I’m back again to break down my favorite prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft and this time around I’ll highlight the guys on the defensive side of the ball that I like.
If you missed my first piece where I discussed some offensive guys, I avoid mentioning any of the top guys for the sake of conversation and debate. Yes, I think Chase Young is good and so does everyone else!
Below are some prospects that I like a ton and expect to see them play at a high level in the league. Let me know what you think.
After a season ending injury in 2018, it’s quite shocking how much Bryce Hall’s draft stock has dropped. I once remember him as a 1st round lock and now it seems he’ll go late into day two.
Hall is a long and physical corner that thrives in zone coverage. If put in the right situation, he’ll produce right away.
Cameron Dantzler and Damon Arnette are two other guys I like as well. Both caught a lot of heat for slow 40 times at the combine but their production on the field outweighs that. Arnette in particular, performed extremely well this past season despite playing with a broken hand/wrist.
Kyle Dugger is as fun as it gets when it comes to draft talk. A Division II standout, Dugger wasn’t supposed to be here yet he is. With a blend of top notch athleticism and size, some scouts believe he could play in a linebacker role if needed.
Another cool tidbit about Dugger is that he excelled in special teams as well, which is always valuable from a team’s perspective.
A versatile player out of Utah, Julian Blackmon will be a hot commodity in the mid-late rounds of the draft. Starting his career at Utah off as a cornerback, his transition to Safety this past season really transcended his game.
If you want explosiveness at the linebacker position, look no further than Willie Gay Jr. He checks off just about every box, excelling against both the run and pass. Getting Gay properly coached up and adjusted to the NFL caliber of play is all that needs to be done with him at this point.
He does come with some off-field baggage as he was suspended multiple times for academics and a physical altercation with a teammate. But after apparently nailing interviews at the combine, I’m not too worried about his antics moving forward.
Troy Dye out of Oregon is another player to watch out for. Just an absolute athlete, Dye has no problem going sideline to sideline. He has all of the tools to become a standout player in the league.
In what seems like a weak class for EDGE rushers, Julian Okwara is sliding under the radar. He’s another one of those guys who got hurt and his draft stock suffered because of it.
Okwara projects as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme with his ability to get to the quarterback off the edge. Although he’ll likely struggle against the run game, his value in the pass rush game alone is worth it.
Alex Highsmith, a former walk-on, joins Dugger in the “he shouldn’t be here, yet he is” category. With a quick burst off the line, Highsmith has a niche of getting into the backfield. Although his level of competition was questionable, his 15 sacks last season is nothing to overlook.
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Jordan is the founder of Sports Are Philly and a graduate of Misericordia University.
You can follow him on Twitter @darealjlaw.