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Why I want Chase at #4


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It is no secret that I'm a best player available guy and that I've advocated for Ja'Marr Chase since my first mock. While it may border on being sacrilegious to compare an undrafted rookie to a future hall of famer, I'm going to do it anyway. 

College stats:

Julio Jones

2009- 13 games, 43 receptions, 596 yards, 4 TDs

2010- 13 games, 78 receptions, 1133 yards, 7 TDs

Ja'Marr Chase

2018- 10 games, 23 receptions, 313 yards, 3 TDs

2019- 14 games, 84 receptions, 1780 yards, 20 TDs

Draft capital spent

Julio Jones- two 1st rd picks, two 2nd rd picks, 4th rd pick

Ja'Marr Chase- #4 pick, 1st round

Pro day/combine comparison:

Height- Jones 6-2 3/4, Chase 6-0 3/8

Weight- Jones 220, Chase 201

Arm- Jones 33.75, Chase 30 3/4

Wing- Jones n/a, Chase 74 7/8

Hand- Jones 9.75, Chase 9 5/8

Vert jump- Jones 38.5, Chase 41

Broad jump- Jones 11-3, Chase 11-0

40- Jones 4.34, Chase 4.38

20 yd shuttle- Jones 4.25, Chase 3.98

3 cone- Jones 6.66, Chase 7.00

Bench- Jones 17, Chase 23

Now, one may argue "we are set at WR!" And this argument is valid at face value, at this moment. Without even delving into any trade Calvin or Julio scenerios, let us look at the future at WR from a salary and age perspective. 

Julio Jones is under contract through 2023, with a cap hit of $19.26 million in 2022 and 2023. In 2023, he will be 34 years old. 

Calvin Ridley is under his rookie contract, set to make 3.46 million this year. The Falcons may pick up his 2022 5th year option, which would be $11 million in 2022. He will be looking for a high-dollar multi year contract and deservingly so. 

While some look at a potential WR pick as excessive or a luxury item, I see it as picking the best player available (the best receiver in a great WR draft) and allowing for future fiscal flexibilty at the position and for the Falcons.

 

Edited by Mister pudding
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Definitely a test of the "BPA" approach to the draft. His talent and production are undeniable.

otoh, the Falcons have gone 18-30 with Julio and Calvin as WR1 and WR2, so it's not unreasonable to ask what the ROI for "great WRs" actually is for a Falcons team that seems to lose games for reasons other than "not having enough talent at WR." 

To be clear, this rebuttal is not a "Falcons don't need Chase because they already have enough WRs" as much as it is "having great WRs hasn't been enough to prevent the Falcons from having a .375 win % over the last three years, so adding another one doesn't fix the problems that must be addressed." 

i won't be despondent if the Falcons pick Chase at #4. But i also won't dismiss as crazy the inevitable social media reactions that Matt Millen must've snuck into the Falcons Draft HQ and made that pick. 

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I prefer Pitts, but Chase makes a lot of sense at 4.  Him and Calvin would be bookends for years, and it makes moving on from Calvin palatable if we get into contract issues, performance issues or injury issues.  I love Fontenot's phrase "build on a strength."

To me, Pitts is just bigger, stronger, able to play as a move TE, will be a better blocker, and still has absurd pass catching abilities.  He isn't quite as fast, but he isn't enough slower for me to worry about.  His catch percentage is outrageous -- as I understand it, he did not drop a pass in 2020.  Chase actually had a slightly higher catch percentage as I understand it (around 69% to Pitts' 67% or so), though, so that might be a wash.  The question is how many of Chase's "misses" were drops versus bad throws.  Because Pitts did not drop a pass in 2020.  Where Pitts in my opinion blows right past Chase is his catch radius.  Pitts presents a large throwing window for the QB.  Chase is reliable.  Pitts is a cheat code.

As a weapon for this particular offense, to me Pitts is a better choice.  But Chase is a great option to be sure.  I won't complain about either one.

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If this is a really great WR class, why spend the highest pick on one when the drop of from the best WR to middle of pack WR in this class won't be that big of a drop. I'd pick WR later rather than first pick. Now what is the drop off between best TE and everyone else? If huge I'd take the TE or some other position in similar fashion. Trade down is probably best option

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1 minute ago, falken said:

Chase is an amazing talent.

Pitts is an amazing talent.

Is it easier to find playmaking WR's or playmaking TE's?

I'm not sure either are "easy to find." The average drafted WR's playing career is 2.81 years. Tight ends get beat up a little more, as blocking is an essential role moreso than WR. 

 

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3 minutes ago, FalconBlood23 said:

If this is a really great WR class, why spend the highest pick on one when the drop of from the best WR to middle of pack WR in this class won't be that big of a drop. I'd pick WR later rather than first pick. Now what is the drop off between best TE and everyone else? If huge I'd take the TE or some other position in similar fashion. Trade down is probably best option

Even then I'd take the WR if he is clearly the better choice.  I'm just not sure he is, so this is the arena where positional value, team needs and team fit come into play.  I think positional value of WRs is better somewhat, but I also think TEs are harder to find.

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4 minutes ago, FalconBlood23 said:

If this is a really great WR class, why spend the highest pick on one when the drop of from the best WR to middle of pack WR in this class won't be that big of a drop. I'd pick WR later rather than first pick. Now what is the drop off between best TE and everyone else? If huge I'd take the TE or some other position in similar fashion. Trade down is probably best option

The diffetence between elite and very good is why

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1 minute ago, Mister pudding said:

I'm not sure either are "easy to find." The average drafted WR's playing career is 2.81 years. Tight ends get beat up a little more, as blocking is an essential role moreso than WR. 

 

I think for me it boils down to off the chart potential of Pitts. When was the last time some one was as excited for a TE in top 5. Chase is top prospect but not like Julio or Calvin coming out of college. I think Waddle is another guy going under the radar if not for injury. He put up ridiculous show in first four games before the injury.

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2 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

I prefer Pitts, but Chase makes a lot of sense at 4.  Him and Calvin would be bookends for years, and it makes moving on from Calvin palatable if we get into contract issues, performance issues or injury issues.  I love Fontenot's phrase "build on a strength."

To me, Pitts is just bigger, stronger, able to play as a move TE, will be a better blocker, and still has absurd pass catching abilities.  He isn't quite as fast, but he isn't enough slower for me to worry about.  His catch percentage is outrageous -- as I understand it, he did not drop a pass in 2020.  Chase actually had a slightly higher catch percentage as I understand it (around 69% to Pitts' 67% or so), though, so that might be a wash.  The question is how many of Chase's "misses" were drops versus bad throws.  Because Pitts did not drop a pass in 2020.  Where Pitts in my opinion blows right past Chase is his catch radius.  Pitts presents a large throwing window for the QB.  Chase is reliable.  Pitts is a cheat code.

As a weapon for this particular offense, to me Pitts is a better choice.  But Chase is a great option to be sure.  I won't complain about either one.

I'm on board with either too, and it gives us flexibility down the road.

I'm also with you about building on a strength. I was once an advocate for working on weaknesses to improve them, but my father-in-law, who was a regional VP for a company I won't name, said not really the way to go. He advocated 2 things: 1) get a degree and it doesn't matter from where. If it isn't Harvard or Yale I'm (or the interviewers) going to forget where you graduated before your first day, and 2) know your weaknesses but work on improving what you're good at.

It's a similar mentality, and one I have come to agree with.

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Just now, falcons007 said:

I think for me it boils down to off the chart potential of Pitts. When was the last time some one was as excited for a TE in top 5. Chase is top prospect but not like Julio or Calvin coming out of college. I think Waddle is another guy going under the radar if not for injury. He put up ridiculous show in first four games before the injury.

If Chase played last year, I doubt this would even be up for discussion. 

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1 minute ago, JDaveG said:

Even then I'd take the WR if he is clearly the better choice.  I'm just not sure he is, so this is the arena where positional value, team needs and team fit come into play.  I think positional value of WRs is better somewhat, but I also think TEs are harder to find.

I can make an argument that TE of Pitts caliber, assuming he can live up to the hype is more valuable on the offense. Put Pitts against LB, he is fast. Put him against safety he is fast and big. Put him on outside with a corner, he is too big for CB to cover. 

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If we have to take someone at #4, I'd choose Pitts though I really like Chase.  I do see them both as receivers so the TE argument doesn't work for me unless he gets better at blocking but 6'6" ish and close to 250 running 4.4 with a similar skillset to Chase makes the choice easier for me.

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We've been spoiled by Julio and now Calvin (but really Matt the king maker). If the offense is as good as we all hope it will be the team doesn't need elite receivers, though they are nice to have. 

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2 minutes ago, falcons007 said:

I think for me it boils down to off the chart potential of Pitts. When was the last time some one was as excited for a TE in top 5. Chase is top prospect but not like Julio or Calvin coming out of college. I think Waddle is another guy going under the radar if not for injury. He put up ridiculous show in first four games before the injury.

Guess that would be Vernon Davis and Kellen Winslow

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1 minute ago, falcons007 said:

I can make an argument that TE of Pitts caliber, assuming he can live up to the hype is more valuable on the offense. Put Pitts against LB, he is fast. Put him against safety he is fast and big. Put him on outside with a corner, he is too big for CB to cover. 

Exactly.  That's why I think he's just a cheat code type of player.

My only question about him is the intangibles.  Does he want to be great?  I'm not worried he doesn't, I just don't know.  But if the team vets him out and he meets the makeup we're looking for, to me he might be the best player in the draft when it's all said and done.

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1 minute ago, Mister pudding said:

If Chase played last year, I doubt this would even be up for discussion. 

I don’t think him playing or not playing is a factor. He is blue chip player but not some one like Julio, Calvin or AJ green coming out of college. Pitts is in I chartered territory for TE prospects in last 2 decades. I liked Chase as a pick from the beginning of the offseason. I was in holding pattern on Pitts.

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