2020 NFL draft comps: Our favorite prospect to NFL player matches

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As the 2020 NFL draft nears, you'll hear plenty of comparisons between some of the top prospects in the class and current and former NFL players. Whether it be the way they play the game, their physical measurements, a level of versatility, matching traits or some combination of those, NFL draft evaluators liken players coming out of college to established pros to put a name and a face to what they bring.

Comps aren't always exact, and in most cases they don't suggest the prospect will share the same level of success as the NFLer, for better or worse. But they can be helpful nonetheless.

So we asked 10 of our NFL draft analysts for their single most favorite comp in this year's class. And then for good measure, we asked around the league for some interesting comps from NFL coaches and executives. First up, we have the likely No. 1 pick likened to a former NFC East franchise quarterback.

Joe Burrow to Tony Romo

Back in October, after Burrow completed 87.5% of his passes while shredding a good Florida defense, I said he reminded me of Romo -- and not because of their matching No. 9 jersey numbers. Romo was slippery in the pocket and an outstanding thrower on the run, and Burrow has that same awareness while slipping and sliding by pass-rushers. Romo, who spent his entire career quarterbacking the Dallas Cowboys, never had the biggest arm, but he made up for it with touch and accuracy. I see that with LSU's Burrow, too. -- Mel Kiper Jr., NFL draft analyst

Tua Tagovailoa to Drew Brees

This is such an easy comp for me: Tua is Brees from the left side thanks to his decisiveness, suddenness and twitchiness. Like the New Orleans Saints QB, Alabama's Tagovailoa gets through his progressions extremely quickly with his feet tied to his eyes -- always ready to pull the trigger -- and then just releases with perfect trajectory, touch and accuracy to place the ball where it needs to go. -- Todd McShay, NFL draft analyst

Chase Young to Myles Garrett

Perhaps this is low-hanging fruit, comparing a likely top-two pick with another pass-rusher who recently went first overall, but Ohio State's Young and the Cleveland Browns' Garrett have some legit similarities. Both are exceptionally long athletes who look almost lean relative to most defensive linemen, yet are far from it and have exceptional power and explosiveness. -- Field Yates, NFL analyst

Isaiah Simmons to Derwin James

Because he is at his best when playing top-down on the ball, where he can close with speed and finish on ball carriers in space, I project Clemson's do-it-all outside linebacker Simmons as a versatile impact safety in the NFL. He has the playmaking skills and range to find the ball in both base and sub-package personnel groupings. Given his elite athletic profile and explosive traits, Simmons has a physical makeup similar to James, a hybrid safety with the Los Angeles Chargers. -- Matt Bowen, NFL analyst

CeeDee Lamb to DeAndre Hopkins

You're going to hear this comp approximately 1 million times for a reason: It's accurate. Like Nuk, a new member of the Arizona Cardinals, Lamb isn't super fast, but the Oklahoma wide receiver does have Velcro hands and the sort of footwork and instincts that turn slants into how-did-he-do-that touchdowns. -- Mina Kimes, NFL writer

Henry Ruggs III to Tyreek Hill

Both of these receivers have an elite second gear to break free and change the complexion of a game when they get a seam after the catch. They're both threats to take the top off the coverage and both flash the ability to come down with 50-50 balls even though they are both shorter than 6 feet. Good luck staying with either the Kansas City Chiefs' top wideout or Alabama's burner when his quarterback extends the play. -- Steve Muench, Scouts Inc.

Jordan Love to Patrick Mahomes

From a style-of-play perspective and the need to end up with the right team, this makes sense. Both are extremely gifted throwers who make things look easy, and both have wow-factor playmaking ability. Each played with suspect supporting casts and was criticized for being a gunslinger (Mahomes threw 25 interceptions in his last two years at Texas Tech, while Love threw 23 with Utah State in 2018 and '19). And Love would greatly benefit from sitting for a year, as Mahomes did in Kansas City. -- Jim Nagy, NFL draft analyst


Jordan Love's 2020 NFL draft profile

Check out highlights from former Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, a first-round prospect in this year's NFL draft.

Zack Baun to Tedy Bruschi

Baun is a defensive lineman-turned-linebacker who has great instincts and a big motor, reminding me a lot of longtime New England Patriots linebacker Bruschi. Former Pats assistant and current Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia spent a lot of time with the Wisconsin product at the Senior Bowl. Baun has a lot of upside. -- Mike Tannenbaum, NFL analyst

Jalen Hurts to Dak Prescott

Both quarterbacks bring intangibles like leadership and poise to the table. And like Prescott, Hurts' ability to create chunk plays with both his legs and his arm causes a lot of stress for defenses. Oklahoma's Hurts is fully capable of stepping into the right situation and leading a team like Prescott did as a rookie with the Cowboys. -- Turron Davenport, NFL Nation reporter

Logan Wilson to Fred Warner

Wilson is a high-output linebacker -- he had three seasons of at least 90 tackles at Wyoming -- and projects to have the combination of coverage skills, physical play at the point of attack and ability to rush the passer that Warner has shown in his first two NFL seasons. Like the San Francisco 49ers linebacker, Wilson has the potential to be the hybrid type of three-down linebacker who can flourish in today's NFL. -- Jeff Legwold, NFL Nation reporter


ESPN's Jeremy Fowler asked around the NFL for some of the top comps from coaches and executives.

Jake Fromm to Case Keenum

"He'll play in the league 12 years. He's a lot like a Case Keenum, maybe some Andy Dalton. Might not be the physical traits of some of the other guys [in the class], but he's really smart, does everything you want, can win you games as a starter." -- AFC coordinator on the Georgia and Browns quarterbacks

Tua Tagovailoa to Russell Wilson

"He plays the game so fast. He plays a pro game. He's got some Russell Wilson in him. That's why, if you take the medical out of it, he might be the top pick because of his ability to make plays and his feet." -- NFC executive on the Alabama and Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks

Clyde Edwards-Helaire to Maurice Jones-Drew

"Reminds me a lot of Maurice Jones-Drew with a sawed-off build and strength. He doesn't have the straight-line speed of [Jones-Drew], but he's a do-it-all back, tough, catches out of the backfield, can get tough yards. Love him as a midround pick." -- AFC coordinator on the LSU and former Jacksonville Jaguars running backs

CeeDee Lamb to Michael Irvin

"He's got that great run-after-the-catch ability but isn't a blazer. But neither was Michael Irvin. That's a good comp -- just great football players. They know how to play the game and get open and make plays." -- NFC executive on the Oklahoma and former Cowboys wide receivers