Sunday, March 16, 2014

5 More Impact Rookie IDP Prospects

 Here are five more Individual Defensive Players likely to be drafted in the first round. We take a look at their production and what we expect from them at the next level.

1) Khalil Mack OLB- Mack is poised to cause havoc in the NFL. He is the all-time leader in FBS history in forced fumbles (16) and tackles for loss (75), making him a blue-chip top 10 pick in the 2014 draft. The Buffalo alum needs to work on his coverage skills a bit, but everything else is there. We expect Mack to produce immediately and become a top play maker for years to come.

2) Anthony Barr OLB- To think that just two years ago, Barr was a Running Back at UCLA. Now, since Jim Mora has taken over, Barr has become one of the best linebackers in the country. His combination of size (6’5”, 255 lbs), speed (4.66 40 yd dash), and tenacity make him a strong top 15 candidate in the 2014 NFL draft. He needs to get stronger, and learn some more nuances of playing defense, but we expect Barr to produce early and often in his NFL career.

3) Darqueze Dennard CB- Perhaps most impressive thing about Dennard is his consistency.  The former Spartan was phenomenal over the past two years, breaking up over 25 throws and intercepting 7 passes. Also, in an era of cover corners, Dennard plays the run with reckless abandon, taking on would-be blockers and filling in admirably in run support. We expect Dennard to be a very solid player, however if he becomes known as a premier cover corner, he may not get many passes thrown his way, which could effect his statistics. In IDP leagues, he’ll be solid, but not spectacular in INT and passes defensed categories.

4) Hasean Clinton-Dix FS- The Alabama star was one of very few players to play as a true freshman down in Tuscaloosa. Clinton-Dix's combination of size, speed, ball skills and football instincts give him a chance to be one of the best at the next level. He needs to work on his discipline, but if he gets drafted by the right franchise, we expect him to produce as a top 10 free safety in IDP leagues.

5) Justin Gilbert CB- Gilbert is the cream of the crop when it comes to defenders capable of creating turnovers and scoring on big plays. He is a dynamic athlete who led the Big 12 with seven interceptions in 2013 (two of which he returned for touchdowns) and has returned six kickoffs for scores over his career in Stillwater. He is a little inconsistent in coverage, making him a target at times, but this creates more opportunities for him to make a big play. As an IDP player (if your league counts return TDs), he is a top 5 prospect this year.

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