The starting wide receiver on my “All Rip Van Winkle Team” is Ishmael Zamora. Zamora is your quintessential draft late and stash rookie pick who needs time to acclimate to the NFL. By now you all know and have likely seen the video footage that led to Zamora being suspended for three games by Baylor as well as being cited by police. Zamora was fined, had to perform 40 hours of community service and lost his dog to an animal-friendly home. I am a dog lover, and I find what he did to be reprehensible, but I’m also a woman lover and have Joe Mixon rated as my top rookie RB this season. I can separate the two, but I understand if you cannot.
Zamora is an impressive physical specimen standing 6’4” 215 lbs. and ran a 4.58 40-yard dash at his Baylor Pro Day. NFL.com projected Zamora to be taken in Rounds 5-6 in the 2017 draft, but he ended up a priority UDFA (much like his Baylor running mate K.D. Cannon). In Zamora’s case had it not been for the misdemeanor animal abuse charge I’m sure he would’ve heard his name called sometime on day three of the draft. NFL teams drool over the triangle number (height, weight, speed) prospects thinking they can unlock that untapped potential.
Zamora sports a shiny Player Profiler Speed Score in the 85th percentile to go along with a Catch Radius in the 90th percentile and he’s not just a combine creation (obviously he didn’t attend the combine). Zamora’s game film shows a player with adequate ability to separate and a willingness to use his body after the catch to punish defenders and fight for extra yards.
Now I’m not trying to be all hot takey here so please spare my Twitter timeline with the “This guy is crazy if he thinks Zamora is better than Williams” posts. I do not believe that Zamora is better than Williams………but he certainly has the potential to be. Zamora’s growth as a WR was thwarted by a Baylor offense that didn’t ask as much from him as a route runner, or blocker for that matter as say a Clemson would.
I believe that Zamora landed in an ideal situation in Oakland behind Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. For what it’s worth Spotrac identifies a Potential Out: 2018, 3 yr., $22,127,809; $0 dead cap for Oakland with regards to Michael Crabtree’s contract (his age 30 season). Zamora finds himself in an ideal situation where he can learn how to be a pro under the tutelage of both an ascending superstar and a proven veteran in this league.
The depth chart in Oakland doesn’t exactly present as insurmountable either with Seth Roberts and Cordarrelle Patterson being his primary competition for the third WR spot. Factor in that his May ADP of 38 on DynastyFootballFactory.com and it’s an extremely reasonable price given the draft capital. I don’t believe he’s much if any, of a fantasy factor in 2017 but the savvy dynasty owner should target him in the early 4th Rd and stash this freak talent on their taxi squad.