After months of impatiently waiting for the NFL Draft, it regrettably went by far too fast. Now, we are left to dissect what transpired over those glorious three days and examine which players benefited or suffered the most. Below are the key IDP winners and losers from the NFC South.
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Robert Ayers, DE, TBB
Previously listed as an IDP sleeper, Ayers has gone on the record as saying he expects to put up double-digit sacks in 2017. That lofty goal was made more feasible with the team’s drafting of Noah Spence, who should create enough pressure on the opposite side of the line to prevent teams from double-teaming Ayers on a consistent basis. Fresh off signing a three-year deal with the Bucs following a nine-sack performance in 2016, Ayers is set up for a late career breakout performance going into his age-31 season.
Keanu Neal, S, ATL
Considered a slight reach by many, Neal enters the league in an ideal situation to post big stats from the jump. He had been compared to Kam Chancellor on more than one occasion prior to the draft for his size and physical playing style, and now he gets to play strong safety under head coach Dan Quinn: the man who made Kam Chancellor into what he is today. With question marks still prevalent regarding the talent of Atlanta’s front seven on defense, Neal should have ample tackle opportunities. Consider him a solid DB2 with upside for more.
Tre Boston, S, CAR
Another IDP sleeper of mine, the draft could not have gone any better for Boston. With many expecting the Panthers to spend draft capital on the safety position, it came as a shock when they failed to address the position until undrafted free agency. Granted, they did sign UDFA Jeremy Cash – a player many expected to be drafted in the middle rounds – but the team has already gone on the record as saying he will play linebacker at the next level. With virtually no competition for the job, Boston is all but locked into the starting strong safety position.
Vonn Bell, S, NOS
Bell was never considered a legitimate threat for significant IDP value given his lack of size and athleticism, but his landing place ensures he won’t be making many contributions early in his career. In New Orleans, Bell will have to fight for snaps behind starting safeties Jairus Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro. The soonest he will come into IDP value is next year, and that is only if the team decides not to re-sign Vaccaro. His long-term ceiling is that of a middling DB2 who may be a better real-life player than IDP asset.
Paul Worrilow, MLB, ATL
Finally! For three seasons, Worrilow has been an IDP stud despite his dreadful real-life performance. Seeing the error of their ways, the Falcons went and selected Deion Jones in the second round, who is expected to immediately battle Worrilow for the starting middle linebacker job. While Jones has his drawbacks as well, he should be able to beat out the talent-deficient Worrilow rather easily. This leaves Worrilow as either the second-string middle linebacker or the starter on the strongside. Either way, his time as an IDP contributor are likely long-gone.