Ratcliffe’s Pre-Draft Top 30 IDP Rookies

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

| 3 years ago
ohio-st-ryan-shazier-010514

Ratcliffe’s Pre-Draft Top 30 IDP Rookies


ohio-st-ryan-shazier-010514Last week, I broke down my pre-Draft top 50 rookies on the offensive side of the ball. Today, we turn our attention to defense.

Like on offense, I expect these ranking to change significantly between now and the end of the draft on Saturday. However, as things currently stand, here’s my take on the top 30 IDP rookies heading into the Draft:

Rk Player Pos College Comments
1 C.J. Mosley LB Alabama He’s a three-down MIKE. Easily the top IDP prospect in this year’s class.
2 Ryan Shazier LB Ohio State This guy can fly. Best suited to WLB or 3-4 ILB. Has some Lavonte David to his game
3 Khalil Mack EP Buffalo Elite pass-rusher. Post-Draft ranking heavily impacted by landing spot.
4 Jadeveon Clowney EP South Carolina Can do everything. Hoping he doesn’t land in a 3-4.
5 Anthony Barr EP UCLA Raw, but extremely athletic. Could wind up as a DE, which would help his fantasy stock.
6 Aaron Donald DT Pittsburgh Lacks protypical size for a 3-tech, but has a Geno Atkins-like fantasy profile.
7 Chris Borland LB Wisconsin Undersized at just 5’11”, but Borland can play. He has the skill set to be a steady high floor, low ceiling IDP option.
8 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix S Alabama Can cover, play in the box, and in the deep half. Gets a Weddle comparison.
9 Jimmy Ward S NIU A tad on the small side, but Ward is fast, he can tackle, and he can cover.
10 Telvin Smith LB Florida Stae Size is also an issue with Smith, but his is weight. Get’s an IDP boost if he converts to safety.
11 Calvin Pryor S Louisville Not the most skilled safety from a football standpoint, but he’s a big hitter who will put up IDP numbers.
12 Dee Ford EP Auburn One of the better pass rushers in this year’s class, but does not have a high tackle ceiling.
13 Yawin Smallwood LB Uconn There’s no buzz on Smallwood due to a poor Combine, but he’s a sneaky player to have on your rookie board. Gets Jerod Mayo comps.
14 Christian Kirksey LB Iowa His skills in coverage give Kirksey three-down potential. Projects as an OLB.
15 Dominique Easley DT Florida Very fluid moving 3-tech with the potential to make an IDP impact in the right landing spot.
16 Deon Bucannon S Washington State Solid in coverage and has the chops to put up decent tackle numbers.
17 Kyle Fuller CB Virginia Tech I’m never big on drafting rookie corners, but Fuller is the best bet of this bunch.
18 Demarcus Lawrence EP Boise State Still has a lot to learn, but Lawrence comes with a high ceiling.
19 Kyle Van Noy LB BYU Projects best to strong side linebacker, and doesn’t look likely for subpackage snaps. Outside chance he sees a edge role.
20 Jeremiah Attaochu EP Georgia Tech Best suited to 3-4 OLB. Has good size/speed though he doesn’t blow you away on film.
21 Marcus Smith EP Louisville Very impressive speed on tape. Has good bend around the edge. Projects as a 4-3 DE.
22 Kevin Pierre-Louis LB Boston College Has three-down potential. Projects as a 4-3 WLB.
23 Stanley Jean-Baptiste DB Nebraska Impressive size and athleticism, but will be converting from corner to safety.
24 Jason Verrett CB TCU Not a big corner, but he’s very aggressive and has sub-4.4 speed.
25 Darqueze Dennard CB Michigan State Big corner who should see a lot of targets if he lands in a starting role.
26 Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma St. Another corner with good size and great speed. Potential punt returner.
27 Kony Ealy DL Missouri Versatile player in the mold of Michael Bennett. Not a dominant pass rusher, but can kick to the interior in subpackages.
28 Shayne Skov LB Stanford His 5.08 40 time doesn’t inspire much confidence. Likely a two-down ‘backer.
29 Terrence Brooks S Florida State Fast, but undersized. More of a centerfielder, which bodes poorly for his IDP value.
30 Lamarcus Joyner DB Florida State Not ideal as a corner, but has the potential for IDP value if drafted as a safety.

| Director of Fantasy

Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is one of the most accurate rankers 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.

  • Jake Terhofter

    Is this the year to load up on defensive players if playing in IDP dynasty league? How does 2015 IDPs compare to this year?

  • Jeff Ratcliffe

    It’s not a particularly deep IDP class, as there are few standout homeruns. So I’d look to load up at WR in this year’s rookie drafts, but I’ll also most likely be targeting Shazier (depending on landing spot) in most of my drafts. Next year’s class is comparable at this point, though we have another 365 days of evaluation to go.