One often under-reported part of the pre-draft news cycle is the top 30 visits. These visits will allow teams to work with players and explore if they would be a good fit. Before the NFL draft, each club has a limit of 30 invites to fly in out-of-town prospects for private interviews. Local college players don’t count against this number. Kenny Pickett, who played at the University of Pittsburgh, did not count against the 30 for the Steelers.
These visits are essential for dynasty fantasy football managers. It gives a glimpse of what positions each team hopes to acquire in the draft. This information is invaluable when looking ahead to older players who may be out of a job. We can get ahead of the news cycle and trade away players who may lose value. Today we will take a look at the NFC West.
I am using this article from CBS Sports to reference the visits. Not every team has used all 30, so it would be good to check back from time to time for an up-to-date list.
- QB Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati)
- WR Samori Toure (Nebraska)
- OL Cole Strange (Chattanooga)
- OL Rasheed Walker (Penn State)
- CB Ahmad Gardner (Cincinnati)
- CB Kalon Barnes (Baylor)
- S Percy Butler (Louisiana)
Seattle has found itself at the start of a rebuild. After moving long-time franchise QB Russell Wilson to Denver, the search for his replacement is on. Funny enough, Ridder is the only QB on this list. However, the Cincinnati Bearcat has a long resume starting in college and holds all the leadership intangibles. These are things an old-school coach like Pete Carroll may find endearing in a future starter. Could Ridder be a surprise top ten pick? Or will Seattle gamble him, falling to their second pick at 40?
- WR Jameson Williams (Alabama)
- RB Jerome Ford (Cincinnati)
- OL Kenyon Green (Texas A&M)
- TE Isaiah Likely (Coastal Carolina)
- DT Manny Jones (Colorado State)
- DE Daniel Hardy (Montana State)
- EDGE George Karlaftis (Purdue)
- S Tariq Carpenter (Georgia Tech)
Regardless of any Kyler Murray drama in Arizona, there are still holes to be filled on this roster. A roster hopes to make a deeper playoff push in 2022 than they did in 2021. On this list, we see several fantasy-relevant skill position players. With the departure of Chase Edmonds, an RB with day two draft capital could spell the end of any hopes of an Eno Benjamin breakout. Jameson Williams would also be interesting to see land in Arizona. His speed could bring an element that this Cardinals offense needs.
San Francisco 49ers
- RB Brian Robinson Jr (Alabama)
- RB Jerome Ford (Cincinnati)
- DL Kalia Davis (UCF)
- EDGE DeAngelo Malone (Western Kentucky)
- CB Joshua Williams (Fayetteville State)
Once again, San Francisco is looking at the RB draft class. Kyle Shanahan has a knack for turning late-round draft capital backs into fantasy football superstars. As of today, the 49ers have Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson, Trey Sermon, and JaMycal Hasty under contract. Deebo Samuel saw many carries out of the backfield last year, and with current contract disputes, I am sure San Francisco would like to limit those carries in 2022. The 49ers selecting an RB anywhere before round four may leave Mitchell managers wondering what to do with the late-round darling as we head into the 2022 season.
Los Angeles Rams
I’ll be honest; I have no idea what to do with this information. These are the only two names that I can find that the Rams have hosted for a visit. The Rams don’t pick until 104, and both of these players should be long gone before then. Also, the Rams just made a multi-year commitment to QB Matthew Stafford. Perhaps they are just getting a head start scouting the competition? Or maybe a trade-up to grab Burks to pair with Cooper Kupp and Allen Robinson. Your guess is as good as mine.
Gathering this information ahead of time will leave us fewer surprises on the draft weekend. Just because a player lands on this list doesn’t mean that team will draft them given a chance. Some of these visits may not work out, and that player may be removed from a team’s board. Other teams may have questions on their evaluation process that they need to clarify. This list should be one of many tools dynasty managers use to improve their squads this offseason.
This week, check back as we drop more top 30 lists and their potential impact. We are less than two weeks away from the NFL draft! Using this information, you might be able to get out of that aging vet before it is too late. You can find me over on Twitter at @DanT_NFL. Please give me a follow for the latest in dynasty fantasy football news and analysis. Beer recommendations and dog pictures are always welcome!
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