Predicting The Future With J-off

Discussion in 'NFL Draft Forum' started by j-off-her-doll, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. j-off-her-doll

    j-off-her-doll FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    Thin margins

    The draft is kind of like politics. While everyone argues and calls each other idiots, we tend to agree much more often than we disagree. We just take for granted the players/areas in which we agree. So, we look for little differences that will transform into big differences - or at least big enough differences to put you ahead. Of course, this exposes some really ugly aspects of human nature, but that's for another discussion.

    This will attempt to determine 1) which early-round players will be drafted too soon and 2) which players will fall further than they should - providing that value we hope to scoop. I also make note of potential late-round values. If you don't see a player listed here, it means that I think he'll be drafted in (more-or-less) the correct range. After this, I'll be working on some Dolphins-specific content. Teams should hit on most of their early picks, and that hasn't been the case for Miami, so you can think of this exercise as a warm up before we get to Miami's needs and which players will make the biggest impact.



    QB
    - As of April 7th, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen appear to be the top QB's in the eyes of the NFL. Darnold deserves his spot among the top 2, and Josh Allen is a physical marvel, but he lacks the grace, instincts, and poise required of a top-flight QB. These are has-it-or-doesn't traits. You can only develop them so much.

    With Allen going higher than he should, and Rosen likely going 3rd, Baker Mayfield presents excellent value. In addition to high-end accuracy, and underrated arm strength, Mayfield plays with the grace, poise, and instincts of a franchise QB. He and Darnold are the guys you want. Mayfield is the ray of light for QB-needy teams out of Darnold's range.

    For late-round values, Logan Woodside reminds me of a less-wild Case Keenum, and don't sleep on JT Barrett, who is kind of a poor-man's Dak Prescott.



    RB - It looks like Derrius Guice could go in the first twenty picks, and Ronald Jones II and Sony Michel will likely go in the first fifty picks. While I like aspects of each, Guice and Jones II were invisible in the passing game (Guice less than half as productive as Fournette as receiver). Michel has only ever been a complimentary RB. Guice belongs in the top-50 range, but the 1st is rich, and teams should not be in a hurry to draft Jones II or Michel. They're nice pieces to add to your offense, but their ceilings are not as advertised.

    As a result, Rashaad Penny, John Kelly, and Royce Freeman may get pushed into the 3rd/4th range (if not later), and Penny is Guice's biggest rival for best pure runner in the class. His combination of vision, burst, and balance through contact are exactly what you want. He's also a dangerous receiver out of the backfield with breakaway speed. Kelly is one of the 3 or 4 best receiving backs in the class, in addition to runner with excellent power and balance. And, Freeman is a guy that does it all - big body, good speed, burst, adequate vision, and he catches the ball well.

    Late-round values - Akrum Wadley, Ito Smith, Phillip Lindsay



    WR
    - This Calvin Ridley thing is real, isn't it? Top 20 looks likely, and Christian Kirk figures to go in the 1st, as well. This is much too soon for both players, who project better to late Day 2 - as solid pieces, rather than focal points of an offense. James Washington and Dante Pettis will also go sooner than they should - likely top-50 picks, but Washington will go closer to his appropriate value, and Pettis is one of the best punt-return prospects in recent memory, so it's understandable that his value would get a bump.

    Look for value in DJ Moore, Courtland Sutton, Michael Gallup, DJ Chark, and Cedric Wilson. Moore and Sutton are the WR's who should go in the top 20. Moore is like a faster, more-explosive Anquan Boldin with the ball in his hands, and he gets in and out of his breaks like Stefon Diggs. Moore can do anything he wants on the football field. Sutton is a huge WR with unreal agility. You don't see guys this big move so effortlessly. He's not a burner, but he's fast enough, and, like Moore, he can win a variety of ways. Gallup runs crisp routes, wins at the catch point, and is excellent after the catch. He's not especially fast, but he's very slick, and he tracks the deep ball at a high level. DJ Chark is - by a mile - the best deep threat in the class. If Ted Ginn Jr. were bigger, stronger, faster, and better, he'd look like DJ Chark. They move very similarly, chewing up space at unreal rates, and Chark has the physique to capitalize. But, as a pure deep threat, he's about as good as it gets. Also think of guys like Mike Wallace and William Fuller, but Chark is smoother and longer than Wallace and bigger than Fuller. Despite 4.55 speed, Cedrick Wilson is another WR who can win anywhere on the field. He runs smooth routes, makes tough catches over the middle, and he wins deep. These all figure to be early-impact WR's, with the ability to develop into high-volume + high-efficiency players.

    Late-round values - Steve Ishmael, Keke Coutee, TreQuan Smith, Allen Lazard, Korey Robertson



    TE - Hayden Hurst may be the first TE off the board, and he will go in the first 50 picks - what the what!? He's a nice player. It's easy to like his tape, but despite solid speed, he's a below-average athlete, with a below-average frame, and he'll be 25 years old this year. Have some perspective, NFL. Will Dissly could go Day 2, and it doesn't make a lick of sense. If you're drafting a TE in the first three rounds, you're hoping that he can develop into a legitimate threat as a receiver. You don't draft blocking TE's that high, and you don't project Dissly to grow into a quality receiver.

    Because the NFL appears to favor Hurst and Goedert, Mike Gesicki could fall to the 2nd, where he'd be a huge value. At a position where athleticism is king, Gesicki is about as athletic as it gets. His game is raw, but with his speed, burst, and agility, you have what you need to work with (and then some). Tyler Conklin likely slips to Day 3, where he presents rare value in a thin 2018 TE group. He's excellent at positioning his body to make the catch, and he excels at winning contested balls. Not fast, but he's a good all-around athlete, and he can develop into a consistent receiver in the NFL. He reminds me of Zach Miller (from Arizona State).

    Late-round values - N/A

    OT - Mike McGlinchey appears to be headed for the 1st Round (top 20?), and his game has lapses and holes, and he doesn't show the upside to make you feel better about the needed development. He has a shot to be a quality starter, but he carries some bust risk, and he's not a guy who will develop into a top-flight OT.

    Not a great class for OT, but Connor Williams has the tools to make it work. He's still very young, a good athlete, and his 2016 was much better than his injury-altered 2017. Because McGlinchey likely goes first, Williams could fall a little and present a solid value in the late-1st/early-2nd. 2016 Williams was better than 2017 McGlinchey, and Williams has youth and athleticism on his side, as well.

    Late-round values: N/A

    C - Billy Price looks like he'll go before Frank Ragnow, and that doesn't make any sense. Ragnow is more consistent, younger, and more athletic. He's also entering the NFL in better health.

    Late-round values: Brian Allen
     
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  2. j-off-her-doll

    j-off-her-doll FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    DT - Vita Vea and Da'Ron Payne appear to be the consensus top DT's, and both could go top 20. They both provide an excellent combination of size, strength, and speed; however, neither is particularly instinctive, and neither made many plays in the backfield. Payne is very young, so you could see him bloom in year 2 or 3, but at Vea's age, it seems unlikely that he'll start making plays in the backfield at a rate that justifies a 1st-round pick. I think Vea is more Paul Soliai than Haloti Ngata.

    Harrison Phillips shows the strength, instincts, and leverage you want from a DT. He's not fast, but he's really quick, and he knows how to use his (underrated) length to hold off OL. I agree with Daniel Jeremiah's comp of Kyle Williams, but Phillips is stronger and a better athlete. It's plausible that he falls out of the top 50, and at that point, you're getting excellent value on a player with a very high floor and a reasonably high ceiling. Trenton Thompson is one of the most talented DT's in the class. After a strong finish to his 2016 Season, he looked poised to crush 2017. but he played banged up, and it showed. It looks like he'll be a Day-3 pick, and you're not going to find many Day-3 DT's with talent like Thompson.

    Late-round values: PJ Hall, Bilal Nichols, James Looney

    DE/Pass Rusher - Both Arden Key and Sam Hubbard have a shot of going in the 1st, and they won't fall further than Day 2. Both players are slow, and while Key certainly flashed at LSU, neither did enough on the field to warrant a 1st - even if they weren't slow. Hubbard, in particular, is completely uninteresting as a pass rusher, and neither make enough plays in the run game. Hubbard might be best served as a space-eating 5-tech, where it won't matter as much that he doesn't make plays. Key doesn't seem like he'll last long in the NFL.

    Josh Sweat looks like he'll last to Day 2, and may even fall outside the top 50. He needs to learn that one arm is longer than two, and his instincts are only adequate, but Sweat is both young and freakishly talented, and he showed enough in 2017 that you like his chances to make good on his talent. He's comfortably one of the best 32 talents in this class. Tyquan Lewis is the Ohio State DE teams should want. His production was down a bit in 2017, but he broke out a sophomore, and his athleticism shows - particularly when he's rushing the QB. He should contribute early as a pass-rush specialist. Joe Ostman is as accomplished as any pass rusher in the class, and he's more athletic than most expected. He profiles as similar to Charles Harris - but with better instincts and agility. He even has a killer spin move like Harris. In a class that lacks many quality pass-rush options, Lewis and Ostman offer surprising value.

    Late-round values: Marcell Frazier, Jeremy Smith, Sharif Finch, Antonio Simmons, Brian Womac



    LB - Rashaan Evans will go in the 1st, and he may go top 20. He's a versatile LB, but he's neither athletic enough to thrive as a pass-rushing OLB nor instinctive enough to justify a 1st-round pick as an off-ball LB. He's also smaller than you want from a pass-rushing OLB and slower than you want from an off-ball LB. He is very physical, and he looks like a guy that can play in the NFL, but recouping the value of an early pick will be an uphill struggle.

    Meanwhile, Malik Jefferson is a freak athlete who made a ton of plays at Texas. 2017 was the first year it clicked, and his instincts still have room to grow, but his struggles were greatly exaggerated, and his speed is exactly what you want on the 2nd level. It seems likely that Jefferson falls out of the top 50, and he's a steal at that point. Joel Iyiegbuniwe is a fast, prototypical WLB. He covers well, navigates traffic, and he's an excellent tackler in space. It looks like he'll slip through the cracks, potentially all the way to the 6th or 7th, and with a skill set that translates very well to the modern NFL, he has the talent to develop into a quality starter - if not more. Don't forget about Micah Kiser, who looks built for a 3-4 defense. He shows high-end instincts and physicality, and he's more athletic that most believe - ran a faster 40 than Darius Leonard and performed well across the board.

    Late-round values: Quentin Poling, Frank Ginda, Andre Smith



    CB - There's a lot to like about Denzel Ward; he's a brilliant athlete, plays the ball well in the air, and a pretty good tackler, but he'd be the lightest CB since 2010 to go in the 1st Round - let alone the top 10. His instincts against the pass are very good, but his overall instincts and ability to find the ball are just OK. Mike Hughes is similar, but he's not the elite athlete that Ward is. To Hughes' credit, he's an outstanding returner, but he misses more tackles than Ward, and top-20 talk is very rich for a small CB who has serious holes in his game. He's best in press, but he's not built to excel as a press CB in the NFL. Isaiah Oliver is a big CB with adequate speed, solid burst, and good agility, but he profiles as a less athletic, less physically-dominant version of Ahkello Witherspoon, who had trouble seeing the field as a rookie. Witherspoon went in the 3rd, and Oliver is being talked up in the 1st, and it's unlikely that he falls out of the top 50.

    Josh Jackson is just the type of CB the NFL underrates. Despite his otherworldly ball skills and instincts, despite his fluid movement and burst, teams will see that Jackson is just "fast enough," and they won't see a proven press CB. Jackson will reward whichever team drafts him with turnovers. He has similar traits to both Asante Samuel and Casey Hayward, but he's bigger than both and more active than Samuel. He's not as sticky as Jaire Alexander (who should be ranked ahead of Ward), but he'll make more plays than any CB in the draft, and he should be especially attractive to teams that want to mix coverages. Quenton Meeks requires some refinement, but he's a smart, instinctive CB, with good size and athleticism, and he's still very young. Meeks is somewhat similar to Kevin King from the 2017 Class - a prospect whose indicators are better than his tape. Meeks may struggle early, as he irons out his technical deficiencies, but he has one of the highest ceilings of the 2018 CB's.

    Late-round values: Josh Kalu, Deatrich Nichols, Jalen Davis, Emmanuel Mosley, Amari Coleman, Jermaine Kelly, Andre Chachere, Kameron Kelly



    S - Minkah Fitzpatrick should be drafted as a CB - whether slot or boundary - and I don't believe he's an elite prospect at any position, but he's still getting a lot of top-10 love as a Safety, and he will struggle to return value in that situation. Fitzpatrick has noted that his best attribute is man coverage, and while he's a smart, assignment-sound player, he doesn't see the play quick enough to thrive with zone responsibilities. His teammate, Ronnie Harrison, appears locked into the first-two rounds, and given the expectations that come with that, I expect him to disappoint. Remember, Eric Reid and Tre Boston are still unsigned, so solid Safeties are available for low rates. Harrison is physical, and he was alright in coverage at Alabama, but he's not a playmaker, and I don't see the instincts to thrive in zone or the athleticism to match up with NFL WR's and TE's. In the NFL, Harrison projects as a big SS - the RB of the Defense (that is to say, it's a devalued position).

    DeShon Elliott has been knocked for being stiff, and, to an extent, he is; however, he wins with intelligence, instincts, burst, and physicality. No Safety in this class sees the play as quickly as Elliott, and no Safety made more plays on the ball (relative to his opportunities). His "hit stick" also rivals any Safety in the class. He's somewhat similar to Harrison Smith - with the key difference being that Smith has much better agility. With regard to athleticism and playmaking ability, Elliott is most similar to Reshad Jones. If there's a key difference between the two, Elliott is more sound and doesn't guess as much as Jones. He also takes better angles in deep coverage. Elliott's athleticism will limit his versatility. You don't want him matching up with receivers. But, for teams looking for a smart, instinctive Safety that gets his hands on a lot of balls, and brings the wood, Elliott should be very attractive. Tarvarius Moore, by contrast, is an outstanding athlete. He looks a lot like Marcus Williams (who had a great rookie year before his infamous blunder against the Vikings), but Moore is much faster, and he spent more time in the box than Williams. His instincts are very good - if not elite like Elliott's - and his speed and burst point to a player who should excel in man coverage.

    Late-round values: Jeremy Reaves, Trayvon Henderson
     
  3. LargoFin

    LargoFin Well-Known Member

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    For Linebackers, I will go with top 15 fast guys, and those with strength (bench) and explosion (broad jump):

    Jerome Baker, Tremaine Edmunds, Malik Jefferson, Dorian O'Daniel, and I will lump in Griffin as well. And the ones i like on tape, Evans, Jack Cichy, and Shaun Dion Hamilton, who did not participate in drills.
     
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  4. j-off-her-doll

    j-off-her-doll FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    Speed is definitely important at LB, and I'd love Edmunds or Jefferson. But, you need that speed to move in the right direction, and after Smith, Edmunds, Vander Esch, Jefferson, Iyiegbuniwe, and Kiser (not as fast as the others, and not a great fit for Miaim, but 4.66), you're looking at a bunch of guys who are lacking in one or the other (if not both).

    I think Baker, Evans, and O'Daniel can contribute, but I wouldn't sprain a hamstring rushing to draft them. Matthew Thomas, Genard Avery, and Oren Burks are other LB's with terrific athleticism and good versatility - but who don't see the play as quickly/correctly as high-end LB's.

    If Miami bypassing the early talent at LB (Smith, Edmunds, LVE at 11 or Jefferson at 42), I'd be fine adding a less-instinctive player with high-end tools in the mid-to-late rounds. I just think everyone should keep their expectations in check if Miami goes that route, and they better draft a player better add high-end players at 11 and 42 to offset missing on such a talented group that is also such a huge need.
     
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  5. NoblePhin

    NoblePhin Starter Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Of the safties I want Justin Reid, Elliot, or Armani Watts. I dont think any of them will last beyond our second pick.
     
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  6. j-off-her-doll

    j-off-her-doll FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    I like Watts too. He's not perfect, and he's smaller than ideal, but he's a very decisive player. Have him in the 3rd/4th range with Jordan Whitehead, Tracy Walker, and Jeremy Reaves. I like them all a lot, and Walker is the only one of the group I haven't had (at one point or another) rated at least in the 2nd round. Whitehead didn't take the leap forward I hoped for in 2017; Reaves tested slower than I thought/hoped he would; and Watts' combination of size, athleticism, and consistent play in the passing game all keep me from rating the group higher than in late day 2/early day 3, but I think they can all help you win football games.

    I would love Reid or Elliott at 42, and I think Elliott's still there, but Reid probably goes in the 20s. I think he's a top-20 player.
     
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  7. NoblePhin

    NoblePhin Starter Finheaven VIP Donator

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    Love Reid. If we trade down in the 1st he's the player I really want. I'm really boiling down to Vea/Payne with no trade down, or Reid with a trade down, with Harrison Phillips as a day two pick.

    We need instant starters at both fs and dt. Vea/Payne with Elliott/Watts in the 2nd, or Reid/Phillips and I would be extremely happy
     
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  8. j-off-her-doll

    j-off-her-doll FinHeaven VIP Finheaven VIP

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    Have to disagree on the DT's. I would not like/consider either Payne or Vea at 11. I'd be good with Reid in a trade-down scenario, though.
     
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  9. NoblePhin

    NoblePhin Starter Finheaven VIP Donator

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    It's ok, im used to the disagreement on getting a DT high. Shoot, even with Suh I was pounding the table for Nkemdiche and other dts in previous drafts.
     
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  10. rickd13

    rickd13 Scout Team

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    I love some of the players on your list. I love RB Royce Freeman, DT Harrison Phillips, LB Malik Jefferson, CB Josh Jackson, and WR DJ Moore, and TE Mike Gesicki. Two guys that I really like, obviously more than you, are Minkah Fitzpatrick and WR Christian Kirk.
     
  11. showstopper

    showstopper Starter

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    Love Fitzpatrick, but love James more, like you.
     
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  12. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    Great stuff, J-Off.

    What's your take on Tavon Bryan? He seems to be one of the more intriguing prospects to me. Would love to get Trenton Thompson with one of the 4th rounders. Can you imagine Miami's pass rush if the team landed both of these guys?

    Would love your take on Mason Rudolph as well. I'm been watching a lot of tape of the next group of qb's after the perceived top four. I still get the feeling Miami will surprise with that #11 pick and I could definitely see Rudolph or Lamar Jackson there. Not advocating, just trying to think with the front office.
     
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  13. rickd13

    rickd13 Scout Team

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    Another guy that I forgot to mention as I guy I really love, is Marcus Davenport.
     
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  14. SF Dolphin Fan

    SF Dolphin Fan Seasoned Veteran

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    That's a good list of players. I'm hoping for Jefferson in the 2nd, unless Miami goes LB in the 1st. DJ Moore is so much like Jarvis Landry. Love his physicality after the catch. I think he's the best receiver in the draft, at least from the top guys I've seen. Phillips could be a nice R2 option if the team gets a Smith/Edmunds in the 1st.

    There should be a lot of talent in R2. Would love, under the right situation, to trade down and get another second.
     
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  15. NoblePhin

    NoblePhin Starter Finheaven VIP Donator

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    We've been too adamant on qbs this year, trying to drive up the price for teams like AZ to move up. We have so many holes to fill, we probably should trade back a few times this draft
     
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