The 2016 RotoViz Scouting IDP Diary
We have an excellent offensive rookie draft prospect tracking system here at RotoViz. I hope to give those that wish to follow IDP something similar, but in a different format.
Much love to Charles Kleinheksel for pumping out five scouting indexes prior to February. I will try a different approach to keep our IDP readers up to date. The six sites we are using at RotoViz (DraftTek, NFL Draft Geek, Walter Football, Ourlads, CBS Sports, and Rotoworld) have differing methods of tracking their rankings, so I’ve got this ridiculous spreadsheet to track all of them that I wouldn’t dare confuse you with. Because position designations are more fluid on defense and schemes matter, I can’t just offer a table of composite rankings.
Scheme is so important in IDP, and I’ll track potential scheme fits in order to identify safe IDP performers with upside. Opportunity plays a big role as well. As a fantasy player, I’m a value shopper. I’ll be looking to find guys that, when given the right role, have a chance to hit. As I drill down I’ll be looking for those later round gems so that I can spend my early rookie picks on offensive players.
Inconsistent Information can be Actionable
We can use the differences in the positional evaluations of these sites to tease out IDP relevant information. For example, when Walter Football analyzes the best 34DT, that could give us hints about fits within the scheme for all of the DTs. It would be important to know which DT is a better fit for a 3-4 or a 4-3 as that greatly affects their production in the NFL. Likewise, confusion about which LB spot or how many downs a player can play also gives us actionable information.
I’ll next check in as we approach the combine and then follow up post-combine and pre-draft. My analysis will focus on the differences in rankings across our six sites. As a reader the way I would use this data would be to identify the value of IDP players likely to be available at different points in your dynasty rookie draft.
The Importance of Inside Linebackers
If your scoring system leans tackle heavy, then inside linebacker (ILB) is the position where you have the highest likelihood of finding immediate help. CBS, Ourlads, and Drafttek are all separately ranking ILBs so I use them when discussing this position.
|Player||CBS 1/28||Rk||Ourlads 1/30||Rk||Drafttek 1/19||Rk||Total||Avg Ranking|
|Reggie Ragland, Ala||10||1||10||1||9||2||29||1.3|
|Kentrell Brothers, Missouri||9||2||8||3||17||2.5|
|Dominique Alexander, Okl||7||4||7||4||14||4.0|
|Tyler Matakevich, Temple||8||3||5||6||13||4.5|
|Blake Martinez, Stanford ILB||4||7||6||5||2||9||12||7.0|
|Jaylon Smith, ND||10||1||10||1.0|
|Myles Jack, UCLA||9||2||9||2.0|
|Josh Perry, Ohio St||8||3||8||3.0|
|Kendell Beckwith, LSU||7||4||7||4.0|
|Scooby Wright, Arizona||6||5||6||5.0|
|Kyler Fackrell, Utah St||6||5||6||5.0|
|Antonio Morrison, Florida ILB||2||9||4||7||6||8.0|
|Reggie Northrup, FSU ILB||5||6||5||6.0|
|Nick Vigil, Utah St||5||6||5||6.0|
|Jared Norris, Utah||3||8||2||9||5||8.5|
|Josh Forrest, Kentucky||1||10||3||8||4||9.0|
|Cassanova McKinzy, Aub||4||7||4||7.0|
|BJ Goodson, Clemson||3||8||3||8.0|
|Luke Rhodes, William & Mary||1||10||1||10||2||10.0|
Reggie Ragland of Alabama is the only consistently highly ranked ILB with 29 points.1 With only 3.5 sacks in his entire career he appears limited as a pass rusher. That’s a good thing though when it comes to dynasty IDP as there’s a low chance of him being drafted for the wrong scheme. If you have him in Devy, congratulations.
Blake Martinez of Stanford is the only other linebacker who is rated in the top 10 by all three sites which separately evaluate ILBs. Of the six sites, five evaluate him as either a LB or ILB. Drafttek which lists him as their 13th ranked 4-3 OLB. Martinez is worth monitoring going forward considering he piled up 138 total tackles in 2015.
CBS has Scooby Wright III ranked as the 10th-best edge rusher in this class which threw a bucket of ice on what I was thinking of his future in IDP. The 15 sacks Wright had in 2014 let you know he could be a pass rush specialist and thus he’s in consideration for 3-4 defenses. Of the three sites that evaluate the ILB as its own position, only CBS ranks Wright as an ILB. Walter Football and Drafttek both have him as a top 5 OLB in a 3-4. I love his talent and his amazing college production has me eager to see him as an ILB. As I’m heavily invested in devy leagues, I would destroy my wife’s favorite coffee table if he’s drafted by a 3-4 team that wishes to use him as a rush LB.
At the moment I’m starting to like Deion Jones of LSU as a sneaky late round IDP linebacker. He’s not being noticed much due to his size – he’s in that smallish Telvin Smith range – but he has demonstrated three down ability and is coming off a decent Senior Bowl. He recently bubbled up to the top 50 overall at Rotoworld, and he cracks the top 10 OLB on the three sites which rank that position.
Two-Down Caution Flags
In IDP if you’ve got a two down LB you’ve got nothing. They’re typically not on the field enough to accumulate worthwhile point totals. I blew it last year on Benardrick McKinney and just wasn’t looking enough at his downside. That won’t happen this year. In fact, I’m going to run a watch list on these situations.
The first one out of the gate is Kentrell Brothers. Brothers is going to be an interesting one to watch during the combine. As noted by Walter Football: “He has real speed to defend the perimeter and could have three-down ability for the NFL. If Brothers’ listed numbers are exaggerated, he may have to move to outside linebacker in a 4-3 defense.” The word “could” bothers me. He hasn’t demonstrated three down ability, so it’s just a gamble to think he could demonstrate it later.
CBS rates Tyler Matakevich as its third best ILB. However, Walter Football isn’t sure that he has the size and speed to be a three down player in the NFL. I’m sure we will be adding to this list as more details emerge during draft season. CBS’ draft analyst Dane Brugler notes that Matakevich’s “lack of ideal size, strength and athleticism are question marks that make his next level evaluation tough to project.” I’d put Matakevich in the friend zone unless some signs emerge that he’s viewed as a three-down player.
One more to note for now is Joshua Perry. CBS Sports believes he’s an every down linebacker but Walter Football says “he was a tough run defender that could be a two down contributor in the NFL.” Walter really likes the word “could” but again I’m cautious for the time being.
The consensus top strong safety of the three sites which rank that position is Duke’s Jeremy Cash. According to Rotoworld, “Duke safety Jeremy Cash earned Pro Football Focus’ No. 1 grade among safeties against both the run and as a pass-rusher.”
Cash is a classic defensive back who could truly fit in just about any scheme available. He’s not going to be a bust if he doesn’t pan out as an NFL strong safety since he could transition to free safety. And since he played LB in college, he could find his way to that position in the NFL. Cash’s downside is price. He could be one of the first safeties picked and will likely be a top five dynasty IDP rookie draft pick. I’ll be keeping an eye on the defensive back class looking for cheaper safeties.
Three of the sites rank the strong safeties individually which I find helpful for IDP purposes.
|Ourlads 1/30||Rk||Draftek 1/29||Rk||CBS 1/28||Rk||Total|
|Jeremy Cash, Duke SS||8||3||10||1||10||1||28|
|Von Bell, Ohio St SS||9||2||8||3||9||2||26|
|Karl Joseph, WV INJ||7||4||7||4||8||3||22|
|Miles Killebrew, Sou Utah||6||5||6||5||7||4||19|
|Kevin Byard, Mid Tn St||5||6||5||6||5||6||15|
|Jayron Kearse, Clemson SS||9||2||6||5||15|
|Elijah Shumate, ND||4||7||4||7||4||7||12|
|Su’a Cravens, USC SS||10||1||10|
|Jordan Lucas, Penn St INJ||3||8||3||8||6|
|Tevin Carter, Utah||3||8||3|
|Michael Caputo, Wis||2||9||2|
|RJ Williamson, Mich St||2||9||2|
|Trae Elston, Ole Miss||2||9||2|
|Tony Conner, Ole Miss||1||10||1|
|Jordan Simone, Arizona St||1||10||1|
|KJ Dillon, WV||1||10||1|
These are my current top 10 guys right now, and the order I’d consider them in. It is very likely that this list will change, however, so stay tuned for updates.
Reggie Ragland ILB
Jaylon Smith ILB/OLB
Scooby Wright III OLB/ILB
Leonard Floyd DE/OLB
Myles Jack OLB/ILB
Kentrell Brothers ILB
Emmanuel Ogbah DE
Jeremy Cash FS/SS
Joey Bosa DL/OLB
Robert Nkemdiche DE/DT
Hope you enjoyed reading!
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- Ten points for the highest ranking, one for the lowest ranking, then add up the scores for all sites. (back)