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Season 18 Draft Offense Preview

LightningDragon · November 27, 2023

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By: Cole Mantell (@lightningdragon)

For longtime viewers, graduating at the end of your CFSL career wasn’t always the end of the story. For many players, the opportunity to continue onto the Pro League was a key part of their stories and something many players would look forward to. While the Pro League is not returning this offseason, a new similar idea will.

Starting this offseason, experienced members will get together for the CFSL Draft. In this event, 21 NFL teams will draft players from the CFSL graduation list onto their current teams. That means GMs will participate in the draft finding players to add to the current roster on the day of the draft.

For this series to prepare you for said draft, we will be looking at each position group available to our GMs. They are sorted as QB, HB, WR, TE/FB, DE, DT, OLB, MLB, CB, FS, SS, and K. For each group, we’ll grade each player in the position group by tiers. Specifically, we’ll look at them in how likely they are to be drafted and where. This is the table showing how each tier is graded. In this article, we will look at offensive positions. The next article will look at defense and special teams.

TierDescription
Tier 11st Round Talent
Tier 22nd-3rd Round Talent
Tier 34th-6th Round Talent
Tier 47th Round Talent or Undrafted

Keep in mind for these tiers that there are only 21 spots in each round. Therefore, while it will not work out perfectly in this series, there should be only around 20 to 30 total Tier 1 players, at least in theory. Also, keep in mind that while there might be 10 awesome players in a position group, only so many NFL teams might need a Quarterback right now, for example. That does affect how many players are graded in Tier 1. So without further ado:

Quarterbacks

Tier 1: Loki Gunderson, Cece Range, Ryan Moreland

Tier 2: Dylan Shumate, Derrick Power, Ayden Martinez

Tier 3: Shaker Mayflower, Tony Ellis

Tier 4: None

There is some great talent graduating from the QB position this offseason. Ryan Moreland leads this class as the most accomplished of the group, with both Gunderson and Cece Range having some of the best pure-arm talent. QB is a position where there will be many teams looking for a QB, and it is very possible one of those three go #1 overall.

Later rounds will feature some intriguing prospects as well. Power and Martinez both had success in college and could easily jump into the first round, for example. Notice as well, this ranking projects each QB to be drafted before the 6th round. I do believe each QB will get a call come draft time. That’s the nature of how the class looks this season.

Halfbacks

john-paul-smith
West Virginia HB John Paul Smith took the carry to the outside and broke it deep.

Tier 1: None

Tier 2: William Tree, Ricky Hammer, John Paul Smith

Tier 3: Derek Eldridge

Tier 4: Demario James Garcia, Gabriel Zeigler

Halfbacks almost have the opposite problem of QBs this season. While the class is very talented, the modern NFL is not kind to runningbacks. In addition, there is no true leader in this class. While all three Tier 2 HBs have talent, none have separated themselves into being the true #1 prospect at the position. However, if a team does reach for an HB in the first round, my bet will be on John Paul Smith. A true bell-cow for the West Virginia offense, he has the best chance of cracking into Round 1.

Wide Receiver

jt-cass-jr
Florida WR JT Cass Jr celebrates in the endzone after the touchdown.

Tier 1: Titus Price, Blake Elder, JT Cass Jr

Tier 2: Trystin Haynes, Thane Lewis, Tatiana Hoops, Steven Rodriguez, Smoke Orleans, Quinn James, Nate Hayes, Nasir Cooper, Matthew Cherry, Josiah Mosley, Demetrius Reese, Cortez Largent, Alex Morris, Jonathan Blanton

Tier 3: JJ Lang, Jack Keane, Bryson Stamper, BrySon Homan, Bastille LaRue, Trey Meekins III, Rocky Franklin, Gary Harrison

Tier 4: Jimmie Brown, AJ Ragland, Richard Cassell

As you can see, this will be a historic WR class. Led by the three-headed monster of Titus Price, Blake Elder, and JT Cass Jr, this class will have over a dozen talented players who could be considered for the first round. While those three lead the class, there is enough talent here that a receiver who had 1000 yards or more in a season will likely go in the third round or later. An interesting storyline will be that second tier of WRs. How many are taken how soon? How big of a run will we get? In the pass-happy CFSL, how many WRs can translate their skills to the next level?

Tight End/Fullback

cadbury-wellington
North Carolina TE Cadbury Wellington shaking off the tackle for the big pickup.

Tier 1: Cadbury Wellington, Daniel Begley

Tier 2: Steven Eastridge, Sayler Sage, Justin Duke

Tier 3: Joseph Bautista, Butch Hetherton

Tier 4: Teddy Roberts, Ted Krzysik, Juni Winter, Corbin Archer

First, a large disclaimer. Cadbury Wellington is not only the #1 TE in this class but by far the most talented offensive weapon in the position group. There is no question who will be the first tight end off the board. In fact, Wellington might go before any wide receivers do. That’s how good Wellington was last season.

The rest of this position group has plenty of talent, and intrigue, however. Begley sneakily is the #2 TE in receiving yardage in this class, and I think a team that misses on Wellington will reach for the underrated tight end. Past the first round, Eastridge, Sage, and Duke all have the talent to provide help for teams. And while teams are unlikely to spend a premium on an FB, Juni Winter was excellent on the field for FSU.

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