2020 NFL Draft hype in September?
Looking ahead to the 2020 NFL draft, there are a handful of players that everyone seems to be higher on than I am, and every year there are those prospects who I feel don’t get the love they deserve. Whether that be them just simply being overlooked or a product of their situation.
So, who are these players, and just how undervalued are they? Let’s look at and identify five kids who seem to be on the first team all underrated team for the 2020 NFL Draft.
- Jake Fromm – QB – Georgia
How this kid isn’t the consensus number one quarterback in this class is beyond me. He has all the tools to be a great quarterback at the next level. In the era of dual threat quarterbacks and spread offenses, Jake Fromm is somewhat of a welcome throwback. He is your prototypical pocket passer. He possesses ideal size (6’2’’, 220lbs) and has the arm to make every throw at every level of the field. He does have enough athleticism to extend a play or get you a short first down. Fromm should be the first quarterback selected in the 2020 NFL Draft.
- Henry Ruggs III – WR – Alabama
I understand that we all know how talented Jerry Jeudy is but Ruggs is no punk. This kid is a freak. Six feet tall, 190 pounds, and the ability to take the roof off any defense. He never double catches a ball; he has supreme hands. He can be used at every level of the passing game. You need a screen? No problem. A go? No problem. Jump ball? You got it! He can simply do it all. At worst he’s an early second round pick.
- AJ Dillon – RB – Boston College
It’s crazy what a year can do. After his freshman season AJ Dillon was getting insane comparisons and first round hype. A subpar sophomore season sees Dillon out of the conversation when it comes to the nation’s best running backs. To all that I say not so fast! I still love AJ Dillon’s game and I think he’s coming into his best this season. He’s averaging 4.2 yards a carry in two games and has three rushing touchdowns. I also think Dillon could become a better option in the passing game as he progresses. I would compare him to Steven Jackson when he was with the St. Louis Rams. Be wary those who sleep on AJ Dillon.
- Kindle Vildor – CB – Georgia Southern
Vidlor is a physical corner although he stands a little under six feet and weighs 190 pounds. He doesn’t shy away from contact. He’s had some good games against high level competition in the past. Look no further than the Clemson and App St games last season. He followed Andy Isabella around the field last season against UMass and more than held his own. I really like his swagger and his toughness. I think Vildor has all the tools to become a top end slot corner at the next level. He’s someone to most definitely keep an eye on as this season progresses.
- Mike Hampton CB USF
Mike Hampton is a stud. There is no other way of putting it. He’s a six foot one shut down corner. He plays with great instincts and football IQ. I would like to see him pick the ball off a bit more, he only has two INTs in his young career. I am in no way saying he’s the best corner in the class, but he could become that at the next level. Hampton has all the physical tools and abilities he will need to become elite at the next level. It all comes down to how he responds and what situation he lands in. He’s a name to keep an eye on as draft season progresses.
When you hear the term “overrated” I’m sure plenty of things and athletes come to mind. For this exercise we will try and identify five players who I think are a little hyped in this draft class. Let’s dive into the five guys who will have a hard time matching the hype with production in the pros.
- Tua Tagovailoa – QB – Alabama
He’s not even the best draft eligible quarterback in his conference. So how am I to sit here and not put him on my most overrated list when he’s considered by some to be the best prospect in the class? Tua is good, but he’s not great. He is surrounded by one of the best offenses in all of college football and he benefits from that. For example, 72% of his passing yards this season have come after the catch. So, he is putting up gaudy numbers, but the tape shows more of the credit should go to Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, etc. I am not saying that Tua is a bust, I’m saying pump the brakes a little.
- Justin Herbert – QB – Oregon
Am I missing something here with Herbert? I haven’t seen worse feet in the pocket from a potential first round pick in a long time. He passes the eye test, physically. He’s big, he’s strong, but how many times can NFL teams and evaluators miss on quarterbacks because of the aesthetics? Herbert has no feel for the game inside the pocket, he stares down his primary target, and his ball placement is far from elite. I have been saying this over the past two seasons when it comes to Herbert. For me he’s a late 2nd to early 3rd round project at the quarterback position. He’s not the QB1 or QB2 of the class that some evaluators have told you he is.
- Collin Johnson – WR – Texas
We saw glimpses of the fringe first round talent that Collin Johnson could have been last season and for me he needed to get out of the gates early to make that jump into the first round and he simply hasn’t done that. He’s a big frame (6’6’’ 220lbs) and he uses it well in the red zone, but he lacks the speed and burst to get away from top shutdown corners. In an explosive offense so far this season Johnson has only amassed 108 yards and 1 TD. He is coming off knee surgery which could be slowing him down but with his game not being predicated on speed I’m not sure by how much? A player of his size should have better production after the catch and more consistency, and I just haven’t seen it. So, for me the talk of Johnson being a first round talent at this point in the process isn’t warranted.
- Chase Young – DE – Ohio St.
This one may trigger some people so let me qualify this by saying, Chase Young is a mid-first-round talent. Me putting him on this list has more to do with the kids who are under him on some evaluators lists than his talent alone. I have Young as my third best defensive end on my big board behind: AJ Epenesa & Yetur Gross-Matos. Epenesa could end up being the best player in the entirety of this class and few guys play with the motor and bend like Gross-Matos. Young lacks that motor and as an edge rusher that worries me. He’s also not nearly as strong with his hands as Epenesa and Gross-Matos. Young relies on his speed and slipperiness to get to the quarterback. These are three potentially elite pass rushers but for me, Chase Young is being overvalued at this moment in time.
- Bryce Hall – CB – Virginia
I like Bryce Hall and I think there’s a good corner in there somewhere, but the tape does not warrant him being the CB1 that many evaluators have touted him as. The best part of Hall’s game is his experience, he has been a starter since his freshman season and his ball skills. Hall is your prototypical boom or bust corner, very much in the vein of a Janoris Jenkins. He also rarely plays press man to man coverage. He likes to give a considerable amount of cushion to his receiver and look to take the ball away. He guesses a lot in coverage and is highly susceptible to double moves. He will need coaching and more polish but he could become an NFL level starting corner but I see no scenario where he should be garnering the first round talk he has been receiving thus far.