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Window Shopping: TE Ryan Griffin
Via Runway Ramblings
Via Runway Ramblings

 

As the fantasy football regular season sadly approaches its end, I start looking for players that might be useful next year. On my dynasty teams, I try to add these guys to the end of my bench now, particularly if I’ve done a two for one trade that leaves me with an empty roster spot. Earlier I wrote about Jermaine Kearse, whom I think is worthy of stashing away. Today’s piece is about Texans’ Tight End Ryan Griffin.

I wanted to take a look at him because (a) TEs sometimes take longer to develop than other players, so I like to strike early, and (b) a lot of my leagues allow me to start multiple TEs, so I like to have some depth. To date, Griffin’s NFL rookie season consists of 3 receptions for 20 yards and a TD. His targets are few (5) and dispersed (1 in week 4, 3 in week 6, 1 in week 9). In short, he’s seldom used, although his number of offensive snaps has risen since Owen Daniels went out with injury (2.8/game with Daniels, 16.25/game since). Still not much usage, but let’s see what the comps have to say.

College Production in Context

Here’s how Griffin compares to other similarly sized (6’5″ or taller) TEs from recent drafts. I split the comps into two heatmaps for better clarity.

Griffin’s collegiate numbers are competitive with this cohort. His ridiculous market share of TDs is a bit misleading: Griffin did have 60% of the team’s receiving TDs, but UConn only threw for 10 TDs. Griffin was not targeted that much, although neither was Coby Fleener or Jordan Cameron. Here’s a different look at collegiate production, from Football Study Hall.

Year Team Player Targets Catches Yards CatchRate YdsPerTarget Target % [YdsPerCatch]
2011 Stanford Coby Fleener 51 34 667 0.67 13.08 0.13 19.62
2010 UL-Lafayette Ladarius Green 83 44 794 0.53 9.57 0.21 18.05
2012 Connecticut Ryan Griffin 48 29 484 0.60 10.08 0.13 16.69
2011 San Diego State Gavin Escobar 85 51 780 0.60 9.18 0.20 15.29
2012 UCLA Joseph Fauria 63 45 620 0.71 9.84 0.14 13.78
2012 Michigan State Dion Sims 70 36 475 0.51 6.79 0.16 13.19
2012 Stanford Zach Ertz 107 69 898 0.64 8.39 0.28 13.01
2011 Notre Dame Tyler Eifert 95 63 803 0.66 8.45 0.21 12.75
2010 Missouri Michael Egnew 125 89 775 0.71 6.20 0.27 8.71
2010 USC Jordan Cameron 27 16 126 0.59 4.67 0.06 7.88

 

As you can see, Griffin has respectable yards/catch and yards/target rates. His target percentage (percent of team’s targets) is rather low- but then again, it’s low for Jordan Cameron and Coby Fleener too.

Here’s how Griffin compares physically to similarly sized (by height anyway; not many TE prospects are as heavy as Griffin) recent TE prospects. Data is from Mock Draftable and NFL Draft Scout.

Name [Hght] Wght 40 yd Bnch Vert Broad 3Cone 20 ss
Joseph Fauria 6′ 7″ 259 4.72 17 35½” 120″ 7.49 4.53
Ryan Griffin 6′ 6″ 261 4.87 21 34.5″ 113″ 7.01 4.43
Gavin Escobar 6′ 6″ 254 4.84 12 32″ 114″ 7.07 4.31
Coby Fleener 6′ 6″ 247 4.51 27 37″ 116″ 7.02 4.3
Ladarius Green 6′ 6″ 238 4.53 16 34″ 124″ 7.12 4.47
Dion Sims 6′ 5″ 262 4.75 22 35″ 112″ 7.36 4.52
Jordan Cameron 6′ 5″ 254 4.53 23 37½” 119″ 6.82 4.03
Michael Egnew 6′ 5″ 252 4.62 21 36″ 131″ 7.03 4.32
Tyler Eifert 6′ 5″ 250 4.68 22 35½” 119″ 6.92 4.32
Zach Ertz 6′ 5″ 249 4.76 24 30½” 111″ 7.08 4.47
Julius Thomas 6′ 5″ 246 4.64 16 35½” 111″ 4.31

 

Griffin has a very good 3-cone time, but otherwise falls in the middle to lower range of this cohort. The other thing to think about is the overall success of this cohort. Julius Thomas is having a great season, but how much of that is him vs. Peyton Manning? Jordan Cameron has also had a very good season. We like Fauria and Green, but so far they’re both more potential than production. The rest haven’t done much of anything yet (still early in their careers, I know).

Similarly Sized NFL TEs

Here’s a look at how similarly sized and drafted TEs have performed in their second season. This might give us an idea of what to expect from Griffin going forward. This table shows all TEs, 6’5″ or taller, 250 pounds or heavier, drafted in round five or later since 1993, with at least 10 catches in their second season.

Player Year G GS [Rec] Yds Y/R TD Y/G
Jeff King 2007 16 16 46 406 8.83 2 25.4
Quinn Sypniewski 2007 15 9 34 246 7.24 1 16.4
Kevin Boss 2008 15 15 33 384 11.64 6 25.6
Andrew Jordan 1995 13 7 27 185 6.85 2 14.2
Jay Riemersma 1998 16 4 25 288 11.52 6 18
Courtney Anderson 2005 14 13 24 303 12.63 3 21.6
Carlester Crumpler 1995 16 7 23 254 11.04 1 15.9
Roderick Lewis 1995 16 9 16 116 7.25 0 7.3
Rich Griffith 1995 16 15 16 243 15.19 0 15.2
John Phillips 2011 16 7 15 101 6.73 1 6.3
Mike Lucky 2001 16 5 13 96 7.38 1 6
Aaron Walker 2004 16 4 10 115 11.5 0 7.2

 

Oh. Well, that’s underwhelming. To be fair, the passing game in the NFL has been changing a lot, and there aren’t that many TEs of Griffin’s size to compare him to. So, there could be more upside than we’re aware of, especially if the Texans part ways with Owen Daniels, and Griffin proves adept enough in all game phases to stay on the field for a full complement of snaps. But, that’s more hopeful than anything I think, based on these comps.

What Does it All Mean?

He’s worth monitoring, but it doesn’t seem like there’s enough potential to make him a strong candidate for addition to your roster, unless you have a very deep bench or play in a TE premium league of some sort. If either Daniels or Garrett Graham were to leave the Texans, however, I’d be more inclined to pick him up.

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