1st Round Rapid Thoughts: IDP Edition
By Joe Goodwin
In the 2023 NFL Draft, the “insert your favorite team here” selects,.....
We all know the line by now as we wait in anticipation for the completion of that sentence to include the next player selected to play in the NFL.
And with the next name called, we all begin to wonder if:
A player on my fantasy team instantly loses value because of an incoming rookie?
Or, does a player and team placement seem to provide instant IDP value?
I’ll take a “rapid” look at last night’s defensive picks and my initial thoughts on their IDP impact for 2023.
3rd Pick: Will Anderson, Houston Texans
A perfect match between player and placement. Will Anderson will require a significant draft investment, but he is well worth it. Anderson could be a top 5 DL in most formats and enters as a top 15 player as a rookie. Go out and get Anderson!
5th Pick: Devon Witherspoon, Seattle Seahawks
If the Texans moving up to 3 to take Anderson wasn’t shocking, the Seahawks taking Witherspoon had to take your breath away. Witherspoon is slightly undersized, but has sound technique and instincts to be a valuable IDP asset. I wouldn’t expect him to have an instant impact in IDP in 2023, but is a valuable taxi squad player worth rostering until his impact becomes real.
7th Pick: Tyree Wilson, Las Vegas Raiders
Love the player, like the fit. The Raiders already have Maxx Crosby as an elite DL in IDP. Is there room for a team to have 2 elite DL’s? Wilson was the best edge rusher in the Big 12 and it wasn’t even close. Wilson is extremely talented and worthy of a taxi squad spot right now in the hopes he turns into an elite edge rusher along side Maxx Crosby..
8th Pick: Jalen Carter, Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen Carter looked a bit out of shape during the combine amid his legal troubles. I would assume he was preoccupied with things other than football. The infrastructure is in place for the Eagles to allow Carter to mature and dominate. Be warned that the Eagles love to rotate players on the DL and it may take a year or two before Carter is really IDP relevant. He needs a taxi spot, but don’t count on him being impactful year one.
13th Pick: Lukas Van Ness, Green Bay Packers
I don’t think I saw a player mocked in different parts of the draft more than Van Ness; some had him top 10, others in the teens, and still more had him at the end of the 1st round. I like the placement with the Packers and I can envision solid, overall production, but I question the IDP impact. Van Ness was not a starter for a mediocre Iowa team. If you have room to roster Lukas, have at it. I just like other DL players more.
15th Pick: Will McDonald IV, New York Jets
There is a lot to like in New York lately. Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner headlined last year’s draft class with award-winning seasons. McDonald will start as a situational pass rusher for the Jets. After drafting Jermaine Johnson last year, and having Carl Lawson, McDonald will have trouble exceeding a 40% snap share. He’s an interesting player, but I don’t like this fit for IDP purposes. Similar to Van Ness, there are better choices at DL.
16th Pick: Emmanuel Forbes, Washington Commanders
Ok, so I will admit that I am not a huge fan of a guy that weighs less than 170 lbs being effective as a cornerback in the NFL. I don’t see how he can muscle bigger players to the ball. That being said, his tape doesn’t lie. Forbes has technique and speed for days. And his ability to convert turnovers to touchdowns is outstanding. I don’t know if he can be an effective IDP player because he does not provide much in run support (aka tackles). Obviously, if he converts picks to touchdowns, he would be useful. I just don’t see that happening right away. He’s only worth a taxi squad spot if you're in a deep IDP league.
17th Pick: Christian Gonzalez, New England Patriots
As soon as the Commanders passed on Gonzalez, I was confident the Patriots would take him. And, they did….quickly. Gonzalez has all the tools and traits necessary to succeed in the NFL. The knock on Gonzalez could be his inability to create turnovers; only 4 interceptions over 3 years at Oregon. I love the fit and skill set to be an immediate impact player for the Patriots. Gonzalez may not be a top 12 DB this year, but he has all the tools to become one in the future.
18th Pick: Jack Campbell, Detroit Lions
Quite possibly one of my favorite players and fits for IDP purposes. Although some might argue the Lions could have dropped some spots, added draft capital, and still taken Campbell; that’s not the purpose of this article. Don’t be fooled by the pundits saying it wasn’t a good pick. Campbell is tall for the inside and that should create turnovers and passes defended. Although it is tough to break into the linebacker elite in IDP, Campbell should be considered to have a real shot to do so. You may have to wait a year to really capitalize on the pick, but he is worth it!
19th Pick: Calijah Kancey, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I was getting a little tired of seeing all the Kancey/Donald comparisons just because they went to the same college. Kancey may turn into a fine player, but putting such lofty expectations on an “All Decade” player in Aaron Donald is not fair. Stating that, there is a lot of potential for Kancey to instantly tally 8 to 10 sacks in year one. The key to his value is how many tackles for loss and tipped passes he can deflect to add to his fantasy point potential. For now, Kancey is a deep sleeper with plenty of upside for the next 5 years.
25th Pick: Deonate Banks, New York Giants
Deonte Banks is just a solid, all-around player. He has speed for days, and can reliably make tackles. I don’t know how much upside Banks has in creating turnovers; which is key for corners in IDP. I like Gonzalez and Witherspoon more, but Banks will be in the discussion as one of the top DB’s for fantasy purposes.
27th Pick: Mazi Smith, Dallas Cowboys
Mazi is a big man. Mazi is a strong man. Mazi will clog the middle allowing Micah Parsons to roam free. For IDP purposes, it helps Parsons, but does not translate into IDP potential for Smith. He is a run stuffer, but not ideal to rack up fantasy plans. Probably best to wait and see on Mazi Smith in IDP.
29th Pick: Myles Murphy, Cincinnati Bengals
This is another player and fit that I love. Murphy showed in the ACC that he can get after the quarterback; totaling 18 sacks the past 3 years. Murphy joins Sam Hubbard and Trey Hendrickson to form a dynamic edge rotation that will cause havoc for opposing teams. Murphy is an ideal taxi squad candidate as he works to establish himself with a consistent snap share in the Bengals defense.
30th Pick: Bryan Bresee, New Orleans Saints
Clemson players go back to back. And, like Murphy, this is a great fit between player and talent. Bresee is as good against the run, as he is getting pressure and collapsing pockets. These traits are great for football, but they don’t always translate to IDP stardom. Bresee is a great taxi squad stash; especially if you must start DT. Otherwise, you may have to wait a year to see Bresee fully establish himself as an IDP starter.
31st Pick: Nolan Smith, Philadelphia Eagles
Nolan Smith joins 3 other Georgia Bulldogs currently on the Eagles roster. Similarly to Jalen Carter, selected 8th overall, the Eagles will rotate lineman and limit Smith’s potential in the short term. Selecting Nolan Smith in fantasy will require some patience before he realizes his full IDP potential. Add Smith to your taxi squad, and monitor his usage, before depending on him as a full time starter in your fantasy leagues.
32nd Pick: Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Kansas City Chiefs
Anudike-Uzomah will join George Karlaftis to provide a potent pass rush in K.C. Felix has good rushing ability, but will need to establish himself on the edge as a run stopper. If Felix can effectively do that, he will be a fun stash in IDP leagues as he grows into the position. He is not a plug and play starter in fantasy, so lower expectations in year one.
There is a lot to like in Round 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft. Players like Will Anderson, Christian Gonzalez, and Jack Campbell seem destined for IDP stardom. While others like Will McDonald, Emmanuel Forbes, and Mazi Smith appear to have limited upside as fantasy contributors. For now, it's fun to see if our player investments turn into IDP gold as we get to live out our fantasies of being NFL decision makers.
What round 2 players will make the most impact?
Check me out @JGoody77 on Twitter to find out my thoughts!
Full time teacher, full time fantasy sports enthusiast. I try to look at fantasy sports through my own lens and share that vision with my readers I love to explore and find new, and exciting fantasy football options including: C2C, dynasty, IDP, and Devy. See me on Twitter @JGoody77
Always willing to give advice, reach out via Twitter