28 Nov 2020

Home of the NFL Offseason

Erik Hindenburg’s Draft Guide: 2020

So, full disclosure, I didn’t get near as in depth with this class as I would have liked. New baby, career change, and no laptop will do that. While I’ve evaluated roughly 230 players for this draft, I don’t have many formal reports filed or boards made. But, nothing like a deadline, and y’all deserve what I can give. So, here it is, my draft guide for the 2020 draft. Rest assured, the 2021 guide will be much better, and I apologize for any disappointment here. So, all in one place for your viewing pleasure, here is my finalized top 50 Big Board, my top 10 positional breakdowns, and some fun analysis mixed in. Rip it apart everyone.

Big Board: Top 50

  1. Chase Young, EDGE Ohio State
  2. Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia
  3. Jeffrey Okudah, CB Ohio State
  4. Derrick Brown, DT Auburn
  5. Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama
  6. Joe Burrow, QB LSU
  7. Isaiah Simmons, S Clemson
  8. Jedrick Wills, OT Alabama
  9. K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE LSU
  10. Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
  11. Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville
  12. Javon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina
  13. AJ Epenesa, EDGE Iowa
  14. Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama
  15. Grant Delpit, S LSU
  16. Bryce Hall, CB Virginia
  17. CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma
  18. Jeff Gladney, CB TCU
  19. Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa
  20. Kristian Fulton, CB LSU
  21. Tee Higgins, WR Clemson
  22. Xavier McKinney, S Alabama
  23. Tyler Biadasz, IOL Wisconsin
  24. Cesar Ruiz, IOL Michigan
  25. Justin Jefferson, WR LSU
  26. AJ Terrell, CB Clemson
  27. Jacob Eason, QB Washington
  28. Lucas Niang, OT TCU
  29. Jalen Hurts, QB Oklahoma
  30. Jalen Reagor, WR TCU
  31. Ross Blacklock, DT TCU
  32. Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma
  33. Damien Lewis, IOL LSU
  34. Xavier McKinney, S Alabama
  35. Julian Okwara, EDGE Notre Dame
  36. Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB App State
  37. Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama
  38. Neville Gallimore, DT Oklahoma
  39. Michael Pittman Jr., WR USC
  40. JK Dobbins, RB Ohio State
  41. Justin Madubuike, DT Texas A&M
  42. Antoine Winfield Jr., S Minnesota
  43. Patrick Queen, LB Louisiana State
  44. D’Andre Swift, RB Georgia
  45. Malik Harrison, LB Ohio State
  46. Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn State
  47. Zack Baun, LB Wisconsin
  48. Damon Arnette, CB Ohio State
  49. Lloyd Cushenberry, IOL LSU
  50. Cam Akers, RB Florida State

Quarterbacks: Top 10

  1. Joe Burrow, QB LSU
  2. Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
  3. Jacob Eason, QB Washington
  4. Jalen Hurts, QB Oklahoma
  5. Justin Herbert, QB Oregon
  6. Jake Fromm, QB Georgia
  7. Jordan Love, QB Utah State
  8. Cole McDonald, QB Hawaii
  9. Anthony Gordon, QB Washington State
  10. James Morgan, QB Florida International

Quarterback Spotlight:

I may be on a bit of an island with Eason being so high, but here we are. He has the most natural arm talent in this class, and it’s evident in his velocity and touch. I firmly believe Eason has the most room for growth for one primary reason- He simply hasn’t started many football games. Reps and experience usually help quarterbacks. Unlike other names like Jake Fromm or Justin Herbert, I have more faith in Eason’s ability to improve drastically from a mental standpoint due to experience. He checks off all the physical boxes. Ideally, he will get a chance to sit for a season. I’ll make my final statement on Eason the same one I made to John in debating Eason v Fromm on an episode of Tennessee Scouting: Fromm may not lose you as many games as Eason may, but if you need a touchdown on your own 20, a minute twenty to play, Eason brings more to the table than virtually everyone.

Running Backs: Top 10

  1. JK Dobbins, RB Ohio State
  2. D’Andre Swift, RB Georgia
  3. Cam Akers, RB Florida State
  4. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB LSU
  5. Johnathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin
  6. AJ Dillon, RB Boston College
  7. Antonio Gibson, RB Memphis
  8. Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB Vanderbilt
  9. Darrynton Evans, RB App State
  10. Zack Moss, RB Cincinnati

Running Back Spotlight:

Antonio Gibson is a fascinating prospect. There isn’t a clear path for him moving forward as a receiver or running back, but I love this kid in the backfield. He is explosive, dynamic and a true home run threat. It may take some time for him to learn more nuance at the position, but Gibson is going to create explosive plays at the next level. While he may never be an every down back in a traditional sense, he is the perfect playmaker for the modern NFL.

Wide Receivers: Top 10

  1. Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama
  2. Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama
  3. CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma
  4. Tee Higgins, WR Clemson
  5. Justin Jefferson, WR LSU
  6. Jalen Reagor, WR TCU
  7. Michael Pittman Jr., WR USC
  8. Devin Duvernay, WR Texas
  9. Denzel Mims, WR Baylor
  10. Isaiah Hodgins, WR Oregon State

Wide Receiver Spotlight:

Isaiah Hodgins has somehow, someway, stayed under the radar for the most part and it’s the day before the Draft. I do not think the NFL is sleeping on him as much as the media, but who knows? In a class so amazingly deep, anything is possible. I do know this, it’s incredibly rare to find a receiver with the size and catch radius of Hodgins who runs routes so smoothly. He’s savvy, with very strong hands, and he is more than capable of developing into a primary option for a team and more than deserving of a spot in my top 10.

Offensive Tackles: Top 10

  1. Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia
  2. Jedrick Wills, OT Alabama
  3. Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville
  4. Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa
  5. Lucas Niang, OT TCU
  6. Matt Peart, OT UCONN
  7. Isaiah Wilson, OT Georgia
  8. Saahdiq Charles, OT LSU
  9. Austin Jackson, OT USC
  10. Prince Tega Wanogho, OT Auburn

Offensive Tackle Spotlight:

Lucas Niang suffered an unfortunate injury that has really hurt his draft stock in the eyes of some. When I watch Niang, I see an athletic tackle who virtually never let his guy take down the quarterback. He gave Chase Young absolute fits in their matchup earlier in his career. Niang is going to step in right away as an excellent tackle in pass protection with sky high potential, so long as he stays healthy.

Interior OLine: Top 10

  1. Tyler Biadasz, IOL Wisconsin
  2. Cesar Ruiz, IOL Michigan
  3. Damien Lewis, IOL LSU
  4. Lloyd Cushenberry, IOL LSU
  5. Shane Lemieux, IOL Oregon
  6. Netane Muti, IOL Fresno State
  7. Ben Bredeson, IOL Michigan
  8. Ben Bartch, IOL St. John’s
  9. Jake Hansen, IOL Oregon
  10. Matt Hennessy, IOL Temple

Interior Offensive Line Spotlight:

Another island it feels like I’m standing on, Tyler Biadasz is still IOL1 for me. A rough and injury ravaged 2019 season doesn’t drop him, because the tape he has from 2017 and 2018 is damn near as good as it gets. If he’s healthy, he will be one of the biggest steals in the draft. If he’s not, this may look silly in a few seasons. I’ll take my chances with Biadasz.

Tight Ends: Top 10

  1. Adam Trautman, TE Dayton
  2. Cole Kmet, TE Notre Dame
  3. Hunter Bryant, TE Washington
  4. Thaddeus Moss, TE LSU
  5. Harrison Bryant, TE Florida Atlantic
  6. Devin Asiasi, TE UCLA
  7. Stephen Sullivan, TE UCLA
  8. Jacob Breeland, TE Oregon
  9. Brycen Hopkins, TE Purdue
  10. Jared Pinkney, TE Vanderbilt

Tight End Spotlight:

I am on record as being very low on the tight end class this year, but one player I feel confident in calling a future quality player is Cole Kmet. The tight end out of Notre Dame is a well rounded blue collar football player. He isn’t the greatest athlete, or the most spectacular at anything, but he is solid. Out of all the tight ends listed above, it is Kmet with the highest floor.

Final Thoughts, Tidbits, Takes on the Offensive Class

I know there are some notable names omitted from my Top 50 listed above. So, I’ve got Herbert and Love as 3rd and 5th rounders respectively. Brandon Aiyuk is an exciting player who I can’t wait to see at the next level. However, he’s just too weak against press and in congested areas for me to like him any more than I do. I don’t see Laviska Shenault being more than a gadget player, one with major durability issues. KJ Hamler isn’t in my top 100. Overall, this is a fantastic offensive group excluding tight end.

EDGE: Top 10

  1. Chase Young, EDGE Ohio State
  2. K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE LSU
  3. AJ Epenesa, EDGE Iowa
  4. Julian Okwara, EDGE Notre Dame
  5. Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn State
  6. Curtis Weaver, EDGE Boise St
  7. Josh Uche, EDGE Michigan
  8. Darrell Taylor, EDGE University of Tennessee
  9. Jon Greenard, EDGE Florida
  10. Alex Highsmith, EDGE Charlotte

K’Lavon Chaisson is one of my absolute favorite players in this draft class. I get the concerns about production and injury history, arm length and size in general-I just don’t care. He’s a stud. Chaisson is a rare player who brings the potential of double digit sacks as well as being an asset, as opposed to a liability, when tasked in coverage. There isn’t a more well rounded defensive player in this entire draft class.

Defensive Tackles: Top 10

  1. Derrick Brown, DT Auburn
  2. Javon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina
  3. Ross Blacklock, DT TCU
  4. Neville Gallimore, DT Oklahoma
  5. Justin Madubuike, DT Texas A&M
  6. Marlon Davidson, DT Miami
  7. Leki Fotu, DT Utah
  8. DaVon Hamilton, DT Ohio State
  9. Rashard Lawrence, DT LSU
  10. Jordan Elliot, DT Missouri

Defensive Tackle Spotlight:

Perhaps my most pleasant surprise watching tape on this class, I knew Ross Blacklock was talented. I wasn’t expecting him to be as good as he proved himself to be though. Ferocious from the interior, Blacklock just brings more juice to the position than the usual prospect. His run defense is solid, but the way he splits double teams and creates penetration is going to be his NFL calling card on passing downs too.

Linebackers: Top 10

  1. Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma
  2. Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB App State
  3. Patrick Queen, LB LSU
  4. Malik Harrison, LB Ohio State
  5. Zack Baun, LB Wisconsin
  6. Logan Wilson, LB Wyoming
  7. David Woodward, LB Utah State
  8. Markus Bailey, LB Purdue
  9. Willie Gay Jr., LB Miss State
  10. Francis Bernard, LB Utah

Linebacker Spotlight:

Malik Harrison is just hard not to love for me. I think he can succeed in any base scheme, but as a true 4-3 MIKE he is the cream of the crop. He has the athleticism, the production, and the sure tackling that make a great NFL linebacker. He is excellent against the run and no slouch in coverage, I expect him to be a defensive leader for years to come.

Cornerbacks: Top 10

  1. Jeffrey Okudah, CB Ohio State
  2. Bryce Hall, CB Virginia
  3. Jeff Gladney, CB TCU
  4. Kristian Fulton, CB LSU
  5. AJ Terrell, CB Clemson
  6. Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama
  7. CJ Henderson, CB Florida
  8. Damon Arnette, CB Ohio State
  9. Cam Dantzler, CB Miss State
  10. Noah Igbinoghene, CB Auburn

Cornerback Spotlight:

If there is a prospect in this class I am gong to name stamp defensively, it’s Bryce Hall. An injury has seen Hall go from a top summer prospect to almost the forgotten man by much of the media. Here’s the facts: Ball Skills? Exceptional. Tackling? Strong. Blitz Ability? Fantastic. Zone Coverage? Damn near perfect. Man Coverage? Limited reps in press, outstanding in off man. I get there are athleticism concerns, especially due to no testing in the pre draft process. That’s fine. Keep sleeping on Bryce Hall. He’s a stud.

Safeties: Top 10

  1. Isaiah Simmons, S Clemson
  2. Grant Delpit, S LSU
  3. Xavier McKinney, S Alabama
  4. Antoine Winfield Jr., S Minnesota
  5. Jeremy Chinn, S Southern Illinois
  6. Ashtyn Davis, S California
  7. Terrell Burgess, S Utah
  8. Kenny Robinson, S WVU/XFL
  9. Kyle Dugger, S Lenoir-Rhyne
  10. Alohi Gilman, S Notre Dame

Safety Spotlight:

Shoutout to Kenny Robinson as the player who stayed off my radar the longest to finish inside my top 10 rankings. I love his ball skills, and think he can only get better as he gets more comfortable in playing deep zones. In a just okay safety class, I think Robinson is one of the better ones.

Final Thoughts, Tidbits, Takes on the Defensive Class

Overall, an excellent class. There are difference makers to be had at every position group on the field. I am absolutely in love with this corner class, and think the EDGE class is much better than it’s getting talked about. I don’t think there are any real shocking omissions above, so if there is I guess just yell at me on Twitter?

The Sleepers:

In every draft, there are prospects that go way later than they should have, or even undrafted. The beauty of the draft is finding the diamonds in the rough. So, here are my top 5 sleepers in the 2020 Draft Class:

  • Levonta Taylor, CB Florida State University
  • Marquez Callaway, WR University of Tennessee
  • Harrison Reid-Ducros, CB Duquesne
  • Dominick Wood-Anderson, TE University of Tennessee
  • Dante Olson, LB Montana

So there you have it folks. My 2020 Draft Guide. Love it? Hate it? Let me know. What changes do you want from my 2021 Draft Guide? Because it’s officially 2021 Draft Season y’all.

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