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IDP Dynasty Fantasy Football: 2022 NFL Draft Rookie Edge Rusher Class

We break down the IDP potential of the edge rushers selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Aidan Hutchinson

With the 2022 NFL Draft in the rearview mirror, we are starting to get an idea of how players are being valued. As always with IDP leagues, this varies quite a bit with scoring settings, starting requirements and roster sizes. But we can talk about players with some degree of confidence now.

Although lots of leagues have rookie drafts very close to the actual NFL Draft, plenty hold them much later when the dust has settled a bit so hopefully this is useful information. We will break the rookies into tiers as is appropriate. There will not be many tiers. It’d be lovely to be able to confidently state that one player will categorically be better than another but realistically we just can’t be that accurate.

Tier one – instant heroes

Aidan Hutchinson, DET

Hutchinson walks straight into Detroit as the Big Man. He’s everything that Fighting Dan Campbell wants in a player and fills a huge need.

As has been endlessly repeated, he’s not likely to play as instantly well as Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa, or Myles Garrett, but there’s no shame in that. He can still be a very good NFL player.

He has a solid chance to be a top-24 edge in his rookie season. Playing 800ish snaps is well within reach, as is double-digit sacks.

Kayvon Thibodeaux, NYG

Thibodeaux had a rocky draft season with expectations fluctuating wildly. He ended up going to the Giants at fifth overall and seemed excited to say the least!

The Giants have struggled for a while now to find an edge rusher they can trust to be consistently productive. Thibodeaux has every chance to be that man. The Giants are likely to rotate enough to keep everyone fresh, but 600-800 snaps is his likely range. Expect him to flirt with being a top 24 edge, but his scoring to be a bit more variable on a weekly basis.

Travon Walker, JAC

Walker was the first overall pick, but so far in IDP rookie drafts he’s been dropping significantly past the two men listed above. This might be due to the fact he was given a DT positional tag from MFL. Certainly, that sort of confusion can have serious impact. It’s overblown though. In the NFL he’s likely to walk into a true edge role and play fewer inside snaps than he did in college. The Jags are absolutely desperate for this pick to work out so he’s likely to get a heavy workload.

His range of outcomes is a little wider than others. Expect around 700 snaps. He’ll have some big weeks, but he’s less likely to finish in the top 24 than the two other two players in this tier.

Tier two – in the mix

George Karlaftis, KC

The Chiefs were desperate for pass rush with only Chris Jones and Frank Clark (who has been bad for a while) established. It seems like Melvin Ingram will be back too, but Karlaftis is going to get every chance to be a significant contributor.

He’s not quite the slam-dunk that players drafted in the top ten are, but Karlaftis could be a solid player.

Arnold Ebiketie, ATL

Ebiketie walks into probably the best situation for edge rushers in the NFL. The 2021 Falcons were one of the worst pass-rush defenses of the past decade, and they let a bunch of their edges walk. Ebiketie will clearly have to prove himself, but there’s a strong chance he could instantly be the top pass rusher on this defense. And yes, that incudes Grady Jarrett.

Tier three – dark horses

Jermaine Johnson, NYJ

Johnson lands with first-round capital, but he has two things working against him:

Firstly, it’s the Jets. At this point it seems the problems this franchise has are systemic. Either due to owners, or culture, or something else. Either way, plenty of good players have failed badly there.

Secondly, he has Carl Lawson and John Franklin-Myers to compete with – assuming Lawson is fully healthy. Those two are seriously good players, which means Johnson can expect only a certain number of snaps per week.

David Ojabo, BAL

Scotland-raised Ojabo has all thew talent and athleticism you could ask for, and in Baltimore he’ll get good coaching and a great environment. However – a torn Achilles is not an easy injury to come back from. We wish him all the best, and it’s very possible he could be a great pick for you, but he’s probably only worth it if he slips several rounds in your draft, and you can stash him on the taxi squad for at least a full season.

Boye Mafe, SEA

Mafe was a top-40 pick and landed on a team without a stud edge player and a Hall of Fame defensive coach. So why only tier three?

The Seahawks rotated their linemen more than any other team in 2021 (honorable mention to the Bills) and they’ve been moving that way for a while now. It’s very unlikely that changes to accommodate a second-round rookie. Is Mafe going to get to the quarterback? Yes. Will we have any idea which weeks it will be in? Absolutely not.

And frankly, Pete Carroll is nowhere near the defensive mind he was in 2013/2014. That’s not his fault. Almost no coaches stay at the bleeding edge of NFL thinking for that long.

Sam Williams, DAL

The Cowboys edge situation is a little opaque. We can expect DeMarcus Lawrence to be the best pure DE but it seems likely Micah Parsons will continue to play there for some snaps each game too. Stir in decent NFL rotation players like Dorance Armstrong and Tarell Basham and there’s not much chance that Williams gets enough volume to be a real IDP stud.

Drake Jackson, SF

Jackson is in a similar boat to Sam Williams. He seems like a good player, but Nick Bosa is playing every snap he can, and Arik Armstead should play more DE with Javon Kinlaw back in the team. Then there’s Dee Ford, Samson Ebukam and Kemoko Turay.

Jackson’s career arc could well look a lot like Turay’s – good production in a limited role as a pure, specialist pass-rusher.

Tier four – lottery tickets

Nik Bonitto, DEN

Bonitto enters the NFL with glowing scouting reports, but he’s got a hard road to playing time behind Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory.

Chubb’s career has been massively up-and-down but beware the temptation to think that every day two rookie will be better than a player who was drafted in the top five overall. Chubb is simply a good memory jolt that we’re bad at predicting college-to-pro transitions.

DeAngelo Malone, ATL

Malone was a third-round pick, and lands on the same team that looks so fecund for Arnold Ebiketie.

He’ll be competing for playing time with Lorenzo Carter. Again, it’s tempting to assume Malone can be much better given Carter is a pretty average guy but Carter was actually picked higher. There are no guarantees.

Alex Wright, CLE

Wright is yet another mid-round player who finds himself in a situation where he could get on the field but needs a few things to line up to get close to the sort of volume or production that interests us. Myles Garrett is obviously the biggest obstacle, but Wright could easily be blocked by Chase Winovich, Stephen Weatherley or Jadaveon Clowney (if he re-signs).

Myjai Sanders, ARI

A year ago, we were wondering how the Cardinals would fit all their edge talent onto the field. Now there’s a decent chance a rookie picked 100th overall gets some snaps.

Sanders could well find some playing time among the likes of Markus Golden, Devon Kennard, Dennis Gardeck and fellow rookie Cameron Sanders.

But the Cardinals like to use JJ Watt, Zach Allen and Isaiah Simmons as edge rushers in their multiple fronts, so it’s not as simple as it seems.

Kingsley Enagbare, GB

Enagbare has some good skills and traits, and he’ll get time to develop them behind Preston Smith and Rashan Gary. But don’t expect too much from him early on.

IDP Dynasty Fantasy Football: 2022 NFL Draft Rookie Edge Rusher Class
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Kraig Wirkus
2 months ago

Drafted Walker at the 2.12 and Ebiketie at the 3.7. Was pumped to get them at them picks.

2 months ago

Love it thank you.

Brett Fox
2 months ago

Not an edge rusher…

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