9 Rookie Defensive Backs to Target in IDP Leagues in 2020
The 2020 redraft season has officially begun, now that the draft has come and gone. It seems like a few weeks ago we crowned the Chiefs as champs, and now we’re all a living stereotype - locked up in our basements for the time being. I hope everyone is healthy, as we head into the strangest off-season of our lifetimes.
Podcast: 2020 IDP Rookie Preview
We have a new pool of defenders to sift through, but how about their landing spots? In this article, I’ll look at the defensive back position and who’ll have an immediate impact in IDP leagues for the 2020 season.
We have some shiny new toys to draft, however, we’ll temper expectations on production, but these are the DBs I like to contribute for their owners in 2020.
Xavier McKinney, S, New York Giants
The Giants helped fortify the backend of their secondary adding McKinney in the second round. I think they added the top safety in the draft and I think he can be a difference-maker in Year 1.
After appearing in just 97 snaps in 2017, McKinney stacked two very good seasons together for the Crimson Tide. He has the triple crown of traits - versatility, awareness and athleticism. He can play deep and be their ballhawk or play up near the line and make tackles in space. He’s capable of playing in all packages and personnel types. He has good footwork and change of direction. McKinney's ball-tracking makes him a threat to turn the ball over at any time. He will look at the QB before jumping a route.
I am going to plant my flag here and say he’ll play more up on the line. I look at McKinney as their Landon Collins replacement and I think they'll utilize him in a similar manner. McKinney recorded a 9.7% tackle rate over the course of his 2018 and 2019 seasons - including 95 tackles and an 11.5% rate in 2019. Although he did play the majority of his snaps in the box and slot, he played a deep role, so he’ll have big-play upside to go along with his tackles. I like McKinney as the first safety off the board in rookie drafts and will be targeting McKinney as my DB3 in redraft.
Grant Delpit, S, Cleveland Browns
The Browns needed safety help and they addressed it with Delpit. Delpit is another safety from LSU that includes the likes of Jamal Adams, LaRon Landry, Tyrann Mathieu and Eric Reid.
I think his 2018 season is more indicative of the safety he can be compared to 2019, especially when it comes to his coverage abilities. Cleveland is going to improve their tight end coverage with Delpit up near the line. He’s a tough player and will announce his physical presence with authority and let his play do the talking for him. His 2019 play can be partially attributed to an ankle injury, but you won’t hear him using that as an excuse. Delpit also has good anticipation in coverage. His range is average and his inconsistencies in pursuit cause him to miss on plays, as he had 36 missed tackles over two seasons. Delpit also needs to wrap up when tackling.
Delpit recorded an 8.1% tackle rate over three seasons at LSU and notched five INTs in his 2018 season. He’s going to be used all over the field, and I can see him being Jamal Adams-lite for Cleveland’s defense. He'll play up near the line against pass-catching backs and tight ends, while also blitzing. He’ll have the chance to make plays in coverage, as well. Delpit should be the second or third safety off the board in rookie drafts - and I’ve seen him go in the 4th/5th round, so you shouldn’t have to expend too much capital on him. I like him as a DB3 in re-draft.
Jeremy Chinn, S, Carolina Panthers
Carolina didn’t do much to address the safety position during free agency, but landed the guy they wanted in the draft in Chinn.
Chinn has great speed, allowing him to cover ground quickly. Carolina should utilize his coverage skills, something they’ve been missing at the safety position. He needs to be engaged with the play and not sitting and waiting on that play. He takes sharp angles, thanks to his speed. He’s not afraid of contact and will body up and make tackles. Chinn closes in on plays and has good recovery if he gets beat. He just doesn’t have those instincts and will get baited out of position.
Chinn is raw, but he’s looked at as Eric Reid’s replacement. Chinn recorded a 10.8% tackle rate in 2019, while also recording four INTs. Chinn is a multifaceted athlete who can play box, slot and play that center-field role, which is what he’ll be asked to do in their 4-3. I think Carolina could use Chinn as their big nickel safety and should be asked to play up in coverage on tight ends. I think Chinn should be the second or third safety off the boards in rookie drafts.
Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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