The wait is over, all off-season we have talked about these college prospects and where they will end up. We are a third of the way there in finding out exactly where our favorite IDP prospects will be playing. I looked at the potential IDP producers who were drafted in round one and gave a quick reaction. Let’s dive into some IDP talk.
6’3” 245 lbs
Dallas Cowboys 12th overall
Jerry Jones is no stranger to drafting the best player available, and that’s exactly what he did when selecting the LB1 all off-season, Micah Parsons. Parsons joins a very talented LB unit for the Cowboys, he will play alongside Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch. The injury concerns with Vander Esch and lack of depth surely made this an easy decision for the Cowboys.
Parsons is a highly productive player with the versatility to rack up huge tackle numbers or be a difference-maker as a blitzer. Dan Quinn takes over as the Cowboys defensive coordinator in 2021, and he must be thrilled to have one of the best defensive players in the draft to add to his defense. This is a solid landing spot for Parsons, honestly, the guy is so good it wasn’t going to matter much for me where he was drafted – he should be an every-down LB instantly.
6’5” 265 lbs
Arizona Cardinals 16th overall
The Cardinals take an LB in the first round for the second year in a row. This time it was the 2020 Nagurski and Bednarik award winner Zaven Collins from Tulsa. The reviews should be mixed on this pick for IDP managers as Isaiah Simmons was drafted highly a year ago and barely made an impact as a rookie. The Cardinals are a team that loves dynamic defenders and Collins fits that mold perfectly.
There’s already questions about where Collins lines up this year but it’s likely at middle linebacker. Jordan Hicks will likely be a potential cap casualty after this season. There’s also talk of Collins playing the SAM linebacker spot, which was where Hasson Reddick played over the past few seasons.
The combo of Simmons and Collins could be IDP gold for years to come for IDP managers. Unfortunately, we could also be holding onto hype for a few seasons before we see that production as well. Let’s hope Collins doesn’t suffer the same fate as Simmons did as a rookie and is given significant snaps to produce and score fantasy points.
6’5” 260 lbs
Miami Dolphins 18th overall
The Miami Dolphins and Jaelan Phillips were a perfect marriage in the pre-draft process for me. I was over the moon when his name was called here. He has had to overcome adversity in his early college career but his transfer to play with the Miami Hurricanes last season put him on the map.
Phillips joins a very good Miami Dolphins defense who were led by Emmanuel Ogbah’s nine sacks last season. It’s likely the departure of Kyle Van Noy will leave a big opening for Phillips to see high-volume snaps as a rookie. Phillips comes in as a very good EDGE rusher who can create havoc in the backfield. Most importantly, he loves the city of Miami and he has played his best football there. Phillips had eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss last season; he was second in the ACC in both categories in 2020. I love this landing spot for him and those who will be investing in him in their rookie drafts.
6’3” 234 lbs
Washington Football Team 19th overall
The Washington Football Team is a very talented defense that had a big need at the LB position. Washington filled that need when they selected high upside Kentucky LB Jamin Davis. I honestly wasn’t aware of Davis’ upside before the pre-draft hype by NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah. The comparison to Darius Leonard was all IDP managers needed to take notice, combine that with his first-round draft capital and we may have ourselves a future LB1 in dynasty leagues.
Davis was only a one-year starter for Kentucky but his speed and highlight level plays are what you expect from an NFL linebacker. The Kentucky LB only had 32 tackles before 2020 when he exploded for 102 tackles, three interceptions, and a defensive touchdown.
Davis can play any of the three LB positions for Washington and play behind that front four he should be freed up to make some big plays. He will pair with Cole Holcomb and both should see plenty of tackles to make them weekly starters in IDP leagues going forward. The draft capital tells the story here, Davis should be drafted as the second or third LB in this class, and IDP managers should expect fantasy production right away.
6’2” 261 lbs
Indianapolis Colts 22nd overall
Paye was my top EDGE rusher in this class and the safest player in the position for IDP production. He averaged nearly one tackle for loss (23.5) per game (28). The Colts had a huge need at DE and filled that with one of the hardest working defensive linemen in the draft.
Paye will play under Matt Eberflus, one of the most underrated defensive minds in football. He joins a very good defense with very little depth at the defensive end. DeForest Buckner makes everyone’s job easier and that’s great news for the Michigan pass rusher. The sack numbers for Paye have never been high in college but I feel his IDP production will not be tied directly to sacks. Paye will improve those numbers and also be a factor in stopping the run.
I can get behind this landing spot for Paye. Some of the other EDGE defenders lands in this draft will ultimately be the determining factor as to how high Paye will go in rookie drafts. As of now, he has draft capital and limited depth ahead of him; exactly what you are looking for in a dream landing spot.
6’7” 266 lbs
Buffalo Bills 30th overall
The biggest need for the Buffalo Bills was the defensive line and they were able to get a player who would have been a top 10 pick a year ago. Gregory Rousseau is a former high school WR, and burst onto the scene in 2019. He lead the ACC in sacks (15.5), finishing just one sack behind Chase Young for the most in the nation. The Bills failed to have a player eclipse five sacks last season and have both Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, who are on the back end of their careers.
Rousseau has a very high upside and he has the perfect size for the position. He made plays from outside as well as inside in 2019, his versatility while still being raw at the position should have IDP managers excited. I covered Gregory Rousseau in a scouting profile you can see at https://www.dynastynerds.com/idp-rookie-profile-gregory-rousseau-edge/.
The Bills coaching scheme on defense rarely allows any defensive linemen to see north of 60% of snaps. If the 2020 NFL Playoffs proved anything to the Bills, it’s that teams who can get after QBs with their front four are more dangerous. A.J. Epenesa and Rousseau should be a great one-two punch for the Bills if they can be more than rotational players in Sean McDermott’s scheme. Rousseau should be one of the more attractive IDPs in 2021 rookie drafts, and this landing spot affirms it.
6’5” 257 lbs
Baltimore Ravens 31st overall
If you’re looking for the best athletes coming from college to the NFL, just visit a yearly Penn State pro day; they never seem to disappoint when it comes to athletic testing. Oweh ran a 4.36 forty-yard dash and his size, explosiveness, and speed are a perfect fit for the Baltimore Ravens.
He can make a difference in the NFL but his limited college production is a cause for concern. Oweh only registered seven sacks over 20 career games in Happy Valley. The Penn State pass rusher did produce 13.5 tackles for loss, and most of his pressures set up his teammates to make plays. The Baltimore defense is getting younger each season with a new infusion of talent each offseason. Oweh will look to fill a need at EDGE rusher after the Ravens lost both Yannick Ngakoue and Matt Judon in free agency.
I believe this landing spot could be a wait-and-see approach for Jayson Oweh. I wouldn’t be looking to invest highly in him in rookie drafts. He has all the tools to be a big-time player, but with his limited college production, including zero sacks in 2020; I would rather not take the risk of him being a relevant IDP producer right away. I would love to stash him on a taxi squad or deep roster much as I did with Yetur Gross-Matos last year.
6’5” 259 lbs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 32nd overall
There is no bad first-round pick coming off a Super Bowl win for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. General Manager Jason Licht has just been on fire lately between his drafts and free-agent signings. There are zero reasons to doubt him. Tampa Bay showed how to slow down the best offense in football with a superb pass rush in the Super Bowl, and they invested in another player to bolster that group.
Tryon opted out of the 2020 season and still was drafted at the end of the first round. Tryon has collected 61 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, and nine sacks over his 23 college games. Tampa Bay loved his football IQ and his potential for growth. He will get to learn from two of the game’s best in Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett. There’s a good chance Tryon was drafted to replace JPP, who is on the wrong side of 30, but even as a rookie he should see situational pass-rush snaps.
This landing spot doesn’t do much for IDP managers unless you have super deep rosters. It would be difficult to invest in an upside pick who would likely need an injury or two to see significant snaps in a rookie draft. I would keep Joe Tryon on my radar but I would take players with a clearer path to play sooner.
That’s it for the first round Nerds! I enjoyed bringing you this rapid reaction and my initial thoughts less than 24 hours of these defensive prospects being drafted. Make sure to keep an eye out for instant reactions from the Dynasty Nerds’ IDP team on rounds 2 through 7 coming in the next few days. I hope you all enjoy the rest of the draft and get ready for those rookie drafts coming very soon. As always feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @Glosser13 for all things IDP.
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