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2020 Top Five Positional Rankings: Post Senior Bowl Edition

Discussion in 'The Bill Nunn Draft Room' started by AskQuestionsLater, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

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    Hello fellow brothers and sisters of TheSteelersFans! AskQuestionsLater here today with another installment of the top five positional rankings! This time, we are taking a look to see what has transpired after the events of the Senior Bowl. Before we get to that though, for those of you who are new to the series or just missed out on the previous installment, link will be down below so be sure to check it out as there will be major forms of information I will not be repeating here;



    Pre Senior Bowl




    Now that the Senior Bowl is over and, as expected, there will be some changes to the list. The question that remains is to how much change?! To answer that let us dive right in but before we do and, as always, a disclaimer;




    These written statements by the author do not reflect nor are shared opinions of members of TheSteelersFans Message Board, Staff Members and/or Site Administrator.





    Top Five By Position:





    Quarterbacks:



    1.) Joe Burrow: Louisiana State University

    2.) Tua Tagovailoa: University of Alabama

    3.) Justin Herbert: University of Oregon

    4.) Jacob Eason: University of Washington

    5.) Jordan Love: Utah State University




    Already a change?! You betcha?! Again, I will say this again; Jake Fromms intangibles and decision making are second to only Tua's overall. That said, there are some limitations with Fromm; his overall arm talent being a big one. While not a career killing shortcoming by any means, it does limit the overall capabilities of one's offense in today's NFL. In a league where lightning strike scoring is being not just accepted but required more and more, it is going to take more than smart wits, tremendous willpower, sheer determination and colossal perseverance like what Jake Fromm possess to succeed in today's NFL. To succeed as an NFL Quarterback today, you need to have above average arm talent. That is why Jordan Love has leapfrogged him on the list.



    Among the QBs in terms of overall arm talent, Love and Jacob Eason are tied; Justin Herbert being third overall. Like Eason, there is not anywhere on the field that Love cannot throw. However, like Eason, he has a lot of work to do overall with his decision making and mechanics. There were times in the Senior Bowl that I noticed his base within his throwing stance was too wide or too narrow at times. That has to get cleaned up as that leads to either overthrows or underthrows. His follow throughs also could use a bit of a tune up. Overall though, Jordan Love does possess a very high ceiling although not as high as Eason. That said, Eason also possess arguably the biggest bust potential of any Quarterback in the rankings; Tua's hip injury or not.



    Running Backs:



    1.) J.K. Dobbins: Ohio State University

    2.) Johnathan Taylor: University of Wisconsin

    3.) D'Andre Swift: University of Georgia

    4.) Cam Akers: Florida State University

    5.) Zach Moss: University of Utah





    Not too much to add to this list of Running Backs. For that matter, not much more I can say honestly. All of what I said in the Pre Senior Bowl applies here as there has been no major movement despite Joshua Kelly's performance. I just believe that, at this current time, Zach Moss is still the superior option.




    Wide Receivers:



    1.) Jerry Jeudy: University of Alabama

    2.) CeeDee Lamb: University of Oklahoma

    3.) Laviska Shenault Jr.: University of Colorado

    4.) Henry Ruggs III: University of Alabama

    5.) Tee Higgins: University of Clemson





    Just like that, Laviska is gaining ground on CeeDee Lamb after making his first appearance in the Pre Senior Bowl rankings. Not only is Laviska the most physically gifted receiver in the class but he is arguably the most complete one as well. His main problem within the lack of consistency in addition to his medicals though prevents him from knocking CeeDee from his spot.



    As to who took the fall, Henry Ruggs III has to take this loss. I still believe he is the fastest Receiver in the class and possess arguably the biggest game breaking capability of any Offensive Skill Position that is not a QB in the entire draft. My biggest concern though with him is physicality. Sure, if he gets a release, it is game over. However, should he not, there is not much he can do. More physical corners in the NFL will likely key in on this as speedsters like Tyreek Hill have been slowed down this way. In addition, while his competitive toughness is to be commended, do not be too disappointed if he is a bit of a liability in the run game; something Laviska offers greater value in.



    Tight Ends:



    1.) Brycen Hopkins: University of Purdue

    2.) Cole Kmet: University of Notre Dame

    3.) Hunter Bryant: University of Washington

    4.) Thaddeus Moss: Louisiana State University

    5.) Adam Trautman: University of Dayton





    Another one bites the dust. I do believe that Jared Pinkney still is the most athletic Tight End in the class. That said, athleticism has to meet consistency at some point. At the Senior Bowl, that did not happen. Instead, Jared got upstaged by an FCS standout in Adam Trautman whom I had seldom studied. That said, it was not out of lost interest. Everytime I saw Trautman, he dominated... which should be a good thing correct?!



    For me well.... yes and no. Yes because Adam showcases he is far superior than his competition. However, no because the NFL features more players from the FBS than the FCS and expectations have to be tempered. That said, after Jared performed poorly and Adam performed very well, he gets the nod here. Hopefully he continues this trend heading into the NFL Scouting Combine as that would catapault him even higher on the list.



    Offensive Tackles:



    1.) Andrew Thomas: University of Georgia

    2.) Tristan Wirfs: University of Iowa

    3.) Jedrick Willis: University of Alabama

    4.) Mekhi Becton: University of Louisville

    5.) Josh Jones: University of Houston





    Once again, no change within the top four but yet again, a change at the bottom. Austin Jackson has an immense ceiling but also a low floor due to his continual development. Despite his tremendous athletic gifts, Austin will need more time to develop to begin to tap into his immense abilities.



    That said, there is an individual who not only possesses similar potential but better overall polish. That person is Josh Jones. Heading into the season, I thought that Josh Jones would be within the top three for Offensive Tackles. For the first four weeks he was. After that, I began to lose interest in him. His play, while still good, still had some issues overall. His biggest one was his hand placement and footwork; both in dire need of refinement. I do not know what transpired since the end of his Senior Season but Josh Jones looks like a different person now. Seriously though, his highlights in the Senior Bowl have showcased significant growth since the beginning of his Senior Season. Now, there is still work to be done of course as he still has a tendency to lunge a bit and jab his hands a bit too high but the foundation is there for something special. Due to the position he plays in addition to his improvement, do not be surprised if Josh Jones is selected on Day One.



    Interior Offensive Line:



    1.) Tyler Biadasz: University of Wisconsin

    2.) Solomon Kindley: University of Georgia

    3.) Ben Bredeson: University of Michigan

    4.) Lloyd Cushenberry III: Louisiana State University

    5.) Matt Hennessy: University of Temple





    Just like that, with the removal of Creed Humphrey, this list changes in an immense way. To start, the biggest beneficiary of all of this is Solomon Kindley. Book him as a late 1st or early 2nd round option. By far and away the most complete Offensive Guard in the class. Bem Bredeson did just as well as I thought he would and confirmed everything I already knew and then some. As such, he gets bumped to 3rd place here.


    As for the final two prospects, both are new additions to the rankings! Let us begin with Lloyd Cushenberry III. Has some Maurkice Pouncey to him. A phenomenonal athlete in space and can easily get to the second level. Having already good leverage being 6'3 allows him to hit accurately with his hands on his initial strikes and can maintain his blocks. His biggest issue though is his overall consistency. I would not say he is lacking in being a high quality NFL Interior Lineman but he also needs some development overall as he has only been a starter for two season. Despite such issues, Cushenberry's upside and potential are more than enough of a gamble I would be willing to take and thus, earns his place in the rankings.



    The second person is Matt Hennessy. In short?! Very, very technical overall. Not an athletic marvel but has enough athleticism and length to thrive as a plug and play NFL Starter. He is more or less a discount Ben Bredeson. However, that does not mean he cannot start in this league. A year's worth of NFL Training and he will be a quality starting NFL player for any team.




    Interior Defensive Lineman:



    1.) Derrick Brown: University of Auburn

    2.) Javon Kinlaw: University of South Carolina

    3.) Neville Gallimore: University of Oklahoma

    4.) Raekwon Davis: University of Alabama

    5.) Justin Madibuke: Texas A&M University




    No major change here I am afraid. Even after the Senior Bowl, these big guys stay put. However, Javon Kinlaw's tendinitis in his knee will be something to monitor heading into the NFL Scouting Combine and if that affects his performance.




    EDGE Rushers:



    1.) Chase Young: Ohio State University

    2.) A.J. Epenesa: University of Iowa

    3.) K'Lavon Chaisson: Louisiana State University

    4.) Yetur Gross Matos: Pennsylvania State University

    5.) Terrell Lewis: University of Alabama




    Again, no change here. Bradlee Anae definitely was the biggest winner among all players this week but that said, he still is mainly schematically limted here. A throwback 4-3 End but lacking in the athletic department. Terrell Lewis can be either a 4-3 End or 3-4 Rush Linebacker capable of spot coverages. Add his freakish athleticism in addition to his own quality toolbox and he remains on the list.



    Linebackers:



    1.) *** Isaiah Simmons ***: University of Clemson

    2.) Kennith Murray: University of Oklahoma

    3.) Patrick Queen: Louisiana State University

    4.) Malik Harrison: Ohio State University

    5.) Troy Dye: University of Oregon




    Much like the EDGE players and Interior Defensive Lineman, sadly and again, I have nothing to add here. Akeem Davis Gaither from Appalachian State University was someone I really wanted to place ahead of Troy Dye but I will need to see the NFL Scouting Combine to have a more clear picture as to how athletic Akeem is. Until then, same five here




    Cornerbacks:



    1.) Jeffery Okudah: Ohio State University

    2.) Kristian Fulton: Louisiana State University

    3.) Trevon Diggs: University of Alabama

    4.) Paulson Albedo: University of Stanford

    5.) C.J. Henderson: University of Florida





    Jeffery Okudah is not moving. Therefore, the battle for the number two and three slots between Kristian Fulton and Trevon Diggs. Whomever does better than the other overall at the Combine will finish the top three for good. Same goes for Paulson Albedo, our newcomer and C.J. Henderson. However and, more so for C.J. Henderson, a great combine showcase is what he needs to stay within the top five corners. Should he falter in any significant way, expect this list to change.



    Regarding our newcomer Paulson Abedo, say hello to the most intellectual and physical corner in the draft not named Jeffery Okudah. This guy not only has the football IQ and physical nature to be a great corner, he has above average speed and agility too. So, with such traits, why is he relegated to only four?! He has only one year of starting experience. That said, he has shown such maturity and growth despite only playing the position for one season and will only get better thanks in part to Stanford's extensive usage of mutiple pro style coverages.



    That said, Paulson Abedo and his overall fearlessness and physical nature is the reason why C.J. Henderson drops. However , the drop for C.J. might not be over. After the performance of Tony Pride Jr., all that remains for him is the NFL Scouting Combine. If Tony can burn up the NFL Combine overall, C.J. Henderson can kiss his placement among the top five good bye as Tony Pride Jr. is the more complete corner of the two. The only major reason why C.J. Henderson is still within the top five is that his pure overall cover skills rival Jeffery Okudahs and such cover skills are a must in today's NFL. That said, run support is also a must in today's NFL and very seldom does C.J. Henderson elect to participate.




    *** UPDATE (January 28th, 2020) ***



    Just realized that Paulson would not be going to the 2020 NFL Draft. Apologizes in advance! Replacing him will be Jeff Gladney from Texas Christian University! For more information on him, I urge you to read the previous entry of him that is within the link above at the beginning! Thank you in advance and very much appreciated!!





    Safety:



    1.) *** Isaiah Simmons ***: University of Clemson

    2.) Xaiver Mckinney: University of Alabama

    3.) Grant Delpit: Louisiana State University

    4.) Antonie Winfield Jr: University of Minnesota

    5.) Ashtyn Davis: University of California-Berkeley




    Much like the Linebackers, nothing to add here. However, there is a bit of a twist. Unlike the majority of the top five for other positions, I really believe that, barring extreme circumstances, the safety rankings are not changing for the remainder of the 2020 Draft Season. I do apologize everyone but I really do not foresee any major change within this group here.




    Okay everyone! That now completes the updated list of the positional rankings! Major changes in some whereas other changes will have to be put on hold pending the NFL Scouting Combine. With that out of the way, it is time we begin to wrap this up!!



    Final Notes:



    Much of the top three positional rankings in this draft seem set overall, just like other drafts from year's past that I have done. That said, unlike years past, some players within specific positions are in danger; Tight End being the most notable with positions two through four not being fully settled in yet for the likes of Wide Receiver, Corner and potentially Linebacker. I only say Linebacker because Patrick Queen feels like a "Super SPARQ Warrior" for some odd reason but I do not have any major evidence as to why. Even with the tape, Devin White was the better athlete although I am also certain that Patrick Queen will not be far behind. Time will tell with this one.



    This safety class is.... well.... average overall. Initially I was excited with Grant Delpit a year ago. Now, my overall excitement has all but dashed away. Thank goodness for Isaiah Simmons though or else this safety class is the most vanilla Safety class I have studied in some time. Antonie Winfield Jr is my favorite safety within the entire class but NFL Teams sadly will dock him for his lack of height despite his immense Football IQ, rock solid range and ball skills.



    All in all, this 2020 class I was pumped up about. Now, this class, while featuring some serious levels of immense talent, is a way too top heavy for my liking. Heck, Wide Receivers, Offensive Tackles and EDGE Rushers all but bail this class out as even the absolute best players cannot raise the overall quality of the class as a whole


    For example, Joe Burrow is going to be very good to possibly even great but I do not think he is this transcendental, game breaking QB others peg him to be. Chase Young is likely a double digit sack guy but I can see even see him not achieving that like Nick Bosa did as he does not have the power and hand technique like Nick, Bradley Chubb or Joey Bosa did but also lacks the colossal, freakish athleticism that a transcendent player has at his position a la Myles Garrett or even Jadeveon Clowney possesses and, as a result, can use that to simply overwhelm his foes. Jeffery Okudah is a day one lockdown corner but he does not possess transcendent speed, explosivness and agility like Jalen Ramsey or even Patrick Peterson like so many others believe he has.


    Now, are these players still star level players?! Sure. Will they succeed in the NFL barring extreme circumstances?! Absolutely. Is there a new era within the NFL that predicates more on versatility than ever before?! Most definitely.



    Again, the saving graces of the best of the best stem from the NFL's new paradigm for elite defensive players; positionless impact players. Derrick Brown and Isaiah Simmons fit this to the tee as both are the prime examples of what NFL Defensive Coordinators want and what the NFL needs to prevent Offenses from scoring points like crazy. There is not an Interior Technique Derrick Brown cannot play. Regarding Isaiah Simmons, outside of being a single high, deep centerfielding Free Safety, outside corner or playing on the interior, there is not a position Isaiah cannot play. This is all the more reason thar, barring extreme circumstances, I see the likes of Derrick Brown and Isaiah Simmons as not just perennial All Pro's like their other star level contemporaries but also generational talents that far exceed their positions traditional roles. Again, Chase Young, Jeffery Okudah and Joe Burrow are star level but not generational to me as they do not completely change their respective positions the way Derrick Brown and Isaiah Simmons can.




    Conclusion:



    I understand there will be some agnst among you about the final notes. However, keep in mind that I am not the one who is changing the NFL. The NFL is and therefore demands players of such a caliber to push it to newer heights. The traditional methods, even elite, can only work for so long. These mutli role players are now the future and therefore are the key to the NFL's success from here on out.



    Now, before I go, I would like to announce that, again, this Friday, we will embark on another installment of the Steelers Mock Draft just in time before the combine. However, regarding the Big Board and Top Five, I will have both come Saturday as Sunday is the big game! Please stay tuned as there will likely be movement between now and then. In addition, I will go a different direction in this mock this time around?!



    Who will be the lucky six?! You will not want to miss it! Stay tuned!!



    Once again though everyone, thank you for reading! I hope you liked the read and I hope you enjoyed! The next mock will be one that will be opening up the proverbial box of chocolates so be on the lookout for that one!!



    Until next time everyone, take care and have an awesome day!! :)






    Go Steelers!! :steelflag:
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  2. Hanratty#5

    Hanratty#5 Well-Known Member

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    Apr 20, 2019
    Thanks so much for all of the hard work you put into this very informative list. I think Bredeson at guard would be a solid second round pick for us.
     
  3. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

    12,774
    1,668
    Apr 21, 2016

    Hey man! Thank you for reading! Glad you enjoyed!


    Be on the lookout for my second mock draft!!
     
  4. steelersrule6

    steelersrule6 Well-Known Member

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    Adebo is returning to Stanford
     
  5. AskQuestionsLater

    AskQuestionsLater Writing Team

    12,774
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    Apr 21, 2016

    :facepalm:



    :@
     

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