9 Rookie Defensive Linemen 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 line 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 DLs I like to contribute for their owners in 2020.
Chase Young, DL, Washington Football Team
Death, taxes, and another dominant Ohio State edge rusher drafted in the top-five of the draft. Thankfully, the Redskins transitioned to a 43 base defense with the hiring of Ron Rivera. Had they remained a 34, it would have had quite an impact on his IDP value.
Young was Thanos in most games, as he was quicker than a snap of the gauntlet off the ball and left opposing linemen in the dust. He’s as close to a perfect prospect as you can get. Some will say he disappeared, but in a lot of situations, it took three guys to keep him at bay, he was that much of a disruptor off the ball. He has plus-size strength, athleticism and length - so, really, think Dr. Smolder Bravestone from Jumani when thinking of strengths and weaknesses. Once Young is keyed in, he also targets the ball, so he’s going to be a strip-sack machine. He can give up some field when setting the edge.
In just 320 pass-rush snaps, Young recorded a near 18% pressure rate, resulting in 18 sacks. Tackles went up in each of Young's three seasons as well, and he finished with 40.5 tackles for loss - producing an 8% tackle rate in 2019. Young joins a talented defensive line that loves to get after the QB. He's is a pressure monster and should see around 700 snaps this season and has double-digit sack upside as a rookie. Depending on your scoring, he could be your 1.01 in IDP rookie drafts. In redraft, I’d target him as a high-upside DL2. I still wouldn’t be upset if he was my DL1 in redraft.
K’Lavon Chaisson, DL, Jacksonville Jaguars
Although Yannick Ngakoue is still on the team, we might have his replacement here in Jacksonville. It's a really good spot for Chaisson on a 43 squad, and he'll be lining up opposite Josh Allen.
What’s amazing about Chaisson is that he picked up football later on and only played a few years of high school ball, and was still a top recruit. As a freshman, he showed his flashes, recording two sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss - generating an 11.3% pressure rate. Chaisson has a sleek bend which allows him to get under offensive linemen and has a sturdy lower body. He has a hand swipe that’s tough to defend. You hear the term “speed to power” and he possesses that with a solid bull rush. His durability could be questioned - missing 2018 due to a knee injury and a few games in 2019 due to an ankle. He’ll sometimes lose contain on the edge, which is where his weakness in the run stems from.
Chaisson came on strong down the stretch of his 2019 season, and ended up recording a pressure rate of 9.5%, while also recording 60 total tackles - including 13.5 for a loss. He notched 4.5 of his seven sacks over the last three weeks of the season. He’ll need to develop some secondary moves, but I do like the upside in Jacksonville. If Ngakoue sticks around, it will limit some of his 2020 production, but as of now, he’s my second rookie DL off the board behind Young. In redraft, he’s shaping up to be a DL3/4.
Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Carolina Panthers
I think Gross-Matos is going to be a problem for offensive linemen and I love the pick for Carolina. I wanted him to get drafted to a 43 defense and that’s what happened here, as Carolina is in the process of rebuilding their defense from a 34 to 43. Gross-Matos joins a youthful, but talented, defensive line.
YGM has the athleticism of an LB in the body of a defensive lineman. He has the tools and makeup to be a dominant rusher. He has length and quick swim move which allows him to get by opposing offensive linemen in a hurry and a good bull rush. Although the majority of his snaps came outside, he was productive when he kicked inside to the b-gap (over the tackle and guard). He’ll also chase down plays and not give up when he can’t get to the QB. He needs to develop quicker hands and become a bully, which is what I think will happen in Carolina.
After recording nine sacks in two seasons, he exploded for 11 in 2019. He’s still considered a bit raw and he just turned 22, so there’s a lot to fill out here. Gross-Matos finished the 2019 season with an 11.5% pressure rate, while also recording 40 tackles - including 15 for a loss, so he’s going to be a disruption in the backfield. He’s going to play alongside Brian Burns, Kawaan Short, and fellow rookie Derrick Brown, so the Panthers have the makings of a dangerous defensive line. He’s my third DL in rookie drafts and has the upside of a DL4 in re-draft.
Javon Kinlaw, DT, San Francisco 49’ers
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