2020 NFL Draft prospect rankings: SEC most represented, Big Ten has No. 1 overall

The 2020 NFL Draft is still more than six months away but several players have already started to differentiate themselves as the best among their peers. In today's exercise, I ranked who I feel are some of the best overall pro prospects right now and then broke them down by position. 

But first, here is where I am in the process and how I arrived at these evaluations. A full evaluation is nothing less than five games so, at this stage, these rankings are based on partial evaluations of between one and three games studied. More emphasis is placed on the 2019 season and more than half of the season is left to play out. Injuries have indirectly and directly played a role as well. In some cases, these players are not being played at their true positions right now because they are filling in for an injured player. 

Now, to the list:

Blue chip players

1. Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

2. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

3. Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State  

4. Andrew Thomas, G/T, Georgia

5. Grant Delpit, DB, LSU

6. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

7. A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

8. Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

9. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

10. D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

11. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

12. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

These are the blue chip players with elite traits right now. The list will likely expand as the 2020 NFL Draft approaches. Swift and Taylor are two of the most complete running backs in awhile. Ruggs has the speed of Forrest Gump. Jeudy has elite footwork and great speed. Tagovailoa is accurate and able to keep the play alive with his mobility. Simmons tackles better in the open field than any other player. Young is speed, power and technique. 

The next best

13. K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

14. Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

15. Lucas Niang, OT, TCU

16. Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin

17. Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

18. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia

19. Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State

20. Lamar Jackson, CB, Nebraska

Higgins has the possibility of joining that blue chip group. Chaisson could rise as well if he is able to stay healthy and play as expected. Fromm has the answers to all the test questions. Defenses can not rattle him. Weaver is fast off the edge and difficult to get hands on. Jackson shows better comfort in his backpedal than most prospects outside of Okudah.

Day 1 prospects

21. Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

22. Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

23. Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn

24. Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma

25. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

26. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

27. Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

28. Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

29. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

30. Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State

Moses could rise if he shows a healthy return from his torn ACL during the pre-draft process. Hall has great ball skills. Henderson is one of the more difficult prospects to read. Murray is an active linebacker that is fun to watch. Burrow is the rising quarterback. Wilson is strong as an ox and draws a lot of double teams. 

Borderline Day 1/2 prospects

31. Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State

32. Tristan Wirfs, G/T, Iowa

33. Xavier McKinney, DB, Alabama

34. Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

35. Jared Pinkney, TE, Vanderbilt

36. Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame

37. Austin Jackson, OT, USC

38. Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

39. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

40. David Woodward, LB, Utah State

McKinney displays the versatility to play cornerback or safety at the next level. Woodward could pack on a little weight but his ability to get off blocks is great. Gross-Matos and Okwara are two players capable of making a difference off the edge. Wirfs is a little lower than other places because it is difficult to read him too. Iowa has been moving him around a lot. 

Priority Day 2 rospects

41. Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

42. Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

43. Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

44. Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin

45. Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State

46. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

47. Essang Bassey, CB, Wake Forest

48. Nico Collins, WR, Michigan

49. Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

50. Matt Peart, OT, UConn

Four offensive tackles in this section. It is a very deep draft for the position, which is fortunate because several teams could use at least one. Baun is an active linebacker. Herbert could rise if he shows consistency. Collins needs to stay healthy but his ability with a decent quarterback is high. 

The best of the rest

51. Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State

52. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

53. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

54. Jacob Eason, QB, Washington

55. Ashtyn Davis, DB, California

56. Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma

57. Jacob Breeland, TE, Oregon

58. J.R. Reed, DB, Georgia

59. Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

60. Kyle Dugger, DB, Lenoir-Rhyne

Reed was a player that just made plays last season. Dugger has some freakish ability but he looks disinterested at other points. Etienne does not catch the ball or block as well as the two elite backs in this class. Willekes is an active pass rusher. Hurts is the next dual-threat quarterback excelling in Lincoln Riley's system.

Several of these players were included in my most recent mock draft, which aims to pinpoint the best fit for each player with each of the 32 NFL teams.

Position rankings

Quarterback

  1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
  2. Jake Fromm, Georgia
  3. Justin Herbert, Oregon
  4. Jacob Eason, Washington
  5. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

Running back

  1. D'Andre Swift, Georgia
  2. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
  3. Travis Etienne, Clemson

Wide receiver

  1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
  2. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
  3. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
  4. Tee Higgins, Clemson
  5. Laviska Shenault, Colorado
  6. Jalen Reagor, TCU
  7. Nico Collins, Michigan

Tight end

  1. Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt
  2. Jacob Breeland, Oregon

Offensive line

  1. Andrew Thomas, G/T, Georgia
  2. Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
  3. Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
  4. Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
  5. Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
  6. Tristan Wirfs, G/T, Iowa
  7. Austin Jackson, OT, USC
  8. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
  9. Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
  10. Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
  11. Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
  12. Matt Peart, OT, UConn

Defensive line

  1. A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
  2. Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
  3. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
  4. Marvin Wilson, NT, Florida State
  5. Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
  6. Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma

Edge rushers

  1. Chase Young, Ohio State
  2. K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU
  3. Curtis Weaver, Boise State
  4. Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
  5. Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
  6. Zack Baun, Wisconsin
  7. Kenny Willekes, Michigan State

Linebackers

  1. Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
  2. Dylan Moses, Alabama
  3. Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
  4. David Woodward, Utah State

Cornerback

  1. Jeff Okudah, Ohio State
  2. Lamar Jackson, Nebraska
  3. Bryce Hall, Virginia
  4. C.J. Henderson, Florida
  5. Trevon Diggs, Alabama
  6. Paulson Adebo, Stanford
  7. Essang Bassey, Wake Forest
  8. Kristian Fulton, LSU

Safety

  1. Grant Delpit, LSU
  2. Xavier McKinney, Alabama
  3. Ashtyn Davis, California
  4. J.R. Reed, Georgia
  5. Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne

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