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.
(Note: The players are listed below in no particular ranking order)
Jerry Jeudy – Alabama Crimson Tide
Strengths: Is it acceptable to write everything? Jeudy has the size to win on the outside in contested catch situations, standing at 6’1″/192 pounds, but also has the athleticism to take a screen pass behind the line of scrimmage and take it to the house with estimated 4.3 speed. His ability to stop on a dime is insane and he’s about as refined of a route runner as you’ll find in college football right now. Jeudy’s already garnering buzz as the #1 overall player in the 2020 Draft and it’s warranted.
Needs Improvement: There really aren’t many weaknesses evident in Jeudy’s game right now. He’s lightyears ahead of where a Junior WR normally is at this point and it shows on the field week in and week out. He’ll need to just continue to refine his game and prove that he can keep producing on the field.
2019 Outlook: Tua and Jeudy may put up ridiculous numbers together this season at Alabama. Currently, it’s not a question of if Jeudy will go in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft, but how high will he go?
CeeDee Lamb – Oklahoma Sooners
Strengths: Contested and spectacular catches for days…Lamb has some of the best hands I’ve seen since Odell Beckham, Jr. was coming out of LSU. He’s an overall well-rounded prospect that wins in multiple ways, which you love to see coming out of college. He has the speed to go deep, size to box out and highpoint the ball, and strength to beat press coverage. Plus, he possesses incredible awareness to know where he is on the field and get his feet down when going out of bounds.
Needs Improvement: Similar to Jeudy, Lamb is an extremely polished prospect already. Even though he’s a solid route runner though, he can continue to refine and develop his route tree diversity. Also, while Lamb can break away from defenders, he’s not known as a RAC threat. A focus on his conditioning and improving his explosiveness could go a long way to raising his draft stock come next offseason.
2019 Outlook: Lamb is still developing, which is crazy scary. He’s only 20 years old currently and he’s barely even scratching the surface of his potential. Can he continue to take a step forward this next season with Baker and Kyler no longer at Oklahoma? He’ll be relying on Jalen Hurts to help elevate his stock this College Football season, so this merits some close monitoring…
Tee Higgins – Clemson Tigers
Strengths: Another big-bodied, talented, dynamic Wide Receiver coming out of Clemson…should we be surprised at this point? Higgins has it all. Possessing an elite ability to track the ball in the air and snag it at its highpoint, Higgins uses every inch of his 6’4″/210-pound frame to destroy defenders’ hopes and dreams regularly. He carries incredible concentration and hand-eye coordination to go with dynamic ability in the open field.
Needs Improvement: Higgins has all the traits, but it hasn’t resulted in the production you would like to see out of a potential future NFL star just yet. Part of how he can get to this point is by refining his route running. Higgins’ style reminds me of backyard football currently, which won’t translate immediately to the NFL. He’ll need to learn how to run crisp routes and continue to learn the nuances of the position. He’s rawer than Lamb and Jeudy, but his ceiling is just as high.
2019 Outlook: Being partnered with a QB like Trevor Lawrence is certainly not a bad thing for Higgins…this Clemson offense should be rolling with Travis Etienne (mentioned in 2020 RBs Part 1), Higgins, and Lawrence at the helm. If Higgins is able to put up the numbers he’s capable of this season, he could push himself into 1st Round 2020 Draft conversations, as well.