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Mel Kiper 2020 NFL Draft Big Board: Jerry Jeudy, Chase Young Top Rankings

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2019

Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) warms up before the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game against Oklahoma , Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Prior to the start of the 2019 college football season, ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. released his preseason big board Wednesday for the 2020 draft.

Alabama junior wide receiver Jerry Jeudy garnered the top spot on Kiper's list after a breakout 2018 season, while Ohio State junior defensive end Chase Young was No. 2.

Last year, Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver was the No. 1 player on Kiper's preseason big board, and he ended up going ninth overall to the Buffalo Bills in the 2019 draft.

Last season, Jeudy was quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's top target on a stacked Crimson Tide offense. He finished with 68 receptions for 1,315 yards (19.3 yards per catch) and 14 touchdowns.

That was enough to make Jeudy (6'1", 192 lbs) a consensus All-American and the winner of the Biletnikoff Award, given to the nation's best wideout. Randy Moss, Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson are some more notable previous winners.

If Jeudy goes No. 1 overall, it would be a first at that position since the New York Jets chose Keyshawn Johnson out of USC in 1996. Only Dave Parks (San Francisco 49ers in 1964) and Irving Fryar (New England Patriots in 1984) went No. 1 overall as wide receivers.

It has become far more common for pass-rushers to be picked first.

After showing flashes with 2.5 sacks as a freshman, Young (6'5", 265 lbs) became the Buckeyes' primary pass-rusher last season and finished with 24 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks. When Nick Bosa missed most of the season because of injury, Ohio State's defense didn't miss a beat.

Most impressively, Young registered six sacks over the final four games of the season, including three against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Myles Garrett (2017 to the Cleveland Browns) was the last defensive end to go first overall, joining Courtney Brown, Mario Williams and Jadeveon Clowney as defensive ends to go No. 1 since 2000.

Both Jeudy and Young were part of Bleacher Report's Matt Miller's "Way Early 2020 Top 5 NFL Mock Draft" from July.

In that mock, Young went first overall to the Arizona Cardinals, and Jeudy went fifth to the Washington Redskins. Tagovailoa (second to the Cincinnati Bengals), Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert (third to the Miami Dolphins) and Iowa defensive end A.J. Epenesa (fourth to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) were sandwiched between them.

Barring significant injuries, Jeudy and Young should at least be top-10 picks in 2020.