Brief note: For ease of picking, and due to how most flag football games are played, David and I have elected to abscond from Special Teams duties. Essentially, in our hypothetical game, after a TD the opposing team would just start with the ball as if it were a touchback. This still means, though, that our picks have to play both ways - that is, play on both offense and defense. So over the course of the next seven days, you will see David and I alternating picks (me in the morning and David in the afternoon) until we have field a team of seven men. Without further ado...
With the first pick in the NN Flag Football Draft, WesHanson picks Vernon Davis, Tight End.
I don't think this pick needs a ton of justification. Vernon Davis is easily one of the most athletic players on the 49ers, if not in the NFL. He has blazing speed, steadily improving hands, and a distinct height advantage for the oh-so-popular flag football play: the Hail Mary / Jump Ball.
Follow me after the jump for some more specific reasons.
On the offensive side of the ball, I want Vernon to be Vernon. He's the type of guy that easily beats single-coverage by either out-jumping or out-running his defender. Seeing as almost every flag football game I have ever played has revolved around some sort of man-on-man defense, I think Vernon gives me a huge advantage. He can be a huge deep threat, or a guy consistently catching underneath passes and drawing a ton of attention to himself. The only downside to his offensive game is that, with the ball in his hand, he doesn't have too much "shiftiness." I don't see him juking anybody out of their shoes. That said, he's too athletic of a guy to think that this would prevent him from being a dynamite pick. He's the type of guy a flag football team can be built around.
One other quick note - Vernon, as he has demonstrated, can line up anywhere on the field. He can play at wide out, but perhaps more importantly, he can line up and pass block before peeling out and making plays in the flat. Almost every flag football game I have played does not rely too heavily on pass rush, but sometimes it's effective. Vernon can block. Man, can he block.
The great thing about Vernon on defense is how versatile of a player he is. I probably wouldn't want to line him up man-on-man with somebody. Instead, his speed would probably better serve as safety help over the top. He can just keep his eye on the field, dropping back deeper than everybody, before trying to jump routes. With his speed and hip fluidity, the man could be a great flag football safety. More than likely, though, he would line up in some sort of pass rush position, playing zone coverage on the shallower routes. Maybe throw in a QB-spy type of role for good measure. What Vernon does for this defense, though, is bring speed and versatility. Two necessary attributes for a great flag football team.
I think my team is already off to an incredible start. Let's see what David has in store to counter me...