Rookie Review: Phillip Lindsay
(Photo by Kyle Emery/Icon Sportswire)
Today we will be taking a look at incoming rookie Phillip Lindsay who was an undrafted
free agent who signed with the Denver Broncos. After going over the tape and looking at his college career and stats, we will give you a breakdown of what he profiles for in redraft and dynasty leagues.
Phillip Lindsay (RB, Denver Broncos)
Lindsay enjoyed a good college career at Colorado. While only listed at 5’8 and 190 pounds he was nicknamed the “Tasmanian Devil” because of his play style. No matter who he faced Lindsay would fight for every yard and try and truck defenders. Here is a view of his college career with the Colorado Buffaloes .
While obviously his junior and senior year’s were by far his best years for Colorado. In his 30 starts for the Buffaloes, he broke CU’s record for all-time yards from scrimmage (4,683) while also racking up 117 receptions. While being snubbed for the NFL combine he did participate in Colorado’s pro day, where he ran a 4.38/4.41 which is just flat out ridiculous. Had he participated in the combine he would have tied the fastest time this year posted by Nyhiem Hines, or finished second wedged between Hines and Saquon Barkley.
Lindsay comes from an accomplished football family. His father was the fullback for Colorado State, and he also had to cousins who played for Oklahoma State. While having an amazing high school career rushing for 4,587 yards and 44 touchdowns, it ended on a low note as he tore his ACL. Despite the great high school career he only rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com
During his college career, he had multiple stand-out games though most of those came against inferior teams. In 2017 his senior year he rushed for 281 yards on 41 attempts and scoring three touchdowns, Arizona’s defense though was ranked 85th against the run. While most of his games weren’t against the top competition in college football, he played in the PAC 12. Pac 12 is still a top 5 conference in college football, so what he was able to do has been very impressive. Now let’s look at some of his highlights and break down his skill set.
In this clip, we see exactly where Lindsay excels and that’s in the passing game. The pass is off target and Lindsay goes up and get’s it, then makes a nice run. He get’s thrown down but realizes he’s never actually hit the ground get’s up and scores, exactly why he’s known as the “Tasmanian Devil” he never give’s up and fight’s for every yard even being considered very undersized.
In this clip, we see why his speed is severely underrated. He get’s the handoff here on the 20 and shoots through the hole, showing his 4.38 40 time speed. He also show’s off his endurance here as well as he take’s it 80 yards for a score and doesn’t slow up. Even when the defender’s start to catch up he kick’s it into another gear. While he won’t likely see hole’s like that in the NFL his speed here is ridiculous. There are many things you can teach and or coach in the NFL, you can’t coach speed.
This last clip is to highlight again where he excels. With a defender right on he catches the ball behind him and is in for a touchdown. This is likely where he will be used in the NFL and with a career-high of 53 catches his junior year, he proves in the clip that won’t be an issue.
While we have already been able to see some Preseason work from Lindsay. It only took him to prove what he was capable of in week one Lindsay showed off his skills, and how he plays the game. He played so well he endeared himself to the fans and team quickly. Even though it was against some second and third string defenders, 81 all-purpose yards is nothing to sneeze.
For fantasy Phillip Lindsay’s value likely won’t come until 2019, so for redraft league’s he is not someone to target this year. The Bronco’s backfield is loaded right now with the like’s of Royce Freeman, Devontae Booker, and DeAngelo Henderson. Lindsay will likely make his name on special teams this year returning kicks and punts. Once he continues showing how explosive he is chances are he will be given his shot. For me, his best comparison is Darren Sproles, but Lindsay is just a bit bigger than Sproles.
His size is a concern for the NFL though being 5’8 190lbs. Last year only Bilal Powell reached 179 carries for backs who weighed under 205 pounds. However, I don’t see Lindsay being much of a between the tackle’s running back. If used correctly he could be a more electric Sproles. If he can get roughly 50-90 carries in a season (averaging 3-5 carries a game.) but most importantly 40-100 receptions in a season he will be a valuable asset to the offense. While Case Keenum is their starter right now, he dumped the ball off to Dalvin Cook in their four games together 16 times, if you prorate that out for the full season that’s 64 catches in a season. As shown in the highlight’s above if Lindsay can catch the ball and get into space he is elusive and has the speed to blow by defenders. He’s shown he has good hands and can catch ball’s poorly thrown showing his drop rate in college was the lowest of any running back with at least 30 receptions 1.82. Lindsay is going undrafted in most rookie drafts but is definitely worth grabbing in the last round of your draft or picking up off the waiver wire. Again he may not be able to showcase his talent in 2018, but once 2019 get’s here he has a chance to be an RB2 in PPR leagues with the number of receptions and yards he could get.