Tag Archives: Teddy Bridgewater

Post Draft Rookie Positional Ranks: QB’s

We here at the Art of Score realize the amount of over-saturation and further more, the absurdity of handing out draft grades to players and teams before guys have even played one down of professional football.  However, we also realize the demand for some type of fantasy feedback, particularly for those of you in dynasty drafts who will be drafting players before you get to see any of these guys in pads.

As such, we’re going to give you these positional rankings now – put them in your input file, and let’s watch how they change over the course of the summer.

QB’s

1.) Teddy Bridgewater – Vikings – I’ve felt all along from a talent perspective Bridgewater was the best QB in this draft.   Going to Minnesota is pretty good for him for a few reasons.  First if he struggles in camp and isn’t ready for the season there’s no QB in the NFL that says “stopgap” more than Matt Cassel – so the Vikes shouldn’t feel pressured to start Bridgewater if he’s not ready.  Second, Norv Turner apparently pushed for Ted (I feel weird to keep calling him “Teddy”) so Turner believes in him and will design the offense for him.  And third the Vikings will still emphasis the run game under Adrian Peterson – as anyone will tell you a heavy run game can slow down pass rushers, and give an inexperienced QB more time to make quality decisions.  In redraft leagues, unless Bridgewater clearly wins the job out of preseason, and looks very good doing it – I’m probably not drafting him – even as a low end backup.  He’s going to take some time I predict – but in dynasty drafts he’s one of the few QB assets I’d like to have from 2014.  Probably a mid 2nd round dynasty pick.

2.) Tom Savage – Texans – Ok I know the next two guys on this list have more hype, seem more pro-ready, and have zero chance of not starting at some point in 2014.  But to me with Savage you play the long game here and see if you win.  You’ll hear a lot of buzz about Ryan Mallet coming to Houston and if that happens it probably pushes off Savage’s debut 2 seasons or so (I don’t believe in Mallet).  And in 2-3 years Arian Foster and Andre Johnson could be gone from what was an explosive offense.   However, what makes Savage attractive in spite of this uncertainty is that he has better tools than most at the position – he has better size, better accuracy, and better decision making than Manziel, and he’s got a better arm than Bortles.  In redraft leagues he’s a non draft for 2014 – on the off-chance he comes in as the 2014 starter, a backup to a low risk starter (Manning, Rodgers, Brees, etc) might be feasible.  In dynasty rookie drafts – if you have a development roster spot – spending a 3rd or 4th rd pick on him may yield you a top 15 QB in a few seasons.

3.) Johnny Manziel – Browns – Crazy is as crazy does.  In less than a week, Josh Gordon has started to face the possibility of a year long suspension, reports have surfaced that most of the Browns scouting department and coaches wanted Teddy Bridgewater, and that the owner Jim Haslam apparently overruled everyone on the advice of a homeless dude.  Now, whether that last part is just an urban legend, or a terribly misguided PR move – I don’t know, and I don’t care.   Look Manziel is polarizing, so no matter what I say about him you are going to have your opinion on whether he can play in this league.   I think he’s the type of guy to have 3-4 seasons of a few highlight plays, be generally mediocre – be loved or hated way beyond that level, and then slip into the ether. He’s smaller and slower than RG3, doesn’t seem to have the decision making that Russel Wilson has, and lacks the accuracy of Andrew Luck.   Yet I’m supposed to believe somehow that this guy is the league’s next superstar?  Not buying it.  Assuming he starts this year in Cleveland in redraft formats he may be worth looking at from the perspective of his scrambling – but keep in mind that usually has a shelf life (as RG3 found out) – and he has low end backup value on that.  In rookie drafts, the guy is going to be drafted 2nd round, whether it’s by you depends whether you think Manziel has game beyond his legs.  If I was drafting in dynasty I would pick him if I thought he would have a highlight or two his rookie year and then try to trade him.

4.) Blake Bortles – Jaguars – Well the Jags believe in him so he’ll probably be given the keys to drive asap. Bortles has great height and weight for an NFL QB, and he’s fairly mobile – but I am highly skeptical of his ability to throw the ball. In college he had a ton, and I mean probably the majority of his time in a one read system – complete with extremely short drops of 2 or less.  A lot of QB’s look great in bubble screen systems – but can he throw the ball down the field?  I say not really, but based on a draft position this guy will be a starter in the league for at least 2-3 seasons.  For redraft purposes he is undraftable to me even if he’s the opening day starter, I mean if he heats up you can also try a waiver wire on him.  In rookie drafts, if you’re fairly desperate for a backup QB you can take him in the late 3rd or 4th rounds knowing that at least he’ll start some games this year.

5.) Jimmy Garoppolo – Patriots – A testament to how weak this QB class seems to me is that I’m putting Garoppolo over players that have a much clearer path to starting.  If the Pats hadn’t chosen Jimmy he may well have been the 2nd or 3rd best QB fantasy option in this draft.  As it stands right now Garoppolo is undraftable in redraft leagues, and in dynasty leagues is a high risk pick that depends a lot on how you view him.  I think Jimmy is talented, I think learning under Brady would be good for him, but I also think it’s impossible to know if he’s the next Pat’s QB.  And if he’s not New England’s successor than you have to check the trajectory of guys like Matt Cassel and Ryan Mallet (to be determined) and figure out if you like his FA chances in 3 seasons.   I would take a flier on him in dynasty leagues if you have a developmental spot he seems to be exactly the player you hold that spot for, and unlike Mallet I believe that the possibility of the Pats job may be up for grabs by the end of his rookie contract.  I’d take him over Bortles in dynasty at about the same spot in the draft if my team already had a competent backup QB on the roster.

THE REST

Derrick Carr – Raiders – nobody wants to get involved with the Raiders’ mess do they?

Logan Thomas – Cardinals – The most fascinating of the QB’s to me unpredictable.  A better Cam Newton?  Or out of the league in 2 years?

Zach Mettenberger – Titans – Not a great potential guy, but path to QB may only be blocked by shaky and often injured Locker.

Aaron Murray – Chiefs – Small, lack of arm strength, and recovering from a torn ACL.  May have some intangibles.  May also have been drafted solely for contract leverage with Alex Smith.

David Fales – Bears – Getting to work with Trestman is nice, working with Cavanaugh is even better.  Capable backup player – ironically may have a career a lot like recently departed Josh McCown.

AJ McCarron – Bengals – McCarron seems to have some potential starter traits good arm, size, decision making average.  But he’s missing something elite – and he’s not going to find it in Cincy behind Dalton.

Tajh Boyd – Jets – A run 1st QB 3rd string back up to Geno Smith and Michael Vick. I don’t see Boyd ever starting an NFL game.

Keith Wenning – Ravens – Wenning is probably a better QB than 2 or 3 of the guys that went ahead of him in the draft.  But he’s clearly on track for NFL career backup…although that career may last longer than people think.

Garret Gilbert – Rams – Possible conversion to WR? Either way Bradford has nothing to worry about from QB competition.

 

:by Mike

 

 

NFL Combine Players to “Watch”

We here at the Art of Score have taken some time off to either lick our collective wounds, or in Ron’s case to celebrate the glory of the Seahawks’ 1st ever NFL title.   We have some big things coming in 2014, a new site design and more consistent content.   But to be truthful, that all takes a while to get off the ground.

So in the meantime, we will try to keep you updated the best we can on the 2014 NFL off season.  Expect podcasts and articles on the draft and free agency to be forthcoming – and in that spirit let’s take a quick look at the NFL Combine which is happening this very weekend in Indy.

When the average person (myself included) talks about the combine there’s no realistic way to judge the participating players.  We don’t get to scout these guys at their college practices year round, we don’t get to know the extenuating personal circumstances that may go into a one day performance, and we don’t have access to player interviews which may shed light on the hidden value (or damage) of players.

So, while the Combine is a debatablely flawed metric system (is there value in underwear running – outside of a college frat?) for NFL teams to evaluate players – it’s even less credible for an outside viewer sitting at home.

I recommend you read a book, play video games, or make a bad ass rock opera (doesn’t the world really need one of those right now?) rather than tune into any part of the NFL Combine.  Your untrained eye is going to tell you exactly zero about what’s going on…

So when I use the word “watch” for NFL Combine purposes it means – sometime next week find the combine results online and read them in black and white.  The Combine is really a pass/fail situation for players it and they’ll be plenty of articles written about who succeeded in performing acceptably, and who failed.

For fantasy purposes the Combine results are almost worthless to those of you in redraft leagues.  By the time you guys draft your fantasy teams for 2014, the incoming rookies will have already been drafted to their NFL teams and they will have already had some training camp and preseason.  In other words, much more substantial information will be available about their potential futures than some track meet numbers.

In dynasty leagues where your draft may be closer to the actual NFL draft, and occur before preseason really begins – the Combine numbers can be a more useful base of information.  Still though, I will maintain the real value in the combine is to track the potential “story” of each player.   For players who can pair up good combine results with college production – it becomes all roses, for players who have poor college production, but good combine performances – or vice versa – the questions become about the real weight of NFL physical metrics vs college game tape.

I’m not here to settle debates, I’m not telling you to turn in live to watch the Combine – what I am telling you is from a fantasy perspective at some point next week I’m checking the results of the players below – not to make a decision on them, but to start tracking their stories as they get ready to begin their rookie seasons.  How was the player thought of pre-combine?  How was he thought of post combine?  In camp?  etc….all these pieces help you draft players in fantasy and it starts with just a simple checklist around this time of year….

So here’s whom I’m “watching” at the combine.

QB Teddy Bridgewater Louisville –  To me Bridgewater is the only potential multi-year starter at the NFL level.  If he participates in the 40 yard dash and the shuttle – I want those numbers, but I’m not gonna concern myself with his throwing unless he completely embarrasses himself.   QB Combines are tough b/c they have to throw to WR’s they aren’t familiar with, who are also aren’t professionals. The “eye” test on QB throws at the Combine is just not all that relevant to me.  Bridgewater doesn’t bring the freaky mobility of a Vick or a RG3, but he is known for being a mobile pocket moving type of college QB – so his shuttle and 40 times could actually yield some useful metrics.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo  Eastern Illinois – Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles, and Tajh Boyd are all potential flops for me at the next level.  A good combine showing by any of them won’t really change my mind (unless Manziel clocks in at 4-5 inches taller than expected), but Garoppolo is intriguing in that he is gaining momentum from draftnicks as a viable NFL starter.  I don’t know about that. The college production was there against bad opponents, and I don’t think his measurables at the combine will wow anyone. I’m looking though to see if he comes out of the combine with good buzz – if he comes out with good buzz, and then is drafted to the right team, those 2 things together would make me more interested in following him in preseason – even if he has no clear path to being a starter in 2014.

RB Ka’Deem Carey – Arizona – This is a player I think that has to absolutely be both faster and heavier than he’s expected to be – some people think he’s the draft’s best RB – but from a fantasy perspective at 5’10 and 210lbs he’s slated for a situational role to me if he can’t improve on his weight.  His Combine numbers may tell us he’s very quick – but to put it in context we’ll need to hear how the NFL views him.   Even if he winds up being the 1st RB taken, if doesn’t seem to have a chance for early down work – it would affect his fantasy value.

RB Carlos Hyde – Ohio St & RB Jeremy Hill LSU – Hyde may be the best RB of the class if he can prove a little quicker than anticipated.  At a college playing weight of around 240, and a height of 6″ – if he can somehow break into a 40 time of the 4.5’s he could cement his top spot.  Hill is also a rising stock player with a similar 6’2 235 frame who could turn heads with good shuttle and 40 times.

RB Tre Mason – Auburn & RB Bishop Sankey- Washington:  Both of these guys were productive college players, but at around 200 pounds they need to be faster than their previous on-record 40 times in the 4.6’s.

WR Sammy Watkins – Clemson –  You have to check in on the trending #1 skill position player in the 2014 class, don’t you?  I guess so, but I’m not sure what combine numbers will tell us about Watkins.  From what I’ve seen of him he doesn’t physically measure up to AJ Green or Julio Jones whom he’s been compared to in dynasty circles.  I think that notion is being perpetuated by a perception that the RB’s are not strong for 2014 – and there is great WR depth, and Watkins is at the top of great depth.  And he may well be the best of a good group, but I don’t know that that means he’s great.  I guess you monitor to be sure he didn’t get hurt or disappoint, but I can’t imagine his combine affects his stock much in either direction.

WR Kelvin Benjamin – Florida State, WR Allen Robinson – Penn State, and WR Brandon Coleman – Rutgers:  Now these guys are my type of fantasy producers.  All of them are 6’3 or taller and have run 40 times in the past under 4.6.   Benjamin and Robinson will be given early round looks in the draft unless they tank the combine, but Coleman needs good mobility numbers to really move up.   Coleman ( 6’6!) has had some knee issues so it’s possible he could use the combine to put those doubts to rest by being healthy and running faster.

TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Washington: To me the TE’s for 2014 begin and end with this guy. Sure there are stable and reliable guys for real life NFL teams – guys who block, and have some speed and some size.   But Jenkins is on the tape for college at like 6’6 266 pounds and a listed 40 time of 4.60 flat.  He needs a lot of polish, but he’s the only TE in this class to me right now that could be a Gronkowski or a Graham for your fantasy team.   Better yet he projects at his size to be an inline TE, meaning that he won’t come off the field very often and isn’t dependent on being split out into the slot for his production.

As every year the combine will produce some out of nowhere “stars”, but if you start with the guys above and some other “big” names you can get a feel for how the days went.   Those of you in IDP leagues can certainly monitor some defensive players, but to me defensive players depend so much on where they are drafted (to the NFL) that it’s not really worth judging them too much on the combine.

So “watch” these guys in some fashion and just take it in.  It’s not the be all and end all for fantasy purposes,  but hey – unless you’re a Seahawks fan – it’s good to have some part of the football season back.

If you are interested in torturing yourself – or you’re an addict (like myself) here’s the schedule for the combine live:

» Saturday, Feb. 22: Tight ends, offensive linemen, special teams
» Sunday, Feb. 23: Quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers
» Monday, Feb. 24: Defensive linemen, linebackers
» Tuesday, Feb. 25: Defensive backs

: by Mike