Saturday, April 28, 2012

Top-20 IDP Rookies...So far

Yesterday was dedicated to the offensive guys, today it's the defensive guys getting some love.
1LUKE KUECHLYCARLB19Kuechly is a tackling machine who will be in the middle of a 4-3 defense. 100+ tackles is not too much to expect in year one
2MARK BARRONTBS17Barron made plays at Alabama and will be asked to do the same at TB. Will come up and support the run to get tackles while also being able to cover and make plays intercepting the ball
3HARRISON SMITHMINS129Another player that can come up in the box to make tackles, but will also make tackles due to Minnesota's ineffectiveness at defending the pass.
4MORRIS CLAIBORNEDALCB16Will constantly be left on an island in man-to-man coverage leading to tackles/pass def./int and may be asked to blitz on occasion, leading to sacks in Rob Ryan's system.
5MELVIN INGRAMSDDE/OLB118San Diego desperately needed a pass rusher and they got one in Ingram. The plan is to line him up opposite Shaun Phillips and see which one gets to the QB first. Could land a decent amount of sacks/forced and recovered fumbles/tackles if utilized correctly.
6CHANDLER JONESNEDE/OLB121New England has only picked defensive players thus far in the draft, with Jones being the first of them. Very versatile and can line up at many positions in Belichek's defense. Should get plenty of tackle/sack opportunities. Along with the next guy on the list.
7DONT'A HIGHTOWERNEILB/OLB125See Chandler Jones and substitute Hightower's name
8STEPHON GILMOREBUFCB110Did anyone look more dejected about being drafted than Gilmore? Seriously, he does not look pleased that he'll have to suffer Buffalo winters. Anyway, in a division that features shoddy QB play outside of Tom Brady, could lead all rookies in INTs
9COURTNEY UPSHAWBALDE/OLB23Baltimore may have gotten the best value pick in the draft here. Upshaw will replace what the Ravens lost in Jarrett Johnson at a discounted price. Very shrewd.
10MYCHAL KENDRICKSPHIILB 214Another pick with tremendous value. Could move way up this list if DeMeco Ryans gets hurt, but should still be productive nonetheless.
11BRUCE IRVINSEADE 115If, and this is a big if, Irvin stays out of trouble off-the-field, he could be very productive as a pass rusher for Seattle. Terrible value at 15 overall, though.
12LAVONTE DAVIDTBOLB226David can fly from side-to-sideline and can make plays against the run. Should have a high tackle count.
13SHEA MCLELLINCHIDE/OLB119Would be higher on this list if he went to a 3-4 defense, but will still be productive in Chicago
14OLIVIER VERNONMIADE/OLB39Should line up opposite Cameron Wake and meet him at opposing QBs. Great local value pick from MIA for MIA
15QUINTON COPLESNYJDE/OLB116If there's anyone that can light a fire under Coples, it is Rex Ryan. If Coples becomes more consistent, he will be a pass rushing force, but not a steady source of tackles in the Jets' system.
16JANORIS JENKINSSTLCB27Needs to cure off-the-field issues, but represents a dangerous double-threat for fantasy points as a shut down corner and kick returner.
17TAVON WILSONNES216New England looks like it will continue to struggle against the pass, which could lead to tackles/INTs for their safeties. Also, should be in the lead in most of their games, causing opponents to pass early and often.
18BRANDON TAYLORSDS310Won't get many INTs but will play as an extra linebacker in run situations and should pair nicely with Eric Weddle to get a decent amount of tackles
19ANDRE BRANCHJAXDE26Aaron Kampman was a huge disappointment last year for JAX, but he can teach Branch how to maintain his 'one-year wonder' success last season at Clemson.
20FLETCHER COXPHIDT112Only draft DTs if you have to, for they are an unreliable source for both sacks and tackles. If you do have to draft one, however, Cox should lead all rookie DTs in fantasy points due do the prospect that he will be the least focused on player on Philly's d line that features the likes of Trent Cole, Jason Babin, and Cullen Jenkins

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