Behind The Sticks
Shots With MZE
Behind The Sticks
Shots With MZE
It’s been awhile, but I’m back to talk to you guys about fantasy. So far, I’ve hit you with my early rankings for QBs and RBs. This week, we’ll be talking about Wide Receivers. And for the third time this year, I’ll say the same thing: it’s May; if you hold me to these rankings during the season, you’re kind of a dick. Just don’t be that guy. Give me a follow on Twitter for continued discussion about fantasy football as we get closer to the season. There will be some short blurbs with a few players. As we get closer to the season, I’ll add more information. Enjoy!
1. Julio Jones, ATL
I think since I’ve started doing my own rankings, I’ve had Julio at 1. His talent and size/speed combo is just so awesome. He probably won’t lead the league in targets again, but he finally started scoring some fucking touchdowns last season. Expect that to continue.
2. DeAndre Hopkins, HOU
Nuk is a stud and should only continue to dominate with Deshaun Watson’s continued growth. After finishing as the 2nd highest scoring receiver last year, you can expect this stud keep putting out. Putting out big, big numbers.
3. JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT
This is going to be very surprising to some and definitely higher than most have him. Everyone thinks the Steelers are going to fall off a cliff. I’m not one of them. JuJu was already 4th in the league in targets last year and there’s about to be a whole lot more opened with Antonio Brown leaving town. JuJu about to go off. Get on board with me.
4. Davante Adams, GB
This one is pretty simple. Aaron Rodgers’ number one target deserves to be ranked high. And there’s not a whole lot behind Adams, who led the league in receiving TDs last year.
5. Michael Thomas, NO
For the top WR guys, there’s not really a whole lot to say. You can move them around in the top 5 any way you’d like and I’d understand it. Thomas is an animal and a target monster playing in a terrific offense. Lock and load him in the Top 5 and don’t overthink it.
6. Odell Beckham, CLE
OBJ has the potential to finish at #1. But things aren’t always so simple transitioning to a new team. I hate to say it as a Steelers fan, but the Browns are going to be good and it’s because there’s a ton of weapons there. He’ll still command a huge target share, but I don’t see him in the Top 5.
7. Mike Evans, TB
I think Jameis Winston #sucksbutts, but that doesn’t necessarily affect Evans too bad. Tampa is going to throw it a ton and Winston is likely to target Evans early and often. Evans is capable of a 10+ TD season because he’s built like a brick shithouse.
8. AJ Green, CIN
I understand the injury risk with Green, but his talent is still there and having an offensive mind at the helm in Zac Taylor is going to help Cincy a ton.
9. Antonio Brown, OAK
Yeah, this is probably out of spite and he could be a little higher. But, things aren’t going to exactly be the same in Oakland for AB. Derek Carr isn’t Big Ben and I can’t wait until he blows up on him on the sidelines.
10. Keenan Allen, LAC
If this guy can ever start scoring TD’s, he’s gonna be in the Top 5. He’s one of the smoothest route runners in the game and has sticky mitts. The Chargers are loaded on offense and should produce some huge numbers.
11. T.Y. Hilton, IND
I’ve never loved Hilton because he doesn’t put up big touchdown numbers but he’s the #1 target in Andrew Luck’s offense and will put up huge yard totals like he always does. That makes him worth low-end WR1 consideration.
12. Sammy Watkins, KC
Yeah, you’re definitely saying what the fuck at this point, but hear me out. Human garbage Tyreek Hill is unlikely to play this year and there’s a whole lot of production left because of it. If Watkins can stay healthy (yeah, I know, unlikely) then he’s gonna go bonkers catching bombs from Mahomes.
13. Julian Edelman, NE
Yuck, but fuck he’s good.
14. Amari Cooper, DAL
Can he ever be consistent?
15. Stefon Diggs, MIN
16. Adam Thielen, MIN
You can favor the last two however you’d like.
17. Robert Woods, LAR
18. Brandin Cooks, LAR
Same thing as the Minnesota guys
19. Kenny Golladay, DET
Routes so smooth
20. Chris Godwin, TB
21. DJ Moore, CAR
22. Mike Williams, LAC
23. Cooper Kupp, LAR
24. Tyler Lockett, SEA
25. Allen Robinson, CHI
26. Dante Pettis, SF
27. Alshon Jeffrey, PHI
28. Calvin Ridley, ATL
29. Jarvis Landry, CLE
30. Tyler Boyd, CIN
31. Corey Davis, TEN
Mariota is poop or he’d be higher. Check out my Twitter for a signed jersey giveaway!
32. Will Fuller, HOU
Please stay healthy
33. Robby Anderson, NYJ
34. Sterling Shepard, NYG
35. Golden Tate, NYG
Are you sensing a theme?
36. Christian Kirk, ARI
37. James Washington/Donte Moncrief, PIT
Is this cheating?
38. Larry Fitzgerald, ARI
39. DaSean Hamilton, DEN
40. Courtland Sutton, DEN
Yeah, yeah I know
41. Marvin Jones, DET
42. Geronimo Allison, GB
43. N’Keal Harry, NE
44. Curtis Samuel, CAR
45. DeSean Jackson, PHI
46. Mecole Hardman, KC
New Home... Who Dis?
This NFL offseason has seen some big-name wide receivers and running backs change addresses. Odell Beckham Jr. promises to make Cleveland great aga…eventually. Antonio Brown has run his mouth from the Three Rivers to the Oakland Bay Bridge. Le’Veon Bell now calls New Jersey (yeah don’t @ me on this Jets fans because you play in Jersey) his home and I’m sure he and Adam Gase are already making plans to go out for tacos and beer.
All this change had old MZE thinking, “What other wide receivers and running backs have changed addresses and have had success in their new locations?” I rolled up my sleeves (okay, I don’t usually wear long sleeves so just humor me) and dug deep. I chose only from players who have played at least one season in the past five (2014-2018) and came up with my three best in each category. In my humble opinion, dear readers, here are the best:
Pierre Garcon - Washington Redskins
Garcon began his career in Indianapolis. In four seasons with the Colts he had 188 catches and 2,519 yards with 16 touchdowns. Garcon headed to Washington in 2012 and the change of scenery did him well. While with the Redskins Garcon caught 376 balls, including 21 for touchdowns, and amassed 4,549 receiving yards. This Garcon became the man in D.C.
Golden Tate - Detroit Lions
Tate started his career in Seattle where he had 165 catches, 2,195 yards, and 15 touchdowns in four years. In 2014 it was time for him to go full throttle to the Motor City. Tate spent the better part of five seasons with the Lions where he became a primary target for Matthew Stafford. In 71 games with Detroit, Tate had 416 catches, 4,741 yards, and 22 touchdowns. It wasn’t just a good move for the Lions, it was purely Golden.
Wes Welker - New England Patriots / Denver Broncos
Seems like the Patriots can always find a slot guy who’s basically the same player with a different name and make him a success. It all started with Wes Welker. Welker suited up for one game as a Charger in 2004 before playing for Miami. His three years with the Dolphins were fairly quiet as he had just 96 catches and 1,121 yards. Here came the Patriots. Welker spent six seasons in New England. In those seasons Welker made a ridiculous 672 catches, collected 7,459 receiving yards, and scored 37 receiving touchdowns. He added 146 yards on the ground, averaging 8.1 yards per carry. By the time Welker left New England, the only Patriots fan who didn’t like him was Gisele.
But that's not all. Welker even had success in Denver, catching passes from jilted Paeyton Manning who was out to prove to everyone (read: Jim Irsay) he wasn't done. in 2013 Welker caught 73 passes for almost 800 yards and 10 TDs, which ain't bad considering three other receivers on the Broncos caught 10+ TDs apiece that year.
Frank Gore - Indianapolis Colts
Frank Gore spent his first 10 years in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers. He left the bay area with almost 14,000 yards from scrimmage. Many running backs would have been happy and called it a career. The "Ageless One" just headed to Indianapolis and kept grinding. In his three years as a Colt, Gore ran for 2,953 yards, had 789 more receiving yards, and scored 19 touchdowns. In terms of a career, you can’t spell ‘Gorgeous’ without Gore.
LeSean McCoy - Buffalo Bills
One of the best dual-threat backs in the NFL was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009. For his first six seasons, McCoy ran for 6,792 yards, added 2,282 receiving yards, and scored a total of 54 touchdowns. If your nickname is “Shady” seems almost appropriate for you to become part of the Mafia at some point and McCoy did. In 2015 he joined the Buffalo Bills and continued his dual-threat excellence. McCoy has been a Bill for four seasons. In that time he has 3,814 rushing yards, added 1,334 receiving yards, and has put up 30 total touchdowns. In terms of talent, he is the real McCoy.
Marshawn Lynch - Seattle Seahawks
The Bills had a pretty good running back prior to Shady McCoy coming to Orchard Park. Marshawn Lynch was drafted in 2007 with the 12th overall pick. The former Golden Bear spent three plus seasons with the Bills where he ran for 2,765 yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. He added 94 catches and 670 receiving yards for good measure. In 2010 ‘Skittles’ was paired with coffee when he was traded to Seattle after four games with the Bills. Over the next five plus seasons, Lynch ran for 6,347 yards, caught 158 passes for 1,309 yards, and scored a total of 65 touchdowns. If only Pete Carroll had a chance to go into the future to read this blog post but I digress.
There you have it. My three best wide receivers and running backs who chose a new address in the past five seasons and managed to make it work. Have someone I missed? Hit us up in the comments. We love to hear from you.
Until next time, make sure you fill out those damn cards for the post office, don’t forget to call your cable provider, and throw a kick-ass party before you make an address change.
Yours in football,
Last week, we started our rankings for the upcoming NFL season with the Quarterbacks. Go back and check that out if you haven’t done so yet. Today, we’re going to start looking at the most important position in fantasy, the Running Back.
Now, I’ll say the same thing I said last week: it’s May, if you hold me to these rankings during the season, you’re probably kind of a dick. So don’t be that guy. Just enjoy this little write-up and enjoy all the fantasy content I can give you. And as always follow me on Twitter and stay tuned to the guys at Blitzed.
Some of these running backs will have brief blurbs with them. As we get closer to the season, I’ll add more to each player. Let me help you with your fantasy.
1. Alvin Kamara, NO
Super Kamario (shout out FF Ballers) finished last year as the RB4 and I expect him to take another leap forward this year. I know that not a whole lot of people have him at 1, but with his skillset and with Mark Ingram’s departure, Kamara deserves consideration for the 1st pick.
2. Ezekiel Elliott, DAL
Zeke added a new element to his game last year, hauling in a career high 77 passes. If he had actually got in the endzone more, he would’ve finished higher than RB5. Expect the Cowboys to continue to ride this horse for as long as they can.
3. Saquon Barkley, NYG
I think everyone and their brother has this beast at 1. But, I just can’t do it and it’s not his fault. He can solely blame his dumb dumb faced quarterback for that. He’s still a horse but I can’t get him to one.
4. Christian McCaffrey, CAR
This guy has to be Bill Belichick’s wet dream, right? I mean come on. He can do it all. Great runner, great receiver, great intangibles and white. What more can you ask for if you’re Bill? All joking aside, run CMC is one of the best two way threats in the game and should go Top 5.
5. David Johnson, ARI
If you owned DJ last year, you were probably rightfully frustrated by him. But against all odds (playing with Josh Rosen and opposite of genius play caller Mike McCoy), Johnson finished at RB10. Playing with a more offensive progressive coach in Kliff Kingsbury is only going to help.
6. Melvin Gordon, LAC
Despite only playing 12 games last year, Commissioner Gordon finished as the RB7. The dude is a touchdown machine and plays in a high scoring offense. Don’t overthink this guy.
7. Todd Gurley, LAR
If I knew Gurley’s knee was healthy, he’d be #1. But everything that we’ve heard this offseason and the Rams’ actions are saying otherwise. If he’s good to go, Gurley is the RB you’d want to take at 1. But there’s a ton of risk.
8. James Conner, PIT
No, I don’t consider this a homer call. And no, I’m not afraid of Benny Snell and Jaylen Samuels cutting too much into his workload. The Steelers will want to run the ball more this season and have a great offensive line.
9. Joe Mixon, CIN
This is the exact spot where Mixon finished in leagues last year and hopefully with a new head coach in Cincy, we’ll get to see some 21st century playcalling as opposed to whatever the hell Marvin Lewis and the rest of his staff did last year.
10. Dalvin Cook, MIN
After John DeFillipo was fired last year, the Vikings transitioned into a much more run heavy team. Obviously, that’s significant for the 3rd year back from Florida State. There doesn’t appear to be too many cooks in the kitchen in the Vikes’ backfield (see what I did there). It’s his and he should take it and run with it.
11. Nick Chubb, CLE
If they hadn’t signed Kareem Hunt, I’d have a full on rager for the 2nd year back from Georgia. He’s uber talented and the Browns are on their way up.
12. Leonard Fournette, JAC
This is a huge year for Halloween Leonard. If he doesn’t have a solid season both on and off the field, angry Grandpa Tom Coughlin could look to move on.
13. Le’Veon Bell, NYJ
Considering his coach didn’t want him, I’m not super optimistic about Bell’s outlook. We’ll see what happens. New York is going to be entertaining as always.
14. Damien Williams, KC
Talk about right place, right time. The new DWill should produce in this juggernaut offense.
15. Marlon Mack, IND
When the Colts got the return of the Mack last year, they went 10-3 down the stretch. He’s a solid back behind a good Oline and a QB who sounds like a horse.
16. Kerryon Johsnon, DET
Kerryon my friends
17. Chris Carson, SEA
Bringing back TRL with Chris Carson Daly
18. Devonta Freeman, ATL
Morgan’s grandson needs to stay healthy
19. Aaron Jones, GB
20. Josh Jacobs, OAK
Gruden’s new favorite player
21. Sony Michel, NE
I always prefer Sony over other devices in that backfield
22. Derrick Henry, TEN
Frankenstein in a RB’s body
23. Mark Ingram, BAL
24. Philip Lindsay, DEN
25. Kenyan Drake, MIA
26. Lamar Miller, HOU
27. Tarik Cohen, CHI
28. James White, NE
29. David Montgomery, CHI
30. Derrius Guice, WAS
31. Tevin Coleman, SF
32. Jerick McKinnon, SF
33. Matt Breida, SF
The last 3 are what we call a punt. I have no fuckin’ clue who’s leading that backfield.
34. Miles Sanders, PHI
35. Latavius Murray, NO
36. Ronald Jones, TB
37. Carlos Hyde, KC
38. Rashad Penny, SEA
39. Jordan Howard, PHI
Somehow he finished RB20 last year
40. Royce Freeman, DEN
41. Peyton Barber, TB
42. Adrian Peterson, WAS
43. Kareem Hunt, CLE
44. LeSean McCoy, BUF
Deserves to be cut for ruining Endgame for so many people. Dick.
Welcome back to your favorite fantasy. In this write-up, I’m going to start ranking my top QBs for the upcoming 2019 season for redraft purposes. Disclaimer: I’m writing this on May 9th so if you hold me to these ranks later in the season, you’re a dick. My point is that these are going to change through the offseason so make sure you stay tuned to Blitzed and follow me on Twitter for constant updates regarding our favorite game and these rankings. I’m going to only do a brief summary on each player that I put down today. When we get closer to draft season, I’ll add much more to the player capsules. Enjoy and let me know what you think on Twitter. If you have questions about fantasy already, let me help you.
NFL QB Fantasy Rankings
1. Patrick Mahomes, KC
Yeah, I’m not gonna get too cute about this. Is there going to be regression? Probably. Does potentially not having human garbage/star receiver Tyreek Hill hurt? Yeah, sure. But this guy is just too good. The reigning MVP should still be the #1 QB in fantasy.
2. Deshaun Watson, HOU
Watson started last season pretty slow but still managed to finish as the QB4. He has some really talented weapons on the outside and his rushing upside is massive. I always look for that. I might have my dear Watson a little higher than some, but his potential is a league winning type of QB.
3. Aaron Rodgers, GB
I expect A Aron to come out this season and go scorched earth, motherfucker on teams. A lot has been said this offseason about the Packers QB. I expect him to respond with a massive season.
4. Andrew Luck, IND
Despite sounding like a horse when he talks, Andrew Luck was able to have a Top 5 season last year and should continue to build on that in Year 2 with Frank Reich and some more weapons. Well, if you call Devin Funchess a weapon.
5. Carson Wentz, PHI
I think people are sleeping on Carson Wentz. I know that he’s had a tough time staying healthy, but sometimes you have to take risks. This is a call I feel confident about. The Eagles are loaded on offense and the 4th year QB should be able to take advantage.
6. Matt Ryan, ATL
I’m betting on the “every other year I suck at football” path to end for Matt Ryan here. Finished QB2 last year and gets Dirk Koetter back as OC.
7. Russell Wilson, SEA
Russ Buss is so good and the Seahawks rewarded him for that. His rushing ability gives him a pretty decent floor. My big concern is how Seattle and Pete Carroll would prefer to run it every down.
8. Baker Mayfield, CLE
I know people have him higher. And he’s soooooo good already. But I’m not ready to crown his ass yet (thanks Denny Green). I might come in too low.
9. Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
Much like Rodgers above, there’s been some shit said about the big guy this offseason. And much like ARod, I expect Ben to respond well to the criticism. It’s not easy losing the talent the Steelers did, but I think Big Ben will be just fine as a fantasy starter.
10. Drew Brees, NO
The Saints are such a juggernaut on offense that Brees will always find his way around this point. He hasn’t produced as many great seasons lately and finished at QB8 last year.
11. Josh Allen, BUF
Bills Mafia, are you reading this? Yes, I admit this ranking for Allen may be high. But his rushing ability is so arousing (I mean exciting) plus he can throw it over them mountains there.
12. Cam Newton, CAR
I’ll have Cam much higher once we know a little bit more about his shoulder closer to training camp. Wham Bam Cam would vault to around 7 if fully healthy for me.
13. Jameis Winston, TB
I don’t trust this guy at all and if he can’t get it done this season with Bruce Arians at the helm, then he might not ever get it done. He needs to have a skrong season.
14. Lamar Jackson, BAL
If you’re sensing a common them here for me, it should be rushing ability is a turn-on. And considering the Ravens basically treat him like a RB, Jackson has plenty of upside in that area.
15. Jared Goff, LAR
He needs to bounce back quickly from whatever the hell happened in the Super Bowl. Running McVay’s offense should help with that.
16. Mitchell Trubisky, CHI
17. Philip Rivers, LAC
So many kids. Let’s hope he stays focused.
18. Jimmy Garoppolo, SF
My goodness he’s handsome.
19. Kyler Murray, ARI
20. Kirk Cousins, MIN
21. Tom Brady, NE
Yuck. That is all.
22. Matt Stafford, DET
23. Dak Prescott, DAL
This isn’t intentionally disrespectful.
24. Sam Darnold, NYJ
25. Marcus Mariota, TEN
26. Derek Carr, OAK
I cannot wait until AB freaks out on him. Have fun, Derek.
27. Andy Dalton, CIN
28. Dwayne Haskins, WAS
29. Nick Foles, JAC
30. Joe Flacco, DEN
31. Josh Rosen, MIA
32. Eli Manning, NYG
Dave Gettleman might murder me if he sees this.
Recently the NFL completed its draft in the Music City. Some think Dave Gettleman may have overdone it on Tennessee whiskey when he chose Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick. Fan bases either rejoiced, whined, or were too drunk to care. It got me thinking. I wondered from 2009 through 2018 what five NFL teams were the best (read: luckiest) with the draft. Worry not, Blitzers. I dug deep and did the research. My list is based on Pro Bowlers and All-Pros on active rosters. Only players drafted since 2009 were eligible. This list is based on my research and my opinions, so naturally there is no scientific formula involved. The painstaking review of rosters was all the MZE brain could handle. So, without further ado, I give you the best drafters in the past decade.
5. Minnesota Vikings
You’re probably out there saying, “Oooh, big surprise! The guy whose Twitter handle pays homage to the Vikings’ head coach put his team on the list.” (thanks for following btw). Not so, my friends. Let me share with you the key players that made me put the Vikings on the list. In 2010 the Vikings drafted Everson Griffen with the 100th pick. Griffen has made three Pro Bowls in his career. That same year the New York Giants took Linval Joseph 54 spots earlier. Joseph has been a Viking since 2014 and has appeared in two Pro Bowls.
One year later the Vikings went deer hunting. They took Kyle Rudolph with the 43rd pick. Kyle has made it to the Pro Bowl twice. In 2012 the Vikings went back to the Golden Dome and grabbed safety, Harrison Smith, with the 29th pick. Harry has been to the Pro Bowl four times and was named an All-Pro in 2017. That same season the Redskins took some fourth round insurance when they picked Kirk Cousins with the 102nd pick. Kirk was a Pro Bowler in 2016 and threw for 30 touchdowns in 2018.
The 2013 draft netted the Vikings Xavier Rhodes with the 25th overall pick. The Rhodes have been tough traveling for opposing receivers ever since. He’s been to the Pro Bowl twice and was named an All-Pro in 2017. In 2014 the Vikings raised the Barr with the 9th pick in the draft taking linebacker, Anthony Barr. Since becoming a Viking, Barr has made it to the Pro Bowl four times. That same year some undrafted kid from Minnesota State tried out for the Vikings. He made the squad, playing special teams. Since then he’s made it to a pair of Pro Bowls and has become the team’s most reliable wide receiver, giving Vikings’ fans that lovin’ Thielen, Adam Thielen to be exact. Rounding out my list is the 2015 88th overall pick of the draft. Danielle “Bounty” Hunter was picked out of LSU. He already has 40 career sacks and has made it to a Pro Bowl. Now, if they could only win a Super Bowl.
4. Houston Texans
When I looked into this team I didn’t think they had enough to even be considered. Old MZE was dead wrong. Beginning with 2011 the Texans brought in some electricity when they picked some guy named J.J. Watt 11th overall. Watt’s been to five Pro Bowls and has been an All-Pro five times since being drafted. In 2012 the Miami Dolphins took Lamar Miller with the 97th pick. After four seasons there he joined the Texans in 2016. He made his first Pro Bowl in 2018 and has over 7,400 scrimmage yards in his career. In 2013 the Texans took a wide receiver with the 27th overall pick in the draft.
DeAndre Hopkins has paid off big making it to three Pro Bowls and being named an All-Pro twice since being drafted. In 2014 nobody thought anything was funny when the Texans chose Jadeveon Clowney first overall. With 29 career sacks and three Pro Bowls, no one’s laughing. In 2015 the Texans found Benardrick McKinney at the 43rd pick of the draft. He has 239 career tackles and made his first Pro Bowl in 2018. In 2017 the Texans found another gem in the first round. At number 12 overall they grabbed quarterback, Deshaun Watson, out of Clemson. His 2018 got him his first Pro Bowl appearance. In case you lost count, that’s four first round picks in 10 years making names for themselves in the NFL. Houston, I don’t think you have a problem.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
Despite the recent drama in the Steel City that makes any of the Real Housewifes series look tame, the team still has some solid talent drafted from the last ten years. In 2010 the Cleveland Browns took Joe Hayden with the 7th overall pick. After seven seasons in Cleveland, the Steelers added the two-time Pro Bowler to its roster in 2017. That same 2010 draft year saw Pittsburgh grab center, Maurkice Pouncey, 11 picks after Hayden went. Pouncey has been a mainstay on the Steelers offensive line, making seven Pro Bowls and being named an All-Pro twice.
The 2011 draft saw the Steelers draft Cameron Heyward at 31 overall. The defensive end out of Ohio State (sorry, I will not put that three-letter word in front of the college so deal) has recorded 45 career sacks while making the Pro Bowl twice and being named an All-Pro once. In 2014 the Steelers added Army graduate Alejandro Villanueva to the roster as an undrafted free agent. They’re glad they chose to go Army as the offensive lineman has made the Pro Bowl twice. The 2017 draft saw Pittsburgh add two exciting young players.
On defense they went with some pedigree, taking T.J. Watt, J.J.’s little brother, with the 30th pick. He’s accumulated 20 sacks in two seasons and made the Pro Bowl in 2018. On the offensive side of the ball they got JuJu Smith-Schuster from USC with the 62nd overall pick. The bike-riding wide receiver made his first Pro Bowl in 2018 and already has over 2,300 yards receiving. That’s some good JuJu.
2. Seattle Seahawks
Out in the land of coffee, the Seahawks have given opponents the jitters quite a bit thanks to some solid drafting. In 2010 the Seahawks found a gem with the 133rd pick in the draft. Kam Chancellor, defensive back from Virginia Tech, was an anchor in the “Legion of Boom” defense. Since draft day he’s been named to four Pro Bowls. While he missed the 2018 season and will miss 2019 due to a severe neck injury, he is still part of the Seahawks thus getting him included on this list. Also in 2010, the San Francisco 49ers went with an offensive guard out of Idaho with the 17th overall pick.
Mike Iupati spent five seasons in San Francisco then the last four in Arizona. The four-time Pro Bowler was signed by the Seahawks in March of 2019. The 2011 draft saw the Seahawks add another pair of Pro Bowl players. At the 99th overall pick that year the Seahawks took linebacker, K.J. Wright, from Mississippi State. Wright has 480 career solo tackles and made the Pro Bowl in 2016. After the draft, the Seahawks added an undrafted free agent wide receiver out of Stanford. Doug Baldwin has over 6,500 career receiving yards and two Pro Bowl appearances.
The 2012 draft netted the Seahawks yet another dynamic duo in the draft. With the 47th overall pick, the Seahawks found Utah State linebacker, Bobby Wagner. Wagner has 591 career solo tackles, has made five Pro Bowls, and has been named an All-Pro four times. In the next round with the 75th overall pick, the ‘Hawks took undersized quarterback, Russell Wilson. Ever heard of him? Russ is a five-time Pro Bowler with over 25,600 career passing yards and a Super Bowl ring. Six players and 20 Pro Bowls among them. That’s more potent than a double-shot of espresso.
1. Los Angeles Rams
After my many hours of research, I settled on the Rams as the team with the best draft class over the past ten seasons and I won’t even talk about recently-signed 2009 linebacker draftee, Clay Matthews, who made six Pro-Bowls and was named an All-Pro in 2010 as a Packer. Wait, I think I just did. In 2011 the Rams signed undrafted free agent, Jake McQuaide, out of Ohio State. This long-snapping specialist made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and 2017. In 2012 the Rams went kicker with the 171st overall pick when they grabbed Greg “Legatron” Zuerlein from Missouri Western. He’s converted 83.5% of his career field goals, hit 28 from 50+ yards, and made the Pro Bowl in 2017 when he converted 95.0% of his field goals. Also in 2012 the Rams found themselves another big leg when Johnny Hekker was signed as an undrafted free agent punter out of Oregon State. Hekker is averaging 47.0 yards per punt in his career. In 2018 he actually made a field goal and an extra point. Oh and the four-time Pro Bowler and All-Pro also has 156 career passing yards.
The 2014 13th overall pick went to the Rams and with it they took Aaron Donald. Donald has 59.5 career sacks, has made five Pro Bowls, and is a four-time All-Pro. In 2015 Georgia running back, Todd Gurley II, was taken 10th overall in that draft. He has over 4,500 rushing yards in four seasons, has made three Pro Bowls, was named an All-Pro twice, was the 2015 Offensive Rookie of the Year, and in 2017 was the NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year. Eight picks later the Chiefs took cornerback, Marcus Peters, out of Washington. The two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro was signed by the Seahawks in 2018.
The Rams padded their roster with two more Pro Bowl players in 2016, one via draft and one via undrafted free agency. Cory Littleton, a linebacker from Washington, was signed after the draft. Littleton made his first Pro Bowl in 2018 with 125 combined tackles and three interceptions. That same year the Rams had the first overall pick in the draft. With it they chose California quarterback, Jared Goff. After struggling in his first season, Goff has gone on to two Pro Bowl appearances in the last two seasons and led the Rams to Super Bowl LIII. Now, if the team can finally decide on a home city, all would be right with the world.
There you have it. The MZE top five teams from the 2009-2018 draft classes are in the books. Sure, these teams drafted well. But at the end of the day, did it really matter? After all, these five teams account for exactly ONE Super Bowl win in the last 10 years (Seahawks won Super Bowl 48. The Steelers barely missed, winning it all BEFORE the 2009 draft).
So, who would you put on this exalted list? Let us know in the comments.
Until next time, Blitzers, may you be a late round sleeper on the weekends, may you never need to send a scout home unless she forgot to bring your Thin Mints, and may your drafts always be ice cold.
Yours in football,
Five 'Must Draft' Rookies
Well since the NFL Draft has officially come and gone, it’s probably a good time for me to start doing my job for the guys at Blitzed. If you haven’t read me before, I’m Hank Mardukas and I supply the fantasy good times for this great team. Today, we’re going to start out pretty basic. I’m going to be taking a look at five players drafted last week that could and should have fantasy value for next season. Some will be obvious (hello, Josh Jacobs) and a few could be under the radar options. I’ll be looking at these players as though we’re just doing a redraft league and not dynasty. Thanks for reading. Let’s get to the motherlovin’ show.
Kyler Murray, QB Arizona Cardinals
Yeah sure, maybe it’s a cop out to start this article with the 1st overall pick, but also, I don’t give a shit. If there’s one rookie QB who is going to have value next year, it’s the Heisman winner from Oklahoma. New coach and aspiring male model Kliff Kingsbury all but told Josh Rosen to GTFO so he could have his guy in Murray to run his Air Raid offense. He better hope it works out or his ass is gonna be on the street in a couple of seasons. Despite height concerns, Murray should have value from Day 1. He’s a unique talent with a great arm and terrific mobility. That mobility should help combat some of the potential height problems and provides a huge upside in fantasy value (see: Wilson, Russell). The Cardinals spent the draft upgrading their weapons with rookie WRs Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and Kesean Johnson being added to a receiver group that includes Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk. It might not be pretty next year in the desert, but Murray has the ability to sneak in the Top 12 of fantasy QBs in his rookie season.
Josh Jacobs, RB Oakland Raiders
Anybody who looked at a mock draft leading up to the event could’ve predicted Jacobs’ landing spot. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock didn’t exactly disguise their love for the RB from Alabama and decided to make him the only back drafted in the 1st round by taking Jacobs 24th overall. And he couldn’t be stepping into a better situation. Marshawn Lynch just retired and newly signed Isaiah Crowell tore his Achilles in practice this week. The Raiders want to run the ball and their offensive line is a decent run blocking unit that should open up some lanes for the 220 pound bruiser from the Crimson Tide. Not only does Jacobs have a bruising running style, he has flashed some receiving ability which is something that we as fantasy owners always like to see in our backs. Oakland has added some elite weapons this offseason (fuck you AB. Sorry, Steelers fan here) and as long as Derek Carr is competent, Jacobs could finish with some high-end RB2 value.
David Montgomery, RB Chicago Bears
This 3rd round pick out of Iowa State has me feeling all kinds of ways. And the way that I’m feeling the most lately about him when I think about his fantasy value is turned on. The Bears traded up in the 3rd round to land this potential three-down back and there’s plenty of opportunity for him to step in and produce for this up and coming offense. Jordan Howard, who runs like his feet are permanently entrenched in quick sand and has hands made of granite is no longer in the picture in Chicago, which leaves Tarik Cohen and Mike Davis as the two running backs on the roster who could present Montgomery some potential issues. But if you’re like me, you’re not exactly fearing Mike Davis. "DMont" (trademark it here, unless that’s his actual nickname already) has drawn comparisons to Kareem Hunt and not for his tendency to be a lowlife, piece of shit, but for the tendency to be able to do it all out of the backfield. I like Montgomery a lot. Target him in drafts this season.
N’Keal Harry, WR New England Patriots
It pains me to have to bring praise to anyone who plays for the Patriots or catch Tom Brady’s balls (except Gisele, she can have some praise), but Harry has landed in a perfect spot for fantasy purposes. This 6’5 receiver out of Arizona State can sky and will provide Brady with a terrific red zone option – one that he desperately needs with 69 lover Rob Gronkowski’s retirement. Outside of Julian Edelman, there isn’t really anything set in stone for the Patriots’ passing attack. Demaryius Thomas? Old. Phillip Dorsett? Fuck off. Josh Gordon? Still suspended and presumably on the weed. Scouts have compared the 32nd pick to Allen Robinson. You might think Robinson isn’t anything special, but if you put him in an offense like the Pats with a QB like Brady, I think your mind would change pretty quickly. Someone like Dirty Harry should be able to step in and produce from the get go for New England.
Mecole Hardman, WR Kansas City Chiefs
Let me be clear on this: Tyreek Hill is a gigantic piece of shit and the fact that the Chiefs haven’t cut him yet is disturbing to say the least. I’m putting Hardman on this list with the assumption that either Kansas City management or the NFL will finally do the right thing and suspend or cut him. The 2nd round pick out of Georgia was surely drafted with the fact that KC is planning for life without Hill. And if that’s the case, then this pick is perfect because this cat can fuckin’ scoot. At the combine, Hardman ran a 4.33 40 yard dash, which in case you’re not sure or just don’t understand how time and distance works, is fast as shit. And entering the Chiefs’ offense led by MVP Patrick Mahomes should be a dream come true for Hardman. Mahomes can bomb it, and Hardman can go it. Keep an eye on this situation as the offseason progresses.
Yeah, we went there. But before I begin handing out these dubious awards, full disclosure: I am in no way fashion forward. If we're being honest, you could call me fashion backward and I'm perfectly fine with that. But today, I'm going to put on my fashion critic hat, and go over some of the best and worst dressed at last week's NFL Draft.
Best Dressed of the 2019
NFL Draft Awards
Houston's Ed Oliver. The headphones threw it off a little bit, but still. Chef's kiss for that look!
"I Rarely Dress Up, So I Put On
The First Suit I Found" Award
Alabama's Quinnen Willams. All grey errything, huh? But it matches, it's pretty tame, so you can't go wrong...but still.
One more Honorable Mention:
Duke's Daniel Jones. He's another one that looks like his suit is reliable. Good for banquets, interviews, and impressing parents on first dates.
The "We're Going to the NFL, So We're Stepping Up Our Suit Game" Award
Georgia's DeAndre Baker. The sports coat is different but not too different. The Dolce and Gabbana shoes give the look that added NFL Dimension.
Worst Dressed of the
2019 NFL Draft Award