Irv Smith Jr.: 4 Star Fantasy Football Prospect

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Irv Smith Jr (6’3”, 243) Tight End, Alabama

18 Aggregate Score (4 Star Prospect)

It is no secret that the tight end position in fantasy football has been a dumpster fire the last few years.  Once you get outside the top 5-7 options, there is minimal upside and even less consistency.  Luckily for us, this 2019 tight end class looks to be a good one! There is some nice top end talent and solid depth that looks to help improve the tight end landscape.

One of the headliners of this class is Alabama TE Irv Smith Jr.  Smith was a 3 star recruit out of New Orleans, Louisiana and played at Brother Martin.  Smith was named ALL-USA Louisiana selection and an All-State honorable mention his senior year.  After receiving offers from Memphis, Texas and Texas A&M, Smith decided to attend Alabama

College Production

After appearing in 9 games as a freshman but not recording any stats, Smith totaled 14 catches for 128 yards and 3 touchdowns his sophomore year. His role and playing time seemed inconsistent through out this season.  This past season as a junior, Smith finally started to break out.  Smith had 44 receptions for 710 yards and 7 touchdowns. Smith now owns the single-season touchdown record at Alabama by a tight end and was named to the All-SEC second team.

Now, I understand that these aren’t eye-popping stats.  However, Alabama has a history of not utilizing their tight ends a ton.  When looking at OJ Howard, who was a 1st round NFL Draft pick in 2017, he only put up 45 receptions for 595 yards and 3 touchdowns his senior year.

Overall, I think Smith showed enough this past season to warrant being one of the top tight ends in this class.  On top of his production, Smith displayed some great skills and traits that should translate to the NFL.  

Speed/Acceleration: Aggregate Score: 4.3 (Personal Score: 4)

Smith has great speed and acceleration for a tight end.  He does a great job of getting off the line of scrimmage and into his routes quickly.  His ability to accelerate and turn up-field after the catch really stood out.  He is going to make it difficult for NFL defenses to defend him.  He looks to be too fast for most linebackers and too big for most defensive back.

Route Running: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

One thing that all of our writers noted is that Smith does a good job of finding space and getting open.  Now, this may be due to his route running, but it definitely helped that he was surrounded by talent and wasn’t the focal point at Alabama. 

Smith does a good job of running short routes and turning them into 10+ yard gains.  He also displayed the ability to get open on deeper routes that were 15+ yards down field.  Smith displayed a diverse route tree, which should help him translate to the NFL.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 2 (Personal Score: 2)

The other writers and I seemed to agree on blocking being our biggest worry about Smith’s game.  He is a smaller tight end that was very inconsistent with his blocking.  There were instances where he engaged well to create a hole and instances of getting stood straight up or missing defenders.  I think he has the tools to improve but I honestly don’t think he will be asked to do much blocking in the NFL.

Handwork/Positioning: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Smith is a very good pass catcher with reliable hands.  He showed instances of using good handwork at the line of scrimmage to get open.  I would have liked to see him in more contested catch scenarios, but as I mentioned earlier, he was often open with little pressure.  Smith does a great job of finding open space and putting himself in position to catch the ball and get yardage after the catch.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 4.6 (Personal Score: 5)

Smith is a great athlete that has a ton of upside after the catch.  He combines his strength with the ability to juke defenders and make very nice cuts in the open field.  This combination makes him very difficult to take down.  He is capable of having huge plays, similar to what we saw out of George Kittle this past season.

Conclusion: 2nd round target

I am so excited to see Smith in the NFL.  Like most rookie tight ends, Smith may not make a huge impact right away.  However, Smith has some of the same skills and traits that have helped players like Evan Engram and George Kittle become significant producers in their first two seasons. I’d be extremely comfortable taking Smith anywhere in the second round, unless he lands in Kansas City or Philadelphia for some reason.  Smith is an extremely talented player that has the upside to become a great fantasy asset.

Selling Studs High: Dynasty Values to Capitalize on Now

With the fantasy season over, now is the time of NFL draft research and dynasty trades. After looking back at 2018 and putting in research on the numbers, I came up with a list of players I recommend exploring selling this off season.

I am focusing on impactful fantasy players who I believe are at a high point in value after the 2018 season. This includes some big fantasy names, and I am not saying they will be bad next season- but I believe the potential return is worth exploring.

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs

Mahomes is coming off an amazing season and it is hard to imagine his value ever being higher in dynasty than it is right now. People are probably hesitant to trade him, but I would at least see what offers I could get, especially in superflex leagues where he will demand a huge haul.

History tells us the numbers for Mahomes will come down after this season; in fact it is possible that this past season was his best ever. He threw for 50 TDs putting him in a tie with Tom Brady for the 2nd most ever in a season. Mahomes had a TD rate of 8.6% this year, in the season where Manning threw for 55 TDs he had a TD rate of 8.3%, the following season he dropped to 6.5%. Manning’s career TD rate is 5.7%.

Last year Deshaun Watson had a TD rate of 9.3% in 7 games, this year it dropped to 5.1%. Going back ever further Dan Marino threw for 48 TDs in 1984 with a TD rate of 8.5%, in 1986 he dropped to 30 TDs with a TD rate of 5.3%.

It is very possible Mahomes finishes as the QB1 again next year, but no player has repeated as the top QB since Dante Culpepper in 2004. Even if he manages to break that trend-his TD rate is unsustainable, which means even if he does it again the gap between Mahomes and the rest of the top fantasy QBs will not be nearly as large.

Aaron Rodgers has the highest career TD rate of anyone who has played after 1975 and that is 6.2%. Mahomes had 580 pass attempts this season, if his TD rate drops to 6.2% he would have thrown for 36 TDs, which is 56 less fantasy points for him on the year. If he drops to 5.5% his TD total would be 32, a difference of 72 points on the season. If you are going to move Mahomes this offseason is the time.

Adam Thielen, WR, Vikings

This one hurts a little bit since I am such a big Thielen fan, but the way he was used over the 2nd half of the season is concerning. The Vikings and Mike Zimmer seem to want to run the ball and play defense more, which makes me worried that 2nd half usage will continue. He will still be a valuable player for fantasy, but once people have some distance from the season a lot of people will only look at his full season numbers and it is possible you can get someone to overpay for Thielen.

When breaking the season into 2 halves Thielen looks like a completely different player. Over the 1st 8 games he was over 100 yards every game, he caught 6 TDs and was far and away the WR1 in PPR with 202 points. Over the next 8 games he had 105.3 PPR points and was the WR25. He had fewer points per game than Zay Jones, Robbie Anderson and Robert Foster. Not exactly fantasy stars.

Some of the difference could be attributed to regression, his 1st half numbers put him on pace for one of the best seasons in NFL history. However a lot of the decline in production was usage related. Over the 1st half of the season he averaged 12 targets per game, over the 2nd half of the season he averaged just over 7 targets per game. The shift in volume is scary to see for a WR who derives a lot of his value from volume in PPR. The truth is as a player he is most likely somewhere between the 2 extremes of last season, but if he can be sold as a top end WR this off season it would be hard to resist.

Eric Ebron, TE, Lions

Ebron is coming of a career season in pretty much every way. He reached career highs in targets, receptions, yards and touchdowns. His touchdown numbers are what stand out the most; he caught 13 in 2018 in 16 games. Over the rest of his career he had 11 in in 37 games. Moving to Andrew Luck was an upgrade at QB, but expecting him to continue his pace from 2018 is unrealistic. The tight end position is one of the weakest in fantasy, which means someone is likely to over pay for what they see as a top 5 tight end.

The other thing that concerns me is a healthy Jack Doyle. Doyle was not healthy most of 2018, but 5 of the 6 games Doyle was on the field his snap count percentage never dropped below 73%, with 2 games over 90%. In those 5 games Ebron’s highest snap count was 45.1% and 2 games were below 30%. The Colts still like Jack Doyle and if he is healthy they will use him. He is a more reliable option in the passing game, his lowest career catch rate is 71.4% in his rookie year, Ebron’s career best season was 71.8%. Ebron has also had issues in the past with drops. The combination of touchdown regression and less time on the field with a healthy Doyle means Ebron’s fantasy numbers will come back to earth.

Phillip Lindsay, RB, Broncos

Lindsay was one of the biggest surprises of the fantasy season. Some early dynasty rankings I have looked at show Lindsay as a top 12 RB. This is higher than I value him, which means I expect to be able to trade him for a solid return. The first issue is the situation in Denver is not ideal, Case Keenum is temporary and the team will likely continue to search for their QB of the future. That uncertainty is not ideal for a long term asset.

Another big factor is Royce Freeman. Coming into the season he was the more hyped player after being drafted in the 3rd round. Both backs were used in the offense and it would be a surprise to see the Broncos give up on a talented player like Freeman already. The size of the two players is also a concern; Freeman is 4 inches taller and almost 40 lbs heavier. He is much better suited to get goal line work, which means more chances to get into the end zone.

Lindsay’s out of nowhere performance is also tough to view as reliable. I would be slightly wary of him being a 1 year success story. In this case I prefer to make a move while his value his high to mitigate the potential risk of a downturn in production. Considering Lindsay was likely a waiver wire add, turning him into something of value in a trade is a big win.

2019 Fantasy Football Rookie Mock Draft 2.0

There’s a lot of buzz surrounding some top prospects for the 2019 Senior Bowl after an exciting week in Mobile. It’s time to put those prospects into perspective and get going on our Rookie Mock Draft 2.0! We have our 5 dynasty and devy writers contributing to this mock draft-sit back and enjoy:

For more on the fantasy football values of the 2019 Draft Class, check out the 48 Report: our 2019 Rookie Database

1.01:  D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Metcalf can burn up the sideline, his acceleration is a lethal combination to his athletic ability and size

D.K. Metcalf is currently my WR1 in this class.  He has the size, speed, handwork and athleticism to a be an absolute stud in the NFL.  By no means is he a finished product, but I believe he has the highest ceiling out of anyone in this class.  

All reports say that he is healthy and ready for the combine, but i will definitely be keeping an eye on him there to make sure that he passes all of the medical exams/tests

Mike Colaianne

1.02:  Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State

Sweet Christmas, I’m picking at #2 but I got my WR1! Kelvin Harmon is one of the few prospects that I think has the “complete package”. He can block his tail off, run almost every route in the tree, make athletic adjustments when needed and so on. There’s not many guys I get excited about in this class like I do with Harmon.

Christopher Nelson

1.03:  N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Harry is a HUGE YAC threat. He’s seriously athletic and as you can see here: the play is never over when the ball is in his hands

Missing out on my top rated player (Kelvin Harmon) hurts a little but the sting isn’t that bad because I still scored big (literally) with Harry at 1.03. Harry is my number 3 rated player overall, and WR2-at this point in the offseason. You can see why in my pre-combine wide receiver ranking article here.

Harry is a consistent pass catcher, has huge big-play athleticism, and is a monster after the catch. Barring a terrible landing spot, Harry will be a versatile weapon for an NFL team and an amazing combination of PPR safety and TD potential for fantasy football players.

Matt Hicks

1.04:  David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State

Montgomery is the best running back in this class. I have said it before and I will continue saying it. He has the most complete skill set which helps raise his ceiling. He has the pass catching ability and elite level agility and balance to help set a high floor. Montgomery will go high enough in April that he should get a shot a workload to make him fantasy relevant in his rookie campaign.

Josh Padgett

DRAFT is a fun, non-intimidating way to play DFS year round! They have 2019 Best Balls running already, & daily NBA contests. Get a free entry by using promo code “Top2” with your first deposit.

1.05:  Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

Butler has quickly become one of my favorite WRs due to his combination of size, speed and all around ability to play the position. He might be landing spot-proof and I look forward to having some shares of him this season.

Eric Adams

1.06:  AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss

Now it is time to take the more productive wide receiver out of Ole Miss. Playing out of the slot most of his college career, Brown displayed nice hands, the ability to make contested catches and became a huge threat after the catch.  Brown can become a PPR machine in the NFL and has some nice upside.

Mike Colaianne

1.07:  Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State

Campbell is #FAST

Another exciting chance here at the 7th pick to be able to land Parris Campbell! He reminds me of a technician that is currently on the outs in Pittsburgh. Watching him play, you can tell he’s dedicated to his craft and allows his talent to shine through the hard work vs just relying on talent.

His footwork is impeccable, he’s disciplined in his route running and super fast. I’d take him right here all day. One of those guys who I could see as an eventual WR1 on a team who can play the X, Y or Z.

Christopher Nelson

1.08:  Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma

Anderson hits the hole hard and uses his great vision and agility to burst through the B gap. He gets to the sideline quick and accelerates quicker

Getting Rodney Anderson at 1.08 is equal parts insulting and highway robbery. Anderson is my RB1 and my 2nd favorite prospect overall-in terms of translating to fantasy football value. Anderson took this slide because of his injury history-but once he clears the combine with flying colors his draft stock will skyrocket.

Anderson is explosive in between the tackles and can accelerate to the edge equally quick. He has great vision, and sharp cuts (including a nasty jump cut) that compliment his agility nicely. He’s very strong too-he breaks tackles and when he’s not shredding Big 12 defenders, he’s trucking SEC linebackers. He fights for extra yards and easily has the most upside of any running back in this draft class.

Matt Hicks

1.09: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

Looking across the barren landscape, a man appears. He is walking slowly through the dust blowing ferociously around his helmet. As the man approaches, you begin to understand the size and the strength of this stranger. You realize he is your ticket out of this wasteland.

That man is Noah Fant. He is here to save you from the TE wasteland. Draft him in the first round or you won’t get him, and you will regret watching the next great tight end blossom into an elite fantasy asset.

Josh Padgett

1.10: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

You’ve probably seen plenty of plays with Kyler breaking off a big run, so we will highlight his ridiculous arm strength here

He will be the most dynamic QB in the draft and I don’t think any QB at the senior bowl lit the world on fire. The way QB is played in the NFL is changing and Murray will further prove that point. He’s worth taking in the 1st Round.

Eric Adams

1.11: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Josh Jacobs has become my draft crush.  He is a violent runner. He uses his natural strength and power to bounce off players and break tackles.  Jacobs also displays decent vision with some nice cutting ability.

Jacobs showed that he is a natural pass catcher and can produce in the passing game.  Considering Alabama is loaded at running back, I don’t care that Jacobs didn’t have workhorse production. This kid is really good at football.

Mike Colaianne

1.12: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia

Rildey can serious go up and get a ball-a highlight machine

The man that #DraftTwitter seems torn on, Riley Ridley. For all the lack of production he had while at Georgia, he showed me enough to have faith in him. Sure he has a great name to latch onto given his brother’s success, but that’s not what makes him.

What draws me to him is ability to create separation as well as his hands in tight coverage. He’s also not afraid of contact and will go up for even the most dangerous throws.

Christopher Nelson

2.01:  Lil’Jordan Humphrey, WR, Texas

Wide receivers will go off the board quickly in this year’s rookie drafts. That means if you’re drafting late 1st/early second you will likely not get to take: Melcalf, AJ Brown, Harry, Harmon, or Butler. That leaves Lil’Jordan Humphrey as my top target at this point in the draft-he’s my WR6.

The only thing more impressive than his name is his route running-he has a diverse and well-developed route tree. He dominates the middle of the field and has the athletic ability to be break off a big play at any point. At 6’4”, 225 Humphrey is one of the biggest wideouts in the draft-and at this point in your draft, he’d be a very big value.

Matt Hicks

2.02: Emmanuel Hall, WR, Missouri

Hall was the best player in a good Missouri offense last year. After battling a bevy of injuries throughout his college career, he inherently carries a lot of risk especially here in the early second round. At only 195 pounds, his 6’3” frame is relatively lanky. He could improve on his play strength, but he can’t let that affect his quickness in his breaks or his down the field speed.

Hall averaged over 22 yards per reception last year. He can stretch the field in a big way and has the craftiness underneath to contribute all across the field.

Josh Padgett

2.03: Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor

Hurd is ridiculously athletic and is a redzone threat as a WR and a RB

This guy can literally do everything. A running back at Tennessee, Hurd decided to transfer because he wanted to play WR. He put up good numbers as a WR and will be looked at as a versatile offensive weapon, the type of weapon teams love to utilize in creative ways.

Eric Adams

2.04: Damian Harris, RB, Alabama

Do you remember me saying how Alabama was loaded at running back? Damian Harris was the starter and isn’t even the first Alabama RB drafted.  I don’t think Harris has the upside Josh Jacobs has, but Harris still is a powerful runner with some nice receiving ability. At this point, I’d be ecstatic to get Harris at the 2.04

Mike Colaianne

Fantasy Champs has the best championship gear around. They’re now offering Fantasy Football, Baseball, and Basketball custom engraved trophies, jerseys, rings, & belts. Save 10% with promo code “Top2”

2.05: Elijah Holyfield, RB, Georgia

I heart the value here. This kid is going to be pretty good. I won’t say RB1 yet, but definitely strong RB2 with RB1 upside. It’s almost mechanical how he changes directions and hits open gaps in the line.

Not only does he turn on a dime, when he hits the edge you can say bye because he’s gone. Great speed, strong and good enough hands on the catch, he’d make a fine 3 down back.  

Christopher Nelson

2.06: Trayveon Williams, RB, TAMU

I need to start by saying I’m very salty Eric took Hurd at 2.03-I love his upside and will gush about him all day; I thought he’d make it to me here at 2.06. Still, I love Trayveon Williams, and at 2.06 he makes for a very valuable 2nd round selection-I took him at 1.10 in our first mock draft.

Williams led the SEC with 1,760 rushing yards in 2018-against a lot of NFL level talent. Williams sees holes well and hits them hard for his size. He breaks off tackles consistently while accelerating downfield very quickly. He makes defenders miss in space and has good hands-making him a serious PPR threat. AT 5’9”, 200 Williams may be overlooked by NFL teams-don’t make that mistake, I absolutely expect him to make an impact for fantasy football.

Matt Hicks

2.07: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford

Arcega-Whiteside is not the most exciting prospect in the draft. He is however, very safe. A contested catch specialist who has knack for getting the endzone is a welcome addition to any team. He is a much less athletic Mike Williams, a guy who is poised for a break out this year by the way. Go get Arcega-Whiteside in the mid to late second and be prepared to wait for the opportunity, you will be pleased with the result.

Josh Padgett

2.08: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Brown might be one of the 3 fastest wideouts in this class, and can work Big 12 defenders with his route running

I am enamored with the speed of Brown. He certainly isn’t the biggest guy but he is definitely the fastest. In a league where Tyreek Hill and Brandin Cooks are dominating, I’m sure teams see more of the same in the Oklahoma speedster.

Eric Adams

2.09: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

Irv Smith Jr. is an extremely athletic tight end that looks to follow the same mold as Evan Engram.  With his speed, route running and elusiveness after the catch, Smith will be able to line up on the line or in the slot and be a nice producer at the tight end position.  I would like for him to fine tune his blocking a bit more so he can get on the field as early as possible.

Mike Colaianne

2.10: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Lock places a perfect ball into the back corner of the end zone against Bama

I think that here is where the QB run could start and I’m happy I got my QB1 in this draft. Drew Lock is one of the best in this class when it comes to tight window throws all over the field.

He’s patient, can run it when needed and will definitely be a starter sooner than later. As long as he gets good weapons around him and stays confident (one of his issues) I could see him being somewhere around QB 15-20 after his rookie season. Essentially, I could see him as a QB2 who will give you QB1 weeks every once in awhile.

Christopher Nelson

2.11: Benny Snell, RB, Kentucky

Snell seems to be the best kept secret in this year’s NFL draft, and getting him at 2.11 proves that. I’ll be honest, I would’ve loved to get Irv Smith here, but Mike’s a smart man and didn’t let that happen. Instead, I’ll happily move on with Benny Snell on my roster.

Snell is a powerful runner-he hits holes hard and is a weekly presence against SEC defenders. Snell has rushed for at least 1,000 yards in all 3 of his seasons with Kentucky. That includes 1,333 rushing yards in his sophomore season (2017) 1,499 rushing yards in 2018, and 48 career touchdowns. In addition to smashing through the A gap-Snell has the ability to beat defenders to the edge and accelerate downfield. He might not be the flashiest, but he has 3 down potential and I’ll have lots of Benny Snell come the end of draft season

Matt Hicks

2.12: Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis

Darrell Henderson was flat out impressive at Memphis last year.  2200 yards from scrimmage and 25 trips to the house in 13 games. He averaged almost 10 yards a touch. This kid is clearly explosive. I have concerns as to whether he can handle a heavy workload at the NFL level with his listed weight at only 200 pounds. Henderson is a great change of pace player who has a high ceiling if he can figure out a way to add some weight while maintaining that patent explosiveness.

Josh Padgett

Pre-Combine Rankings for the 2019 Wide Receiver Draft Class

This article is my personal breakdown of the 2019 wide receiver draft class in, pre-combine and specifically from tape review. These rankings relate specifically to how these players will translate to fantasy football.

I’m positive these rankings will change as the NFL Draft process progresses, but this makes for a great starting point. I will also note that this article was written during Senior Bowl week-and it doesn’t include some players that had great weeks. Barring poor tape review, Penny Hart, Hunter Renfrow, Terry McLaurin will likely be added to my rankings update article (to come post combine).  Let’s talk about them-let me know what you think on twitter!

For more on the fantasy football values of the 2019 Draft Class, check out the 48 Report: our 2019 Rookie Database

DRAFT is a fun, non-intimidating way to play DFS year round! They have 2019 Best Balls running already, & daily NBA contests. Get a free entry by using promo code “Top2” with your first deposit.

17. DeMarkus Lodge (6’2”, 200), Ole Miss

This is a great example of Lodge’s upside: he’s able to go up and extend his body for this ball along the sideline. He has the awareness to drag his foot while hauling in a tough catch

Lodge played in a dynamic Ole Miss offense; one with 2 other wide receivers (A.J. Brown, Metcalf) that are much higher on my list. In his senior year, in which Metcalf missed half the season, he caught 65 balls for 877 yards and 4 touchdowns. Metcalf, who played in just 7 games finished with more touchdowns (5) than Lodge. A.J. Brown finished with 2 more touchdowns, and 443 more yards. Lodge was snubbed from a Senior Bowl invite, and instead participated in the Shrine Game week of practices; although he did not play in the game.

Lodge came off very slow on tape; he displays limited acceleration and can’t burn defensive backs consistently. He’s inconsistent on jump balls-despite his size he rarely uses his body to position himself for success. Lodge has good footwork and works a decent route tree; for me, this is his best trait. He’s an average blocker, and Ole Miss often ran the ball away from him.

He occasionally flashes big play athleticism, but it’s very inconsistent. Lodge finds himself at the bottom of my list; he flashes upside in his athletic ability and route running but his inconsistency, lack of acceleration, and inability to pull down contested balls often makes me skeptical that he will make an impact early in his NFL career.

16. Greg Dortch (5’9”, 170), Wake Forest

Dortch flashes his upside on this play: selling the corner hard and burning the safety. 
The play finishes with a great example of his athleticism and hands.

Dortch, the 20-year-old Redshirt Sophomore out of Wake Forest has a lot of people excited. In just two seasons he’s racked up 142 receptions, 1800 receiving yards, and 17 touchdowns vs ACC defenses. Dortch had big games against Duke (10 receptions for 124 yards, 1 touchdown) and Louisville (8 receptions, 135 yards) but struggled against tougher teams like Notre Dame (6 receptions, 56 yards) and Clemson (3 receptions, 37 yards).

Dortch is a good route runner; he has quick feet and creates separation at the line of scrimmage. He has a fairly diverse route tree and works primarily, but not exclusively, out of the slot. He is quick, but not necessarily speedy-he doesn’t torch defenders over the middle, but he can be effective on end arounds. I’m not impressed by his blocking, and his athleticism seems limited for me. My biggest concern for Dortch is his hands: he struggles to make contested catches and during tape review I saw him drop multiple easy balls. He got overpowered multiple times when trying to go up and grab a ball.

At the right draft position (3rd round) he could provide nice value for your dynasty rosters-but Dortch is seriously raw and I don’t seem him translating quickly to the NFL game. I think he would’ve been better served with another year in college.

15. JJ Arcega-Whiteside (6’3”, 225), Stanford

This is the best and limitations of Arcega-Whiteside: he uses his big body to box out the undersized defender here and is able to make the catch. His inability to create space with his hands/body position, though, makes this catch much harder than it has to be

Arcega-Whiteside was a 3-year starter at Stanford, culminating with a senior season with 63 receptions, 1,059 receiving yards, and 14 touchdowns. Arcega-Whiteside is a big bodied receiver that built a lot of hype after finishing the 2018 season with 90+ receiving yards in 6 of his last 7 games.

Arcega-Whiteside’s best trait is his route running. He has great footwork that allows him to create separation consistently. He rarely uses his hands, though, and has a limited route tree-still he has one of the meanest curl routes in the class. He’s not super athletic-but he is strong and that helps him box out defenders and win jump balls. It also helps him be an effective blocker. His speed is seriously capped, though, and he rarely beats a defensive back. Given his size, you’d hope to see a higher vert from him, instead you see limited ability to jump and a reliance on his size to make catches.

Given the right landing spot, he could see a jump in my rankings. For now, though, his limited athletic ability and speed limit him to a redzone threat, which isn’t appealing for his fantasy football value.

14. Andy Isabella (5’10”, 190), University of Massachusetts

Isabella burns the defender down the sideline here, showing off his flashy speed and hauling in a catch along the sideline. It’s worth noting, though, that Isabella catches this ball against his body-something he does often and concerns NFL scouts.

Isabella is one of the most hyped “small-name” prospects heading into the NFL draft season. He’s coming off back to back 1000+ yard seasons for FBS UMass (who play as Independents). In his senior season, Isabella totaled 1,698 receiving yards; 1st in the FBS by over 200 yards. Don’t take his small school lightly either; the Minutemen played tough opponents that Isabella excelled against. He caught 5 receptions for 96 yards against Boston College, 13 receptions for 191 yards and a touchdown against South Florida, and 15 receptions for 219 yards and 2 touchdowns against Georgia.

Tape is limited on Isabella so my review for him is a bit short and fairly limited; so, he may vary a lot in my rankings throughout the draft process. What’s clear from the tape is that he’s quick, seriously quick. He can move vertically and horizontally, displaying dangerous go routes and the ability to hit the edge on a reverse. His route tree didn’t impress me (again, limited tape) but he really loves running the slant out of the slot (and he’s good at it, too).

His hands are a serious concern for me: he had the ball ripped out of his hands multiple times in contention, and rarely extends his arms fully when pulling in balls. NFL teams need slot receivers and if Isabella is a late round score for a dangerous offense he value will skyrocket-there’s just not enough there for me yet, though.

13. Anthony Johnson (6’2”, 207), Buffalo

Johnson sells the DBs well on him running a curl route (fair assumption by the defender) then flashes some acceleration after recovering from an under thrown pass. Bonus points for that celebration.

You may only recognize Anthony Johnson from Tyree Jackson tape, that’s a mistake-this dude can play. He totaled 133 receptions, 2,367 receiving yards (17.8 yards/catch), and 25 touchdowns in his final two seasons at the University of Buffalo. In his senior season, he had 4 games with at least 95 receiving yards and caught touchdowns in 7 of his 11 match-ups. Although he primarily faced MAC defenses, he did catch 2 balls for 101 yard and a touchdown vs Rutgers.

It’s tough for me to rank Johnson this low-there’s a lot of good in his game. He works a decent route tree, but it’s primarily in the short field: drags, short outs, and screens off the line of scrimmage, and curls (seriously, so many curls) dominate his tape. He’s a solid blocker, but doesn’t work over guys like some of the other bigger bodied receivers in this class do. He has solid hands, but really struggles to put his body in a position to win contested balls.

He has good athleticism and is a YAC threat, but his speed is capped; making him essentially a N’Keal Harry-lite on tape. There’s a lot to like watching Anthony Johnson tape, there’s not just enough to love.

12. Riley Ridley (6’2”, 200), Georgia

It’s easy to fall in love with Ridley highlights. It is harder to fall in love with all of his tape

Ridley played in 28 games for the Bulldogs, but totaled just 69 receptions, 1,015 yards, and 13 touchdowns. His best senior was his junior year (2018): he pulled in 43 balls for 559 yards and 9 touchdowns. Ridley is being used as the example of much debate in the fantasy football and NFL Draft communities: he seems to be a non-negotiable between analysts and scouts that love his tape and analytic-minded writers whose models reject his poor performance in one of the best offenses in the nation in 2018.

I find myself somewhere in between: I watch tape, and as much as I respect analytics models, I don’t use one and I haven’t created one myself-so I’ll focus on the tape. He’s fast, but not likely in the top 5 of wideouts in this class. Ridley has great footwork but fails to use his hands to create space at the line of scrimmage or in contested situations. He hasn’t mastered a full route tree, but does work well when running slants, curls, posts, and 9 routes. He has solid hands, I rarely saw him drop balls in his tape. He has great athleticism and his big play potential is why many will fall in love with Ridley. I like Ridley, and I see the appeal but as his ranking indicates-he doesn’t standout compared to the upside I see in a lot of the guys in this talented wide receiver class.

11. Emanuel Hall (6’3”, 195), Missouri

Hard to see from this angle, but Hall burns the DB that’s playing well off him at the line of scrimmage. He hauls in an under thrown ball and flashes some YAC potential

Emanuel Hall recorded back to back 800+ yard seasons in his junior and senior seasons with Drew Lock at the University of Missouri. In those two seasons, he averaged 23.6 yards per reception and pulled in 14 touchdowns. Hall’s senior season was cut short (8 games) but he had 3 games with at least 150 receiving yards and had 2 games with multiple touchdowns. He had just 1 game with less than 70 receiving yards and found the endzone in half of his games.

Hall is a big play threat, one fantasy football players could come to love. He’s quick off the line of scrimmage and has top-end acceleration. He consistently beats SEC defensive backs. He has subtle hands and good awareness when going up for balls-he consistently adjusted to, and caught balls thrown behind him. He really doesn’t drop footballs. His route tree is limited: it was primarily go routes and slants at Missouri, and his vertical seems limited from tape. Still, his speed and ability to work along the sideline is appealing-he could shoot up my rankings with a landing spot that will compliment his skillset.

10. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (5’10”, 168), Oklahoma

Brown burns the Cowboy defender here and gets up the field quickly-a common theme with Brown tape. It’s also nice example of Brown not running a straight vert or slant route.

Marquise Brown, the cousin of Antonio Brown, flashed at Oklahoma in his senior season with Kyler Murray. He caught 75 passes for 1,318 yards (18.3 yards/reception) and 10 touchdowns. Hollywood had some huge games this season-6 games with at least 130 yards, including an 11 reception, 243 yard and 2 touchdown games against West Virginia.

Brown will likely finish as one of the three fastest 40 times at the NFL Combine. He’s quick off the line of scrimmage, and perhaps it’s the fact they’re Big 12 defenders but even when defensive backs lined up 12 yards off the line of scrimmage, Brown burned them. He creates serious space with his slant route, but essentially depends on that and his vertical routes to perform. He has a serious motor when blocking and doesn’t mind engaging with a defender and churning his feet to drive him back-a noticeable quality for a player of his size.

He has decent hands, but benefited from Murray putting the ball on spot often-he showed no capability to making a play out of a bad pass. His vertical seems limited, and he often tries, but fails, to make men miss in space. In 5 years, Hollywood very well may be a top 3 receiver from this class-but as John Ross has proved to us: speed isn’t everything and his limited route tree is seriously concerning. Don’t let Big 12 stats convince you to take a shot on this receiver.

9. Deebo Samuel (6’0”, 210), South Carolina

Deebo works a mean slant on one of the best defenses in the SEC here. He comes off the line of scrimmage quick and uses his agility and acceleration to break off a big play

Deebo Samuel impressed early in his career for the Gamecocks: pulling in 59 receptions, 783 receiving yards, and a touchdown in his sophomore season. After injury cut his junior year short, he pulled in 62 receptions for 62 yard and 11 touchdowns in his senior year in Columbia. Samuel also has 25 carries for 154 yards and 7 touchdowns in his career (98 yards, and 6 touchdowns came in 2016).

Samuel is fast: he torched the Clemson secondary and consistently moves quickly in space. Samuel is quick off the line of scrimmage and isn’t afraid to use his hands and body to get physical when trying to create space or lay a block. He has good balance, and can absorb contact and stay on his feet when taking hits. From returning kicks to running end-arounds, NFL coaches will fall in love with his versatility. His route tree isn’t impressive, though, it’s primarily slants and screen off the line of scrimmage. He also struggles to catch contested passes, rarely bringing in catches when he’s not operating in space. He’s destined for the slot, but with the recent success of players like Kupp and Coutee, that shouldn’t scare off fantasy players.

8. Parris Campbell (6’1”, 208), Ohio State

Campbell is fast, seriously fast. He catches this screen pass and makes a sharp cut to head up field and accelerate past TCU defenders-who never had a chance

After 3 pedestrian seasons for the Buckeyes, Campbell’s stock rose from a senior season that included 1,063 receiving yards, 90 receptions, and 12 touchdowns. Campbell impressed against Michigan-catching 6 passes for 192 yards and 2 touchdowns. The shootout against the Wolverines was 1 of 3 games where Campbell pulled in at least 140 receiving yards. Campbell, though, also had 9 (out of 14) games with less than 70 receiving yards, and 5 games below 50 receiving yards.

Campbell is all around fast-he’s quick off the line of scrimmage, he creates a ton of space when running routes, and can accelerate up the sideline. Campbell has solid hands-he catches almost everything sent his way, which can often require adjustments on passes off the mark from Haskins. Campbell was wide-open on almost a lot of the receptions he made, a testament to his route running ability; but he primarily ran slants, curls, and drags-fairly simple routes. He is athletic and teams will like his versatility-he can be effective on reverse players, work out of the slot, catch passes at the line of scrimmage, or run a 9 route from the outside (although he primarily lined up stacked, or in the slot).

Campbell is getting a lot of hype from the NFL Draft community, and personally considered his stock to be above the Senior Bowl. He could be a late 1st/2nd round NFL draft target and has top 5 wide out potential, if he finds himself in the right spot.

7. Jalen Hurd (6’4”, 217), Baylor

I did a full thread on Hurd, just in case I didn’t gush enough in this article. You can find a lot more NFL Draft breakdowns by following me

I’m higher on Hurd than most, and I’ll admit now that I had the chance to watch Hurd live while attending school at the University of Tennessee-but this player serious upside, and isn’t being talked about-a formula that could equate to serious fantasy football value. Hurd ran for 899 rushing yards, 5 touchdowns, and caught 35 receptions for 221 yards as a freshman running back (yes, running back) at the University of Tennessee. In his sophomore year, still at Tennessee and still at running back, he ran for 1,285 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns while catching 22 receptions for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Halfway through his junior year (2016), Hurd was receiving serious NFL Draft consideration, with talk indicating he could be a first round pick. Hurd decided he wanted to switch to wide receiver-a position he believed would allow for him to have a longer and more lucrative NFL career. After the Butch Jones led Tennessee coaching staff refused to grant him the position change, Hurd announced his decision to leave Rocky Top; he later announced a transfer to Baylor. Note: Hurd’s transfer allowed Alvin Kamara to take on the starting job-a role he could not beat Hurd for.

As a wideout in a rebuilding Baylor offense, Hurd caught 69 passes for 946 yards and 4 touchdowns. Hurd was still utilized as a running back, though, and rushed the ball 48 times for 209 yards and 3 touchdowns. In total, Hurd finished his college career (which spanned 5 years) with 4,282 total yards from scrimmage (2,844 rushing and 1,438 receiving) and 33 touchdowns (23 rushing, 10 receiving).

Hurd moves quickly in space and burns along the sideline. He breaks guys with his speed and footwork in space, displaying elite running back and top level wideout skills-giving him serious upside potential. Hurd catches everything that comes his way; watching him work along the sideline and over the middle makes you understand why he wanted to make the position change.

He has serious athletic ability, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Hurd finishes top 3 in vert for the position at the Combine. Hurd’s route tree is limited, but I’m impressed with how crisp his routes are-for just one season at the position. He has great footwork that he uses to create space on curls and posts, and aggressive handwork that allows him to create space on drags and outs. He sells his route well, and often overwhelms Big 12 defenders.

Hurd is raw, and I’m hooked by his upside-so there’s risk in this ranking but I believe Hurd will stand out as the most valuable pick for fantasy football players from this draft class.

6. Lil’Jordan Humphrey (6’4”, 225), Texas

Humphrey runs a sharp out route from the slot here. He then shows off his athleticism with a mean spin move and accelerates up field at a rate no 6’4″ 225 lb human should

Humphrey’s name is equal parts amazing and ironic-he stands as one of the largest receivers in the 2019 class. Perhaps the only thing more impressive than his name is his junior season for the Longhorns: he caught 86 balls for 1,176 yards and 9 touchdowns. Humphrey, like most of the Big 12 prospects, had plenty of big games: catching 9 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown against the Sooners, 143 yards on 9 receptions for 1 touchdown against West Virginia, and 8 receptions for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns against Texas Tech. What’s impressive for me, though, is he put up good performances against solid non-conference competition too: 4 receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown against the Trojans of South California, 6 receptions for 82 yards against Maryland, and 7 receptions for 67 yards against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl.

Humphrey’s route running seriously impressed me: I saw examples of him working a seriously diverse route tree but in particular excels at ins, outs, curls, and drags. He also lines up in the backfield and stacked to take/fake reverses. Humphrey lines up primarily inside, which is odd for his size, but he dominates the middle of the field. He has decent hands, and solid body positioning but I’d like to see him develop this part of his game at the next level.

He doesn’t come off as the quickest guy on the field but he has good acceleration; a trait that helps him both as a wideout and kick returner. Humphrey likely won’t be ranked this high for many, but there’s a lot that I love with his tape-still, he’s fairly raw in a wideout class that has a lot of developed talent. Humphrey may slip in the NFL Draft and in your rookie drafts, but he is a big bodied, impressive, future highlight maker.

Fantasy Champs has the best championship gear around. They’re now offering Fantasy Football, Baseball, and Basketball custom engraved trophies, jerseys, rings, & belts. Save 10% with promo code “Top2”

5. A.J. Brown (6’1”, 225), Ole Miss

I think Brown could hit the perfect sweet spot of talent and value in your 2019 rookie drafts. I explain why in this thread-you can follow me on Twitter for a lot more NFL Draft & fantasy football insight

Brown was the driving force behind a high-functioning Ole Miss offense that has to be considered one of the most dangerous offenses in the SEC West over the past two seasons. In those two seasons, Brown caught 160 receptions for 2,572 yards and 17 touchdowns. Brown caught at least 6 passes in 10 of 12 games in his senior season: pulling in at least 100 receiving yards in 6 of those 12 games. He caught 6 for 115 against South Carolina, 10 for 155 and a touchdown against Auburn, 6 for 127 against Texas A&M, and 9 for 212 and a touchdown against Vanderbilt.

Brown works the middle of the field like no other wideout in this class. He’s fast off the line of scrimmage, creates spaces consistently with his speed, and is very agile when working in that space. He can accelerate across the field and hit the edge and burst up the sideline like an elite running back would. He has great footwork that makes his route running impressive, but his route tree is limited. He banks on his impressive slant route (I’m talking OBJ-esq quality), but I’d like to have seen more. He’s competitive on jump balls-often using subtle handwork and positioning to bring in jump balls, but isn’t automatic-he has some frustrating drops when contested.

Brown has serious YAC capability and it makes him even more appealing for fantasy football purposes. He is consistent, reliable, and has a lot of upside. He would do best in an offense where he can be the WR2-he’s not the highlight maker but he’s a coach’s dream. In a top tier offense, he will be an immediate fantasy football player’s dream too.

4. D.K. Metcalf (6’4”, 225), Ole Miss

You will see this exact highlight 100 times before Metcalf gets gets drafted, a likely another 100 after. Still, it shows just how much separation he can create against one of the toughest defenses in the country. It also shows off his acceleration and balance

Metcalf is one of the most intoxicating prospects in this draft-serious, put a towel on your desk when you’re watching his tape-because you will be drooling. Metcalf very well may be the first wideout to come off the board in April, and in turn your rookie drafts. His college profile, though, is limited: giving us limited tape and numbers to work off. Metcalf began his career in Oxford in 2016, but after just 2 games (and 2 receptions) suffered a season-ending broken foot. In his redshirt freshmen year (2017), Metcalf caught 39 balls for 646 yards (16.6 yards/catch) and 7 touchdowns. Just to clarify, he caught a touchdown on 18% of his receptions.

After 7 games with 26 receptions and 569 yards (21.9 yards/catch) in 2018, Metcalf suffering a season-ending neck injury. Metcalf has been cleared for football activities, but the combine will be essential for his draft stock. For now, though, we will focus on the tape.

Metcalf is fast, but not to the level of guys mentioned previously-like Hollywood Brown, Campbell, or Hurd. He has a limited route tree (to match limited tape/play time) but showed the ability to contribute in the short game with screens off line of scrimmage, and at the mid field with deeper curl routes, and downfield with a explosive 9 route. He has excellent footwork and sells defenders hard on inside moves-which allows him to get down the field with 3-5 steps on some of the best defensive backs in the nation. He’s seriously aggressive at the line of scrimmage and has tremendous handwork.

He uses his hands violently at the line of scrimmage and subtly in pass contention. He uses his large body well to position himself into easy catches. He has seriously impressive athleticism-I’d place my bets on him having the top vertical at the combine. He consistently catches contested passes in double coverage and has fantastic balance when taking hits both during and after passes. The play never seems over when Metcalf has the ball in his hands. I don’t blame you if you like Metcalf best in this class, and he’s close for me-but there’s a few guys that stand out as more finished players.

3. Hakeem Butler (6’6”, 225), Iowa State

I’m all in on Hakeem Butler, and this thread tells you why. If you’ve read this far I don’t need you to tell me to follow me, but yeah…you should follow me.

Butler is the largest wideout in this class, and he could return the largest value of any first-round projected fantasy football rookie picks. Butler caught 41 receptions for 697 yards (17 yards/catch) in his redshirt sophomore year (2017) while bringing in 7 touchdowns. In 2018 he took his game to a whole new level: catching 60 balls for 1,318 yards (22 yards/catch) and 9 touchdowns. Butler’s 22 yards/reception was best in the Big 12 in 2018, and his 1,318 receiving yards was 8th best in the nation. Butler had 6 games (out of 13) with at least 100 receiving yards (and a 7th game with 99 yards). He balled out against the best competition in the conference (5 receptions for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns against Oklahoma) and against out of conference foes (9 receptions for 192 yards in their bowl game against Washington State).

Butler has great footwork which compliments a developed route tree. He has subtle, but convincing moves that allow him space against defenders when running curls, corners, posts, and slants. He has aggressive hands that allow him space when beating defenders at the line of scrimmage and opening up serious success when running vertical routes. Butler isn’t the fastest guy in this class-but he accelerates downfield and has quick movements.

He’s serious athletic and can go up and grab just about any ball-he works well over the middle and has great presence along the sideline. Butler can block too-I know not the flashiest thing to talk about but it’ll get him on the field; he literally throws defensive backs off him and finishes blocks to the end. He has fantastic extension and uses all of his long wingspan. On multiple occasions, you can find him dragging smaller defenders down the field.

Butler’s name might not carry the same weight as guys like Metcalf and Brown now, but come rookie draft season-it will.

2. N’Keal Harry (6’4”, 213), Arizona State

This play needs no explanation, just sit back and watch his athleticism and YAC upside

Harry racked up back to back 1,000+ yard seasons for Arizona State in his sophomore and junior seasons (2017 & 2018). In those seasons, he combined for 155 receptions, 2,230 receiving yards, 17 touchdowns, 20 rushing attempts, 75 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. Harry finished 2nd in the Pac-12 in receiving yards in both of those seasons. In 2018, Harry had just 3 games (out of 13) with less than 80 receiving yards-and totaled 4 games with 100+. Harry’s stats aren’t as flashy as some of the other wideouts in this class, but he’s consistency is seriously attractive for fantasy football purposes-and was doing a lot with a little around him in Tempe.

Harry catches everything thrown his way (accurate or not). His ability to box out defenders with his body is perhaps the best of the class. He uses his hands to create significant separation when going up for contested passes. His footwork helps him create space at the line of scrimmage-often selling defenders and making them look silly.

His route tree is solid, but could use some expansion: he loves curls and slants but Arizona State really loved to put the ball in his hands at or behind the line of scrimmage. You can’t blame them for that-Harry is seriously dangerous when he has the ball in his hands. He’s quick and using his feet and vision in a way that mocks the best running backs in this class. He will make guys miss in space and isn’t afraid to smash the circle button on a line backer (that’s a spin move for my non-Madden players). He’s strong too: he gets physical with defenders when blocking and has the strength to throw would-be tacklers off him when running the ball.

Whether it’s the NFL or your rookie drafts, there’s always risk associated with making your selection-with Harry, so much of that risk is eliminated. He’s consistent, competitive, and has the athletic upside you can only dream of.

1. Kelvin Harmon (6’3”, 214), NC State

I debated dropping a clip of Harmon’s highlight play high point and athletic ability. I also debated trolling this post and show his great blocking. Instead, I show you what I think will make him a great NFL player: he fights hard for separation, battles through likely DPI, and uses his hands to create perfectly timed separation

Harmon pulled in 69 receptions for 1,017 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns as a sophomore (2017) at North Carolina State. This was despite being in a run-heavy offense which featured 2017 draft picks Jaylen Samuels and Nyheim Hines. In 2018, he brought those impressive numbers up to 81 receptions for 1,186 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns against ACC opponents. He finished with 7 (out of 12) games with over 90 receiving yards and caught 6 receptions in 8 games. Harmon finished 6th in receptions and 2nd in receiving yards in the ACC in 2017, and 4th in receptions and 1st in receiving yards in 2018.

Harmon comes off as the most pro-ready wide receiver in the class to me. Harmon’s footwork is next level, it allows him to create separation on comeback routes that seem like automatic 7-12 yard gains and allow him to break the ankles of defenders in space. Harmon has the speed to burn defenders on 9 routes-giving him the big play potential every fantasy football player wants. More impressive, though, is Harmon’s short to mid field work. In addition to footwork, Harmon’s handwork allows him to create separation at the line of scrimmage immediately and consistently.

I’m low-key in love with Harmon’s ability to subtly, but effectively, use his hands to create spaces on contested space. This combination makes him a intoxicating combination of a PPR dream and the big play upside that makes fantasy players fantasy champions.

Harmon also has one of (if not the best) high point in this draft class. He’s extremely long and athletic and is able to extend his body to make even the worst Ryan Findley throw catchable. He consistently adjusts to bad passes with quick reactions, and high level of awareness. He has top level presence along the sideline and has great balance. Harmon is also a great blocker-he seeks contact with defenders and has great mechanics when holding blocks, not the flashiest skill to have but it should allow him to get on (and stay on) the field early in his NFL career.

Harmon’s upside might not be the same as Metcalf, and his stats might not be as padded as A.J. Brown-but he checks all of the boxes, and consistently performs at a high level in an offense that wasn’t made for his success. His tape is impressive and he’s ready to contribute to an NFL offense. I expect him to have a successful combine, and baring a tough landing spot he will be my 1.01.  

Jordan Ta’amu: 3 Star Prospect & Late Round Flyer

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full database of 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer. All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Jordan Ta’amu (6’2″, 212), Quarterback, Ole Mis           

14.1 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Ta’amu is equally fascinating and difficult to evaluate. Ta’amu was not heavily recruited out of high school in Pearl City, Hawaii-where he threw for 1,779 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions in his senior season. He chose to enroll at the New Mexico Military Institute (JUCO). After two seasons in Roswell, Ole Miss was his only Power 5 offer. Ta’amu chose to head to Oxford, even though he was expected to spend his time on the team backing up then Ole Miss starting quarterback Shea Patterson. Patterson sustained an in jury in 2017, which allowed Ta’amu to play in 7 games. Patterson then chose to transfer to Michigan and Ta’amu capitalized on the opportunity to lead an offense with D.K. Metcalf, DeMarkus Lodge, AJ Brown, and Dawson Knox.

College Production: Doing a Lot, with a Lot

Ta’amu jumped in and began contributing immediately, following the Patterson injury, as a junior. He threw for 1,682 yards, 11 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, and completed 115 of his 173 attempts (66.5%). Ta’amu is a dual threat: rushing for 165 yards of 57 attempts and 4 touchdowns in his 7 games during the 2017 season. In 2018 his success against SEC defenses continued. He threw for 3,918 yards (2nd in SEC), completed 63.6% of his passes (3rd in SEC), threw for 19 touchdowns, 8 interceptions. Ta’amu also piled up 342 rushing yards on 116 attempts, and 6 rushing touchdowns.

His ability to jump in and immediate contribute against SEC defenses is impressive, and it speaks volumes to his football IQ and leadership ability. Still, when evaluating Ta’amu it can’t be ignored that he had one of the best receiving corps. of any quarterback in this draft class. A.J. Brown is a yards after catch (YAC) monster and it’s hard to ask for a better redzone threat than Metcalf. Lodge gave Ta’amu a lethal downfield option once Metcalf went down with injury, and Dawson Knox supported Ta’amu as both a receiver and blocker.

Ta’amu was invited to the 2019 Shrine Bowl. I believe this speaks to what NFL scouts think of him: intriguing but not necessarily screaming “starter”. His performance during practices was generally considered to be positive and he went 7-10 for 98 passing yards, 0 touchdowns, 0 interceptions. For me, he passed the eye test: he looked comfortable in the pocket and made some good throws. His performance didn’t up his stock at all, but it certainly didn’t hurt him either.

Arm Strength: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 3)

Ta’amu has great velocity and it makes him effective when throwing short and in the mid-field. When throwing deep, he puts a nice touch on the ball and the combination can make for a great highlight clip. Ta’amu, though, rarely pushed the ball more than 30 yards down field. I believe Ta’amu could do more, making his tape a bit frustrating, but from what we can see pre-combine/pro day his score has to be capped in this category.

Accuracy: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 3)

Ta’amu is accurate when throwing short and within 25-30 yards, starting to see a pattern here? On the rare occasion when he did air it out, though, he rarely connected with his target. He benefitted a lot from AJ Brown making plays after catching 7-10-yard slant routes and catching passes at/behind the line of scrimmage. He is successful finding his man on first reads, but once he has to progress past that he becomes inconsistent. Ta’amu is not poised under pressure, and it results in a hit to his accuracy.

Decision Making: Aggregate Score: 2.3 (Personal Score: 3)

Ta’amu has a calm pocket presence to him, and it helped him achieve the high accuracy numbers discussed earlier, playing weekly against some of the best defenses in the country. The Ole Miss offense ran a lot of run-pass options (RPOs) and Ta’amu was successful when he could hit his first progression. When the play broke down, though, he made some poor decisions-especially against tougher defenses like Alabama. Ta’amu often let the play break down, too-he holds onto the ball too long and allows the pocket to collapse on him. Although he can be effective on designed runs, he’s less effective running when the pocket has broken down. Ta’amu also struggles when facing pressure, often leading to poor decisions and turnovers (in the form of interceptions and fumbles).

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 3)

Ta’amu is a good athlete, but he has limited upside as a rushing quarterback in the NFL. He can move the pocket and scramble when necessary but isn’t able to get to the edge or break tackles. He can gain 20+ yards on broken plays, though, when running north/south. He has some burst out of the pocket but lacks the acceleration necessary to be a big play threat. Ta’amu also struggles with balance-he rarely stays on his feet after contact.

Mechanics: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 2)                                                                                                    

This is where Ta’amu needs to develop the most at the next level. He throws off balanced a lot, especially when throwing on the run. In the pocket, he consistently throws off his back foot. Whether inside or outside the pocket he tends to short arm his passes. He also stares down his receivers-leading to tips and interceptions. When running the ball, Ta’amu struggles holding onto the ball.

Conclusion: 4th Round Target

Ta’amu’s tape shows me a career back-up. I think he has the poise, football IQ, and versatility to be a valuable asset to an NFL roster. What I can’t see, however, is him being an impact player in the league-at least not early in his career. Prior to the showcase games, I have Ta’amu ranked as the 9th best quarterback prospect, in terms of fantasy football. Ta’amu is likely a Day 3 pick in the NFL Draft-and he shouldn’t be considered anything more than a flyer on your dynasty rosters.  

Tyree Jackson: a Spicy 3 Star Prospect that Needs Seasoning

Welcome to the 48 Report, a full working database including 48 of our favorite 2019 Draft Prospects. The key, however, is that we focus specifically on their ability to translate as fantasy football players. All players in the database have been/will be scored by 3 writers, and this is their article; explaining their aggregate score, as well as the score of their writer.

All categories are scored on a 1-5 scale; with 5 being the highest score a prospect can receive. The highest aggregate average scores a player can receive is 25. Articles will be posted January-April, all the way up to the draft. Ratings will be adjusted after the combine, based on measurables and after the draft, because as we all know: landing spot matters.

Tyree Jackson (6’7”, 245) Quarterback, Buffalo

16 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

My score was the highest on Tyree (17) and it’s because I became smitten with his game, measurables and potential. When I see Tyree and his size, it’s hard not to think about Big Ben. It’s kind of funny too because he plays in the MAC just like Ben did and he has two really good receivers reminiscent of Antonio Brown and Juju.

I heard of the hype train on this kid during the season, but now that I’ve had time to break down his tape, I’m starting to understand.

College Production

Before his knee injury, Tyree had his best season as a rusher as a redshirt freshman with 99 attempts for 399 yards in 9 starts. After the injury in his sophomore year, he rushed a lot less because of the hesitancy that comes with any knee injury, but began getting comfortable again in his junior season along with becoming a better passer.

He had his best season as a passer in his junior season where he was 28th in passing yards, throwing for 3,131 yards. Even still, his production doesn’t make up for his exciting play when you actually see him on film.

Arm Strength: Aggregate Score: 4.3 (Personal Score: 5)

I was the highest rater of his arm strength because, the way he launches it is just ridiculous. There’s so much power and velocity on it, I don’t see how receivers actually manage to catch these throws.

Accuracy: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 3)

It’s not good and it’s not bad either, so that’s why I rated him middle of the road when it came to landing it on target. Some plays it looked like a professional back there dropping dimes left and right. Other times it was not fun to watch how off the mark he was capable of being.

Decision Making: Aggregate Score: 2 (Personal Score: 2)

This metric is the basis for the previous two. This is part of the reason why I think his potential is high. I think he has the accuracy and arm strength to be really good. It’s his decision making that gets him into trouble.

Instead of putting touch on the ball in short yardage situations, he mostly threw it too hard. In times where he needed to use touch, he overthrew it. I didn’t see him under throw it which is good, it means he isn’t inconsistent he just needs to have a regulator coached into that rocket arm.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 3)

I may come higher on this score, it just doesn’t seem like he has above average athleticism. It could be a case of him not really trusting his legs fully yet, so we’ll see.

Mechanics: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 4)

This is another part of his game I was really high on. He looks great in the pocket and his throwing motion from there is fluid. He has times where he throws across his body/on the run that look bad, but even those look good at times. Another aspect of his game I just expect big time growth.

Conclusion: Mid 3rd-Early 4th Round

Location, location, location. That landing spot is going to matter a lot going forward. Is he going to a QB needy team? Is he going to a confidence killing coach? Is he going to sit behind a good QB with good habit? All questions that will determine his success (as with anyone else) and growth. If he ends up in the right place, I see his potential making him a top 3 QB in this class down the road, just not right now. He’ll definitely go when the QB run inevitably happens. If you miss out on guys like Grier, Kyler, Lock or Haskins, you can’t go wrong with him. You may have to wait, but it’ll be worth it.