The NFL season may only just be in the rear view mirror but it is already time to start looking ahead to the 2020 NFL draft and the prospects fighting for their spot in the NFL.
A lot will change between now and the actual draft, the Combine and individual college pro days will decide a lot of the top prospects between now and April. Taking a look at the current batch of prospects it is easy to see the top tier talents and the rest who are fighting between each other to be recognised and show their potential
In this week’s article I will be taking a look at four of those prospects who are potentially being overlooked or one in particular who should be a 1st rounder if not for a fellow teammate who has also declared.
Those of you that listened to the 5 Yard Rush Mock Draft episode a couple of weeks ago will have heard me speak about Arnette briefly as my pick for Kansas City at #32. Those that haven’t make sure you go and give it a listen, some great insight from some of the top UK NFL podcasters and fans.
Despite my prediction of Arnette being taken by KC his draft stock differs from between a late first to a third rounder dependant on who you listen to and what site you are reading. He also has the shadow of his Ohio State Cornerback teammate Jeff Okudah who is widely regarded as a Top five pick hanging over him.
At 6’0”, 195 pounds Arnette is one of those hard hitting physical backs and has created a name for himself as a heavy hitting tackler. Even a cast on his broken hand in 2019 did not stop him and cemented his drive and physicality to those who watched him.
Play Style Review
Arnette specialises in Man coverage and is certainly more suited to this defence. His aggressive style & speed allows him to disrupt the wide receiver‘s route alongside his impressive vision in the backfield allowing him to read the play early.
He can be drawn into a play at times however he possesses impressive recovery quickness and footwork allows him to recover and attempt to make a play on the ball. He does not have top level speed and can be beaten on a downfield route by speedster WR’s which makes him fall back on to his play recognition in the backfield.
Arnette has spent most of his Ohio State career playing in Press coverage which has it pros and cons, a significant con to his game is the lack of interceptions and his spends much of his game with his back to the ball breaking up the play. That did not stop him and his cast from taking a 96 yard interception to the house in 2019.
He ended 2019 with 35 tackles; eight pass break ups and one interception.
One big concern that scouts have focused on is his mentality & some off-field concerns. He wisely made the decision to go back for his senior year at Ohio despite previously walking out with the intention of being eligible for the 2019 NFL draft.
Arnette has the talent and physical traits to become a top corner in the NFL & the right scheme and coaching will be needed to reach these heights.
Draft Projection – Late 1st Round/Early 2nd.
Another member of the 2020 draft class that is somewhat overshadowed, in Tony Brown’s case it comes in the form of Laviska Shenault Jr who is currently on course to be a first rounder.
Despite the presents of Shenault, Brown was also able to carve out an impressive 2019 in his senior year for Colorado. The problem that Tony Brown has is much of his collegiate success came in 2019 with Colorado; his stint with Texas Tech who signed him out of college was not so successful. In two years he totalled one touchdown from 27 receptions and 378 yards.
Play Style Review
Brown does not have the top level speed of some wide receivers. His game comes in the form of contested catches against the defender. In which he uses his body to beat out the defender for the ball.
Despite some limitations with this overall speed, Brown does possess good foot speed and route running that enables him to compete with the secondary. Brown also has decent hands to contribute to his ability to battle for the ball in contested catches.
A lot rests on his performances in the NFL combine and team try-outs leading up to the draft. If Brown can make an impression in these events it will give NFL team’s further evidence of what he showed in his final year of college and hopefully put him alongside some of the more well-known wide receivers who have entered the 2020 draft.
Tony Brown ended his college career with 115 receptions for 1418 receiving yards and seven touchdowns across his time at Texas Tech and Colorado.
Draft Projection – Late 3rd Rounder/Early 4th Rounder.
The 2020 draft class is oozing with exceptional talent at the running back position even with Travis Etienne returning to school. Zach Moss should certainly be included in those discussions but is regularly overlooked. He may not have been overshadowed by a team mate like the two previous entrees but is certainly not the first RB that comes to mind in 2020.
The senior running back from Utah comes in at 5’10” and 222 pounds according to the Utah college site. He uses all of his physique in his game.
Play Style Review
Moss looks to have all the tools to be a true three down back at the next level. His running style is most like Le’veon Bell. He does an exceptional job of waiting for the offensive line to do their part and then has the speed to hit the gap. His impressive vision allows him to almost always find the best avenue to attack.
Moss’s best trait to me is his power. His stature and balance enables him to break tackles when he lowers his shoulder. At the same time he has at times shown impressive elusiveness to make the defender miss all together.
Zach Moss is not the quickest back in the class. Nor does he have the burst through the hole as some of the other backs in the class. He does have some short burst speed to evade tackles and as previously stated his power allows him to make yards on a consistent basis.
He is one of the better pass protectors against his fellow draftees. Moss is more than willing to engage an on-rushing defender and protect his QB. A big plus for many NFL teams looking for a reliable three down back. Moss can catch passes when required. Moss has shown decent hands at times but this is unlikely to be a bit part of his game at the next level.
Zach Moss saved his best statistical year for 2019 and ended with 235 attempts, 1415 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. His overall college careers stands at 712 attempts for 4067 yards and 38 rushing touchdowns.
Draft Projection – 3rd Rounder.
It may be a surprise to see J.K. Dobbins as a potential steal given the fact he is one of the top running backs in the 2020 class. My main reasoning behind this is the fact of just how deep many of the positions are this year. It will mean that Dobbins will likely fall down the draft board.
2019 was certainly a top year for Dobbins and helped his draft stock significantly.
J.K. Dobbins has already showcased all the traits to be a feature back for years to come. He possesses top decision making and vision. Allowing him to read blocks and get to the line of scrimmage with ease.
Play Style Review
Dobbins possesses some of the best vision in the 2020 RB draft class. Upper tier change of direction and patience meaning he is rarely be caught behind the LOS. He relies heavily on his physicality against a tackler and rides tackles impressively, this can also work against him at times as he looks to engage with the defender at times where attempting to evade is the right choice.
Arguably Dobbins weakest area is pass protection. It is not that he is poor, he has been suspect at times and missed a rushing defender or misplaces himself against the rush. He does however use his physicality to stop LB’s & Secondary’s dead in their tracks. Pass protection can be taught and is something Dobbins can certainly improve once he reaches the NFL.
J.K. Dobbins ended 2019 with 301 attempts, 2003 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. His passing work was minimal but he has capable hands when called upon. 2019 saw 23 receptions for 247 yards and two touchdowns.
J.K. Dobbins should be a sure-fire 1st rounder in the NFL draft however as previously stated with the depth in the 2020 class it is likely he will fall and most certainly be a steal for someone.
Draft Projection – 2nd Rounder.
The Long and Short
So there we have it, four names to keep a close eye on in the coming months leading up to the NFL draft. We are very early into the draft process right now so a lot can change. Currently these players appear to hold significant value based on currently projections.
There are many more names who will continue to go under the radar leading up to the combine. We will be back for Part Two in the near future to take a look at some more draft prospects. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled.
Until next time Rush Nation, Keep on Rushing.
- Ash Goddard @Addicted2_FF