I went into this fully knowing that Alec seemingly wiped the floor with the competition in last year's Patriots Flag Football draft (and--trust me--reminded us every chance he got). While Alec convincingly filled his roster with a bevy of playmakers on both sides of the ball that found a way to topple our dear Editor-in-Chief, Greg, I figured I'd happily take my chances this year and add my vinyl-wielding team to the fold.
If you take a shot at the king, you'd better not miss.
It's with this philosophy that I drafted Shane Vereen with my first selection.
Vereen had a rough inaugural season with the New England Patriots--supplanted by cohort Stevan Ridley on the depth chart due to injury--but he's as dynamic an athlete as you'll find on this roster. Impossibly shifty, possessing incredible speed and gobbling the football with sure hands, Vereen is every flag football team's wet dream.
Vereen is an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses, whether it be swiftly carrying the rock out of the backfield or fielding elusive intermediate routes (or eye-poppingly deep ones). He's the type of athlete that represents a rare combination of talents at a skill position. It's not likely I'll find the defenses of Alec, Greg and Rich with their pants down like the 2012 New York Jets, but if Vereen manages to get behind defenders and finds a sliver of open space, it could be a long day as the opposing team struggles to keep pace on the scorecard.
I have some worries about Vereen's tidy frame when he settles into his defensive duties and occasionally finds himself matching up against a monolith like Rob Gronkowski--but this is flag football. Vereen's quickness will undoubtedly serve him well, slashing and tearing at the first sight of drooping flag like a set of adamantium claws. I'm also relying on his keen intellect to neutralize the other team; after all, Vereen lead all running backs in the 2011 Draft with a Wonderlic score of 23.
Vereen has the speed and the smarts to proudly serve as the centerpiece of my flag football team. Terrifyingly agile and boasting plenty of tread left on his tires, he could quickly make a mockery of the grassy flag-ridden arena until my opponents construct a Super Bowl XXV-worthy defensive gameplan.
With one of the Patriots' most exciting young talents now off the board, the onus is back on defending champion Alec to continue hoarding some premier pieces as the 2013 rosters start to take shape.