WR situation, so he'll have an opportunity to thrive. He'll add value in year one as a chess piece. From there, his ceiling will be determined by whether he can become more than just a dynamic situational threat. 12. WR Rashod Bateman, Ravens - Sneaky linear speed. Apparently he tested in the high 4.3 range. I wouldn't say he's a burner on film, but he can get vertical. It's one of his better qualities. His size is merely okay. He's on the lean side. More of a technician than someone who's going to overwhelm people with athleticism. There's some tightness in his lateral movement. There are shades of Justin Jefferson in terms of body type and play style, but he's not that fluid or athletic. I'll make a comparison to younger Robert Woods. Both are leaner, technical finesse WRs who lack any one single elite trait, but thrive with decent athleticism and crisp routes. Woods has gradually become a productive NFL player, but it took many years to reach that level. He was mostly anonymous when he was in Buffalo. Bateman doesn't have the "wow" talent to dominate on a mediocre team and the Baltimore offense is not known to be WR-friendly, so you could be looking at several 500-700 yard seasons before you can even figure out what you have. I don't hate him as a prospect, but I'm not super excited about the overall synergy of talent and situation. Feels like a guy who could plateau as an 800 yard WR without a favorable system/situation to prop him up. 13. QB Zach Wilson, Jets - A slightly different style compared to Lawrence. He's shorter and more compact, but mobile and active. His play style reminds of Baker Mayfield. He's a good athlete. I thought his arm looked solid, but some sources question his deep ball velocity. The level of competition is also slight concern, as he wasn't facing many great teams. He often had a lot of time to throw the ball, but in the NFL the clock will be faster and the pressure will be greater. The overall vibe I get from the tape and other scouting sources is somewhere in the Romo/Mayfield territory as an accurate, intelligent QB with sneaky mobility to buy time and create openings. 14. QB Trey Lance, 49ers - Elite frame and very good athleticism. He's big and straight-line fast (not elusive though). Strong arm. It feels lazy to compare him to Kaepernick just because the 49ers drafted him, but there are undeniable similarities. Both are tall and mobile, but inconsistent as pure passers. In the games I watched, Lance struggled with ball placement. Questionable accuracy. His level of competition can be seen as both a positive and a negative. He never got to prove himself against elite opposition, yet the fact that the 49ers were still willing to pay a premium to draft him third overall indicates an extremely optimistic assessment of his long-term value. Lance is a project who will require some patience, but the potential payoff is high and in a few years you could be looking at a high level FF starter. Seemingly the boom-or-bust pick of the top three QBs. If you have strong QB needs, you can take Lance and Wilson 4-5 spots higher than where I have them here, but the position is devalued in many leagues. THIRD TIER 15. QB Justin Fields, Bears - Might be the best pure athlete of all the QBs. He's built solid, but also has very good mobility. An ideal physical talent for the position. He makes some great throws and had gaudy stats in college. In terms of negatives, his field recognition seemed questionable at times. He also became panicky against the pass rush, with the instinct to tuck the ball and take off running rather than trying to keep the pass play alive. Considered by most evaluators to be a slow processor, which could lead to issues with sacks and interceptions. Like Lance, a boom-or-bust project with a high ceiling. If you already have a strong QB1 in place, consider Fields as a cheaper dart throw once the top 3 QBs come off the board, as he'd be a good QB2 to stash for the potential upside. 16. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, Lions - A gritty chain-mover. He's been on my radar since his freshman season at USC. I had him as a day two talent going into the NCAA season, and he ended up going at the top of day 3. His lack of any one single elite trait may be part of why he slipped. St. Brown is merely average in terms of size and speed. He's not going to be an elite vertical threat. He's similar to former Trojan JuJu Smith-Schuster in terms of route suddenness and fluidity, but lacks the size or RAC skills. There's nothing really special here. There's no "wow" factor to his game, but I would bet on him finding some type of niche in the NFL. He's a natural football player who can do the dirty work in the short-intermediate game as a second or third option. Good route running and toughness. The best version of what he can be is someone like Adam Thielen, but you have to factor some long-term JAG risk into the equation, given draft slot and ordinary size/speed. 17. WR Rondale Moore, Cardinals - A tough FF asset to gauge because he's a pure slot WR. He's only 5'7" and doesn't look like someone who will ever be lining up outside. However, I liked his tape and think he's a high end slot prospect. Productive player with good play strength, movement, and burst. A good chain mover with occasional big play potential (he's not going to be Tyreek Hill though). There are no major warts. He should be a useful player for Arizona. The question is whether or not the volume will be there to make him relevant in FF leagues. We've seen some slot receivers like Cole Beasley and Wes Welker have significant FF value in recent years. Arizona seems like a team that may want to air it out and rack up a lot of pass attempts, which bodes well for Moore's chances. You may be looking at a lot of 4/40 and 5/50 type of weeks with a player like this. Potentially a nice PPR option, whose upside will ultimately hinge on usage. 18. RB Michael Carter, Jets - Athletic. He's a better athlete than Javonte Williams, with better agility and cuts. Don't be totally surprised if he ends up having a better pro career. Carter is one of the only backs in this draft who can make sharp lateral cuts at high speed, and that can be a very valuable skill set in the NFL. The questions involve size and consistency. He's only 200 pounds, built approximately the same as someone like Ameer Abdullah or Jerick McKinnon. Like those two backs, he lacks sheer bulk and runs with marginal power. This type of smaller, hyper athletic back sometimes struggles to transition to a full-time role, and that's the real risk with Carter. I'm pretty confident that he has the run talent to be a useful NFL player, but I don't know if he's going to be able to transition into a starting position. McKinnon and Abdullah have hung around the NFL for years without ever really being startable. Another comparison is Chase Edmonds, who has flirted with FF relevance the last few years without yet taking the next step. I like Carter and would happily roll the dice on him for a 2nd round rookie pick, but anything higher would be too risky. 19. WR Josh Palmer, Chargers - The biggest enigma in this WR class. Despite playing four seasons in a major program (Tennessee), he never topped 500 receiving yards in a single season. That's concerning. Is he an underutilized hidden gem or an underachiever? He flashes interesting potential at times, as a big body WR with good break point separation skills. He is sudden out of his plants and has the frame to shield the ball from DBs at the catch point. Some of the stuff he does is reminiscent of NFL success stories like DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas, and there's a sense that maybe his best football is in front of him. The Chargers invested a relatively early pick on him and have a spotty WR corps, so there could be an opportunity to impact within a year or two. Palmer is a risky home run swing as an FF asset, but I like the value and potential at his modest ADP. 20. WR Terrace Marshall, Panthers - On paper, he's very light for his height, but he has a solid base and may be able to accommodate more bulk without the loss of speed. A three year collegiate, he's younger than most of this WR class. Solid athlete. Smooth on the field, but not the route runner that Jefferson was in the same system. Speed is good, but not "wow" level. A work-in-progress with a limited ceiling, but can become a system-dependent WR2 in the NFL. 21. WR D'Wayne Eskridge, Seahawks - Vertical threat. His best attribute is his speed. He can run by people and is a constant big play threat. While not tall, he's built relatively solid and shouldn't have obvious problems with durability. He may be a little underrated by virtue of attending a low profile program (Western Michigan). He's not without faults though. A 5 year collegiate, he's probably a maxed out physical talent. He lacks height and has a small catch radius. His hands can be inconsistent. He is more straight-line fast than elusive, though his speed threatens defensive backs and helps him create separation on a variety of routes. Perhaps the biggest immediate issue is that he goes to a Seahawks team that has DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett locked into multi-year contracts already. Even an elite QB like Wilson may struggle to sustain startable production for 3 WRs, so the most likely short-term scenario for Eskridge is being a boom-or-bust lid lifter who catches a few bombs per season without really having reliable FF value. There's a route to a DeSean Jackson type of long-term upside, but it's not a guarantee and you will have to be patient. 22. RB Rhamondre Stevenson, Patriots - Bowling ball type. Surprisingly light on his feet. For a guy with terrible combine numbers, his tape is not bad. He has more athleticism than the numbers would suggest. He can pick through traffic and make some decent cuts. Sometimes he gets caught up in his own legs and struggles to redirect, but he's not a total plodder. Big backs with mobility typically translate well to the NFL, but there may be a ceiling on what this type of back can become. I'm thinking of people like LenDale White and LeGarrette Blount. You could look at Eddie Lacy's first few years with the Packers as an optimistic best-case scenario. If a team commits to Stevenson, he can produce. Damien Harris is probably a more talented overall back though, so it's unclear what Stevenson's role will look like out of the box. My sense is that he will be a useful power back who is capable of thriving in spurts. A worthy stash at his ADP. He's more talented than most 4th round RBs. Think of him as Blount 2.0 for New England. 23. WR Nico Collins, Texans - 15-20 years ago, he might have been a first round pick. He presents something different and unique in this WR class: a jumbo deep threat who specializes in the jump ball. There was a time when 6'3"+ WRs were all the rage in the league, but lately it seems that speed and quickness are more coveted than height. Collins has modest burst off the line and average quickness. He is fluid, but not sudden. He cannot reliably separate on short-intermediate routes. That's why he's not a safe projection as a productive starter. He specializes in galloping downfield and using his height/length/strength to sky for the deep throw. He would've fit well with a QB like Ben Roethlisberger who can utilize deep threats effectively (Burress, Wallace). In a system that caters to his strengths, it's not impossible for him to be a 1000+ yard WR. However, he presents some limitations in the possession game that may cap his potential. 24. QB Mac Jones, Patriots - Off the charts production, albeit with a sensational supporting cast. He's above average as a pure passer compared his peers in this draft, but he's also regarded as a limited athlete with a lower ceiling. Vulnerable to pressure. The comparison I've seen is Kirk Cousins, and that seems to fit in terms of talent level and play style. Look for him to become a mid-level NFL starter whose athletic shortcomings prevent him from ever hitting the elite category. It's not a compelling outlook in 1QB leagues, but in superflex formats he may be a sneaky pick. 25. TE Pat Freiermuth, Steelers - A high-floor, low-ceiling two-way TE. He'll be somewhere between Kyle Rudolph and Hunter Henry in the NFL. Solid athlete and can develop into a quality possession outlet, but lacks explosiveness and big play ability. The modest ceiling makes him a lukewarm option in most FF formats. 26. WR Dyami Brown, Team - He's a Mike Wallace/Will Fuller type. One trick pony deep threat with a wispy frame. Vertically explosive, but that's basically all he provides. It's always tough to rely on this type of player, but there's a chance that he can carve out a niche. OTHERS QB Kyle Trask, Buccaneers - Regarded as a bit of a throwback to the 90s type of QB, a statuesque pocket passer with limited mobility and slow operation time. He goes to a team with experience protecting an immobile QB and a head coach with a quality history of developing QB talent, so it's not the worst landing spot. Consider him a long-term stash with modest starter potential. QB Kellen Mond, Vikings - Inconsistent college production compared to other QBs in this class. He offers some mobility and has made strides as a passer, but is still regarded as unreliable and enigmatic with his decisions and passing ability. Given all the marquee talent in this QB class, there's no real impetus to prioritize someone like Mond, but he could get a chance as a starter in the future. QB Davis Mills, Texans - Raw player with a high ceiling as a pocket passer. His best football may be ahead of him, but he's still a work-in-progress and will likely be on the sidelines for a while. It would actually be a good thing for him if Watson were to stick around, as it would give him time to learn. Think about him as a stash in deep leagues. RB Chris Evans, Bengals - His film is intriguing and there are individual reps where he really looks like an NFL back. For a bigger back, he is mobile and agile. Think James Starks or Thomas Rawls. Spot starter potential if Mixon continues to have durability issues. RB Larry Rountree, Chargers - A no-nonsense banger. I don't view Ekeler as well-suited to full-time duty and Rountree might be the favorite to win whatever carries are left over, but he's a long-term backup in all likelihood. RB Brenden Knox, Cowboys - I was intrigued by him when I reviewed this class for last year's devy drafts. I think he was a draftable talent on day 3. Dallas got him as a UDFA and he'll have a chance to win the backup job. Compact power back with okay feet, but limited burst. David Cobb type. WR Amari Rodgers, Packers - Squatty slot WR with a running back body type. Agile and mobile, but his explosiveness is merely good and not elite. Decent player, but I don't know if there's a big ceiling here, especially with Aaron Rodgers trending towards the exit. WR Tutu Atwell, Rams - Tiny slot WR. A Tavon Austin type. Limitations cap his upside. WR Tylan Wallace, Ravens - A competitive Cecil Shorts type of player or poor man's Robert Woods. Not a great ceiling, but has the talent level to become a relevant FF player as a second or third option for his NFL team. Limited athletic traits. WR Cornell Powell, Chiefs - You can't help but notice him when you watch Trevor Lawrence's film. Powell lacks separation ability, but is a physical possession outlet. He'll be a less talented Dwayne Bowe type of player as a complementary piece in Kansas City. Getting a piece of this passing attack might be wise, and Powell could outproduce his talent by virtue of Mahomes. WR Jalen Camp, Jaguars - The typical Georgia Tech workout freak type, like another Darren Waller. Very raw and may face an uphill battle to make a roster, but if you're going to go mining for day three WRs, he at least presents a useful ceiling. TE Zach Davidson, Vikings - Small school project. Maybe too limited to pan out, but has a compelling blend of height and vertical explosiveness. Straight-line player. Reminiscent of a Gesicki or Jared Cook type. Reasonable flyer in TE-premium.
  19. I'm working through film right now. Have seen 2-3 games for most of the top QBs. Working on the WRs now. RBs should be quicker since I've done more prep there. Hopefully will have a list by the end of the weekend at the latest.
  20. Appreciate the thoughts and messages. As I said, I've been scaling back my involvement in FF over the past few years, but I do think I'll rise to the challenge and put out some full public rankings in the next week or two. I have a pretty good idea of what I think at RB/WR/TE already. I just need to dive into the QBs because I've done no work there. I'll save full comments for a later time, but I have Najee, Waddle, and Pitts as the top guys at their positions. They would all be top 3-4 on my board in most formats. Probably fading Etienne at his ADP, as I think he's more of a sprinter and niche player than full-time back. I don't love the RB value in this draft, but there are some interesting day three guys with spot starter potential. I'm in the middle on Chase. I like some aspects of his game, but there are maybe more red flags than draft slot/reputation alone would suggest. He probably still lands in my top 4 overall, but I don't know where. Waddle has the more impressive tape, but also the smaller and more limited frame.
  21. Fun to read through this thread after a year. Not my best rankings, but I do think they improved somewhat as I worked through the tiers over time. Ending up with Lamb, Jefferson, and Aiyuk atop the WR tier aged well. Duvernay looks like a miss and it looks like I was too low on some guys (Claypool, Gibson, Higgins, Herbert). Probably should've been higher on the class in general. Live and learn. As for 2021, the moderators on here hit me with a 100 day ban last summer for making a relatively innocuous two paragraph long post in the politics forum, which IMO is not an acceptable way to treat people, so I'm not exactly keen on the idea of hooking them up with free content moving forward. Not sure if I'll be posting extensive rankings. You can hit me up via PM though and I'd be happy to share some thoughts. My drafts are just winding down. I've cut my dynasty leagues down to two, so it's pretty slim now and I didn't have as much time on the clock studying players and working through tiers as I would've in most years. I have a decent idea of who I like though. Hint on a couple of the not-at-all-surprising names.
  22. RIP. Great poster. Always enjoyed and valued his commentary on here.
  23. I think I will keep at least one roster and I'm sure I'll pop in here from time to time, but thanks. I really haven't been as active posting the last few years regardless.
  24. Fist bump. 👊 Heart attack averted. That would've been an all-time gross one. Last night I took a glance at the WR scores and I think there was only one 50+ point week this entire NFL season (Tyreek recently). Figured I was safe. I guess the FF gods didn't appreciate my overconfidence though.
  25. 😄 🤦‍♂️ This game can't end soon enough. smh
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