NFL defensive schemes and roles are changing to accommodate more versatile, explosive players like Arizona’s hybrid Deone Bucannon and LA’s Mark Barron. Likewise in the 2016 NFL Draft, there is an exciting play maker with NFL blood lines (related to Jordan Cameron, Manti Te’o, and former Bengals great David Fulcher) that has some similarities to those hybrid players, former Trojan defender Su’a Cravens. I reviewed his 2015 games against Washington, Stanford, California, Notre Dame, and his 2014 game against Nebraska to get a better idea of the skills and attributes this young man will bring to the next level. Here are my thoughts:
Tag Archives: deone bucannon
One of the shallowest positions in this year’s draft is at safety. My top player is Alabama’s Landon Collins who might be the only one taken within the first two rounds of the NFL Draft, and might be the only safety worth drafting for your dynasty teams. I reviewed three of his games against Florida, Mississippi State, and Auburn to get a handle of the skills and attributes he brings to the next level. Here are my thoughts:
S Landon Collins, Alabama, 6’ 228 lbs.
Cons: At his current weight of 228 pounds, he might be a little too bulky and muscle-bound to play either safety position in the NFL. Collins will most likely play the strong safety position due to his physical style of play. The defender gets very hands in pass coverage and can over-react to fakes on occasion. He does make quite a few tackles on his back. While it is great that he continues to play even when on the ground, Collins needs to keep better balance and shed blockers a bit quicker to get to the ball carrier.
In fantasy football, there are some new trends that I enjoy writing about: dynasty leagues, and individual defensive player leagues. This weekly column will combine two of those by discussing two young IDPs. I will give my scouting thoughts on how they played a particular week. Today I will be discussing Arizona rookie safety Deone Bucannon and third year Denver linebacker Brandon Marshall.
S-Deone Bucannon, ARZ- The rookie defender plays a hybrid linebacker/safety position which keeps him in position to defend the run and the pass equally well. He drops back into coverage quickly, has good vision and anticipation to discern where the play is going. Bucannon moves well laterally, showing no wasted movement getting to the ball carrier. There were a few times he dropped back deep into coverage, but he is better taking on athletic tight ends near the line of scrimmage. The young safety is a solid, punishing tackler who limits their yards after the catch. Bucannon has the speed and quickness to hang in coverage with slot receivers and running backs too. He reads the quarterbacks eyes well.
The NFL preseason is now over. Many younger and/or fringe players are fighting for roster spots on NFL and fantasy football teams as you read. We got slight glimpses into the thought pattern of some teams with how much or how little these athletes played and others we will never know. Here are my general thoughts about some of the more interesting younger players or free agents from the first half of their last preseason game.
Rams vs. Dolphins
The later the game, the leaner the talent is to find. With that being said, Miami rookie receiver Jarvis Landry keeps on getting better. He catches passes in traffic, and gets to the ball at its highest point. The former LSU wide out fights for extra yardage and uses his body to block the defensive back from getting to the ball. For the Rams, second year Stedman Bailey appears to be the best receiver on the Rams, despite his four game suspension. He runs crisp routes, looks to bail his quarterback out of trouble, and has a good catch radius. Shaun Hill will miss his calming presence over four games. Rookie runner, Tre Mason, isn’t close to taking carries away from Zach Stacy, Bennie Cunningham is clearly the better runner right now. Mason gets knocked around in pass protection, catches the ball with his body, and doesn’t seem to have a lot of lower body strength. That isn’t to say that the young back can’t get small in the hole and learn how to pass block well, but it isn’t going to be this year.
At dynasty blitz, I am watching each preseason game and let my readers known what I’m seeing. The NFL landscape is very fluid, so please consider that this is only the first week. My efforts concentrated on the younger players and/or new team additions. Here are some quick observations after watching the first half of each game:
There wasn’t much to write about the Texans as their dismal efforts stunk up the joint in their first preseason action. It wasn’t all their fault with Arian Foster, Brian Cushing, and Andre Johnson not playing. Houston’s number one draft pick, Jadeveon Clowney, did put on quite a show though. The converted outside linebacker looked lost in pass coverage and got beat for a touchdown in the first quarter (penalty nullified the play). Clowney raced off the line of scrimmage to get immediate pressure on the signal caller and blew up a gut shot run play with a five yard loss.
With the injury to the former “honey badger” and what seems like the mess at linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals, many fantasy football IDP owners are clamoring about safety Deone Bucannon. He is a little underrated compared to the likes of fellow 2014 rookie safeties Ha-Ha Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor, but Bucannon has a good combination of their skills which makes him able to play both the free and string safety spots (I think he will be a better strong safety though). I re-watched four of his 2013 collegian games against Stanford, California, USC, and Arizona State to get a better understanding of the skill set he brings to the NFL and how well he will find into the Cardinal team.
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.
Let’s be honest, defensive backs, unless they get rewarded for return yardage, are like kickers because their value ties to their surrounding cast more than the real player. You want safeties that play with weaker linebackers so they can have more tackle opportunities and you want corner backs that play on teams either with good offenses or that have a stud cornerback on the other side. Every point counts on your fantasy teams, so make sure you get the best possible player you can.
1.Calvin Pryor, S, Jets
Not only is Pryor the hardest hitter in his class, he gets to play for Rex Ryan who will make sure the young safety gets himself in the best spot to make plays. Pryor won’t be asked to be in coverage much, so he can be an extra thumper near the line of scrimmage and might lead the Jets in tackles. He makes a great IDP from day one.
Sometimes with dynasty leagues, the idea of ranking rookie defensive backs is quite silly. More often than not, it is the opportunity that decides their value. NFL teams that have great scoring offenses usually give defensive backs more chances to make plays as the other team is playing behind and will be less conservative with the pigskin. This is my top ten pre-draft assessments of the defensive backs by talent and football IQ.
1.Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
This safety is the hardest hitter in his class. He reads the field well with excellent vision and gets himself in the best spot to make plays. Pryor uses his physicality and seems to be a bit of a head hunter. He isn’t smooth in coverage and can fall for multiple move fakes. If Pryor ends up with a team that has weak linebackers, he might lead his team in tackles.