2020 NFL Draft Stock – Pre-Combine

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

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
Edwards-Helaire accomplishes the rare feet of getting a stock up two weeks in a row. After posting last week’s stock report, I spoke with a few teams that said Ewards-Helaire could early be the best player available at the beginning of the second night of the 2020 NFL Draft. Thus, some see him as a first-round talent who will get selected in Round 2.

Other players, like Heisman winning quarterback Joe Burrow, got more attention, but Edwards-Helaire had a phenomenal final season of college football and set up a lot of good down-and-distance situations for his offense with the way he ran the ball. The junior averaged 6.6 yards per carry in 2019 for 1,414 yards with 16 touchdowns. He also had 55 receptions for 453 yards and a score. Edwards-Helaire was a tough runner and receiver for LSU in 2019, doing a lot of dirty work for the program’s point-machine offense. The 5-foot-8, 209-pounder is a tough runner with natural receiving skills. He could be a superb value as a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Marlon Davidson, DE, Auburn
Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy mentioned Davidson as having late first-round potential for the 2020 NFL Draft, which is definitely possible. Davidson is a known to be a tough defender who has excellent technique and plays really hard. While he may not be an elite athlete with overwhelming speed, he is a pure football player who finds a way to make plays. Davidson could be a late first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and probably won’t get out of the second round.

Justin Madibuike, DT, Texas A&M
If it weren’t for off-the-field issues, Madibuike would probably be a safe first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Teams are raving about his tapes against Ole Miss and Georgia, which showed Madibuike’s ability to make some incredible plays and take over games. If Madibuike interviews well at the combine and on pre-draft visits, he has a shot to climb into the opening night of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
Some in the media have projected Blacklock to be a first-round pick after his solid 2019 season. Team sources say they graded Blacklock on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft, but he is a solid, consistent player. Some evaluators feel Blacklock is a bit of a 1-year wonder with some medical and injury concerns. Perhaps the team that likes him enough to draft him does it in the first round, but he should not fall out of the second round if he makes it to Day 2 during the 2020 NFL Draft.

Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
NFL coaches get started on watching draft prospects in January and/or February, depending on when their teams stopped playing. They also can start late depending on filling positions on the coaching staffs, changing teams, etc. I caught up with a couple of coaches who have been reviewing the quarterbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft, and they said that they were impressed with Eason. They really liked how Eason spins the ball due his powerful arm that can make all the throws. While he has more questions to answer in the pre-draft process, his physical skill set has caused some coaches to take an initial liking to him.

Josh Jones, OT, Houston
There are some in the media who are projecting Jones to be a first-round pick, and while teams aren’t as high on him, Jones has a shot at being selected on the opening night of the 2020 NFL Draft. Jones lost a lot of weight prior to the 2019 season, which made him less forceful at the point of attack, but he showed improved quickness and athleticism. Teams think he has starting edge-blocking ability for the NFL, so there’s a chance he sneaks into the first round and probably won’t get out of Round 2.

Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
There are four offensive tackles who are expected to go as top-16 picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, but teams vary on which one is the top tackle on their board. While most projections have Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton as the top-three tackles, some teams like Wirfs just as much, and one team source said Wirfs could end up being their top tackle prospect. Wirfs has a good skill set and could be a star in pre-draft workouts. In speaking with team sources, Wirfs has a shot at being a top-10 pick.

Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Since the start of the 2020 NFL Draft process, Thomas has been projected to be a top-10 pick, although some have him a bit lower. He still has been a consensus first-round pick, but with the emergence of other prospects like Alabama’s Jedrick Wills, Thomas has been overshadowed to a degree. Still, some teams have told me Thomas is the top tackle on their board and think he set the bar very high. Thomas may not be the top tackle selected, but some teams think he should be.

2020 NFL Draft Stock Down

Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir Rhyne
Dugger still has a lot of fans in the scouting community as they like his combination of size and speed, but an injury that caused him to miss time hurt him with some evaluators. Teams still like Dugger, but rather than being a second-round pick, they think he is a better fit for the third or fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

Shane Lemieux, G, Oregon
In speaking to some team sources last week, they saw Lemieux as being more likely to go on Day 2 rather than being a candidate as a late first-rounder. A few scouts say Lemieux could be underrated around the league as he is “mean as a snake.” The guard class overall has some teams disappointed, so top guard prospects like Lemieux could slide.

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