Ratcliffe’s Post-Draft Top 30 IDP Rookies

Jeff Ratcliffe breaks down his post-Draft top 30 IDP rookies and gives his thoughts and insights into each player.

| 3 years ago

Ratcliffe’s Post-Draft Top 30 IDP Rookies

cdn.mse.psddevYesterday, I ranked out my post-Draft top 50 rookies on the offensive side of the ball. Now let’s take a look at the IDPs.

Perhaps even more than the offensive players, IDP value is heavily contingent on landing spot. Some players are poised to step right into the starting lineup, where other potentially more talented players may be relegated to a backup role early in their career.

The following rankings take both long- and short-term value into account. Keep in mind that I advocate avoiding defensive backs in rookie drafts as there’s typically far too much season-to-season variance at the position.

Rk Player Pos Team Comments
1 C.J. Mosley LB BLT Won’t have a Luke Kuechly impact in his rookie season, but it’s going to be tough for the Ravens to keep him off the field.
2 Aaron Donald DT SL A Geno Atkins-like 3-tech in one of the league’s most lethal pass rushing defensive lines. Giddy up.
3 Ryan Shazier LB PIT He’ll be taking over for Lawrence Timmons at the “Mack” ILB. Could be this year’s Alec Ogletree.
4 Telvin Smith LB JAX A three-down ‘backer in a shallow depth chart. Smith is blazing fast and should supplant Geno Hayes at WLB.
5 Khalil Mack LB OAK No DE designation, but he’ll spend plenty of time with his hand on the ground. Has a similar fantasy profile to Von Miller.
6 Jadeveon Clowney LB HST Would have been No. 2 had he landed in a 4-3. He’s now most desirable in big-play scoring systems.
7 Christian Kirksey LB CLV One of the best landing spots for this year’s IDP crop. Kirskey should be an opening-day starter and projects to play all three downs.
8 Calvin Pryor S NYJ The thumper should step right in to a starting job and see plenty of time in the box.
9 Dominique Easley DT NE Two ACL injuries is all that separates Easley from Donald. If he regains his pre-injury form, he’ll be a rookie draft steal.
10 Anthony Barr LB MIN Like Clowney and Mack, Barr gets the LB designation. He has more value in sack-heavy formats.
11 Chris Borland LB SF Tough landing spot, but he will get the chance to start with NaVorro Bowman likely out until mid-season.
12 Demarcus Lawrence DE DAL The pickings are slim at DE this year. Lawrence is the best bet on the shallow Cowboys defensive line.
13 Lamin Barrow LB DEN Elway praised his sideline-to-sideline ability and called him three-down. Has a fast track to the starting gig.
14 Deone Bucannon S ARZ Very versatile safety, but his fantasy ceiling is lower than Pryor. There are a lot of mouths to feed in the Arizona defense.
15 Kyle Van Noy LB DET Not quite sure he’ll get a three-down role. Has more of a Dan Connor fantasy profile.
16 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix S GB Not a great landing spot, as he’s likely to play center field. Has a Jairus Byrd fantasy profile.
17 Marcus Smith LB PHI Loved his tape pre-draft. Will be Trent Cole’s replacement, but we may not see that until 2015.
18 Kyle Fuller CB CHI Not crazy about drafting rookie corners, but if you’re going to take the plunge, Fuller is your guy.
19 Khairi Fortt LB NO A decent 3-4 ILB. Solid enough in coverage to earn a three-down role. Just not in 2014.
20 Kevin Pierre-Louis LB SEA Very speedy player who doesn’t project to see the field much this season, but could be a potential long-term three-down ‘backer.
21 Jeremiah Attaochu LB SD Likely to be a situational pass rusher early in his career with the Chargers.
22 Brock Vereen S CHI Tweener DB with sub-4.5 speed who steps into a shallow depth chart in Chicago.
23 Kony Ealy DE CAR Not an edge rusher, but can play on the interior. Has a Michael Bennett fantasy profile.
24 Dee Ford LB KC Won’t start in year one, but he’ll be groomed to be Tamba Hali’s long-term replacement.
25 Jason Verrett CB SD Almost inked in as a starter, the aggressive Verrett has the potential to put up strong IDP production in his rookie season.
26 Avery Williamson LB TEN Sneaky deeper pick in rookie drafts. He’s a speedy inside ‘backer with a very similar profile to Wesley Woodyard.
27 Scott Crichton DE MIN Nothing special, but he’s a decent option in a good situation at a thin position.
28 Jimmie Ward S SF Really liked him pre-Draft, but San Francisco hasn’t been fantasy-friendly to DBs.
29 Terrence Brooks S BLT The speedy Brooks has the fast track to start along with Matt Elam in the Ravens’ secondary.
30 Christian Jones LB CHI The wild card on my big board. Jones has the talent to be a three-down pro. Off-field concerns caused him to be a UDFA.


Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out our new Mock and Companion Draft Tool. Utilizing our updated player projections, run a quick mock draft and see where this year’s crop of free agents are coming off the board in early fantasy football drafts.

Jeff Ratcliffe is the Assistant Managing Editor and resident IDP maven of PFF Fantasy. 

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| Director of Fantasy

Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is 2016's second-most-accurate ranker in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.

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