And now let’s finish up the IDP Draft Preview by looking at some of the best defensive backs in this April’s NFL draft. Of course, some players’ stocks will rise or fall based on who drafts them, but it will help to get a quick “scouting report” on these players to see if they may be able to help your team (dynasty or otherwise) next year and in seasons to come.
Eric Berry (S - Tennessee): It’s a good draft for big-time talent at safety this season. Berry and USC’s Taylor Mays headline this class. Berry may not have the height you’re looking for in a top-flight safety, but he has incredible and explosive speed, is super tough, and will play well against the run and pass. He’s been compared to Ed Reed, so that’s a great start. He can play both safety and corner, too.
Taylor Mays (S - USC): Mays has all the tools and measurables and is a ridiculously talented athlete. He’s a big hitter that has great range both against the pass and run. He’ll need some polishing at the NFL level but will eventually be an all-pro type of talent.
Earl Thomas (S - Texas): Thomas led the Longhorn defense and will be yet another solid Texas-Ex defensive back who will perform well in the NFL. From the get-go in 2008, Thomas was a solid tackler in the defensive backfield and grabbed 8 INTs in his 2009 campaign. He has the speed to keep up with almost every NFL WR, but may need to bulk up a bit to handle the grind Sundays will put you through.
Joe Haden (CB - Florida): Haden is probably the best CB prospect in this draft. He’s an able tackler who has a knack for getting to passed balls. He amassed 218 tackles in three seasons and has a solid size-speed ratio.
Chad Jones (S - LSU): The Tiger program churns out the defensive studs, and Jones should be a solid performer in the NFL in a 2-3 years after he proves he can defend against both the pass and run. He only had 5 INTs in his 3 seasons, but was an able tackler in his 2009 season.
Javier Arenas (CB - Alabama): The Tide featured a solid defense in their quest for the national championship, and Arenas was one of the leaders in the secondary. He’ll be a solid return man in the NFL, which could up his stock fantasy-wise.
Kyle Wilson (CB - Boise St.): With the Broncos program improving, you have to pay attention to their stars entering the draft. Wilson has terrific timed speed, instincts and can hit, both in the pass and run game. He may not have the ideal size to match up with today’s bigger NFL wideouts, but he has the intangibles and athleticism to matter despite his size.
Myron Rolle (S - Florida St.): Rolle enters this year’s draft after a year hiatus to study as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford. So to say he’s a smart player is a bit of an understatement. But add in the fact that he has the pedigree and solid numbers in three seasons as a starter as a Seminole. His 40 time won’t impress anyone, but he has the size and playmaking ability to make the Rolle name matter in fantasy football once again.