The 2017 NFL Draft is now firmly in the rearview mirror as rookie minicamps kick off and training camps openings are just two months away. Now that the dust has settled from the draft, we can take a look at the rookies I consider having landed in the best situations for IDP fantasy purposes.
One thing to keep in mind, especially in redraft leagues, is that rookies on the defensive side of the ball take a bit of seasoning before really becoming impact fantasy players. A quick look at the past three seasons show that only 11 rookies managed to crack the top-20 in PFF’s standard IDP scoring format.
It’s still very early and things will of course come into sharper focus as training camps play out, but it’s never too early for mock drafts. PFF staffers (along with esteemed guests Gary Davenport and Mike Woellert) recently did their first rookie mock with IDP players involved. I will sprinkle in the draft position that players in this piece were selected to bring a bit of perspective. Keep in mind that it was a six-round draft, rookies only.
That said, there quite a few intriguing rookie IDP prospects and I’ve compiled a list of my top-10 for fantasy purposes heading into the 2017 season.
1. Jarrad Davis, LB, Detroit Lions
The Lions have already named Davis their starting middle linebacker. The kid is a three-down thumper with tremendous athleticism to help him out in coverage. As IDP owners, we covet every-down players with upside on defenses that traditionally struggle. Last season while manning the middle Tahir Whitehead racked up 128 total tackles for the Lions, with 98 being of the solo variety. During his time at Florida, Davis put up over 200 total tackles, with 20 of them being for a loss. In the PFF rookie mock, Davis was the first defensive player off the board at 2.12 (yes, it was me).