This article is part of our IDP Analysis series.
Keanu Neal, LB, Cowboys
Heading into Week 1, Neal and rookie Micah Parsons were designated as the nickel linebackers, while Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith earned base defense duties. During Thursday's 31-29 loss to the Buccaneers in which Tom Brady attempted 50 passes, Neal and Parsons played more than 75 percent of snaps while Vander Esch and Smith played fewer than 25 percent. While their snap share could decrease moving forward, Neal and Parsons held their own in the run game, and they could secure every-down roles eventually. Regardless, we can expect the Cowboys to use plenty of nickel packages because of how efficient their offense is, meaning Neal and Parsons have an edge in this battle.
Logan Ryan, FS, Giants
Ryan is making a seamless transition to safety, lining up all over the formation and delivering 10 tackles, a quarterback hit and a fumble recovery during Sunday's 27-13 loss to the Broncos. He generated 8.5 sacks between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and his coverage skills are tight from his time as a cornerback. The 30-year-old probably retains more upside than we originally thought.
Trey Hendrickson, DE, Bengals
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins went down easy last year, getting sacked on 7.0 percent of his dropbacks (25th in the league). Hendrickson couldn't get to him Sunday. Instead, backup B.J. Hill took Cousins down twice. Buy the dip on Hendrickson. He's a proven pass rusher with 13.5 sacks last season. The Bears are his Week 2