With the 2019 NFL Draft now in the rearview mirror, it’s time to focus on the prospects likely to be available next year. With that in mind, here’s our incredibly early ranking of the top 10 prospects for the 2020 NFL Draft.
1. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tua Tagovailoa doesn’t have prototypical size for a quarterback, as he’s 6’1″ and 218 pounds. But he’s incredibly accurate and doesn’t make mistakes. As a sophomore in 2018, he completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,966 yards, with 43 touchdowns, and just six interceptions. He can move in the pocket and make plays on the run as well.
Despite showing a few warts in the SEC title game and the national title game against Clemson, Tagovailoa has all the makings of a franchise quarterback.
2. Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State
Chase Young was a five-star prospect out of high school and he’s lived up to that billing. At 6’5″ and 265 pounds, the imposing defensive end/edge rusher has been a terror during his two years in Columbus. In 22 career games, Young has racked up 19.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. Expect those numbers to increase substantially as a junior in 2019.
Young is a prototypical modern presence off the edge. He’s strong, fast and knows how to get into the backfield. He won’t last long come draft day.
3. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Justin Herbert decided to return to Oregon, which seems like a mistake in retrospect, since he was more highly-regarded than any of the quarterbacks in the 2019 draft. With size (6’6″ and 233 pounds), Herbert has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback. He struggled some in 2018, completing just 59.4 percent of his passes for 3,151 yards, with 29 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Herbert could use a bounce-back in 2019, but given his size, athleticism and arm talent, he should be in high demand next year.
4. Walker Little, OT, Stanford
Walker Little is next in a long line of Stanford offensive linemen to wind up being draft prospects. At 6’7″ and 315 pounds, Little has immense size, fantastic feet and moves incredibly well. A former top recruit out of Texas, he’s lived up to the billing for the Cardinal.
In what should be a really deep tackle class, Little currently looks like the cream of the crop. He just turned 20 and will continue to develop as a potential franchise left tackle.
5. Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
Many expected Raekwon Davis to enter this year’s draft, but he opted to return to Alabama for his senior season. It was the right move. Davis will either be a 3-4 defensive end or a defensive tackle at the next level, and at 6’7″ and 309 pounds, he has the size to play either spot. Despite his bulk, he can move and is extremely skilled for a guy that big. In 31 career games, Davis has 11 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. He’ll have a chance to improve on those numbers this year.
This ranking assumes Davis will take a big jump this year. At this point, the talent doesn’t match the production. But I’m expecting that to change.