Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: Mike Weber, RB DAL

Bruce Matson

Name: Mike Weber

Position: Running Back

Pro Team: Dallas Cowboys

College Team: Ohio State Buckeyes

Draft Status: Round seven, 218th overall

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

COMBINE REVIEW

  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 211 pounds
  • Arms: 29 3/4’’
  • Hands: 9 3/8’’
  • 40-Yard Dash: 4.47
  • Bench Press: 22
  • Vertical Jump: 33 1/2
  • Broad Jump: N/A
  • 3-Cone Drill: N/A
  • 20-Yard Shuttle: N/A

STRENGTHS

  • Has good vision and has no problem finding the running lane while approaching the line of scrimmage
  • Can read the momentum of the defense, allowing him to anticipate his next move once he hits the second level
  • A one-cut downhill runner who can thump at the point of contact
  • Has excellent contact balance
  • Creative in open space
  • Decent build-up speed
  • Can catch the ball out of the backfield

WEAKNESSES

  • Lacks the burst to get through the hole at times
  • Has difficulty reaching the edge
  • Limited short-area quickness causes him to not be able to efficiently chain together moves in the open field
  • Pass blocking

OPPORTUNITIES

Weber was Ezekiel Elliott’s predecessor at Ohio State. He broke out during his redshirt freshman season, rushing for 1,096 yards and nine touchdowns while owning a 19.87 percent market share of the team’s offensive production. Unfortunately, he shared the backfield with JK Dobbins – one of the best running backs in the country – during his sophomore and junior seasons. Not only that, but he also played through multiple injuries during his collegiate career.

The Dallas Cowboys have one of best rushing attacks in the league. They spend a lot of capital on their offensive line. Unlike most teams in the NFL, the run game fuels the team’s offensive production. This could be a grand situation for Weber if he can earn enough touches to be productive.

Ezekiel Elliott’s contract runs out at the end of the 2020 season. If the Cowboys allow Elliott to hit free agency then Weber could get the opportunity to bet the team’s lead. Considering Dallas ran DeMarco Murray into the ground before they let him walk is a testament to how they could handle Elliott’s situation in the near future. Weber has two seasons to exceed expectations and possibly earn the keys to the car.

THREATS

Players who get drafted in the seventh round are longshots to ever develop into key contributors for their teams. There are always outliers, but the odds are not in favor of your typical late-round selection. Weber is starting his career with an uphill battle.

The big white elephant in the room is obviously Elliott. Not only is he one of the top players on the team but he’s also the face of the franchise. As long as he’s healthy, he’s going to receive a large workload which will keep Weber off the field.

Weber had a close call in practice with the Cowboys when he went down with a knee injury. He won’t need surgery, but staying healthy is a big deal for a seventh-round draft pick. All it takes is an injury for the Cowboys to want to cut bait from Weber.

The Cowboys drafted Tony Pollard in the fourth round of this year’s draft. He is expected to be the team’s satellite back and is a major threat to Weber’s value. If Pollard can prove that he can take carries between the tackles on top of his ability to be able to catch the ball out of the backfield, then Weber’s goose might be cooked.

Dallas obviously favor Pollard to some degree or they wouldn’t have drafted him in the fourth round. More than likely, he’s going to takeover Tavon Austin’s role once Austin departs from the team, but he’s still a major threat to Weber’s overall workload.

SHORT-TERM EXPECTATIONS

If everything goes to plan, Weber should make the roster and hang on as the team’s third running back on the depth chart throughout his rookie season. He should see a handful of carries during the first couple years of his career.

Weber is a talented running back prospect and even if he does get cut, he should get signed by another team. He will be on a roster during his rookie season whether it’s on a practice squad or the Cowboys’ 53-man roster.

LONG-TERM EXPECTATIONS

Like most running backs who get drafted in the seventh round, he’s either going to be quickly out of the league or be stuck on the backend of a depth chart somewhere.

However, a backup running back on the Cowboys is one of the most lucrative handcuff running back spots in the league. This gives him value in fantasy if Elliott would ever go down with an injury.

If he’s on Dallas’ roster for a considerable amount of time, then he should easily work his way to the backup running back spot, making him one play away from being the team’s lead running back. Also, he will see a small share of the carries as he waits in the wings for his opportunity.

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON

Shane Vereen has some similar characteristics to Weber. Both backs can run between the tackles and also run routes out of the backfield. They are similar athletes, both backs have decent long speed but neither of them will overwhelm you with their burst. Vereen was never a three-down workhorse back, but he was very successful as a change of pace specialist. Weber could fill a similar role with the Cowboys.

PROJECTED ROOKIE DRAFT RANGE

DLF’s Rookie ADP has Weber as a fourth-round pick in rookie drafts with an ADP of 41.40. He’s currently being drafted as the 16th running back off the board and since the news leaked about his knee injury, I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t fall further in drafts.

He’s currently being drafted in no man’s land where the odds of any player making an impact for your dynasty team are rare. His draft capital is about as low as it can get but he does have some talent and his situation in Dallas is very interesting. He’s worth at least a look at his current price point. You’re not going to have to break the bank to get him on your roster and if you can’t get him on your team, then you can pivot to the next talented late-round prospect.

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