After the opening week of the college football season, here is how the 2020 NFL Draft Big Board shakes out as Jordan Love enters the first round mix.
Week 1 featured plenty of top teams facing easy non-conference foes, which meant a lot of blowouts. It also meant the top prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft had a chance to go out and dominate the lesser competition, which of course happened for most.
The quarterbacks were under the microscope, especially Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Utah State’s Jordan Love. Both had up and down games. Jake Fromm and Tua Tagovailoa continued to play well and build their stock. However, this will be a long season of evaluation for the quarterback position so nothing is set in stone.
This week on the big board, a few new names find their way onto the board, while a few others drop out, most notably being Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses. The junior middle linebacker suffered a season-ending torn ACL before the Crimson Tide played their first game. His injury puts a question mark on his return or declaration, but until then, he will remain off the board.
Top 50 NFL Draft Big Board entering Week 2
1. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Jeudy remains at the top of the board. His 10 catch, 137 yard game against Duke was very impressive. He flourished after the catch, showing his elusiveness and burst in open space. He also found the end zone. Don’t overthink him, he’s gonna be extremely productive all season long.
2. Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Delpit also doesn’t move from his spot, and for me, he has a chance this coming week to take the top spot. How he fares against top 10 opponent Texas will go a long way to determine if he can leapfrog Jeudy.
3. A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
While he didn’t fill the stat sheet against Miami(Ohio) on Saturday, Epenesa looked like he’s primed for a big season. He controlled the edge very well, showing his dominance against the run, and even got a couple of pressures on the quarterback. Epenesa already looks like a three down player.
4. Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Chase Young moves up a couple of spots this week based on a dominant performance against FAU. Young showed the quickness and athleticism he brings to table on the edge. He also did a good job using his hands to trim the edge. He got 1.5 sacks on Saturday, and I expect double-digit sacks from him this season.
5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The race for QB1 in the class is very tight right now. Tua’s stat line looked excellent, and he showed great touch and placement to the intermediate parts of the field. He did rely a lot on his playmakers in this game, making a lot of throws near the line of scrimmage. It will be interesting to see how he develops in conference play.
6. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Herbert had a chance to show he was tops of the class against Auburn on Saturday. He still has the live arm, and he made some great plays with pressure in his face. Oregon did go run heavy for most of the game, so we didn’t get to see Herbert unleashed.
7. Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Thomas looks like the top tackle after a great showing against Vanderbilt. He looked great moving in space on runs to the perimeter, and he was powerful on zone runs. An athletic and powerful tackle is a great combination.
8. Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
Biadasz was excellent against South Florida, paving the way for a huge game for Jonathan Taylor. He will anchor the line this season by creating gaps and being an excellent finisher.
9. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Just two catches for 46 yards and a touchdown for CeeDee Lamb this week, but for a game that was in control the whole way and a spread the ball around game from Jalen Hurts, Lamb wasn’t going to get a ton of looks. We will see if Hurts at quarterback hampers his production throughout the season.
10. Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
Like Biadasz, Creed Humphrey played very well in his opening game this season. His ability to use defenders’ speed and power against them is excellent, and he keeps himself compact and balanced on every rep.
11. Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
Brown didn’t get a ton of pressure on Herbert in Saturday’s game, but he was excellent controlling gaps against the run, and got off blocks to make some nice plays in key spots. Will he develop more pass rushing prowess this season? Time will tell.
12. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Wirfs ended up moving to the left side during Iowa’s game because of an injury to Alaric Jackson, and boy did Wirfs stand up to the challenge. He showed great footwork and hand placement from the left side, which was huge for the NFL scouting community, who for some reason value left tackles more than right tackles.
13. Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
Just three catches for 48 yards and a score for Shenault this week, but he made the most of those opportunities, showing his skill after the catch. He will have opportunities for big weeks in Colorado’s passing offense.
14. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Ruggs did virtually nothing in Alabama’s opener, but that shouldn’t deter anyone. His speed and fondness for the spectacular plays won’t be going anywhere, but I’ll be looking for big weeks going forward.
15. Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
The top corner of summer scouting stays on top. He was extremely physical against Pitt, notching a pass defensed and a sack. He can do it all and should be the top corner unless someone has a ridiculous breakout season.
16. D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
No one in this running back class makes cuts like D’Andre Swift does. He looked as smooth a runner as he did last season, with great burst and effortless lateral quickness. It’s hard to imagine he won’t declare after the season.
17. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Talk about a dominant game. Taylor took the lead in the Heisman race after his four touchdown performance against South Florida. He has the best vision and patience in the class, and showed he can be a reliable receiver as well. He’s right there with Swift.
18. Isaiah Simmons, S, Clemson
He moved all over the place against Georgia Tech, and I expect to see that all season long. He has the speed and athleticism to play linebacker or safety, and I like how physical he can be near the line of scrimmage. Teams will love to see the versatility.
19. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
A 205 yard performance for Etienne this week highlighted his burst and speed to erase angles and take any carry to the house. However, he still lacks the comfort as a receiver and he did fumble once, which was another concern of his.
20. Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
A great performance from Adebo this week, who could be the defender to break out this season and end up the top corner in the class. His interception this week was pure beauty, as he gave enough cushion to bait and closed on the ball so well.
21. Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Okudah was all over the field for the Buckeyes this week, notching a tackle for a loss, a forced fumble, and a pass defensed. He will be targeted more during conference play, so we will see more of how his technique has improved then.
22. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Eight total tackles for McKinney in week one, and he played in a few different spots. His best spot, though, is definitely near the line of scrimmage where he can read and react with his speed and tackling ability.
23. Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Gross-Matos did a lot for Penn State in their blowout against Idaho in week one. He had 2.5 sacks in week one, and got those sacks from the edge and the interior. He’s powerful and has strong hands and quickness off the ball to play along the line, depending the situation. He was a big riser this week.
24. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
It’s not really about how he did against Georgia Southern this week. Like Delpit, I can’t wait to see what he does against Texas this coming week. They have good receivers who will give Fulton a big test.
25. K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
Like most of the wide receivers in week one, production wasn’t there this week. I still believe in Hill, because he does a lot of special things before the catch.
26. Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
Davis is going to be a good pass rusher for the Tide this season. I just don’t know if we will see the strength to be a three down defender from him if he doesn’t develop a stronger technique at pad level. I am optimistic though, because the talent is there.
27. Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Higgins looked awesome for Clemson in week one. He did have a drop, but secured a great sideline catch early in the game. Then, he put the game away by snatching a contested ball down the field and taking it to the house. If he adds some muscle, he’s going to be dangerous.
28. K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Chaisson is still getting back to form pre-injury, but it was a decent start for him in 2019. He did have five total tackles. I want to see him line up at edge and go after the passer all season and drop back into coverage a bit less.
29. Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
Hopkins had a great first night for Purdue, even if it was in a losing effort. He will be great at stretching the field for an NFL team. I want to see if he can handle blocking top Big Ten edge defenders and linebackers this season. He can become a complete tight end with an improvement in blocking.
30. Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
It was an up-and-down affair for Love against Wake Forest. His quick release is great, and he does put great touch on the football. However, he had interceptions where he pre-determined his throws, making it easy for defenders. He has to learn how to read defenses better to become a top prospect, but the tools are there. The LSU game on Oct. 5 will go a long way toward determining his draft fate.
31. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
Henderson is great in coverage, there’s no doubting that. However, his lack of effort in tackling has me concerned. If he can’t be physical at the line of scrimmage and doesn’t want to tackle, he won’t get taken in the first round.
32. Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida
While Henderson falls, Zuniga makes a big jump. He looked like a game wrecker up front, playing on the interior and on the edge. His quick first step and his physical nature scream first round selection. He just needs to string good games together.
33. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Fromm makes a slight climb up the board after a very solid first game of the season. He doesn’t have the best arm, but he can get the ball down the field accurately, like he did on the deep post against Vanderbilt. He is patient and works through reads well. If he can take more chances and let it loose a bit more he will continue to climb.
34. Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Diggs takes a significant leap this week after a strong showing against Duke. He made a very nice interception in coverage, and shows better route recognition and quickness that a lot of Alabama corners that have gone in the draft before him (save Marlon Humphrey).
35. Rashard Lawrence, DL, LSU
Lawrence didn’t show up in the stat sheet, and I’ll admit that drops him a bit, especially when playing against a vastly inferior foe. The good news is he will go against Zach Shackelford this week, and a big game against him will make him climb the rankings.
36. Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
Tyler Johnson looked good for Minnesota, especially with his releases and quickness in and out of breaks. He just didn’t get as many targets this week, because of the pressure South Dakota State applied and that another receiver on his team made big plays down the field. That doesn’t change my opinion of Johnson.
37. Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
While Reagor finished with five catches for 71 yards and a score, he did drop three passes of his 11 targets. He also muffed a couple punts in the game. He has the explosiveness, but he needs to clean up his game to be a top prospect.
38. A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
While Georgia Tech didn’t provide a big challenge for Clemson’s top corner, he will get a test this week. Kendrick Rogers is a big receiver and Terrell will get a chance to prove he has the physical traits to hang with him.
39. Walker Little, OT, Stanford
Walker Little did a fine job against Northwestern’s defensive line, but I still think he ends up playing guard at the next level. If he can do better against speed rushers, he could change the minds of the draft community. Little suffered a lower-leg injury in the win vs. Northwestern and is expected to be out until mid-season.
40. Grant Calcaterra, TE, Oklahoma
Last season, Calcaterra lined up in the slot a lot for the Sooners, which reminded me a lot of Jace Sternberger at Texas A&M. It seems like his role won’t change in 2019, meaning he will be a receiving tight end.
41. Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
Niang succeeds in space and can be a quality swing tackle in the NFL, and TCU will have him get out in front of plays in space to create lanes. He may struggle a bit technically in pass sets, but I’m looking for that improvement this year.
42. Trey Sermon, RB, Oklahoma
Sermon impressed a lot against Houston in the opening week. He looked great making defenders miss in space and provided some help in pass protection with a couple chips on offensive linemen. He’s going to be underrated throughout the process.
43. Zack Moss, RB, Utah
Moss had a dominant game against BYU in his first game of the season, and looked fresh off of his injury in 2018. He showed great patience and speed for his size, and also was a finisher on runs with his power. Moss looks like he might be the best senior ball-carrier.
44. Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
Kinlaw looked like a bowling ball on the defensive line against North Carolina, finishing with a tackle for a loss and a sack. If he gets more technique against the run, he will be a Day 2 pick.
45. Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
Curtis Weaver did enough this past week against Florida State to stay on the board, racking up 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack. He got things going in the second half and once again played all along the line, showing the versatility that will attract NFL scouts.
46. Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
Wanogho didn’t end up on my preseason big board, but he looked very good against Oregon. They don’t have the best pass rushers, but Wanogho moved really well for his size in the game. He did hurt himself late in the game, but it seemed like he will be alright.
47. Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
Wallace caught five passes for 92 yards and two scores against Oregon State. He tracked the ball very well down the field and looked good in traffic, while also showing controlled footwork near the back of the end zone.
48. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Vanderbilt
Vaughn didn’t dominate against Georgia, but he took what he could get and still averaged six yards per carry. He looked good accelerating, but didn’t break a lot of tackles. We will get to see Vaughn play a couple more top teams throughout the season.
49. Jake Hanson, IOL, Oregon
Jake Hanson looked strong against Derrick Brown and company on Saturday. While he wasn’t perfect and did lose a few reps, Hanson was most successful when he was quick into his stance.
50. Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State
Willekes had a great game against Tulsa, notching two tackles for a loss and a sack. He used his hands very well and a great motor to finish off big plays. He’s the underrated edge defender in the class right now.