DJ Swearinger knows exactly what he wants his Washington Redskins to do in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Swearinger was on Twitter Saturday night sharing his thoughts on what direction his team should take in the draft, making it clear that they need some help on the defensive line. He pointed out how poor the team was against the run last season.
Auston Matthews is heating up at just the right time, especially on the power play, an area where he wasn’t effective for the whole season. William Nylander is the stack with Matthews on and off the power play, while Zach Hyman can be ignored as the third member of the top line. Patrick Marleau is the veteran of the bunch and plays a role on the power play with Matthews, while connecting with Mitch Marner and Nazem Kadri at even strength. He could be a sleeper for the playoffs. Then the team has 36-goal scorer James van Riemsdyk on a third line with Tyler Bozak and Connor Brown. In net, Frederik Andersen has been in the postseason for five consecutive years now and should maintain his steady play from the regular season.
The Leafs are a sleeper pick for the playoffs overall. If they get by Boston, the conference finals are a possibility, and Matthews is the type of player who could be top five for scoring even if they don’t make it all the way.
But it’s not as if he was great before last season, and had a quick downturn, as he has been well below average for each of the past three years. Pro Football Reference has year-adjusted stats so we can compare across different stat environments. Flacco has been well below average in Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt each of the last three years (and in pretty much every other measure, such as Passer Rating). You know how many other guys had a ANYA+ of 95 or lower (where 100 is average) in three straight seasons at age 30 to 32? One. Marc Bulger with the Rams from 2007 to 2009. He never played in another NFL game after that final season.
But that was about the only predictable aspect. The run by the Ottawa Senators was impressive and pushed Erik Karlsson to finish as the top-scoring defenseman. Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne scored the most fantasy points for goaltenders, with Ottawa’s Craig Anderson coming second. Leon Draisaitl matched Filip Forsberg for points, despite the Edmonton Oilers not getting out of the second round. Jake Guentzel’s 13 goals to lead the playoffs didn’t come out of nowhere, but he also wasn’t anyone’s pick for top scorer. Anything can happen.