Berry loves QBs Jackson, Smith post-NFL draft
Matthew Berry, Jay Croucher and Connor Rogers evaluate their Love/Hates for the QB position following the NFL draft including Lamar Jackson and Justin Herbert with new and improved offenses and others.
CONNOR ROGERS: New contract, Odell Beckham in the fold, Zay Flowers in the fold. And I'll say this, the most undertalked storyline for Baltimore with me is Todd Monken, the hiring of Todd Monken, who loves the explosive pass play. There's a lot of hope now with Lamar Jackson after all the drama has settled down.
MATTHEW BERRY: Right because, by the way, also Rashod Bateman, we expect him to be back healthy. All the reports are coming out of there. You guys know I'm obsessed with Isaiah Likely, their second-year tight end. They've got Mark Andrews as well. No question about it, Lamar Jackson had a great NFL draft weekend. We love Zay Flowers.
You mentioned Monken and the playcalling as well. He should be a top-five fantasy quarterback. Again, a week ago, he was a very risky fantasy pick, and now he's a high-floor, high-upside fantasy pick.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, I think the thing that-- I think people have forgotten that Rashod Bateman exists as well. He was a first-round pick two years ago, and we haven't seen him definitively fail yet. And I mean, that team, the offense and the passing game outside of Andrews, was built around guys like Devin Duvernay and Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson.
And now they just have just a wealth of options, a range of guys who may succeed, may fail. But at least they get to try guys out in Odell, in Zay Flowers, in Rashod Bateman, to add to Andrews. This team is now just completely loaded.
MATTHEW BERRY: Cut to James Proche. I couldn't get a mention? What the hell, Jay?
JAY CROUCHER: Sorry, James.
MATTHEW BERRY: Sorry.
JAY CROUCHER: I forgot about you.
MATTHEW BERRY: Poor James Proche watching on his couch like, hey, I was one of those random guys from Baltimore too.
JAY CROUCHER: I know he does watch the show.
MATTHEW BERRY: Yeah.
CONNOR ROGERS: James Proche, noted fan of Peacock.
MATTHEW BERRY: Yeah.
CONNOR ROGERS: We brought up Quentin Johnston not too long ago guys. And of course, that has a gigantic effect on Justin Herbert where we want to see this offense get back to throwing the ball down the field a little bit more.
MATTHEW BERRY: You mentioned it, Johnston is a deep threat, 19 yards per reception. That's what Johnston averaged in his college career per reception, 19 yards per reception. This is a team that was 27th in deep ball rate last season, as you mentioned. Even in a checkdown offense, Justin Herbert was second in pass attempts and third in passing yards per game last year. Now adds a more aggressive playcaller in Kellen Moore, adds Quentin Johnston to spread the field.
We'll see what's going on with Austin Ekeler. But honestly, feels like either way, right-- if Ekeler comes back, great. Because he's a great pass-catching option, and he's a dynamic piece of the offense. But if he leaves, they're going to have to throw even more. So I think Justin Herbert is a winner. Justin Herbert makes the love list for quarterbacks.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah. And on Herbert just quickly, two years ago, Justin Herbert, when you adjust for luck in terms of interceptions, just kind of the random chance and drops, Herbert was the best quarterback in the league in terms of efficiency. He was affecting the betting line more than anyone outside of Patrick Mahomes.
So I think you almost have to throw last year out. It's not like he was bad last year, but he wasn't a top two, three guy. He wasn't an MVP candidate. And I think that's because he was banged up and everyone around him was banged up. If he's healthy, if the receivers are healthy, Rashawn Slater is back, I mean, he can be the second-best quarterback in the NFL behind Patrick Mahomes.
MATTHEW BERRY: I think that's a great conversation just because-- to your point, Mahomes wins the Super Bowl. Burrow and Allen are trying to get back. Lamar contract talk. Aaron Rodgers, is he going to get traded, yes or no?
JAY CROUCHER: Sam Howell.
MATTHEW BERRY: Kyler Murray, right? When you think about all the quarterback headlines from this offseason, just no one's been talking about Justin Herbert. And he seems sort of forgotten. And that's insane. Because if you threw all the players back and had a draft again, Justin Herbert is one of the first four players picked.
JAY CROUCHER: Yep.
MATTHEW BERRY: Jalen Hurts gets a record-setting contract, right? I mean, no one's talking about Justin Herbert. And yet I think if you talk to evaluators, they would say maybe only Mahomes goes ahead of him if you were drafting an NFL team today.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, he's right there with Burrow and Allen, I think, in terms of talent. And if he's healthy, I think he can be as good as those guys. I mean, Mahomes is his own tier at this point, to be honest. But after that, Herbert is potentially as good as anyone.
MATTHEW BERRY: Different people like different things, but he is in that Allen, Burrow, Jalen Hurts, I think, range.
JAY CROUCHER: Right.
CONNOR ROGERS: Let's close it out here. Back to Seattle. We talked about how complicated the backfield has become. The wide receiver trio is now jarringly deep. What's not confusing, guys, Geno Smith under center and all of the weapons he has to play with.
MATTHEW BERRY: Yeah, he makes the love list, I think, for a few reasons. Number one is, to your point, they add Zach Charbonnet, they add JSN. They still have DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Ken Walker. They have a lot of weapons there.
And the other piece here that I think is important is that Seattle was rumored to be in on the quarterback market. They had the fifth pick. There was talk about, hey, if Richardson's there, are they going to take him? What about Will Levis? They might take Levis as well. They really only have one year of guaranteed money for Geno Smith, so could they take a project like Richardson or Levis, let them sit for a year, and then a year from now, Geno is out?
And they didn't. They didn't draft a quarterback. I mean, they basically-- their draft said, we're going to give you more weapons, and we're also not drafting anyone else. Geno, you're our guy. We're building around you. So not only for this year, but dynasty stock as well, Geno Smith makes the love list.
JAY CROUCHER: Yeah, and the good thing with Geno is that from a football perspective, second half of the season, he wasn't that good. He started to turn the ball over a lot more, or at least throw it up for grabs a lot more, but he still got his numbers. And that's the good thing with Geno is that I think the touchdowns will be there, the numbers will be there.
And also the sneaky thing with him is that his rushing ability-- I don't understand why he doesn't run more because it's there. And last year, he had 366 yards on the ground. He only had the one rushing touchdown. I think that's a little bit more meat on the bone there that he can add to his game.
CONNOR ROGERS: A couple other quarterbacks receiving votes. Kenny Pickett. Steelers had one hell of a draft. Jordan Love, they went out and got multiple weapons for him. Ryan Tannehill, on that expiring deal, now Will Levis will sit behind him. And of course, Berry, your Sam Howell from your Commanders.
MATTHEW BERRY: Again, same thing that we talked about with Geno Smith is just like some of these quarterbacks that were rumored to be-- the fact is Commanders were supposedly in on Lamar Jackson. They were rumored to be taking Hendon Hooker in the first round. They didn't.
Also, Will Levis was there for the taking. They didn't. They've continually said Sam Howell is our guy. Nothing that went through the draft changed that. Ryan Tanne-Still-Here, maybe a new nickname for him.
CONNOR ROGERS: You like that one?
JAY CROUCHER: No.
MATTHEW BERRY: Well, look, Ryan Tannehill-- supposedly, Ryan Tannehill was done last year. Supposedly, Ryan Tannehill was done last year.
JAY CROUCHER: I like Tannehill.
MATTHEW BERRY: And then-- I do. And by the way, but now they have two projects in Malik Willis and Will Levis.
CONNOR ROGERS: Will Levis.
MATTHEW BERRY: And so I think Tannehill just-- Ryan Tanne-Still-Here there as well. And to your point, yeah, Jordan Love, they gave him some-- the job's all his, and they gave him some targets.
CONNOR ROGERS: Will or won't Will Levis play this year.
JAY CROUCHER: That's poor again. You're spending so much time with Matthew Berry in his Dracula outfit.
MATTHEW BERRY: Yeah.
CONNOR ROGERS: All right.
MATTHEW BERRY: Didn't answer the question though.
JAY CROUCHER: Will Levis is not going to-- it'll be Tanne-Still-Here. His show.
CONNOR ROGERS: OK.
JAY CROUCHER: His show to run.