2022 Finding ‘The Next Deebo’ (New Orleans vs. Atlanta) -- March Madness Tourney
Same Intro each day: We all know what the phrase ‘next Deebo’ means – a player who works at one position primarily but takes on a second position (in-game) beyond just a random 1-2-3 carries or targets…that they become a real dual-threat option for their team, and thus a great producer for Fantasy Football.
Before there was ‘Deebo’ (midway through the 2021 season), there was ‘Cordarrelle’ as the breakout WR who started also taking a good workload at RB…so much so he became the team’s lead RB, but then got all but dropped on his WR aspect.
Before ‘Cordarrelle’ there was Curtis Samuel trying to breakthrough as a ‘nails’ WR in 2020, but also a guy taking 3-5 carries a game in CMC’s absence and looking like he might make the turn – but then he went to Washington in free agency, got hurt, and barely played/impacted in 2021.
Before Samuel there was everyone looking for the ‘next Tyreek’. We might forget that Tyreek started out as a low target WR taking 1-2 carries a game, and then taking every carry for a 50+ yard TD…then he was converted over from random WR/RB to main WR, and they stopped pushing him in the running game the past two years (definitely don’t get that guy the ball more, whatever you do).
We’ve had some promising guys try to breakdown this ‘Deebo’ wall, but Cordarrelle really was the one who kicked in that door to start 2021 season (then ATL went away from it)…after the door was kicked in, then Deebo ran right through it 2nd-half of 2021 and became the ultimate/best dual threat of our lifetimes – so much so every analyst is running around saying certain players ‘can be their Deebo’, and you’re going to get sick of hearing about it they say it so much now. But credit to Deebo (really, credit to Kyle Shanahan) the ‘Deebo’ role is a thing now…I think some teams are going to copy because of its success, as they should…as they should’ve created it years ago. It’s the evolution of the game – players/weapons who you don’t know where they’re gonna lineup or what they’re going to do, and they’ll draw plenty of mismatches to expose.
With that in mind, we’re going to have a ‘next Deebo’ tournament/FFM daily series for the next few weeks during March Madness time.
I am going to nominate one player from each NFL team to be the possible ‘next Deebo’…the ‘their Deebo’ hopeful. I’ll explain why I choose that player, and why not others if there was a close option – and then like March Madness, we’ll pit two of them against each other/state the case and I’ll choose a winner…the one most likely to be used as ‘the next Deebo’ for the 2022 season.
We’ll go by division, matchups by 2021 record (so #1 v. #4, #2 v. #3 in the division), one matchup/winner declared each day into April until we have one AFC rep and one NFC rep and then we’ll declare a final ‘Super Bowl of Deebo’ winner.
Now, San Francisco has their own Deebo already…so he is not in this tournament. For the SF slot, there will be a play-in game between two current draft prospect options. Unsigned free agents will be an option for the team they were last on in 2021, so like a heavy Final Four favorite, but current free agent (as of this writing), Cordarrelle Patterson, will be an option for Atlanta. Got it? Good. Let’s go…
Today’s Matchup = NFC South: NO vs. ATL
WR Kirk Merritt, NO
RB Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL
I mean, this one is a ‘no contest’. Obviously, Cordarrelle is more ‘Deebo’ for 2022 than a guy who probably won’t make the Saints roster – but I’ll speak to Mr. Merritt in a moment.
Just to note, Cordarrelle was ‘Deebo’ before Deebo was ‘Deebo’. We all know this. I’ll save the deeper case CP spiel for the next round.
Just to note on Kirk Merritt…
Former UDFA for Miami (2020-21), poached by the Saints with a future’s contract this 2022 offseason. He looked really promising in the 2021 preseason. A 6’0”/210 (good ‘Deebo’ size) WR who is quite the athlete…a (supposed) Pro Day (at Arkansas State) of…
- 4.33 40-time
- 4.02 20-yard shuttle
- 45.5” vertical jump
- 23 bench press reps
- 11’3” broad jump
Those are some righteous measurables…even if fluffed by the school’s recorders, discounting them a bit…it’s still pretty ‘wow’.
A former big-time recruit for Oregon, who ran into a ton of issues 2015-16-17 off the field and eventually transferred to Arkansas State…where he posted a 83-1005-7 (13g) debut season followed by a 70-806-12 (12g) season.
Within his three college seasons, he did run the ball 10 times for 55 yards.
He is a bruiser…he should almost be converted to RB…or to a ‘Deebo’. Maybe he will.
All that said…Merritt will be lucky to make the Saints team/practice squad, I assume (by the way he has been treated in the NFL so far), so I cannot put him over the obvious one…one of the favorites in this whole tournament in Patterson.
WINNER = Cordarrelle Patterson, will now go on to face D.J. Moore in the Sweet 16/NFC South finals.