Getting to know the Top 10 2020 NFL Draft candidates

Coronavirus or not, the NFL Draft appears to be on as scheduled for April 23-25, 2020, though it will look unlike any other draft we’ve seen in recent memory.

The annual event is one of the most-anticipated yearly ongoings in all of sports. But with the recent changes in society due to the COVID-19 scare, it had been suggested to postpone the draft until the coronavirus outbreak subsided.

Yet, the league aims to push through with the original schedule, albeit in the land of cyberspace and virtual reality versus the otherwise alternate reality that is Las Vegas!

Despite not having a first round pick, I still felt it was important to take a look at some of the cream of the crop for the upcoming draft as the Steelers competition within the AFC North each has selections within the top ten. The Cincinnati Bengals currently hold the top overall pick, while the Cleveland Browns hold pick ten.

Therefore, there’s a strong possibility that Pittsburgh may be facing one of these rookies over the course of the 2020 season.

The players listed below topped various top 100 big boards of prospects this year, including recent NFL draft odds.

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Chase Young

Hailing from Ohio State, Chase Young, was named as the best defensive prospect of this year’s draft. He’s considered by many as a “no brainer” pick and has some contemplating if the top overall selection could be used on the defender, rather than one of the top quarterback prospects.

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Joe Burrow

A senior from LSU, Joe Burrow is considered this year’s “surefire” quarterback pick. He is the arguably the best quarterback in the 2020 draft class, and the most “pro ready”.

Burrow threw for over 5,000 yards and a whopping 60 touchdowns during his last year of football.

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Jeff Okudah

Potentially the top cornerback prospect in this year’s class, Okudah terrorized opposing offenses while at Ohio State. He had 17 passes defensed over this last two college seasons and draws comparisons to current pros such as Jalen Ramsey and Patrick Peterson.

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Isaiah Simmons

Simmons is a genetic freak, crushing the Combine with a 4.39 40-yard dash.

The four-year starter can play all over the field and had eight sacks in his final year at Clemson.

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Tua Tagovailoa

The junior Alabama quarterback jumped onto the national scene after replacing Jalen Hurts at halftime of the 2017 NCAA National Championship Game and leading his team to a come-from-behind victory.

Posting 3,966 yards, 43 TDs and six INTS in his previous full season, a hip injury sidelined Tua for portions of 2019 and has made him a controversial pick due to the risk involved with his projected high selection.

It will be interesting to see where he lands on draft day.

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Derrick Brown

An interior defensive lineman standing 6’5″ and weighing 326 pounds shouldn’t have the speed he does. This gives the Auburn prospect an edge on the field, gaining maybe the most attention at his position.

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Jedrick Wills

This 6-4 junior offensive tackle from Alabama appears to be one of the top offensive line prospects in a deep class at the position. He started all of Alabama’s games over the last two seasons.

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Tristan Wirfs

Arguably Iowa’s best offensive player, Wirfs is is another large offensive tackle weighing in at 320 pounds with a height of 6’5″ and massive 10 1/4″ hands.

The 2019 second-team Associated Press All-American and Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year was also the state of Iowa’s Class 2A Offensive Lineman of the Year at Mount Vernon High School was also a two-time state champion in the shot put and discus throw, as well as a state wrestling champion his senior year!

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Jerry Jeudy

Yet another prospect from the Crimson Tide, Jeudy is the very next in line of a deep receiver class. He has the speed and size that NFL teams covet while also putting up big numbers at Alabama.

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Javon Kinlaw

Possessing elite physical traits, Javon Kinlaw is one of the most promising defensive players in this year’s draft.

The South Carolina product has a fantastic combination of size, explosiveness, and length. A first-team Associated Press All-America and first-team All-SEC honoree, this 324-pounder kept on impressing spectators during the Senior Bowl and has jumped into many top ten boards among draft experts.

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Takeaways

These names are just ten of the the many candidates eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft. While this list is short, there are many other names who could jump into the top ten on draft day.

The Bengals are the favorite to land one of the top quarterbacks, though there is chatter about whether or not they are sold on Joe Burrow and could trade out of the pick.

The Cleveland Browns are an interesting team sitting at pick ten, the same position where the Steelers moved up in a trade to acquire LB Devin Bush in last year’s draft. The consensus is that Cleveland needs help along their offensive line and could be looking for the successor to the previously retired Joe Thomas. Among the tackles they could select include the aforementioned Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs (Iowa), Andrew Thomas (Georgia), and Mekhi Becton (Louisville).

However, the Browns could also pull a fast one and further beef up their defensive front seven or otherwise patch their defensive backfield with one of the top defensive backs.

Regardless, this draft will be an interesting one to make note of as we can’t monitor visits and pro days as in year’s past. Who goes where could be anyone’s guess!

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