Rivals Crossover Series: Which 2020 FB prospects could be one-and-done?
The one-and-done rule has been popular in college basketball as top players go to college for one year and then they’re off to the pros. That is not possible in college football, but we take a look at 10 top players from the 2020 recruiting class that could already be physically ready for the NFL.
MORE CROSSOVER SERIES:
CLASS OF 2022: Top 100
Overview: The top-rated overall prospect in the 2020 class, Bresee looked like a man among boys in high school. At 6-foot-5 and 290 pounds, the five-star can excel at defensive end or move inside and be equally as devastating at defensive tackle. He could be the next big-time star along Clemson’s defensive line and he has the physical makeup to already be prepared for an NFL future. Bresee is the same height and two pounds heavier than Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt, one of the most-feared defensive ends in the game.
Farrell’s take: Our No. 1 player overall would certainly have a tough time at first in the NFL after a year of college football simply adjusting to the sheer size of the offensive linemen, but his energy and non-stop motor would allow him to make plays as he caught up to the physical side of things. This kid has a constant motor and could be a big end in the NFL.
Overview: Ranked as the second-best strong-side defensive end nationally in the 2020 class, Burch is an athletic freak show who also has tremendous power and athletic ability. His recruitment was quiet throughout since Burch nor anyone around him talked much and it dragged on past National Signing Day as South Carolina, LSU, Georgia, Clemson and others battled it out. The Gamecocks won and they could have their next big-time superstar defensive end on their hands since Burch is listed an inch taller and three pounds heavier than Myles Garrett from the Cleveland Browns.
Farrell’s take: Burch is a tough one to project because he’s so raw, but his athleticism is so intriguing that he could develop by leaps and bounds in just one year in college. If anyone has the Chase Young upside in this class at defensive end, it’s Burch.
Overview: After watching the viral video of Demas dunking over people and on a goal post at the Polynesian Bowl, there is no question about his athletic ability. There are YouTube videos of him doing all kinds of basketball dunks that speak to his leaping prowess. The five-star receiver is off the charts in that area and he’s a big-time playmaker as an outside receiver. Quarterbacks just throw it his way and he outjumps everybody for the ball. He’s also the same height as Julio Jones or Michael Thomas and even though he will need to add significant weight in college, he’s someone who’s lean and strong and could make an immediate impact.
Farrell’s take: Wide receivers would have the easiest time adjusting from college to the NFL and Demas has that CeeDee Lamb athleticism and body control about him. He’d be an instant impact guy after a year.
Overview: Fleming has a thicker frame and is more muscular than some other receivers in the 2020 class, so it’s surprising the No. 1 prospect at that position weighed in at only 200 pounds at Ohio State. He’s the same height as Los Angeles Chargers receiver Keenan Allen but about 12 pounds lighter. Still, no one is going to muscle up Fleming at the line and he has the playmaking ability for a bigger receiver to stretch the field and finish big plays.
Farrell’s take: Fleming is bigger and more physical than Demas but not quite the same athlete, so his adjustment would be slightly different. However, he’s more physically equipped to handle the abuse at the pro level and will be a monster after a year in college.
Overview: A comparison for Flowe is almost impossible because he plays with such reckless abandon that it also conjures up the days of Dick Butkus or Junior Seau, guys who wanted to wreck their opponents, seek-and-destroy mentality and be more physical and tougher than anyone on the field. Flowe is already 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds, he can cover sideline-to-sideline, he loves playing near the line of scrimmage and he’s one of the toughest and most-focused players in recent memory. The five-star linebacker is not someone who is going to back down from physical confrontation on the football field.
Farrell’s take: Flowe is raw but physically he would be ready and he’s strong as an ox. He’d learn quickly that he won’t be able to suplex NFL players and his aggression will be tempered by a year in college. He would be a guided missile in the NFL.
Overview: The five-star tight end and LSU signee is one of the best-looking prospects in the 2020 class regardless of position. He’s already 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds, which makes him an inch taller than NFL tight ends Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz and Greg Olsen and the same height as Kyle Rudolph, although Gilbert is slightly lighter than all those players. Still, Gilbert has the ability to be an in-line tight end but also the athletic ability and speed to split out and be a complete matchup nightmare.
Farrell’s take: Gilbert is a big wide receiver by NFL standards right now and that could be where he plays at LSU. As a flex option in the NFL after a year or a big slot he’d be a mismatch for anyone. Physically he’s almost ready now.
Overview: The five-star receiver is a smooth route runner, can get open against anybody and makes tough catches look easy, plus he’s rocked up physically and reminds us of Stefon Diggs, someone who’s not going to blow you away from a physical standpoint but looks great and delivers on the field. Johnson was the fifth-best receiver in a loaded 2020 group and when all is said and done at Notre Dame, the five-star could emerge as one of the better receivers coming out of this class.
Farrell’s take: Size is not an issue for Johnson but speed could be so a year of getting faster in college would do him well. Again, wide receivers can adjust to the NFL easier if the route tree is simplified and Johnson has the smarts to set up defenders at an elite level.
Overview: There was a pretty heated discussion about who should be the top cornerback in the 2020 class and while LSU’s Elias Ricks got the nod there was no debate about which player at that position looked the most-advanced physically: That was Ringo by a mile. At 6-foot-3, Ringo is already taller than any cornerback taken in April’s NFL Draft which begs the question as to whether he’s a safety over the long term. He’s super fast, looks like a million bucks and is headed to Georgia.
Farrell’s take: Ringo is raw in coverage but he’s huge for a corner and has elite, NFL speed already. Give him a year at Georgia to refine his technique and he would be ready for the pro ranks.
Overview: The biggest inside linebacker taken in the NFL Draft was Ohio State’s Malik Harrison at 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds. That’s pretty big. Well, Sewell is already 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds at Oregon and he’s played even heavier than that. What’s most incredible about the five-star linebacker at that size is he moves so well (he also played running back in high school). Sewell weighs more than any linebacker at the NFL Scouting Combine and he hasn’t even started playing college football yet.
Farrell’s take: Sewell is a 260-pound linebacker already with little bad weight and he’s a freaky athlete. He could be an NFL middle linebacker early with his speed and size.
Overview: Ben Roethlisberger is 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds. Uiagalelei, who won’t start this season since Clemson’s quarterback job is still Trevor Lawrence’s for one more year, is already 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds. He has massive hands, he’s a massive kid and he can move surprisingly well. Uiagalelei was also a star pitcher, so his arm talent is unquestioned. The five-star quarterback has the physical tools NFL executives love and he hasn’t even started his college career yet.
Farrell’s take: He’s not refined enough for the NFL and sitting behind Lawrence won’t get him the game action needed, but he’s a physical freak who could handle the pressure and abuse. This is a reach, but had he chosen a school where he’d play right away, it’s not unfeasible.