As the fantasy football draft season reaches an apex in the coming weeks, individual defensive player (IDP) managers need to balance overreacting to rookies. Dynasty managers are likely worried about where to slot guys in vs. offensive guys. Below you’ll find the top 30 2023 IDP rookie rankings to help finish draft season strong.
This article looks at not only the player’s talent but also the landing spot and projected role both in 2023 and in the future. Unlike earlier rankings, this list takes a lot of offseason information into account as well to adjust from post-draft rankings. IDP scoring can fluctuate, and this is the scoring used here.
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2023 IDP Rookie Rankings 1-5
1. Will Anderson Jr., DL | Texans
2. Jack Campbell, LB | Lions
3. Tyree Wilson, DL | Raiders
4. Jalen Carter, DL | Eagles
5. Myles Murphy, DL | Bengals
Analysis: Anderson and Campbell kick off our 2023 IDP rookie rankings in the top two. Through the preseason, Anderson has been a menace on the field and seems likely to be a decent rookie contributor.
Campbell will, too, once he can lock in a starting spot. Wilson is a long-term project with a high ceiling. Carter could easily be third; however, he’ll be in a rotation in Philadelphia. Murphy has some of the best first-step quickness in this talented class and should carve out a solid Year 1 role.
2023 IDP Rookie Rankings 6-10
6. Lukas Van Ness, DL | Packers
7. Nolan Smith, DL | Eagles
8. Drew Sanders, LB | Broncos
9. Felix Anudike-Uzomah, DL | Chiefs
10. Derick Hall, DL | Seahawks
Analysis: Van Ness is still raw as a converted hockey player and will rotate as a rookie behind a talented pass-rush combo. Smith was a huge Combine winner, but his pass rush needs work, and he’ll be a part-time guy.
Sanders is a Year 1 stash who could start later in 2023 or 2024. Anudike-Uzomah jumped up when landing in Kansas City and should see plenty of snaps as a rookie. Hall was a predraft favorite who can climb the depth chart this season and play the pass and run well.
2023 IDP Rookie Rankings 11-15
11. Brian Branch, DB | Lions
12. Sydney Brown, DB | Eagles
13. Will McDonald IV, DL | Jets
14. Trenton Simpson, LB | Ravens
15. Daiyan Henley, LB | Chargers
Analysis: The first safeties, Branch and Brown, appear here. Branch has been a revelation at Lions camp and will likely see the field a ton this year. Brown should too, but it may not be full-time right away as he’s battling for it.
McDonald is a great prospect in a bad landing spot, but be patient with him. Simpson has elite traits and landed with a great team to continue learning. Henley is a favorite sleeper and showed out in preseason Week 2 vs. the Saints.
2023 IDP Rookie Rankings 16-20
16. Marte Mapu, DB | Patriots
17. Jordan Battle, DB | Bengals
18. Calijah Kancey, DL | Buccaneers
19. Keion White, DL | Patriots
20. Ji’Ayir Brown, DB | 49ers
Analysis: Marte Mapu is a massive rookie sleeper. He’s a safety-linebacker hybrid mainly playing LB and with the first team despite only recently being cleared for contact. Battle is in one with Nick Scott to start at safety, likely as a deep safety, minimizing his IDP impact.
Kancey is talented, but DTs take time. Nevertheless, he can get to the QB. White has earned regular playing time and is generating tons of pressure in the preseason with lesser talent next to him. Brown is talented but will likely have minimal utility in 2023.
2023 IDP Rookie Rankings 21-30
21. Jartavius Martin, DB | Commanders
22. Isaiah Foskey, DL | Saints
23. BJ Ojulari, DL | Cardinals
24. Devon Witherspoon, DB | Seahawks
25. Bryan Bresee, DL | Saints
26. Byron Young, LB | Rams
27. Dorian Williams, LB | Bills
28. Christian Gonzalez, DB | Patriots
29. Tuli Tuipulotu, DL | Chargers
30. DeMarvion Overshown, LB | Cowboys
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