Early 2020 NFL Draft Prospect Rankings
With the College Football season about to get underway, i am releasing my top 32 prospects from my summer scouting process. Please note that these rankings are subject to change as we roll closer to the 2020 NFL Draft.
1- Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama:
Size and physicality questions arise from Jeudy’s tape study; however, the Alabama pass catcher is an all-around product who consistently finds technically sound ways to effectively get into position to make plays. He disconnects from coverage with a blend of play speed and route running savvy, while having the body control and ability in space to challenge second and third level defenders after the catch. I would love to see him add further armor to his frame in order to acquire more physicality in his game.
2- Grant Delpit, SAF, LSU
Elite safeties in today’s NFL are almost required to be equipped with ball skills, range, and just a knack for being a difference making playmaker. Delpit fits the blueprint that top flight NFL safeties such as Eddie Jackson are providing, and has the exciting skillset to step in and become one of the best the game has to offer.
3- AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Even though Epenesa does not blow by offensive linemen off of explosions of menacing straight line speed, he has the combination of traits to debilitate blocks on the edge and to get into sack range. He is a blueprint 4-3 defensive end fit, and has an easily translatable range of skills to be a cornerstone of an NFL defense. With all the tools necessary to be a successful edge player in the league, he is a player that i am betting on to raise his stock immensely this season as he gains more exposure through enhanced playing time.
4- Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Moses is an advanced LB prospect athletically speaking, and also shows blends of instincts when manning the middle of the field. The former 5-star recruit mixes processing speed with play speed to put him one (or multiple) steps ahead of the offense when diagnosing run plays, and he also has the ability to scrape and finish on the ball carrier. Dylan Moses is an extremely well rounded LB prospect for his experience level, and I project him to have an immense amount of impact at the next level of football.
5- Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Herbert is gifted with a crop of natural traits that are enticing enough for me to slot him as my early number one overall Quarterback for the 2020 NFL Draft. His arm strength ranks in the upper echelon of recent draft picks, as the velocity he garners on drive throws possess the needed heat to blow through condensed zones, and he can also carry passes vertically. The Oregon QB has plus ability to feel and maneuver from pressure, and has tuck-and-take ability to move the ball as a runner. In order to solidify a top spot, Herbert needs to work on properly measuring his body rotation when set to throw, as well as fix his tendency to make errant throws into closed windows. Lastly, the consistency he provides on film leaves me wanting more from his performance, so that will need to be corrected if he is to stay at my top QB spot.
6- Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tua is a talented athlete who is well equipped with pro passing traits. He has the arm talent to sling it to all 3 levels of the field with varying velocities, and he is an overall accurate QB. Tagovailoa’s athleticism and pure passing ability bodes well for a higher degree of success at the next level, but he will need to show more this upcoming season to move into my QB1 spot
7- Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
When going through Chase Young’s tape at Ohio State, its easy to discern that he exemplifies the speedy and bendy pass rusher that is popular in today’s NFL. When he turns on the burners, Young fires off the line of scrimmage and challenges pass protectors with his ability to utilize a move and flatten. If he adds more consistency on a down-to-down basis, Young will skyrocket into a top 3 spot on my board.
8- Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn
Brown is an exceedingly long and powerful interior player who has quality athleticism and power. He unholsters his hands with violence and strength in order to create a jolt to his opponents frame, while also producing enough displacement to push the pocket. Brown also shows that he can use his length and power to effectively stack and shed, and he can leverage himself underneath blocks when double teamed.
9- Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Right Tackle, Left Tackle -- it doesn't matter for Wirfs because his skillset is indicative of future success at either of the tackle positions. Wirfs is an excellent athlete for his size, and mixes mauling capabilities with foot quickness. As a pass setter, he has sound feet and properly adjusts his cadence to mirror up the arc. Wirfs is also a talented drive blocker, and has the necessary torsion strength to clear out his gap on run downs.
10- Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
When trying to illustrate what an NFL Offensive Tackle is supposed to look like, some of the first traits that come to mind are length, agility, functional power, and foot quickness. Andrew Thomas fits the parameters of the position, has immense upside, and the value he carries by being an athletic left tackle with multiple trait boxes checked off will almost certainly put a high grade next to his name come April. If Andrew Thomas can improve how he fits his hands high and outside at times as well as some other technical inconsistencies, then he will ultimately become a top flight blocker in the league.
11- CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
CeeDee Lamb is not necessarily going to “wow” evaluators with his play speed, but he is a skilled route technician with the ability to manipulate corners within his route progression. What stands out the most when diving into Lamb’s film is his hand and body utilization when playing the ball. He is able to tactically use his hands to gain space, and he shows the body control to contort to the ball. His hand strength and arrangement of other position specific nuances will put him in position to have a huge year as Oklahoma’s top receiving option.
12- Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
In the current blueprint of multiple NFL teams, we see decision makers acquiring dynamic matchup threats who offer a high quantity of playmaking ability that is aimed towards debilitating the defensive personnel. Laviska Shenault fits the mold that multiple clubs are trying to get their hands on, and he will offer a day one impact as a well rounded receiver with extreme line-up versatility. He fits as an outside and inside WR, and his mixture of separation ability, hand strength at the catch point, and RAC capabilities will open up the pro offense that he is drafted into. His next season at Colorado should be a productive one, and he will have the opportunity to solidify his stock with the product that he puts on the field.
13- Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Hall is a long, athletic outside corner with the coverage skills to stay in phase through the receiver’s route. He possesses the long speed to carry pass catchers vertically, and Hall leverages himself so that he can effectively pin his opponent to the sideline. When closing from off coverage, the UVA corner is springy out of his stance and tightens the appropriate ground to jump routes and bring the ball in the other direction. Hall’s most special attributes are his ball location skills, and his aggressiveness at the catch point. Even though he is my top corner in the early stages of my 2020 scouting process, he needs to develop his hand usage when in press, and needs to successfully process routes on a rep-to-rep basis.
14- Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
Biadasz is a player who possessed an NFL skillset last year, but received a “return to school” grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Committee. His range of talents is immensely well rounded, and its easy to see on tape that he is a light footed mover at the Center position with the movement skills to slide laterally and mirror Defensive Linemen. On run downs, he reaches his aiming point through precision angles, while using his placement skills and finishers mentality to torque and drive defenders out of the play. He has the ideal combination of traits that are desired for Interior Offensive Linemen at the next level of play.
15- Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Adebo is a long, and fluid corner who has impressive route matching skills through his easy hip movements, acceleration ability, and deceleration ability. When playing the top of the receiver's route, Adebo is able to read cuts early, is urgent to breakdown, and crowds the breaking point effectively. The Stanford Corner utilizes his hands well enough to prohibit unchallenged route transitions, while keeping the route blanketed without any extra attention from the refs. Adebo also has the length and ball skills to challenge the catch point, and he is an aggressor on run downs. He carries a bag full of elite CB traits, and I expect him to make a big move up my board.
16- Jeffrey Okudah, CB Ohio State
Okudah has many of the traits necessary to be the next elite Ohio State CB, as he shows fluidity, length, mirror ability, and ball skills. On film, Okudah appears raw at points when processing, and needs to utilize his hands better when within the range to press the receiver. But overall, Okudah has elite foot quickness and make up speed, while also having the room to evolve his technique.
17- Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
As Greedy Williams’ former counterpart on the perimeter at “DBU”, Fulton outshined the highly touted second round pick with his solid play on the field. Kristian Fulton is adept at staying in-phase when playing the route, and he is an aggressive player who can make successful attempts to get his hands on the ball in coverage. He usually does well to open and run with receivers, and flashes a good amount of patience in the early stages of the play. Fulton should shine this year as LSU’s top corner.
18- Xavier McKinney, SAF, Alabama
McKinney is an impressive athlete who shows off disciplined tackling technique and adept man coverage abilities. His instincts and processing in zone coverage allow for him to key and diagnose offensive concepts quicker, and he can set up throw windows in order to bait QBs into making high risk throws. McKinney sets himself apart with his matchup versatility, and his wide ranging skillset should warrant a high selection in the 2020 Draft.
19- Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
Ruggs is likely the most explosive prospect that we’ll see coming out of this draft class. His straight line speed creates for destructed pursuit angles from the defense, and if mixed with developed ability as a route runner, we could see Henry Ruggs drafted very high in the 2020 Draft.
20- CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Henderson is a long, slender player who has the quickness, fluidity, and grit to succeed as an outside Corner. Henderson makes plenty of splash plays due to his impressive ball skills and make up speed, and will make a living in the league as an established leader and sticky cover Corner.
21- D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Swift excels at running within the structure and analyzing zone flow, as he displays the vision, patience, and processing to easily hit the optimized run lane. He’s exceedingly shifty and fluid through the hips, and he snaps off upfield cuts with with extraordinary ease. The ability to break away on a long run is there for Swift, and he also possesses the functional speed to make plays in the first and second level of the defense on a consistent basis. Lastly, Swift makes clean attempts on the ball as a pass catcher, and can turn his frame upfield after the catch to rack up yards for the offense.
22- Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Versatility and athleticism are the two words that most accurately sum up Simmons’ game. The Clemson defender has the skillset to make a splash in the league as either a Linebacker or Safety, and his combination of traits, such as his length, athleticism, ball skills, and coverage ability will make him a highly regarded prospect leading up the April’s draft. Any teams looking for a SAF/LB to fill multiple roles along the defensive formation will be taking a long look at Isaiah Simmons.
23- K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
K’Lavon Chaisson has been getting some hype on Twitter recently, which is fitting due to his impressive athleticism and the flashes that he has put on tape over his time at LSU. He will be coming back from a season-ending ACL injury that he sustained vs Miami last year, and I am expecting him to come back with more refinement in his game. The LSU pass rusher shows explosive ability as a pass rusher, and while he didnt show consistent hand moves and counters on tape, you see plenty of examples of twitchy hands and body movements to separate from blockers. Chaisson has an NFL body type and the upside to be a top 10 pick.
24- Reggie Floyd, SAF, Virginia Tech
His range combined with his enforcer-like mentality drew me to drop my jaw when viewing this guys tape. Floyd is just one of those energizers on the back end who plays with all types of effort and energy when attacking the football. His hitting style is violent, he has the ball skills to turn the field around, and he shows that he can process his assignment in zone coverage.
25- Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Etienne is a bona fide home run hitter at the RB position, and has ZERO issue taking it to the house from anywhere on the field. His long speed and ability to accelerate on a dime make him a constant threat to gash the defense, while also have the change of direction to cut into a run lane in the first and second level of the defense.
26- Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Yetur Gross-Matos is a freak of nature as an exterior pass rusher due to his exciting athletic ability. My 28th overall prospect makes multiple big plays as a backside pursuer of the run due to his closing speed and effort, and he has the ability to stack and shed in order to clear blockers from his frame. You’d like to see more consistency in his deployment of pass rush moves and counters, but he shows a lot of the prerequisites to be a successful NFL player.
27- Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
The NFL loves lengthy Cornerbacks who have quickness and physicality from press and off alignment. Diggs fits that description, and offers a good amount of long speed and ball skills for his size.
28- Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
Holmes is undersized, but entices me with his smooth, and quick mirror skills in coverage. The UCLA Cornerback stays patient early in the rep, consistently plays attached to the receivers hip, and has the long speed to stay connected on vertical routes. Holmes has the make-up speed to close ground on routes, and has no issue shifting his head around and ultimately making a play on the ball in the air. Darnay Holmes’ assortment of skills, such as his processing, quickness, and fluidity definitely fit the mold of current Nickel Corners in the league.
29- Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
While Love doesn't attend a school from one of the power 5 conferences, you see a lot of traits in his game that suggest he can be a first round pick. He has a live arm, and unloads the ball urgently with quick arm and wrist action. The Utah State QB excels in putting enough arc on his throws to layer the ball over defenders, and flashes tight throws with a quality amount of gathered velocity. Lastly, he has the mobility to escape the structure, while being able to put together impressive throwing reps when on the move.
30- Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
Humphrey wins reps in a consistently leveraged stance that allows him to work under defenders and create movement. Mobility also stands out on his tape, as he is able to slide laterally well enough to mirror the opposing player. He understands how to fit his hands and sustain, and puts in work versus bull rushes with an extremely effective anchor.
31- Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
There is no shortage of on-field production with Weaver, as he has racked up 20.5 sacks, and 28 tackles for loss over two seasons. Weaver is heavy handed as a pass rusher, and carries out his moves violently when on his path to the QB. He also mixes in an amazing amount of bend, as he can dip his shoulder to the turf, and run a tight arc with body control and balance.
32- Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
Johnson is a CRAFTY route runner with pristine footwork and fluid movements. He’s exceedingly gifted at setting up DB’s at the top of his route with head fakes, stutter steps, and rapidly pumping arms. He needs to work on how consistently he can finish on the football as a pass catcher, but this is a prospect who will have no issue uncovering as a route runner.