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PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:39 am 
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Phinfever Owner/Admin

Joined: Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:41 am
Posts: 23752
Location: Raleigh, NC
I put everyone here who was mocked to us except for Travis Etienne who was missed the season.

PICK NO. 4: TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
Overall Rookie Grade: 79.7 (Rank: 1/14)

Pitts came into the league as the best tight end prospect in years but was always more of a hybrid player. And as the season has progressed, he has become a de facto No. 1 wide receiver for the Falcons. Pitts aligned at tight end on passing plays six or fewer times in a game in each of the past three weeks. Overall, he lined up in line as a tight end just marginally more than he split out wide, and he was in the slot more often than either. Wherever Pitts lines up, he is a problem for defenses. He generated over 2.0 yards per route run this season. The sky's the limit for him, but how the team deploys him going forward will be interesting to monitor.

PICK NO. 5: WR Ja’Marr Chase, Cincinnati Bengals
Overall Rookie Grade: 83.1 (Rank: 1/29)

Chase wasted no time in becoming one of the best receivers in the NFL, despite sitting out last year and having one season of significant college production. He has been able to win in a variety of ways in the NFL — with speed, after-the-catch ability and contested-catch skills against tight coverage. Passes targeting Chase generated a 121.2 passer rating despite six interceptions occurring on those targets, showing just how productive Chase was when the ball did get through to him. A relative cool stretch in the middle of the year only serves to show there’s still more in the tank. Cincinnati nailed this draft pick.

PICK NO. 6: WR Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins
Overall Rookie Grade: 78.3 (Rank: 3/29)

Waddle set the rookie record for receptions in a single season, finishing with 104 catches from 138 targets to pass Anquan Boldin. Waddle averaged 9.8 yards per catch and 1.75 yards per route run, but it’s difficult to get a gauge on how much of a complete threat he can be within an offense so reliant on RPOs and short passing to protect a disastrous offensive line and a young quarterback. Waddle possesses game-changing speed, reliable hands and a proven ability to be a high-volume target, but the team still needs to explore how much of an impact downfield he can make.

PICK NO. 7: OT Penei Sewell, Detroit Lions
Overall Rookie Grade: 77.4 (Rank: 2/19)

Sewell didn’t play in Week 18, but his rookie year was a big success for the Lions, particularly given the concerns about his preseason performances on the right side of the line. Sewell played both left and right tackle for Detroit this season and moved between the two seamlessly when Taylor Decker returned from injury. The rookie allowed 35 pressures from 644 pass-blocking snaps and was one of the best run-blockers in the league. Given the pace offensive linemen typically develop at, the Lions should be very excited about his future.

PICK NO. 10: WR DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Overall Rookie Grade: 77.2 (Rank: 5/29)

Smith finished behind Ja’Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle in receiving yards among rookie wideouts, but he also played in the most run-heavy offense and worked with a quarterback who couldn’t always deliver the ball where it needed to go. Smith’s route-running and ability to separate have been evident since his NFL debut, and as the season has gone on, he has shown the occasional ability to win at the catch point against inevitably bigger-bodied defenders. Smith possesses excellent upside, but how close he comes to realizing that potential is directly tied to the development of quarterback Jalen Hurts.

PICK NO. 18: EDGE Jaelan Phillips, Miami Dolphins
Overall Rookie Grade: 53.7 (Rank: 22/32)

Phillips played 35 snaps against the New England Patriots in Week 18, rushing the passer 16 times but generating only one pressure. He also dropped into coverage four times and played 15 snaps of run defense, something the team has tried to keep him away from for much of the year. His 72.7 run-defense grade in this game was his highest of the year, and this was one of his better performances all around. Phillips has flashed talent as a rookie, particularly when the team moved him around the formation, but there has been a lot of below-average play as well.

PICK NO. 24: RB Najee Harris, Pittsburgh Steelers
Overall Rookie Grade: 71.2 (Rank: 7/23)

Harris finished the season fourth in rushing yards (1,200), but it was an excruciating grind to get there. Of the top 10 rushers in the league, only Harris averaged fewer than four yards per carry (3.9), and 2.97 of those yards came after contact. Harris broke 57 tackles to get those yards and was handed 307 carries in addition to the 94 targets he saw in the passing game. Harris was treated like a bell-cow running back from the 1990s, but the Steelers' offense just doesn’t have the passing game or offensive line for him to dominate the way that workload would suggest.

PICK NO. 30: EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Buffalo Bills
Overall Rookie Grade: 70.2 (Rank: 1/32)

Rousseau played 24 snaps against the New York Jets in Week 18. He rushed the passer 14 times but didn’t generate any pressure. He did bat a pass and led the team with four defensive stops in the run game, earning a 77.6 PFF grade in that area. Rousseau has been a solid role player for the Bills, playing 531 snaps in his rookie season. And while there have been some poor games down the stretch, the second half of his season has been significantly better than the first half, where it took him a month of play to earn his first average game grade. ... ek-18-2021

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