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IDP Dynasty Fantasy Football: 2022 NFL Draft Rookie Defensive Linemen, Cornerbacks and Safeties

We break down some more rookie defenders and how they will perform in IDP leagues.

Kyle Hamilton

We previously covered this year’s linebackers and edge rushers. That leaves three other positions: interior line, cornerback and safety.

Sadly, none of those classes are particularly inspiring, so I’ve pulled them all together in one, combined group.

That does not mean none of these players are or will be fantasy-relevant. Some of them will absolutely post good seasons. But right now, it’s hard to see too many of them troubling top 24 lists at the end of the 2022 season.

Tier one – instant heroes

Sadly, there does not appear to be anyone who is likely to slot in here.

Tier two – in the mix

Devonte Wyatt, DI GB

Wyatt was selected in the first round after a stellar college career. He’s not a pure interior pass rusher, but he’s certainly got plenty enough about him to get onto the stat sheet and will likely have some big games.

Kyle Hamilton, S BAL

Hamilton comes into the NFL looking like a star in the making. He’s flexible, athletic, smart and polished. He has all the things you want in a modern safety. So how come he’s only in this tier? Because in the IDP world, it’s not just talent that counts.

You need to have a reason for why a given safety is likely to be more productive than his peers, and it can’t be “he’s a good player” because that’s not what determines IDP success.

Hamilton is likely going to be an every-snap defender from the start but the Ravens like split safeties and he is not going to have the sort of box role that is a difference-maker.

He’s going to have big games and he is likely to have a good career with some high IDP finishes in there. But that is true for basically any decent safety in today’s NFL, so it’s hard to justify the expense here with other, better IDP bets around him.

Tier three – gambles

Jordan Davis, DI PHI

Davis generated an awful lot of hype in the draft process off the back of an amazing Scouting Combine. But don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s an athletic pass rusher – he’s not. He’s an immovable run defender who happened to run a (very) fast 40 time.

He’s not the sort of player who will post reliable pass rush stats, so in most leagues, he’s just not going to be a good scorer. In leagues where DI scoring rewards high tacklers then he’s got more of a chance, but you’ll likely want him on your taxi squad.

Logan Hall, DI TB

Hall is an odd shape for an NFL interior lineman. He’s 6’6” and just 280-ish pounds. He’s likely eating and/or working out to add weight as we speak.

He has plenty of pass rush, but he’s not that pure, inside knifer that we really want. So again, it’s hard to see him as a consistent fantasy star.

Lewis Cine, S MIN

Cine was drafted in the first round and looks like he’ll have plenty of playing time immediately. He’s an excellent tackler and has some flexibility, so expect Ed Donatell to use him and Harrison Smith interchangeably with both rotating down into the box at times.

Like so many safeties there’s no reason to suspect he’ll be a bad IDP, but also no real reason to suspect he can elevate himself against his peers.

Jaquan Brisker, S CHI

Brisker is an excellent run-defender with a juddering tackle style who is very likely to play every snap from day one.

The issue here is that in Matt Eberflus’s defensive system, he can expect to spend a lot of time away from the ball. Eberflus is a very rigid coach and likes to deploy a mix of cover 2 and cover 3. It is not conducive to IDP scoring.

Brisker is extremely likely to be a top 64 safety, but that just means he’s got around a 20% chance of being a top 12 guy, and a 40% chance of being top 24. You’ve almost certainly got another four or five safeties with similar chances on your roster.

Ahmad Gardner, CB NYJ

Derek Stingley Jr, CB HOU

Both of the top rookie corners should come in and play early, and both are good enough to be able to make big plays.

The “rookie corner rule” is a myth, so you can safely ignore that, but the opportunity they will get could easily turn into good fantasy points.

Tier four – long shots

Travis Jones, DI BAL

Jones came into the draft with great expectations but slipped to the third round. The Ravens are absolutely stacked on the interior, so it’s hard to see him playing enough to be a really impactful fantasy player – at least in 2022. It’s rare that it’s worth rostering interior linemen on the never-never.

Phidarian Mathis, DI WAS

Mathis was drafted early but is going to struggle for playing time with two very good players in front of him. He’s also not a good pass rusher, so his fantasy profile looks bleak.

Perrion Winfrey, DI CLE

Winfrey has every chance to get on the field when the alternative is Taven Bryan. Again, he’s not the sort of pass rusher we really want from our big guys.

Daxton Hill, S CIN

It was a surprise when the Bengals used their first-round pick on Hill. They have Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell on the team at safety and Mike Hilton in the slot, at least for now.

Hill is extremely versatile though and with the glaring hole at outside corner and both safeties in precarious roster spots, he’ll likely get on the field somehow.

Jalen Pitre, S HOU

Similarly, the Texans drafted Pitre (who looks like a slot DB in the NFL) when they already have Tavierre Thomas playing there and Desmond King at outside corner.

They are bereft of talent at orthodox safety though, so Pitre may play there. Not that it’s an exciting role in Lovie Smith’s cover 2-heavy scheme.

Bryan Cook, S KC

Cook looks likely to slot into the box safety role that Daniel Sorensen made his own. Sadly, though that’s not going to be a full-time spot.

Jordan Reid and Juan Thornhill should play every snap and both fit Steve Spagnuolo’s cover 2 base better stylistically than Cook does – with rookie pains also likely to hold him back.

Kaiir Elam, CB BUF

Elam walks into a likely immediate starting spot and the Bills led the NFL last season in nickel usage. They were in nickel for a stunning 931 (91%) of all defensive snaps last season. Their combined base and dime snap count was just 82. It was similar in 2020, so if Elam does win that starting job, he’s going to play a lot.

Andrew Booth, CB MIN

Booth is yet another candidate for early corner snaps with the Vikings desperate for help there. Patrick Peterson is a shadow of the player he was.

Marcus Jones, CB NE

Jones is less likely than the other corners in this article to play. But he has a secret weapon: he’s the best kick/punt returner in this class. By a distance.

So if your league rewards return ability significantly Jones is well worth grabbing in the later rounds.

Trent McDuffie, CB KC

Every team always needs more talent at corner, but the Chiefs are high on the list of teams that need it most. McDuffie needs to hit the ground running.

Kyler Gordon, CB CHI

The old days of the Bears having excellent corner play seem like a long time ago. Jaylon Johnson has not panned out yet at all, and the likes of Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley have been sub-par. This is a team that let Artie Burns look good last season!

Gordon has a chance to be one of those rookie corners that play a full-time role immediately and end up scoring the IDP points that go with that.

IDP Dynasty Fantasy Football: 2022 NFL Draft Rookie Defensive Linemen, Cornerbacks and Safeties
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