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Mel Kiper 2020 NFL Draft Big Board: Latest Rankings Ahead of Combine

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 25, 2020

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young (2) during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against Clemson, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri).
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The top of ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest big board remained largely unchanged Tuesday, with Ohio State defensive end Chase Young and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow occupying the top two spots.

In fact, there were no changes in the top eight compared to Kiper's previous big board, as Young and Burrow were followed by Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.

Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert jumped from 10th to No. 9, and South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw rounded out the top 10 after being 11th last time.

The top of this year's draft class is similar to 2019 in that a defensive end and quarterback own the top two spots in the eyes of Kiper and many other draft experts, including B/R's Matt Miller.

Last year, Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa was arguably the best all-around prospect in the draft, but the Arizona Cardinals owned the No. 1 pick and took Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray. That allowed the San Francisco 49ers to take Bosa second, and he played a huge role in their successful season.

The Cincinnati Bengals—with quarterback whisperer Zac Taylor at head coach and a massive void at the position—are widely expected to take Burrow first overall on the heels of his record-breaking, Heisman Trophy-winning campaign.

If that happens, the Washington Redskins will have perhaps the best player fall to them at No. 2 in Young. Burrow took college football by storm with 5,671 passing yards, 60 passing touchdowns and a national championship last season, while Young set an Ohio State record with 16.5 sacks.

It was reported Monday that Burrow's hands measured in on the small side for an NFL quarterback at nine inches, but he was unfazed:

Joey Burrow @Joe_Burrow10

Considering retirement after I was informed the football will be slipping out of my tiny hands. Please keep me in your thoughts.

There seemingly isn't much that can disrupt the top of the draft at this point, so the debate starts at No. 3.

From a pure skill standpoint, Tagovailoa makes all the sense in the world after finishing second to Murray in the Heisman Trophy voting two years ago, but after suffering ankle injuries in each of the past two seasons and undergoing season-ending hip surgery in 2019, it's fair to question his durability.

If a team like the Detroit Lions at No. 3 or the Miami Dolphins at No. 5 take Tagovailoa and make him their franchise quarterback, there will be a fair amount of risk involved.

Outside of the top three, the likes of Okudah, Simmons and Brown stand out as the clear top options at their positions, while Jeudy and Lamb are battling it out with Alabama's Henry Ruggs, Clemson's Tee Higgins and Colorado's Laviska Shenault in a stacked wide receiver class.

The stock of Herbert will be a major storyline entering the draft as well, especially with so many teams potentially needing a quarterback outside the top five, including the Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Las Vegas Raiders, Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots.

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