Post-Draft IDP Winners & Losers: AFC
Which IDPs have had their situations improve post-draft? And which ones have been put on notice by their team's recent moves?
NFL teams can lie to us all season long, but when it comes to how they spend their money, the truth always comes out: what decision-makers think of their roster, what the outlook is for that season and beyond, and which players might not be on the roster much longer. Now that free agency and the NFL Draft are in the rearview mirror, it’s the perfect time to see which IDPs are “winners” and “losers.”
This is less a judgment on how we value these players, and more a stock check: which players have their arrows pointing up, and which ones are, sadly, arrow down?
Let’s get into it, starting with a disappointing (but still young) linebacker in Buffalo.
Winner: Tremaine Edmunds
This might raise some eyebrows, but two months ago a lot of people were sure Buffalo was planning on drafting a replacement for Edmunds. That didn’t come, and the ever-youthful (he’s only 24 still!) Edmunds gets one more shot on his 5th-year option to try and earn a future payday, more likely from another squad and not the team that’s seen his woeful coverage skills for the past four seasons.
Loser: K'Lavon Chaisson
Chaisson was firmly in the back end of the rotation last year, not even clearing 400 snaps across the season. He also performed below average in the snaps he did play. It’s easy to think this experiment is done—Travon Walker will more than likely slot in as a like-for-like replacement (at least), sounding the death knell for the former 2020 1st rounder’s IDP value (if there’s anyone unlucky enough to still be holding him).
Winner: Odafe Oweh
There’s a correlative relation between good coverage and sacks: strong pass rush helps DBs and great coverage helps pass rushers. The Ravens had one of the most depleted secondaries last year so there was no help to be found. This draft, they went out and added to their D-Line/EDGE with Travis Jones and David Ojabo. Now, we’re not sure if Ojabo plays this year, but even if he doesn’t, getting back Smith, Humphrey, and Peters, and drafting Hamilton has the arrow pointing firmly up for Oweh.
Loser: Chuck Clark
It feels weird saying that a player who played 100% of his team's snaps last season at a decent level is a loser. But Clark is the odd man out in Baltimore: they drafted Hamilton, who has been called a Derwin James level prospect, and also shelled out $70 million for Marcus Williams. Even if he’s not replaced completely, barring a catastrophic injury, he won’t be on the field for 100% of snaps again.
Winner: Josh Allen
Allen took a massive leap forward in his third year, not only in playing time, but quality of play as well—all the while facing multiple blockers on 24.6% of his pass rush attempts. Walker is raw and unpolished, but he should garner attention. Will he play over Duwane Smoot right away? We’ll see, but we do expect Walker to be an upgrade over the Jihad Ward/Chaisson combo. This should free up Allen to take on a single blocker on a few more of those pure pass-rush attempts.
Loser: Chad Muma
We understand it’s odd for a player to get his projected draft capital and still come out a loser, but hear us out. Jacksonville looked like a prime landing spot at the beginning of free agency with the release of Myles Jack, and after tackling machine Joe Schobert was traded late last year. Then they backed up the Brinks truck for Foye Oluokun and drafted Devin Lloyd in the first round. Muma was probably your favorite IDP analyst’s sneaky favorite linebacker pre-draft. But now it’s crowded as hell there, and he’s got the least amount of money/draft capital to work with.
Winner: Patrick Queen
Queen was bad last year, so much so that he lost the “Mike” role to Josh Bynes. We’re not making excuses for him, but we do remember the talent he showed in flashes in his rookie year. Baltimore couldn’t stop a runny nose on the ground last year, but with a new defensive coordinator/scheme, and the Travis Jones + Kyle Hamilton additions, plus no direct linebacker replacement taken in the draft, there’s still a tiny sliver of hope for Queen to get it together this year and reach his potential.
Loser: Khari Willis
Willis is really talented but could be labeled “injury-prone,” as he’s never played more than 14 games in a single season. And now, he’s on the last year of his rookie deal. The Colts drafted two safeties in the 2022 draft, and while 7th rounder Rodney Thomas II doesn’t move the needle at all, Cross is an athletic missile who attacks ball carriers with reckless abandon. (Sound familiar?) Willis is on now on notice and might struggle to get the big payday unless he can stay on the field.
Winner: Quinnen Williams
Remember when Williams was drafted and he was the next Aaron Donald/Ndamukong Suh? Yeah, us too. Well, we’re coming into Year 4 and that’s nowhere in sight. So, why do we think he’s a winner? New York added an elite shutdown corner and a borderline blue-chip edge rusher in the draft. Jermaine Johnson isn’t Thibodeaux or Hutchinson, but he’s good enough that Williams won’t face multiple blockers 48.5% of the time on his pass-rush snaps like he did last year. Our main hope, though, is an increase in snaps and an injury-free season.
Losers: Vonn Bell/Jessie Bates
Three teams went safety in the first round of the 2022 draft: the Ravens, Vikings, and the… Bengals! Daxton Hill is a versatile player who can play all over the secondary, so we’ll see who this hurts the most. But Bell is in the last year of his deal, and Bates is on the tag (which he already said he’s not planning to sign), so you’d assume one of them might be working out their notice before moving on.
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