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CBS Sports includes Anthony Bradford on list of ‘top 10 value picks’ from 2023 draft

Half of the players on the list call the NFC West home.

NFL: OCT 15 Seahawks at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL Draft is the centerpiece of the league’s offseason activities. Even casual fans can usually tell you who their team selected in the first round . . . and maybe the second.

Beyond that, not so much.

Unless the player does something to stand out, like recording 4 touchdowns and 233 scrimmage yards in a 50-point win over the Denver Broncos.

The player that did that, Miami Dolphins RB De’Von Achane, was a 3rd-round pick, No. 84 overall.

Unsurprisingly, Mr. Achane tops the list of 2023 “value” picks that was published by CBS Sports on Tuesday. Here’s what they said about him:

Achane has been limited to five games thus far but his impact has been unmatched by any other rookie. The third-round selection is averaging 10.58 yards on 49 touches this season. His seven touchdowns are the most by any rookie despite being available in only half of his team’s contests. His Olympic caliber track speed allows head coach Mike McDaniel to stress defenses both vertically and horizontally.

What CBS Sports doesn’t mention is that Achane only had 2 touches in his first game: a 5-yard run, and a 4-yard catch. He was injured in Game No. 4 and spent a month and a half on IR. In his first game back, he had 1 carry for 1 yard + 1 reception for 4 yards.

Here are his stats from the 3 games in between:

  • Game 2: 18 carries for 203 yards with 2 TDs + 4 receptions for 40 yards and 2 TDs
  • Game 3: 8 carries for 101 yards with 2 TDs + 3 receptions for 19 yards
  • Game 4: 11 carries for 151 yards with 1 TD + 1 reception for 14 yards
  • Total: 37 carries for 455 yards (12.3 average) with 5 TDs + 8 receptions for 73 yards (9.1 average) and 2 TDs

No. 2 on the list is a player that the Seattle Seahawks are painfully familiar with: Los Angeles Rams WR Puka Nacua (Round 5, No. 177 overall).

Nacua exploded onto the scene against the Seahawks in Week 1 with 10 receptions on 15 targets (66.7%) for 119 yards. In the rematch last weekend, Nacua had 5 receptions on 7 targets (71.4%) for 70 yards and a touchdown.

At first glance, one might think that Seattle did a better job against Nacua in the rematch - which is true. But the difference has less to do with the Seahawks than it does with how the Rams have been using their rookie sensation since Cooper Kupp returned to their lineup.

Per CBS Sports:

In the first four games of the season, Nacua had 39 receptions for 501 yards on 52 targets. Over the past six games, he has 30 receptions for 396 yards on 51 targets. It does not take a mathematician to see what is happening. However, his record pace has given way to a productive complimentary role and there is no shame in that result. Nacua has 16 receptions more than the next rookie.

Another rookie wideout (Tank Dell, R3, No. 69 overall) lands at No. 4 on the list, but he’s the last “skill” position player in the Top 10.

Which is sort of interesting.

Defensive players occupy four of the remaining seven spots - and three of them were selected by Seattle’s division rivals:

  • No. 5: EDGE Bryon Young, R3, No. 77 overall (Los Angeles Rams)
  • No. 6: CB Mekhi Blackmon, R3, No. 102 overall (Minnesota Vikings)
  • No. 8: DT Kobie Turner, R3, No. 89 overall (Los Angeles Rams)
  • No. 10: DT Dante Stills, R6, No. 213 overall (Arizona Cardinals)

The last three spots belong to offensive linemen.

Offensive Tackle Dawand Jones, who was selected in Round 4 by the Cleveland Browns with the 111th overall pick is No. 3 on CBS Sports’ list.

Houston Texans Center Jarrett Patterson (R6, No. 201) is No. 7 on their list.

And . . .

Seahawks Guard Anthony Bradford (R4.108) is No. 9.

Here’s what CBS Sports had to say:

Bradford started four games at right guard while Phil Haynes was unable. His play was not always pretty, but it was effective. According to TruMedia, he gave up zero sacks on 187 pass blocking snaps and has been beaten on 3.2% of (Seattle’s) drop backs. The LSU product was even more proficient in the run game. Starting caliber offensive linemen found on Day 3 of the NFL Draft are very valuable.

Overall, Anthony Bradford has appeared in seven games: six on offense from Week 3-11, plus 7 special teams snaps in Week 2.

Per PFF, Bradford has allowed a total of 10 pressures (0 sacks, 4 hits, 6 hurries), and his pass blocking efficiency (which is a PFF “Signature” stat) is 93.7.

Note: Per PFF, pass blocking efficiency measures pressure allowed on a per-snap basis with weighting toward sacks allowed.

Last but not least, statistically speaking, Bradford has only been flagged 3 times (1 declined) on 325 offensive snaps, which is half as much as Phil Haynes (6 flags, 2 declined) on only 56 few snaps (325 vs. 381).

The value part of this equation is that the Seahawks are getting that level of performance from a rookie player whose 2023 cap hit is a mere $950,997.

__________

For what it’s worth, CBS Sports excluded players from Rounds 1 and 2 from consideration for their “value” list - which makes sense. Had they not done that, Devon Witherspoon might have cracked the list despite having a 2023 cap hit that’s almost six times higher than Bradford’s.

Interestingly, and super awesomely, on a list of value picks from the 2023 NFL Draft, Seahawks WR Jake Bobo earned an Honorable Mention . . . despite the fact that he wasn’t actually, you know, picked.

#MoreBobo, and . . .

Go Hawks!