Recapping a wild day in the BJP League

What started off as an unassuming Mother’s Day quickly turned into one of the busiest days ever in the history of the BJP Dynasty League. A record 7 trades were pulled off in a span of 2 hours on May 10, 2020, varying from low-stakes flyers taken on young players to trades involving stars and first round rookie draft picks. I’ll run through all 7 trades in the order that they happened and give who I think won the trade. #ThisLeague

Trade 1

Dolan receives: WR Brandin Cooks, TE Dawson Knox

Danner receives: WR AJ Green

11 Ways Brandin Cooks Trains to Bring Blazing Speed to the NFL

The first trade of the day involved myself, and it was an offer I was happy to accept from Danner. New Texans WR Brandin Cooks is a player I have been a fan of for a long time. He’s one of the fastest players in the league, has finished as a top 15 WR in fantasy for 4 out of the past 5 years, and looks to be Deshaun Watson’s new top target with DeAndre Hopkins heading down to the toaster in Arizona. The knock on Cooks is concussion issues, which caused him to be very limited in 2019. Still, due to Cooks being 26 and Green being 31, I decided it was the right time for me to part with Green, despite him never even recording a catch as a member of my roster. Green spent a lot of years as one of the best receivers in the NFL, but injuries and age have slowed him down recently. Add in Dawson Knox, who is an old-school, hard-to-tackle tight end coming off a surprisingly solid rookie season, and this trade seems like a win for me. This turned out to be the first of many moves for Danner, though.

Winner: Dolan (I promise I’m not being biased)

Trade 2

Leigh receives: RB Adrian Peterson

Tommy receives: 2020 3rd Round Pick (Round 3, Pick 11)

Now with Redskins, Adrian Peterson ready to face Packers again ...

This move was nothing more than a depth move for Leigh, who is looking to bolster his bench more after having one of the best starting lineups in the league in 2019. Peterson is one of the best RBs of all time, and his longevity is incredible, but he’s not much of a fantasy asset at age 35. All Day is still a solid runner these days, posting 898 rushing yards last season, but is allergic to catching balls out of the backfield. AP could also see a significant drop in carries with young backs Derrius Guice and Bryce Love returning to full health for the Redskins. This is a fine move for both teams, but I’ll give the edge to Tommy just because he’ll be getting a young player in the rookie draft. Round 3, pick 11 is one of the last picks in the draft, but guys like Jalen Hurts, Jordan Love, Cole Kmet, Donovan Peoples-Jones and more could very well still be on the board by that pick.

Winner: Tommy

Trade 3

Bentley receives: TE Chris Herndon, 2021 3rd Round Pick

Sark receives: 2021 2nd Round Pick

Chris Herndon | Booking Agent | Talent Roster | MN2S

Another low-key trade, defending league champion Bentley took a flyer on the young Herndon, a tight end entering his 3rd year that was limited to only 18 snaps in 2019 due to injury. Herndon has ideal size and athleticism for a tight end, but he has struggled to stay on the field so far in his career, and the Jets aren’t exactly a dynamic passing offense. Sark got a good return in a future 2nd round pick, a round where potentially valuable players like Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, Brandon Aiyuk and more are projected to go this year. Bentley must see something he likes in Herndon, and with him being league champion I won’t question his evaluation, but to me, Herndon isn’t worth a 2nd rounder.

Winner: Sark

Trade 4

Danner receives: 2020 1st Round Pick (Round 1, Pick 4)

Daigle receives: WR AJ Green, 2020 2nd Round Pick (Round 2, Pick 11), 2022 2nd Round Pick, 2022 3rd Round Pick

Market Order: The Dynasty Value of A.J. Green – QB List

In one of the more lopsided trades in BJP League history, Daigle used the 4th overall pick, a potentially franchise changing pick for his struggling team, on 31-year-old AJ Green. Daigle either knows something we don’t or thinks that it’s 2014. The best asset for a player to have in dynasty is age, and no 31-year-old player will ever be worth a 1st round pick. If Daigle had acquired Danner’s 1st rounder in the trade too it would be somewhat defensible, but he didn’t. This one definitely caused some uproar around the league. Daigle will now have to improve his team without having a draft pick until round 2, pick 11.

Winner (by a landslide): Danner

Trade 5

Trevor receives: TE Noah Fant

Danner receives: 2020 2nd Round Pick (Round 2, Pick 10)

Noah Fant: 'It all just started to click for the offense' - Mile ...

Trader Danner was out in full force today, and Trevor took advantage of it with this trade. Having the best record in the regular season last year at 10-3 before flopping in the playoffs (much like I did), Trevor 2G looked to find a starting tight end, by far the biggest position of need on his roster. Fant is the ideal guy to acquire in a dynasty league. Running a 4.50 40-yard dash, Fant is one of the most explosive tight ends in the league and is a big play threat at only age 22. He didn’t play all that much as a rookie, but he flashed his prowess with a rumbling 75-yard catch-and-run touchdown in Week 9. Fant almost certainly would have gone higher than round 2, pick 10 in rookie drafts last year, so I like this move for 2G.

Winner: Trevor

Trade 6

Danner receives: WR Davante Adams, 2021 3rd Round Pick

Hutton receives: 2020 1st Round Pick (Round 1, Pick 4), 2020 2nd Round Pick (Round 2, Pick 10)

Look: Packers' Davante Adams Tells Critics of 1st-Down Call to ...

In the biggest blockbuster of the day, Danner began a serious revenge tour after losing most of his talented squad to injury last year. Adams isn’t my favorite of the top WRs skillset wise, but he has churned out a role as Aaron Rodgers’ go-to guy for the past few seasons and his production is hard to argue with when he’s on the field. Adams spent some time out with injury last year, which is maybe why Hutton was more eager to give him away. Hutton has been more of a seller this offseason despite making the playoffs last year, and now owns 5 picks in this year’s rookie draft. This move makes Danner one of the most dangerous teams in the league, as Adams is a solid bet to finish the season as a top 5 WR in fantasy whether you’re a fan of him or not.

Winner: Danner

Trade 7

Hutton receives: 2020 1st Round Pick (Round 1, Pick 3)

Abby receives: 2020 1st Round Pick (Round 1, Pick 4), 2020 2nd Round Pick (Round 2, Pick 7)

New Lions RB D’Andre Swift is expected to be one of the top players available at pick 3 in the rookie draft.

Hutton pulled a Ryan Pace and traded up one spot in this year’s rookie draft. Both Hutton and Abby have amassed massive draft capital, with Abby even recently trading Todd Gurley for the 2nd overall pick in one of the biggest trades of the year. The only explanation here is that Hutton is in love with one particular rookie and can’t fathom the thought of them ending up on someone else’s team. Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Jonathan Taylor are my best bets for picks 1 and 2, so unless Hutton is focused on one of those two, he should be able to get his guy at 3. Still, I see this as a great move for Abby as she gained a solid mid-2nd round pick while only moving back one spot in the first.

Winner: Abby

The BJP League has had a busy offseason period filled with free agency pickups and trades that will play a huge factor in the standings when the season starts in the fall. Here’s to many more trades!


The Last Crusade: Final 2020 Mock Draft

Much like last year, after spending probably too much time doing mock draft simulations, I am confident enough in putting my final mock draft out to the public… on the day of the draft. Time crunches bring out my best work. After being a mere one selection off in a staggering eight of my picks last year, I bring you my predictions on how NFL GMs will pick in one of the most anticipated drafts we’ve ever seen. Before we start, I named this The Last Crusade because I’ve spent quarantine rewatching Indiana Jones movies. You should, too.

Moment of silence for Draft Island. May we all pray we get to see this beauty in person next year.


1. Cincinnati Bengals

The Pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Never have we seen a player’s stock skyrocket quite like Joe Burrow. After a solid but unspectacular junior year, Joe Burrow looked like he was a video game character this season en route to a 15-0 record and a National Championship. Burrow has the ideal size, pocket mobility, mechanics, and accuracy for a QB, but he does turn 24 this year and doesn’t quite have the velocity on his throws that we’ve seen from top QB prospects in the past. Still, Burrow is the safest bet for a QB-needy Bengals team, and you’d be overthinking it to pass on him after the historic season he just had.

2. Washington Redskins

The Pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

The Redskins will gladly take Young, the best overall player in this class, at 2 despite it not necessarily being a position of need. Young is too rare a talent to pass up on. He can do it all as a defensive end: rush from a 2-point stance, 3-point stance, rush with speed, rush with power, and rush with technique, and his game-changing play ability (7 forced fumbles in 2019) should see him make an immediate impact in the NFL, much like fellow Buckeye and number 2 overall pick Nick Bosa.

3. Detroit Lions

The Pick: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, OSU

I personally would love to see the Lions take Isaiah Simmons here, a defensive chess piece unlike anything we’ve ever seen, but with the “one year ultimatum” given to the Quinn-Patricia regime by Martha Firestone Ford, I think the Lions will replace Darius Slay with one of the safest players in the draft. Okudah doesn’t have the raw athleticism of a recent OSU CB prospect like Marshon Lattimore, but he has some of the most flawless footwork I’ve ever seen out of a corner prospect, excels in man coverage, which the Lions run, and is aggressive and effective as a tackler. At 6’1″, Okudah has the physicality and the technique to become a shutdown corner in the NFL. At the very least, he projects as a starter for the next decade.

4. New York Giants

The Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Giants GM Dave Gentleman shocked the world when he took Daniel Jones 6th overall last year, but after a successful rookie season that saw him throw 24 TD passes, Giants faithful have warmed up to the idea of Danny Dimes as their franchise QB. Jones’ Achilles heel last season were fumbles, as he lost a hilarious 10 fumbles in 13 games. In order to protect that beautiful 6’5″ Eli Manning clone and to give Saquon Barkley more lanes to run through, the Giants take the first offensive lineman off the board in Tristan Wirfs. Wirfs started at offensive line factory Iowa for 3.5 years, and is incredibly mobile for a 320 pounder. It may take a few years, but Wirfs has the kind of upside teams look for out of top pick o-linemen.

5. Miami Dolphins

The Pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

The most efficient passer in college football history, Tagovailoa had spent the past 2 years as the presumed number one pick in this class before his season-ending hip injury and the meteoric rise of Joe Burrow. Now officially cleared of the injury, the Dolphins take the lefty, who barely made any mistakes in college. Brian Flores coached a poor roster to a competitive season last year, and getting a player with experience and success at the highest level of college ball is ideal for the young and rebuilding Fins. Tua has elite ball placement on passes and the quickest release in the draft. The only concern with him is his durability, due both to his size and injury history.

6. Los Angeles Chargers

The Pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Philip Rivers threw a few too many 4th quarter interceptions last year, and the Chargers are officially in the market for a new QB. Enter certified Dolan guy Justin Herbert, a 6’6″ gazelle with a missile launcher attached to his right shoulder and the IQ of a young Albert Einstein. Herbert has his detractors, but I think his ideal size and speed (4.69 40-yard dash) make him the QB in this class with the most potential. My one knock on Herbert is he is much less successful on improvised throws and reads. If he can use his mobility while retaining accuracy, he’ll be a stud in LA throwing to Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.

7. Carolina Panthers

The Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

With Luke Kuechly retiring, the Panthers get their replacement in the Swiss army knife that is Isaiah Simmons. I loved watching Simmons on film; he can play linebacker, safety, and edge rusher, and his 4.38 speed at 6’4″, 240 pounds had the NFL Combine buzzing back in February. Simmons’ closing speed on tackles is a beautiful sight to see, and his athleticism would immediately make him one of the best blitzers in the NFL. If Simmons doesn’t pan out in the NFL, it’ll be a defensive coordinator’s fault.

8. Arizona Cardinals

The Pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Mekhi Becton is a bad, bad man. Standing at 6’7″ and weighing 370 pounds, Becton simply bullied defenders as a 3-year starter at Louisville, a team also nicknamed the Cardinals. Arizona took Kyler Murray first overall last year, and he is in my mind the best young QB prospect in the NFL right now. Murray spent the first year of his career running for his life behind a porous Cards’ o-line, and the fact that Becton spent his freshman year blocking for the only dual-threat QB on the planet faster than Murray in Lamar Jackson makes me think this is a slam dunk for Arizona.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Jacksonville Jaguars seem to be in a bit of a tank. The team is rolling with resident cool guy but average quarterback Gardner Minshew as starter, shopping around Leonard Fournette and Yannick Ngakoue, and have been rumored to be the “Trevor Lawrence team” in the NFL heading into 2021. With an eye towards the future and giving Lawrence a legitimate #1 target when he joins the team next year, the first WR comes off the board. Jeudy was a treat to watch on film. His route-running is a work of art and his high running strides make him one of the quickest runners I’ve ever seen. He’s not as tall as some elite NFL WRs, but this guy will make defenders look silly.

10. Cleveland Browns

The Pick: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

My least favorite QB (who doesn’t play for the Chicago Bears) Baker Mayfield had a terrible season last year. Mayfield’s stats his sophomore year dropped in every category besides interceptions, where he threw 21, second most in the league. The jury is still out on Mayfield, and the Browns are making it a priority to fix their offensive line, as Baker spent the entire year last year (slowly) running for his life. Jedrick Wills is a very polished prospect and played both right and left tackle at Alabama, making him the ideal versatile player to play on whatever side is opposite of FA signing Jack Conklin.

11. New York Jets

The Pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Although the Jets would be best taking Andrew Thomas to help out after the putrid Jets offensive line paved the way for the worst year of Le’Veon Bell’s career, I think GM Joe Douglas thinks he solved that already by overpaying for George Fant in free agency. A team that boasts Breshad Perriman as their #1 receiver, Lamb gives Sam Darnold the first real target he’s ever had. Lamb is the strongest receiver in this draft. He runs angry and is a problem for weaker DBs to tackle, and is also the best jump ball catcher in the class.

12. Las Vegas Raiders

The Pick: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

The Raiders get great value in Brown as the Auburn wrecking ball sees a bit of a slide on draft day. Brown has incredible explosiveness for a defensive tackle and projects as the ideal run-stopping defender. He wraps up well and splits double teams. He sees a bit of a slide here due to his lack of pass rushing potential, but is too talented to slide past the Raiders at 12.

13. San Francisco 49ers

The Pick: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

The 49ers defense is top notch, but old man Dick Sherman ran out of a steam at the end of the season and got torched by Sammy Watkins of all people in the Super Bowl. The Niners could go WR here but corner is more valuable at this time. Henderson is a great athlete and has the speed necessary to shut down any receiver, but he is an incredibly disheartening tackler. If he stops making Cam Newton-esque business decisions every time a runner comes near him, he’ll be good.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are in Tampa Bay in the weirdest Madden franchise mode rebuild of all time. I’d love to see the Bucs take a running back here, their only real position of need, but offensive line definitely provides more value at this spot with a statue like Tom Brady at the helm of the offense. Andrew Thomas is the most plug-and-play prospect of the top 4 OTs and played in a pro-style offense at Georgia.

15. Denver Broncos

The Pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

My favorite WR in this year’s class, Henry Ruggs is one of the fastest human beings you will ever lay your eyes on. Running a 4.27 40, Ruggs was the stuff of legends at Alabama, having his first 5 career catches all be touchdowns and only dropping 5 total passes in his three-year career. Ruggs is a 6’0″ version of Tyreek Hill and has the potential to break the NFL. Him catching vertical routes in the thin Mile High air from young stallion Drew Lock will be a staple every Sunday.

16. Atlanta Falcons

The Pick: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

The Falcons are in an awesome cycle of getting tons of offseason hype, starting the season off terribly, and then fighting for Dan Quinn’s job the rest of the way to end up at 7-9, and I think it happens again this year. The Falcons d-line is relatively weak besides Grady Jarrett, and Dante Fowler Jr. won’t fix that. Kinlaw is one of my favorite prospects in the draft. The guy completely changed his body his senior season and is a muscular, lanky athlete for a DT. He has the quickest first step I have ever seen, flawlessly timing the snap count on almost every play. He is an elite athlete who just needs to be coached a bit more.

17. Dallas Cowboys

The Pick: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

Every year, I fall in love with these types of prospects. The Dion Jordans of the world. The Vic Beasleys of the world. The Brian Burns’ of the world. Tall, fast outside linebackers who sometimes look more like receivers than pass rushers. K’Lavon Chaisson is this year’s exclusively speed rusher, and while they don’t have a great track record in the NFL, I enjoyed watching Chaisson. The guy has a killer outside rip move that will bend around any offensive tackle, and he used his elite speed and high motor to make some great backside tackles in college.

18. Miami Dolphins

The Pick: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

The Fightin’ Flores of Miami are back for their second of three picks in the first round, this time addressing a position of need on defense, which they spent a lot of money this offseason improving. Xavier McKinney is the best all-around safety in this class. He can play any type of coverage, and his best trait may be his processing skills and football IQ, having been the leader of a versatile Alabama defense.

19. Las Vegas Raiders

The Pick: AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson

I think the Raiders will be really tempted by WR here in their second first round pick, but WR is a very deep class. GM Mike Mayock loves his Clemson guys, and their current corners are Rashaan Melvin and DJ Hayden, two guys that were cut by the Lions. That says all you need to know about them. AJ Terrell is a nice man coverage corner with good size, but he did struggle mightily in the National Championship this year.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Pick: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

After trading Jalen Ramsey to the Rams for this pick, the Jags get their Ramsey replacement. Jeff Gladney is my personal #2 corner in this class. My guy is aggressive in coverage and a feisty competitor, illustrated by his superior tackling skills at the corner position. He routinely locked down receivers, something which isn’t as easy in the air raid Big 12.

21. Philadelphia Eagles

The Pick: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

After throwing to converted QB Greg Ward last season, the supremely talented but often injured Carson Wentz finally gets a reliable receiver to throw to. Justin Jefferson is perhaps the most versatile WR in this talented class, having been used both outside and in the slot at LSU. Jefferson had unbelievable production this past season as one of Joe Burrow’s favorite targets, and has great ability after the catch.

22. Minnesota Vikings

The Pick: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

The Vikings lost their top 3 corners this past offseason and are guaranteed to address the position in 1 of their 2 first round picks. I could see Minnesota going with Kristian Fulton here, but I’m more of a Jaylon Johnson guy so I’ll stick to my guns. Johnson is a good corner prospect with arguably the best ball skills in the class, and he had a nice 100-yard pick-6 in a game I watched.

23. New England Patriots

The Pick: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State

I would love nothing more than to mock my guy Jake Fromm to the Pats, but I’m too lazy to do a three round mock draft. Despite QB issues, the Patriots select Gross-Matos, a more traditional defensive end prospect who does best lining up in a 3-point stance. Gross-Matos will be a great 4-3 defensive end if he can add a bit more strength and was productive in both run stopping and pass rushing in college.

24. New Orleans Saints

The Pick: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

It will be interesting to see how the Saints choke in the playoffs after spending the whole season as Super Bowl favorites this year. The Saints go not too far down the road for this pick in Patrick Queen, a rangy linebacker who is athletic enough in pass coverage to be an immediate starting outside linebacker in the NFL.

25. Minnesota Vikings

The Pick: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

The Vikings traded away Stefon Diggs and now have a void opposite Adam Thielen. Brandon Aiyuk would be ideal to fill in the void. The former Sun Devil is an absolute speed demon who routinely took over in big spots and made big plays by himself in college. He had incredible catch-and-run touchdowns against Oregon State and Oregon, the latter of which gave Oregon one of only two losses on the season.

26. Miami Dolphins

The Pick: Cesar Ruiz, G/C, Michigan

The Dolphins had a terrible running game last year. Backup QB Hall of Famer Ryan Fitzpatrick was their leading rusher with less than 300 yards, and RB Kalen Ballage had 74 carries for 135 yards (never gets old). After signing Jordan Howard in free agency, the best interior lineman prospect in the draft would do a lot to help the Miami run game.

27. Seattle Seahawks

The Pick: AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

Epenesa is a solid yet unspectacular prospect who may not have all the physical attributes of an elite EDGE prospect, but was still very productive in his time in college. He fills a position of need for a Seattle team whose defense isn’t what it used to be.

28. Baltimore Ravens

The Pick: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

The Ravens still haven’t recovered from losing all their linebackers to 2019 free agency and Kenneth Murray will strengthen the one weakness of the Baltimore defense. Murray is the kind of new age linebacker defenses look for, but he does tend to play a little bit of hero ball, trusting his athleticism so much that he makes incorrect reads on plays.

29. Tennessee Titans

The Pick: Josh Jones, OT, Houston

The offensive line was a big part of Derrick Henry’s dominant year, and Josh Jones will be a good replacement for the newly departed Jack Conklin. Jones has great athletic traits but isn’t good with his technique yet, so he may need a few years on the right side of the line.

30. Green Bay Packers

The Pick: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Bit of a surprise, eh? The Packers rolled the dice on a falling QB when they took Aaron Rodgers in 2005, and with Rodgers’ time in the NFL winding down, I expect them to do the same with Jordan Love and have him learn under Rodgers for a few years. Love regressed immensely from his sophomore year to junior year and threw 17 interceptions in 2019, but to me he simply passes the eye test. He’s cool, calm, and collected in the pocket, and has ideal mobility and arm strength for a modern NFL QB.

31. San Francisco 49ers

The Pick: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

After addressing their need on defense at pick 13, the Niners will gladly take the best available wide receiver at pick 31. Mims has some of the best size (6’3″) in the class and can jump out of the gym on contested catches, but his film was a bit confusing. Mims would occasionally get shut down in games and go long periods of time without catches. If he gets more consistent, he’ll be a valuable weapon for a team.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

The Pick: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

The first RB gets taken off the board in a strong yet undervalued RB class. The Chiefs might be content with Damien Williams, but getting Swift would be the definition of the rich getting richer. Swift is a do-it-all back whose strength combined with agility allow him to be used effectively in both power runs and off-tackle runs. Swift’s spin move should immediately be in contention for the NFL’s best.







Did Jalen Hurts get better, or did his competition get worse?


One of the most polarizing players in the 2020 NFL Draft is Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts. Expected to go in round 2 or 3, Hurts is a dual threat QB who is coming off a senior season in which he finished 2nd in Heisman voting, and almost certainly would have won college football’s most prestigious trophy if Joe Burrow hadn’t had the greatest year in NCAA history.

Hurts’ path to the draft is anything but ordinary. Once an 18-year old true freshman game manager QB at Alabama, Hurts had a very solid yet unspectacular career for the Crimson Tide, showing no signs of being anything but a potential late-round pick in the NFL. After getting benched in the National Championship Game in favor of another freshman phenom, potential top 5 pick Tua Tagovailoa, Hurts was a backup for a year before he transferred to Oklahoma and shattered his career highs in every statistic. I’m here to compare and contrast his Alabama film with his Oklahoma film to see if Jalen truly took strides as a pro prospect in his career and cut out the bad habits that caught up to him at Alabama, or if his offensive explosion in 2019 was simply a result of Lincoln Riley’s dynamic offensive scheme and weak Big 12 defenses.


Date of birth: August 7th, 1998

Height: 6’1″

Weight: 222 pounds

40-yard dash time: 4.59 seconds



Coming into Alabama in 2016 and taking over for the struggling Blake Barnett in Week 1 against USC, it was immediately apparent that Hurts wasn’t just a one-trick pony, run-first quarterback. Hurts had a big, rocket arm in high school and announcers highlighted that going into his first college game. What Hurts struggled with most in his time at Alabama was accuracy. Despite only averaging a low 7.3 yards per passing attempt in his freshman year at Alabama, Hurts still completed just 62.8% of his passes. Compare those numbers to his senior season at Oklahoma where he averaged a staggering 11.3 yards per attempt and an impressive 69.7 completion percentage, and it seems like Jalen was a bit of a game manager in his first year at Alabama. But who can blame him? Not many true freshman QBs come into college football throwing the ball all over the field.

Something Hurts showed in his freshman and sophomore year at Alabama, despite his accuracy struggles, was an ability to take care of the ball, including a 2017 season in which he threw only 1 interception in 14 games. The first play of his career, however, was an absolute nightmare. After replacing Barnett late in the first quarter, Hurts ran a read option play in which he immediately fumbled… twice.


While this is obviously a less-than-ideal start to a career for Hurts, it also illustrates something that I love about him and no one will ever be able to take away: his mental toughness. Hurts is the ultimate team player, shown on the field and off the field, including his willingness to sit behind Tua in 2018 for the better of the team. A true freshman doing this in a primetime game on his first play could rattle you for the rest of the game. Jalen recovered and led his team to victory.

In this play only 2 drives after his fumble, we see the debuting Hurts show off his rocket arm in a 50-yard touchdown pass to ArDarius Stewart. Notice how Hurts doesn’t even really step into the throw traditionally; he takes more of a gather step or hop step. More on this later.


Hurts and the Crimson Tide would finish the year off by playing Deshaun Watson and Clemson in the National Championship, which in my opinion was one of the worst games Hurts played in his career. Alabama ran a conservative, quick screen-based offense that featured throws batted down at the line, throws too short, throws too high, and throws behind the receiver from Hurts, completing only 13 of his 31 passes in the game. In this game against Clemson, Alabama got away from what worked with Hurts. Because of his speed, improvisational skills, lateral quickness, and strong arm, Jalen Hurts is best when he has the ball in his hands for longer, and while this does have to do with his slow processing of defenses, it also gives him the chance to get in rhythm more and make better plays. Oregon QB Justin Herbert is one of my favorite players in this year’s draft, but he doesn’t excel in broken down, off-schedule plays and is more of a quick-throw type of quarterback. Jalen is the opposite.

As an example, here are some quick throws Hurts missed against Clemson. It’s not his game, especially against a top-tier defensive line. Once again, in these throws you can see him struggle to traditionally step into the throw, relying mostly on his natural arm strength and a flick of his wrist. I believe his subpar footwork, specifically his lack of stepping into throws and the kick he often does with his back foot, are what causes him to miss quick passes. Some QBs, such as Patrick Mahomes, can get away with poor footwork, but Hurts ain’t Mahomes. Keep an eye on Hurts’ leg kick in the first two plays below.






Now comparing that to plays where Hurts has more time to get in rhythm and create space for himself in the pocket, he looks like a different player.




I have no doubt that Hurts can make accurate downfield throws on broken plays, rollouts, and 5-step drops. What I want to see out of his Oklahoma tape is improved footwork and quick throw accuracy. Hurts is athletic for a QB, but he doesn’t have elite game-changing speed quite like his Oklahoma counterpart Kyler Murray had and will need to become a better pocket passer to succeed in the NFL.


Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts

Like Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray before him, Jalen Hurts transferred to Oklahoma looking for an opportunity to start in Lincoln Riley’s air raid offense. Hurts no longer had to face the murderer’s row of SEC defenses like LSU, Florida, Georgia, and Auburn, and would instead engage in high-scoring affairs with teams like Texas, Baylor, Kansas State and Oklahoma State, schools not exactly known for their defense. Hurts had a fantastic season, throwing for almost 4,000 yards, running for 1,300, and scoring 53 total touchdowns. Now we see if he was able to correct the bad habits that eventually cost him the starting job at Alabama.

The offense at Oklahoma was much better suited for Jalen Hurts’ strengths than the offense at Alabama was, and that may be the best explanation for Hurts’ meteoric rise. Due to the surplus of talented receivers Alabama had during Hurts’ career, like Calvin Ridley, ArDarius Stewart, Jerry Jeudy and others, and due to Hurts’ relative inexperience in the college game starting as a freshman and sophomore, Alabama ran a lot of screen and swing passes as an attempt to get their incredibly skilled receivers the ball in their hands with open field to work with. Oklahoma ran an occasional play with a pass behind the line as a change of pace, but even in their quick 3-step drop pass plays, Hurts would normally throw intermediate routes instead of checkdowns. This is why Hurts’ yards per attempt skyrocketed once he got to Oklahoma.

In the plays we saw earlier, Hurts struggled much more trying to accurately place the ball on 3-step drops. Here, in Oklahoma’s signature comeback win over Baylor, Hurts’ first touchdown pass comes on a 3-step drop 10-yard pass, an absolute fastball placed perfectly to the inside of the receiver that gives the defender no chance to jump the route. Why was this quick pass more accurate than his throws in the National Championship Game? No leg kick!!!!


Another example of Hurts showing improved footwork and accuracy on 3-step drops in this game:


I wanted to focus mostly on Jalen Hurts’ passing abilities in this deep dive, but I’d be doing him a disservice to not mention his running ability and style. While Hurts was always a good runner at Alabama, he became the most effective running QB in the nation in his lone year at Oklahoma. I see a lot of Marcus Mariota in Hurts, and I don’t mean that as a negative, with Mariota having flamed out in Tennessee this past season. Mariota actually had a very effective 2016 campaign in Tennessee when he threw 26 TDs and 9 INTs, which NFL teams would be more than okay with Hurts achieving. Both Hurts and Mariota are mobile, athletic QBs who have struggled with accuracy and processing defenses in their career. Despite Mariota running his 40-yard dash a tenth of a second faster than Hurts, Hurts is a much better runner than Mariota, for a reason I talked about earlier: toughness, but this time physical over mental. While Mariota has been plagued with injuries at the most inopportune times possible in his career, Hurts has never missed a game, even playing in every game the year he backed up Tua. Jalen runs hard and downhill on every single run play, and never shies away from contact. He’s a violent runner who only runs north and south, and even when he he makes a juke, he’s still covering ground upfield. Here’s one of my favorite Hurts runs that illustrates how aggressive he is in the cuts he makes.


Unfortunately, Hurts’ successful college career didn’t have a great ending. Tasked with facing LSU in the College Football Playoff semifinal, Hurts took a beating and regressed back to some of the bad habits that plagued him at Alabama. Hurts was very inaccurate, completing 15 of 31 passes for 0 touchdowns in the game. Hurts’ three worst games in his career were against Clemson, Georgia, and LSU, and all three teams had something very important in common: they were by far the best defenses Hurts faced in his career. All three defenses featured high-caliber, speedy NFL prospects in their front sevens, giving them the ability to contain Hurts’ rushing ability and force him to make quick, high-pressure throws. After being held to only 3 yards per carry against LSU, Hurts’ footwork once again became sloppy as he shifted to pocket passing. I am very confident that this is due to the speed and tenacity of LSU’s defense. Hurts knows if he holds onto the ball as long as he wants to, he’s going to get hit. So, he is forced to make quick decisions and as a result, his footwork gets sloppy again. Here is a wide-open touchdown to CeeDee Lamb that Hurts missed due to his trail foot sliding up and feet being completely horizontal to the goal line.


The Verdict

Jalen Hurts undoubtedly grew immensely as a player from his freshman to senior year. He improved his footwork, shortened up his long throwing motion, and gained much more poise as a pocket passer. However, when tasked with facing the country’s elite defenses in the biggest games of the year, Hurts’ bad habits took the spotlight. So in the end, while Hurts did improve, when the competition reached its peak, he did become a bit flustered. Because of this, I have Jalen Hurts as my 6th ranked QB in the draft, and I give him a 3rd round grade.

Hurts is a badass, exciting player. From the day he stepped foot in Tuscaloosa as an 18-year-old true freshman, he was a natural leader. I project him to be a starter down the road in the NFL, but he’ll need a couple years as a backup and spot-starter to really get a feel for the NFL game. I think Hurts would be a great fit for the Las Vegas Raiders. He is the exact type of high-character leader Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock want to have in their system, and he is the polar opposite of checkdown artist Derek Carr.

The NFL Draft begins on Thursday, April 23rd. Stay tuned for my mock draft once I finish grinding some more tape.








Belated Wins Pool Celebration

Let’s just pretend I wrote this right after Dre Greenlaw tackled Jacob Hollister on the 1-yard line at the end of Week 17. 

I knew I would be celebrating a victory at the end of the 2019 NFL season, but admittedly, I did not expect it to go exactly like this. After rattling off 9 straight wins in the high-stakes BJP Dynasty League and sliding into the #2 seed for the playoffs, I was very vocal, probably too vocal, about my chances of winning the league’s inaugural season. Then came the first playoff game. Poof. Done-zo. Amari Cooper did what he does in important situations and had 1 catch, and my season was over. One and done. I was the Lamar Jackson of the BJP League. Distraught at the money I had just lost, I did some deep thinking, and then it hit me. The Wins Pool! I did some simple math and what do you know, I had won. All this after King Klepp himself had predicted me to come in 7th (!!!!!) place. Let’s take a look at how I got there.

Kansas City Chiefs

mahomes and moore

Pick: 1

Record: 12-4

Most Crucial Win: Week 9 vs. Vikings, “The Matt Moore Game”

Here’s a fun fact: when I took the Kansas City Chiefs, the eventual SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS, with the 1st overall pick, I received one “wow” and one “sheesh.” The pick was easy for me. The Chiefs have the best player in the league in Patrick Mahomes, and the defense looked to be much improved from last year with the additions of Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark. The Chiefs stumbled a little bit during the midpoint of the season, but closed the season out with 6 straight regular season wins. The state of Missouri (and me) collectively held their breath when Mahomes got hurt in Week 7 against the Broncos, but he only ended up missing 2 full games. My most crucial win came during those two games, when Miami Dolphins legend Matt Moore completed 25 of 35 passes for 275 yards and a touchdown in a 26-23 win over Leigh’s Minnesota Vikings. Moore was virtually flawless in his time filling in for Mahomes, completing 65% of his passes and throwing 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The former Oregon State Beaver skyrocketed in my Backup QB Power Rankings after his gutsy performance this season. Congrats, Matt.

Baltimore Ravens


Pick: 16

Record: 14-2

Most Crucial Win: Week 9 vs. Patriots, “Dolan Revenge Tour”

Directly after Tommy took the 7-9 New York Jets, whose quarterback missed time this season for having an illness that is normally given to high school sophomores at their first homecoming dance, I took the team with the best record in the NFL. I won’t harp on the rest of the Wins Pool too much for passing up on the Ravens (everyone besides me actually passed on them twice), but a team coming off a 10-6 season with one of the fastest players in the league at QB was too good to pass up. I’m not the biggest Lamar Jackson fan there is, and I find it a bit funny that he has yet to win a playoff game, but I am always a sucker for dual threat QBs, and I projected Lamar to at least be a good starter in the NFL. Did I think he was going to become only the second unanimous MVP in the history of the league? Hell no, but I’ll gladly reap the benefits. My most crucial win for the Ravens this season is another Week 9 bout, this time a 37-20 win over Tommy’s 2nd overall pick New England Patriots, a personal revenge game for myself against all the haters who mocked me for picking the Chiefs over the Pats.

Seattle Seahawks


Pick: 17

Record: 11-5

Most Crucial Win: Week 1 vs. Bengals, “Survived John Ross”

Once again, another playoff team from last year with an elite quarterback was looked over in the Wins Pool draft. While Russell Wilson is the most dependable QB in the NFL, and also in the running for best hair, the rest of the team was not so dependable. The Seahawks routinely played in close games this past season, with 12 of their 16 games being decided by a score or less, making them not the most relaxing team to have to watch on a weekly basis. With the Seahawks defense of old being gone, finishing only 22nd in points allowed this season, the key to the Seahawks winning all those close games was their All-Pro quarterback. Wilson had arguably the best year of his career in 2019, throwing for 4,110 yards, 31 touchdowns, and a measly 5 interceptions. Tyler Lockett had a breakout year as Wilson’s primary target, and rookie lab king DK Metcalf looked like he probably should have been a first round pick in last April’s draft. These aren’t your Legion of Boom Seahawks, but as long as DangeRuss is around, they’ll be a threat. My most crucial win was an ugly 21-20 win over the lowly Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1, where 4.22 speedster and frequent training room patron John Ross had 25% of his catches on the season and 66% of his touchdowns in one game against the Hawks’ secondary. That would have been an embarrassing L.

Miami Dolphins


Pick: 32

Record: 5-11

Most Crucial Win: Literally all of them

This year’s Mr. Irrelevant was the Miami Dolphins, a team that pundits pegged as “Tanking for Tua” as early as last summer. Going 5-11, the Dolphins were the biggest surprise out of my 4 teams, and potentially might have been my favorite team to watch. Led by one of my favorite players of all time, 37-year old Conor McGregor doppelgänger Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins started the season off 0-7 and looked to be heading towards potentially a record of 0-16. The offensive line was putrid, spot-starter Josh Rosen had the passer rating of JaMarcus Russell, and running back Kalen Ballage even had a game where he turned 9 rushes into 9 yards. But after getting their first win in Week 9 (Week 9 was really an amazing week for me), this Dolphins team turned a corner, going 5-4 to finish the season, including a shootout 38-35 win in the Toilet Bowl over the Bengals and a 27-24 win over the Patriots, thanks to Mike “King Douche” Gesicki, that some are saying ended the Patriots’ 20-year dynasty. Remember all those years you took DeVante Parker in the 6th round of your fantasy draft thinking this would finally be the year he broke out? Well, he finally did this year, and I’m sure you didn’t take him. I’m a registered #BrianFloresGuy, and I love what he’s cooking down in South Beach. Miami is my favorite landing spot for Tua Tagovailoa right now, and I wouldn’t mind if the Dolphins threw the Lions pick 26 to move up to pick 3 and take him.

I will be back in September to defend my crown. Stay safe!


Trubisky outduels Driskel in 20-13 barnburner

Offensive football was at its peak on Sunday as Mitch Trubisky and Jeff Driskel turned a combined 69 pass attempts into 442 yards in a sloppy, checkdown-filled 20-13 Bears win at Soldier Field. Matthew Stafford missed his first game since 2010 and was replaced by former University of Florida and Louisiana Tech QB Jeff Driskel, who ran a much more conservative gameplan than the Lions normally use due to his limitations with arm strength and accuracy. As soon as Stafford was announced inactive for this game it was over, and the Lions now find themselves at a crossroads as shutting down their best player and looking towards the draft seems like a real possibility. Since I focused so much on QB play, specifically Trubisky’s, in my preview, I’ll do a quick recap of the game by looking at the QB performances.

Jeff Driskel

Having experience in 5 games as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals last year, Driskel made his first start as a Detroit Lion and immediately looked to be the polar opposite of Matthew Stafford. Running a 4.56 40-yard dash, Driskel is incredibly athletic for a quarterback and is a more legitimate rushing threat than Stafford. That’s the one thing Driskel has on Stafford. Although he played a surprisingly solid game in his first start, the Lions offense is so limited with Driskel at QB compared to Stafford. Driskel spent most of the day throwing quick passes on 3-step drops and when he did throw the ball more than 10 yards downfield, it was often into wide open windows. An example of Driskel’s checkdown infatuation on Sunday was running back JD McKissic’s stat line of 6 catches for 19 yards. Driskel did look much more confident in the 4th quarter when the Lions were forced to open up the playbook down 14, and he threw a backyard football 45-yard touchdown pass on the run to Kenny Golladay to score the Lions’ only touchdown of the game. Driskel is talented and poised enough to be a fine backup in the NFL, and should Stafford miss extended time he would be the perfect Tank Commander for the Lions.

Mitch Trubisky

While I did give Trubisky a lot of flak for his performance throughout this season in my preview, I acknowledged that due to the Lions sieve of a defense, Trubisky has the chance to air the ball out effectively this week. That he did, to an extent, as Trubisky had his best outing of the season since Week 3 against the Redskins and threw 3 TDs against the Lions for the second straight year. Trubisky only threw for 173 yards, but he threw some of his prettiest passes of the season, including a nicely placed ball on a 24-yard corner route to Taylor Gabriel for a touchdown in the beginning of the 2nd half. With few incompletions, Trubisky had his way with the Lions defense when he was able to get the pass off, but his lack of poise still prevented the Bears offense from truly breaking out. Trubisky was sacked 5 times by a struggling Lions defensive line in this game, and a majority came on 4-man rushes where Trubisky held the ball for too long and was too flat-footed to avoid the rush, step up in the pocket and get the pass off. Trubisky’s footwork is what concerns me the most going forward against better defenses, and I believe it is the reason he can be such an erratic passer. Trubisky tends to back pedal on his dropbacks instead of shuffling, and he has been spotted with his feet horizontal to receivers for passes instead of vertical, something he did much less of last year and something that Matt Nagy has identified as his main concern about Mitch. Trubisky’s ability to improve on this imperative detail in the art of quarterbacking will decide whether or not he can continue to be an NFL starter.