In another series of articles to pass the time while we wait for sports to restart, we will profile a few players who entered the 2020 draft. Today we covered three higher profile, skill position players, but we will also be focusing on lesser-known names and linemen and defensive prospects as well.
Cole Kmet is a junior tight end from Notre Dame, and he is regarded as the top player at his position. At 6’6 and 262 pounds, he’s a projected 2nd-round pick, ranked 60th overall on CBS’s draft board. In 2019, Kmet was a top target in the passing game for the Irish, catching 43 passes for 515 yards and six touchdowns. He has played in 35 of 39 career games at Notre Dame.
Teams that figure to be targeting a tight end early in the draft are the New England Patriots and Washington Redskins, while the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals may also be in the mix. Another team may try to scoop Kmet up as the best available prospect, but those four teams appear to be the most needy for a tight end as the draft approaches.
Prediction: 2nd Round, Pick 12 – Indianapolis Colts
CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
CeeDee Lamb is a junior wide receiver out of Oklahoma and universally considered one of the top two receivers in this year’s draft, along with Jerry Jeudy from Alabama. Lamb measures in at 6 feet, 2 inches, and weighs 198 pounds. An elite receiver all three years with the Sooners, Lamb cemented himself as one of the best in the nation this year, gaining All-American status. He snared 62 receptions for 1,237 yards, leading the FBS in yards per catch, helping lead the Sooners to the College Football Playoff. He is a projected first round pick.
Lamb would likely go in the Top 10, but there are not many teams drafting early in need of a premier wide receiver. The first true receiver-needy team is picking eleventh, as the Jets will likely be looking to replace Robby Anderson. The Raiders and 49ers, both looking to add a dynamic playmaker, select 12th and 13th, so the likelihood is Lamb will not be on the board past that point. The Broncos (15th) and Eagles (21st) will most likely need to trade up if interested.
Prediction: Round 1, Pick 11 – New York Jets
Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
Jonathan Taylor is a junior running back from Wisconsin, and he will likely be one of the first backs off the board this year. He’s won the Doak Walker award in both his sophomore and junior seasons, and he’s been an All-American in all three seasons. At 5’10 and 226 pounds, Taylor features electric speed that he has put to use as both a runner and receiver on the gridiron, while also running for the Wisconsin track team in the spring of 2019. He averaged 6.2 yards per carry, while also grabbing 26 receptions for 252 yards in the passing game. He’s likely to go in the second round of the draft, especially with a lack of teams making running back their top priority.
While few teams will consider drafting a running back in the first round, there are a bevy of teams that will be interested in Taylor and others in the middle rounds. The Bills, Buccaneers, Rams, and Dolphins are among those likely hunting for an early-to-mid-round selection at the position. Ultimately, I think the Bucs will be the first one to snag a running back, and the decision likely comes down to Jonathan Taylor or De’Andre Swift from Georgia. I’m saying the Bucs snatch up Taylor to give Tom Brady a dynamic window as they enter their window to win.
Prediction: 2nd Round, Pick 13 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers