Round 1 of the 2013 NFL draft is in the books and the Individual Defensive Player (IDP) landscape has been shifted yet again as we look forward to next season. Positions of need have been addressed and the big name talents we have been evaluating and pontificating over for months are now finding their NFL homes.
Just where their fantasy value lies is yet to be truly determined as there are veterans who will not give their jobs up easily and rookie prospects that fade under the pressure of being in the big show.
Here is an initial quick-hitting look at the IDP prospects drafted in the first round and just what fantasy value they may hold heading into the 2013 season.
Dion Jordan, DE/OLB, Miami:
The Dolphins jumped up to the third overall pick to secure their bookend pass rushing threat opposite Cameron Wake. Jordan can also drop into coverage or be a pass rushing outside linebacker option when the Dolphins run their hybrid 3-4 defensive look.
Jordan may start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list (shoulder surgery) but will be ready to go for Week 1 and figures to log plenty of snaps as a rookie. He is a superb athlete with a burst off the edge that will enable him to rack up nice sack totals and has the sideline-to-sideline speed to also be effective in defending the run.
His designation will determine his fantasy value and it would suit IDP owners better if he is designated as a defensive end as his tackle totals as an outside linebacker may put a cap on his value.
Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, DE, Detroit:
The Lions stood pat at No. 5 and watched the big three offensive tackles go off the board before their selection. As a consolation prize, the freakishly athletic 6-foot-5, 271-pound Ansah will do just nicely, thank you.
Ansah fills an immediate need at the defensive end position with the loss of Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril as pass rushers. He is still a bit raw as a latecomer to football but his 62 tackles (13 for a loss) and 4 1/2 sacks last season illustrate what Detroit sees in him. Pencil him in as a starter from Day 1 as a pass rushing specialist who is solid against the run along the defensive front for the Lions and a DL3 out of the gate.
Barkevious Mingo, OLB/DE, Cleveland:
Mingo is an ideal fit for new defensive coordinator Ray Horton’s defense and teams with the newly acquired Paul Kruger and Jabaal Sheard (unless the Browns deal him) to give the Browns three athletic, edge speed rushers.
He will assume an outside linebacker role for Cleveland and is versatile enough to be effective in underneath coverage. Horton loves to mix up his defensive fronts and Mingo is athletic enough to stay on the field and help Cleveland create mismatches along the defensive line. Another tweener as far as where he’ll be listed for fantasy purposes and holds more value if placed at defensive end.
Dee Milliner, CB, N.Y. Jets:
The Jets addressed the trading of Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay with their first selection at No. 9 by selecting the All-American cornerback out of Alabama. Milliner is recovering from shoulder surgery and will likely start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
Milliner is the immediate starter alongside Antonio Cromartie and is able to play effectively in zone schemes as well tight man-to-man coverage. He is a solid tackler that doesn’t hesitate to stick his nose in against the run and an instinctive cover corner.
What he is not is Revis, and the ‘rookie corner rule’ will be in full effect for Milliner in 2013 IDP leagues. He’ll be tested early and often on a weekly basis and amass very nice fantasy totals. He’s a solid DB2 in a division where Tom Brady will be throwing at him twice a year.
D.J. Hayden, CB, Oakland
: Hayden completed his late rush up draft boards by becoming the 12th overall pick by the Raiders, who traded down from No. 3 and got a much-needed cornerback. He is an immediate upgrade over the recently signed Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins.
Hayden has been medically cleared from the torn heart cavity suffered in practice and brings the Raiders play making abilities to the secondary. In 22 college starts he racked up six interceptions and six forced fumbles. He has flashed shut down corner skills but could improve a bit in his run support game. He could have DB2 value as offenses once again choose to pick on the youngsters in the secondary.
Hayden will assume a starting role from Day 1 and have plenty of opportunities to produce excellent fantasy numbers as the probable No. 1 cornerback in Oakland.