Written by: Kevin Kardasz (@kevinn_up on Twitter)
The sort of, kinda, maybe, final draft has come and gone, and it was most definitely the most interesting of the 3. The tag system is now 3 cycles old, and with that, top talent has flown off of the board for weeks. Leaving a group of talents that need to prove themselves with a select few that have managed to slip through the tag system and remain at the top of the board. After this week the league will turn to a waiver wire system, all units will be redrafted weekly in a 2 round draft and one skill position per team will open up per week to add players through the wire. There are a few notable QBs coming up to the league in the next few weeks so look out for top talent on the horizons. The defensive man up challenge winner this week was Marquill Osborne, and the offensive winners were Dentarrious Yon and Lamarcus Caradine. Without any further waiting, let’s begin the final full draft almanac, this one is a doozy. These grades may seem harsh however every draft this year was held to the same standard regardless of the talent pool changing, lets begin.
Draft Analysis, Grades, and Predictions below:
Zappers: D+ | Record: 2-5
Franchise Player: Johnny Manziel
Keepers: Terrell Owens + James Harden
— Terrance Williams — WR — #1
— Shun’cee Thomas — RB— #16
— Brian Allen — QB— #17
— Josh Robinson — RB— #32
— Shut Down Squad — Defense— #33
— Block Party — O-Line— #48
Analysis: Here they are again, another top pick, all of the pressure in the world after grabbing another loss to start…0-2. Their first pick is not the problem in this draft, T-Will is an NFL product that projects to be a dangerous weapon, it’s everything after him that makes this…a draft, yeah it was a draft. Shun’Cee is coming off IL so why not one they picked TWO running backs with Josh Robinson later in the draft, James Harden ALSO plays running back, make it three! Sure talent is thin, but 3 backs is just poor team building from the outside considering snaps are split by coaches with no fan influence. Not only this, but in a week coming off of maybe the worst O-Line performance of the season, they waited for the auto draft line AND defense again, it just feels like the lessons of losing aren’t hitting the fans with any power, as the same mistakes seem to pile up week after week. None of that even amounts to the pick that drops this draft so low, on a team who’s franchise tagged QB is a week to week mystery, quality insurance is a MUST. SO, with Jason Stewart on the board, there’s an obvious choice right! Brian Allen! Wait, that wasn’t who you were thinking? Me neither, the Zappers watched Allen fumble in back to back drives and decided it was a better selection than Stew, we’ll see this one play out inevitably as Manziel won’t play every drive. So, why are they winning 2 games? Eventually, one of TO or Manziel will have a breakout game and they’ll squeeze out a few wins this year, but a deep playoff run as of now seems like a far after thought.
Kingpins: B+ | Record: 3-4
Keepers: Daryl Virgies + Tirri Jones + Elijah Rogers
— Vance Leonard — WR — #2
— Collin Andrews — WR— #15
— Block Party — O-Line— #18
— Heavy Hitters — Defense— #31
— Jason Stewart — QB— #34
— Tony Dixon — WR— #47
Analysis: The Pins are maybe the most interesting team to grade simply because it seems like they did so well again this week, yet I thought so last time, and I was gifted with a blowout loss. While I’m tempted to give them another A, they grade just beneath it. They received the definite steal of the draft in Jason Stewart with the 34th pick in the 5th round, the best backup QB in the FCF to backup Tirri just in case all goes wrong. Collin Andrews is an interesting choice to throw in as a receiver in the 2nd round however Vance at 2 is a fantastic selection as he’s just an elite playmaker. They picked their lines and defense early enough to get their picks for the most part, and although Block Party as their unit has a 1-3 record, there is some respect in selecting your line rather than rolling the dice. So, why, with what seems to be a great few weeks of drafting, do they only end with 3 wins? To start, being in an 0-2 hole is unfortunately tough, to win 4 games means they need to go 4-1 in the next 5 games and that just feels unrealistic. This team is good, but a run of that caliber for now seems out of reach, look out for them to sneak into the playoffs with late momentum and a full roster with few holes.
8oki: B | Record: 5-2
Keepers: Mitch Kidd + Joseph Boykin + Patrick Smith
— Malcolm Ballard — RB — #3
— The Wall— O-Line— #14
— Heavy Hitters — Defense— #19
— Malik Elion — WR— #30
— Auto Pick — N/A— #35
— Auto Pick — N/A— #46
(Rumored to be QB Brandon Pearson and WR Justin Nicholls)
Analysis: Reviewing a draft with only 4 picks is tough so the analysis on the actual draft will be shortened in favor of an outlook of the 8oki season. The biggest problem with this squad last week was they drafted everyone BUT a running back and it came to bite them when they could NOT run the ball. The offense became one dimensional and predictable, and they made sure to secure the position with Malcolm Ballard immediately. They followed what seems to be an instilled draft DNA with a selection of lines and defense soon after and added for the 3rd week in a row speedster Malik Elion. From what I know, after this the 8oki UI kind of glitched and no one could vote after the 4th round, the stream said they got a SECOND defense and O-line, lots of big men for the 8oki’s! Hard to grade a draft that got tossed out of 2 skill players, but there’s a lot to look forward to on this team. Mitch Kidd, leads the league in pass attempts, completions, yards, and touchdowns. Joseph Boykin, leads the league in receiving yards and is 2nd in receiving touchdowns. Patrick Smith is extremely physically gifted and talented and looks to breakout, the 8oki’s took a chance on Smith and locked him up for the season. The talent here is undeniable, and regardless of this unfortunate roll of the tech dice they got this time around, there’s a lot to smile about in this group, 5-2 seems manageable by Mitch “The Magician” Kidd and running mate Joseph Boykin.
Beasts: B- | Record: 3-4
Franchise Player: Quinn Porter
Keepers: Jordus Smith + Lamarcus Caradine
— Jacoby Herring — WR— #4
— Alphonso Howard — QB— #13
— The Trenchmen — O-Line— #20
— The Hitmen — Defense— #29
— Dentarrious Yon — QB— #36
— Tra Chandler — WR— #45
Analysis: Sneakily, the Beasts have maybe assembled the best receiving core in the OG FCF division and they make a run for the best in the league while they’re at it. Jordus Smith, Lamarcus Caradine, and Jacoby Herring is a nasty trio that will give defenses problems for the weeks to come. However, it’s hard to overlook them passing on Jason Stewart in favor of Alphonso Howard and Dentarrious Yon, both QBs to me haven’t shown much they do better than Stew and although he hasn’t exactly performed in stellar fashion, it feels like a bit of a reach. Outside of that, there isn’t a lot wrong nor a lot super right about this group, it grades very close to average. The problem is, and what will ultimately lead to a fringe losing record, they have the lowest upside QB situation in the league. When it all shakes out, even Manziel can still turn up, and I’m not quite sure that their current depth chart can get it done, if the QBs can’t use the full potential of this WR room, there’s going to be some unfortunate box scores for the Beasts.
Knights of Degen: B- | Record: 4-3
Keepers: Ed Crouch + Terrelle West + Yedidiah Louis
— Jordan Williams — WR— #5
— D-Block — Defense— #12
— Force Field — O-Line— #21
— Drake Wells — WR— #28
— Eterrious Giles — WR— #37
— Danny Southwick — QB— #44
Analysis: The Knights are most definitely a tight run ship, one that does a lot of scouting and a lot of talking. That being said, this draft feels a bit lackluster for a group that prides itself on prep. Jordan Williams is the new guy on the block, and he did well enough in the man up to be selected in the first round, followed by defense and then they took the Force Field who got credited with one of the more unfortunate performances of last week. Drake Wells, and Southwick are far from the knockout picks but to be quite fair teams are grasping for straws this late in the draft. Giles is a fan favorite who seems to be hanging by that thread to stay drafted week to week. So, for such a tight run group, why do they only win 4 games? Their franchise tag trio just doesn’t have the star power as of now to elevate them from the middle of the pack in my eyes. Now, will they be bad? Absolutely not, but they fall a little short of the teams that make up the top tier.
Glacier Boyz: A- | 5-2
Franchise Player: Andrew Jamiel
Keepers: Brycen Alleyene + Devlin Isadore
— D-Block — Defense— #6
— Cedric Byrd — WR— #11
— The Trenchmen — O-Line— #22
— Harrison Dreher — WR— #27
— Chris Barrett — QB— #38
— Keyon Thomas — WR— #43
Analysis: What a turnaround for the Boyz who looked sort of lost after week 1 and have hit an absolute streak of fantastic luck. Devlin Isadore was their QB savior last week, and they went on another run this time. Selecting their choice of defense in the first round, and then getting a nice steal in Cedric Byrd in the second, the 8oki’s selected Patrick Smith over Byrd as their franchise tag, and the Boyz capitalized. They went on after that to select Dreher who also profiles as a steal since he has more production than most of the other picks around him, and they took a shot on Chris Barrett who’s morphed into a fan favorite. The Boyz now look at a schedule where they face the Zappers twice and don’t have to worry about 2 games against each of Tirri Jones, Ed Crouch, Deondre Francois, and Mitch Kidd. Expect a comfortable run in the regular season led by Isadore and Jamiel while they tear up the OG conference.
BAFC: B- | Record: 6-1
Keepers: Deondre Francois + Jakobie Baker + Maurice Thomas
— Kevin Felder — WR— #7
— Darren Woods — RB— #10
— Keyston Fuller — WR— #23
— Vidal Woodruff — QB— #26
— Shut Down Squad — Defense— #39
— Force Field — O-Line— #42
Analysis: Not sure there’s much of a debate as to who the best team in the FCF is right now, the Apes have built a truly fantastic team in these opening weeks. This draft like a lot of them falls a little short due to lack of insane talent, however there were some choices that also fell short in my eyes. Felder in the first is a whatever type pick to me, if we’re being honest his production like a few other highly rated pre season receivers just hasn’t lived up. Woods is also a new guy in the player pool, and with star running back Jakobie Baker on IL, the Apes took a jump on the new guy. The pick that saves this draft from being a C tier draft is Keyston Fuller in the 3rd round with the 23rd pick, he’s been an awesome under the radar playmaker who I truly feel can elevate to another level. Leaving defense and O-line to chance though? Not a fan, and they ended up with a line that once again did NOT perform last week. However, wow, this team has ridiculous star power and talent, if there’s a game they lose it’s this week’s with the absence of Baker. Outside of that it truly is smooth sailing, perhaps the best record in the league level smooth.
Shoulda Been Stars: C+ | Record: 4-3
Franchise Player: Ladarius Galloway
Keepers: Slade Jarman + Travalle Calvin
— Tyis Boykin — WR— #8
— The Hitmen — Defense— #9
— The Wall — O-Line— #24
— Just’n Thymes — WR— #25
— D’Vonn Gibbons — QB— #40
— Tracy Gaston — RB— #41
Analysis: The Stars draft is not exactly exciting but it’s not horrible either. To be blunt, Tyis Boykin has yet to live up to first round pick material and he still goes this high, but the units they selected after are surefire studs. That being said, the last 3 rounds have a whole lot of mediocre, and I’m not quite sold on any of the 3 they picked, especially Gaston who is a converted WR now at RB. They do however, have quite possibly the best offensive player in the league in Gway and he CAN carry his team to wins, Slade just falls far from the elite QB range and this team grades really really close to average. They’ll end with a winning record but not by much.
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Please note the above opinions are solely my own, the record predictions are more so close ceilings and are determined by more opinion than case by case basis.
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That’ll just about do it for the final full draft almanac, the coming weeks we’ll review the waiver wire and go over the new players who enter in more depth. I’ll also do a deep dive soon on the individual units to use as a draft resource when it comes to our weekly unit drafts. See you all next week, and good luck Saturday!