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Podcast Transcript: TOP 5 NFL DRAFT RISERS with Cody Carpentier!

Today we get some help recapping the Top 5 Risers from the Senior Bowl from Cody Carpentier!

Cody is an NFL draft analyst and podcast host with Roster Watch and is pumping out some really good content leading up to the NFL draft. If you’re looking for him on Twitter (X) you can find him @CodyCarpentier

Z = Zach Hiduk, Host

C = Cody Carpentier, Guest

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT:

Z – Welcome in to Beyond the Beat from 32 Beat Writers. I’m your host, Zach Hiduk, and today we’re getting some help recapping the Senior Bowl and talking about some prospects with Cody Carpentier. Cody is an NFL draft analyst and podcast host with Roster Watch. He’s pumping out some really good content going to into the draft here. If you’re looking for him on Twitter or X, you can find him at Cody, C-O-D-Y, Carpentier, C-A-R-P-E-N-T-I-E-R. Cody, welcome to the show. 

C – Zach, I appreciate you having me on. We didn’t run into each other down there, but I do remember the face. So next time, I don’t know if you’ll be at the Combine or maybe next year at the Senior Bowl, we will run into each other and we will chat in the flesh. So I hope you’re doing well and I appreciate you having me on. 

Z – Yeah, of course. No. And yeah, there’s so many people down there. Like we were mentioning pre-show, it’s just, it’s almost overwhelming to try to meet everybody, but you know, with everybody down there, but next time we’ll try to see if we can maybe grab some Moe’s barbecue or something like that. Who knows? But yeah, you were down there. We were both down there in person and you know, We’re going to talk through an article that you wrote a little while ago here. I really liked it. Just a simple, quick, easy five. I think you listed five different risers here. The biggest 2024 NFL draft risers from the Senior Bowl. Everybody can find that on rosterwatch.com there. And since you’re in person, you had a chance to break these guys down. It’s a really good article. Let’s just start, if you don’t mind, from the top with one of the wide receivers that we were looking for going in. We had Jacob Infante on the show, and one of the kind of sleeper guys that he mentioned maybe going in was Ryan Flournoy. He made Bruce Feldman’s freaks list. He’s 6’1″, 200 pounds. I think that’s what he weighed in at at the Senior Bowl, but… Just kind of a really strong athletic guy. What did you see from him and why did you feel like he was somebody that we should be considering more as a riser going into the draft year? 

C – I think when I’m going through this risers list, I’m doing it based on value or current perceived value from Twitter, from X, from the streets, from what you’re hearing from people. Are people not talking about this guy, not talking about him enough? It didn’t seem like very many people at all were talking about Ryan Flournoy coming in because it’s a really good group of wide receivers in this 2024 NFL draft. And at this event, you know, the, the focus was on the Devantesz Walkers, the Xavier Legettes the Roman Wilsons of that nature. And this guy comes in and he has an imposing frame, six, one, 200 pounds. Like you mentioned, he’s got big hands, he’s got long, long levers and he comes in on day one and just looks like he looks like he fits in. He didn’t look like some dude that was D2, went JUCO, went FCS. He looked like a guy that has been playing Division I, and it kind of gave me vibes of Michael Wilson from last year, Michael Wilson from Stanford, now an Arizona Cardinal wide receiver, third-round guy. Plays a little more physical than I think Michael Wilson. I think Michael Wilson has a little better contested catchability. But Flournoy has the speed. I talk to him. You talk to him. One thing he said he thinks he has the best characteristics are his hands. So he’s got some of the best hands in the class, if not the best, according to him. So he’s got the speed to get past anybody. And I just, in totality, I love his size. His frame is perfect for the NFL. I kind of term it the archetype. If you’re six foot tall and you’re about 195 to 200 pounds, that’s like the archetype. That’s when you think about the Jeffersons, the Chases, the DJ Moores, the… Odell Beckham, you could just start naming them. All these guys that kind of fit that and they are dynamic and they work for us in fantasy football and they succeed in the NFL. I’m not saying Flournoy is going to be that guy day one. He kind of reminds me of a situation like a Jalen Tolbert who was down there in Mobile just a few years ago. Came in. Who’s this rocked up guy? Oh, he’s at home. He’s at his own field. Jalen Tolbert. Goes later in the draft. A couple years. Bang. This year he had a couple opportunities. He’s going to continue to grow into that role. I think that’s what Flournoy is going to do in the NFL. 

Z – Okay, so maybe coming into the week, it felt like he might be maybe an undrafted kind of guy. Do you have any thoughts on after that week where he may or may not go? Maybe still undrafted, but maybe has a shot to make a roster a better chance? 

C – I think that he put enough on wax down there in Mobile to vault himself into the draft pick for sure. I do think coming in, it was going to take the perfect – somebody’s going to have to have watched Southeast Missouri State and known who he was in order to maybe throw that late sixth or that seventh round pick on him. Otherwise, he’s going to be a preferred undrafted. But Tolbert, like I said, Tolbert came in and looked really good at that senior bowl just a couple years ago. He ended up being a third-round pick. Do I think Flournoy jumps into that third round? I’m on the fence there. I would venture to bet it’s probably more likely to be a fifth-round guy day three, but I feel good about that. I feel fine with it, and it kind of fits exactly what I’m saying here where he’s going to take a couple years. That’s fine, but it’s a long-term play, and I just think he did a lot for himself being down there in Mobile. 

Z – All right, sounds good. Another guy who, you know, he comes from a little bit bigger program, obviously, that people may or may not know still, though, is another wide receiver, Jamari Thrash. Let me know, you know, he’s out of Louisville there. What did you expect coming from him coming in? And then what did you see from him? I know for me personally, it just felt like every single day he showed us something. I don’t know that he had a bad day while we were down there. You know, there were some receivers that seemed like they were up, down. But Thrash just felt like he was making a play, at least one, You know, every practice from what I could tell, he’s a little bit smaller than Flournoy. He’s 5’11”, almost 6 there, 185 pounds, at least according to the Senior Bowl weigh-in. So what did you see from him and why did you feel like he rose? 

C – Coming in, when I was looking at tape, I did not grade him very high, did not grade him very well. That’s kind of why we go through this process. He’s got long levers, similar to Ryan Flournoy, 75-inch wingspan there. I kind of projected him for about that 4-5-5 range, kind of looking like a Dante Pettis, maybe a smaller Romeo Dobbs type of a player. And what I saw in Mobile was a guy that can beat people over the top. He’s nuanced in some of his routes downfield. I think he had consistent agility and ability to beat cornerbacks on certain routes. Not all of them, but he looked better. And I didn’t expect anything from him. This is one of the guys I expected to beat. quite honest I expected him to be at the bottom and you weren’t going to make many notes you know I wasn’t going to put any checks next to his name I was going to put no pluses and I did I consistently did and similar to Flournoy he was at times at the event uh you know the the the second hand to bad passes and bad opportunities where he created separation downfield and the quarterback kind of left that ball short or didn’t put it in a position for him to win or didn’t hit him on time things of that nature. But Thrash, I thought, continued to succeed. And I think he showed he has the burners to succeed in the NFL. the big, the big thing really coming in and you looked at the tape, you looked at the numbers, the statistics coming over for when he transferred to Louisville is he was at Georgia state for four years and then boom, almost 900 yards in his first and only season at Louisville and the ability to transition like that from school to school. And now you see him go to an event like this. And even though the tape didn’t look great, but go to an event like this and play with new quarterbacks again. And again, he didn’t have the great connection due to some of the quarterback play, but he was able to create separation and create opportunities for himself. 

Z – Yeah and you had mentioned in your write-up that he had at times struggled with some concentration drops there were a couple times where it looked like oh man he made a really good play and then maybe towards the end of it I was like ah did he catch that or not I don’t know if they slowed it down on replay at an nfl game would they count it or not a couple in the end zone specifically in one-on-ones but yeah there was one play though that I thought was really nice in 11 on 11s I think it was where he caught one on kind of like an out uh towards the the side of the end zone and uh had a defender on him and you know landed on his back stuck the ball up in the air and celebration I thought that was pretty cool but did you you have any concerns still maybe remaining there?

C –  I think I do, I i mean I bumped him up quite a bit I don’t know if that That play style, his abilities translates to the league as a probably more than likely sixth-round pick in there. Redshirt senior, fifth-year guy, probably going to be a later-round pick. It’s going to be like a Darnell Mooney situation. Do I think he has Darnell Mooney speed? No. Do I think he has the abilities? Yes, kind of. But there’s just questions around that. The draft capital is probably not going to be there. And in the NFL, it’s going to take a perfect situation for him to climb the ladder and succeed. And I don’t think he has the upside or the frame or the ball skills that Orion Flournoy does in the same conversations. 

Z – Gotcha. Okay, so did himself some favors, still some concerns there. It’ll be interesting to see through training camp once he gets on a roster there. So there’s two guys that you guys in your dynasty leagues especially can maybe throw a later pick at and see what happens there. Moving on to running backs for just a second. We had this class just in general. It’s, I don’t want to say necessarily underwhelming, I mean, but it’s not a stellar running back class. Just… as far as rookies go in general. And it feels like there’s some opportunity for some guys to separate themselves. MarShawn Lloyd, do you feel like he did that this week or last week? 

C – I think he did 100% I do. I think from the jump, it was who’s this guy? And we knew who he was, but it was the one that your eyes go directly to where if you’re watching, if you watch MarShawn Lloyd on tape coming in, he did the exact same things on film in Mobile. It was the same cuts. It was the same receiving ability. And those are confirming priors, right? You’re watching this film. You know who this guy is. You think you do anyway. And then you come into the event and he’s like, oh, yep, that’s him. And he vaulted himself, I think, into the top six, seven conversation at the running back position. Again, there’s no clear cut, you know, Saquon, Bijan, Breece type of a guy this year, obviously. So I think that there’s going to be a multitude of thoughts around the running back group, whether it’s Braelon Allen, whether it’s Blake Corum, Trey Benson, whatever you like. I think MarShawn Lloyd did exactly what was needed of him. We do have a couple of questions about his lower body. He’s jacked. He’s 217 pounds, big frame in the upper body, but he’s got like the calves are a little slender. One of my buddies here at Rosterwatch kind of terms it the Darren McFadden legs, and that’s when you look at Darren McFadden, he’s upper bodies like this, and the lower body kind of just goes right down to the smaller calves, and those guys can continually get injured as they go along in the NFL. I’m not trying to project injuries by any means, but… A guy like MarShawn Lloyd didn’t play a ton of games in college, dominated both at South Carolina and USC in the small opportunities that he did get, averaging I think over seven yards per carry. I think it was 7.1. I think Lloyd’s a guy that bumped himself from fringe top 10 to that 6-7 conversation as far as the running back position goes, and I think he’s got a lethal jump cut. I think he’s got great vision, and all of these running backs really are the senior bowlers, just so fluid in the receiving game. 

Z – Yeah, I think that was kind of fun to watch. And sometimes it felt like some days the running backs just had no success at all on almost either team. And then the next day it felt like somebody was showing out. But running the ball itself, you’re right. Like pass catching, it felt like a lot of the guys were able to show that. And then running the ball, he was one of the few that it felt like, to me at least, stood out on a consistent basis there. And you are right. When you go down on the field to interview guys, it was almost like, yeah, you mentioned that V-shape from the top down. So yeah. Uh, we’ll see, see how that goes. Uh, the guy who won, hit the best running back for his roster, Michael Wiley, as voted on, at least by the linebackers down there, uh, out of Arizona, 5’10”, 209. What did you see from him this week that stood out to you? 

C – Maybe the biggest surprise, that’s what I wrote in my notes, was maybe the biggest surprise of the week. He was a late add. Jalen Wright was injured from Tennessee’s burner. Going to be one of those top 10 guys in this class as well. But Michael Wiley was a late add and, quite frankly, didn’t watch film on incoming. So some of these situations are fun to watch like this. You’re like, I haven’t watched this guy at all. What’s he going to be? And he comes in there, and the first thing I noticed was the receiving game, the most fluid out of all of these guys, the most consistent out of all of these guys. And then he started running between the tackles. And I was like, that’s not bad. And they did pass pro. That’s pretty solid. And it was just stacking things that he could do really good and solid. And I was talking to Alex about it, and I was like, man, this guy, he kind of gives off Eric Gray, Rashad White vibes of the last couple of years. What is he? And we’re talking about it like going home before we did our podcast. This guy’s probably like 195. He’s not that big of a body type. We get back. The numbers are released. He’s 209 pounds. And we kind of turn with the Trey Mason-Dixon line, which is about that 205-pound spot, which is where you want these running backs to be, is north of that line. And I think Michael Wiley was the guy that had the most consistent week out of anybody, even more so than MarShawn Lloyd. MarShawn Lloyd’s the best running back there. I think Rasheed Ali can be had too, but he only practiced one day. It was very good. But I think Michael Wiley brings quite a bit to the table. Now, as far as draft capital goes, these running backs, it’s going to be – it’s a toss-up to even have an opinion on these running backs right now as far as even the first guys going up. Nobody’s projected right now going earlier than 55 overall in the NFL draft. So Wiley is going to get in a situation that’s probably going to be sixth, seventh round, which is fine. We’ve seen guys succeed from there, Isaiah Pacheco, Keaton Mitchell, and guys of that nature. But Michael Wiley has the frame at 5’10.5″, 209 pounds. I think everything is there from the levers, from the length, his ability to run between the tackles, the receiving game. It all stacks up for Michael Wiley, and I think he was the biggest surprise of the week of all the skill position. 

Z – Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Certainly for me as well. A guy that people probably weren’t as surprised by who you mentioned the last one here on your article is Ladd McConkey, the wide receiver out of Georgia. He had a very consistent week. from what we could see. But, you know, as far as expectations coming in, people had pretty high, you know, a decent value on him. Maybe not a first rounder, but there was some talk about maybe being at that range. Do you feel like he did enough to be somewhat seriously considered as a first rounder in the NFL draft? Or why did you feel like he rose?

C – Yeah, I’m going to be honest with you. I didn’t think he was a first round conversation type of a player going in. And that’s all I heard while I was in Mobile was, oh, yeah, Ladd McConkey, early second. He’s going to get into the first round. You walked away, and all of a sudden you start seeing mock drafts with him going like 31 to the Chiefs. I was like, whoa. I get it. 100%. I get it. With that frame, what did he weigh in? He weighed in at 187, which is pretty solid. It’s 20 pounds heavier than what Tank Dell did last year. He didn’t look like Tank Dell out there. Tank Dell was skating past people. McConkie is more sudden, more twitchy, I would say, in and out of breaks and stuff like that. He just dominated. It felt like on day one. And I don’t want to see him coasted the rest of the week because he didn’t, but he just looked consistent throughout the week. I think he’s going to run sub 4.4, probably mid 4.3s at the Combine this month. And it’s going to be a guy that continues to build as the process goes through. And my one question, I guess, that I have still is he’s dealt with a handful of injuries back. I think a lower body, maybe a shoulder injury. during his time at Georgia, and those are, of course, questions in the NFL. Staying healthy, health is wealth, and that’s everything. But McConkie was borderline the most unguardable player at the event. 

Z – Yeah. Yeah. And the health thing is interesting, especially if you’re going to be running those like short to intermediate routes like we saw a lot of while we were at the senior bowl. And that seemed to where he had that seemed to be where he had some good success. Yeah. Yeah. I’ll be interested to see. Obviously, there’s a lot of wide receivers, a lot of offensive talent that we’re going to see go on the first round this year. So even in some years, if he’s maybe deserving of it, whether we can debate that or not, we still may not see that. But you wrote that it seems incredibly unlikely that he even completely like that he doesn’t get out of that he gets out of round two undrafted that is so um is there anybody that we haven’t mentioned so far that surprised you I know you mentioned Michael Wiley surprised you coming into the week and then you also mentioned uh Rasheen Ali the running back um he got uh injured I heard apparently it was a torn bicep tendon on day I think it might have been the beginning of day two which is why we didn’t see him the rest of the week there which sucks but I think that’s a recovery of four to six months, so hopefully we’ll see him back. But anybody that you felt like stood out to you that maybe didn’t make the list here? 

C – I think a couple of tight ends you could throw on us as far as the risers. Jared Wiley is a guy from TCU, transferred from Texas a few years ago and got opportunities at TCU. He’s going to be one of these fourth, fifth-round guys, as is Ben Sinnott. These are the two tight ends that, for me – They profile and they archetype like, and again, people are going to take this and run with it, but it’s like you think about George Kittle, you think about Travis Kelce, you think about Mark Andrews, these guys that went in the fourth, the fifth round and flourished into something. Jared Wiley and Ben Sinnott bring the profiles to potentially be something of that nature. I thought they both had very solid weeks. Of course, the two big tight ends from Penn State and Minnesota, Brevin Span-Ford and Theo Johnson. uh were there as well but I thought these two guys showed a multitude of traits not only on the tape beforehand but also in mobile whether it was run blocking or in the passing game that they could both succeed. 

Z – OK, last question for you here. Outside of maybe Ladd McConkey, just from a fantasy standpoint and probably more of a dynasty outlook. Is there anybody that you feel like has the chance to maybe be the highest drafted and maybe have the biggest fantasy impact in the next couple of years? Is there anybody that you’d pick for that?

C – Definitely, I mean, definitely 100% Ladd McConkey feels like the highest drafted player right now at the event. Malachi Corley’s caught a lot of helium the last month and a half. But talking to him, he kind of gave vibes that teams were talking to him as if he’s more of a gadget player than he is, you know, a dominant slot receiver. Again, they call him the YAC King for a reason. He had over 2,000 yards after catch, which most players don’t even get to 2,000 receiving yards in their career. This guy had over 2,000 just after the catch. And I think he’s going to be in that conversation. But being conversed as a gadget guy and him bringing that up means teams have been putting that into his ear. Makes me feel like he might fall back just a touch. Brendan Rice is the other one. He came in. He was physically imposing. And the physically imposing player was supposed to be Xavier Legette, who is actually one of my followers from the week before. Coming in shorter, not looking as dominant, not looking as freakish. There was a rumor that he had an ankle injury as the week went on, but Brendan Rice kind of took advantage of being the dominant alpha of the event. He didn’t win in alpha ways where he’s just overtaking receivers consistently, or sorry, overtaking cornerbacks consistently, but He’s a different type of a player. He’s a different cat. He’s definitely not like his dad. He’s more fluid on underneath stuff. Everything in the first 10 yards of the line of scrimmage kind of reminded me of a Zay Jones type of a guy. And those that remember Zay Jones coming to Eastern Carolina, Zay Jones was nasty. And I think Brendan Rice brings some of that to the table. Do I think he’s going to run four, four? No, he’s going to be a four or five, you know, two, four, five, four guy type of a Michael Pittman type of a guy. not as big as Michael Pittman. But I think Brenden Rice is a guy you could see vault up to the end of that round two of the NFL draft. And then, of course, that’s also going to vault him up in fantasy drafts. And that conversation is only going to continue to rise because this class does have a couple of meaty big dudes. And I think Brenden Rice can not put himself in that conversation because that’s like the tier one, tier two of the class, but put him in the value range for fantasy drafts. 

Z – Yeah yeah and he uh you mentioned physically like there were several instances where there were guys just totally um you know he was drawing flags on dpi the whole week for what it’s worth and just fighting through it and catching most of them the only exception to that was a end zone drop that I think it was maybe day one where he just totally burned a guy and then turned around and it went right through his bread basket which was a little unfortunate but he’d had a pretty good rest of the week and I almost ran smack dab into his dad uh trying to get coffee at the hotel there it was crazy I almost didn’t recognize him at first and I turned to somebody’s like was that was it Jerry Rice like I almost run into Jerry Rice yeah so it was pretty crazy but uh yeah so I’ll be interested to see how he goes obviously everybody’s been asking him about his dad and what he’s uh got to to learn from him. Cody thanks for joining us but before I let you go, where can we find your work and everything you’re doing You can find it. 

C – First off, thank you for having me on. I appreciate it as always. You can find all my stuff over at rosterwatch.com. Also on YouTube at Rosterwatch and on YouTube at the Executives of Fantasy Football. And then over on Patreon, patreon.com/executives. Me and my main man, Matty. That’s where we have our dynasty top 400 super flex rankings. We got cornerstone rankings for this class, next class and the following class. And we’re just putting out rookie content every single day. That’s just part of what we’re doing. So everything else over at roster watch. And again, I just appreciate you having me on the show. 

Z – Yeah, of course, man. And thanks to everybody for joining us. Don’t forget to follow Cody, like he said, on Twitter and everywhere else. You can read and listen to all the work that he’s doing for Rosterwatch and make sure to check out his Patreon there. He’s releasing things every day, it almost seems like there. Also, don’t forget to like, rate, review, and repost this show to help us out. So if you haven’t, be sure to check out our new and improved website. We loaded some really cool stuff on there for our premium users. Check it out at 32beatwriters.com. For 32 Beat Writers, I’m Zach Hiduk. We’ll see you later.

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