Two years ago, the Denver Broncos entered the draft with Devontae Booker as their only RB.  He was about to enter his 3rd year after being selected in the 4th round.  Denver added to their backfield by taking Royce Freeman in the 3rd round.   People assumed he was the clear cut favorite for the job and he flew up FF drafts due to opportunity.  This is because people were asleep at the wheel.  After the draft, the Denver Broncos signed UDFA Phillip Lindsay and I started chirping.  Phillip Lindsay is the BEST RB in Denver.  I am certain of that.  He isn’t a great route runner but he is still the BEST RB in Denver.  I can’t promise that they will use him enough to make him valuable, but he is the BEST RB in Denver.  At the very least, avoid Royce at all cost.  The FF world ignored this in their drafts.  Royce went early and Lindsay went undrafted in almost every league.  Then the murmurs starting to swell and swell and swell.  For the people who were quick to the waiver wire, Lindsay’s rookie season was memorable and he finished that year as a UDFA Pro Bowler.  A starting FF RB blossomed out of nowhere.  Lightning had struck.

Lightning doesn’t strike twice, right?  Apparently, it does.

16 RBs were drafted over the last 3 days.  They are sure to get some love in your FF draft.  Do not be asleep at the wheel this year!  DO NOT!  My 6th best RB in the draft went undrafted.  This is eerily similar to what happened with Lindsay.

Before the draft I stated:

“JaMycal Hasty is severely under-rated.  Severely!  He is the best route runner in the draft.  He is more than a 3rd down option.  He reminds me of Devonta Freeman.  Watch out for his landing spot.”

He was not drafted.  RB after RB went off the board and I just smiled.  The farther he fell the higher his value would be.  He found his landing spot and this is a goldmine waiting to happen.

Why?  Well he reminds me of Devonta Freeman, and he just landed with the coach that made Devonta Freeman a household name in 2015 and 2016.  Immediately following the 2020 NFL draft the San Francisco 49ers agreed to terms with UDFA RB JaMycal Hasty.  Immediately, as in, the ink was drying when the last pick was selected.  The news was out on twitter immediately.

Kyle Shanahan knows RBs and Kyle Shanahan just embarrassed the league again.  Today, he traded prior UDFA gem Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins for a 5th round pick.  He then proceeded to grab a BETTER RB without using a draft pick.  He found Breida out of Georgia Southern and he found Mostert kicking around on the waiver wire.  That’s impressive in its own right, but he just did one better.

Last year the SF backfield combined for 29 points a game in PPR formats.  Mostert, Coleman and Breida.  How does Hasty stack up?  He is a better inside zone runner than Coleman and Mostert.  He is a better pass blocker than Coleman and Mostert.  He runs better routes than Coleman and Mostert.  (Mostert is a close second.)  Mostert is the best outside zone runner but Hasty isn’t exactly a slouch in this department.  GLC’s, advantage Hasty yet again.

This means that no RB on SF’s depth chart is safe.  Hasty is capable of taking their job.

Realistically this is a 3-way committee situation, but splitting 29 points 3 ways makes Hasty a viable option as backup in deeper formats.  Late in your draft, this alone makes him a good pull.  It’s also unlikely that Shanahan will ride any one of these guys to death.  That isn’t his style.  With Shanahan, Coleman has always had a role as a running option.  He hasn’t been impressive, and I’ve never liked him as a RB, but he has consistently been a body who eats carries.  Intermittently, he hits a seam and runs to the house.  Tevin Coleman has been in the league for 5 years.  He has played 70 of 80 games.  He misses 2 games a year on average.  He is also a free agent after the 2020 season.  Jerick McKinnon cost 2.9 million dollars and has no dead cap hit.  He is done.  That’s a shame, but he is done.  The injury cost him his chance.  This leaves Raheem Mostert.  I watch FAR too much preseason football and I’ve seen Mostert quite a bit because of it.  I have always liked Mostert but there is a reason he has been on 5 teams in 5 years.  There is a reason that he had never cracked 40 touches heading into the 2019 season.  He can’t stay healthy.  Last year he had 151 regular season touches. (In a backfield that had 481.)  This was the exception, not the norm.  I highly doubt his touches will increase because wear and tear is a legitimate concern for him.  

This presents a number of possibilities for year 1.  Hasty should grab onto the Breida role and he will likely challenge Coleman for additional touches.  4.0 YPC is not acceptable when Breida and Mostert were at 5.1 and 5.6 YPC respectively.  If durability issues resurface for Mostert, you’ve found yourself holding a top 16 RB.  If Coleman or Mostert are out, Hasty is plugged into your starting lineup.  In year two, there are roughly 330 touches available for Hasty if he can make the backfield a two man committee.  Freeman had 281 and 338 (in 15 games) in his two years with Shanahan.  Freeman was 17 PPG RB in his 281 touch season.  He split the backfield with Coleman that year.

Devonta Freeman: 5’8 206, 4.58 40, 31.5 vert, 118 broad, 7.11 3 cone, 4.26 SS

JaMycal Hasty: 5’8 205, 4.55 40, 39 vert, 123 broad, no 3 cone, 4.03 SS (you’ll notice his burst is BETTER than Freeman)

Yeah, so as I was saying.

Hasty has fantastic vision.  He has sharp cuts and he has a better 40 time and burst than 1st round pick CEH.  He runs better routes than CEH.  He is a compact runner who will drop his shoulder on you and truck you if you stand between him and the goal line.  He is a ferocious blocker and ST coverage guy.  He plays with a ton of passion.  The first strength on is “Considered tough, dependable and extremely smart by people inside program.”  There are negatives.  Size, ball security issues, he’ll bounce a few too many runs outside, (That he shouldn’t, but in all those cases he sees a lane.) and a college career that never topped 13 touches per game. (Breida scored 8 PPG in 12 games on roughly 11 touches per game.  He was not the GLC back.)  He also has an injury history but it isn’t nearly as prolific as Mostert.  Teams don’t think he can be a bell cow.  Teams think he is only a 3rd down back option.  They said the same thing about Freeman.  Shanahan disagreed.

Now, I don’t have a crystal ball.  I can’t tell you what will happen.  That’s doesn’t mean that this is a speculation piece, nor is it an opinion piece.

I will ignore my told you so opportunity, and TELL YOU SO!  I am jumping up and down and pounding on the table.  YOU BETTER GET HIM ON YOUR TEAM!  He will go incredibly low in FF drafts because he was undrafted.  Your competition will laugh and say, “who?” when you take him.  However, the low end of his production is going to be more than worth that pick.  The upside that he holds rivals Arian Foster lore.  It is the stuff of legends.  It is the stuff that wins trophies, titles and dollars.  You do not want to watch him go off on someone else’s team.  30 NFL teams screwed up over the last 3 days.  The Dolphins got clowned on.  You don’t have to be in the same place that they are.  He is now on your radar.  Look at the FF draft boards.  See where they rank him.  Take him before anyone else would take him!  The price will be low.  The pay-off could be small.  The pay-off could also win you your league.  This isn’t the next Phillip Lindsay because that’s UNDERVALUING him.  Hasty is a complete RB.  

JaMycal Hasty RB SF is the value play of the 2020 rookie draft.

You’ve been warned!