Every year the NFL Draft has stories upon stories, but Cardale Jones’ is one for the ages. The former third string quarterback became the starter in the 2014 Big Ten Championship Game and continued that momentum into a three game winning streak that won Ohio State a national championship. He got handed the starting nod in 2015 only to lose the job in a blow out against Penn State. So now Jones enters the 2016 NFL Draft full of questions: I reviewed his 2014 games against Michigan and Wisconsin, then his 2015 contests versus Virginia Tech, Penn State, and Maryland to get a better idea of the skills and abilities the young man will bring to the next level. These are my thoughts:
Tag Archives: quarterbacks
Here are a few lists broken down by offensive positions. Tomorrow I will post my defensive pre-draft rankings.
- Jared Goff, California
- Carson Wentz, North Dakota State
- Paxton Lynch, Memphis
- Connor Cook, Michigan State
- Christian Hackenberg, Penn State
- Cardale Jones, Ohio State
- Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
- Jeff Driskell, Louisiana Tech
- Vernon Adams Jr, Oregon
The NFL is a copycat league, which is why several teams are taking an interest in rookie quarterback Vernon Adams, Jr. because he reminds some scouts of Super Bowl winning signal caller Russell Wilson. While this year’s NFL Draft has two to four decent early round starting quarterback options depending on who you ask, the young former Oregon Duck/Eastern Washington Eagle should be available with a much later, smaller investment. I reviewed several of his games against Washington, Oregon State, California, Montana (2014), Sam Houston (2014), and his all-star East-West Shrine game to get a better idea of what skills and attributes he brings to the next level. These are my thoughts:
The most important position in the NFL that comes with enormous scrutiny and the even more prestige is the quarterback. Finding a NFL starter can be difficult, one of this year’s wild cards (meaning someone who could be drafted after the first two rounds) is former Mississippi State signal caller Dak Prescott. I watched his 2015 games against NC State, LSU, Texas A&M, Louisiana Tech, a 2014 game against Arkansas, and his Senior Bowl game and practices to get a good feel of what skills and attributes he brings to the next level. This is what I found:
The NFL Combine gives dynasty fantasy football fans their first glimpse on whether a player can translate college production into relevant fantasy points. There weren’t any major spoilers revealed, but some players impressed (stock up) while many stayed the same or failed to make a good impression (stock down). Please remember the NFL Combine has already committed to tweaking their events to better translate to the game of football, instead of being about the highly measured 40 yard runs and 225 lb. bench presses. Here are my initial thoughts:
The biggest headline in the 2015 NFL Draft is that there are only two quarterbacks: Winston and Mariota. While both of those signal callers will get selected within the first ten picks, there are other quarterbacks that might become starters in time. One of those is Baylor’s Bryce Petty, who I got to see up close at the Senior Bowl in Mobile this winter. To get a better idea of what skills and attributes he brings to the NFL, I watched seven of his 2014 games against SMU, Buffalo, Kansas State, West Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Here is what I saw:
QB Bryce Petty, Baylor, 6’ 3” 230 lbs.
Cons: The first thing I look at is a quarterback’s feet when he is getting ready to throw the ball. Petty can have a strong base at times, but then also shuffles his feet a lot under pressure. When he takes the time to set his feet, the signal caller is a lot more accurate, but unfortunately he does this when not under pressure by lesser opponents. Baylor plays out of the shotgun, almost exclusively, and Petty did not look very comfortable taking snaps from center in Mobile. In the NFL, shotgun is not the look most offensive coordinators want to be pigeon-holed into. The quarterback shows the tendency to know where he is going with the ball before he receives the snap. With disguised coverages and schemes he will face at the next level, Petty will need to adjust on the fly and be able to go thru his progressions or cause a preponderance of negative plays.
Although everyone knows Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, there are other quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL Draft that could become valuable dynasty fantasy assets. Today, we will take a look at UCLA’s Brett Hundley. I watched eight of his 2014 games against Virginia, USC, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Nebraska, Washington, and New Mexico State to get a good baseline of the skills and attributes he will bring into the NFL. Here are my thoughts:
QB Brett Hundley, UCLA 6’ 3” 226 lbs.
Cons: This first thing that jumps out while watching the young signal caller is that he is not a very fluid athlete with almost robotic movements. He is a pure shotgun quarterback who does not take snaps under center, if at all. When Hundley is back in the pocket, he sometimes struggles to get the ball out quickly. The signal caller needs to improve on his internal clock and long delivery to keep him from getting sacked. After the pocket starts collapsing, the quarterback can get careless with the football, not tucking it away and getting strip-sacked. Hundley appears to focus too much on the pressure and starts looking down, instead of looking downfield for a possible target. He rarely goes through his full progression and seems to focus on his first or second targets before deciding to run.
In my weekly column, we take a long look at impact fantasy football rookies. I compare their performance to date against my original expectations of them. Let’s continue this 2014 version of the series by looking at one of the best quarterbacks in the 2014 NFL Draft, Derek Carr. I will look at some of his college production against his performance versus Kansas City to dissect his dynasty value.
These are my thoughts after watching him in college: The young leader makes quick decisions with a strong-am but looked even better with the efforts of his impressive receiver, Davante Adams. Carr has good ball placement, is mobile in the pocket avoiding pressure, and takes what the defense gives him by reading their coverage well. Carr has good footwork, steps up on his passes to see the entire field well. He tends to go to the open receiver running underneath instead of pressing the ball down the field. The signal caller has the necessary arm strength to make all the throws and plays like a leader out there.
In this weekly column, I typically explore some young players who haven’t made much of a consistent impact to date on their fantasy football teams. Some players may be available on your waiver wire, some may be available via a cheap or moderate trade. Acquiring or not acquiring one of these players could decide how well your dynasty or keeper team does for the next few years. This week I take a look at Jets quarterback Geno Smith and Bengals wide receiver Mohammed Sanu:
QB-Geno Smith, NYJ- This might have been the best game I saw from the second year signal caller, but it’s a far cry to say that he is more polished right now. Against the Patriots, he made quicker decisions early on by finding an open receiver on his first or second read or deciding to scramble after the pocket crumbled around him. I’m not sure if we will ever see him use the patience to scan the entire field before making a decision though. The quarterback is improving on the little things: selling fake handoffs and pump fakes to slow down the rush. I really like when the Jets roll him out to the right, this cuts the field in half for him which either opens up something downfield or creates a running lane for him to exploit. The times Smith decided to run, he protected the ball, switching the pigskin to the arm nearest the sideline, and chose not to take unnecessary punishment.
In my weekly column, we take a long look at impact fantasy football rookies. I compare their performance to date against my original expectations of them. Let’s continue this 2014 version of the series by looking at the first quarterback taken in the draft, Blake Bortles. While he wasn’t going in the first round of most rookie drafts, injuries and poor performances may lead more teams to get him in their lineups than originally thought.
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. This is especially important with the quarterback position.
1. Johnny “Football” Manziel, Browns- The signal caller to the stars might be the most popular man in Ohio today, but with the impending suspension of ultra-talented receiver Josh Gordon, his value takes a slight hit. The Browns play good defense which will let Manziel use his feet and his strong arm to find play makers down the field. Manziel has good pieces of a running game (Tate, West, and Crowell) to keep the defenses guessing and has TE Jordan Cameron as a safety blanket. Count on him to be a QB2 after October and hopefully grow into a QB1 for 2015. Quarterback needy teams should draft him towards the bottom of the first round of your rookie drafts.