Top NFL Rookie IDP Player Profiles

Top NFL Rookie IDP Player Profiles
Top NFL Rookie IDP Player Profiles

This week’s IDP conversation touches on Top NFL Rookie IDP Player Profiles. As we head into our 2023 NFL rookie draft, some defensive IDP prospects have separated themselves from the rest of the class. They are likely setting themselves apart for opportunities among some of the NFL teams. So keep this in mind; where they land will mean everything. At least in terms of how soon they see any playing time worth mentioning.

Circling back next week and catching more rookie profiles, then let’s reevaluate post-draft and see who’s the hottest heading into their first season in the NFL. Based more on if they’ll even likely start rather than skillset and talent. Which occasionally gets buried for a year or two. Especially when teams have solid veterans already starting ahead of them.

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Top NFL Rookie IDP Player Profiles

For the novice IDP manager, the following players are listed as upper-tier prospects. Not exactly for projected fantasy football purposes just yet. In fantasy football, think of any defensive rookie as a luxury pick.

When the truth is told, the studies have been done. On average less than 5% of defensive rookies draft ever make a real impact in their first season. So our advice is always to think of Dynasty when thinking of IDP in NFL rookie drafts.

The lack of defensive tackle this first time around. That is solely based on just how hard it is for any interior lineman even to come close to the top their first year.

No matter their talent level. Granted, defensive tackles are very hard to come by and scarce, but if not, think Dynasty only. Trust us; it will be disappointing for the novice as a redraft DL player.

Will Anderson Jr. – Linebacker – Alabama

Five-star Georgia recruit out of Alabama, Will Anderson Jr., is the consensus leader for this rookie class. In the last two seasons of college, the linebacker had 29 sacks, parlaying off 98 quarter hurries. He is rumored to be the best Alabama defensive player in Nick Saban’s lustrous career. Likely the best Alabama defensive guy since Derrick Thomas.

Anderson is a versatile linebacker and is currently profiled as an NFL edge rusher prospect. So this could be very key to his future fantasy football value in any format. The feel we get is Will Anderson Jr., among a couple of other current college linebacker prospects. Players that look more like Micah Parson prototypes.

Rather than the slew of safety/linebackers in the last few rookie classes. Guys like Jeremy Chinn, or perhaps. This class’s Brian Branch, who also happens to be out of Alabama. So we aren’t exactly positive if we’re thinking edge rusher IDP or inside linebacker that also stacks sacks.

What are we positive about? What round and what team any of these NFL rookie IDPs will land in this draft will matter a lot. And it will likely have more barring than anything. Especially if what should be a complete dynasty luxury pick for fantasy managers. Or if that’s also the case.

Whether there will also be a redraft appeal or not with that profile. And for at least right now. Anderson looks like this year’s NFL rookie IDP class’s top prospect across the board.

Bad Landing Spots

Any team that drafts him has too much above-average depth in front of him at whatever position that announces he’ll play for them. Other than that, we’ll assume he’ll be drafted highish and expected to play a lot in 2023 for whoever did select him.

Tyree Wilson – Outside Linebacker – Texas Tech

He is currently featured for a particular reason in this article’s main image. Outside Linebacker Tyree Wilson, out of Texas Tech, has a tall, prototype frame. He very much looks the part to play off the edge as either a designated 3-4 outside linebacker or a 4-3 based defensive end.

Arm reach strength is there, utilizing his wing span very well in the process. Solid balance and relentless. Overall, a full-throttle three-down edge rusher. With some slight limitations. But the huge upside, after a little more time refining his “off-the-edge” tool bag. He also adds a few more moves to break free of blocks more cleaner and quicker.

Lukas Van Ness – Defensive End – Iowa

Out of Iowa, Lukas Van Ness has a huge amount of ground to cover before applying his raw talent to his NFL game. He is very polished in some areas and quick with a twitch. He has plenty of gas to get from sideline to sideline with speed. But reportedly, Van Ness is a pure top developmental prospect, unfinished.

One that needs to learn to bend off the edge better, with more technique. He won’t be able to depend solely on his athleticism. Also, for what it’s worth, Van Ness didn’t have a full-time gig last season with Iowa as a 21-year-old, red-shirted sophomore.

That’s not much to work off of, other than he’s a well-rounded Athelit at the moment.

Bad Landing Spots

Bears, Raiders, Panthers, Jets, Saints, or Chargers (Falcons – Could do worse.)

Nolan Smith – Linebacker – Georgia

Georgia’s Nolan Smith, another Cowboy Micah Parsons’s prototype lite*. He’s undersized but a very quick athlete. He was a linebacker that plays at a higher-end gear the entire time he started for the Bulldogs. There is room to grow here. So whether he leans more inside linebacker than an edge rusher might matter here. We lean more toward inside linebackers.

This is the opposite way we lean for our first guy listed, Will Anderson. This will be notable based on whether we’re looking for a potential luxury standard linebacker play (LB) or an edge rusher (DL). Hence, splitting those really fine IDP hairs. If we’re looking for LB, go with Nolan Smith. Looking for more of an edge rusher? You guessed it, Will Anderson Jr.

Bad Landing Spots

The same as Will Anderson, but leaning even more on longer developmental time. Explain the slide down this board, and in case you’re wondering. So any team Nolan Smith was drafted by that has too much above-average depth at that particular position in front of him.

Myles Murphy – Defensive End – Clemson

Clemson’s Myles Murphy showed up big at his Pro Day. He reportedly has drawn comparisons to 2022’s first overall pick, Travon Walker. We’re just shocked he’s not being toted higher than he is right now. That, to us, should speak volumes about the difference in rookie class talent from year to year.

At his Pro-Day, Murphy weighed in at 6’5″, 271 pounds, and ran a 4.51 40-Yard Dash, 7.20 3-Cone, and 4.35 Shuttle. Those are outstanding and off-the-wall outlier performances by any big guy. The overall sentiment? If it wasn’t for his lack of technique as a pass rusher and more as a gap shooter, for now. Depending on where he lands and someone drafting him later, this class will matter greatly in late April.

So, let’s hope whatever team takes him, either stick him in as depth for now. Then lets him develop those skills needed to bend the edge leaner and meaner. That or Murphy lands an instant rotational guy who landed as a BIG 3-4 type interior rusher. Unfortunately, in that case, likely used as a gap-filling run-stopper that gets the occasional sack.

Bad Landing Spots

A defensive scheme base, mainly the “3-4”, that will use him as an inter “defensive end” edge rusher. Which normally caps their sack output, but it “might” work out if he manages to overachieve at tackling, ending up more as a really good interior defensive lineman type (DT) instead.

Brian Branch – Safety – Alabama

Alabama’s safety Brian Branch, one of Nick Sabans’ recent defensive Swiss army knives. It’s really hard to find any downside in Branch’s game. From his Football I.Q. to his skill set. So other than the fact, being brought up by some. He might be a bit light filling out the uniform.

Which, apparently, wasn’t a real problem before. Owning an outstanding 3.2% missed tackle rate in 2022 with the Tide. We all know mass can be one of the easiest things to correct in the NFL nowadays. Although, if there is one thing to us that stands out to this NFL rookie IDP class. Via reports, and his Albalama Profile, Branch is really in a class of his own this year among the safeties.

So if we’re not looking for the best of the best this year, he’s going to really be the only one, no matter the safety bios we have later on, that we have any real hard interest in. Unless we are talking after the draft, and one has landed starting gig by default. One that stands out, just like Branch does right now as the clear-cut top safety prospect in this class.

Good Landing Spots

Raiders, Packers, Saints, Giants, Browns, and Bills (100% Dynasty Only*)

Christian Gonzalez – Cornerback – Oregan

A top-end speedster man-coverage NFL cornerback rookie prospect. Oregan’s Christian Gonzalez isn’t 100% refined, actually far from it. But the tangibles are all in place to make some team in the NFL very happy as a developmental guy.

Until then, if he’s selected as a potential first-year starter. Opposing quarterbacks and offensive coordinators love picking on them, at least until they prove whether they are a “shut down type” defensive back at their position.

If we have a window, we are looking amongst the ever-growing defensive back pool. Sometimes cornerbacks come in handy during their first couple of years in the NFL. That’s for IDP purposes, of course, so we do not ever suggest sinking any of our top picks at this position when the waiver wire is always flooded in the deepest of formats with them.

Hence, although there are only a top few each season, the quantity of the above-par IDP plays that come out of the cornerback pool is high. That’s what does level this playing field.

So as talented as any of these cornerbacks may be. Always make sure positional values are properly addressed first and well way before spending any NFL Rookie IDP luxury picks.

With one final shocker from a very faithful IDP writer. For example, suppose you’ve drafted a rookie cornerback over a possible rookie WR2. No matter what, round. You likely wasted a real opportunity for a big Dynasty hit.

Joey Porter Jr. – Cornerback – Penn State

The son of former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter. Joey Porter Jr. is self-motivated and competitive, with highly sought-after coverage skills. Although, he needs a little work in open-field tackling and only recorded one interception in four years with Penn State.

A tough number when looking at a defensive back and needing an NFL rookie IDP option. However, in this year’s corner-back class, Porter is reported by many as one of the better NFL defensive rookies in the 2023 draft based on pure talent.

So instant trial by fire is likely going to be his best outlook, and our pick among the corners to possibly even have long-term value. Depending on whether that top-end ceiling is a real “shutdown corner,” or preferably.

He might only be on the cusp of being elite, and teams keep peppering him with passes anyhow. Repeatedly trying to hit that open window, he’ll end up allowing, and likely more often than not. IDP managers can actually amount to a long-term and serviceable corner from time to time.

Good Landing Spots

Ravens, Colts, Raiders, Rams, Vikings, or Cardinals.

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