The top 2020 NFL Draft prospects fans will want to watch during the college football season, including quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert.
The NFL Draft has become a year-round conversation, so much so that fans want to know top names for the next year right after the current year ends. With the college football season right around the corner, summer scouting is wrapping up, and the focus will shift to watching these players in the fall.
Who will raise their stock and whose will fall? We won’t know until the season progresses.
For now, this top 50 board exists more like a watch list. These players are ranked, but this will be a very fluid process. Since it will be so, make sure to visit FanSided every Tuesday for an updated NFL Draft big board.
2020 NFL Draft big board
1. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy tops the list. He is one of the best route runners I’ve seen in college football, with insane quickness and fluidity in his routes. Jeudy is also dangerous after the catch and has more speed than advertised. He’s a special player.
2. Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Grant Delpit could end up taking the top spot by next April. He moves all around the defense, from single high to the slot to the box. Delpit is great at making plays coming downhill, but his five interceptions in 2018 show the ball skills as well. Watch for the Derwin James/Jalen Ramsey comparisons, because they are warranted.
3. A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Epenesa is the top edge rusher in this class right now. He looks the part of a three-down edge presence, with strong hands and great leverage to get by offensive tackles. He’s not the best athlete, but his outstanding technique overshadows that.
4. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Herbert would likely have been the top quarterback in last year’s draft had he declared. He has a cannon for an arm and elite ball placement in the short and intermediate areas of the field. Herbert is also athletic enough to get out of the pocket and make throws on the move. He needs to work on being more consistent down the field, but he’s the top quarterback for the 2020 NFL Draft right now.
5. Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Add Dylan Moses to the line of top linebackers to come from Alabama. Moses is great at diagnosing plays and finding the right gap to attack. He is better in coverage than given credit for and has the acceleration to close on plays quickly. Expect him to take control of the Alabama defense this season.
6. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tua Tagovailoa has all the talent to contend with Herbert for the top quarterback spot. Despite what you hear, Tagovailoa has solid arm strength and can get the ball down the field. He is excellent with touch and placement to every level of the field and gets the ball out with a quick release. Durability is probably the biggest question mark for the 2020 draft.
7. Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Chase Young is almost the opposite of Epenesa, but just as effective. Young has a great first step off the line of scrimmage and great bend and acceleration around the arc. He can also use his hands to trim the edge to get to the quarterback. Heading into 2019, I want to see a little more refinement in his rush technique, but the potential is sky-high.
8. Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
There’s plenty to like when it comes to Andrew Thomas. He’s the best left tackle prospect in this draft class right now. Thomas has great hand placement and strength to quickly drive edge rushers back. He also possesses good footwork off the snap and rarely loses his balance. Thomas will get plenty of reps against tough competition to prove his worth this season.
9. Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
It was very surprising to hear the advisory board told Biadasz to return to school because he was easily the best lineman on Wisconsin last year and could have been a first round selection. Not only is Biadasz strong at the point of attack, but he also moves extremely well for an interior lineman. He will likely be a first round selection in 2020.
10. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
CeeDee Lamb might be even better than former Oklahoma wide receiver Marqise Brown, who went in the first round in April. Lamb may not have the top-end speed, but he has excellent body control near the sideline and the back of the end zone. He also has the big-play ability, averaging nearly 18 yards per catch last season. I expect big production once again.
11. Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
Another interior lineman sits near the top of the list. Humphrey is an alpha at center, and he operates like a bowling ball in the trenches, running over everything in his path.
12. Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
Shenault was used in a lot of ways at Colorado, from wing tight end and wide receiver to taking direct snaps in the backfield. He doesn’t have top-end speed like others mentioned already, but he’s a great blocker with strong hands and the frame to dominate in traffic. I want to see more after the catch with Shenault this year.
13. Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
Derrick Brown is another prospect who could have entered the 2019 draft and gone in the first round. He’s got great movement skills on the interior for a 6’5″, 318-pound defensive tackle. I expect he will build on his 10.5 tackles for loss and four and a half sacks in 2019.
14. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
If you’re looking for a receiver with top-end speed, Ruggs is your guy. There’s a chance he could run a sub 4.3 second 40 at the Combine. Not only does Ruggs have the speed, but he has a flair for making excellent contested catches, and his strong frame certainly helps with that. He will be a highlight-reel again in 2019.
15. Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
There was a lot of hype surrounding Hall, and the tape confirms it. Hall has fantastic ball skills and the size to compete with bigger, stronger receivers. He has better technique than I expected and comes up to make plays against the run. A great 2019 will cement himself as the top corner.
16. D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
The top running back for 2020 right now, Swift has the long speed and the lateral movement to make defenders miss constantly. Swift also doesn’t have a lot of mileage on him. The main questions for him in 2019 is to see him become a three-down back and improve his awareness at the chains.
17. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Right tackles matter just as much as left tackles do nowadays, and Wirfs is the best right tackle in college football right now. He has a strong lower half and uses it well to drive defenders off the spot, plus he’s fleet-footed enough to handle rushers. If he improves his hand usage in pass sets, his stock will soar for 2020.
18. Isaiah Simmons, S, Clemson
It’s hard to peg the best position for Simmons, but that’s what makes him valuable. He has the speed and instincts to play in the slot, and enough acceleration and size to play linebacker in the new age of the NFL.
19. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
The most impressive part of Taylor’s game, minus the production he’s had over the past two seasons (4,171 yards rushing, 29 touchdowns), is his vision and patience. He reads and reacts so quickly in between the tackles and on the perimeter. Taylor has the power and enough speed to be a first round selection next April. The only real concern is the tread on the tires.
20. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
This running back class is loaded, and Travis Etienne is near the top at the position. The acceleration and home run ability every time he touches the ball is special. He has great agility in open space as well. The only concern for him is his receiving ability, which has been highlighted, even by Etienne himself.
21. Jeffery Okudah, CB, Ohio State
There’s a ton of potential for Okudah to be the next great corner at Ohio State. His recovery speed is outstanding and he does make plays to break up passes. A full season as a starter will help refine his technique and fix his tendency to be flat-footed at times.
22. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
While Deionte Thompson got the attention last year, Xavier McKinney was the better safety. He will likely operate near the line of scrimmage at the next level, but he thrives in that spot.
23. Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Adebo is a big, physical corner with plenty of exciting traits. He plays the ball well in the air and is great reading receivers and closes well on those reads. Adebo does get a little aggressive at times, which will lead to mistakes, but there’s so much to like.
24. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
Henderson is built like 2019 first round pick Denzel Ward, with a lean frame. He has the potential of a number one corner, with the coverage skills to play man and zone, but I want to see him be more physical at the line of scrimmage and in the run game.
25. Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Reagor is going to jump on a lot of radars this season at TCU. He is a very good route runner and creates separation with ease. Once the ball is in his hands, he turns into a video game.