For NFL Draft enthusiasts and Dynasty fanatics, the 2019 Draft is in the rearview mirror. The players that were selected such as Marquise Brown, Kyler Murray, Josh Jacobs, etc. haven’t even put on actual pads at practice yet, but that doesn’t stop the diehards from looking forward.
Some might say it’s too early to look at the 2020 Draft Class, but they would be wrong. If you have people around you saying that, ditch them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life…
This 2020 Class has the potential to be special. There are some insanely talented players that are eligible for the NFL Draft in Las Vegas next year and it’s time to look ahead and get a grasp on who you should be watching this College Football season. Check out Part 1 of the 2020 Rookie RB Class.
(Note: The players are listed below in no particular ranking order)
D’Andre Swift – Georgia Bulldogs
Strengths: Be still, my beating heart. Swift is already my 2020 NFL Draft crush and it’s not close. Swift displays a perfect combination of balance, speed, power, agility, and elusiveness. His cuts are absolutely lethal for defenders and he has the pass-catching ability to go along with it. His vision is superb and he has the athleticism to get to the open field and hit a gear not many players have in them.
Needs Improvement: There’s honestly not much that I’ve noticed from Swift’s game to be overly critical on at this point. He needs to prove he can handle a substantial workload (only 163 carries last season), but that’s the only question mark I have around his game.
2019 Outlook: Swift has the opportunity to set college football on fire this season with essentially only Brian Herrien in that backfield with him. He should see plenty of touches and I expect him to produce with them. Here in early June, I wouldn’t be surprised if Swift is the first RB taken in the 2020 NFL Draft.
A.J. Dillon – Boston College Eagles
Strengths: Big boy incoming, get out of the way. A.J. Dillon is a monster of a man playing the Running Back position. Standing at 6’0″/245 pounds, Dillon is larger than some NFL linebackers and he plays like he’s beyond angry every single snap. With that being said, Dillon does have some finesse to his game and he carries his weight extremely well, which allows him to move in between the tackles and get to the edge on some occasions.
Needs Improvement: While Dillon is a mammoth at the position, he sometimes has a tendency to play like he’s not 245 pounds. He will sometimes look to spin out of contact or try to shimmy out of a tackle instead of lowering his pads and driving through the oncoming defender.
2019 Outlook: The Derrick Henry comps are going to start right away with Dillon, but it’s warranted. Dillon has a lot of ability and talent and he could push Etienne for Top RB status in the ACC this season…
Najee Harris – Alabama Crimson Tide
Strengths: Another big boy coming through, Najee Harris stands at 6’2″/230 pounds. He’s an RB who wins with power and underrated speed. When Harris breaks through the line of scrimmage and goes one on one with the safety or linebacker, he’s going to make the defender pay by lowering his shoulder and driving through to pick up the extra few yards. He has good vision and carries his weight extremely well, which allows him to move quickly and shake off arm tackles.
Needs Improvement: While Harris could be pigeonholed into being a bruising running back at his size, that role is becoming obsolete in today’s NFL. Harris needs to continue to work on his elusiveness, agility, and breakaway speed in order to be able to be truly productive at the NFL level and considered for a lead role. Otherwise, he could be destined for a rotational role in a backfield somewhere.
2019 Outlook: Harris has been buried behind great talents like Josh Jacobs and Damien Harris for the past couple years, but now stands essentially alone in that backfield. Will Nick Saban give Harris the ball enough for us to see Najee as a “workhorse” back in college? If so, and he plays well enough, this could elevate his stock going into the NFL Draft. Keep an eye on #22 and how he performs this season.