NFL Draft Day One IDP Winners and Losers


With round one in the books, there’s already quite a bit to consider across the IDP landscape. We now have some clarity on some rookie position designations, while other players are experiencing a reduction in value.

Here are some initial winners/losers after day one of the NFL Draft:


Stephone Anthony, ILB New Orleans

Anthony should find himself atop IDP rookie draft boards. He’ll immediately be penciled in as a starting inside linebacker for the Saints and should be a three down player immediately. At this point, he’s the top rookie IDP option until we see where the other linebackers land. He possesses sideline-to-sideline speed and is capable in coverage. I liked him pre-draft and this landing spot is ideal. He should have no problem beating out either Dannell Ellerbe or David Hawthorne. Given the age and lack of talent at linebacker, don’t be surprised if the Saints add another inside linebacker over the next few days.

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Dante Fowler, DE Jaguars

With recent speculation the Redskins were targeting Fowler, being drafted into a 4-3 base defense is huge for his IDP stock. Gus Bradley is likely to use Fowler in various different roles, but the bottom line is he enters a defense in need of a playmaker. Fowler will be one of the top IDP option in rookie leagues and will likely be the top defensive end. There’s little to not like with Fowler as he’s a solid all-around defensive end.

Vic Beasley, SLB Falcons

Like Fowler, a 4-3 base defense will help his IDP stock. While some expect Beasley to maintain a defensive end position designation, I’m skeptical. Beasley is very similar to Bruce Irvin. I expect Quinn to use him in similar ways (i.e., the Leo role / strongside linebacker). While a linebacker classification isn’t the best for Beasley, his production should be better than if he were drafted into a 3-4 base defense.

Shaq Thompson, WLB/SLB/SS Panthers

The Panthers are talking about an extension with Thomas Davis, but it’s possible the Panthers view Thompson as his successor. Another possibility is Thompson will take over at strong safety for Roman Harper. While outside linebacker appears to be most likely given his college experience, Thompson compares favorably to Kam Chancellor as a hybrid safety. Given Thompson’s limited experience at safety, it’s possible he plays that role.

With that said, in the post-draft pick press conference, GM Dave Gettlemen said Thompson is “going to allow us to put three very fast linebackers on the field”. So, it appears linebacker is the current expectation. Regardless, he’s excellent in coverage and possesses significant long-term value with near-term opportunities at linebacker or safety.


Muhammad Wilkerson & Sheldon Richardson, DL Jets

In the midst of a contract dispute with Wilkerson, the Jets added the best defensive player in the 2015 draft in Leonard Williams. Over the last week, there was some speculation the Jets would deal Wilkerson, but it hasn’t happened. This move doesn’t do anything to temper those rumors. While Wilkerson is a real life loser here given the loss of leverage with an added blue chip defensive lineman, his IDP value also takes a hit. Expect a rotation at defensive end for the three young studs (assuming the Jets keep Wilkerson).

Dominique Easley / Chris Jones, DT Patriots

With the addition of Malcolm Brown at the bottom of the first, he should slide right into the starting defensive tackle spot vacated by Vince Wilfork. He’ll immediately compete with Easley who struggled with injuries through his college career and early into his NFL career. To me, the Brown selection suggests the Patriots’ may be concerned with Easley’s leg issues. A month or so back, the hope was for Easley to breakout in year 2, but he’ll face stiff competition from Brown in 2015.

Additionally, Chris Jones showed promise over the last two years and it finally appeared like he’d get an opportunity in 2015. However, the addition of Brown hinders thatplan. He’ll have to overcome significant hurdles to be considered a deep sleeper in defensive tackle required leagues for 2015.

This selection could also suggest more 3-4 looks from the Patriots with Easley and Brown at defensive end, Sealver Siligia at the nose and Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich in a two point stance. If this does happen, keep an eye on Jones’ position eligibility. A position change to linebacker would be terrible for his IDP stock.

Shane Ray, OLB Broncos

Ray joins a defense with two elite pass rushers in Demarcus Ware and Von Miller. This is probably one of the worst IDP situations for Ray to join. He’ll play outside linebacker in a 3-4 and compete for snaps with Ware and Miller, and also compete with Miller for sacks for the foreseeable future. He’ll be someone I’ll pass on given the barrier for snaps and production in the near term.

Damarious Randall, FS/CB Packers

Randall was drafted into a log-jam with Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Morgan Burnett already entrenched as starters in the secondary. Both are signed through 2017. Randall will likely play a situational role covering tight ends, which won’t be enough to sustain IDP value. Barring injuries to his competition, Randall should be IDP rookie draft afterthought.

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