The 2019 College Football season is just around the corner, which means we are in the next phase of the NFL draft process. I’ve put together a list of the top 25 prospects at this point in the draft season. Alabama leads the way with five prospects, LSU comes in with three, and Ohio State, Iowa, Georgia, and Clemson are also well represented with two apiece. It’s almost guaranteed that this list will look very different in April, but you can use this as a starting point to kickoff the 2019 season and 2020 NFL Draft.
1) Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Jeudy has the potential to be the first wide receiver drafted first overall since Keyshawn Johnson in 1996. He is an explosive athlete and one of the best route runners college football has seen in years. After the catch though, is where Jeudy does most of his damage. He is a creative runner with the ball in his hands and has the agility to make multiple defenders miss. There is a lot of talent at the top of this draft, but Jeudy is a step ahead.
2) Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Nick Bosa was just selected with the second pick in the 2019 NFL Draft as an EDGE rusher out of Ohio State, but Chase Young is looking to top that. As good as Bosa is, Young might be even better. He is strong, quick and instinctive. Young excels in both the run and pass game. He can set the edge and bounce a run back inside as well as he can sack a quarterback. Young can also be used in pass coverage as he’s showed the ability to drop back and be effective. It’s likely that Jeudy and Young will be fighting for the top pick well into April 2020.
3) Grant Delpit, S, LSU
It’s a little crazy that Delpit isn’t the top prospect in this class, but that’s how good Jeudy and Young are. Delpit has the potential to be the best defensive back prospect since Patrick Peterson in 2011. He might have the highest floor in this draft class. Delpit has great ball skills due to his instincts and ability to quickly break on the ball. He trusts his eyes which consistently puts him in the right place. It’s extremely difficult for a safety to be drafted in the top 5, but I expect Delpit to manage that feat this year.
4) A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Iowa always seems to develop high floor prospects that rarely disappoint. You can add Epenesa to that list and put him right at the top. He has an incredible frame for an EDGE rusher that allows him to be a force in the run game. Adding in his speed and agility and he’s also a dominant pass rusher. This will be his first season as a real starter (simply because Head Coach Kirk Ferentz is old-school and starts his seniors) and I can’t wait to get a full dose of what Epenesa can really do.
5) Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Fromm is the quarterback this year that will change a franchise forever. Most people have Tua Tangovailoa and Justin Herbert ahead of Fromm, but I’d be surprised if 5 years from now Fromm isn’t the top QB from this draft. His intelligence reminds me of Andrew Luck, the way he can absorb information and always seems to know exactly what the defense is doing on every play. Fromm’s arm has received speculation, but I believe he has the accuracy, strength, and touch to make any throw on the field. As of right now, Fromm is my pick to go number one in the 2020 NFL Draft.
6) Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Okudah carries on the tradition of great Ohio State defensive backs. He is built on speed first and his range allows him to be all over the field and break quickly. Okudah is technically sound, he sticks with receivers so well that sometimes it looks like he’s running the route for them. He isn’t afraid to come up and tackle, making him a complete corner. It’s rare for a corner to be drafted in the top 10, but Okudah will make a strong case for himself this year.
7) Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Even though Wirfs is a right tackle, he can transition to the left side at the next level as he’s a better pass blocker than run blocker. He is big, strong, and powerful in the run game though, often handling guys on his own. Wirfs has great feet and agility to mirror pass rushers well. He is also fast enough in space for pulls and screens. Wirfs can be the future at left tackle for a team for the next decade.
8) Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Clemson’s offense is absolutely loaded, but Etienne still stands out. He is patient and lets the play develop in front of him. He gets behind his blockers and waits for a hole to open before he bursts through the line and explodes upfield. Etienne is a hard runner and he rarely goes down right away upon contact. If Etienne can develop more in the passing game, he could be a top 5 pick this year.
9) Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
Shenault is an interesting wide receiver prospect due to his bigger size (6’2” 220 pounds) while having elite agility. Colorado uses Shenault as a gadget type of guy, placing him anywhere and everywhere, including handing him the ball in the backfield. He’s similar to Cordarrelle Patterson, but with higher upside. Shenault is shifty and slippery in space and patient at the line until he makes a move, then can explode up field. He has high upside and I’m excited to see what he can do this year.
10) Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
If you couldn’t already tell, the 2020 draft is stacked with wide receivers. Higgins as my third receiver is absurd as he would be first in most other drafts, but that’s how good these guys are. Higgins burns corners right off the ball with a killer first move and incredible footwork at the beginning of the route. He’s a great possession receiver as he’s able to locate the ball in the air and easily adjust his body to high point the ball. Higgins fights through contact and is adept at making catches in traffic. When it’s all said and done, Higgins has the talent and the upside to be a top 10 pick.
11) Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
12) Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
13) Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
14) CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
15) Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
16) Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
17) Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
18) Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
19) Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
20) K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
21) Kenny Willekes, EDGE, Michigan State
22) Walker Little, OT, Stanford
23) Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
24) C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
25) Trey Adams, OT, Washington