With the 2023 NFL season months away, let’s take a look at a few IDP winners and losers after the NFL Draft from the NFC. This will merely look at the situations these players are walking into more than it inspects their quality of play.
With that said, let’s take a look!
Javon Hargrave, DT SF
Coming off three great years of interior play as a member of the Eagles, Hargrave rightfully cashed in on his stout efforts with a four-year $84M deal with the 49ers. Ironically, he is looking to help out a team whose offense he helped shut out in last season’s NFC Championship game.
In 2022, Hargrave in total had a career-high 11 sacks, 16 QB hits, 10 tackles for loss, and 37 solo tackles. These efforts allowed him to rank 9th on Fantasy Data’s iDL board in fantasy points with 115 of them.
Hargrave obviously benefits here because he’s joining a 49ers team playing host to the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in Nick Bosa. The 49ers can line the two up on the same side to be a dominant two-headed force, so Niners fans and IDP owners should look forward to that duo wreaking havoc.
Hargrave, while 30, should have a few more high-end years left in him, which brings great value in the world of dynasty.
Jalen Carter, DT PHI
The Eagles needed a Hargrave replacement in the worst way, and they got it when Georgia’s Carter fell to them with the ninth overall pick.
Carter was a talented run gobbler with some flashes of potential in the passing game with the Bulldogs, and he’s likely entering the best situation a defensive rookie can ever have. The 2022 Eagles defense produced one of the greatest performances a pass rush has ever had, and largely the same core is returning to surround the rookie with help.
Carter is surrounded by Fletcher Cox, Milton Williams, Jordan Davis, and Marlon Tuipulotu, and that’s just on the interior! On the edge, Georgia teammate Nolan Smith, Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat, and Brandon Graham join in on a loaded defensive line.
The Eagles have an insane amount of talent on that front, giving Carter an extremely friendly environment to thrive in should he do so.
Devon Witherspoon, CB SEA
The Legion of Boom days are many years apart from the current era, but the Seahawks are doing their best to build a secondary that comes as close as they can to emulating that legendary defense.
Take Illinois cornerback Witherspoon for instance. Selected fifth overall, he ended up being one of the picks the Seahawks got in the Russell Wilson trade to the Broncos. The pick blindsided many at the time, but in hindsight, this seems like a great fit for a team looking to revive the defensive identity it was famous for in the 2010s.
On the opposite side of Witherspoon is Tariq Woolen, who had an outstanding rookie season as a ballhawk. At safety, Jamal Adams will be making his return from an injury-ruined 2022, and Quandre Diggs is also a quality player. So while the team isn’t there quite yet as a feared defense (primarily the front), the moves Seattle have made the last two off-seasons have them set for a deep playoff run.
Lukas Van Ness, EDGE GB
In theory, Iowa edge rusher Van Ness to the Packers doesn’t sound too bad, as the amount of talent on the front isn’t scarce. Kenny Clark is a dominant nose tackle, Devonte Wyatt could make a step on the edge in 2023, and guys like Preston Smith and Rashan Gary (should he stay healthy) give this room some life.
The issue has more to do with who’s running the show. Green Bay defensive coordinator Joe Barry had a surprisingly good first year with the Packers, but in 2022 his coaching fell off a cliff despite inheriting a defense that poured many resources into that unit that off-season. Matt LaFleur has decided to give him one more year, which I fear could stunt Van Ness’ development a tad for his rookie season.
It may seem like a nitpick, but coaching can go a long way in helping develop pass rushers.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB CHI
Linebacker Edmunds is 25 years old despite being in the league for five seasons, which everybody talks about.
He has been a solid name in the IDP community (and for the Bills), but he’s been brought in by Chicago as the Roquan Smith replacement. Edmunds himself is a fine player, but his situation has definitely decreased in friendliness.
Say what you will of the Bills’ defense in the playoffs, but they appear to have a far superior defense than the one Edmunds is walking into. The Bears’ defense is young and inexperienced, with plenty of rookies on the roster as Ryan Poles continues to rebuild that side of the ball.
Granted, Edmunds has plenty of days left in him as a linebacker, but early on this might be a player you’d hold off of in IDP leagues just because of the situation he’s walking into.
Danielle Hunter, EDGE MIN
After two injury-riddled seasons, 28-year-old Vikings edge rusher Hunter finally put it together once more, coming through with 10.5 sacks (his fourth season of double-digit sacks and his first since 2019), 22 QB hits, 12 tackles for loss, and 46 solo tackles. This allowed him to rank second among all outside linebackers on Fantasy Data’s metrics with exactly 13 fantasy points.
So again, the issue isn’t whether Hunter will decline, but who the Vikings are giving him as a sidekick. In 2022 Za’Darius Smith had a phenomenal season, with 10 sacks, 24 QB hits, 15 tackles for loss, and 32 solo tackles, allowing him to rank 17th among all defensive linemen on Fantasy Data (111.85). But a wish to part from the Vikings was granted, as he was traded to the Browns in the offseason.
Replacing Smith is former Saints edge rusher Marcus Davenport, signed to a one-year deal worth $13 million. In addition to playing underwhelming on tape with New Orleans, Davenport has only had one season where he produced anything above 72 points on Fantasy Data’s metrics (2021, 92.2).
Maybe the change of scenery helps Davenport, but on paper this is a severe downgrade from Smith, one that might harm Hunter’s IDP performance rather than help.
Did we miss anyone? Let us know in the comments below!
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