Five storylines from the 2020 NFL Draft
The NFL Draft is in the books and there were countless storylines coming out of the event. Here are five that especially stuck out.
CLASS OF 2022: Top 100
LSU had the Heisman Trophy winner last season, the Tigers won the national championship and over the weekend 14 players from that team were drafted. All of those things are huge for the program and could be incredibly valuable for coach Ed Orgeron and his staff in recruiting moving forward.
Quarterback Joe Burrow, defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson, wide receiver Justin Jefferson, linebacker Patrick Queen and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire were all picked in the first round, an incredible run for LSU.
Then throughout the weekend, defensive backs Grant Delpit and Kristian Fulton, offensive linemen Damien Lewis, Lloyd Cushenberry and Saahdiq Charles, defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence, tight end Stephen Sullivan and linebacker Jacob Phillips were drafted. Even long snapper Blake Ferguson got picked.
It was a huge weekend for LSU that could pay off on the recruiting trail.
OHIO STATE: DBU
The run of drafted defensive backs coming out of Ohio State in recent years could settle the argument: Which program is truly DBU.
LSU and Florida have staked their claim but the Buckeyes could have the best argument of all especially after this draft where Jeffrey Okudah was the third overall pick this weekend followed by surprise first-rounder Damon Arnette and then safety Jordan Fuller in the sixth round. In total, 10 players from Ohio State were selected.
Those defensive backs join Kendall Sheffield, Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley, Eli Apple and Vonn Bell in recent drafts. The SEC programs might have an argument to be DBU but Ohio State has taken the lead especially after this draft class.
ALL EYES ON TEXAS
There used to be a time, not all that long ago, when Texas would dominate in-state recruiting, then-coach Mack Brown would hold a junior day in the spring and polish off nearly an entire class in a day and the Longhorns could basically pick and choose which players would come to Austin and play for them.
This draft was another stark reminder that the very talented players in that state are heading every which way and it could be hurting Texas on the field.
Thirty-three players who played their high school football in the state of Texas were drafted to lead all states but only two played for the Longhorns and Texas had only three players drafted. TCU had five from the state, Baylor had four. Ohio State got two of the best in Jeffrey Okudah and J.K. Dobbins. So did Oklahoma in CeeDee Lamb and Kenneth Murray.
If coach Tom Herman is going to make Texas a national power again, locking up the state’s top prospects will be crucial. It was evident over the weekend that the Longhorns are not the only destination anymore for elite, local recruits.
FIVE-STAR QB BUST
A five-star ranking means Rivals projects that player to have a dominant college career and then be a first-round NFL Draft pick. In the case of three quarterbacks in this year’s draft, it could be argued all three were over-ranked in the recruiting process.
There was an outside shot entering the draft that Washington’s Jacob Eason, who transferred there when he lost the starting job at Georgia to Jake Fromm, would be a late first-round pick. But the weekend dragged on and finally Eason was taken in the fourth round. Fromm, with questions about his arm strength, fell to the fifth round.
UTAH SHOWS WELL IN PAC-12
When it comes to the Pac-12, there is still so much hype around USC as a program that pumps out NFL players and the talk about how well Oregon has done on the recruiting trail in recent years but Utah stole the show this weekend and made a big statement.
When thinking about your NFL future, the Utes could be the best bet.
Utah had seven players drafted over the weekend led by defensive linemen Leki Fotu, Bradlee Anae and John Penisini and defensive backs Jaylon Johnson, Julian Blackmon and Terrell Burgess. Running back Zack Moss was the seventh.
Utah also quietly put together an outstanding recruiting class in 2020 led by four-star cornerback Clark Phillips along with defensive ends Van Filinger and Xavier Carlton so their draft streak in a few years could continue again.