Ohio State defensive end Chase Young takes the top spot in the latest 2020 NFL Draft Big Board and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is a fast riser.
As the calendar shifts to mid-October, more and more emphasis will be placed on these players for the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. Better competition from their conferences is on the way, so we get to see who steps up and who withers away. It’s a great time of year and with a lot of game tape out there, things have changed.
There are plenty of new names on this list that have outperformed summer expectations. A certain quarterback has looked excellent all year and makes his debut on this October top 50, while another has fallen out of it. A couple of skill position players have had hot starts and have made their way on as well.
However, the cream of the crop hasn’t moved much. Although, there is a new number one on the board because he’s been too darn dominant not to have earned the spot. Let’s get into the board!
1. Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
At the beginning of the season, I didn’t think anyone other than Jerry Jeudy or Grant Delpit would ever occupy my top spot, but it’s impossible to overlook how dominant Chase Young has been this season and his elite traits he brings to the table. He already has 8.5 sacks this year and has shown the ability to win on the edge with athleticism and bend, while also winning with good hand usage and inside moves.
2. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Jeudy will likely be a 1,000 yard receiver again in 2019. What’s interesting about his line right now is his yards per catch dropping a whopping 6.5 yards from last season so far. The lack of big plays can be attributed to a loaded offense. He still dominates as a route runner and is extremely difficult to tackle after the catch.
3. Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Grant Delpit had a very good week against an inferior Utah State squad. He made big tackles at the line of scrimmage and came away with an excellent interception down the field. That versatility puts him up there with the best of the safety prospects that have come out in the draft in the last several seasons.
4. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tua Tagovailoa has improved in key areas so far this season, especially when it comes to navigating the pocket. He also looks better at identifying coverages. His biggest tests will be against LSU and potentially Georgia. If he can handle the pressure and still process and get the ball out on time, Tua will solidify top five status.
5. Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Andrew Thomas is the best tackle in the class right now, and he consistently puts out dominant games on tape. His game is extremely well-rounded from pass protection to the run game. Because of the premium on tackles, he should go very high in April.
6. Tyler Biadasz, OL, Wisconsin
I might be a little higher on Tyler Biadasz at this point, but it is a real treat to watch him block up front for Jonathan Taylor. He isn’t the greatest athlete at the position, but he processes the game so well. He does an excellent job getting to the second level when he needs to create openings.
7. A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Epenesa isn’t lighting up the stat sheet like Young, but there’s so much to his game technically as a rusher. His hand usage and ability to counter make him an elite prospect. I expect the production to come down the stretch here.
8. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
I feel like everyone is drooling over Tua and they forget that Justin Herbert is a very good quarterback prospect. Oregon is limiting him this season and employing a lot of the screen game this year, which makes his evaluation this year more difficult. Based on the potential, he’s easily the top senior quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft.
9. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The game script wasn’t kind to CeeDee Lamb on Saturday as Oklahoma routed Kansas, but I expect a big bounce back against Texas this week. We know how electric he is and his playmaking ability is off the charts.
10. Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
What a game for Derrick Brown against Florida. He had a sack, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries on Saturday, and he belongs in the top 10 right now. He’s a problem up front for opposing offenses with how much space he takes up and his ability to collapse the pocket.
11. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Ruggs is a big play machine and it’s entirely possible he comes off the board before his teammate based on the speed he brings to the table. He did injure his hip against Ole Miss, which will be something to monitor going forward.
12. Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
If you missed stock watch last week, we discussed why Jeffrey Okudah is the top corner in the 2020 NFL Draft right now. Coverage looks easy for him because of his quickness and ability to recover with speed. He’s started to dispel the production concerns after getting two picks against Nebraska.
13. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Wirfs has moved back to the right side for Iowa and he continues to look very good. Michigan was a tough test, and Wirfs held his own for most of the reps. He did at times miss an initial punch and had to recover.
14. Creed Humphrey, OL, Oklahoma
It’s been a quiet year for Humphrey so far, but he’s just going about his business in one of the best offenses in the nation. Humphrey should get a bigger test this week against Texas, so that’s something to monitor.
15. D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
It wasn’t a spectacular day for Swift on the ground against Tennessee, but he led the team in receiving and looked very good doing it. Seeing how Swift’s vision and decisiveness look against teams like Florida will be worth watching in the coming weeks.
16. Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
It’s going to be interesting to see how NFL teams view Isaiah Simmons should he declare, because he has the speed and physicality to play near the box, in the middle of the field as a linebacker, or even in the slot.
17. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
This guy just keeps on dominating, no matter who he plays. Obviously Kent State isn’t Michigan, but it doesn’t matter. Taylor put up five touchdowns and 215 total yards on 22 touches against the Golden Flashes. He’s making the strong push for the Heisman in what’s likely his final season at Wisconsin.
18. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
I feel like Kristian Fulton gets forgotten in the corner class simply because he’s sticky in man coverage and just doesn’t get targeted often. It will be fun to see him go up against the top receivers in the conference soon.
19. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
McKinney is versatile like Simmons, but there is evidence that he, unlike Simmons, can be effective on the back end of the defense. He’s great at flying downhill to make plays and is a good enough athlete to occupy zones. He’s a little shaky in man coverage at times, but overall is a good athlete with plenty of potential.
20. Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
Speaking of potential, Shenault hasn’t quite lived up to it so far this season. He’s had a good game here and there, but it hasn’t been the dominant campaign we were expecting. Shenault has also been hurt which doesn’t help either, but hopefully he can get back and dominate in the second half of the season.
21. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Etienne is having a nice season with Clemson once again limiting his touches so he’s fresh for another postseason run. He’s averaging nearly 7 yards per carry and is still a thread every time he’s handed the ball. I am a little worried about fumbles from him this year and there’s still the concern about catching the football.
22. Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
This might be the highest you’ll find Trevon Diggs on any board right now, but I’m fascinated with how he plays. He’s a natural because he understands receivers (having been one) and has very good hands to go high point the ball.
23. Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
The race for the third best edge rusher in the class is still ongoing, but Gross-Matos is leading the way right now. He has so much strength at the point of attack and moves well for his size. A big test awaits this week as he goes up against bookends Alaric Jackson and Tristan Wirfs from Iowa.
24. Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Hall came into the year as my top corner, but it hasn’t gone the way many thought so far this year. He isn’t getting targeted as much as he did last year based on reputation, but when he has, the results are a mixed bag. He’s been a little too grabby down the field and has drawn penalties for it this season.
25. Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
Kinlaw has been an absolute game wrecker for South Carolina this year. He’s generated four sacks from the interior and his strong hands help him disengage quickly from blockers. I can’t wait to see how he does against Georgia this week.
26. Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida
Zuniga didn’t end up playing against Auburn, so hopefully we will see him back against LSU. He had some great games early in the year, and has proved to be a top edge rusher in the senior class.
27. Shane Lemieux, OL, Oregon
Another guy I’m higher on than most, Shane Lemieux continues to succeed for Oregon, especially in pass protection. His strength and anchor have yet to be matched by any guard I’ve seen this year.
28. Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
Davis is still in the top 30 based on his potential right now. He hasn’t been very productive this year because of how tall and lanky he is for an interior defender. Davis has to work on staying low to get leverage in the run game or he will continue to be driven off the ball.
29. Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Adebo turned in his best game of the year to date against Washington last Saturday, breaking up four passes when targeted. He recovers very well, and, as seen here, is great at finding the ball and timing breakups.
30. Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
It was in a losing effort, but Niang looks so good moving around in pass protection and getting out in front of running backs. He’s still a little raw technically, but it’s hard to teach the kind of footwork he has.
31. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
Leatherwood has looked very good for Alabama this year moving out to tackle. He is great at getting an initial punch in off the snap to get defenders off-balance. His main area to improve upon is footwork in pass sets, especially against speedy rushers.
32. Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
Another week, and another time we have to talk about Tyler Johnson making some bad drops in a game. That’s really the one part of his game he needs to clean up, because other than that, he is a very good receiver.
33. K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Chaisson takes a little bit of a hit this week only because he’s still working back from that ACL injury. He has flashes, especially when he turns and runs in coverage, but he’s still working out a plan of attack as a rusher.
34. Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Finally we get a breakout game for Reagor. We know how good he is in space, but he impressed a ton this week as he went up and “Moss’d” a couple of Iowa State defenders for his two touchdowns. If he can be that good in contested situations going forward, look out.
35. Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
Wanogho held his own for Auburn against rising pass rusher Johnathan Greenard. He continues to improve getting off the snap and into sets while staying more balanced.
36. Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma
Big opportunity for Gallimore this week in the Red River Shootout. He will get to put his athletic traits on display while trying to get to Sam Ehlinger.
37. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
He doesn’t get the hype that other running backs do, but J.K. Dobbins has been very good for the Buckeyes this year. He has both power and speed and good vision to get to the open field. Dobbins is also averaging seven yards per carry.
38. Curtis Weaver, DL, Boise State
Weaver still continues to be underrated in draft circles. No one can stop him in the Mountain West, as he’s up to nine sacks so far this season. He fits the bill as an edge rusher at the next level.
39. Ashtyn Davis, S, California
The 2020 NFL Draft safety class is getting plenty more attention, and Ashtyn Davis is a big reason. He’s very rangy on the back end and has great instincts to read quarterbacks and break on the ball.
40. Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Love had a real chance to boost his stock against LSU this week, but it was a rough outing. He made a couple bad decisions that lead to interceptions, but there were also some drops that were out of his control. Love still made some great throws in the game and the tools are there, there’s no doubt.
41. Leki Fotu, DL, Utah
Fotu is still developing as a three down defender, but he’s excellent at rushing the passer right now. Like Davis, he needs to get lower in order to win more on the inside, but he’s trending in the right direction.
42. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The first appearance for Joe Burrow on the board this year, and it’s unlikely it’ll be his last. Burrow has been the biggest riser of anyone so far this season, and is getting some first round attention. He’s a confident passer with great accuracy to all levels of the field.
43. K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
Some prospects are just fun to watch from the get go, and K.J. Hill is one of them. He’s great at getting separation and at making defenders miss in the open field. He could be a dominant slot receiver at the next level.
44. Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
Hopkins is still the top tight end on the board, especially with his size and the way he uses it as a pass catcher. He still needs to refine his blocking skills, but the talent is there.
45. Rashard Lawrence, DL, LSU
Lawrence’s stock is taking a hit mostly due to injury. There’s a lot to like with his game, but this year was supposed to be a year where he gets better with his hands to disengage from blocks more often.
46. DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
There’s no doubt that Smith’s five touchdown game brought him into a lot of top 50’s. Even prior to that game there’s so much to like. He’s extremely quick in and out of breaks and has natural hands for the position.
47. Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Talk about speed and power all wrapped into one. Hubbard is a bigger back who can churn out yards between the tackles and erase angles once he’s in space. He’s also got 1,094 yards and 13 touchdowns on the season.
48. A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
A.J. Terrell is quietly one of the better corners in the country who moves so well for his size. He won’t get tested a lot until the playoff where you’ll really see him shine.
49. Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State
Wilson and Lawrence are very similar players. They both are violent disruptors on the defensive line who need more technical refinement, but make the list because of how good they are as raw players.
50. Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
Wallace is averaging 18 yards per catch so far this season. His big play ability combined with his natural hands at the catch point make him worthy of a top 50 player at this point.