Get those IDP Sacks – Defensive Ends

Our final rookie IDP dive brings us to the true flagship members of the modern NFL defence; Defensive Ends. Whilst nobody will remember the 2020 DE class as being anything special. There are a handful of players that could make your draft board. Let’s go.

Chase Young

What can I say about Chase Young that has not already been said? Any IDP fan worth their salt will be fully accustomed to the best player in the 2020 NFL draft. Without Joe Burrow’s record-breaking final year at LSU, Young would be a Bengal.

6’5″, 264lbs, with huge 10″ hands made to disembowel Quarterbacks. The Ohio State product is a generational talent. On par with recent draftees the Bosa brothers, Bradley Chubb and Myles Garrett.

How do 16.5 sacks, 46 tackles, 6 forced fumbles, 3 passes batted, and even a blocked kick sound? Young bullied college offences in 2019. He even setting an Ohio State record with 4 sacks and 2 forced fumbles in a single game. Not bad for a college boasting the aforementioned Bosa brothers and Mike Vrabel as graduates.

As long as he stays healthy, Young is a certainty for double-digit sacks every year. The rookie instantly upgrades not just the Washington defence but the Redskins franchise as a whole.

Unless you have an early 2nd round pick or reach in the 1st, you are unlikely to grab Young in a rookie IDP draft. That being said, IDP rosters with a deficit at Defensive End should have no reservation about paying up for the future Redskins great.

Yetur Gross-Matos

Following Carolina’s acquisition of 1st round monster Derrick Brown. Gross-Matos joined the Panthers 1 round later and is primed to make an instant impact on the NFC South. So how good is their new pass-rusher?

9.5 sacks and 40 tackles (15 for loss) during a final college season are impressive numbers from a 2nd round pick. Chase Young being drafted at 1.02 displays how hungry NFL teams are for elite edge defenders. While not quite at that level (and honestly who is ?), the Penn State product is a perfect fit for the Carolina franchise.

Built like a Linebacker, Gross-Matos has the supreme athletic ability to become a dominant edge rusher. At 6’5″ and 265lbs, the rookie fits the proto-typical modern NFL profile.

The Carolina coaching staff will be aching to get to work with their new rookie. At a mere 22 years of age and still early in his football development. The former Nittany Lion has plenty of time to build upon his athletic make-up.

Gross-Matos’ talent alone does not qualify him being second this list, he has also landed in the perfect situation. Carolina is attempting to build a championship-calibre defence to pair with Christian McCaffrey’s (deserved) mega-contract and Superbowl window. The revamped defence contains bags of potential and a sky-high ceiling.

The Penn State graduate will benefit heavily from being part of the Carolina defensive overhaul. Rather than being forced to fit a system. The new Carolina coaching staff will build schemes around Gross-Matos, Brian Burns, Kawann Short, and fellow rookie Derrick Brown. This will allow each member to showcase their skill-set.

Do not reach, but should he fall to you later in the draft you may be sitting on a future pass-rush master. Someone needs to run through those Derrick Brown forced collapsed pockets and fallen, offensive linemen.

AJ Epenesa

From a modern Defensive Edge prospect to a classic power-based defender. Buffalo’s latest rookie fits the rough, war of attrition style that the Bills favour on both sides of the ball.

Finishing his 3rd and final year at Iowa with 49 tackles (14 for loss), 3 passes batted down and 4 forced fumbles. The 6’6″, 280lb behemoth decimated the Big Ten and embarrassed both linemen and skill players.

While not as versatile or explosive as others in the class. The former Hawkeye instead uses a thick, wide frame to torment offensive linemen and tow skill players behind the line of scrimmage.

A lack of burst and finesse will not bother Sean McDermott at all. The Bills frontline boasts the powerhouse duo of Mario Addison and Ed Oliver. With Epenesa slotting in perfectly. Buffalo coaches will be daydreaming about transferring the rookie’s 14 tackles of loss onto the NFL stage as they look to push further into the post-season.

The Buffalo defence became a huge part of the Bills unexpected 2019 playoff run. Possessing a Quarterback as eager to run through the opposition as his linemen. This no-nonsense physical play turned Buffalo into the 1989-90 Detroit Pistons. Minus the championships.

Much like new division rival Kyle Dugger. Luxury picks joining already elite defences do not become IDP stars overnight. His sack count may never be sky-high but he can become a solid IDP option. A great deal of his fantasy value may depend on dual DT and DE eligibility. Another for the watchlist.

Marlon Davidson

2020 will be remembered as the year of college best friends both joining the NFL. K’Lavon Chaisson and Patrick Queen, DaVon Hamilton and Chase young and now Marlon Davidson joining Derrick Brown in the NFC South.

While Atlanta’s new rookie will look forward to facing former colleague Brown’s Panthers twice a year. The fellow Auburn graduate remains a lesser-known prospect. So what does Davidson bring to the city of Georgia?

A faster, slimmer candidate than Brown. The former Tiger actually recorded better numbers during the 2019 season. 48 tackles (11.5 for loss) and 6.5 sacks caught the attention of edge hungry NFL teams.

Having garnered a reputation for being a smart player with solid technique. Davidson can even contribute on special teams. A red-blooded, rugged fighter, the Auburn product impressed NFL scouts with an impressive week of practices during Senior Bowl week.

Davidson’s versatility may become his main obstacle to IDP success. Blurring the line between End and Tackle. The new Falcon can play a dual role on the defensive line. Atlanta has struggled against the run in a division with Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara and the Auburn graduate will be asked to become a run-blocker first.

Grady Jarrett currently runs the Atlanta defensive front with Takkarist McKinley and new singing Dante Fowler Jr. Davidson will be allowed time to grow into a solid run blocker and may find his playing time-restricted. Add to the watchlist or target on waivers.

Thanks for sticking with me through IDP week. i hope you’ve enjoyed these insight articles. Let me know if ive missed anybody or if you need any IDP advice on twitter. 

-Dre @lil_carat

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