Coming up on CFM:
— The last updated positional ranking boards and grades for all positions heading into the NFL Draft Thursday.
— Before the draft: Our mile long statistically generated ‘big board’–ranking the best players in the draft combining our talent grades and the NFL salary trends at each position.
— Our 1.0 Top-100+ Dynasty Rookie Draft rankings (including IDP) will be out early next week.
— More prospect scouting reports coming during and after the draft.
**See the 2015 NFL Draft and 2015 Dynasty Rookie Draft, like never before with our Moneyball-style scouting reports and rankings. Go to www.collegefootballmetrics.com **
Play The Draft® Market Analysis Thursday, April 30, 2015
Finally! It’s draft day. I have looked over a zillion mock drafts the last four months. I feel like I have watched a zillion hours of analysis this past week. You know the NFL Draft is going to a whole new level when there are 30-60+ minute TV shows based on mock drafts…and they are not only happening one-time, and just the day before the draft…but several ‘new concept’ mock draft shows have been running for the past week+ on ESPN, and various other webcasts, etc. Some shows were typical info, but some were fantastic insights behind the war room scenes with former NFL GMs—hats off to ESPN’s programming department.
For those of us that have always loved the NFL Draft, 2015 was a major step forward in feeding our hunger. The better news is: 2016 should be even more insane in our favor! The interest in the NFL Draft and in mock drafts is only going higher, and 2015 proved it. The amount of shows and information geared toward the draft next year will blow us away. It’s great time to be alive for fans of the NFL Draft!
It’s going to be a great time in Play The Draft® this evening as well. Millions of dollars are going exchange hands Thursday and Friday. Make sure you lock in your portfolio ASAP!
Some of us need more ‘millions of PTD-dollars’ than others tonight. So with that in mind, I am going to propose a few ‘deep sleeper’ prospects that could (snowball’s chance) go from their current FRXs in the 50+ range all the way into the 1st-round…and make us some big, shocking gains (or not)…
Here are three names to consider for a wild dart throw, followed by my biggest bet, the PTD ‘Pick of the Day’, at the end of this piece.
1) Miami ILB Denzel Perryman (51.7 FRX, $804K PTD-value, 9.9% PTD-owned)
Perryman used to be a fringe top-32 prospect in January-February, but then a weak showing in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine began to set him adrift from being included in top-32 mock drafts.
In a recent NFL Draft show on ESPN with Jon Gruden and Mel Kiper, Gruden went crazy for Perryman because he was a ‘Gruden grinder’ type…complete with showing a highlight reel of Perryman’s ‘big hits’. As Gruden went crazy for him, it made me think that for all the analytics focus on the NFL Draft—there is still the ‘ball coach’ aspect of all this. Teams with a scouting philosophy that are anti-analytics, and more old-school (not saying it is wrong to do so) will love Perryman. He’s a throwback, big hitter Middle Linebacker…he looks like a true ILB (just a shorter than normal one…he’s under six-foot).
Eric Kendricks could be gone quickly tonight, and then what alternatives are left for a team in desperate need of an Inside Linebacker? Some see Kendricks more as an Outside Linebacker anyway. Benardrick McKinney is not a pure ILB, and Paul Dawson scares many. There could be an ILB prospect shortage/crisis in this draft that pushes Perryman higher than he would normally go.
A team desperate for an ILB, like San Francisco, with an old-school head coach, could not only be in love with Perryman, but will need to chase after him or they will be shut out of what many see as the only ‘real’ Middle Linebacker of the top 3-4 consensus ranked guys.
I think Kansas ILB Ben Heeney should be in the top-45 overall talk, but he’ll be available after the top-100, I’m sure. He won’t muddy this 1st-round picture.
If Perryman chases into the late 1st-round, he could add $400K+ to a PTD-portfolio tonight.
2) Hobart OT Ali Marpet (74.9 FRX, $625K PTD-value, 6.7% PTD-owned)
We’ve discussed Marpet a couple of times in the past week here on Play The Draft®. I would argue Marpet is as talented as the top big-name, big-school O-Line prospects. Typically, small-school OLs like Marpet are always destined for the 3rd-round.
How this time could be different:
— If there is a run of all the ‘good’ O-Lineman in the top-25. If T.J. Clemmings and Jake Fisher go early in that run, and teams drafting 30-31-32 are staring at the choice between injured enigma Cedric Ogbuehi or Marpet—they might be forced into moving on Marpet quicker than they wanted.
Teams already love Marpet. He’s a guy who can play Tackle, Guard, or Center in the NFL. He’s arguably the most athletically gifted, multi-functional OL prospect in this draft. Do teams get cute, and try to ‘market time’ Marpet between picks #50-70 (where he is usually mocked)? Or do they grab what might be the best OL prospect late in the 1st-round?
Marpet has deserved a Joel Bitonio circa 2014-like push all year, but never got one. Perhaps, he is a shock pick at #30-32 tonight? If so, he would gain $600K+ in your PTD-portfolio tonight. Either way—Marpet is going earlier than his current 74.4 FRX suggests, I think.
3) WR Kansas State Tyler Lockett (75.7 FRX, $623K PTD-value, 4.6% PTD-owned)
To me, if you’re willing to draft Phillip Dorsett or Nelson Agholor in the 1st-round, you have to look at Tyler Lockett in that range as well–as a possible ‘next Antonio Brown’ type.
Let’s say there is a run at WR all draft—Cooper, White, Perriman, and Parker all go top-12…and Dorsett and Agholor (and Strong) go top-25. It will be proclaimed as the “Year of the WR!” If teams are looking for a smaller, speedy WR late in the 1st-round. It’s between flawed Devin Smith and incredibly productive in college, equally as athletic Tyler Lockett.
It’s a stretch that Lockett races into the top-32, but New England and Seattle play by their own rules in the draft, so there’s always that hope. If Lockett finds his way into the late 1st-round, he’ll add $600K+ to PTD-portfolios tonight.
**Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics IDP Dynasty (three-year) projections now exist on the Fantasy Football Management technology: “The Machine.” See “The Machine” here (link): The Machine via FFM
A feature we will have up until draft day: “Draft Stock Pick of the Day” which is the one player I see with the most PTD-upside each day…
Draft Stock Pick of the Day: QB Brett Hundley, UCLA (64.4 FRX, $667K PTD-value, 11.8% PTD-owned)
Remember back in the ole’ days (February-March 2015) when Brett Hundley was on and off projected as the #20 pick to Philadelphia? He was the consolation prize for not acquiring Marcus Mariota. It was the ‘chic’ mock draft thing to do, but then Bryce Petty glad-handed around ESPN on different radio and TV appearances the past few weeks, and miraculously went from barely/never mentioned among the top-100 prospects, to becoming a top-70 projection/3rd QB off the board all over the place.
Here’s how Hundley gets into the 1st-round: Brett Hundley is the 3rd-best QB in this draft, and the gap between he and Mariota-Winston should not be as large as it is. In addition, QB is everything in the NFL. The 3rd and 4th-best rated QBs in almost any draft should be in the 1st-round on an economics argument (would anyone like a 1st-round Jimmy Garoppolo in a 2014 draft do-over?).
If Tennessee settles on Mariota at #2, and keeps him…well, all those teams trying to trade up for him still have the need at QB. If Hundley is the clear #3 QB, and he should be–are those teams going to get cute and wait on mock draft wisdom to time take him in the middle-late 2nd-round—or will they push a panic button and try to grab him well before others do?
Chip Kelly, not getting Marcus Mariota, could have a lot riding on Hundley as ‘Plan B’. Kelly has familiarity with Hundley in several ways—facing him, recruiting him, etc. Hundley fits Kelly’s offense. Is Kelly going to wait to draft a QB later in the draft…or does he make his own rules and just pulls the trigger at #20? Again, if QB is everything in the NFL…why all the waiting?
If Hundley jumps to #20 overall to Philly, it would be a cool $1.1M gain in Play The Draft®. Even if I am wrong on my ‘pie in the sky’ scenario, Hundley should go well ahead of pick #64, which is where his current FRX is. A jump by him to being taken among the top-45 gets you at least $300K+ in gains.
If Hundley actually goes #19 to Cleveland or #20 to Philadelphia…how would you like a $11M+ PTD-gain tonight? Think that’s crazy? It wasn’t just 60 days ago. What has changed…besides more teams trying to move to #2 for Mariota? Has QB become less important suddenly? This could happen…in my warped mind.
**I will have real-time commentary on the draft from an NFL, Play The Draft, and Dynasty-Fantasy perspective all night Thursday…and all draft Friday, and Saturday—right to the very last pick. That will be taking place for members of my NFL Draft website: College Football Metrics.com. 20+ hours of ranting and raving about the draft picks from a very different, radical scouting perspective. The perfect way to binge-follow the NFL Draft. You’ll never see the NFL Draft the same way again; I promise! Either way, enjoy the draft show tonight and Good Luck with your Play The Draft® trades today!
— R.C. Fischer is an NFL Draft analyst for College Football Metrics.com, and a football projections analyst and writer for Fantasy Football Metrics.com. He is also a lead writer for Play The Draft.com. His group also provides player projections for Advanced Sports Logic’s football software “The Machine.”