Friday, 27 January 2017 00:00

Perfect Match: Finding The Next Zeke

Last Year around this time draftniks began floating the idea, “What if Zeke goes to Dallas?” It was a perfect landing spot for him, great
OL, veteran QB (or so we thought), and an amazing skill set that would allow him to play 3-downs from the beginning. Sure enough, that
is where Zeke found himself and the rest is history.

But how will that affect us in 2017? It will surely touch off a “search for the next Ezekiel Elliott.”

In this first edition of Perfect Landing Spots, I’m going to be like Chris Hardwick on Singled out.

I will look at the teams and prospects that match-up perfectly. Will I find a player so perfectly matched that it will be like “Cash me ousside” girl and a trailer park, or Nic Cage in a movie that requires no acting ability? Maybe, maybe not. But I will find you the next Zeke. How bout dat?

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook is #drafttwitters darling. His rare combination of speed and elusiveness has been on display for three years at Florida State. After his abysmal showing in the college football playoff his freshman year, Cook showed up on the biggest of stages. He also has great hands that allowed Jimbo Fisher to get him the ball in space when the OL was floundering.

Perfect Match — The Indianapolis Colts. With a franchise QB in place, a playmaking WR, and no more Ryan Grigson, the Colts would be a perfect fit for Dalvin Cook. Unlike some other RBs, Cook has shown the ability to flourish regardless of OL play. Learning how to be a professional/not fumble from fellow Miami-native Frank Gore would be a positive as well.

Best Case/Worst Case — We always see player comps but those are stupid. Every person on Earth has a range of outcomes that is affected by countless variables. I’m going to give you the best case and worst case scenarios. Edgerrin James body-type, skillset, and even area of birth are so similar to Dalvin Cook. Cook could also turn into CJ Spiller. A big-play college player that didn’t quite translate to the NFL that we will waste fantasy draft capital on for at least 6 years.

Ryan Switzer — I have loved Ryan Switzer since he was returning punt after punt for touchdowns as a freshman at North Carolina. He is undersized at 5’8 ½ 180 but his route-running and quick feet make him the ideal slot receiver. He is also a terror returning punts. In his career, he finished 1 TD short of Wes Welker’s NCAA record but he did so on 53 fewer returns. This past year, Switzer caught 96 passes for 1112 yards and was a huge part of Mitch Trubisky’s success.

Perfect Match — The Baltimore Ravens. What better team to draft the premier slot WR in the 2017 draft than the one who is losing one to retirement? As Steve Smith aged, he refined his route-running and prolonged his career by becoming an amazing slot receiver. Now that he is gone, the Ravens have often injured Michael Campanaro (RFA) as their only viable option in the slot. If Switzer lands in Baltimore, expect him to be one of the most consistent PPR producers in the NFL.

Best Case/Worst Case — It would be incredibly lazy of me to compare Ryan Switzer to Wes Welker. Maybe call him a grinder or a gym rat or a field general, so instead, I will compare him to Doug Baldwin. I envision Switzer running routes from all over the field and separating from defenders regardless. Worst case Ryan Switzer gets his head knocked off too many times like Austin Collie and retires at a young age.

Next Edition — Next week I will discuss the perfect landing spot for the next Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, and Demariyus Thomas.

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