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Passing Game Outlook

Last seen in a coaching capacity as the Oakland Raiders’ Cornerbacks coach in 2017, Rod Woodson will end his six-year hiatus and take over as the Las Vegas Vipers’ head coach. A HOF defensive back as a player, Woodson’s previous coaching stops were all as a member of a defensive secondary staff. To help lead his offense, Woodson brings in Duane Taylor, who last served as the Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator for Alabama A&M. Though he averaged just a 51.6% pass rate over five seasons as the OC at Alabama A&M, I’m expecting that to translate into a league-average pass rate at the professional ranks. Having gone through some preseason shuffling in their QB room, Vegas appears to have landed on Brett Hundley as their QB1, if for no other reason than his $200,000 contract that will make him the league’s highest-paid player. A former fifth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers, Hundley boasted a 67.4% completion rate to go along with a 75:25 TD:INT ratio in three seasons at UCLA. Seeing extensive preseason action over seven NFL seasons, Hundley maintained an impressive 65.5% completion rate to go along with a 14:4 TD:INT ratio. Understanding he may not be the dual-threat QB he was at UCLA, where he racked up 479/1,797/30 with his legs, we should still expect a boost to his weekly fantasy output as a rusher.

Woodson and Co. used their first overall offensive skill-position selection on WR Martavis Bryant. A former fourth-round NFL selection, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound receiver had a productive three-year stretch in the regular season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, ultimately compiling 145/2,183/17 receiving. A prototypical WR1 at this level, Bryant should make an immediate box-score impact. Foregoing the position for the next four rounds, Vegas didn’t pick up their second WR until Round 6, where they took alt-football veteran Jeff Badet. Despite being listed at 5-foot-11, 182 pounds, Badet has mostly served as a perimeter WR in all of his previous stops including at the collegiate level with Kentucky and Oklahoma, in the NFL preseason with Minnesota, and with the XFL Renegades in 2020. Last seen with the USFL’s Michigan Panthers, Badet only managed one reception in the team’s 10-game season. However, the 4.28 40-yard dash speed keeps us fiending for more. Mathew Sexton was selected in Round 8 and made it through the team’s final roster cut downs likely to serve as the Vipers’ de facto slot man. The team added Geronimo Allison after the draft, reuniting him with his former Green Bay Packers QB. Based on the duo’s shared connection at the NFL level, it’s reasonable to expect Allison to immediately slide into the team’s 3-WR formation alongside Bryant and one of Badet or Sexton. Like Bryant, the 6-foot-3, 202-pound receiver was a capable target earner at the NFL level and should earn a lion’s share of the team’s opportunities.


Running Game Outlook

Vegas used their second offensive skill-position selection on former Baylor and Penn State RB John Lovett. In 51 career collegiate games, Lovett posted a 407/1,980/17 stat line on the ground and added 38/219/1 as a pass catcher. The 6-foot, 210-pound back should split work with DeAndre Torrey, who was selected seven rounds later in Round 9. The more prolific receiver of the two, Torrey racked up 57/436/4 as a receiver in 44 career games at North Texas. Fitting the build of a pass-catching specialist, the 5-foot-7, 199-pound Torrey may be utilized in long-down-and-distance + two-minute scenarios. Vegas later added Brian Burt and Rod Smith, who may serve as immediate competition for touches.