Week 12 displayed continue growth for several key members of the rookie class. Several guys are really making their presence felt and making a name for themselves. The Defensive Rookie of the Year race still comes down to Nick Bosa and possibly Devin Bush, although several guys are slowly becoming valuable members on their defenses and could be top IDP assets for many years.
Maxx Crosby, DE OAK
53 (84%) snaps 3 solo tackle, 1 assist, 1 sack
Week 12’s matchup versus the New York Jets saw Crosby get a majority of the defensive snaps and another sack, bringing the season total to 7.5. He also has 22 tackles and 3 forced fumbles on the campaign. It’s been a pleasant surprise for the Raiders, and it gives them a dangerous tandem – with Clelin Ferrell – that they can build their defense around. Crosby looked extremely good in college, but he was playing at Eastern Michigan and facing inferior talent. The tools were evident (he has great speed and moves well), but he is a bit undersized. It hasn’t stopped him from producing. With some bulk and strength, Crosby could become even better.
Christian Wilkins, DT MIA
64 (84%) snaps 4 solo tackles, 2 assists
Wilkins has been one of the few bright spots for Miami, raking in 42 tackles on the season and anchoring the middle of their defensive line admirably. Each game, he has been chipping in tackles and giving fantasy owners a solid game if a fill-in defensive tackle was needed. His NFL value is always going to be higher than his IDP value. He has been impressive and is a starter for years to come. In defensive tackle focused scoring he could hold value, but he is likely only worth starting if needed in dire straits at this point.
Clelin Ferrell, DE OAK
50 (79%) snaps 3 assists
Ferrell was quiet against the Jets, continuing his up-and-down statistical outputs for the 2019 season. He still makes his presence felt, although it won’t always translate to the stat sheet. He is a big bright spot for the Raiders going forward, and I believe he will ultimately be a must-start DL2 type of player for quite a few years.
Nick Bosa, DE SF
54 (68%) snaps 2 solo tackles, 1 assist, 1 sack, 1 fumble recovery
Bosa made Aaron Rodgers’ day much more uncomfortable in Week 12 as Bosa notched his eighth sack of the season in the 49ers’ dominant win. He continues to showcase his dominance and is already one of the more feared defensive linemen in the NFL. The size and speed combination he possesses is rare and it is incredibly difficult to handle him. The talent along the 49ers defensive line is good throughout, making it difficult for opposing offensive lines to key in on Bosa as well. He is still the front runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year unless Devin Bush or another makes a huge late-season push.
Ed Oliver, DT BUF
22 (44%) snaps 1 tackle, 1 sack
Against Denver, Oliver posted his second straight game with a sack despite playing less than half of the defensive stats. The flashes of talent are showing themselves, he was a raw talent coming out and missed most of his last college season as well. The Bills are wisely breaking Oliver in slowly and allowing him to grow in their deep, talented defense. Next week, I will have even more to talk about – he has had another strong game on Thanksgiving versus Dallas.
Jeffery Simmons, DE TEN
29 (34%) snaps 2 solo tackles, 3 assists
Simmons slipped in the draft to the latter half of the first round and the Titans were gifted an immensely talented defensive end who was a top-10 talent in the 2019 class before his injury. They have been breaking him in slowly as well, also a wise decision, and he was able to chip in five total tackles on only 29 snaps. The Titans could rely on him more heading down the stretch and the ceiling with Simmons in high. I would still only start him if you need to, the Titans may continue to play him sparingly.
Devin White, LB TBB
84 (97%) snaps 5 solo tackles, 3 assists, 2 sacks
White was able to take down Atlanta quarterbacks twice in Week 12 as well as tallying eight total tackles, the type of numbers he is able to produce as an LB1 in the NFL. He now has 39 tackles on the season, 2.5 sacks, and also two forced fumbles – despite missing four games. He is one of the few three-down linebackers in this class and could be an elite IDP asset for the next decade.
Cole Holcomb, LB WAS
50 (67%) snaps 7 solo tackles, 6 assists, 1 sack
The young Redskins’ linebacker is not the most talented guy in this group, but he keeps producing statistically despite being a liability in pass coverage and seeing just over half the snaps. Holcomb has been a solid pickup for IDP owners, contributing a good number of tackles such as the 13 total he garnered versus Detroit this week. Whether he has a role for more than a couple years is highly debatable, but for now he is a solid source of tackles for your IDP squad.
Devin Bush, LB PIT
36 (62%) snaps 3 solo tackles, 1 assist, 1 forced fumble
Bush had a slightly limited role again and was able to garner four total tackles and a forced fumble against division rival Cincinnati in Week 12. He is possibly the highest ceiling linebacker in the class of 2019 but his playing time has dipped. He has only been on the field for 61.3% of snaps over the past three games. The staff in Pittsburgh might be saving him for the playoff push or there could be an injury. If Bush is on the field he produces. If his role increases again, his potential for an LB1 stat line is likely.
Germaine Pratt, LB CIN
48 (62%) snaps 6 solo tackles. 2 assists
Pratt was on the field a little more this week and the number will increase as he becomes more comfortable with an NFL defense. He was able to rake in eight total tackles against the Steelers and will continue to be a linebacker who contributes a good number of tackles when he plays. Pratt is a converted safety with great instincts and a nose for the ball. He has solid coverage skills, good athleticism, and is playing on a team with a need for what he brings to the table. The buy-low window on Pratt is closing. He will be a solid middle linebacker for the foreseeable future in the Queen City.
Taylor Rapp, S LAR
71 (91%) snaps 6 solo tackles, 4 assists
In Week 12’s clash with Baltimore, Rapp continued to show the nose for the ball by gathering ten tackles. He makes plays all over the field and is improving in pass defense. He is slowly becoming the most valuable rookie safety in the class. Every week he looks more comfortable in a Rams defense starving for stability. Rapp is forcing his way into starter consideration, even after John Johnson III returns in 2020.
- Devy Roundup: Week Ten - November 10, 2020
- Devy Roundup: Week Eight - October 27, 2020
- Devy Roundup: Week Seven - October 19, 2020