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Welcome back, you beautiful (fellow) fantasy addicts! The NFL Draft is upon us which means it’s time to fire up the newsletter. There’s a highly touted draft class and a lot of teams making big changes which should make for a fun off-season. You can look forward to once again getting all the best headlines compiled in one place and delivered to your inbox each week.
Now let’s get to the first issue of the season:
Analysis & Hype:
“Urban Meyer did an amazing job creatively using Curtis Samuel all over the field in his final season at Ohio State (97/771/8 rushing; 74/865/7 receiving). Now we get to see Laviska Shenault in that role.”
Since 2014, there have been 9 instances in college ball of a player hitting 200 receiving yards in the 1st half. Alabama WR DeVonta Smith has 3 of them.
“One of my top prospects in the class is easily [WR] Elijah Moore. Posted a 95th percentile success rate vs. man coverage (79.8%) in #ReceptionPerception. Absurd separator. On the Lockett/Baldwin-axis. Just love this player.”
Kurt Warner and Alex Rollins analyze the tape on North Dakota State QB Trey Lance. Warner ranks Lance as his QB5 but adds the caveat: “[If] he gets better from a consistency standpoint, maybe he’s the best quarterback we have in this draft.”
Obviously QB Justin Herbert isn’t gonna say he’s chillin’ after his record-breaking rookie season, but you gotta like his attitude towards year 2.
“Most yards per rush among RBs with 300+ carries since 2018: 1. Nick Chubb (5.23) 2. Gus Edwards (5.2)”
Jim Nagy on Florida TE Kyle Pitts: “NFL teams have noted the significant one-year jump. Scary what he could be in 2-3 year projection window.”
Looking for some rookie WR sleeper potential? Matt Miller: “I can't figure out Seth Williams. Auburn WR looks like a DUDE sometimes and others he looks like a UDFA. Struggled to put a final grade on him. He could be drafted A LOT higher than my ranking if a team believes they can harness his awesome raw ability.”
Matt Bowen and Greg Cosell give a short and sweet video breakdown on LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase.
Warren Sharp gives a quick, interesting breakdown on how often players from each position drafted in the 1st round “hit.”
Breakdown arguing against the idea that Tua Tagovailoa might be toast.
More: Ryan Fitzpatrick on Tua Tagovailoa: “The two things that really stick out to me about Tua is he has elite accuracy; that’s very important… And he throws with anticipation and that is something you don’t see with quarterbacks coming from college to the NFL. I’m a huge Tua fan.” How can you not root for Fitz?
D.J. Moore is Steve Smith (Or better).
Player that had the most incomplete targets that were the QB's fault in 2020: Jerry Jeudy - 26 Note: This isn’t a very telling stat, but I’ll allow it because I’m a Jeudy truther.
This little nugget might be the most convincing thing I’ve seen regarding Alabama RB Najee Harris “Top-5 RBs in missed tackles forced per reception over the past six college classes from my charting: 1. Najee Harris (0.58) 2. Alvin Kamara (0.53) 3. Christian McCaffrey (0.45) 4. Zack Moss (0.44) 5. Kareem Hunt (0.42)” Ignores Zack Moss
Running Backs to earn an elite 90.0+ overall PFF grade in 2020: Derrick Henry - 92.4 and NE RB Damien Harris - 90.3
PFF Grade on throws past 1st read since 2019: (min. 60 attempts) 1st - Justin Fields - 90.6 2nd - Zach Wilson - 90.1 3rd - Trey Lance - 87.2 ... 7th - Trevor Lawrence - 78.6 8th - Mac Jones - 75.7
Gun to your head, who has more rushing TDs, Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen?
This is probably a great time to re-visit this January thread from /r/fantasyfootball “Before we all forget, what are some notes about this year that you want to keep in mind for next year’s draft?”
“Interesting. @MoveTheSticks says on a conference call that some medical issues “popped” for LSU receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. at the medical combine in Indianapolis. Marshall missed time in high school and college with foot and leg injuries that required surgery.”
A strong case for why the Lions might limit D’Andre Swift’s usage in 2021 (If they were smart).
Eagles’ HC Nick Sirianni declined to name Jalen Hurts the starting QB and said it will be an open competition.
Podcasts I Enjoyed This Week:
Locked On Dynasty: Quarterback and Tight End Rookie Rankings
Sonic Truth Dynasty: Justin Fields freefall firewall
The Fun Stuff:
Quite possibly the greatest mock draft you’ve ever seen.
Kyle Shanahan when asked if Jimmy Garoppolo would be on the 49ers' roster.
Alabama QB Mac Jones alongside the other first round QBs.
Tyrann Mathieu on the NFL relaxing the number rules this year.
Trevor Lawrence might play some snaps at linebacker.
Watching Dak Prescott throwing the football again brings a smile to my face.
“The NFL draft is astrology for men”