Full disclosure: I had originally planned not to dabble in "McDaniels' Best Available" during this particular draft, but a somewhat surprising cut forced my hand. As my fifth pick I had initially selected Donald Jones and, much to my chagrin, discovered he no longer had a home on the roster after our picks were already completed. Luckily, my understanding competition allowed me to take a stab at another available player in his place.
So, I decided to infuse my team with even more versatility attached to a slightly larger frame in Josh McDaniels' pet project Michael Hoomanawanui. If this year's training camp is any indication, New England's coaching staff has all the faith in the world in Michael Hoomanawanui, as he projects to be
Aaron Hernandez' heir apparent as the "F" or H-back. Hooman has a decent set of hands--totaling 5 catches for 109 yards last season as he filled in for a banged-up Gronk--but it's his blocking that earns his spot on my roster.
I have an embarrassment of shiftiness riches in Shane Vereen and Leon Washington, boasting a complementary set of athletes that can make people miss in open space. I just need someone who can reliably act as the imposing force to get them there. My earlier selection of Jerod Mayo could certainly spend some time at fullback, but I definitely like Hoomanawanui's swiss army knife skillset in staying in to block while occasionally splitting out to aid the passing game. He doesn't need to be extraordinary on offense--he just needs to draw some defenders away from the ones who will be.
On defense, Hooman could project to strong safety or as another LB-type rover that assists Jerod Mayo in eliminating threats feasting on the middle of the field. Remember, this is the New England Patriots we're talking about, so a healthy dose of plays challenging the slot is to be expected and feared.
Hoomanawanui is athletic and rangy enough to line up at a variety of positions all over the field and, outside of Rob Gronkowski, is the most experienced tight end remaining on the Patriots' roster. He's not exemplary, but offers some much-needed stability to a position the Patriots have valued for many years. New England showed just as much when they re-upped Hooman in the offseason to a one-year deal, so I'll let the budding TE prove himself on my flag football roster as well. Even if he allows my star-studded backfield to gain that one extra yard of separation, this could be a coup.