Jerry Jeudy tops Mel Kiper Jr.'s big board for 2020 NFL Draft

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his first big board for the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday, and six current Alabama players were featured among his top-25 prospects for next year’s draft.

Topping the list at No. 1 overall was junior wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, which may come as a surprise to some considering Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has been projected as the No. 1 pick by many mock drafts following the 2019 draft. Tagovailoa was Kiper’s No. 4 overall player and top quarterback, and the draft analyst explained the order of his first 2020 big board.

LSU safety Grant Delpit and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young were Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

“Tua, you think about the playoffs, he wasn’t at his best,” Kiper said. “You think about the Georgia game, the Clemson game, you can even go back to the LSU game, so against elite teams, against top-level defenses, he tended to struggle a bit late, at least late in the year. Obviously, against some of the lesser teams, the teams that he could obviously over-match from a talent standpoint, Alabama could, he put up huge numbers. Not to take anything away from Tua, but when you’re ranking the players, I think there are guys right now that were a little bit ahead.

“Now, if you’re doing a mock draft, 16 of the last 22 drafts, a quarterback’s gone No. 1. You have to go way back to ‘96 when Keyshawn (Johnson) went No. 1 to get a receiver, so it’s not probably going to be a wide receiver. Granted, it probably will be a quarterback, if history tells us that and will be consistent with that. But I think Jerry Jeudy from Alabama, the wide receiver, right now is as good as anybody coming out if he does decide to go into the draft coming up in April.”

Jeudy paced the Tide in receiving touchdowns (14), receptions (68), receiving yards (1,315), yards per catch (19.3) and yards per game (87.7) on his way to earning the 2018 Biletnikoff Award, which is presented to the nation’s top receiver, and consensus first-team All-America honors.

Oklahomas CeeDee Lamb is the next highest wide receiver on Kiper’s big board at No. 13.

Alabama players listed on Mel Kiper Jr.’s big board for 2020 NFL Draft:

1. WR Jerry Jeudy -- Junior
4. QB Tua Tagovailoa -- Junior
11. CB Trevon Diggs -- Senior
15. LB Dylan Moses -- Junior
22. WR Henry Ruggs III -- Junior
25. LB Terrell Lewis -- Redshirt junior

In rounding up 10 mock drafts last month, Alabama was well-represented with 11 players projected as first-round draft picks on at least one of those mock drafts. Bleacher Report and Walter Football both had eight Crimson Tide players going in the first round. The current record for first-round selections from one school in a single draft stands at six from Miami in 2004.

For comparison, Alabama had 10 players drafted over the weekend and three players taken in the first 32 picks. The SEC and school record for a single draft are 12 selections, which occurred in 2018.

Outside of seniors in defensive lineman Raekwon Davis, linebacker Anfernee Jennings and cornerback Trevon Diggs, the other eight players on these mock drafts were juniors, including redshirt junior linebacker Terrell Lewis, who missed the 2018 season with a knee injury.

Contact Charlie Potter by 247Sports' personal messaging or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).

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