Earlier this morning, Wes continued his general athleticism run as he drafted 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis for his flag football team. Although Willis does not have the speed of Vernon Davis, his athleticism is impressive enough that I could very well see it translating to the flag football field.
In figuring out teams for this kind of matchup, traditional football skills do not hold the same value. Speed, size and athleticism are important in football, but require some refinement to be a successful player in the NFL. Flag football does not require that refinement. With my first pick I went with Michael Crabtree, which might go against the speed and size requirements. I think his high school QB skills are valuable, and really it came down to a hunch that he would be fantastic in flag football.
For my second pick, we're going with pure speed and size, and drafting wide receiver Randy Moss. Although Moss is getting up there in age, he has impressed 49ers observers in offseason training activities. In considering him for the upcoming NFL season, the biggest concern is whether the jerseys and helmet with no defense performances will translate to pads and getting hit by defensive backs.
Thankfully, that is not a concern for flag football. Instead, his OTA performances make him an idea flag football candidate. On offense, Moss' speed and size allow for Crabtree to send him deep and just chuck the ball deep. Since you really can't double team anybody in flag football, Moss will be getting those juicy one-on-one matchups all day long. In a game predicated on offense significantly more than defense, I really don't know how he can be stopped. If you double him, you leave at least one guy open. Maybe you don't give up the big play to Moss, but you do get eaten live underneath.
I would be curious to hear arguments why he might struggle in this style of football. Given his performances this summer in which most people say he does not appear to have lost his speed, is there any reason he wouldn't dominate as a flag football receiver?
On the defensive side of the ball, I would actually be inclined to start him in a safety role. I think this would make better use of his long legs and speed. At cornerback he would have to start out in a backpedal, negating his speed early on. He could turn it on after turning to run stride for stride with a defender, but in a reactionary role, I'm not a fan of that. As a safety, he could read and react to a certain extent. When Wes' quarterback decides to chuck it deep, I think his speed would be of better use.
It's also worth noting that on occasion Moss could also be used in the pass rush role. When he comes after a quarterback and raises those long arms in the air, he would be able to potentially obstruct the view of the quarterback. The game itself is mostly chuck and duck anyway, but there is still some value to preventing clear lines of sight on the throw.