👀 Nuggets from the Start of Offseason Workouts

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Fantasy Life Newsletter sponsored by RotoPass

Eight more sleeps until everyone rips up their mock drafts…

In today’s Fantasy Life Newsletter, presented by RotoPass:

  • News and notes from teams getting back to work

  • Michael Penix Jr. in the first round?! Sure, why not?

  • Adonai Mitchell: Ian analyzes the size-speed phenom.

  • It’s 4/17. Take it away, Chris Allen…

We’re about a week out from the draft and the rookies have all the attention. We may be running out of debates, but the content never stops. The Commanders decided to turn the Top 30 visits into some wild version of ‘The Bachelor’ and now we’ve got ‘Jayden Daniels is a better thrower than Lamar Jackson as a prospect’ to keep us company until next Thursday.

But the veterans had to join in the fun.

Offseason workouts have begun for all 32 teams. There was a noticeable absence or two for every squad, but the coaches and GMs gave some fantasy-relevant tidbits as they got back into the swing of things.

🐶 Deshaun Watson Throwing At Full Strength

Cleveland’s $230M triggerman said he plans to be on the field for OTAs in late May. Deshaun Watson hasn’t seen action since Week 10 and gave fantasy managers about as many zeroes in the boxscore as are in his contract. Watson went on to indicate he ‘may have’ fractured his shoulder as early as Week 3. Now, I’m no doctor, but his on-field metrics certainly don’t paint the picture of someone with a fully working throwing arm.

  • Air Yards per Game: 10.5 (Weeks 1-2), 8.4 (Weeks 3, 9, and 10)

  • Scramble Rate: 7.1%, 9.6%

  • PROE: -4.7%, -6.0%

Regardless, the Browns are heading into year three of the ‘Watson experience.’ And they have Joe Flacco, a man not even on the roster now, to thank for their lone playoff appearance. Watson noted he ‘wasn’t sure when he’d be back to his former self,’ but let’s hope there’s a little more optimism from him come summertime.

🐬 Tua Talk and Wages for Waddle

Tua Tagovailoa is set to hit free agency in 2025. Miami’s not rushing to extend the former Crimson Tide QB, but GM Chris Grier laid out the Dolphins’ draft plans as it pertains to the top passers in this year’s class.

On the bright side, Tua stayed healthy for the entire season. In the process, he established new career highs in passing yards and TDs while aligning with efficiency marks from years past.

But, on the other hand, the Dolphins couldn’t extend their early-season success into the playoffs. They ranked first in EPA per play through the first nine weeks and fell to tenth over the back half. Injuries played their part, but Tua will need to do more to beat the ‘game manager’ allegations and secure the bag.

Meanwhile, Jaylen Waddle appears to be in line to secure his next contract as Miami intends to pick up his fifth-year option. However, after missing four games in ‘23 and spending over half of two more on the sideline, Waddle could use the upcoming season to remind the Dolphins of his explosive capability. In 2022, while Tyreek Hill sat atop the WR ranks with a hilarious 3.2 YPRR, Waddle was two spots behind him (and just below Justin Jefferson) at 2.59.

With an offseason to heal, let’s hope the Blur Brothers are back to full speed through all of 2024.

🤔 Andy Reid Goes to Bat for Kadarius Toney

Y’all, we all deserve someone who believes in us as much as Andy Reid believes in Kadarius Toney.

Yes, the same Toney who didn’t play a single snap throughout the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run. And yes, the same Toney who claimed KC was lying about his injury status.

Of course, with the Rashee Rice situation still unfolding, Patrick Mahomes could use an extra receiver on the field. But it’ll take more than an endorsement from Big Red for fantasy managers to buy into Toney earning a reliable role in the passing game.

Fantasy Life Newsletter sponsored by RotoPass

👀 The best way to watch football this fall? Maybe on a free Apple TV 4K??

✍️ One of these RBs should see their ADP rise post-NFL draft. Dwain’s Tier 2 Rookie RBs.

📝 The NFL draft is 8 days away. More updates to the mock draft.

💥 The case for Michael Penix Jr. in the first round. I’m here for it.

😏 CJ Stroud gives his 'unbiased' take on this year's WR1. The man has a point, though.

🚀 Kyle Pitts a FOCAL POINT of the offense? I’m sure everyone will rationally react to this.

🗽 Giants have been doing their homework on the QB class. Daniel Jones, who?

🚗 Dad vibes are at all-time high for the Chargers. The only thing missing is a riding lawnmower parked nearby.

Adonai Mitchell Profile

This year’s WR class has something for everybody. And AD Mitchell is no exception. At 6’2”, the Longhorns’ receiver ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. But can he be a worthwhile fantasy asset? Let’s see what Ian has to say.

🤠 Adonai Mitchell Scouting Report

Adonai “AD” Mitchell was a relatively unheralded four-star recruit out of Tennessee back in the 2021 class. Just the 63rd-ranked WR by 247 Sports, Mitchell wasn’t exactly expected to become an immediate day-one contributor at Georgia … until he was!

While AD’s 38-560-7 receiving line in 21 games with the Bulldogs doesn’t immediately pop off the page, his time in Athens featured loads of big-time performances and included TDs in all four of his college football playoff games – two of which were go-ahead scores late in the 4th quarter against Alabama and Ohio State.

Mitchell then transferred to Texas in order to be closer to his daughter to finish up his collegiate career. His numbers catching passes from Quinn Ewers and company weren’t all that awesome aside from his continued habit of finding the end zone with regularity.

Mitchell among 148 qualified Power 5 WRs in 2023:

  • PFF receiving grade: 74.1 (tied for No. 58)

  • Passer rating when targeted: 126.2 (No. 16)

  • Receiving yards: 845 (tied for No. 31)

  • Receiving TD: 11 (tied for No. 9)

  • Yards per route run: 1.72 (No. 104)

  • Yards per reception: 15.4 (No. 36)

  • Targets per route run: 17.5% (No. 136)

Here’s the catch: Mitchell has flashed tantalizing ability as both a downfield maestro and a red-zone maverick. The production profile isn’t incredible – but the highlights sure are.

This brings us to today’s question: Will Mitchell be a more productive professional player than a collegiate athlete? Or should the film grinders take a longer look at his admittingly troubling statistical profile?

Let’s find out!

💪 Pros

🏋️ Size-speed specimen

The way Mitchell moves on a football field is that much more impressive considering he stands 6’2” and weighs 205 pounds.

Seriously: These are the sorts of numbers we usually see from guys missing three inches and 30 pounds from their frame.

  • 40-yard Dash: 4.34 seconds (97th percentile)

  • 10-yard Split: 1.52 seconds

  • Vertical Jump: 39.5”

  • Broad Jump: 11’4”

  • Speed Score: 117.1 (97th)

  • Burst Score: 135.2 (96th)

That 10-yard split was just 0.03 seconds removed from 40-yard dash king and Texas teammate Xavier Worthy (1.52), while the broad jump was better than any other WR at the 2024 NFL Combine. Hell, the latter mark was tied for the sixth-longest jump of any WR at the combine since at least 2013.

We’re talking about the fifth-best RAS score out of 3,188 WRs from 1987 to 2024 here. That seems good!

Sometimes these sort of workout warriors struggle to implement their physical skills on the gridiron, but that was far from the case with Mitchell. As Yahoo.com’s Nate Tice puts it:

His athleticism shows up with how he is able to stay sharp on his route breaks. Even if he lacks detail with his route running, his ability to stay in control despite his explosiveness and size is impressive. Mitchell’s flashes are as bright as any receiver prospect in this draft.”

At a minimum, Mitchell looks like the sort of complementary receiver capable of demanding attention from at least one quality defender on any given play based on his physical tools alone. Of course, the 21-year-old talent isn’t exactly an unpolished talent when it comes to the finer intricacies of playing the position.

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