2019 Football Draft Kit

Welcome to my first attempt at formal rookie rankings for the world to see! I have used a mix of metrics that seem to matter based on my research, mock draft projections and a sprinkling of film analysis (done by people better at it than me) to arrive at this list.  

I explain why I chose the stats I did in the linked article above. While career yards and dominator rating are solidified, we don’t have verified numbers on some metrics.  To rank these RBs pre-combine I had to make some assumptions on the 2 values below. 

Height-adjusted speed score (HaSS)

This is a metric that takes into account height, weight and forty time into a single number that can be compared across players. I landed on 92.6 as a cutoff but think of that as a general threshold. I don’t think 92.5 dooms a player who looks good elsewhere.

While official measurements will be taken at the combine I calculated whether I think each player will make that 92.6 cutoff based on listed ht/wt and a forty time of 4.59. The letter “P” means that player will probably hit the threshold and “M” stands for maybe. Since it is a subjective estimation at this point, I have put an asterisk by that metric.

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Taylor comes into the draft after a college career where he averaged 308 carries and 2,058 yards per season. He’s on the more physical side of running styles and has developed into a more complete back.

  • Power running scheme at Wisconsin with a terrific O line. Taylor utilizes his strong line and is a patient running back. He will wait for his O line rather than simply running head first into battle where the play is designed.
  • Lateral quickness as a whole is average. In short area lateral moves, he showed the ability to maintain, or get back up to speed quickly. However, in larger jump cuts, he slows more than other backs and gives defenders time to catch up.
  • He utilizes a stiff arm with those short area lateral moves to break free or get the defender off balance.
  • While Taylor doesn’t have the acceleration of other backs in this class, his initial burst is strong. It’s something I’d equate to a basketball player with a good first step. 
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The number 28 is a special one when it comes to running backs in the NFL so it is safe to say that Josh Jacobs chose wisely in that aspect. Marshall Faulk, Curtis Martin, Adrian Peterson, Corey Dillon, and Fred Taylor all wore the number 28. But there is one more legend who toted the rock that wore 28 and that is my personal favorite, Warrick Dunn. Growing up a Tampa fan, Dunn captured my admiration in the late 90’s and early 00’s. He left Tampa the year before they finally got over the Super Bowl hump for dirty south neighbor (but not yet division rivals) the Atlanta Falcons. Dunn actually had a couple of his best statistical seasons in Atlanta in 2004 and 2005, but he’ll always be a Buc to me, dammit! Plus, it’s hard to say anything negative about a guy who has helped build and gifted 145 houses to single parents in need.

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Nicknames are fun. Especially when they’re natural, effortless and catch on; like Air Jordan, Refrigerator Perry or Squeak from Baseketball. Back in college they used to call me ‘Big Dumb Animal.’ It was accurate. Then a few years back I was out on the golf course and sunk a 15 foot putt to win a match and secure a decent chunk of change for my team. I tried to coin a new nickname: ‘Big Dick and Putts.’ It didn’t stick, but I tried.

Terry McLaurin is no stranger to the nickname game. It was a hot topic around the fantasy community during his rookie season. Many critics attempted to shoot down the unoriginal ‘Scary Terry’ nickname coined by Case Keenum in training camp, prompting alternate options: McLaurin F1, Touchdown Terry and, my personal favorite, Terrence of Scarabia. But I keep coming back around to the original-unoriginal nickname, because the visual of Scary Terry from Rick and Morty is just too good:

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CeeDee Lamb – Oklahoma – 6’2” 191 lbs. – 4/8/99 (20 years old)

If Jeudy is the Toolbox, Lamb is the Natural. He doesn’t have elite top end speed or acceleration. He’s not an OBJ open field threat or a Michael Thomas route runner, but he does all of it well.

  • Lamb is a smooth operator, from the way he glides down field to the way he sets up defenders down field while the ball is in the air. In fact, if Lamb has a carrying trait, it lies in his abilities while the ball is in the air. 
  • Here’s a clear out for Lamb where they isolate him on the corner. The safety is covering the middle and won’t be able to get over to help. Lamb moves the defender up the field, turns and locates the ball, and gives himself the space to make the grab.
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The last year has been a calm, peaceful sojourn for Antonio Brown. In March 2019, Brown was traded from the Steelers to the Raiders in exchange for a 3rd and a 5th round pick. The change of scenery was exactly what the doctor ordered *insert fart joke.* Here’s the timeline of AB’s stress-free last 12 months:

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A few weeks ago, I sat down with the great Peter Howard’s (@pahowdy) college market share database and created a set of filters for college production that had a better hit rate than selecting just 1st round NFL WRs. This time I intend to do the same but with running backs. I have seen a lot of chatter on the Twitter site about characteristics shared by fantasy RB1s. For instance I saw that most of them run under a 4.6 forty. However, looking at just the successful players doesn’t make that a helpful nugget. You see, if ALL NFL RBs mostly run under a 4.6, then the fact that the best ones do still doesn’t help us when selecting from a giant pool of players.

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I live in the Chicago area. Home of the Da Bears, Al Capone and deep dish pizza. When visiting the Windy City, most tourists these days are directed to dine at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria for their deep dish experience. I’d be crazy to publicly bash Lou’s pizza; it’d be like calling Juju Smith-Schuster the #50 overall dynasty player. And that Lou Malanti’s butter crust is delicious, I won’t deny it.

 

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What’s better than a dynasty football slow draft in February when there isn’t any football to watch anymore? I refuse to acknowledge the XFL, by the way. Okay, maybe a fantasy baseball draft would be a little more exciting than a football draft because the season is a lot closer. Some of us prefer football over baseball and there’s some of us that can do both. A fantasy sports Eiffel Tower, if you will. 

I was lucky enough to catch an industry friend’s tweet about a start up dynasty that was going to draft in February and I gave it about 0.2 seconds of thought before I came to the conclusion that I was all for it. I messaged Matt Williams and he gladly accepted me assuming that I don’t have a reputation of ghosting my teams (I don’t). It is a 12-team PPR superflex league with a TE premium. My opponents include: Scott Fish Bowl 8 champion Stompy, Matt Williams, John Hogue, Kane Fossell, Nick Faber, @DFSMich_5, Caleb Pierson, Steven Toroni, Jon Helmkamp, John Hesterman, @GOATDistrict and @EverydayFFB. Those are 12 names, but two of them co-own a team. 

I’ll mostly just be writing about my roster, but I will also point out some tidbits on how the draft board was shaking out. Most of the meat of the analysis will be in the first 10 or so rounds. First drafts of the season are rusty, and there will be plenty of trading in this league, but I’m hoping that a good portion of these picks shape out. I drafted from the 11 spot. 

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Remember in The Hangover when Alan started out as a one-man wolf pack? Then his sister brought Doug home and his wolf pack grew to two. Later Doug introduced Alan to Phil and Stu. And Alan found himself in a four-man wolf pack; four wolves running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine.

Zach Ertz reminds me of lone-wolf Alan. In 2016 Ertz’s sister—Doug Pederson—brought home Carson Wentz and introduced the young QB to Ertz. And Ertz’s wolf pack grew from one to two. Then along came Dallas Goedert in 2018, and it became a three man wolf pack; three wolves running around Philadelphia together, looking for Cheesesteaks, strippers and cocaine.

But younger wolves in a pack never have quite the same connection as the original wolves. They have to work hard to prove themselves to the pack and gain their trust; even if they’re much more gifted at finding strippers and cocaine than some of the older wolves. And such is the life of Dallas Goedert.   

Please, blog, may I have some more?