2022 Finding ‘The Next Deebo’ (Las Vegas vs. LA Chargers) -- 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 = AFC West: LV vs. LAC
WR Bryan Edwards, LV
WR Joe Reed, LAC
Bryan Edwards has some ‘Deebo’ physical profile…6’3”/212 and muscular, and quick. He could be an interesting runner of the ball. He did run the ball 6 times in college, for 41 yards (6.8 ypc) and he did return punts his final two years of his South Carolina career…but mainly he was a bully #1 WR. He could be a bit of a ‘Deebo’ bully with the ball.
However, the gravitational pull of that offense is now Davante Adams…then Renfrow/Waller. How is Edwards going to catch a ride on the ‘Deebo’ train there in 2022?
Joe Reed is one of my favorite ‘next Deebo’ deep sleepers. Check out these Combine measurables…
6’0”/224, 4.47 40-time, 21 bench reps, 38” vertical.
In college, for Virginia, he was a #1 type WR (with a lower-volume passing mobile-QB) and he ran the ball some too…34 career carries for 172 yards (5.1 ypc) and 1 TD. But you get a better sense of his abilities with the ball when you see that he returned 106 kicks in college and took five of them to the house. He’s one of the most decorated kick returners in ACC history.
Anthony Lynn was working Reed as a running back some his rookie training camp/preseason 2020. Reed played in 11 games as a rookie/2020 and had one target at WR but did get five rushing attempts…for 29 yards and a TD. He also returned 20 kicks as a rookie, but not anything special statistically on them. In 2021, Reed was a ghost for new HC Brandon Staley.
If Staley wants to copy his friends (Kyle and Sean) and get on the ‘Deebo’ train, he has one of the best physical profiles for it on his roster, held over from the Lynn-era, in Joe Reed.
The profile for Reed to be a ‘Deebo’ is way better than Edwards’s. I don’t think Josh McDaniels will push for a ‘Deebo’, in general, as much as Staley might either. We just need to get Reed on the field for Staley in 2022.
WINNER = Joe Reed advances to take on Kendall Hinton in the Sweet 16.