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Top 10 Nikola Naysayer's Baseless Arguments. Try harder, folks.

EDIT: There are now 19 items on this list. Last updated on Sep 15, 2020.
If you’re coming from subs that are heavily anti-Nikola such as wallstreetbets and RealNikola, I hope folks there haven’t closed your mind to the point you can’t see facts when they’re presented to you. The following is meant to address baseless claims so that we can move onto legitimate concerns and questions about Nikola Corporation.
Now be prepared for some serious due diligence (DD). This will take awhile...
Before you read the items below, I suggest first watching the following videos: - Real Engineering Video (Sep 5, 2020—a great summary of Nikola’s business model) - Tesla Joy Video (Aug 24, 2020) - Tesla Daily Video (Jun 2, 2020) - TESLA Charts Podcast (Jul 19, 2020) - Autoline Network Video (Jun 11, 2020) - This Week In Startups Video (Jul 31, 2020)
1) They ripped off Tesla's name!
FACT CHECK: What does this even mean? So...don't invest or at least take a look at a company given their name? Are you telling me that the inventor Nikola Tesla licensed his name to Elon Musk? That would be a no. Did Tesla Inc. trademark Nikola? Also a hard no. The only thing this tells me is that two clean energy companies honored a great inventor...a father of modern energy. I made this baseless claim #1 on this list since there are way too many people who just can't get over the name and refuses to took deeper, or if they do look deeper, they're already blinded by hate/disgust and can't look at the company objectively.
Fun Fact: See who truly honors the great Nikola Tesla (click on the following names). Is it Tesla’s Elon Musk or Nikola founder Trevor Milton?
2) They're diluting their shares with the merger!
FACT CHECK: Nikola Motor Co. and VectoIQ are conducting a reverse merger, which will come to a shareholder vote on June 2, 2020. If you don't know what a reverse merger is, click here. VTIQ's 29.6M shares will be combined with the 320.7M private shares of existing Nikola Motor Co. Another 52.5M shares will come from VectoIQ's PIPE (see #16 below as well for those who are worried PIPE investors are about to sell their shares). VTIQ will convert to $NKLA 1:1 meaning whatever price per share VTIQ is at pre-merger will be the same price it will be post-merger. Furthermore, existing Nikola private shareholders (not VTIQ shareholders) will be under a lock up period for 6 months where they are barred from selling their shares. I wouldn't be concerned with dilution until the lock up is lifted, but even then, Nikola World 2020 would have revealed major progress with the company that I'm sure most investors will want to hold tight for the long. Trevor Milton on dilution. Read the SEC filed S-4 to learn more about the merger.
Post-Merger Edit: No signs of dilution. NKLA continues to trade above its IPO price despite all the PIPE, warrants, and employee stock options entering the market. The only remaining shares left are the 2M (max) that the Diesel Brother can earn for Badger sales.
3) They sued Tesla...a bunch of amateurs!
FACT CHECK: Here's a video of an unbiased deep dive onto the patent lawsuit, which btw, Nikola is winning and winning at the highest patent court in the country. If another company infringed on Tesla’s patents, would that be okay?
4) Trevor Milton is a fraud! He will dump his shares once the 6-month lock up is over! I don't like his face and I find him annoying and inconsistent.
FACT CHECK: Part of the agreement on the merger was for Trevor Milton to lose some shares to own up to 40% of the company. The agreement also elevated him to Executive Chairman from CEO so he wouldn’t have to run the day-to-day operations of the company and instead focus on leading the board of directors and the strategic direction of the company. All in all, institutional investors wanted to limit Trevor’s control over the company.
The CEO of Nikola is Mark Russell who has no social media presence and rarely seen, as it should be for the guy running the show. When Mark does speak, it's clear that he's the more calculated and reserved executive of the company. Comparatively, Trevor is a visionary. Those who follow him closely know he tends to speak in the future. As the Chairman of the company, he is fulfilling his job in pointing the Corporation's strategic direction.
Edit 1: A modification has been made to Trevor Milton’s lock-up clause.
Edit 2: Trevor Milton dumped 6 Million of his own shares! See...he doesn't even want the stock!
Fact Check: On Aug 26, 2020, Trevor announced that he would GIVE 6 million of his shares to the first 50 employees of Nikola. He then later announced that he would give the other 350 of his employees a total of 1 million of his own shares. Nikola haters love to spin the truth. They're so blinded by hate and disgust for Trevor and Nikola that anything he does is processed negatively.
5) Trevor Milton started two companies that went bankrupt! He’s even a college dropout!
FACT CHECK: Now we're getting into the SPIN ZONE! Get the full dose of truth in this Forbes article. You’ll find that Trevor actually started two businesses that he sold for millions of dollars.
For whatever reason, some people assume great entrepreneurs have been 100% successful in their endeavors. They couldn’t be more further from the truth.
To those who tease Trevor for being a college dropout, see this list of successful business leaders who also dropped out of college.
6) Hydrogen tech is unproven! Nikola is just vaporware!
FACT CHECK: It seems you are ill-informed of the industry. Here's hydrogen fuel cell tech use in South Korea, in California, in Germany, and in the United Kingdom, to name a few...oh, and there's Nikola's H2 fueling station at their Phoenix, Arizona HQ.
Do these videos of the Nikola Two look like vaporware to you?
  1. Video 1
  2. Video 2 The Nikola Two beer delivery with Ab inBev.
  3. Video 3 Nikola Analyst Day video (start at the 11:28 min mark)
  4. Video 4
  5. Video 5 The Nikola Two on the road.
  6. Video 6 Raw video of the Nikola Two fuel cell tech in action. Check this out to look under the hood.
  7. Video 7. The Nikola Two performing a break test.
  8. Video 8 Trevor Milton showing the Nikola Two Powertrain
To learn more about hydrogen, read this peer-reviewed study on the 20 Hydrogen Myths.
Furthermore, if you go through the Hydrogen FCEV Technology and Hydrogen Technology post flairs in this sub, you’ll find other companies vouching for FCEV tech as well to include Shell, Hyundai, BMW, Bosch, Ballard, Jaguar Land Rover, Daimler, Toyota, and Hyzon...I’m sure I’m missing others. What are all these companies missing that you see? Is it because Elon Musk said hydrogen is "fool cell"? They all must be trying to fool us I guess.
7) My shares will be $10 post-merger!
FACT CHECK: VTIQ will convert to NKLA 1:1 meaning whatever price per share VTIQ is at merger, will be the same price it will be post-merger.
Post-Merger Edit: We did not see NKLA start at $10. In fact, on Jun 4, 2020 listing day, NKLA opened at $37.55.
8) They took PPP money meant for small businesses. How dare they do that?!
FACT CHECK: Before Nikola received close to $1B from the VectoIQ merger, the company was strapped in cash and had over 300 employees and their families to care for during COVID-19. They eventually paid tax payers back as you'll hear in this clip where Trevor sets the record straight with CNBC.
9) I don't understand warrants, so this company is a fraud!
FACT CHECK: If you don't understand warrants (NKLAW), either get smart or just buy NKLA common shares. See this reference and my thoughts on NKLAW.
10) They're asking me if I want to redeem my VTIQ shares for $10.36 when I bought it at $25. This is 100% a scam!
FACT CHECK: VTIQ shareholders received messages on whether to opt into redeeming their shares by May 29, 2020. If they did, they would only receive $10.38. No one in their right mind would want to do that if the price of VTIQ is currently way over that price. Not only does this hurt you, it also hurts Nikola Corp as you would be taking cash from the merger. Read this Article. Bottom line, if you receive a message asking if you want to redeem your VTIQ shares, don’t do it. This is an option that they made available, but VectoIQ and Nikola Corp. highly suggests against redeeming your VTIQ shares.
11) Their revenue projections are fake! Anyone can preorder with $0 money down!
FACT CHECK: This article explains why preorders are $0.00. Also, read this Tweet from Trevor Milton. Moreover, go to pg. 14 on this SEC filing. Notice how the vast majority of the preorders are from legitimate institutional fleets. See this Tweet as well.
Note that Nikola has stopped taking orders for their FCEV semis since Fall 2019. They’re only taking orders for BEV semis, Badgers, NZTs, and WAVs. The $10B 14,602 preorder semis where for those FCEVs. Trolls can’t add to that number and are just wasting their time especially since Nikola runs scripts to filter out their submissions.
12) No one wanted to invest in Nikola! That's why they went public...to take your money instead! Nikola is SCAM!
FACT CHECK: Go to Pg. 10 on the prospectus. You'll find over $500M in funding from several companies prior to the merger with VectoIQ. Post-merger, Nikola’s institutional investors include Bosch (German), Hanwha (S. Korean; 6.13% ownership), CNH Industrial/Iveco (Italian; 7.11% ownership), Nel Hydrogen (Norwegian), Fidelity Management and Research Company, Inclusive Capital Spring Fund (~5.6% ownership), Black Rock, and P. Schoenfeld Asset Management LP. To doubters, what do you see that these companies fail to see? These companies fully vetted Nikola before investing in them. Nikola even received a $1.7M grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Prior to the merger, VectoIQ’s CEO Steve Girsky, who is known for getting General Motors out of bankruptcy as their former Vice Chairman, did a top-down vetting of Nikola, Trevor Milton, the leadership team, their strategy and vision, etc. Steve is now a member of Nikola’s board of directors along with leaders from Bosch, Hanwha, Iveco, Ace Disposal, and Caterpillar's Thompson Machinery (Source). EDIT: Along with partnering with Nikola on producing the Badger, General Motors also invested ~$2B in Nikola on top of saving Nikola $4B in capex. GM undoubtedly did their homework on Nikola and on Trevor prior to this investment, which grants them ~11% stake in the company.
Furthermore, Nikola went public via a SPAC reverse merger to save time and capital going through the traditional IPO route. They wanted to go public to be completely transparent and demonstrate to investors that they aren't another WeWork company doomed for failure. The reserve merger brings about $1B in capital to kickstart their major projects (hydrogen infrastructure and factory construction). Although their stock went through a tough road during their first couple of months since listing on the NASDAQ, Nikola continues to survive and trade above their IPO price. Three months after listing, Nikola even secured a binding contract for 2,500 Nikola Refuse trucks from Republic Services worth at least a $1B and may be increased to 5K trucks ($2B max order) (Source).
For those who think Nikola is riding on the backs of retail investors, see pg. 34 of this prospectus. Retail investors own about 10% of NKLA.
Now the real questions:
Should retail investors invest in a pre-revenue company? I invested in NKLA/VTIQ for the same reason why venture capitalists (VCs) invest in pre-revenue/pre-IPO companies. The big difference is that Nikola decided to go public via a reverse mergeSPAC, which allowed retail investors to participate, thus democratizing investment in a pre-revenue company, which until recently only the very rich VCs can.
Does Nikola deserve their pre-revenue valuation? Valuation is based on investor sentiment and Nikola cannot control their stock price. Literally the last share buyer does. I came in when NKLA was still VTIQ and my valuation was based on the 14.6K FCEV pre-orders worth ~$10B to include binding contracts with Ab inBev and U.S. Xpress. We then witnessed what happened when the Nikola Refuse order with Republic Services became a binding contract. Investors decided that they were willing to come in now before the order gets fulfilled as they believe the stock price will be much higher later when the order materializes.
Lastly, senior leadership at Nikola will take no more than $1 per year in salary and will be compensated instead with stock bonuses if they meet benchmarks. This shows good stewardship of investors’ money, not add to the company's CapEx, and letting their performance dictate their compensation.
13) They’re outsourcing everything! Definitely not vertically integrated like Tesla!
FACT CHECK: Outsourcing is a misleading term. Technically, you can't outsource to a company that invests in you and/or has partnered with you. The more appropriate term is joint venture. For example, Nikola and Iveco has a 50/50 JV factory in Germany (Nikola Iveco Europe GmbH). Iveco's parent company CNH Industrial also invested $250M to Nikola in cash, goods and services. Bosch is providing the fuel cell and powertrain for the semis. They too invested heavily in Nikola. Outsourcing would imply that Nikola is the customer of a contract company and Nikola is paying them...not at all the case. Together, these companies that have invested heavily in Nikola enable vertical integration.
Fun Fact: Just as how Nikola is using another OEM to manufacture the Badger, Tesla also used another OEM to build one of their vehicles. It was their very first vehicle...the Roadster. The OEM was Lotus, but notice I said “used another OEM to build” the Roadster. I didn’t say “manufacture”. The point here is that Testa didn’t do everything themselves as Nikola haters dog the company for.
14) The cost to create hydrogen is $13/kg. That's way more than what diesel costs. No company will switch!
FACT CHECK: Nikola has dropped the cost of producing hydrogen to below $4/kg . Their hydrogen will also be made onsite, thus removing distribution requirements. Furthermore, Nikola will take advantage of both renewable energy (wind and solar) as well as cheap excess power from the grid...hours where energy companies are actually releasing energy (wasted electricity) due to grid overload during low-usage hours. They also won't be getting power within municipalities, but rather through PPA (Power Purchase Agreements) on main federal transmission lines saving them a ton of money (Source).
15) Trevor Milton sold millions of NKLA shares to buy his $32.5M ranch when Nikola has made ZERO revenue!!
FACT CHECK: First, see #4 above. Beyond these shares Trevor had to sell as part of the merger, he cannot sell the rest of his shares as they’re locked up for 6 months post-merger with VectoIQ. Furthermore, Trevor bought the ranch a year before the merger and before VectoIQ and Steve Girsky approached Nikola. Lastly, Trevor made bank from selling dHybrid to Worthington Industries. The seed money from Worthington to start Nikola was separate from Worthington's purchase of dHybrid.
16) PIPE investors are going to sell their shares! The disparity between NKLA and NKLAW will tank the stock! SELL NOW!!
FACT CHECK: Please see this piece that I wrote, which addressed this fear mongering by naysayers.
Post-Warrants Edit: NKLA continues to trade above its IPO price. The downward pressures from the warrants are now gone and none of the PIPE investors have signaled dumping their stocks.
17) The Badger is just a GM EV rebadging of the Silverado. 100% GM technology with a Nikola badge! I can't believe Nikola gave GM 11% stake of their company for this!
FACT CHECK: The Badger will utilize GM's powertrain (Ultium battery tech and Hydrotec fuel cell stack technology), but the rest of the truck is Nikola's IP/design. Furthermore, the two existing prototype Badgers were completely made by Nikola without GM's help and will be revealed during Nikola World 2020. GM will then engineer their tech with Nikola's tech/design, test, validate, and manufacture the pickup truck. See this Tweet from Trevor:
>Nikola to share hardware like ASILD Inverters, batteries and other validated parts. Nikola will always own; the brand, cab, chassis modifications, infotainment, controls, OTA, sales, service and warranty & customer interaction. GM to help us build it to last and cut cost.
This interview explains a lot more about the partnership between Nikola and GM. I also encourage you to read the 8-K filing. It’s not that long of a read and shows what’s part of this deal beyond just the Badger, which justifies the 11% stake.
The partnership with GM on the Badger is also only good for 6 years. After that, Nikola would be free to manufacture the Badger themselves once they have a factory and the capital to do so by then. Their next-gen battery would surely be ready by then as well.
18) Nikola's Director of Hydrogen Production/Infrastructure is Trevor Milton's brother who was just your average joe construction worker, You've got to be kidding me!
FACT CHECK: Trevor's brother Travis Milton is Nikola’s Director of Hydrogen Production/Infrastructure; however he doesn’t have to know much about hydrogen technology to do what he does as Nikola hydrogen supplier is Nel Hydrogen. I assume his role is to find industry experts, such as Nel, and oversee Nikola’s contracts with them. Furthermore, there’s actually other hydrogen-related executives in the company (see pg. 16 of this prospectus presentation filed with the SEC). You have Dale Prows as Head of Hydrogen Supply Chain and Livio Gambone as Head of Hydrogen Storage. Also, check out these recent hires. They added Pablo Koziner, who came from and was an executive at Caterpillar, to be the Nikola Energy President overseeing stations and energy.
19) Nikola faked the Nikola One video...LMAO! They even admitted to it!
FACT CHECK: Yes, the Nikola One in this 2018 video did not drive in its own propulsion, hence the title "Nikola One Electric Semi Truck in Motion". The allegation is that Nikola fooled its investors. The truth of the matter is that Nikola's investors at the time were private investors as Nikola was still a pre-IPO company (Nikola Motor Company), to include Bosch and Nel. In Nikola's own words, "Nikola investors who invested during this period, in which the Company was privately held, knew the technical capability of the Nikola One at the time of their investment." Furthermore, Nikola's strategic partners have come out in support of the company after shorter Hindenburg Research's desperate hit-job article to support their short position after the GM partnership announcement that sent NKLA up ~50%. Moreover, NKLA investors find this hit-piece irrelevant as what matters now is what Nikola already has (working prototypes as seen on #6 above, strategic partners as listed on #12 above, 800 binding orders for FCEV Nikola semis from Ab inBEv and 2,500-5,000 binding orders for the Nikola Refuse by Republic Services) and what's to come (strategic partnership announcement on building out fueling stations, Badger reservation numbers, Nikola World 2020, and potentially more major binding contracts).

Now that we’ve gotten the baseless arguments out of the way (and I’ll continue to add to them when necessary), I encourage you to go through NikolaCorporation and read through the DD that have already been and continue to be shared. Filter topics by post flairs to find info you’re interested in.
Cheers,
KaiserCyber
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Winners and Losers of IBF 4.0's Inaugural FA: Wave Two Edition

Free Agency rolls on, rewarding some teams and punishing others (but mostly punishing). Some interesting offers and decisions make for an interesting column. Here are the teams that gained or lost the most from FA as it concluded its first week.
 
WINNERS
 
Las Vegas Aces
In wave 2 the Aces filled out their roster around elderly star Ladislao Calderon in a big way. They signed the Ladislav Balvin, one of the best wing players remaining, and added an excellent moderate-usage complementary ballhandler in Roberto Montenegro. Enzo Salgado and William Morel are strong ancillary additions to this roster; Salgado brings more height, athleticism, and upside to this roster, while Morel will presumably run point when the bench comes in. This team should share the rock very well, as all their signings to date can pass.
 
St. Pete Tide
It's no surprise to see yet another team helmed by a veteran GM make it into the fortunate half of the column. Of the several teams attempting to pile up prospects and make money in Tier 2, Tide are doing the best job. Excepting a few foolish player options, they have signed five blue-chip prospects to controllable deals, and have spent only 52 million to do so. The floor of their roster can and should be questioned, but assuming they play well enough to turn a profit, they will have executed one of the more viable Tier 2 blueprints to a T.
 
THEY'LL BE OK, PROBABLY
 
Miami Heat
After an exceedingly late bureaucratic decision handed down from the league office, Miami found themselves sitting in Tier 1 and in the backseat. They made the most of it, though signs of their scramble is evident in their payroll. They broke the magic number of 100 million and paid market premiums, handing out 23 million to Stavros Lountzis, 16.5 million to Øistein Ulberg, and 16 million to Magno Gomes. There's a good amount of talent on this roster that is perhaps underrated by overall, and there's upside, too, but the number that stands out is that this nearly full roster has a team strength of only 55.
 
Brisbane Bullets
Physically isolated from the rest of the league, Brisbane also failed to keep a finger on the pulse of free agency, striking out on a large number of strong rotational players that would have given Darmali Déshì some help. Instead they handed out 40 million to a few raw prospects and a handful of bench players with noticeable flaws. They've still got plenty of money to spend, and getting relegated shouldn't be an issue when there are two teams in Tier 1 who haven't signed a single player yet, but the lack of quality depth on this team is slightly concerning.
 
The Hague Royals
I have no major complaints about The Hague's roster or their strategy. The flaw of their build lies in some risky decisions. Building on the slight overpay for Billy Danso, they added the raw guard/forward Vyacheslav Dziuba for only 3 years when they could have easily signed him with a team option on the end, and then gave 20 million combined to a couple win-now players in Norbert Toya and Retin Mushidi. Both are strong signings on their own merit, but there are only two promotion spots from Tier 2. One will go to the Knicks, and the Pistons have the inside track on the second one. As such, the Royals might have been better off continuing to spend on youth, though the playoff bonuses should offset the roster's cost somewhat.
 
UHHH... WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?
 
Olimpia Milano
Olimpia made a handful of offers to good rotational players but quickly bowed out after the strong market sent prices soaring. Their pivot was an army of aging bench players and ultra-raw prospects. You get what you pay for, and for a 10-man roster-- some on multiyear deals, indicating that they're not really just trying to reset for next year's free agency-- that cost Milano 25 million, they earned themselves a team strength of 6. Tier 2 is no stranger to money-stacking, but with a restructured payout scale the viability of this strategy is in question. A successful pursuit of tank commander 3&D distributor Guy Lamizana would boost this team considerably and rescue them from losing money, though probably not enough to crack playoffs in a tier that has seen a handful of teams operating as if they had T1 budgets.
 
LOSERS
 
Los Aguacateros de Michoacán
Los Aguacateros spent heavily this wave and now reap the fruits of their labor. They paid 85.5 million to four players, and have another 40 million in extant top offers. They got bailed out on Lountzis too, otherwise they would have been staring at a payroll of 150 million instead of 130. As it stands, they have successfully thrown their wallet at the problem; they should be the only team that runs seven deep with 60+ overalls. The quality of those 60s, however, is subject to scrutiny. The team is athletic, and in some cases has IQ to go with that athleticism, but will have a lot of problems scoring. Ðạt Thái and Piotr Pluta might even struggle to average double digits, and Nicoara lives beyond the arc for the most part, limiting his volume. Andre Ross in the low post seems to be Michoacán's #1 option. Their current top offers to free agents should give them more shooting and a bit of scoring, but to have your #2 option play off the bench is a sobering thought. And in a few years, they will have to find a new wallet to throw at their problem.
 
Bayern Munich
Bayern attempted to go all in, and much to everyone's surprise they struck out completely. They tied up 40 million in Samuel Caven, and whiffed when he signed in Pittsburgh. They got outbid on all the rotational players they offered as well. With the talent pool now thin, they have signed 3 role players for a total of 4.5 million. At the very least, they have a clear path to Filip Havek, but their aspirations of competing for a title this year are probably dead.
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DEFEND THE DRAFT 2020: Jacksonville Jaguars

OVERVIEW
Finishing the 2019 season with a 6-10 record was disappointing. Although there were a few bright spots like Gardner Minshew playing well, DJ Chark taking the next step into his development and turning into a WR1 for this team, Josh Allen balling out as a rookie, Smoot showing he is real contributor on defense and the rest of the rookie class showing that they are building blocks for this team.
For every good there is a bad in this world, though for this season the jags had way more bad. Tom Coughlin was a parasite in the front office who abused his power on this franchise and ruled like a dictator, he alienated and got rid of top talent like Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler, Yannick Ngakoue (in the process) , Allen Robinson, Malik Jackson and Telvin smith to say the least and gave preference and money to average players like Andrew Norwell, Blake Bortles and Nick Foles. His reign of terror was so bad the NFLPA gave out a message to upcoming FAs basically saying “be careful about going to Jacksonville”. The defense that once dominated the NFL is not even a shell of its former self, it's more of a rotten husk. The defense fell off badly and produced some of the worst performances in team history this season. The offensive line was horrible giving the QBs and RBs no help at all, Fournette apparently is still a problem in the locker room and the Jags tried hard to get rid of him. Finally… Nick Foles. An argument can be made that he was the worst part of the season. He got paid so much money to bring some stability and improved play to an offense that needed it, bringing in Foles already divided fans since many disagreed on the move and the money it was involved in. Foles ended up getting injured 10 snaps into the season and went 0-4 as a starter before getting benched by Gardner Minshew. During the horrid stretch of games by the jaguars in the middle of the season (vs Colts, Vs Titans and Vs Bucs) he was horrendous and basically saying “losing is fine,it builds culture”. That was the final straw for most if not all of jaguars, during the Bucs game he had 6 first half drives, first 3 were turnovers and then 3 straight three and outs. The whole stadium was chanting for Minshew.
This will be a weird year since this offseason was perfect for a full on rebuild but only did “half” a rebuild. They got rid of players that had some value for draft picks like Calaias Campbell and AJ Bouye but the coaching staff and FO remained the same which made the decision perplexing to say the least (especially DC Todd Wash, WHY IS HE STILL EMPLOYED!?!?). The offensive coaching side may be the best it's been in many years with Jay Gruden and Ben McAdoo brought in to help what was an uninspiring dull offense. With 12 picks in this draft and 9 next season, an argument could be made that this draft and the next are the most important ones in franchise history. Good drafts and the jags could build a team that terrorizes the AFC. Bad drafts and we could see another dark age for the jags similar to the Gene Smith years in the early 2010s.
NEEDS HEADING INTO THE DRAFT
DBs: The departures of Ramsey and Bouye have left a huge hole at CB for this upcoming season and need some extra fresh faces. Safeties could use a better depth options
OL: This OL is nigh horrendous and a penalty flag waiting to happen. Gave Minshew no time and the RBs no running lanes.
WTE/offensive weapons: 70% of the time our offense was mostly Minshew running for his life and DJ Chark pulling a big play out of their asses. Chark was double covered as the season went by and no one stepped up.
DL: The once dominating unit has lost Malik Jackson, Marcell Dareus, Yannick Ngakoue and Calaias Campbell in 2 years. Taven Bryan has not been consistent enough to be thought of for the future (As of now). This unit is horrendous vs the run.
ROUND 1 PICK 9: CB CJ Henderson, Florida
Why CB?
With Jalen Ramsey gone we began to see cracks in the armor in this unit as the season went by. Without him the jaguars didn't have a legit CB1 and got torched by many WRs like Cortland Sutton, AJ Brown, Robbie Anderson and others. This unit was already pretty thin with Ramsey on the roster, without him it just got magnified. AJ Bouye is one of the better CB2s in the league but can't contend consistently vs top WRs in this league and got traded this offseason to the Broncos for extra cap space and draft picks. Herndon did show promise, improved as the season went by but still has ways to go to be a legit starting corner in this league, he started mainly because of desperation and nobody else being there. DJ Hayden is one of the better slot CBs in this league and arguably our best defensive player this past season. The team did bring in Rashaan Melvin to provide some needed depth. The problem? Aside from the starters being Tre Herndon and Rashaan Melvin as of before the draft and the lack of elite athleticism, All 3 of them (Hayden, Herndon and Melvin) are upcoming free agents in 2021. The Jags could potentially lose all 3 of their top CBs leaving them with a depleted CB group (a good year from Herndon and Hayden could command more money to bring them back). The rebuilding of this unit is paramount especially in the pass-happy era of the NFL we now live in and in a division with Phillip Rivers (who always has his best games vs us), Michael Pittman jr, TY Hilton, AJ Brown, Deshaun Watson, Will Fuller. The Jags need the talent and depth on this unit or things could get very ugly this season, im talking 2015 levels of ugly.
TLDR: Lack of elite talent, athleticism and depth and in a division with overall great talent. The current CB group are all on expiring contracts.
Why CJ Henderson?
This pick was highly controversial in jaguars due to another Gator being drafted high which is the 4th Florida gator drafted in the first 2 rounds of the draft in the past 6 years those being Dante Fowler (2015 3rd overall), Taven Bryan (2018 29th overall), Jawaan Taylor (2019 2nd round) and now Henderson. Jags haven't had a good recent history with the Florida program (Jawaan Taylor looks good but Fowler wasn't worth the selection and Bryan is trending towards bust territory. Also selections like Derrick Harvey set back the franchise for years and Josh Evans even though he was a late selection he started a bunch of games and was a huge liability at safety). Even though many disagreed, everyone understood the reasoning of the pick and couldn't deny the talent that he is. Florida’s current DC Todd Grantham stated that CJ Henderson is the best CB he has ever coached... After one year on the job and Grantham has coached for almost 30 years across both the college and the NFL ranks, so he says that means something. Grantham continued saying that Henderson is a very low maintenance player who will work his ass off and be of no problem on and off the field. Some draft analysts made the argument about having Henderson ahead of Okudah due to Henderson having a better athletic profile over Okudah. Henderson is a sticky man corner with top end speed to keep up deep and the quickness to jump a throw. Has more than ideal size at 6’1 and 202 lbs and 4.39 40 speed. Henderson held his own in his three years in the SEC against top SEC WR talent, allowing 52.7% completion percentage in his three years playing, his best year by far was 2018 in which he allowed 50% completion percentage and 19.1 snaps/reception which led returning CBs in the SEC . Was named second team all SEC in both his freshman and sophomore years and 1st team All SEC and second team all american in his junior year (he faced a nagging injury through his junior year and missed 4 games). Has the ability to return interception for touchdowns. Henderson is much better in man coverage where his athleticism is showcased being able to stick to the WRs hip throughout the route and his long arms being able to disrupt passing windows and press hard the WR, in zone he does have the occasional mental breakdown losing his man but his biggest weakness is his open field tackling. Henderson’s willingness to tackle has been brought up multiple times and was a major red flag for many draft experts, scouts and fans. Teams could exploit his tackling issues with the running game or with the quick passing game to the likes of AJ Brown and Michael Pittman. He needs to be more physical and consistent when it comes to tackling. Even though with his issues Henderson was slotted as one the better prospects for this draft. Also rumor has it that the Cardinals were thinking of drafting Henderson with the 8th pick but Isaiah Simmons fell to them. If Henderson wasn't there the Jags would have taken K’lavon Chaison at 9. Henderson will likely be starting right away alongside Tre Herndon.
Prediction: 4 interceptions but won't be highly considered for DROY. Will be CB1 by week 5. Week 1-4 Herndon and Henderson will most likely be switching WRs
ROUND 1 PICK 20:EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
Why EDGE?
In last year's draft, I made the argument that Josh Allen was selected because of the looming Yannick Ngakoue contract talks and Calaias’s age and eventual decline. Campbell still played extremely well but he started to show a half a step slowness as the year waned, also he got traded to the ravens. Yannick Ngakoue is doing everything in his power to be as far away as possible from the Jags after Tom Coughlin mismanaged the contract talks. The jags will lose 15 of their 47 sacks for this season. Leaving only the newly acquired Rodney Gunter, Josh Allen and Dawuane Smoot as the only EDGE players on the roster. Smoot had a breakout year after a quiet first 2 years to his career. This past season his confidence, technique and impact was at full throttle and had 6 sacks playing a rotation role. Showed versatility that he can slide inside in pass rush situations. Gunter was brought in from Arizona, More of a run stopper but can pass rush if need be and also slide inside. Josh Allen was everything we could’ve asked for and more, he had an immediate impact on the team and is someone who the jags can build a defense around. Honestly the problem with this situation is the fact that Allen will now be the only major threat for opposing teams to take account for. He will be doubled teamed even more and if even worse gets hurt, there goes almost all of the jaguars pass rush. Sure Smoot could take over (he has been posting some intense workouts in social media and is working extremely hard) but Smoot is no Allen. Smoot and Gunter’s main value is the fact that they can move around the defensive line and play multiple roles. This defense will not be good if most of the pass rush is dependent on one guy. Smoot is also a 2021 free agent and a good year from him could mean that his price range could go way up.
TLDR: Ngakoue will be gone leaving Josh Allen as the only pure threat at EDGE player. Need more help since you can't have enough pass rushers
Why Chaisson?
Throughout his stay in LSU, K’Lavon Chaisson was seen as that prospect with near infinite potential but just needed to put all those pieces together. He was heading in the right direction but a torn ACL in 2018 halted his development. 2019 we started to see a glimpse of what Chaisson is capable of as he became a serious threat on the EDGE and OLB for the LSU Tigers this past season due to him finally showing his athletic gifts and showing impressive football IQ, in 2019 he was voted 1st team all SEC by the coaches and 2nd team all SEC AP. Especially the second half of the season in which he dominated against elite competition in Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma in which he had 5 sacks and was everywhere on the field, he was named defensive MVP of the peach bowl. Has an elite first step and bend off the edge and Chaisson is good vs the run as well with his long, strong arms and his ability to set the edge. This defense was horrid against the run last year and made many roster moves to try and improve on that department. Showed he is very effective in stunts and spin moves. Has control of his body throughout the rush and his motor never stops, so the opposing OTs will have a hard time with his explosiveness, counters which improved in 2019 and his motor.
In LSU, wearing the number 18 is a tradition that garners respect, Each season the locker room votes on who gets to use the number 18 which is synonymous with success on and off the field as well as having a selfless attitude. Showing that he's highly respected in the Locker room and also a hard worker.
The 2018 ACL injury is scary but looked 100% at the end of the season. Not only can he be an elite pass rusher but has the ability to stop the run and Jam TEs and cover them. Chaisson's elite potential can give the Jags the ability to have multiple fronts on defense. From 4-3 to 3-4 and different sets. Chaisson needs to keep improving his skills and his football IQ. Chaisson will play a lot of snaps but will be used in a variety of ways.
Predition: 10 TFLs and 10 sacks and in high consideration of DROY (my final candidates are Chase Young, K’lavon Chaisson and Isaiah Simmons)
Round 2 pick 42: WR Laviska Shenault, colorado
Why WR?
This draft was lauded to be one of the, if not the, best WR classes in history in the NFL. Not only by the quality of WRs but the quantity of NFL worthy WRs coming out. This class had everything from technical route runners, speedsters, physically imposing WRs and explosive after the catch play makers. We ended up seeing multiple WR needy teams select multiple guys in this draft like never before just because of the quality of players that were found later on as the draft went by.
For so long during the mid 2010’s the jags had what many people ranked one of the more talented WR groups. Back in the 2018 offseason the Jags faced a decision to either re-sign Allen Robinson or Marqise Lee. The decision of the Jags to re-sign Marqise Lee instead of Allen Robinson has been terrible. Lee has caught 3 passes since signing his new deal and missed 28 games due to injuries meanwhile Allen Robinson is a WR1 with the bears. As of before the draft, Jags WRs look good on paper and GM Dave Caldwell was asked why wide receiver was not addressed in the first round and said basically that they trusted the guys the Jags have and were happy at the moment, the next day the first chance he gets he drafts a WR basically showing everyone what they really felt about the WRs. Currently on the roster, DJ Chark is a legit WR to build around with his improvements from year 1 to year 2, showing improved route running and hands. His connection with Minshew was bar none the best part of the 2019 jags offense. The other guys though are filled with doubts. The biggest problem offensively came when defenses started focusing on removing DJ Chark from the offensive game plan forcing Minshew to target other WRs do something and most of the time no one stepped up (the Saints game was the biggest example of this and Minshews worst game, Conley, Westbrook and Cole couldn't do a thing with Chark double covered by Lattimore and a safety the whole game). Both Chris Conley and DedeWestbrook (next in the depth chart) were inconsistent to say the least and showed that they are not WR2 in the NFL. Both suffered from drops, Westbrook dropped 2 clean TDs vs the titans in the Thursday night game and Conley throughout the season totaling 7 dropped passes. Conley did have 5 TDs in the year but 3 of them came in the last four weeks of the season when the Jags had no chance of going to the playoffs. Keelan Cole was in the dog house to start the season after a BAD 2018 and he finished with barely 370 yds in the season, most of it coming in the last 3 games though we have seen the damage Cole can make in the field. Chark showed he can be a legit WR in this league, the Jags need to give him someone opposite of him who can get rid of some attention towards him who can be a real threat. The depths of the WR group can also improve, the 5th leading WR was Marqise Lee who totaled 3 receptions with 18 yards. 86% of the jags receptions from WRs came from DJ Chark, Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley. That needs to be spread out more.
Like with the CB group, the Jags have 3 guys with expiring contracts in Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley and Keelan Cole. All of them together will not be back, at most 2 of them and at a cheap price but most likely all 3 will be fighting for one spot in the 2021 roster. There is uncertainty about the future of the position heading into 2020 and 2021 with multiple FAs and need of talent.
TLDR: Minshew needs more weapons on offense, Chark needs help so he isn't double teamed every play and there is uncertainty in the future of 3 of the top 4 WRs.
Why Shenault?
Laviska Shenault is a big play waiting to happen in the NFL. In his 2018 season, in which he was first team all PAC 12, Shenault averaged some insane with 9.6 receptions per game (which led FBS) and 10.9 scrimmage yards per play. At 6’1 and 225lbs he is big for a WR of his size but he is strong, according to the draft broadcast shenault would workout with the offensive linemen, Which in game showed. Shenault was nearly impossible to bring down one on one, In 2018 he was brought down by a solo tackle only 24 times on 109 touches , in 2019, he was brought down by a solo tackle 14 times on 70 touches. Sheanult needed at least 2 defenders to be brought down. He has strong hands and showed almost no problems with drops and contested catches. He is way more athletic than what was seen in the combine (later was proved that he was injured). An athletic specimen on the outside with his strength, speed and quickness. Also worth noting, The jags offense has been one of the least innovative the past seasons with almost no motion, trickery or play action. Shenault played almost every position except QB. Colorado has used Shenault in a variety of ways playing in the slot, outside, as an H-back, TE, RB and even as a wildcat. Shenault can bring a plethora of new plays and schemes that the jags haven’t had before. But at his best is with the ball with his hands and watching him do magic and damage. Durability has been a concern though, 2 straight years of missing games and his playstyle isn't helping to that cause. Also his route running could use some polish. Shenault gives the Jags the potential to have 2 uber athletic WRs in Chark and Shenault on the outside.
Prediction: 840 yds and 7 TDs
ROUND 3 PICK 73: DT Davon Hamilton, Ohio State
WHY DT?
The official turning point for the worse for this defense was not when CB Jalen Ramsey was traded, it was when starting DT/NT Marcell Dareus went down with a core muscle injury in the game vs the Bengals and missed the rest of the season. He was having an ok year but was our best run defender by far. Even with him the defense was suspect, especially against the run. The worst game might’ve been the Panthers games. Christian Mccafrey had a field day against the Jags, he got his contract extension due to this game. After Marcel Dareus’ injury, The Jags for 3 straight games allowed over 200 rushing yards, all to division rivals. Embarrassing showings for a defense that once was called best in the NFL in 2017. In 2019, the Jags allowed more than 2200 rushing yards to opposing offenses, the opposing teams scored 23 TDs on the ground (47 total touchdowns), and were ranked 28th in run defense and 24th overall. That is downright pathetic. This defense was pushed around and dominated physically. DTs on the 2019 roster like Abry Jones, Taven Bryan and Dontavious Russell showed that (for my taste) they aren't starter material for the NFL (Dareus was acquired in 2017 via trade because he was an improvement of Jones). Abry Jones is fine as a depth DT but he's not a guy that you can put on the nose day in and day out and have him to hold the line for every down. Former 1st round pick Taven Bryan is someone most Jags fans have either almost or completely given up on. Taven Bryan relies so much on athleticism and cant seem to connect the dots with awareness and football IQ on the field. Most of his highlights are because he just overpowers the offensive linemen or a quick first step but he does get lost in run defense and can’t break out of blocks. Dare I say that he might not be on the team for the 2021 season if no big improvements are seen soon. Russel is a former 7th round pick who might not make the team this season. Well was the pass rush better for the DTs?… no. Between those 3 guys they amassed 4 sacks throughout the year (Calaias and Dawuane smoot did play in pass rush situations on the inside though which had an impact on the times they might’ve been able to get a sack, but still 4 sacks from the DTs is not enough) .
Al Woods was brought in via FA, a big run stuffing veteran NT who will anchor the inside but for a short while since he is up there in age and on a 1 year deal. DE Rodney Gunter was brought in as well to play inside and outside and is also a very good run defender (you guys will see a pattern with the defensive draft prospects selected and FAs brought in, most are good vs the run). The Colts have Jonathan Taylor and Marlon Mack, Texans have a committee of RBs while also Deshaun Watson is a threat to run it as well, and the Titans with the reincarnation of the hulk, Derrick Henry, who seems to always have his best games against the jags. Jags need to shore up the inside of the DL or it will be a very long year. A good DL can make the job easier for LBs, CBs and safeties. I think reporter John Shipley from si.com said it best “The Jacksonville Jaguars knew entering the 2020 NFL Draft that they needed to upgrade the interior of their defensive line. It wasn't a question of if they would do it, but when.”
TLDR: After the Dareus injury, the jags couldn't stop the run to save their lives, and need all the help they could get. Jags need more youth on the DL
Why Davon Hamilton?
It was common knowledge that the jags were basically drooling over Derrick Brown but couldn't get the chance to draft him. I would've been more than fine if the D. Brown pick happened but there are few times when a draft crush you have gets selected by your team (I also wanted Antoine Winfield in the 2nd but it was close), when Jags selected Hamilton I shrieked out of excitement and was, and still am, the most excited member of jaguars.
Davon Hamilton was someone who didn't have a high amount of snaps in his first 4 years at Ohio State due to the surplus of talent and rotations in one of the deepest defenses in the nation. Hamilton finally started for his redshirt senior year but played within a heavy rotation and only just under 40% of the total snaps (no DT had more than 400 snaps this past season but 6 DTs had over 200 snaps. OSU had the DTs rotate so much so everyone was fresh at the end and depending on the strategy/team they faced for example Hamilton was used more than normal when OSU faced a heavy run team). Davon Hamilton showed what he can potentially do in the NFL. Even though he had limited snaps his production/snap was impressive. He was mainly a NT eating up double teams but did have snaps at the 3T and had his moments. In his career he recorded 66 tackles, but 20 of them were for loss. That's over 30% of his tackles of his career went for loss and in his final year nearly 40% of his tackles that went for loss, he also had 6 sacks his final year showing he has potential to rush the passer. An above average athlete at 6’4 and 320lbs (recorded most reps at the bench press for DL with 33) who is strong at the point of attack, can engage double teams and be an anchor for a defense. His best years are ahead of him due to limited experience and no injury history. Dave Caldwell compared him to a “baby Al Woods” and will learn from him and others. This pick screamed “We play Derrick Henry, Jonathan Taylor and Marlon Mack each twice a year and we need help”.
Prediction: 55-60% snaps played. 12 TFLs with 3.5 sacks. WIll get more snaps as the season goes by.
ROUND 4 PICK 116: OT/OG The Smoothie King AKA:Ben Bartch, St Johns.
WHY OL?
Former starting OG for the Jaguars Uche Nwaneri had an AMA in NFL, A jags fan asked him about Gardner Minshew and in it he mentions that the jags offensive line was holding the team down, which every jags fan agreed. This group was frustrating to watch to say the least since it was ranked 26th as a unit by PFF. So many drives were cut short due to a penalty, a missed assignment or just getting stuffed by the defense. The Jags starting OL committed 48 penalties the whole season. This OL showed they were undisciplined and gave Minshew no time whatsoever in the pocket allowing 182 pressures which ranked 10th most in the nfl.
The only players I can still see on the jags starting OL in 2021 are Brandon Linder (Good center who wins with technique rather than strength but had an off year with 7 holding calls) and Jawaan Taylor (played better as the season went on but 13 penalties on him is alarming and needs to improve). LT Cam Robinson, LG Andrew Norwell and RG AJ Cann have 1 year to show their worth or they are gone, and the way they played I don't think they are getting signed. Norwell has been a bust of a FA signing, a former all pro with the panthers signed for a record deal and has been awful with the jaguars. Norwell couldn't run block and many times a year he was bull rushed into Minshews face due to bad technique. I don't think jaguars has hated an OL more than Norwell after the Panthers game this season. It got to a point in which articles were written saying that Norwell should be benched. For some reason the Jags have struggled to fill the LG position ever since Vince Manuwai (RIP) played his last season with the Jags in 2010 (former LGs include Will Rackley, Zane Beadles, Mike Brewster, Luke Joeckel, Patrick Omameh, and Andrew Norwell currently) . AJ Cann is one of the worst pass blocking OG in this league and throughout the year replays during the game showed minshew escaping from a DL let through freely by Cann, this might have been Cann’s best year which is depressing to say since he was still was pretty awful when compared to the rest of the NFL, i could go on but it would be repeating myself from last years write up. Cam Robinson, the former 2017 2nd round pick had a really good rookie year but 2018 was cut short by an ACL injury but his recovery took way longer than it normally should have and was pretty bad this past season. Also an upcoming free agent, Cam needs to show his worth or he could be on a new team in no time, yes an argument can be made that he was still recovering from the ACL injury and a hyperextended knee before the 2019 season started. Many people argued about drafting one of the OTs in the 1st round and moving Cam inside to guard will highlight his strengths in run blocking, power and length. I will give Cam this, he might be the one most likely to return out of the 3 due to being the youngest and having an excuse due to the injury. Better play from him can almost guarantee his stay.
The Jags lost the trenches in 2019 and it showed, The jags only scored 3 rushing TDs this past season and were dominated when it came to short yard situations (counter argument, Fournette has bad vision which doesn't help). In the goal line this OL couldnt generate any push whatsoever or protect Minshew. Minshew was running for his life. As of the start of the draft, I would consider this OL one of the 10 worst in the league and need help ASAP, especially after additions like Deforest Buckner and Ross Blacklock within the division. Though the coaching staff and GM said they do have confidence in this unit. Will Richardson was the main backup OL who brought value because he could play both tackles and guard but Doug Marrone stated that Richardson will now play LT, he played the first 2 games at LT due to injuries and played very well.
TLDR: The OL was a shackle for the team basically having Gardner Minshew running for his life. Also having no real depth and could see a total rebuild in 2021.
Why Ben Bartch?
Ben Batch’s name was thrown around throughout the offseason. The former standout LT who dominated his competition in the D3 ranks who also looked the part at the senior bowl practices in which he went step for step with some of the best and athletic prospects the D1 had to offer (an injury made him miss the senior bowl game) holding off guys like Jabari Zuniga and Terrel Lewis in some reps. Later on at the combine, the NFL network had him showcase his now infamous smoothie that he made to gain weight.
What makes Bartch’s potential very intriguing is the fact that he used to be a TE coming into college but worked out hard, drank that nasty smoothie to gain weight. Bartch at the end gained around 75-80lbs of good weight but at the same time maintained his overall athleticism he had as a TE, which shows because Bartch moves very smoothly and fast. At 6’5 and 310 lbs, Bartch has a lot of room to grow since he still is getting used to a position he's only played for 2 years (nfl.com sums it up perfectly “From a skill standpoint, he's still an undergrad, but on pace for his degree in tackle studies”) and he was able to be a showcase name in the senior bowl. He does have the potential and traits to play OL NFL due to his fast counters, punches, and overall quickness. He does have solid foundations that makes for a good OL in the NFL, which are hard to come with guys coming out of college since OL coaching has seen a dip in quality in the college ranks. The big obstacle will most likely be the game speed. D3 speed is completely different from NFL speed. Bartch might need to get used to it as quickly as possible. Bartch can play outside or inside in this league.
Prediction: Cann or Norwell get benched for Bartch mid season
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Defending the Draft 2020: Dallas Cowboys

Huge shout out and thank you to u/snek_ens Helped out a huge amount as he did the draft analysis. As a first time writer, I can't express how much gratitude I have for you helping me out.
Season Recap:
Disappointing. Do I need to say more? Before the season began, fresh off the heels of a very exciting 2018 season, Dallas fans had plenty of cause for optimism. America’s Team had won seven of its last eight regular-season games to take the NFC East, then defeated a very good Seattle Seahawks team in the playoffs. The team lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the next round, but the Rams also made it to the Super Bowl. So, the Cowboys season only ended with a loss to the second-best team in the league last year. Surely, the team was destined for great things in 2019. But it didn’t happen. Once again, a Jason Garrett-led team let down the fans.The Dallas Cowboys finished 8-8 in 2019 and blew an opportunity to earn a second consecutive NFC East division title to a Philadelphia Eagles team riddled with injuries. The season was a major disappointment and it ultimately cost Jason Garrett his job. That said, at times the team flashed the ability to be dominant by becoming the only team to finish with a 113 point differential and yet still miss the playoffs. This may be harsh but I think finishing 8-8 with this roster in the easiest division is a complete and utter failure.
Coaching Change:
The Cowboys finally divorced themselves from their nine-year head coach Jason Garrett even if he took a while to move out of the house. It took longer than expected but it finally happened and I truly believe it was the right call. The main reason why Jerry didn't fire Garrett before was because Jerry believes that only teams with veteran staff can reach the Super Bowl and that changing coaches resets the journey to reach it. The driving force in selecting a new head coach was that Jones is 77 years old and doesn't want to wait to win. He believed that securing a veteran head coach with winning credentials would give the Cowboys the best chance to win more in 2020.
McCarthy signed a five year deal with the Cowboys which had mixed feelings all over the media. Most complaints were about the fit but like I mentioned before, Jerry thinks a veteran head coach will bring a Super Bowl now rather than later. Unfortunately, this brings an enormous amount of pressure for McCarthy. However, I do believe McCarthy has what it takes to win it all as he has a great coaching record and already has one Super Bowl win under his belt. Before becoming the head coach for the cowboys, he was an OC for five years between 2000 and 2005 for the Saints and the 49ers. Then from 2006 to 2018, he was the head coach for the Packers where he called all the plays. Pretty common sense that McCarthy is an offensive minded coach which I think will fit nicely for Dallas. The one problem I have with this fit is that McCarthy is a pass heavy coach (which might be the reason why he kept OC Kellen Moore) which doesn't bode well for Ezekiel Elliot. We just paid him a hefty contract so it will be interesting to see how McCarthy will utilize Zeke. Cowboys are usually a run heavy team and McCarthy is a big passing guy, so there is a small conundrum there.
Free Agency:
Going into the offseason, much of the spotlight was on Prescott and Cooper. However, there were other concerns in the roster that were just as important. Dallas loves to retain their key guys and fill holes with mid level free agents with comfortable contracts and this year was the same. Dallas loves to plug as many holes as they want before the draft, so without further ado, here is the FA breakdown:
FA Losses:
• C Travis Frederick, Retirement
This one came to a surprise to all when it first happened but after looking into it, we can realize that Frederick was just looking out for himself and his family which never needs a justification. Frederick had been the starting center for the Cowboys since they drafted him in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, racking up 96 starts along the way. He missed the entire 2018 season with a rare disease, but returned in 2019. In six years in the league, he has three All-Pro nods (one first-team, two second-team), and five Pro Bowl appearances. His loss leaves a big hole in an offensive line that was once almost impenetrable.
• CB Byron Jones, Dolphins
Because the Cowboys were forced to lay out huge financial investments to retain Prescott and Cooper, Jones was able to hit the open market, and he landed a $16.5 million/year deal with the Dolphins. Jones was easily the Cowboys' best and most reliable defensive back, and that loss will undoubtedly sting.
• DE Robert Quinn, Bears
Quinn was the Cowboys' most productive pass rusher in 2019. In 14 games, he had 34 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 22 QB hits. Quinn signed with the Bears for 5 years, $70 million. Jones and Quinn were two major pieces in the Dallas D, that the Cowboys are unlikely to be able to replace with equal or better players.
• WR Randall Cobb, Texans
Cobb was quite a productive player for the Cowboys in 2019, catching 55 passes for 828 yards with 3 TDs playing the slot role for most of the season. He signed a three-year deal worth $27 million with the Texans.
• DT Maliek Collins, Raiders
Collins, who is still only 25 years old played 61 games with 55 starts for the Cowboys in four seasons. Over his career in Dallas, he had 84 tackles, 14.5 sacks, 40 QB hits, and 5 fumble recoveries. He was a young, solid starter, who signed for the Raiders on a one-year deal at $6 million. Which I think is a major steal for the Raiders.
• S Jeff Heath, Raiders
Heath was a liability all the time for the Cowboys on the back end, as he was a horrendous tackler and an average coverage defender. Still, the Cowboys never found anyone better than him over the last three years, as Heath was a starter from 2017 to 2019.
• TE Jason Witten, Raiders
This one is addition by subtraction. Witten was becoming washed, and he was only getting in the way of the development of Blake Jarwin.
• Other losses:
  1. OT Cameron Fleming, Giants
  2. OG Xavier Su'a-Filo, Bengals
  3. DE Kerry Hyder, 49ers
  4. CB Donovan Olumba, Browns
FA Retained:
• QB Dak Prescott (Franchise tag, one year, $31 million)
It is still surprising that Dak does not have a deal yet. Many thought including me that it would have happened last year, instead cowboys gave deals to running back Ezekiel Elliott, linebacker Jaylon Smith, and RT La'el Collins. The lack of a deal for Prescott is almost certainly going to cost the Cowboys going forward. While the Eagles and Rams were busy getting new deals done for Carson Wentz and Jared Goff for approximately $32 million per year, Prescott played well on his crappy rookie contract in 2019, and avoided injury, thus shifting leverage to his side of the bargaining table. The longer the cowboys wait, the more leverage Prescott will have and the more risk it will be leaving Prescott without an extension.
• WR Amari Cooper (re-signed for 5 years, $100 million)
Not sure why Cooper got to FA either. He is 25 years old with enormous amounts of talent, there should be no reason for that to happen. But in the end Dallas kept a key piece of their offense intact. Cooper signed for $20 million for 5 years which makes him the second highest paid WR in the NFL. Cooper could have gotten more money as the Redskins offered significantly more money but Cooper turned it down to stay in Dallas for a chance to win a Super Bowl.
• TE Blake Jarwin (re-signed for four years, $22 million)
Jarwin is an up-and-coming tight end, and he'll have more opportunities with Jason Witten out of the way, but 4 years, $22 million is a lot of money for a player with 672 career receiving yards.
CB Anthony Brown (re-signed for 3 years, $15.5 million)
Brown has mostly been the Cowboys' slot corner, but he has also played some outside. They probably overpaid a bit here, but had to because of the loss of Byron Jones.
LB Sean Lee (re-signed for one year, $4.5 million)
In something of a surprise move, Lee returned to Dallas, despite a pair of starters in Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith ahead of him on the depth chart. But Sean Lee is a Cowboys favorite so seeing him leave would have been heartbreaking. This is likely Lee’s last year.
• Other players retained:
  1. IOL Joe Looney
  2. QB Cooper Rush
  3. TE Blake Bell
  4. LB Joe Thomas
  5. LB Justin March
  6. CB C.J. Goodwin
  7. S Darian Thompson
  8. K Kai Forbath
  9. LS L.P. Ladouceur
FA Additions:
• DT Gerald McCoy (signed for 3 years, $18.3 million)
McCoy is still a good player, but he is now 32 years old, and not the near-elite player he once was. McCoy has had at least 5 sacks in each of the last 7 seasons, so it shows that he can be useful
• DT Dontari Poe (signed for 2 years, $10.5 million)
Poe is a massive 6'3, 346-pound defensive tackle heading into his ninth season. 20.5 career sacks, 4 last season. It makes sense for the Cowboys to add a massive run stopper on the interior to eat up space and let their linebackers behind him make plays.
• S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (signed for one year, $4 million)
Clinton-Dix is actually an underrated signing. For $4 million dollars, he is a guy that can play good zone coverage in multiple types of packages. The only downside is he struggles to tackle like Jeff Heath who they replaced.
• CB Maurice Canady (signed for one year, $1.25 million)
Canady is an inside-outside versatility depth signing. He got cut by the Ravens in-season last year and picked up by the Jets.
• DE/OLB Aldin Smith (signed for one year, $2 million)
Smith just got reinstated but hasn't played for nearly 5 years, so it will really interesting to see how he performs.
As a bonus to a big FA, the Cowboys are projected to have 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th round compensatory draft picks next year. Dallas lost seven total qualifying free agents and gained three, with the additions of McCoy and Clinton-Dix canceling out the losses of Collins and Jason Witten. The Cowboys are already without a 5th and a 6th round pick because of some trades, but thanks to the extra ammunition they are getting here, they will have plenty of ammunition for the next draft.
Draft: While the off season’s narrative has focused on the contracts of Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott, this draft was quietly important. The Cowboys needed to secure cheap contributors to complement the key players who had been handed contracts over the last few seasons. Dallas is not a team who likes going into the draft with glaring holes. Typically, they plug holes with mid to low level free agents prior to draft weekend. This year was no different. After free agency, cornerback was generally seen as the largest need. The departure of Byron Jones left big shoes to fill. The Cowboys other needs were wide receiver and edge. Even with a clear number one and two option, Randall Cobb’s 83 targets are up for grabs. The spot opposite Lawrence is a fight between mid-round draft picks and players who haven't seen the field in at least a season.
Round 1, Pick 17: CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma
Dallas started off with a pick that brought joy to the hearts of Cowboys Nation. Lamb was the top ranked receiver on the boards of many analysts and fans. He is regarded as a complete prospect. CeeDee Lamb has the size you want for a prototypical X receiver, elite short-area quickness, the ability to win down the field, a penchant for circus catches, and is a yards after the catch machine. Lamb was so well thought of that Dallas did not dare dream he would fall to pick 17. This pick further excited fans because it represented an adjustment in draft philosophy. The Cowboys had Lamb 6th overall on their board. They stayed true to that evaluation instead of reaching for a position of need. This strategy landed them CeeDee Lamb as their third wide receiver, creating one of the most talented groups in the league.
While Lamb was widely regarded as excellent value, his game does have some weaknesses. First, he possesses only adequate speed, running a 4.55 forty yard dash. However, Lamb still demonstrates the ability to win down field with leverage, tracking, and a “my ball” mentality. Second, Lamb looked at his worst against press coverage. Typically, receivers see much more of this at the NFL level, but Lamb’s designation at the team’s slot receiver should ease the transition. He has not only the skillset to thrive in the slot, but also the experience. Over 40% of his receptions last year came from the slot. Lamb should be able to use his physicality to bully smaller corners and his suddenness to create separation from bigger corners or safeties. Further cementing the fit is his eye popping catch radius and sure hands. If there was one issue that plagued the Cowboys’ receiving core last season, it was drops. Prescott was among the quarterbacks worst hurt by dropped passes. Lamb’s selection should change that. After all, there is a reason he got DeAndre Hopkins comparisons throughout the draft process.
Round 2, Pick 51: Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama
With their second pick, Dallas selected a player they were rumored to be considering at 17. While most fans were lukewarm about Diggs in the first round, they were thrilled with him at 51. Corner was widely considered the Cowboys’ top need, and it seems the team agreed. Dallas was expected to spend premium draft capital in the secondary, and Diggs was the first of two swings they took at the position. Over the past few drafts, the Cowboys have preferred long athletic corners. With a new regime in place, the outlook was more uncertain. However, they haven’t strayed far from their previous prototype. At 6’1” 205 lbs with 32 ¾” arms, Trevon Diggs profiles as a press corner. He effectively uses his physicality and length to challenge receivers at the line of scrimmage. PFF had Diggs graded as the top press corner this past season. Diggs also received the second best single coverage grade over the last two seasons. He was credited with 18 forced incompletions and 3 interceptions is single coverage. While PFF grades are not the be all, end all, it is notable that Dallas seemed to value the same players. Throw in McCarthy’s famed weeked at PFF and this pick should come as no surprise.
Diggs role will be that of outside corner. The Cowboys have three returning corners who played meaningful snaps last year and they brought in two more for competition. Diggs will get a chance to compete for a starting spot, but it is wise to temper expectations. He only started playing corner full-time in 2017, so he is still developing. Further, Diggs’ most obvious weakness is his long speed. This could be especially problematic as teams around the league stock up on speedsters. He also displays some of the stiffness common in bigger corners. With a lack of make up speed and the tendency to get grabby when he’s getting beat, Diggs will need to improve his press technique to be as effective as he was at Alabama.
That said, it is easy to see why Dallas was enamored with Diggs. His 3 interceptions and 8 passes defended in 2019 demonstrate the play-making ability that has been lauded by the new staff. Diggs uses his ball skills and route recognition (both aided by his experience at wide receiver) to close on throwing windows and attack the catch point. Diggs is an exciting and ascending player, but any contributions this year should be seen as a bonus. Canaday and Worley were both brought in on one-year contracts. They are likely to serve as placeholders while Diggs spends a season acclimating to the NFL.
Round 3, Pick 82: Neville Gallimore, DT Oklahoma
Defensive tackle was arguably the most upgraded position for Dallas this offseason. The additions of Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, along with the exodus of Maliek Collins, has remade the interior defensive line room. With presumed starters at 1-tech and 3-tech already on the roster, this pick was made with an eye toward the future. This selection was the least exciting for many fans, but Gallimore is a pet cat of mine. In year one, he is expected to battle last year’s second round pick, Trysten Hill, for back-up 3-tech snaps. Hopefully, Gallimore can develop into the 3-tech of the future. He will need to take advantage of the opportunity to learn from 3x All-Pro Gerald McCoy and esteemed defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.
Gallimore shed 30 lbs between the 2018 and 2019 seasons. The results were hard to miss. At 300 lbs, his explosiveness and speed jump will make you do a double take. Gallimore is relentless. He never quits on a play, multiple times per game you’ll see him deep in the secondary chasing a ball carrier. His combination of hustle and speed give him impressive range. Gallimore is capable of chasing running backs down and defending the entire line of scrimmage. He sets up most of his success by winning quickly. Gallimore has a fantastic first step and the lateral quickness to cross the face of interior linemen. He has active hands, but they can be more frenetic than calculated. One move he has down is the arm-over. He can win with it right off the snap, or sequence it with a club/rip. Gallimore’s natural strength makes his club-arm over a deadly combo. He has also shown a spin move that needs some refining, but has the potential to leave blockers lunging at air.
Despite all his tools and natural gifts, Gallimore is not a finished product. He played the majority of his snaps at Oklahoma at 1-tech, but projects as a 3-tech in the NFL. This limited his production, and also his opportunities to attack single gaps. At this point, Gallimore is more disruptive than productive. After his initial burst, he lacks the bend and change of direction to finish plays. Fortunately, Gallimore won’t be relied upon as the primary pass rusher early in his career. He comes into a situation with time to develop his technique and grow into an impact defender.
Round 4, Pick 123: Reggie Robinson II, CB Tulsa
To start off Day 3 of the draft, Dallas finally strayed from PFF’s board. They selected Reggie Robinson II, their second cornerback of the weekend. At 6’1” 205 lbs, Robinson profiles as a press corner. He is physical at the line of scrimmage and uses his exceptional explosiveness to make plays at the catch point. Stop me if you’ve heard this before. Eerily similar to Diggs, Robinson finished 2019 with 3 picks and 13 PBUs. So, Dallas clearly has a type at cornerback.
Reggie Robinson is a project. A project with comparable upside to Trevon Diggs, and similar flaws. Robinson doesn’t have the speed concerns of Diggs (ran a 4.44 40) and is a more well rounded athlete, but demonstrates some of the same tightness and struggles with change of direction. He also has a tendency to get handsy down the field. Look for Robinson to contribute on special teams while preparing to make a run at a starting spot in the 2021 season. Much like the 2017 Draft, where Dallas remade their cornerback room with back to back selections, the Cowboys invested significant capital into the secondary. The performance of Diggs and Robinson will weigh heavily in future evaluations of this draft class.
Round 4, Pick 146: Tyler Biadasz, OC Wisconsin
Trade: Round 5, 164 + 2021 5th Round Pick for Round 4, Pick 146
When talking about centers for the Dallas Cowboys, the conversation starts with All-Pro Travis Frederick. Much has been said about his retirement and he will be sorely missed. Cowboys Nation wishes Frederick good health and all the relaxation and blessings he has earned. Despite Frederick’s retirement, center was not high on the Cowboy’s list of needs. Last year’s surprise selection of Connor McGovern and the re-signing of stalwart Joe Looney give Dallas serviceable options. “A New Wisconsin Center in Dallas!” would have been the Cowboys’ headline of the draft had Biadasz maintained his level of play from 2018. Then again, he was a projected first rounder and would not have been available here. Regardless, Dallas saw enough in Biadasz to trade up with the division rival Eagles and secure him.
Biadasz brings 41 games worth of starting experience (all at center) and a lunch pail full of accolades with him to Dallas. His leadership, communication, and football IQ are all routinely praised. Biadasz excels in the run game and helped pave the way for Jonathan Taylor’s 6174 career rushing yards. And, I cannot help but mention the physical likeness to Frederick, standing 6’4” and just over 310 lbs. However, Biadasz regressed from 2018 to 2019. He was not as physical, balanced, or coordinated. It is widely speculated this was due to a hip injury. Few 4th round picks have reached the highs put on tape by Biadasz, but it is uncertain whether he can return to that level of play. The value here comes down to medicals, and the restrictions stemming from COVID-19 make this question even murkier than usual.
Round 5, Pick 179: Bradlee Anae, DE Utah
This selection is considered one of the better value picks in the class. Anae fits the mold of the productive and technical player with limited athletic upside. Unfortunately, he plays the position which requires, arguably, the most athleticism. So perhaps projecting him as earlier than a day 3 pick was optimistic. That said, Bradlee Anae comes into the NFL with consistent and impressive production. He racked up 29.5 sacks and 40 tackles for loss over his 39 games at Utah. And he did it with buttery smooth hand technique. Anae flows from his first to second move, incorporating a wide variety of techniques to keep defenders guessing. He uses cross-chops, rips, spins, and, with surprising success considering his lack of length, stabs. During the Senior Bowl, Anae continued to do exactly what he’d made a career of at Utah. He generated pressures in practice and sacks in the game. And it gained him a lot of fans.
In Dallas, he will likely compete with 2018 3rd round pick, Dorance Armstrong. However, what he will be competing for isn’t quite set in stone. The Cowboys’ defensive end room is shrouded in uncertainty. Aldon Smith has just been reinstated after being out of the league for five years. Randy Gregory is in the process of applying for reinstatement. Expectations are positive in light of the changing stance towards marijuana use, but there is no way to predict Roger when it comes to the Cowboys. Tyrone Crawford is back from injury, but it is uncertain what role exactly he will play for this new defense. He has also been, at least in fans’ minds, a potential cap casualty for the last several seasons. So depending on whether several players are in football shape, healthy, allowed to play, and still on the team, he could be competing for the DE3 to DE5 spot. At the very least, Anae seems like a known quantity in a very unknown situation, and that is valuable.
Round 7, Pick 231: Ben DiNucci, QB James Madison
I won’t pretend that I watched more than a handful of James Madison snaps prior to this pick. DiNucci had no national buzz coming into draft weekend. Though Dallas was rumored to have interest in a few late round quarterbacks, DiNucci was a surprise pick. This is no doubt tinted by homerism, but DiNucci appears to have some tools worth developing. DiNucci transferred from Pitt to James Madison, so the level of competition is definitely something to keep in mind. Regardless, he seems to have the requisite arm talent and ability to make off-platform throws. The most impressive thing I saw was his composure in the face of pressure. His highlight plays maneuvering in the pocket and spinning away from rushers have shades of Romo.
In the end, DiNucci drops into an excellent situation. Despite being a 7th round pick, he was reportedly a McCarthy selection. New head coach Mike McCarthy has a reputation of working with and developing quarterbacks. So, DiNucci has the opportunity to secure himself as the 3rd quarterback with only Clayton Thorson as competition. Not only that, he comes into an organization with a history of finding quality quarterbacks outside of the first few rounds.
Projected 53-man roster: (starters in bold)
QB: Dak Prescott, Andy Dalton
RB: Ezekiel Elliott, Tony Pollard, Sewo Olonilua, Jamize Olawale (FB)
TE: Blake Jarwin, Dalton Schultz, Blake Bell
WR: Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Ceedee Lamb, Cedrick Wilson, Devin Smith, Jon’Vea Johnson
OL: Tryon Smith, Connor Williams, Joe Looney, Zack Martin, La’el Collins, Connor McGovern, Tyler Biadasz, Brandon Knight
DE: Demarcus Lawrance, Tyrone Crawford, Randy Gregory, Aldon Smith, Dorance Armstrong, Bradlee Anae
DT: Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Antwaun woods, Neville Gallimore
LB: Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Sean Lee, Joe Thomas, Justin March, Luke Gifford
CB: Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis, Anthony Brown, Daryl Worley, Maurice Canady, Trevon Diggs, Reggie Robbinson II,
S: Xavier Woods, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Darian Thompson, Donovan Wilson
LS: L.P. Ladouceur
P: Chris Jones
K: Greg Zeurlein
Practise Squad: Ben DiNucci(QB), Rico Dowdle(RB), Charlie Taumoepeau(TE), Kendrick Rodgers(WR), Noah Brown(WR), Mitch Hyatt(OL), Wyatt Miller(OL), Ron’Dell Carter(DE), Trysten Hill(DT), Francis Bernard(LB), C.J. Goodwin(CB)
submitted by SalujaBoy123 to NFL_Draft [link] [comments]

DD: $ORTX: Orchard Therapeutics - Hidden discounted biotech apple ripe for picking

Tl;dr Buy $ORTX (options volume is too weak and the upside swing on the stock might be enough to mend your wounds after bag holding SPY puts with the VS brigade)
Target: Orchard Therapeutics (ORTX)
In a nutshell:
A little history:
The Orchard Platform:
This is where the juice is. The ORTX treatment basically involves removing a patient’s cells, editing/correcting them, and re-inserting them to cure the disease. ORTX has successfully applied this approach to “many mono-genetic diseases, some of which are life-altering and/or life-ending diseases, for which there are no effective treatments.” Basically, the barriers to entry are immense and ORTX has by far the most advanced product in the space.
  1. OTL-200 for Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD)
“MLD is caused by a faulty gene and results in patients missing a critical enzyme. Onset of MLD can happen in infancy, childhood or even adulthood” Nerve fibers breakdown, muscles work poorly, and patients are not able to develop cognitively (symptoms like cerebral palsy)
“patients are “vegetative by ages 2-3 and often dead by ages 5-6.”
After seeing treated patients, the mother of an MLD patient who was rendered paralyzed, blind and end-stage wrote, ”experts in the field called the results from GSK’s (Orchard’s) clinical trials of gene therapy for MLD “stunning.” Children who should have been unable to talk or walk, who needed feeding tubes and hospice care, were instead attending school and riding bicycles and living remarkably normal lives.
The drug is being hailed as a life-saver and given its potential impact and life-saving effects, pricing can be an incredibly powerful and justifiable lever (more on that below).
Competitors for OTL-200
  1. Stem Cells:
Only current treatment available is a stem cell transplant. The therapies may slow the disease but need to be administered early in the process and published literature indicates they carry a meaningful risk of complications. It also shows ineffectiveness in aggressive late-infantile MLD (which is a large proportion of the target market).
  1. Other gene therapy players:
Pricing for OTL-200
Likely very high- most comparable is Zolgensma which goes for $2.1M in the U.S.. However, insurance companies don’t mind paying it for two reasons :(1) it’s extremely rare and consequently “the price per member per month is actually very small. It is estimated that insurance coverage for gene therapy adds less than $12 annually to a premium.” (2) It is a single treatment cure so insurance companies don’t have to worry about recurring payments demanded by treatments that could exist in a few years.
Assuming a price of $2,000,000 per patient and 100 patients treated annually (which is conservative given the diagnosis rate is increasing), OTL-200 would provide revenue of $200 million annually (FYI the entire company’s market cap is currently at $500M).
Upcoming regulatory feedback
EU approval for OTL-200 is expected later this year and launch in the region is planned for early 2021. Plans for filing an IND this year and feedback from the FDA and EMA has been positive with indications that they have more than enough datasets to prove efficacy and safety (see Q12020 earnings call).
  1. OTL-103 for Wiskott Aldrich Syndrome (WAS)
WAS: another extremely rare disease “that impairs immune function and prevents platelets from being properly produced leading to bleeding disorders”-avg. life span 14 years.
Widely varying figures of incidence but ORTX estimates “100-300 births and a prevalence of 3K-5K patients of whom it is estimated that 55 percent are un-transplanted.” The CEO, describes it as a slower progressing disease and that patients can be treated in later stages. Because of this, OTL-103 has a better commercial opportunity as there are a few thousand existing patients who could benefit from treatment.
At ~2M per patient price tag, 300 patients treated annually, that’s another $600M in annual sales. Timeline for approval is expected in 2021 by FDA and EMA with commercial launches planned in 2022.
Other Products
Shown promising data in development of OTL-203 for MPS-1, another ultra-rare devastating disease. “the trial results to date have shown promising preliminary clinical effects on motor skills, IQ and growth in the first two patients with 12 and 18 months of follow-up”
“Orchard has announced that it will be investing in programs in less rare indications. They will be targeting genetic forms of frontotemporal dementia and Crohn’s disease. Orchard has other more advanced programs that have been placed on hold including their beta thalassemia program but they will be seeking partners to advance these.”
Financials
A few more quotes below:
Peak sales are always difficult to project, esp with ultra-rare diseases where there are few comparisons. Even more so with curative therapies. However, even if we assume the earlier revenue assumptions are too optimistic and solve for MLD and WAS collectively racing only $400M in sales: 3x multiple, 85% discount on regulatory approval chance, puts expected market cap at ~1B.
Institutional investors:
The majority of its shares are held by institutional investors including RA capital, Deerfield management, and the Baker Bros (BB). If you don’t know BB, these guys are the fucking shit. Almost everything they touch is gold, ORTX is a rare find in their portfolio because it’s one of the few where their locked-in price is still close to where the stock is trading.
Current coverage and PTs:
Current median price target of $20 (~300% increase from current) with a high of $29 and a low of $13. So a 2x return at the most bearish and a 6x at the most bullish. JPM revised to a more conservative $17 which as you can clearly see still remains bullish for the stock.
Some sources for more info:
https://seekingalpha.com/article/4359807-orchard-therapeutics-undervalued-gene-therapy-company
https://www.fool.com/earnings/call-transcripts/2020/05/09/orchard-therapeutics-ortx-q1-2020-earnings-call-tr.aspx
https://www.lifescienceleader.com/doc/the-whirlwind-rise-of-orchard-therapeutics-0001
submitted by AdministrativeCar611 to Biotechplays [link] [comments]

Competitive Budget Deck Masterpost (February 2020)

apology for poor english, where were you when entire meta dies?
i was sit at home playing duelingbook when discord ring
"hello"
"meta is kill"
"yes"
"but also, wallet is kill"
"no"
 
This post will give recommendations for decks that can generally do well while generally remaining in the $50 to $150 price range.
Not all decklists are perfect and this post is not an F. Unless there is a particularly offensive deckbuilding error that you want to point out, please don't use this thread to nitpick at the sample decklists provided. Decklists were built prioritizing simplicity and effectiveness on a budget. At the same time, if you want to try one of these decks, don't treat them as if they're perfect, either - you should experiment and play cards that feel comfortable and/or optimal to you.
Do feel free to leave suggestions for budget players, whether it's a budget tech choice for one of the decks on this list or whether it's a different deck that you think can compete in the coming months.
Shoutouts to gallantron for putting together yugiohdeck.github.io, which I'm now using for the price breakdown links instead of Yugiohdeckbuilder. Note that the site recently switched to display euros instead of dollars, due to an issue with the TCGPlayer API and prices on Speed Duel cards.
[Last updated: February 14, 2020]
Previous version: November 2019 Post
Updated version: June 2020 Post
 

S Tier

The best bang for your buck. Decks in this category have the capacity to top premier events, though they're almost always supplemented with expensive power cards.
 

Pendulum/Endymion

Price: $50+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
 

Altergeist

Price: $75+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
 

Lunalight

Price: $100+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
 

A Tier

Strong decks, but limited either by a lack of access to powerful staples or by the natural ceiling of the deck. You could still top a regional with one of these decks on a good day.
 

Subterror

Price: $100+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Control deck with a focus on flipping monsters face-down and generating constant advantage with Subterror Guru
  • One of the few decks that are capable of using Pot of Extravagance with almost zero risk, though Extravagance is currently sitting at around $100 at the time of this update
  • Since it makes frequent use of face-down monsters, an option is to play Nibiru the Primal Being in the main deck, catching combo decks by surprise in game 1
  • Generally does not need the extra deck, which can be appealing to budget players as well
  • With Sky Striker and True Draco heavily nerfed, Subterror claims a niche as arguably the strongest control deck that plays There Can Only Be One, as neither Altergeist nor Paleo can do so effectively
  • While not as hampered by Droll and Lock Bird as some combo decks are, this deck also doesn't exactly appreciate the meta being very Droll-heavy at the moment
 

Salamangreat

Price: $50+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Link-based control deck with a lot of recursion and a special in-archetype technique, where 1 Link Monster is used as the entire Link material to summon another copy of that monster, granting bonus effects
  • The deck is somewhat halfway between control and combo, establishing respectable boards turn 1 with a fairly compact engine, allowing many handtraps to be played. Their real strength comes in turn 3 and beyond, where their arsenal of free summons from the GY, coupled with their stellar resource recycling, easily overwhelm the opponent.
  • Salamangreat cemented their place in the TCG as arguably the strongest deck for a few months, winning 4 out of the 5 WCQs and taking many EU national wins. They have been hit a few times since then, with both Salamangreat Gazelle and Circle being Limited, and then Miragestallio being banned on the January list. While not as strong as they were before, Salamangreat are still competitively relevant, and proved this by making top 16 at the PPG Invitational in late January, piloted by Joe Bogli. They've also been tearing up the regional scene post-banlist, taking a substantial number of regional top 8 finishes across the globe.
  • The majority of the deck is dirt cheap and is mostly able to be built with commons from SOFU+SAST supplementing 3 copies of Structure Deck: Soulburner. However, almost all competitive versions of the deck max out on expensive consistency cards like Cynet Mining and Fantastical Dragon Phantazmay. Mining is being reprinted in Duel Overload, but at the time of this post still sits at around $30 per copy. In addition, Lady Debug was unlimited on the January list as well, helping to bring more consistency to budget Salamangreat lists.
  • You should ideally play this deck with Mining if you have it. If you don't, Pot of Desires is another, cheap option that provides some much-needed draw power, but can feel bad to play since banishing Gazelle is hugely detrimental.
  • Losing Stallio hurts consistency, and also makes it harder for Salamangreat to out certain monsters. A popular tech recently has been Brotherhood of the Fire Fist - Lion Emperor, which lets the player recycle Gazelle and other monsters while also preventing Spinny from being banished too early. Do note that Lion Emperor has recently shot up in price to around $15 each, but is also not essential whatsoever for a Salamangreat deck.
 

Dinosaurs

Price: $100+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Dinos are a combo deck with consistent access to Evolzar Laggia/Dolkka and Ultimate Conductor Tyranno, a formidable boss monster with incredible OTK power and disruption
  • Though Dinosaur has never established itself recently as a tier 1 deck, it's consistently performed at a regional level. Post-July 2019 banlist, the deck has continued to consistently show up in regional top 8s, including taking 1st place at Brooklyn regionals earlier in November and claiming multiple regional tops in 2020.
  • Easily incorporates more power cards/engines:
    • The Lost World variant oftentimes plays Pot of Extravagance, as it's not as focused on flashy combos and instead greatly appreciates the extra draw power and consistency of Extravagance. However, this card is quite expensive and most likely isn't getting reprinted anytime soon
    • The True King engine provides speed and power going first or second, but is brickier since it runs True Kings and requires a high baby dino count. This variant has previously seen sporadic success, and recently topped the PPG Invitational in late January, piloted by Stephen Bronder. With True King Lithosagym coming off the banlist, this could be a variant to look out for. The provided decklist is based off of Stephen's list, although he played Extravagance.
    • The Shaddoll engine gives you strong plays going second against decks that use the Extra Deck, such as SPYRAL and Salamangreat.
  • Dinos are receiving some excellent support in ETCO, the next main set, in the form of Jewel Beast - Argosaurus. If the deck remains untouched on the next banlist, they could be a tier 1 contender for nats season.
  • The deck is notoriously bricky, and losing draw power from no Extravagance doesn't help either
  • Prices for this deck have risen due to recent hype - Oviraptor is sitting at $10, whereas Double Evolution Pill is $15. Fortunately, it's likely that Oviraptor will receive a reprint in Duel Overload.
 

B Tier

Like the above category, but generally weaker, less consistent, and/or impacted harder by a lack of access to a certain card(s).
 

Paleozoic Frogs

Price: $100+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Backrow-heavy control deck that summons its Traps to the field as monsters and pressures the opponent with Toadally Awesome
  • One of Paleo's biggest strengths was its ability to run both Rivalry and Gozen with basically zero repercussions. Throughout 2019, these were bad floodgates to run due to the big four decks (Striker, Thunder, Salamangreat, and Orcust) all largely being able to play around both floodgates quite easily. With the January banlist neutering the competition, perhaps we'll see a resurgence in Rivalry/Gozen - maybe when SPYRAL leaves the meta.
  • The last year or so has not been kind to Paleo from a meta perspective, but the deck is beginning to creep back into meta relevance. The provided list is based off of Fox Chudleigh's deck that he used to win an Australian regional in late January.
    • Fiend Griefing in particular is a very nice option for going first into GY-reliant decks like SPYRAL, Lunalight, and Salamangreat - but note that the lack of Impermanence in the main for budget players means that going second against combo decks could prove troublesome. Consider dropping Demise, the Back Jacks, and Fiend Griefing if this is the case, in favor of handtraps.
  • Has indirect support in RIRA and CHIM in the form of the Marincess archetype, which holds some potential when combined with this deck - especially Marincess Coral Anemone, which can help spam Swap Frog, but is unfortunately not very accessible for many budget players
  • Toad's price point has shot up to around $20 each, largely due to hype for how Frogs will perform under the Master Rule Revisions, being able to summon multiple Xyz monsters without needing to Link Summon first. This is irritating for budget players, who will have a hard time accommodating multiple copies of Toad as well as other somewhat pricey cards like Borrelsword Dragon, Trap Trick, and Artifact Sanctum. These prices are also why Paleo is ranked much lower on this post than Altergeist and Subterror.
 

Lair Infernoid

Price: $100-150 Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Aggro deck with big beaters that toolboxes from the graveyard while controlling the enemy's grave
  • 2019 was the most successful year for Infernoid since their competitive debut in 2015. A going-first build took 1st place at New Zealand nationals in early May, playing Trap Trick as well as Pot of Extravagance, as well as top 64 at Euros and top 32 at the Australian nationals. Since October, both YCS Guadalajara and YCS London saw one Infernoid player make the top 4 of each event, despite both tournaments also only seeing one Infernoid player make top 32 at all. Noids also won YCS Japan very recently, and bubbled YCS Milan.
  • Lair of Darkness gives this deck incredibly powerful disruption by allowing it to tribute your opponent's monsters for cost, on your opponent's turn. This is a powerful disruptive tool against SPYRAL, since a SPYRAL Sleeper backed up by SPYRAL GEAR - Last Resort has absolutely no protection against Lair + an Infernoid.
  • The list provided is designed to go second, though you may want to run more handtraps depending on how many combo decks you anticipate playing against. Ash, Droll, and D.D. Crow are all effective options against SPYRAL, and Ash + Ghost Ogre are decent options against most combo. Going first builds will max out on Void Feast and probably run cards like Trap Trick, and possibly Artifact Sanctum, though these last two cards are moderately expensive.
  • Infernoid can be notoriously bricky and you can be dependent on cards like Void Imagination resolving successfully, or on Reasoning / Monster Gate to mill a ton of high-level Infernoids for you to begin playing.
 

HERO

Price: $150+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • C'mon, you know what HERO is
  • Aggressive OTK deck that swarms the field using Vision HEROs and Destiny HERO - Malicious
  • When made to go first, it can establish Masked HERO Dark Law (which can be troublesome on its own) and then back it up with Destiny HERO - Plasma
  • Has a variety of 2 and 3- card combos that output a massive amount of damage to the board
  • Many of its most powerful cards also restrict you into summoning HERO monsters for the rest of the turn, meaning the deck is usually played very "pure"
  • Currently hovers on the border of being an affordable deck for budget players, as both Faris and Increase cost quite a lot, and their prices could fluctuate wildly depending on how much success HERO sees in the coming months
  • Players usually tend to play a small Evil HERO package using Adusted Gold and Malicious Bane, and/or a small Miracle Fusion package involving Liquid Soldier and Sunrise. Neither are anywhere close to viable for budget players, as currently the Liquid Soldier engine runs around $65, whereas the former engine costs nearly $250 for just two cards. You can still build HERO on a budget without these cards, but you might find yourself lacking the extra power needed to close certain games.
  • Struggles to deal with Nibiru, the Primal Being, as well as Super Polymerization. Dark Ruler No More is also an effective out to the standard HERO board, and is a common side deck card. The same applies to Lightning Storm, newly released in IGAS.
  • Despite this, HERO topped numerous regionals last format and has continued to do so in the January format, getting top 8 at Folkestone regionals earlier in January.
 

Traptrix

Price: $100+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Control deck with an emphasis on level 4s and normal Trap cards, using their Link monster, Traptrix Sera, to generate constant advantage on both players' turns
  • Due to how easily this deck accesses Rank 4s, it's capable of bringing out powerhouses like Abyss Dweller, Time Thief Redoer (with a Trap as material) and Utopia Double for easy OTKs
  • The provided deck is based on Team Bortle's list, which runs an interesting tech in the form of Iron Dragon Tiamaton. Triggering Sera during the opponent's turn lets you summon Myrmeleo under her - then, triggering Myrm's mandatory effect lets you set a Trap Hole from your deck in the same column, instantly making Tiamaton live. It's a fun option that can easily be substituted out for more standard handtraps, if you choose.
  • Though backrow decks usually want to run Pot of Extravagance, Traptrix lists oftentimes tend to go for Pot of Desires instead, or neither option, as Extravagance is very risky to run in conjunction with the Utopia Double package (although Desires can banish Double or Nothing, there's a smaller chance of that happening)
  • Sera has shot up to $8 per copy in NA recently, due to hype. If it goes higher, Traptrix will be more difficult to build on a budget, as Sera is an essential card in the deck.
 

C Tier

Decks in this category have the capability to be just as good as the ones above at times, but often tend to suffer from multiple problems including consistency and power.
 

Burning Abyss

Price: $100+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Versatile control-based Graveyard toolbox deck that used to be known for its amazing grind game, but now is generally played more as an aggressive OTK Link spam deck
  • Gained a notable amount of attention in 2018 after Thomas Rose piloted a Sekka BA list to 1st place at UK Nats. Later piloted to a shocking amount of success post-September 2018 banlist, getting 2nd at the 200th YCS in Utrecht and winning the 200th YCS in Mexico City.
  • Modern BA plays very few actual Burning Abyss cards, preferring to use Dante + Cherubini to more easily enable Link spam strategies. The provided build is based on Thomas Rose's build for the January 2020 format, which you can watch here. Tom prefers to run very few BA names, no Fiendish Rhino Warrior, no Beatrice, and to go second and OTK. When made to go first, you can pass on Cherubini and El Shaddoll Winda, as Cherubini will protect Winda from being destroyed by Instant Fusion during the End Phase.
  • Another version, and arguably the most popular version, is EARTH BA or Block Dragon BA. Block Dragon can be summoned multiple times in the same turn and is excellent for Link spamming, searching 2 cards and allowing you to get a lot of value out of cards like Saryuja Skull Dread. This version usually goes first and builds an "unbreakable" board. You can watch a combo video from Ryan Fletcher here, showing off what the deck can do.
    • This deck is vulnerable to Evenly Matched, Nibiru, and Dark Ruler No More, all of which are common side cards. In addition, it really appreciates having access to Apollousa, which is currently over $100.
  • Budget players attempting to build BA as a combo deck might struggle. Block Dragon has also been steadily rising recently, and cards like Gallis and the level 3 Dangers may not be accessible for some budget players.
  • A more old-school version of this deck is Burning Abyss Phantom Knight, nicknamed "PK Fire" by some. The level 3 Phantom Knights have good synergy with the BAs, and milling cards like Silent Boots will let you search Fog Blade to disrupt the opponent. This version is notably cheaper than the others listed, as it plays much more "pure" and usually runs a high BA count, multiple Dante, and doesn't have to play the somewhat expensive Dangers. An example PK Fire list is provided here, without expensive maindeck power cards like Dangers or Gallis.
 

Nekroz

Price: $50-100 Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Fan favorite Ritual deck that features an insane amount of searching and was revitalized by both the release of Impcantations as well as the unbanning of Shurit
  • Reprints of basically all the Nekroz cards as well as Mega Zaborg and Herald of the Arc Light mean that this deck is a fraction of what it used to cost this time last year, let alone on release
  • The popular going first build runs Cyber Angel Benten to search out either Vanity's Ruler or Archlord Kristya with Sauravis in hand as targeting protection, shutting the opponent out of Special Summons and oftentimes winning the game outright. Gale Dogra is another commonly run option.
  • Also playable is a going second version with handtraps and Evenly Matched, as Evenly has wonderful synergy with the Nekroz cards. Evenly is also very powerful in the current meta against both backrow decks and SPYRAL.
  • Impcantations lend a lot of versatility to the deck and you can adapt the maindeck with other Ritual monsters to have more of a toolbox at the cost of consistency. Cards that have seen play include Saffira, Shinobaroness Peacock, and even Blue-Eyes Chaos MAX Dragon.
  • This deck does not appreciate Droll and Lock Bird being an extremely common card in the current meta, as it searches a TON in order to combo.
 

Crusadia

Price: $25-100 Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Ridiculously aggressive OTK deck that can hit for over 10,000 damage with one attack
  • Focuses on Link climbing into Crusadia Equimax, which can reach ludicrous amounts of ATK and have all battle damage it inflicts be doubled
  • The core itself is dirt cheap, with every Crusadia card costing under $1
  • The given list simply sticks to the gameplan: remove the opponent's monsters and swing for a massive amount of damage to win the game in one turn
  • Can break established boards with surprising ease - for instance, the SPYRAL board can be demolished by many combinations of a Kaiju, Slumber, and Crusadia Testament to effectively turn off the opponent's Apollousa.
  • The deck can also be built as a very scary going first wombo combo deck that uses Crusadia monsters to access Guardragons. On a budget, the most common strategy is to make multiple Saryuja Skull Dread and to try to draw into Kyoto Waterfront, eventually setting up a 5-counter Gameciel that is very difficult to out. An example decklist might look like this.
 

Zombies

Price: $30-150 Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Deck built around Structure Deck: Zombie Horde, which focuses on maintaining the Field Spell Zombie World and controlling the game with its boss monster, Doomking Balerdroch
    • The build shown is a little pricier and incorporates things like Super Polymerization, Ash Blossom, etc.
    • A super-budget build would be constructed entirely from 3 copies of Structure Deck: Zombie Horde and would look something like this (build adapted from Cimoooo's YouTube channel), costing around $30.
  • Received excellent support in IGAS in the form of Jack-O-Bolan, a cheap Super Rare that synergizes wonderfully with the rest of the Zombie cards
  • As a generic Zombie deck, it easily incorporates other Zombie archetypes such as Shiranui, Vampires, Vendread, Mayakashi, etc. It's also commonly played with Dangers
  • Super Polymerization has great synergy with Zombie World, as you can fuse any two of your opponent's monsters into Dragonecro Nethersoul Dragon
  • Rivalry of Warlords also has great synergy, as while Zombie World is up, your opponent will be unable to summon any more monsters if they're not also Zombies in the hand.
  • This deck has never really seen competitive relevance in the same way as Endymion, Salamangreat, and Dinosaurs have
 

Tenyi

Price: $50+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Debuting in Rising Rampage, Tenyi are a Wyrm archetype that play around controlling non-effect monsters. They can put out negates with their archetypal counter trap, and usually have a fairly conservative turn 1 before exploding onto the field afterwards with their Link 2 and cards like Mare Mare
  • Received further support in Chaos Impact in the form of Tenyi Spirit - Adhara and Draco Berserker of the Tenyi, both of which increase the power ceiling of this deck
  • Taken to a 1st place regional finish in Medellin earlier in November 2019 by Andres Torres - you can watch his deck profile here. More recently taken to another 1st place finish at Columbia regionals by Cristian Barbosa in early February.
  • The decklist shown runs some staple cards that are a few dollars each, including Pot of Desires, Ash Blossom, and a one-of Borrelsword Dragon to close games. The Tenyi cards themselves are generally all just a few cents, with the most expensive maindeck Tenyi card (Shthana) sitting at just over $2
 

??? Tier

Decks here are in limbo until I decide where to put them, and their descriptions won't be nearly as detailed as in the other sections. Nothing here is finalized.
 

Sky Striker

Price: $50+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Yes, this deck still does stuff without Engage
  • Topped Carlisle regionals under the new banlist and also somewhat infamously went 6-1 at the PPT Invitational before the player was disqualified due to a decklist error
  • Received a boost with the release of Sky Striker Ace - Roze and is getting another strong card in its toolbox in DUOV, in the form of Zeke (or whatever its Link 2 will be named in the TCG)
 

True Draco

Price: $50+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • It's Draco and it's still alive, yaaaaay
  • Took 1st place at a Portugal regional this format with this exact main deck, piloted by João Neves
  • Why use lot card when few card do trick?
 

Thunder Dragon

Price: $75+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • People tell me this deck is still alive but even if that's the case, I don't see it functioning on a budget level without Apollousa or I:P Masquerena.
  • I've seen people play this with a high count of Chaos monsters like Levianeer, which is another barrier for budget players
  • Gets Predaplant link in DUOV I guess
 

Up-And-Coming (WIP)

Decks here will usually be decks that recently started seeing success, or upcoming decks that might become viable budget decks, oftentimes due to new support or even new reprints.
This section used to be for super budget decks only, but there were growing complaints about the same decks being showcased on this post every time. For more info on those super budget decks such as Cubics, Phantasm, and Chain Burn, take a look at previous versions of the budget post!
 

Shaddoll

Price: $50+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • Classic Fusion-based archetype from 2014, debuting in Duelist Alliance
  • Somewhat of a midrange combo deck that can slow the game down with El Shaddoll Winda or be very aggressive with El Shaddoll Construct
  • Received very decent support in the newly released Structure Deck: Shaddoll Showdown
  • Winda is a troublesome floodgate that many decks struggle to out, including SPYRAL - even Tough can't deal with it, since Winda can't be destroyed by card effects.
  • The provided list runs the Performage cards as another LIGHT engine that generates consistent advantage, but you can experiment with a bunch of different things. For example, Trickstar cards are a fairly common tech in OCG Shaddolls, although they have more copies of Light Stage than we do.
  • The deck's biggest problem has always been its inability to consistently resolve a fusion spell on turn 1, and the structure deck doesn't completely solve this problem. Pure Shaddoll are somewhat prone to bricking on all monsters or all spell/traps.
 

Giant Ballpark

Price: $25+ Decklist and Price Breakdown
  • An Insect based deck that revolves around its titular field spell, Giant Ballpark, to snatch OTKs by summoning 3 level 4 normal Insects for free from the Deck during the Battle Phase
  • Gokipole and Resonance Insect both provide some much-needed consistency for this deck, while Inzektor Picofalena can recycle your normal Insect monsters so that Ballpark is always live
  • Has been a viable deck at a locals level for a while but got a great boost with Utopia Double allowing for very cheesy OTKs. The deck thrives when going second but also has a fairly decent rank 4 toolbox when made to go first, as cards like Abyss Dweller and Bagooska are strong in the meta right now
  • Another boost came in IGAS with the import of Shiny Black "C" Squadder as a common! He powercreeps the other normal Insect you used to play, Neo Bug, by 200 whole ATK points!
  • Can incorporate outside engines such as Shaddolls or even a Tenyi engine, since the deck so frequently summons non-effect monsters
  • Got top 8 at a New Zealand regional in August 2019, with fairly humble results apart from that
  • Still, this deck is absolute pennies, with the actual Insect cards rarely ever costing over a dollar each - and the way the deck plays is incredibly fun
 

Honorable Mentions

  • Orcust, Magical Musketeers, Cyber Dragon, Trains, Gren Maju/Gizmek OTK, and Mekk-Knight Invoked - Decks that are pretty good but are sorta in limbo due to some expensive individual cards, such as CaspaStarfire, Cyber Emergency, Urgent Schedule, and Gizmek Orochi.
  • ABC, Prank-Kids, SPYRAL - Decks that were featured here before but were removed. ABC and Prank need to produce more results on the regional level before they're re-added to the post, and I've chosen to feature newer decks instead. SPYRAL is barely buildable on a budget, but the deck struggles to function, especially with every single deck out there packing tons of hate for SPYRAL, so I opted to leave it off the post.
  • Cubics, Phantasm, Chain Burn, Evilswarm, Yosenju, Graydle Kaiju, Dinomist, Monarchs, and much, much more - Unfortunately, there is not enough room to cover every single decent, super-cheap deck. A bunch of decks were added to this post due to the 2019 Mega-Tins, and I am actually pretty close to the 40,000 character limit, so several ended up being cut. Some of them may have been covered in previous versions of the budget post!
 
 
That's basically it, I hope to keep this post updated for the foreseeable future. Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions and remember to smash that fuccin upvote button if you enjoyed this content
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[Book Summary] Barking Up the Wrong Tree by Eric Barker

Book: Barking Up the Wrong Tree: The Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong
By: Eric Barker
Quick overview: Okay, so this book is pretty awesome. Barker takes you on a journey to crack down on common success advice using science and studies and facts. Take Chapter 1, where Barker analyzes whether playing by the rules pays off by finding "insight from Valedictorians, People who Feel No Pain, and Piano Prodigies." The book is jam packed with facts supporting both sides of the argument but in the end, Barker still manages a satisfactory conclusion.
This summary has 8 sections:
  1. Know yourself
  2. Personality
  3. Grit, optimism, perseverance, productivity
  4. Success advice
  5. Networking, friends, and relationships
  6. Mentors
  7. Confidence and self-compassion
  8. Framework for getting started

Know yourself

Advice: Find what you’re good at and do just that. Pick the right environment that suits your strengths and “weaknesses”
Fact: Intensifiers: genes that are generally negative but can provide sweeping advantages in specific circumstance
How to: find what you’re good at: use feedback analysis
Quote: “Quite simply, when you undertake a project, write down what you expect to happen, then later note the result. Over time you’ll see what you do well and what you don’t.”
Advice: Pick the right pond. Be around people who you want to become.
Quote: “When you take a job take a long look at the people you’re going to be working with—because the odds are you’re going to become like them; they are not going to become like you. You can’t change them. If it doesn’t fit who you are, it’s not going to work.”
Advice: Know who you are: introvert, extrovert, ambivert, and pursue the path that is highest to succeed.
Advice: Figure out whether you are a filtered leader or unfiltered leader.
Fun Facts:
Fact: Creativity is inversely proportional to employee performance reviews. The more creative, the more arrogant, dishonest, and disorganized

Personality

Givers, Matchers, and Takers:

Fact: On a spectrum of success, Givers are at the bottom. In the middle are Matchers and Takers. At the very top are Givers again.
Advice: Volunteer, but not too much
Fact: What separates Givers on the top of the spectrum from the bottom ones is that those on the top do not go overboard with giving.
Fact: Volunteering 2 hours a week has been proven to make people happier, but don’t volunteer more than that.
Advice: Make sure to give by “chunking” efforts together rather than restlessly “sprinkling.”
Advice: Don’t be envious: Life is not a zero-sum game. Somebody winning does not mean you lose.
Advice: Be a Giver and don’t be the first to defect. It is essential to offer help first. Be the first to give favours, even if small, and don’t expect a return.
Quote: “Matchers wait and miss too many opportunities. And Takers trade short-term gains for long-term losses. Remember, all the big winners were nice and all the big losers started off betraying.”
Fact: According to the study “The Right Amount of Trust,” people who ranked their trust in other people an 8/10 had the highest income. People who claimed 9 or 10 had 7% less income, most likely due to being taken advantage of. People who had way below 8 had 14.5% less income than 8s.
Quote: “Givers outdo Matchers because they volunteer help without waiting to see what the other person will do. Plenty of other research backs this up.”
Advice: Reciprocate both cooperation and defection: Never betray initially, but if betrayed upon, fight back. However, note that forgiveness is not out of the option.
Advice: Think long term and also make others think long term. Bad behaviour works out in the short term while good behaviour works out in the long term.
How: Build more steps in contracts and entice others that you are willing to help them down the line.
Quote: “[People are] always trying to discern two things: whether a potential partner can be trusted and whether he or she is likely to be encountered again. Answers to those two questions, far beyond anything else, will determine what any of us will be motivated to do in the moment.”
Advice: Forgive. People make mistakes.
Advice: Be a listener.
How: “Asking people questions about themselves can create a bond as strong as a lifelong friendship in a surprisingly short amount of time.”
Fact: “Your brain gets more pleasure from you talking about yourself than it does from food or money.”
Advice: Compliment others.
How: “Found something you both have in common? Great. Don’t be afraid to pay the person a sincere compliment.”
Fact: “Research shows we like compliments more than sex or money”
Fact: Even obvious and insincere compliments has incredible effects.
Fun facts:
Fact: Evaluating other people usually comes down to the two characteristics: warmth and competence. People generally assume that those two are inversely proportional: nice people are less competent whereas those who break rules seem more powerful than they appear.
Fact: Men who rank low in the personality trait “agreeableness” make as much as $10 000 more than men who rank highly in that category.
Counter Fact: Being kind people live longer lives. More charitable people live longer. People who are ethical are generally happier than those who were fine with cheating
Fact: Correlation between charitable giving and income: for every $1 given, income for that person went up by $3.75.

Grit, optimism, perseverance, and productivity

Advice: Be optimistic
Fact: Ambition/motivation alone is a better predictor of success than intelligence, ability, or salary.
Fact: Where grit comes from: optimism and persistent positive self talk in daunting times.
Quote: “Helplessness was the result of a pessimistic attitude. When you believe things will not get better, it’s irrational to keep trying. You just shrug and go home. In situations where you truly cannot win, this is the right choice. But in difficult but not impossible situations, when persistence is called for, pessimism kills grit.”
Quote: “What’s shocking is that when asked to make predictions, depressed people are more accurate than optimists. It’s called “depressive realism.” The world can be a harsh place. Optimists lie to themselves. But if we all stop believing anything can change, nothing ever will. We need a bit of fantasy to keep us going.”
Fact: Optimists have better health and a longer life. Optimists usually have a better outcome at the same task done by pessimists. Optimists are luckier (by creating more opportunities for themselves).
Fact: Chronic optimism or pessimism is not genetic: it comes from stories we tell ourselves about the world.
Pessimists tell themselves that bad events
Optimists tell themselves that bad events
Fact: The only way you can become very successful and renowned is by non-stop working.
Quote: “People who wish to do so [achieve extreme success] must organize their whole lives around a single enterprise. They must be monomaniacs, even megalomaniacs, about their pursuits. They must start early, labor continuously, and never give up the cause. Success is not for the lazy, procrastinating, or mercurial.”
Fact: Stories rule our thinking and are excellent predictors at success. Evidence in Holocaust survivors, numerous studies, religion, etc.
Quote: “Optimists told themselves a story that may not have been true, but it kept them going, often allowing them to beat the odds.”
Quote: “Stories aren’t perfect pictures of the world, but they allow us to succeed for this very reason. They can keep us going and become prophecy. You weren’t “born” to do anything in particular, but when your story says you were “born” to do something you perform better and persist. After all, it’s your destiny.”
How to: find your story: think about your death.
Quote: “When you take a little time to think about death, you become more kind and generous to others. You put aside short-term goals for a moment and consider who you really want to be.”
How: “Picture your funeral. The people who loved you have all gathered to pay their respects. They’re going to praise the qualities that made you so special, that they will miss the most. What do you want them to say?
Taking the time to think about that can help you find your eulogy values, which will guide your decisions.”
Fact: People who contemplate their end behave in healthier ways and boosts self esteem.
Advice: “Instead of merely focusing on intentions, make sure that in your day-to-day actions you are being the main character in your perfect story.”
Advice: Turn work into a game
Fact: Both work and games are tedious and repetitive, but games are WNGF. Games are Winnable, have Novel challenges and Goals, and provide Feedback. Work is missing one or more of the criteria.
How: Take a moment every evening and figure out what you want to accomplish tomorrow. Give a clear plan on how to achieve that and how to measure when you’ve achieved that.
Advice: Use WOOP (Wish, outcome, obstacle, plan) for your goals.
How: “First, you get to dream. What’s the thing you wish for? What are you fantasizing about? (I want an awesome job.) Really crystalize it in your mind and see the outcome you desire. (I want to work as a VP at Google.) Then it’s time to face reality. What obstacle is in the way? (I don’t know how to get an interview there.) Then address it. What’s your plan? (I’m going to check LinkedIn and see if I know anyone who works there and can connect me with HR.)”
Fact: Dreaming about your desires hurt your chances of ever achieving them because your grey matter feels you have already achieved them and will not muster the resources or motivation you need.
Fact: Your goals must be realistic because if they are not, you will know and will not feel the motivation to work on it.
Advice: Don’t overwork
Fact\*: “Thirty-nine percent of Americans work fifty or more hours a week and eighteen percent work sixty or more, according to a 2014 Gallup poll. What’s the added benefit of all those extra hours? Research from Stanford says close to nothing. Productivity declines so steeply after fifty-five hours that “someone who puts in seventy hours produces nothing more with those extra fifteen hours.” All they are creating is stress.”
Fact: Creativity comes from being relaxed, not from being stressed or overworked
Fact: People who let their minds wander are better problem solvers, and daydreaming is akin to problem solving.
Advice: Take naps and sleep well. When you’re tired, don’t work: take a break. Keep in mind the 80/20 rule.
Fact: Naps are scientifically proven to reduce your brain’s overactive response to negative stimuli, and also increase performance and alertness.
Fact: Not sleeping makes you dumber. Even after recovering for a whole week of normal sleep, people were not 100% if they slept a few 5 hour nights.
Fact: After 2 weeks of 6 hours a week people were effectively drunk.
Fact: When your brain is tired, it can’t help but focus on the negative: it’s harder to stay happy if you’re tired.
Advice: You need a plan
Fact: Being reactive not only hurt your chances at getting what you really want, but also reduces real happiness.
Fact: People often do not do what they want to do, they do what is easiest. (Ex: want to work on hobbies, but browse internet). To solve this, need a plan.
Fact: The most effective method to reduce stress is by having a plan
Fact: By having a plan, we feel in control. When we feel in control, we are motivated and are happier.
Advice: Be happy and work hard in the morning
Fact: Your morning mood impacts how you perform in the entire day.
Fact: You’re most productive in the first two hours of when you wake up in the morning, but not immediately when you wake up.
Fun Facts:
Fact: Bad emotions/parents/feedback…things are more powerful than good things. There is overwhelming evidence that bad is stronger than good across a broad range of phycological phenomena.
Fact: Quitting and having grit are not mutually exclusive. Research shows that quitting unattainable goals leads to a happier, less stressed, and more healthy life.
Quote\*: “When you look at eminent people, the majority are smarter than average. Without an IQ of 120, very few people end up producing anything that will be groundbreaking and remembered in the history books. But the twist is that as long as you’re past the 120 mark, many studies show more IQ points have little effect. What makes the difference? Not luck. It’s all those hours. A Manhattan Project physicist IQ of 180 might be nice, but those 60 points don’t make the difference that more hours will.”

Success advice

Fact: People who were involved meaningful careers worked the hardest and lived the longest. Meaningful careers are (1) something important to them, and (2), something they’re good at.
Fact: By dedicating all your time towards a single enterprise, your personal life and family will suffer massively. Ex: Albert Einstein, Ted Williams, Bobby Fischer, Mozart, etc
Quote: “So while obsessive work may be necessary for the heights of success, it doesn’t lead to a fulfilling, balanced life.”
Advice: Define your success
Fact: Having the definition of your success be relative to others is dangerous, likewise making your success being the number one in a category almost impossible as others are already working 24/7.
Fact: If you do not define your definition of success, the world will decide for you.
Advice: Don’t evaluate the success of your life based on one barometer where every criteria is collapsed upon.
Quote: “We are always getting ready to live, but never living.”
Advice: Four main metrics that matter most in a successful life:
Advice\*: It’s fine to not yet find the perfect balance of these four criteria as they will change as you age. But, make sure to contribute to every category regularly.
Quote: “I always worry about people who say, ‘I’m going to do this for ten years; I really don’t like it very well. And then I’ll do this . . .’ That’s a lot like saving sex up for your old age. Not a very good idea.”
How to: define your success: Ask yourself: what’s good enough?
How to: pick what you want in life: go by satisficing, not by maximizing.
Reason: There’s not enough time in the world to try everything out.
Fact: Satisfiers are proven to be happier than maximizers.
Advice: Know your number one priority. Then cut anything unnecessary out and you will soon know what is or isn’t essential. (But make sure that all four of the main metrics are still covered) Basically essentialism
Fact: Everything we do in life is a trade-off. Doing one thing means we can’t do another (you only get 24 hours a day)
Fact: If mastering a skill takes 10 000 hours, working one hour a day on said skill will take 27.4 years to master. If time is freed up and four hours a day is worked, the skill can be masted in 6.8 years.
Advice: Work hard—but make sure it gets noticed.
How: Send an email to your boss every Friday summarizing your accomplishments for that week
Fact: People surveyed usually assume that effort is the best predictor of success. It’s wrong. Managing what your boss thinks of you is more important than actual hard work. In fact, “ass kissing” works even if your boss knows you are being insincere.
Fact: Number one mistake people make when trying to get ahead in the office: opting out of the social dynamics of the company.
Quote: “You can’t not play politics; you can only play them badly . . . the only place where relationships don’t matter is on a desert island far away from the rest of the world.”
Advice: Spend 5% of your time trying new things out with the expectation of quitting most of them can lead to great opportunities. Do this to find your number one priority (if you don’t 100% know yours already) and to find new hobbies.
How: Spend that time like how a VC firm spends money: on activities that have a small chance of success, but if successful will turn into something really, really big.
Fact: “Lucky” people maximize opportunities by just trying new things.
Advice: Do not be afraid to change and switch paths. Spend 5%-10% of your time in your area of focus trying out numerous little experiments so you keep learning and growing.
Quote: “Fail fast and fail cheap”
Fact: Youtube started as a dating site, Google as a project to organize library book searches, eBay on PEZ dispensers.
Fact: Frequently changing roles (like 5+ in 15 years) in the corporate world is far more likely to get you to a leadership position.
Advice: Get a hobby
Fact: Trying activities outside area of expertise is correlated with big achievements.
Logic: Hobbies allow people to look at problems from different perspective, challenge assumptions, and innovate new breakthroughs.
Advice: Do not be afraid of failure.
Fact: People are twice as likely to regret not acting compared to acting and doing poorly.
Fact: Failure is one of the best ways to learn.

Networking, friends, and relationships

Advice: View a romantic relationship as a journey with a lot of twists and turns and challenges that eventually moves towards a destination helps take some weight out of relational conflicts.
Fact: Having the mindset of finding a perfect soulmate disincentivizes working hard to sustain the relationship, which is not based in reality.
Advice: To network well, be a giver.
How: Just send people awesome stuff. “Hey, check out this book,” “Oh, you’ve got to see this video I just watched. Here, here’s a copy.”
Fact: Fortune’s named best networker in Silicon Valley in 2011 claimed that his secret is to “Look for opportunities to do something for the other person, such as sharing knowledge or offering an introduction to someone that person might not know but would be interested in knowing. Do not be transactional about networking. Do not offer something because you want something in return. Instead, show a genuine interest in something you and the other person have in common.”
Advice: Treat relationships like friendships.
How to: Boost your network
Advice: Show gratitude to other people.
Advice [Advanced]: Do a gratitude visit: “write a letter of gratitude to someone. Make it concrete; say what they did for you and how it affected your life. Then set a time to sit down with them, but don’t say why. When you meet, read them the letter. Here’s my little addition: make sure to bring tissues. They’re probably going to cry and so may you. And both of you will be happier for it.”
Advice: An email or text is fine.
Quote: “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
Fact: Although we assume that people who helped us know how grateful we feel, the real magic is actually showing it to them.
How to: avoid burnout: Share issues with friends and family.
Fact: “Burnout” from overworking doesn’t exist, it’s basically just normal depression.
Quote: “But when you’re not clicking with your role, you’re overloaded, and your duties aren’t aligned with your expectations or values, it’s not merely the stress that gets to you; you actually experience a perspective shift. You feel you can’t make progress, you disengage, and you eventually become cynical and pessimistic.”
Fact: Success does not lead to happiness as much as happiness leads to success. Optimism keeps people engaged and going whereas a burnout “creates a pessimistic downward spiral where it’s hard to fulfill your duties because it all seems futile”
Fun facts:
Fact: “Having few friends is more dangerous than obesity and is the equivalent health risk of smoking fifteen cigarettes a day.”

Mentors

Fact: Entrepreneurs with mentors raise seven times as much money and their business experiences three and a half times more growth.
Fact: Mentors are just good teachers, spares you the need to learn from mistakes, makes learning fun by building a relationship which can also help you overcome frustration to become your best.
Fact: Difference between feeling inspired by a role model compared to feeling demoralized comes down to two factors: relevance and attainability.
Quote: “When you relate to someone you look up to, you get motivated. And when that person makes you feel you can do that too, bang—that produces real results.”
Fact: Formal mentorship shows little benefit, whereas informally chosen mentor with personal relationship shows the largest impact.
Advice: Get a mentor.
Fact: K. Anders Ericsson, author of the 10 000 hours to expertise theory, claimed the only way to do it is through a mentor.
Fact: Majority of experts in their field have mentors.
How: 5 principles to get an amazing mentor
1. Be a worthy pupil, grasshopper
Quote: “There is an old saying: “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” If you’re doing everything you can to advance your career, getting a mentor won’t be too hard. Why? Because if you’re doing awesome work, people more successful than you will notice and want to help you. Talented, resourceful self-starters are rare. If people don’t notice, you’re doing something wrong. You’re either not working hard enough or not doing enough outreach.”
Advice: Do not treat mentors like a walking textbook, they’re there to give you just enough information to light a fire under your butt.
Advice: To make your mentors go that extra mile for you, demonstrate that you have “explored every conceivable avenue and can go no further without the mentor’s help. Seeing that you have done everything in your power shows you’re smart, you won’t waste their time, and you’re resourceful. Most mentors see themselves that way too, so the two of you now have something very important in common.”
Fact: What top mentors are thinking of: “I’m the best in my field and I’m busy. Who do I want to help for free in my very limited time?”
2. Study them. No, REALLY study them
Advice: Spend the time to be intimately familiar with their work.
Reason: It can be quite flattering to the mentor. It gets you to figure out whether this mentor really is for you. View a mentorship as a marriage, not a one-night stand.
3. Wasting a mentor’s time is a moral sin
Advice: Asking great questions are a good way to start building relationships.
Advice: Start small: don’t send long paragraphs in an email to a potential mentor.
Advice: “Never ask a mentor a question Google can easily answer for you.”
Quote: “Asking your mentor a question is like a power up in a video game. Don’t waste them. Use them when they’ll really count.”
4. Follow up
Advice: Don’t use the word “mentor.” View from the perspective of building a relationship.
Quote: “Stay in the picture. You are easily forgotten by busy people, remember that. The key then is to find ways to stay relevant and fresh. Drop emails and questions at an interval that straddles the fine line between bothersome and buzzworthy. It’s easier to keep something alive than it is to revive the deceased . . . but it’s on you to keep the blood flowing, not the mentor.”
Advice: Do what they said, get results, and let them know they made a difference. This is what mentors want.
Quote: “I [did my homework] and figured [really impressive next steps] would be [fill in the blank], but I’d love your insight. Do you think [well-thought-out strategy one] or [well-thought-out strategy two] is better?”
Advice: Want interactions to be conversational back-and-forths, not one offs.
5. Make them proud
Fact: No mentor wants to feel they wasted their time helping you.
Advice: Your goal and your mentor’s goal should be the same: to make you awesome. However, have a secondary goal: to make your mentor look good.
Advice: You can have multiple mentors.
Fact: The average number of mentors in a study of executives was two, for female executives, it was three.
Quote: “Prospective pupils should draw upon many mentors rather than just one. The same advice has been given in choice of models, and for the same reason. With many mentors on which to base their personal growth, talented youths are less likely to follow the suicidal path toward mere replication. Instead, they will be obliged to synthesize the diversity represented by their training. A synthesis of techniques or styles or ideas may be a pupil’s key to fame.”
Advice [Advanced]: Mentor other people
Fact: Mentoring other people is four times more predictive of happiness than money or health.
Fact: Mentoring other people makes your life easier and you learn along the way.

Confidence and self-compassion

Quote: “Although our self-confident delusions can help us achieve, they can make it difficult for us to change.”
Quote: “When we’re less sure, we’re more open to new ideas and we’re actively and passively scanning the world for new ones. When we have that confident feeling of power, we don’t pay as much attention, because we feel we don’t need to.”
Quote: “Low self-confidence may turn you into a pessimist, but when pessimism teams-up with ambition it often produces outstanding performance. To be the very best at anything, you will need to be your harshest critic, and that is almost impossible when your starting point is high self-confidence.”
Fact: Humility in leadership pays off.
Quote: “This ties in with what we learned about optimism and grit. Positive beliefs keep you going but they are, to a degree, illusions. It was depressed people who saw the world more accurately. Research shows that pessimistic entrepreneurs are more successful, optimistic gamblers lose more money, and the best lawyers are pessimists. We need optimism and confidence to keep going and convince others to join our cause, but negativity and pessimism help us see problems so we can make them better. Yes, the former feel much better, but both are necessary.”
Quote: “Overconfidence makes you feel good, gives you grit, and impresses others—but can also make you an arrogant jerk who alienates people, doesn’t improve, and possibly loses everything because of denial. Being less confident gives you the drive and tools to become an expert and makes other people like you . . . but it doesn’t feel so good and can send a lousy signal to others about your competence.”
Advice: Don’t be a faker
Fact: Faking it can be a bad strategy because you not only fool others, you end up fooling yourself.
Quote: “Faking it is too hard and the price of failure is too high. The short-term benefits of impressing others aren’t worth being labeled untrustworthy and moving to Moldova. Even if you’re successful in tricking others, this all too often leads to tricking yourself, which is the most dangerous scenario of all.”
Advice: Focus on self-compassion rather than confidence or self-esteem
How: You stop lying to yourself that you’re so awesome, but rather focus on forgiving when you’re not.
Fact: Having self-compassion has all the benefits of self-esteem and confidence (like making you happier), but without the drawbacks (like turning you into a jerk).
Fact: Self-compassion does not lead to delusion, unlike self-esteem.
Quote: “In fact, one study, “Self-Compassion and Reactions to Unpleasant Self-Relevant Events: The Implications of Treating Oneself Kindly,” showed that people high in the trait had increased clarity. They saw themselves and the world more accurately but didn’t judge themselves as harshly when they failed. Meanwhile, people focused on self-esteem often feel the need to delude themselves or to dismiss negative—but useful—feedback in order to still feel good about themselves. They cling to their self-validating theories instead of seeing the real world. This leads to hubris and narcissism. When you check the numbers, there is a solid correlation between self-esteem and narcissism, while the connection between self-compassion and narcissism is pretty much zero.”
Quote: “Research suggests that self-compassion is strongly related to psychological wellbeing, including increased happiness, optimism, personal initiative, and connectedness, as well as decreased anxiety, depression, neurotic perfectionism, and rumination.”
Logic (Quote): “So why does compassion succeed where self-esteem fails? Because self-esteem is always either delusional or contingent, neither of which lead to good things. To always feel like you’re awesome you need to either divorce yourself from reality or be on a treadmill of constantly proving your value. At some point you won’t measure up, which then craters your self-esteem. Not to mention relentlessly proving yourself is exhausting and unsettling. ”
Fact: People with self-compassion have less fear, beat themselves up less, procrastinate less, and have more grit.
How to: develop self-compassion
Fact: “Studies show that taking the time to jot down nice thoughts to yourself, how you’re a fallible human and how you can see problems without turning them into emotional disasters, made people feel better and increased self-compassion.”
Advice: Can also engage in mediation.

Framework for getting started:

Track your time:
Talk to your boss:
To-do lists are evil, schedule everything:
Control your context:
End the day right, and on time:
Advice: “As you see what works and what doesn’t, tweak your plan. Which of the big four (Happiness, Achievement, Significance, Legacy) isn’t getting enough hours? Adjust until you’re closer to the balance you want. ”

Congrats for reading the entire thing! (That is if you didn't just skip down here). Btw, I have the above formatted in a pdf form (similar to LitCharts) that you can get for free at this Google Drive link:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/19kf9aYKyhDcs2zEC3Iv7_DXxeLg_Upi1/view?usp=sharing
submitted by SunnyNie to BettermentBookClub [link] [comments]

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