The college football season nearing it’s finale with only the National Championship Game left to play. In our National Championship Scouting Guide we look to highlight the top 16 2020 NFL Draft Prospects playing in the game. Listed below are the 16 best draftable prospects along with a note (*) of which players could end up being first round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Top Prospects playing in the National Championship Game
1. Grant Delpit S LSU*
At his best Delpit is a do it all safety that plays a similar game to Los Angeles Charger Derwin James in that he is big and physical but has the athletic traits to be used all over the field. Delpit has struggled this year in the run game taking bad angles and missing several tackles. While Delpit has struggled in the run game he is still showing the ability to play in coverage both in man to man situations and in zone coverage.
2. Tee Higgins WR Clemson*
At 6’4 with good speed Higgins provides quarterback Trevor Lawerence with a big bodied receiver who can make plays down the field. Higgins also shows good body control and hands to adjust to the ball in the air and make tough catches. The way Higgins plays he reminds me a lot of Julio Jones in that he can over power defenders with his size and athletic ability and show the ability to take over games.
3. Joe Burrow QB LSU*
When passing game coordinator Joe Barry came in and modernized their passing attack it unleashed Joe Burrow’s full potential as he lead the Tigers to an undefeated season an a Heisman Trophy. The change in offense has allowed Burrow to be more aggressive and take shots down the field showing high end ball placement. Burrow has not only worked his way into the first round but now it seems like he’s a lock to be the number one overall pick.
4. K’Lavon Chaisson OLB LSU*
K’Lavon Chaisson returned this season after an ACL injury kept him out all of last year but has been nicked up this year missing time with a “lower body” injury. When healthy Chaisson is a big fast athlete who can beat tackles with speed and then have the ability to bend the edge. Chaisson has shown glimpses of being a dominant pass rusher at times, but so far it’s just been flashes.
5. Isaiah Simmons LB Clemson*
Simmons started his career at Clemson as a safety but thrived last year when he moved to a hybrid linebacker role. Using his speed and athletic ability along with his 6’3 frame to match up with receivers and tight ends in the slot while also playing zone coverage and supporting the run. The clear top linebacker in this class Simmons has all the makings of a top 10 pick.
6. Travis Etienne RB Clemson
While Trevor Lawrence and the Clemson receivers get most of the attention, the big play ability of Etienne is a big part of the Tigers offense. An explosive back Etienne is able to find a crease or opening and then burst through to reel off long runs. Not only did Etienne finish 7th in the nation with 1,500 yards but his big play ability showed in his 8.2 yards per carry which lead the nation.
7. AJ Terrell CB Clemson
If your team wants a true press man corner, than AJ Terrell is going to be high on their cornerback rankings. At 6’1 Terrell has good size and length and uses at the line of scrimmage looking to get his hands on the receiver to reroute and throw off timing causing off target throws where he can get his hands on the ball. What separates Terell is that he also has experience inside that shows that he can also shadow the opposing team’s best weapon.
8. Justin Jefferson WR LSU
While Jefferson doesn’t have the accolades of his teammates he is still a huge part of the Tigers rejuvenation on offense. Jefferson is a true contested catcher that lacks the top end speed or the elite burst to create separation but knows how to create leverage and has the leaping ability to go up and win 50/50 balls. If Jefferson is able to add some strength he has the potential to quality starting receiver in the NFL.
9. Kristian Fulton CB LSU*
LSU is known as DB U and Fulton is the latest Tiger adding his mark to the legacy. Kristian Fulton is a talented cornerback who does a lot of things well but isn’t elite in any one. Fulton is a solid cornerback who has good instincts and change of direction ability to put himself in the right place which helps because he isn’t a quick twitch athlete.
10. Michael Divinity LB LSU
After stepping away from the team in early November Divinity is back with the Tigers and ready to make an impact for this defense. The 6’4 241lb linebacker has played both inside and outside for the Tigers but will most likely see action as a situational pass rusher. In only five games played this season Divinity has 3 sacks utilizing his speed and athletic ability to beat opposing tackles. Having Divinity only helps this defense who has struggled to get edge pressure outside of Chaisson.
11. Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB LSU
Joe Burrow wasn’t the only breakout player for the Tigers offense as Edwards-Halaire’s explosiveness led the SEC with 58 missed tackles and rush for over 1,300 yards. But a hamstring injury suffered in practice has raised concerns to whether he’ll be able to play in the playoff.
12. Jacob Phillips LB LSU
While LSU may be known as DB U, lately there is a claim that you could also call them LB U with guys like Deion Jones, Kwon Alexander, Duke Riley and Devin White all making their mark in the league. While Phillips has good size at 6’4 and 233lbs his playing style is very similar to Deion Jones as his speed allows him to run sideline to sideline racking up 95 tackles on the season.
13. Lloyd Cushenberry C LSU
A multi year starter Cushenberry is the Tigers best offensive linemen showing good lateral quickness to stay in front of defenders to keep Joe Burrow clean. If Cushenberry is able to clean up his lunging issues that can cause him to lose his balance he has the makings of a multi year NFL starter at either center or guard.
14. Tremayne Anchrum RT Clemson
Right tackle Tremayne Anchrum is the Tigers best offensive linemen may be better suited to play guard in the NFL but he was still very proficient in pass protection as he led the ACC in fewest pressures. We’ll see how well he does out in space facing off against Chase Young.
15. Rashard Lawerence DL LSU
At 6’2 308lbs Lawerence has provided the Tigers with a penetrating presence along their defensive line. Injuries have not allowed Lawerence to build off a strong junior year he still has the burst to get penetration and disrupt in the backfield. Moving to the NFL it may benefit Lawerence to move to a four man front where does not have to take on blocks play in and play out.
16. K’Von Wallace S Clemson
A do it all safety Wallace saved his best for his senior year improving at each category. Playing the strong safety position for the Tigers he has the toughness and tackling ability to come down into the box while in coverage he can play underneath reading the quarterback and making downhill plays.