IDP enthusiasts are always looking for rankings. Veterans, rookies, integrated with the offense, people can’t get enough, and we here at DLF aim to please.
So we pulled together several of our IDP team to run a mock draft for this year’s rookie crop. The purpose of this article is to take you through all 30 picks and give you some perspective to assist you for your own rookie draft. If you want to hear us make all the selections, you can listen here.
We assumed that we were a decent team, not rebuilding. The scoring rules that we applied were as follows: Two points for a tackle, defensive end premium for three points for a tackle, defensive tackles got 3.5 points for a tackle for loss, safeties got 2.5 points for a pass defended, and corners got three points for a pass defended.
So, with those ground rules established, let’s get going.
1.01 (Doug): Reuben Foster, LB, San Francisco
Doug’s take: Batting leadoff, I took the best linebacker in the draft. He’s in a decent situation and I think people are too concerned about a diluted sample. If his should issue is a real thing though, he will slide in your drafts. Monitor that situation closely.
1.02 (Adam): Jarrad Davis, LB, Detroit
Doug’s take: I wasn’t as high on Davis pre-draft, but even I have to admit this is a prime IDP landing spot. If you want to take Davis ahead of Foster in your rookie draft, you won’t get a mean tweet from me.
1.03 (Tom): Haason Reddick, LB, Arizona
Doug’s take: Reddick has become the off-season darling, but I’m concerned that the Cards will have him rush too much and will cut into his tackle opportunities.
1.04 (Olinger): Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland
Doug’s take: I raised half an eyebrow at this pick, then remembered about the scoring settings. Personally, I’d still lean linebacker here (spoilers), but if you’re going to take a DE, Garrett is the guy.
1.05 (Dougx2): Zach Cunningham, LB, Houston
Doug’s take: Cunningham’s selection virtually seals the fate of Brian Cushing and he should take the third down snaps from Bernardick McKinney too.
We also decided that this was a tier break after this pick.
1.06 (Bill): Raekwon McMillan, LB, Miami
Doug’s take: He’s athletic as heck, but his opportunities in the first year might be a little low. I do like his chances going forward though.
1.07 (Olingerx2): Jamal Adams, S, New York Jets
Doug’s take: My boy Olinger going unconventional with both of his two picks. Adams should be the first safety off the board.
1.08 (Travis): Derek Barnett, DE, Philadelphia
Doug’s take: The premium tackle-heavy linebackers are all off the board, so this pick is a good play. Much like McMillan, Barnett might take some time to find some traction.
1.09 (Billx2): Jabrill Peppers, S, Cleveland
Doug’s take: Two Browns in the first? I never thought I’d live to see the day. Peppers landed in one of the handful of spots that could maximize his IDP value. Make sure you capitalize on that.
This is another tier break
1.10 (Coleman): Solomon Thomas, DE, San Francisco
Doug’s take: I have more question about Thomas and where he’ll play than I do about EC’s selection of him. In this format though, he’s good value at this spot.
2.01 (Doug): Anthony Walker, Jr., LB, Indianapolis
Doug’s take: Ok, full disclosure. The guys REALLY didn’t like this pick. I believe the term “reach” was tossed around. I saw him as an excellent tackler with all kinds of opportunity.
2.02 (Sticky): Jonathan Allen, DT/DE, Washington
Doug’s take: Sticky’s point was if Allen is classified as a DT, then his value goes up drastically. If that is the case, I like this pick. Even if it goes the other way, this is still a pretty solid value.
2.03 (Tom): Taco Charlton, DE, Dallas
Doug’s take: There’s just something about Charlton that makes my Spidey senses tingle in a bad way. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I’m leery.
2.04 (Olinger): Charles Harris, Edge, Miami
Doug’s take: I am not crazy about Harris’ game and if he’s going to be an end for Miami, I like him even less. This is the range to start taking who you consider to be the high-upside pass rushers though.
2.05 (Dougx2): Alex Anzalone, LB, New Orleans
Doug’s take: LB, LB, LB. I’m going to hit those hard in any rookie draft I have. He has good opportunity if he can stay healthy.
2.06 (Bill): Josh Jones, S, Green Bay
Doug’s take: I’m not so crazy about this one. (Sorry Bill). I didn’t see much to make me think he was anything special, and while the opportunity might be ok, I don’t know if he can maximize it.
2.07 (Olingerx2): Budda Baker, S, Arizona
Doug’s take: All the heart eye emojis.
2.08 Travis: Malik Hooker, S, Indianapolis
Doug’s take: There are two camps when it comes to Hooker. Those that think he can tackle, and those that don’t. If you believe that is not in his skill set, he is worthless in IDP. If you think he can, his value is minimal.
2.09 (Billx2): TJ Watt, OLB, Pittsburgh
Doug’s take: There was some discussion on the show that Watt might pick up some snaps inside. I seriously doubt that. I do believe that he is James Harrison’s long-term replacement though.
This is another tier break.
2.10 (Coleman): Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB, Detroit
Doug’s take: This is a great pick. JRM is the Day 1 WLB and should ring up tackles. I’ll tell you he’s better than Davis, but I won’t get many to agree with me.
3.01 (Doug): Derek Rivers, DE, New England
Doug’s take: We’re firmly in dart throw territory here, so I’m going to take a guy that I think the Patriots can extract every ounce of talent out of.
3.02 (Sticky): Justin Evans, S, Tampa Bay
Doug’s take: Evans is another free safety and a decent fit for Tampa. I did not think much of his tackling, so he would be someone that I would probably pass on.
3.03 (Tom): Jayon Brown, LB, Tennessee
Doug’s take: I thought the Titans would take a linebacker with the No. 5 overall pick, not one in the fifth round. He is one of the under-the-radar players you should be keeping an eye on.
3.04 (Olinger): Tyus Bowser, OLB, Baltimore
Doug’s take: The Ravens were restocking their linebacking corps in this draft. His versatility could lead to some extra snaps.
3.05 (Dougx2): Jordan Willis, DE, Cincinnati
Doug’s take: Willis is very athletic and the Bengals need some more juice on the defensive line. This late in the game, he’s worth the gamble.
3.06 (Bill): Carl Lawson, DE, Cincinnati
Doug’s take: I was not a fan of Lawson. He has an injury history and frankly, I think Willis is better by a fair margin.
3.07 (Olingerx2): Takk McKinley, Edge, Atlanta
Doug’s take: I’m not sure if he’s a DE or an OLB, but he’s passionate even if he’s a little raw. McKinley does complement Vic Beasley nicely, though.
This is a tier break.
3.08 (Travis): DeMarcus Walker, DE, Denver
Doug’s take: Walker has more name than game and is going to an already stacked Broncos defense. I would pass on him.
3.09 (Billx2): Josh Carraway, LB, Titans
Doug’s take: He’s an athletic pass rusher on a team that could probably use one of those.
3.10 (Coleman): Tanner Vallejo, LB, Buffalo
Doug’s take: The Bills are a mess all over, so who’s to say the kid can’t come in and steal some production?
The best of the rest:
Blair Brown, LB, Jacksonville
Jordan Evans, LB, Cincinnati
Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, New York Giants
Malik McDowell, DT, Seattle
Obi Melinfonwu, S, Oakland
Harvey Langy, LB, New England
Duke Riley, LB, Atlanta