IDP Corner: Real Deal or Pretend Player 2017

These first three weeks of the preseason are not always going to produce the next great superstar but, these weeks can provide insight of who may fall into a more prominent role. We now have a sample size of what some of the underdogs from camp can do. Week 4 is such a crap shoot of teams letting first stringers go a whole half… or 4 snaps, so it’s time to analyze what we’ve seen. We will be looking at the top 3 producers in tackles, sacks, and passes defended and try to determine if these are the real deal or pretend players. (Totals are through 3 games).

Top 3 Tackles:

Nick Vigil, LB CIN – 21 tackles, Real Deal. With Kevin Minter moving to the middle and Vontaze Burfict looking at a potential suspension, Vigil will be looking at some real playing time for at least the first quarter of the season.

Chase Allen, LB MIA – 21 tackles, Pretend Player. A middle linebacker by trade, if Allen was going to have a chance to get serious field time the Dolphins wouldn’t have signed Rey Maualuga.

David Mayo, LB CAR – 23 tackles, Real Deal. While Thomas Davis is back for another year Mayo stands a chance to see plenty of playing time given that Davis is 34 years old this season. Shaq Thompson will also get plenty of reps with Davis’ diminished role.


Top 3 Sacks:

Arthur Moats, OLB PIT – 3 sacks, Pretend Player. At 29 Moats has had plenty of chances to prove that he is worth seeing enough playing time to produce worthwhile numbers.

Shelby Harris, DE DEN – 3 sacks, Pretend Player. A 2015 7th round pick, that didn’t make the 53 man roster that year, Harris’ production is a victim of garbage time production.

Derek Barnett, DE PHI – 3 sacks, PUSH. Barnett has plenty of talent, he’s currently behind Vinny Curry, who only has a loose grip on the starting job. There are other players on the line in Philadelphia that will take snaps away from him.

*There are 8 players that had 3 sacks in the 3 preseason games, Moats and Harris are highlighted because they also produced the most tackles, Barnett was highlighted due to his notoriety from the draft* 


Top 3 Passes Defended:

Vernon Hargreaves, CB TB – 4 passes defended Real Deal. Already a starter for the Bucs, Hargreaves making plays this early in the preseason confirms his ability to produce last year.

C.J. Smith, CB PHI – 5 passes defended, Pretend Player. The only stat of significance that Smith has produced this preseason have been his passes defended and a forced fumble, other than that it’s been 2 total tackles. While this could justify Smith getting work in Dime defenses, he’ll not see enough time on the field to make significant stats.

Jaylen Hill, CB BAL – 5 passes defended PUSH. It’s nice to see a rookie put together some good stats over the preseason. Currently buried on the depth chart, Smith should be justifying his presence on the 53 man roster, and if he continues to produce could see more time mid to late season.

You’ll notice that none of these players cracked our Top 50 IDP list, but all of these Real Deal players are added to my watch list going into the start of the season if they weren’t there already.

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