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2022 Rookie Thoughts (1 Viewer)

EBF

Footballguy
I don't know if I'm going to expend the effort to make comprehensive rankings this year, as I'm only in one dynasty league now and don't have personal incentive to scrutinize every prospect, but I wanted to aggregate some of my thoughts on this rookie class in one location. I didn't watch any college football this season, so I jumped into the process late and tried to get caught up by watching highlights and game cuts after the NFL draft. Here are some positional thoughts and loose rankings:

QBs - I didn't watch much of any of them. Pickett has to be the default #1 on the basis of draft capital. The others were so lightly regarded by the NFL that I think you can almost ignore them if you aren't in superflex/QB premium formats. The consensus seems to be that Willis has a high ceiling due to baseline athletic traits, but the tumble to the late 3rd has to worry you. Corral seems like he's worth a flier on the basis of throwing ability, college production, and landing spot/draft position.

TEs - To me, it's Trey McBride and everybody else. He's a B+ level TE prospect. Good, but not great athlete. Modest red zone success and not a true home run threat despite solid RAC ability. Should provide Murray with a reliable safety valve working the middle of the field, and can reach a fringe top 10 TE ceiling due to volume. Unlikely to be truly elite due to lack of special athletic traits. If you want an optimistic comparison, let's say Dallas Clark or Chris Cooley as the ceiling with Hayden Hurst as the floor. I don't like Greg Dulcich at all. Sloppy athlete who's too tight laterally. Just a north-south threat. I'm more optimistic about Woods. He's fluid, but has a very limited initial burst. Bellinger is similar to past SDSU TEs like Escobar and Warring in that he's solid everywhere without being special. The other TEs in this class are probably just a clear fade for me in most formats because they're ultimately just too ordinary to have a meaningful ceiling.

WRs - I didn't spend a wealth of time on the first round guys, as they were all going to be out of range by the time I had a chance to pick. I've written some about Drake London already. Modest vertical ability, but very sudden and fluid for a big target. Classic X possession WR in the mold of Keyshawn Johnson or Muhsin Muhammad. The best comparison I can think of is Brandon Marshall. Low YPR, but can be a reception monster. I like his game, but don't love it. Same for Garrett Wilson, who is a vastly different style of WR. Responsive and explosive, he's in the mold of past OSU speedsters like Santonio Holmes and Joey Galloway. You could also call him a better version of Kendall Wright. Wilson and London would be my top two WRs in some order. Jameson Williams has special vertical ability and long speed. Major lid lifter, but can he be more than just a deep threat? Potentially a bigger version of DeSean Jackson or Hollywood Brown. He'd be in my top 3 rookie WRs. Was not impressed with Chris Olave or Treylon Burks on first glance. I think the Titans fell into drafting system fits over pure talents a couple times in this draft, with Burks being a poor man's AJ Brown and Hankins being a poor man's Derrick Henry. On that note, I'm probably lower than most people on Skyy Moore. There are some surface similarities, but he's not Tyreek Hill just because there are some superficial similarities. From a talent standpoint, I would rank him closer to someone like Deion Branch based on what I saw. The opportunity is nice, but his mobility is merely good, not freaky like Tyreek. Jahan Dotson is a hard one for me to evaluate. He has some interesting athletic traits and flashes dynamic ability at times. I can see it going many different ways for him. On the low end, he could wash out ala John Ross/Tavon Austin. He has a similar gimmicky/gadgety vibe to him. However, Calvin Ridley and Elijah Moore represent more successful style matches. There's a chance he could make it as an outside WR. I'm neither up nor down on him and would probably have him ranked near his generic ADP.

I have some clear favorites in the next cluster. I'm a fan of Alec Pierce and have compared him to Eric Decker. Pierce has elite testing metrics and can surprise people with his north-south burst, but his game is really more similar to a Decker type than the Jordy Nelson comparison some people might make. High level #2 WR who can be a jack-of-all-trades for his team. Strong buy at market price. You can also mark me down as a fan of Khalil Shakir. He's an odd prospect. For a 6' WR, he seems squatty on the field, almost like a slot WR. However, he does some special things from a movement and athleticism standpoint. Electric open field runner. Very sudden in his movements. I'm intrigued. If you told me he was a 2nd round pick, I would believe it. Quinton Patton and Kendrick Bourne represent the low end of his trajectory. Keenan Allen is taller, but his overall athleticism as a route runner/RAC guy is similar. Montrell Washington is unlikely to be more than a return man in the NFL due to his very limited size, but warrants some consideration because of his special agility and mobility. Athleticism jumps off the screen. He's in the same mold as Jaylen Waddle and TY Hilton, but unfortunately does not possess the sheer speed of either. Merely good long speed. Consider him as a dart throw in the late stages of your draft.

My brief notes on the other guys:

WR CHRISTIAN WATSON, PACKERS - Straight line burner. Primarily north-south, but some elusiveness. Smooth for his height. Fair value at likely ADP.
WR WAN'DALE ROBINSON, GIANTS - Very, very small. Fun athlete. Slot trajectory. Rondale Moore.
WR JOHN METCHIE, TEXANS - RAC type. Modest talent. Fade.
WR TYQUAN THORNTON, PATRIOTS - Maclin type. Straight-line. Routes? Possession? Won on some slants, but more of a north-south athlete with questionable separation skills.
WR GEORGE PICKENS, STEELERS - Body control. Good height. Questionable strength. Some fluidity. Not elusive, but not stiff. 90s style possession WR. Bit of a boom-or-bust prospect. Pitt history with WRs has to be encouraging, but he may be more Sweed than Burress.
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WR VELUS JONES, BEARS - Devin Duvernay type. Straight-line. Has SOME wiggle, but just not special.
WR JALEN TOLBERT, COWBOYS - Just kind of "meh". Above average base strength. Tre'Quan Smith.
WR DAVID BELL, BROWNS - Modest athlete on tape.

RBs - In full disclosure, I didn't spend a lot of time on the top guys because most of them were already rostered in my league (dev draft) and the others were unlikely to fall to my pick. The guy who really caught my eye in the second tier was Brian Robinson. For a big back, he has great feet and agility. He can make a defender miss in a 1v1 situation, but also has the size to run inside and bounce off tackles. Looks to be a decent receiver out of the backfield. The questions are mainly about durability and ceiling. He takes a lot of violent hits. Punishing running style that could lead to chronic injury issues. While he has ample speed for his size, he's a one speed player who won't scare pro defenses with his north-south burst. Great value at his rookie ADP, but don't expect greatness. He's probably a spot starter in the NFL with the chance to yield a couple useful seasons. Think Marion Barber III as the ceiling. Keaontay Ingram is my clear favorite of the day three backs. I've compared him to Jonathan Williams because of his listed height/weight, exceptional quickness/cuts, and surprisingly low draft capital. He has some really impressive cuts and runs on his highlights. He seemingly has featured back size. His speed is merely okay though. Not truly explosive and more of a one speed player. You cannot assume success from a 6th round pick, but I like the fit here as the discount Chase Edmonds replacement in Arizona. Strong buy at ADP.

My quickfire first impressions of the other guys:

RB BREECE HALL, JETS - Fine. No real "wow" factor, but no glaring weaknesses.
RB KEN WALKER III, SEAHAWKS - Big back with some feet. Kareem Hunt. Arian Foster. Ceiling?
RB JAMES COOK, BILLS - Smallish. Fluid. Plus speed (not elite). Miles Sanders-like.
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RB RACHAAD WHITE, BUCCANEERS - Upright. Some hips. Kevin Smith or James Starks trajectory. Most likely a JAG-gy player in the NFL. Small fade.
RB TYRION DAVIS-PRICE, 49ERS - Modest creativity. Good second gear. Stocky. Runs hard. Poor man's Doug Martin? One cut-and-go type.
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RB DAMEON PIERCE, TEXANS - Compact and north-south bursty. Questionable redirection/feet.
RB ZAMIR WHITE, RAIDERS - Good all-around option. One gear? No major issues. Smallish.
RB ISAIAH SPILLER, CHARGERS - Joe Mixon with less juice. One speed. Not a second level threat.
RB PIERRE STRONG, PATRIOTS - Slightly lean, but has some agility. North-south sprinter with RBBC potential. Tevin Coleman.  
RB HASSAN HASKINS, TITANS - Poor man's Derrick Henry. Fade.
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RB TYLER ALLGEIER, FALCONS - Medium talent. Good all-around game. Backup/RBBC trajectory.
RB SNOOP CONNER, JAGUARS - North-south slasher. Knile Davis. Average burst. Limited cuts.
RB JEROME FORD, BROWNS - Sony Michel. Slasher type. Some speed.
RB KYREN WILLIAMS, RAMS - Ekeler/Gaskin type. Undersized for featured role. Versatility.
RB TY CHANDLER, VIKINGS - Ok size. Some shiftiness + flex. One speed player? Backup?
RB KEVIN HARRIS, PATRIOTS - Pounder. Below average evasiveness. Limited RBBC/backup.
RB TYLER BADIE, RAVENS - Compact, but smallish. OK mobility. Special enough?
RB TRESTAN EBNER, BROWNS - Smallish. Breaking everything outside. Interior running?
RB BRITTAIN BROWN, RAIDERS - Meh burst. Deliberate cuts.
RB ISAIH PACHECO, CHIEFS - Straight-line. Smallish frame. Committee or backup.

If I were in a bunch of leagues, I'd probably be looking to maximize my ownership of:

RB - Brian Robinson, Commanders

RB - Keaontay Ingram, Cardinals

WR - Alec Pierce, Colts

WR - Khalil Shakir, Bills

TE - Trey McBride, Cardinals

These are NOT my top ranked players, but they're the guys who really jump out to me from a talent + ADP value standpoint. All are solid buys for me at their ADP.

With premium picks, I'd probably be looking to get some pieces of London, Wilson, Williams, and Walker. Montrell Washington is my favorite lottery ticket, though ultimately I expect him to plateau as just a return man with moderate WR utility. The slim possibility of him becoming Russell Wilson's TY Hilton/Tyler Lockett in Denver is worth a cheap flyer.

 

King of the Jungle

Footballguy
Thank you for your thoughts, always enjoy reading your rookie reviews. I am also a fan of Khalil Shakir. On film he screams football player and seems to give full effort to maximize every play he is involved in. He is an interesting pairing with Allen in Buffalo and I am a buyer.

 
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Desert_Power

Footballguy
One of the more positive takes I've seen on Pierce. What is the reason for pairing back the dynasty league count so much?

 

EBF

Footballguy
One of the more positive takes I've seen on Pierce. What is the reason for pairing back the dynasty league count so much?


15+ years of dynasty. It's kind of a "been there, done that" thing for me now.

Also, have lost interest in the NFL over time. Watch more NBA and soccer now.

Found myself sometimes forgetting to even set lineups the night before Sunday, which was a pretty telltale sign that the passion is gone.

 

Zow

Footballguy
If it's helpful, here's my 12-team superflex (4 pt passing) non-ppr draft through pick 3.2: 

1.1 Hall

1.2 Walker

1.3 London

1.4 Jameson Williams

1.5 Burks

1.6 Garrett Wilson

1.7 Pickett

1.8 James Cook

1.9 Ridder

1.10 Olave

1.11 Skyy Moore

1.12 Dotson

2.1 Christian Watson

2.2 George Pickens

2.3 Malik Willis

2.4 Corral (this was my first pick - I own Darnold already and need the Carolina QB to be my regular QB2)

2.5 Sam Howell

2.6 Dameon Pierce

2.7 Robinson Jr. 

2.8 Rachaad White (me)

2.9 Davis-Price

2.10 Spiller (also me - was torn between Spiller and Zamir White)

2.11 Zamir White (Jacobs/Drake owner traded into this spot - I was actively trying to as well)

2.12 Metchie III

3.1 Alec Pierce

3.2 Danny Gray

This is a long-time league with generally good owners. Had to be the most ever WRs going in the first round. I thought Moore and Dotson went a bit too early and the QBs fell a bit more than expected. I was happy to trade into the spot to get Corral* and then grab two pieces of the dart throw, tier 2 RB pile. Pierce at 3.1 seems like really good value (I had him as a mid to late 2nd - I just didn't consider him because my team is strong at WR and I needed RB depth) as well as Willis in the second. I'm a little surprised McBride hasn't gone yet (I have Hock and Goedert so didn't consider him) but TEs really aren't valuable in the league's format. 

* Traded away Michael Carter (to the Breece Hall drafter) for 2.4 and Kenneth Gainwell. 

 
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joey

Footballguy
This is a long-time league with generally good owners. Had to be the most ever WRs going in the first round. 
I imagine almost every league, regardless of format, will say the same thing this year. Only 2 RBs, no sure-fire TEs, and no sure-fire QBs mean WRs all the time in the first round. (Of course, superflex pulling 1 or 2 QBs into the first). 
but it’s almost always Wilson, London, Williams, Burks, Olave, Skyy, Watson, Dotson, Pickens in the 1st. That’s NINE WRs. crazy. 

 

JohnnyU

Footballguy
If it's helpful, here's my 12-team superflex (4 pt passing) non-ppr draft through pick 3.2: 

1.1 Hall

1.2 Walker

1.3 London

1.4 Jameson Williams

1.5 Burks

1.6 Garrett Wilson

1.7 Pickett

1.8 James Cook

1.9 Ridder

1.10 Olave

1.11 Skyy Moore

1.12 Dotson

2.1 Christian Watson

2.2 George Pickens

2.3 Malik Willis

2.4 Corral (this was my first pick - I own Darnold already and need the Carolina QB to be my regular QB2)

2.5 Sam Howell

2.6 Dameon Pierce

2.7 Robinson Jr. 

2.8 Rachaad White (me)

2.9 Davis-Price

2.10 Spiller (also me - was torn between Spiller and Zamir White)

2.11 Zamir White (Jacobs/Drake owner traded into this spot - I was actively trying to as well)

2.12 Metchie III

3.1 Alec Pierce

3.2 Danny Gray

This is a long-time league with generally good owners. Had to be the most ever WRs going in the first round. I thought Moore and Dotson went a bit too early and the QBs fell a bit more than expected. I was happy to trade into the spot to get Corral* and then grab two pieces of the dart throw, tier 2 RB pile. Pierce at 3.1 seems like really good value (I had him as a mid to late 2nd - I just didn't consider him because my team is strong at WR and I needed RB depth) as well as Willis in the second. I'm a little surprised McBride hasn't gone yet (I have Hock and Goedert so didn't consider him) but TEs really aren't valuable in the league's format. 

* Traded away Michael Carter (to the Breece Hall drafter) for 2.4 and Kenneth Gainwell. 
Nice trade.  

 
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dipandglide

Footballguy
I always appreciate your thoughts! You've been a solid source for rookie drafts since I entered the hobby. 

Pierce has been falling to mid-late 2nd in my Sflex drafts. I'm nabbing him, Robinson, McBride, and White in that area of the draft. Corral always looks at me. I haven't pulled the trigger yet but will after all is said and done. 

 

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