Simmie Cobbs Jr.

Simmie Cobbs Jr., WR, Indiana

The Pros:

  • Size

  • 50/50 Balls

  • Physical

  • Run after the catch

  • Makes difficult catches

  • Outside routes/comebacks

  • Separation at the catch point

  • Body Control

50/50 balls- Simmie Cobbs is a physical monster with his 6’4”220-pound frame and uses it well in the red zone. While he doesn’t have a massive vertical he is able to use his body to box out the defender like a power forward getting a rebound. Cobbs’ size will give him the advantage over most defenders.

Difficult Catches/Body Control- When Cobbs is zoned in, he can catch anything. Whether it’s one-handed catches or toe dragging the sidelines there isn’t a ball that Cobbs can’t come down with. He has fantastic body control and awareness of where he is on the field and how to beat the defender.

Outside routes and comeback routes- Majority of the damage that Simmie Cobbs did was on outside routes. Using his size when he gets past defenders he is able to use his body to get in the way so only he can catch the ball. After setting the precedent of being able to create separation there, Cobbs is able to quickly break down and create room for himself on comeback and curl routes.

The cons:

  • Drops

  • Struggles on press

  • Pushes off a lot

  • Uses his hands too much

  • Doesn’t run a lot of routes

  • Lack of separation of routes

  • Limited athleticism

Drops- Cobbs was plagued by drops all season posting a drop rate of 11.4 percent. The frustrating part about his drops is that a high portion of them came off of easy opportunities. These types of drops are going to be unacceptable at the NFL level and could end up being a serious issue.

Struggles vs Press coverage- For being a bigger physical receiver Cobbs really struggles against press coverage. His footwork off of the line is slow and causes him to struggle to get away. When he gets downfield with a corner in his pocket he uses his hands and arms to create separation, a lot of times pushing off.

Limited Athleticism- While Cobbs has the size teams covet he lacks elite athleticism at the combine posting a 4.65 forty yard dash and only a 30 inch vertical. With his athletic limitations at the next level, Cobbs will be forced to rely on his size and nuisances to his routes to become an effective receiver.

summary:

Simmie Cobbs Jr. is an absolute roller coaster ride of a prospect on one play he is making an absolutely jaw-dropping circus catch the next play he’s dropping an easy ball in his chest. Cobbs has the size to create mismatches against defenses especially in the red zone but teams will have to find ways to create openings for him to make plays. Cobbs has the upside to translate into a team’s number 2 or 3 receiving option.

Fantasy Impact:

Simmie Cobbs will be drafted as a flyer in dynasty rookie drafts this season in the third or fourth round. He should hold more value in standard leagues over PPR being he is more of a scoring threat than a volume guy. If Cobbs can clean up his game he could end up being a nice flex option in the future.


 

Nyheim Hines

Nyheim Hines, RB, N.C. State

The Pros:

  • Speed

  • Versatility

  • Receiving ability

  • Explosiveness

  • Run after catch

  • Elusive

  • Route Running

Speed- Nyheim Hines is an absolute burner at the running back position and showed it at the combine running a positional best 4.38 forty yard dash. Not only does Hines have track speed but it translated on the field with 4 rushing touchdowns over 40 yards each this season.  Hines proved to be a threat to score any time he touched the ball with his game-breaking speed.

Versatility- NC State used Hines in a variety of ways in his career where he started out as a receiver and return man and transitioned into a running back for his junior season. Throughout his career, he had over 500 yards in three different facets of the game. His ability to affect the game in multiple ways will find him a role at the next level no matter what.

Receiving Ability- As mentioned before Hines started his career at NC State as a receiver. In his sophomore season, he was second on his team in receptions with 43 before transitioning to running back. In the NFL he will be able to work as a third down back as well as split out as a receiver, with this plus his game-changing speed whatever team he lands on will find ways to get him the ball in space.

The cons:

  • Size

  • Running between the tackles

  • Vision

  • Bounces outside

Size- At 5’9” 197 pounds Hines does not have the build to take on a heavy workload in the NFL. He profiles better is a 10-15 touch type player between rushing and receiving.  While this is not a killer as a prospect it does limit his upside.

Running inside- Although Hines ran for 1100 yards this season majority of it was running to the outside. At his size running between the tackles is darn near impossible making it so any team he ends up on will have to have another back who can do the dirty work.  

Vision- One thing that Hines needs to work on when it comes to his zone running he doesn’t always show patience in waiting for the holes to open. Being he has the amazing speed he consistently used it bouncing his runs to the outside just beating defenders. In the NFL everyone is fast which will force him to adapt.

 

summary:

Nyheim Hines is everything an NFL team is looking for in a third down back. Along with the ability to hit a home run any time he touches the ball he can catch the ball out of the backfield and run the majority of the route tree. On top of that, he can be used as a kick returner in which he topped 500 yards all three seasons in college. Hines has the ability to make a huge impact wherever he lands as long as he has a coach who can get him a ball.

Fantasy Impact:

Hines could end up having a very nice impact in fantasy leagues especially PPR. We saw a breakout of the third-down back in fantasy this year with Chris Thompson and Tarik Cohen. With his explosiveness and speed, Hines has the potential to be even better. In rookie drafts grabbing him in the late second to early third could end up stealing for fantasy in getting a guy who can score points in chunks at any time.

 

Mark Andrews

Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma

 

The Pros:

  • Catching in Traffic

  • Strong After Catch

  • Game Speed

  • Target Separation

Catching in Traffic Andrews is a man. A big, strong man. And he can catch the ball in traffic without being affected. Andrews is excellent over the middle of the field when catching balls in tight windows, and he rarely drops balls after being hit or spun around by defenders.

Andrews1.gif
Andrews5.gif

Strong After Catch Andrews isn’t going to juke anyone out of their shoes or break any ankles, but he is a hard man to bring down. At 6’5” and 256 lbs., he can carry defenders for some extra yards, and he often doesn’t go down until the second, third, or fourth defender arrives.

Game Speed – While he didn’t light the combine on fire, he did run a 4.67 40-yard dash (77th percentile for TEs), which is excellent for his size. It shows on tape, as he has the speed in-game to get into the second level and beat defenders over the top or down the sideline. Andrews absolutely has the ability to get down the field and catch deep balls, which is what we want for fantasy.
 

Andrews7.gif

Target Separation – This isn’t a sexy choice, but Andrews was wide open on many of his receptions at Oklahoma. Part of that may be due to the number of weapons they used, and that Baker Mayfield spread the ball around. Regardless, Andrews simply has a knack for getting open, often wide open. He’s not the fastest or the most agile TE, but he runs good routes and finds seams and holes well. This clip is nothing fancy, but he still ends up separating from the defender.
 

Andrews10.gif

The Cons:

  • Blocking

  • Body Catching

  • Drops

Blocking Andrews is going to have to go to a team that either will use him solely in passing situations or is willing to train him as a blocker because his blocking is atrocious. Often times, he gets beat one-on-one by much smaller defenders, and he had many occasions where he ended up just blocking air. Andrews is not ready to be a two-way TE in the NFL, which may limit his playing time early on. In the first clip here, he gets beat by a smaller defender and costs his team a first down. The second clip is another time that he gets beaten easily, and his RB gets stuffed as a result. In the last two, he just blocks a bunch of air – oops.
 

Andrews4.gif
Andrews8.gif
Andrews6.gif
Andrews9.gif

Body Catching Andrews is a body-catcher. Plenty of them make a living in the NFL, but they’re also often the ones plagued by drops. These are two looks at the same touchdown play. He catches the ball, but it’s easy to see that he’s using his chest and rib cage as a third hand.
 

Andrews2.gif
Andrews3.gif

Drops – Goes hand in hand with body-catching. A GIF is worth 1,000 words.

Andrews11.gif

Summary:

Andrews reminds me of Rob Gronkowski at times when I watch him play – he’s strong in traffic and is very difficult to bring down. At times, he also reminds me of Eric Ebron (see right above this paragraph). Andrews is far from a polished prospect, especially in terms of his blocking ability. However, he has good route-running ability and solid speed, which should allow him opportunities to be involved in the passing game in his rookie year. Andrews will be a solid NFL tight end if he limits his drops.

 

Fantasy Impact:

Andrews doesn’t have the upside of a Rob Gronkowski or a Travis Kelce because he’s not as good after the catch. He reminds me more of a solid mid-late TE1 like Kyle Rudolph, where he’ll be the type to have some great games (he’ll be a red zone weapon), but he’ll also have some duds. Andrews will never be the featured option on his team the way the elite TEs in the league are, but he can definitely carve out a role as a second or third option. He’ll be most intriguing if he goes to a team with other weapons (ex: New Orleans or Oakland) that allow him to operate in more space. Andrews will probably top out as a mid-low TE1 in fantasy. I’m much more intrigued by the ceiling offered by Dallas Goedert, and even Mike Gesicki, who just shredded the NFL Combine. Goedert, in particular, is a better bet to produce early.
 

 

Ito Smith

Ito Smith, RB, Southern Mississippi

 

The Pros:

  • Patience

  • Fights for every yard

  • Pass Catching

  • Juke

Patience Smith does a great job of waiting for his blocks to set up. Since he’s undersized, he’s not able to bulldoze defenders like some of the other backs in this class, so he allows his blockers to get out in front and follows them. He does this well, which allows him to turn small gains into bigger runs. Watch him follow his lineman in the first play, where if he’d just run ahead, he’d have most likely been tackled by the first defender. I promise the last two clips are different plays (check the clock, and he goes out of bounds on one), but they both show how he waits to let the blocks set up before he bounces to the outside with lots of space to run.

Smith7.gif
Smith9.gif
Smith10.gif

Fights for every yard – Your normally see the big power backs have this trait where they carry defenders forward for an extra few yards. While Smith, at his size, isn’t going to carry defenders often, that won’t stop him from trying. He gets a little help on this one but keeps churning forward to pick up the last yard and score.

Smith2.gif

Pass catching This is normally the expectation of a back with Smith’s size, and he delivers. He has a versatile route tree and can be deployed in many different ways (think: Darren Sproles lite). If NFL teams want to scheme plays for him, he could be used similarly to Sproles or Tarik Cohen, and he has the ability to deliver. Watch a nice over-the-shoulder catch here as an example.

Smith3.gif

Juke The other expectation of the smaller running back prototype is quickness (think: Christian McCaffrey). Smith delivers here as well. He evades tackles pretty well for his size – watch him juke two defenders in a row out of their socks.

Smith6.gif

The Cons:

  • Blocking

  • Goes to ground to make catches

  • Ball security

Blocking – No surprise here, but blocking is a concern. Smith is not a great blocker when he engages defenders, so often resorts to chop-blocks, but he isn’t even particularly effective in that. Check out these two examples. In the first one, he makes solid contact but the defender is still able to make the play (he grabs the runner’s leg). In the second example, the defender hardly notices he was just chop blocked and bounces right off.

Smith4.gif
Smith11.gif

Goes to ground to make catches – The one area of pass-catching that Smith lacks is catching off-balance for balls thrown slightly off-target. Rather than leaning in or stepping to them, he has a tendency to fall toward them and make the catch going to ground, eliminating all possibility for YAC, which is where you want him to shine. You won’t know if from this clip, but on the play immediately before this one, he did the same thing on a screen pass and lost yards by falling down to make the catch.

Smith5.gif

Ball security – This is the biggest concern for me. Running backs who fumble the ball don’t last long in the NFL, and Smith carries the ball pretty loosely. For a guy who doesn’t have the requisite size and strength of the average NFL running back, he needs to make sure he does extra to secure the ball. Watch him dangle it in this first slow-motion replay and get stripped easily. The second clip shows that he’s not even extra cautious near the goal-line, which is even more worrisome. Granted, I’m not expecting him to be a goal-line back in the NFL, but to be loose with the ball near the end zone is inexcusable.

Smith8.gif
Smith12.gif

Summary:

I was higher on Smith before digging in for this profile than I am coming out. He’s not exceptional at the things he should be exceptional at (e.g., the quickness of Christian McCaffrey, the pass-catching of Darren Sproles). In order to make a living in the NFL at Smith’s size, you have to excel in some of those areas. He’s good in all of them, but not notably great in any. He was deployed in college as more of a workhorse, but he will have to translate to a specialist to contribute meaningfully in the NFL. Smith probably has the absolute ceiling of Theo Riddick, both in NFL value and fantasy value.

 

Fantasy Impact:

Smith is an intriguing prospect because the satellite backs are often underrated for fantasy purposes. We’ve seen a good return on investment for players like Theo Riddick, Duke Johnson, and Christian McCaffrey in PPR formats. Smith would need to follow suit to carry much fantasy value, and he just doesn’t excel in the same ways that the other players on this list do. The other satellite backs in the NFL all bring exceptional talent in at least one area (e.g., quickness, pass-catching, route-running), but Smith just doesn’t. He’s a late-round flier in rookie drafts to me at this point. His role is unclear, but I’ll value him more if we see that an NFL team values him by drafting him earlier than expected into a position of need.

 

Hayden Hurst

Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

The Pros:

  • Blocking

  • Athleticism

  • Versatile

  • Stretch the field

  • Ideal Size

  • Good hands

Athleticism- Hayden Hurst is a fairly athletic tight end and South Carolina knew it.  On top of being used downfield in the passing game, they used him on screen passes and end around. Hurst runs well with the ball in his hands, while he doesn’t have elite speed he has enough to make chunk plays to help a team move the chains.  

Stretch the field- Hurst was used as a downfield target a decent amount during the season making a living on seam routes. He has the speed to outrun most linebackers and the size to body safeties. This combination allows for a nice downfield weapon for a quarterback.

Versatile- A big part of Hurst’s game that stands out is his ability to do a little bit of everything. He lined up in line at tight end, split wide and as an H-Back out of the backfield. He excelled in the receiving game as well as one of the better blockers at tight end in this draft class.

The cons:

  • Red Zone threat?

  • Age

  • Route Running

  • Raw

Red Zone Threat- For having outstanding size and athleticism Hurst was incredibly inefficient in the red zone scoring only 3 touchdowns in 3 years as a starter. This type of scoring production is eye-opening not knowing where it falls on Hurst or the quarterback. Either way, it needs to be taken into account.

Route Running/Raw- Due to spending 2 years in the minor leagues for baseball Hurst is still extremely raw when it comes to route running and certain other aspects of his game. On routes that normally require the right end to flatten out, he tends to round off his routes allowing for the defender to close the gap. If this problem persists it can lead to turnover for the defense. He can definitely improve on this with the right coaching but it could cause issues.

Age- Hayden Hurst is coming into the NFL draft as a 25-year-old rookie. At the right end position, it normally takes the player a few years to adjust to the NFL whether it be blocking schemes or route running. When most tight ends break out around that age after being in the league for a few years, Hurst has to make the transition quickly so that the most can be made from his career.

summary:

Hayden Hurst is one of the top overall tight ends in this current draft. He may not be as dynamic of an athlete a few of the others but he is still athletic enough to make a big impact in the passing game. What separates him is he can do a little bit of everything whether it’s receiving or blocking an offense can feel comfortable having him on the field all three downs in multiple roles. Hurst has the talent to be a good tight end in the league for a long time and if he can polish his game he could be a huge impact in the league.

Fantasy Impact:

Hurst should be in the running for one of the top 3 tight ends off of the boards in rookie drafts this year. Being he is an older prospect he could make an impact before some of the other rookie tight ends. He has the ability in the NFL to be a high volume guy ala Jordan Reed and if he can get his red zone production up to where it should be Hurst has the ability to consistently be a TE1 in a fairly bad tight end landscape.