Punch Drunk Wonderland

2013 Fantasy IDPs: Ranking Rookie Linebackers

LB Kiko AlonsoThere are several rookie linebackers. that should make a mark on the IDP landscape in 2013.  I’ve previously mentioned rookies Jon Bostic and Sio Moore as potential under-the-radar guys, but there are certainly more rookies with potential. Below is a look at how I rank the top rookie linebackers of 2013.

1. Kiko Alonso (MLB, Bills)

Alonso is going to be an every down linebacker for Buffalo, and he has the potential to be a huge IDP this year. He’s playing behind a fairly stout defensive line and he has the athleticism and smarts to get where he needs to be. He will be a huge factor. This is the rookie linebacker you want in 2013.

2. Arthur Brown (ILB, Ravens)

Brown is stepping into Ray Lewis’ old spot. Those are big shoes to fill, but he has the athleticism to pull it off. He may not be the team leader that Lewis was, but he should be a far more quick and athletic option in the spot.

3. Alec Ogletree (OLB, Rams)

Ogletree has big potential and the Rams are looking to build him into the player they need. Coach Jeff Fisher has brought in former player, Keith Bullock, to mentor the young linebacker. Evidently, Fisher sees some Bullock in Ogletree. That’s a good sign because Bullock had an All-Pro career for Fisher in Tennessee and was an an excellent leader on defense. The Rams definitely see the potential in Ogletree and are grooming him for a big leadership role.

4. Jon Bostic (MLB, Bears)

Bostic is a Chicago kind of linebacker. He’s physical, athletic, tough, and smart. Middle linebacker is a storied position for this team, but he has the potential to be the next guy. He’s been competing with veteran D.J. Williams and it was looking like Williams would be the Week 1 starter at MLB, but things have changed since D.J. injured his calf in preseason. Indications are Bostic might just keep the starting job at the opening of the season. Regardless, Bostic can play all three positions and will see plenty of play. Look for him to be big.

5. Sio Moore (OLB, Raiders)

Moore is going to be used as a hand-on-ground rusher on passing downs for Oakland, and Coach Dennis Allen has big plans for him as a disruptive force. Allen says he plans to use Moore in a similar way he used Von Miller during his time in Denver. That means rush rush rush. Oakland hasn’t had much of a rush threat in recent years, so Moore has the potential to make an impact.

6. Manti Te’o (ILB, Chargers)

Fake girlfriend, bad decisions, and lackluster Combine and BCS Championship performances aside, Te’o has strong potential. He’s a physical player and strong tackler with good football smarts for the position. Manti looked solid in training camp and should be starting come week 1 assuming his foot sprain is healed.

7. Jarvis Jones (OLB, Steelers)

Jones has some shoes to fill stepping into the James Harrison void in Pittsburgh.  That said, he’s looked great in preseason. His preseason performances have him climbing up the charts.

8. Kevin Minter (ILB, Cardinals)

The suspension of Daryl Washington puts Minter in a lock for a big role early in the season for Arizona. Minter is a fast, hard hitter with potential to rack up the tackles.

9. Bjoern Werner (OLB, Colts)

The current thinking is Erik Walden will start opposite Mathis in Indy, and in nickel packages Mathis will move to the strong side with Werner coming in as “rush” linebacker on passing plays.  This shows the team favors Walden’s ability to defend the run, but prefer Werner as a disruptive rusher. While he won’t be an every down guy, Werner will see plenty of snaps and has potential for big plays.





K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...