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MichaelWeston

Thoughts: Trading Back, Burkhead, Drafting a TE

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Sorry for the multiple topics, don't feel like making 3 posts

1. Looks like lots of interest in Tribusky and Mahones.

Bills very interested in Tribusky, Browns rumored as well.
Browns, Cards and Texans very interested in Mahones. 

If they are not gone at 9 it will make a lot of sense to trade down. We won't have to drop far if it's Cards, Browns or Bills.

2. Pats look to sign Gilislee, which might make Burkhead the perfect guy to replace Hill next year. 

3. I know that people have an interest in Howard but that seems pretty illogical overall. You want your first round pick to be a player that you can give 5 years and who you may want to give a long term contract to. TE is quickly becoming a position where everybody is hurt. All the top TEs have had serious injuries. An early investment at TE (and RB for the same reason) doesn't make a ton of sense. 

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1) You can hope. The fact that the Browns have the #1 pick and a desperate need at QB but aren't willing to take the most valuable position on the field first should tell you something. Any of those teams could be spreading misinfo to drive down the cost of a potential trade for Garropollo or AJ "Way Better Than Dalton" McCarron, trying to psyche another team... There's tons of ways rumors get started.

2) Burkehead replacing Hill as our starting back? No one is even thinking that. In any universe. On any team. Even the team that did sign him was looking for a real starting back.

3) TE is also a position where salaries have been going up because of it's importance to the modern NFL passing offense. The rest of that is written with such hyperbole... Umm, sure, EVERYONE who plays TE is injured. (So we don't have to debate who is the "Top"...) Same for RB. I'm against taking any skill positions until Round 6 at the earliest. Healthiest position: Punter. For that reason, we should take a punter with the #9 pick. 

You're working anecdotally from Eifert. A guy who was so great we had to sacrifice 2017 on the altar of what it will cost to re-sign him just a month ago. Dude has missed almost half of his NFL games, and has ~1,400 career yards.

An "always injured" Gronk has averaged almost 1,000 yards a season an in 6 NFL seasons has ~20 more TD's than AJ green. Gronk has missed 16 games in 6 seasons. Green has missed 9.

So, is WR also too injury plagued to invest early in?

Jason Witten in Dallas has missed one game in 13 years.

OJ Howard is not Tyler Eifert. He's also not Rob Gronkowski or Jason Whitten. Don't lay their trips at his feet.

In fact, I would go exactly the opposite route and say that Eifert's injury history makes him too unreliable. Hence the need for a top TE. And from a "predicting the draft" standpoint... The Bengals have picked how many TE's in the first round in the last decade? I don't think they share your perspective on value for the position.

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Gronk has missed the playoffs 4 times in the past 6 years I believe. He's definitely had some serious injuries and a long history of injuries. He's in double digits for surgeries and has rarely made it through a season where he wasn't hobbled or on IR at the end. 

I have seen some stat breakdowns from a fantasy football perspective of how many games on average the top 12 guys taken at each position in fantasy drafts played each year. For TEs, it's around 12 games on average. RBs about 13. WRs 14+ and QBs almost 15. Or put differently, the top WRs have missed about 2 games per year while the TEs have missed about 4 per.

I wouldn't dismiss the injury thing with TEs so easily. It's a real problem and makes sense. Most of their pass routes come over the middle of the field where they are vulnerable to hits from Safeties. And they're regularly asked to block powerful D Linemen who usually are bigger than them. It's a tough way to make a living. 

 

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19 minutes ago, happyrid said:

Gronk has missed the playoffs 4 times in the past 6 years I believe. He's definitely had some serious injuries and a long history of injuries. He's in double digits for surgeries and has rarely made it through a season where he wasn't hobbled or on IR at the end. 

I have seen some stat breakdowns from a fantasy football perspective of how many games on average the top 12 guys taken at each position in fantasy drafts played each year. For TEs, it's around 12 games on average. RBs about 13. WRs 14+ and QBs almost 15. Or put differently, the top WRs have missed about 2 games per year while the TEs have missed about 4 per.

I wouldn't dismiss the injury thing with TEs so easily. It's a real problem and makes sense. Most of their pass routes come over the middle of the field where they are vulnerable to hits from Safeties. And they're regularly asked to block powerful D Linemen who usually are bigger than them. It's a tough way to make a living. 

 

So if Gronk and his 6,000 career yards and 65 TD's was in the draft this year, you wouldn't take him at #9?

All open field positions suffer more injuries on the whole. CB's WR's, etc... I don't know if the data was only looking at one year or what. The best link I could find showed that in 2013, TE lost fewer games than WR or RB.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2014/2013-adjusted-games-lost

So, what do we do? Draft O-Line and D-Line only in the first round?

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This board is really the only place I see the "all the good TEs are always injured" thing consistently, so maybe someone just made it up one day and people decided it sounded good enough to roll with?

Even if ALL the good TEs are always injured, what should we do, only sign shitty TEs so it won't matter when they inevitably get hurt? Try as hard as possible to only employ mediocre TEs because average TEs don't get hurt? I'm honestly not sure why we would avoid a good player at any position unless that specific player has red flags, not random players already in the NFL that have absolutely nothing to do with them.

How can someone say it's "illogical" to take a TE? Hell, I'm no genius, but I'm pretty sure "don't draft a TE high because all the good ones are always injured" is illogical as all fuck.

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All of the Howard talk may be for naught anyway. We haven't visited with the guy.

http://www.nfl.com/labs/rr/pathtothedraft/howard

My one big thing is this: Howard is a hell of a blocker. If you have a weak ass O-Line and no good prospects at #9, the best way to shore up both the running and the passing game is OJ Howard.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000793010/article/book-on-oj-howard-most-complete-te-prospect-in-10-years

 

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12 minutes ago, LostInDaJungle said:

All of the Howard talk may be for naught anyway. We haven't visited with the guy.

http://www.nfl.com/labs/rr/pathtothedraft/howard

My one big thing is this: Howard is a hell of a blocker. If you have a weak ass O-Line and no good prospects at #9, the best way to shore up both the running and the passing game is OJ Howard.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000793010/article/book-on-oj-howard-most-complete-te-prospect-in-10-years

 

Agree with your points on Howard, but let me ask a question regarding the bold..

Wasn't our last draft pick taken in the 1st round without a visit a TE?

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9 hours ago, LostInDaJungle said:

So if Gronk and his 6,000 career yards and 65 TD's was in the draft this year, you wouldn't take him at #9?

All open field positions suffer more injuries on the whole. CB's WR's, etc... I don't know if the data was only looking at one year or what. The best link I could find showed that in 2013, TE lost fewer games than WR or RB.

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stat-analysis/2014/2013-adjusted-games-lost

So, what do we do? Draft O-Line and D-Line only in the first round?

 

Gronk's the best TE ever IMO. If you could guarantee me that any player in this draft is going to be the best ever to play his position, I would take him regardless of what position he played (except special teams). That doesn't change the fact that Gronk's had a very, very hard time making it through a full season healthy. 

The injury thing is only a very small part of why I'm not in favor of drafting Howard. Here's the other reasons:

1. He wasn't very productive as a receiver at Bama. He has a handful of big highlight plays where he is wide open and gets to show off his speed in the open field. But he very rarely made contested catches, which is where NFL TEs have to make their living. He ended his 4-year career with a grand total of 7 TD catches. 

2. Tight end's very rarely make much of an impact as rookies. It's usually year 2 or 3 that they finally get up to speed. You only have a top-10 pick under a cheap contract for 4 years (the 5th year option is expensive), so by the time your TE is actually getting good, he's ready for a big contract or potentially to leave the team. We need somebody who will make more of an immediate impact and history shows that TEs usually aren't those guys. 

3. We have the money to keep Eifert. Part of the reason we let Whitworth walk instead of giving him $15M for one season was to keep Vontaze and Eifert. So I don't buy the Howard as Eifert replacement talk. 

4. Going back to the injury thing, Eifert's issues aren't that far out of the norm for the position. So when I see people who just want to throw Eifert on the trash heap due to injuries, that's where the TE injury thing comes into play. The 5 best TEs in the game today (Eifert, Gronk, Reed, Graham and Kelce) have each had some major injuries. 

5. The two TE set wouldn't be the best use of our personnel. We just spent a 2nd round pick on a slot receiver. That makes sense for a team like us that is in 3 or 4 WR sets 75% of the time. But if you switch to a two TE offense all the time, it's tough to get Boyd on the field.

6. I also think defenses have kind of caught up to the 2 TE set by putting more emphasis on drafting coverage Safeties. It's not as big of an advantage as it was 7 years ago when the Pats first did it. New England just won a Super Bowl and scored a shit ton of points in the playoffs without throwing to their TEs hardly at all. 

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11 hours ago, LostInDaJungle said:

1) You can hope. The fact that the Browns have the #1 pick and a desperate need at QB but aren't willing to take the most valuable position on the field first should tell you something. Any of those teams could be spreading misinfo to drive down the cost of a potential trade for Garropollo or AJ "Way Better Than Dalton" McCarron, trying to psyche another team... There's tons of ways rumors get started.

2) Burkehead replacing Hill as our starting back? No one is even thinking that. In any universe. On any team. Even the team that did sign him was looking for a real starting back.

3) TE is also a position where salaries have been going up because of it's importance to the modern NFL passing offense. The rest of that is written with such hyperbole... Umm, sure, EVERYONE who plays TE is injured. (So we don't have to debate who is the "Top"...) Same for RB. I'm against taking any skill positions until Round 6 at the earliest. Healthiest position: Punter. For that reason, we should take a punter with the #9 pick. 

You're working anecdotally from Eifert. A guy who was so great we had to sacrifice 2017 on the altar of what it will cost to re-sign him just a month ago. Dude has missed almost half of his NFL games, and has ~1,400 career yards.

An "always injured" Gronk has averaged almost 1,000 yards a season an in 6 NFL seasons has ~20 more TD's than AJ green. Gronk has missed 16 games in 6 seasons. Green has missed 9.

So, is WR also too injury plagued to invest early in?

Jason Witten in Dallas has missed one game in 13 years.

OJ Howard is not Tyler Eifert. He's also not Rob Gronkowski or Jason Whitten. Don't lay their trips at his feet.

In fact, I would go exactly the opposite route and say that Eifert's injury history makes him too unreliable. Hence the need for a top TE. And from a "predicting the draft" standpoint... The Bengals have picked how many TE's in the first round in the last decade? I don't think they share your perspective on value for the position.

2) I don't really view Hill's role as being starting RB but I see what you mean. Maybe role and roster spot for this year. I expect that Bernard and whichever rookie we draft will have most of the carries at the end of the year. 

3) i am having trouble following your argument. But it is pretty clear that TE's, and top TE's get hurt at a level much higher than nearly every position but RB. 

Here is a list of TE rankings https://www.profootballfocus.com/fantasy-football-te-rankings/

If you can't pay Eifert because of injuries, and most top TE's have a similar history, it can certainly be logically inferred that the position and the way it taxes the body may help lead to the injuries. Because of that any TE will have similar injuries. Drafting one early to get injured doesn't make a ton of sense when you do a cost benefit analysis of the players you are passing on. 

This is just a thought. It literally says thoughts in the header. Doesn't mean you can't disagree but it's certainly not overly hyperbolic to say Gronk, Reed, Graham and Eifert have injury histories. 

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http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/2017-nfl-draft-one-top-evaluator-ranks-the-21-best-players-on-talent-alone/

OJ Howard is on their list of 7 top-tier blue chip players. So, ummm, yeah. 

TE isn't important enough to draft at #9, but it's worth paying $10M+ to a guy who has missed half his games and has 1,400 career yards?

To paraphrase - "Not drafting a TE due to injury concerns because you plan on re-signing the guy who has been injured for most of his career seems illogical as fuck."

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11 hours ago, LostInDaJungle said:

So, what do we do? Draft O-Line and D-Line only in the first round?

If you have a QB, until you get an O line and D line you are comfortable with I think that makes a ton of sense. 

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4 hours ago, omgdrdoom said:

This board is really the only place I see the "all the good TEs are always injured" thing consistently, so maybe someone just made it up one day and people decided it sounded good enough to roll with?

Even if ALL the good TEs are always injured, what should we do, only sign shitty TEs so it won't matter when they inevitably get hurt? Try as hard as possible to only employ mediocre TEs because average TEs don't get hurt? I'm honestly not sure why we would avoid a good player at any position unless that specific player has red flags, not random players already in the NFL that have absolutely nothing to do with them.

How can someone say it's "illogical" to take a TE? Hell, I'm no genius, but I'm pretty sure "don't draft a TE high because all the good ones are always injured" is illogical as all fuck.

a) It's pretty clear they get injured more often. 

b) What you should do is not draft the position early and sacrifice other positions that have been shown to remain healthier longer. It's pretty simple. 

c) I explained to you why it's illogical to take a TE. They get hurt more often and you want your first round pick to reach the 5th year and the second contract. 

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3 hours ago, LostInDaJungle said:

All of the Howard talk may be for naught anyway. We haven't visited with the guy.

http://www.nfl.com/labs/rr/pathtothedraft/howard

My one big thing is this: Howard is a hell of a blocker. If you have a weak ass O-Line and no good prospects at #9, the best way to shore up both the running and the passing game is OJ Howard.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000793010/article/book-on-oj-howard-most-complete-te-prospect-in-10-years

 

That makes tons of sense. 

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2 minutes ago, MichaelWeston said:

2) I don't really view Hill's role as being starting RB but I see what you mean. Maybe role and roster spot for this year. I expect that Bernard and whichever rookie we draft will have most of the carries at the end of the year. 

3) i am having trouble following your argument. But it is pretty clear that TE's, and top TE's get hurt at a level much higher than nearly every position but RB. 

Here is a list of TE rankings https://www.profootballfocus.com/fantasy-football-te-rankings/

If you can't pay Eifert because of injuries, and most top TE's have a similar history, it can certainly be logically inferred that the position and the way it taxes the body may help lead to the injuries. Because of that any TE will have similar injuries. Drafting one early to get injured doesn't make a ton of sense when you do a cost benefit analysis of the players you are passing on. 

This is just a thought. It literally says thoughts in the header. Doesn't mean you can't disagree but it's certainly not overly hyperbolic to say Gronk, Reed, Graham and Eifert have injury histories. 

3 of the top 5 guys played all 16 games last year. Olsen has not missed a game since his Rookie year. Kelce has not missed a game due to injury since his Rookie year. Graham has missed 7 games in 7 years. 

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I have been thinking a lot about the cost and benefits of taking players in certain rounds. At some point with every position you have to do a salary and injury cost benefit analysis. 

It doesn't make a ton of sense to draft a RB early or an ILB early because the difference between what you pay a rookie and what you pay a veteran isn't as much as other positions. It makes some sense to take a RB because they get injured and often don't make a second contract, however those injuries also lead to almost everyone having some sort of committee. 

TE is a position that I agree is growing in importance but I think drafting a guy who is likely to get injured to replace a guy because he got injured is falling into a trap of some sort. We are giving up on positions that we can fill more long term. 

IMO QB-CB-DE-T should always be what you look at in round 1. When those are settled you move on. I don't think that's too novel of an opinion either. Then you might take a WR who is a difference maker or a S or DT. Finally LB, RB and TE for the the aforementioned reasons. 

Part of it comes down to salary cap and spending. 

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7 minutes ago, LostInDaJungle said:

3 of the top 5 guys played all 16 games last year. Olsen has not missed a game since his Rookie year. Kelce has not missed a game due to injury since his Rookie year. Graham has missed 7 games in 7 years. 

You don't think Graham has an injury history?

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8 minutes ago, MichaelWeston said:

IMO QB-CB-DE-T should always be what you look at in round 1. When those are settled you move on. I don't think that's too novel of an opinion either. Then you might take a WR who is a difference maker or a S or DT. Finally LB, RB and TE for the the aforementioned reasons. 

Lol?

The last 3 first round CBs, our backup QB, and the last few tackles we've drafted have all had "injury issues".

Is this some kind of joke? I'm honestly not sure if you're being serious at this point.

 

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"Sometimes good TEs get injured so it's illogical to take a TE with a high draft pick" is probably the most illogical thing I've read in a long time.

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12 hours ago, happyrid said:

I have seen some stat breakdowns from a fantasy football perspective of how many games on average the top 12 guys taken at each position in fantasy drafts played each year. For TEs, it's around 12 games on average.

Cool, let's do math.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/fantasy-football-te-rankings/

Top 12 # of games: 8 12 16 16 16 8 15 14 15 13 15 16 = 13.66 avg

Take Eifert out, and the average jumps to 14.18 games.

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Maybe we could take OJ Howard and hope he's just a decent to good TE and not a great one so he won't be injured.

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6 minutes ago, omgdrdoom said:

Maybe we could take OJ Howard and hope he's just a decent to good TE and not a great one so he won't be injured.

Gresham started all 16 games last year... Jus' sayin'.

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2 hours ago, LostInDaJungle said:

You tell me.... http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/stats/_/id/13232/jimmy-graham

He's been healthier than AJ Green... Should we take WR off the board?

http://www.espn.com/nfl/player/stats/_/id/13983/aj-green

Jimmy Graham is literally on another team because they thought he was done and traded him due to injury. 

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1 hour ago, LostInDaJungle said:

Cool, let's do math.

https://www.profootballfocus.com/fantasy-football-te-rankings/

Top 12 # of games: 8 12 16 16 16 8 15 14 15 13 15 16 = 13.66 avg

Take Eifert out, and the average jumps to 14.18 games.

1. The study was over a number of years, not just one. If the average in the study was 12, then there were probably some years where the number was 10 and some where it was 14, etc. 

2. We haven't had the 2017 season yet, so 2017 rankings are irrelevant for now. Would be interesting to see what those numbers look like after the season though. 

3. The 2016 TE rankings had Gronk, Eifert, Antonio Gates, Dwayne Allen, Julius Thomas and Ladarius Green all highly ranked. Some of those guys are not ranked highly now because they missed part or most of the 2016 season. I don't have time to do the math on what the number ends up being and it depends upon when you take the ADP from because some of them got injured during preseason.

 

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2 hours ago, omgdrdoom said:

Lol?

The last 3 first round CBs, our backup QB, and the last few tackles we've drafted have all had "injury issues".

Is this some kind of joke? I'm honestly not sure if you're being serious at this point.

 

That has more to do with the difference between salary of veterans and the scarcity of starters than injury. 

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