2017 IDP Rookie Positional Rankings


Well folks, the 2017 NFL Draft has come and gone and now its time to prep for our rookie drafts and/or league drafts whether it’s a startup or FA draft.  I have completed the rookie Linebackers rankings first and as I complete the DL & DB’s they’ll get added to this page followed by an overall ranking for the Rookie IDP’s so stay tuned.

Some thoughts on the linebacker class:  there’s a bunch of good depth here; a few LB’s worth drafting in re-draft and a handful worth grabbing early on in your rookie drafts (by early on I mean somewhere in the mid-2nd); while the rest we’ll see splashes here and there but may not get full impact until ’18 with some contract situations that need to be taken care of.  In other words; the class is top heavy with a few sleepers in between followed by stashes.  Take a look: 


1 ZACH CUNNINGHAM ILB Zach is in a prime situation; skills compliment McKinney and one of the better all-around LB’s in this draft class – the future is now #ByeCushingButThanks
2 RUEBEN FOSTER MLB one of the steals in the 1st round; potentially Bowman’s heir replacement should be a tackling machine once he gets a stable role
3 JARRAD DAVIS MLB he will be the starting MLB for the Lions; he brings attitude and athleticism on what was a poorus LB unit in DET last season.
4 HAASON REDDICK ILB love Reddick’s talent & athletic ability; he is learning a new position at the next level though so it kinda dampers his IDP profile (for now) I’d still be targeting him in the 3rd round of rookie drafts – maybe late 2nd?
5 JALEN REEVES-MAYBIN WLB Lions added another all-around LB and an upgrade over whatever they have on roster; JRM should be their WLB and if DET is mirroring ATL last year with (Jones/Campbell) then they got something here.  JRM has good upside you’d want; definitely in the top 25.
6 RAEKWON MCMILLAN MLB we may have to wait a year before MIA unleashes Raekwon; or he may get some snaps at SLB to get his feet wet.  McMillan is solid against the run; will continue to develop in coverage and replace Timmons eventually.
7 DUKE RILEY LB ATL putting some serious speed and athleticism on the field; Jones-Campbell-Riley will be a formible LB Trio.  Riley may compete with Campbell for WLB; but ATL has a good problem here with three capable every down LB’s – target Riley for depth & mid-season run
8 BLAIR BROWN MLB Jaguars got a good one here; Brown is strong against the run and can get after the QB; one of my fav LB’s in this draft – I can envision he takes over MLB that moves Jack to natural WLB spot IF Jaguars don’t resign Telvin (UFA in ’18).
9 TYUS BOWSER LB has the tools to start now; will battle Smith/Judon for snaps and potentially beat out – but also; Suggs isnt reaching father time so Bowser is pretty safe.  Call me crazy but I could also see him get some time at ILB (Orr’s role) since Tyus doesn’t have a problem dropping into coverage and all.  Keep Bowser on your radar as a potential 4th round pick in your rookie draft.
10 UKEME ELIGWE ILB could definitely come in and take over nickel duties; he’s fast and atheltic – was used in coverage a lot, he may even compete with Ramik for ILB duties next to DJ and will be a utter steal in your rookie draft; keep him on your radar.
11 JAYON BROWN ILB could step in and take Sean Spence’s snaps at ILB since Brown is better in coverage and will push for a starting job – Brown is definitely one to keep an eye on this off-season
12 ALEX ANZALONE LB Ellerbe is an upcoming FA; Robertson was never the answer and Saints brought in Te’o and Klein with Anthony somewhere on the roster (right?); a healthy Alex helps and will make a solid reserve with the potential to be a starter (early downs).  He can play every LB position on the field; versatility is key.
13 TJ WATT OLB here’s an interesting one; if you’re drafting Watt you’re drafting him to bank on his upside in hopes PIT finally found their successor to Harrison (but he may also play until he’s 50; soooooo … ) as stated in my article; his upside could be super saiyan Kerrigan (possibly)
14 JORDAN EVANS ILB Evans is good in space; decent linebacker – thing is in CIN all the tackles belong to Burfict followed by Minter so Evans would get the scraps but if he continues to develop he could take over for Minter in ’18
15 TAKKARIST MCKINLEY OLB I think I prefer Takk to play/get the DE tag; if he goes LB that means he’s going to rotate with Beasley when in reality theyd want both pass rushers on the field at the same time.  But; IF Takk stays with the LB tag – could be a poor mans Bruce Irvin from the SLB spot
16 ELIJAH LEE OLB Vikings have drafted Barr’s replacement (if they don’t pick up the 5th year option) also; this selection should light a fire under Barr.  Lee definitely has upside and can do just about everything Barr can do #Sleeper
17 TANNER VALLEJO ILB loves to hit; will bring some attitude to the Bills defense; he excels in space and could handle coverage duties he’s going to be a solid backup (for now) with the potential to earn a bigger role; especially if Brown isnt back in ’18. You can/should get Vallejo towards the end of your rookie draft; stash him and wait.
18 ANTHONY WALKER ILB landed in a decent spot; physical LB but potentially nothing more than a 2-down thumper; will be competing with Morrison/Jackson for starting jobs though so there’s a chance at some relevancy.
19 TARRELL BASHAM OLB Basham is so quick off the snap; has to apply that to OLB now in IND as I’m expecting him to compete with Simon for OLB duties – could even spell him on passing downs.  Another big play LB to keep your eyes on (I believe he has DE tag on MFL too – for how long; not sure)
20 DEREK RIVERS OLB Rivers is going to be an interesting one; could see him playing DE and LB (kinda like Chandler Jones did) so I’m listing him under LB’s as well (just in case) Rivers can be just as productive as Jones – one thing he has going for him is he’s strong against the run – Patriots got a gift in Rivers definitely target him in big play leagues but he’d be a better IDP with the DE tag
21 VINCE BIEGEL OLB potentially Clay’s replacement but Vince is a high motor edge and will fit what GBP does there – if you draft Vince in your rookie draft you’re hoping he mirrors Clay’s better years; makes an intriguing big play stash; especially IF Perry facepalms too *shrug*
22 MARQUEL LEE LB if he works on his coverage he has 3-down potential; has good closing speed & can rush the passer (7.5 sacks LY) he was the MIKE in college; no reason why he can’t develop into that in OAK – I can see Lee rising in my ranks; I liked his tape and he’s going to be a steal in the 5th/6th round of your rookie drafts
23 KENDALL BECKWITH SLB not a fan of Beckwith; I don’t see it – but more than likely he’s their new “Daryl Smith” therefore irreleveant in IDP as he won’t get Lavonte or Kwon off the field and is pretty much just a 2-down guy
24 EJUAN PRICE OLB landed in a pretty damn perfect situation; Rams have moved to a 3-4 scheme and Price is better suited to be a 3/4 OLB pass rusher, not flashy but gets the job done (even for his size) also with the lack of OLB’s on the Rams, Price should have no problem getting snaps
25 BEN GEDEON MLB recorded 106 tackles LY and it was his first year as a starter; with the WLB job up for grabs – Gedeon will compete – kinda like a newer version of Audie Cole but comes with an upgrade.  Vikings off-season will be fun
26 CONNOR HARRIS ILB NYJ doesn’t have much at ILB; Harris is nearing the end and Lee is coming into his own – Harris is a pretty good baller; he’ll make all the tackles keep your eye on Harris all off-season.
27 TIM WILLIAMS OLB will be competing for snaps with Za’Darius, Judon, Suggs and newcomer Bowser so it got a bit crowded so could be a headache guessing who’ll produce but that’s what makes it fun – shoot your shot with Williams
28 NATHAN GERRY LB read that PHI may use him at LB; if so that’s where I’m listing him.  Brings some toughness and makes plays on the ball; things could change if something happens to McLeod or Jenkins at the safety spot.
29 JOE MATHIS OLB another UDFA and if he makes the 53; the Texans defense is getting scarier and scarier.  They could move Clowney down to DE opposite Watt and have Mathis/Mercilus man the edge with Cunningham/McKinney at ILB – geez best of luck to the OL
30 JAVANCY JONES ILB an UDFA signee by the Cardinals; so total risk play here but has some talent just a matter of snaps & where he’s going to play in what’s become a crowded LB unit



1 MYLES GARRETT CLE will definitely compete for DROY & lead the rookies in sacks; could flirt with 10 but a bunch of tackles if what I’m visioning.  He’ll have some top notch games and shouldn’t have a problem staying afloat as top tier DL2 option.  If I want Myles I’m targeting him late 2nd.
2 DEREK BARNETT PHI this is where opportunity & scheme play the role perfectly; wasn’t that big of a fan of Barnett coming out but he can thrive in PHI’s wide-9.  Barnett is a mid-3rd rookie pick (at the very least)
3 JONATHAN ALLEN WAS he’s going to be a tackling machine with a dash of Suh-type IDP profile
4 SOLOMON THOMAS SF his versatility will keep him on the field and could mirror Leonard Williams IDP profile at his ceiling
5 TAKKARIST MCKINLEY ATL in IDP we want Takk as a DE; would be best for his value since he’d strictly be a rusher and wouldn’t want to test him in coverage (shouldn’t anyway with the speed at LB that ATL got now)
6 CHARLES HARRIS MIA will at the very least be a situational pass rusher; that’s where he’s going to thrive for now until he improves against the run.  Could hit 6-8 sacks and compete for the most sacks by a rookie.
7 DEREK RIVERS NEP may be used how NEP used Chandler prior to his departure; lining up at DE and LB.  Rivers strength is stopping the run but he can also get after the QB; his value in IDP would be better with the DE tag (it should stick)
8 TACO CHARLTON DAL lack of any pass rusher on that line will help Taco; possibly a better short term DE than long term for IDP.
9 JORDAN WILLIS CIN eventually he’ll surpass Johnson; solid depth piece in deep leagues as your bye week filler and I can see him returning DE2 value once he gets the snaps.
10 DEMARCUS WALKER DEN has a pretty good floor; will help the pass rush in DEN – wouldn’t be surprised if you can grab him in the 4th/5th round of your rookie draft
11 MALIK MCDOWELL SEA he’ll be joining an already stout DL and will just add to it; also Rubin is getting up there in age so yeah – Malik & Reed will make a force at DT and I’d be slightly intrigued on targeting Malik in DT leagues as my DT2.
12 DAESHON HALL CAR has the tools to succeed & repalce Ealy
13 DAWAUNE SMOOT JAC has some quickness to him and will be a situational pass rusher
14 CARL LAWSON CIN the fall in draft is concerning (hip & knee) and also would’ve liked too see him as an OLB in a 3-4 scheme but he can have some success as a DE in CIN; will be a reserve.
15 DEATRICH WISE NEP shown flashes on tape; still developing and will be a good rotational piece for NEP
16 TREY HENDRICKSON NOS one of the better pass rushers in the draft; he’s relentless and should see some snaps to get after the QB
17 TANOH KPASSAGHON KCC Tanoh is a project; I’m not expecting much in his rookie season but has a pretty good ceiling
18 JALEEL JOHNSON MIN high motor and relentless interior defender; Vikings may have finally found someone to play next to Linval (or replace in the near future).  Johnson can eat and should be a DT target that you can grab in the 4th maybe even 5th round of rookie drafts.
19 CALEB BRANTLEY CLE definitely some concerns with his off-field antics; once he gets on that field he’s all about that action boss just needs to show a little more consistency; but he can disrupt the pocket like no other.  Late round flier/target for DT required leagues
20 AVERY MOSS NYG Moss should be a solid backup to Vernon/JPP and share snaps with Okwara
21 MONTRAVIOUS ADAMS GBP would target in DT leagues; it’s been a while since GBP had any sort of relevent DL (Daniels is a stud but on the field) Adams could be the one that you’d roll out as a DT starter here & there.
22 FADOL BROWN OAK he went undrafted but signed with OAK; they need DL help and I believe Fadol makes the team and brings that physical play they need on the inside.
23 DALVIN TOMLINSON NYG would probably replace Hankins; but we know Harrison gobbles up alllll the tackles.
24 CHRIS WORMLEY BAL may get some early down snaps; not one to target in rookie drafts though



1 JAMAL ADAMS NYJ prime situation; not much comp for tackles & should be playing all over – could flirt with DB1 (Top 12) value; would definitely be targeting early 3rd
2 BUDDA BAKER ARI Budda can line up at slot or drop back into safety; slotted to be Jefferson’s replacement so we know there’s numbers there.  Budda is Mathieu 2.0
3 JABRILL PEPPERS CLE ah yes; wasn’t a fan pre-draft but landing spot & situation changes things, he’s going to be the SS in CLE and there’ll be a lot of plays to be made there; he’s motivated – I dig that, will prove me wrong
4 OBI MELIFONWU OAK could take over for Nelson sooner than later; he’d be hard to leave off the field and OAK needs all the playmakers they can get on the defensive side of the ball.  Once he gets going I will not be surprised to see Obi in the top 10 (ceiling)
5 RAYSHAWN JENKINS LAC don’t really believe in Addae; Jenkins is much better and will replace sooner than later.  Jenkins reminded me of Deone Bucannon when I watched him; just loves to hit and will get after it.  Will definitely target Jenkins in the 4th round; possibly late 3rd.
6 MARCUS MAYE NYJ Jets got another solid safety this draft; he will compliment Adams well – can play all over the field – got some Tony Jefferson to his game
7 JUSTIN EVANS TBB an upgrade over Conte; should play right away – solid cover safety; got range to him and hits hard
8 ADOREE JACKSON TEN think Adoree ends up being the CB1 out of this class; gonna be valuable in return yardage leagues too.
9 JOSH JONES GBP Packers have their Hyde replacement here; can play CB and S – should see the field early and often; may make a nice DB2 option
10 MARSHON LATTIMORE NOS NOS CB’s get picked on a bunch; Lattimore can put up some numbers would target in CB leagues towards the end of your draft
11 KEVIN KING GBP its not a secret that GBP needs to find some CB’s, King will more than likely play right away – lack of playmakers in that secondary
12 TEDRIC THOMPSON SEA Seattle just got some serious depth with the pick of Tedric & Hill; Tedric can cover and make plays – if anything were to happen to Earl/Kam again, they’ll be alright I’d target Tedric to stash with benefits later
13 CHIDOBE AWUZIE DAL lack of playmakers in that secondary; Claiborne and Carr gone; Carroll is in and we enter the Awuzie era – he will make some noise and help the secondary improve – target only in CB leagues (if needed)
14 MARCUS WILLIAMS NOS might take a season before Marcus gets some real time; potentially Vacarro’s replacement (yup – I said it) Williams is a ballhawk
15 AHKELLO WITHERSPOON SF you’ll want Witherspoon in leagues that score good for pass deflections (had 20 LY) and he’s long; can hold his own – gives SF a CB they need
16 GAREON CONLEY OAK lockdown CB; OAK won’t even miss Hayden nor Sean Smith – Conley will ball and I will be targeting in CB leagues
17 FABIAN MOREAU WAS suffered a pec injury but everything is pointing in the positive direction; will be on a solid CB unit with Breeland and Norman and Fabian can play; physical press corner who’ll challenge WR’s
18 DELANO HILL SEA versatile DB; tackling machine – big hitter, best in the box – would be Kam’s backup
19 TEEZ TABOR DET hopefully he’ll play faster than his 4.7 time; otherwise he getting toasted all the time but he should make a good compliment opposite Slay – therefore will get targeted a ton
20 XAVIER WOODS DAL DAL gets a versatile DB; can play saftey or nickel CB – hard hitting too, contributes in run support and can be a ballhawk
21 DESMOND KING LAC another versatile DB; can cover the backend if needed or move up to nickel corner – if he gets time early on (he should) he’s a definite target in CB leagues and if he gets the S tag with a move there full-time; even better.
22 CAM SUTTON PIT could be of some value in return yardage leagues as he’s a pretty good PR; he’s discipline and tough; will have no problems fitting in with PIT – might even make some leaps in my ranks here
23 JOURDIN LEWIS DAL DAL gets another playmaker in the secondary; could lead all rookies in INT’s
24 JOHN JOHNSON LAR Rams need some safety help, enter Johnson – may have to make presence known on special teams first off though; future FS for Rams?
25 MALIK HOOKER IND will be better on the field helping that IND secondary than your IDP team; sorry about it but that’s how it is with Hooker’s talent; Geathers will eat up the tackles
26 COREDREA TANKERSLY MIA will help with coverage down in Miami; both he and Howard will form a solid duo
27 EDDIE JACKSON CHI more of a backend helper than up in the box against the run
28 CORN ELDER CAR potentially the nickel corner behind Bradberry & Worley; tackles well and plays strong – Panthers secondary shaping up quite nice
29 MONTAE NICHOLSON WAS not much of a playmaker but has some of the physical traits you look for in a safety; can come up and make tackles but not make plays on the ball
30 TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE BUF not that good in the run support; better in man coverage

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