Top 7 2023 NFL Draft IDP Losers

The 2023 NFL draft is complete and in total, there were 259 players drafted, 129 of which were IDP selections. Cornerbacks led the way again with 36, followed by 30 linebackers, 22 defensive ends, 21 defensive tackles, and 20 safeties.

Coming out of the draft every year we identify players and teams that “won” on draft day. The reality is we will have to wait until September to see these rookies play relevant games and provide us with fantasy results. Regardless, identifying who we feel landed on the right team, and going into why, is just too fun not to debate.

Click the links for our full, up-to-date, Dynasty IDP Rookie Rankings (2023) and Rookie PPR and IDP Combo Rankings (2023) over on the website.

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2023 NFL Draft IDP Losers – Isaiah Foskey, DE, New Orleans Saints

The Saints have been trying to find a dependable edge rusher across from Cameron Jordan for a while. Cameron himself will be 34 this season and his contract is up after the year, so they need to be looking for a replacement for him at this point as well. Marcus Davenport fizzled out after the Saints traded up to get him at Pick 14 in 2018. They drafted Payton Turner was drafted 28th in 2021 and has played in 13 games and had 3 sacks.

Trey Hendrickson had one good year (2020) for the Saints before leaving in free agency, but you have to go back to 2013 and 2014 when Junior Galette had 12 and 10 sacks, respectively, to find the same player not named Cameron Jordan having two good pass rushing seasons for the Saints.

Carl Granderson is likely still starting across from Cameron Jordan this year, and the Saints also have Tanoh Kpassagnon, a 2017 2nd-round pick from the Chiefs, for depth. This should be a good spot in theory but I don’t have much faith in the Saints pass rushers outside of Cameron Jordan.

Foskey is a long, athletic pass rusher with good size who had a very good career at Notre Dame. He wins with speed but can be contained if caught by the offensive linemen. He does not have a lot of different pass-rushing moves and will have to add functional strength to excel n the NFL. He profiles as a situational pass rusher for the Saints to me, and I don’t see a lot of IDP value here.

2023 NFL Draft IDP Losers – Keion White, DE, New England Patriots

I liked Keion White a lot predraft, and I still do. I just do not like where he landed team and scheme-wise, and that has him falling in our rankings. Keion went pick 46 in the 2nd round to New England, and Bill Belichick uses a heavy rotation across the defensive front, which Keion will be inserted into.

There have been good Edge players in New England over Bill’s time there (Matt Judon, Chandler Jones, Richard Seymour, etc) but there rarely have been two at one time, and Matt Judon has one spot locked down. Deatrich Wise had a career year last year, and Josh Uche started to come on, while they still have Christian Barmore inside. Overall this is too crowded of a group for me to get excited about right now, and I don’t see that changing while Bill is the coach.

2023 NFL Draft IDP Losers – Drew Sanders, LB, Denver Broncos

One of our favorite players predraft here at RotoHeat, Drew was regularly mocked late in the 1st round, or early in the 2nd. He ended up being the second inside linebacker taken, falling to pick 67 in the 3rd round.

Long term this can still work out for Drew; he is versatile in that he has played both inside and outside in college at Arkansas, where he was very productive in his one year there. Denver is planning to use him inside, and therein lies the problem. Josey Jewell has one year left on his deal and Alex Singleton just signed a three-year, $18 million deal this offseason.

Both players were highly productive last year. Jewell had 128 combined tackles in 13 games, and a smattering of big plays to go with a 71.7 overall PFF grade. Alex had 163 combined tackles in 17 games, didn’t have many big plays, but sported a 79.1 overall PFF grade.

I (and the RotoHeat IDP Team) still like Sanders long-term. This is just a bad spot for first year value, and if Josey were to be resigned this offseason it may be even longer before we get a return on Sanders for our IDP leagues.

2023 NFL Draft IDP Losers – Adetomiwa Adebawore, DT, Indianapolis Colts

Seen as a last first, or early Day 2 pick by many, Adetomiwa fell to pick 100 in the 4th round. Adetomiwa showed flexibility at Northwestern to play defensive end or defensive tackle, but it sounds like the Colts will try him initially try him at defensive tackle.

Similar to Sanders, the landing spot is unfortunate for immediate value. Adetomiwa, coming in at about 6’2″ and 280lbs, is undersized for an NFL defensive tackle and he will have to adjuster to the large, more talented competition (when compared to college). DeForest Bucker and Grover Stewart each had great years last year and each is entrenched in the starting lineup for 2023.

Grover is an unrestricted free agent after this year, and DeForest is after 2024. Adetomiwa could end up in a starting spot after this year, but that assumes a lot about his play and the contracts of Grover and DeForest coming up. It is a nice spot in terms of learning from veterans, but disappointing for IDP managers.

2023 NFL Draft IDP Winners – Antonio Johnson, S, Jacksonville Jaguars

Slides can happen for a variety of reasons for a pick. The overall draft class, medical issues we are not privy to, attitude issues, etc. Sometimes there is never a good reason found after a slide. Nearly every place I looked at mock drafts prior to this draft had Antonio going in the 2nd or 3rd round of this draft. Clearly, everyone got something wrong, as he fell to Pick 160 in the 5th round.

Antonio had good numbers at Texas A&M the past two years, but part of his fall may have to do with poor athletic testing. Everyone can have a bad day and I feel he looked better on film than he tested or where he was drafted. Time will tell, but for now, he is stuck in a logjammed secondary in Jacksonville.

Andre Cisco, Rayshawn Jenkins, Daniel Thomas, and Andrew Wingard all saw time at safety, and have all started for the Jaguars at various points. Cisco and Jenkins look like the starters again, so Antonio will have to play special teams and try to earn a spot as a backup.

2023 NFL Draft IDP Losers – Christopher Smith II, S, Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders are seemingly always cycling through players and picks in an effort to fix their secondary. Trevon Moehrig was a 2021 2nd rounder, and Marcus Epps was signed away from the Eagles for two years, $12 million this offseason.

Draft projections were all over the place for the former Georgia safety. Many had him as a Day 2 pick at the latest and some had him down in the 5th round. In the end, the 5th round range was the better projection, as he went at pick 170 in the 5th round.

Christopher does have a championship college pedigree as part of the Bulldogs for the past five years. He can play both safety spots and nickel corner and that versatility may be the key to him sticking on the roster. If he does, he has a harder road to hoe ahead of him than many expected.

2023 NFL Draft IDP Losers – Ivan Pace Jr, Linebacker, Minnesota Vikings

A hyperproductive linebacker the past two years of college at Cincinnati, Ivan was projected to be a mid-Day 3 pick by many draft analysts. He was also PPF’s #1 rated linebacker in college football for 2022. Unfortunately, his small size (5’10” and 231 lbs.) worked against him and he went undrafted.

Top 7 2023 NFL Draft IDP Losers
Data courtesy of Sports Reference

Going undrafted is not a complete death knell but is a significant blow for his potential opportunities. Ivan will have to make it as a special teams player to start, and thankfully his intensity, football IQ, and strength will give him a good chance to find a role there.

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