Saturday, May 3, 2014

My Top Five Weapons

Chip Kelly could use more weapons. Not because he doesn't have enough on the Eagles roster, but because Chip can never have enough offensive playmakers.

This is a unique ranking that I've never done before. These players are versatile, situational space players, similar to Darren Sproles. If Chip Kelly was willing to give up a 5th round draft pick for a running back north of 30, he appreciates the role.

1. Dri Archer (5-8, 173)

Archer has athleticism that's hard to believe. He ran a 4.26 40 at the combine, although one coach had him timed at 4.16. He also possesses a 38" vertical jump and wowed scouts with his sudden change-of-direction. He played a versatile role in college, spent time at RB, WR and was a dynamic returner. While Archer has good hands, he won't make contested grabs over the middle. He offers little as a blocker and is not a polished route runner at this stage.

2. De'Anthony Thomas (5-9, 174)

He has track speed, although he wasn't timed well at the Combine. He is very fluid and electric in his movements, but is a patient runner and lets his blockers lead the way. He is experienced in Kelly's system and is ahead of the learning curve. He isn't going to break any tackles, and doesn't possess quite the long speed that Archer does. Some personality concerns need to be checked out as well.

3. Solomon Patton (5-8, 179)

He has tremendous burst and acceleration, going for zero to 60 in an instant. Patton has good vision with the ball in his hands, and is much tougher in traffic than Archer and Thomas. He has more experience at WR, but was effective with sweeps and quick tosses. Patton has return value but doesn't offer much as a blocker. He's a very small target for the QB as a receiver, but will create space vs. man coverage.

4. Jalen Saunders (5-9, 165)

Saunders is much more experienced as a WR rather than as a RB, but he has been effective on sweeps and reverses. The reason why he makes my "weapons" list is because his skill-set reminds of a WR-version of Darren Sproles. He isn't fast, but rather quick. Saunders is a very polished route runner, gaining a step against man coverage. He's paper-thin at 165 pounds, which raises durability questions. He's the type of player Chip Kelly could implement in a reduced role.

5. Torrance Hunt (5-7, 180)

Hunt isn't going to be drafted next weekend. Hunt likely isn't going to contribute in 2014. But Hunt has natural gifts that few players possess. He clocked a 4.28 40 at his Pro Day, paired with an unbelievable 43" vertical jump (which would've been the best at the combine). He has experience in the slot, at RB, and as a return-man. He has great acceleration, but had only average production at Georgia Southern, which is a concern. He was also suspended for violating team rules, which is a major red flag. If his head is on straight, he's worth a look as an undrafted free agent.

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