#22 By: Richard Jenkins, April 21st, 2017 17:56
The Axe-Wielding Playmaker: ArDarius Stewart
Many Crimson Tide fans remember the scene on the sideline during Bama’s September 17th win at Mississippi. There ArDarius Stewart stood confidently, holding a Crimson axe. When asked why he was holding Paul Bunyan’s favorite accessory, he had just one word – “Assassin.” It was in that moment he stated the kind of player he aspired to become in the National Football League.
Stewart checked in at the NFL Combine standing 5’11” and weighing 204 lbs. He ran a 4.49 forty showing top end speed and his ability to run past defenders. Stewart’s overall athletic profile most resembles a mixture of Pierre Garcon and Torrey Smith.
Stewart has shown that he can run every route in the book while at Alabama. Most of his damage was done on comeback routes and middle crossing routes. Here he could catch the ball in stride and rack up yards after the catch. He also showed the ability to run the ball effectively on end-arounds and screen passes, averaging 8.5 yards per carry his final year of college.
In 2015, Alabama’s passing offense ranked 62nd in the country with 227.1 passing yards per game. In the following 2016 season, Alabama only managed a measly 210.3 yards per contest behind a true freshman quarterback, landing them 87th. Despite playing for a struggling passing offense and playing 2nd WR to Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart had some superb games against quality opponents in 2016*:
• #20 USC 4/113/2
• #16 Arkansas 5/120/0
• #9 Tennessee 8/90/1
• Miss St 8/156/3
• #13 Auburn 10/127/1
**Stats presented in order of gameplay and AP rankings at time of contest*
Stewart was not shy of the big play. In 8 of the 12 games he played in 2016, Stewart had at least one catch of 31 yards or more. For the two seasons he was a starter in college, Stewart posted a 63/700/4 season as a sophomore, and a 54/864/8 junior season. During his year three performance, he led the Tide in receiving yards and touchdowns.
Stewart’s size and averages also measured up very well against productive NFL players and potential NFL draft 1st rounder and dynasty rookie 1st round talent, JuJu Smith-Schuster:
The NFL Draft Advisory Committee gave Stewart a 2nd round grade. Being a higher selection bodes well from a dynasty perspective. Early round draft picks often see the field sooner, and will in turn yield a quicker return on your asset. The latest Rotoviz Scouting Index- Composite Rankings has Stewart comfortably in the 11th spot for receivers, climbing as high as 9. According to the rookie mock drafts for April at DLF, ArDarius currently has an ADP of 28.20, the 15th WR off the board, and is falling to the end of the 3rd/ beginning of the 4th round of rookie drafts. According to the Rotoviz Staff Pre Draft Rankings, the team has Stewart valued as the 23rd best WR prospect, showing how much the fantasy community is undervaluing Stewart. Getting a player of this caliber at such a discounted rate would be an absolute steal in any situation, especially for someone who is graded so highly by NFL scouting departments.
So What Now?
So how will ArDarius Stewart fit in the NFL? It’s hard to downplay the pedigree of receivers that Alabama has put into the league under Nick Saban (Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and 2018 top prospect, Calvin Ridley). Stewart has shown the ability to put up big numbers against top notch teams week in and week out. He is definitely on my draft list this season in my dynasty leagues and I expect The Assassin to make an immediate impact in 2017.
#23 By: CK, April 21st, 2017 18:08
Don't sweat the format. Try images again should work.
#24 By: Dynasty Guru FF, April 21st, 2017 18:36
The Next Small School Superstar
Marian University in Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin is not school I except you to have ever heard of let alone be one that is known for producing high profile football players to the NFL. But 2017 could be the year Marian officially gets put on the map.
Who can Marian credit this potential new notoriety to? Krishawn Hogan, that's who.
The skinny on Krishawn Hogan (see below) – he’s 22, 6ft 3in tall, has a college dominator rating 44%, Phenom Index of 2.28, breakout age of 19.3 and hits on every Combine metric.
I also created my own metric I call the “Guru Score”
(click the link to learn about it) and Krishawn Hogan comes in with a perfect score of 4.79. The full list of names since 2014 to have perfect Guru Score you ask?
1) Odell Beckham Jr
2) Sammy Watkins
3) Jordan Matthew
4) Mike Evans
5) Amari Cooper
6) Davante Adams
7) Donte Moncrief
8) Leonte Carroo
WOW! If that list doesn’t excite you, I’m not sure what will.
Unfortunately Krishawn isn’t in the Box Score App, so Ican’t pull him into this but my favorite Player Comps for him are AlshonJeffrey, Josh Gordon, and Jordy Nelson. Of the three, I’m going to use Jordy, Why? Because not only are they similar in Height/Weight/Speed but also because there has been some draft buzz surrounding Krishawn and the Packers and with Jordy getting in up there in age he would be the perfect backfill for him and a classic Packer move.
So with all that in mind, here is Jordy Nelson’s Box Score App.
Again, the list of players Jordy is associated with is amazing, and also very similar to the list Krishawn compared with in my Guru Score list.
Since Krishawn went to a very small school getting Car. MS REC YDs, and the like is difficult as their records and game tape are not easily found. So what do we know? Well we know that when we look at small school players we want to see guys just dominate the competition like a bully on the playground.
Krishawn Hogan’s receiving stats (see below) are just that.
1) He had 101 receptions his Junior year and followed that up with 80 in only 12 games his Senior year.
2) He averaged 109 yds per game his final 3 years which is better than AJ Green and a few others on the list above.
3) He average 1.05 TD’s per game receiving which better than everyone but Leonte Carroo and Amari Cooper.
4) He had over 1K yards 3 of 4 years and topped out 170yds away from 2K his Junior year.
5) He averaged 16.2 yards per reception , this kid is a deep threat.
6) Finally he scored 45 Rec TD’s in his career, hitting double digits 3 times.
That is the type of “WOW” production you’re looking for from a small school player. He clearly was head and shoulders above his counterparts.
“But many small school stars have done that before, why should I trust you on him now?”
Ok, ok you’re still skeptical I see.
Well, have any of those before him also scored 25 RUSHING TD’s? Yep, you read that right, he scored 25 rushing TD’s in college. I’ve never heard of a player in recent memory who did that at his size. Normally when you hear of a WR who scores rushing TD’s they are the Tyreek Hill/Curtis Samuel types, not the Jordy’s/Gordon’s/Jeffrey’s of the world. This kid is an OW – Offensive Weapon – if he gets with a creative high powered offense (IND & GB looking at you) he could return HUGE ROI for you and he’s going undrafted in most rookie mock drafts right now.
In addition, of all players who have registered a perfect Guru Score since 2014, none have been drafted after the 3rd rd so I’m going to be watching his draft stock closely, and suffice it to say, I won’t be surprised if he is taken in the 3rd rd while many analysts will be calling it a reach or head scratcher, I will be jumping for joy. Why? For one the NFL also sees his potential and two with that draft stock he will get an opportunity from day 1 to make an impact. However if he doesn’t go in the top 3 rounds I will be praying he goes undrafted – which is a possibility given his small school status – just so he can pick his on landing spot and give himself a better shot at succeeding.
Depending on his draft stock I will be targeting Hogan as early 3rd rd in Rookie Drafts and highly recommend you do to. Your league mates will be scratching their heads too b/c you passed up on someone like Malachi Dupre or the like, but you know you have a guy that could be the next big thing just like Vincent Jackson was in 2005, when he too came out of a small school in Colorado.
#25 By: Paris Ward, April 21st, 2017 20:30
Hello, I can't upload images because I am a new user
#26 By: Hasan Rahim, April 21st, 2017 23:13
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I too cannot post pictures. Is there a way I can email the article?
EDIT: Thank you so much!!
#27 By: Kevin McHugh, April 22nd, 2017 12:28
I can't upload images either, I've used multiple methods
#28 By: CK, April 22nd, 2017 13:33
fixed you as well kevin tyvm
#29 By: Paris Ward, April 22nd, 2017 14:34
Still getting the same response, new user. Sweet.
#30 By: CK, April 22nd, 2017 14:51
#31 By: Paris Ward, April 22nd, 2017 14:58
A Bell-cow in Boise
The all purpose back rules the day in the NFL. Whether it’s DJ or ‘Zeke or Juice every coach and fantasy fan-boy wants to get their hands on one. Gems are found in every draft and this year is bound to be no different, and in what is touted as a fairly deep running back class its very possible that someone here goes overlooked. Enter Jeremy McNichols.
Although Ajayi was toting the lion’ share of touches, McNichols flashed enough his freshman year to warrant his red shirt be removed just six games into the 2014 season. He would finish his true freshman season with 707 all-purpose yards and two td’s. In 2015 Ajayi took his talents to south beach opening the door for McNichols to become the full time starter and he did not disappoint, racking up 1,337 yards and 20 td’s on the ground and adding 51 snags for 460 yards and six td’s through the air as a Sophomore. Good enough for second in the FBS in touchdowns with twenty six overall. His junior year (2016) would get even more productive going for 1,709 yards and 23 td’s rushing to go along with 474 yards and 4 td’s on 37 receptions. Mountain West or not, totaling over 2,100 yards and 27 td’s is impressive, so why is McNichols projected as a mid to late fourth round pick and only a borderline top six rookie running back in Dynasty?
A former High School receiver converted to Running Back, McNichols is one of if not the best receiving backs in this class. Averaging 4.4 targets/game(second only to McCaffrey) on 12.6 routes/game(most routes ran/game in the class) McNichols was often split out wide(19% of the time) to be better utilized as a receiver. Over the past two seasons McNichols ranks third in receptions, fourth in receiving yards and first in receiving touchdowns among draft-eligible backs. Whats more, McNichols dropped only 2 of his 107 catchable targets in three years at Boise St. thanks to his Man-Hands measuring at 10’ inches, tied for second largest in this class. Even when asked to stay in pass protection McNichols performed tops in the class. Per some pass protection execution numbers from Graham Barfield at Fantasy Guru, McNichols successfully executed 22 out of 25 (88%) pass blocking opportunites, higher than Cook (83.3%) as well as Fournette (86.7%). Take that for Data.
A True Bell Cow
McNichols receiving prowess is impressive, but if you’re going to play more than a gadget role in the NFL you need to show you can carry the brunt of the running work as well. In 25 games as a starter, McNichols had seven games with 30 plus touches including some in the 40’s. But Racking up carries against Tallahassee Juco. Doesn’t tell the whole story. I present to you the Matthew Freedman’ Workhorse Score, measuring a team’s total rushing production once QB rushing is removed. More simply, when a team hands to a RB, who’s getting it and what are they doing with it. It also ignores games in which the players team won by 28 or more points as well as games in which the player left early due to injury(unless including it increased their workhorse score).McNichols landed as the 5th best Workhorse score in this 2017 draft class , 83.08. For context, Lenoard Fournette was sixth at 82.32,McCaffrey(73.06) and Cook(71.03) were ninth and tenth respectively. The unfortunate part is that it doesn’t look at an entire players career, and it does not include receptions. Although we can’t remove QB rushing,or ignore blowouts or games the player left early, we can include receptions a game in the Box Score Scout.
There are some interesting workload similarities, I especially love the Forte similarity.Between attempts and receptions McNichols had 27 touches a game his junior year and nearly 2 td’s a game, this while facing 8 or more defenders in the box 57% of the time, fourth most in the 2017 class.
Although similarities to David Johnson might be unfair, it might not be far off if McNichols lands in the right spot. His production is unquestionable and he was in the top percentile of combine measurable’ amongst backs. McNichols could very well end up being one of the better backs in this draft given his versatile skill set and ability to handle a large workload. Stash this man away because if he gets a shot he has a real chance to produce.
#32 By: Alex Gormley, April 23rd, 2017 00:38
Amba Etta-Tawo: A Late Bloomer Worthy of a Late Round Gamble
Had it not been for his fantastic season as a member of the Syracuse Orange last season, there’s little doubt that Amba Etta-Tawo would have had his football career pass him by. The 6’2” receiver played three seasons at the University of Maryland before making his way to Syracuse as a graduate transfer. The Georgia native failed to produce at Maryland tallying just 61 catches for 938 and three touchdowns over the span of three years.
Despite being on a Syracuse team that finished with just four wins in 2016, Etta-Tawo managed to have an incredibly productive season, finishing with 94 catches for 1482 yards and 14 touchdowns.
One performance worth noting from last season was his five-touchdown explosion during the team’s 76-61 defeat at Pittsburgh. Etta-Tawo had four games in which he registered double-digit receptions, two games where he went over the 200-yard mark for receiving yards, and three multi-touchdown games. He also caught touchdowns in games against ranked opponents when Syracuse lost to Florida State and Louisville. The Syracuse receiver ranked eighth in the NCAA in yards gained on deep receptions and seventh in the country in touchdowns on deep receptions, per Pro Football Focus.
These stats appear all the more spectacular when you realize that he caught passes from three different quarterbacks in 2016. Despite subpar quarterbacking, Etta-Tawo posted the greatest single-season for a wide receiver in the history of Syracuse football, which includes Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison.
What the scouts see:
Etta-Tawo has the height required to be an impact receiver at the next level. In addition to his 6’2”, 205-pound frame, the Syracuse wideout was able to run the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds at his pro day, which is a significant improvement from the 4.49 he ran at the combine. He consistently showed the ability to blow by defenders with his straight line speed at Syracuse and demonstrated the ability to catch less-than-stellar passes from his quarterbacks. Etta-Tawo is freakishly agile and has the acceleration to get separation at the NFL level. His intangibles are in line with what most NFL scouts look for in wide receivers as he has excellent footwork getting off the line and the ability to pluck the ball out of the air.
The main thing that concerns NFL scouts is the uncertainty surrounding him. Scouting departments only have one season’s worth of tape to judge him on, seeing that his lone season of significant production came at Syracuse. Scouts are also unimpressed with a couple of facets of the Syracuse receiver’s game – mainly his incomplete route tree – and believe he is going to be a raw player upon making the jump to the next level. Syracuse’s offense was also perfectly set-up for him as he mostly experienced single coverage due to the team’s scheme. He also failed to impress during his time at the Senior Bowl, dropping a number of passes on the big stage.
Box Score Similar Prospects
Box Score Prospect Heatmap
By using the Rotoviz Box Score Scout, we’re able to compare Etta-Tawo’s combine drills and college production against some of the better receivers from the last decade.
Worth noting are the Syracuse receiver’s Agility, Explosion, and Freak statistics, which combine a number of different factors to aggregate a player’s skillset. His agility score of 11.27 puts him just behind A.J. Green, Will Fuller, Chad Hansen, and Jermaine Kearse. His freak score, which is a stat that takes into effect the mix of size and speed for a wide receiver, is higher than Golden Tate, Jermaine Kearse, Reuben Randle, and Robert Woods who have all experienced success at the NFL level.
When you compare the statistics that he produced last season against the rest of the player pool, Etta-Tawo stands out from the pack. His 123.5 receiving yards per game puts him fifth amongst this crop of talented wide outs and his 1.2 receiving touchdowns per game has been bested by one player – Justin Blackmon. Despite having a less-than-stellar combine, and putting up better numbers at his pro day, this comparison to similar prospects shows that he has the makeup to succeed at the next level.
Etta-Tawo seems destined to be a developmental type player that will need to work on his game significantly before seeing the field for an NFL team. He was one of the most productive wideouts in all of college football last season and has the physical attributes that most teams look for when drafting receivers. His quick release, agility, speed, and acceleration give him the upside that teams are looking for when drafting players late. If he’s able to hone his route-running and work on his pass-catching, he could develop into a solid contributor at some point down the road.
#33 By: Kevin McHugh, April 23rd, 2017 10:51
Aaron Jones: Late-Round RB Steal
I would consider Aaron Jones, running back out of The University of Texas-El Paso, to be the most overlooked player in the 2017 NFL Draft. Jones was immensely productive in college, catches the ball, and possesses the size, agility, burst, and quickness you want to see out of an NFL running back.
At UTEP, Aaron Jones ran for 4,114 yards while averaging 6.3 yards per carry, making him one of the most productive backs in this years’ class. This includes a monster junior season where he rushed for 1,773 yards and 17 touchdowns, averaging 7.7 yards per carry. Jones’ 0.80 market share in rushing yards is also the best in this draft class, and with 71 career receptions, it would go a long way toward earning playing time in 2017 if he can translate his receiving skills to the NFL.
At the 2017 NFL Combine, Aaron Jones’ only negative was his 40-time, which was clocked at 4.56 seconds. Other than that, Jones crushed the combine, posting a top-three finish in the vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill, 20-yard shuttle, and 60-yard shuttle. Measuring 5’9” and 208 lbs., Jones’ checks in with a 30.7 BMI, which is adequate to withstand punishment at the NFL level, and if his plus agility translates to the football field the way it did in college, his 40-time won’t be as much of a concern.
Plugging the 2017 RB Success Model into the Box Score Scout, I found Aaron Jones is most comparable to Lions’ running back Ameer Abdullah.
Jones and Abdullah share a similar 40-time relative to their BMI, and while Abdullah is considered a back who could be valuable in PPR formats, Jones registered 2.3 receptions per game in college to Abdullah’s 1.7.
When adding the three-cone drill results to the Model, Jones is also comparable to DeShaun Foster, Bobby Rainey, and Branden Oliver.
According to Kevin Cole, the three cone drill
is important for running backs who don’t have top end speed, and Jones fits this profile.
Regardless, if Aaron Jones can land on a team in need of a pass-catching back, he has a chance to be productive in his rookie season and beyond. Philadelphia could be a solid fit, as the top two running backs on their depth chart are either on the wrong side of 30 or close to it, and Eagles running backs were targeted 104 times in Carson Wentz’s rookie season. San Francisco is another possibility, as the 49ers could use a change of pace back to compliment Carlos Hyde. As we all know, the Shanahans love their late round running backs….
I believe Aaron Jones will be overlooked in the 2017 NFL Draft simply because of the perceived star power of the 2017 running back class. With names such as Leonard Fournette, Joe Mixon, Dalvin Cook, Christian McCaffrey, and Alvin Kamara, top talents from power conferences, a running back from a smaller school won’t get nearly as much attention. However, Jones could be plenty productive in the right situation, and makes for a fine 2nd or 3rd round pick in your dynasty rookie draft.
#34 By: CmonTumbleweed, April 23rd, 2017 15:02
Sorry CKI, same problem with images here. Can you change that setting for me as well?
#35 By: Hasan Rahim, April 23rd, 2017 15:03
James Conner – Potential Workhorse Hiding In Plain Sight
James Conner has become one of the best stories in college football in recent memory. He ended the 2014 season as the leading rusher in the ACC and entered 2015 as a Heisman candidate. Unfortunately, he tore his MCL in Pittsburgh’s season opener and was later diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Conner managed to successfully rehab his knee while undergoing chemotherapy and continued to practice with the team, a testament to his work ethic and his commitment to the game.
Unfortunately, Conner’s incredible comeback story has been a double-edged sword, as he recently penned an open letter to NFL GM’s asking them to evaluate him as “more than the guy who beat cancer.” It appears James Conner is undervalued by the larger football community and Rotoviz as well because the Box Score Scout app indicates that Conner has the potential to be a three-down workhorse in the NFL.
Several of Conner’s best comps were drafted in the second round, so his current 5th round grade is a headscratcher. Conner’s NFL Combine numbers are in line with several other large running backs, most notably Jeremy Hill and Carlos Hyde. Additionally, Conner appears to have Le'Veon Bell upside. Lost in the narrative shuffle, his history as a prolific producer for Pitt seems to have fallen by the wayside.
As a 19-year old sophomore in 2014, James Conner finished the season as one of the top running backs in college football. He ended as number 3 in the country in rushing touchdowns, number 7 in rushing yards, and number 11 in total yards from scrimmage. His time as Pitt’s bell-cow back netted him the 2014 ACC Offensive Player and ACC Player of the year awards, beating out Duke Johnson, Jamison Crowder, and Jameis Winston.
James Conner returned to action less than a year after his cancer diagnosis and ended the season with 20 touchdowns from scrimmage. Although he saw a reduction in rushing production, Conner flashed improved receiving ability. He caught 21 passes for 302 yards and four touchdowns, and among running backs who caught 15 or more passes Conner’s 14.5 yards per reception was good for 5th best in the nation.
Changes in Market Share
As shown above, his Non-QB Dominator Rating (nQBDR) declined from 2014 to 2016. This change can be partially explained by the departure of offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph. Joe Rudolph appeared to favor an approach with a work-horse RB, whereas Matt Canada’s scheme used a variety of formations/personnel packages to keep the defense off balance. The change in offensive personnel led to James Conner losing his bell-cow responsibilities (20+ rush attempts per game).
Year Bell-cow Games RuAtt RuYds RuTDs
2014 8 231 1,294 14
2016 4 86 450 5
Bear in mind that a low nQBDR negatively correlates with size and should not adversely impact Conner's NFL prospects. At 6 foot 1, 233 pounds, Conner is among the larger running backs available this draft class. His stature and physique indicate that he’s able to take the punishment required from a 3-down workhorse in today’s NFL.
Draft This Man
Given his prolific rushing output at Pitt and showcasing an improved receiving game, James Conner appears to be severely undervalued compared to his apparent upside. As shown above, the Box Score Scout app indicated that Conner’s career numbers are in line with Wayne Gallman’s. Gallman has the highest Workhorse Score in the 2017 draft class, which underscores Conner’s hidden workhorse potential.
Given Conner’s larger frame, he projects as a power back at the NFL level, in a similar vein to Jeremy Hill. Since entering the NFL in 2014, Hill has finished as a top 24 PPR RB every season. Conner’s potential as an NFL star makes him an absolute steal given his current dynasty ADP and puts him in play as a potential 2017 Zero RB target.
#36 By: CK, April 23rd, 2017 15:54
#37 By: CmonTumbleweed, April 23rd, 2017 16:25
We're All Still Too Low on Jeremy McNichols
This week, Rotoviz listed its pre-draft rankings, where Jeremy McNichols came in at RB6 - a full 6 spots higher than the Scouting Index. And before the combine, Kyle Pollock and Jordan Hoover showed that McNichols compares favorably to several NFL backs, and especially to Doug Martin. Rotoviz is high on Jeremy McNichols.
I have him higher.
Now with the benefit of combine measurables, McNichols boasts strong workhorse potential married to strong pass-catching potential with a history of production that the Rotoviz models love.
A converted high school receiver, McNichols is a 21-year old at 214 pounds and stands 5’9”. At the Combine, McNichols ran a 4.49 second forty along with the 4th-best 3-cone performance (6.93 s) and the 8th-best broad jump (121 inches).
As a junior at Boise State, McNichols had an outstanding 2016, rushing for 1,709 yards and adding 37 catches for 474 yards.
McNichols assumed lead back duties in Boise after Jay Ajayi departed in 2015, having a strong sophomore campaign in rushing and receiving. Hold that thought on Ajayi.
McNichols comes in at #5 in Rotoviz’s 2017 RB Workhorse Scores. The names below him astonishingly include every back currently being drafted ahead of him according to RotoViz’s Best Ball ADP, and his score is on par with Gurley’s and Ajayi’s in years past.
Plugging McNichols’ rushing production into the Box Score App yields gaudy comparables, including Ajayi and other encouraging names.
The Pass Catcher
McNichols’ receiving production also compares favorably to a number of successful NFL pass-catchers, which is unsurprising for the converted WR.
Unfortunately, McNichols’ Combine measurables are a bit of a tease. Kevin Cole’s regression tree has shown us what to look for in combine measurables, and McNichols checks one important box, but narrowly misses others.
McNichols’ 4.49 forty time is good, and puts him into the .27 success rate branch in the regression tree. But at 5’9”, McNichols falls just short in height, while his 3-cone time is just north of the 6.8 second benchmark, and his broad jump is 3” short of the 124” benchmark.
The Big Picture
So how does McNichols look as a prospect in whole?
First, McNichols scored behind only D’onta Foreman in the Prospect Lab Model, which combines combine measurables with production.
Similarly, McNichols ranked 5th this year in Kevin Cole’s RB Success Model, behind Foreman, Fournette, Mixon, and Joe Williams.
Finally, I like to plug in the significant variables from these models into the Box Score App to find the most comparable prospects with respect to the most significant factors.
There’s that Ajayi guy again, along with another list of successful NFL backs and highly rated prospects.
Perhaps no other back in this class profiles as comfortably as a 3-down NFL back. The highly ranked rushers (e.g., Fournette, Foreman) lack McNichols’ receiving chops, while the highly ranked receiving backs (e.g., McCaffrey, Cook) don’t profile as easily as workhorse rushers. McNichols offers the best of both categories.
#38 By: Kyle J Dvorchak, April 23rd, 2017 20:36
I'm getting the new user, cannot upload images message, is there a way to fix this?
#39 By: CK, April 23rd, 2017 21:15
Fixed it! Should be good now.
#40 By: DrummerINaBox, April 24th, 2017 00:06
Antsy for Yancey
When you’re a parent on a budget, shopping for groceries can be the quicksand your paycheck can’t escape from. Thankully, many stores offer generic versions of the name brand foods that are advertised all over your kids’ cartoons. It’s not 100% the same product, but it’s close enough to satisfy you or your family and it’s cheaper, making it a value. Calling a prospect a “generic” version of X player does not sound flattering, but in the case of DeAngelo Yancey, I think the comparison fits.
Yancey is a 22 year old WR prospect from Perdue measuring in at 6’ 2” and 220 lbs. At his Pro Day, Yancey ran the 40 yard dash in 4.53 seconds, with a 35 ½” vertical, 6.84 second 3-cone, and 21 reps on the bench press from NFLDraftScout. He had the misfortune of playing on a Perdue team that won a total of 9 games in his four year career but was productive, especially early. In his true freshman season (2013) he caught 32 passes for 546 yards and 2 touchdowns. The 546 receiving yards actually led the team and he did so in only 8 games. Per the Box Score Scount, that’s a 32% marketshare of receiving yards as an 18 year old in a Power 5 conference.
The glaring exception on his resume came the following season in 2014. Accoring to this piece on rivals.com, Yancey thought he had the game figured out and rested on his laurels. He hit rock bottom and was eventually benched. That can crush anyone’s confidence but Yancey bounced back with a strong Junior season, securing a 25% marketshare of yards and 28% marketshare of touchdowns. His production increased again his Senior year up to a marketshare of 27% receiving yards and 40% of touchdowns. Despite his strong profile, Yancey did not receive a combine invite which is a red flag as Rich Rhibar pointed out last year.
Not being invited to Indy dampens the production profile, but Yancey has visited with or had workouts with the Rams, Texans, Titans, Bengals, Patriots, Packers, and several others. This coming after playing in the East-West Shrine game. While it’s difficult to gaze into the NFL crystal ball and make sense of these visits, it is at least encouraging that Yancey is drawing interest from multiple teams.
When we compare Yancey to other wide receivers in this class, the box score scout gives us these comps:
Yancey’s closest comparable based on height, weight and production is Chris Godwin. It’s no secret we love Godwin here at RotoViz as he crushed the competition in the WR Sweet 16, advancing all the way to finals before losing to Corey Davis. Godwin has the production to go along with a strong athletic profile and and was ranked as the 8th WR in the final RotoViz Scouting Index. Josh Malone is also a close comparable and edges both Godwin and Yancey in final year marketshare and yards per reception. The inclusion of Mike Williams also gives Yancey another strong comparison from this group.
DeAngelo Yancey may be a day 3 pick this week as the NFL draft looms closer. However, being a prority free agent after the draft seems more likely given the missing combine invitation. He was not drafted in DLF’s April rookie mock drafts and that trend will likely continue if he is indeed a UDFA. However, I think there is a spot for Yancey on your dynasty team in deep leagues or as the last man on your taxi squad. He’s not Oreo, Starbucks, or Dr. Pepper, but his performance as a freshman on an abysmal team plus his overall production and solid pro day results will keep me grabbing him off the dynasty shelf for cheap.
#42 By: JLaps, April 24th, 2017 02:50
Taking a look under the Hood
Rotoviz. A site where a secret cabal of fantasy gurus feed freshly harvested data into arcane algorithms to summon forth previously-unheard-of prospects from the darkest reaches of the football realm. At least that’s how I presume it works behind the curtain. Every week or so a new, indecipherable acronym shows up and suddenly I find myself getting hyped for a prospect whom I had previously never heard of. And yet somehow, a player who as a 19-year old sophomore was top-3 in the ACC in every rushing category, only behind some guy named Dalvin Cook, doesn’t have even so much as a blurb anywhere on the site, much less a full article. That player is Elijah Hood.
Hood, a 4-star recruit coming out of high school, originally committed to Notre Dame before opting to stay close to home with North Carolina. As a true freshman he was used sparingly as he slotted in behind sophomore T.J. Logan, but then exploded onto the scene as a sophomore, posting over 1,500 yards from scrimmage and 17 TDs. Had Hood’s final season numbers even just maintained that level of production then he’d certainly be much higher up rookie draft boards, however injuries derailed his junior campaign, forcing him to miss two games, leave another early, and play at less than full speed in several others.
UNC head coach Larry Fedora doesn’t discuss injuries. Larry Fedora doesn’t let his players discuss injuries. We do know from Hood himself, as well as from the UNC coaches that Hood was banged up for all of 2016 with various ailments, but there’s no way to quantify how it affected his play. We don’t know how the changes to the offense in 2016 with Mitch Trubisky’s emergence as a true pocket-passer may have affected his role.
What we do know is that in his healthy sophomore season he completely took over as the team’s workhorse RB to the tune of a 0.74 Workhorse Score. This compares favorably to the final season WS for many of the other backs in the 2017 class, slotting in 9th right between Joe Williams and Christian McCaffrey. It’s a production profile that certainly has a chance to translate to the NFL:
What might make this even more impressive is that the only RB he really ceded any production to (T.J. Logan, who probably also deserves a closer look as a profile 3 back) was older and is also considered a draftable player in the 2017 class, checking in as the 18th RB in the RSI. Jon Moore’s research shows that perhaps we should view a lead back’s production even more favorably if there was another talented back on the roster.
And despite Hood’s dropoff in play in 2016, there were still some bright spots to his game. His YPC stayed at a respectable 5.9, and he did something that every owner in a PPR league loves to see: add receptions. His 2.3 RECPG, taken in the context of a big workhorse back, are enough to make him intriguing as a big back who can still catch passes at the next level. In fact, despite his injuries in 2016 Hood still posts a solid score in the RB Prospect Lab:
Which would tie him for 9th in this year’s fairly deep class and as 7th in last year’s class, right above some guy named Jordan Howard.
The next Jordan Howard?
In fact, Jordan Howard is eerily similar to the sophomore version of Hood:
And while neither back has athletic metrics in the box score scout, their Pro Day numbers are pretty
Though Howard did show more explosion in the jumping drills, Hood compares well in every other category.
Hood certainly has a lot more question marks than Howard entering the NFL. Howard ended his career on a high note while Hood mysteriously fizzled out. Howard was drafted into a nearly ideal situation, a Bear’s team with no real talent at RB, while Hood’s eventual destination won’t be known until the draft. It’s important to remember that one good comp alone is no guarantee of success, however it does show that a player with Hood’s profile and early production similar to Howard’s can find success in today’s NFL.
Hood’s landing spot in the NFL draft will heavily influence where he ends up going in rookie drafts. Hood checks in as the 20th RB in the latest RSI and thus profiles to be a late-round pick or possibly even an UDFA (which isn’t a deal-breaker for a back like Hood as Jon Moore discusses here and here), so he’ll likely need a good landing spot to see opportunity in year one. Hood may be available in the mid to late 3rd round, but pay attention to how his ADP changes after the draft and adjust accordingly.
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