Sam Craft/Associated Press
A good amount of the early 2020 NFL draft talk has centered on the Alabama Crimson Tide, but a player from their top rival stole the spotlight in Week 4 of the college football season.
Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown produced one of the best individual defensive performances of the season in his team's win over Texas A&M.
When April rolls around, Brown will likely be in the Top 10 conversation, and he could be one of three defensive linemen chosen in that portion of the draft.
Ohio State's Chase Young should be the top defensive player selected in Las Vegas. The defensive end once again impressed evaluators as the Buckeyes rolled to 4-0.
2020 1st-Round NFL Mock Draft
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
2. New York Jets: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
3. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
4. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh): A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
5. Denver Broncos: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
6. Washington Redskins: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
7. Arizona Cardinals: Isaiah Simmons, S, Clemson
8. Cleveland Browns: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
10. Oakland Raiders: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
11. Los Angeles Chargers: Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
12. Tennessee Titans: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
13. Atlanta Falcons: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
15. Carolina Panthers: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
16. New York Giants: Walker Little, OT, Stanford
17. Philadelphia Eagles: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
18. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
19. Seattle Seahawks: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
20. Minnesota Vikings: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
21. Indianapolis Colts: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
22. Baltimore Ravens: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
23. New Orleans Saints: Julian Okwara, DE/LB, Notre Dame
24. Detroit Lions: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
25. Miami Dolphins (from Houston): Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
26. Los Angeles Rams: Trey Adams, OT, Washington
27. New England Patriots: Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
28. Dallas Cowboys: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
29. Buffalo Bills: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
30. San Francisco 49ers: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
31. Kansas City Chiefs: D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
32. Green Bay Packers: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Draft order based off records following Sunday's NFL games.
Brown finished Saturday with three solo tackles, two sacks, two passes defended and a forced fumble.
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. ranked the senior defensive tackle as his No. 9 prospect before the college football season began.
In his write-up on Brown, Kiper said he has "top-five talent, but I want to see him finish this season."
Sam Craft/Associated Press
The pair of sacks Saturday put him 2.5 away from the career high he posted in 2018, and he will have plenty of chances to earn more in the spotlight.
Brown could have declared for the draft after his junior campaign, but he opted to return to Auburn for a final go-around, per AL.com's Giana Han:
"You don't want to take this for granted," Brown said. "You never know when that's your last snap, so I decided to come back and play with my teammates. That's what I'm going to do, so I'm going to give them my all."
The 6'5", 318-pound player will go up against Florida, LSU, Georgia and Alabama, all of which should have NFL personnel in attendance due to their high profile.
If he continues to impress, Brown should gain attention from teams with defensive needs. Washington, Arizona and Jacksonville have stable quarterback situations, so they would be more inclined to fill up the interior than go after a skill-position player.
At the end of the regular season, the 21-year-old could find his way to Tua Tagovailoa, who is fifth in the FBS in passing yards.
The Alabama signal-caller had more touchdowns than incompletions in Saturday's 42-point blowout of Southern Mississippi.
Even though he produced a near-perfect game, the left-hander still believes he has plenty to work on, per 247 Sports' Charlie Potter:
"There's a lot. There's a lot of things I need to fix. There's been a lot of miscommunication. I think the two three-and-outs that we had were a testament to us not doing things correctly and the miscommunications that we've had. It's an opportunity for us to learn from it, to grow from it. And I think we finished a lot better."
Alabama scored 200 points in its first four games, so it is hard to imagine how strong it will look when it fixes the little issues Tagovailoa pointed out.
The list of suitors for the Hawaiian is becoming clearer, with the Miami Dolphins projecting as a landing spot.
Miami's quarterback play did not get better in Week 3, as Josh Rosen completed 46.2 percent of his passes, was sacked three times and led the team to six points.
If the pocket play does not improve, the Dolphins could use one of their selections on Tagovailoa.
The Alabama southpaw might be available at No. 2 or No. 3 due to team needs and the production of Young.
Against Miami (Ohio), the Ohio State defensive end racked up two sacks to put him in a tie for the FBS lead.
Draft Network's Jordan Reid was among the analysts impressed with Young's output versus the Mid-American Conference side:
If the New York Jets and Cincinnati Bengals continue to struggle and feel secure with their respective quarterback situations, Young could be one of their top targets.
If Miami does not land the No. 1 overall pick, keep an eye on him as the first player off the board.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.