The NFL Combine in Indianapolis is the biggest opportunity for all 32 teams to evaluate and reevaluate their master list of prospect rankings ahead of the 2020 NFL Draft. In pre-draft analysis, those rankings translate to what’s collectively called the “big board.”
Sporting News’ first top 100 big board of 2020 goes beyond reflecting on the latest first-round projections in the updated mock draft to provide a comprehensive look at those prospects worthy to go off the board by around the end of the third round.
When stacking up the prospects by position, it’s clear a few groups stand out as being stronger than most others. Starting with one with athletic defensive freak and ending with an offensive track star, here the best players overall, with a look at how they’re also grouped by position.
NFL MOCK DRAFT 2020:
Colts reload at QB; Eagles, Raiders find playmakers
Young combines elite athleticism with tremendous instincts to get to the quarterback, which he proved with 16.5 sacks in only 12 games in his final season in Columbus. He is better coming in that either Joey or Nick Bosa. He will be a game-changing disruptor in any scheme.
Simmons seemed to be all over the field at all times in college with great speed and range. He gets everywhere in a hurry, from rushing the passer to moving laterally to get in ideal coverage positions. He posted 104 tackles, 7 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and 3 interceptions in 15 games in his final college season.
Burrow has great mental and physical toughness along with the classic swagger and confidence you want from an on-field leader, and it translated into a high level of play ending with the ultimate college championship success. He has the arm to drop the ball in anywhere and the athleticism to extend plays, too.
Brown is a quick disruptor who makes a lot of plays in the backfield. He’s looking to obliterate blockers on every snap with the relentless motor to take over games at times.
Okudah has the build to handle receivers of all sizes. He is fluid and quick enough with great recovery skills in coverage to develop into a shutdown type with his strengths showing up in press man. That makes him an elite ballhawk when teams do try to throw in his direction.
Tagovailoa is an accurate, mobile, deep-ball throwing QB when healthy. His ability to shuffle his feet to create throwing lanes and extend plays puts him in the category of Drew Brees and Russell Wilson in having the mental makeup and build to overcome any concerns about his height.
Wills is a strong, natural and powerful run blocker with the athletic upside to round into a smooth pass protector. In time, he can start on the left side, but he also could be dominant from the get-go from the right side.
Lamb doubles as an explosive field-stretcher and steady possession guy outside, giving him the ideal profile of a complete X receiver in the NFL. Lamb needed only 58 receptions to post 1,208 yards and 14 TDs in 13 games last season.
Jeudy also fits the profile as a No. 1 receiver; he is a classic intermediate to deep field-stretcher and smooth drive-finisher in the red zone. He can build on the success of recent Alabama first-round go-to wideouts Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley with his route versatility.
Epenesa is a powerful, explosive, big-bodied player. He can push blockers out of the way to get to the QB and also stands up strong against the run. He has the length, quickness and intimidation to wear down opponents.
Kinlaw knows how to use his size well with great arms to go along with his immense strength and power at the point of attack. He posted 6 sacks in 12 games for the Gamecocks. He was impressive at the Senior Bowl (on and off the field) to further boost his stock.
Thomas matches his great size with good hands and footwork. He was an anchor of the Bulldogs’ run blocking, helping to open some holes for the best backs in the nation. He also can move to win battles with athleticism.
Herbert is efficient and mentally tough with underrated athleticism, which manifested itself down the stretch of his final season with the Ducks, with ended with a redemption victory in the Rose Bowl. He needs a little help with his decision-making and knowing when to rein it in sometimes, but he proved how receptive he was to improve everything with coaching with his Senior Bowl.
Wirfs has the athleticism to hold down the left side for a long time if needed, but like Wills, he can be absolutely dominant on the right side. Wirfs does have advanced pass-blocking skills to go along with power and physicality in the running game.
Fulton has the size, speed, smarts and sound coverage skills to have a long, prosperous career, which is why he felt confident enough to pull out of the Senior Bowl. Other Tigers defensive backs had more flash but he can offer an NFL team steady substance, not getting burned much while being spectacular at times.
Becton (6-7, 369 pounds) has gotten more attention for his strong and powerful frame, as he has shown he can also be smooth in his movements. He is willing to work hard to become as good in pass protection as he is overwhelming blockers when setting the edge against the run.
Ruggs, with his blazing downfield speed, is a field-stretcher who also can use his route-running skills to win on shorter routes. He is a dangerous deep threat who also positions himself to finish drives well in the red zone.
Chaisson is an extremely active pursuit defender who can line up in a variety of place to wreak havoc in multiple fronts. He is tough to stop when he some open field and a head of steam in the pass rush.
Diggs offers a nice blend of strength and downfield speed to go along with his big frame. He shot up the board quickly during his big senior season (3 interceptions in 12 games).
Gross-Matos is a well-built, explosive and versatile defender made to be disruptive in a hybrid scheme. He is an accomplished edge rusher but doesn’t enough credit for what he can do against the run.
File Murray under another linebacker in this class who can fly all over the field with elite speed. He is an active, rangy playmaker who can be as effective dropping back as he is getting downhill against the run or blitzing.
McKinney is a complete safety who can get physical in run support and also drop back and handle intermediate coverage. There’s nothing he can’t do and is willing to do whatever is asked for a defense, toggling seamlessly from extra linebacker to short-area sub-package back.
Henderson plays bigger than his size with great athleticism and technique in his favor. He just needs to get a little more physical to be trusted against receivers who rely on body positioning to get open.
Higgins works the perimeter well as a dangerous, all-around playmaker who can especially be a force in the red zone. He posted 59 receptions for 1,167 yards and 13 TDs in 15 games last season. His size and skillset are reminiscent of former Clemson and current Chargers receiver Mike Williams.
Delpit flies around the field, stopping the run like an extra linebacker and making big plays on the ball in downfield coverage. He plays like the Chargers’ Derwin James with tremendous hybrid size for the position.
Swift (5-9, 229 pounds) is capable of both getting the tough yards inside and breaking free for big plays in the open field. He also flashed as a receiver for the Bulldogs and can excel in the screen game.
Shenault is a sure-handed field stretcher who has some nice big-play flair after the catch. He posted 56 catches for 764 yards and 4 TDs for the Buffaloes in his final colelge season, standing out despite his team’s overall struggles.
Gallimore got more attention throughout last season for the powerful punch he showed on the Sooners’ interior line, blossoming as a senior with four sacks. He backed that up with a strong Senior Bowl week. His relentlessness in practice can translate well to the NFL.
Queen has great range when either working downhill against the run or moving all over the field in coverage. He is relatively small but is the type of linebacker who can have a major impact from any alignment.
Taylor has great vision and burst as a runner. He also doesn’t get enough credit for what he can do as a receiver, which was on display more during his final college season. In three years for the Badgers, he posted 6,581 scrimmage yards and 55 total TDs.
Kindley was right there with Thomas blasting big defensive linemen to pave the way in the running game. He has the skills to also develop into a nimble interior pass blocker.
Love matches his terrific size and immense physical skills, including a big arm, and his athleticism bodes well if his accuracy, decision-making and footwork can become cleaner with good NFL coaching.
Blaclock has risen up boards as teams have seen that he can convert his power into electric energy in trying to disrupt plays in the backfield.
Jackson has entered the fray as a borderline first-rounder as an athletic beast with a strong finish to his final college season. He’s an impressive athlete for his size who needs some refinement for his technique to match his quick feet.
Dobbins is ideal for a zone scheme in the NFL with his quickness, agility and ability to read blockers well. He is an adept receiver with explosive burst once he sees a hole, hits it and gets into the open field. He’ll need to hold up better as a blocker himself to ba a three-down back.
Jones has terrific athleticism for his size and can support with his toughness and relentless blocking. He is a bit raw, however, as his handwork and footwork both could refinement to maximize his natural skills.
Baun is a smart, motivated player who comes through with great technique against the run and has started to get more attention for his pass-rush repertoire and the athleticism that goes with it.
Davis is a massive, versatile player made for a 3-4 scheme. He can line up at both end and tackle to eat space against the run.
Hall is on track to be fully healthy after coming off season-ending left ankle surgery. He is a promising, nice-sized corner made to be solid on the perimeter for several seasons.
Reagor is a productive diminutive dasher who also provides some nice run-after-catch skills with his quickness and toughness for his size.
Biadasz is straight out of the Badgers’ fine interior blocking tradition (Travis Frederick, Kevin Zeitler). His strength his converting his frame into pure power for the downhill running game.
Aiyuk fits the profile as an impactful slot receiver with his quickness made to make big plays after the catch, with enough speed to get vertical down the middle, too. He needs to get tougher and stronger in his routes to expand to the outside, which can come in time.
As you might expect, the son of the former Vikings Pro Bowl cornerback has great smarts and toughness for the position. He excels at diagnosing plays, knowing when to be aggressive against the run and where to use his frame to advantage in short-area coverage.
Jefferson emerged in LSU’s passing game as a quick, efficient route-runner with good hands whose speed remains underrated. He posted 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 TDs in 15 games.
Weaver is a high-energy pass rusher with some untapped upside as he makes the jump. He was an absolute beast on the blue turf with 13.5 sacks in 14 games in his final college season.
Dantzler has nice size and uses his hands and hips well to be disruptive against receivers downfield. He’s at his best operating in zone.
Ruiz has a rare blend of power and athleticism, which has helped him rise up draft boards of late because he can produce in any type of blocking scheme. He needs some work in pass protection, but he can contribute right away as a top run blocker.
Eason has an exceptionally strong arm made to deliver impressive deep balls. That makes him a great fit for a vertical passing game that plays off the power running game with play-action shots. He needs to be more consistent and efficient to hold.a starting job.
Hopkins fits the profile of a “move” tight end in the NFL. He’s an elite athlete who can get open running every kind of route and is a mismatch when working the deep middle of the field. Whoever takes him, however, must accept he may never be a significant asset as a blocker.
Terrell is a versatile cover man for his size, who can work both outside and inside, in both man and zone schemes. He needs to learn to win battles with better technique and handwork.
51. Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington (6-2, 248 pounds)
52. Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame (6-6, 262 pounds)
53. Trey Adams, OT, Washington (6-8, 318 pounds)
54. Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama (6-5, 262 pounds)
55. Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU (5-10, 191 pounds)
56. Chase Claypool, WR/TE, Notre Dame (6-4, 238 pounds)
57. Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame (6-4, 252 pounds)
58. Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota (6-1, 206 pounds)
59. Netane Muti, G, Fresno State (6-3, 315 pounds)
60. Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah (6-0, 193 pounds)
61. Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri (6-5, 258 pounds)
62. Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M (6-3, 293 pounds)
63. Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn (6-5, 308 pounds)
64. K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State (5-9, 178 pounds)
65. Calvin Throckmorton, OT, Oregon (6-5, 317 pounds)
66. Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah (6-3, 257 pounds)
67. Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma (6-1, 222 pounds)
68. Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State (6-1, 224 pounds)
69. Leki Fotu, DT, Utah (6-5, 330 pounds)
70. Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC (6-4, 223 pounds)
71. Jonah Jackson, G, Ohio State (6-3, 306 pounds)
72. Denzel Mims, WR Baylor (6-3, 207 pounds)
73. Lucas Niang, OT, TCU (6-6, 315 pounds)
74. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia (6-2, 219 pounds)
75. Lloyd Cushenberry, G, LSU (6-3, 312 pounds)
76. Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn (5-10, 196 pounds)
77. Jared Pinkney, TE, Vanderbilt (6-4, 257 pounds)
78. Ashtyn Davis, S, California (6-1, 195 pounds)
79. Khalid Kareem, EDGE, Notre Dame (6-4, 268 pounds)
80. Zach Moss, RB, Utah (5-9, 223 pounds)
81. Jordan Elliott, DT, Missouri (6-4, 302 pounds)
82. Nick Harris, G, Washington (6-1, 302 pounds)
83. Josh Uche, EDGE/OLB, Michigan (6-1, 245/ pounds)
84. Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU (6-2, 250 pounds)
85. Van Jefferson, WR, Florida (6-1, 200 pounds)
86. Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State (5-11, 195 pounds)
87. Terrell Burgess, S, Utah (5-11, 192 pounds)
88. Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan (6-2, 212 pounds)
89. Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee (6-3, 267 pounds)
90. Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton (6-5, 255 pounds)
91. Jack Driscoll, OT, Auburn (6-4, 306 pounds)
92. Marlon Davidson, DT, Auburn (6-3, 303 pounds)
93. Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State (6-6, 311 pounds)
94. Troy Dye, LB, Oregon (6-3, 231 pounds)
95. Troy Pride Jr, CB, Notre Dame (5-11, 193 pounds)
96. K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State (6-0, 196 pounds)
97. Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina (6-3, 212 pounds)
98. John Simpson, G, Tennessee (6-4, 321 pounds)
99. Shane Lemieux, G, Oregon (6-4, 310 pounds)
100. Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas (5-10, 200)
Source: Read Full Article