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NFL Draft: Ten players that could be first-round picks in 2020

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | State | Position | Team

Jake Fromm
Jake Fromm (AP Images)

RELATED: Grading all 32 first-round picks from the 2019 NFL Draft

The 2019 NFL Draft wrapped up over the weekend so there is no better time to look ahead. Here are 10 players that could be early first-round draft picks after next season:

Recruiting: During a signing ceremony at his high school, Brown committed to Auburn over Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and Mississippi State.

Buzz: According to Pro Football Focus, Brown graded out among the top-12 defensive linemen this past season as he had good numbers at Auburn but the draft class along the defensive line was incredibly deep and Brown might have been lost in the shuffle. Another season with the Tigers could propel him into the top part of the first round.

Farrell’s take: Brown moved inside full-time and developed into a dominant defensive tackle two years ago and had a great year and he’s taken it to the next level this past season. He has the power, the quickness and ability to crush the pocket to get the job done. In high school evaluations, Brown was always a bit up and down. He was inconsistent, but his ceiling was too high to keep him from that fifth star and so far we are looking smart. Coming back for another year will allow him to push to be the top DT in the draft.

Recruiting: A native of Louisiana who played at Houston (Texas) Lamar and then to IMG, Delpit committed to LSU and then closely watched the Tigers’ coaching situation and hoped Ed Orgeron got the job. Florida made a serious push, Texas A&M and others were also involved, but Delpit stuck with LSU as Orgeron got the full-time job.

Buzz: Delpit has a whole lot going for him entering this season - and the NFL Draft that follows. The former four-star prospect who incredibly had eight safeties ranked ahead of him should continue to be a star in LSU’s secondary, he put up great stats last season and pro teams are going to give a closer look at DBU players. He led the Tigers with five interceptions last season.

Farrell’s take: Delpit was highly ranked as the No. 70 player in the country but he was also a guy I thought we might have undervalued and it’s showing that we did. He has length, good size and great instincts overall. Now he’s become one of the best all-around defenders in the country. Delpit is a star already and will be a legend by the time he leaves Baton Rouge. He’s the next great one at DBU.

Recruiting: The son of former Iowa lineman Eppy Epenesa, the five-star prospect committed to the Hawkeyes in January of his junior year. He ended up with more than 20 offers, but never wavered off his Iowa pledge.

Buzz: Epenesa is everything NFL teams could be looking for in a defensive end - strong, physical, tough, productive and he comes from an NFL pipeline. With a tremendous line of defensive linemen in this year’s draft, the runway could be cleared for players like Epenesa after next season especially if he has another big year. Last season, the former five-star had 10.5 sacks.

Farrell’s take: Epenesa was a hard-nosed kid coming out of high school who had underrate athleticism and who could play the run and get after the passer. He’s emerged as one of the best and well-rounded defensive ends in the country and he has the size and quickness to be compared to Nick Bosa.

Recruiting: In the spring of his junior year, Fromm flipped his commitment from Alabama to Georgia, a huge recruiting win for coach Kirby Smart over Nick Saban. Former UGA coach Mark Richt did not recruit Fromm much, but Smart made him a top priority in the 2017 class.

Buzz: The former five-star might never crack the No. 1 spot at quarterback because of Tua Tagovailoa’s incredible career at Alabama but Fromm could definitely be second on a lot of draft boards because he’s been excellent in Athens. He beat out a former five-star (Jacob Eason) for the starting job. Then all he did was win and put up big stats. He’s not all glitz and glamour but he gets everything done and he threw for 30 touchdowns and six picks last season.

Farrell’s take: Fromm became a five-star late in the process, earning that fifth star after a great week at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and was a huge flip for Kirby Smart from Alabama. He was a kid we felt was a “gamer” who might not have as many natural skills as some other five-star quarterbacks but had more of the intangibles. Fromm has been limited in his passing attempts in his first couple of seasons but progressed and was a bigger part of the offensive strategy as the season wore on last year. His efficiency and maturity were off the charts and he led his team to the title game his freshman year and the SEC title game this past year. He beat out Jacob Eason and held off Justin Fields for the starting job and is a great leader.

Recruiting: Herbert committed to Oregon in October of his senior season. His only other offers came from Montana State, Northern Arizona and Portland State.

Buzz: If Herbert left Oregon after this past season there was a good chance that he could have been the No. 1 quarterback, if not the top overall pick. There was some surprise that the former three-star returned to Eugene but he should be surrounded with an arsenal for an offense and he’ll get to play with his younger brother. The QB haul for next year’s draft is top-heavy but Herbert should be right in the mix. He threw for 29 TDs last year but completed just under 60 percent of his passes.

Farrell’s take: Herbert is another great find by Oregon as his only other offers were FCS programs, and now some were talking about him as the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft if he decided to come out. He was a big, raw, dual-threat coming out of high school who could sling it, but had some accuracy issues and some mechanical problems. He also looked skinny despite being 210 pounds or so. He’s filled out, has improved his accuracy greatly and is making good decisions. He’s big, he can move, he has a strong arm and he has all the intangibles that NFL scouts love. Could he be No. 1 next year? He certainly could be.

Recruiting: In the summer before his senior season, Jeudy continued the tradition of South Florida receivers going to Alabama by committing to the Crimson Tide over Miami, Florida, Florida State and Tennessee.

Buzz: Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown and Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry were the only two first-round wide receivers taken in the first round of the NFL Draft and Jeudy had better or identical numbers to those two. The former five-star averaged nearly 20 yards per catch, had 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Jeudy and Tagovailoa should continue to be a devastating duo next year before heading off to the pros.

Farrell’s take: Jeudy has emerged as one of the best receivers in the country and that’s no surprise based on our ranking out of high school. We saw him as the next great Florida receiver to make an impact at ‘Bama following Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley. He had size and a frame to fill out and the downfield speed teams covet. When he wanted to be, he was unstoppable and we are seeing more consistency now and he was the most dominant receiver in college football last year.

Recruiting: In December of his senior season, Little committed to Stanford over Texas, citing the Cardinal’s pro-style offense and how that prepares an offensive lineman for the NFL.

Buzz: If someone was groomed to be an early first-round draft pick it would be someone like Little, who is 6-foot-7, 313 pounds, he’s blocked for Bryce Love on a respected offensive line at Stanford and then also pass blocked for an offense that threw the ball more this past season. The former five-star is tough, well-coached and disciplined. There are some other big-time offensive linemen in this class but Little could be at the top of the board.

Farrell’s take: Little was a surefire five-star coming out of high school with great feet, excellent arm extension and a nasty disposition. He was also very smart, countered well and never let himself get beat on the same move twice. Now he’s the best tackle prospect in the draft for next year.

Recruiting: An early commitment to Arizona, Patterson backed off that pledge and picked Ole Miss over LSU and USC. He left Ole Miss after the Hugh Freeze scandal and transferred to Michigan.

Buzz: If there’s one player on this list who has not proven his consideration as a top-10 pick it’s Patterson, who decided to return to Michigan for next season after throwing for 2,600 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven picks. But Patterson could shoot up draft boards if the Wolverines’ new fast-paced offense under new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis fits with the former five-star. It should - and Patterson could be a hot name this time next year.

Farrell’s take: As a high school prospect, we loved Patterson for his arm strength, accuracy, moxie and ability to make big plays when it mattered. Being our No. 1 quarterback coming out of high school, expectations were high after a really good final season at IMG. He had shown flashes of his ability at Ole Miss, but bigger things were expected at Michigan and he’s lived up to those expectations so far. He’s not the tallest quarterback, but he finds passing windows, can extend the play and throw on the run very well. Now we get to see how he runs an up tempo offense.

Recruiting: Despite claiming that USC was his “dream school,” Tagovailoa committed to Alabama after he took a trip to Tuscaloosa during the spring after his junior season. He also made stops at Auburn and Ole Miss during that trip. Both USC and UCLA continued to pursue Tagovailoa, but neither was able to beat out the Tide.

Buzz: Is there anything that could slow down the Tagovailoa train heading through next season and into the draft? Unless something unforeseen happens, it’s unlikely. He’s almost exactly what NFL teams are looking for in a quarterback - all-business, great leader, athletic and he can put up huge numbers almost at will. Although it might sound like a crazy notion, there might be some hesitation that he’s a lefty but that might be the only slight concern at all.

Farrell’s take: Tagovailoa was highly-ranked, but fell short of five-star status by about 20 spots or so. Oops. We liked his arm strength and accuracy, but he didn’t have great size and struggled a few times in evaluations. However, he had one of the best seasons in recent memory and has become a superstar and many are talking about teams “Tanking for Tua” next year.

Recruiting: In the summer before his senior season and shortly after attending the Buckeyes’ Friday Night Lights camp, Young committed to Ohio State. Maryland was also considered, but the Buckeyes were always thought to be the favorite.

Buzz: The defensive end group was absolutely loaded in this draft class and seven were taken in the first round. Young had more sacks this past season than four of them and only one fewer than Clelin Ferrell and 1.5 fewer than Montez Sweat. Those are incredible numbers from Young, who should have another huge season for the Buckeyes especially since Nick Bosa and others are now off to the NFL.

Farrell’s take: Young had a great season replacing Nick Bosa when he was injured and has shown us all the skills we saw out of high school. He has great size, quickness and he’s very physical. He could be the top defensive end taken next year if he continues to progress.