Mel Kiper 2020 NFL Draft Big Board: Guru Releases Final Rankings Before Round 1

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2020

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

ESPN NFL draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. released his final big board before the first round of the 2020 draft Thursday, with his top 10 listed below:

  1. Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
  2. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
  3. Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
  4. Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
  5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
  6. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
  7. Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
  8. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
  9. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
  10. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

It won't be surprising if the 10 players listed above all come off the board in the top 10 of the actual draft, although the order will almost certainly be different.

While Kiper has Burrow at No. 2, he is widely expected to go first overall to the Cincinnati Bengals. That would leave Young for the Washington Redskins at No. 2, although he could also be a trade-up target.

Kiper has three quarterbacks inside his top 10, and given the needs of the teams picking early on, all could be gone by the sixth pick.

On Wednesday, he reported the "tide has turned" for the Miami Dolphins, with them now preferring Herbert over Tagovailoa. Kiper did caution, however, that it may just be a smokescreen.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in Kiper's rankings is Jeudy at No. 8 since Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb has been picking up steam among draft experts as the top receiver in the class. Even Jeudy's teammate, Henry Ruggs, has gotten himself in the conversation.

If you look at the stats, however, Jeudy is the guy. He had 68 receptions for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2018 en route to winning the Biletnikoff Award and followed that up with 77 grabs for 1,163 yards and 10 scores last season.

The Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 9 are likely the first team that will consider taking a wide receiver, but several teams behind them have needs at the position, including the New York Jets (11th), Las Vegas Raiders (12th), San Francisco 49ers (13th) and Denver Broncos (15th).

Wide receiver may be the deepest position in the draft, but offensive tackle is in the conversation as well. Kiper has both Wills and Wirfs in his top 10, and Louisville's Mekhi Becton and Georgia's Andrew Thomas could also go in the top 11 of the actual draft.

The draft will be held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the first round beginning at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday.


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