As any Individual Defensive Player (IDP) fantasy owner can attest, the defensive lineman position has become quite the fickle mistress. With the proliferation of hybrid 3-4 defensive schemes leading to the position designations of players once deemed to be a defensive end being switched to outside linebacker, it is becoming harder and harder to secure high-scoring defensive lineman talent in IDP formats.
Even more difficult to find are rookie defensive lineman prospects that have a relevant fantasy impact on their IDP squads.
Adjusting to the speed of the NFL game as well as getting the number of snaps to put up decent numbers is a difficult task for most rookies and it generally takes a year or two for them to develop and blossom into viable fantasy options. While each of the players on this list is a dynasty draft selection for certain, some may be avoidable in redraft formats depending on the size of the league and roster limits.
1. Dion Jordan, DE, Miami: The Dolphins traded up to the third position to land the athletic 6-foot-6, 250-pound Jordan and will be able to utilize him in a number of ways. First and foremost, he can be the edge rusher lining up opposite defensive end Cameron Wake that the Miami defense has lacked the past few seasons.
Jordan already possesses excellent edge rush skills, and, while he needs to add some bulk to his frame, he has also shown the versatility to be able to drop into coverage. The ability to hold his own in coverage will serve him Jordan well in both Miami's 4-3 base defense as well as a hybrid 3-4 should the Dolphins employ it. He will see a lot of snaps as a rookie and holds solid DL4 fantasy value with the definite upside to reach high-end DL2 numbers.
2. Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, DE, Detroit: Ansah fills an immediate need on the Detroit defensive line, as the Lions are desperate for an edge rushing threat from the defensive end position. With his limited exposure to football having been well documented (dare I say, beat to death), Ansah does know one thing already and that is how to get up the field.
He is freakishly athletic at 6-foot-5 and 271 pounds with an explosive burst off the snap and will have little competition from Jason Jones, Willie Young and Ronnell Lewis in landing a starting job for Detroit. The duo of Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley at the defensive tackle position will force offensive lines to focus attention on the interior, freeing up Ansah to do what he does best in 2013 - get after the...