Is it hope or is it fact?

I’ve been amazed at how many times I’ve read lately on our forum that “our new OL is going to be better this year than last year.” I find that comment as fans hope rather than a statement of fact. Nothing wrong with hope at all. It’s just different than fact.

Lets take off the fan glasses for a moment and compare two new rookie players to the players they replaced along with our RB position compared to last year:

  • Tyler Guyton and Tyron Smith– I really like Guyton as our first round pick. His athleticism and size give him huge long term upside at the most important position on the OL. But will Guyton be better than Tyron Smith, both immediately and down the road? At best that remains to be seen. Smith was a 2nd team All Pro last year despite his decline due to injuries. He’s probably headed to Canton at some point. I’m going to tap the brakes on thinking Guyton is going to be instantly as good as Smith. Maybe eventually.
  • Cooper Bebee and Tyler Biadaz- Bebee is an underrated pick in my view and has instant “ plug and play” potential. Probably even more than Guyton. But he’s learning the center position this year and although Biadaz was not great, he was good. Bebee may have a learning curve to start the year at least.
  • The RB position – We are hoping the combination of Zeke Elliott, Rico Dowdle and Deuce Vaughn are collectively better than Tony Pollard was last year. Objectively, that seems like a stretch of hope, not fact. Maybe we still have a RB move in the near future that will upgrade this position because I can’t realistically call this position as a strength.

Bottom line for me- I like the guys we drafted this year. Especially Guyton and Bebee. But expecting those two guys along with a diminished RB position to make our running game and offense immediately better is hope, but we can’t call it a fact yet. Right?

Hope is a good thing. I have it. But I don’t consider hope the same as fact.

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