03 May 2021 IDP Rookie Rankings
2021 Fantasy Football
IDP Rookie Rankings
Alright, the NFL Draft has now come and gone, but if you’re anything like me the appetite is still there for more. Is it gluttonous? Probably. Is it needed, and necessary? Absolutely. With that being said, here are my initial 2021 IDP Rookie Rankings. These are likely to get tweaked between now and the start of the season, but I wanted to get something up for the IDP crowd with Rookie Drafts coming up. The full Top 30 is listed below, with a couple of write ups on some of my favorites. If you have any specific questions, find me on twitter @PeoplezPen.
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A little background on IDP: It is still the Wild Wild West of Fantasy. Some leagues house full rosters, others introduce just one defensive position. If you are going to do it, go all the way! Linebackers are your most consistent source of scoring, followed generally by Safeties. Cornerbacks have very little value on average, and only a select few Defensive Tackles will be difference makers. The EDGE position can be a league winning position, however it typically takes time for Rookies to develop.
Jamin Davis, LB – Washington
My prognostication of Davis being a 1st round pick came true, as Washington shocked the draft by making him the third Linebacker chosen as the 19th overall selection. Davis was a late riser through the draft cycle, and turned in a phenomenal Pro Day for Kentucky, measuring in at 6’3″ and 234 pounds. He blazed a 4.46 forty yard dash, pumped out 21 reps on the bench, and exploded for a 42″ vertical jump and 132″ broad jump. Those numbers didn’t make it surprising to see a 1.53 10-Yard Split time, which along with his forty, had him tracked as the fastest Linebacker in my Pro Day table. I love the landing spot in Washington, but that alone is not why he is my IDP poster boy for 2021. Davis was asked to play the Mike for Kentucky, which to me was just putting the best athlete at the most needed position on the defense. He answered the call, totaling 102 tackles in just 10 games during the 2020 season. What stood out most to me about his film was the violence with which he plays. He seeks out contact, and stays with plays until the whistle. That motor, coupled with his freakish athleticism and tenacity, was enough to make me think his versatility could eventually have him playing the EDGE. In Washington, he won’t have to. He is still learning how to play the position, and is in an environment to cultivate all of that potential.
Nick Bolton, LB – Kansas City
There are a couple of things happening here that I love. One, Bolton gets to stick in Missouri. Two, Kansas City doesn’t have a serious roadblock for keeping him from reps. Three, he was my LB 3 in this class, and the Chiefs absolutely stole a tackling machine at the end of the 2nd round. To be clear, Bolton doesn’t do anything that really jumps off the page at you – whether it be with Sacks, TFLs, or forcing turnovers. What he does offer is consistency, and a sure tackler. He reminds me (for whatever reason) of Demario Davis, and I can envision him being just a year in and year out source of triple digit tackles. That’ll play for fantasy.
Andre Cisco, SAF – Jacksonville
When we move to the Safety position, part of the reason it can be so appealing for fantasy is the combination of tackles and turnovers. We are looking for someone who can be a ball hawk, with good enough hands to stick the interceptions, as well as someone with some aggression who can get involved as a tackler. Syracuse product Andre Cisco is that perfect blend, and had he been in another program, might have been drafted even higher than his 3rd round landing spot. Only 2 games in 2020 kept him under the radar, but Jacksonville scored a nice player to help rebuild their Defense.
Gregory Rousseau, EDGE – Buffalo
This is a personal favorite, as I am a biased Hurricanes fan, but Rousseau fell under the radar in most mock drafts. I had consistently kept him in my first round projections, and Buffalo agreed. At 6’6″/266, this is a mountain of a man, who put together an insanely productive 15.5 Sack redshirt freshman season. He did opt out for 2020, which I thought might hurt his capital, but now he is firmly back on the radar. He was the 4th EDGE off the board, but possesses the talent to lead the league in sacks.
Daviyon Nixon, DT – Carolina
One of the resounding themes to the 2020 NFL Draft was it not being a convincing class for the Defensive Tackle position. In fact, most casual fans were only really aware of Alabama’s Christian Barmore. I had Nixon graded out as a 1st rounder, and my top prospect at the position, so seeing him drop to the 5th round should provide you with a potential steal. Here is why he matters: 13.5 TFLs + 5.5 Sacks in just 8 games as a Junior. He can move the line back, wrap up RBs, and has enough juice and jukes to get to the Quarterback. I love even more that he gets to line up next to last years first round Panther’s pick Derrick Brown. Carolina is building an imposing Defense, and Nixon should be able to flourish with Brown’s presence limiting double teams.
Top 5 Linebackers
- Jamin Davis – Washington
- Micah Parsons – Dallas
- Nick Bolton – Kansas City
- Zaven Collins – Arizona
- Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – Cleveland
Top 5 Safeties
- Richie Grant – Atlanta
- Jevon Holland – Miami
- Trevon Moehrig – Las Vegas
- Andre Cisco – Jacksonville
- Christian Uphoff – Green Bay
Top 5 EDGE
- Gregory Rousseau – Buffalo
- Kwity Paye – Indianapolis
- Joseph Ossai – Cincinnati
- Jaelan Phillips – Miami
- Joe Tryon – Tampa Bay
Top 3 Cornerbacks
- Jaycee Horn – Carolina
- Patrick Surtain II – Denver
- Caleb Farley – Tennessee
Top 3 Defensive Tackles
- Daviyon Nixon – Carolina
- Christian Barmore – New England
- Jaylen Twyman – Minnesota
|3||Nick Bolton||Kansas City||LB|
|10||Pete Werner||New Orleans||LB|
|12||Trevon Moehrig||Las Vegas||SAF|
|15||Patrick Surtain II||Denver||CB|
|18||Joe Tryon||Tampa Bay||EDGE|
|19||Payton Turner||New Orleans||EDGE|
|20||Azeez Ojulari||NY Giants||EDGE|
|21||Christian Uphoff||Green Bay||SAF|
|24||Carlos Basham Jr.||Buffalo||EDGE|
|25||Christian Barmore||New England||DT|
|30||Greg Newsome II||Cleveland||CB|
Andy is a jack of all trades in the Fantasy Sports industry, covering football, baseball, and the NFL Draft. He has written, edited, podcasted, and produced over 1,000 videos for his various series, in addition to dozens of guest appearances and collaborative pieces.
A top ranker on Fantasy Pros for both Football (23rd in 2018) & Baseball (7th in 2018), avid fan of mining for MLB prospects, and former D1 College hoops player, Andy is a native New Yorker, who has served as a firefighter in the FDNY for the past 18 years and counting.