Archive for Football

2017 NFL Draft Prospect Power Rankings: Top 5 Running Backs (Multiple 1st Rounders? & More)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

The 2016 NFL Draft is barely in our rearview mirror, but that’s not going to stop anyone from looking ahead to 2017 is it?  The running back draft class has the chance to be historic, with one lock for the first round and a few others who could join him.  Obviously a lot can happen between now and then (injuries, players opting to stay in school, off the field issues, etc.), but let’s kick off our rankings (which will be updated consistently throughout the year):

1) Leonard Fournette – LSU
After an impressive freshman year (187 carries for 1,034 yards and 10 TD), Fournette was fully unleashed in his sophomore campaign and made a statement:

  • Rushing – 300 carries for 1,953 yards (6.5 YPC) and 22 TD
  • Receiving – 19 catches for 253 yards and 1 TD

Listed at 6’1″ and 230 lbs., he certainly backed up the hype bestowed upon him when he initially signed at LSU.  If Ezekiel Elliot was selected fourth overall, it’s not unthinkable that Fournette is selected even earlier than that.  He’s been compared to Adrian Peterson and could conceivably be the premier talent in the upcoming draft class. Read more

NFL Draft First Round Fallout: Elliot A Winner, Coleman A “Loser” Among Skill Players

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all knew that the quarterbacks were going to go 1-2, so there was no surprise.  We also know that there’s a good chance Jared Goff starts, while Carson Wentz will likely sit Year 1 (even if the team does trade Sam Bradford).  Which of the other offensive skill position players selected were winners and losers?  Let’s take a look:

 

Winners

Ezekiel Elliot – Dallas Cowboys – Running Back
Elliot is a rarity in that he’s a potentially true three-down back who will be running behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.  Two years ago DeMarco Murray rushed for 1,845 yards and last year the enigmatic Darren McFadden put up a 1,000+ yard season.  In this situation Elliot has the potential to be one of the elite running backs from Day 1, especially with defenses also having to focus on Dez Bryant and company.   Elliot was likely going to be a winner regardless, but this is as good of a situation as he could’ve asked for. Read more

Five NFL Draft Day Sleepers To Watch (Jonathan Williams & More)

We all know the names that are going to be selected tonight, but what about the players who could go on Day 2 or Day 3?  Who should we be watching for closely?  Here’s our list of sleepers to pay attention to over the next few days:

 

Marshaun Coprich, RB, Illinois State

“Remember running backs come in all shapes and sizes.  Just because Coprich isn’t a first round pick…  Or a second round pick…  In fact, there’s a chance he goes undrafted…  None of it matters because the potential is there.  It’s just a matter of him finding the right spot, proving his talent and getting the chance.”

For our full scouting report, click here. Read more

NFL Draft Sleeper: Could Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins Develop Into A Viable WR2?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There are a lot of productive college wide receivers, though you can argue that Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins (nicknamed “Hollywood”) has been among the most productive over the past three seasons.  Just look at the gaudy numbers he’s produced:

  • 2013 – 68 receptions, 837 yards, 6 TD
  • 2014 – 96 receptions, 1,750 yards, 17 TD
  • 2015 – 75 receptions, 1,062 yards, 8 TD

Couple those with a 6’1” frame and you would think that NFL scouts would be drooling over the potential.  Of course there are concerns, but there’s also reasons for a lot of the “issues” hovering over him:

Drops
While they were an issue in college, especially early on, he worked hard to correct the issue over the course of his career.  Just look at this little tidbit from ESPN: Read more

NFL Draft Day Sleeper: Could D.J. Foster Make An Instant Impact In The NFL?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

If Arizona State’s D.J. Foster was in the draft after the 2014 season, as opposed to the 2015 season, the view on his potential value and upside would likely be dramatically different.  Just look at his numbers between the two seasons:

2014
Rushing – 194 carries, 1,081 yards, 9 TD
Receiving – 62 receptions, 688 yards, 3 TD

2015
Rushing – 55 carries, 280 yards, 1 TD
Receiving – 59 receptions, 584 yards, 3 TD

Obviously the team’s decision to transition Foster from running back to wide receiver was a poor one as the senior struggled in his role.  The question now is how will NFL teams view him entering the draft, especially after he failed to show blazing speed at the Combine (4.57 seconds in the 40 yard dash).  Is he going to be viewed as a running back?  Maybe as a slot receiver? Read more

NFL Draft Sleeper: Could Jonathan Williams Step In And Produce Like A RB1 Immediately?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Despite sharing time in the backfield with Alex Collins, Jonathan Williams proved to be a productive running back in 2013 & 2014 while at Arkansas:

  • 2013 – 150 carries for 900 yards (6.0 YPC) & 4 TD
  • 2014 – 211 carries for 1,190 yards (5.6 YPC) & 12 TD

The 2015 season was supposed to be his true coming out party, but he broken his ankle during practice and ultimately needed surgery.  A running back with concerns about his feet is always going to fall down draft boards (while it was his knee, look at the fall Jay Ajayi suffered in ’15 due to long-term concerns).  That said, it’s possible that the missed time will give the team selecting him a chance to get a real steal.

Of course, it’s also possible that teams won’t view the 5’11” running back as anything more than a committee back.  In fact, there is a long list of concerns: Read more

NFL Mock Draft (2016) v5.0: The Fallout Of The Eagles Trading Up To #2

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Once again the draft got a major shakeup thanks to a trade, with the Eagles trading up for the second time (this time moving from #8 to #2).  With it now an absolute lock that the top quarterbacks are selected in the top two spots in the draft, there is obvious fallout.  How do things currently shake out?  Let’s take a look:

1. Los Angeles Rams – QB Jared Goff, California (trade from Tennessee)
The Rams gave up a bounty to move from #15 to the top selection and we know that they crave a franchise quarterback. You can argue if this was the right year to make such a move or not, but clearly they have their sights set on one of the top two options. Whether it’s Goff (as we currently have it) or Carson Wentz, there’s now little doubt that it’ll be a pair of quarterbacks going 1-2 atop this year’s draft. Read more

NFL Overdraft Alert: Is Will Fuller Destined To Be A Draft Day Bust?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

There has been talk of Notre Dame’s Will Fuller being the first wide receiver off the board and nearly a lock to be selected in the first round.  That said, is he destined to be a bust at the spot he’s to be picked?  That’s not to say that he’s not going to be a productive NFL player, but let this comparison sink in…

Ted Ginn Jr.

That’s who NFL.com used as the comparison for their scouting report.  It’s the same Ted Ginn Jr. who was selected in the first round back in 2007 (ninth overall) and for his career has racked up 255 receptions and never more than 56 in a season (and never more than 790 yards).

That type comparison should send shudders down your spine.  While others have tried to compare him to Desean Jackson, NFL.com quoted a current NFL Scout (who is also a former NFL receiver) who said: Read more

NFL Draft Sleeper Report: Could WR Charone Peake Make An Instant Impact?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

We all know the names of the top wide receiver prospects heading into the NFL Draft like Laquan Treadwell or Will Fuller.  That said, could a once promising prospect ultimately prove to be a draft day steal?  Clemson’s Charone Peake, who was considered a top prospect coming out of high school, has flown relatively under-the-radar but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him emerge as a solid NFL receiver.

Armed with size (6’2”) and speed (his 4.45 40-second dash tied him for the fifth fastest among wide receivers at the Combine), there obviously is a lot to like.  There are two significant issues, which could be helping to suppress his draft day value:

  1. Size of his hands – As per NFL.com, “Hands are extremely small for his size and position”
  2. Injuries – Has already undergone two knee surgeries

Read more

NFL Mock Draft (2016) v4.0: The Fallout Of The Rams Trading Up To #1

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Obviously there is significant fallout to the draft in the wake of yesterday’s trade with the St. Louis Rams jumping from #15 all the way to the top pick.  It’s fairly obvious that they are going to be selecting a quarterback, the question is how the move impacts the rest of the draft.  Let’s take a look at how the first round currently shakes out:

1. Los Angeles Rams – QB Jared Goff, California (trade from Tennessee)
The Rams gave up a bounty to move from #15 to the top selection and we know that they crave a franchise quarterback.  You can argue if this was the right year to make such a move or not, but clearly they have their sights set on one of the top two options.  Whether it’s Goff (as we currently have it) or Carson Wentz, there’s now little doubt that it’ll be a pair of quarterbacks going 1-2 atop this year’s draft. Read more