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East Coast Spotlight: Path from HS to draft star for five prospects

The 2020 NFL Draft was completed over the weekend, and the Monday morning quarterbacking began quickly. At Rivals, we’ve covered most of those players selected since high school, and recall the recruitments of several of the weekend’s top picks.

Below, we take a look at some of the East Coast’s top draft picks and which 2021 prospect they most resemble.


NFL DRAFT: The path for five Midwest prospects | Southeast prospects | What We Learned | Biggest winners of the weekend | Five storylines | Did we hit or miss on HS rankings of 32 first-rounders? | First-round grades | Why did Rivals miss on Burrow's, Herbert's rankings? | Day Two thoughts | Looking ahead to top 10 players for 2021 draft

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2022: Top 100



Chase Young, Ohio State

Chase Young
Chase Young (USA Today Sports Images)

Drafted: First round, No. 2 overall to Washington

Recruit comparison: Korey Foreman

Recap: As expected, Chase Young was selected by hometown Washington with the second pick in the draft. As a native of the Washington D.C. suburbs, Young will have plenty of family and friends around him for at least the beginning of his career.

Foreman and Young have similar skillsets. Both were about the same size as high school prospects and they are put together in a similar fashion. Each of them have good arm length and play with a low pad level despite their long legs and 6-foot-5 frames. They are truly athletic specimens and that was evident early on in both cases.

Young finished as the No. 8 overall prospect in the 2017 Rivals250 and probably could have been ranked even higher. Foreman is in the opposite situation, currently ranked No. 1 in the Rivals250, but he has some stiff competition to hold onto that crown.


Mekhi Becton, Louisville

Mekhi Becton (73)
Mekhi Becton (73) (AP Images)

Drafted: First round, No. 11 overall to New York Jets

Recruit comparison: Blake Fisher

Recap: Mekhi Becton was an excellent prospect coming out of high school and we expected him to be a major contributor at Louisville. He exceeded our expectations by starting for the Cardinals as a freshman and he didn’t look back. All of that playing time really helped Becton continue to develop as an NFL prospect, earning him a first-round grade, and the New York Jets jumped at the chance to take him with their No. 11 overall pick.

There were some questions about Becton’s weight as a recruit but his skillset was very solid. He proved that with impressive junior and senior film and by winning the offensive lineman MVP award at the Charlotte Rivals Camp in 2016.

Fisher is facing similar weight and conditioning concerns as he heads to Notre Dame next year but, if he is anything like Becton, he should be able to overcome those obstacles.


Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

Javon Kinlaw (3)
Javon Kinlaw (3) (CJ Driggers)

Drafted: First round, No. 14 overall to San Francisco

Recruit comparison: Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins

Recap: Javon Kinlaw’s story as a nearly homeless child to No. 14 overall pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the draft has been well documented. His success is a testament to his work ethic and physical talent, which is something we can see in fellow South Carolina native Ingram-Dawkins.

Kinlaw was about the same size as Ingram-Dawkins in high school and could play at nearly any position on the defensive line. He eventually grew into a defensive tackle and, with time, was able to direct more of his energy and focus to becoming the best football player he could be. Similar results could be expected from Ingram-Dawkins if he continues to develop physically and technically.


Isaiah Wilson, Georgia

Isaiah Wilson
Isaiah Wilson (Radi Nabulsi)

Drafted: First round, No. 29 overall to Tennessee

Recruit comparison: Landon Tengwall

Recap: The Tennessee Titans were happy to get Isaiah Wilson with the 29th pick in the draft. The athletic offensive lineman showed this type of potential early in his career, despite playing sub-par competition in high school.

It was shocking to see how athletic Wilson was as a high school prospect even though he was a massive 6-foot-7, 340 pounds. He could routinely be seen doing 40-inch box jumps at workouts and took a few reps as a running back in games as a senior.

Wilson put that athleticism and size to work at Georgia, becoming a versatile offensive lineman that still has a very high ceiling. Tengwall may not be as athletic as Wilson but he is massive, extremely strong, and could play tackle or guard in college and beyond.


D’Andre Swift, Georgia

D'Andre Swift
D'Andre Swift (Radi Nabulsi)

Drafted: Second round, No. 35 overall to Detroit

Recruit comparison: DeAndre Boykins

Recap: D'Andre Swift went to Detroit with the 35th pick in the draft and he was ranked No. 35 in the 2017 Rivals250. Accuracy of his ranking aside, Swift was on track for a high ranking early in his high school career. He began his career as an explosive change-of-pace back but developed as a tough between-the-tackles runner as he got into his junior and senior year of high school. Adding that extra muscle and weight did not slow him down. Swift showed off his speed by routinely breaking off explosive plays and becoming more of a factor as a receiver out of the backfield.

Swift was about the same size as Boykins in high school and showed similar explosiveness, especially prior to adding the mass we saw before he got to Georgia. Boykins has the demeanor, playing style, and work ethic to develop in the same way but we may not see it before he makes it to the college level.