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.

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.

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.

Justice Hill: Building Hype After An Electric Combine

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.

Justice Hill (5’10”, 190), Running Back, Oklahoma State

15.3 Aggregate Score (3 Star Prospect)

Justice Hill is a very intriguing prospect.  He has been hanging around in that second tier of running backs most of the pre-draft process.  That all changed when he had one of the best performances for a running back at the 2019 NFL Combine.  Hill ranked first amongst running backs in the 40-yard dash (4.40), broad jump (10’10”) and vertical jump (40’).  Since then, Hill has been gaining hype and rising up rookie draft boards.

Out of Booker T. Washington High School in Oklahoma, Hill was a 3-star recruit, based on 247Sports Composite.  His senior year, Hill was an all-state selection and the 6A-II offensive player of the year.  After receiving offers from Houston, Kansas and Louisville, Hill decided to commit to Oklahoma State.

College Production

Hill was very productive while at Oklahoma State.  As a true freshman, Hill had 206 carries for 1,142 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns. His performance earned him Second-Team All-Big 12 honors and broke the OSU freshman rushing record.  As a sophomore, Hill had his best season at OSU with 268 carries for 1,467 yards and 15 touchdowns.  Hill also added 31 receptions for 190 yards and 1 touchdown.  Hill earned First-Team All-Big 12 honors and was a Doak Walker Award Semifinalist.  In 10 games as a junior, Hill had 158 carries for 930 yards and 9 touchdowns.

This is great production for Hill, even if the majority of it came against Big 12 defenses.  The only thing I would have liked to see more from Hill is a bit more production in the receiving game.  He only had 49 receptions for 304 yards and 1 touchdown in three seasons.  It is better than nothing, but for a guy who projects best to be a third down back, I would have liked to have seen more out of him.

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

Hill is extremely quick.  He does a great job of accelerating to open space. Along with being fast, Hill does a great job of changing direction.  When he cuts or has to change direction, he is very fluid and accelerates forward very well. I wish Hill would have displayed more of his agility and elusiveness in open space to avoid/break some more teams.

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

As I mentioned above, this is an area I expected to see more out of Hill.  In terms of running routes, Hill mainly ran swings and flats.  The promising thing is that Hill looks comfortable catching the ball and is great after the catch.  He uses his acceleration and vision to get to space and make plays.

Vision: Aggregate Score: 3 (Personal Score: 4)

This an area of Hill’s game that I seemed to like more than my fellow raters.  When looking at Hill’s vision, I think he does a great job of identifying when he needs to change direction or reverse the field.  He turned countless broken plays into positive plays just by changing direction and accelerating to space.

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

I think the best way to describe Hill as a blocker is competent.  As a smaller back, he wasn’t asked to block a ton in college.  He was mainly used to chip defenders and then release to his route.  When he was asked to stay in to pass block, Hill showed willingness and aggression when going up against defenders.

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

I really enjoy watching Hill run because he is aggressive and attacks defenders.  He does a great job of fighting for extra yards by being physical.  The only problem is that he doesn’t have the size to consistently overpower defenders and break tackles.  I really wish I could give him 25 extra pounds and watch him run over people.

Conclusion: Mid-Late 2nd round pick

Because of his combine performance, Hill has started catching more people’s attention.  So long are the days of thinking you could grab him late in the third round of rookie drafts. Hill has the skill set to be a reliable third down back that will definitely get his looks on early downs as well.  Again, my only issue with Hill is that since he projects to be primarily a receiving back, I would have liked to see more production in college.  Still, with big play upside, I would feel really comfortable with taking Hill in the middle of the 2nd round of rookie drafts.

Welcome to Hollywood, NFL: Brown a 4 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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Marquise Brown (5’10”, 168) Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

18.3 Aggregate Score (4 Star Prospect)

Marquise “Hollywood” Brown isn’t like most of the other top end receivers in this draft.  He isn’t that big body wide receiver that projects to be a prototypical WR1.  Brown is a small, shifty player that will most likely be a burner in the NFL. Brown’s speed and acceleration allowed him to be very productive in college and should allow him to continue producing in the NFL

Unfortunately for Brown, it came out a couple of weeks ago that he had surgery for a Lisfranc injury last month.  Lisfranc is an injury that has to deal with one of the bones in the mid-foot breaking.  Considering guys like Le’Veon Bell and Dwight Freeney have had similar surgeries and continued to improve, this isn’t the end of the world for Brown.  It’s been reported that he should be ready for summer training camp, but this will definitely have an effect on his draft stock.  Let’s just hope there aren’t any complications or lingering issues.

College Production

Before attending Oklahoma, Brown spent a season at College of Canyons, a junior college in California. At College of Canyons, Brown led the team with 50 receptions for 754 yards and 10 touchdowns.  Brown also returned kickoffs and punts, totaling almost 600 yards and another two scores.  Rated as the number 10 junior college player in the country by Rivals, Brown decided to transfer to Oklahoma after one season.

Brown didn’t miss a beat when he got to Oklahoma.  His sophomore season (2017), Brown had 57 receptions for 1,095 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Brown really performed when it mattered by putting up a combined 201 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Big 12 championship and CFP semifinal.  He then followed that up with an even more impressive junior year.  Brown had 75 catches for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns.  Brown was named as a First-Team All-American and a First-Team All-Big 12 honoree.

The numbers don’t lie.  Brown produced at a ridiculous level in college, averaging nearly 18.3 yards per reception.  I understand that this was against Big 12 defenses, but this is still impressive.  Brown showed that he has the ability to make big plays from pretty much every part of the field

Speed & Acceleration: Aggregate Score: 5 (Personal Score: 5)

Holy Smokes! Brown is extremely fast.  Brown has a great release at the line of scrimmage and accelerates into his routes very quickly.  If he was running at the combine, he probably would end up running in the low 4.3 range.  The most impressive part of his speed is that he displays it more than just on fly routes.  He’s able to maintain his speed in breaking routes, such as posts and slants, and is a huge threat after the catch on short routes.

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

Route Running is extremely difficult to evaluate with speed guys, mainly because the main source of their separation is their speed.  This holds true with Brown.  He is able to create separation at all levels of the field.  He displayed a pretty diverse route tree including 9 routes, posts, comebacks, slants, drags, digs and screens.  He showed subtle footwork and change of direction that proved effective, but again, most of the separation he creates is from his speed.

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

For being a small receiver, Brown shows a lot of willingness and aggression when it comes to blocking.  Now, he’s obviously not going to truck a DB and put him on his back, but Brown will definitely engage and try to prevent his guys from becoming part of the play.  Brown does a decent job of positioning himself to help create holes.

Handwork & Positioning: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 3)

Due to his speed, Brown didn’t have to display a ton of handwork and footwork during his routes.  In the games I watched, I only saw him in one contested catch scenario, where he got the ball, but eventually got it punched out.  Brown does a really good job of reading the defense and running his routes to open space.  This allows him to catch the ball in space and have the opportunity to gain yards after the catch.

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

Brown is a great athlete.  On top of his speed, Brown shows good agility, explosiveness and body control.  However, because of relying on his speed, Brown rarely uses his agility to break tackles after the catch. I really think if he becomes more comfortable in this area of his game, he will become an even bigger threat at the NFL level.

Conclusion:  2nd Round Target

Draft capital is going to tell me a lot about Brown and this Lisfranc injury.  Once thought to be a possible 1st round pick, Brown has the talent to be a serious contributor at the NFL level.  I will feel a lot more confident in Brown and his health if someone spends a Day 2 pick on him.  If that’s the case, I’d be targeting Brown near the middle of the 2nd round in traditional rookie drafts.  That’s a relatively cheap price for a player that has a ton of upside.  However, if Brown falls to Day 3 of the draft, that tells me that teams are worried about his health, which will probably push Brown down my rankings.

DK Metcalf: 4 Star Prospect & the 1.01?

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.

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DeKaylin Metcalf (6’4″, 225), Wide Receiver, Ole Miss           

18.6 Aggregate Score (4 Star Prospect)

Until writing this article, I had no idea what “D.K.” stood for until now. DeKaylin Metcalf is a prospect with NFL blood lines; his dad, uncle and grandfather all played in the NFL. Amazing athlete with an amazing name, “D.K.” has stolen the hearts of many since he entered the college football realm. I remember seeing pictures of this man-child who would play for Ole Miss and thought, “Oh man, this kid is going to be a problem!”

College Production: 

Unfortunately, he hasn’t had the biggest opportunity to set the college world on fire because of 2 season-ending injuries (one in his freshman year and one as a red-shirt sophomore). It gives me somewhat of a “cause to pause”, but given they aren’t persistent nagging injuries (like Emanuel Hall’s groin/hamstring issues), I cannot dock him too much for it. However, this type of injury history is something to keep an eye on.

Another reason he was stymied, was due to the fact that he played with an offense full of NFL talent in Scottie Phillips, AJ Brown, Demarkus Lodge and Dawson Knox. A lot of mouths to feed in Ole Miss, but he made the most of it.

Speed/Acceleration: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 3)

This aspect of his game just reminds me of many guys his size: fast for his size but not necessarily blistering fast overall. The combine may change my thought process on that, but I just didn’t see the same speed that even his fellow “NWo” (Nasty-Wideouts) teammates have. I see him running 4.5-7 but being more of a game speed guy.

Route Running: Aggregate Score: 3.3 (Personal Score: 2)

This is one part of his game that I’m willing to be flexible with. There’s a lot of reports that their offensive scheme as a whole was a big time joke and lacked complexity. Because of this, we never saw him run anything outside of a bunch of go routes with a few curls or corner routes with go options. I still can’t give him much of a score here either because he didn’t excel off the line like he could have even with a simple route being ran all the time.

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

Average at best. He didn’t do it a whole lot and wasn’t asked to. AJ Brown was their blocker supreme who used his size to lay dudes out. The odd part is he weighed the same amount as Metcalf, but Metcalf wasn’t really about blocking too much. To be fair, that’s OK, it won’t be a make or break like it would be with a running back.

Handwork/Positioning: Aggregate Score: 4.3 (Personal Score: 3)

Again, something that isn’t heavily in his game although he has the skill to get way better here. I’ve watched way to many receivers to give him a pass here. This isn’t scheme dependent, it’s player. When it came to utilizing receiver skill, he just seems unrefined.

Athleticism: Aggregate Score: 4.6 (Personal Score: 4)                                                                                                    

My favorite part of his game is his athleticism and he made sure to put it on display every chance he got. Where I think he lacks in pure electric speed, he makes up for it in spades here. Check out this JustBombsProductions tweet that really embodies what Metcalf is as a receiver.

Conclusion: First Round, Picks 1-3

I have him as my WR3 because of his raw ability/lack of refinement and injury history or otherwise he might be my 1.01. No matter how high I’m not on him, there’s no doubt that this kid is special and will fly off draft boards depending on who you play with. The only consensus that I’ve seen and also agree with, is that he’s top 3. If he falls below that I think he’ll be immediately deemed a steal.