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IDP Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft (2021 Fantasy Football)

by Raju Byfield | @FantasyContext | Featured Writer
Jun 6, 2021
IDP Rookie Mock Draft Micah Parsons

Rookie draft season is officially underway. As IDP formats continue to grow in popularity, the demand for dynasty IDP content increases. Getting early information on which rookie defensive players are set to make an impact in 2021 and beyond is often harder to come by than it is finding information on the skill positions. With that in mind, we will take a look at a rookie mock draft using exclusively IDP players. We will briefly touch on each player and give recommendations as to when to target them in mixed rookie drafts. 

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1.01 – Micah Parsons (LB – DAL)
While he may not put up the numbers of a Devin White or Darius Leonard, Micah Parsons is the most complete middle linebacker prospect we have seen in years. He will have to earn his snaps but was drafted to start alongside Jaylon Smith (and replace Leighton Vander Esch). He should be able to put up 110+ combined tackles as a rookie and is considered the early favorite for defensive rookie of the year. Parsons is the future and the present of the Dallas Cowboys linebacking corps and should be viewed as an LB1 in dynasty. He should be considered anytime after 2.03 in rookie drafts, 

1.02 – Kwity Paye (Edge – IND)
Kwity Paye is a talented edge rusher who should shine on a line that features DeForest Buckner. A high motor pass rusher who can line up all over the formation, Paye has as high of a ceiling as any other pass rusher in this draft class and will get to ply his wares in a good situation. He has very little standing in the way of immediate snaps and should be an instant impact player for both the Colts and his fantasy managers. Paye deserves consideration in the mid-to-late second round.  

1.03 – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (LB – CLE)
Owusu-Koramoah appears to have landed in an ideal situation for immediate snaps. The Browns signed Anthony Walker this offseason but have little else standing in the way of JOK earning significant snaps this season. Mack Wilson, Jacob Phillips, Sione Takitaki, and Malcolm Smith will remain in the mix, however, so the rookie may see less than 80 percent of the snaps most weeks. He will also need to operate at a high level to avoid seeing a part-time role in 2021. With that said, he has a clear path to a long-term future as the Browns WILL and dime package linebacker. JOK can be considered in the third round. 

1.04 – Zaven Collins (LB – ARI)
Zaven Collins was a surprise selection in the first round but has saliva-inducing tools for the position. He is a strong fit for the Cardinals scheme and will get to focus on what he does best with Isaiah Simmons handling more of the coverage assignments. His rookie season outlook is cloudy based on what we saw with Isaiah Simmons’ usage last season, but perhaps a normal offseason will help prepare Collins to see a more immediate and consistent role as a rookie. Collins can be considered in the third round of rookie drafts. 

1.05 – Jamin Davis (LB – WAS)
Jamin Davis is set to be an immediate starter for Washington. An instinctive playmaker with sideline-to-sideline ability, Davis has the ability and role to be the top rookie IDP player in 2021. He may not have the upside of someone like Micah Parsons but has the clearest path to snaps for a linebacking corps desperate for a true answer in the middle. Davis has the highest floor of the IDP prospects in this class, not named Parsons. The Kentucky product should be considered in the third round of rookie drafts. 

1.06 – Jaelan Phillips (Edge – MIA)
Pro Day standout Jaelan Phillips may be one of the first three names off the board at the IDP positions in rookie drafts this year. He has a lower floor than one would like but has an excellent chance at being the top pass rusher from this draft class. The Dolphins are relatively thin along the edge aside from 2020 breakout player Emmanuel Ogbah, which is something that should help Phillips see meaningful snaps as a rookie. If he can net north of 70 percent of the snaps, he will vie for defensive rookie of the year honors and threaten 8-10 sacks for the season. Ogbah and Christian Wilkins will eat up enough blockers that Phillips will be left in one-on-one situations for most of his rookie season. He comes with a high degree of risk (he returned from medically retiring in college), which is why he has been placed here but has the upside to be the top IDP player from the 2021 NFL Draft class. 

1.07 – Greg Rousseau (Edge – BUF)
Gregory Rousseau had an elite redshirt sophomore season but did not get a chance to show evaluators that he had ironed out his weaknesses thanks to a poor Senior Bowl week. Still, this is the same pass rusher who lit the college football world on fire with 15.5 sacks in 2019. He opted out likey thinking he had done enough to warrant being drafted in the first round, potentially as the first defensive player off the board, but it was not to be. However, he still heard his name called on Day 1 and lucked into a great situation on a tremendous defense with an ascending front seven. Rousseau is rawer than his sophomore season suggests and may take a season or two before he fully comes into his own. With that said, it would surprise exactly no one if he wound up being the best edge rusher from the 2021 class by the time he and A.J. Epenesa take over as the full-time starters.

1.08 – Trevon Moehrig (S – LV)
Moehrig is a talented safety prospect but is expected to see the bulk of his snaps as a deep cover safety, limiting his IDP upside. He could see more snaps closer to the line of scrimmage if/when Jonathan Abram misses more time but is too good in coverage to take out of the defensive backfield too often. With that said, he still has DB2 upside, thanks to his ability against the run. Moehrig is an exciting prospect but does not have the upside of the safeties we saw drafted last year like Antonio Winfield and Jeremy Chinn

1.09 – Nick Bolton (LB – KC)
Nick Bolton is a pro-ready prospect who has a chance to carve out a meaningful role as a rookie. He is ready to make a more seamless transition to the pros than what we saw from Willie Gay Jr. last season and should be viewed as the future of the position alongside Gay. Ben Niemann remains in the mix to make things complicated behind Anthony Hitchens, but the Chiefs proved last year that they have more than enough snaps to keep three linebackers productive. Bolton offers what Niemann does to the team and should be able to usurp him in short order. Bolton can be left to the fourth or fifth rounds of rookie drafts.

1.10 – Ernest Jones (LB – LAR)
Ernest Jones is set to be the steal of IDP rookie drafts. The Rams defense has boasted a middle linebacker with weekly LB1 upside since James Laurinaitis, and that is not expected to change in 2021. Micah Kiser and Troy Reeder did admirable jobs when called upon, but their lack of long-term upside pushed the Rams to tap Jones in the third round. Jones is an upgrade on Kiser and Reeder but is in danger of being upgraded upon down the line if he cannot improve in pass coverage. He should be considered in the fourth round of rookie drafts. 

1.11 – Jevon Holland (S – MIA)
Second round pick Jevon Holland is set to start for the Miami Dolphins, and that alone makes him worthy of a top 12 rookie IDP selection. The Dolphins’ defensive scheme gives Holland plenty of upside as a weekly contributor, but expectations should be tempered since he projects best in a deep safety role. A ballhawk who will have more upside in interception-heavy leagues, Holland is worth a look in the late fourth round of rookie drafts. He deserves the tap over someone like Richie Grant due to projecting as a high-level, long-term starter. 

1.12 – Joseph Ossai (Edge – CIN)
Richie Grant, Jayson Oweh, Joe Tyron, and Pete Werner were also considered here, but Joseph Assai appears to have more long-term upside. With Carlos Dunlap and Carl Lawson now plying the wares elsewhere, Ossai is expected to slide right into a significant role for the Bengals. He will be backing up Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard and join them on the field in obvious pass rush situations. Once he fills out, he will be able to push Hubbard and Hendrickson in a three man rotation. Ossai has the speed and athleticism to develop into a 10 sack edge. Ossai can be had at the tail end of mixed rookie drafts. 

Start your early draft prep with our Mock Draft Simulator >>


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Raju Byfield is a featured writer for FantasyPros. For more from Raju, check out his profile and follow him @FantasyContext.

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