Injuries and IDPs
Posted May. 19 at 10:47 PM
If you use individual defensive players -- IDPs -- injuries will play a huge part in your draft board. A number of very good options won't show up among 2007's leaders, thanks to games missed due to injury. And several other quality players are risky or best avoided in 2008 for the same reason. A few players to keep an eye on, and avoid, are presented below.
Paul Posluszny: Buffalo's second-rounder a year ago had 22 total tackles in his first two games before breaking his arm. The team's starting middle linebacker will be forgotten by anyone who enters their draft with rankings based entirely on 2007 stats.
Ko Simpson: Another Bill, Simpson was lost for the season in week 1 a year ago. He'll be the team's starting free safety this season. As a rookie in 2006 he had 76 tackles and 2 interceptions.
Jonathan Vilma: The former Jet led the NFL in tackles in 2005, but never fit into Eric Mangini's 3-4 defense in New York. Now with the Saints and coming off a leg injury, he's a strong candidate to start at middle linebacker this season -- odds that increased when Dan Morgan retired yesterday.
Daniel Bullocks: The Lions' second-year safety had a strong rookie season, then was hurt all of last year. He should post solid tackle numbers in a defense that might have trouble getting off the field this season.
Mathias Kiwanuka: The Giants' defensive end turned linebacker was just starting to get the position when he broke his leg last year. When he's on the field he makes plays. There's a chance he'll switch back to end if Michael Strahan retires -- but he'll definitely start somewhere.
On the other hand....
Dunta Robinson: The Texans' cornerback posted 80-plus tackles for three straight seasons from 2004-2006, but he tore his ACL last November and could miss up to half of the 2008 season.
Mike McKenzie: Like Robinson, McKenzie also comes off a torn ACL. There's a chance he'll be ready for the start of the season, but that's not a chance worth taking.
Yeremiah Bell: The Dolphins' safety comes off an Achilles injury, and although he put up solid numbers when he moved into the starting lineup in 2006, the team has brought in a lot of players at the position, making Bell no sure thing to start even if healthy.
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