If you’re like me, then today’s football news caught you totally by surprise.
You’re just hangin’ in the kitchen, making soup -- you know, normal Tuesday morning stuff -- waiting for the Vikings-Bengals preseason replay to start. But then the NFL Network morning-show crew hits you with …
“Breaking News: The Eagles have acquired Titans WR Dorial Green-Beckham.”
Wait, whaaa? We all knew that Tennessee wasn’t happy with this guy’s offseason work ethic. HC Mike Mularkey had publicly called him out. Green-Beckham entered his 2nd pro training camp as a backup to WRs Rishard Matthews and 5th-round rookie Tajae Sharpe, and he had yet to turn a sizable talent advantage into a move up the depth chart.
But when you trade a 6’5, 237-pound wideout that you drafted in Round 2 just a year ago for a 5th-year swing lineman (Dennis Kelly) who has started 15 games across 4 years … it’s about more than a young wideout developing slowly.
(NOTE: Check out our brand new, FREE Mock Draft Trainer to see where Dorial Green-Beckham might go in your draft.)
How good is he?
Tennessee drafted Green-Beckham last spring despite the fact that he hadn’t played any football in 2014. The team spent that Round 2 selection despite the cloud of “significant off-field issues,” according to Mike Mayock -- issues that pushed him from sophomore star to kicked off the team at Missouri within a matter of months.
So for the 2nd time within a 2.5-year span, a team that liked DGB’s talent has totally given up on him. The Eagles are acquiring that as much as they are an intriguing athlete.
Let’s start there, because that’s what Green-Beckham is athletically. He’s intriguing, not a generational talent. Mayock might have compared him with Randy Moss, but DGB’s below-average performance in agility and explosion drills makes Marques Colston his top comparison on PlayerProfiler. He also checks in with a SPARQ score in just the 37th percentile among pro wideouts.
Mockdraftable lists his 4 most similar players -- based on Scouting Combine testing -- as a pair of 7th-round picks (including Colston) and 2 undrafted free agents, albeit with relatively weak similarity scores.
This isn’t Randy Moss or Calvin Johnson. It is a guy who has played 1 good season of football since 2012.
The new digs
Of course, that might be enough to make him a starter for the Eagles if Green-Beckham’s ready to get his sh… tuff together. GM Howie Roseman said the team had been “doing background work on DGB for weeks,” according to NJ.com’s Eliot Shorr-Parks. So the Birds clearly believe he’s worth the risk, and they’re not risking much after giving up only Dennis Kelly.
The fact that they’ve been looking into him indicates both that the Eagles have remained unsatisfied -- for good reason -- with their wideouts and that there must have at least been a rumor around the league of Green-Beckham being available. Consider that, and it’s even less impressive that Philly pried him away for only a backup swing lineman.
Every fantasy football player on Twitter thinks the Eagles have swindled the Titans, but the rest of the league apparently didn’t get excited about the unproven, bad-boy version of Marques Colston either.
Does that mean we should ignore DGB completely in fantasy? Of course not.
If you already owned him in dynasty, then he remains a solid hold. You’re certainly not going to sell him for strong value right now. And if you’re looking to acquire him in that format, feel free to try. Mid-round rookie picks are easy to play around with while presenting little actual risk to your franchise’s future. Giving more than a Round 3 rookie pick seems like a mistake, though.
As for this year, Philadelphia doesn’t look any more promising as a fantasy situation than Tennessee. Both offenses present low-ceiling passing games in units seeming better stocked to run the ball. In Philly, at least, Green-Beckham finds a staff/front office that wants him. That makes this much more about whether he feels like putting in the work than comparing his particular’s to those of the incumbent receivers.
Feel free to take DGB in the late rounds if he lasts that long, but there’s nothing exciting here. His arrival makes Nelson Agholor and Rueben Randle even less interesting on draft day.
Meanwhile, back in Nashville
It turns out we all should have been drafting WRs Rishard Matthews and Tajae Sharpe earlier all along. As of Monday, Matthews was going early in Round 13 in MFL10 drafting, with Sharpe following late in Round 18. WR Kendall Wright also sits in the middle of Round 18 -- 1 spot ahead of Sharpe in WR ADP -- while sitting out with a hamstring injury.
None of these guys will turn into a league-winning player for you, but all can deliver value -- especially in a year where you might be looking for volume in your WR corps after the whole position gets pushed up early in your draft.
Sharpe and Wright, in particular, present basically no risk at their low positions, while Matthews has been going right behind Bengals rookie Tyler Boyd and DGB in WR ADP.
Delanie Walker, meanwhile, should remain the target leader among Titans, while the offense figures to run the ball as much as it can. QB Marcus Mariota slipped a couple of spots in our QB rankings, with an upside red-zone target leaving town.