2020 NFL Draft Stock – Week 2

This new section highlights which players have improved or worsened their 2020 NFL Draft stock as the draft approaches.

By Charlie Campbell.
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2020 NFL Draft Stock Up

Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Young is considered a future first-round pick with top-10 potential, and he showed why with a dominant performance against Cincinnati. In the first quarter, Young came up with a third-down rush using a rip move to get under the left tackle and upfield. Some of his teammates got to the quarterback first, flushing the signal-caller up in the pocket, but Young cleaned up by chasing him down for a sack. Shortly later, Young made a big play on special teams, knifing by the right side of the line and blocking a short field goal.

Just before halftime, Young dropped an interception off a deflected pass, and if he had held on it probably would have been a touchdown return, but Young started running before securing the ball. Early in the third quarter, Young added another sack, using speed to get upfield and dipping under the left tackle to get to the quarterback. The Buckeyes blew out Cincinnati and were able to pull their starters in the second half.

This tape will help Young to be a high first-rounder because he showed the ability to get after the quarterback with speed and some variety in moves. He also displayed the strength to fight through blocks and was instinctive to track down ball-carriers. Young looks like a future pick in the top half of the first round.

Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri
Taking on West Virginia, Okwuegbunam looked like a more complete player than he was a year ago. Once again, he showed he is a dynamic receiver, but his blocking looks mildly improved compared to where it was a year ago. Okwuegbunam made his presence felt late in the first quarter, making a pretty over-the-shoulder catch for a touchdown from about 25 yards out. Okwuegbunam tracked the ball well and showed nice footwork to get a foot down and then lean over the goal line before getting pushed out of bounds. Late in the first half, Okwuegbunam ran nice route to get separation from the safety, jabbing toward the corner and then cutting back to the middle to get open for a 16-yard touchdown. Those were Okwuegbunam’s only two receptions and yielded 42 yards. He showed his mismatch receiving skills with size, quickness, athleticism and natural receiving talent.

As a blocker, Okwuegbunam is not going to blow away NFL evaluators, but he did make a few good blocks to help his running backs, including a touchdown run on which he took out a linebacker on the second level. Okwuegbunam showed more desire and fight against West Virginia than he did a lot of last season. If Okwuegbunam continues to improve as a blocker, he should be a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The game against Texas could be considered a coming-out party for Burrow. He caught fire in the second quarter and put LSU in a commanding place. Burrow had two touchdowns to junior wideout Justin Jefferson and moved the ball at will. On a third-and-17 late in the fourth quarter, Burrow climbed the pocket as blitzers closed in. He hit Jefferson in stride on a crossing route, allowing Jefferson to turn upfield and sprint down the field for a 61-yard touchdown. It was a tremendous play showing Burrow’s poise, accuracy and intelligence. He followed it up with a scramble and ad lib to get the two-point conversion.

Burrow ended up completing 31-of-39 passes for 471 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. This was a phenomenal tape from Burrow. Burrow made some phenomenal throws, locating passes into tight windows along the sideline, firing fastballs to beat coverage in the middle of the field, showing touch throws, anticipating where receivers would come free, and throwing them open. Burrow had the look of an early-round prospect, and if he stays consistent to this throughout his senior year, he could end up being first-rounder in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
One could consider the Texas game a coming-out party for Jefferson as well. The 6-foot-3, 192-pounder had his way with the Longhorns’ secondary while showing natural hands, quickness, smooth route-running, and strong hands. Jefferson totaled nine receptions for 163 yards and three touchdowns taking on the Longhorns. It was a great tape that will help Jefferson’s draft grade tremendously.

Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
Akers put his team on his back and carried the offense to get Florida State enough points to avoid an embarrassing upset to La.-Monroe. Akers ran for 193 yards on 36 carries with two touchdowns and caught five passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. His massive performance comes on the heels of an excellent game in Week 1 against on Boise State. Team sources were impressed with Akers in training camp, and he is having a breakout year for Florida State. If he maintains this level of play, Akers should end up going in the first or second round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

2020 NFL Draft Stock Down

Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
A week ago, Mond was in the Stock Up section. Mond has a pro skill set and was building a buzz in the scouting community, but that was before Mond had this ugly performance against Clemson. Mond was rattled and overwhelmed for a lot of the game, showing bad mechanics that led to inaccurate passes. Mond finished completing 24-of-42 passes for 236 yards with a touchdown and an interception. His scoring pass in the final seconds of the game was insignificant.

Mond really needs to work on his feet for the NFL. When he gets his feet set and in rhythm, he can deliver strikes with his strong arm. However, he is too inconsistent with his feet and mechanics, which leads to him being inaccurate and throwing passes with poor ball placement. On top of his feet, Mond needs to work on his composure and decision-making. He was getting rattled by pressure and throwing some risky passes while also missing some open receivers. Mond has the skill set of a starting quarterback in the NFL his a powerful arm, size, and decent athletic ability. However, he needs development and should return for his senior year rather than enter the 2020 NFL Draft, unless he is massively improved over the rest of this season.

Walker Little, OT, Stanford
Just before the end of the first game of the season, Little went down with a bad knee injury that looked very serious. Fortunately for Little, it was not a season-ender, but rather a dislocated knee. He is expected to miss multiple games but come back this season. If Little dominates after returning, that could make the injury a moot point, but he will now have a medical red flag during the leadup to the draft and teams will want to examine his knee closely. Thus, Little could have some teams that avoid players with injury histories downgrade him, which could cause him to slide.

C.J. Riley, WR, N.C. State
NFL teams had Riley as being possibly draftable entering the season, with some projecting him to have the potential to go in the back half of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, that was dealt a serious blow as Riley went out for the season with a torn ACL. It happened on special teams in the season opener against East Carolina. Riley should take a medical redshirt and return to N.C. State for 2020.

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