2020 NFL Draft Stock – Week 14

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

Jon Greenard, DE, Florida
Greenard had a great start to this season before an injury cost him time and slowed him down in the middle of the year. He struggled against Georgia, and he needed to finish the season on a high note to help rehab his draft stock, which he against Florida State with a three-sack game. Greenard blew by the Seminoles blockers and caused havoc in the backfield. The Florida State tape will help to show Greenard’s natural speed, intelligence, and pass-rushing moves off the edge.

A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
Epenesa went on a tear in the final month of the regular season, and he was phenomenal against Nebraska last Saturday, putting together a massive performance. Epenesa totaled 14 tackles – nine solo – and two sacks against the Cornhuskers to help the Hawkeyes to a three-point win. Versus Illinois, he had five tackles and a forced fumble after leading the defense to a win over previously unbeaten Minnesota, racking up 2.5 sacks against the Golden Gophers. Epenesa has secured his first-round standing with his tremendous finish to the season.

Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Simmons looks like a future top-20 pick, and his tape versus South Carolina will help him to selected early in the 2020 NFL Draft. Simmons was all over the field against the Gamecocks, showing his ability to be a dynamic defender. He started his day with a tackle for a loss on a stretch run and by filling the hole on a run up the middle. Later in the first quarter, Simmons came on a blitz off the edge and used his speed to run around the left tackle to get a sack. Just after halftime, Simmons showed one reason why he is a future first-rounder when he ran with the slot wide receiver down the deep sideline and broke up the pass for an incompletion. A linebacker who can run with a wide receiver deep down the field is a tough commodity to find and makes him a rare player who can contribute in unique ways.

Simmons was going sideline to sideline with his great speed and plus instincts to stay around the ball. He is a steady tackler with the size and physicality to handle NFL running backs. Simmons covered a ton of ground in zone coverage while also showing the ability to play man and help on receivers. That is a phenomenal attribute for the NFL and makes Simmons very valuable in the passing-driven pro game.

Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
The 2020 NFL Draft does not look like a strong year for the tight end position, but Trautman is one tight end who could rise. He was a dynamic receiving threat for Dayton in 2019, totaling 70 receptions for 916 yards and 14 touchdowns. The 6-foot-6, 253-pounder has NFL size as well. Trautman could be a climber if he has a strong Senior Bowl and shows the ability to be effective against the all-stars from the Power Five schools in Mobile. Testing well at the combine would also help him.

D.J. Wonnum, DE, South Carolina
Wonnum played better than his stats illustrated as a senior. He totaled 4.5 sacks, an interception, a forced fumble and 37 tackles. Earlier in the season, he played well against Georgia to help the Gamecocks pull off that massive upset. The 6-foot-5, 260-pounder has speed and athleticism on the edge. If Wonnum has a big week at the Senior Bowl, he could really rise in the leadup to the 2020 NFL Draft.

Francis Bernard, LB, Utah
A while ago, a team source said that Utah was loaded with third-day picks on defense, and a lot of those players are going to the Senior Bowl in January. The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Bernard has been a tough inside linebacker for the Utes this season, helping them to shut down rushing attacks. To go along with his tough run defense, Bernard has a couple of interceptions this season. If he can show improvement in pass coverage, he could rise in Mobile.

Julian Blackmon, S, Utah
Blackmon is a converted cornerback who was moved to free safety for his senior season and has been a solid defender for the Utes. Blackmon had an excellent game against UCLA with 12 tackles and an interception. He had a quality debut at corner in 2017, collecting four interceptions and 10 passes broken up. He followed that up with 10 breakups as a junior. Blackmon (6-1, 204) needs to get stronger for tackling in the NFL.

Terrell Burgess, S, Utah
Burgess is the other side of the Utes’ tough safety duo, and like Julian Blackmon, Burgess will make the trip to Mobile for the Senior Bowl. Burgess handles strong saftey duties for Utah and has been a tough defender in the middle of the field. Thus far, he has an interception and four passes up on the season. Burgess (6-0, 198) could stand to get stronger to tackle NFL backs.

2020 NFL Draft Stock Down

Kellen Mond, QB, Texas A&M
Mond had shown improvement during this season, but he turned in a horrific performance against LSU to close out the regular season. It wasn’t all Mond’s fault, as he had a handful of good passes, including would-be touchdowns, dropped by his receivers. Still, Mond was rattled by the Tigers’ pass rush and had poor accuracy as a result.

In the third quarter against LSU, Mond threw a terrible pass into the middle of the defense, and the ball sailed into the bread basket of Grant Delpit for an easy interception. It seems like Mond and his receiver weren’t on the same page, so perhaps that pick was the fault of the receiver. Mond threw another interception in the fourth quarter, but this one was not his fault because it was a Hail Mary in the end zone on a fourth-and-31 situation. Shortly later, he threw another pick that was also not his fault, as he threw a crossing route to a receiver and rather than reaching up to touch the football, the receiver leaned backward to avoid the pass as if he were playing dodge ball. The ball sailed to a defender for a result that was hilarious and pathetic. Mond finished completing 10-of-30 passes for 92 yards and three interceptions. He definitely should return for his senior year to get better before going to the NFL.

Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State
Some team sources feel Wilson is more suited to being a second-day pick rather than a first-rounder. The junior had a solid 2019 season for the Seminoles, but the back half of the year was not as good as how he started. As a result, it might make more sense for Wilson to return for his senior year rather than enter the 2020 NFL Draft. Given the coaching change at Florida State however, it would not be surprising to see Wilson and other Seminoles make the jump to the NFL.

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