Today we'll analyze the fantasy football impact of the first half of the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. This year there were whopping 20 defensive players selected, so we split the round into parts 1 and 2. Let's find out what to expect from these young players.
Landon Collins - SS - Giants - AT 6'0", 228 pounds, this former Alabama star is a downhill, aggressive safety who is known for his run defense. We expect the Giants to start Collins immediately, and expect excellent production from the rookie. We see him as a 3rd round selection in rookie IDP dynasty drafts.
Mario Edwards Jr. - DT - Raiders - This ex-Seminole is a versatile defensive lineman who could play inside or outside for the Raiders. He is likely to start as a rookie, but Edwards Jr. does not have elite pass rush skills, meaning sack totals will be low for him. Expect to tackle. to be a late pick or available on waivers in most IDP dynasty leagues.
Preston Smith - LB - Redskins - The 6'5", 271 pound defensive end was picked by the Redskins to play outside linebacker in their 3-4 scheme. He has long arms and plays with enough leverage to be effective on the field, but as a linebacker, Smith will not get the tackles needed to be valuable in most IDP leagues. Keep an eye on his status, because if he's considered a DE in your leaugue he'll be worth a roster spot, otherwise expect him to go undrafted in dynasty leagues.
Eddie Goldman - DT- Bears - The Chicago Bears selected Goldman to lock down the middle of their defense, and at 6'4" and 336 pounds, he can do just that. The question is can he be anything but a two-down run stuffer. As of right now we don't see it, which makes him valuable only in DT required leagues.
Jalen Collins - CB - Falcons - The former LSU Tiger will get his shot at the pros in Atlanta, as a member of the Falcons. Collins has a rare combination of height, weight and speed (6'1", 203 lbs, 4.48 40) that should work well at the next level. However Collins is raw, so he likely won't see starter time in his first year. Expect him to be on waivers in IDP Dynasty leagues with some upside if you have room for a CB on your roster.
Benardrick McKinney - LB - Texans - The Houston Texans traded up to get McKinney early in the 2nd round because he is a prototype inside linebacker, who can play immediately. Since Brian Cushing has had trouble staying on the field, Houston now has a new anchor in the middle of their defense. As a middle linebacker with an opportunity to start, and solid skills, we expect McKinney to be highly valuable in IDP leagues. Look for him to be selected
Hau'oli Kikaha - LB - Saints - Kikaha is the most accomplished pass rusher in the 2015 draft class. He relies on motor off the edge more than athleticism. In New Orleans, the Saints coaching staff looks to plug him in as a SAM right away, as well as use him as a pass rusher in passing situations. We see Kikaha filling the sacks column, but will produce a lower number of total tackles. If you are in a league where sacks are a premium, he's worth a spot.
Erik Kendricks - LB - Vikings - The former UCLA standout gets to rejoin Anthony Barr in Minnesota. The Vikings will start Kendricks right away, and his athleticism and demeanor will help him produce in the NFL. His size is a bit on the small side, but he'll still be in line for 100+ tackles as a rookie. Expect him to be off the board late in the 2nd or early in the 3rd round of IDP rookie dynasty drafts.
Jaquiski Tartt - SS - 49ers - The San Francisco 49ers selected Tartt because he has the size, athleticism and overall talent to be an NFL starter. However, Tartt will likely spend mush of his rookie year learning under Reid, Ward, and Bethea so his immediate value is low. We expect Tartt to be on dynasty IDP waivers this season.
Eric Rowe - CB - Eagles - The former Utah starter was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles. Rowe was a top performer at the Combine, running a 4.45 forty, with a 39-inch vertical. His is an efficient tackler and has the skills to be a solid CB or FS. Currently at CB, his value is diminished, so expect him to be available in leagues that do not require CB starters.