Green Bay Packers Draft picks Romeo Dobbs and Christian Watson are both “tough scouts” for the NFL talent evaluators. Watson is tricky due to the limited sample size playing in an elementary school in a lower division. Doubs is tough because of the Air Raid attack he played in, which works well from a college scoring perspective but can sometimes put receivers on tricky spots in terms of translating performance to the pros.
This is a problem for pure scouts and statisticians alike, and there is no simple solution to either. In baseball, statisticians are adept at predicting the performance of potential customers at different levels of minor leagues based on mathematical models that consider potential development paths and the level of talent in each league. However, the same type of projection is simply not possible in football based on a combination of factors.
For Christian Watson, it’s just hard to establish a baseline of how much player control is in FCS football. Smaller and slower corners of it (the road) will play out of necessity, which doesn’t test against competent press and allows for an easy and short completion. The run first (and run well) nature of North Dakota State offense also requires defenses to run personnel heavier than they might like, creating a convenient rivalry in the passing game. Compounding it all, Watson easily led the team into the receptions with 40, indicating there wasn’t a lot of passes overall.
For Romeo Dobbs, on the other hand, it really comes down to some air raid attack characteristics and some quirks in his college stats from 2020 to 2021.
Dobbs and the noise of air raids
For Doubs, the airstrike throws a lot of noise into the equation. A typical Nevada 4 WR/1RB Air Raid operates in a somewhat modular style that includes a deep outboard road, grate crossing and back leakage into the space vacated by the deep receiver. Air raid also works quickly. The midfielder calls up the line, making it more difficult for opposing defenses to recover the winds and increasing the chances of making a mistake in defense – and massive manipulation of attack.
The problems faced by a single receiver from a development perspective are many. Receivers will operate a path tree limited by necessity, as the accelerated nature of an air raid sacrifices some complexity for the sake of speed. Having four wide arms on the field also emphasizes the depth of the opposing defences, while much of the attacking success comes from the selection of the fourth-back. This is great for completing passes, but not for test receivers. Finally, while acceleration undoubtedly hurts defenses trapped in the field, it also tires receivers, who have to run more frequently in a compressed time frame. This can lead to sloppy play and, in the case of Romeo Dobbs, some poor effort in the ban game on his college bar.
Scouts are at least as familiar with these issues as I am, but it can still be difficult to mentally adjust your score based on that knowledge. The slow block on the strip is a lazy block on the strip, whether or not there are extenuating circumstances, and while Romeo Dobbs might be perfectly capable of running every road on the road tree, it won’t show up in Nevada. This lack of information damages his inventory.
When Packers They drafted Doubs (and Watson), took a discount based on this uncertainty, and I suspect they’ve got a deal with every result. Uncertainty in some aspects of the game should be treated as a small negative, sure, but proper exploration will be able to extrapolate some of this from other available information. It is undoubtedly true that Doubs was a weak inhibitor in college (Sports Info Solutions ranked it 3rd out of 9 for blocking it, and believe me, he’s got it), but he’s also not a junior player, he shows good style in other aspects of the game and, most importantly, he’s not afraid of contact. There are plenty of receivers, like Chris Olaf of New Orleans, who shy away from connection, often weak blockers as a result. Olave got 4 from SIS for blockingwhich, while better than Doubs, is still pretty bad.
Doubs routinely ran dangerous routes over middle and took big hits as a result. When he was targeted on screens, he was always the first to call. He has the characteristics of a will-blocker, and it is not unreasonable to think that Green Bay portrayed him as such despite his poor marks and efforts. They did something similar when highlighting AJ Dillon’s ability as a receiver despite the college’s limited number of delegates. I suspect Doubs would be fine with a running game.
Doubs was also an excellent track runner on the few roads he ran. My initial reaction to watching him was being angry or violent. It looks like he’s trying to hurt the ground with every step. Some Scouts (reasonably) saw this as a bad thing. Sports Info Solutions, in draft guideWrote , “His release speed doesn’t translate into constant trajectory sharpness, yet the surprise can be seen in the flashes on the stem.”
I don’t think this report is wrong, but I do think some fatigue from the airstrikes has led to this discrepancy. I think the lack of a complete path tree (and some of that same inconsistency) appears in Scout profile Lance Zerlin on Doubs at NFL.com: “Line and limited as a road runner.”
I see exactly what everyone is talking about, but in the case of Doubs, I think the negative traits adopted here should come with some equivalent projections. Most bad road runners are almost always bad road runners. Consistency problems are different. Consistency problems are not so much technical problems as they are concentration problems. If you can implement the proper method once (or at least, regularly) Can Do it often. The problem is attention to detail, lack of focus on the goal, or tiredness. I suspect that in a more natural attack, running at a more natural pace, Dobbs would have had better grades on basically everything he was poor at, from road to blocking and even deep speed, where several scouts knocked him out.
I’m not here to hit the scouts though. I think most of them were objectively correct in their assessments, and interpreting exploratory data is often as much an art as it is a science. Numbers, metrics, and statistics often provide some objective clarity, but in the case of Romeo Dobbs, they’re quite vague, unless you know what to look for.
Deceptive stats and objective traits
First and foremost, Doubs didn’t run into the combine. The No RAS score I keep it off my radar because I prefer to focus on good, well-known athletes who have also excelled on the basis of playing in college. I do this using two scales I’ve created: wraps And the wraps. (You can find more details over herePut simply, WROPS combines players’ catches% and yards per catch into a single number, scaling the baseball’s OPS statistic. WRAPS takes that number and combines it with it Kent Lee Platt’s relative sports score To create a single number that combines athletic prowess with college production, on a scale from 1 to 20.)
There are a few competing explanations for why Doubs doesn’t run a hamstring, ranging from a cold to a stuck knee problem, but neither has helped his reputation with the teams, as it’s already difficult to assess is now a mystery as an athlete. While he was running a 4.5 40-yard dash late in his professional daywhich came a few days before the draft, the facts of the missing combination, the incompleteness and timing of his pro-day still leave some cool.
Compounding the lack of a true RAS group, Doubs also had some issues with his production that NFL teams don’t care about, although we’ll see, there are many mitigating factors for each.
The first is the fact that a first. Most drop systems prefer entry-level wide receivers, as they are younger and perform well enough to ensure the draft is announced early, but it’s worth bearing in mind that the small base takes advantage of this selection bias. As 2020 was the year of Covid, we’ve seen more players go back to school than usual, so the selection bias isn’t as strong. However, it is still worth noting that out of 6 first-round receivers, only two (Chris Olaf and Jahan Dotson) were seniors. Covid has been a huge mitigating factor in back-to-school decisions, but the NFL still loves their juniors. Doubs, at least, was in his fourth year of year four because he didn’t have a season for the red jersey, which probably helped.
The other major problem with Doubs is that on the surface, it was A less productive player from his childhood to his first season. The NFL hates it. While he had more yards as a senior, his average stats crashed from a solid 17.3 yards per reception to a place that was still pretty good, but not as eye-catching, 13.9 yards per reception. He gained another 107 yards, but on an extra 22 goals! That’s simply not great, and while his 11 points are impressive, it’s not a significant upgrade from the nine he scored the previous season on far fewer goals. On the surface, Doubs looks like a player who transitioned into an expanded role and struggled for it.
However, this is not really true. At least, it’s not a complete picture.
College football stats are not as well kept and not as well kept as NFL stats, and this really shows to the recipients in the lack of readily available goal data. It’s available on many pay sites, and it’s unofficial as far as I know, but you can’t head over to Sports-Reference and export a spreadsheet. The lack of target data means we also lack freely available catch percentage data, and you really can’t understand receiver productivity without it.
Ostensibly, Romeo Dobbs’ story is that he got more passes as a senior, but was less efficient at doing so.
But if we give additional context to the target data, it’s easy to see that if Doubs was less efficient, he was barely, because he compensated for his lack of yards per completion with a significant increase in his catch.
It is clear from this data that it was not so much that Dobbs refused, so much that his role changed. As a senior, he cycled indoors frequently, receiving his fair share of short balls and bubble screens. Notably, future Nevada Corps was nearly identical from 2020 to 2021 (Cole Turner, Melquan Stovall, Tori Horton, and Justin Lockhart all played major roles) and Carson Strong was nearly identical from 2020 to 2021, scoring 70.1 completion percentage in both seasons. . While he averaged 8.1 yards per attempt in 2020 versus 8.0 yards in 2021. The only thing that changed between the two seasons was the roles those receivers played. Doubs was more reliable in 2021, while Justin Lockhart ran deeper roads, going from 8.9 yards per reception in 2020 to 13.4 in 2021.
It’s not unusual for production to decline as a player’s turn increases, and depending on the severity of that decline, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. But in Dobbs’ case, this marked decrease was not real. If anything, he has shown versatility going from a deep MVS-level threat in 2020 to a positively all-out Davante Adams-esque threat in 2021.
The Packers caught the Doubs near the end of the fourth round, long after taking the agreed first round studs, after being drawn 11 noon, and after elderly Philos Jones (who is nearly three years older than the 22-year-old Doubs) and several other receivers medium. It’s early, but it looks like the Packers might have a good idea. If they do, they can rely on their employees’ ability to explore through noise and project where information is lacking.