The 2016 NFL Draft is quickly approaching. During this time, the potential draftees are under a lot of pressure and scrutiny. One of the first to crack was former Western Kentucky tight end Tyler Higbee, who got arrested on April 10th and charged with second degree assault, second degree evading police, and alcohol intoxication. His agent has let it be known that Higbee defended his girlfriend from another male bar patron. That may or may not reason away a physical altercation, but disregarding the police’s authority and driving while intoxicated are not so easy to dismiss. However, I will focus the majority of this scouting report on his college film as I reviewed his 2015 games against Indiana, Miami (OH), and Marshall to get a better idea of what skills and attributes he brings to the next level. Here are my thoughts:
Tag Archives: Austin Seferian-Jenkins
This is an amazing time for dynasty fantasy football. We are beginning to get some rookie practice reports; all kinds of fantasy football drafts are underway which gives everyone a chance to put their money where their mouth is in respect to player evaluation and strategy. I joined a start-up league run by my buddy Stan Hyatt. It is a 12 teamer with 40 regular roster spots and five taxi squad spots (rookies only). The lineups are as follows: 1 QB, 2-3 RBs, 2-5 WRs, 1-3 TEs (need eight combined players out of RB/WR/TE spots), 1 K and on the defensive side 3-4 LBs, 3-4 DBs, 2-3 DLs with ten total defensive starters. It is PPR scoring for all positions, tackle heavy IDP scoring, 6 points for every touchdown, .1 points per 1 yard of offense (rushing and receiving), and .05 per yard of passing and/or returns. I was lucky enough to end up with my favorite roster spot, 10th overall in a straight snake format. You can find the league here: http://football24.myfantasyleague.com/2015/options?L=78307&O=17
11.04 TE Eric Ebron, Lions
This ultra-athletic tight end had a slow first year in the league. Ebron was the 13th tight end taken and is worth the pick here with upside alone. I’m a strong believer in taking chances on players that play on good offenses in dynasty startups as he may never come at a cheaper price.
Here it is, another week of NFL preseason games. Hopefully your fantasy football players are more involved this week, so we might get a better idea about how each team will look like in the regular season. It’s critical to keep up with the NFL changing landscape, because it gives you a jump on the waiver wire and possible trade scenarios. My efforts concentrated on the younger players and/or new team additions. Here are some quick observations based on around the first three-quarters of each game:
Chiefs vs Panthers
The return of Cam Newton disappointed to say the least. He looked a bit gimpy at times, especially when he rolled away from impending blitzers. The quarterback’s upper body is still shows the power to throw the ball on a wire 50+ yards downfield without a solid base. Rookie receiver Kelvin Benjamin got behind the defense a few times. Once, Cam missed him with too much torque, but the second time Benjamin made the catch between three defenders. It was a thing of beauty, because he caught the ball at its highest point and shielded the ball away from all three defenders. Much injured Jonathan Stewart has some burst and power back, but how long will it last? Good thing Carolina has one of the most dominant front seven defensive fronts in the league.
Since most of us are in the middle of rookie drafts or we have just completed them, I am continuing my three-part weekly series (heck if it gets even more reads, I might add a fourth part) discussing the trends that are occurring in myfantasyleague.com fantasy football rookie drafts. The first article got based on 75 rookie drafts completed, and now we are over 400 rookie-only drafts! When a trend isn’t really changing like Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans get drafted one and two in almost every single draft, then I will discuss other players unless their draft position is changing dramatically. As always, my thoughts get based on dynasty PPR leagues with sacks being worth 2.5 times that a tackle is worth.
Some of these next selections may not be exciting per se, but these trends are important to note. WR Odell Beckham, Jr, who got drafted by the Giants, has on average been selected sixth overall in fantasy rookie drafts. Some people feel he is too much of a Victor Cruz clone and he will struggle to play on the outside. One assumes risk with this pick because of the way the New York offense struggled last season. Beckham is a safe, but unspectacular pick in the middle of the first round of dynasty fantasy rookie drafts. I envision him to hold WR3-4 value this season.
The excitement generated by the draft weekend has come and gone. Now is the time to put in the hard work as your rookie fantasy drafts are upon us. My dynasty fantasy rankings get based on a three to four-year window, not their immediate impact. Talent and situation gets considered here. There are three tiers of prospects in this season’s tight end crop with immediate starters (tier one), talented but raw athletes (tier two), and good situations with crowded talent polls (tier three).
1. Eric Ebron, Lions- The most talented tight end fell into the lap of best passing offense. With Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush grabbing the defenses attention, Ebron will draw coverage from safeties that aren’t big enough to cover him or linebackers that are too slow to keep up with him. This is a win/win situation for teams that draft Ebron. In tight end premium leagues, he should be a top five selection in your rookie drafts.
The next talented rookie tight end I wanted to discuss is Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins (or simply just “ASJ”). He has a stress fracture in his foot that has prevented him from working out after the season, but he did measure in at 6’ 5” 262 lbs. and recently ran a 4.56 40 yard dash for the Ravens. To get a better feel of his abilities/talents versus the rest of his class, I watched three 2013 games against California, Brigham Young, and Stanford as well as three 2012 games versus Utah, LSU, and USC.
ASJ is a very versatile athlete as he lines up as a traditional tight end beside the offensive tackle, as a fullback, in the slot, and split out wide. Back in 2012, he moon lighted a little at defensive end and looked pretty good at it, but I expound on that later. The tight end is an average run blocker who could seal the edge, turn the defender, but lacks the necessary power to control his man for very long. As a pass blocker, ASJ has good enough footwork to shadow the blitzer, step into the block, but would get knocked back by a bull-rusher. These blocking skills are far from elite, but will do the job in a pinch.
This year’s rookie class of tight ends isn’t the deepest class, but unlike most year’s this one has plenty of two-way traditional tight ends. Traditional tight ends tend to see the field a lot more as they are good at blocking and catching the ball, so they have use on every down. There is a good chance that two or three of these players will not see the field right away as sometimes tight ends struggle as they need to perform well in two worlds. This is a quick peak as to where I feel they compare against each other and this may change dramatically after the NFL Draft. To get more detailed insights, please read their individual scouting reports.
1. Eric Ebron, North Carolina
He is my favorite tight end of this class. Ebron has a big catch radius, great hands, and lines up all over the field. The tight end dealt with double teams his entire college career and was still highly productive. Even though he plays like a big receiver, Ebron can block well enough to stay on the field three downs. He could vault up to a dynasty TE1 this year.