Zaven Collins was a three-star quarterback and all-state defender coming out of Hominy High School in Oklahoma. The athlete played tight end as a redshirt freshman before switching to linebacker for Tulsa. Defending, in his first season as a starter, came naturally to Collins who garnered Freshman All-American honors in 2018. After that, in his sophomore campaign, Collins accrued plenty of accolades, including the Brokno Nagurski Award and Chuck Bednarick Award. Let’s just say, the star linebacker used his talent to make a name for himself as a high-end NFL talent.
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah was a two-sport star at Bethel High School in Hampton, Virginia. The stud defender came to Notre Dame as a three-star prospect and the 17th rated overall player coming out of Virginia in 2017. (247sports.com) Once he cracked the Notre Dame starting lineup, Owusu-Koramoah made national headlines with his play, winning the Butkus Award as the country’s top linebacker. He was also named first-team Associated Press All-American, ACC Defensive Player of the Year, a finalist for the Bednarik Award, and a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy. In 2020, Owusu-Koramoah led the Irish to an NCAA playoff birth and the Rose Bowl.
Kwity Paye came out of Bishop Hendricken high school as a three-star defensive lineman with plenty of accolades to his name. Coming out of Rhode Island, Paye was at a camp where he clocked a spectacular 4.5 40-yard dash, vaulting him to the top-ranked player in his state for the 2017 recruiting class. A high 3-star recruit, Paye was a First-Team All-State pick. Off the field, Paye won the Rhode Island State Championship in Long Jump with a mark of 21 feet and 5 inches. The stud defender had his choice of multiple offers but ultimately decided that Ann Arbor was the right place for him. While at Michigan, Paye carved out a solid career for the Wolverines.
At 6’6” and 265 pounds, the Hurricane defensive lineman has excellent height for a pass rusher. Rousseau has a good base weight but should be able to add even more muscle as he develops in the NFL. His size, explosion, and speed are already above average coming into the NFL, but within a few years, I would expect Rousseau to play at 280 to 290 pounds and become the prototypical size for an NFL defensive end.
In 2017 as a freshman, Dylan Moses came to the Alabama campus as a 6-foot-3, 235-pound freshman and proceeded to run a 4.46-second 40-yard dash. He then bench pressed 405 pounds, squatted 500 pounds and power cleaned 335 pounds. Four years in the Crimson Tide program has allowed Moses to add muscle weight without sacrificing explosion. Moses’ SPARQ rating (according to ESPN.com) is 132.48, which is extremely high for any athlete and elite for a linebacker.
Micah Parsons came out of Harrisburg High School in 2018 as one of the most highly recruited and talented players in the entire country. Rated fifth overall nationally in the class, and 64th all-time at any position by 247sports.com, Parsons ticks every skill box a linebacker would need to succeed at the college level as well as the NFL.
Holy Smokes, this week was a fun one for the Washington Football Team defense. Playing at the displaced defending NFC champion 49ers, the Football Team produced four sacks, two fumbles, an interception, and two touchdowns to help secure the victory. Since Week 11, Washington has given up a total of 57 points (fewer than 15 per game), while scoring three touchdowns and registering 12 sacks in that timeframe. Players that made IDP waves this week include Chase Young, Kamren Curl, and Montez Sweat.
The New England Patriots took ownership of the Los Angeles Chargers offense on Sunday in LA. New England’s defense shut out Justin Herbert, Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, et al. in a game where New England’s DST produced three sacks, a blocked kick, two interceptions, and two touchdowns! Adrian Phillips, Adam Butler, and Devin McCourty were excellent IDP plays.
WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK The Atlanta defense came to play in a home drubbing of the Las Vegas Raiders. Throughout the game, the Falcons defenders were terrific, creating five turnovers, registering five sacks, and scoring a touchdown in the victory. Deion Jones, Jacob Tuioti-Mariner, and Steven Means lead the way for the Atlanta IDP producers. The Panthers defenders …
On a mucky, wet Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, the Browns defense stood tall against the Carson Wentz led Eagles offense. Over four quarters, the Cleveland defense scored a touchdown, racked up five sacks, produced a safety, secured two interceptions, and recovered a fumble. IDP players of the day include Olivier Vernon, Sione Takitaki, and Denzel Ward.
WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK Vegas baby! After relinquishing an average of 32 points per game through their first six games, the Raiders’ defense has tightened up significantly over their last three showings. Since the start of November, Las Vegas has given up less than 15 points per game. On Sunday, the unit intercepted Drew …
WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK The Miami Dolphins did it again. A few weeks after dominating the 49ers, the Dolphins destroyed Jared Goff and company to beat the Rams 28-17. The defense and special teams produced two interceptions, two fumble recoveries, two sacks, and two touchdowns to lead Miami to victory. Players who made important IDP …
On a cold, snow-filled, blustery day in Denver, the Kansas City defense and special teams took over the game against the Broncos. When finished with their day, the Chiefs DST had compiled three sacks, two fumbles, two interceptions, and had scored two touchdowns. With the Jets next on the schedule, it’s highly likely you’ll see more of the same next week. Players of IDP consequence this week were Daniel Sorensen, Charvarius Ward, Tyrann Mathieu, and Willie Gay.
The Tampa Bay defense put on a clinic Sunday afternoon in Florida. The squad put up five sacks, two interceptions and scored a touchdown while giving up only 201 yards and ten points to Green Bay. Shutting down the league’s most potent offense through four games will put the rest of the NFL on notice. Players who had nice IDP stats on the day include Devin White, Lavonte David, Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean, and Jason Pierre-Paul.
The Ravens’ defense did it again. This week, at home versus the Bengals, Baltimore dominated on defense from the opening snap. The unit produced seven sacks, two fumbles recovered, an interception, and a touchdown in the game. IDP players of note include Patrick Queen, Marcus Peters, Chuck Clark, Marlon Humphrey, and Pernell McPhee.
WHAT WE LEARNED THIS WEEK Philadelphia, winless through three weeks, relied on their defense to pull out their first victory. On Sunday Night Football, the Eagles registered five sacks, a fumble recovery, two interceptions, and a touchdown. Rodney McLeod, Alex Singleton, and Cre’von LeBlanc led the way in IDP production. Looking forward, the Philly defenders …
The Tampa Bay defense went off on Sunday. On the road, albeit against the Broncos backup quarterback, the Buccaneers beat up Denver’s offense. On the day, the group tallied six sacks, two interceptions, a safety, and a blocked kick while surrendering only 10 points. IDP performers who produced include Shaquil Barrett, Antoine Winfield, Lavonte David, and Mike Edwards. Expect more from this group as Tom Brady and the Tampa offense will put them in a position to attack on a weekly basis.
The Vikings defense was… well… terrible on Sunday. Minnesota gave up 43 points and 522 yards at home against the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings defensive backs are young and inexperienced, which puts a lot of pressure on veterans like Eric Kendricks, Harrison Smith, and Anthony Barr. Expect extra IDP opportunities for the Vikings as they struggle with coverage.