NFL IDP-Only Mock Draft: Picks 1-16

Tom Kislingbury

One of my favourite things about dynasty leagues is rookie season.   You get through the fantasy season; ride the playoffs and Super Bowl then just when you think you’re going to get a break you’re suddenly trying to get your head around a brand new class of superstars in waiting.  It’s exhausting but exhilarating.

Here at DLF you’ve no doubt seen the scouting crew’s great work, the 20/20 profiles and all you need to prepare for your drafts. 

We’re all continuing to work hard on getting you prepared for incoming IDPs so a few of us on the IDP team (myself, Eric Coleman, Doug Green and Joe Redemann) decided to hold a very early all-IDP mock draft.  The starting concept was that in a moment of madness Roger Goodell decided that teams could only pick defensive players in the first round.  So who would they pick and what sort of fantasy players would they prove to be?  We’ve allocated players by style, ability, scheme-fit and opportunity and predicted fantasy positions in the cases where it could be more than one.  Without further ado let’s find out…

1. Cleveland Browns select Myles Garrett, DE Texas A&M

Rationale: The Browns need impact playmakers and desperately need to slow down opposing offenses. Garrett has the highest ceiling of all pass rushers in the draft as well as one of the highest floors.  His workout at the combine was hugely impressive as was his production over the last three seasons in college.

IDP impact: Garrett should beat out Emmanuel Ogbah and Carl Nassib fairly easily to become the top pass rusher on this young team. A top talent pass rusher with high snap count could have a Joey Bosa type impact and be a top ten DE as a rookie.

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2. San Francisco select Reuben Foster, LB Alabama

Rationale: ESPN’s Mel Kiper called him the best LB to come out of Alabama. Let that sink in for a second. He can hit you, run you down and cover. He plays from sideline to sideline and from the backfield to the end zone. He’s the complete package.

IDP impact: The 49ers DL isn’t terrible, which would open up opportunities for Foster. He can step in Day 1 and ring up tackles for the next decade.

3. Chicago select Marshon Lattimore, CB Ohio State

Rationale: I know this is a hot take but I think Chicago’s defense isn’t’ in that bad of shape. Eddie Goldman is great in the middle. 5-tech is ok with Akiem Hicks and Jonathan Bullard, although I think that can be addressed in FA. Edge is in good shape with Leonard Floyd, Pernell McPhee, and Willie Young. Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan are solid in the middle. Finally Adrian Amos is a better safety than he gets credit for. Thus a shutdown corner makes sense for a team that only had 8 interceptions ranking them as 2nd worst in the league. Lattimore has great ball skills, instincts, and enough athleticism to have a high ceiling.

IDP Impact: There really isn’t much of a reason to be cheerful here unless your league has Passes defended scoring cranked up. Lattimore is a shutdown corner and he will be used in that way.

4. Jacksonville select Jonathan Allen, DE Alabama

Rationale: The Jaguars do not have an above-average interior defender next to Malik Jackson, and this would give them a ridiculous nickel package line. Allen is by far the best defensive player available at this point, and fits the Jags’ M.O. of loading up on pass-rushers up front.

IDP Impact: There’s a chance that with former head coach Gus Bradley’s departure, the defensive tackles in this front won’t be asked to two-gap. That would add to big play opportunities for Allen, and he’d take blocking pressure off Jackson as well. Otherwise there isn’t a reason.

5. Tennessee select Teez Tabor, CB Florida

Rationale: The Titans have got the makings of a solid roster – but if they can’t cover #1 WRs they’re not going to kick on. Tabor can play various schemes and adapt his game to cover anyone they face. This is handy given his assignments will include TY Hilton, Nuk Hopkins and Allen Robinson

IDP Impact: Probably not much to see here but we saw with Vernon Hargreaves last year that rookie corners who see heavy usage can be productive.

6. New York Jets select Malik Hooker, S Ohio State

Rationale: The Jets’ secondary is #notgood and that was before Darelle Revis’ release. Hooker is a ball hawking center fielder who can go get the ball with the best of them. He can also help cover for his teammates lack of skill.

IDP Impact: If you’re in a big play league, Hooker should be near the top of your safety list. In regular leagues though, he won’t be nearly as high.

7. LA Chargers select Jamal Adams, S LSU

Rationale: Jahleel Addae is a free agent and the chargers have been hurting at safety ever since they let Weddle go. Adams will be a great box safety but can play single high if needed. This a foundational building block for the secondary.

IDP Impact: This will allow Adams to start on day one and have good tackle opportunities. If this pick were to really happen I would expect a first year impact somewhere between Joseph and Neal.jones

8. Carolina Panthers select Sidney Jones, CB Washington

Rationale: Incredible length, and jams receivers off the line viciously in press man. He sticks to his assignments like glue on their routes with smooth hip swivel. Challenges for ball in the air, rips at the catch point, and goes for the strip mid-tackle as well. Jones is thin as a rail and needs to put on some muscle, but he has star potential.

IDP Impact: Jones could be a solid #RookieCBTarget in year one, but once he develops, he’ll be a lockdown corner passing games avoid. Still, the potential is there for some forced fumbles and interceptions as a streaming option.

9. Cincinnati Bengals select Derek Barnett, DE Tennessee

Rationale: Carlos Dunlap is a top DE. But opposite him Michael Johnson and Margus Hunt are both average players at best. Barnett is productive over flashy and relentless over athletic. He’d fit in like a dream

IDP Impact: The Bengals like to bring rookies along very slowly so I’d expect only around 400-450 snaps as a rookie but his ceiling is a DE1 as he takes over top pass rusher role from Dunlap in 2018

10. Buffalo Bills select Budda Baker, S Washington

Rationale: Baker can do it all, he can hit you and he can cover you. He’ll be a great safety net for a leaky Bills secondary.

IDP Impact: If your league give you points for passes defensed, this scenario is very nice for you. The Bills have a decent front seven, so his tackles would be lower. But you can draft Baker with confidence

11. New Orleans Saints select Tim Williams, LB Alabama

Rationale: The Saints ranked last year in the bottom five of QB hurries and bottom six in sacks. This team needs serious pass rush help. Tim Williams will succeed in a system where he can get wide and focus on bending the edge and the Saints would use him that way.

IDP Impact: This is best case scenario. Williams would get the all-purpose DE designation and NO would need him to do what he does best and pin his ears back and get to the quarterback.

12. Cleveland Browns select Solomon Thomas, DT Stanford

Rationale: In a world where only defensive players are on the board, and the top-three corners are already gone, I could see Cleveland double-dipping on the line. Solomon Thomas can fit a one-gapping 3-tech role just like new DC Gregg Williams had with Aaron Donald. Drool.

IDP Impact: Thomas would have a case to be among the top five defensive tackles in a DT-specific league, provided he wins the starting job. He’s easily top ten if this happens.

13. Arizona Cardinals select Zach Cunningham, LB Vanderbilt

Rationale: For all his ability in coverage I don’t think Deonne Bucannon is a good player against the run and Kevin Minter will likely leave in free agency. Cunningham helps them get stouter and more physical whilst still being able to play on passing downs

IDP Impact: Minter played over 1,000 snaps last season. In this scenario Cunningham would hoover those up and be instantly a starter in leagues with four LB slots or more

14. Philadelphia Eagles select Marlon Humphrey, CB Alabama

Rationale: Eagles were worst in the league last year in giving up 30+ yard pass plays. They need secondary help and Humphrey’s all around skill set is a good fit.

IDP Impact: Not a lot to see here from a fantasy perspective.

15. Indianapolis Colts select Takkarist McKinley, LB UCLA

Rationale: It’s no secret the Colts need pass rush help and McKinley is as good as it gets. He can slot in at OLB and wreak havoc in the AFC South

IDP Impact: I personally love Takk and would happily draft him beginning in the third round of a rookie draft. Now, he is more pass rusher than a guy will rack up tackles, so you have to factor that in.

16. Baltimore Ravens select Haason Reddick, LB Temple

Rationale: Reddick is versatile and can cover MLB as well as play on the edge and cover.  Exactly what the Ravens are building towards.  I see some similarities with Kamalei Correa too – in intensity and energy as well as physically.

IDP Impact: If he’s drafted to play LB alongside CJ Mosley he could easily slide into Zach Orr’s role in 2016.  A top 20 LB season is very possible here.

Be sure to check back tomorrow for the second half of the first round.


tom kislingbury