I wanted to do a multi-part series breaking down a few landing spots for some 2022 rookies that would move the needle (for me) from a fantasy football perspective. I will look at these teams on an intimate level and take into account team needs, financials, and trends from the current regime (if applicable). As we know, landing spots can be critical to the future success of the prospect. I truly believe that coaching, opportunity, and the environment the player is in can write the story for a player’s career. Very few players, in my opinion, can overcome a tumultuous landing spot.
Malik Willis, QB, Liberty – Denver Broncos
Malik Willis is a very polarizing prospect that will require some coaching and significant refinement. This QB class has been criticized throughout the draft process, however, Malik Willis possesses unique traits that separate him from his counterparts. In my opinion, he has the most arm talent in the class and can drive the football where needed. He has rare speed and elusiveness that will cause opposing defenses problems when trying to contain him.
The Denver Broncos have a stout defense, a dynamic rushing attack, and underutilized wide receivers. Add in athletic weapons such as Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam, and this has the makings of a dream scenario for any rookie QB to land in–insert Malik Willis. I think he could transform this offense and elevate this team to compete with Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert who reside in Denver’s division.
I found an interesting quote taken from the Broncos Wire from an interview with their new head coach, Nathaniel Hackett. He stated, “You want to make the defense cover the entire field. You want to take shots down the field. Let’s all face it, that’s what the people in the stands love — they love those bombs down the field. I remember watching John Elway throw the ball down the field to [Ed] McCaffrey on all of those boot fakes. That was unbelievable.” I really felt this quote spoke to the traits that Willis has and the surrounding parts of this team that could really elevate his game while he adjusts to the NFL.
Denver currently sits at pick 9, the same pick they had last year when they passed on Justin Fields for Patrick Surtain II. They have an opportunity to sit still and potentially draft Malik Willis, although I would not be surprised if he was the first QB taken off the board. In that case, Denver may need to move up a few spots, but they are certainly in striking distance for this to be a realistic scenario we see unfold on day one of the 2022 NFL draft.
Tyler Allgeier, RB, BYU – Arizona Cardinals
After some initial research, it appears CB and EDGE are two bigger needs for the Cardinals this offseason. RB is a need, but undoubtedly not as pressing as some other positions. However, James Connor and Chase Edmonds are free agents and they will need to address the position. According to Over the Cap, if the Cardinals did nothing with their roster, they would exceed the cap limit by just over $800,000. Finding a cheaper alternative at RB could be a cost-effective way to fill a void, and I believe Tyler Allgeier would fit this team. Allgeier ideally would land in a zone scheme, which is what Arizona primarily has their backs run in their current system.
Allgeier fits the profile for a lead back in a committee. For fantasy purposes, I could see him step into the James Conner role where he saw 202 rushing attempts and 39 targets. An additional 116 attempts and 53 targets are also vacated from the likely departure of Edmonds, so this could be a prime opportunity. I always preach that a RBs best attribute is their opportunity, and this could be an elite opportunity for a Allgeier. As for him as a player, he has the main traits of contact balance and vision that I look for in a back.
Additionally, I prefer my fantasy backs to be able to catch the football, and Allgeier had modest receiving production at BYU but did see his reception totals increase each year. He had an 11% reception share in 2021 which exceeds a critical analytical marker for RBs. He also averaged over 138 yards from scrimmage as a senior and finished his career at BYU with an average of 6.4 yards per carry. These are all above average data points that would suggest he should find success at the next level.
I think Allgeier ultimately gets day two draft capital, and if he falls to the Cardinals at pick 87 in the third round, he could provide big time fantasy numbers. If this scenario played out, I would be willing to take him at the end of the first round in a 12 team rookie SF draft.
Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan – Buffalo Bills
Skyy Moore is a perfect candidate to be Buffalo’s starting slot receiver. Yes, Cole Beasley is on the team and under contract, however, the Bills are up against the cap and are projected to have between just 2-8 million dollars to start free agency. If Buffalo decides to part ways with Beasley, it would save the team over 6 million dollars. With Josh Allen taking massive steps forward the past two seasons, the days of needing to surround him with veteran leadership are gone. Infusing some youth to this group of receivers could be an excellent way to keep the cabinets stocked for Allen and provide some financial relief to the team.
Skyy Moore is a 5’9 and 190 pound receiver who plays much bigger than his listed size. He is a physical player and releases naturally off the line of scrimmage. I feel he has nuanced footwork and can separate from defenders, at times, quite easily. He has quality game speed and elusiveness. Skyy has reliable hands, and I did not see any notable drop patterns or technique issues that would delay his ability to help the team in year one. He fits perfectly as a complimentary receiver with Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, and Dawson Knox.
His analytical profile is intriguing, especially when you consider his 3.8 yards per team passing attempt (Y/TPA) and that he had well over 40% of Western Michigan’s TD share in 2021. What would make him even more appealing is if he developed into a reliable punt/kick returner; although he had limited exposure in the return game (3 kickoff and 1 punt), he displayed good awareness and decision making with the football. I think there is some untapped potential here for him in the return game which would fill a big need for this football team.
I am very intrigued by this prospect and think he will also be a day two selection. The Bills could use pick 89 to select Skyy Moore to be the eventual Cole Beasley replacement, which could happen in 2022. Moore would shoot up my ranks and would easily land in my top 20 selections of a rookie draft. #GoBills #BillsMafia!
Thank you for staying with me as I process some early thoughts on ideal landing spots for these 2022 rookies. I hope you enjoyed it and will come back for another edition!
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