The 2020 NFL Draft: The College Players to Watch

College Football (Photo by Yanping Nora Soong / CC BY-SA 3.0)

The 2020 NFL draft class is, without a doubt, loaded with talent, and there are many strong players in college football right now in key positions, such as quarterback, wide receiver, running back, offensive tackle, cornerback and edge rusher.

While nothing is guaranteed and predictions can change, here are the college players to watch for the 2020 NFL draft.

Justin Herbert – Quarterback, Oregon

At the start of January 2019, QB Justin Herbert had a difficult choice to make: remain in college and play with his brother or head to the NFL to potentially become the first quarterback drafted. He chose to remain in college for his senior season.

While some could argue that Herbert made the wrong decision, he is a force to be reckoned with on the field and still maintains football fans’ attention. In fact, the Oregon Ducks have secured their fifth straight win thanks to Herbert, who threw a pigskin for 261 yards and secured two touchdowns, which is why they are a top CFB pick at Oddschecker.

At 6’6” tall and weighing 240 pounds, he has the perfect size to complement both his touch and accuracy. Plus, he has the flexibility to move in and out of the pocket with ease. If he had made the decision to enter the NFL in 2019, it is likely he would be playing for the New York Giants right now. However, one year might not make much of a difference, as his arm talent, athleticism and accuracy continue to impress.

Tristen Wirfs – Offensive Tackle, Iowa

Tristen Wirfs not only has both the length and height to contend with outside speed, but he has the power to provide a strong defensive end. For a player of his height of 6’5” and weight of 320 pounds, he is impressively nimble and is surpassing the likes of Cody Ford for his quick feet.

In addition to excellent feet, he also has superb hand fighting, which are important traits in a successful passblocker. After all, a passblocker’s quick feet will keep their opponents away from them, while their hands will ensure they cannot be touched. It is, therefore, likely the left tackle will soon be drafted into the top ten.

Tee Higgins – Wide Receiver, Clemson

Clemson are experts at developing exceptional wide receiver talent, with Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Williams and Martavis Bryant being prime examples. Tee Higgins is seemingly following in their footsteps, and sophomore Justyn Ross is also not far behind.

Higgins, who weighs 205 pounds and is 6’4”, is capable of beating defensive backs down a football field, making him a strong vertical threat. His speed, quick feet and hands will also ensure he is swiftly drafted during the 2020 class. However, there is a possibility that teams will focus more on his stat sheet instead of his talent and distinctive traits.

College football celebration (Photo by Jason A G / CC BY-ND 2.0)

Chase Young – Edge Rusher, Ohio State

Ohio State’s Chase Young undoubtedly got his 2020 campaign off to a great start, and he is almost certainly living up to his nickname of “The Predator”. In fact, his skill on the field might even rival Nick Bosa prior to the San Francisco 49ers drafting him as No.2 for the 2019 draft.

While he might lack Bosa’s obvious strength, he is undoubtedly a dominant force around the edge and offers greater flexibility on the hips and shoulders. He also possesses a natural athletic ability, as he is capable of playing in a 4-3 defensive end or a 2-4 outside linebacker position. If he continues to play like his freshman and sophomore seasons, there is no doubt he will be drafted first overall.

Jerry Jeudy – Wide Receiver, Alabama

Many people are calling Jerry Jeudy the next Odell Beckham Jr., so you know he is one to watch for the 2020 draft. During his sophomore season, Jeudy received the Biletnikoff Award for being the best wide receiver in college. At a height of 6’1” and a weight of 192 pounds, he is able to defend with both speed, control and smooth running ability. If he can remain healthy this season, he has a strong likelihood of becoming the first receiver to be drafted overall number one since Keyshawn Johnson way back in 1996.

Tua Tagovailoa – Quarterback, Alabama

One of the most exciting prospects in college football is Tua Tagovailoa. He’s displayed great accuracy on the field, as he has thrown stunning passes to every level. He also has managed to launch a beautiful spiral 30 yards downfield to Jerry Jeudy, mentioned earlier.

The mobile quarterback also reads the field rather well, and his arm talent and ball placement will make him well suited for the next level. While he has sustained injuries and he is arguably too patient in the pocket, he will quickly heal and he can be taught greater pocket awareness. He does, however, possess the accuracy, mobility and poise that most teams are looking for when drafting a quarterback who could take them to the Super Bowl.

Jake Fromm – Quarterback, Georgia

While Jake Fromm lacks the agility of Kyle Murray, fails to match the size of Justin Herbert, and doesn’t possess the arm strength of Jacob Eason, he does offer exceptional accuracy that sets him worlds apart from other quarterback prospects in the 2020 draft class. It’s for this reason that evaluators have rated him highly since he took over from Jacob Eason when he was a freshman.

Due to his smart tactics and undeniable accuracy, he has been compared to the likes of Andrew Luck and Jared Goff when they came out of college. However, he’ll need to work hard to prove he has what it takes, as he is currently recovering from poor showings against LSU and Texas.

In Conclusion

The 2020 NFL Draft is full to the brim with impact players, who are capable of altering the game in multiple ways. The above players offer strong positions that perfectly complement the NFL, and the pro teams are always in need of players who make an impact on the field.