Posts Tagged ‘draft’

In a few months it is going to be time to start nailing down your fantasy football league; but its never too early to start researching who are going to be fantasy studs and busts.  More often then not the running backs are drafted early so its good to have an understanding of who is going to be the best options.  In free agency we saw a load of running backs go to different teams, sign huge contracts, and some are now on contract years.  Below is my list (as of right now) of the best value running backs going into the 2014 season.

It amazes me how far some of the 2013 “elite” runners have fallen down this list.  Just last year everyone was after players like Ray Rice, CJ Spiller, and Trent Richardson.  Now I think people are going to be very careful about drafting them because they are now considered risky instead of reliable.  On the opposite end there are now running backs who were just rookies last year and now they are going to be fantasy studs like Eddie Lacy and LeVeon Bell.  I know this list is going to change before the season starts, but for now if this was a final list you can see that some of the backs from last year, are not going to be the backs you want this year.

1. Jamaal Charles – Chiefs
2. LeSean McCoy – Eagles
3. Adrian Peterson – Vikings
4. Matt Forte – Bears
5. Marshawn Lynch – Seahawks
6. Eddie Lacy – Packers
7. LeVeon Bell – Steelers
8. Arian Foster – Texans
9. DeMarco Murray – Cowboys
10. Alfred Morris – Redskins
11. Gio Bernard – Bengals
12. Reggie Bush – Lions
13. Zac Stacy – Rams
14. Montee Ball – Broncos
15. Doug Martin – Bucs
16. Andre Ellington – Cardinals
17. Ben Tate – Browns (new team)
18. Knowshon Moreno – Dolphins (new team)
19. Toby Gerhart – Jaguars (new team)
20. CJ Spiller – Bills
21. Frank Gore – 49ers
22. Chris Johnson – Jets (new team)
23. Ray Rice – Ravens
24. Ryan Mathews – Chargers
25. Rashad Jennings – Giants (new team)
26. Shane Vereen – Patriots
27. Trent Richardson – Colts
28. Steven Jackson – Falcons
29. Fred Jackson – Bills
30. Darren Sproles – Eagles (new team)
31. DeAngelo Williams – Panthers
32. Maurice Jones-Drew – Raiders (new team)
33. Darren McFadden – Raiders
34. Danny Woodhead – Chargers
35. Stevan Ridley – Patriots

Remember when you are choosing running backs there are numerous factors you need to take into consideration.  You need to look at previous years and their stats.  Are they progressively getting worse like Ray Rice; or are they getting better like with LeSean McCoy?  How long have they been on their team?  If they just got to a new team it may take them some time to adjust to the new playbook like we saw with Trent Richardson in 2013.  How is their offensive line?  Did they get any new coaches?  Before the season starts I will post more answers to these questions, but these are things you will want to find out before draft day.

It is no secret that I am a huge San Francisco 49ers fan.  I have been watching Niner football since I was 5 and in that time I have seen the franchise bring out some incredibly good linebackers.  Now, we have not always had the best defense in the NFL, but over the last 5 years the Niner defense has been one of the toughest to score on and its mostly in part because of how good our linebackers are.  If I was to build my perfect 49er defense; these are some of the linebackers I would love to have on my team while they were in their prime.

 

Patrick Willis – Coming out of Ole Miss the Niners wasted no time in drafting Willis in the 2007 Draft.  The Niners drafted Willis with the 11th overall pick and Willis quickly went to work  by winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2007.  Since Willis started in San Fran he has been the leader of the defense and he makes everyone around him better and he normally leads the team in tackles and he always is one of the best linebackers in the NFL.  In his short career so far he has already racked up 854 tackles, 17.5 sacks, 7 interceptions, and 16 forced fumbles.  He has also made 6 Pro Bowls and been named to 6 All-Pro NFL Teams. 

Ken Norton Jr. – Between 1994 and 2000 Norton was the heart and soul of the San Fran defense.  After being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys Norton set a good name for himself.  Once the Cowboys released him the Niners were quick to scoop him up.  Norton helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 1994 and helped the Niners dominate and he became the first player to win 3 consecutive Super Bowls.  By the time his career ended he had 1,130 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 6 interceptions, and 2 defensive TDs.  He was also known for being a big hitter who had no problem plugging up holes and putting helmet to helmet and make you hurt.

NaVorro Bowman – Bowman is the other half of Patrick Willis.  Willis and Bowman have become one of the greatest linebacker duos of all-time.  Bowman was drafted out of Penn State in the 3rd round of the 2010 Draft; which was a steal for the Niners.  Bowman not only is a great run stopper; but he is excellent at defending the pass.  So far in his short career he has already had 406 tackles, 6 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 18 passes deflected.  Between him and Willis it is almost impossible to run the ball on the current San Fran defense.  Even without Willis; Bowman is a fantastic LB who will be in the league for a long time.  He earned his first Pro Bowl in 2012 and was a huge help in getting the Niners to the Super Bowl.

Bill Romanowski – One of the most controversial defensive players of all-time; but you cannot argue with how good of a player he was.  Romanowski was a brutal hitter who had great speed and excellent vision for an LB.  Between the years of 1988 and 1993 Romanowski did great work for the San Fran defense.  The Niners drafted Romanowski out of Boston College in the 3rd round of the 1988 draft.  He helped lead the Niners to 2 NFC Championships and was a 4 time Super Bowl Champion.  By the end of his career he had 1,116 tackles, 39.5 sacks, and 18 interceptions.  Despite his on field issues I would still take Bill any day of the week.

Gary Plummer – Most people may not remember him, but between 1994 and 1997 Plummer was an absolute beast on the field.  The reason I would pick him is because he had great vision and was very good at stopping the run.  He was also a quite guy who never had bad publicity; he just went out and played the game.  Plummer was drafted out of California by the Chargers, but eventually landed in San Fran.  When his career ended he had 1,029 tackles, 6 interceptions, and 4.5 sacks.  I view Plummer as a silent killer who would punish you if you came in the middle.

Aldon Smith – He has recently had some off-field issues, but regardless, Smith is going to be one of the NFL greats by the time his career is over.  In 2011 the Niners used their first round draft pick to get Smith out of Missouri.  In his rookie year he won Defensive Rookie of the Year and the NFC Defensive Player of the Year.  He also holds a franchise record for 19.5 sacks in a season; and he holds an NFL record for being the fastest player in NFL history to get to 30 sacks.  In just 2 seasons he has 121 tackles, 38 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles.  He may be young, but he will be a legend soon.

 

 

The NFL has had a lot of changes over the last few decades; but one thing that has remained the same is that every team needs a solid QB.  Without a QB that can throw the ball your team is going to suffer.  Stafford is a very young player that has extreme talent for throwing the football.  I remember watching him in college and now watching him in the NFL is just a treat.  There are few athletes that are living history and Stafford is one of them.  There will come a day when people look back at Staffords career and they will say “I remember that guy being an amazing player”. 

John Matthew Stafford was born on February 7th, 1988 in Tampa, Florida.  His family ended up moving to Dallas, Texas where Stafford played at Highland Park High School where he excelled at baseball and football.  By the time he was ready to graduate high school he was considered to be one of the best QBs coming out of high school.  He was even ranked above Tim Tebow.  His junior year of football was pretty dismal so he quit baseball so he could just focus on football.  In his senior year he led his team to a 15-0 record and won the Texas 4A Division I Championship.  In his senior year he threw for over 4,000 yards and he was ranked to be a highly recruited player going into college.  Before he even played a single play in college he was predicted to go as the #1 pick in the NFL Draft.

Stafford decided to go to the University of Georgia and he was the first true freshman QB to start since 1998.  It was kind of a bumpy season for Stafford but he still managed 1,749 yards and 7 touchdowns.  His sophomore season saw a nice improvement as he led the Bulldogs to the 2008 Sugar Bowl and won.  By the end of the season he totaled up 2,523 yards and 19 touchdowns.  Going into his junior year the Bulldogs were ranked #1 in the country and Stafford was chosen as one of the Heisman favorites for the year.  He led the Bulldogs to the 2009 Capital Bowl and Stafford won the MVP of the game.  By seasons end Stafford had 3,459 yards and 25 touchdowns.  He decided to forgo his senior year to enter the 2009 NFL Draft. 

Just as predicted 3 years earlier; Stafford was drafted as the #1 overall pick by the Detroit Lions.  The Lions gave him a contract worth $41.7 million over 6 years of guaranteed money and he can earn up to $78 million.  The Lions started Stafford right away since the Lions were moving more in the direction of being a passing team.  His rookie season had some ups and downs and he ended up having 2,267 yards and 13 touchdowns.  Now, you have to remember that Stafford missed some games due to injury and the Lions had a pretty banged up offensive line.  Stafford sat out the majority of the 2010 season due to a shoulder injury that had to be repaired. 

Coming into the 2011 season people had very high hopes for Stafford.  Stafford was lighting up the scoreboard in the first few games and was showing people why he was the #1 draft pick.  In the first two games he threw 7 touchdowns and found a tight connection to Calvin Johnson.  During the remainder of the season Stafford kept on impressing and he became only the 4th player in NFL history to throw for 5,000 yards in a single season.  In the final four games of the season Stafford threw over 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns.  He led the Lions to a 10-6 record which gave them a playoff berth; which was the first time the Lions went to the playoffs since 1999.  By the end fo the season Stafford had 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns which earned him the 2011 Comeback Player of the Year.

The 2012 season was full of setbacks and people were expecting Stafford to put up similar numbers as he did the previous year.  Combined with a poor running game and some injuries on the offensive line; Stafford was not able to get into the same groove as he did in 2011.  By the end of the 2012 season he had 20 touchdowns; which was a huge fall compared to the 41 he had the season before.  He also had the worst QB rating of his young career (79.8).  When 2013 came around the Lions offered him a 3 year contract extension worth at least $41.5 million.

So far in his young career Stafford has 12,807 passing yards and 80 touchdown passes.  He holds a few NFl records such as; Most passing TDs in a single game by a rookie (5); youngest QB to throw 5 TDs in a single game; most consecutive 350+ yards passing games; and a few more.  He also already holds a handful of franchise records with the Lions.

  • Highest Passer Rating in a Single Season – 97.2 (2011)
  • Most Passing Yards in a Single Season: 5,038 (2011)
  • Most Passing Yards in a Game: 520
  • Most 4,000 passing yard seasons, career – 2
  • Most consecutive seasons, 4,000 yards passing – 2
  • Most 400+ Yards Passing Games, Career: 5 (2009-2012)
  • Most 300+ Yards Passing Games, Career: 17 (2009-2012)
  • Most 300+ Yards Passing Games: 8 (2011 and 2012)
  • Most Games 1+ TD Passes, Season: 16 (2011)
  • Most Passing Touchdowns in a Single Season: 41 (2011)
  • Most Passing Touchdowns in a Game: 5
  • Most Passing Attempts in a Single Season: 727 (2012)
  • Most Passing Attempts in a Game: 63
  • Most Career Pass Completions – 1,114 (2009-2012)
  • Most Passing Completions in a Single Season: 435 (2012)
  • Highest Completion Percentage in a Single Season by Starting QB: 63.5 (2011) (16 starts)
  • Most 4th Quarter Comeback Wins, Career: 8
  • Most 4th Quarter Comeback Wins in Single Season: 3 (2011) (tied with 4 others)
  • Most Game Winning Drives, Career: 9

 

 

 

Basically what happens every year is that some players will do very well and some players end up being busts.  This post is me predicting players who will have surprising seasons and also players who are expected to do well but will tank.  Whenever I draft my fantasy team I am always thinking; “Is this player for real?”  Last year I drafted a rookie named Doug Martin and I just had my fingers crossed that he would do well.  Low and behold; Martin tore it up and now he is a top 5 pick the very next year.  But on the flip side; a few seasons ago I drafted a guy named DeMarco Murray because almost every single website said “Murray is a huge sleeper!!!”  Murray totally tanked on me and spent more time watching the game then playing it. 

Now that I have taken the last few months and had time to analyze every player and all their opponents I am able to do my predictions on who I think will actually do well and who I think will bomb.  I am going to go through each team randomly and do my predictions.  I know that some of these may not make much sense; but based on my years of football knowledge and all the studying of past season, draft picks, schedules, and new coaches I think I have a firm grasp on most of these players.

Arizona Cardinals – Larry Fitzgerald is going to have a great year this year now that he has a somewhat decent QB throwing him the ball.  Palmer is not the best QB in the NFL but he threw for 4,000 yards with the Raiders and none of those receivers compare to Fitz.  The Cardinals also have a better run game now which will take some pressure off the passing game.  Look for Fitz to have 1,200 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns.

San Francisco 49ers – This may be obvious but based on everything that happened in the offseason I really think that Kaepernick is going to have a breakout year.  Since the season ended Kap has been a training machine and it would not surprise me if he throws for 4,000 yards, 30 touchdowns, and rushes for 800 yards,  The 49ers have a stellar running game which takes a lot of pressure off the passing game; not to mention the 49ers also have a great offensive line to make all this happen.

Seattle Seahawks – Most people would have put Percy Harvin for Seattle, but with his being injured now I really think that the Seattle defense is going to be a nightmare.  Seattle picked up a lot of key players in the offseason, such as; Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett to help beef it up.  I think the Seattle defense could rack up 7 touchdowns, 40 sacks, and 25 interceptions.  I feel bad for any team that has to go against this defense.

St. Louis Rams – There is not a lot of people that I could put on this list, but honestly I think Sam Bradford could have a surprising season.  The Rams added a lot of new faces to the offense that could really help Bradford.  The addition of Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, and Jake Long will really help Bradford get the Rams back on track.  I really think that Bradford could get 3,800 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and over 350 completions.

Atlanta Falcons – Even with all the talent on this team I am really looking forward to seeing Steven Jackson in the back field.  Michael Turner was the RB for Atlanta last year and he was slow and getting up there in age, but he still got in the endzone 10 times.  Jackson is much quicker, more powerful, and better hands.  I predict Jackson getting 1,300 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.

New Orleans Saints – The Saints are another team with a lot of talent but the player that could have a great year would be Darren Sproles.  I am not putting Brees in here because he always does good and everyone expects that.  Sproles had some injury issues, but now that he is healthy he adds an element to the Saints that makes them very hard to beat.  Sproles is more of a pass catching RB than a runner but I could still see him getting 500 rushing yards, 3 rushing touchdowns, 85 receptions, 750 receiving yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns.  When you put that into fantasy numbers it equals out to be awesome.

Carolina Panthers – I am going the other way on this one.  People are expecting a better Panther offense this year, but I am not.  They are trying to restrict how much Newton runs which is going to take away from the offense.  Jonathan Stewart in on the PUP list, DeAngelo is not playing his best football, and Steve Smith is still playing great but he is getting up there in football years.  I am not really predicting anything great out of Carolina.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – There is a lot of buzz around Doug Martin right now, because of what a good 2012 year he had and can he duplicate that in 2013.  My humble opinion is that Martin will still do well, but it would be hard to re-produce what he did last year.  If anything I think his numbers will drop a little from last year.  I could see him getting 1,200 yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground.  Martin is also used as a receiver and that is where I think he will do very well.  He could get 60 receptions for 500 yards.

Chicago Bears – This one is all based on his health.  When Matt Forte is healthy he is a beast and a half, but that’s only when he is on the field.  Lets just say that Forte will be healthy for the whole 2013 season.  If that be the case then I can safely say tha he could rush for 1,400 yards and 7 rushing touchdowns.  But, lets not forget that he is a great safety valve for Cutler.  He could also pull in 65 receptions for 600 yards.  That means I am predicting Forte (healthy) to have 2,000 all-purpose yards.  It could happen.

Minnesota Vikings – We all know that Peterson will tear it up…duh.  I do have another player on the Vikings that people are overlooking.  Greg Jennings is going to do a lot better than people think.  Remember that he is filling a spot for a guy named Percy Harvin; remember him?  I do not care what the QB situation is in Minnesota because the Vikings will find a way to get Jennings the ball.  I seriously think Jennings will pull in 83 receptions for 1,000 yards and 8 touchdowns.  You may be laughing right now, but you will be wishing you had drafted him come playoff time.

Detroit Lions – Everyone is talking about him so I might as well join the party.  It is obvious that the Lions got a steal by picking up Reggie Bush.  The Lions pass the ball more than any other team and Stafford dumps off a lot of passes to the RB’s.  Bush is going to have the best year of his career in 2013.  He will easily pull in over 90 receptions and have close to 1,000 receiving yards.  He might split some carries with Leshoure, but he will still rush for 800 yards too.  If you have Reggie Bush on your team then you are sitting pretty.

Green Bay Packers – The Packers had a lot of moves happen in the offseason but one thing remained the same; Aaron Rodgers.  It really does not matter what receivers you put around him; because Rodgers will get the ball to them.  I am sure you’re saying “well of course Rodgers will do well he always does well”.  What I am predicting here is that Rodgers throws for over 5,000 yards…yeah that’s right.  And to add to that I also predict he puts up 42 touchdown passes.  MVP year for Mr. Aaron Rodgers.

Dallas Cowboys – Ill make the first part of this short and sweet.  I predict that the Dallas run game will remain in the toilet just like it did in 2012.  The Cowboys ranked pretty much dead last in every rushing category in 2012 and I do not see that getting any better this year.  But I do see something interesting over the horizon.  Tony Romo has had an up and down career but based on what I have read about 2013 I really think this might be Romo’s year.  Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Jason Witten are all healthy and ready to go and it would not surprise me to see Romo throw for 4,200 yards and have 32 passing touchdowns.  It may be a bit of a stretch, but the Cowboys have a pretty simple schedule this year and Romo has all his weapons available….think about it.

Washington Redskins – For the first time in a long time I am excited about a Redskins player; and I am not talking about RGIII.  I am referring to Alfred Morris who came out of nowhere last year and rushed for 1,600 yards and 13 touchdowns.  I think he will have another solid year this year since he is just a bulldozer.  As long as the Redskins keep feeding him the ball he could have 1,500 rushing yards and another 13 touchdowns which is not bad for a second year player.  The only downfall to Morris is that he does not catch a lot of passes, but that could change in 2013.

New York Giants – The one player that I am actually excited about from New York is Brandon Myers.  Manning has needed a solid TE for awhile, and I think Manning will look his way a lot especially close to the endzone.  Last year Myers was targeted over 100 times and caught 79 of them…and that was with the Raiders.  Now he has a QB who knows how to throw a football and it would not surprise me if Myers pulls in 89 receptions for 900 yards and 9 touchdowns.  I really think that Myers could give Jimmy Graham a run for his money.

Philadelphia Eagles – Finally LeSean McCoy is healthy….FINALLY.  Now McCoy is in an offense that runs the ball a lot and that will play well with McCoy.  He just needs to stay healthy and there is nothing stopping him from having 1,300 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns.  Since he is also used as a receiver he should be able to have 70 receptions for 650 yards to boot.

 

There are only a few linebackers who are extremely feared in the NFL; Clay Matthews is one of them.  He has only been in the league a handful of years, but he is already considered to be one of the bests in the league.  Not only is he an incredible pass rusher; he is also very popular among fans around the league.  Even if you are not a Packers fan, you still find yourself liking to watch Matthews.  He is know for being very athletic, strong, and quick.  Not to mention his “flex” when he sacks an opposing quarterback. 

William Clay Matthews III was born on May 14th, 1986 in Northridge California.  Believe it or not; Matthews was not the biggest guy in high school.  He attended Agoura High School and he played on the football team where his father was the defensive coordinator.  His father refused to play his son because of how small he was at the time.  In his senior year of high school he really began to gain strength and size, but because he did not play much high school football there were no school really interested in Matthews.  He decided that he would walk onto the USC Trojans football team and take his chances there.

He made the Trojan football team and his first year at college he never actually got to play; he was on the scout team.  The coaches tried to put Matthews in during “garbage time” in some games.  Garbage time is where USC was winning by so much that they would pretty much put anyone into the game to give them playing time.  Matthews turned down the offer to play during the garbage time.  In 2005 he got to play on special teams for the Trojans.  For the next two seasons he only got to play on special teams and even the small amount of time he played he made a big impact by blocking field goals and making tackles. 

It was in 2008 that Matthews really dedicated himself to the gym to be able to start for the Trojans.  The coaches for USC decided to try Matthews in a defensive position called “Elephant”; where he would line up as a defensive end, but would be in a two point stance so he could utilize his speed.  He did very well in that position and recorded 4.5 sacks his senior year.  He still played on special teams and was able to showcase his speed and tackling abilities.

Even with only limited college experience, Matthews still was invited to attend the 2009 NFL Combine where he dazzled NFL teams with his size, strength, and speed.  He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the first round (26th overall pick) in the 2009 draft.  That same year the Packers hired former NFL great Kevin Greene to help coach the linebackers for the Packers.  Matthews made an immediate impression as a rookie by being a sack machine and made a name for himself by forcing fumbles and actually scored a touchdown on a Monday Night game where he stripped the ball away from Adrian Peterson and ran for a touchdown.  As a rookie he recorded 51 tackles, 10 sacks, and 3 fumble recoveries.  He also led the Packers in QB Pressures with 45.5 and finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year award.

Since his rookie year opposing defenses have tried to figure out how to contain Matthews and there has been little success.  The 2010 season the Packers went to the Super Bowl and in that season Matthews racked up 60 tackles, 13.5 sacks, and recorded his first interception.  In the post season Matthews was one of the big reasons why the Packers went to the Super Bowl.  Even in the Super Bowl Matthews forced a game changing turnover that sealed a Championship for the Packers.

In 2011 Matthews recorded 3 interceptions, 3 forced fumbles, 50 tackles, and 6 sacks.  Even though his numbers were lower for the 2011 season; it was crazy to see the amount of times that he was double teamed and even triple teamed.  Matthews did show an improvement in his pass coverage abilities which helped the Packers be one of the most dominant defenses of that season.   Even with all the extra attention from opposing teams he still managed to be one of the best linebackers of the 2011 season.

In the 2012 season it was much of the same where teams would double team Matthews to try and contain him.  He still was able to record 43 tackles, 13 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.  He helped the Packers get to the NFC Divisional Championship game where they lost to the 49ers; but Matthews showed that he can lead a team on and off the field.  He may not have posted the biggest numbers of his career, but he did help ignite a defense that was struggling in numerous areas.

So far in Matthews short career he has totaled up 204 tackles, 42.5 sacks, 154 QB Pressures, 4 interceptions, 2 touchdowns, 22 pass deflections, and 7 forced fumbles.  He has made the NFL Pro Bowl every year he has been in the NFL and been named to the All-Pro team 2 times.  He already has a Super Bowl ring, was the 2010 Defensive Player of the Year, 2010 NFC Defensive Player of the Year, and won the 2010 Butkus Award.  Matthews still has a long career ahead of him and he will continue to be a dominant presence on the field.

Vernon Davis is a different breed of tight end then you would expect.  He has the size of a linebacker, but the speed of a wide receiver.  The tight end position used to be more of a blocking position, but recently tight ends are being used more as receivers since they are getting faster.  Davis has turned the tight end position into a perfect balance of power blocking and incredible hands.  He may not post the highest stats of NFL tight ends, but he is always a huge factor in every game that he plays in.

Vernon Leonard Davis was born on January 31st, 1984 in Washington D.C.  At a very young age Davis was a gifted athlete.  In junior high he was very involved in football and track and field.  He was ranked as one of the best tight ends by Rivals.com and recorded school records in the high jump and the 100-meter dash.  He was team mates with Joshua Cribbs who is now on the Oakland Raiders as a kick returner.

David attended Dunbar High School and was a stand out football player and continued in track and field.  He was ranked as the #4 tight end in the country and was highly sought after going into college.  As a football player he played tight end, wide receiver, linebacker, defensive end, and a kick returner.  In high school he was named to the All-USA team, played in the US Army All-American Bowl, and was Gatorade Player of the Year.  Davis was one of the most versatile players in the country and was ranked #3 by ESPN.

Davis decided to attend the University of Maryland and he was a studio art major.  As a true freshman he played in every game and played offense and defense.  In 2004, Maryland had him play exclusively on offense and was second on the team with 27 receptions and 3 touchdowns.  In 2005 he made the All-American team and was a finalist for the Mackey Award.  He led the team with 51 receptions for 871 yards and 6 touchdowns and was ranked as one of the best blocking college players in the country.  So to NFL teams; he was the full package with size, strength, and speed.  In college Davis was always in the weight room and set numerous school strength records.  Davis benched 465 pounds, power cleaned 355 pounds, and squat 685 pounds.

In the 2006 Draft Davis was selected by the 49ers in the first round with the 6th overall pick.  As a rookie his first NFL catch was a 31 yard touchdown reception against the Arizona Cardinals.  His rookie year was cut short by an injury to his fibula but he made a big enough impact to be recognized as a dominant tight end.  It was in 2009 when Davis really broke out as a super star when he hauled in 78 receptions for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns.  Due to his amazing season the 49ers gave Davis a five-year $37 million contract making him the highest paid tight end in the NFL.  In 2011 Davis was the main reason the 49ers went to the NFC Championship Game.  In that game Davis had 2 touchdowns and the last one was the game winner. 

Davis was named to the 2009 Pro Bowl and was also named to the NFL Top 100 players three different seasons.  In his career he has hauled in 4,351 receiving yards and 40 touchdowns.  He got the nickname “The Duke” from his father; and the two of them look identical.  Like I said before, Davis may not put up the best stats in the NFL, but he is going to continue to be one of the best tight ends in the NFL.  He is one of the key elements in the 49ers offense and he will be around for a long time.

Brandon Marshall has been one of the most electric receivers in the game since he came to the NFL in 2006.  What makes Marshall different than other receivers is his size.  He has been referred as “a defensive lineman playing receiver”.  And when you look at his size he stands out frm other players which makes him very hard to cover.  He is 6ft 4 inches and 229 pounds; and even with that size he is very quick and strong.

Brandon Marshall was born March 23rd, 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Later in his life he was moved to Florida where he played high school football at Lake Howell High School.  In high school he played both offense and defense and was named to the All-State team.  He also liked playing basketball and excelled in track.  As a senior, Marshall won the Class 3A state triple jump championship by landing a jump of 48-feet, six-and-three-quarter inches.

Brandon decided to play his college ball at the University of Central Florida (UCF).  In college he played in 44 games as a wide receiver and by the time he ended college he wracked up 112 receptions, 1,674 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns.  His best season was in 2005 as a senior where he hauled in 74 receptions, 1,195 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns.  His best college game was in the 2005 Hawaii Bowl where he finished the game with 11 catches for 210 yards and 3 touchdowns.

In the 2006 NFL Draft the Denver Broncos selected Marshall in the fourth round (119th pick).  In his rookie year he was nursing a slight PCL tear in his knee but still played in 15 games.  The next season was a nice breakout for Marshall as he recorded 102 receptions for 1,325 yards and 7 touchdowns.  Since that season Marshall has been a dominating force.  he went 3 consecutive seasons with at least 100 catches and he has had at least 1,000 receiving yards for 6 consecutive seasons.  In 2009 Marshall broke the receptions in a game record which was previously held by Terrell Owens.  Marshall had 21 receptions in a single game, which is still the record today.  Marshall had a few off-field issues, but he was a consistant player for the Broncos so it really surprised me when they traded him to the Dolphins in 2010.

The Dolphins were happy to have Marshall in Miami and quickly signed him to a 4 year, $47.5 million contract.  His first season as a Dolphin was not his best, but that mostly had to do with the QB situation in Miami.  He was still able to catch 86 passes for 1,014 yards and 3 touchdowns.  His second season in Miami was much of the same.  There were mixups at the QB position so it was hard to get Marshall the ball.  He still made the Pro Bowl; and in the Pro Bowl he was the MVP.  I think had the Dolphins had a solid QB to throw to Marshall that he still might be there, but in 2012 he was traded to the Chicago Bears.

The Bears were very excited to have Marshall since they were reuniting him with his former QB, Jay Cutler.  Even with Marshall being the only main weapon in Chicago, Cutler was able to feed him the ball a lot.  He ended his first year with the Bears with 118 receptions, 1,508 receiving yards, and 11 touchdowns; all three of those numbers are personal records for Marshall.  Marshall is now entering his second year as a Bear and he has no signs of slowing down.

In his career so far he has totaled up 612 receptions, 7,755 receiving yards, and 45 touchdowns.  He has also been named to 4 Pro Bowls, 2012 Pro Bowl MVP, and was the 2005 Hawaii Bowl MVP.  Marshall has a handful of NFL records as well; such as Most Receptions in a game with 21, most receptions in a 5 game span with 55, and the first player since 1960 to record 8 career games of at least 10 receptions in his first 4 seasons.