2022 Finding ‘The Next Deebo’ (Houston vs. Tennessee) -- 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. Got it? Good. Let’s go…
Today’s Matchup = AFC South: HOU vs. TEN
RB David Johnson, HOU
WR A.J. Brown, TEN
I found it interesting, looking at their profiles again…they are almost exactly the same size/ height and weight and very similar in measured NFL Combine speed. Actually, David Johnson measured overall more athletic than A.J. Brown, comparing their Combines.
‘What might have been’ with David Johnson…’what could be’ in 2022 if an NFL team grabbed him with a purpose and used him like a slick RB-WR, because he could’ve been a Pro Bowl WR had he chosen to go that route. DJ is a current free agent, so I am holding out hope it will happen – like wondering if the Rams grabbed him and made him their unique version of Deebo, another Super Bowl appearance could happen?
A.J. Brown is a very strong profile to be flipped into a Deebo in 2022, now that ‘Deebo’ has been created for all to study and see. Brown’ strength is that he’s amazing after the catch, very hard to tackle/bring down once he has the ball. Well, if he’s so hard to bring down -- why don’t they just hand it to him like a tailback 3-5x a game then? Brown has a career 5 rushing attempts in the NFL…three 1st-downs, 70 yards rushing (14.0 yards per attempt), 52 of the 70 rushing yards are ‘yards after contact’ (mostly off one big run).
I think there’s a strong/hopeful chance that AJB does get a Deebo-like push in 2022, especially if he’s traded to a more offensive-minded operation…but it may happen right with Tennessee. Whereas DJ…well, he doesn’t even have a team yet. I’m not sure he’s gonna play in 2022…he could just retire. Brown is closer to the Deebo brass ring in 2022 in this matchup.
WINNER = A.J. Brown goes on to the Elite 8 to face the winner of tomorrow’s final Sweet 16 matchup, the AFC North final: Ja’Marr Chase vs. Chase Claypool.
Sweet 16 Results:
Rondale Moore defeats D.K. Metcalf
Kadarius Toney defeats Curtis Samuel
Cordarrelle Patterson defeats D.J. Moore
Amon-Ra St. Brown defeats Tarik Cohen
Joe Reed defeats Kendall Hinton
Tyreek Hill defeats Elijah Moore
A.J. Brown defeats David Johnson
Ja’Marr Chase vs. Chase Claypool