In IDP dynasty leagues, rookie linebackers are critical components of your draft strategy. You ignore them at your peril as you can have a great offense but if you don’t have at least a decent defense you won’t win in these leagues. And you won’t have a decent defense if you don’t draft linebackers.
This year though the waters are cloudy. The consensus top four guys are Myles Jack, Jaylon Smith, Reggie Ragland and Darron Lee. Smith and Ragland our out for the year injured and Lee is running strictly with the second team at this point in the Jets camp. Jack is carving out a role but will not hit it big until Paul Posluszny cedes his job, which most likely won’t happen this year.
So, what are eager rookie drafters to do? Well, if you can get Jack in the second take him. Smith and Ragland are only worth late 4th or 5th round fliers at this point. Lee I believe will come around eventually and he’s worth a 3rd. But there are other options. Here are a few:
Deion Jones, MLB ATL – Paul Worrilow got the start for the first preseason game but Jones has been running with the ones. He’s expected to start and if he does he’s in a high volume tackle position. Don’t hesitate to take him in the third.
Blake Martinez, ILB GB – Martinez was just supposed to be a nickel LB this year but he has impressed and is running with the first team.
Antonio Morrison, ILB IND – Morrison is not starting…yet, but he’s everything they thought he was, tough, intelligent, gritty. He will probably take over during the season and never look back.
Josh Perry, ILB SD – Perry was Lee’s sidekick at Ohio State and is making a name for himself in San Diego. He’s not starting just yet but word is that they like his progress and is certainly a stash for next year.
Others to keep an eye on during the pre-season include BJ Goodson, Nick Vigil, Kamalei Correa and Scooby Wright.