2019 NFL Draft 0

Josh Jacobs: One of the Many Options for RB1

Josh Jacobs (5’10”, 220) Running Back, Alabama
18.5 Aggregate Score (3.5 Star Prospect)

Josh Jacobs has risen to the top of a running back class that lacked a stud type of guy. Jacobs has had an interesting road but has risen to the top of the Alabama RB depth chart which means he certainly has NFL level talent. A smooth runner and a hands catcher, there is a lot to like in Jacobs physical and film profile. His stats remain a red flag, but there are many points that can explain the issues that many have there. Jacobs will remain polarizing until he is drafted in the first or second round of the NFL draft which seems to be the consensus on his value.  A first round draft pedigree would make it hard to argue against Jacobs as the first running back off the board in your rookie drafts.

College Production

As I alluded to, Jacobs college production left something to be desired. With only 887 total yards in his junior season and only 640 of those on the ground, he didn’t show much to say he can be a workhorse. He never put up big numbers across an entire season. He didn’t even put up many hundred yard games. Was it due to scheme, competition, game script? It was most likely a combination of reasons, but it remains a valid concern especially since we didn’t see many big plays from him throughout his college career.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Jacobs is plenty fast despite a 4.6 40 at his pro day. He looks significantly faster than that on tape and I am not concerned about his long speed as that is not what his game is predicated on. Jacobs running style is very smooth and his ability to make defenders miss in space is a plus trait as well.

Receiving Ability: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Jacobs caught well over 1 ball a game in college which is plenty to show his receiving chops in an Alabama offense that is historically run heavy. Even with Tua last year, Jacobs had to compete with Jerry Jeudy and a bevy of other talented pass catchers for those targets. He was also more efficient after the catch than he was on the ground.

Vision: Aggregate Score: 3.5 (Personal Score: 3)

I do not feel this is a major strength for Jacobs. Afforded a lot of big holes by one of the best offensive lines in the country and working in conjunction with the newly revitalized passing game that kept defenses as honest as they’ve had to be against Bama in 25 years or more, he still did not find a way to create high efficiency yardage with his touches.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

Not a strength of any lead backs game, but he can hold his own in pass protection. Will he succeed against NFL pass rushers? No. But he can chip and block in play action just fine.

Strength: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Jacobs isn’t the strongest back in this class, but he runs low and strong. He is more likely to hit you than to put forth a lot of effort to make you miss. He would rather go through than around. He does keep his balance well and can bounce off tacklers in the open and around the line of scrimmage.

Conclusion: Early to Mid 1st Round Pick

Jacobs is a talented player, there is no doubt about that. Whether he can be a three down workhorse at the NFL level is the question for me. Is Jacobs a high risk pick?  No, especially not in a draft class with less running back talent than normal. My ideal landing spot for Jacobs though, would be somewhere with a veteran running back that can help take some of that load early in the season and really make way for him to shine down the stretch. He could be absolutely explosive in an Alvin Kamara-Mark Ingram type situation. Pre-draft he sits around the 1.07 or 1.08 for me. Landing spot could bring him into the top 3 or 4, but it is more likely I will be targeting him in the middle of the first.

Josh Jacobs (5’10”, 220) Running Back, Alabama 18.5 Aggregate Score (3.5 Star Prospect) Josh Jacobs has risen to the top of a running back class that lacked a stud type […]

2019 NFL Draft 0

TJ Hockenson: Mr. I Can Do It All at Tight End

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.

TJ Hockenson (6’5”, 243) Tight End, Iowa

19.3 Aggregate Score (4 Star Prospect)

TJ Hockenson has been a huge riser as this class has developed. Overshadowed in Devy circles by his teammate Noah Fant, he has not been household name, until now. Hockenson plays the tight end position like it should be played. He does the dirty work in the trenches at a high level and he showcases route running and pass catching ability at all levels of the field. He is also an underrated athlete, again overshadowed by Fant who just happens to be a freak. He will surprise some at the combine likely putting up solid to strong numbers across the board. He is a top 2 tight end in this class in both the NFL and fantasy. So which is it it, 1 or 2?

College Production

Tight end production in college is not a pretty thing to look at, but the fact that he and Fant  both produced at the level they did in the same offense is remarkable. Hockenson put up 49 receptions for 760 yards and 6 scores in his sophomore year before declaring for the draft. He caught 10 more balls for 140 more yards than Fant. Both of them outproduced George Kittle who graduated as Hockenson came on campus. Hock also averaged over 15 yards per catch. This is a big time stat especially for a guy who has been labeled by some (incorrectly) as average athletically. All this to say, that while the numbers don’t jump of the page, this is still an impressive stat line. Iowa has a knack for churning out tight end talent and these two are no different.

Speed & Acceleration: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 4)

I will continue to harp on the fact that Hockenson is an underrated athlete. He creates space and can outrun linebackers no problem. Combine this with his route running and he will have no issue getting open at the next level. One area he can continue to work on is exploding out of the block.

Route Running: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 4)

Hockenson is a strong route runner. Quick feet and an ability to sell head fakes and quick twitches allow him to set up defenders and separate at a high level. He did often line up against linebackers and safeties though which will be a much taller task at the NFL level where these players can recover much easier.

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

Hock has made a name for himself as one of the best blockers in this class. This really makes him the total package as a tight end prospect and it will be big in getting and keeping him on the field early in his career. He blocks with an aggressiveness and power that is great to see for a guy who is only listed on 243 lbs.

Handwork and Positioning: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 4)

Hockenson continues the theme of well rounded with good scores here as well. A strong hands catcher with a knack for using his considerable size to his advantage, he will succeed in contested situations against linebackers and safeties early and often.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 3.6 (Personal Score: 4)

Basically the only reason reason I didn’t personally give him a 5 in athleticism is that Noah Fant is absurd. Hockenson made some noise at the combine with big time explosive numbers in the jumps and great numbers in the agility drills. The 4.7 forty isn’t great but that is plenty of speed for a tight end who has big time pluses across the rest of the board.

Conclusion: Mid 1st Round Target

I have no fear drafting TJ in the 1st round of your rookie drafts. In superflex, he should probably go in the late 1st. He may take some time to reach his full potential, but the lack of tight end talent in the NFL makes him a worthwhile 1st rounder for any team in need of a tight end. An interesting side note is that tight ends like OJ Howard and David Njoku have held their value well even after some lackluster seasons. While I still have him ranked behind Fant, he could easily have an argument to be the first tight end off the board when landing spots are assigned.

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 […]

2019 NFL Draft 2

The Final 2019 NFL Draft Mock: Round 4

The Fanalysts have been grinding draft tape, monitoring team needs, and mock drafting since December. This 7-part mock-draft is one continuous mock draft and the our final one of the season for us. We will be releasing one article per day in the week leading up to the 2019 NFL Draft.

This is a summary of the 4th Round of our mock draft for the 2019 NFL Draft. Below are links all other rounds of our final mock for the 2019 NFL Draft:

2019 NFL Draft 7th Round Mock
2019 NFL Draft 6th Round Mock
2019 NFL Draft 5th Round Mock

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

Pick Team Player
103 Arizona Cardinals Connor McGovern, iOL, Penn State
104 San Francisco 49ers Beau Benschawel, iOL, Wisconsin
105 New York Jets Tre Lamar, LB, Clemson
106 Oakland Raiders Miles Sanders, RB, Penn State
107 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Joe Jackson, EDGE, Miami
108 New York Giants Stanley Morgan Jr., WR, Nebraska

The most interesting pick in the early 4th round goes to the Oakland Raiders selection of Miles Sanders who immediately becomes fantasy relevant stepping into what looks like a workhorse role right away.

Stanley Morgan Jr. could see some early opportunity in New York as well with their receiving core in flux after the loss of the best receiver in the NFL.

Pick Team Player
109 Jacksonville Jaguars Jordan Scarlett, RB, Florida
110 Cincinnati Bengals Tyree Jackson, QB, Buffalo
111 Detroit Lions Savion Smith, CB, Alabama
112 Buffalo Bills Justice Hill, RB, Oklahoma State
113 Baltimore Ravens Damarkus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss
114 Green Bay Packers Nate Davis, iOL, Charlotte
115 Carolina Panthers Andy Isabella, WR, UMass

The story on this next group is offense.  With 5 players in this group who could be rosterable on your fantasy team, 2 should receive more attention than the others. Andy Isabella gets a phenomenal landing spot in Carolina and would have a good chance to find his way onto the field with Cam and this new flexible offense.

Justice Hill does not do as well landing in Buffalo. While it doesn’t torpedo his stock, with McCoy and Gore there, he won’t get many snaps and Josh Allen isn’t one to dump it down when he can either go deep or use his own legs to make plays.

Pick Team Player
116 Miami Dolphins Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State
117 Atlanta Falcons Elijah Holyfield, RB, Georgia
118 Green Bay Packers Justin Hollins, EDGE, Oregon
119 Cleveland Browns Kingsley Keke, iDL, Texas A&M
120 Minnesota Vikings Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic
121 Tennessee Titans Marquise Blair, S, Utah

Devin Singletary gets buried in this mock behind Dalvin Cook. If Cook goes down again, Singletary could handle a three down workload though. In other interesting news, Rypien could see playing time in year one on the Dolphins as they tank for a QB next year. It is also good that Elijah Holyfield isn’t going far to Atlanta because if he had to run there, it might take a while.

Pick Team Player
122 Pittsburgh Steelers Jalen Jelks, EDGE, Oregon
123 Baltimore Ravens Malik Gant, S, Marshall
124 Seattle Seahawks Antoine Wesley, WR, Texas Tech
125 Denver Broncos Isaiah Buggs, iDL, Alabama
126 Chicago Bears Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
127 Philadelphia Eagles James Williams, RB, Washington State

Darrell Henderson is the second best fantasy prospect on my board in this fourth round behind only Miles Sanders. He steps right into the bruiser role vacated by Jordan Howard and can hopefully improve on the efficiency (or lack thereof) from Howard as well as take care of those goalline looks.

Antoine Wesley is worth noting here as the Seahawks did manage to resign Russell Wilson and have very little in the way of depth at wideout.

Pick Team Player
128 Dallas Cowboys Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford
129 Indianapolis Colts Khalen Saunders, iDL, Western Illinois
130 Los Angeles Chargers Daylon Mack, iDL, Texas A&M
131 Buffalo Bills Mike Bell, S, Fresno State
132 New York Giants Mike Weber, RB, Ohio State
133 Los Angeles Rams Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
134 New England Patriots Jalen Hurd, WR, Baylor
135 Indianapolis Colts Drue Tranquill, LB, Notre Dame
136 Dallas Cowboys Dillon Mitchell, WR, Oregon
137 Atlanta Falcons Gerald Willis, iDL, Miami
138 Philadelphia Eagles Jordan Ta’amu, QB, Ole Miss

To round out the fourth round, we have a larger group with quite a few names who could see fantasy relevance. Damien Harris and Mike Weber both get buried behind what are probably the best two running backs in the league, but the Cowboys pick up two playmakers who could contribute. I particularly like Kaden Smith in Dallas because he gets to learn from the freshly un-retired Jason Witten which would be phenomenal for his game.

The real gem of this round is Jalen Hurd though. A running back who flipped to wide receiver when he transferred to Baylor from Tennessee, he is a chess piece that Belichick can move all over the place.

The Fanalysts have been grinding draft tape, monitoring team needs, and mock drafting since December. This 7-part mock-draft is one continuous mock draft and the our final one of the […]

2019 NFL Draft 0

Daniel Jones: A Very Divisive QB 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.

Daniel Jones (6’5”, 221 lbs) Quarterback, Duke University

15.6 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Daniel Jones has become the most polarizing quarterback prospect in this class. Does he have what it takes to play quarterback in the NFL? Short answer? Who knows. He has a lot of good and bad on film and his numbers say about the same.  The good, the bad and the ugly is what you get with Jones and we will try to get a cross section of that here.

College Production

His passing numbers are not very exciting, but looking at his numbers across the board gives a little hope. After redshirting his freshman year, Jones put up intriguing numbers through the air in his first year on the field with almost 3000 yards and 16 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. Add 7 touchdowns on the ground and you can make a case for Jones looking like a guy who could play professionally. He most certainly had a sophomore slump with yardage and efficiency dropping.  He didn’t improve much over his original freshman numbers in his final season. Yardage very similar overall with a slight efficiency increase. He did get his TD/Int ratio well above 2 which is promising. His rushing touchdowns went down as his passing touchdowns went up though so this wasn’t as much the result of a more efficient offense, but a more efficient passer certainly.

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

He can makes NFL level throws and his arm is passable, but nothing more. He does not often make wow throws on tape and won’t often trust his arm when deciding whether to push the ball downfield or fit the ball in tight window.

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

Again, not great, but he hits his target on the throws you need to see. He is often conservative so you don’t get too see the accuracy on the more difficult throws.

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

Normally a guy who makes the safe decision and keeps things relatively calm on a play to play basis would be counted as a good decision maker. We do not believe this is the case. There is more to the game than taking the safe yardage and keeping drives alive.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

A bit of a surprise here, but Jones is a good athlete. He ran a 4.8 flat at the combine and 7.00 three cone.  Both of those numbers are strong for a quarterback of his size. Solid numbers in the vert and the broad jump show enough explosiveness to go with those speed and agility numbers as well.

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

Meh-canics. I don’t love the throwing motion here. While he can get rid of the ball quickly, which is very important at the next level, he isn’t very tight with his wind up. The ball comes away from his body and well outside of his shoulder as he is winding up exposing it to defenders in a big way.

Conclusion:  Not Drafting in 1 QB, Late 2nd/Early 3rd Round Target in SuperFlex

I see a whole lot of Alex Smith when I watch Daniel Jones play football. Given a good situation and some high level weapons, Jones has a shot to game manage his way to some wins the NFL. He does not look to have a very high ceiling without many of the physical tools to create big time plays and opportunities. However, for fantasy, Alex Smith has been a serviceable asset, especially in Superflex. The rushing upside is there with the athleticism for Jones and I could see that playing into his fantasy value. If I end up with Jones on a fantasy roster, it is because he was drafted high and he will get a chance to start early in his career. If that does happen and he flashes in one of those first few games, I am shipping him for any semblance of a profit. Jones won’t win you any fantasy championships.

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 […]

48R 19 RB 0

Mike Weber: 3 Star Fantasy 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.

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Mike Weber (5’10”, 214) Running Back, Ohio State

14.3 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Mike Weber is not the most exciting player in this class. He is fairly average across the board, but he performs well enough in all the necessary facets of the game. Earning an aggregate score of 14.3 from our rankers and not a single 4 in any category from any of us does not inspire a great deal of confidence in Weber. Draft capital will tell a lot about how the NFL views Weber and will truly determine whether or not he is worthy of a roster spot in fantasy.

College Production

Weber has had an interesting college career.  He was very good during his redshirt freshman year in 2016, finishing the year with almost 1100 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground. A big boost to these numbers came in the form of 23 receptions out of the backfield. About 2 catches a game isn’t super special, but as a redshirt freshman, that is plenty to show capable hands. Weber regressed some as JK Dobbins burst onto the scene as a freshman in 2017.  With his touches cut almost in half, the 6+ yards per carry efficiency remained, but the overall numbers dipped significantly. In 2018, he turned in a statline similar to his freshman year. However, with similar opportunity, you would hope for some improvement on those numbers. Weber is the lesser talent in the Ohio State backfield and that has become very clear as the touches shifted to Dobbins.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

Weber looks fine behind a beefy Ohio State offensive line, but I don’t expect him to experience the same success at the NFL level. I expect the combine numbers to be lackluster especially in the 40 and 3 cone drill. He doesn’t show a whole lot of breakaway speed or great change of direction.

Receiving Ability: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

While Weber hauled in over 20 receptions in both his redshirt freshman and junior seasons, he was not efficient once the ball was in his hands. Averaging less yards per reception than yards per carry in both years is an interesting stat to say the least. On the plus side, Ohio State trusted him enough to get him involved in the passing game. However, he was not very productive with the targets he received.

Vision: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

This is another chance to mention a rock solid Ohio State offensive line. Weber is not bad in this category, but a lot of his efficiency can be explained by the play of the big boys up front. Not often able to make something out of nothing, but consistently able to take what is given to him.

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

You may be sensing a theme here.  Weber can block, yes, but he is just alright at it. Usually able to find his assignment and solid at chipping to help his linemen, he did struggle against unhindered blitzers as almost any running back will.

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

This is one my favorite aspects of Weber’s game, when it shines through. He shows great contact balance when he runs angry and he finishes runs in a big way.  The problem is this only seems to happen when he is involved in the game and can get fired up. I don’t see many opportunities to get involved that heavily in the NFL.

Conclusion: 4th Round Flier

The problem I have with Weber is that he has nothing to hang his hat on. He is fine, solid, sometimes good at almost every aspect of the game, but he doesn’t have game breaking speed or strength. He doesn’t demand receiving work. He doesn’t show the consistency you need to see from someone who doesn’t have a high ceiling. I expect solid numbers at the combine which will keep him on NFL draft boards, but I don’t expect a long career or much fantasy relevance.

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 […]

2019 NFL Draft 0

Damarea Crockett: 3 STAR Prospect & Late Round Dice Roll

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.

Damarea Crockett (5’11”, 225) Running Back, Missouri

15 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Crockett has had a bit of a roller coaster of a college career and his stock as a prospect has followed suit. He came out swinging in his freshman year putting up over 1000 yards (in just 11 games) at an efficient 6.9 yards per carry and finding the end zone 10 times. This had him flying up devy rankings to a point where he was getting top 5 prospect buzz. Since then, things have changed. Larry Roundtree III showed up on campus in Crockett’s sophomore year and took a big bite out of his production. He only managed 481 yards in 6 games in an injury-shortened year two. He bounced back slightly last year though he certainly did not return to form from his freshman year.

He managed to play in 11 of Missouri’s 12 games his final season but was out produced on the ground as Roundtree got 78 more carries than Crockett and was more efficient with those extra chances. Crockett has fallen significantly since bursting onto the scene. Is he still feeling the effect of the shoulder injury that sidelined him in his sophomore year? Is Roundtree just more talented? Probably a combination of both. Crockett presents an interesting evaluation now.

College Production

To summarize what I already told you above, Crockett produced at a very high level early and has since been hampered by injury and has seen his efficiency decrease dramatically since. He has not been a big time threat in the receiving game especially in an offense that passed more than they ran the ball. 21 career receptions does not impress me.

He did average 0.85 scores per game over his college career. He has shown some prowess in the short area of the field and has a nose for the end zone.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 4)

We will learn a lot about Crockett at the combine. He hasn’t been fully healthy since his freshman year. He looked like a high level athlete than and I am willing to take those flashes into account here when evaluating his explosiveness. He has the ability to test well and that could really help his stock.

Receiving Ability: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

Crockett is clearly a better receiver than Roundtree.  He didn’t put up huge numbers in that department in college, but Drew Lock is not a checkdown kinda fella. Crockett shows smooth enough hands and can create space on limited routes. It’s not a plus skill, but it is a tool in his toolbox.

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

Is it Crockett or this offense that caused his efficiency to tank as his college career rolled on? I think it is a little of both. My fellow rankers like his vision more than I do, but I am more willing to bet on Crockett the athlete than Crockett the running back. Another passable trait here.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 1.6 (Personal Score: 1)

When you are asked to block less and less, you might not be that great at it. I did not see much from Crockett in terms of blocking. He will need a lot of coaching to even be playable in this capacity at the highest level.

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

Crockett still has that athleticism and electricity, but he does not run as angry as he did earlier in his career. The shoulder injury likely had an effect on his confidence. He has not been able to create yards after contact like he did as a freshman. He can change the perception at the combine, but for now this just adds to the average label he seems to getting here.

Conclusion: 3rd Round Flier

Crockett was expected to be a great player and those expectations have changed, however, if we see some strong numbers at the combine, I believe he still has the ceiling to be a great player.  All you have to do is look at the South Carolina game from this past year to see what he is capable of. He put together 20 carries for 154 yards and a score. South Carolina was not a great defense but when Crockett was given more carries, he took the opportunity to shine. Overall, he has a reasonably high ceiling and pretty low floor.  Not worth investing in before the mid to late 3rd round.

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 […]

48R 19 WR 1

Riley Ridley: The Polarizing 3 STAR 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.


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Riley Ridley (6’2”, 200) Wide Receiver, Georgia

16 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Riley Ridley is one of the most polarizing prospects in this class.  There are few who are lukewarm on him, most are hot or cold (yes or no, in or out, up or down).  His fans cite his athleticism and his hands while his detractors point to his lack of college production and limited route tree.  Ridley has a lot of ability and a lot of potential.

The younger brother of Calvin Ridley, who showed his doubters that he was an NFL caliber receiver last year with the Falcons, Riley will have every chance to prove himself.  With what looks to be greater athletic gifts than his brother, combine numbers will be more important for him than for someone like N’Keal Harry or JJ Arcega-Whiteside because of his limited production profile. If he can confirm elite or close to athleticism, he will get plenty of shots to produce.

College Production

How about 69 receptions for 1015 yards and 13 touchdowns? Sounds great right? Wellll. Those are Ridley’s career numbers at Georgia. In 14 games through his freshman and sophomore season he only recorded 26 catches. He had a 7% target share his freshman year and an 8.5% target share in his sophomore year.  These are not encouraging numbers, but they help explain the lack of production.

As the top receiver last year, he did score 9 times but he only averaged slightly over 3 receptions a game and just 13 yards a catch. Georgia’s offense is not terribly sophisticated and is run heavy almost to a fault. All in all, the lack of production does not sink the ship for Ridley, but it is certainly a red flag.

Speed & Acceleration: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Ridley has the speed to succeed in the NFL. Concerns with long speed were brought up with older brother Calvin. Those same concerns are not there currently with Riley. He shows NFL level speed and he should show the same at the combine. He is not a burner, but no concerns here.

Route Running: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 2)

Route running is difficult to assess for Ridley in the Georgia offense. He runs a lot of curls and comebacks. He does not show a complex route tree but he is successful and smooth on the routes he does run.

I am concerned that most of his success has come on similar routes especially with a high level quarterback throwing him the ball. The best thing I can say about his route running right now is that his brother is an absolute technician who can help him improve in this area.

While concern remains for now, there is plenty of optimism to be had.

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

Functional strength is solid and he does a good job of engaging when he wants to but with how good Georgia’s running game is between the offensive line and the talent at running back, Ridley didn’t need to put a lot of effort into blocking and that shows. He lacks conviction and consistency in this area. Hopefully the team that drafts him can help light a fire under him.

Handwork & Positioning: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 4)

This is one of Ridley’s biggest strengths that I have seen. He attacks the ball well and has great explosiveness at the top of routes. He is also successful at putting the defender where he wants them by moving his eyes and shoulders during his routes.

This is a strength of his game and it will allow him to make wow plays in the NFL. This likely won’t be what gets him playing time, but it will allow him more opportunities should he struggle early.

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

Ridley is a solid athlete no question, but there are a lot of better athletes in this class and with his brother’s lackluster combine numbers, I am hesitant to sign off on Ridley being elite. The combine could absolutely change this number, but for now I hold concerns about Ridley’s true ability to separate using his physical tools.

Conclusion: Late 2nd Round Target

Pair my concerns about his route running with my concerns about his athleticism and even with the name value, you get a late 2nd or even early 3rd round grade for fantasy purposes. I very likely won’t get much Ridley in rookie drafts and that is fine by me.

The combine and landing spot could give allow Ridley to rise my rankings slightly, but there is a long list of wideouts I would rather have than a guy who projects to take time to adjust to the NFL and is still in need of refining and development.

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 […]

48R 19 TE 4

Dawson Knox: 2 Star Fantasy Football Prospect with Big Upside

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.

Dawson Knox (6’4”, 258) Tight End, Ole Miss

11 Aggregate Score (2 Star Prospect)

Dawson Knox was a walk-on at Ole Miss in 2015, at the quarterback position.  This influences his game significantly. His strengths and weaknesses become more accentuated and it helps to explain how he got to where he is as a prospect. Where is that? Knox is an athlete who understands the game of football well, but is still very much adjusting to a position that asks a lot more of him physically.  The physical tools combined with a strong understanding of defenses could create a high ceiling for Knox. I stand alone as the rater who is dragging the overall score up for Knox and my hope rests entirely on his ceiling and potential.

College Production

Knox was… not productive at Ole Miss to put it politely. After red-shirting his freshman season, Knox played special teams in his second year (2016) which was Evan Engrams final season. Over his final two seasons at Ole Miss he recorded 39 receptions for 605 yards and no scores. While this production borders on putrid for a day two prospect over 17 games, there are many reasons that help to explain the lack of production.  

Knox was dealing with an offense that was less than stellar for how loaded with talent they were (QB Jordan Ta’amu had three receivers not even including Knox who will likely be drafted in the first three rounds in April) and being pretty far down the pecking order in that offense almost eliminates the concern for his numbers.

His numbers will be far less important than the numbers he puts up at the combine.  That is where Knox can, and I believe he will, cement his day two draft stock.

Speed & Acceleration: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 4)

Our raters may have been watching different games of Knox with scores ranging from a 2 to my 4 in the speed and acceleration category.  While Knox isn’t Evan Engram in terms of being a fast downfield threat, he does possess the necessary speed to find space in the middle of the field and terrorize up the seam.  The combine will shed far more light on this area, but I am comfortable with the game speed he shows.

Route Running: Aggregate Score: 2 (Personal Score: 3)

Route running is not a strength for Knox currently.  I see flashes of technique, quickness in his breaks and an ability to read his defender and react to create space.  With how crowded the passing game was at Ole Miss, he was limited in his route tree and that will need to be remedied at the next level.  The building blocks are there and I am comfortable projecting a little bit here where my colleagues are not.

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

Blocking is a weakness for Knox currently which is not a good sign for his chances at early playing time.  He looks to be a willing blocker though he hasn’t quite figured it out yet. I don’t foresee a blocking role for Knox at the next level and he won’t be drafted for that, however, the strength and technique need to improve.

Handwork and Positioning: Aggregate Score: 1.6 (Personal Score: 3)

Receiving two 1’s in a category is never good.  That is what happened here. I see what they see in that he has not shown a propensity for coming down with contested catches.  This is a concern especially for his fantasy potential as a lack of red zone usage tanks any tight end’s value. However, I see strong hands at the catch point and an ability to set up defenders where he wants as his route develops which will serve him well with his size.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 2.6 (Personal Score: 4)

I am convinced the athleticism that my partners don’t see on tape will show up at the combine and will continue to be apparent when Knox is released as a move tight end.  His size and body control are both high level. The speed, quickness and leaping ability should all be pluses post combine.

Conclusion: Early 3rd Round Target

Landing spot will determine a lot of things for Dawson Knox but I know he will be a given an opportunity wherever he is drafted.  In a deep draft, he does blend in with a lot of other talent in this range, but the positional scarcity gives tight end a bump for me in the later rounds of rookie drafts.  Knox is currently my rookie TE4. The three guys ahead of him are all more complete tight ends with much less work to do, but his ceiling is as high as all but Noah Fant and that makes him well worth taking at the top of the 3rd.

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 […]

48R 19 RB 5

Rodney Anderson: 4 Star Fantasy Football Prospect with RB1 Upside

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.

Rodney Anderson (6’2”, 220) Running Back, Oklahoma

20 Aggregate Score (4 Star Prospect)

Rodney Anderson is the most talented running back in this class. He has all the traits you look for in a three down back and has been good (though often not quite great) at all that he has been asked to do at Oklahoma. He is the most well rounded back in this draft and has a good chance to be the NFL Draft’s RB1.  

The key with Anderson will be medical checks as he has lost 3 of his past 5 seasons to injuries in each of his legs as well as a neck injury. These injuries have all been rather freak injuries and I don’t like the injury-prone label at all. It shouldn’t apply here, but we will know more from the combine. The combination of testing numbers, medical clearance and where a team is willing to pull the trigger on Anderson will tell you all you need to know about his fantasy draft stock.

College Production

The production for Anderson must be taken with a grain of salt as he was playing in the Big 12. And another grain of salt due to the talented players around him including Mark Andrews, Hollywood Brown, CeeDee Lamb, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield and a fairly talented offensive line to boot.

All that said, Anderson did have good production in 2017 producing well over 1400 yards and 18 touchdowns (13 on the ground and 5 through the air). An impressive sophomore year to be sure. Anderson kicked off 2018 hot as well but lost the rest of the season after rushing for 100 yards and two scores on just five carries in Oklahoma’s second game of the season.

With only 17 receptions in his career 15 games (17 if you count freshman appearances) some might question his receiving ability, but he looks great coming out of the backfield and the efficiency of his production on his catches was absurd. He averaged well over 16 yards per reception. Overall the production was impressive during his one full season as the starter.

The injury history deprived us of some spectacular stats this year where we saw Trey Sermon come close to 1000 yards and score 13 times in Anderson’s place. I am confident that, had he been healthy, Anderson would have dwarfed that production as he did in his sophomore year.

Speed & Agility: Aggregate Score: 4.3 (Personal Score: 4)

All three of our raters for Anderson gave him a 4 or a 5 in speed and agility. My 4 is only due to the injury he suffered early this season. If Anderson tests well at the combine, this rating could easily go up to a 5 for me.  Anderson has had a similar injury before so it is not out of this world to imagine him knocking the combine out of the park.

Receiving Ability: Aggregate Score: 4.3 (Personal Score: 5)

I touched on the receiving chops above, but Anderson is very strong after the catch. He has both strength and quickness to make players miss in space. He is not going to line up at receiver, but his route running is solid for a running back and he has soft hands. He should have no trouble filling the role of a 3-down back at the NFL level.

Vision: Aggregate Score: 4 (Personal Score: 4)

Vision is a strong point for Anderson in my opinion. The only reason I can’t give him a 5 is the size of the holes he was running through behind a strong offensive line in the Big 12. (This is a recurring theme here, I know.) I am willing to bet on the vision transferring to the next level because he has shown a good understanding of plays and how they develop.

Blocking: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 3)

Anderson does not show a lot in terms of blocking which is not surprising in a wide open Big 12 offense. When asked to block he looked average, but this is something that can be coached up with especially with an understanding of a new offense. Again his understanding of the playbook at Oklahoma and his own assignments will help him.

Strength: Aggregate Score: 4.3 (Personal Score: 4)

See Speed and Agility category. In other words, the combine will tell us a lot. I am not as concerned with the strength returning as with the speed or agility, but the recovery process could still affect strength especially early in his career. He has shown an ability to bounce off tacklers and create extra yardage churning his legs.  He checks all the pre-combine boxes here. I will be interested in his vertical and broad jump measurements for both leg strength and explosion.

Conclusion: Mid to Late 1st Round Target

Running back is far more scarce in this class than it has been in the past two. This does not mean to reach on running back though. The mid 1st round is as high as I will rank Anderson before hearing about medical checks and numbers from the combine. If he checks out as healthy, he should go somewhere in the second round of the NFL draft. That doesn’t narrow it down much for landing spot, but draft capital should dictate solid NFL and therefore fantasy impact in his rookie year.  A good landing spot could bump him up to the middle of the 1st round of your rookie draft.

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 […]

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Devy Running Back Rankings: Quarter Season Update

Scottie Phillips: Stock Rising

Scottie Phillips is quickly becoming my favorite Devy prospect. He transferred from Junior College and burst onto the scene at Ole Miss and became an integral part of a stacked offense from day one of his junior year. Through just 4 games, he has rushed for 467 yards and scored 6 times with one coming through the air. He has been extremely efficient with his touches even with only around 16 touches per game.

The fact that Phillips has been able to carve out a role on a team with this many NFL level playmakers (including DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, Damarkus Lodge and Dawson Knox) is very impressive.

Benny Snell: Stock Rising

Benny Snell is a guy who I will admit, was not high enough in my rankings.  Watching him this year has been an absolute treat. Following up 32 scores over the last two season is not easy to do, but through four games this year, Snell has stepped it up.  From scoring 4 times in Week 1 to rushing for 175 to lead his Wildcats to a big upset over the Florida Gators, Snell has looked great every week.

Handling a workhorse load, and remaining efficient when the defense knows he is getting the ball have been the biggest takeaways from my time watching him. Especially in this weak running back class, he is vaulting up the board.

Travis Etienne: Stock Holding

Travis Etienne is the most talented running back I will talk about here. The only significant challenge his Clemson Tigers have faced this year is Texas A&M. Etienne didn’t see much of the ball in that game and hasn’t been heavily relied upon at all this year.  

In the games against lesser competition, he has shown what you need to see. He has been dominant in 3 games against that lesser competition averaging almost 10 yards a carry. Etienne continues to show explosiveness and quick change of direction ability. We will likely get to see limited work going forward for Etienne as Trevor Lawrence steps into the starting quarterback role. What can continue Etienne’s slow rise up my board though is an increase in usage in the passing game out of the backfield.

David Montgomery: Stock Dropping

There are some foils to those who are rising. Some big names who have not had the start to the season that you would like to see.  David Montgomery was my RB1 for 2019, and, spoiler alert, he still is. However, his struggles can’t continue if he wants to stay there.  Montgomery has all the traits and he has a go to ability in his agility, specifically his jump cut, that fuels my love for him, but that has not carried him in a couple of tough games against Oklahoma and rival Iowa.

The schedule is difficult for the rest of the season for these Cyclones and they need Montgomery needs to step it up if they want to have a successful season and especially if he wants to maintain his fairly consensus top 3 RB status.

Bryce Love: Stock Falling

Bryce Love is also falling for me. Following a strong outing against USC, he struggled mightily against San Diego State. Love hasn’t been consistent even behind a solid offensive line. Stanford has also opened up the passing game and been more successful than they have been previously.

 Love was draft eligible after his Heisman level season last year and it is looking more and more like he should have declared. I don’t see much of any way he will come close to matching that year and what he has been putting on tape this year hasn’t been all that exciting. Ever since the decision to stay in school, he has been fading, before long, it might seem like Thanos got to him.

Damarea Crockett: Stock Falling

While Love is falling hard and fast, there is a guy who has fallen further.  Damarea Crockett was a guy I was high on after a strong showing his freshman year.   After struggling with injury all through his sophomore year, Crockett has let his job go full committee with Larry Roundtree III.  He has not regained his freshman form. Crockett may not even be draftable and I could certainly see him staying in school for his senior year after proving he has not truly recovered.

Rodney Anderson: Stock Holding

Unfortunately, we are waiting on another recovery from a big name. Rodney Anderson went down with a knee injury against UCLA and will miss the rest of the season. This is the second season he has lost to injury. He was another lock to be a top 3 RB in 2019, but this injury could mean another year at school before NFL teams will even touch him. Patience will be key for those who already own Anderson in Devy.  Now is not the time to panic and sell. The talent is there and another year of waiting won’t kill you.

Scottie Phillips: Stock Rising Scottie Phillips is quickly becoming my favorite Devy prospect. He transferred from Junior College and burst onto the scene at Ole Miss and became an integral […]

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Week 3 Devy Review

Stock Up: Travis Etienne

Etienne is a guy who needs to be talked about sooner than later. The Clemson running back sits among the loaded top 5 backs for the 2020 eligible class. He had a dominant day against Georgia Southern which is what you need to see against lesser opponents like this.  16 carries for 162 yards returning over a 10 yard per carry average checks that box emphatically for me. Add in two trips to the end zone and he showed why he already belongs in the first round conversation next year.

Sleepers: Darius Anderson & Squally Canada

Two guys you probably haven’t heard much from fared extremely well against high ranked opponents.  While this performance alone won’t get them an NFL opportunity, it certainly puts them on the radar to perform at a high level against NFL caliber defenders.  Darius Anderson of TCU only carried the ball 12 times against Ohio State. The result? Oh, just 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. Against #4 Ohio State. On a strong TCU team, Anderson becomes one to watch as the season rolls onward.  As does Squally Canada, who leaps to the top of the most fun names in college football list. My man Squally gashed #6 Wisconsin for 118 yards and a pair of touchdowns and much like Anderson, on only 11 carries. Again, this type of performance against a highly ranked team really shows a lot.  I will be looking for more big performances from both of these backs against their future, lesser opponents.

Stock Staying Solid: Justice Hill

Justice Hill is a guy who was already on radars for NFL scouts and fantasy players alike. He put up 123 yards and a touchdown against #17 Boise State. His quarterback also stole a couple running touchdowns inside the 10. This is a guy many expect to be a scat back at the NFL level.  I agree with this take to an extent. His size will restrict his workload, but he can make a high level impact. We have not seen a lot of pass catching out of him, but with his athleticism and profile, I don’t expect him to have much of an issue finding a role on an NFL offense.

A Trio of Wide Receiver Impact

Three big name wide receivers had big games as well, including Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.  He is Oklahoma’s top receiving option and he showcased his talents against Iowa State putting up 9 receptions for 191 yards and a touchdown.  His biggest attribute is his speed. He is a major burner who can beat you deep on any given play. He is a small receiver at 5’10” and only 160 lbs, but he reminds me a little bit T.Y. Hilton.  If he can continue to evolve his route tree and use short area quickness to create separation closer to the line of scrimmage, then he will succeed as an NFL wideout. In terms of big play ability, it is not hard to see Tyreek Hill in Hollywood Brown.

Jerry Jeudy only caught three passes against Ole Miss.  They went for 136 yards and a pair of scores. The Tide rolled over the Landsharks (dumb mascot name) but Jeudy stood out making some big plays.  Standing 6’1” and 192 lbs, he profiles as a possession type guy at the NFL. This game shows a deep threat ability that was great to see from him. Strong testing at the combine (which remains a long way out) will be big for Jeudy.  He has plenty of room to rise in the ranks before then.

His classmate Donovan Peoples-Jones had a huge week as well catching 4 balls from Shea Patterson for 90 yards and three, count ‘em, 3 touchdowns against SMU. He profiles differently from Jeudy because, while he is only slightly larger (6’2”, 207 lbs), he plays and profiles as a red zone receiver type of player.  He uses his body well and plays big. Tarik Black, the wolverines other big name receiver, missing the rest of the season gives DPJ a window of opportunity to shine in a big way. I expect a significant rankings rise from him by the end of the season.

Stock Up: Travis Etienne Etienne is a guy who needs to be talked about sooner than later. The Clemson running back sits among the loaded top 5 backs for the […]

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Week 2 Devy Review

Some exciting running back performances stood out this week starting with Benny Snell who, despite not finding the endzone, toted the ball 27 times against a ranked Florida team for 175 yards. That is a good day in my book and a good look for Snell who is proving he can handle the workload in a grind it out type of game. As the season rolls on, keep looking for Snell to handle significant workload. If he can maintain this level of efficiency, he has a little room to rise fantasy wise.

Scottie Phillips had a big time Week 1 scoring twice and followed that up this week with another two touchdown game.  He also broke 100 yards for the second week in a row. It may have been against a lower level opponent in Southern Illinois, but I am excited to see what Phillips can do for the rest of the year. He transferred from JuCo coming into this season.  More solid production that continues to look good on film, plus a solid combine could get him to the league in this weak running back class.

Bryce Love had a bounce back week after that abysmal week 1 showing.  He ran for 136 and a score against USC. There wasn’t any reason to worry about Love for a poor showing and this is proof that he is going to be just fine going forward. While I am not huge on Love due to size and workload concerns, he has the talent to contribute at the NFL level. He will make on to a team and he will be worth drafting in dynasty when rookie draft season rolls around.

Johnathan Taylor had a big boy week that makes these other guys look sad.  33 carries for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns against New Mexico was the performance of the week stat wise. The competition was not great, but the production is undeniable. Taylor is a stud who doesn’t have to do much outside of stay healthy to be a top 5 rookie pick in 2020. Behind this Wisconsin offensive line, he will be in the conversation for the Heisman trophy, not only this year, but likely next year as well.

Wide receiver play was not lacking either as Tee Higgins helped his team stave of the upset hungry Aggies with 3 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. He showed off his downfield prowess averaging 41 yards a catch on the day. He brings an extra dynamic to this Clemson offense. He is going to bring the Clemson wide receiver line back to prominence after Deon Cain slipped down draftboards last year. Higgins is looking like every bit of a top 3 receiver in the 2020 class.

We won’t have to wait until 2020 to see Bryan Edwards in an NFL uniform and thank goodness for that. Edwards is a guy who is getting a lot of hype lately surrounding his sky-high potential. Well last week against Georgia, he proved he has more than the potential to be great with 7 receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns against one of the nations top defenses.  His team got stomped 41 to 17 but Edwards shone brightly. This game will be enough for him to move up slightly in my rankings. More production at this level will force me to continue that rise.

We will wrap this up with Kyler Murray, who you might know as the successor to one Baker Mayfield. Murray looks like a stud already and put up over 300 yards to go with 3 touchdowns and that was just through the air. He added 69 (nice) yards on the ground and two more touchdowns. He looks like Heisman candidate as well and the only problem that can be seen is that he wants to play baseball. Murray is a phenomenal two sport athlete and the general feeling seems to be that he will take a crack at baseball prior to declaring for the NFL draft. I will be rooting for his success either way, but I would love to see him play quarterback at the NFL level.

Some exciting running back performances stood out this week starting with Benny Snell who, despite not finding the endzone, toted the ball 27 times against a ranked Florida team for […]

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Devy Stock Up: Prospects To Get Excited About After Week 1

Big names, as well as some smaller ones, were doing big things in Week 1 as college football returned with a full slate.

Don’t Get too Excited…Yet

There are a couple of categories of these performances based mostly on level of competition.  Some guys put up some studly statlines, but they did so against a bunch of nerds and 17 year olds.  Justin Herbert put up 6 total touchdowns against Bowling Green and Trayveon Williams blew up for 240 and 3 scores against Northwestern State. Sweet numbers, but I certainly take them with a grain of salt.  Rodney Anderson straddles this category and the next because he was playing Florida Atlantic, but he only needed the 5 touches they gave him to rack up triple digit rushing yards and 2 touchdowns and that’s nasty.

Stock Up Performances

The next category is the big names who showed out to a point that it may affect their draft stock, especially in fantasy.  Guys like Will Grier, who shredded the Tennessee defense for 425 yards and 5 touchdowns, really showing us what he can do and putting it all together to start this draft eligible season off right.

Mike Weber scored 4 times, with 3 on the ground and 1 through the air against Oregon State. This is a big game for me proving that he provides the best option for Ohio State in that backfield with JK Dobbins breathing down his neck. If Weber can hold on to that starting spot all year and keep even a semblance of this level of production, he will jump right up my draft board in a big way.

The guy though, who has peaked my interest and put himself firmly on my must watch list for the rest of the season, JJ Arcega-Whiteside. A guy I wasn’t terribly fond of after watching a few games. He didn’t jump off the page athletically despite substantial size and good production last year with 9 scores. In the first week, against a San Diego State team that isn’t terrible, Arcega-Whiteside put up 226 yards and 3 touchdowns, but that isn’t even the most impressive stat. The man did it on 6 catches. That is an average of almost 38 yards per reception. Damn.  With the rushing game bottled up, the Cardinals looked to the air and this man delivered in a huge way. While I still don’t think he will test well, he has proven to be a prospect worth further investigation. Any improvement in the athletic numbers could send this guy up my draft board in a hurry.

Players You Don’t Know, That You Need Too Know

The final category is a couple players who weren’t even on the radar. This could be for a number of reasons.  Underclassmen, guys who weren’t heavily recruited, or just guys who haven’t had other chances to break out. A freshman wideout for the Maryland Terrapins, Jeshaun Jones, was only a three star recruit and he balled out. This man ran for a touchdown, caught a touchdown and threw a damn touchdown all in the first half. Say hello to Mr. Jones everybody.

 Scottie Phillips is a transfer from Junior College to Ole Miss and he had a day against Texas Tech rushing for over 200 yards. He posted good numbers in JuCo and is already showing he belongs at the next level. It looks like there should be no worries surrounding athletic testing. More high level production could plant him firmly in fantasy rookie draft conversations after Bowl season.

And finally, a guy who stood out who may have a shot at the NFL was true freshman Rondale Moore who I watched in person break the Purdue all-purpose yardage record in his first game against Big Ten opponent Northwestern. Moore rushed for 80 yards and caught 11 balls for 109 scoring once in each category as well. Unfortunately it didn’t translate to win for the Boilers, but Moore was a revelation even for us fans who knew his name and what he might bring to the table. He is burner fast and unbelievably quick and shifty in space. He is on the small side, but he gave a Big Ten defense the business in the first game of his college career. Color me stoked.

Big names, as well as some smaller ones, were doing big things in Week 1 as college football returned with a full slate. Don’t Get too Excited…Yet There are a […]

Devy Targets 0

Devy Targets: 2020 Draft Class #1-4

Running backs?  Again? I don’t know where they will go, but a lot of these guys deserve workhorse type opportunity and could be absolutely phenomenal in that role.  Some of the receivers in this class have pretty slick profiles, and there are some guys in that list that I like a lot. However, the running backs are where the can’t miss talent lies.  Both Cam Akers and D’Andre Swift look like transcendent players. So again, let’s go down my list as it stands and layout what we should expect/look for while we are waiting for these guys to make the jump to the NFL.

Running backs?  Again? I don’t know where they will go, but a lot of these guys deserve workhorse type opportunity and could be absolutely phenomenal in that role.  Some of the receivers in this class have pretty slick profiles, and there are some guys in that list that I like a lot. However, the running backs are where the can’t miss talent lies.  Both Cam Akers and D’Andre Swift look like transcendent players. So again, let’s go down my list as it stands and layout what we should expect/look for while we are waiting for these guys to make the jump to the NFL.

Cam Akers – RB – Florida State – Sophomore – 5’11” 213 lbs
2017 Stats – 194 carries for 1025 yards and 7 touchdowns and 16 receptions for 116 yards and 1 touchdown

Akers is a monster, a transcendent talent, a terrific running back.  If there is a superlative out there, it can likely be used to describe this kid.  He is a strong runner with all the traits you are looking for in a bell cow back. He is quick and elusive in space.  He is willing to lower his shoulder and throw his weight around when necessary. He can really come at you any way he wants to.  His understanding of the game is special as he was a quarterback throughout high school. That also means he is still learning the running back position and has so much room to grow and improve on everything he has shown already.  Akers is in for a special season with quarterback Deandre Francois returning from injury and looking to rebuild his NFL draft stock. The Florida State offense is going to be something to see with those two in the backfield. One thing I will look for a little more of this season is him catching the ball out of the backfield.  He can and will improve on 16 catches in the next two seasons.

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D’Andre Swift – RB – Georgia – Sophomore – 5’9” 215 lbs
2017 Stats – 81 carries for 618 yards and 3 touchdowns and 17 receptions for 153 yards and 1 touchdown

Two transcendent level guys in one class? It is absolutely possible that this is the case for 2020.  At the moment, it’s a fantasy player’s choice as to which guy you like better. I prefer Akers, but everything can change with two more years of film, two more years of football development and two more years of physical growth.  I like Swift a lot, but without seeing him in a workhorse role, I just can’t rank him above Akers. He will show out this year in another strong Georgia offense. Jake Fromm will open up the box by giving the offense a much more dynamic passing game than they ran last year.  While Zamir White tearing his ACL is sad and will take away a year of film for him, it will give us a big year for Swift. He will see a lot of volume and really take on that workhorse role that you want to see for a guy this talented.

Jonathan Taylor – RB – Wisconsin – Sophomore – 5’11” 214 lbs
2017 Stats – 299 carries for 1977 yards and 13 touchdowns and 8 receptions for 95 yards

Jonathan Taylor, as you can see, is a production machine.  He gets touches and then he gets his. While he isn’t a monster big play threat, he produces consistently and he produces at a very high level.  He reminds me quite a bit of Melvin Gordon honestly. All of this makes sense behind those Wisconsin offensive lines in that ground and pound system.  300 carries in a college season is an extreme workload. It equates to almost 400 carries in a 16 game NFL season which just doesn’t happen.

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Jhamon Ausbon – WR – Texas A&M – Sophomore – 6’2” 220 lbs
2017 Stats – 50 receptions for 571 yards and 3 touchdowns

Ausbon is currently the best receiver in this class.  He sneaks into my top 4 overall edging out JK Dobbins, though not by much.  Ausbon shows a lot of great traits despite lacking a little in the height department for a boundary receiver.  He is listed at 220 pounds, which, going into his sophomore season is impressive. Couple that with his quick feet and strong hand usage when running routes and he becomes a problem.  He has also shown an ability to high point the ball very well and be a threat down the field. He is a very complete receiver even at a young age with the athletic profile for plenty of growth.

Running backs?  Again? I don’t know where they will go, but a lot of these guys deserve workhorse type opportunity and could be absolutely phenomenal in that role.  Some of […]

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Devy Targets: 2019 Draft Class #9-12

Draft day has come and gone.  Draft season however, never ends.  Time to get on board for next year.  Before the season gets started, before lineups need to be set, before trades need to be made, before championships need to be won, it is time to do your homework on next year’s possible rookies.  Oh, and while you’re there, why don’t you check out the 2020 eligible draftees? Sound like a lot of work? Well that’s what I’ve been up to and what I will continue to work on until (and let’s be honest, throughout) the season.  Ladies and gentlemen, for your reading pleasure, a quick Devy player update. And as always, tell me what you think, tell me how wrong I am, or ask me to expound upon my below pontifications.

See #1-4 in my Devy Rankings

Anthony Johnson – WR – Buffalo – Senior – 6’2” 207 lbs
2017 Stats – 76 receptions for 1356 yards and 14! Touchdowns

Anthony Johnson is not hyped enough headed into this year.  He obviously killed it last year racking up those numbers. He is a quality deep threat with top end speed and burst.

He profiles well as an athlete and he looks the part on film. The production is fabulous, but there is a reason that he is a this low at this point in the process.  The skills are all there, but the same was true with Antonio Callaway. The path to where we are now concerns me. A stint in Junior College is almost always a red flag. He has worked his way back and that can’t be taken away from him.

It will be interesting to see where the NFL values him as that will likely affect my feelings on his chances at the next level. I am certainly not writing him off completely, but another clean season with elite level production will do wonders for his NFL and fantasy draft stock.  The level of competition is low so the production will need to remain in that elite range to raise his stock much for me.

Bryce Love – RB – Stanford – Senior – 5’10” 196 lbs
2017 Stats – 263 carries for 2118 yards and 19 touchdowns, 6 receptions for 33 yards

Bryce Love might be the most recognizable name in this class.  He is a pre-season Heisman candidate and he is very likely to repeat a big time rushing line behind a strong offensive line for Stanford.

I don’t love Love as you can see by my rankings of 10 overall in this class. He is a solid player, but I think staying in school hurts his fantasy value overall for me.  He will be another year older and I don’t think he will given a chance to prove much that he hasn’t already shown with the way the offense is run. He only had 6 receptions last year and hasn’t had significant receiving volume since he was a freshman and played a much smaller role overall.  He made some big plays in the receiving game as a freshman, but volume and efficiency in that area have gone down each year.

I expect another big season on the ground and another lackluster one through the air which doesn’t do much for me in terms of a high level fantasy running back. He may be able to catch balls at the next level, but unless we see some more of that this year, I will not be as high on Love as many others will.  

See #5-8 in my Devy Rankings

Damien Harris –  RB – Alabama – Senior – 5’11” 221 lbs
2017 Stats – 135 carries for 1000 yards and 11 touchdowns, 12 receptions for 91 yards

Damien Harris is a pretty well-known name as well due to a strong showing last season and the fact that he was eligible to declare for the 2018 draft.  

Many have already done their homework on him and Bryce Love, but in case you haven’t. Harris is not an Eddie Lacy, Derrick Henry, Bo Scarbrough type of back that often hold the starting job at Alabama.  He is quicker and shiftier, though not quite as strong or powerful. He is still a formidable size but he doesn’t play the game like a battering ram. He is very efficient with his touches behind a strong offensive line.  He has good vision and a good understanding of his scheme and responsibilities.

We should see a solid year from him even with Najee Harris (who is a blue chip type prospect) and Josh Jacobs breathing down his neck. A strong year with that kind of competition would really move him up my board.

Noah Fant – TE – Iowa – Junior – 6’5” 232 lbs
2017 Stats – 30 receptions for 494 yards and 11! Touchdown
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Fant is the only prospect on this list that I have had the privilege to watch live.  Akrum Wadley stole the show with over 200 yards against my Boilermakers, but Fant did have a pretty nice touchdown catch in the red zone.  

Fant is a red zone monster as evidenced by the 11 touchdowns on 30 receptions. That is certainly an unsustainable clip, but don’t be surprised when he puts up double-digit touchdowns again in a larger role.  Fant has also shown blocking as a strength even for a his slighter size. I like him as much as I liked OJ Howard and he was my 1.07 last year. He is a very complete player at tight end who can stay on the field in all situations.  I like him as a Zach Ertz type of player with good athleticism and strong receiving traits, but also the ability to block and willing to do whatever is asked of him.

He is a high character kid who I like a lot. For more on Fant and a fun back and forth between him and LJ Chaney of the Dynasty Football Factory check out the interview with Fant from episode 29 of the Devy Watch podcast here.

Draft day has come and gone.  Draft season however, never ends.  Time to get on board for next year.  Before the season gets started, before lineups need to be set, […]

Devy Targets 1

Devy Targets: 2019 Draft Class #5-8

Draft day has come and gone.  Draft season however, never ends.  Time to get on board for next year.  Before the season gets started, before lineups need to be set, before trades need to be made, before championships need to be won, it is time to do your homework on next year’s possible rookies.  Oh, and while you’re there, why don’t you check out the 2020 eligible draftees? Sound like a lot of work? Well that’s what I’ve been up to and what I will continue to work on until (and let’s be honest, throughout) the season.  Ladies and gentlemen, for your reading pleasure, a quick Devy player update. And as always, tell me what you think, tell me how wrong I am, or ask me to expound upon my below pontifications.

See #1-4 in my Devy Rankings

5) Ahmmon Richards – WR – Miami – Junior – 6’1” 190 lbs
2017 Stats – 24 receptions for 439 yards and 3 touchdowns – Injury shortened season (7 games)

As one of my favorite prospects for 2019, I liked the outlook for Richards a lot in a high powered Miami offense last year.  It was a real bummer to see his season shortened by injury. He has a lot of talent and plays all over the field.  He is a good route runner and has a knack for finding spaces against zone coverage. He also shows terrific concentration in traffic situations keeping his focus on the ball and not any defenders.

Often he will catch with his body in traffic which could be more of an issue at the next level. He is not nearly as shifty as Brown, but he is strong in space and capable of creating after the catch.  One area of his game that will get him playing time early and often at the next level is his stellar blocking. He wants to make an impact when blocking and is willing to throw his weight around. His technique is good, but he can make some mistakes that can be coached out.  Overall, I want to see a nice season returning from the knee for Richards before I slide him back up in my rankings to where I think the talent dictates. For now though, the injury and the coaching up he needs drop him down stacked receiver class.

6) Dekalin Metcalf – WR – Ole Miss – Junior – 6’4” 225 lbs
2017 Stats – 39 receptions for 646 yards and 7 touchdowns

Currently, I would describe Metcalf as a red zone threat.  He is big and athletic with solid body control. His hands look average to me.  He needs to improve in a lot other areas and really stretch that skill set to be more effective in between the 20’s.  He could learn a lot from his teammate A.J. Brown who possesses a much more well rounded game and resides a little higher on this list.  He is not as good along the sideline, and he often relies on his athleticism to win.

Better route running and an improved overall route tree would do wonders for a guy who was once considered to be right at the top of this class, with Harry.  The potential is still there and he certainly has the physical tools (yes, you have heard this before, and you’ll hear it again before we are done, but I can’t wait for the combine results here), but he needs to continue to improve in the mental area of the game. I have him this high based on that potential, but guys like Anthony Johnson, Bryan Edwards, or Rodney Anderson have a chance to hop over him depending on everyone’s performance this year.

7) Bryan Edwards – WR – South Carolina – Junior – 6’3” 216 lbs
2017 Stats – 64 receptions for 793 yards and 5 touchdowns

Edwards is tough to evaluate in a weird South Carolina offense.  The offense relied heavily on Deebo Samuel before he got injured early in the season and that allowed Edwards to thrive with less defensive attention.  Edwards struggled some as the main focus of defensive attention. He faced a lot of double teams. He also proved he can win in those situations up by going up top.  The big issue I have with him is his willingness to go down on first contact.

He is not good after the catch. He is a good downfield threat, which is good because he doesn’t make much happen with the ball in his hands.  He shows the speed and quickness necessary running his routes, so I could see him turning it completely around this year. I look forward to another year of film on Edwards as his numbers haven’t jumped of the page at me yet. He again has all the tools to be a WR1 which is kind of the theme in this class, but until I see him separate himself from the pack a little bit more on film and improve on those numbers, I will remain a little low on him.

8) Rodney Anderson – RB – Oklahoma – Junior – 6’2” 218 lbs
2017 Stats – 188 carries for 1161 yards and 13 touchdowns, 17 receptions for 281 yards and 5 touchdowns

Anderson has the most room to rise of anyone in this group here and he has only been climbing over the past 6 months.  Repeat that touchdown production in an offense that just lost Baker Mayfield, Mark Andrews and Orlando Brown Jr? He will rocket up my list. I love the size and he runs like a much smaller back. He is a superior athlete which is huge for me, because you can’t teach that!

The best part about Anderson is that he doesn’t rely on that athleticism.  He has great vision and love to make guys miss as opposed to taking the hits. This is nice for a bigger back like him as these guys often rely on their ability to run through arm tackles. The flip side of this is that Anderson can struggle in tighter spaces, likely in part due to his height.

He can get wrapped up near the line of scrimmage when the hole is too small. He is good however, at getting what is blocked and taking advantage of the holes he is given. Anderson does have some injury history, but a healthy season this year will alleviate those concerns for me. Like I said, he could find himself in my top 5 before the season is out if he shows out again.

 

Draft day has come and gone.  Draft season however, never ends.  Time to get on board for next year.  Before the season gets started, before lineups need to be set, […]