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Now that some pro days occurred and I’ve gotten the chance to watch more film.  Here is a quick updated list with my thoughts of this dynasty fantasy football draft class.  These rankings are very fluid and will get adjustedDraft again before April 30th. Any rankings in italics are upgrades.


1. Jameis Winston, Florida State

2. Marcus Mariota, Oregon

3. Brett Hundley, UCLA

4. Bryce Petty, Baylor

5. Garrett Grayson, Colorado State

6. Shane Carden, East Carolina

Running backs

1. Todd Gurley, Georgia

2. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin

3. Jay Ajayi, Boise State

4. Duke Johnson, Miami

5. TJ Yeldon, Alabama

6.  Telvin Coleman, Indiana

7. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska

8. Mike Davis, South Carolina

9. David Cobb, Minnesota

10. David Johnson, Northern Iowa

11. Javorius Allen, USC

12. Jeremy Langford, Michigan State

flyer Thomas Rawls, Central Michigan

flyer Michael Dyer, Louisville

Wide receivers

1. Kevin White, West Virginia

2. Amari Cooper, Alabama

3. DeVante Parker, Louisville

4. Jaelen Strong, Arizona State

5. Doral-Green Beckham. Missouri

6. Breshad Perriman, Central Florida

7. Phillip Dorsett, Miami

8. Devin Smith, Ohio State

9. Nelson Agholor, USC

10. Tyler Lockett, Kansas State

11. Sammie Coates, Auburn

12. DeAndre Smeltzer, Georgia Tech

13. Rashad Greene, Florida State

14. Stefon Diggs, Maryland

15. Chris Conley, Georgia

16. Ty Montgomery, Stanford

17. Justin Hardy, East Carolina

18. Kenny Bell, Nebraska

flyer Titus Davis, Central Michigan

flyer Vince Mayle, Washington State

Tight ends

1. Devin Funchess, Michigan (There I said it.  I think he is more of a tight end than receiver).

2. Maxx Williams, Minnesota

3. Clive Walford, Miami

4. Nick O’Leary, Florida State

Defensive linemen

1. Leonard Williams, USC

2. Arik Armstead, Oregon

3. Owam Odighizuma, UCLA

4. Shane Ray, Missouri

5. Preston Smith, Mississippi State

6. Mario Edwards, Florida State

7. Eddie Goldman, Florida State

flyer ZaDarius Smith, Kentucky

flyer Lyden Trail, Norfolk State


1. Vic Beasley, Clemson

2. Dante Fowler, Florida

3. Eric Kendricks, UCLA

4. Denzel Perryman, Miami

5. Alvin Dupree, Kentucky

6. Randy Gregory, Nebraska

7. Eli Harold, Virginia

8. Shaq Thompson, Washington

9. Benadrick McKinney, Mississippi State

10. Paul Dawson, TCU

11. Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisville

flyer Jake Ryan, Michigan

flyer Hayes Pullard, USC

Defensive backs

1. Landon Collins, Alabama

2. Marcus Peters, Washington

3. Quentin Rollins, Miami (OH)

4. Eric Rowe, Utah

5. Jaquiski Tartt, Samford

6. Trae Waynes, Michigan State

7. Jalen Collins, LSU

8. Cody Prewitt, Ole Miss

9. Derron Smith, Fresno State

10. PJ Williams, Florida State

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This year’s draft is full of pass rushers.  Outside of the top six of Vic Beasley, Shane Ray, Dante Fowler, Bud Dupree, Randy Gregory, and Leonard Williams, there is a lot of debate who should be eliharoldnext.  One of the names that get mentioned is Virginia’s Eli Harold.  He is a bit undersized for a typical defensive end role, but has some good tape out there.  I reviewed five of his games against UCLA, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Miami, and Maryland to get a better idea of what he can bring to the NFL.  Here is what I saw:

OLB/DE Eli Harold, Virginia 6’ 3” 248 lbs.

Cons: The defender does not have any specialized skills in trying to get to the quarterback.  Most pass rushers use spins, swim moves, dips, and bull rushers in some sort of concert to create separation between themselves and their blockers, not him.  Harold shoves and pushes with only a glimpse of a spin or swim move, despite having quick hands.  He tends to lunge and get off-balance, which makes it easier to get him on the ground or out of the way.  Too many times the defender let the offensive lineman into his body which makes him easy to pass or run block against.  Harold needs to use his punch more often and anchor himself forcing the ball back inside.  He also fell for a few too many fake handoffs from UCLA’s Brent Hundley; the first time understandable, but to fall for it multiple times… Read More »

In a draft full of pass rushers, Missouri’s Shane Ray did not participate at the NFL Combine setting him back in some draftniks’ eyes.  He was active in the Missouri pro day, but did not stand out shanerayaccording to reports of people in attendance.  I decided to let his college film do the talking as I reviewed his games against UCF, South Carolina, Florida (2014 and 2013), and Kentucky.  This is what I noticed:

OLB/DE Shane Ray, Missouri 6’ 3” 245 lbs.

Cons: The first thing I noticed is that he is a bit awkward moving laterally, not smooth. Ray has a bad habit of letting blockers into body, but has a powerful enough torso to move them around to where he wants.  The defender needs to be more proactive and attack instead of letting the offense come to him.  There are times he gets too aggressive though and works himself out of the play.  His instincts are good, but he needs to understand better what the offense is trying to carry out.  Ray needs to get stronger against the run, stepping up and filling the gap.  I thought he looked a little stiff dropping back into pass coverage and might be more of a pass rushing specialist. Read More »

This year’s draft class is full of possibilities and one of the more lesser known receivers, Nebraska’s Kenny Bell, might be a great sleeper for your dynasty team.  While fellow Cornhusker Ameer kennybAbdullah is getting all the press, this young receiver had a promising college career.  I reviewed three of his games against Fresno State, Illinois, and Northwestern to get a better feel for the attributes that he brings to the next level.  Dynasty teams are sometimes built with the picks in the later rounds, perhaps Bell should be considered.  Here is what I saw:

WR Kenny Bell, Nebraska 6’ 1” 197 lbs.

Cons:  The receiver sometimes lets the ball too much into his body and suffers from concentration issues.  He can be a bit lazy on his routes, either cutting them short or running sloppy.  This makes him a liability especially near the end zone.  Bell is more smooth than fast and doesn’t have more than one gear in his speed repertoire.  This lack of dynamic ability makes him easy to substitute for a tight end in three receiver sets when the intension is to run, while trying not to look like it. Read More »

There is nothing more elusive than what are Alabama backs chances at the next level.  Many reports state that the Crimson Tide beats the daylight out of their players with overly tough, physical tjyeldpractices leaving them more subject to injury in later years.  Do we look at first round bust, Trent Richardson and current Raider, for proof of this theory, or should we consider the Packers Eddie Lacy who appears to have adjusted well to the NFL?  I say we take both backs’ experiences and throw in TJ Yeldon’s game tape to get a full picture.  After reviewing four of his games against Auburn, West Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Oklahoma, here are the skills that he brings to the NFL.

RB TJ Yeldon, Alabama 6’ 1” 226 lbs.

Cons:  The first thing that jumped out on tape was his explosion declined from 2013 to 2014.  It looks like the excessive college touches/hard practices, etc. took their toll on him. The back is an upright runner that has stiffer hips than I expected.  Yeldon doesn’t have a lot of wiggle and cannot create separation on his own.  His offensive line is responsible for a solid part of his production and the runner might be too patient waiting for holes to develop.  He needs to make quicker decisions, lower his pads, and run through defenders; instead of letting the defense dictate his approach.  As a receiver, the back lets the ball too much into his body instead of catches it cleanly and in stride.  Read More »

With the NFL Draft less than a month and a half away, there are plenty of players that many draftniks get excited about, but we aren’t quite sure how they will fit at the next level.  One of those shaqattackplayers is Washington’s Shaq Thompson.  He got recruited as a safety and running back, but played much of his college career as a linebacker.  I watched five of his games against BYU, UCLA, Stanford, Oregon State, and Illinois to get a feel for what skills he will bring to an NFL team.  Much like NFLN’s Mike Mayock, I believe he could be a better strong safety than a linebacker.  Scheme and coaching will make their mark too, but here is what I saw:

S/LB Shaq Thompson, Washington 6’ 228 lbs.

Cons: His size is that of a traditional NFL safety, not of a linebacker as he is more long and lean than stout and muscular.  His timed forty at the Combine of 4.64 is not outstanding either, but well within a slower defensive back or slightly above average linebacker.  My first concern is that he prefers to run around blocks instead of stepping up and shedding blockers.  This extra time getting to the ball carrier might not be so costly in college, but it could be the difference between a two yard rush and a twenty yard play.  Thompson makes about half of his tackles right around the ankles; it will be harder to bring down the best runners in the NFL that way.  He is not strong at the point of attack and appears to absorb more force than he delivers.  In pass coverage, the linebacker does well playing zone, but seems to struggle in man to man situations chasing someone all-round the field.  Thompson has a little Troy Polomanu to his game with his gambling tendencies when he instinctively jumps gaps and/or launches himself towards targets when the outcome has not been decided. Read More »

Is he a tight end or is he a wide receiver?  Michigan’s Devin Funchess has some great film out there and has some junk plays, too.  His timed forty at the NFL Combine did not impress with a dfunchesspedestrian 4.70 for a wide out, but improved his time a lot in Ann Arbor.  I attempted to take off my fandom hat as I came into this world in Ann Arbor and reviewed seven of his games against Notre Dame, Appalachian State, Utah, Ohio State, Indiana, Penn State, and Michigan State.  This was a broad view because it featured him playing some wide receiver this season and tight end last season.  This is what I saw:

TE/WR Devin Funchess, Michigan 6’ 4” 232 lbs.

Cons: My first criticism of Funchess is that it takes him too much time to get to full speed and then also gear down to change directions aka a long strider.  This causes him to chop his feet too much, which lets defensive backs and linebackers get the chance to stay close to him.  I rarely saw him shield the ball from defenders; instead he would rather be in jump ball situations.  The play maker must make better use of his size against smaller defenders. Read More »

In the 2014 NFL Draft, there are many kinds of pass rushers.  One of the best defensive ends in this year’s class is Oregon’s Arik Armstead.  He leapt off the screen during the first round of the collegeArikA football championship series, so I decided to review a few of his games against Ohio State, Florida State, and Texas. After watching those three contests, I am excited to see him use those talents at the next level.

DE Arik Armstead, Oregon 6’ 7” 292 lbs.

Cons: The defender is not a fluid athlete and can get knocked off-balance when he leans too far forward.  That is the issue with being 6’ 7”.  Armstead comes out like a cyclone, but seems to fade in the fourth quarter; perhaps he will need to start his NFL career as a situational pass rusher.  The defensive lineman also needs to do a better job keeping his hips underneath him, so he can keep protect his body better from blocks against offensive linemen that are trying to tangle him up.   Read More »

One of the highest risers due to the results of the NFL Combine is Clemson’s linebacker Stephone Anthony.  He posted an impressive forty time of 4.56, ran a 4.03 seconds 20-yard shuttle, and stephoneajumped a 37 inch vertical.  This caused many draftniks, including myself, to review more of his work to see if these numbers translate.  I watched his games against Florida State, Syracuse, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio State to get a better feel for the skills he brings to the next level.  Here is what I thought:

LB Stephone Anthony, Clemson 6′ 3″ 243 lbs. 

Cons: His Combine results do not show up to that extent on the game film.  Anthony possesses tremendous straight line speed, but does not change directions that quickly.  He seems to be tightly hipped and runs a bit too high.  I thought he took a lot of bad angles and had to run around blockers, instead of stepping into them and shedding on the way to the ball.  The linebacker, at times, appeared flat-footed and did a lot of his damage as a clean-up tackler.  This means he usually was not the first to arrive, but made sure the ball carrier got brought to the ground.  Anthony has limited pass rushing moves and got quite handsy out in pass coverage.  There is a reckless abandon to his game.  Read More »

When it comes to solid, yet unspectacular running backs in the 2015 NFL Draft, look no further than South Carolina’s Mike Davis.  He appears somewhere between fifth and tenth on most draftniks mikeydratings boards.  I reviewed five of his games against Georgia (2013 and 2014), Missouri, Kentucky, and Mississippi State to get a better feel for what skills and talents he brings to the next level.  Here are my thoughts:

RB Mike Davis, South Carolina 5′ 9″ 217 lbs.

Cons: The back gets caught, at times, dancing too much in the backfield (east and west) when he should be moving north and south.  This lack of decision-making will be more actualized in the NFL than it ever was at South Carolina.  Once Davis hits a pile-up, his legs do not appear powerful enough to move the cloud of dust any further, for a power runner I expected more power.  He is an adequate blocker in the passing game, but shows varied efforts which will put a quarterback at risk.  This could cause some teams to view him as more of a two-down back.  Davis also played behind a very good offensive line that might have made him appear to be a better player than he truly is. Read More »

If you look up the phrase “took the NFL Combine by storm”, there would be a picture of former Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley.  He exploded off the charts with a forty yard dash of 4.35, a cconleyvertical of 45 inches, and a standing broad jump of 11’ 7”.  Although the wide out played for a heavily run-based offense, there is a great deal of upside related to him.  I reviewed the two available games on  against Arkansas and Tennessee to get a better feel of what he can do on the football field versus what he can do in a track meet.

WR Chris Conley, Georgia 6’ 2” 213 lbs.

Cons: Sometimes coming from a school that features a running game almost exclusively can benefit a player like Calvin Johnson at Georgia Tech, but it also comes with a very limited route tree.  Because Conley ran mostly nine routes and slants, it is difficult to tell if he can excel running patterns that he never ran in college.  Right now the receiver looks like a better athlete than a football player due to his general rawness.  Solid position coaching could make a big difference, but it might take time or never sink in.  That is a huge risk.  Against physical, press coverage, Conley struggles to get separation.  Even if he lines up exclusively in the slot, the receiver needs to show improvement with upper body strength.  It is a bit concerning that he isn’t that great of a blocker despite playing in a run-first offense.  Read More »


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