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The Football Guru

2021 Round 6 Instant Fantasy Analysis

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6.03 - WR Frank Darby, Falcons

Team Fit: Insurance for a Julio Jones trade? Probably not, but he does possess some upside as a field-stretcher and contested-catch option in the unlikely event the all-world receiver gets dealt. That's going to have to be his role regardless of a trade because Calvin Ridley and Kyle Pitts would command targets in that scenario. The reason he is worth mentioning here is because he is savvy enough to push Russell Gage for third receiver duties, Third receiver duties in this offense will mean something in what figures to be a high-volume passing offense - especially if Jones continues to deal with injuries as he gets older.

What does it mean in redraft? Probably nothing. Gage is more than capable and should hold onto his job for at least the bulk of the 2021 season.

Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? Check back next week.

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Khalil Herbert and Jermar Jefferson are falling way down in the rookie rankings.  I knew this RB class wasn't strong, but there are not many decent situations outside of the top 3.

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6.10 - RB Elijah Mitchell, 49ers

Team Fit: HC Kyle Shanahan has declared an all-out competition in his backfield this offseason. After adding Wayne Gallman in free agency and Trey Sermon in the third round, Shanahan goes back to the well with another fit in his zone-running scheme here. Mitchell has some impressive measurables (4.38 speed, 10'8" broad, 38-inch vertical) and has some skills as a receiver and returner. He did an acceptable job handling the rock (for bubbles on 576 career touches). The likelihood he'll take over the San Francisco backfield anytime soon is low, however, as he mostly split time throughout his career at Louisiana. He is also a bit of an upright one-speed runner that has the ability to make lateral cuts but lacks patience at times and isn't overly creative with his runs.

What does it mean in redraft? Likely nothing, but the San Francisco backfield is always one to watch. Raheem Mostert would appear to be the lead back, but the Niners' approach to this offseason suggests nothing is guaranteed. A good camp (and a bad one from Sermon) could put in line to be Mostert's complement, while a bad one could see him get cut.

Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? Check back next week.

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6.14 - RB Larry Rountree III, Chargers

Team Fit: The Chargers' search for a back to complement Austin Ekeler continues. Rountree is not a big back at 5-10 and 211 pounds, but he is tough, durable and determined runner who handled 793 touches at Missouri. More than likely, he'll struggle to beat out Joshua Kelley and Justin Jackson anytime soon, but the fact he was handpicked by new HC Brandon Staley and his staff gives him a chance.

What does it mean in redraft? Almost nothing. Check back in 2022.

Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? Check back next week.

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6.18 - RB Chris Evans, Bengals

Team Fit: Following the departure of Giovanni Bernard, Samaje Perine and Trayveon Williams are basically all that remains behind Joe Mixon. Evans possesses near-ideal size for a running back (5-11, 216), runs with patience and has above-average burst. He looked like a Day 2 pick at worst back as a freshman and sophomore. So what happened? Well, an "academic mistake" cost him the 2019 season set him back. He followed that up by receiving a mere 16 carries over six games in 2020, meaning he has only recorded 25 offensive touches since 2018. His yards-per-carry declined every season and he'll enter the league as a 24-year-old rookie. Nevertheless, if Evans still has some of the 2016 and 2017 running back left in him, he could easily be Mixon's backup for a year or two.

What does it mean in redraft? Potential handcuff. What version of Evans are the Bengals getting? If the coaching staff (or something else) at Michigan was the source of his problems and Evans returns to his freshman/sophomore form, he'll be Mixon's backup. If not, he won't pass Perine or Williams and sit on a practice squad.

Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? Check back next week.

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6.20 - WR Shi Smith, Panthers

Team Fit: Carolina should be set at receiver with D.J. Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall Jr., but Smith could push the last of those three a run for snaps in the slot - if only because Smith is a more traditional fit there. The South Carolina product plays a more physical game than his 186-pound frame would suggest. More likely than not, Smith will be more of a gadget guy and special teams contributor for the Panthers.

What does it mean in redraft? Not much. Keep an eye on any camp battle between Marshall and Smith, but the former figures to win the third receiver job.

Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? Check back next week.

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6.33 - WR Khalil Herbert, Bears

Team Fit: Chicago was hurting for running back depth late last season, which was part of the reason why David Montgomery saw so many snaps down the stretch. While the Bears signed Damien Williams to back him up, don't be surprised if Herbert makes him expendable. Herbert may appear to be another one of this draft's mighty mites at 5-9 and 210 pounds who need to operate as the complementary back in a committee, but he has actually shown a lot more ability to excel on early downs than late downs. "Juice" (his nickname) boasts exceptional vision and patience, routinely setting up blocks to maximize his runs. He runs well through contact (56.6 percent of his rushing yards came after contact last season) and forced 42 missed tackles in 2020, per Pro Football Focus. Perhaps his greatest weaknesses - or the areas where he has the most to prove - are as a pass protector and a pass-catcher (10 catches in 2020, 32 over the course of 44 career games). With that said, there's enough to like here to believe Herbert will serve as a very good NFL backup.

What does it mean in redraft? RB5 and potential handcuff. Herbert could (and probably should) beat out Williams to be Montgomery's backup.

Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? Check back next week.

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6.37 - WR Dazz Newsome, Bears

Team Fit: Newsome's ability to contribute immediately depends almost entirely on Chicago's ability to trade Anthony Miller. The Virginia native played more of possession role opposite big-play threat Dyami Brown. If Miller gets dealt, there will be an opening for Newsome to take over as the primary slot (of course, when Allen Robinson isn't occupying it). Newsome may only carry 190 pounds on his frame, but he appears comfortable working the middle of the field and can do a little something after the catch. He did struggle with drops with the Tar Heels (15 drops over his last three seasons). If Miller sticks around, Newsome's immediate contributions figure to be on special teams - much like other sixth- and seventh-round receivers.

What does it mean in redraft? Very little until Miller's fate is determined.

Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? Check back next week.

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On 5/1/2021 at 1:51 PM, The Football Guru said:

6.10 - RB Elijah Mitchell, 49ers

Team Fit: HC Kyle Shanahan has declared an all-out competition in his backfield this offseason. After adding Wayne Gallman in free agency and Trey Sermon in the third round, Shanahan goes back to the well with another fit in his zone-running scheme here. Mitchell has some impressive measurables (4.38 speed, 10'8" broad, 38-inch vertical) and has some skills as a receiver and returner. He did an acceptable job handling the rock (for bubbles on 576 career touches). The likelihood he'll take over the San Francisco backfield anytime soon is low, however, as he mostly split time throughout his career at Louisiana. He is also a bit of an upright one-speed runner that has the ability to make lateral cuts but lacks patience at times and isn't overly creative with his runs.

What does it mean in redraft? Likely nothing, but the San Francisco backfield is always one to watch. Raheem Mostert would appear to be the lead back, but the Niners' approach to this offseason suggests nothing is guaranteed. A good camp (and a bad one from Sermon) could put in line to be Mostert's complement, while a bad one could see him get cut.

Where should I expect him to go in my rookie drafts? Check back next week.

I kind of like this guy.  He reminds me of Thomas Jones.  Runs a little upright, and Thomas Jones started his career going down a little too easy with contact, but realized after 5 or 6 years, he was allowed to keep running even after someone touched him.  Elijah doesn't really break very many tackles either from what I can tell.

His former teammate at ULALA, Trey Ragas, is an absolute beast.  230 pounds and just does not go down.  Only problem is he's slow and doesn't have great acceleration.  Ended up signing with the Raiders as an UDFA.  He'll probably make the practice squad.  If he was a little lighter on his feet, he could be another Bettis type of bruiser.   

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41 minutes ago, nobody said:

I kind of like this guy.  He reminds me of Thomas Jones.  Runs a little upright, and Thomas Jones started his career going down a little too easy with contact, but realized after 5 or 6 years, he was allowed to keep running even after someone touched him.  Elijah doesn't really break very many tackles either from what I can tell.

His former teammate at ULALA, Trey Ragas, is an absolute beast.  230 pounds and just does not go down.  Only problem is he's slow and doesn't have great acceleration.  Ended up signing with the Raiders as an UDFA.  He'll probably make the practice squad.  If he was a little lighter on his feet, he could be another Bettis type of bruiser.   

Even though he was a 6th round pick I think he can.find a spot in Shanahan's stable of running backs. So he'll start out at the bottom of the runningback food chain but if he has.a.solud camp I see no reason why he wouldn't make the 53 man roster. Worst case he ends up on the practice squad but could get called up if any injuries happen to Mostert, who's had few injury bugs, or Jeff Wilson. For sure Trey Sermon's gonna get carries and I think he could end up being the starter at some point during the season. I' hoping the main guys stay healthy as we were decimated with injuries last year and Mitchell will probably have to bide his rime until he gets some opportunities to get in the game. I think they got good value for him at 6.10. Hopefully Shanny can work his magic with him.

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Mitchell is probly the Niners' RB6 right now, so he'll have to show something in camp to do any better than the practice squad.

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