Who says we have to wait until next year to talk about the 2020 NFL draft? ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay tell you what you should be watching (and when) this college football season.
Who are the quarterbacks to know in the 2020 class? What about the pass-rushers who could break out, and the under-the-radar prospects to watch? Kiper and McShay answer 25 questions:
2020 NFL draft rankings:
Kiper's Big Board | McShay's Top 32
1. OK, the No. 1 prospect in the 2020 class right now is ...
Kiper: There's no consensus top prospect. There are some elite players across the board, though. You have the quarterbacks in Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) and Justin Herbert (Oregon), plus a few guys who could rise. You have the pass-rushers in Chase Young (Ohio State) and A.J. Epenesa (Iowa). There are a couple of dominant offensive tackles to watch, and it could be a strong defensive back class.
My top prospect right now is Tagovailoa's receiver Jerry Jeudy, a phenomenal playmaker and talent. But 1996 was the last year a receiver went No. 1 overall in the draft, and it would take a lot for it to happen again. Let me also say this: Todd is going to disagree with me, but Tagovailoa is far from a lock to be the top quarterback in this class.
McShay: Easy there, Mel. Tagovailoa is the real deal. He's not the clear-cut overall prospect just yet -- like Nick Bosa was last year -- but he is definitely the top quarterback in the class at this point. Sure, no QB has a better supporting cast, and he didn't have the strongest finish to the 2018 season after injuries piled up. But his field vision and accuracy -- especially downfield -- are distinctive traits. I see a lot of Drew Brees in him. He is a special talent and my preseason No. 1 prospect.
2. Will Herbert's decision to return to Oregon pay off?
McShay: Yes, Herbert's decision-making and accuracy were too erratic last season. He has a rare combination of size (6-foot-6), mobility and arm strength. He's tough and will stand tall in the pocket. But he also needs to improve his touch and trajectory on certain throws, and he still trusts his arm strength too much at times. The senior has to learn that a 6-yard checkdown on first down is perfectly fine, too.
Kiper: Totally agree, Todd. He was just too inconsistent. Herbert is an elite talent -- and if he puts it together, consistently, he's going to be a Heisman contender and top-five pick. And he has the talent around him to help him get there.