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NFL Prospect Evaluations - March 5 - Part 1

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Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M, 6-foot, 205 pounds

PROS: Not just fast, but quick in and out of his breaks, too. He runs crisp routes, is a willing blocker, has no issue going over the middle to make tough catches and he also can pull down the difficult ones down the field too.

CONS: Honestly, white wide receiver bias. Hopefully his combine erased those thoughts. Otherwise, there really aren’t any weaknesses to his game. He is a little limited in the red zone though, probably not a true No. 1.

DRAFT BRIEFING: Not early enough. All the first-round talk surrounds someone currently injured (Keenan Allen) and a player with just one year experience among other concerns (Cordarelle Patterson). Swope has the production and the demonstrated skills NFL teams are looking for in a starter. He should be drafted Day 1, but I don’t think he will.

2013 OUTLOOK: In a word, bright. He has the game to translate quickly if given the snaps. I wouldn’t feel comfortable drafting him to start Day 1, but first or second option off the bench? If he’s in a spot where he may start, absolutely.

DYNASTY OUTLOOK: Likely undervalued, I fluctuate my rankings a little bit more than I used to in regards to my talent evaluation against where they are actually drafted, but as long as he is a Top 60 pick he will be in my rookie Top 7. I doubt he will be in others.

Christine Michael, RB, Texas A&M, 5-foot-10, 220 pounds

PROS: Big, strong, especially in his lower body, powerful, runs through tackles, falls forward, fast, and surprisingly quick for someone his size allowing him to minimize intensity of some collisions.

CONS: His running style lends him to being beat up and its shown in his inability to stay on the field in college. He has shown the ability to wiggle in traffic, but he doesn’t do it frequently enough. This must change or he will likely endure similar health issues in the pros.

DRAFT BRIEFING: Many appear to be on the fence about when he will be drafted. I think some team will look at his film, frame, and workouts and tell themselves at the very least he is a good complimentary back and if he can stay on the field he can start. I agree. I expect him drafted in Round 2.

2013 OUTLOOK: If he can make it out of training camp in one piece, I think he will have a meaningful role from Day 1. Not a fantasy starter, but will get attention and could earn a significant role at some point throughout the season. Just the type of player I would look to take a flier on at the end of drafts, especially as a handcuff.

DYNASTY OUTLOOK: If I am rolling the dice on any running back in this class, it is him. He’s outside of the Top 5 talk right now, and I think his ceiling is higher than the popular No. 1 running back, Eddie Lacy. I think there is longevity potential in him whereas I don’t with Knile Davis because he has shown enough elusiveness abilities for me to believe it can translate. Will it? We’ll see, but there is always an element of risk when dealing with running backs. When you’re dealt pocket eights, sometimes you have to push, and I think Michael is a good time to push.

DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson, 6-foot-1, 215 pounds

PROS:
His game is complete. He has consistent hands, runs crisp routes, makes tough catches in traffic, is very fluid in motion, is quick off the line, and has enough speed to separate.

CONS: Like so many in this class, he lacks special qualities to be anything more than a No. 2 starter.

DRAFT BRIEFING: He will be drafted on Day 2. NFL franchises will like him more than fantasy owners.

2013 OUTLOOK: Not one on the radar for August, maybe during the season, more likely 2014. Upside just isn’t high enough.

DYNASTY OUTLOOK: He’s the type I like to pick up in late Round 2 or Round 3. He won’t ever be special, but in a good situation he could be a good starter/first bench option for a long time. There’s value in that.