2021 NFL Draft

2021 Fantasy Football IDP Rookie LB Analysis

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Welcome back for a look at my 2021 Fantasy Football IDP Rookie LB Analysis!

The dust has finally settled on the NFL Draft and it’s time to dive into what landing spots are likely to pay the most dividends come the 2021 NFL Season!

I’ll be taking into account how good I believe a player is as a current prospect, as well as the likelihood they’ll find themselves in a starting role this season. Some players will have an opportunity to shine early in their careers, while others may take time to develop.

Keep up with me and my offseason content, where I’ll be getting into all sorts of Dynasty content such as Rookie Mock Drafts, Rookie Stashes and much more over on YouTube!

I’ll be diving into the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, so let’s dive into some 2021 NFL Draft Linebacker Landing Spots!

2021 Fantasy Football IDP Rookie LB Analysis

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The 1st Rounders

Micah Parsons, Dallas Cowboys (Pick 12)

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This is a pick that shocked a lot of people early including me. Why would the Dallas Cowboys select a linebacker so early when they already have Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander-Esch? Simply put it’s the same reason they drafted Ceedee Lamb when they already had Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup.

The Cowboys often defer to grabbing the best player available and working out the kinks later.

This is a situation I’ll be interested to see play out. Sean Lee did just retire, however this year he only played nine games and when LVE was healthy he saw minimal snaps.

One way or another I see Parsons getting steady work early. To me, he’s starting to look like a value because it seems as though his landing spot hurt his chances to produce early. However, if you believe in the talent as I do, he’s worth a shot sooner than you might think.

See his Draft Profile here.

Zaven Collins, Arizona Cardinals (Pick 16)

Seeing Arizona invest heavily this offseason should’ve tipped their hand that they would be addressing defense early in the draft.

However, I was fooled. It was a surprise to see them address linebacker again after addressing the position early in the 2020 Draft selecting Isaiah Simmons at eight overall.

What is more interesting is it seems they intend to start him at inside linebacker in Jordan Hicks position. Saying this immediately after the draft is extremely concerning for Jordan Hicks shares, but lends an opportunity for another rookie to hit the ground running with production early.

See his Draft Profile here.

Jamin Davis, Washington Football Team (Pick 19)

This pick surprised me especially with Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah still on the board.

I’m personally not a huge fan of Davis. But his draft capital suggests he’s going to be given an opportunity immediately. Along with that and taking a look at his competition at the position, which is near zero, he’s a day one starter on a good defense.

The reason I’m not as big of Davis is this: he only has one year as a starter at Kentucky. He played for three seasons and wasn’t good enough to start until his third.

Do you know any great Kentucky linebackers he would’ve been buried behind that he couldn’t win the starting job outright from? That compacted with his solo to assisted tackle ratio (48-57) gives me concern.

He’ll have every opportunity to succeed. I’m just a little pessimistic here.

The Second Rounders

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Cleveland Browns (Pick 52)

This is arguably one of the best fits of the entire draft in my opinion. I think JOK slid due to his lack of size for the position. However, he lands in Cleveland who needed linebacker help badly.

On top of the need at the position, he fits what they’re looking to improve on which is coverage in the intermediate. Last year they just didn’t have the linebackers to keep up in coverage. But now they’ve found their answer.

JOK is a day one “can do anything” starter.

See his Draft Profile here.

Nick Bolton, Kansas City Chiefs (Pick 58)

This is a pick that I’m certain pissed a lot of people off. Seeing as the Chiefs drafted Willie Gay last year and sat him to develop him. It was expected he would have free reign at the position this season. However, that may not be the case.

To me, Nick Bolton needs work as well. I think he needs to work on his build and navigating traffic as well as making secure tackles.

At the end of the day I think he’ll make a nice compliment to Willie Gay who I see as more of a pure run defender who can pass rush some. Whereas I see Bolton as more of the one who can drop into coverage and tackle as needed.

See his Draft Profile here.



Pete Werner, New Orleans Saints (Pick 60)

This was an interesting pick and one that was considered a reach by some. However, Pete Werner actually finds himself in a position of opportunity early in his career.

The Saints brought in Kwon Alexander last season as they continue to search for a piece alongside Demario Davis. After yet another injury-plagued season, Kwon Alexander was released.

Werner is a very steady eddy player. He’s not flashy, he’s not an athletic freak, but he’s a reliable player that can find himself with opportunity early. Which is half the battle.

The 3rd Rounders

Joseph Ossai, Cincinnati Bengals (Pick 69)

Ossai falling to the top of the third round was a surprise to me, but nonetheless, he finds himself in a position with a great opportunity. The Bengals had to address the defense in some capacity in this draft and they did a great job of it.

Ossai was a huge value in the early third. I thought he was a talent that could warrant first-round a draft pick. He’s an athletic freak and a playmaker that can play an EDGE/OLB hybrid to a tee.

I wish he would’ve ended up in a defensive scheme that was better at developing talent, but I’m rooting for the talent to win out here.

See his Draft Profile here.

Chazz Surratt, Minnesota Vikings (Pick 78)

I was pretty pumped to see my boy Chazz Surratt receive day two draft capital. Albeit to my rival Minnesota Vikings. But I’ll take what I can get.

This pick screams stash and let develop to me. Eric Kendricks is on the tail end of his career (and his contract) and Anthony Barr is coming off a serious injury.

The depth in that linebacker room isn’t much to fear. But there are still players he’ll have to leapfrog to gain a meaningful role.

He’s a stash for now, but someone I’m monitoring closely. See his Draft Profile here.

Malcolm Koonce, Las Vegas Raiders (Pick 79)

The Raiders are still chasing the elite pass rusher they traded away. They’re so desperate they’ve turned to the same fishing hole they pulled Khalil Mack out of.

Koonce has a reasonable amount of collegiate production, but nothing off the charts.

Looking at his film he looks like a developmental piece to me. But there’s a chance he sees opportunity on a defensive front looking for ANY amount of pressure from its pass rushers.

Monty Rice, Tennessee Titans (Pick 92)

This is 100 percent an insurance pick if they are unable to reach a long-term deal with Jayon Brown this season. At least in my opinion.

Rice bears a striking resemblance to Jayon Brown when it comes to their size and even their play style. But for the meantime, he’s buried behind Jayon Brown, Rashaan Evans, and quite possibly even David Long.

He’s a stash for now, and we’ll wait and see.

Ernest Jones, Los Angeles Rams (Pick 103)

This is one of the low-key best landing spots for a linebacker in this draft. This is the highest the Rams have selected an off-ball linebacker since 2013 when they drafted Alec Ogeltree in the first round.

Compounded with the fact that the only competition in LA is Troy Reeder and Micah Kiser, who were undrafted and drafted in the fifth round respectively.

Here’s a thread from some random dude on Twitter that explains the situation beautifully.

Baron Browning, Denver Broncos (Pick 105)

Personally, I wasn’t a fan of Baron Browning in the pre-draft process. But his landing spot is low-key interesting.

He never had a ton of production in college as he was never a full-time player. To me, that’s a red flag but you know, moving on.

I thought he was just a very bland player. Could do a bit of everything but wasn’t elite at anything and I thought he was a somewhat poor tackler.

There’s a video I wish I could find, where he blows up the full back to get into the backfield and get at the running back. Everyone loses their mind and that’s because they stop watching after he blows up the fullback. They miss the fact that he short arms the tackle on the running back and misses the tackle and allows the running back to bounce outside for a decent gain.

This landing spot will offer him the opportunity with someone that can coach him up in Vic Fangio. While I’m still not personally high on the player, I’m willing to admit there’s upside to his game and this landing spot.



Conclusion

Thanks for checking out my 2021 NFL Draft Linebacker Landing Spots! Stay tuned for the other IDP Positions!


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About Bob Van Duser

Here to shed some light on the IDP side of Fantasy Football. With years of experience I intend to expand the horizons of players and show them how exciting IDP can be in their leagues, as well as providing a reputable source to those who play in IDP leagues already but may want to see a differing opinion or may be looking for further details and research

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