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Hopefully there aren't too many of my leaguemates snooping around here, but thought I'd throw out a handful of names that I've been tracking as mid-late round sleepers in dynasty/rookie drafts with IDPs.

Linebackers

Jayon Brown (TEN):  Undersized but seems to have quite a nice opportunity in the middle for the Titans.  Excelled when given the opportunity behind Myles Jack at UCLA.  

Matt Milano (BUF):  Bills passed on higher-rated options as the draft went on.  Milano went to Boston College, Sean McDermott loves BC LBs (Kuechly) -- reach?  Maybe.  But who else is going to play WLB for Bills?  Ramon Humber?  If they don't shift Preston Brown there, maybe Milano surprises us all.

Ben Gedeon / Elijah Lee (MIN):  One in the middle, one on the weak side... one of these guys could play significant minutes sooner rather than later.  Maybe both.

Anthony Walker (IND):  Shooting up the boards.  Can he unseat the very average talent ahead of him?  Don't see why not.

Harvey Langhi (NEP):  Deeper pick here, but I trust Patriots' LB selections.  

Marquel Lee (OAK):  Cory James should start but who knows.  MLB that's one injury away should be on someone's taxi squad.

Ryan Anderson (WAS):  Love this guy in big play leagues.  He may not rack up tackles but could get sacks/fumbles.  Worth a shot.

Alex Anzalone (NOS):  Really like this guy either in the middle or weak side for Saints.  I say he starts by mid-season.

Duke Riley (ATL):  It's kind of a shame he followed his LSU Tiger pal Deion Jones to ATL 'cuz he's a little buried, but he's another speedy guy that can make some plays.

Kendall Beckwith (TBB):  Another ex-Tiger, but this one doesn't do it with speed necessarily.  He's a thumper... but with Kwon/David patrolling the edges, he may be a tackle machine in the middle.

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Defensive Linemen

Demarcus Walker (DEN):  What happened to this guy?  I could have sworn I saw him in the beginning of last season and he was absolutely dominant.  Then didn't hear much about him the entire college season and in pre-draft chatter.  Well, decent opportunity here in Denver.

Malik McDowell (SEA): Adding him here for leagues that start DT independent of DE.  Sometimes this guy looked like the best player on the field.  Million dollar talent, ten cent head.  If any team can set him straight, it'll be the Seahawks.  Inside/outside guy that could be a huge disrupter in a couple years.

Caleb Brantley (CLE):  See above.  Minus the whole Seahawks thing.

Tak McKinley (ATL):  Opposite Vic Beasley could mean big things.  I guess if you miss out on the likes of Garrett, Thomas and even Harris, McKinley isn't a bad consolation prize.

 

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Defensive Backs

Jordan Sterns (KCC):  This dude had like 8 million tackles in college.  Chiefs have been thin at safety and let's just say Sterns can really play.  

Desmond King (SDC):  A year ago he was an award-winning corner.  Doesn't project at corner here in the NFL but could be a real nice safety, great spot for tackles and big plays.

Justin Evans (TBB):  Ball skills galore, ability to cover and tackle.  Should start from day one.  

John Johnson (LAR):  I thought this guy would be a Buc but they opted for Evans.  No matter, Johnson's skills are a lot like Evans' and he'll be an eventual starter for a bad team.  Hello, opportunity.

Budda Baker (ARI):  He'll be behind Honey Badger but the Cards will get him on the field.  

Obi Melifonwu (OAK):  Just too good of an athlete to keep off the field for long.  Reggie Nelson is like 70.

Xavier Woods (DAL):  No more Barry Church and Woods has the goods.  

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Good stuff! :thumbup:

Josh Jones and Budda Baker are my priority DB's.  Justin Evans is my backup plan.

DT-wise, I think the other Cleveland guy is the better watch.

Reeves-Maybin is my priority LB.  His wart is an obvious one, but if he overcomes that he will be the 3 down guy next to Jarrad Davis.  Anzalone and Walker are my backup plans.

Jayon Brown and Milano have my attention, but it doesn't seem like you need to draft them now unless you're in a real deep league.  Trigger finger will be quick come July and August though.

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29 minutes ago, MAC_32 said:

Good stuff! :thumbup:

Josh Jones and Budda Baker are my priority DB's.  Justin Evans is my backup plan.

DT-wise, I think the other Cleveland guy is the better watch.

Reeves-Maybin is my priority LB.  His wart is an obvious one, but if he overcomes that he will be the 3 down guy next to Jarrad Davis.  Anzalone and Walker are my backup plans.

Jayon Brown and Milano have my attention, but it doesn't seem like you need to draft them now unless you're in a real deep league.  Trigger finger will be quick come July and August though.

Great call on Ogunjobi.  Great scores/metrics all around.

Didn't add Reeves-Maybin as he's been shooting up the boards too early in the "middle rounds" for me.  Still a nice prospect if he falls down into the 4th-ish.

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16 hours ago, nirad3 said:

Hopefully there aren't too many of my leaguemates snooping around here, but thought I'd throw out a handful of names that I've been tracking as mid-late round sleepers in dynasty/rookie drafts with IDPs.

Linebackers

Marquel Lee (OAK):  Cory James should start but who knows.  MLB that's one injury away should be on someone's taxi squad.

Alex Anzalone (NOS):  Really like this guy either in the middle or weak side for Saints.  I say he starts by mid-season.

Duke Riley (ATL):  It's kind of a shame he followed his LSU Tiger pal Deion Jones to ATL 'cuz he's a little buried, but he's another speedy guy that can make some plays.

 

Lee has a really good shot at MLB but JDR has made it clear - even after the draft - that he's not satisfied with what they have. James and Riley (who JDR trusts) have the edge but Lee is a credible threat.

Anzalone's health is always an issue. There is opportunity in that LB corps because it is a mess but still...

Riley fits the scheme and Quinn likes him. I just don't know how much burn he's going to get with a match-up defense that they have now. Beasley moving to DE permanently would help a ton there for this to happen.

Edited by saintfool
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On 5/11/2017 at 0:06 AM, nirad3 said:

Hopefully there aren't too many of my leaguemates snooping around here, but thought I'd throw out a handful of names that I've been tracking as mid-late round sleepers in dynasty/rookie drafts with IDPs.

Linebackers

Jayon Brown (TEN):  Undersized but seems to have quite a nice opportunity in the middle for the Titans.  Excelled when given the opportunity behind Myles Jack at UCLA.  

Matt Milano (BUF):  Bills passed on higher-rated options as the draft went on.  Milano went to Boston College, Sean McDermott loves BC LBs (Kuechly) -- reach?  Maybe.  But who else is going to play WLB for Bills?  Ramon Humber?  If they don't shift Preston Brown there, maybe Milano surprises us all.

Ben Gedeon / Elijah Lee (MIN):  One in the middle, one on the weak side... one of these guys could play significant minutes sooner rather than later.  Maybe both.

Anthony Walker (IND):  Shooting up the boards.  Can he unseat the very average talent ahead of him?  Don't see why not.

Harvey Langhi (NEP):  Deeper pick here, but I trust Patriots' LB selections.  

Marquel Lee (OAK):  Cory James should start but who knows.  MLB that's one injury away should be on someone's taxi squad.

Ryan Anderson (WAS):  Love this guy in big play leagues.  He may not rack up tackles but could get sacks/fumbles.  Worth a shot.

Alex Anzalone (NOS):  Really like this guy either in the middle or weak side for Saints.  I say he starts by mid-season.

Duke Riley (ATL):  It's kind of a shame he followed his LSU Tiger pal Deion Jones to ATL 'cuz he's a little buried, but he's another speedy guy that can make some plays.

Kendall Beckwith (TBB):  Another ex-Tiger, but this one doesn't do it with speed necessarily.  He's a thumper... but with Kwon/David patrolling the edges, he may be a tackle machine in the middle.

Yeep, that makes either Kwon or David playing SAM, which would be killer.  Do you see Beckwith as a 3 down guy?

Marquel Lee is going in the 4th round, too rich for me

I might trust NEP LB selections, but I sure don't trust their usage. 

Anzalone looks tempting but has had chronic injury problems.  Depending on price I may be in but I haven't gotten him yet.

 

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On 5/14/2017 at 6:02 AM, Hankmoody said:

Yeep, that makes either Kwon or David playing SAM, which would be killer.  Do you see Beckwith as a 3 down guy?

Marquel Lee is going in the 4th round, too rich for me

I might trust NEP LB selections, but I sure don't trust their usage. 

Anzalone looks tempting but has had chronic injury problems.  Depending on price I may be in but I haven't gotten him yet.

 

Rotoworld currently lists Beckwith at strong side (2nd string) with Kwon still in the middle and David on the weak side.  That may actually work for their purposes, too.  That said, Ourlads has Beckwith as a deeper backup at middle.  Honestly I'm not sure how this plays out.  I think he could play 3 downs.  He'll need to improve in pass coverage a little.  

Agree on Lee.  4th round is too high.  Maybe mid-late 5th in a 16-teamer.

NEP LB usage does fluctuate.  But as a spot starter in deeper leagues, you could do worse.

I haven't landed Anzalone in any leagues yet.  I want to throw the dart.  Huge opportunity.

On 5/15/2017 at 11:10 AM, Grimace59 said:

Malik McDowell (SEA) is currently list as DE on MFL, for those DT required league like one of mine.  Hurts his sleeper value

Yeah that was a killer.  Although I'm hearing that eventually - or by the late summer - that Roto/MFL will flip him to DT.

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On 5/11/2017 at 0:19 AM, nirad3 said:

Defensive Backs

Obi Melifonwu (OAK):  Just too good of an athlete to keep off the field for long.  Reggie Nelson is like 70.

 

I'm not taking him anywhere.  Karl Joseph is the little missle, and the one to own. 

Melifonwu is a unique athlete, and the FS of the future (maybe the very near future), but his first role I think will be TE Eraser.  Tigh ends have owned this team for a while, and his first job when he gets to camp is to just man up on TEs on the regular.  Dell Rio/McKenzie pretty much said exactly that in the post draft presser.

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On 5/11/2017 at 0:06 AM, nirad3 said:

Marquel Lee (OAK):  Cory James should start but who knows.  MLB that's one injury away should be on someone's taxi squad.

I have no idea who gets the most MLB snaps this year for OAK.

But I would wager that Jelani Jenkins gets the most LB snaps.

Let everyone chase the mythical 3 down MLB for OAK.  After the draft, pick up the 3 down WLB for free.  

 

EDIT:  I say that, and some mother-f***er took him in 7th round of my rookie/IDP draft.  

Edited by massraider
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On 5/27/2017 at 9:48 AM, massraider said:

I'm not taking him anywhere.  Karl Joseph is the little missle, and the one to own. 

Melifonwu is a unique athlete, and the FS of the future (maybe the very near future), but his first role I think will be TE Eraser.  Tigh ends have owned this team for a while, and his first job when he gets to camp is to just man up on TEs on the regular.  Dell Rio/McKenzie pretty much said exactly that in the post draft presser.

We've seen a few situations where both safeties - even where one is an absolute stud - have a fair amount of fantasy value.  By no means am I saying Obi will be the better of the two; you're right -- Joseph is going to put up serious points.

I think the consensus FBG rankers have Obi in the 25 range and top 10.

So where I've seen Obi going in my drafts, he qualified as a "sleeper" in my book.

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On 5/27/2017 at 9:51 AM, massraider said:

I have no idea who gets the most MLB snaps this year for OAK.

But I would wager that Jelani Jenkins gets the most LB snaps.

Let everyone chase the mythical 3 down MLB for OAK.  After the draft, pick up the 3 down WLB for free.  

 

EDIT:  I say that, and some mother-f***er took him in 7th round of my rookie/IDP draft.  

:lol: Yeah I chased the likes of Ben Heeney, etc.  Argh.

I own Jenkins in a league but am not overly excited about him.  Not necessarily excited about Lee either but if someone sticks there it could be a fairly productive role.

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6 hours ago, nirad3 said:

:lol: Yeah I chased the likes of Ben Heeney, etc.  Argh.

I own Jenkins in a league but am not overly excited about him.  Not necessarily excited about Lee either but if someone sticks there it could be a fairly productive role.

I think the lesson to learn for guys like Marquel Lee, Ukeme Eligwe, Anthony Walker, Blair Brown or Jayon Brown is to grab them late or off the waiver wire and trade them for a profit if they get a chance to produce. 5th Round LBs rarely turn into year-in, year-out long-term starters, but given opportunity, they'll produce. And a LB with an (R) next to his name that's producing will create buzz. You could've traded Heeney for a 4th or 5th round pick when he was getting buzz. Then you could've picked up Corey James off the waiver wire and done the same thing with him. Easy money.

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1 hour ago, ChicagoArch said:

I think the lesson to learn for guys like Marquel Lee, Ukeme Eligwe, Anthony Walker, Blair Brown or Jayon Brown is to grab them late or off the waiver wire and trade them for a profit if they get a chance to produce. 5th Round LBs rarely turn into year-in, year-out long-term starters, but given opportunity, they'll produce. And a LB with an (R) next to his name that's producing will create buzz. You could've traded Heeney for a 4th or 5th round pick when he was getting buzz. Then you could've picked up Corey James off the waiver wire and done the same thing with him. Easy money.

Absolutely.  Speaking of Walker, ooks like one could have probably done the same with a guy like Edwin Jackson in Indy.  Six straight in double-digits following their Week 11 bye last year but now, according to at least one depth chart resources, is buried behind the likes of Jon Bostic and Sean Spence.  Walker is behind Antonio Morrison, who was rather disappointing last season until the very last two games where he put up OK numbers.

LB has been a somewhat goofy position the past year or so.

 

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On 5/27/2017 at 0:51 PM, massraider said:

I have no idea who gets the most MLB snaps this year for OAK.

But I would wager that Jelani Jenkins gets the most LB snaps.

Let everyone chase the mythical 3 down MLB for OAK.  After the draft, pick up the 3 down WLB for free.  

 

EDIT:  I say that, and some mother-f***er took him in 7th round of my rookie/IDP draft.  

Yep.  Really like Jenkins talent as a bounce back, and we know Malcolm Smith put up huge numbers from that same spot over the last couple of years.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Thx to this thread, in a 16 team 7 rnd rookie draft I took:

Anzalone 6.10

Brown 7.09

Then traded Anzalone for a 2018 4th rnd and 7.13 where I picked Lee.

 

Thanks for the comments and analysis.  Spot on predicting flipping these guys!

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I know you guys aren't interested in my team, but just for information's sake I just picked up LB Jayon Brown and DE Trey Hendrickson off waivers for the minimum bid in a 14 team full IDP league, about a month after the 8 round draft.  Lee went unclaimed.

 

Man this draft class is way deep.  I don't remember so many guys who could actually contribute sitting there after the draft was over. Crazy.

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Three of my favorites BB.  Jayon Brown was drafted in all my 16 mans (me in one) but I did get him min bid in the 12, and Hendrickson I drafted in one 16 and got min bid in another.   I grabbed Lee in two others (drafted in none) but can't justify the roster spot in the others with, as you said, so many strong deep flyers to choose from.  I just don't have the DTS spots to hold all the guys I want.

edit: wait, which Lee?  If Marquel, he was drafted in 4th/5th in all leagues.  I meant Elijiah.

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18 hours ago, Hankmoody said:

 

edit: wait, which Lee?  If Marquel, he was drafted in 4th/5th in all leagues.  I meant Elijiah.

 

Marquel.  No one in our league was buying the opportunity given his shortcomings.  He's still on the wire.  145 LBs are currently rostered and will likely be trimmed down to 100-105 by the time the season starts.  

 

.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/11/2017 at 0:06 AM, nirad3 said:

Alex Anzalone (NOS):  Really like this guy either in the middle or weak side for Saints.  I say he starts by mid-season.

Ellerbe gone. His path to starting early is getting clearer. If this guy can stay healthy I like his chances to putting up solid IDP numbers if he does end up starting. 

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12 hours ago, The Claymaker said:

Ellerbe gone. His path to starting early is getting clearer. If this guy can stay healthy I like his chances to putting up solid IDP numbers if he does end up starting. 

 

Just looked at the Saints depth chart.  Man, their LB is just an incredible mess.  It's really hard to believe that people with supposed expertise at the NFL level got paid to put that group together.  Someone is going to have to make tackles.  Anzalone is as good a bet or better than any if those others.

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37 minutes ago, saintfool said:

isn't that Martinez's position? or is he WLB?

I think the more important question is which one plays the dime package - him or Ryan (or Thomas).  Whoever that is will be the one to own.  If I had to bet it's Martinez, but the Pack have not been at all forthcoming with their plans so it's just a guess.

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2 hours ago, MAC_32 said:

I think the more important question is which one plays the dime package - him or Ryan (or Thomas).  Whoever that is will be the one to own.  If I had to bet it's Martinez, but the Pack have not been at all forthcoming with their plans so it's just a guess.

I have had Blake year. He has not proven to be especially valuable yet. He gets tackles but little else. In tackle heavy scoring I can see him as a hold. Otherwise, I see him as a bye week replacement type.

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On 5/27/2017 at 11:51 AM, massraider said:

I have no idea who gets the most MLB snaps this year for OAK.

But I would wager that Jelani Jenkins gets the most LB snaps.

Let everyone chase the mythical 3 down MLB for OAK.  After the draft, pick up the 3 down WLB for free.  

 

EDIT:  I say that, and some mother-f***er took him in 7th round of my rookie/IDP draft.  

he's now starting camp as the MLB apparently. i'm curious to see how he looks after the first few preseason games.

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On 7/28/2017 at 0:48 PM, saintfool said:

isn't that Martinez's position? or is he WLB?

Local reporter tweeted MLB but didn't specify side. 

 

 

 

@ByRyanWood  Aug 1

Seeing a lot of #Packers safety Morgan Burnett as ILB in 3-4 base defense. So that's base (3-4) with 5 DBs on the field.

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Josh Jones has been playing mostly at inside linebacker in the “nitro” package with the No. 2 defense — Morgan Burnett is there with the starters. It’s clear Capers is going to use that defense a lot this season, probably more than any other personnel group. That’s the league now. You need at least one linebacker with a defensive back’s cover ability to match up in the passing game.

Burnett will be hard to displace from that starting spot this year. He has so much experience (in his eighth NFL season) and still is a good athlete at age 28. But from what Jones has shown in his short time with the team, it’s a given he’ll play, either to rest Burnett or to match up with specific personnel or down-and-distances.

Based on practice, it sure looks like Jones wants to hit. Though there’s no tackling to the ground, he squares up and fills hard in the run game. That and his 220-pound frame — 11 pounds heavier than Burnett — make him a good fit for the nitro package, because at linebacker he’s in the thick of the run defense.

Jones also plays fast. His 4.41-second 40 is good timed speed, but to the naked eye, he looks like he has game speed, too. He closes fast. Regardless of whether he surpasses Burnett in the nitro role this year, he should help this defense.

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On 5/10/2017 at 11:06 PM, nirad3 said:

Hopefully there aren't too many of my leaguemates snooping around here, but thought I'd throw out a handful of names that I've been tracking as mid-late round sleepers in dynasty/rookie drafts with IDPs.

Linebackers

Jayon Brown (TEN):  Undersized but seems to have quite a nice opportunity in the middle for the Titans.  Excelled when given the opportunity behind Myles Jack at UCLA.  

 

3

Brown's college coach is his Titans coach. (Spanos, UCLA LB coach, Titans LB coach and DC title) They also have Aaron Wallace. Wallace played all four LB positions last year and did well late in the year. Brown has played all four in camp, but not in games.

In the spring, Brown worked his way up to the first unit. A knock against him in college was his inability to shed blockers and he is pretty poor at this on tape. They drafted him to cover the TEs because Spence and Woodyard were horrible at this last year. They have been pleasantly surprised with him as an ILB, but the only plan was for him to be a nickel LB.

He started camp with the third string and has again worked his way up to splitting reps with Woodyard. Wallace (again four positions) has been added to that mix too now. Brown seems to have more big play ability to him, but Wallace is smart, tough, and reliable. His UCLA buddy could really hurt his chances of winning that ILB spot.

The Titans are totally set at OLB with Morgan and Orakpo. Avery Williamson is an excellent young LB that has often been overwhelmed having to deal with incompetence by the other ILB. They do rest the older OLBs and these is some action for backup OLBs, but they also seem to want a type there that is a converted DE. Kevin Dodd and Erik Walden can't cover but can rush the passer very well. Josh Carraway is converting very nicely and has surpassed Dodd on the depth chart. If somehow every backup OLB makes the team, given Lebeau's tendency to blitz the QB, it is very likely that he chooses a former DE as a sub and not Wallace or Brown. Brown will get work against a top TE, but other than those weeks, he really won't do too much if he is slotted as an OLB.

The Titans allowed nearly 6 ypc in runs up the gut, second worst in the NFL. Fixing this is a priority. "Woodyard is the incumbent" doesn't really hold water as people say. 

Sylvester Williams has regularly been outperformed by Antwaun Woods in camp. His signing/JRob's reputation is about the only thing helping him keep the top spot right now at NT. Woods was exceptional in preseason and in week 17 last year. The Titans have a beast UDFA named DeAngelo Brown that has been a beast. A prior achilles injury left him undrafted, but the words under most draft site's descriptions were quite favorable. It's almost curious he wasn't drafted. Sylvester did NOT play well in Denver in 2016, but did in 2015. I don't know if JRob can roll with Mularkey cutting one of his big free agent signings, but the backups look far better. G/C Corey Levin was drafted by the Titans and he's been horrible. They're knocking him down and oWning him. This has stirred up a debate where people are discrediting the backups success, but they've also done well against the ones in limited opportunities. 

The almost 6 ypc really seemed to hurt their pride last year. Nothing of Dick Lebeau's career gives off an impression that this is OK or tolerable. If you're looking for late round IDP rookies, ya really should keep an eye on the Titans middle this summer. The backups haven't beaten out the starters yet, but right now it looks like it will happen soon. Woodyard and Williams could step their games up, but... I would definitely watch this situation. Not only would it be a nice spot for the young players, but opposing offenses will surely test this "sweet spot" that was one of the worst from 2014-2016. "We can always run up the middle on the Titans" will not go away until the Titans shut that down.

I should add that Nate Palmer's bod looks fantastic. The former Green Bay starter has pretty much only played ST with the Titans. He showed up in the spring looking like a new man. It's very odd and will make you say "that's him?" when you see him. He has done well too and could also be in the mix at Woodyard's ILB spot. I don't think anybody knows how to handle his situation. He was only re-signed for his ST play and then he shows up with an infomercial type transformation.

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5 minutes ago, KellysHeroes said:

(USA Today Fantasy Sports) Updating a previous report, the Miami Dolphins believe LB Raekwon McMillan (knee) suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament against the Atlanta Falcons in the preseason Thursday, Aug. 10.

:(

:shock:  :angry:

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On 5/11/2017 at 0:19 AM, nirad3 said:

Obi Melifonwu (OAK):  Just too good of an athlete to keep off the field for long.  Reggie Nelson is like 70.

https://www.silverandblackpride.com/platform/amp/2017/7/28/16059636/rookie-obi-melifonwu-essentially-confirms-he-will-play-hybrid-lb-s-role-with-raiders

Quote

 

Rookie Obi Melifonwu essentially confirms he will play hybrid LB/S role with Raiders

At the 56th pick in the draft, the Raiders took Obi Melifonwu out of UConn. Immediately, he looked like a perfect fit to eventually play the strong safety spot that Kam Chancellor did in Seattle.

Chancellor is a former linebacker who switched to safety and became a Pro Bowler and a key part of the secondary dubbed the Legion of Boom.

Melifonwu playing that role specifically may have to wait until after this season when Reggie Nelson’s career in Oakland figures to end. For now, the Raiders would like to get Melifonwu on the field however they can and the answer is to utilize him as a hybrid safety/linebacker in much the same way the Arizona Cardinals do.

...It won’t be a seamless transition for the 6-4, 224-pounder. He admitted there were some areas he will need to learn and improve to get up to speed.

“Run fits, run/pass conflict,” Melifonwu said of the areas of emphasis, “especially in the NFL, you have teams with play action pass and do things like that, so that’s gonna have to be learned.”

 

 

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The Las Vegas Review Journal reports third round DT Eddie Vanderdoes is expected to be a Week 1 starter.

The Raiders listed Vanderdoes with the first team on their unofficial depth chart. Despite missing all of OTAs, Vanderdoes has drawn raves for his strong training camp. With Jihad Ward still recovering from surgery, Vanderdoes should see heavy early-season snaps. Aug 12 - 8:49 PM

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  • 2 months later...
On 5/11/2017 at 0:19 AM, nirad3 said:

Obi Melifonwu (OAK):  Just too good of an athlete to keep off the field for long.  Reggie Nelson is like 70.

Michael Gehlken‏Verified account @GehlkenNFL

FollowFollow @GehlkenNFL

Raiders officially have activated S Obi Melifonwu (knee) from injured reserve. CB Demetrius McCray (knee) waived-injured to create room.

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  • 5 months later...
On 8/10/2017 at 8:05 AM, Bri said:

Brown's college coach is his Titans coach. (Spanos, UCLA LB coach, Titans LB coach and DC title) They also have Aaron Wallace. Wallace played all four LB positions last year and did well late in the year. Brown has played all four in camp, but not in games.

In the spring, Brown worked his way up to the first unit. A knock against him in college was his inability to shed blockers and he is pretty poor at this on tape. They drafted him to cover the TEs because Spence and Woodyard were horrible at this last year. They have been pleasantly surprised with him as an ILB, but the only plan was for him to be a nickel LB.

He started camp with the third string and has again worked his way up to splitting reps with Woodyard. Wallace (again four positions) has been added to that mix too now. Brown seems to have more big play ability to him, but Wallace is smart, tough, and reliable. His UCLA buddy could really hurt his chances of winning that ILB spot.

The Titans are totally set at OLB with Morgan and Orakpo. Avery Williamson is an excellent young LB that has often been overwhelmed having to deal with incompetence by the other ILB. They do rest the older OLBs and these is some action for backup OLBs, but they also seem to want a type there that is a converted DE. Kevin Dodd and Erik Walden can't cover but can rush the passer very well. Josh Carraway is converting very nicely and has surpassed Dodd on the depth chart. If somehow every backup OLB makes the team, given Lebeau's tendency to blitz the QB, it is very likely that he chooses a former DE as a sub and not Wallace or Brown. Brown will get work against a top TE, but other than those weeks, he really won't do too much if he is slotted as an OLB.

The Titans allowed nearly 6 ypc in runs up the gut, second worst in the NFL. Fixing this is a priority. "Woodyard is the incumbent" doesn't really hold water as people say. 

Sylvester Williams has regularly been outperformed by Antwaun Woods in camp. His signing/JRob's reputation is about the only thing helping him keep the top spot right now at NT. Woods was exceptional in preseason and in week 17 last year. The Titans have a beast UDFA named DeAngelo Brown that has been a beast. A prior achilles injury left him undrafted, but the words under most draft site's descriptions were quite favorable. It's almost curious he wasn't drafted. Sylvester did NOT play well in Denver in 2016, but did in 2015. I don't know if JRob can roll with Mularkey cutting one of his big free agent signings, but the backups look far better. G/C Corey Levin was drafted by the Titans and he's been horrible. They're knocking him down and oWning him. This has stirred up a debate where people are discrediting the backups success, but they've also done well against the ones in limited opportunities. 

The almost 6 ypc really seemed to hurt their pride last year. Nothing of Dick Lebeau's career gives off an impression that this is OK or tolerable. If you're looking for late round IDP rookies, ya really should keep an eye on the Titans middle this summer. The backups haven't beaten out the starters yet, but right now it looks like it will happen soon. Woodyard and Williams could step their games up, but... I would definitely watch this situation. Not only would it be a nice spot for the young players, but opposing offenses will surely test this "sweet spot" that was one of the worst from 2014-2016. "We can always run up the middle on the Titans" will not go away until the Titans shut that down.

I should add that Nate Palmer's bod looks fantastic. The former Green Bay starter has pretty much only played ST with the Titans. He showed up in the spring looking like a new man. It's very odd and will make you say "that's him?" when you see him. He has done well too and could also be in the mix at Woodyard's ILB spot. I don't think anybody knows how to handle his situation. He was only re-signed for his ST play and then he shows up with an infomercial type transformation.

Woodyard had a career year in tackles last year and with Williamson gone sky is the limit on tackles this year.

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