- Isaiah Simmons: Defense/Arizona Cardinals
Simmons was in the eyes of many a the 4th best player in the draft. During Clemsons 2020 campaign to National Championship runner-ups Isaiah Simmons shined as one of the, if not the best player on a defense absolutely loaded with talent. He showed his versatility by getting receiving over 100 snaps at 5 different positions. When looking through tape you can see the defensive back that he once was when he first arrived at Clemson. But it is also clear that Dabo Swinney has upgraded and re-programmed him to be one of the most talented assets on his team. Simmons is super instinctive and has a nose for the ball. He is a great open field tackler and is great in pursuit. He has incredible speed backed by a 4.3 40 time as well as staying stride for stride with Travis Etienne (teammate) who has 4.3 speed. His length, discipline, and intelligence allows him to fill passing lanes to knock down and pick off passes over the middle. He fills the tight end problem that Arizona suffered heavily from as he can utilize his defensive back knowledge to blanket tight ends. As a linebacker and potential pass rusher Simmons needs to work on shedding blocks faster to tackle ball carriers in the backfield. Being a recently converted safety hesitation can be seen when digesting plays and can take poor and mistimed angles to the ball. Due to his slimness he is not a great downhill player that can shed blocks. Overall, the Cardinals made an excellent selection that allows them to develop their defense with a key player like Simmons to fill problems and develop into the potential star in the making.
- Ceedee Lamb: Wide Receiver/Dallas Cowboys
Lamb was a star wideout at Oklahoma and arguably the second best wide receiver in the class behind Jerry Jeudy. On tape it is clear that Lamb’s strongest traits are his ability to break tackles in open space and create production after the catch. Lamb had 21.4 yards per catch this past season. Which goes to show his talent not only as a route runner but as a game wrecker with the ball in his hands (Only dropped 3 of 88 passes. He has the strength to break arm tackles. He has the vision to cut and get to open space. He does not have incredible top end speed but he is hard to catch up too when he gets by defenders. He utilizes good change of pace to beat defenders and keep them behind him. He is a willing blocker but needs some improvement. (He is a wideout so a lot should not be expected of him.) He is a little bit thin and may struggle against bigger stronger corners. Being in the Big 12 he did not face a lot of tough corner matchups and the jump to the NFL will be interesting to watch. To be an even better target for the inconsistent Prescott Lamb needs to polish up his route running a little to be more purposeful and efficient. He also struggled to get separation in press man coverage against not so great corners. His releases do not create early separation as well as a hip turn from corners. He does not pose Even with the concerns with the lack of competition Lamb shows incredible potential as a key piece to the potentially deadly Cowboys offense.
- Jedrick Wills: Offensive Tackle/Cleveland Browns
Wills was unanimously rated as the top offensive tackle/lineman in the 2020 draft. At Alabama he showcased his athleticism, technique, and his intellect in film study. As stated earlier Wills is a big tackle with very good athleticism. He plays with fluid hips to react to different rushes, as well as his quick feet to cut off and react to rush moves. He has great technique and punching power to stop rushers even with a below average arm length. He is a great puller or lead blocker with his quickness and technique. His quick feet allow great mirroring of the defender. He plays calm and collected with the intent to eliminate rushers from a play with his power and coordination. However, on occasion he plays on his toes and lunges. Rarely latches to close distance between him and the rusher. Wills on occasion will overset and get be back inside. Shows average blitz pickup instincts. Does communicate well with teammates though. Through his play against Tennessee we see the film study that allows Wills to predict what the rusher will do before he does it. Overall, a very good pick by the Browns. Getting a top 5 talent with athleticism and technique for the 10th pick to protect Baker and the Browns potential playoff run.
- Jerry Jeudy: Wide Receiver/Denver Broncos
Jeudy was one of the many star wideouts who performed incredibly in the Alabama offense. He was ranked by many as the best receiver in the class. His superior technique and route running versus zone and off-man coverage. Jeudy one the Biletnikoff award his sophomore year as the best wide receiver and continued his dominance his junior year. Jeudy is a masterful route runner. He understands leverages, speed control, and technique to beat defenders. He possesses the speed that demands respect. In the Alabama offense he is experienced with pro style route combinations. He runs routes hard and is a natural catcher. His routes are technically sound and sharp to get open. With a minimal amount of steps in and out of breaks makes it harder on a corner to guard him. He has fluid hips in routes and with the ball in hand to shake defenders. Good body control and hands through contested catches and contact. His acceleration is consistent and he has respectable long speed but has average quickness to create separation underneath. Will most likely work from the hash marks out due to slender frame. Due to a smaller frame he struggled against quality press man coverage. Overall, a very solid pick by the Broncos to get a route technician that will complement the X wideout of Courtland Sutton and the burner that is KJ Hamler.
- Patrick Queen: Linebacker/Baltimore Ravens
Queen was listed as the top linebacker in the class. He is undersized for a three down middle linebacker but he possesses the tools to be successful at the next level. A problem that has circulated is his single season experience starting at linebacker for LSU. Queen plays fast and instinctive and has great speed to cover sideline to sideline. He has the ability to beat blockers to a spot and make the tackle. Even though he is smaller he can pop off of blocks, fill lanes, track the ball carrier from gap to gap, and quickly clog passing lanes. Needs to fill out a bit to move through traffic to the ball carrier. Issues with lack of experience show poor timing to shoot gaps, loss of leverage on occasion that allows cutbacks, shows inconsistent block shedding ability, and needs some route recognization improvement. Overall Queen is an interesting prospect. He shows great potential on tape with his fast instinctive play. But also shows draw backs with his lack of experience and size.
The 2020 draft class was loaded with talent and these players were chosen for the value that the bring to a franchise, at the pick that they were selected. These players provide make the organization much better than the pick that they were selected at. On the contrary, every player has flaws. Its how these teams train those up or put the player in a position where those flaws will not be exposed will determine the quality of a career that these players will have.