Declaration are coming in fast and furious. Tua Tagovailoa finally ended the wait as he declared on Monday, which is why these are coming out on Tuesday morning. The wide receiver class still looks incredible, but has lost a good chunk of its depth. We are still waiting for a number of players to make their final decisions and this board will change dramatically for February following the Senior Bowl. For where we are though in early January, this is where my board stands.
Now to clarify, big boards are meant to focus on the talent and upside of these prospects, almost in a vacuum. For more of how they will sort themselves out at the next level in terms of fit and value, that can be found in my latest mock draft, a three rounder right after the NFL regular season ended.
1. Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
No one should be questioning this any more. Chase Young is a special talent who will immediately transform a franchise’s front seven. If not for the need at quarterback, I would expect him to be the top pick in the draft.
2. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
It has been an incredible run for Joe Burrow. He has rocketed up draft boards. He was not in my top 25 in September and was No. 17 in late October. His performances against Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and Oklahoma show why he is an elite quarterback prospect.
3. Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
There might not be a larger gap between the top player and the next best prospect at a position in this class than Jeff Okudah and every other corner. He mirrors receivers exceptionally well and closes so well on the ball. Okudah should be a shutdown corner at the next level.
4. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
In terms of physical tools and positive traits, Jerry Jeudy has everything you could ask for. He has struggled with some drops this season, but his route running and athleticism is top notch. He should still be the first receiver off the board.
5. Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
Is he a safety? Is he a linebacker? Does it matter? Isaiah Simmons is a Swiss-army knife. In the right defense, he can be a game-wrecker. His versatility is second to none. His speed and instincts make him a good fit for just about any defense.
6. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
This receiver class is incredible. CeeDee Lamb would be the top option in most draft classes and showed off once again against LSU. Even though Oklahoma got blown out, Lamb had a great game against a talented secondary.
7. A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
It was a slow start to the year for A.J. Epenesa, but he finished playing some of the best football in the country. He has the size and technique to be a great 4-3 defensive end. I will need to go back to the film to figure out why he struggled out of the gate, but he destroyed USC’s Austin Jackson in the Holiday Bowl.
8. Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Andrew Thomas is still the top offensive tackle on my board, but the gap has closed considerably. He has prototypical size, and has shown solid power as a run blocker. I like him a lot as a pass blocker and he is certainly battle-tested after playing for three years in the SEC.
9. Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
The reason the gap has closed on Andrew Thomas is because of the rise of Jedrick Wills. He played right tackle protecting Tua Tagovailoa’s blindside this season. He moves like an NFL tackle and should be able to contribute very early in his career.
10. Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
Looking at Derrick Brown, he is an incredibly talented player. However, his overall value at the NFL level is up for debate. He will lock down the middle against the run, but he does not disrupt the passing game quite as much. Given the direction the NFL is headed, that could cause him to slide a little bit.
11. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
We finally know! Tua Tagovailoa prevents this from being an underwhelming quarterback class. His injury history makes him a riskier prospect than we figured entering the year, but his upside is still tremendous.
12. Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
I cannot wait to watch Henry Ruggs run the 40 at the NFL combine. It will just be fun. He is a speedster with great ball skills and the ideal frame to compete in the pros. Ruggs will fundamentally change just about any offense he lands in.
13. Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
I am a bit higher on Tyler Biadasz than most, but that is because he is such a rock-solid prospect. He moves well, brings a level of toughness needed to play along the interior of the offensive line and understands blocking schemes.
14. Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Tee Higgins still has a great opportunity to bolster his draft stock. He will go up against some great defensive backs in the national title game. His size and body control make him a monster big-play threat.
15. Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
I am still undecided for where exactly Tristan Wirfs will fit in the NFL. He has the size and build of a guard, but he moves more like a tackle. He reminds me a lot of Brandon Scherff. He should be a good player, but he might be best-suited to play on the interior.
16. Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Grant Delpit has the play style of an elite NFL safety. He just has missed a few plays this year. Physically, I think he will transition well, but he just needs to improve his tackling to warrant being a top-20 draft pick.
17. Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
There is no better interior pass rusher in this draft class than Javon Kinlaw. His numbers might not bear that out, but he moves so well for his size. Kinlaw constantly faced double teams as well and still managed to make an impact.
18. D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
The hype has cooled on D’Andre Swift after a lackluster close to the season. Swift still checks all the boxes for a top-tier NFL running back. He has enough receiving work and a light enough college work load to make you feel good about his ability to contribute in all facets of the offense.
19. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
I know recency bias is a real thing, but it is hard not to be impressed with his most recent tape. Justin Jefferson separates well and understands how to be effective as a route runner. Barring a terrible game against Clemson, he should land in the first round.
20. Kristian Fulton, DB, LSU
Kristian Fulton tracks the ball well and has the size needed to compete in the NFL. He needs to work on his hand usage and continue working on his technique. The biggest knock on Fulton’s play this year is he might be the third-best player in his own secondary.
21. Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
There is not as much hype around Laviska Shenault Jr. as a lot of the other top receivers, but he should be in the same conversation. His athleticism and versatility make him a great option to work into any offense. His production took a hit, but he was dealing with injuries during the year.
22. Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Teams looking for a ball-hawking corner will be high on Paulson Adebo. He has the size and physicality to fit well into zone-heavy defenses. He closes well on the ball and shows the ball skills to make impact plays.
23. Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
Curtis Weaver wraps up a great career at Boise State, finishing with 34 career sacks over his three years. He should be a situational pass rusher who can work his way into an every-down player before too long.
24. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
J.K. Dobbins took a big bump after his performance vs. Clemson, but he has been building toward this in the second half of the year. His speed and hard-nosed style should translate well. His production makes him very enticing.
25. Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
In addition to being a great pass rusher, Yetur Gross-Matos is a high-motor, high-character prospect. His production speaks for itself. Those other intangibles make it easy to feel good about building your culture and improving your football team.
26. CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
There is a bit of a troubling trend among Florida corners headed to the NFL. Vernon Hargreaves, Teez Tabor and Quincy Wilson have all failed to translate. That shouldn’t rule out CJ Henderson because each prospect is unique, but he will require some extra film study.
27. Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
Terrell Lewis projects as a great NFL pass rusher. He has the size, bend and speed to play as an edge rusher in a 3-4 scheme. Lewis bounced back well after missing 2018 due to injury.
28. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Traits wise, Justin Herbert could be top of this class. He has the size, arm talent and mobility that fits the bill for a prototypical pro passer. His film tells a different story. He will be an interesting study in the pre-draft process.
29. Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
NFL teams are looking to add speed on defense more and more. That could push Kenneth Murray up a lot of draft boards. He made a lot of plays in a wide open conference. He has sideline-to-sideline linebacker potential.
30. Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
With his size and athleticism, Trevon Diggs has the tools to be a starting corner in the NFL. He got beat up a bit by JaMar Chase when Alabama played LSU, which just goes to show he still has a bit of refining to do.
31. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Xavier McKinney brings brash confidence and proven playmaking ability to the table. He has the versatility to drop back in coverage or make plays around the line of scrimmage.
32. Creed Humphrey, G, Oklahoma
Much like Tyler Biadasz, Creed Humphrey feels like a very safe pick. He will come in and play consistently from day one. He can lock up well in pass protection and is used to playing with mobile quarterbacks.
33. K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
K’Lavon Chaisson is one of the most intriguing draft prospects this year. He plays extremely fast and can be disruptive as a pass rusher. He is a bit undersized though and struggles to set the edge against the run. He will start as a situational pass rusher. Teams will have to hope he can develop into more than that.
34. Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
He is an aggressive receiver who plays much bigger than his size. Jalen Reagor did not put up the same kind of numbers in 2019, but that does not diminish the speed and toughness he brings to the position.
35. Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
Julian Okwara is another good fit to be a 4-3 defensive end who can rush the passer. He is not the most physically imposing, but he can use his quickness to set up opposing lineman well.
36. Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
I will be honest, I haven’t done a ton of homework on Cole Kmet yet. He has the physical tools to be a great tight end in the NFL. He should be a bit more complete than his counterparts in this class.
37. A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
After a solid showing in the College Football Playoff semifinal, A.J. Terrell should be sitting somewhere in the top 50 on a lot of draft boards. He has good technique in coverage, which serves him well downfield.
38. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
There are two big red flags with Jonathan Taylor: fumbling and longevity. He just wrapped up one of the great careers we have ever seen, but he also has close to 1,000 career touches. That could end up causing him to break down earlier at a particularly bruising position. He also finished with 18 career fumbles.
39. Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
I wish Bryce Hall hadn’t gotten hurt. I’m sure he does too, but I would have loved to see him play against Clemson and Florida to close the year. His impact on Virginia’s defense cannot be overstated. He was a true leader for that group.
40. Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
Talk about being a quarterback’s safety blanket. Michael Pittman finished with the fourth-most catches in college football this season. He should be a solid possession receiver with the potential to make the occasional big play. I like his consistency.
41. Ashtyn Davis, S, California
Cal finished the season on a high note by cruising past Illinois. Ashtyn Davis is drawing a lot of attention as well. His speed is great, as he is a member of the school’s track team. He will give a defensive coordinator a lot to work with when it comes to molding his game.
42. Austin Jackson, OT, USC
I had been leaning toward pushing Austin Jackson into the top 30 before the Holiday Bowl. He got worked over by A.J. Epenesa, but he also won a couple of those matchups. Those flashes show what Jackson can be with a bit more work on his hand placement and footwork.
43. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Travis Etienne showed once again why he is one of the most explosive players in college football. He is a tough runner with a lot of heart. The concern is his vision. He struggles to find the hole sometimes, meaning he can strung out or get caught up with trying to hit a home run instead of taking what is available to him.
44. Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
In the right system, Malik Harrison can be a disruptive force. We saw that this year as Ohio State allowed him to attack downhill more often and utilized him as a playmaker. If he can improve on his reading of opposing offenses, he will be a very solid player.
45. Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
Coming out of an offense that had other solid receivers and that didn’t throw the ball a ton, Donovan Peoples-Jones’ numbers won’t pop out at you. He only 438 yards receiving this year, actually down from last year. His physical talent should lead to more production in the NFL.
46. Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Najee Harris might be the most complete back in this class. He is not elite at much, but he does a lot well. He can be elusive or powerful in his running style. He has great athleticism, but not game-breaking speed. He showed some pass-catching ability this year as well. He reminds me a bit of Chris Carson.
47. Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma
One of the more proven prospects in this range, Neville Gallimore will offer a steady interior presence who looks pro ready. His ceiling is not crazy high, but he has some craftiness to his pass rush style that should make him effective.
48. Chubba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
There might not be a player that meant more to his offense than Chuba Hubbard did to Oklahoma State. He led the country in rushes and yards this season. He has the top-end speed teams will love.
49. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
Capable of taking the top off defenses, Brandon Aiyuk could move up after the Senior Bowl and combine. He got overshadowed a lot because he was playing for a middling team, but the talent is there.
50. Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
Zack Baun definitely strikes me as a prospect that is scheme specific. He is smart and pretty refined. I think there might be some physical limitations to his game though, which could limit his upside.
51. Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
From an arm talent perspective, Jacob Eason is an NFL quarterback. Unfortunately, he seems to lack the mobility and possibly the poise to play the position. This was his first year starting in a new system, so maybe he can learn over time, but he struggled at points this season.
52. Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Down the line, Josh Jones could be a starting left tackle in the NFL. He is still a little raw despite being a fifth-year senior. If he can be brought up to speed, he should be able to hold his own and develop.
53. Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
With a massive frame, Raekwon Davis certainly stands out. He just never really made the jump many anticipated. He should still be a serviceable NFL player, but he might never be a star.
54. Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
In a weak tight end class, Brycen Hopkins had a real chance to be the top one taken until Cole Kmet announced he was leaving Notre Dame. Hopkins is a solid receiver with decent route-running savvy. He is not a blocker though, limiting his upside.
55. Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
There is something to work with in Prince Tega Wanogho. He looks like he understands his assignments well, picking up stunts. He fared decently well against good competition. He is not a mauler, but he is pretty technically sound.
56. Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
One of the largest players in the draft, Mekhi Becton will likely get a look from some teams wanting a tackle project. Others could want to kick him inside given his size. You can’t coach length though, which is why teams will be interested in him.
57. Jonathan Greenard, LB, Florida
Jonathan Greenard is shaping up to be a solid pass rusher. He finished the year with 9.5 sacks. It was a good sign after he sat out 2018 due to transfer rules. He proved himself in the SEC this year and should warrant Day 2 consideration.
58. Trey Smith, OL, Tennessee
After starting at left tackle in 2018, Trey Smith kicked inside and showed why he is a future NFL guard. He has raw power that he uses well. His medical past is a huge red flag with blood clots in his lungs costing him a lot of games during his career.
59. KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
I am not as high on the speedster from Penn State as others. KJ Hamler is very small at 5’9″, 176 pounds. He seems destined to be a slot receiver. That doesn’t mean he won’t be effective, but I think it limits his upside.
60. Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
While the Big 12 might not feature the best defenses, there are a lot of high-flying offenses Jeff Gladney had to go up against. He understands the technique required to play outside corner, even if he can’t always make the necessary play.
61. Nick Harris, OL, Washington
While he struggled at times in pass protection this year, Nick Harris has the footwork and size to translate well at the next level. He could help himself a lot in Mobile.
62. Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
Troy Dye would never be considered an NFL linebacker 10 years ago. As teams have opted for more speed on defense though, smaller linebackers have become more common. Dye likely needs to add a bit to his frame still to really sift though traffic and make plays, but he has a nose for the ball.
63. Trey Adams, OT, Washington
From a size profile, Trey Adams looks like an NFL tackle. He shows good initial punch to stem bullrushes and navigates well in the run game. The biggest question is his ability to move in space and slide as a pass blocker. He is someone to watch in Mobile.
64. Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
Damon Arnette made a good impression vs. Clemson with some solid play. He excels in press man coverage. If he shows out at the Senior Bowl, he could crack the top 50.
65. Daryl Williams, OL, Mississippi State
With the size needed to play inside, there is some concern about Daryl Williams’ power. He offers some flexibility along the interior, but he will have to do some work in an NFL weight room to be ready for the next level.
66. Justin Mandubuike, DL, Texas A&M
With solid measurables and an SEC pedigree, Justin Mandubuike will be on scouts radars headed into the combine. He still has a ways to go with his technique and foundation, but those are things that can be fixed with good coaching.
67. Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
After catching passes from Jacob Eason all year, Hunter Bryant could shoot up some draft boards if he puts up gaudy numbers in Indianapolis. He doesn’t have a ton of film because of some injuries that kept him out during his first two years.
68. Jaylon Johnson, DB, Utah
Jaylon Johnson will be a player to watch at the Senior Bowl. He has some work to do technique wise. Given time, he could develop into a good outside option.
69. Lucas Niang, OL, TCU
Projecting as a right tackle, Lucas Niang saw his season end early. He underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn hip labrum. He has the necessary power to play on the right side.
70. Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
While many will have Jordan Love mocked in the first round, I have a round 3 grade on him currently. He had a pretty rough season at Utah State without a ton of proven talent around him. His decision making was particularly concerning.
71. Ben Bredeson, OL, Michigan
Ben Bredeson has the power to be a punishing blocker along the interior of the offensive line. Scouts will like his size and ability to set up blocks at the second level.
72. Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami
Playing as an off-ball linebacker, Shaquille Quarterman was around the ball a lot. He finished the year with 107 tackles. He could be a projectable starter down the line.
73. Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
At 6’2″, Cameron Dantzler is well-position to climb up the board if he runs well at the combine. NFL teams love corners that have a mixture of size and speed.
74. John Simpson, G, Clemson
If you want an interior lineman with lots of big game experience, John Simpson is your guy. He will start his third straight national championship game on Monday.
75. Jared Pickney, TE, Vanderbilt
Jared Pickney might not be the most polished receiving tight end in this class, but he brings some blocking to the table as well. He has the potential to be a well-rounded starting option.
76. Netane Muti, OL, Fresno State
Long term potential is big for Netane Muti. He does not figure to be a day one starter, but could develop into a quality lineman with the right coaching.
77. Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State
At times, Kenny Willekes can wreck games. He seems like a solid situational rusher with a high floor and low ceiling.
78. Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee
With his ability to drop into coverage and rush the passer, Darrell Taylor should find himself on the field right away. He will have a long way to go as run defender though.
79. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
No one player has slid more for me this year than Jake Fromm. He could be a great NFL quarterback in the right system surrounded by the right talent. He has an average arm, but good pocket presence. His athleticism leaves something to be desired as well.
80. Leki Fotu, DL, Utah
Considering how big Leki Fotu is, he is explosive off the line of scrimmage. If he can develop some consistency, he could end up being a steal.
81. Calvin Throckmorton, OT, Oregon
It is hard to say what Calvin Throckmorton’s best fit is at the next level. He the size to play outside, but seems to lack the footwork. He could kick inside, but he would have to refine his technique there. He offers a project with lots of upside.
82. Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
From an athleticism and size standpoint, Monty Rice is NFL ready. He just needs to put it all together to really capitalize on all the raw talent.
83. Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri
Albert Okwuegbunam was definitely underutilized at Missouri. Going from Drew Lock to Kelly Bryant at quarterback, his numbers declined a bit. His size and route running will make him more valuable at the next level.
84. Alton Robinson, EDGE, Syracuse
After an up and down career at Syracuse, Alton Robinson feels like a bit of a boom or bust pick. He had 10 sacks in 2018, but dipped to just 4.5 in 2019. He has potential, but consistency could be his biggest weakness.
85. Shane Lemieux, G, Oregon
Oregon had one of the best offensive lines in the country this year. Shane Lemieux played his part well. He is a polished blocker with limited athletic upside.
86. K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson
Great as a blitzer from the secondary, K’Von Wallace is a fun player for Brent Venables to use in his defense. He has enough versatility to find his way onto the field.
87. Evan Weaver, LB, Cal
A tackling machine, Evan Weaver lead the nation in tackles this season. He obviously has a good nose for the football and produces well.
88. Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
With good speed off the edge, Bradlee Anae looks the part of a 3-4 stand up rusher. He is not crazy athletic, but he shows good burst to make some high-impact plays.
89. Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
Hamsah Nasirildeen is a bit taller than most safeties, but lighter than most linebackers. He could be an interesting box safety type at the next level in the right defense.
90. Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
Following a monster season, Gabriel Davis decided to leave early for the draft. He has good size and produced well this season. If he can post good times in the three-cone drill and 40-yard dash, he could push himself into the second round conversation with so many receivers returning to school.
91. Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida
Injuries limited Jabari Zuniga to just five games this season. He has shown flashes of top-end pass rushing ability, but it is hard to know if he can be reliable.
92. Marlon Davidson, DE, Auburn
Marlon Davidson is a bit of a tweaner in the sense that he could be an end in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. He would probably need to bulk up a bit more in a 3-4, but still possesses the requisite strength. He has a lot to clean up technically.
93. Anfernee Jennings, EDGE, Alabama
Earning his way into playing time as a block shedder, Anfernee Jennings is not an explosive athlete. He understands how to use his size and strength to reach the quarterback though.
94. Matthew Peart, OT, UConn
Mostly untested, Matthew Peart is starting to catch the eye of NFL scouts with his size and traits. He is fairly raw and definitely needs a few years to develop.
95. Nick Coe, DL, Auburn
Surrounded by great talent on the defensive line at Auburn, Nick Coe has stood out as a solid run stopper. He did not register a sack in 2019, but should be a solid 3-4 defensive end.
96. Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
The community is very split on him. Tyler Johnson had a phenomenal year at Minnesota, but did not receive a Senior Bowl invite. He has displayed above average route running with good enough hands to make the jump.
97. Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
A great athlete, Denzel Mims posted some monster numbers down the stretch. He benefited from playing some bad Big 12 defenses, but his size and body control should see him translate well.
98. Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa
Not as highly touted as his teammate Tristan Wirfs, Alaric Jackson is actually the one playing left tackle at Iowa. His massive frame could make him a projectable starter down the line.
99. Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
With his speed and savvy, Devin Duvernay became Sam Ehlinger’s favorite target this season. He can operate out of the slot, but needs to improve his route running.
100. Jake Hansen, OL, Oregon
As the leader of this Oregon offensive line, Jake Hansen could be another Duck joining the pro ranks. He won’t blow you away with his game, but he holds up well in protection.
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