I looked at each team’s IDP drafts and how it will affect the players already on the team. I’m not going to spend time discussing picks who likely won’t make the team or whose ceilings are to be a Special Team contributor. That usually means any EDGE drafted after R3 and any LB or Safety drafted after R4…
6.08 Chris Campbell CB Penn State
The Cards, who have one of the worst rosters in the league, just hired a new defensive-minded HC, they’re converting from a 3-4 to a 4-3, and they spend one R6 pick on defense. Wow. Granted, their needs on the offensive side of the ball were vast, and they spent several high picks on defense last year, but there you go.
Chandler Jones should be a Top 5-10 DE. Markus Golden has his role as DE2 solidified. I don’t know a single other DE on this roster, so hopefully, they can stay healthy… The LBs are somehow set by this. It looks like R1 Sophomore Haason Reddick at SAM, Deone Bucannon at WILL and Josh Bynes at MIKE. Reddick will likely be the odd man out in sub packages. In the secondary, you’re relying a ton on Antoine Bethea at FS, R2 Sophomore Budda Baker at SS and Patrick Peterson at CB. I say you’re relying on them a ton because there is little to no depth.
And I have to mention R6 pick, Campbell because there’s a chance he has to play. The CB starting opposite Peterson is an IDP All-Star because they get picked on a lot. Currently, Campbell needs to beat out Brandon Williams, Bene Benwikere and Marcus Williams to earn snaps. B. Williams and Benwikere combined for 11 defensive snaps last season, so they have the experience advantage over Campbell… Former UDFA M. Williams played 147 snaps for Houston last season. This is a mess but whoever earns the role should be an IDP stud for a few weeks until the role likely changes hands.
Los Angeles Rams
4.35 John Franklin-Myers 3-4 DE Stephen F. Austin
5.10 Micah Kiser 3-4 ILB Virginia
5.23 Ogbonnia Okoronkwo 3-4 OLB Oklahoma
6.21 Sebastian Joseph 3-4 IDL Rutgers
6.31 Trevon Young 3-4 OLB Louisville
7.13 Travin Howard 3-4 ILB TCU
7.26 Justin Lawler 3-4 OLB SMU
This one is pretty easy. Adding Ndamukong Suh to an already talented front and Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib to a solid secondary has most of their defense set. The holes were at LB, both inside and outside. At ILB, they had Mark Barron starting next to either UDFA sophomoreCory Littleton or KC-castoff Ramik Wilson. On the EDGE, they had an R4 sophomore project Samson Ebukam and former UDFA Matt Longacre.
LA looked to fortify both positions, and they took a shotgun approach and will trust DC Wade Phillips to coach them up. Kiser is worth a look as a 0LB target. He’s a good run stopper, and LA was 28th in the league last year in rush yards allowed per game. If he earns the starting role, there’s a good chance he could be LA’s Todd Davis, which is a 2-down, limited production, role. Okoronkwo was Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year last year. He doesn’t have the size or athletic ability to be a full-time EDGE in the NFL, but he could have production at times.
JFM will play somewhere along the d-line. They may already be planning for life without Suh, who only signed a one year deal. I don’t see how Franklin-Myers produces this year without an injury ahead of him though.
San Francisco 49ers
3.06 Fred Warner MIKE BYU
3.31 Tarvarius Moore FS/CB Southern Miss
4.28 Kentavius Street 4-3 DE NC State
5.05 DJ Reed CB Kansas State
6.10 Marcell Harris S Florida
7.05 Julian Taylor 4-3 DT Temple
Warner has a fairly easy path to snaps. He profiles slightly better as a WILL, but to start, he’ll be backing up Reuben Foster at MIKE. That backup position seems to have surpassed Vontaze Burfict’s backup as the most useful backup LB position, seeing as there is a chance Foster never plays again. If Foster does play, Warner may eventually move to WILL, replacing Malcolm Smith who missed last year due to injury.
Moore was drafted as an FS, but there’s already talk of moving him to CB. He’s got the athleticism to play CB; the question becomes how will he get the snaps? Ahkello Witherspoon and Richard Sherman are locked in as starters on the outside. K’Waun Williams was the slot CB last season and projects to potentially be the same. And don’t forget Jimmie Ward who they’ve talked about converting back to CB to eliminate a little of the wear and tear. They had to have a plan to take Moore in R3, but he likely won’t be productive early.
Moore’s transition to CB doesn’t create extra job security for Adrian Colbert though. Colbert was the starting FS at the end of last season after a rash of injuries and IR trips for the Safety depth chart. John Lynch drafted Reed in R5. Reed was a slot CB in college, but Lynch has already said they plan on moving Reed to FS. Lynch seems to want players who can play multiple positions in the secondary. I’ll throw Reed on a watchlist for now.
3.15 Rasheem Green 4-3 DE USC
5.04 Shaquem Griffin WILL Central Florida
5.09 Tre Flower CB Oklahoma State
6.12 Jake Martin 4-3 DE Temple
Green was an @JuMosq Force Player. That certainly helps. He can likely earn snaps straight away, but it’ll be as part of a deep rotation. Frank Clark will be the DE1 getting a majority of snaps. Former R1 castoffsDion Jordan and Marcus Smith will split snaps at the other DE spot. Former R1 castoff Barkevious Mingo has been preparing for a base SAM role with some pass-rush snaps thrown in for good measure. Green will force himself into this rotation. It may take him some time to develop, but R3 EDGE rule in effect.
Griffin is a great story. Being reunited with his brother has such poetic appeal, I’m sure there will be a movie someday… At this point, I would assume he’ll be backing up KJ Wright at WILL. This won’t offer Griffin many opportunities to produce straight away. But Seattle would do well to get him on the field. I’m sure he’ll be a fan favorite immediately. Flower was drafted as a Safety but is being converted to CB.