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  • A Look Back at the 2023 IDPGuys Invitational Draft: Linebackers ADP vs. Our Rankers

    This year's IDPGuys Invitational draft went off without a hitch. There were 168 teams drafted across 14 different leagues! A new record for this event! (remember to please donate to the charity of your choice!) The draft kicked off on August 15th in the middle of the preseason and finished this past weekend. So, the immediate questions on everyone's mind are, "Who are the sneaky picks that challenge our rankers?" and "Who are the choice picks that defy our experts?" Let's dig in!

    Linebackers with higher ADP (than expected)

    Here are the picks we are most surprised by!

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    The Colts duo? - Zaire Franklin (LB6) and Shaquille Leonard (LB14)

    LB6 off the board is Zaire Franklin. Our rankers have Franklin as LB14. Entering his fifth year in the league, is Franklin positioned to continue his high rate of tackling (2022: 102 solo tackles, 167 combined tackles), especially with a healthy Leonard lurking around the corner?

    Alternatively, our rankers have Shaquille Leonard as LB44, but he went as LB14 in the IDP Invitational. Taken as early as the end of the seventh round and as late as the end of the 14th round; there's still a lot of uncertainty about whether Leonard can repeat his high rate of tackling in 2021 (75 solo tackles, 122 combined tackles), and that shows in his seven-round dispersion in the Invitational.

    Fluke or repeat winner? - Frankie Luvu (LB13)

    At an ADP of LB13, can Frankie Luvu repeat his 2022 appearance (76 solo tackles, 111 combined tackles)? Our rankers rank Luvu at LB28, a high-risk, potential reward linebacker who may have a repeat performance or show a slow decline. Luvu also entered his fifth year, like Franklin and Leonard.

    High expectations or a tackle god in waiting? - Nakobe Dean (LB9)

    At LB9, Nakobe Dean is one of the most surprising ADPs out there. Our rankers had him at LB22. Entering his second year, we haven't seen much from Dean (2022: 9 solo tackles, 13 combined tackles). With T. J. Edwards and Kyzir White gone, there's a lot of tackles ripe for the picking in Philly. However, our rankers are a bit more cautious with the Eagles' rising LB than ADP.

    Divine skill or rising devil? - Divine Deablo (LB26)

    Our rankers have Divine Deablo as a deep linebacker choice at LB41. At ADP of LB26, Deablo is reportedly wearing the green dot for another year. With a better performance in 2022, before injury (38 solo tackles, 74 combined tackles) and a less than stellar performance in 2021 (28 solo tackles, 45 combined tackles), should the faith still be there in year 3?

    Linebackers with lower ADP (than expected)

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    Green Bay sinker? - Quay Walker (LB20)

    Quay Walker is ranked as LB5 by our rankers. The Invitational's ADP of him was LB20. Our analysts consider him a steal. Entering his second year after getting 75 solo tackles and 121 combined tackles in 2022, is there anything but upside?

    Veteran replacement? - Ernest Jones (LB17)

    With Bobby Wagner leaving the Rams, Ernest Jones is primed to be their featured linebacker. His ADP in the Invitational was LB17. Entering his third year, Jones had 66 solo tackles and 114 combined tackles last year. With more opportunity, can he make those numbers larger? Our rankers think so, with a respectable LB9 ranking.

    Age before opportunity? - Matt Milano (LB22)

    Matt Milano, at 29, is a veteran linebacker. Drafted slightly below our rankers at LB22 (our rankers have him at LB16), Milano had 72 solo tackles and 99 combined tackles last year alongside consistent LB Tremaine Edmunds. With Edmunds now in Chicago, can the opportunity keep Milano at his peak?

    Thanks for reading! You can follow me on Twitter @engineerchange and we encourage everyone to sign up for next year's IDP Invitational here!

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