NFL Draft 2020: Sizing up early declaration decisions of Tee Higgins, Jerry Jeudy and more key prospects

College football players have until Jan. 17 to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft and until Jan. 20 to withdraw. Several have already declared their intentions and begun the rat race that the pre-NFL Draft process entails.

The 2020 NFL Draft will take place April 23-25 in Las Vegas. The Cincinnati Bengals own the No. 1 overall selection. 

CBS Sports has analysis on some of the key decisions that have already been revealed to the public. The full list of players that have declared or announced their intentions to return to college can be found here at CBS Sports

Declared for 2020 NFL Draft

QB Jacob Eason (Washington)

Eason has a cannon attached to his right arm, but his ball placement has been a bit erratic. He showed improvement on his downfield passes but there is work to be done. A large percentage of his completions came via checkdowns but his receivers dropped their share of passes downfield as well. The Georgia transfer is capable of throwing on the run. His potential could lead him to a Day 1 grade. 

NFL Draft projection: Top 25-50 pick

QB Jake Fromm (Georgia)

Fromm does a good job going through his progressions. His touch is not as good as Tua Tagovailoa or Joe Burrow, but he does display good accuracy. He is an incredibly smart player. His ability to read opposing defenses is one of his strengths. The quarterback is willing to take the checkdown and run when necessary. His stock has fallen quite a bit this season. It is unlikely he is taken in the first round now. 

NFL Draft projection: Day 2 pick

QB Jordan Love (Utah State

All of the coveted athletic traits are present. He is capable of throwing from different arm angles and on the run. His arm strength rivals any of his peers. He has a good feel in the pocket and keeps his eyes downfield. The wheels fall off when the situation around him begins to crumble. The California native makes some truly terrible decisions when he feels the game is not going as hoped. There will be an NFL coach confident that he can take the piece of clay and mold it into a quality quarterback. 

NFL Draft projection: Top 25-50 pick

QB Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)

Tagovailoa does not have the strongest arm, but it gets the job done. His leadership and accuracy are fantastic. The Hawaii native will have to learn to work through his progressions because the sheer amount of talent at the wide receiver position in Tuscaloosa did not necessitate he move off his first read often. If the medicals come back clean -- and I assume they will, since he made the decision to declare early -- he should be a top-five pick. 

NFL Draft projection: Top-five pick

RB Cam Akers (Florida State)

Akers is a great pass-catcher out of the backfield. He is also an explosive running back with quality pass protection qualities. The junior needs to do a better job of protecting the football in the future but he is a great player. His balance through contact is great and he is able to change directions without compromising much speed. As an additional bonus, he has shown that he is capable of throwing an accurate pass from time to time. 

NFL Draft projection: Day 2 pick

RB Eno Benjamin (Arizona State)

Benjamin is explosive and he displays good body control. He is another quality pass catcher out of the backfield. There are concerns with his pass protection, and his fumbling tendencies are an even bigger concern than Akers'. There is no denying his talent. 

NFL Draft projection: Day 2 pick

RB J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State)

Dobbins is not going to impress anyone with his pass protection skills, but he shows good lateral quickness and good balance. Ohio State has used him a lot on stretch plays because of his speed and vision to hit the creases. The Texas native has been a consistent pass catcher for the team as well. One potential concern is how much wear and tear he has received already in his career. It is no different than Jonathan Taylor though. 

NFL Draft projection: Day 2 pick

RB D'Andre Swift (Georgia)

Swift has been the No. 1 running back prospect for awhile because he is a well-rounded athlete. He is a gifted pass catcher, holds up well in pass protection and is dynamic enough to explode for a big gain on the ground. Swift has a strong lower body but he is a bit shorter than other prospects in the class. 

NFL Draft projection: First-round pick

RB Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin)

Taylor has really grown as a pass catcher out of the backfield. His change of direction is not as quick as Travis Etienne or Swift. The New Jersey native is patient and shows good vision similar to Le'Veon Bell. He has great balance as well. The running back position has been devalued a bit in recent years with production coming from middle to late rounds, but Taylor is a great talent. 

NFL Draft projection: Top 25-50 pick

WR K.J. Hamler (Penn State

Hamler is a big play waiting to happen. When he gets the ball in open space, the defense better have an angle or there is next to no chance he is taken down. His skill set will not be coveted by every team in the early rounds because of his size. Some are looking for a bigger, outside threat. With that being said, Hamler will have an impact in the NFL. There are comparisons being made to DeSean Jackson. 

NFL Draft projection: Top 25-50 pick 

WR Tee Higgins (Clemson)

Higgins is a big-bodied wide receiver capable of making plays on the boundary. The Clemson star has battled injuries this season, but his production when healthy is as good as anyone's. He uses his body well so that he is the only one able to go up the ladder and bring down a jump ball. The Tennessee product shows good body control and is a willing blocker for his teammates. 

NFL Draft projection: Top-25 pick

WR Justin Jefferson (LSU) 

Jefferson was a big play threat for the National Champion Tigers all season long. His body control downfield is tremendous. He has become a more nuanced receiver showing his hands late so the defensive back does not have a chance to rip it out. The Louisiana native blocks with good leverage down the field. There are several teams with a need for the position, so there is a good chance he lands in the first round.

NFL Draft projection: Top 25-50 pick

WR Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)

Jeudy is a tremendous technician of the position. His floor is so much higher than others for that reason. If he loses his explosive traits, he can fall back on his ability to create space with his footwork. Larry Fitzgerald has been able to create a long, sustainable career because of the attention to detail. Jeudy is similar. He is explosive and shows great ability after the catch as well. 

NFL Draft projection: Top-15 pick

WR CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)

Lamb shows elite body control and an ability to high point the football downfield. When the ball is in his hands, he is incredibly difficult to wrangle. The Texas native is wiry strong and has great hand-eye coordination. Lamb has great burst but is an average blocker. Lamb should be the first or second wide receiver off the board along with Jeudy. 

NFL Draft projection: Top-15 pick

WR Donovan Peoples-Jones (Michigan)

Peoples-Jones is electric with the ball in his hands. There is always a chance that he takes it to the house. He also has great body control and has cleaned up his footwork at the snap from a year ago. His stock will likely be elevated at the NFL combine when he gets to show off his athletic traits. 

NFL Draft projection: Day 2 pick 

WR Jalen Reagor (TCU)

Reagor shows quick footwork at the snap and does a good job of finding gaps in the opponent's zone. There are concerns with his ball security, however. Opinions on the wide receiver run a wide range, but he could land in the second round if a team deems him the right fit. 

NFL Draft projection: Day 2 pick 

WR Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)

Everyone knows Ruggs because of his speed but he also fights through contact. He lines up in the slot often because of so many other outside receivers on the team. Alabama has gotten him the ball in a variety of ways this season, ranging from jet sweeps to screens. There is no chance he falls out of the first round. 

NFL Draft projection: First-round pick

WR Laviska Shenault  (Colorado)

Shenault is a compact wide receiver reminiscent of Sammy Watkins. Colorado was creative in the manner that they got him the football, similarly to Ruggs. He is not as strong down the field as CeeDee Lamb but he has his own strengths. His speed is not great but he does attack the ball at its peak. 

NFL Draft projection: Top 25-50 pick

TE Cole Kmet (Notre Dame)

Kmet is similar to former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. He is strong and has really developed as a blocker. NFL teams will be able to rely on him in critical situations. He is not overly quick but he does a great job sealing blocks. Kmet uses his body well and keeps working open after completing his route. 

NFL Draft projection: Top 25-50 pick

OT Andrew Thomas (Georgia)

Thomas has been regarded as the top offensive tackle prospect for awhile, but he has received some competition of late. He is a big, strong lineman on the left side. The Georgia native generally handles exchanges well and plays the game with aggression. He should easily land in the top half of the first round. 

NFL Draft projection: Top-15 pick

OT Jedrick Wills (Alabama)

Wills has been producing for the Crimson Tide since his freshman season. He is dedicated to improving his craft in addition to his athletic traits. There is a serious argument for him to be the top offensive tackle prospect. His lateral quickness to handle exchanges is great. The Kentucky native has a quick first step and seals run plays well. He is solidly within the first round discussion.

NFL Draft projection: Top-15 pick

OT Tristan Wirfs (Iowa)

Wirfs is built like an offensive guard but several talent evaluators are confident that he can play on the edge. There are moments of brilliance in his game but it needs to happen more consistently. He is strong and shows good lateral quickness. Iowa switched him back and forth from left tackle to right tackle when Alaric Jackson was injured. It made no sense.

NFL Draft projection: Top-15 pick

C Tyler Biadasz (Wisconsin)

Biadasz does a great job sealing blocks. He is strong at the point of attack and blocks with good leverage. When he is unattached, he looks for work when no one is in his gap. The Wisconsin native has some experience pull blocking. If Oklahoma center Creed Humphrey does not declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, then Biadasz should be the unquestioned top center prospect. 

NFL Draft projection: First-round pick

EDGE A.J. Epenesa (Iowa)

Epenesa does not receive the attention he deserves. He is a great edge rusher prospect. The Illinois native is fast off the snap, strong and has an arsenal of pass rush tactics. His hand techniques are so advanced. The active defender has really improved his awareness to set the edge as well. Epenesa is a slam dunk prospect.

NFL Draft projection: Top-15 pick

EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos (Penn State)

Gross-Matos is a long, fast player. He can improve his strength but he shows great discipline to break down his footwork and make tackles in the open field. His hand usage allows him to counter a lineman's initial punch. His ability around the edge will intrigue teams in the first round. 

NFL Draft projection: Top 25-50 pick

EDGE Curtis Weaver (Boise State)

Weaver gets off blocks at an elite pace. He is strong and draws a lot of double teams. The California native absolutely bullies linemen on the edge. He has a few great counter moves and does a great job setting the edge. Weaver could probably stand to work on his body composition a bit more but his explosion off the edge is superior to most in this class.

NFL Draft projection: First-round pick

EDGE Chase Young (Ohio State)

There is little wrong with Young. Positional value aside, he is the best overall talent in the draft class. He displays the Bosa club rip that was made famous by his talented former teammate in addition to his own pass rush moves. Young is a generational type talent with a clean bill of health. Talent evaluators have not seen an edge rusher like him since Myles Garrett.

NFL Draft projection: Top-three pick

LB Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma)

Murray is a fluid, fast linebacker capable of working sideline to sideline. He does a good job getting off blocks and shooting gaps to get in the backfield. Murray's motor is relentless and he has a great frame. There are times where he plays a little too fast and out of control. The Texas native shows a comfort level dropping into coverage as well. 

NFL Draft projection: First-round pick

CB C.J. Henderson (Florida)

Henderson was projected as a top-10 pick at the start of the season but he got off to a slow start. He has quick feet and mirrors the receiver well. The Florida native has a long, skinny frame but he showed improvement by season's end. It is not exactly a strong cornerback class, so he could earn himself a lot of money during the pre-NFL Draft process. 

NFL Draft projection: Top 25-50 pick

CB Jeff Okudah (Ohio State)

Okudah is a special player. He is long and lean but wiry strong. Most cornerbacks are afraid to fly up and make tackles in the backfield, but do not count Okudah among them. He is an aggressive player more than comfortable making plays in the backfield. His coverage ability downfield is great too. The Buckeyes produced Marshon Lattimore, Denzel Ward and now Okudah. They all possess similar strengths and well-rounded styles of play. 

NFL Draft projection: Top-10 pick

S Grant Delpit (LSU)

Opinions vary when it comes to Delpit. Everyone penciled him in as a top-10 pick after last season, but his play has been uninspired at times in 2019. He has been dealing with an ankle injury so it is unclear how that has impacted him. Two years ago, teams noticed a lack of a production from a safety following a stellar season. His stock dropped and he lasted until pick No. 17. The player's name was Derwin James. Delpit has the upside, so James serves as his cautionary tale. 

NFL Draft projection: First-round pick

S Xavier McKinney (Alabama)

McKinney is such a fluid athlete. He can play a variety of positions at the next level. If he has to be labeled, it would be as a free safety but he could also play nickel. NFL teams should have no issue finding a place for him to play. McKinney might be the second best defensive back behind Jeff Okudah.

NFL Draft projection: First-round pick

Returning to school

WR Devonta Smith (Alabama)

Smith would have been in the discussion of being a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He has great hands and speed but there are aspects in which he could improve. The Louisiana native does not have the best body control and can learn finer points of the position like not allowing himself to be squeezed along the sideline. For being such a talented player, it is comforting to see him block for his teammates on the edge.

OT Alex Leatherwood (Alabama)

Leatherwood would have fallen into the late first or second round. He is active, aggressive and strong. When unattached, he looks for work and blocks with good leverage. The Florida native needs to become more consistent next season to solidify his draft stock as a first-round pick. He is a little rough around the edges compared to his teammate, Jedrick Wills.

OG Wyatt Davis (Ohio State)

Davis was under represented in draft conversations before he announced his return to Columbus. He might have been a first round pick and it is even more likely that he finds himself in that position next year. Davis played really solid football fundamentally and should test well athletically.

C Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma)

Humphrey is only a sophomore so it was not a surprise to learn that he is returning to school. He is still a kid living out the fun years in college. If he had declared, he likely would have been a first round pick. He is a stone in the middle; there is no moving him. Humphrey will be regarded among the top offensive line prospects next season.

DT Marvin Wilson (Florida State)

Wilson is a bowling ball defender and a close replica of a bowling ball with his frame. He draws a lot of double teams and eats a lot of space. Fans should not allow his size to fool them, however. He displays good technique and speed off the snap. His explosion improved from 2018 to 2019. 

LB Dylan Moses (Alabama)

Moses suffered a torn ACL ahead of the 2019 season. He was almost assuredly a first-round lock until his injury. The Louisiana native is famous because the Crimson Tide offered him a scholarship as an eighth-grader. Moses improved his sack production each season in addition to showing comfort in coverage. 

CB Paulson Adebo (Stanford)

Adebo is a physical player that contributes in run support. He is likely best suited as a nickelback on the next level. There was a point when he was expected to be a first round choice but those dreams faded away as the season progressed. The Texas native is smart and will find himself right back in the conversation next year.

CB Shaun Wade (Ohio State)  

Wade was primarily playing a nickelback role with the Buckeyes behind Damon Arnette and Jeff Okudah. He is talented enough to play the boundary position and will now have a chance to show that in 2020. The ability to play on the edge will only elevate his draft profile. The physical cornerback does a good job getting off blocks. Wade may have been a first-round choice had he declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. 

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