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Top 28 Rookies 2020


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7 hours ago, King of the Jungle said:

I think the difference between top picks and almost through the second round is thinner than I can ever remember. This makes this class very difficult to rank for me. 

This may turn out to be the case, but just from a standpoint of fun, these first two rounds are a blast. Usually, it's so thin, you would be backed into a corner at the end of the first,early in the second,  taking your least favorite choice sitting there. I am sure there were a lot of less-than-thrilled Darell Henderson drafters last year. This year, you have some choices. You really don't have to take Zack Moss if you don't want to. There really aren't any massive dropoffs. I like it.

 

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On 5/16/2020 at 6:50 AM, King of the Jungle said:

I lean toward agreeing with EBF about this class overall being a bit of a disappointment. I think for me  what contributes to that thought is: 1) the expectations for this class were very high going back to even two years ago 2) there are a ton of “solid” prospects meshed together presenting a deep pool, however most are missing ingredients that you want to see at the top tier.

“Elite/generational” are overused descriptions. However even the top guys in this class are missing enough from their prospect profile to give me the feeling that they will have a hard time reaching that upper tier status. It would not surprise me if in a couple years we look back and say a Shenault/Aiyuk/Pittman-type guy ends up being the top long term asset. I think the difference between top picks and almost through the second round is thinner than I can ever remember. This makes this class very difficult to rank for me.

Nailed it.

I'm comfortable with CEH or Taylor in the top 2 and think you're getting a solid asset there.

The next tier is a minefield of guys who have some kind of wart or another. Let's go through that cluster again quickly:

 

RB JK Dobbins - Probably the least flawed of the next tier of RBs, but doesn't have "wow" explosiveness. Ingram is a short-term TD vulture.

RB D'Andre Swift - Nice height/weight/speed. Ordinary athlete otherwise. Ability to cut at speed is just average.

RB Cam Akers - Tremendous athlete who didn't produce in college. For all his gifts, not elite in any category. Better tester than RB so far.

WR CeeDee Lamb - Very average speed and frame. He will need to win with quickness because the speed/strength are ordinary.

WR Jerry Jeudy - Thin frame with a jerky play style that puts a lot of strain on his ankles and knees.

WR Justin Jefferson - Also in the low BMI range, so will need to win with routes and athleticism. Quality tester and promising tape.

WR Brandon Aiyuk - Could be a little taller and a little faster, but emerges as one of the safer options to me with his frame/RAC/athleticism combo.

WR Jalen Reagor - Like Akers, a massive boom-or-bust candidate. Top tier athleticism absent good height. Production took a dive last season.

WR Henry Ruggs - Best speed in the class. Frame a little below average. Possession skills and 1v1 route running are question marks.

 

I continue to tweak my board as I work through drafts and I think I would actually slot Dobbins into the #3 spot now. He does everything well and fits a mold that works well in the NFL as a pass-catching back with quality size, cuts, and okay speed. Akers is intriguing, but simply offers no discount at his ADP in the 6-7 area. He's a huge boom-or-bust risk to me. I think Swift will be a Doug Martin, Lamar Miller, or Eddie Lacy type who has pockets of high-level production, but there's something missing for me to say he's a real franchise back.

All of the WRs offer something compelling, but there's no one player I can point to and say, "Yes, this guy will be a multi-year 1,000+ yard receiver." If you have a pick in the 5-7 range, the play might be to let your league mates try to solve the puzzle, drop down to the 9-10 spot, and pick whoever falls to you. I'm not down on Lamb, Jeudy, Ruggs, Reagor, or Jefferson, but I don't see a player there that I need. As I've said previously, I'm warming up to Aiyuk as one of the potentially "safe" options in this tier and would feel good about getting him in the 10-12 range.

Many years ago we had another deep and diverse WR class of players with wildly different styles:

 

Tavon Austin

DeAndre Hopkins

Cordarrelle Patterson

Justin Hunter

Robert Woods

Aaron Dobson

Terrance Williams

Keenan Allen

Marquise Goodwin

Markus Wheaton

Stedman Bailey

 

Austin was an explosive, but slight waterbug type. Hunter was tall with unreal linear explosiveness and leaping ability, but a very lean frame and spotty hands. Patterson was a solid frame return man type with suspect route running/pure WR skills. Dobson was a tall, bad separator possession WR. Goodwin and Wheaton were thin speedsters. I always said this class would be really instructive depending on what happened with their careers, and it seems like the common thread among the big WR success stories (Hopkins, Woods, Allen) is decent functional strength, excellent route/separation ability, and reliable hands. The ability to generate separation out of breaks may be the single most important WR trait besides actually catching the ball.

It's hard for me to say exactly who is the best at that in this class, but Aiyuk thrives here. That's one reason why I'm liking him. Jefferson also does some good things in this category. Lamb and Jeudy seem to check out at least reasonably well. Some of Lamb's production was scheme-related, but when asked to win in his routes I did see some good stuff. Reagor has the athleticism to shine, but is a little small and gets beaten up by passes sometimes. Pittman and Shenault might be the best in this regard out of the day two guys, and Hamler as well (but he has frame and drops issues). Pittman has noticeably quick feet in his breaks for a big WR, but that's where it ends. His mobility after the catch is ordinary. Duvernay is middle of the road as a route runner, but shows promise on specific reps. I would say Higgins, Edwards, and Claypool are probably the day 1-2 guys with the biggest question marks here. Maybe Mims as well. That's a big part of my reasoning for fading those players.

I can isolate a few of the guys that I definitely don't want, but overall it seems to be a class with lots of good and not much great, which is what we've been saying. Very flat looking board with few obvious impact FF players, but lots of guys who seem to have a solid pulse.

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On 5/16/2020 at 9:50 AM, King of the Jungle said:

I lean toward agreeing with EBF about this class overall being a bit of a disappointment. I think for me  what contributes to that thought is: 1) the expectations for this class were very high going back to even two years ago 2) there are a ton of “solid” prospects meshed together presenting a deep pool, however most are missing ingredients that you want to see at the top tier.

“Elite/generational” are overused descriptions. However even the top guys in this class are missing enough from their prospect profile to give me the feeling that they will have a hard time reaching that upper tier status. It would not surprise me if in a couple years we look back and say a Shenault/Aiyuk/Pittman-type guy ends up being the top long term asset. I think the difference between top picks and almost through the second round is thinner than I can ever remember. This makes this class very difficult to rank for me. 

Bottomline is I love the depth and think there will be many solid players from this group. I don’t love the top tier though and think the real value is at the end of the first through the second as I really don’t see enough of a difference between top 15-18 guys as I would like.

And lets not forget the current situation when it comes to any rookie. Vets will have the advantage going into uncertain circumstances. This is why no matter what the order is, I have them all downgraded a little. Dynasty value might take longer than usual and redraft is a total question mark.

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1 hour ago, JohnnyU said:

How can they be labeled a disappointment yet?  Hell, I am looking forward to watching this class develop.  It tickles me to listen to the instant gratification generation.

 

 

 

So we shouldn’t evaluate /project/discuss rookie classes until their careers are over? 

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23 hours ago, EBF said:

 

The next tier is a minefield of guys who have some kind of wart or another. Let's go through that cluster again quickly:

 

WR Jerry Jeudy - Thin frame with a jerky play style that puts a lot of strain on his ankles and knees.

 

This kid has such sick moves, we're worried about him hurting himself

This is the kind of negatives I'm looking for in my rookie 1st rounders. 😂

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This was a tremendous class. I'd even call it great, but once players enter the NFL, there's so many variables. The dynamics are such that a fair number might not reach their potential.

As far as individual players, I continue to be amazed at the lack of respect given to Swift (relatively speaking). I don't want to sound hyperbolish, but it's kind of mind-boggling.

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1 minute ago, Football Jones said:

As far as individual players, I continue to be amazed at the lack of respect given to Swift (relatively speaking). I don't want to sound hyperbolish, but it's kind of mind-boggling.

 Positively love getting him at 1.04 or 1.05 now.  

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Just now, SayWhat? said:

 Positively love getting him at 1.04 or 1.05 now.  

It's not so much Swift's ADP as it is some of the stuff I'm hearing. I thought he put to bed most of the question marks at the Combine.

I believe Swift has the highest floor among the RBs as far as straight ability, but CEH has the big edge in situation.

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1 hour ago, Football Jones said:

It's not so much Swift's ADP as it is some of the stuff I'm hearing. I thought he put to bed most of the question marks at the Combine.

I believe Swift has the highest floor among the RBs as far as straight ability, but CEH has the big edge in situation.

I'm with you. Seems like Swift is a no brainer at 1.4. 

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3 hours ago, massraider said:

This kid has such sick moves, we're worried about him hurting himself

This is the kind of negatives I'm looking for in my rookie 1st rounders. 😂

There is something to this I think. When I was researching injuries (Peterson had ACL at the time) I did find a study that found that the more productive the player is also the greater risk they had of being injured. The high twitch athletes were injured more.

For an example Percy Harvin.

Those players did produce more TD and yards though. So you got to take the good with the bad.

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On 5/12/2020 at 3:02 PM, ZWK said:

Oops, generic rookie rankings link should go here. My generic estimate for a WR at pick 8 vs. 12 is 227 VBD vs. 208 VBD. So the later guy is worth 92% as much as the earlier guy. By Chase's draft value chart, pick 12 is worth 88% as much as pick 8.

Generic VBD says that this class is strong on the whole but weak at the top. The total sum of the generic VBD for the top 200 picks in the NFL draft is the second largest since 2014, and is 111% of the 2014-19 average. The sum of the top 4 players by estimated generic VBD is the second smallest since 2014, and is just 80% of the 2014-19 average. It's strong on the whole mainly because of the large number of WR+RB drafted in the first 3 rounds. It's weak at the top mainly because of the lack of RBs through most of the first round, as RBs drafted early have the highest generic VBD.

Thanks for this.

I think it illustrates that this is a very good draft but not as good or elite at the top like EBF was saying, mostly because there wasn't a top 10 RB selection.

Yet here is the ADP and it seems that CEH and Taylor are being drafted as if they are elite RB at 12 and 14 overall.

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Agree with EBF that overall this class isn't what it's being hyped to be.  Some solid, but not really spectacular RBs and a host of somewhat overrated, big-name WRs.  TE is really weak overall.

If you can separate the smoke from the fire this year you're going to have some incredible values in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.  There are SO many high-profile prospects that some of the ones who'll hit are falling pretty far.  But which ones?

I've put my chips on Aiyuk, Gibson, Claypool (love all three) and Okwueg (who I don't love, but holy cow is he cheap).  Time will tell.

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38 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

Thanks for this.

I think it illustrates that this is a very good draft but not as good or elite at the top like EBF was saying, mostly because there wasn't a top 10 RB selection.

Yet here is the ADP and it seems that CEH and Taylor are being drafted as if they are elite RB at 12 and 14 overall.

Like most years the fever is strong...

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9 minutes ago, King of the Jungle said:

Like most years the fever is strong...

That certainly a part of this. The ADP from May will be mostly dynasty leagues.

For example It makes no sense for Adam Thielen to be drafted after Justin Jefferson in a redraft format. This ADP is certainly dynasty driven.

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7 minutes ago, Biabreakable said:

That certainly a part of this. The ADP from May will be mostly dynasty leagues.

For example It makes no sense for Adam Thielen to be drafted after Justin Jefferson in a redraft format. This ADP is certainly dynasty driven.

Agree 100%. I also understand I usually fall into the same trap. Maybe one of these days I will create sortable ADP that will allow me to see the previous years rookie class and how most of them fall back quite a bit the following year in ADP. Maybe then if I can put my eyes on it I will be less prone to the fever.

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5 hours ago, IHEARTFF said:

I'm with you. Seems like Swift is a no brainer at 1.4. 

The problem with Swift is Kerryon Johnson isn't a stiff.  His skill set isn't far off from Swift.  Plus this coaching staff is likely gone after next year, and Stafford the year after that.  Bad team, with instability in the organization, and competition for reps.  That's a big NO for me at 1.4 

My top 12 are 

Taylor - Love the landing spot. Reich is a good coach and he wants to run the ball.  Taylor has a lot of miles, but so does Zeke and no one would bat an eye on drafting him in the top 5 of next years draft.

CEH - Love the landing spot, but I have a hard time drafting Darren Sproles at 1.2  But I am not sure I could pass on the back in this offense.

Lamb - closest thing to Deandre Hopkins we have seen.  This kid is something else with the ball in his hands, and he has amazing hands.  Great spot long term, even if not year 1.

Dobbins - another great landing spot, see the theme here. 

Akers - the talent is in him, even if the talent wasn't around him in college.  That wont be the case with the Rams.

Jefferson - another solid landing spot, with an open opportunity and a pretty accurate passer getting him the ball.

Jeudy - Talent alone is worth this spot, but in a run offense, how many mouths can you feed through the air.

Swift - my 2nd favorite back before the draft, but the landing spot wasn't idea. Incompetent organization, probably changing coaching staffs and QBs in next 3 years.

AJ Dillon - LaFleur saw first hand what Henry was able to do in 2018, and what he did again in 2019.  Salary cap problems will likely see A Jones leave via free agency, with this kid taking over a run heavy offense in 2021

Reagor - One of my favorite scheme fit/landing spot players for this offense.  I am not sure he would thrive in Houston, but think he will here.

Aiyuk - He should have an early opportunity and looks electric with the ball in his hands.  A bigger Percy Harvin.

Pittman - I tend to stay away from USC WR, they have burned me too much in the past.  But I like this kid.

 

I have swift a distant 8th in my top 12.  And this time next year we could be writing him off for another rookie.

 

 

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5 hours ago, King of the Jungle said:

Agree 100%. I also understand I usually fall into the same trap. Maybe one of these days I will create sortable ADP that will allow me to see the previous years rookie class and how most of them fall back quite a bit the following year in ADP. Maybe then if I can put my eyes on it I will be less prone to the fever.

Actually we can do this with the linked ADP tool.

In April 2019 Josh Jacob's was going at pick 58 overall.

In May 2019 he was being selected at pick 34.

This isnt the same rise in ADP we are seeing with CEH and Taylor although Taylor was still going pretty high in April.

2017 Barkley went from 8 overall to 6th overall in May.

Nick Chubb was going at pick 46 overall in April (Guice was going at pick 26) then 37 in May (Guice 31).

The RB besides Barkley and Gurley were not going as high as CEH and Taylor.

 

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Posting some updated positional tiers along with some commentary. Some of these thoughts will be redundant with what I've already written, but some may be new.

CEH
TAYLOR
----
DOBBINS
SWIFT
AKERS
------
VAUGHN
MOSS
DILLON
GIBSON

 

I'm standing firm on my top two backs. Edwards-Helaire is a prototypical three down player who can carry a big workload and contribute as a pass-catcher. I consider him a high-floor, high-ceiling asset worthy of early consideration in redraft formats as well as dynasty. Taylor is very reminiscent of past successes like Ryan Mathews and Ahman Green, being a chiseled, big-frame sprinter type who has enough quickness and footwork to make the whole package work.

If we call CEH and Taylor the "probably" tier then there's a considerable dropoff to the next tier, which might be accurately described as the "maybe" tier. Akers is the best pure athlete of the bunch, but his shoddy production and lack of any single defining characteristic give him a low floor. He's the boom-or-bust pick of this cluster, and is not a very compelling buy at his 5-7 overall rookie ADP (I'd be more comfortable with him in the 9-12 range). Swift is a plus version of Duke Johnson and should become a Lamar Miller or Eddie Lacy type who has some useful seasons, but never really convinces as a top tier franchise RB. His overall athleticism is below the ideal level that you want in a franchise back. Like Akers, I think he's a talent-reach at his rookie draft ADP. Dobbins is not a special talent either, but fits a mold that works fairly well in today's FF/NFL landscape (versatile pass-catching back with adequate run skills and power). Drafting today I would take him at the top of the second RB tier.

The next tier is my "probably not" group, or players who I don't back to be long-term successes. Vaughn is the third round version of Swift, with a quality skill set that still falls short of enduring franchise back levels. He can be useful as a rookie and has no major deficiencies, but long-term seems destined for a RBBC/backup trajectory. Moss looks okay on tape and has a nice frame, but also faces questions about ceiling. His speed and mobility are not special and with Singletary on the roster, he may not have the same opportunity for an instant spike as people like Vaughn and Dillon. Dillon is a heavy-footed power back who will get beaten up on the regular in the NFL. There may be stretches of viability, but I would bet against this type of back in today's NFL. Gibson is a boom-or-bust curiosity who has some intriguing quantifiables, but may struggle to transition to a full-time role. I don't see the footwork and cuts that you want in a pro starter.

 

LAMB
JEFFERSON
AIYUK
JEUDY
RUGGS
REAGOR
------
SHENAULT
PITTMAN
DUVERNAY
------
CLAYPOOL
HAMLER
MIMS
HIGGINS
V JEFFERSON
EDWARDS
BOWDEN

 

The first tier remains extremely hard to differentiate, and is probably the most challenging part of this rookie class for me. I've ultimately decided to prioritize high-floor over high-ceiling here, which is why I have Lamb, Jefferson, and Aiyuk tops. They seem to have the cleanest overall profiles, but I wouldn't say any of them are locks. As mentioned previously, Lamb has merely an average frame and average deep speed, and may profile more as a quality chain-moving #2 than a true top target. Keenan Allen represents a best-case scenario of what he can become. I would say he's slightly overrated and would consider trading down instead of picking him. Jefferson also has a lean frame, but boasts 4.4x speed and impressive short-area quickness and fluidity for a taller WR. He played mainly out of the slot for LSU and thus didn't always have to beat 1v1 coverage. I would've liked to have seen more jump balls and corner routes to assess his skills in this area, because he mostly caught short passes and crossing routes. In the NFL he may spend more time working outside. In college he was just a piece of the puzzle and I'm not sure I see the special traits of a pro #1, but he should at least be a really good #2 with his speed, separation ability, and long frame. His college usage and skill set remind me a little bit of Tyler Boyd, but he may have a higher physical ceiling. I've said a lot about Aiyuk recently. I view him as a B+ version of Michael Crabtree or Justin Blackmon. He not only has the biggest frame of the first-round WR, but is also the best open field runner and RAC threat. That's a compelling combination of traits. As a ~28 BMI WR with legitimate punt returner skills, I think he can do some fun stuff in the possession game for SF. Is he a top tier monster? No, but he fits a mold that works in the league.

Jeudy may be a little low here, but his unconventional play style and skill set makes it harder for me to comfortably project who he'll be on Sundays. He has some real sharpness in his routes and quality speed, but a slight build and modest overall physical traits for the NFL level. Who is he? I can't think of an obvious NFL parallel, and that's a bit frightening. I don't hate his game, but given his ADP in rookie drafts and startups, he's a mild fade for me. Ruggs has great speed, sticky hands, and is a very athletic player overall. In a vertical attack he could be prolific, but his ceiling will hinge on his ability to win on short-intermediate routes and excel in the possession game. He's not an elite separator on short routes and doesn't have the bulky frame to overpower at the catch point, so there are some legitimate question marks about his ability to be more than a vertical guy. I think he is solid value at his 9-12 rookie draft ADP though since the price is reasonable for the floor and upside that he presents. Reagor is the Cam Akers of the WR group, a boom-or-bust player with great physical attributes and questionable production. He'll be useful for the Eagles as a RAC machine and return man straight out of the box, but his long-term FF relevance will hinge on his ability to produce as an outside WR. He has a sturdy frame, but is on the short side with questionable possession skills. There's a high ceiling if he hits, but I consider him the riskiest of the six first round WRs.

Shenault has been a big-time late-riser for me and is now my solid favorite of the day two WRs. Colorado's utilization of him in a Swiss army knife role subjected him to a lot of unnecessary punishment, but when lined up out wide he showed surprisingly quick feet for a bigger WR. Far from merely being a big plodder, he has real route running and RAC potential. JuJu-like at times. His ceiling is as high as any WR in this draft, and he represents very good value for a rookie pick in the 12-15 range. Pittman also has unusual break-point separation ability for a big WR, but that's where it ends. He lacks dynamic speed or RAC ability. He can be a solid chain-mover, but I don't see a high ceiling. I remain a big fan of Duvernay at his ADP, and he's my go-to pick in the 20-30 range of rookie drafts. 4.39 speed on a yoked frame with reliable hands. 1v1 separation is his biggest question mark, but he's not terrible in that regard. I think Baltimore may have gotten another Lamar or Andrews-like steal with this pick. In my view he was underdrafted by about 40-50 spots based on his talent level.

Claypool has an impressive frame and nice vertical speed, but is neither quick out of breaks nor elusive with the ball in his hands. Separation and RAC could be major issues. Hamler has electric separation ability, but has frame/role/hands question marks. How valuable is a 178 pound slot WR? Mims is lanky long-strider with nice catch-point skills. There are guys of his ilk who have been successful (Alshon Jeffery comes to mind), but separation may be a big problem. Higgins is as tall and stringy as AJ Green, without any of the athleticism or sharpness in his routes. A clear fade for me given his lofty ADP. Van Jefferson is a nice route runner who can potentially become a quality second or third option. As a 24 year old with no elite traits, there's seemingly a low ceiling, but the Rams have gotten numbers out of people like Kupp and Woods, so this may be a decent situation for him to have some relevance long-term. Not a special talent though. Edwards is a big frame possession WR who almost plays like a small TE. He'll do some of the dirty work while Ruggs is flying deep. Modest separation skills and explosiveness would seemingly put a low cap on his ceiling. It's always tough to make the jump from gadget player to full-time RB or WR, and Bowden didn't really wow me enough to want to take that gamble.

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Ke’Shawn Vaughn is a poor man’s Joshua Kelley. His 4.51 forty was solid at 214 pounds. However, his jumps were below average, and he chose not to participate in any agility drills. Like Kelley, Vaughn transferred after his sophomore season. He’s a few months older than Kelley — Vaughn will turn 23 just days after the NFL Draft. Like Kelley, Vaughn’s top athletic comp is Dalvin Cook. But Cook is the best-case-scenario athletic comp for every RB with middling athleticism. Vaughn’s production at Vanderbilt is good, especially in terms of his share of the offense. Cook’s production at Florida State was elite.

Tex

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18 hours ago, EBF said:

Posting some updated positional tiers along with some commentary. Some of these thoughts will be redundant with what I've already written, but some may be new.

CEH
TAYLOR
----
DOBBINS
SWIFT
AKERS
------
VAUGHN
MOSS
DILLON
GIBSON

Does league scoring cause any variation in your ranking? I.e standard scoring vs .5/1 PPR? 

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I don't think that would change my rankings very much. Non-PPR may hurt CEH more than it hurts Taylor, but I still go CEH as the #1 RB even in non-PPR. CEH may be the better back in a vacuum, and the KC offense really boosts his outlook.

The second tier backs (Dobbins/Swift/Akers) are all relatively good as pass outlets, so non-PPR/PPR doesn't move the needle much for me because their skills seem to cancel out. If you're drafting for instant impact, Akers has the most obvious immediate path to relevance because his competition for touches is less formidable than Kerryon and Ingram. Swift and Dobbins may be PPR-dependent RBBC options as rookies. So I guess you could say non-PPR favors Akers slightly in the short-term, but I'm still very leery of him at his ADP because he appears to be such a boom-or-bust proposition.

In the third tier, Vaughn would be my first choice in either PPR or non-PPR, simply down to him having the best immediate opportunity. Non-PPR would seem to make Dillon more viable than he would be in PPR. I don't view him as a strong option in either format though. Moss and Gibson both have decent receiving ability, but don't project to be reliant on that aspect of their skill set for relevance in the same way that players like Sproles, Bush, and Ekeler have needed catches to be useful. In other words, I don't think PPR or non-PPR really affects those two.

 

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Last bump, I swear. Final ownership tally after 5 rookie drafts, excluding late round flyers.

5 - DEVIN DUVERNAY

2 - BRANDON AIYUK
2 - DEVIN ASIASI

1 - JK DOBBINS
1 - KJ HAMLER
1 - JALEN REAGOR
1 - HENRY RUGGS (2019 DEV PICK)
1 - LAVISKA SHENAULT
1 - D'ANDRE SWIFT

Not as concentrated for me as most years, due in part to a spread of picks and because my board was fluctuating a lot in my first couple drafts. It is more settled now. If could have a do-over on my first draft or two, these numbers would be slightly different.

Looks like Duvernay will be my signature player this year. I mostly got him for cheap-ish prices, so he won't kill me if he busts. If he hits, it will be a nice boost.

If you've been following this thread then this next part shouldn't be any surprise, but I would loosely say Aiyuk, Duvernay, Shenault, and Asiasi are "my guys" this year in terms of providing good value for the entry cost. Love them at their ADP. That's the cluster of players that I really found myself trying to get when I made trades up/down, etc. I may still make a move or two before the season starts to add some more shares of this group.

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2 hours ago, EBF said:

Last bump, I swear. Final ownership tally after 5 rookie drafts, excluding late round flyers.

5 - DEVIN DUVERNAY

2 - BRANDON AIYUK
2 - DEVIN ASIASI

1 - JK DOBBINS
1 - KJ HAMLER
1 - JALEN REAGOR
1 - HENRY RUGGS (2019 DEV PICK)
1 - LAVISKA SHENAULT
1 - D'ANDRE SWIFT

Not as concentrated for me as most years, due in part to a spread of picks and because my board was fluctuating a lot in my first couple drafts. It is more settled now. If could have a do-over on my first draft or two, these numbers would be slightly different.

Looks like Duvernay will be my signature player this year. I mostly got him for cheap-ish prices, so he won't kill me if he busts. If he hits, it will be a nice boost.

If you've been following this thread then this next part shouldn't be any surprise, but I would loosely say Aiyuk, Duvernay, Shenault, and Asiasi are "my guys" this year in terms of providing good value for the entry cost. Love them at their ADP. That's the cluster of players that I really found myself trying to get when I made trades up/down, etc. I may still make a move or two before the season starts to add some more shares of this group.

Man I respect your opinion a lot but we couldn't be more opposite on this draft class.  From your list, the only guys I have high hopes for are Dobbins and Raegor and I'm pretty unsure of the latter.

Honest question, have you dont the same amount of research on this class as you have in years past?

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2 hours ago, EBF said:

Last bump, I swear. Final ownership tally after 5 rookie drafts, excluding late round flyers.

5 - DEVIN DUVERNAY

2 - BRANDON AIYUK
2 - DEVIN ASIASI

1 - JK DOBBINS
1 - KJ HAMLER
1 - JALEN REAGOR
1 - HENRY RUGGS (2019 DEV PICK)
1 - LAVISKA SHENAULT
1 - D'ANDRE SWIFT

Not as concentrated for me as most years, due in part to a spread of picks and because my board was fluctuating a lot in my first couple drafts. It is more settled now. If could have a do-over on my first draft or two, these numbers would be slightly different.

Looks like Duvernay will be my signature player this year. I mostly got him for cheap-ish prices, so he won't kill me if he busts. If he hits, it will be a nice boost.

If you've been following this thread then this next part shouldn't be any surprise, but I would loosely say Aiyuk, Duvernay, Shenault, and Asiasi are "my guys" this year in terms of providing good value for the entry cost. Love them at their ADP. That's the cluster of players that I really found myself trying to get when I made trades up/down, etc. I may still make a move or two before the season starts to add some more shares of this group.

Thanks for posting this. Duvernay is great prospect but I think he landed in a terrible spot. Aiyuk is similar in the fact he's a great prospect but he landed bad. We'll see what happens. 

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6 minutes ago, Vandelay said:

Man I respect your opinion a lot but we couldn't be more opposite on this draft class.  From your list, the only guys I have high hopes for are Dobbins and Raegor and I'm pretty unsure of the latter.

Honest question, have you dont the same amount of research on this class as you have in years past?

I put in a lot of time looking at everybody, often going back 2-3 times to watch players to solidify an opinion.

It isn't my first pass at these guys, either. I'm still in one dev league and actually posted some pretty detailed thoughts on this class in the summer.

You can check that out here.

The RB tiers that I put out then still look pretty good in hindsight.

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8 minutes ago, Milkman said:

Thanks for posting this. Duvernay is great prospect but I think he landed in a terrible spot. Aiyuk is similar in the fact he's a great prospect but he landed bad. We'll see what happens. 

Situation isn't something that I think about very much for rookie drafts. If a WR lands with a HoF passing QB or a RB lands with a wide open starting job, obviously that's going to improve the short-term outlook. Long-term, a guy can play or he can't. I don't really worry about the context. People thought AJ Brown and JuJu had bad situations too. You want to get the guys who can play and let that stuff take care of itself. Every once in a blue moon it never does (i.e. Jonathan Stewart/DeAngelo Williams), but long-term viability is mostly tied to ability, and not context.

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1 hour ago, EBF said:

Situation isn't something that I think about very much for rookie drafts. If a WR lands with a HoF passing QB or a RB lands with a wide open starting job, obviously that's going to improve the short-term outlook. Long-term, a guy can play or he can't. I don't really worry about the context. People thought AJ Brown and JuJu had bad situations too. You want to get the guys who can play and let that stuff take care of itself. Every once in a blue moon it never does (i.e. Jonathan Stewart/DeAngelo Williams), but long-term viability is mostly tied to ability, and not context.

Yeah I made that mistake with Sutton a couple years back. Still think it was the right decision but he's done well. Loved the talent. Hated the situation.

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21 minutes ago, Dr. BD said:

My opinion of Shenault has come full circle. I completely agree with you here. He is a late draft riser for me too. Considering the WRs in this 12-16 range, Shenault’s profile is one of the best. Aiyuk, Mims, Higgins, Pittman are all going in this range, and Claypool too. Everyone seems to be over the moon for Pittman and Mims. Neither have profiles that scream success, much less watching them play leaves a lot to be desired. Higgins has the profile, but he seems meh on film. I think he could be in a great situation, and Burrow could make him a star... so I am not fading on him. Aiyuk has first round pedigree, and he’s a YAC monster, but I am not big on him for many of the reasons that have been discussed. 
 

I'm not super high on Shenault, and by that I mean I wouldn’t take him too high, but in the range he is going he poses great value. Health is the biggest issue for him, but the reward is one of the top WRs from the class. 
 

ETA: I am coming around on Duvernay... I am starting to like the idea that he could emerge as the WR1 in Baltimore

There's a range around 11-16 where all of those second tier WRs tend to go. I personally don't see cause for Higgins/Pittman/Mims ahead of Aiyuk, as he was an earlier pick by several slots and has more impressive clips. To me this feels like the community overvaluing "name" talents who were on the devy radar in the summer while underrating the late riser. I'm with you on Shenault though. If he has the lowest ADP of this group and possibly the highest ceiling then he seems like one of the best gambles. Is he a can't miss guy? No, but he's going around 14-16 in a lot of my drafts and that's a pretty good price for the potential that you're getting. Just a few years ago guys like Sterling Shepard and Michael Thomas were going mid 1st because the depth in their class was weak enough to push 2nd round NFL draft WRs into the top 6-8 of rookie drafts, but this year if you have rookie picks around that 14-16 range, you can get a WR prospect of similar caliber (not saying they will turn out as well as MT, only that they are similarly-rated entering the league).

That looks like one of the best ranges in which to acquire extra picks. They shouldn't be nearly as expensive as a top 5 pick, but arguably the value isn't too far off. After Laviska and Aiyuk are picked, the board opens up a bit for me and some of the players that I like next (i.e. Duvernay, Asiasi) are liable to fall another full round, so jumping up becomes less appealing to me.

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I have zero shares of Shenault. WR2 at best on a team with a solid WR1 (but certainly not great) and an average at best QB in an offense that wants to ground and pound, and may be the worst team in the entire league. 

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15 minutes ago, tangfoot said:

I have zero shares of Shenault. WR2 at best on a team with a solid WR1 (but certainly not great) and an average at best QB in an offense that wants to ground and pound, and may be the worst team in the entire league. 

If they are the worst team in the NFL then he might just be catching passes from TLaw starting next year.

As others have said, situation changes, bet on talent. 

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18 minutes ago, tangfoot said:

I have zero shares of Shenault. WR2 at best on a team with a solid WR1 (but certainly not great) and an average at best QB in an offense that wants to ground and pound, and may be the worst team in the entire league. 

Redraft thinking. This is how you miss out on AJB, Deebo, JuJu, etc. Not saying Shenault will be that good, but you are emphasizing all the wrong variables IMO. Can he play or not? That's 90% of the question. The other stuff is all fluid.

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10 minutes ago, EBF said:

Redraft thinking. This is how you miss out on AJB, Deebo, JuJu, etc. Not saying Shenault will be that good, but you are emphasizing all the wrong variables IMO. Can he play or not? That's 90% of the question. The other stuff is all fluid.

Considering his rising price, I’m super duper out on him. If I am interested at all, I will buy at a fraction of today’s going rate after the reasons I posted above correct his value to something more reasonable. 
 

There’s about a dozen other guys near his draft price that I prefer right now for the reasons I listed above and others 

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3 minutes ago, tangfoot said:

If I am interested at all, I will buy at a fraction of today’s going rate after the reasons I posted above correct his value to something more reasonable. 
 

A nice thought in theory, but people said similar stuff about AJB, Deebo, JuJu, etc, and then they popped as rookies and became harder to acquire.

The "wait and see" approach is a pretty good way to miss out on a significant chunk of the best players in the league.

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2 minutes ago, EBF said:

A nice thought in theory, but people said similar stuff about AJB, Deebo, JuJu, etc, and then they popped as rookies and became harder to acquire.

The "wait and see" approach is a pretty good way to miss out on a significant chunk of the best players in the league.

It’s also a way to avoid overpaying for garbage. 
Which one is Shenault?  We’ll have to wait and see

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Just now, tangfoot said:

It’s also a way to avoid overpaying for garbage.

And that's the question: Is a rookie pick in the 12-15 range (roughly his ADP) overpaying for his risk/reward outlook?

I would say no.

Sitting around and waiting until we know exactly what he is in the NFL will reduce the chances of you burning capital on a bust, but it will also reduce the chances of you obtaining a top tier player for a discount, so it's not necessarily a "better" strategy, just a more risk-averse one.

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On 5/24/2020 at 11:43 PM, EBF said:

I put in a lot of time looking at everybody, often going back 2-3 times to watch players to solidify an opinion.

It isn't my first pass at these guys, either. I'm still in one dev league and actually posted some pretty detailed thoughts on this class in the summer.

You can check that out here.

The RB tiers that I put out then still look pretty good in hindsight.

Thanks man.  I'll just say, I disagree a ton with your takes here but I dont enjoy being on the other side of the fence.  If this draft shakes out your way ill probably just start doing whatever you say.

FTR, here's where I seem to have the strongest opinions:

Love: CHE, Dobbins, Lamb, Justin Jefferson, Pittman, Mims

Hate: Swift (landing spot), Higgins, Shenault, Vaughn, Ruggs

I'd add Duvernay, Van Jefferson, and Claypool to the hate list but they literally don't even register on my meter.

Not listed = fine with drafting at adp.

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29 minutes ago, Vandelay said:

Thanks man.  I'll just say, I disagree a ton with your takes here but I dont enjoy being on the other side of the fence.  If this draft shakes out your way ill probably just start doing whatever you say.

FTR, here's where I seem to have the strongest opinions:

Love: CHE, Dobbins, Lamb, Justin Jefferson, Pittman, Mims

Hate: Swift (landing spot), Higgins, Shenault, Vaughn, Ruggs

I'd add Duvernay, Van Jefferson, and Claypool to the hate list but they literally don't even register on my meter.

Not listed = fine with drafting at adp.

I have most of those guys at or near their ADP, so I'm not sure how you see this as being a big departure from my list apart from a new names (I'm higher than average on Shenault, down on Mims, and middle-of-the-road on Ruggs). I have Swift, Higgins, and Vaughn significantly lower than their ADP.

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53 minutes ago, EBF said:

I have most of those guys at or near their ADP, so I'm not sure how you see this as being a big departure from my list apart from a new names (I'm higher than average on Shenault, down on Mims, and middle-of-the-road on Ruggs). I have Swift, Higgins, and Vaughn significantly lower than their ADP.

Its a departure in that you seem down on the class in general.  I see stud/borderline stud potential in all of the guys I listed as favorites and even several of the ones I didn't mention although I'm less bullish (Taylor, Jeudy, Raegor).

I think its an excellent class.

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This article has a graph that is showing how the RB are being valued more than their NFL draft position dictates and how that has been valued previously in terms of ADP.

I could offer some reasons for why that may be. I was curious about what others thought about this though.

Are the players just that good? Or is it that the situations they landed into are that good?

Of course it can be both and I think it is both in the case of Johnathan Taylor and to a lesser extent JK Dobbins. While CEH is a good RB prospect, most had him as the 4th or 5th RB before the draft. His ascension to the number one rookie RB is mostly about the opportunity being as good as it gets really. 20 some years of success of Andy Reid RB nothing to bat an eye at.

The success of recent RB in drafts may have the community over correcting?

Things have definitely shifted towards the RB side again. I think the perspective is being driven by the fantasy pundits in the community as well so almost everyone seems to be in lock step on this here, not saying I am not also valuing the RB very highly as well, but I do worry this may have gone a bit too far because of recency bias. In a broader view we had those two draft classes with no 1st round picks used on RB in the NFL draft, it almost happened again this year, and I think the overall trend of draft capital invested in RB continues to go down, despite the recent top 10 picks at the position, such as McCaffrey, Fournette, Gurley recently.

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Lines up with some of my thoughts about the rookie RB class being overdrafted in FF while people like Aiyuk and Duvernay should probably go a little higher.

That said, I'm not going to tout AJ Dillon no matter how undervalued he looks. Not my type of player.

To answer your question, I think the main variable this year is opportunity for a lot of these guys. An abnormally high percentage of the top RB prospects landed on teams with an underwhelming/aging incumbent, so people are keen on the idea of the immediate points. Last year we had Harris and Mattison slipping to the 20-30 range of some rookie drafts because their path to immediate relevance was blocked. I don't see someone like Vaughn as being more talented than someone like Harris (I actually think Harris was the better prospect), but he's on a team where he can maybe be the guy in year one and a lot of owners are drafting for the early return.

CEH, Taylor, Swift, Akers, and Vaughn are all possible year one starters. You can see a path to early PT for Dillon and Dobbins as well. Moss is slightly blocked, but Singletary is not an established star in his own right. Nobody here got the Bernard Pierce, Toby Gerhart, or Christine Michael treatment where he landed behind a rock star.

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6 hours ago, Biabreakable said:

This article has a graph that is showing how the RB are being valued more than their NFL draft position dictates and how that has been valued previously in terms of ADP.

I could offer some reasons for why that may be. I was curious about what others thought about this though.

Are the players just that good? Or is it that the situations they landed into are that good?

Of course it can be both and I think it is both in the case of Johnathan Taylor and to a lesser extent JK Dobbins. While CEH is a good RB prospect, most had him as the 4th or 5th RB before the draft. His ascension to the number one rookie RB is mostly about the opportunity being as good as it gets really. 20 some years of success of Andy Reid RB nothing to bat an eye at.

The success of recent RB in drafts may have the community over correcting?

Things have definitely shifted towards the RB side again. I think the perspective is being driven by the fantasy pundits in the community as well so almost everyone seems to be in lock step on this here, not saying I am not also valuing the RB very highly as well, but I do worry this may have gone a bit too far because of recency bias. In a broader view we had those two draft classes with no 1st round picks used on RB in the NFL draft, it almost happened again this year, and I think the overall trend of draft capital invested in RB continues to go down, despite the recent top 10 picks at the position, such as McCaffrey, Fournette, Gurley recently.

I think it is a little nuts to value these rookies higher or equal young running backs who've already done it, like legit RB1s. Josh Jacobs or Aaron Jones come to mind. 

If it's recency bias, then it's irrational. Are all of the successful rbs drafted recently going to disappear? I think you'll just find a lot more time shares coming up. Analogy is a pond with a bunch of little bass. If you want to catch some lunkers you have to pull out some of the small fishes so the ones left will grow bigger. (I hear the small ones are good eating anyway.)

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Not sure how I missed this thread earlier this month, although my one May rookie draft was almost done by the time you posted.

I really like how you describe the ways your analysis has changed over the years.   My biggest blind spots tend to be bias that gets in my head because of performance of guys of similar stature or the team they land on.

Biggest early value I see in drafts is Burrow.   I believe he will be elite rather than a Ryan/Eli type.   

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I have started to agree that Aiyuk is being really undervalued right now.  The Bob McGinn poll ranked him as the #5 WR and then he gets drafted in the 1st as #6 WR by a really creative,  offense minded HC and yet he is usually the 9th or 10th WR picked in rookie drafts. 

And I get that there is a lot of talent soaking up targets in SF, but things can change quickly.  Kittle is in the last year of his rookie deal and his agent is talking about how he doesn't care about the TE market and wants to be paid like a WR.  I don't know if SF will be willing to do that,  so maybe Lynch picked Aiyuk thinking they need to be ready in case Kittle walks.  Could get ugly if they can't reach an extension and then they franchise him at TE money next year. 

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2 hours ago, Jail said:

I have started to agree that Aiyuk is being really undervalued right now.  The Bob McGinn poll ranked him as the #5 WR and then he gets drafted in the 1st as #6 WR by a really creative,  offense minded HC and yet he is usually the 9th or 10th WR picked in rookie drafts. 

And I get that there is a lot of talent soaking up targets in SF, but things can change quickly.  Kittle is in the last year of his rookie deal and his agent is talking about how he doesn't care about the TE market and wants to be paid like a WR.  I don't know if SF will be willing to do that,  so maybe Lynch picked Aiyuk thinking they need to be ready in case Kittle walks.  Could get ugly if they can't reach an extension and then they franchise him at TE money next year. 

Feels like there are two big factors at work here:

- Prospects like Higgins and Mims were more popular in the dev community and more hyped over the last year. That tends to bleed into rookie draft ADP.

- People draft for situation and don't think SF will be a good offense.

It's hard to argue with the value of Aiyuk at his ADP, which seems to be around 12-15 based on my leagues. Not only did he sneak into the first round of the NFL draft, but he was the 25th pick and SF traded up to get him, suggesting that they had him much higher than alternatives like Mims/Pittman/Higgins who often go before him in FF rookie drafts. Do we really know more about talent than SF's scouting department? Sometimes these out-of-left-field 1st round WRs end up being as bad as the community thinks they are (Craig Davis and AJ Jenkins come to mind), but I like what he offers and the price is reasonable for what you're getting. The situation stuff is largely a nothing burger for me in the long run. Either he can play or he can't, and Kittle/Garoppolo won't dictate the long-term trajectory of his career.

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11 minutes ago, EBF said:

Feels like there are two big factors at work here:

- Prospects like Higgins and Mims were more popular in the dev community and more hyped over the last year. That tends to bleed into rookie draft ADP.

- People draft for situation and don't think SF will be a good offense.

It's hard to argue with the value of Aiyuk at his ADP, which seems to be around 12-15 based on my leagues. Not only did he sneak into the first round of the NFL draft, but he was the 25th pick and SF traded up to get him, suggesting that they had him much higher than alternatives like Mims/Pittman/Higgins who often go before him in FF rookie drafts. Do we really know more about talent than SF's scouting department? Sometimes these out-of-left-field 1st round WRs end up being as bad as the community thinks they are (Craig Davis and AJ Jenkins come to mind), but I like what he offers and the price is reasonable for what you're getting. The situation stuff is largely a nothing burger for me in the long run. Either he can play or he can't, and Kittle/Garoppolo won't dictate the long-term trajectory of his career.

I wouldn't call Aiyuk an out-of-left-field pick like Jenkins. Arif Hasan's consensus big board had him ranked as an early 2nd round pick, and the 7th highest WR (and just 6 picks behind the 5th WR). And that matches what I was generally seeing in how folks saw the WRs - 4 obvious 1st round WRs (JJ, CL, HR, JJ) and then a trail pack of 6ish others who were more often seen as 2nd rounders but had a shot to make it into the 1st round, with Aiyuk clearly part of that group.

After the draft, Pittman got a big boost in people's eyes (from being a tail-end or borderline member of that trail pack to being one of the favorites), Reagor got a solid boost, Higgins got a solid boost, Mims got just a slight decline, and Aiyuk if anything seemed to decline.

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