When you have an NFL draft that is loaded with an unusually high number of premiere players at a position – like the 2020 wide receiver class is shaping up to be — then it has an impact on the rest of the draft.
“You look up and see that stack of wide receivers,” explained the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah on the recent Ryen Russillo podcast. “I’ve literally done this before where I had to print smaller magnets because I couldn’t fit (all the names) up there because there’s so many (good) receivers being produced in the college game right now.
“Then you look over the offensive tackle board and you’re like, ‘Wow, hope we get one of those three guys, because after those three guys, we don’t have anyone until the fourth round that we like. That sort of thing changes your decision-making process.”
Last week’s LSU win over Alabama was the showcase event for the wide receiver position. The top receivers from those teams include Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle of Alabama, and Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase of LSU.
Waddle and Chase are sophomores, the rest are juniors.
“Well, you’ve got the four from ‘Bama that everyone knows about, then you go to LSU,” Jeremiah said on the podcast. “I did not know as much about Justin Jefferson until I really studied him this week. He is really, really good, man. They’ve got the underclassman in Chase, who’s a big-time player. They’ve got a couple of other guys who will be fringe NFL guys that’ll be around, but, man, if you just take the two studs for LSU and the four guys from ‘Bama – I mean, all six of those guys have Pro Bowl ability, which is ridiculous to have six Pro Bowl players participating in one game. But I think that’s very possible.”
Here’s a snapshot of what Jeremiah said about those players:
“Jerry Jeudy is … the best route runner in the country, no doubt. But Jeudy’s not the thickest guy, he’s not the strongest guy, and he’s had some drops. You’re nitpicking at this point in time, but I’ve talked to teams around the league who have Ruggs as the top receiver at Alabama and that Jeudy’s not even the top receiver there. I just think that this is not a closed case at this point in time.”
“Jeudy is so loose and fluid and is such a polished route runner, but when you look at it … does he have ‘blow the doors off’ speed? No, not really. And is he going to be able to hold up just working inside? Those are the nitpicking concerns there with Jerry Jeudy.”
“I don’t know if I’m taking Jerry Jeudy in the top 5 when you tell me I can get some of these other guys in the second round. Then I can address some of these other areas like offensive line or defensive line where there’s not quite as many dudes to pick from.”
“You get the 40 times that people tell you that they run, and you also get the GPS numbers – and the GPS numbers are off the charts for (Jefferson).
Now, it’s Ruggs who’s on a different planet with how fast he’s going to run, but Jefferson is going to run in the 4.3s. He’s got size, he’s tough, he’s a great route runner, he can work inside, he can work outside.”