2022 Finding ‘The Next Deebo’ (Seattle vs. Arizona) -- March Madness Tourney Sweet 16
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 West: SEA vs. ARI
WR D.K. Metcalf, SEA
WR Rondale Moore, ARI
The 1st-Round case presented for D.K. Metcalf was all based on ‘what if’…’what if the 6’3”/228 guy who runs a 4.33 40-time had his game expanded to running the ball more’? He’s only run the ball three times in three years with Seattle, so his ‘Deebo’ case is hurt by ‘Seattle’/Pete Carroll. However, I am of the growing belief Metcalf will be traded before the NFL Draft…and then maybe he lands into a situation where he can expand his game? Another ‘what if’? Metcalf is really the only player in the ‘Deebo’ Sweet 16 who has no real history of working in the role at all…he’s just a super-interesting projection.
Rondale Moore has much more experience in a WR/RB dual role…
30 rushing attempts in 20 college games, then 18 carries in 14 games for Arizona last season…about half the time lining up in the backfield as a tailback. That’s on top of being a (potential) killer WR weapon.
You have to give the win to Rondale here – he’s going to be in the WR/RB role again, hopefully expanding as he gets his bearings in the NFL. DKM would be cool taking tailback carries with his 4.33 speed…but Rondale with his 4.28 speed and terrific tackle breaking ability (for his size) is one of the rare few in the NFL who could beat Metcalf in a race. Most all the data points favor Rondale over Metcalf for 2022 ‘Deebo’ role.
WINNER = Rondale Moore, who goes on to the Elite 8 to face the winner of tomorrow’s NFC East finals (Kadarius Toney v. Curtis Samuel)