Posts by Deep Shah

Could Melvin Gordon Be The Next Trent Richardson?

Melvin Gordon was highly anticipated coming into the NFL. He is a record-setting college running back who runs a 4.52 40 yard dash and looks like this:

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If I were a defensive back, I know I would sure as hell be scared if I saw this freight train of a man

Melvin Gordon was highly anticipated coming into the NFL. He is a record-setting college running back who runs a 4.52 40 yard dash and looks like this:

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If I were a defensive back, I know I would sure as hell be scared if I saw this freight train of a man running toward me at over 20 miles an hour. However, the same could be said and was said by former Steelers defensive back Ryan Clark about the currently jobless Trent Richardson. What’s scary is that some of Clark’s additional comments about Richardson evoke characteristics of Melvin Gordon, whose production this season has been mediocre at best.

Although calling either of these players the “worst running back of all time” is a bit extreme, saying neither has lived or will live up to the hype is not too far of a stretch. Like Richardson, Gordon played behind one of the top offensive lines in college football, essentially an “NFL offensive line” going up against college defensive lines. The wide open holes that Gordon’s Wisconsin’s offensive line created allowed him to be purely a one-cut runner. Unfortunately for Gordon, running the ball in the NFL takes a great deal more vision and patience than he has demonstrated in the past. Even in college, there were times Gordon missed an open gap.

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Here, he immediately sprints left despite the B-gap opening up. This lack of vision simply does not cut it in the NFL. Successful NFL running backs will hang in the backfield, set up blocks, and allow lanes to develop, as opposed to sprinting in a predetermined direction from the moment he is handed the ball. And, of course, a large man who has been picking up momentum over a distance of 10 yards will generate a large amount of force, a force that will blow straight through any defender. 

But in the NFL, runners will rarely see 10 yards of open field to accelerate, and instead will usually have about a yard to accelerate. The absence of the physicality that was expected of Gordon can be accredited to this reality of the NFL, where he is not able to accelerate over the large areas of open space he was accustomed to being given in college. And with that, I put to rest the ludicrous comparisons of Gordon’s physicality to that of Marshawn Lynch. 

Coming into the draft, there was also a great deal of concern regarding Gordon’s pass-catching ability, a skill Richardson lacked as well. Gordon quickly dismissed these concerns during his pro day where he showed his ability to catch the ball very well. Pass catching as well as pass blocking will be key for Gordon, considering his marginal abilities as a pure running back and his being on a pass-first Chargers offense. 

This potential versatility in other aspects of the game is what can separate him from Richardson. Considering his evident lack of productivity on the ground, it should be interesting to see if Gordon can improve on his measly 13 receptions so far this season to develop an added dimension to his game, which may be the difference maker in his effectiveness as an NFL player. 

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Here’s Johnny 2.0

When Johnny Manziel was drafted out of Texas A&M, he was in no way shape or form ready to be a starting NFL quarterback, and he showed it through his play last season. Although some persisted that other factors were to blame for his lack of success,

When Johnny Manziel was drafted out of Texas A&M, he was in no way shape or form ready to be a starting NFL quarterback, and he showed it through his play last season. Although some persisted that other factors were to blame for his lack of success, Johnny  Manziel himself knew he had to change on and off the field. He marked the death of “Money Manziel” and the birth of the new and improved Johnny 2.0 by retiring the money sign. This move, although symbolic, suggested that he was now ready to learn how to be an NFL quarterback, while still playing to the strengths that got him there. His preseason success is evident of this, as he’s throw 160 yards and scored two touchdowns in limited playing time. 

The old Johnny’s biggest inhibitor last season was his lack of awareness, an area in which he drastically improved. In week 1 of the preseason he showed that he could adapt to NFL situations in which he would scramble last year. He threw numerous good check down passes and hot routes, which you can see at 0:42 and 0:51. However, he did scramble when appropriate to do so. In these scenarios, Manziel did a good job of keeping his eyes downfield and holding off the compulsion to run, which you can see at 0:13. He also seemed to have a much better understanding of which lanes to run through; as you can see from his 12 yard touchdown run at 0:22. 

His speed and scrambling ability have always been assets that he should take advantage of, but developing vision and awareness are critical when doing so for success at the NFL level. His decision making on the field has improved without a doubt, but so has his decision making off the field. 

Making the bold decision to check into rehab and put an end to his childish antics  shows that the new Johnny is much more mature and is ready to be a starting NFL quarterback. The Browns may give Johnny the opportunity to start this season or they may see fit for him to learn more behind veteran quarterback Josh McCown. Nevertheless, with the amount of work Johnny has put in over the offseason to improve as a person and as a football player, he has shown that he can be the long term solution the Browns hoped he could be. Money Manziel took over college football, and Johnny 2.0 is ready to do the same in the NFL.

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Why You Need To Pick Up Virgil Green In Fantasy Football

Every fantasy season, there are always players that start out as free agents but end the season as very productive players. More often than not, the deepest fantasy teams are made up of "sleepers" like these. One of the most promising sleepers of the upcoming fantasy season is a name you probably have not

Every fantasy season, there are always players that start out as free agents but end the season as very productive players. More often than not, the deepest fantasy teams are made up of “sleepers” like these. One of the most promising sleepers of the upcoming fantasy season is a name you probably have not heard before: Virgil Green

Chances are he will go un-drafted in most fantasy leagues, but I guarantee you do not want to risk not picking him up. After spending four years as the third string tight end for the Denver Broncos, he was recently signed to a three year 8.4 million dollar contract and is ready to expand his role in the Broncos’ offense. Although Owen Daniels is anticipated to be Peyton Manning‘s main tight end target, here is a list of reason why this is likely to change in favor of Green.

1. Versatility

The implementation of Gary Kubiak’s zone running scheme will feed off of Green’s versatility as a blocker and pass catcher. His versatility as a blocker alone (having played fullback for the Broncos last year) opens up numerous opportunities for mismatches that will allow him to take advantage of his tremendous athleticism. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Athleticism

At 6’4″ and 250 pounds, Virgil Green ran the 40 yard dash in 4.64 seconds (0.4 seconds faster than Rob Gronkowski). He was also the top tight end performer in the broad jump and vertical jump at the 2011 NFL combine. He is evidently much more athletic than his counterpart Owen Daniels, which will serve him well in not only taking advantage of mismatches, but also excelling in Peyton Manning’s spread offense. This is not to mention he is five years younger than Owen Daniels and relatively fresh after four years of a light workload. 

3. Peyton Manning

No other quarterback in the NFL elevates the level of play of their supporting cast the way Peyton Manning does. He is known for getting the best out of his players and putting them in the best possible position to succeed. For instance, Peyton was the main contributor to the success Julius Thomas had in Denver. It is almost impossible to ignore the lack of production numerous tight ends have had post-Manning, showing he himself can literally make a player. 

However, in order to thrive under Peyton Manning, who can tremendously increase Green’s production and therefore fantasy value, it is crucial for Green to get on the field as much as possible. His versatility will definitely help him do this in Kubiak’s offense as well as provide him numerous opportunities to prove himself. It is not too far of a stretch to say Green will eventually earn the starting tight end position in Manning’s spread offense if he does not open the season with that job.

The very real possibility of Virgil Green’s emergence is one every fantasy owner should take advantage of. He is likely to go un-drafted and is definitely worth holding on to because he might just surprise you.

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