It’s 2:00 in the morning and you have the munchies. Where do you go? All the normal establishments are closed, but oh, thank heaven for 7-11! The convenience chain is an obsession of college students across the country and fitting, since this article is all about the college guys.
Every great dynasty owner should use a variety of different opinions and rankings for their rookie draft, but you should also be proactive in following your targeted player long before draft time. Professional dynasty owners watch game tape, read the local beat reports and watch these types of players as much as possible now, not in April.
When I break down the players I want to keep tabs on this Summer as possible targets in an upcoming dynasty draft, I list 7 QBs and 11 position players. Is it creepy? Is it fate? Is it simply coincidence to come up with a theme for an article? Hard to say for sure, but this “7-11” is a group you should be watching closely as all will be on the rookie draft radar soon. Without further delay, here’s my “7-11” for the upcoming college season and what I’m looking for from each of them:
The Seven QBs
Jake Locker – Washington
Those who know the Dynasty League Football site, know that I’m a longtime UW season ticket holder. Locker may be the first pick in the draft next year, but he has a long way to go in order to earn that.
What I want to see this season: An improvement in accuracy and mechanics.
Andrew Luck – Stanford
You don’t have to drive too far on I5 to find the next QB on this list – it’s Luck. He could easily surpass Locker and be the first pick as well. As it stands, it seems he’s a lock for the top 15.
What I want to see this season: More gaudy numbers – 13 TDs and 4 INTs doesn’t scream “The best Stanford QB since John Elway” to me.
Ryan Mallett – Arkansas
He’s had the pleasure (or pain) of playing for both Bobby Petrino and Rich Rodriguez. He almost deserves to get drafted by Al Davis.
What I want to see this season: A replication of last year’s numbers (3,627/30/7) and some hint of mobility.
Christian Ponder – Florida State
He posted a ridiculous 68.8 completion percentage last year. That’s impressive, regardless of the offense you play in.
What I want to see this season: Like Luck, bigger numbers. It’s not all about the stats, but is it too much to ask for 3,000/20/5?
Nick Foles – Arizona
Foles is really flying under the radar because of his geographical location, but he’s a talented QB who enjoyed a completion percentage of just under 64%, while attempting over 400 throws.
What I want to see this season: I need to see three things from Foles this year. First, a solid recovery from a horrible beating against Nebraska his last game. Second, fewer checkdowns (though the short throws are big in that offense). Finally, a haircut. I just look at his hair and think he has to be hot in that desert heat. It’s distracting.
Terrelle Pryor – Ohio State
The poster child for “potential.” Will it ever be realized? You just don’t want to see any discussions of him being anything other than a QB.
What I want to see this season: More games like he had against Oregon in the Rose Bowl where he was the most dominant player on the field.
Pat Devlin – Delaware
Is this Delaware Blue Hen the next Joe Flacco?
What I want to see this season: Fewer sacks, as he took 26 last season. I’d also like to see him team up with Elliott Gould star in a Disney movie entitled, “The Devil meets Max AND Pat Devlin,” but that might be asking too much.
The Eleven Position Players
Mark Ingram -Alabama (RB)
Can this Heisman trophy winner really repeat?
What I want to see this season: Just make it through the year without getting hurt, please. You’re easily the best RB in this group and it’s much less complicated if you’re healthy.
Ryan Williams – Virginia Tech (RB)
He’ll be eligible and has the spotlight this year after taking advantage of the Darren Evans injury last year.
What I want to see this season: I’d love to see another season of nearly 300 carries with NO fumbles. For a player his size (5’10”, 206), that’s a very important statistic.
Evan Royster – Penn State (RB)
Withdrawing from the NFL Draft was likely a good decision. He could vault himself to the late first round with a good season in Happy Valley.
What I want to see this season: A run over 50 yards would put my mind at ease, since he’s yet to have one in his career. I’ve yet to see the home run ability exists in Royster.
What I want to see this season: His YPC can’t decrease again as it has the past three years (6.0, 5.6, 4.1). I’d love to see 5+ ypc and at least 200 carries to make me feel good about his durability and effectiveness.
Jacquizz Rodgers – Oregon State (RB)
A smaller back in the mold of Noel Devine, but his toughness can’t be understated.
What I want to see this season: It seems like a total copout to ask for another similar year, but if he leaves college with nearly 1,000 touches at his size, that bodes well for him. It’s probably too late to ask for a growth spurt.
Daniel Thomas – Kansas State (RB)
He’ll have limited D1 experience regardless, but his 1,265 yards in that conference is nothing to sneeze at.
What I want to see this season: Breakaway speed is necessary for him to truly bust into first or second round consideration for the draft. His clocked time is a mystery – some say it’s in the 4.6 range.
What I want to see this season: Some dominant performances, regardless of possible sub-par QB play. The great ones find ways to get open and make their signal callers look better.
Julio Jones – Alabama (WR)
Could he be the other Alabama player to flirt with the Heisman? He certainly has the talent to do it.
What I want to see this season: More consistency with his hands. He’s struggled with drops and that tends to lead to confidence problems. No doubt he has major talent, though.
Jonathan Baldwin – Pittsburgh (WR)
The last of the big three WRs, but he’s not as far behind as many may think.
What I want to see this season: Another season with close to 20 ypc. Double digit TDs would also be a big coup for his value.
Michael Floyd – Notre Dame (WR)
Another WR who could easily go in the top 20. It was easy to see he was as good or better than Golden Tate.
What I want to see this season: A full season of health.
Terrance Toliver – LSU (WR)
Toliver is a WR who is under the radar as well. In another year, he’d probably get some more press, but it’s tough with the group I’ve listed above.
What I want to see this season: At 6’5″, he has to score more. He had just 3 TDs last year, and 2 came on opening day.
Research. Evaluation. Effort. It’s what separates casual dynasty owners from professional ones. Don’t wait until April to start evaluating future talent. By starting now, you’ll have a better idea of exactly what a rookie pick may be worth, as well as be prepared to accurately judge a player’s talents and how you feel they’ll translate to the next level.
Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
Ken is on Twitter at DLF_KenK