If you're looking for immediate help from this class, then you should grab your guy early in your dynasty rookie draft.
The 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft featured 4 defensive players among the 1st 9 selections and 13 defenders overall. But 6 of those guys play CB, and another 2 line up at DT. Those are generally the 2 positions of lowest value in IDP leagues -- both based on the numbers they produce and how replaceable they are.
The Edge group begins with a player who looks like the surest thing in this class, but it quickly gets iffy (or worse) after that.
It's a good year to get a LB with both immediate appeal and long-term upside. And you might be able to find quick help at DB as late as the NFL Draft's 4th round.
Here's my top 40 overall, with positional rankings below that. Of course, scoring formats differ quite a bit and could alter your approach. If you get more points for sacks and/or score QB hits, pressures, etc., then bump up the edge rushers. I marked the Edge players in the LB section below.
1. Chase Young, DE, Washington
In 2019, Young earned the best pass-rushing grade that Pro Football Focus has handed out since it started grading college players in 2014. As a true sophomore the year before, he racked up 75 total pressures. He led this class in sacks per game by a healthy margin last year (1.38 vs. Alex Highsmith's 1.15 at #2). And Young averaged 1.19 tackles for loss per game for his Buckeyes career. He wins in any way you can measure. Landing with a Washington defense that's switching to a 4-3 front delivered the final piece: a DE designation. Put it all together, and you have the clear top IDP option among 2020 rookies.
2. Isaiah Simmons, LB, Cardinals
Simmons left the board 15 picks before the next LB taken -- and looked like a steal at that point. The versatile defender led the class with his elite speed score and matched it with production. His final college season alone delivered a dream IDP line: 104 tackles (16.5 for loss), 8 sacks, 8 passes defensed, 3 INTs, 2 forced fumbles. Simmons' 12.5% share of solo tackles ranked 10th among the LB class, particularly impressive considering the strength of Clemson's D. In Arizona, Simmons should quickly push D'Vondre Campbell aside.
3. Kenneth Murray, LB, Chargers
Murray ranked 3rd in the LB class in speed score, 9th in 2019 solo tackles per game, 4th in tackles for loss per game and tied for 8th in career solos per game. Murray racked up 257 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks over his final 2 college season, while spending all 3 years as a starter. His 1st-round landing with the Chargers points to immediate 3-down duty.
4. Patrick Queen, LB, Ravens
Queen started just 16 games across 3 college seasons. He didn't even open 2019 in the lineup, entering only after Michael Divinity got suspended. But Queen spent the rest of the season impressing, especially in coverage. Pro Football Focus graded him 12th-best among FBS off-ball LBs in that facet. Baltimore spending a Round 1 pick on him proves they were impressed, and the Ravens sport an immediate need for full-time snaps at ILB. Expect Queen to fill that role right away. The fact that he won't turn 21 until Aug. 13 certainly doesn't hurt his long-term outlook.
5. Logan Wilson, LB, Bengals
Wilson leaps over a few earlier drafted LBs here because of the opportunity in front of him and his college production. The Wyoming alum started 52 college games. He delivered 94+ total tackles and at least 7.5 tackles for loss every season. Wilson graded out well in run defense, coverage and as a blitzer, according to Pro Football Focus. He then finished off the profile with an 82nd-percentile 40-yard dash and a 71st-percentile 3-cone drill. In Cincinnati, Wilson should hit his 1st training camp (if that happens this year) as the favorite to win the MLB job and stay on the field in all packages.
6. Jordyn Brooks, LB, Seahawks
Does Brooks replace K.J. Wright this year and allow the Seahawks to cut the veteran's contract? Or does he take over Mychal Kendricks' vacated role ahead of Cody Barton? Either way, the 1st-round draft capital suggests Seattle expects Brooks to be a factor quickly and for a while thereafter. Brooks ranked 5th in the class in speed score and delivered strong production: 4th in solo tackles per game for 2019, 6th in solo-tackle market share, 1st in tackles for loss per game and 5th in career solos per game. Brooks presents long-term versatility. He played OLB over his 1st 3 seasons before moving to the middle as a senior. So he could ultimately even grow into the heir to Bobby Wagner.