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  1. #1
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    The Incredible Value Of A Starting Undrafted Player

    There is no doubt in my mind who is the most impactful player on the team this year.....a young, small man who was not on radars around the league, so much so he was undrafted. At just 5'8" and 190 pounds, Phillip Lindsay is on a path to register outstanding rookie stats. Currently he has 937 yards on just 154 carries, a 6.1 average, and 8 TDs, plus another 189 yards receiving and 1 TD. He is on pace for 1,249 rushing yards, but I estimate closer to 1,400 based on his upward trending of late. Amazing stats!!!

    But beyond the numbers, lets be honest, minus this impassioned player on our roster, we are not 6 and 6. And though some will say we deserved better earlier this season, I will add that, as good as Freeman has played for a rookie as well, our record is and will align fairly closely with Lindsay's play from here on in this season. He means that much to The Broncos. Sure, D is critical, and our Oline will have a say, as will our QB, but the addition of this young stud of an RB has helped elevate our game over all else, for many weeks. The main reason was that he came with no guarantees.

    Looking back over time, The Broncos have had a nice batch of very important Undrafted players. There are some that you may want to add to this list, but here's just one group listing:

    Rod Smith
    Chris Harris Jr
    Steve Watson
    Lionel Taylor (initially signed with The Bears)
    Greg Kragen
    Dwayne Carswell
    Rich Karlis
    Gene Mingo
    Bob Swenson

    On Gil Brandt's list of top 30 Undrafted players, written a couple of years ago, he names some Broncos:

    #30 - Welker (of course we know he was not initially signed here)

    #27 - Chris Harris Jr

    #16 - Rod Smith

    #5 - Willie Brown (signed here but starred with Oakland)

    BTW...he rated Kurt Warner at #1.

    And there are other playrs that stand out as "late" add ons, like Karl Mecklenburg, drafted in the 12th round...which would translate to "undrafted" in today's format.

    But so many gems that never got the pleasure of being drafted. So much talent. So important to their teams!!

    All in all I think it very important that we respect those in charge, when undrafted players become stars in this league. Some may even have been lucky choices. In Lindsay's case, we did have a geographic advantage. But still, we signed him...and we gave him the chance he needed to prove himself.

    For me, being able to find gems in the undrafted ranks, or in the latter rounds, is significant value. Look at the draft value chart and you will appreciate the significance. The first 5 players are valued at: 3,000, 2,600, 2,200, 1,800 and 1,700. The last player in round 7 is worth just 2 points....therefore undrafted players are somewhere between 0 and 2 (I suppose)! Now, think of Lindsay's value to The Broncos. Or, imagine what he'd be worth if the draft was held tomorrow, knowing what we know. Even the last person in round one is worth 590 points. Wherever you think he would be selected, think of the increased value, particularly if we talked trade (which I am quite sure we won't!)

    This all translates to value add. With the premise that, if you can add value at one or more selections, you gain an edge on other teams. And so it goes with any good decision. So thanks to Elway and company for not only signing him, but providing him the environment, coaching and opportunity to play. History shows that undrafted players can make a major impact....and history will likely show that The Broncos made a very good draft related decision in 2018!!

  2. #2
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    At the moment, I count 20 players on Denver's 53 man roster who came into the league as undrafted college free agents. There are four more on IR (including PUP).
    "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

  3. #3
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    Great stuff, Dave! Ravens were less than 15 minutes (!!!) away from signing him. We got lucky!


    Broncos rookie star Phillip Lindsay almost signed with Ravens after going undrafted
    “We only had 15 minutes to decide,” Lindsay said. “These teams were only giving us 15 minutes to decide where to go, and I’m thinking, ‘Damn, this is where I’m going to be. This is where I have to try to make my living at.’ And for me, I have never been away from home like that. … I ain’t never been to Baltimore in my life. I would have to try to swindle some money up to try to live out there until I had made the team. And at that time, making the team was [like], ‘Damn.’ You don’t have a good chance of making the team.”

    After all, Alex Collins was returning after a breakout season, and Buck Allen and Kenneth Dixon were young, relatively cheap reserves with established roles.

    But Lindsay’s agent was pushing him to remain in Denver. He’d grown up in the city and starred in nearby Boulder for Colorado, twice rushing for over 1,000 yards in a season. C.J. Anderson, the Broncos’ incumbent starter, had just been released, and no other returning running back had rushed for more than 300 yards in 2017.

    Amid all the postdraft chaos and confusion, Lindsay said, was his mother, sitting nearby. At one point, it got quiet. She spoke up.

    “ ‘Phil, you need to stay home. You need to go to the Denver Broncos,’ ” Lindsay recalled her saying. “And that right there ... when I sat down, I had to let my emotions go and take my pride and put it to the side and I had to really think about it. At that time I had, like, five minutes left. And I called my agent and I said, ‘Let’s go with Denver.’ ”
    Link to article:
    https://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/...130-story.html
    Last edited by BroncosDivision; 12-06-2018 at 03:23 PM.
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  4. #4
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    I went ahead and did the math behind what each team is paying per 1 yard of production THIS year so far (I combined rushing and receiving yards)

    Barkley
    The Giants are paying $5,012.85 per yard

    Lindsay
    The Broncos are paying $430.73 per yard

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua2585 View Post
    I went ahead and did the math behind what each team is paying per 1 yard of production THIS year so far (I combined rushing and receiving yards)

    Barkley
    The Giants are paying $5,012.85 per yard

    Lindsay
    The Broncos are paying $430.73 per yard
    That is a crazy stat looking at it purely in price-per-yard. Obviously there are other factors that have weight but it is still staggering the difference. One thing it does not take into account, and really couldn't at this point in the season, is any performance bonus either player, but especially Lindsay, might receive at the end of the year.

    Still, great food for thought!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BroncosDivision View Post
    Great stuff, Dave! Ravens were less than 15 minutes (!!!) away from signing him. We got lucky!


    Broncos rookie star Phillip Lindsay almost signed with Ravens after going undrafted


    Link to article:
    https://www.baltimoresun.com/sports/...130-story.html
    Great story Kasper!!!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua2585 View Post
    I went ahead and did the math behind what each team is paying per 1 yard of production THIS year so far (I combined rushing and receiving yards)

    Barkley
    The Giants are paying $5,012.85 per yard

    Lindsay
    The Broncos are paying $430.73 per yard
    Interesting stats. Now, I must admit that I liked the Barkley signing, and with the right QB, that O should be effective for many years. And what I think your data shows is much more of a compliment to Lindsay than a knock on Barkley. But yes, you are making a case for my topic....value add baby!!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua2585 View Post
    I went ahead and did the math behind what each team is paying per 1 yard of production THIS year so far (I combined rushing and receiving yards)

    Barkley
    The Giants are paying $5,012.85 per yard

    Lindsay
    The Broncos are paying $430.73 per yard
    can i start a PAy the man thread for lindsay he is criminally underpaid.

    oakland raders gm
    latavis murray trade bait

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyousukeneko View Post
    can i start a PAy the man thread for lindsay he is criminally underpaid.
    Let's start a billboard

  10. #10
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    So gang, given that I mentioned the idea of where Lindsay would be drafted, if the draft was tomorrow.....

    With as much objectivity as possible, where would he be chosen, given what we know about the players after 3/4s of the season? And even if we are a bit off, it will be interesting to calculate roughly how much value we added by signing him.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeFanatic View Post
    Let's start a billboard
    Love this idea. Its a crime how little hes being paid. I wish the front office would pay him more on their own though.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanDB View Post
    So gang, given that I mentioned the idea of where Lindsay would be drafted, if the draft was tomorrow.....

    With as much objectivity as possible, where would he be chosen, given what we know about the players after 3/4s of the season? And even if we are a bit off, it will be interesting to calculate roughly how much value we added by signing him.
    He'd easily be a 2nd round pick. He's doing better than Nick Chubb and Kerryon Johnson, who were both 2nd rounders. Heck, he might even be a late 1st rounder, as Sony Michel and Rashaad Penny were, neither of whom is having as good a year as Lindsay.
    Last edited by gerontion; 12-07-2018 at 09:43 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerontion View Post
    He'd easily be a 2nd round pick. He's doing better than Nick Chubb and Kerryon Johnson, who were both 2nd rounders. Heck, he might even be a late 1st rounder, as Sony Michel and Rashaad Penny were, neither of whom is having as good a year as Lindsay.
    I think you and I peg him roughly the same...but easily could be a 1st. But here's the even better news, a 1st means nothing unless they perform like a 1st. Same holds true for pretty much anyone drafted. There is a "hit rate" as to what % of players reach the potential designated by their draft placement. But in this theoretical approach, "where would we select him tomorrow, knowing what we know?", the thing that maybe overlooked is this....this young man is likely to run for 1,400 yards and 12 TDs in year one. I mean, where would you draft a player if you KNEW that was in the cards???


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanDB View Post
    I think you and I peg him roughly the same...but easily could be a 1st. But here's the even better news, a 1st means nothing unless they perform like a 1st. Same holds true for pretty much anyone drafted. There is a "hit rate" as to what % of players reach the potential designated by their draft placement. But in this theoretical approach, "where would we select him tomorrow, knowing what we know?", the thing that maybe overlooked is this....this young man is likely to run for 1,400 yards and 12 TDs in year one. I mean, where would you draft a player if you KNEW that was in the cards???

    That's the beauty of sports. You never really know. Denver basically has two Lombardi trophies because of some obscure RB from Georgia. The Pats built a dynasty because they took a flier on a marginal QB prospect from Michigan.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by gerontion View Post
    That's the beauty of sports. You never really know. Denver basically has two Lombardi trophies because of some obscure RB from Georgia. The Pats built a dynasty because they took a flier on a marginal QB prospect from Michigan.
    Talk about VALUE ADD!!!

    Sometimes I put too much emphasis on how smart some GMs/management are, for finding these gems. But as has already been pointed out (see BD's post), there is some luck as well. Sometimes you land a player who suddenly "gets it". Or conversely, sometimes players are signed that unexpectedly make some bad life choices, and ruin their careers. You can probably fill in the gaps.

    Having said that, some teams (in sports, not just football), reach too much, or make less than logical choices when they are given the opportunity. And then perhaps worse, do not provide these young folks the right environment, coaching, mentoring, "care", to develop as they should. Until recently, The Browns have been a very obvious example of long term ineptitude. I actually believe that they might have finally turned the corner...maybe.

    But in a perfect world, in sports with a load of parity built in (the draft / salary caps / other), where the room for error is very small, it is incumbent on management to get it right more often than not. In all decisions. Every good decision gives you a chance to stay in the race.

    I used to paddle competitively, and a coach that mentored us a few times, who was a national level coach, talked to us about the fine line between winning and losing in competitive paddling ....fractions of a second! So the criticality to get it all right was huge! Innovative ways were constantly being studied, to gain any form of edge. Now, that's a bit different than football, where there are so many other variables, but it gives you a glimpse of the meaning of value add.
    Last edited by CanDB; 12-07-2018 at 11:12 AM.

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