This Week In Hyperbole: Rex Is Latin For King
This is a weekly article focusing on the hyperbole and (over)reactions to the latest NFL news.
Days since the combine ended: ten
Days since free agency opened: seven
Days until the NFL draft: 42
Days until the first preseason game: 141
Days until Week 1 kickoff: TBD
DION LEWIS AND JAMES WHITE ARE DEAD
Rex Burkhead signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots this week, and he’s now David Johnson, but slightly better.
Rex Burkhead just became an absolute must own. Easy RB1 upside in the NE offense despite the presence Dion Lewis.
— Jeremy Funk (@DLF_Deuce) March 14, 2017
Rex Burkhead: 2017 RB1
— Anthony Amico (@amicsta) March 14, 2017
Just diving into some math… Rex Burkhead lives up to an estimate of 840 yds rushing, 45c for 300yds and 6 TDs he's a PPR RB1 (1/2)
— anthony reimer (@reimeras) March 14, 2017
That napkin math would be 195 fantasy points, which was RB19 last season, but facts are for nerds.
45 catches seems reasonable for a modern Patriots running back, with James White having 60 last season, the second most on the team, and Dion Lewis and LeGarette Blount having another 24 combined. Of course, White had 166 rushing yards, not 800; the season prior in 2015, no RB on the roster had 45 catches nor 800 yards rushing. Before that, in 2014, Shane Vereen had 52 catches but only 391 rushing yards. Jonas Gray‘s 412 rushing yards led the team that season, 201 of which came in one game against the Colts.
Blount was RB9 last season and needed 18 rushing touchdowns to get there, the most since Adrian Peterson in 2009. That seems kind of conservative for Burkhead though, who has three rushing TDs combined in his four-year career, so I’m penciling in 20 for him next season.
As RB39, RB40, and RB43 in 2015, Blount, White, and Lewis all had between 122.2 and 122.6 fantasy points. In 2014, Vereen was RB20.
But that’s okay, Burkhead is basically a mad scientist’s eugenics thesis, combining the athleticism and pass catching of Lewis, White, and Vereen, with the rushing ability, size, and scoring production of Blount.
See, Blount is 6 foot 1 inches tall and weighed 241 pounds at the combine in 2010, was listed last season at 250 pounds, and ran a 4.59 40-yard-dash and 6.85 three-cone. Burkhead is 5 foot 10 inches tall, weighed 214 pounds at the combine in 2013, and ran a 4.73 40-yard-dash and similar 6.85 three-cone. See? Basically the same exact person.
But that receiving prowess is the real money maker, which is why he has 34 combined catches in a four-year career. It makes the 100 catches White has had in the last two seasons combined look truly pedestrian.
He’s also going to make WAY more money than Lewis or White this season, and it’s obvious the Patriots wouldn’t commit such a large portion of their $167 million salary cap to an intended backup.
At $3.15 million, Rex Burkhead's 2017 cap hit is more than Dion Lewis and James White combined ($2,276,772)
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) March 15, 2017
If you don’t see how people are projecting
Woodh Burkhead to be a top-12 RB next year, you need to stop being such an idiot/hater. He had 27 attempts, 119 rushing yards, and two TDs in a Week 17 spot start for an already-eliminated Bengals team against an already-eliminated Ravens team. That’s way more important than the fact his entire career, including that game, is 87 rushes, 375 rushing yards, and three TDs.
I’d trade Dynasty rookie pick 1.01 for a guy we know is a lock to be a top-12 back next season in Burkhead, and avoid carrying Leonard Fournette, who could end up on a really shitty offense instead of one like the Patriots.
In MFL10s, Burkhead is my RB4 right now. With Le’veon Bell‘s groin surgery, David Johnson recovering from a knee injury, and Ezekiel Elliott being some kind of leprechaun Bill Cosby on St. Patrick’s Day (which fell on March 11th this year), I could see Burkhead moving as high as No. 1 overall in my ranks over the next week or two.
THOMAS RAWLS NEVER EVEN LIVED
Eddie Lacy signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks and immediately becomes a younger, much better Marshawn Lynch … which makes Thomas Rawls such a distant afterthought; he might as well have never existed.
Any Seahawk fan who compares Eddie Lacy to Marshawn Lynch is out their Damn mind. Only similarity is they both black and play Running back.
— Handsome As Fuck (@MrBurks206) March 15, 2017
Whoa, whoa, whoa, let’s dial back the rage, Mr. Handsome As Fuck. It’s not like people are saying Lacy will be Marsh… oh.
Eddie Lacy could have Marshawn Lynch-like revival of career https://t.co/DqKNvptR4S
— Field Gulls (@FieldGulls) March 15, 2017
— SI NFL (@si_nfl) March 15, 2017
"There's a lot of similarities…But [Lacy] also has good feet too." -Pete Carroll comparing Eddie Lacy to Marshawn Lynch.
— Sports Radio KJR (@SportsRadioKJR) March 14, 2017
#Seahawks drafted three backs to replace Marshawn Lynch last year, none a more natural fit than Eddie Lacy.
— Arthur Arkush (@ArthurArkush) March 14, 2017
If the Seahawks can't have Marshawn Lynch, I guess Eddie Lacy is one of the next best things. pic.twitter.com/dp7OAtmcgt
— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) March 14, 2017
I mean, it makes sense.
Basically, any highly-drafted RB with dreadlocks that has a good beginning to his career, then fell of a cliff in production, just needs to go to Seattle to become the best RB in football.
It’s the same way you don’t need QB at the top of the draft because Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round, and it’s meaningless if a wide receiver isn’t tall because Antonio Brown exists.
Lacy had 1,118 rushing yards in the last two seasons combined, on the offense that scored the fourth-most points and had the eighth-most yards league wide last season. Projecting him to go back to the 1,139 or 1,178 yards he had in the two seasons prior is obvious, especially when Seattle’s offense was 18th in points and 12th in yards last season.
That Green Bay reported he weighed 267 pounds when he worked out for the team last week is meaningless. If anything, its a good sign: if Seattle liked the way he looked at that weight, imagine how good he will be when he gets back down to the 234 he weighed his rookie season. Losing weight is so easy, that’s why there were reports each of the last two years about how frustrated the Packers were at his inability to lose it.
Clearly the Seahawks aren’t worried about it either, which is why his contract is structured in a way that heavily incentivizes him to lose weight and stay healthy or not get paid.
In Lynch’s first full season in Seattle, he had 285 rushes, 1,204 rushing yards, and 12 rushing touchdowns, the best of his career to that point. I’m projecting Lacy to have 120 percent of all of those numbers, which feels conservative, but he’s obviously no Burkhead.
DALVIN COOK WAS THE NEXT BARRY SANDERS, IS NOW A LESS ATHLETIC PAULA DEEN
Dalvin Cook tested very poorly at the combine, and despite being a lock for the Hall of Fame prior to the event, is now undraftable.
Dalvin Cook (3 Years) 4319 yards, 6.5 avg, 45 TDs, From Scrimmage: 5192
Barry Sanders (3 Years) 3797 yards, 5.9 avg, 48 TDs, Scrimmage 3720
— Chris Martin Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) December 11, 2016
Barry Sanders highlights kind of make me think of Dalvin Cook. Both avoid contact so well.
— Trey Lee (@T_Lee3) December 4, 2016
Dalvin Cook's SPARQ score is in the 9th percentile of NFL RBs. That's ummm … yeah, not good. H/T @zjwhitman
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) March 7, 2017
From 1999-2016, no RB who tested out below the 10th percentile has been drafted in the first round.
— Zach Whitman (@zjwhitman) March 4, 2017
Since 1999, only 2 RBs drafted in the first round have had a #RAS below 5.00. 26 measured above 5.00. Dalvin Cook presently a 2.31.
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 5, 2017
Dalvin Cook will be RB4 on my new big board next week. https://t.co/ka74HiUOxl
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 3, 2017
I mean, look at these bums that the computer agnostically and objectively compared to Cook after the combine. None of them ever had a decent NFL season, all hype and flash, no effort or production.
— Fantasy Douche (@FantasyDouche) March 8, 2017
I don’t care where he gets drafted, I wouldn’t draft Cook to my worst enemy’s team. The guy is clearly a loser.
LATAVIUS MURRAY SHOULD JUST RETIRE
After Lacy got signed by Seattle, Latavius Murray has been signed by the Minnesota Vikings, and people are speculating about the absolute disaster that will be.
Yeah Latavius would be awful behind the line lol he can't break tackles https://t.co/cdmGQjHEm8
— IG: OT50YL (@OT50YL) March 12, 2017
I don't trust Latavius Murray. 4.0 yards per behind THAT line? Nah buddy
— Isdamid Seylin (@sideeyespecial) March 12, 2017
Running back who lacks wiggle behind offensive line which creates little room. What a perfect confluence of talents.https://t.co/o9pO0e3Qor
— Rob Willette (@RobWillette24) March 14, 2017
Difficult to imagine a worse fit for Latavius Murray's skill set than the #Vikings and their horrible offensive line.
— Evan Silva (@evansilva) March 16, 2017
Clearly Murray sucks; there’s no arguing that.
His RB13 finish last year, despite playing only 14 games, was obviously because the Raiders dramatically improved their offensive line from 2015, when Murray was the RB10. The only other RBs to post back-to-back top-13 seasons the last two years are D. Johnson, Devonta Freeman, and Mark Ingram, who all also obviously suck.
Murray has averaged over 900 rushing yards and nine rushing TDs the last two seasons, his second and third in the league.1 Jerick McKinnon is obviously the better choice to play RB, as evidenced by his never having more than 540 rushing yards, or two rushing TDs, in any of his three seasons.
That’s why the team gave superstar Matt Asiata goalline touches over him, and why Asiata had the same yards-per-carry and significantly more yards-per-reception. Asiata had an abysmal 134.5 fantasy points last year, dwarfed by McKinnon’s astounding and unmatchable 146.4, and there’s no way Murray is a better option for this team at the position.
PATRICK MAHOMES IS DEFINITELY AARON RODGERS. OR JOHNNY MANZIEL.
Definitely an Aaron Rodgers vibe in Mahomes. pic.twitter.com/V8GkBcPdCa
— Kyle Morgan (@NoHuddleScouts) January 25, 2017
Listen, Pat Mahomes will be the next Aaron Rodgers. Book it. #DBAP Texans
— BK (@bkisfromtx_) February 13, 2017
alright lets get to the real news now.
pat mahomes will be a modern day aaron rodgers.
— BK (@bvks_) January 28, 2017
BTW, no one thought Aaron Rodgers would be Aaron Rodgers like he is today. Could be the same for Mahomes. Most potential in the QB class. https://t.co/MYVydnjVEh
— Turner Maney (@turnermaney) March 14, 2017
This QB draft reminds me of 2014 a bit… Bortles & Kizer Carr & Trubisky Bridgewater & Watson … Manziel & Mahomes. Think about it !
— Voice of Reason 😂 (@PapaKelch) March 5, 2017
TT QB Mahomes has a big arm + mobility.But a has lot of Manziel all-or-nothing mindset. Passes easy 7-10 yd gimmies for scramble/deep shots
— Todd McShay (@McShay13) March 4, 2017
Mahomes right now is Manziel but he does have the arm talent + intelligence to be more. does he have the desire to be
— Tunnicliff #FinsUp 🐬 (@PhinsDisciple) March 11, 2017
Mahomes – I don't see anything that says NFL QB with him. Nothing at all. He looks like a thicker Manziel. Can't see him leading a franchise
— Lee Hudnell (@LeeHudnell) March 10, 2017
The thing about prospects is they have to be a direct clone of a current or former NFL player. And not a clone of that player when they were a prospect, but a clone at whatever age they are now.
It doesn’t matter that Manziel was drafted higher than Rodgers and was considered a better prospect. What matters is that Rodgers is the best QB in the league now, so if Mahomes is good, he is exactly like Rodgers in every way. What matters is that Manziel is out of football, only partially because of football things, and if Mahomes is bad, he will fail exactly like Manziel did.
Again, it doesn’t matter what Manziel was coming out of college, he’s the worst QB to ever be drafted because of what happened afterward, both on and off the field.
You got all that?
Good. Now fire off those taeks, and if they’re smart enough, maybe I’ll see you in this column next week.
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- Not counting the 2013 season he spent on IR. (back)