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NFL Podcast: Caps Off
Latest Episode | Pro Football Focus Lead NFL Analyst Sam Monson
Sam Monson, Pro Football Focus’ Lead NFL Analyst, joined the Caps Off crew for discussions about the NFL Draft, NFL offseason, and more.
Below are some highlights:
🧢 Anthony Richardson player comp
Caps Off: Who’s the NFL player comp for Anthony Richardson?
Monson: Richardson is a wild one because I don’t know that he has an NFL comp. I’ve seen Mike Renner, our draft guy, has compared him to Josh Allen, and you can kind of see why, just in terms of giant physical size, the huge arm, the athleticism.
… That makes some sense, but, that I think kind of undersells what Richardson can do running the football. I don’t know that there is a comp. The most crazy one I saw recently was somebody saying that he was a combination of Cam Newton and Justin Fields, right. You supercharge Cam Newton’s speed, and that’s Anthony Richardson.
That feels like it’s going a little far, but that’s the kind of world we’re talking about for this guy.
- 🏈 Read where Anthony Richardson and other top draft prospects are selected in Anthony Cervino’s NFL Round 1 Mock Draft.
🧢 Perfect fits for Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Will Levis, and Anthony Richardson
Caps Off: I’m curious what teams you think are the perfect fit for Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson, like best case scenario for each of those guys and for those teams, what’s the best fit for each of them?
Monson: So I think Bryce Young to the Texans makes the most sense. Also, the Texans’ new offensive coordinator, Bobby Slowik, he’s a former PFF guy, so we have to bank on his ability to get the most out of Bryce Young. So, I think that makes sense.
Levis, I think going to the Colts makes a lot of sense when you look at the quarterbacks that Chris Ballard has brought into that team since he got there. They’re all Will Levis’ size and shape. They’re like 6-foot-3, 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. They all look the same. So I think that’s a natural fit.
The Raiders I could see going with CJ Stroud and bringing in a guy that has the accuracy, can work through that Josh McDaniels offense.
And then everybody’s sending Anthony Richardson to Carolina. Actually, though, the team I want is one pick ahead. I want to send him to Atlanta and put him in that Arthur Smith offense and let that absolutely cook. We saw what Marcus Mariota was able to do last year and Mariota was bad as a passer. Richardson in that offense could be really fun.
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🧢 Bijan Robinson player comp
Caps Off: Who is the NFL player comp for Bijan Robinson?
Monson: So, he reminded me of Christian McCaffrey. And the thing is, McCaffrey was a good athlete, with the exception of his three-cone [drill], which was off the charts. It’s good, like insane.
Everything else was pretty good. Like a decent 40, a decent broad jump, a decent vertical, but it wasn’t great.
Bijan reminds me of like… okay, let’s take Christian McCaffrey and make him a really good athlete. Now what do you get? That to me is Bijan, and that’s why I think you’re talking about a generational running back prospect.
A guy that might be the best running back PFF has seen come into the draft, which we started grading college in 2014, so I think he’s probably the best running back we’ve ever seen enter the NFL over that period, going back as far back as Adrian Peterson in 2007.
Caps Off: Wait, so how much better is he? Because every few years there’s a guy like this, there’s a running back like this that everyone’s talking about. Saquon was that, Zeke was that before that. How much better is he than Zeke coming out of Ohio State or a Saquon coming out of Penn State?
Monson: I think Zeke is up there, but I think he is a more complete player than Saquon was coming out. Saquon, everybody loved his insane ability. His agility, his tackle breaking, but there were concerns about like, he wants to bounce everything outside.
Yeah, right. It was a throwback to Reggie Bush. Does that work in the NFL? Like, is he gonna give up too much yardage trying to make a big home run and hit on the outside? And I think people were fairly concerned about how that would go.
There’s no concern about how Bijan Robinson plays. Like he’s good at everything. He’s a great receiver. He always hits the right hole. He maximizes the yardage that’s there when he does hit the hole.
He’s just such a polished and complete player, and I think he has a little bit more athleticism to his game than Zeke, which is what would separate him as the top of that prospect tree.
Caps Off: Hold on. The next Peterson? So what you’re saying pretty much is Bijan Robinson is arguably the best running back prospect PFF has seen since 2014 when you guys started grading running backs?
Monson: I think he is. Yeah. I think he is the best running back prospect we’ve seen coming into the draft since 2014. He might be the best prospect to come along since Adrian Peterson.
🧢 NFL Team(s) to Make a Major Jump in 2023
Caps Off: What’s the one team that you think is gonna make the jump this coming season, similar to that of the Bengals two years ago, the Jags this year? Like what’s that one team coming into next season that you’re like, that team’s gonna make the playoffs and make some noise?
Monson: I think Jacksonville is a team that could take another one.
You know, obviously they took a big leap last year with Trevor Lawrence getting better. If they have a good off-season, they could contend this year, not just make the playoffs, not just be one and done. They could legitimately make some noise. Trevor Lawrence is that good. They’ve got a lot of young players on that roster. They could move in the right direction really, really quickly.
Then, obviously, I think if the Jets get a quarterback, yes, they’re immediately in the playoffs. They could easily knock over Buffalo in that division and become a true contender. Like if they end up snagging Aaron Rodgers.
🧢 Is Bryce Young the best QB to come out of Alabama in the past 5 years?
Caps Off: Alabama’s had some great quarterbacks coming out of Tuscaloosa in the last five years. Would you say Bryce Young’s the best quarterback coming out of Alabama in these last five years? Or would you kind of put him below a Tua or below a Jalen Hurts?
Monson: No, I think he’s the best of the three. I think he’s better than Tua, better than Mac Jones, and I think he was better than Jalen Hurts when he was at Alabama. I think he’s the best that Alabama has sent to the NFL in the last, you know, several years.