Nick Chubb, Chase Edmonds
Amari Cooper, Brandin Cooks
Team looks nothing like I thought it would when I hit the clock in Round 1.
Have added Matt Stafford, Trey Lance, Damien Harris, and Jonnu Smith to the Roster, but the sentiment still remains. Surprised, mostly in a pleasant way.
1.11 RB Chubb, taken as RB8. Chubb won me a lot of money in 2020. If anything, the Browns have gotten better. People worry about Hunt, and I'll admit I'm greedy, and hate when he's on the field and my guy is looking on, but the aggregate rushing stats this offense can generate is staggering, and plenty to go around, even with someone playing 2nd fiddle. Even in PPR, where he might be slighted, his floors for yardage and TD opportunities are so high that the risk is mitigated. Considered Swift, but it's too early in the year for anything Lions to be in my circle of trust. Considered AJones, and I think Rodgers/Packers iron things out, but I'm wary of Dillon. Considered Akers, but there are a lot of mouths to feed in that offense, and with a real hand-picked QB in his possession, think mad scientist McVay is going experiment with a lot of things, and every skill position player might cannibalize each other. Considered reaching for Ekeler, because I'm sky-high on him, but thought he might fall to me at 2.06 for a helluva 1-2 punch. They were the next 4 RB off the board.
2.06 TE Andrews, taken as TE4. TE Premium, I was surprised to find him there. Lamar Jackson is still Lamar Jackson, last time I checked. To me, that means I only take Ravens when I can get them at value, and Andrews screamed value to me at #22 overall. I don't care who they add at WR, in my mind, until Jackson evolves more as a QB, all that does is helps Andrews reach expectations. Feel pretty safe saying his 2021 projected outcome isn't in jeopardy. Unfortunately, taking him close to one turn means a 20-pick wait to see what's left at RB/WR by the time 3.11 comes around, but I like my two cornerstones as much as anyone's in this format. No other considerations.
3.11 WR Cooper, taken as WR13. Love Dak. Love Lamb. I don't see 2021 as a pass the torch season, though, and see those 2 through the same lens as Chubb/Hunt. Potentially staggering passing game volume, more than enough to go around. Considered Evans here.
4.06 RB Edmonds, taken as RB25. My target here was Mike Davis, who MB took at 4.04, but I'll take the consolation prize. Adding James Conner to the RB mix in Arizona, I think, actually helps Edmonds more than it hurts, as does subtracting Drake. Excited about seeing this offense potentially evolve in year 2. Reduced wear-and-tear, not much to threaten the PPR volume, additions and subtractions at WR/TE (drafted RMoore, Green in/Fitz potentially out, Arnold out), not drafting a RB...I think Edmonds has a decent chance to at least slightly outperform his draft position of mid-RB2 in a 16 Teamer, and getting that, in Round 4, feels like a win. Would have had a dilemma if Lamar Jackson made it to me, but he went 1 pick before me, at 4.05. Another long wait ahead.
5.11 WR Brandin Cooks, taken as WR31. No matter where he goes, or who's under center, Cooks is a guy who seems to get it done. QB situation in limbo, of course, and I have no insight as to the Watson situation, too vague to even waste time thinking about. If Watson is there, the ceiling elevates considerably, but Cooks seems to be a guy that carries a high floor with him. Outside of the QB, I like the stable of RB's as an aggregate to keep defenses honest, and the complimentary options in the passing game are solid, and do nothing to take the passing offense focus off Cooks. Texans haven't been a TE team since the Owen Daniels days. Definitely a guy who could have some 'boom' weeks built into his Season totals. Cooks, like Andrews, really stood out to me as a guy who didn't belong available when I got on the clock.
6.06 QB Stafford, taken as QB12. Felt really lucky to have been patient enough to wait on QB, and still have a quality option available here. Big McVay fan, and excited to see what he cooks up with his hand-selected QB at the helm, who's in a completely different tier than Goff. Because I don't exactly know what McVay is concocting in his underground lab at this time, I'm a little wary of every Ram skill guy, but the one I am prioritizing is the straw that stirs the drink. Detroit is a very odd Team. Always something going on that derails their offensive plans. Stafford has fared pretty well, despite the circumstances, and I'm excited for him to play for a coach I respect, a system I respect, and surrounded by talent. McVay/Stafford might be a match made in heaven. Yet again, another player I didn't expect available. Very pleased to have landed him here. Another long wait ahead. This run of getting lucky has to end sometime. It's just not natural.
7.11 TE JSmith, taken as TE16. In this format (no flex) I'd imagine most of us anticipate filling out our starting offensive lineup by Round 7, Round 8 if you see a guy you want badly enough to grab as depth, and I had an open WR spot going into this pick, but unlike previous Rounds, I didn't see anyone who seemed to have fallen through the cracks down to me here. TE premium, and one of my cornerstones was Mark Andrews, and in larger formats, I sometimes like to add quality depth/insurance at my strong points, both to ensure production out of those points, and prevent others from shrinking the advantage. Going into this pick, I feel good about what I've done, and feel like I have some room to play, rather than filling an open spot with one of many equivalent options. I am very excited to see what Belichick has in store for 2021, after C19 Season and Brady winning a Title in Tampa. I'm not very excited about Newton, Stidham or Hoyer, and it's too early to speculate about Mac Jones, but I don't see how things get worse. Jonnu seems to do plenty of his damage in the Red Zone, and that's risky because Newton can take a lot of oxygen out of that room, but Olsen seemed to make it work with Cam in Carolina. There are varying perspectives on the Smith/Henry dynamic. I'm quite intrigued by the idea of Agholor/Bourne/Smith/Henry on the field together, and what it might produce. They seem like a terrific set of complimentary weapons, that with decent QB play, could generate a nice aggregate without feeding off each other too much, but of course, that requires decent QB play. I think Smith is the safest bet to reach his projections, regardless, and if the QB is decent, the ceiling only goes up. Henry and Smith are different players, but it's hard for me to imagine the passing game not flowing through the TE, and Smith is better closer to pay dirt. The combo of Newton/White/Smith/Henry/Bourne is intriguing, in terms of where the ball goes within 10 yards of the LOS. Again, I think Smith is the safe play here, and in 16-team TE premium best-ball, he's a valuable enough piece to grab here.
8.06 RB Damien Harris, taken as RB38. Ah, the dreaded Patriot RB conundrum...and I'm getting involved in it in the top half of the draft, which means I'm 'that guy' jumping in too early. First decision I'm going to be eyeballing post-draft into the Season, because Kenyan Drake was sitting right there as well, and I passed on him (next RB off the board) for Harris. I can't really say why I did that, TBH. Maybe because I'd drafted Edmonds, there was some recency bias. Maybe I'm so happy with my draft, I got a little careless. Still have an open WR spot to fill, but like a lot of similar guys who should be around in Rd9. Just a gut feeling that ***this time it's going to be different***!!! Well, there's no Burkhead to contend with, at least not yet. Bill loves that guy, though, so you never know. I think Michel is now the backup, and I don't think the kid they drafted will amount to much - he's like a poor man's version of Harris/Michel. Of course, there's the Cam factor, especially in the Red Zone, and they have a shiny new expensive Red Zone toy in JSmith, who I took the pick prior. And, there's still James White, and Harris has to stay healthy. Jeez, that's a lot of stuff. Guess I just want to believe that if Bill has a guy he feels he can hang his hat on, he's gonna hang his hat...and he hasn't had that guy in a long time.
9.11 QB Trey Lance, taken as QB26. Hindsight being 20/20, I might wind up being happier down the road if I'd taken QB/Drake with my last 2 picks, instead of Jonnu and DHarris. Felt boxed in that QB had to be the pick here, given what had gone off the board since 7.11. Was hoping Wentz or Carr would have fallen to me here, but think I got the last guy who's upside I'm optimistic about. Seeing as how Winston and Darnold went with the next two consecutive picks, I'm glad to have made this move, as they were the others I considered. Having been a long-suffering WFTskins fan for the better part of my 53 years, I appreciate Kyle Shanahan as much as I appreciate McVay, and much of what compelled me to draft Stafford earlier, drove my decision to draft Lance. He walks into an offense roughly identical to the one he played in, in college, and the NDSt. factor is somewhat mitigated by the fact that Wentz had early success, and there's still NFL optimism that he can recover his mojo in Indy. Oh, the weapons he has at his disposal: an established ground game with a deep stable to keep defenses honest. Samuel, Aiyuk and Kittle. A stout defense that ought to have him playing out of positive, low risk scripts. The ability to generate stats both through the air and on the ground. No staff allegiance to the other QB currently on the Roster...but waiting this long puts pressure on both Stafford and Lance (and Jonnu and Harris) to deliver.
...and that's the 1st half recap.