Dynasty Draft Profile: Devin Funchess
February 24, 2015 | Chad Scott
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*MSYD = % of Team Receiving Yardage
The Dynasty Draft Profile series kicked off with one of the safest and most likely best rookie in this year’s class. So I decided to go against the grain and follow-up with, perhaps, the biggest gamble in your rookie drafts.
One (Cooper) is a no-brainer, top-5 rookie dynasty pick while the other (Funchess) could be top-5 or he could find himself outside the top-12 altogether. Funchess has been an interesting name to keep tabs on in dynasty circles – and his combine performance has only furthered that notion.
Whether you’ve been a staunch Funchess supporter – or detractor – one thing is certain. He’s still… interesting.
I’ve been a Funchess apologist for some time now. I acquired him in all my ‘devy’ leagues via draft or trade and while I *try* to not put much stock into combine results, I couldn’t help but wonder – did I make a (huge) mistake?
Last year – redraft, best ball and/or dynasty – I opted to join Twitter’s #TeamBigWR posse. When I had my pick of a 6-foot-2 and taller/heavier WR versus a WR smaller/lighter, I took a swan dive into the bigger, more robust pool of fake giants. I’ll save you the details, but most (all) my fantasy seasons ended without the coveted first-place trophy and/or monies.
I was left broke, embarrassed and miserable… damn you, big bastard wide receivers.
Yet, here I am, rubbing the lotion on its skin examining the potential Funchess, and his 6-foot-5, 230 lb frame, can do at the next level.
Twitter-ites main concern with Funchess wasn’t whether or not he’d be a fantasy asset, rather, “Will he be TE or WR eligible, or both?” It may not seem like a huge deal, but my PIC, Rich Hribar, penned an article pertaining to the potential variances here for our friends at Rotoviz.com.
After posting the worst WR 40-time at the combine, followed by a subpar bench press total, we were left with more questions without any answers. He’s too slow to play WR, but lacks the strength to play TE. And that kind of terrifies me.
His college cut-ups don’t consistently ‘wow’ you like others in this class have. He tends to make football more difficult than it needs to be – particularly against much weaker opponents/competition. His pass catching ability is average, he doesn’t always look natural going up for contested catches and he kind of “runs like a dad” in a straight line (Note: That phrase will forever be ode to JJ Zachariason, @LateRoundQB).
When I watch his film, I’m always left wanting more – like Prometheus. Devin Funchess is Prometheus. He’s a visually pleasing, physical specimen (spandex or not), but doesn’t have the substance elite wide receivers possess (yet).
He played at Michigan with ‘QB’ names like Denard Robinson and then Devin Gardner. He played in an offense that ranked 112 of 128 in scoring in CFB. The same offense that ranked #9 in pass attempts, completions, yards and tied for last in TDs in the Big-10. The entire offense was horrendous at best.
What Funchess does have going for him is the fact he’s the third youngest prospect in this draft, his size makes NFL execs drool and there’s no doubt he’ll have high draft capital and given every chance to succeed.
For his size, Funchess displays great footwork within his routes as his double-moves can be devastating to defenders. He may not look ‘natural’ when going up for contested catches, but he has shown the ability to box out a defender and should only improve on that with better coaching and becoming more familiar with his body and frame. He eats up any cushion defenders give him quickly while creating separation – with ease at times. He doesn’t have the best hands in the world, but uses correct technique using his hands, finger placement opposed to ‘body’ catching. He has the tools to be a big time NFL player with virtually unlimited potential to grow and hone his craft. Again, he’ll be just 21 years old once the 2015 season kicks off.
In dynasty, I believe Funchess will fall in most rookie drafts – much like Kelvin Benjamin did. An ideal fit for the previous year’s playoff teams. He’s raw and he’s a hybrid. It will take time for Funchess to acclimate himself to the NFL game, so don’t expect him to help you immediately.
It will be an interesting couple of months for Funchess as the draft process moves forward – and his most important months – as teams begin assessing what he brings to the NFL table and where offensive coordinators can creatively slot him in that particular offense.
While I may be more down on Funchess presently than I was before the 2014 season, his potential remains a top-5 rookie dynasty asset and I will be drafting him as such.
Well, if Funchess didn’t land in the perfect spot…
I’ve recently dubbed Panther’s wide receiver coach, Ricky Proehl, the wide receiver whisper for the work he did with the aforementioned Benjamin his rookie season. Like, Benjamin, Funchess is another raw talent ready to be molded by his staff into fantasy greatness. Unlike Benjamin, Funchess is actually young coming out of college – turning just 21 next week (Benjamin, 24).
As I mentioned on last week’s Faked Goods Podcast, Funchess is worth the risk given his ADP (14.09, or 2.02 rookie slot). He has the measureables and the prototypical WR1 body, but more importantly, we now know he has draft capital with the Panthers moving up to draft him in the second round.
Benjamin’s 142 targets are sure to take a hit with fellow giant, Funchess in town and I wouldn’t be shocked if Funchess heads into 2016 as the team’s #1 wideout given Benjamin’s inefficiency with targets. Either way, Cam Newton now has a bunch of trees to throw to. Sign me up!