2017 NFL Combine: Stock Watch
The NFL combine is almost upon us! In this pre-combine world we currently exist in, the simulation is ready to provide us with raw data so that we can make informed decisions about real players in a fake game. The players listed below are currently the ones that I think can help their NFL prospects based on their workout metrics and on field drills. The combine is a major part of the NFL Draft process and can make or break a player as to when and to what team he joins in the pros. The fit is almost as important as the talent and opportunity conquers all in today’s NFL.
Deshaun Watson: Quarterback, Clemson
The Quarterback position in the 2017 draft isn’t a very deep one and some believe Watson will be the first signal caller chosen come draft time. Watson is going to do every drill at the combine and I believe that if he can put on a show like Carson Wentz did last year he will solidify his place as a top ten pick. He should do well in most of the throwing drills as he doesn’t have to go through any progressions which is currently one of his weaknesses. There have been a few NFL executive’s that have Watson graded as a second round talent but let’s be honest here, there are too many NFL teams in need of QB talent for him to fall that far. Watson is a winner and steps up in the big games and that carries a lot of weight.
What does this all mean for fantasy? In your dynasty draft Watson is my QB1 (pre-combine) and in single Quarterback leagues is a solid early second round pick. If you play in a superflex two Quarterback league he jumps into the first round and probably doesn’t get out of the top 5.
D’onta Foreman: Running Back, Texas
The 2017 running back class has the chance to go down as one of the best classes in history and Foreman is an intriguing part of it. Foreman put up video game type numbers (2,028 yards/15 Td’s) at Texas in his junior year and won the Doak Walker award as the countries best running back. The biggest knocks on Foreman are that he hasn’t displayed the ability to pass catch (13 career catches in 27 games) and that for a man of his size he goes down relatively easy after first contact. On the pro’s side Foreman’s weight adjusted speed score is something that I will be looking into post combine. For a big running back, Foreman has some wheels. I think Foreman’s role in the NFL will be a two down/goal line back similar to Latavius Murray.
What does this all mean for fantasy? D’onta Foreman is currently being drafted at the back end (1.12) of the first round of dynasty drafts. If Foreman can display a good set of hands and impress in drills I think he may get selected somewhere between the late second or mid third round in April which will bump up his dyansty draft position a few spots and ahead of such players as Alvin Kamara and O.J. Howard. Foreman is currently my RB7 in this class with room to move up post combine.
JuJu Smith-Schuster: Wide Receiver, USC
Out of all the wide receivers in this class Smith-Schuster has been the most hotly debated in the dynasty community. Just 20 years old, JuJu was a top devy target after his stellar 2015 sophomore campaign where he put up a 89/1,454/10 stat line and looked to be a top pick in the 2017 draft. JuJu’s Junior year was solid yet unspectacular and he saw declines across the board in production. Much of that can be contributed to the quarterback play, much like fellow prospect Malachi Dupre from LSU. A great combine in a crowded group of receivers should put JuJu’s name back on the map. He won’t run a crazy 40 yard dash but he possesses great body control, hands and physicality. I don’t give two craps about the “he’s a USC receiver” narrative that you will probably hear 1,000 times from now until the NFL Draft.
What does this all mean for fantasy? I have seen Smith-Schuster go anywhere from 1.05 to 2.05 in recent mock drafts so as you can see there are quite a few range of outcomes. My belief is that post combine, JuJu will solidify himself as the WR4 and that he won’t fall past the 1.09 in your dynasty drafts.
David Njoku: Tight End, Miami
NFL teams gravitate to athletic freaks who have big play potential and Njoku fits the bill on all accounts. Of all the players I have listed here Njoku may see the biggest jump not only in the NFL draft but in your dynasty draft. A 6’4″ 245 lb physical specimen, Njoku is a perfect “move” tight end in today’s NFL. Think Aaron Hernandez but three inches taller with faster straight line speed. Also,not a murderer. I think the buzz around Njoku’s measurable’s after the combine will propel him into the first round, possibly as high as the top 15.
What does this all mean for fantasy? Njoku’s adp is currently in the mid to late second round of dynasty mocks. TE’s in year one hardly ever produce so there is some risk baked in if you are looking to compete this year but Njoku’s upside may tempt some to take him over O.J. Howard in the late first round of your rookie drafts. I currently have Howard as my TE1 because I think he is more of a complete player. Dynasty age truthers will be quick to point out that Njoku is two years younger than Howard and some will factor that into their rookie draft day decision.
I hope you enjoyed the 2017 NFL combine stock watch and thank you for reading! We will have some more NFL Draft and dynasty league content coming your way soon so be on the lookout!