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John Hansen

From the Publisher

Nearly two decades ago, I was interested in upping my game as a fantasy football analyst, so I hired Greg Cosell, who I first met in 2003 working at NFL Films. Greg didn’t know much about fantasy football then, but it didn’t matter. I knew Greg was an elite NFL mind, but it didn’t take long to realize Greg was distinct from other NFL analysts and former players I had worked with. Greg may be the only NFL analyst who derives his opinions almost exclusively from film study.

It’s not possible for even the most intelligent NFL media members to replicate what Greg does for a variety of reasons. For one, most don’t have his invaluable 40+ year base of NFL knowledge at their disposal. The majority of NFL media people spend most of their time writing articles or researching for broadcast pieces, so there is little time to study tape. And even if there was time, most in the NFL media wouldn’t see on the film what Greg sees because of his experience and attention to detail. But Greg also dominates the field when it comes to his devotion to his craft.

It’s been my pleasure to get Greg’s content out to fantasy fans because we’re all smarter for it. But I’ve also long felt, and still feel, that his content wasn’t being consumed enough and fully utilized in the NFL and fantasy world. And that is why, when I decided to launch an entirely new website and brand in the fantasy space last year, Greg was one of the first calls I placed.

Most who are familiar with Greg’s work know he’s the Senior Producer of the Matchup Show on ESPN, and I’ve seen Greg in action. He’s involved in every aspect of the show, from pre-show planning to on-camera execution. Greg will once again work with my team to help us break down NFL matchups during the season. But Greg also spends an inordinate amount of time studying the college coaching tape. His preparation for each incoming year of rookies is meticulous. Greg’s profiles are concise yet comprehensive and illuminating. Greg’s ability to isolate a player’s strengths and weaknesses and combine that with a projection and analysis of his transition to the NFL is as good as it gets on this planet.

We’re getting bigger and better every day heading into Year 3, and the 2022 NFL Prospect Guide is no exception, as Mr. Dynasty and Devy Wes Huber will be including his top 2023 Prospects--with in-depth analysis similar to Cosell--as well as his Devy positional rankings and top-150 Devy cheat sheet. So it is with great satisfaction that we at present to you the 2022 NFL Prospect Guide.

Enjoy getting smarter!

Brett Whitefield


Let’s rewind to 1984, a year that was critical in my career path. I will never forget the summer of 1984, when Steve Sabol — that would be, Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Steve Sabol — and I talked in my office at NFL Films (it was my fifth year at the company) for the first time about the concept of an NFL Matchup show. Steve was the best boss and mentor anyone could ever have. Once you came up with an idea, he let you run with it, develop it as you saw fit. That was the beginning of NFL Matchup on television.

Fast forward now to 1992. That was the year the All-22 tape became available for us to study and broadcast. It was a defining year of my career at Films. Yet, it was only the beginning. Understanding the game through the prism of the All-22 is a lengthy process, one that takes time, commitment, and a constant willingness to learn the game from those in the coaching/personnel business whose experience and knowledge exceeds your own. It’s a process with no end. I have always believed in the following mantra: “when you think you know, that’s when you don’t know.”

About 15 years ago, another turning point resulted in the expansion of my career. NFL Films gained access to college All-22 tape. That allowed me to do what I had always wanted to do: evaluate the college game, and project the transition of college players to the NFL. That process became an important part of my career, and it remains so to this day.

Those are the two words that I always stay focused on when watching college players: project and transition. That’s the entire point of the process. You are evaluating college players to play in the NFL, not analyzing and grading their play at the college level. To do that properly and effectively, you must possess an understanding of the NFL game, and its constantly evolving schematics and tactics. In addition, you must learn the concepts of different NFL coaches, both on offense and defense, and how they utilize and deploy their personnel. And just as important, you must understand the similarities and differences between the college game and the NFL game.

I distinctly remember a conversation I had with Bill Belichick almost 10 years ago when I was working on my book, “The Games That Changed The Game: An Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays.” He told me that the location of the hash marks made the college game and the NFL game meaningfully different. That seemingly simple and rarely thought about variation significantly alters the symmetry and geometry of the games, and this has a dramatic effect on both offense and defense from a schematic and tactical standpoint. Think about that for a moment – field and boundary concepts on both sides of the ball are impacted. In the college game, the wide side of the field has a far larger bearing on strategy, tactics, and the utilization of personnel than in the NFL game. That must be factored into any evaluation of college players as you project and transition them to the NFL.

The overriding point remains just that -- projecting and transitioning players to the NFL. What makes players at different positions successful in the NFL? What makes some players more effective in certain schemes, and not others? Can a player be an important piece of a sub dime defense, and yet only play 12 snaps a game? These are just a few of the many things you must think about when evaluating college players. Very few college players, at any position, are scheme transcendent. The large percentage succeed or fail based on their role in a system, and how they are deployed within that system.

You always start with traits and attributes and characteristics when evaluating college players, what are often called critical factors that are demanded/required to play each position at the NFL level. The key, however, is placing those traits/attributes in a context that is defined by the NFL game. Remember, a lot of players play meaningful snaps in the league (especially on defense), so you must keep that in the forefront of your mind when you study and evaluate college players. That is why my evaluations feature a “Transition” section, and it’s really the most important section for each player. It’s important to remember there are so many variables when it comes to the NFL careers of specific players, including coaching, deployment, and the look of the team that drafts them. Players do not exist in a vacuum. How players are utilized — and this is true on both sides of the ball — is a determining factor in how they perform in the league.

For me, it’s always been about the process. That’s what I love more than anything – evaluating college players with the goal of projecting and transitioning them to the NFL. I look at it as an academic and intellectual exercise. Fortunately, in my 40 plus year career at NFL Films, I have had the privilege of learning the game from the inside, getting into the minds of some of the best who have coached and evaluated. It’s been a great ride, with much more to come.