All posts by hallachhalil

Top five players at each position in college football right now:

Now a month into the 2022 college football season, I decided it was time to rank the five best players for each position at this very moment. For clarification, these lists are based on where these young men are today as college players. I’m in the business of projecting forward and evaluating them as draft prospects, but for this exercise I tried to isolate them from their team and purely judge them on who could help me win games at the CFB level right now.

Here’s the list:


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What’s wrong with the 0-2 Bengals?

After breaking onto the scene and representing the AFC in Super Bowl LVI, the Cincinnati Bengals have struggled so far in 2022 and are still looking for their first win. I decided to dive into the tape, in order to analyze their issues in pass protections, how offensive tendencies have been holding them back and why they’ve only scored 27 combined points through two games.

Three takeaways from each NFL week one game (of 2022):

Week one of the 2022 season is in the books and there’s a lot to talk about. Once again, I wanted to come up with three statements/discussion points for all 16 games. However, I didn’t just write about the stuff I picked up whilst seeing some plays pop up, but rather due my excitement for the NFL being back, I committed myself to really digging into the tape and statistics of every contests. That’s why this is only coming out on the day week two is already about to start again, even if I wanted it to be published earlier.

Now, week one can be a giant liar and we have to take everything with a grain of salt in the grand scheme of things, but I feel pretty strongly about some of these takeaways and believe they can paint a good picture on the league’s current landscape. I’ll talk about individual players, position groups and teams as a whole, trying to understand what we saw in this first slate of games and what it means going forward.

Let’s dive into these games:


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Predicting the entire 2022 NFL season:

Less than a week away from the 2022 NFL season kickoff game between the Bills and Rams, it’s time for me to once again predict the entire year, going through every single award, presenting my playoff picture and projecting forward who will square off in Super Bowl LVII.

As far as the awards are concerned, I will go through my top three candidates for each honor, explaining why I believe they will receive votes, along with just listing a couple of honorable mentions at the end of each paragraph.

To determine playoff seeding, I actually had to go a step further and yet again predict all 272 games, work through tiebreakers to figure out how exactly these teams stack up and then put them in order, so I could ultimately pick my winners for each matchup, leading up the eventual NFC and AFC representatives in the big game at the end of the season in Arizona.

(I added the Excel sheet with ever single game picked at the very bottom, if you’re interested.)

Here’s how I believe things will shake out:


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Pre-2022 NFL season power rankings:

We’ve nearly made it through the preseason and once again it’s time to put out my first power rankings of the year, before the Bills and Rams kick off the regular season.

To do so, not only did I rank all teams from numbers one to 32, but I also grouped them into six tiers. Each of those consists of four to six teams, other than what I labelled as the “second tier”, which is loaded with AFC teams in particular, who I believe all have the talent to make real noise this season.

As always, I know many people will hate how low their team is and sometimes the number in front of it may look worse than it actually is, which is why I’d like to consider the individual tiers, which is what I believe is more representative of how I look at the NFL landscape heading into 2022.

Let’s get into the list:


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Fantasy diamonds for 2022:

It’s that time of the year! Fantasy football drafts are fast approaching and everybody’s putting together their personal lists. So I wanted to give you some players at each position that I’ll be targeting based on their current average draft positions (ADPs).

Timestamps are in the video description for quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, tight-ends and defenses!

My top 100 NFL players of 2022:

It’s that time of the year again! How the NFL’s official “Top 100 Players of 2022” list is being revealed has been as unclear as ever, in terms of initial release date and the frequency of episodes. Yet, we do finally know it’s coming out this Sunday and so as I do every year, I wanted to provide my own version of the list.

As always, the process of putting this together is very challenging and unlike the inherently flawed system of presenting players their own list of top-20 to fill out, which invites bias for teammates and gives us players towards the end of the countdown that shouldn’t be up in that top-20 stratosphere for any person. It’s also rarely clarified that this is a ranking of players for the upcoming (2022) season, rather than a look back at what happened last year.

Either way, having to actually put this whole thing together and explain it all does leave you dissatisfied, because there are so many guys you want to get on there, but you have to just make that cut-off. Once again, this is not a question of player value and we’re working under the assumption that each player would be in a neutral situation, rather than taking the pieces around him into account. There will always be a projection factor, but generally I tried to judge where players are currently, based on evidence we already have on them.

Two parameters to consider here – the players actually have to be by all likelihood available for the full 2022 NFL season, which excludes DeAndre Hopkins and by all accounts Deshaun Watson due to suspension, along with a few other names, who are expected to not be available for the start of the season based on injury, such as Chris Godwin. And everybody must have played at least ten games across the past two seasons, which disqualifies guys like Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Ronnie Stanley,and I also grouped David Bakhtiari with them, since he’s closer to that ten-game mark than full health it appears.

Let’s dive into the list:


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Second- and third-year breakout players for the 2022 NFL season – Defense edition:

After breaking down seven offensive breakout candidates for this upcoming NFL season, we’re switching over to the defensive side of the ball and identifying seven more names, who I believe are due for taking a big step forward heading into year two or three.

Once again, these guys must have at least played to some degree in the NFL and not made the list last year already. Players don’t qualify for a breakout, if they’ve once reached double-digit tackles for loss, sacks, at least five interceptions, received a Pro Bowl or All-Pro selection, as well as if they’re just considered one of the best players at their respective position already.

And for the purpose of this being original content, there won’t be any repeat candidates from my list last year, which included Alex Highsmith, who I named a day before the Steelers signed Melvin Ingram to push him back on the depth chart, and Javon Kinlaw, who needed season-ending knee surgery after struggling through it for a while. The rest of the list actually pretty much all hit in a major way.

So now let’s get to seven new names, that I’m excited about for 2022:


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Second- and third-year breakout players for the 2022 NFL season – Offense edition:

We’ve talked so much about the roster building process, with a bevy of big-time trades, an interesting free agency period and maybe the deepest draft we have ever seen, thanks to the effects of the COVID-shorted 2020 college football season. Two weeks we started shifting our focus ahead to this fall, with my ranking of the teams most likely to go from worst to first inside each division, before I did a longer video on the most intriguing training camp battles, that I’ll have my eyes on. Now it’s time to analyze specific players, who I believe will reach new heights this year.

As has become an annual tradition, this list is focused on players about to enter their second or third season. They must have at least played to some degree in the NFL and not made the list last year already. Players don’t qualify for a breakout, if they’ve once reached 1000 rushing or receiving yards, were selected to a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team, as well as just being considered one of the best players at their respective position already.

For the purpose of this being original content, there won’t be any repeat candidates from my list last year, which included J.K. Dobbins, Irv Smith Jr. and Mekhi Becton among others, who all missed basically the entire season (Becton was the only one to at least play one game).

Somehow, I ended up with seven players on either side of the ball, which may be an odd number, but that’s what I came up with when deciding to dive deeper into the tape and statistics of these players. So here’s my list on offense:

 

Continue reading Second- and third-year breakout players for the 2022 NFL season – Offense edition:

We’ve talked so much about the roster building process, with a bevy of big-time trades, an interesting free agency period and maybe the deepest draft we have ever seen, thanks to the effects of the COVID-shorted 2020 college football season. Two weeks we started shifting our focus ahead to this fall, with my ranking of the teams most likely to go from worst to first inside each division, before I did a longer video on the most intriguing training camp battles, that I’ll have my eyes on. Now it’s time to analyze specific players, who I believe will reach new heights this year.

As has become an annual tradition, this list is focused on players about to enter their second or third season. They must have at least played to some degree in the NFL and not made the list last year already. Players don’t qualify for a breakout, if they’ve once reached 1000 rushing or receiving yards, were selected to a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team, as well as just being considered one of the best players at their respective position already.

For the purpose of this being original content, there won’t be any repeat candidates from my list last year, which included J.K. Dobbins, Irv Smith Jr. and Mekhi Becton among others, who all missed basically the entire season (Becton was the only one to at least play one game).

Somehow, I ended up with seven players on either side of the ball, which may be an odd number, but that’s what I came up with when deciding to dive deeper into the tape and statistics of these players. So here’s my list on offense:

 

Continue reading Second- and third-year breakout players for the 2022 NFL season – Offense edition: