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ZWK's 2021 Prospect Analysis


ZWK

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1 hour ago, IHEARTFF said:

Curious how Kelce, Kittle, Waller and others have done in that stat compared to this class to see if someone as low as Friermuth needs to be pushed down or not. 

18.3 Rob Gronkowski *
15.5 Mark Andrews
13.7 Darren Waller +
11.6 George Kittle
10.3 Travis Kelce
9.8 Zach Ertz
9.3 Hunter Henry
9.1 Aaron Hernandez
6.5 Jordan Reed
5.0 Jimmy Graham %

% Graham didn't play enough football games to qualify, but this is his number for his whole college career (13 games)

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1 hour ago, ZWK said:

18.3 Rob Gronkowski *
15.5 Mark Andrews
13.7 Darren Waller +
11.6 George Kittle
10.3 Travis Kelce
9.8 Zach Ertz
9.3 Hunter Henry
9.1 Aaron Hernandez
6.5 Jordan Reed
5.0 Jimmy Graham %

% Graham didn't play enough football games to qualify, but this is his number for his whole college career (13 games)

Interesting. A high score is a better sign than low is bad possibly. Really looks good for Pitts, no surprise. Not damning for Friermuth, but lets see how he tests athletically. 

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Jimmy Graham is a known outlier. He played basketball rather than football for most of college, and was a great athlete even though he was just getting started at the TE position.

Jordan Reed's college production was actually pretty good, this just isn't a good stat for capturing that. Forcing players to include (at least) 2 seasons hurts him - his final year at Florida was much better than his next-to-last year (at least on these stats). And he looks a lot better in market share stats - he actually led the team in receiving yards, and in TD+25yd, in his final year (but Florida's passing offense was pretty woeful that year).

It does look like the 9-10 range where Freiermuth is is not that bad.

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4 hours ago, Iceman03 said:

Poljan was a Feldman Freak. Apparently runs a 4.7 with a 1.6 10 yd split which is 90th percentile. 🤷🏻‍♂️

I guess we'll see at his pro day in a couple days.

Video is here if you want to form your own impression.

I checked a couple scouting reports and they basically agree with my take. TDN: "Poljan isn’t a dynamic athlete and he is tightly wound, which creates some challenges as a route-runner, winning after the catch, and producing big plays." PFF: "Not dynamic in the slightest. Throwback tight end."

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On 2/22/2021 at 12:51 AM, Just Win Baby said:

Looking over this list, I'm not seeing a strong correlation between these highly rated seasons and fantasy (or NFL, for that matter) success for these players. I realize the jury is out on a few of the recent players, just something I noticed. Any thoughts on that?

@ZWK, any thoughts on this?

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On 2/21/2021 at 9:51 PM, Just Win Baby said:
On 2/20/2021 at 12:24 PM, ZWK said:

I just updated the QB SOS numbers to use FEI (since SRS works badly with the lack of interconference games) and that makes his rating even better. 2nd best QB season on record since 2008, even with era adjustments, by my efficiency numbers.

Kyler Murray    2018
Mac Jones    2020
Russell Wilson    2011
Tua Tagovailoa    2018
Joe Burrow    2019
Sam Bradford    2008
Baker Mayfield    2016
Jameis Winston    2013
Baker Mayfield    2017
Jalen Hurts    2019
Justin Fields    2019
Johnny Manziel    2013
Zach Wilson    2020
Zach Mettenberger    2013
Marcus Mariota    2014
Robert Griffin III    2011
Grayson McCall    2020
Colt McCoy    2008
Andrew Luck    2010
Marcus Mariota    2013
Kyle Trask    2020
Tua Tagovailoa    2019

Likely early rd1 picks Fields & Wilson up there. Less touted Kyle Trask also up there. Lawrence doesn't make this leaderboard but he was consistently good, with all 3 of his seasons making the top 100. FCS QBs not included, so no data on Trey Lance.

Looking over this list, I'm not seeing a strong correlation between these highly rated seasons and fantasy (or NFL, for that matter) success for these players. I realize the jury is out on a few of the recent players, just something I noticed. Any thoughts on that?

Partly projecting QBs is hard and college production is only part of it, partly this was a bad decade for quarterbacks.

The best QBs to enter the NFL over this time period looks something like this:

Patrick Mahomes
Russell Wilson
Andrew Luck
Dak Prescott
Deshaun Watson
Matthew Stafford
Cam Newton
Ryan Tannehill
Kirk Cousins
Derek Carr
Andy Dalton

With some young guys likely to join (maybe Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Herbert, Murray).

My list of most productive college QBs has 9 guys who have been around long enough to see what happened, and 2 of them are in the top 5 of this list (Wilson & Luck). So that's a 2/9 hit rate, which is not bad compared to (say) the hit rate of 1st rounders over this same time period. So I think there's some signal in here.

The rest of my list is young guys who it's too soon to tell on (including Murray who is one of the young guys who's off to a good start).

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10 hours ago, ZWK said:

I guess we'll see at his pro day in a couple days.

Video is here if you want to form your own impression.

I checked a couple scouting reports and they basically agree with my take. TDN: "Poljan isn’t a dynamic athlete and he is tightly wound, which creates some challenges as a route-runner, winning after the catch, and producing big plays." PFF: "Not dynamic in the slightest. Throwback tight end."

I trust your analytic judgement more than those services scouting. Especially TDN. All I can say is you don’t make the Feldman Freaks list for “not being a dynamic athlete” but numbers also don’t lie so we’ll see what his pro day and relative athletic score are.

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This is just my tape-watching judgment (where the only tape I watched is that one highlight video).

The numbers show he had a high YPT at Central Michigan (2017-19) and a good number of big plays in 2019, but a low YPT & a lack of big plays at Virginia in 2020. Which could be various things.

The highlight video is just 2020; might be worth looking at some 2019 tape in case he was playing through an injury or something in 2020.

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On 3/22/2021 at 11:36 PM, ZWK said:

I guess we'll see at his pro day in a couple days.

Video is here if you want to form your own impression.

I checked a couple scouting reports and they basically agree with my take. TDN: "Poljan isn’t a dynamic athlete and he is tightly wound, which creates some challenges as a route-runner, winning after the catch, and producing big plays." PFF: "Not dynamic in the slightest. Throwback tight end."

Whelp... you were correct. He’s off my watchlist: https://relativeathleticscores.com/ras-information/?PlayerID=19512

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Weighins & athletic testing numbers are mostly in (although we're likely to get slightly-more-accurate 40 times for guys who had recent pro days). Here are the near-final pre-draft RB rankings by my formula, with my standard tier labels:

Guys I like a lot: Travis Etienne, Javonte Williams
Guys I like:
Awkwardly between tiers: Najee Harris, Kenneth Gainwell, Elijah Mitchell
Guys who have a decent chance: Michael Carter, Khalil Herbert, Trey Sermon
Guys I can't rule out: Kylin Hill, Chuba Hubbard, Jaret Patterson, Chris Evans, Rhamondre Stevenson, Trey Ragas, Javian Hawkins

Not listed: Jermar Jefferson, Larry Rountree, Pooka Williams, etc.

Elijah Mitchell is the big surprise here. He lost 14 pounds between the Senior Bowl (215) and his pro day (201), and then blew up athletic testing. In college he had good rushing efficiency on the whole, especially in 2019, and good elusiveness numbers (YAC & MT).

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My current estimated combine-equivalent 40 times are in this spreadsheet. They're very close to what's on Draftscout, for the players who have a time there, since that's the source I trust the most (and their pro day times are coming in pretty close to last year's combine times). I said more about this in another thread.

My estimated 40 times for the 15 RBs in my last post:

4.44 Travis Etienne
4.57 Javonte Williams *
4.53 Najee Harris *
4.47 Kenneth Gainwell
4.42 Elijah Mitchell *
4.54 Michael Carter *
4.51 Khalil Herbert
4.61 Trey Sermon *
4.57 Kylin Hill
4.51 Chuba Hubbard *
4.59 Jaret Patterson
4.52 Chris Evans
4.65 Rhamondre Stevenson
4.72 Trey Ragas
4.48 Javian Hawkins *

* no draftscout time yet, more likely to change

Najee Harris didn't run the 40 so his is trickiest. Draftscout had him projected to run 4.52 - often I take that number and add .05 or so for guys who didn't run. AngeloFF claims that he reached 21.7 mph on the field, which should mean a sub-4.50 speed, although last year the claimed on-field mph numbers didn't do that great a job of predicting combine times (check out Antonio Gandy-Golden, for instance). For now I'm giving him some credit for that and going with a 4.53 estimate rather than 4.57.

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Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond, Davis Mills, and Jamie Newman are the QBs who are getting some day 2 talk.

Trask had a great year this season, as I mentioned. The others haven't ever had that good of a college season - by best season they rank in the order I listed them (Mond, Mills, Newman). Lately there are some promising NFL QBs who never had a good college season by my numbers - Josh Allen & Justin Herbert both rate below Mond (but ahead of Mills & Newman) - so this doesn't necessarily doom them, but it's not a good sign.

I had been thinking that Newman opting out this year meant that he missed a chance to produce, and so maybe we should think of his production more as "unknown" rather than "not good", but he is also the oldest of the bunch & 1 year ahead of Mond & Mills (HS class of 2016 vs. 2017) so I guess he's had just as much of a chance as they have.

So not that interested in any of them besides Trask. I guess I'd put Mond ahead of Mills & Newman.

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Football Outsiders has updated their QB rating system to QBASE 2.0. Here's how they rank this year's top QBs (I've added tier breaks where it seems appropriate):

Trevor Lawrence
Zach Wilson

Justin Fields
Trey Lance

Mac Jones

Kellen Mond
Kyle Trask

Jamie Newman

Expected draft pick is one of the inputs to their model, but this is (at least very close to) the order their model would have even without that.

(They didn't include Davis Mills since he wasn't projected to be a top 100 pick by their source.)

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17 minutes ago, ZWK said:

Football Outsiders has updated their QB rating system to QBASE 2.0. Here's how they rank this year's top QBs (I've added tier breaks where it seems appropriate):

Trevor Lawrence
Zach Wilson

Justin Fields
Trey Lance

Mac Jones

Kellen Mond
Kyle Trask

Jamie Newman

Expected draft pick is one of the inputs to their model, but this is (at least very close to) the order their model would have even without that.

(They didn't include Davis Mills since he wasn't projected to be a top 100 pick by their source.)

Mills should enter these tiers

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2 hours ago, Blackbear said:

Your recorded better?

I don’t know what you mean. Maybe you misinterpreted my comment? Just to be clear, thanks to zwk for what he does, and for linking his previous years lists for an easy look back. 

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2 hours ago, Boston said:

Some very underwhelming stats by Mills during his career:

https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/davis-mills-1.html

For casual football fans, anything with QB in the story gets more looks.  

As a draft nerd with a good memory, I ignore the April sleeper QB stories.

They are obvious, to me, attempts to grab some attention, and they are never right about the QB.  Jacob Eason, Tyler Wilson, Jake Fromm, Luke Falk, Connor Cook, Chad Kelly, Brett Hundley, and that's off the top of my head.  All those guys got some, "Hey, don't look now, but I'm hearing some teams like this guy better than *first round QB* and won't be surprised if he goes in the 2nd round"-type talk.  

Meantime, the crazy QBs that come out of nowhere, like Minshew, aren't on the list.  

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We now have draftscout 40 times for almost everyone fantasy-relevant (who ran at their pro day). I have collected them here.

The times I'm using are pretty close to those but slightly different - I'm adding .01, and shifting them a bit towards Fusue Vue's times for the players that he did frame-by-frame timing for, and also shifting them slightly towards the times that other sources are reporting.

For the most part, different sources of 40 times match pretty well. For example, in my post from a few days ago I said I was using these 40 times for these 7 players who had run but didn't have draftscout times yet (these involved adjusting the reported times, and in a couple cases averaging in Fusue Vue's times):

On 4/1/2021 at 10:19 PM, ZWK said:

4.57 Javonte Williams *
4.42 Elijah Mitchell *
4.54 Michael Carter *
4.61 Trey Sermon *
4.51 Chuba Hubbard *
4.72 Trey Ragas *
4.48 Javian Hawkins *

Now they all have draftscout times:

4.57 Javonte Williams (+.00)
4.35 Elijah Mitchell (-.07)
4.54 Michael Carter (+.00)
4.61 Trey Sermon (+.00)
4.51 Chuba Hubbard (+.00)
4.63 Trey Ragas (-.09)
4.46 Javian Hawkins (-.02)

5 of the 7 are very close to what I was using, including 4 that are right on. The two Louisiana backs both had faster draftscout times than the initial reports implied.

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Here are the 40 times that I'm using for WRs who ran at their pro day. These are all pretty close to the draftscout times.

4.28 Anthony Schwartz
4.33 Rondale Moore
4.37 Ja'Marr Chase
4.37 Racey McMath
4.39 Elijah Moore
4.40 Kadarius Toney
4.41 Tutu Atwell
4.41 Terrace Marshall Jr.
4.41 D'Wayne Eskridge
4.45 Simi Fehoko
4.45 Tre Nixon
4.46 Tamorrion Terry
4.46 Nico Collins
4.46 Rashod Bateman
4.46 Dyami Brown
4.47 Jaelon Darden
4.47 Shi Smith
4.49 Dez Fitzpatrick
4.50 Seth Williams
4.50 Ihmir Smith-Marsette
4.51 Trevon Grimes
4.51 Tylan Wallace
4.52 Cade Johnson
4.53 Amari Rodgers
4.53 Josh Palmer
4.54 Michael Strachan
4.54 Cornell Powell
4.56 Brennan Eagles
4.58 Dax Milne
4.59 Whop Philyor
4.60 Jonathan Adams Jr.
4.60 Dazz Newsome
4.60 Amon-Ra St. Brown
4.61 Frank Darby
4.61 Javon McKinley
4.65 Brandon Smith
4.67 Isaiah McKoy
4.69 Tyler Vaughns
4.71 Sage Surratt
4.73 Warren Jackson
4.73 Jhamon Ausbon

And estimated speed for guys who didn't run:
4.41 Jaylen Waddle
4.50 DeVonta Smith

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Here are the overall WR rankings according to my formula (tinkering with the formula in a few places to adjust for the weird 2020 season):

Kyle Pitts
Ja'Marr Chase

Terrace Marshall Jr.

Dyami Brown
Kadarius Toney *
D'Wayne Eskridge *
Jaylen Waddle
DeVonta Smith *
Tylan Wallace
Elijah Moore
Rashod Bateman
Rondale Moore *
Jaelon Darden

Sage Surratt
Tamorrion Terry *
Nico Collins
Isaiah McKoy
Marlon Williams
Tutu Atwell

This is where I'd usually stop listing players. The next batch are Jonathan Adams, Dax Milne, Simi Fehoko*, Bailey Gaither, and Marquez Stevenson.

Guys who didn't make the cut include Amon-Ra St. Brown, Amari Rodgers, and Seth Williams.

FCS WRs not included, but Mike Strachan & Cade Johnson look promising. Subjectively, I'd probably put them between the two big tiers, between Darden & Surratt.

* for guys whose ranking is more unstable to slight changes in methods.

To make up some tier labels, roughly my formula thinks that Pitts & Chase are top 10 picks, Marshall is a 1st rounder, the Brown-Darden pack are day 2 picks, and the next bunch are mid rounders (maybe worth a look as early as rd3 if your scouting likes them). I am not entirely in agreement with my formula on all of this.

Pitts & Chase are in the top 10 all-time receivers by my formula (going back to 2006). Pitts is not the only TE to reach that level in my WR rating formula, Vernon Davis is there too. They're both real good.

This class is high on production but low on prototypical size/athleticism. That's how Marshall stands out from the rest, although even he is on the thin side.

The next tier has a lot of undersized guys with great production. DeVonta Smith leads the way in both, as the undersizedest & the producingest. With Tylan Wallace the issue is his lack of athleticism rather than his lack of size. Toney, Bateman, and Rondale Moore have not-as-great production & better size+athleticism than the rest of the pack. With Rondale Moore that's mostly athleticism, but at least he's thick. Rondale also has a weird career arc which gives me various ways of tinkering with how my formula rates his production, and he's right on the border of just-good-enough career production, so that he could move up several spots or drop to the next tier if I do things slightly differently. I think my formula is overrating Eskridge & Toney's production a bit, by not penalizing them enough for their late breakouts. I haven't gone all-in on breakout age the way some analytics folks have, but I would like to give it some more weight in a way that isn't straightforward to do given how my spreadsheets are currently set up. If I was drafting today, I'd probably reshuffle this tier into a more conventional order (which would barely even be going against my formula, given how tightly packed it has them all).

The next tier is mostly guys who are a bit below the bar for production. The two big exceptions (who both meet the bar for production) are Surratt & Atwell, who are down here due to their lack of athleticism & size, respectively. Terry & McKoy are also borderline on production, and could've been up a tier if they were a bit bigger or more athletic (Terry also has a weird career arc like Rondale Moore's, with a down year in 2020 on a small number of games, and could jump a tier if my formula treated that as no worse than an opt out year). Terry is the guy who I like the most in this tier.

The next batch has borderline production (Milne, Gaither, Stevenson) or a bit below (Adams, Fehoko) and includes a lot of old guys (Fehoko, Gaither, Stevenson). And everyone after them doesn't even have that level of production. Amon-Ra, Amari, and Seth all maxed out at "average season for an FBS team's top WR", by my numbers, which rarely translates into "good NFL WR".

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Hayden Winks shares his his model-based prospect ratings. These include projected draft capital as one of the inputs.

The number is the percentile of the player's rating among drafted FBS players. Here's how he has the top RBs:

Quote

Pctile  Player
0.95    Travis Etienne
0.93    Javonte Williams
0.91    Najee Harris
0.70    Kenneth Gainwell
0.66    Michael Carter
0.64    Trey Sermon
0.57    Rhamondre Stevenson
0.50    Chuba Hubbard

and here's how Winks has the WRs:

Quote

0.99    Ja'Marr Chase
0.98    Devonta Smith
0.94    Elijah Moore
0.92    Jaylen Waddle
0.91    Rashod Bateman
0.88    Terrace Marshall
0.88    Rondale Moore
0.81    Kadarius Toney
0.80    Dyami Brown
0.64    Amon-Ra St. Brown
0.64    Tutu Atwell
0.63    Amari Rodgers
0.59    Nico Collins
0.58    Tylan Wallace
0.57    Ihmir Smith-Marsette
0.57    D'Wayne Eskridge

 

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On 4/2/2021 at 8:12 PM, ZWK said:

Football Outsiders has updated their QB rating system to QBASE 2.0. Here's how they rank this year's top QBs (I've added tier breaks where it seems appropriate):

Trevor Lawrence
Zach Wilson

Justin Fields
Trey Lance

Mac Jones

Kellen Mond
Kyle Trask

Jamie Newman

Expected draft pick is one of the inputs to their model, but this is (at least very close to) the order their model would have even without that.

(They didn't include Davis Mills since he wasn't projected to be a top 100 pick by their source.)

Without the "projected draft pick" part of the formula, I think QBASE would rank them: Zach Wilson, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Mac Jones, Kellen Mond, Davis Mills, Kyle Trask, Jamie Newman.

For the top 5 this is based on the article where they say how each QB would rate at pick 2 or 3, and for the next bunch it comes from this tweet which directly gives this ranking (including adding Mills to the set of players they're ranking). I'm least sure about Mac Jones vs. Kellen Mond, where I'm just pasting together the two rankings.

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Football Outsiders has posted their WR prospect ratings. Here is their Playmaker Rating, which doesn't include projected draft position. It is given as a percentile relative to all drafted WRs in their dataset.

99.4%    DeVonta Smith    Alabama
98.2%    Tutu Atwell    Louisville
97.9%    Ja'Marr Chase    LSU
97.9%    D'Wayne Eskridge    Western Michigan
96.3%    Elijah Moore    Ole Miss
91.1%    Rashod Bateman    Minnesota
89.0%    Dax Milne    Brigham Young
84.7%    Dyami Brown    North Carolina
84.0%    Terrace Marshall Jr.    LSU
82.4%    Amon-Ra St. Brown    USC
75.5%    Jaylen Waddle    Alabama
75.5%    Rondale Moore    Purdue
71.6%    Tamorrion Terry    Florida State
71.0%    Sage Surratt    Wake Forest
70.8%    Simi Fehoko    Stanford
61.9%    Seth Williams    Auburn
53.5%    Marquez Stevenson    Houston
51.6%    Kadarius Toney    Florida
50.5%    Tylan Wallace    Oklahoma State
50.0%    Dez Fitzpatrick    Louisville

As you can probably guess by the top 2 names, their formula doesn't take player size into account at all. So their rating formula, at least, is firmly on team BMI Doesn't Matter.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Amari Rodgers, Nico Collins, and some others come in below the 50th percentile - you can follow the link to see their rating, and also everyone's Playmaker Score which does account for projected draft position (though the draft position projections look a little funky this year - their source has Tutu Atwell projected in round 2 and Dyami Brown projected to go undrafted).

The big differences between my WR rankings and theirs are that I'm higher than them on Tylan Wallace & Kadarius Toney, I'm lower than them on Dax Milne & Amon-Ra St. Brown, and I think that BMI does matter which puts me lower on DeVonta Smith & Tutu Atwell.

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A lot of undersized guys in this WR class.

I think of BMI below 26.0 or so as a warning sign; here are the guys with <26.4 BMI

22.89    DeVonta Smith
22.97    Tutu Atwell
24.21    Ihmir Smith-Marsette
25.19    Dyami Brown
25.22    Anthony Schwartz
25.49    Bailey Gaither
25.68    Isaiah McKoy
25.72    Dax Milne
25.73    Marquez Stevenson
25.77    Rashod Bateman
25.88    Terrace Marshall Jr.
25.91    Elijah Moore
25.93    Cade Johnson
25.97    Jacob Harris
26.04    Tamorrion Terry
26.08    Nico Collins
26.20    Jaylen Waddle
26.37    Seth Williams

There is talk of moving Jacob Harris to TE, which would be an interesting move for a guy who is on the thin side for a WR.

Smith & Waddle are the mainstream choices for WR 2 & 3. Bateman & Marshall are considered top 5 options among many analytics folks, some putting them ahead of Smith and/or Waddle. Elijah Moore & Dyami Brown are popular early choices. All 6 of those guys are in the top 10 by my formula, even though my formula penalizes them for their lack of size, because they're the guys with the college production.

Here are overall size ratings for a bunch of WRs in this class, on a scale where avg=0.

4.9    Michael Strachan
3.6    Jacob Harris
3.2    Simi Fehoko
2.7    Nico Collins
1.9    Josh Palmer
1.9    Jonathan Adams, Jr.
1.7    Seth Williams
1.0    Tamorrion Terry
0.8    Sage Surratt
0.6    Cornell Powell
0.5    Terrace Marshall Jr.
-0.2    Marlon Williams
-0.4    Isaiah McKoy
-0.5    Rashod Bateman
-0.6    Ja'Marr Chase
-0.8    Amari Rodgers
-0.9    Tylan Wallace
-1.0    Kadarius Toney
-1.0    Amon-Ra St. Brown
-1.1    Dyami Brown
-1.4    Bailey Gaither
-1.6    Dax Milne
-1.6    D'Wayne Eskridge
-1.7    Dazz Newsome
-1.8    Anthony Schwartz
-2.2    Rondale Moore
-2.5    Cade Johnson
-2.6    Marquez Stevenson
-2.6    Jaylen Waddle
-2.6    Jaelon Darden
-2.7    Elijah Moore
-3.0    Ihmir Smith-Marsette
-4.4    DeVonta Smith
-4.7    Tutu Atwell

A few of the BMI<26 guys come in with positive scores here, since they're tall & their BMI isn't far below 26.

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Tight ends with an above average size+athleticism combo (in order, best to averagest):

Kyle Pitts
Sammis Reyes
Briley Moore
Zach Davidson
Tommy Tremble
Kylen Granson
Brock Wright
Noah Gray

 

Kyle Pitts I believe I've mentioned before.

Sammis Reyes is a 25-year-old Chilean former basketball player with great size & great hops who has already signed with the Football Team in Washington.

Briley Moore is an older undersized TE who had reasonably solid production at Kansas State this year after transferring from the FCS.

Zach Davidson is a lanky FCS TE & punter from Missouri Central, who had 894 rec yd, 15 rec TD, 40.3 yd/punt, and 19/48 punts inside the 20.

Tommy Tremble played behind Cole Kmet and then Michael Mayer at Notre Dame for about 200 recyd per year but is being discussed as a mid-round pick.

Kylen Granson, as discussed earlier, was a productive big slot receiver / TE at SMU after transferring from Rice.

Brock Wright is the only guy on this list besides Reyes who is over 245 pounds; he weighs 257 and was primarily used as a blocker in Notre Dame's stacked TE corps.

Noah Gray contributed a bit to Duke's offense, but ranked last on the production list I posted earlier.

 

Reyes, Moore, Davidson, and Granson all have profiles that offer at least a glimmer of hope. And I guess Tremble too, following the scouts who like him. Wright & Gray not so much. With Pitts it's a bit more than a glimmer.

 

Of the guys who didn't make this list, Pat Freiermuth, Kenny Yeboah, and Tre' McKitty didn't complete the 40 yard dash at their pro days so they fall in the "question mark" category rather than the "below average" category (Yeboah did manage to begin his 40 before pulling his hamstring). Quintin Morris & Hunter Long are barely below average; they & Noah Gray might be better classified as averageish. Brevin Jordan had a really disappointing pro day, but I guess his production & reputation are good enough for things to retain at least a little hope. Cary Angeline & Tony Poljan's pro days were much worse, and basically take them out of the picture.

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I took Friermuths school reported 40 plus short shuttle (sports illustrated article) and put it into RAS. It spit out ~8.5 for his score. I think those that repeat in the top 6 are usually over 9. I suppose a solid bench could have helped but he also came in a lot closer to 250 than to 260. Pitts is really all that’s worth while from a profile/draft capital standpoint. 

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On 4/15/2021 at 5:55 AM, Spike said:

@ZWK, how do you feel your ratings work for you historically?  Do they hold their value post-draft?  And at which positions do you find your ratings are better?

I haven't looked at it that rigorously. I have some lists of players which have my rating & the draft pick (WR, RB). It looks like the ratings provide some info about which players will do better or worse than their draft slot, but if you had to pick between only knowing a player's draft slot & only knowing my rating for him then you'd be better off knowing the draft slot.

My impression is that going only by my ratings would work best with RBs, but if you're using my ratings in combination with draft slot then I don't know.

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Following up on my posts on TE production & TE athleticism, here are the top overall TEs by my formula, ranked among the past 15 years of TEs who were top 64 picks.

Vernon Davis    2006
Kyle Pitts    2021
Evan Engram    2017
Noah Fant    2019
Dustin Keller    2008
Mike Gesicki    2018
Coby Fleener    2012
Gerald Everett    2017
David Njoku    2017
T.J. Hockenson    2019
Rob Gronkowski    2010
Lance Kendricks    2011
O.J. Howard    2017
Jace Amaro    2014
Travis Kelce    2013
Kylen Granson    2021
Eric Ebron    2014
Jermaine Gresham    2010
Dallas Goedert    2018
Kenny Yeboah    2021 #
Sammis Reyes    2021
*
Maxx Williams    2015
Tyler Eifert    2013
Austin Seferian-Jenkins    2014
Vance McDonald    2013
Brevin Jordan    2021
Fred Davis    2008
Greg Olsen    2007
Briley Moore    2021
Zach Davidson    2021 *
Hunter Long    2021

Cole Kmet    2020
Quintin Morris    2021
Gavin Escobar    2013
Irv Smith    2019
Hayden Hurst    2018
Martellus Bennett    2008
Adam Shaheen    2017
Zach Ertz    2013
Pat Freiermuth    2021 #
Hunter Henry    2016
Tommy Tremble    2021
Brandon Pettigrew    2009
Troy Niklas    2014
Noah Gray    2021
Tony Poljan    2021
Tre' McKitty    2021 #

Drew Sample    2019
Nick Eubanks    2021
Kyle Rudolph    2011
Dwayne Allen    2012
Cary Angeline    2021

Reyes & Davidson get asterisks because I'm rating them based solely on their athleticism as if they had average production (Davidson played in the FCS and Reyes played basketball). I'm using projected 40 times for Yeboah & Freiermuth, who (as noted above) didn't complete the drill.

This might be a bit different than similar lists that I've posted in the past because I've been tinkering with how I rate TE production.

Not super excited about anyone besides Pitts, but the likely rd2-4 guys (Freiermuth, Jordan, Long, Tremble) aren't too terrible and there are some late round guys who maybe have a shot.

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8 hours ago, ZWK said:

I haven't looked at it that rigorously. I have some lists of players which have my rating & the draft pick (WR, RB). It looks like the ratings provide some info about which players will do better or worse than their draft slot, but if you had to pick between only knowing a player's draft slot & only knowing my rating for him then you'd be better off knowing the draft slot.

My impression is that going only by my ratings would work best with RBs, but if you're using my ratings in combination with draft slot then I don't know.

I would think it would be an interesting exercise for you to see how your ratings hold up.

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The top 5 QBs all have relatively strong profiles, as I've mentioned.

By reputation, Lawrence is 1st, then on the next tier are Wilson & (I think I'd still say) Fields, then Lance & Jones.

By production, I'd put them: Fields, Jones, Wilson, Lawrence, Lance. This is mainly based on my subjective interpretation of the QB stats that I look at. Top 3 are Fields, Jones, and Wilson because they've each had a huge season, with Fields on top because he also had a 2nd season that was very good. Jones edges out Wilson because his 2020 was a little bigger. Lawrence still up there with 3 very good seasons. Lance is FCS which makes it hard to catch the other 4, and his production wasn't crazy enough to do it.

By accuracy, the stats I've seen have Fields & Jones first (e.g. PFF & Klassen), then Wilson & Lawrence, then Lance.

By arm talent, the evaluations I've seen (like that same PFF piece & this other Klassen article) have Lance & Lawrence first, then Wilson & Fields, then Jones.

Lawrence gets the most praise for pocket presence.

By rushing ability (especially relevant for fantasy), Lance & Fields lead the way, then after a large gap it's Lawrence & Wilson, then Jones.

By degree of difficulty due to situation, I think Lance had it easiest (playing against the FCS on the best team in the subdivision), then Jones (with a great offensive system & O Line, and 1 great WR in Smith (people sometimes mention other Alabama WRs here but for most of his games his #2 was Metchie)), then Wilson (with Boise State's weak schedule this year), then Fields & Lawrence (both at top programs with strong surrounding talent).

If I didn't know how other people were generally ranking them or projecting them for the draft, I think I'd put this together to have Fields & Lawrence on top as NFL prospects, then Jones & Wilson, then Lance (with Lance neck-and-neck with Jones & Wilson for fantasy due to his rushing value). After accounting for the consensus rankings, my rankings would be more conventional: Lawrence, then Fields & Wilson, then Jones & Lance for NFL value (with Lance again jumping a tier for fantasy due to rushing ability).

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On 4/1/2021 at 6:26 PM, ZWK said:

Weighins & athletic testing numbers are mostly in (although we're likely to get slightly-more-accurate 40 times for guys who had recent pro days). Here are the near-final pre-draft RB rankings by my formula, with my standard tier labels:

Guys I like a lot: Travis Etienne, Javonte Williams
Guys I like:
Awkwardly between tiers: Najee Harris, Kenneth Gainwell, Elijah Mitchell
Guys who have a decent chance: Michael Carter, Khalil Herbert, Trey Sermon
Guys I can't rule out: Kylin Hill, Chuba Hubbard, Jaret Patterson, Chris Evans, Rhamondre Stevenson, Trey Ragas, Javian Hawkins

Not listed: Jermar Jefferson, Larry Rountree, Pooka Williams, etc.

Elijah Mitchell is the big surprise here. He lost 14 pounds between the Senior Bowl (215) and his pro day (201), and then blew up athletic testing. In college he had good rushing efficiency on the whole, especially in 2019, and good elusiveness numbers (YAC & MT).

Updating to add Jake Funk & Kene Nwangwu, whose workouts vaulted them to the "can't rule out" tier.

Guys I like a lot: Travis Etienne, Javonte Williams
Guys I like:
Awkwardly between tiers: Elijah Mitchell, Najee Harris, Kenneth Gainwell
Guys who have a decent chance: Michael Carter, Khalil Herbert, Trey Sermon
Guys I can't rule out: Jake Funk, Kylin Hill, Chuba Hubbard, Jaret Patterson, Trey Ragas, Chris Evans, Kene Nwangwu, Rhamondre Stevenson, Javian Hawkins

Due to tiny updates in some of the numbers, Elijah Mitchell also snuck barely ahead of Harris & Gainwell, and his teammate Ragas also moved up a few slots in the bottom tier.

Funk also joins Rhamondre Stevenson on team "great rushing efficiency on a small sample size". Except in Funk's case, small sample size comes from missing most of the 2018 & 2019 seasons due to tearing his left ACL twice, after not earning much of a workload in 2016 or 2017 behind Ty Johnson & Lorenzo Harrison. Plus Maryland only playing 5 games this year, when he finally stayed healthy & took over the RB1 role as a 5th year senior.

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Posted (edited)

I've posted my own analyses of the RBs, QBs, TEs, and WRs, which tried to be my own independent takes (looking at the players, and mostly ignoring what other people were saying about them). Of course, you can get better predictions of who will be good if you also pay attention to what other people are saying: other people's analyses, projected draft order (from Arif Hasan, Mock Draft Database, or Grinding the Mocks), how scouts rank the RBs, QBs, WRs & TEs, other fantasy rankings & ADP, etc.

So if I was drafting today (in an ordinary PPR league) my draft board would look something like this:

1 WR    Ja'Marr Chase
2 RB    Travis Etienne
3 RB    Najee Harris
4 RB    Javonte Williams
5 TE    Kyle Pitts

6 WR    Jaylen Waddle
7 WR    Devonta Smith

8 WR    Terrace Marshall Jr.
9 WR    Rashod Bateman
10 QB    Trevor Lawrence

11 WR    Rondale Moore
12 WR    Elijah Moore
13 WR    Kadarius Toney
14 QB    Justin Fields

15 QB    Zach Wilson
16 QB    Trey Lance
17 RB    Kenneth Gainwell
18 RB    Michael Carter
19 WR    Dyami Brown
20 WR    Tylan Wallace
21 QB    Mac Jones

22 RB    Trey Sermon
23 WR    D'Wayne Eskridge
24 RB    Khalil Herbert
25 WR    Amon-Ra St. Brown
26 TE    Pat Freiermuth
27 WR    Amari Rodgers
28 RB    Elijah Mitchell
29 TE    Brevin Jordan
30 RB    Chuba Hubbard
31 RB    Rhamondre Stevenson
32 WR    Seth Williams

33 WR    Tutu Atwell
34 WR    Nico Collins
35 WR    Jaelon Darden
36 WR    Cade Johnson
37 RB    Kylin Hill
38 TE    Hunter Long
39 WR    Tamorrion Terry
40 WR    Michael Strachan
41 TE    Tommy Tremble
42 RB    Jaret Patterson
43 QB    Kyle Trask
44 QB    Kellen Mond

45 TE    Sammis Reyes
46 RB    Jake Funk
47 RB    Javian Hawkins
48 TE    Kylen Granson
49 WR    Anthony Schwartz
50 RB    Jermar Jefferson
51 R/W    Demetric Felton
52 WR    Sage Surratt
53 RB    Chris Evans
54 WR    Josh Palmer
55 WR    Cornell Powell
56 WR    Simi Fehoko
57 QB    Davis Mills
58 WR    Ihmir Smith-Marsette
59 WR    Jacob Harris
60 WR    Marquez Stevenson

2 QB or Superflex would obviously boost the QBs, putting Lawrence at 1 and all 5 QBs in that top tier.

TE premium would obviously boost the TEs, putting Pitts at 1 (but still behind Lawrence in most SF+TE prem settings), and bringing a few more late round dart throws (mentioned in my earlier post) into the picture.

Edited by ZWK
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6 hours ago, massraider said:

The tier breaks after 5 and 10 feels pretty clear to me, I wonder if the draft moves any players into (or out of) those buckets.  

I think the tier after pick 5 may be in ink, but we'll see where those RB's go. The one at 10 is very much in pencil though.

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8 hours ago, Soulfly3 said:

hey @ZWK - you have najee in your "between tiers" in the post above your last, but have him ranked above Javonte, who you "love" in that same post...

mind unpacking? thx. 

The "guys I like a lot" vs "between tiers' thing is the output of my RB rating formula, which spits out a higher rating for Williams than for Harris. Yesterday's post is the order that I'd draft them in.

Partly that's different because of info about the player that I have which wasn't included in the formula. For instance, the formula just has Harris as a slightly better receiver than Williams (mainly based on 425 recyd for Harris vs 305 for Williams), but things I've read are much more positive on Harris - they say he ran a fuller route true, looked more natural as a pass catcher, etc.

A larger part of it is just that most people are higher on Najee. He's going higher in NFL mocks, he's going higher in fantasy mocks & real drafts, scouts like him more, analytics folks are split on them (PFF has Williams higher, FO has Harris higher, Hayden Winks has the same thing as me with Williams a bit higher in his model but Harris higher in his rankings). I think those people know some things, which is enough to close the gap and put Harris slightly ahead.

This is unlikely to matter much in my drafts, since Harris is going very early and I have him behind Chase & Etienne. I also have Harris & Williams very close, so if I was on the clock with just the two of them available (out of the top 5) I'd try to trade down a spot.

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6 hours ago, ZWK said:

The "guys I like a lot" vs "between tiers' thing is the output of my RB rating formula, which spits out a higher rating for Williams than for Harris. Yesterday's post is the order that I'd draft them in.

Partly that's different because of info about the player that I have which wasn't included in the formula. For instance, the formula just has Harris as a slightly better receiver than Williams (mainly based on 425 recyd for Harris vs 305 for Williams), but things I've read are much more positive on Harris - they say he ran a fuller route true, looked more natural as a pass catcher, etc.

A larger part of it is just that most people are higher on Najee. He's going higher in NFL mocks, he's going higher in fantasy mocks & real drafts, scouts like him more, analytics folks are split on them (PFF has Williams higher, FO has Harris higher, Hayden Winks has the same thing as me with Williams a bit higher in his model but Harris higher in his rankings). I think those people know some things, which is enough to close the gap and put Harris slightly ahead.

This is unlikely to matter much in my drafts, since Harris is going very early and I have him behind Chase & Etienne. I also have Harris & Williams very close, so if I was on the clock with just the two of them available (out of the top 5) I'd try to trade down a spot.

Very well explained.  Good post.

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12 hours ago, MAC_32 said:
19 hours ago, massraider said:

The tier breaks after 5 and 10 feels pretty clear to me, I wonder if the draft moves any players into (or out of) those buckets.  

I think the tier after pick 5 may be in ink, but we'll see where those RB's go. The one at 10 is very much in pencil though.

Yeah, the top 5 tier seems pretty solid (though maybe a RB could drop out of that tier) but the Marshall+Bateman tier is more like the bubbly space where two liquids mix. I could see guys from that tier rising a tier or dropping a tier, or guys from the next tier rising to join them.

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On 4/25/2021 at 10:34 PM, ZWK said:

I've posted my own analyses of the RBs, QBs, TEs, and WRs, which tried to be my own independent takes (looking at the players, and mostly ignoring what other people were saying about them). Of course, you can get better predictions of who will be good if you also pay attention to what other people are saying: other people's analyses, projected draft order (from Arif Hasan, Mock Draft Database, or Grinding the Mocks), how scouts rank the RBs, QBs, WRs & TEs, other fantasy rankings & ADP, etc.

So if I was drafting today (in an ordinary PPR league) my draft board would look something like this:

1 WR    Ja'Marr Chase
2 RB    Travis Etienne
3 RB    Najee Harris
4 RB    Javonte Williams
5 TE    Kyle Pitts

6 WR    Jaylen Waddle
7 WR    Devonta Smith

8 WR    Terrace Marshall Jr.
9 WR    Rashod Bateman
10 QB    Trevor Lawrence

11 WR    Rondale Moore
12 WR    Elijah Moore
13 WR    Kadarius Toney
14 QB    Justin Fields

15 QB    Zach Wilson
16 QB    Trey Lance
17 RB    Kenneth Gainwell
18 RB    Michael Carter
19 WR    Dyami Brown
20 WR    Tylan Wallace
21 QB    Mac Jones

22 RB    Trey Sermon
23 WR    D'Wayne Eskridge
24 RB    Khalil Herbert
25 WR    Amon-Ra St. Brown
26 TE    Pat Freiermuth
27 WR    Amari Rodgers
28 RB    Elijah Mitchell
29 TE    Brevin Jordan
30 RB    Chuba Hubbard
31 RB    Rhamondre Stevenson
32 WR    Seth Williams

33 WR    Tutu Atwell
34 WR    Nico Collins
35 WR    Jaelon Darden
36 WR    Cade Johnson
37 RB    Kylin Hill
38 TE    Hunter Long
39 WR    Tamorrion Terry
40 WR    Michael Strachan
41 TE    Tommy Tremble
42 RB    Jaret Patterson
43 QB    Kyle Trask
44 QB    Kellen Mond

45 TE    Sammis Reyes
46 RB    Jake Funk
47 RB    Javian Hawkins
48 TE    Kylen Granson
49 WR    Anthony Schwartz
50 RB    Jermar Jefferson
51 R/W    Demetric Felton
52 WR    Sage Surratt
53 RB    Chris Evans
54 WR    Josh Palmer
55 WR    Cornell Powell
56 WR    Simi Fehoko
57 QB    Davis Mills
58 WR    Ihmir Smith-Marsette
59 WR    Jacob Harris
60 WR    Marquez Stevenson

2 QB or Superflex would obviously boost the QBs, putting Lawrence at 1 and all 5 QBs in that top tier.

TE premium would obviously boost the TEs, putting Pitts at 1 (but still behind Lawrence in most SF+TE prem settings), and bringing a few more late round dart throws (mentioned in my earlier post) into the picture.

Initial reaction to rd1: I probably swap Najee & Etienne, drop Marshall down a tier, slide Toney up to the top of his tier, swap Lance & Fields.

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Here's how generic rookie rankings have the first 3 rounds:

251    RB    Najee Harris    (pick 24)
244    RB    Travis Etienne    (pick 25)
243    WR    Ja'Marr Chase    (pick 5)
237    WR    Jaylen Waddle    (pick 6)
226    TE    Kyle Pitts    (pick 4)
217    WR    DeVonta Smith    (pick 10)
185    RB    Javonte Williams    (pick 35)
177    WR    Kadarius Toney    (pick 20)
156    QB    Trevor Lawrence    (pick 1)
149    WR    Rashod Bateman    (pick 27)
128    QB    Zach Wilson    (pick 2)
121    WR    Elijah Moore    (pick 34)
119    QB    Trey Lance    (pick 3)
91    QB    Justin Fields    (pick 11)
88    WR    Rondale Moore    (pick 49)
88    RB    Trey Sermon    (pick 88)
83    QB    Mac Jones    (pick 15)
83    WR    D'Wayne Eskridge    (pick 56)
83    WR    Tutu Atwell    (pick 57)
82    WR    Terrace Marshall Jr.    (pick 59)
[4th round RBs can still slot in here]
71    WR    Josh Palmer    (pick 77)
69    WR    Dyami Brown    (pick 82)
67    WR    Amari Rodgers    (pick 85)
64    WR    Nico Collins    (pick 89)
61    WR    Anthony Schwartz    (pick 91)
54    TE    Pat Freiermuth    (pick 55)
43    TE    Hunter Long    (pick 81)
43    TE    Tommy Tremble    (pick 83)
[4th round WRs can still slot in here]
34    TE    Tre' McKitty    (pick 97)
[4th round TEs can still slot in here]
11    QB    Kyle Trask    (pick 64)
10    QB    Kellen Mond    (pick 66)
10    QB    Davis Mills    (pick 67)

This is all using the generic rookie fantasy values (based only on position & draft pick) that I came up with a few years ago.

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First pass at my draft board for players drafted rd1-3.

Tr   Rk   Pos    Player    Tm    Draft    (Prev)
1    1    WR    Ja'Marr Chase    CIN    5    (1)
1    2    RB    Najee Harris    PIT    24    (3)
1    3    RB    Travis Etienne    JAX    25    (2)
1    4    TE    Kyle Pitts    ATL    4    (5)
1    5    RB    Javonte Williams    DEN    35    (4)
2    6    WR    Jaylen Waddle    MIA    6    (6)
2    7    WR    DeVonta Smith    PHI    10    (7)
3    8    WR    Rashod Bateman    BAL    27    (9)
3    9    QB    Trevor Lawrence    JAX    1    (10)
4    10    WR    Elijah Moore    NYJ    34    (12)
4    11    WR    Kadarius Toney    NYG    20    (13)
4    12    WR    Rondale Moore    ARI    49    (11)
4    13    WR    Terrace Marshall Jr.    CAR    59    (8)
5    14    QB    Trey Lance    SF    3    (16)
5    15    QB    Justin Fields    CHI    11    (14)
5    16    RB    Trey Sermon    SF    88    (22)
5    17    QB    Zach Wilson    NYJ    2    (15)
6    18    WR    Dyami Brown    WAS    82    (19)
6    19    WR    Amari Rodgers    GB    85    (27)
6    20    WR    D'Wayne Eskridge    SEA    56    (23)
6    21    QB    Mac Jones    NE    15    (21)
6    22    TE    Pat Freiermuth    PIT    55    (26)
6    23    WR    Nico Collins    HOU    89    (34)
6    24    WR    Josh Palmer    LAC    77    (54)
6    25    WR    Tutu Atwell    LAR    57    (33)
6    26    WR    Anthony Schwartz    CLE    91    (49)

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According to generic rookie value, this draft class is slightly above average relative to the past 7.

Total value of first 105 picks:

3854    2020
3783    2017
3611    2018
3588    2021
3562    2015
3459    2014
3084    2019
2406    2016

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Posted (edited)

hey @zwk - if this takes any more than 1min, dont bother... but can se see your draft board in standard, ppr and then te premium?

like i said, if you dont have a "quick" way, dont bother. thanks!

Edited by Soulfly3
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Generic rookie rankings for the full draft:

251    RB    Najee Harris    (pick 24)
244    RB    Travis Etienne    (pick 25)
243    WR    Ja'Marr Chase    (pick 5)
237    WR    Jaylen Waddle    (pick 6)
226    TE    Kyle Pitts    (pick 4)
217    WR    DeVonta Smith    (pick 10)
185    RB    Javonte Williams    (pick 35)
177    WR    Kadarius Toney    (pick 20)
156    QB    Trevor Lawrence    (pick 1)
149    WR    Rashod Bateman    (pick 27)
128    QB    Zach Wilson    (pick 2)
121    WR    Elijah Moore    (pick 34)
119    QB    Trey Lance    (pick 3)
91    QB    Justin Fields    (pick 11)
88    WR    Rondale Moore    (pick 49)
88    RB    Trey Sermon    (pick 88)
83    QB    Mac Jones    (pick 15)
83    WR    D'Wayne Eskridge    (pick 56)
83    WR    Tutu Atwell    (pick 57)
82    WR    Terrace Marshall Jr.    (pick 59)
78    RB    Michael Carter    (pick 107)
71    WR    Josh Palmer    (pick 77)
69    WR    Dyami Brown    (pick 82)
67    WR    Amari Rodgers    (pick 85)
67    RB    Kene Nwangwu    (pick 119)
67    RB    Rhamondre Stevenson    (pick 120)
64    WR    Nico Collins    (pick 89)
62    RB    Chuba Hubbard    (pick 126)
61    WR    Anthony Schwartz    (pick 91)
54    TE    Pat Freiermuth    (pick 55)
43    TE    Hunter Long    (pick 81)
43    TE    Tommy Tremble    (pick 83)
39    WR    Dez Fitzpatrick    (pick 109)
35    WR    Amon-Ra St. Brown    (pick 112)
34    TE    Tre' McKitty    (pick 97)
34    RB    Kenneth Gainwell    (pick 150)
22    WR    Jaelon Darden    (pick 129)
21    WR    Tylan Wallace    (pick 131)
17    TE    John Bates    (pick 124)
16    TE    Kylen Granson    (pick 127)
15    WR    Jacob Harris    (pick 141)
13    RB    Elijah Mitchell    (pick 194)
12    RB    Gary Brightwell    (pick 196)
12    RB    Larry Rountree III    (pick 198)
11    QB    Kyle Trask    (pick 64)
10    QB    Kellen Mond    (pick 66)
10    QB    Davis Mills    (pick 67)

With some later guys after that (RB Chris Evans, QB Ian Book, TE Luke Farrell, WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette, etc.).

Total value compared to recent drafts:

4573    2017
4286    2020
4142    2021
4110    2018
3958    2015
3895    2014
3657    2019
3072    2016

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