9 Breakout Defensive Linemen to Target in 2018 IDP Leagues
The key to your IDP drafts is finding those late-round diamonds in the rough. It's easy to select Khalil Mack, Joey Bosa, and the known commodities at defensive line. The difficult part is trying to pinpoint late-round targets at the position.
Below you will find a list of under-the-radar or breakout defensive linemen to target later in your IDP drafts, either because they've earned a three-down role, are coming back from injury, or find themselves in a new position or role due to a scheme change.
Myles Garrett, DE, Cleveland Browns
Garrett will be a top sleeper choice this season, and with good reason. He managed to string together solid stats in 11 games during his rookie year.
Garrett dominated during his 2016 season at Texas A&M with 8.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. His average yardage loss on sacks was nearly seven yards, while his average loss on tackles for loss was five.
In 11 games during his rookie year (518 defensive snaps), he recorded seven sacks. His tackle rate was on the low side (6%), however, he didn't miss on many attempts (3 total), and he flashed pass-rush abilities that made him the consensus top pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. Garrett also generated a 12.3 percent pressure rate on 300 pass-rush snaps.
I still wish the Browns went Bradley Chubb to play opposite Garrett, however, they're confident in Carl Nassib and Emmanuel Ogbah to contribute on blitz packages. Garrett has tremendous upside heading into his second year. If he puts together a 16-game season, I don't doubt his abilities to reach double-digit sacks if he's able to sustain a double-digit pressure rate.
Takkarist McKinley, DE, Atlanta Falcons
McKinley had the luxury of playing alongside vets and wasn't thrust into NFL action during his rookie year.
McKinley enters his second season in the league with momentum and a clear path to more snaps, especially with Adrian Clayborn heading off to New England. Although he didn't start any games last season, he did appear in all 16 games and received 400 defensive snaps. He turned in a solid rookie year, converting six of his total pressures into sacks and generated an 11.4 percent pressure rate. He actually turned in a solid sack per snap rate—one sack for every 67 snaps.
McKinley is still progressing from offseason shoulder surgery, however, he's participating in individual activities during OTAs. He'll benefit from Vic Beasley moving to the edge from Sam linebacker, so he'll have some help on the opposite side. He should be slotted in for a starting role and he's more than capable of reaching double-digit sacks in 2018.
Markus Golden, DE, Arizona Cardinals
Continue reading to see which other defensive linemen Mike believes are in store for a breakout season...