Every year, we see NFL Draft prospects rise to the forefront of the media draft boards as more people become aware of how strongly the NFL feels about them. Here are three guys that I already have ranked higher than most media and I think could exponentially rise in 2020.
Ahhh, the best part of the NFL. College football and scouting prospects who will continue their playing careers on Sundays. Some people would strongly disagree with me regarding the “best part of the NFL” comment, but for most people reading draft niche articles in the middle of the summer, this is something that you feel strongly about.
The NFL Draft is one hellacious process and now NFL fans are realizing it in larger numbers than ever before. Interest in the event is at an all-time high. The media eats all that it can from NFL teams as much as it can, but really, the process is so secretive with what happens inside of NFL scouting departments and front offices that it doesn’t become apparent until closer to the draft.
That leads prospects to “rise” NFL Draft boards as word leaks on the NFL team’s value of these prospects. Reality is that these prospects have been valued for quite some time, it’s the media that are starting to talk about them.
I’m beginning to put all of my reports together and my personal opinions. I’ve been talking with people around the league involved in multiple aspects, and there are several guys that I think of more fonly then I am seeing across NFL websites. Here are three players that I would expect to see “rise” on NFL Draft boards over the 2020 season.
Minnesota Quarterback Tanner Morgan
Tanner Morgan is already starting to excite a lot of NFL people. Morgan already has quite the toolbox, showing a good arm, accuracy, and anticipation. He shows excellent touch ability and chemistry is something that he forms well with his receivers. To put an NFL comparison to his name, he’s very much the same type of player that Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is.
Morgan passed for 3253 yards last season and 30 touchdowns to just 7 interceptions. He also completed 66% of his pass attempts and averaged 10.2 yards per attempt. Morgan was very productive in his first full season as a starter.
That’s not to say that Morgan is without faults. He’s not particularly strong under pressure and he also will try to force things hoping to create the big play when the play needs to die. Regardless, his ability to extend plays is special. He’s more athletic than most people give him credit for.
Morgan has an excellent cast returning with him in 2020, from receiver Rashod Bateman to a strong offensive line, Minnesota looks primed to make a serious run at the Big Ten championship game. If everything goes very well for them, the Golden Gophers could be knocking on a Playoff Appearance.
LSU Safety JaCoby Stevens
JaCoby Stevens is not your typical safety. He’s really a nickel defender/roaming safety that can play some aspects of the linebacker position, safety, and slot cornerback. Coming off of an impressive season that gave him second-team All-SEC honors, you very well may see him don the coveted #18 jersey that means so much to the LSU defense.
Described as the “quarterback of the LSU defense,” per his LSU team bio, Stevens was all over the field and impacts the game with pure physicality. He collected 92 tackles last year, 9 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks, alongside his 3 interceptions.
Stevens isn’t as athletic as someone like Isaiah Simmons, but the usage in the defenses are remarkably similar. I think that with another good, productive season, Stevens could see himself getting first round considerations.
TCU Linebacker Garret Wallow
Do you want to talk about someone who can play sideline to sideline, drop into coverage and yet be an excellent run defender? Garret Wallow is the best prospect in this class that you haven’t heard about yet. He’s a very fluid athlete, instinctive, and he may be the fastest linebacker in this class.
Did I mention that Wallow was productive last season? In 12 games, Wallow collected 125 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. His interception against Texas really showcased his ability to read the quarterback and stay disciplined.
Wallow was 1st Team All-Big 12 last year and Honorable Mention Defensive Player of the Year. Wallow should get extra attention this season at TCU, as the team doesn’t have a lot of notable prospects this season. As long as he stands out, he’s going to go much earlier than most people realize.