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  • Sporting News 2020 NFL Draft Top 50 Big Board

    2020 NFL Draft prospects: Big board of top 50, best players by position

    It's never too early to shift the focus to the 2020 NFL Draft.

    Simply put, Alabama players will dominate next year's draft. Sporting News ranked the top 50 prospects in our early big board for 2020, and 10 of those players - including the top two in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and receiver Jerry Jeudy - play for the Crimson Tide.

    Here is a look at the best 50 best players available in the 2020 NFL Draft regardless of position, and how high each might be selected based on team needs, position scarcity and other factors. Most of the players are underclassmen (denoted with *), but that is the norm in the NFL Draft now.

    It's never too early to take a closer look.

    1. Tua Tagovailoa*, QB, Alabama
    Tagovalioa will get dissected like every other would-be franchise quarterback, but his accuracy and mistake-free play will be huge bonuses along with his play-making ability in the pocket. He will be the first QB off the board unless something drastic happens.

    2. Jerry Jeudy*, WR, Alabama
    Jeudy - who averages an absurd 19.3 yards per catch through two seasons - will join Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley as the next Alabama first-round receiver under Nick Saban.

    3. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
    Herbert could have been a first-round pick in 2019, but he chose to stay in school. Herbert has all the measurables, and a 63:17 TD:INT ratio to go with it.

    4. A.J. Epenesa*, DE, Iowa
    Epenesa had 10.5 sacks and 16.5 sacks as a sophomore, and the 6-5, 277-pound force is only going to improve as a junior. He has competition within the Big Ten that will push him, too.

    5. Andrew Thomas*, T, Georgia
    Thomas will be a three-year starter, and he's a 320-left tackle who played in every game for the Bulldogs last season. He'll be a safe pick for any team looking for immediate offensive line help.

    6. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
    Brown is massive at 6-5, 325 pounds, and he's totaled 95 tackles and 20 tackles for loss over the past two seasons. He could challenge to be the top pick with a senior season.

    7. Chase Young*, DE, Ohio State
    Young is that competition for Epenesa. He's the next first-round pick off the Ohio State defensive line, and he should improve on last year's totals of 9.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss.

    8. Grant Delpit*, S, LSU
    Delpit is a multi-dimensional safety in the mold of Eric Berry. Delpit had five interceptions and five sacks last season. That's special talent from a coveted position.

    9. Walker Little*, T, Stanford
    Little will fight to be the first offensive lineman selected, and another year in Stanford's system should push the 6-7, 313-pound left tackle to be in the conversation.

    10. Trey Smith*, T, Tennessee
    This draft is loaded with talent at tackle, and Smith is a 6-6, 320-pounder who can compete to be the first offensive lineman selected.

    11. Jake Fromm*, QB, Georgia
    Fromm will have a new supporting cast at receiver, but he's still a three-year starter with an impressive resume who has 54 TDs and just 13 interceptions the last two seasons. He'll have to prove it all over again, but he's a first-round quarterback heading into 2019.

    12. C.J. Henderson*, CB, Florida
    He's averaged 30 tackles and three interceptions per year over the last two seasons, and his coverage skills are ahead of the curve. The SEC's top cornerback will have his chance to bump into the top 10.

    13. Tee Higgins*, WR, Clemson
    The 6-4, 200-pound receiver averages 16.9 yards per catch with 14 TDs the last two season. He's an efficient big-play receiver who should see those numbers go up as a junior.

    14. Travis Etienne*, RB, Clemson
    Eitenne has 37 rushing TDs on 311 rushing attempts the last three seasons. He averages 7.8 yards per carry. Size might be a question, but game-breaking ability won't be.

    15. Jonathan Taylor*, RB, Wisconsin
    Taylor has 4,171 rushing yards and 29 TDs the last two season. The production comes with few questions, and he should be the next solid Wisconsin running back at the next level.

    16. Trey Adams, T, Washington
    Adams has first-round talent, but he has missed time with a torn ACL and a bulging disk in his back the last two seasons. He needs to stay healthy to ensure his spot in the first round.

    17. Tyler Biadasz*, G, Wisconsin
    Biadasz is a big reason for Taylor's success on the ground and on pace to be the next first-round lineman out of Madison.

    18. Raekwon Davis, Alabama, DE
    Davis got lost in the shuffle with the defensive talent on display this year, and he faces a prove-it year as a senior. That should maximize results.

    19. Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
    Johnson had four interceptions, including a pick six, as a sophomore. The 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback added 41 tackles. He'll compete to be the top corner selected.

    20. Dylan Moses*, LB, Alabama
    Moses is the next linebacker Saban will send to the NFL, and he comes with the same disciplined qualities with play recognition and tackling. It's the same-as-usual late first-round pick.

    21. Isaiah Simmons*, LB, Clemson
    Simmons stayed in school after a breakout season that included 88 tackles and nine tackles for loss. With a few more interceptions, Simmons could push up to the front half of the first round.

    22. Curtis Weaver*, EDGE, Boise State
    Weaver is among the top edge rushers in this year's draft; a class that won't be anywhere near as strong as 2019. Weaver will have competition, but if he shows the same consistency with sacks and tackles for loss this spot will hold.

    23. Kenny Willekes, DE, Michigan State
    Willekes enjoyed a breakout season for the Spartans with eight sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss last season and will continue to develop as a rush end.

    24. A.J. Dillon*, RB, Boston College
    Dillon is a throw-back big back, but at 245 pounds he does not lack the production necessary to be drafted in the first round. He's averaged 5.1 yards per carry with a heavy workload the last two seasons.

    25. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
    Fulton had nine pass breakups in 10 games last season. He returns to school after a season-ending ankle injury in 2018.

    26. Albert Okwuegbunam*, TE, Missouri
    27. Laviska Shenault*, WR, Colorado
    28. Mekhi Becton*, T, Louisville
    29. Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
    30. Paddy Fisher*, LB, Northwestern
    31. Tommy Kraemer, G, Notre Dame
    32. Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
    33. Najee Harris*, RB, Alabama
    34. JK Dobbins*, RB, Ohio State
    35. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
    36. Nick Coe*, DE, Auburn
    37. Khalid Kareem, EDGE, Notre Dame
    38. Jalen Reagor*, WR, TCU
    39. Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
    40. Jacob Eason*, QB, Washington
    41. Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida
    42. Ceedee Lamb*, WR, Oklahoma
    43. Anfernee Jennings, EDGE, Alabama
    44. Donovan Peoples-Jones*, WR, Michigan
    45. Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
    46. Colby Parkinson*, TE, Stanford
    47. Henry Ruggs IV*, WR, Alabama
    48. A.J. Terrell*, CB, Clemson
    49. Yetur Gross-Matos*, EDGE, Penn State
    50. Shea Patterson, QB, Michigan

    NFL Draft 2020 big board: Top players by position

    1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (1)
    2. Justin Herbert, Oregon (3)
    3. Jake Fromm, Georgia (11)
    4. Jacob Eason, Washington (41)
    5. Shea Patterson, Michigan (50)

    Running back
    1. Travis Etienne, Clemson (14)
    2. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (15)
    3. A.J. Dillon, Boston College (24)
    4. Najee Harris, Alabama (34)
    5. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State (35)

    1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (2)
    2. Tee Higgins, Clemson (13)
    3. Laviska Shenault, Colorado (27)
    4. Collin Johnson, Texas (29)
    5. Jalen Reagor, TCU (40)

    Tight end
    1. Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri (26)

    Offensive line
    1. Andrew Thomas, Georgia (5)
    2. Walker Little, Stanford (9)
    3. Trey Smith, Tennessee (10)
    4. Trey Adams, Washington (16)
    5. Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin (17)

    Defensive line
    1. A.J. Epenesa, Iowa (4)
    2. Derrick Bown, Auburn (6)
    3. Chase Young, Ohio State (7)
    4. Raekwon Davis, Alabama (18)
    5. Kenny Willekes, Michigan State (24)

    Edge rusher
    1. Curtis Weaver, Boise State (22)
    2. Terrell Lewis, Alabama (33)
    3. Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame (38)
    4. Jabari Zuniga, Florida (42)
    5. Anfernee Jennings, Alabama (44)

    1. Dylan Moses, Alabama (20)
    2. Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (21)
    3. Shaq Quarterman, Miami (30)
    4. Paddy Fisher, Northwestern (31)
    5. Malik Harrison, Ohio State (46)

    1. C.J. Henderson, Florida (12)
    2. Jaylon Johnson, Utah (19)
    3. Kristian Fulton, LSU (25)
    4. Trevon Diggs, Alabama (40)
    5. A.J. Terrell, Clemson (48)

    1. Grant Delpit, LSU (7)
    2. Xavier McKinney, Alabama (36)

Related Topics


  • Nick
    Kiper's final 2018 NFL draft Big Board
    by Nick
    Kiper's final 2018 NFL draft Big Board and position rankings
    7:48 AM ET
    Mel Kiper Jr.
    Football analyst

    The 2018 NFL draft is here -- and now we can finally figure out where all of these quarterbacks are going.

    Below are my "final" Big Board and "final" position rankings for the class of 2018. I'm putting "final" in quotation marks because I'll be making a few tweaks up until the draft begins (Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and the ESPN app, in case you were wondering). I'll be talking to more sources and adjusting my rankings based on what I hear. And remember, my Big Board is not a prediction of where prospects will be drafted, only where I have them ranked.

    Notable: My Big Board goes to 300 prospects, and my position rankings cover more than 700. But it's important to note that the cutoff for undrafted free agents starts around 35 for positions like wide receiver. That means approximately 90 wide receivers have grades that are nearly identical. In short: Players ranked from 150 to 250 on my board are similar. It's splitting hairs.

    1. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
    Previous rank: 1
    Barkley is the best prospect in this draft. His testing numbers at the combine -- 4.40 40-yard dash and 41-inch vertical -- were elite at any size, much less a 6-foot, 233-pound back. Barkley plays with tremendous balance, a great lower body and quick feet. He's a stellar runner both inside and outside the tackles, and he showed in 2017 that he's a true three-down back. He had 54 catches after having 48 combined in his first two seasons at Penn State. Barkley is a special talent.

    2. Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
    Previous rank: 2
    Chubb could have entered the 2017 draft and been in the first-round discussion. At 6-4, 269 pounds, he shows good takeoff from the edge, and he has an excellent mix of speed and power. You saw some of that speed and explosion at the combine, where he ran a 4.65 40 and had a 36-inch vertical. Chubb had 10 sacks and 25 tackles for loss (tied for second in the FBS) in 2017 and had 10 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss in 2016. Chubb doesn't have quite as high of a grade as Myles Garrett did last year, but he's in that same tier.

    3. Roquan Smith, ILB, Georgia
    Previous rank: 4
    Smith is getting buzz as a potential top-eight pick. His tape is too good, and he's too athletic -- he ran a 4.51 40 at the combine -- for teams to be worried as much about his size (6-0, 237). He can get sideline to sideline in a hurry. A season after recording 95 total tackles and five tackles for loss, Smith had 137 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in 2017. He can blitz up the middle or off the edge, and I think he could play inside or outside linebacker. He's just a fun player to watch, and he was one of the best players on the field in both of the Bulldogs' College Football Playoff matchups.

    -04-24-2018, 04:08 PM
  • Nick
    2020 NFL Draft: Final Top 250 Big Board, with 21 receivers in the top 100
    by Nick
    2020 NFL Draft prospect rankings: Final Top 250 Big Board, with 21 receivers in the top 100
    The receiver class is loaded, the offensive tackle group is top-heavy, and there are plenty of quality defensive backs
    Chris Trapasso
    1 hr ago • 14 min read

    After months watching and re-watching film of hundreds of draft prospects and analyzing athletic testing, my final Big Board for the 2020 NFL Draft is set it digital stone.

    No major surprises this year at the top spot at any position. Well, maybe Harrison Bryant from Florida Atlantic as my top tight end?

    Joe Burrow's my No. 1 overall prospect.

    Before I get to the rankings, I must note I have a "position addition" included in my grading system that's factored in after I get a "raw grade" for each prospect based on positional value. Quarterbacks, of course, get the biggest boost. Then edge rushers and offensive tackles, and so on. Running backs receive zero position addition. Incorporating that concept seemed logical to me when constructing a Big Board that wasn't team-specific.

    Next to each prospect's position is a number. For reference convenience, that number represents their ranking at their respective position.

    1. Joe Burrow, QB1, LSU
    2. Chase Young, EDGE1, Ohio St.
    3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB2, Alabama
    4. Jeffrey Okudah, CB1, Ohio State
    5. Tristan Wirfs, OT1, Iowa
    6. CeeDee Lamb, WR1, Oklahoma
    7. Isaiah Simmons, LB1, Clemson
    8. Jerry Jeudy, WR2, Alabama
    9. Justin Herbert, QB3, Oregon
    10. Javon Kinlaw, DL1, South Carolina

    Burrow and Young are no-brainers. Tagovailoa's raw grade was actually the sixth-highest in the class, but his position addition bumps him to No. 3. This could be the lowest you'll see Isaiah Simmons. For as much as I watched his film with my jaw on my desk, I did notice his twitch doesn't align with the rest of his freakish athleticism. In short, Lamb got the top receiver spot because of more dynamic yards-after-the-catch ability and better contested-catch skill than Jeudy. Herbert has his flaws -- at times, his accuracy and reading complex coverages -- but he also can be tremendous on difficult throws that require elite arm talent, and I like his athleticism and experience. Kinlaw is my top defensive lineman for many reasons, and he's ahead of Derrick Brown because of his pass-rushing prowess.

    11. K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE2, LSU
    12. Andrew Thomas, OT2, Georgia
    13. Tee Higgins, WR3, Clemson
    14. Henry Ruggs III, WR4, Alabama
    15. Jedrick Wills, OT3, Alabama
    16. Curtis Weaver, EDGE3, Boise State
    17. Josh Jones, OT4, Houston
    18. Mekhi Becton, OT5, Louisville
    19. Xavier McKinney, S1, Alabama
    20. Derrick Brown, DL2, Auburn
    21. Jalen Reagor, WR5, TCU
    22. Kristian Fulton, CB2, LSU
    23. Jordan Love, QB4,...
    -04-14-2020, 08:06 AM
  • Nick
    Top prospect on each team in CFB Playoff Top 25
    by Nick
    Top prospect on each team in CFB Playoff Top 25
    By Kyle Crabbs
    Published on October 31, 2017

    It is officially the heart of college football season. The CFB Playoff committee debuted their first Top 25 rankings of the 2017 season, a barometer of where the heavyweights across the land stand with their playoff resumes.

    The battle for a spot in the final four has just begun, as November and conference championships in early December will prove essential in sorting out the quagmire of teams slotted 3 through 13 (all with 1 or 0 losses).

    In the meantime, this is a great excuse to introduce the country to the best eligible 2018 draft prospect on each team in the CFB Playoff committee’s Top 25.

    1. Georgia Bulldogs (8-0) – RB Nick Chubb. Chubb gets notable competition from fellow RB Sony Michel and LB Lorenzo Carter. But Chubb has returned to form this year and brings balance, power and vision as a runner that in almost any other class would be widely regarded as a top talent.

    2. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is a true junior and widely regarded as one of the top overall players in the country. His size (6’1, 202 lbs) is notable for a Free Safety prospect, and Fitzpatrick pairs it with tremendous ball skills.

    3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-1) – OG Quenton Nelson. Nelson is one of the 5-10 best players in this class hands down. But because he plays a non-premium position, the odds are he’ll slip into the teens. A middle of the road franchise looking to take the next step would love nothing more.

    4. Clemson Tigers (7-1) – DE Clelin Ferrell. Ferrell and fellow DE Austin Bryant (junior) have eclipsed double digit sack totals on the season and lead the way for a defensive line that may be comprised of four future first round picks. Ferrell is the best blend of traits out of that group.

    5. Oklahoma Sooners (7-1) – QB Baker Mayfield. LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was close. But Mayfield’s ascension as a prospect is one of the most impressive improvements I’ve seen this year. Losing Dede Westbrook, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine might have been the best thing to ever happen to Mayfield, who now puts the load on his shoulders alone.

    6. Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1) – CB Denzel Ward. Do the Buckeyes ever run out of defensive backs? Ward follows in the footsteps of rookie sensation Marshon Lattimore as the latest Buckeye to emerge as a top prospect at the position.

    7. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-1) – RB Saquon Barkley. I mean…come on. Barkley is a national sensation and the favorite for the 2017 Heisman Trophy for a reason. A true generational talent who does wonders for a Penn State team that would be high and dry without him.

    8. Texas Christian Horned Frogs (7-1) – LB Travin Howard. He’s a bit undersized, but Howard is a fast, twitchy hybrid player that fits Gary Patterson’s fast flowing style...
    -11-01-2017, 04:20 AM
  • RamBill
    Gil Brandt's Top 100
    by RamBill
    2013 NFL Draft: Luke Joeckel, Geno Smith among best prospects

    By Gil Brandt
    Senior Analyst
    Published: Feb. 18, 2013 at 04:46 p.m.

    2013 NFL Draft: Luke Joeckel, Geno Smith among best prospects |

    The NFL Scouting Combine is about to kick the draft season into high gear. With that in mind, I thought this would be a good time to put together the first "Hot 100" list of the year.

    As those who are familiar with previous editions of this list know, it represents how I think the prospects stack up according to ability -- it is not the order in which I think they'll be drafted. In other words, I'm not saying Chance Warmack will be the third overall pick, but I am saying that he's the third-best player in the class.

    Finally, it's important to remember that players will rise and fall based on how they perform at the combine later this week, and they'll likely continue to do so all the way up to draft day.

    1) Luke Joeckel, OL, Texas A&M
    This long-armed three-year player should be a top talent in the NFL for quite some time. Joeckel reminds me of Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Joe Thomas.

    2) Bjoern Werner, DL, Florida State
    Werner, a German native, is a very, very good pass rusher. He's one of these guys that is highly motivated, someone who never takes a play off; in that way, he reminds me of Jared Allen.

    3) Chance Warmack, OL, Alabama
    Warmack is very good and will be a factor in the NFL for many years; he should have a Larry Allen-type of career. However, as guards aren't usually drafted in the top 10, Warmack will likely be picked in the middle of the first round. He was an even better college player than the great Steve Hutchinson, who was picked 17th overall by the Seattle Seahawks in 2001.

    4) Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
    More time will be spent on Smith than on any other player in the 2013 NFL Draft. When I watched him from the sideline during West Virginia's game against Texas, Smith was quick and on the money, though he did overthrow some long balls. If he enters the league with a Russell Wilson-type work ethic, Smith will be OK.

    5) Star Lotulelei, DL, Utah
    Lotulelei reminds me of Baltimore Ravens veteran Haloti Ngata, who also grew up in Salt Lake City. Lotulelei can collapse the pocket with quickness and power. He needs to dominate every play for four quarters.

    6) Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
    Moore can play with his hand on the ground in a 4-3 scheme or in space in a 3-4. Oklahoma tackle Lane Johnson did a very good job against Moore in the Cotton Bowl.

    7) Eric Fisher, OL, Central Michigan
    The long-armed, quick-footed Fisher should play for quite some time in the NFL at a Pro Bowl-level. This youngster has the potential for lots of growth in the future.

    8) Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama...
    -02-18-2013, 02:30 PM
  • Nick's Best Remaining Players: Day 2
    by Nick
    Brugler on best remaining players per
    -- By Dane Brugler, --

    FRISCO, Texas -- After the selection of 32 players in the highly-celebrated first round of the 2018 NFL Draft Thursday, plenty of surprisingly good names were available to reset boards for Day 2, Friday.

    Several players slipped due to medicals (Harold Landry, Maurice Hurst) while others simply didn't find a spot.

    For those still focused on quarterbacks, even after five were taken in first round, watch for needy teams to consider Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph (No. 15 below) and Richmond's Kyle Lauletta (rated as No. 7 QB and No. 94 overall before draft).

    According to rankings, here are the top-50 prospects still available entering round two.

    So here is your cheat sheet when draft goes back on the air Friday at 7 p.m. ET.

    --1. Harold Landry, DE, Boston College (6-2, 252, 4.64, #7)

    Although his senior season didn't go as expected, due mostly to injuries, Landry still possesses the outstanding bend, shoulder dip and speed that NFL teams covet on the edges. Medical concerns could be the key reason he fell out of the first round.

    --2. James Daniels, OC, Iowa (6-3, 306, 5.23, #78)

    With his balance, punch and toughness, Daniels has the ingredients of a long-time NFL starter. He is quick to engage and control the point of attack, sustaining his mean streak through the whistle. Daniels had knee issues in college, is that the reason behind his fall?

    --3. Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP (6-2, 327, 5.15, #76)

    A mauler with elite grip strength, Hernandez loves to play the bully role regardless of the score or clock, displaying the natural power and surprising foot quickness to be a plug-and-play starter.

    --4. Connor Williams, OT, Texas (6-5, 296, 5.05, #55)

    The tale of two tapes: the 2016 game film for Williams shows a future top-20 draft pick, but his 2017 tape was a combination of uneven play and injuries, leading to concerns and questions. Half the league will have him on the board as a guard and the other half at tackle.

    --5. Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa (6-0, 196, 4.56, #15)

    Jackson shows the football intelligence and ball skills to excel as an outside zone cornerback in the NFL. He would be higher on this list, but his issues in run support and press-man coverage are bothersome.

    --6. Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU (6-3, 218, 4.54, #16)

    No receiver prospect in this class has a higher NFL ceiling than Sutton with exceptional athletic prowess for man his size. However, there will be a massive difference between the offense at SMU and that of whichever team drafts him.

    --7. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU (5-10, 224, 4.49, #5)

    Guice stresses defenses with his quick, explosive cuts and his angry run style make him tough to...
    -04-27-2018, 04:10 AM