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Week 10 and 11: Rookie Standouts

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It’s been two weeks since one of my rookie roundups, thanks to a lovely bout of flu and sinusitis, and a lot has changed in that time. Firstly, I’m going to give a brief rundown of who would have made my week 10 rookies, and then let’s focus on week 11’s before our lineup of Thanksgiving football feasts later on.

Week 10 Standout Rookies 

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Christian Watson, Wide Receiver – Green Bay Packers 

8 targets, 4 receptions, 107 yards, 3 touchdowns. Nuff said 

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Myjai Sanders, Edge – Arizona Cardinals 

A breakout game against the leagues worst OL. Two pressures including a sack-fumble and three run stops. 

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Charles Cross, Tackle – Seattle Seahawks 

0 pressures from 42 pass blocking snaps makes this his best performance of the season. 

Right, let’s move on to the rookies that stood out in week 11. 

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Tyler Linderbaum, Center – Baltimore Ravens 

It’s very difficult sometimes to fully appreciate how important it is to have a solid, reliable center. They don’t play a flashy position, and they rarely show up on the stat sheets despite having to both initiate each play and manipulate the defensive front depending on the play call. Despite this, I thought it was about time we spoke about the standout centre from this year’s rookie class, Tyler Linderbaum.

Linderbaum, despite experiencing some early teething problems, has improved week after week to quickly become a dominant force for the Ravens, especially on rushing plays. Baltimore averages 162.8 rushing yards per game, and Linderbaum has an impressive 77.6 PFF rating in run blocking, including a 74.1 rating this past week against the Carolina Panthers.

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Chris Olave, Wide Receiver – New Orleans Saints 

On draft night, the Saints knew they needed a wide receiver, and Olave was clearly their guy as they traded up five spots to select the Ohio State alumni, giving up their own 16th pick as well as picks 98 and 120. I think it’s fair to now say that they have been able to ratify their decision as Olave continues to be a standout player on their offense. 

After finishing week 11 with five receptions for 102 yards (an average of 20.4 yards per reception) and a touchdown, the Saints rookie is now ranked in the top 15 in most of the major receiving statistics. He’s tied for 15th in receptions with 51, tied for 12th in first down conversions with 34, and is 10th in receiving yards with 760. A lot of his extra targets can likely be attributed to the injuries suffered by Thomas and Landry, but at least the Saints know they have a more than competent number one going forward.

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Aidan Hutchinson, Edge – Detroit Lions 

The Lions completely dominated the Giants this past week (much to the annoyance of this writer), but credit where credit is due, it was fully deserved. Defensively, the Lions stifled everything that the Giants had to offer outside of a few chunk plays that came after the Lions were already almost out of reach, and one huge contributor to that was Aidan Hutchinson. 

Hutchinson, who has since been crowned NFC defensive player of the week, has already made this rookie standout list before and week by week is proving his credentials in the race for defensive rookie of the season. Against the Giants, he finished the game with a pass defense, three tackles, a fumble recovery, and an interception. The interception was his second of the season, making him the second player in NFL history with two interceptions and five or more sacks in his first 10 career games 

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Week 8: Rookie Standouts

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We’re almost at the halfway point of the season, and as expected, many rookies are getting opportunities due to trades, injuries, and inconsistent form. Here are three rookies that stood out this week.

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Isaiah Likely, Tight End – Baltimore Ravens

As discussed in my first ever Full10Yards article, Isaiah Likely was the Ravens’ second tight end drafted on Day 3, but in minicamp and OTAs, he had already started to separate himself from the pack. The biggest issue that Likely would face, though, is being behind two-time pro bowler and all-pro Mark Andrews.

So, when Andrews, who was already dealing with a knee injury, landed awkwardly on his shoulder and was ruled out after 10 snaps, it was Likely’s time to shine, and shine he did. Likely slotted straight into Andrews’ shoes, catching six of his seven targets for 77 yards and a touchdown, in which he showed great body control to keep himself in bounds. With Andrews now dealing with multiple injuries, this breakout couldn’t have come at a better time for the Ravens.

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Malcolm Rodriguez, Linebacker – Detroit Lions

The Lions are currently sitting at the bottom of the pile in the NFL overall standings, and despite some initial optimism spurred on by their stint on NFL Network’s Hard Knocks, they look to be yet again not getting anywhere near the postseason.

It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as Aiden Hutchinson has already made this list before, and though production has slowed, he’s still been a disruptive force. Now you can add Hard Knocks’ favourite Malcolm Rodriguez to the list.

He was arguably the best defensive player for the Lions in Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, as he recorded his first-ever NFL sack, jointly led the team with seven tackles, and recovered a fumble forced by fellow rookie Kerby Joseph.

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Garrett Wilson, Wide Receiver – New York Jets

With questions swirling about the future of Jets quarterback Zach Wilson after another rough showing, it’s another Wilson who took the headlines this week. Garrett Wilson made the most of his limited targets (seven) and showed exactly why he should be the team’s number 1 receiver and should be targeted more often, especially seeing as the Jets threw the ball 41 times.

Against a New England Patriots cornerback unit that includes rookies Jack Jones and Marcus Jones, both of whom are in the top ten for the lowest completion rate, Wilson took his lowly seven targets, caught six of them, and recorded an impressive 115 yards, making him the 2nd Jets rookie ever to have two 100 yard plus games in a season, behind Ring of Honor member Al Toon.

Honorable Mentions

Sauce Gardner (New York Jets), Greg Dulcich (Denver Broncos), Martin Emerson (Cleveland Browns), Ikem Ekwonu (Carolina Panthers), Tomon Fox (New York Giants)

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Week 3: Rookie Standouts

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Another week in the books, and there were plenty of candidates for this article as the NFL’s strange season continues with surprising victories, comebacks, and streaks being broken. Let’s take a look at three rookies who stood out amongst the pack: 

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Chris Olave, Wide Receiver – New Orleans Saints

Saints fans would probably struggle to find any positives in their team’s performance against the Carolina Panthers, but if you had to pick something, it would have been their rookie Wide Receiver’s performance.

Olave hauled in nine receptions off thirteen targets, a number that shows how quickly he’s established a rapport with Jamies Winton. He has now taken his total for the season to 17 receptions for 268 yards, which is enough to lead all rookie wide receivers. Though it is unlikely that he continues at this pace for the entire season, the Saints will be delighted that he has transferred his skills to the professional game so quickly.

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Jalen Pitre, Safety – Houston Texans

Fourth-rounder Jalen Pitre missed interception in the Texans’ season opener against the Indianapolis Colts may have lit a fire inside the former Baylor standout that cannot be extinguished, and without his play in the loss against the Chicago Bears this past week, the scoreline could have been a lot uglier.

Pitre had a breakout game with key plays throughout this game. His first interception came in the first quarter as he was heading towards the ground. His second stopped a key drive for the Bears in the fourth quarter, and finally he added a sack to his stat line on the Bears’ next drive. Though his effort was ultimately unrewarded, the positive signs are there for the future.

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Devin Lloyd, Linebacker – Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars have not shied away from putting their young team at the forefront of their plans, and one player that is thriving in Florida is Linebacker Devin Lloyd. Having displayed the sideline to sideline abilities that were highly touted in the lead up to the draft, Lloyd has taken to NFL life like a duck to water.

If you add his stats against the Los Angeles Chargers of 5 solo tackles, 3 passes defended, and an interception to Lloyd’s stat sheet, it is ludicrous. 24 tackles, a league-high six passes defended, two interceptions and a targeted passer rating of 28.2. Sheesh

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The Rookies: Desmond Ridder, QB, Atlanta Falcons

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The 2022 NFL Draft may have been the weirdest year for quarterbacks in a while with the first and only signal caller off the board in the first round being Pitt Panthers’ legend Kenny Pickett. Many people’s QB1 didn’t hear his name called until round 3 when the Atlanta Falcons went ahead and drafted Cincinnati Bearcats’ Desmond Ridder. As camp kicks off and there are reports of Ridder being in line for the backup job already, so let’s take a look and introduce the rookie, Demond Ridder.

Desmond Ridder was born on August 31st 1999 in Louisville when his mother was only 15. Given this, Ridder was raised by his grandparents for a time but found football early on at St. Xavier High School where as a senior he threw for 1,319 yards and 9 touchdowns adding 668 yards and 12 scores with his legs on his way to being named All-Metro. 

Ridder was only a 2 star recruit (Per Rivals.com) and committed to Cincinnati over Eastern Kentucky (his only other offer) after Tommy Tuberville saw him at a tryout he hosted the morning of the Kentucky Oaks where Bearcats offensive coordinator, Zac Taylor, managed to get a look at him. Tuberville resigned after Ridder’s senior year at High School but new head coach Luke Fickell said he would honour the offer and Ridder signed his national letter of intent.

Ridder would redshirt his true freshman year but he burst onto the scene as a redshirt freshman, passing for 2,445 yards and 20 touchdowns coupled with 583 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground. His performance saw he collect the AAC rookie of the year award as he brought a breath of fresh air to the program. 

Ridder stumbled a little as a redshirt sophomore, as he threw for 2,164 yards and 18 touchdowns while adding 650 yards and 5 touchdowns on the ground. Despite this, he was named the Birmingham Bowl MVP that season as the Bearcats handled Boston College in a 38-6 thrashing which was just a sign of things to come for the bearcats.

Ridder’s junior campaign would finally bring his name some national attention as he won both the Davey O’Brian and Walter Camp player of the week awards following the Bearcats’ rout of 16th ranked SMU. The season would end with Ridder being named AAC offensive player of the year, finishing his campaign with 2,296 yards and 19 touchdowns with 592 yards and 12 touchdowns with his legs in a 9 game season shortened due to covid. Ridder thought about declaring for the NFL draft but decided to return for his senior season and another shot at glory as the Bearcats fell short against SEC heavyweights Georgia in their bowl game.

Ridder’s senior season was a continuation of his success as a sophomore, gaining another Davey O’Brian quarterback of the week award as the Bearcats snapped Notre Dame’s 26 game home unbeaten streak. The Bearcats would finish the season 12-0 and go into the AAC championship game ranked 4th in the nation, meaning a win would seal their ticket to the playoffs. 

After a 35-20 win over the Houston Cougars, Cincinnati would become the first group of five team to make the college football playoffs where they would come up against Nick Saben’s Crimson Tide and Heisman winning signal caller, Bryce Young. While the Bearcats fell 35-20 it is worth reminding people that the average score discrepancy in a playoff game is actually 21.7 points. Despite the loss, Ridder would finish his final season with the Bearcats with 3,334 passing yards, 30 touchdowns with 355 yards and 6 scores on the ground. The single best season in program history. 

At the NFL combine the young QB performed well, but couldn’t do enough to be drafted on day one, leading to his 3rd round selection by the Falcons. 

But what should fans in Atlanta expect this year?

Let’s start with the negatives, because there are a fair few flaws in Ridder’s game. Mechanically he’s sloppy, as many of these rocket arm athletes tend to be. From the feet up his base and lead foot aren’t always set correctly, leading to some off balance and inaccurate throws, which actually plays into another problem Ridder has which is his accuracy. 

While he’s not outright inaccurate per se he definitely struggles with consistent ball placement and can over-extend his motion leading to overthrowing his man at times. The biggest problem for me is his football IQ. As a senior Ridder was still snapping the ball with a clap rather than an audible and his lack of understanding of more complex parts of football do show up when passing, as you can see sometimes he isn’t fully aware of the leverage his receivers have leading to some pass breakups and picks. Ridder is very very raw but his physical skill set reminds me a lot of Josh Allen while he was at Wyoming. 

However, there is plenty to like about the newest Falcons’ QB. The first thing you’ll notice watching Ridder is his insane arm strength. It’s next level and probably the best arm we’ve seen coming out of college (at least in terms of pure power) in the last few years. His athletic ability shouldn’t be understated either as he ran the fastest 40 of the QB’s at the combine and watching him take off for a huge play was a regular sight at Cincinnati (we all remember the touchdown 90 yard TD against SMU). 

Ridder also has the advantage of being battle-tested as he started for 4 years as a Bearcat and has been in the fire more than most at the college level. Oh and he’s 6’4”, we know scouts love that. These strengths are perfect as long as Ridder gets the correct coaching, which is a real possibility in Atlanta. 

It’s clear he won’t be the day one guy for the Falcons this season. Holding the clipboard and getting himself familiar with some of the more exotic defences and formations he’s going to be facing in the NFL will be good for him when he finally becomes a starter. If the Falcons do right by Ridder they have a star and a franchise QB on their hands, it’s down to them now. If Ridder doesn’t pan out it’s on them. It would be a massive waste.

For more articles and videos check me out on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClPlBm-H2PzR7dF5jqm7mTQ

Also be sure to check out my twitter @KieranHorneCFB for more football content and video clips.

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A Quick Guide to Bestball

If you are new to fantasy football, I would recommend playing in a best ball league format. What is this format? It takes the headache for some (joy for us fantasy football lovers) of setting your lineup every week and plays the best player on your roster for the respective position. Best to show an example with a roster:

QB: Jalen HurtsBench: Josh Jacobs
RB: Miles SandersBench: Julio Jones
RB: Derrick HenryBench: Henry Ruggs
WR: Allen RobinsonBench: DeSean Jackson
WR: Darnell MooneyBench: Matt Ryan
WR:  Chris GodwinBench: Tim Patrick
TE: Travis KelceBench: OJ Howard
FLX: AJ BrownBench: Boston Scott

With the roster listed above let’s assume Derrick Henry had a down week (week 1) because the defense stacked the box against him putting up 20 attempts for 70 yards. Pretty bad day. In almost every format, any analyst would tell you that starting Henry over Josh Jacobs is a better play; however week 1 Josh Jacobs put up 15 rushes for 105 yards and 3 touchdowns. You would be bummed beyond belief to not have that kind of production in your line up. Good news is in Best Ball, you get the best positional player for your team to fill your starting lineup. Same thing if week 1 DeSean Jackson goes crazy and has 2 80 yard touchdowns for the day compared to Chris Godwin only caught 3 passes for 50 yards. Since Jackson had a better fantasy day, he would be in your fantasy starting lineup over Godwin. These formats are a draft’em and watch’em approach as usually there are no trades (yes that is allowed) and never any transaction after the draft is over. 


What advice do you give to a 1st year Best Ball Player?

Find Late Round Gold: In most 12 team leagues, the first 5-7 rounds are going to feel very familiar with a lot of studs going with a few QB’s sprinkled in there. After the 5th round don’t be afraid to pull the trigger on a guy you think has the potential. Remember this format plays only your best players for that week, so draft players who will see a lot of on the field stats with high targets. One player I am grabbing in the 11th round in best ball drafts is Russell Gage. Last season he saw 110 targets which was the same as Mike Evans. He is a fantastic late round guy that has high upside that will see a lot of volume which will increase his touchdown percentages. Others I am targeting are Darnell Mooney (ADP is 10th round), Jakobi Meyers (ADP 15th round) and Quintez Cehpus (20th round).

Don’t Draft The Same Guys Everytime: Again, the first few rounds it is “OK” to have a little bit of repetition of high volume players if they do fall to you at an amazing price however if that player (Jonathan Taylor as an example) has a terrible first week, you don’t want to feel like you just lost all of your best ball week 1 matchups because you have him across the board. Take a shot at a guy you know that won’t fall back to you. It is OK to take Travis Kelce with the 1st overall pick in a best ball draft if you want to have him as the chances of him falling back to you in the 2nd round are very slim. Take a shot at different running back studs as a mix and match approach based on your tier rankings (if you aren’t using tier rankings I would recommend doing so). 

Draft at least 3 QB’s and 3 TE’s: Alright so you were the guy in your league who did the Travis Kelce/Patrick Mahomes stack (guilty) Congrats! It is a fun ride however, the big guys still bust. Last season week 7 Travis Kelce had 6.10 points in PPR format finishing as the TE 71 on the week with Donald Parham Jr scoring as the TE 25 on the week (YIKES). Yes every week before and after that Kelce was at least a top 5 TE on the week so you would have been happy those weeks however bad games will happen. Some late round TE’s I am targeting: Tim Tebow (Last round pick folks what do you have to lose), OJ Howard (2 weeks last season with 6 target and you have Tom Brady throwing the ball), and Mo Alie-Cox (he is 6’5= big guy big target). QB’s are for the reasons and injury’s occur more often than not. Some late round QB’s: Jimmy Garaoppolo (he is the presumed starter as of now), Teddy Bridgewater (QB changes can occur at any time), Tyrod Taylor (with Watson’s legal situation taking a shot at him having a big week at least once and/or injury).

Stacks on Stacks on Stacks:  One opportunity to have a big week (highest scoring week on the week for the league always means you will win) is to stack your QB with at least one positional player (RB/WR/TE).  Why? If that player is having a good game the pass typically comes from the starting QB for that team which means more points. Let me take you back to week 1 of the 2019 NFL season, DeSean Jackson (he is a highly referenced player because he is now a big boom/bust player compared to the beginning of his career and yes you should draft him this year), went nuclear for 8 receptions, 154 yards and 2 touchdowns, from Carson Wentz throwing 3 touchdowns 313 yards and no interceptions. That season that was Jackson’s’ only playable week due to an injury but if you had him on your best ball team that year you would have had him automatically into your lineup. 

I’d recommend using Sleeper for any best ball formats and once you get comfortable go to Underdog (US based peeps!) to go for a little cash (they have some starting at just $1). Find friends to get involved with as you are surprised where some people will draft players and you can get a good feel for the lay of the land.

As always thanks for reading and let’s connect on Twitter @loganbrown0805 

-Cheers Logo-

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The Fantasy Player Profiles – Logan Thomas

2020 season totals: Games:16 Targets/Receptions:1110/72 Yards:670 TDs:6 FPTS:176.6 (PPR)
(source: fantasypros.com)

Then:

If you were one of the lucky ones who landed Logan Thomas last summer then kudos to you. In the barren, apocalyptic wasteland that is the Tight End position, Thomas came from nowhere to end up TE6 in the rankings. The former QB was a league journeyman before landing in the nation’s capital where he now looks right at home.

With all that being said, the reasons for last year’s success are not exactly clear which is maybe why Logan’s stock is so high. The Football Team had a Quarterback merry-go-round all season long, with none of them being particularly good. It was also Ron Rivera’s first season in charge which usually brings a new set of problems and a transitional phase. Outside of stud receiver Terry McLaurin and the injury-prone Antonio Gibson, the offense was severely lacking in a roster where most of the talent is on the defence.

WFT rallied to their best season since 2015, however, winning the division and getting some playoff chops against the Bucs, with Logan playing a key role. Thomas averaged 41.9 yards per game and 4.5 receptions which is starter worthy every Sunday, especially in PPR leagues.  


Now:

How does one take the next step I hear you ask? A little bit of Fitzmagic, of course. The veteran gunslinger joined WFT this off-season and brings with him a wealth of experience and a load of balls to dish out. Joining Fitzmagic on big money was Curtis Samuel, the ex-Panthers receiver who will demand a fair share of targets from the off. It’s worth noting that WFT drafted TE John Bates in the 4th round of the draft, but don’t expect him to challenge Thomas’s role in any way. Lastly, Adam Humphries, the forgotten man from Tennessee, has also signed.

After these recent additions, the WFT will become more pass-happy and will look to build on last year’s showing. With Rivera in his second year and with a real training camp this time around, there’s a reason for optimism, particularly for a certain 29-year-old Tight End starting for a legit playoff contender.  


Prediction:

Thomas is coming off the back of a career year where he excelled in most of the categories at his position. His snap share and routes ran were the highest in the league for a TE, and at 6ft 6, he commanded 16 Red Zone Targets.

If he gets similar to that again and converts on even half of those, his value will not diminish one bit. I believe Thomas will once again finish as a Top 10 TE and even if you finish way off Kittle, Waller, Kelce (and now Pitts?!), it really doesn’t matter.  

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NFL Mock Draft (w/Trades) – Tim 2.0

By Tim (@Tim_MonkF10Y)


1. Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence (QB)

2. Jets

Zach Wilson (QB)

3. 49ers

Mac Jones (QB)

No surprises with the 1st 3 selections being Quarterbacks. Lawrence and Wilson pretty much locked in to the #1 and #2 spots and as much as there as been hype over Mac Jones, who was watched by Kyle Shanahan on his underwhelming pro day, I dont rate him personally but have to go with it. There’s too many words being said that he is Kyle Shanahan’s guy. Either way, a huge pick in the grand scheme of things for that Franchise.


4. Falcons

Kyle Pitts (TE)

5. Bengals

Ja’Marr Chase (WR)

6. Dolphins (Eagles)

Devonta Smith (WR)

The Falcons at #4 for me the pivotal pick for how the rest of the 1st round plays out. Take a QB, then New England, Washington et al will all be scrambling to get the remaining 1 of the “big 5”. If they go Sewell or Pitts, you could see a lot less trades happening. New Falcons GM Terry Fontenot needs to establish how far he thinks this team is away from being a contender again. they’ve restructured Matt Ryan’s contract and I’ll take the gamble they leave the QB situation until next year. I think the Falcons will make the pick here. Penei Sewell is definitely an option, but have recently spent multiple 1sts on OL so may opt for a playmaker, especially if the Julio Jones trade rumours come to fruition. Similar comments apply to Miami, and they are probably more wise to pick up Sewell and spend their later 1st rounder or a 2nd rounder on this deep WR class. However, it’s unlikely Tua’s former teammates Waddle and the selection here in Smith will be available at 18.


7. Lions

Jaylen Waddle (WR)

8. *TRADE* Bears

Justin Fields (QB)

9. *TRADE*Eagles

Patrick Surtain II (CB)

I would be shocked if the Lions (7), Panthers (8) and Broncos (9) all stick here. With Lance and Fields both slipping down, it brings New England in to play as well as possibly Chicago and Washington. The cost for New England is a lot cheaper but with talks of their darling Jimmy Garoppolo possibly come back for a dirt cheap price, Chicago pull the trigger. Why Chicago? They had reported interest in Russell Wilson and between him and Lance, Fields fits the mould. Teams will be ruing letting Fields drop, especially the 49ers. I also think the Eagles may trade up a few spots with Devner to go and get a guy they like. Here i’ve gone Surtain but wouldn’t be surprised if they go WR if Waddle/Smith fall (Alabama connection). It will only cost a 2nd rounder or maybe even a 3rd, so their 1st they accumulated moving back 6 with Miami is intact for 2022.


10. Cowboys

Jaycee Horn (CB)

11. Giants

Kwity Paye (EDGE)

12. Broncos (via Eagles)

Micah Parsons (LB)

Dallas fills a position of need and whilst the Eagles trade ahead, like they seemingly do every year, they aren’t necessarily being “sniped” here. Jaycee Horn could easily prove to be the next Jalen Ramsey. Dave Gettleman loves the trenches more than Tony Robinson did on Time Team in the 90s, so Edge, offensive and defensive lineman are in play. He takes the Kwity Paye when he perhaps be trading back and offering Rashawn Slater’s name about, to the delight of Chargers fans. Denver do well and still get a top 10 guy, whilst accumulating picks further back, though dont be shocked to see Parsons fall due to personality concerns.


13. Chargers

Rashawn Slater (OL)

14. *TRADE* WFT

Trey Lance (QB)

15. Patriots

Jeremiah O-Koramoah (LB)

Chargers can sit and wait for whatever offensive lineman falls to them and hit the jackpot with Slater out of Northwestern. The fall for Lance stops as Washington plays chicken and wins. Ryan Fitzpatrick is not a 17 game season guy and would be a perfect mentor for Trey Lance who needs the playing time and could come in after the first 4/5 weeks.


16. Cardinals

Greg Newsome II (CB)

17. Raiders

Jamin Davis (LB)

18. Dolphins

Alijah Vera-Tucker (OT)

Some big needs filled here for Arizona and Vegas with P2 leaving Glendale for Arizona and Newsome is possibly the call over Farley with his injury concerns and the Raiders wouldn’t shock me if they moved back as there is a bunch of Linebackers in this spot. AVT is the tackle that will be paired with Tua for the long haul.


19. Vikings (via WFT)

Caleb Farley (CB)

20.Panthers (via Bears)

Teven Jenkins (OT)

21. Colts

Christian Darrisaw (OT)

Vikings also get potentially huge value with Farley at 19 though will need to overcome injuries before a couple of lineman for Darnold and Wentz, 2 QBs crying out for a secure pocket.


22. Titans

Rashod Bateman (WR)

23. Jets (Seahawks)

Azeez Ojulari (EDGE)

24. Steelers

Najee Harris (RB)

Titans address the hole left by Corey Davis, a former 1st round WR selection of theirs. Jets address the pass rushing group and the Steelers take an RB with 3 down capabilities and the team trying to still get Ben to another Super Bowl before he retires.


25. Jaguars (Rams)

Christian Barmore (DL)

26. Browns

Jalen Phillips (EDGE)

27. Ravens

Jayson Oweh (EDGE)

Jaguars could add to their WR core here and help out Trevor Lawrence, I wouldn’t be surprised if they took Etienne if he was still on the board to give #1 overall a familiar face in the backfield with his Clemson teammate. Couple of Edge players for Browns available here from Miami (Jaelen Phillips also) or Kwity Paye (Mic and Myles Garrett a perfect mentor for the Raw pass rusher who has limited tape but tremendous upside. Ravens will address either EDGE, WR or OL and there are whispers they are trading back one of the 2 picks. Oweh is a great selection in the late 1st


28. Saints

Zaven Collins (LB)

29. Packers

Asante Samuel Jr (CB)

30. Bills

Gregory Rousseau (EDGE)

Don’t rule out a Saints trade up for a Cornerback but here i have them taking a the linebacker from Tulsa. Packers should go WR or CB here but they haven’t exactly played by the rulebook recently. Bills don’t need a lot but the do need a bit of defensive help/


31. Ravens (via KC)

Elijah Moore (WR)

32. Buccaneers

Alex Leatherwood (OT)

The Ravens address the WR position with their 2nd pick and think the Buccaneers will explore options to trade out of the 1st round but good luck trying to pick that trade.


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NFLHypeTrain Mock Draft

By James Fotheringham (@nflhypetrain)


1. Jaguars

Trevor Lawrence (QB)

2. Jets

Zach Wilson (QB)

3. 49ers (MIA)

Justin Fields (QB)

The top 2 picks have been pretty consistent all the way through so there’s not real need to elaborate here. The draft truly starts at number 3 and I’ve had each of Mac Jones, Trey Lance and Justin Fields here. Whoever they pick, the locker room has been clamoring for Jimmy G to remain the starter to begin this season so there’s no hurry to start whoever they pick. Mac Jones was the early favourite but did they really have to trade up to 3 to get him? Lance would be a great project with high upside but would Shanahan be able to mould him the way he wants. I think Fields is the pick but this could go any one of three ways. If they do pick Mac Jones then the rest of this mock draft goes to ruins as I think that would lead to 5 QBs going in the top 8 picks.


4. Patriots (ATL)

Trey Lance (QB)

5. Bengals

Ja’Marr Chase (WR)

6. Dolphins (PHI)

Kyle Pitts (TE)

This is where it gets really interesting. The Falcons really need to rebuild their defence and I think the Patriots will offer a package which include pick 15 and Stephon Gilmore as well as a later round pick and maybe some swapping of 2022 picks. It’ll be a steep price to pay for the Patriots but Lance/Fields will be too hard to pass up. The Broncos Bridgewater acquisition changes nothing, there will be a fight for the 4th QB and if the 49ers take Jones then the Patriots and Broncos will still need to ensure Washington/Chicago don’t get ideas.

The Bengals meanwhile should be trying to protect Joe Burrow but it’s hard for them to pass on a top receiver who already has chemistry with their QB. They can address the O-Line on day 2. The Dolphins might consider Penei Sewell after trading Ereck Flowers to Washington but I think the talent of Pitts is too great to ignore when you need offensive weapons.


7. Broncos (DET)

Mac Jones (QB)

8. Panthers

Penei Sewell (OT)

9. Lions (DEN)

Devonta Smith (WR)

I have the Lions and Broncos swapping places to prevent Chicago and Washington from trying to negotiate with Carolina or Detroit to jump them. The Broncos will have their tail between their legs after being top trumped by New England and despite the Bridgewater trade, I see them taking Mac Jones, sitting him behind Teddy and trading Lock to a team that believe they can extract his potential. The Panthers will rub their hands at the prospect of Penei Sewell being there for them at #8 and if the Dolphins go that way at #6 then Slater is a solid option too. The Lions will be willing to move down provided they stay ahead of the Eagles, as they will want to use their early pick on a receiver and I can see them taking the Heismann Trophy winner Smith to be their WR1 whether that’s at #7 or #9.


10. Cowboys

Patrick Surtain (CB)

11. Giants

Rashawn Slater (OT)

12. Eagles (SF/MIA)

Jaylen Waddle (WR)

The Cowboys have been constantly mocked… as taking Surtain and I have no reason to think differently. The Giants really should trade down, but since Gettleman just doesn’t do that, Slater would be a great options as I’m not buying that they need a receiver. The Eagles do need a receiver, and if the top 3 have gone they will likely pivot to Cornerback and Jaycee Horn but I have Waddle being available and so it’ll be the Jaylen show.


13. Chargers

Christian Darrisaw (OT)

14. Vikings

Alijah Vera-Tucker (IOL)

15. Falcons (NE)

Jaelen Phillips (Edge)

The Chargers need to protect Justin Herbert as a priority and Darrisaw is probably the next tackle up in this class. The Vikings also need O-Line help and Vera-Tucker can play anywhere along the line where they need him which helps. The Falcons have CB sorted with the Gilmore trade and at #15 they will feel more comfortable taking an Edge and Jaelen Phillips is arguably the best in this draft.


16. Cardinals

Jaycee Horn (CB)

17. Raiders

Micah Parsons (LB)

18. Dolphins

Najee Harris (RB)

The Cardinals really need a Cornerback having let Patrick Peterson leave for the Vikings and if the Eagles pick a receiver over Jaycee Horn then Arizona will run this one up to the podium. The Raiders will need to look at their O-Line after ditching a lot of key parts, however it’d go against the grain for the Raiders to do things logically but after sliding this far due to character concerns, Micah Parsons is a “Raiders type” player in a position of need. The Dolphins could go so many ways. O-Line, Edge, Running Back and Linebacker are all positions of need. The buzz for the Steelers to draft Najee Harris and the lack of value at the Steelers other positions of need means that the Dolphins may pull the trigger here if this is Tua wanting an Alabama reunion. Also worth considering that Atlanta, Pittsburgh and the Jets (all RB needy teams) will have a pick before the Dolphins at #36.


19. Football Team

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB)

20. Bears

Rashod Bateman (WR)

21. Colts

Teven Jenkins (OT)

After trading for Ereck Flowers, Washington may wait on O-Line and address Linebacker with a solid pick in Owusu-Koramoah. The Bears need receivers and Rashod Bateman should be the next one up, although Elijah Moore is a consideration. The Colts could go Edge but with Teven Jenkins here in a position of need it would be hard for them to pass on that opportunity.


22. Titans

Greg Newsome (CB)

23. Jets (SEA)

Kwity Paye (Edge)

24. Steelers

Caleb Farley (CB)

The Titans are another team that need a Cornerback and while there’s also some great receivers they could use to compliment AJ Brown I think the sure up the defense with Newsome. The Jets have their QB and now look to strngthen the defence and will feel like Kwity Paye is a steal at 23. The Steelers have needs at Cornerback, Running back and along the O-Line. With Najee gone and a lot of the top tackles I see them being the team taking the gamble on Caleb Farleys back injury knowing what the upside could be.


25. Jaguars (STL)

Trevor Moehring (S)

26. Browns

Christian Barmore (IDL)

27. Ravens

Joe Tryon (Edge)

Having taken the first player in the draft, the Jags now go and take the first Safety off the board in Moehrig. The Browns could go Edge but with the addition of Clowney they may start off looking at their defensive interior and look at Edge later. The Ravens meanwhile have 2 picks of the next 5 and while I expect them to move one of them, for now I have them picking at #27 and Joe Tryon comes first as they have multiple options at wide receiver later on.


28. Saints

Asante Samuel Jr (CB)

29. Packers

Liam Eichenberg (OT)

30. Bills

Azeez Olujari (Edge)

The Saints need a Cornerback and between Samuel and Stokes I’d just favour Samuel. While both the Saints and Packers need help at wide receiver and Elijah Moore is there, I just can’t see them taking him and so I have the Packers taking Liam Eichenberg to help their depleted O-Line. The Bills have a wealth of options and could pick Stokes at CB but with Olujaria still available, it makes sense.


31. Ravens (KC)

Terrace Marshall Jr (WR)

32. Buccaneers

Levi Onwuzurike (IDL)

For the final 2 picks I’m expecting a team to trade up for contract reasons (1st round picks 5th year option) but for now I have the Ravens getting their best WR fit in Marshall and the Bucs getting a great D-Liner to develop in Onwuzurike.

No doubt anyone reading this will now be saying “Where’s ‘X’? How far did ‘X’ slide? Where did ‘X’land?” Well here’s my round 2 mock up with one extra trade between the Jags and Steelers. There’s no way this mock sticks as there will be more than 3 trades on the night for sure. It’s plausible that there’s less than usual as the in person discussions that go on during the combine and draft build up are not happening due to COVID restrictions.


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2021 NFL Draft: Trevon Grimes – Player Profile

There are two Florida Gator receivers set to be drafted in 2021, but you wouldn’t know that from the pre-draft coverage.

Kadarius Toney has drawn a lot of plaudits for his bruising play style and his ability to add significant yards after the catch, but it feels like the majority of people aren’t paying any attention whatsoever to his teammate, Trevon Grimes.

Maybe it’s because the focus this year seems to be on those players which twitter likes to label ‘playmakers’, often smaller receivers with pace to burn in the mould of Tyreek Hill (how many player comparisons is he named in?!). Playing into this is the fact that, with the exception of Terrace Marshall, who seems to be dropping down boards due to injury, Devonta Smith stands at the tallest of the top receivers, and he’s 6’1”. This feels like a modern phenomenon as teams look for a player that can unlock a defense at all levels using speed, and it’s pushing the traditional possession style receivers down the rounds.

Profile

There’s no doubt that Grimes is the latter of those styles, he’s imposing, long and has a catch radius amongst the best in this class. In fact his size, speed and skill set seem remarkably close to a receiver that just made big money in free agency, Kenny Golladay. If the former Gator can live up to that comparison then we’ll be hearing his name a lot more in years to come.

As a High School player, the Indianapolis native moved to Florida to play for the talent factory known as St. Thomas Aquinas, sitting on a depth chart which included two fellow ‘21 draft class members, Elijah Moore and Josh Palmer. An ACL tear ended his Senior season early, but that didn’t stop him being ranked as the 6th highest rated receiver in the country as a four-star recruit.

After a brief spell at Ohio State, Grimes went back to Florida to play for Dan Mullen and the Gators. He improved his catches, yardage and touchdowns every year in Gainesville, but still never cracked the 600 yard mark, finishing his final year with 38 receptions – 589 yards – 11 touchdowns. The lack of huge production across his CFB career was in part due to staunch competition from the likes of Toney, Kyle Pitts & Van Jefferson across his three years, but he did command a starting position in both 2019 & ‘20.

Scouting Report

Standing at 6’3” and weighing in at 220lb, the immediate aspect of Grimes’ game that jumps off the tape is his length. He goes up and plucks balls out the sky above some of the best defensive backs in the SEC, pulls in catches away from his body and uses his wingspan to fend off tackles after the catch. Against Vanderbilt he pulled in a 30 yard touchdown above the head of two defenders, also holding on through blows to his arms and hands. 

At the catch point there’s a lot to like about the Florida prospect, he’s not afraid to be physical and will cleverly utilise his hands to beat his man. He controls his body well, moving back to the ball where necessary and making sure he’s aware of his positioning down the sideline throughout the catch. Not many players can say that they got the better of Pat Surtain II during his college career, but the touchdown grab Grimes scored against Alabama perfectly demonstrated his ability – tracking the ball over the defensive back, coming down in bounds and then shrugging the tackle off to go in for six.

Whilst Grimes’ route running isn’t a massive standout for him, it’s also not a weakness and it improved drastically over his two years as a starter. Given his frame, a lack of explosiveness is probably to be expected, but what he does have is good timing – often using curl routes to sit down at the first down marker and take the ball into his chest. With an RPO-heavy offense built for Feliepe Franks in 2019, the Gators often used Grimes’ timing to good effect, making him the slant option for his quarterback and generating easy yardage in the process. 

The main thing holding Grimes back from having his name thrown in the day two conversation is his quickness and burst. He lacks elite speed and his acceleration isn’t going to create immediate separation against NFL level corners. However, the tape tells us that Grimes isn’t as slow as some seem to think, he can more than hold his own down the field when utilising his long strides. His pro day also produced a 4.49s 40 yard time, which is more than respectable when compared to those of a similar stature. 

After the catch it’s a mixed bag, after all of the above it feels odd that Grimes was used so often in the screen game, but the tape doesn’t lie and the Gators often looked his way in the red zone. That speaks to the physicality and strength that he possesses, and more often that not Grimes lowers his head and fights in for the touchdown. However, in other parts of the field the after the catch production dips, given the fact he doesn’t create a lot of separation this won’t be a surprise to scouts and he’s often dragged down by the defender covering him.

Summary

With average production and a lack of game changing speed, it is probably fair that Grimes isn’t getting massive hype as a prospect. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that he’s dominant in the red zone, going in for a score on nearly a quarter of all his catches in 2020. 

Anyone that can play the role of dominant outside receiver has a chance to succeed at the next level, and whilst Grimes hasn’t done that consistently in college, he has flashed it on tape against the likes of Alabama. With a lack of high quality tall, possession receivers in this class there is every chance that a Front Office sees that potential and decides to take a shot on it in the fourth or fifth round.

By Andy Moore – @ajmoore21