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2020 NFL Draft Big Board: Bobby Sylvester’s Top 150 Prospects

Mar 27, 2020

Bobby has a first round grade on Jalen Hurts

We are closing in on the NFL Draft assuming it doesn’t get delayed like everything else. Today, I’ll give you my top 150 prospects from this season’s draft class. Along with watching college football throughout the season, I’ve been hitting the tape especially hard over the past three months for the top prospects who declared. Before we dive into the overall rankings, let’s go through the skill positions and I’ll highlight a player from each that I am high on.

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Burrow is a fantastic prospect but he ends up #3 just because of how great both Chase Young and Jeff Okudah are. There is virtually no way they don’t produce as perennial All-Pro players. Burrow has plenty of upside and polish, but there is a scenario where we don’t get a franchise quarterback.

I’m, of course, not saying he won’t go #1 overall, because QB-needy teams have to take a shot at getting that cornerstone QB, but he isn’t an absolute lock like Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning. After him, there are all kinds of question marks but five other potential yearly starters. Among them, Jalen Hurts is actually my #3 QB.

This might turn some heads, but let’s not forget just how amazing he was as Alabama’s starter. He outperformed Tua in 2017, tossing 17 TDs with just 1 interception and 8.2 yards per attempt. Then he completed 70% of his passes in a brand new offense with a fraction of the skill players around him that he had in Alabama. Not only that, but Hurts can run the ball, too. He rushed for 1,300 yards and 20 TDs last season alone.

He might not offer MVP-like potential as you could say for a raw Justin Herbert, but this combination of accuracy, poise and running ability is one I don’t expect NFL teams to let slide into the second round. In fact, everyone is scrambling to assign Cam Newton or any number of QBs to the Patriots, but I see them nabbing Hurts in the first and starting him sooner than later.

Running Backs

You may look Swift being the #40 on my board and assume it’s a down year at the running back position. And while it’s true that there is no Saquon Barkley or Ezekiel Elliott in this class, I’d argue that the top three is especially impressive compared to most seasons. Rather, the position just isn’t worth much in the way of draft capital.

There isn’t much of a difference in terms of expected production between Swift (my #1 RB) and a Ke’Shawn Vaughn (my #11 RB). We’ve seen this evidenced over and over again but refuse to believe it each season. If Vaughn lands with Tampa Bay, for instance, I’d like him more than Swift in the Dolphins scheme and behind their offensive line.

McFarland is my favorite non-popular back, but you’ve surely heard enough from me on him so let’s talk about another mid-rounder I’m fond of, Darrynton Evans of Appalachian State. The best way I can describe him is a smaller version of Devin Singletary. He isn’t particularly big or strong, so don’t ever expect him to be a bell-cow back but he combines great burst with patience, vision, balance and especially elusivity. A player like this can excel in certain offenses I’ll be eager to see if he ends up somewhere like San Francisco, Seattle or Indianapolis.

Wide Receivers

Everyone knows this draft class is historically extraordinary at the wideout position. There are nine receivers who I grade better than any wideout in last year’s rookie evaluations. I give twenty of them a third round or higher grade which is just flat out ridiculous, but entirely warranted.

Among the group, I’m most excited about Donovan Peoples-Jones compared to most analysts but I’ve written quite a bit about him already this off-season so let’s turn to another wideout that I think is severely underrated, Tyler Johnson of Minnesota.

Compared to some of the athletes at his position in this class, he is easily overshadowed, but playing wide receiver isn’t all about speed and power. He has plus size at 6’2″, 205, but his real strengths are in contested catches and creating separation with his route running. If he lands in an offense that gives him a year or two to develop, Johnson could become a slot receiver on the level of Tyler Boyd.

Tight Ends

This year’s tight end draft class is extremely weak on the top end but there is plenty of depth. As you can see, I have a third-round grade on eight players but no one above them. If you ask five different draft analysts who their #1 tight end is, you may get five different answers. For me, it’s Albert O and his extreme upside but Harrison Bryant isn’t too far behind him on my life.

Bryant is ranked outside of most everyone’s top-five as most seem to see him as a late-round day-three pick. No, he doesn’t block well and he isn’t an especially impressive athlete, but his receiving game is the most polished in this class. He has a keen sense of awareness to find the seams in a defense and get open, which as you know, is half the battle for a tight end. Not only that, but his hands are as good as it gets for the position and he has near-ideal size for a move tight end. I expect him to land in an offense that utilizes his strengths in the passing game from the get-go, but keeps him off the field in running down situations.

Overall Rankings

Now, we will take a look at the offensive linemen and all defensive players mixed into the overall rankings with the skill players. I’ll split them up with the grade I have on them compared to previous year’s drafts. As you’ll be able to tell, this is a much stronger class than average. For instance, I see over 40 players who would typically be worthy of a first round selection.

Top 10 Grade

Mid-First Round Grade

Late 1st Round Grade

1st/2nd Round Grade

2nd Round Grade

2nd/3rd Round Grade

3rd Round Grade

3rd/4th Round Grade

4th Round Grade

4th/5th Round Grade

5th Round Grade

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