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2020 NFL Draft: Grif’s top remaining players

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Plenty of high-end talent is still available

The first round of the 2020 NFL “virtual” Draft wrapped up last night, with most of it going off without a hitch. In terms of the first-round draft picks themselves, while there were some surprising selections—cornerback Damon Arnette (Ohio State) and wide receiver Jalen Reagor (TCU) for instance—the round essentially went as predicted. In typical drafts, there are a handful of leftover players at the start of day two who could easily be considered first rounders, and that appears to be the case this year. Below are the best players remaining at positions of need for the Buffalo Bills:

Running back

  1. D’Andre Swift (Georgia) - A do-it-all back who, despite not being the biggest runner, still has the ability to run between the tackles with breakaway speed to take it to the house.
  2. Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin) - Being a downhill, between-the-tackles runner, Taylor won’t be a fit for every offensive scheme. But his long speed and toughness as a runner make him an elite prospect.
  3. J.K. Dobbins (Ohio State) - A smaller, but surprisingly physical runner, Dobbins won’t juke you out of your shoes but will instead take what he can get using angles and quick decision making.
  4. Cam Akers (Florida State) - A similar slashing-style of runner to former FSU tailback Dalvin Cook, his biggest knock is that he doesn’t have much experience catching the ball out of the backfield
  5. Ke’Shawn Vaughn (Vanderbilt) - Teams looking for a bigger, physical, runner will love Vaughn’s tendency to run through first contact.

Edge rusher

  1. Yetur Gross-Matos (Penn State) - In possession of ideal size and good enough burst, Gross-Matos has yet to reach his potential and his best football is ahead of him.
  2. A.J. Epenesa (Iowa) - A power rusher through-and-through, Epenesa is a poor athlete but got the job done against Big Ten offensive tackles on a weekly bases nonetheless thanks to his strength and hands.
  3. Terrell Lewis (Alabama) - He has more raw pass-rushing talent than most prospects. If Lewis didn’t have serious durability concerns he could have been a first-round pick.
  4. Julian Okwara (Notre Dame) - Answers are needed with regard to a lack of production during his senior year. Regardless, with some development, Okwara’s ceiling is very high.
  5. Darrell Taylor (Tennessee) - A smaller edge rusher, Taylor is surprisingly quick and powerful but needs to learn how to use his hands.

Cornerback

  1. Trevon Diggs (Alabama) - Raw and unpolished, his elite athleticism will be extremely intriguing for teams.
  2. Jaylon Johnson (Utah) - A long, smart, physical corner, Johnson is highly adept at disrupting wide receivers in their routes.
  3. Bryce Hall (Virginia) - Somewhat ignored during his senior season because of an injury, Hall might not have the long speed to stick as a man-cover corner, but could take his game to a new level in a zone scheme.
  4. Kristian Fulton (LSU) - Not an elite athlete with either long speed or closing burst, Fulton gets by thanks to his ultra-competitive nature and physical play.
  5. Cameron Dantzler (Mississippi State) - Has the size, strength and athleticism to stick as a man-cover corner, Dantzler has been battle-tested coming out of the SEC.

Safety/Big Nickel

  1. Xavier McKinney (Alabama) - Smart and versatile, McKinney can be an impact defender on the back end.
  2. Antoine Winfield Jr. (Minnesota) - Not much to write home about from a size or athletic perspective—he’s a playmaker nonetheless.
  3. Jeremy Chinn (Southern Illinois) - A raw, small-school player, Chinn has massive amounts of athleticism to reward coaches able to get the most out of him.
  4. Grant Delpit (LSU) - A slight disappointment this year, Delpit remains a highly versatile and aggressive safety all over the field.
  5. Ashtyn Davis (California) - A coverage safety, Davis has cornerback speed and coverage ability along the back end.

Offensive Tackle

  1. Josh Jones (Houston) - Experienced but still raw, Jones needs some development but could end up as a solid starter at left tackle.
  2. Lucas Niang (TCU) - Has injury questions with his hip, but possesses the overall talent to start at either tackle position.
  3. Ben Bartch (St. John’s) - Small-school, player who made the switch from tight end, he’ll need plenty of development before stepping onto the field.
  4. Saahdiq Charles (LSU) - Battle-tested SEC left tackle, Charles needs to get a bit stronger before handling a full-time role.
  5. Prince Tega Wanogho (Auburn) - Originally from Nigeria, he has an intriguing skill set but is far from a finished product.

Wide receiver

  1. Tee Higgins (Clemson) - There are questions about his speed, but his huge size and jump-ball ability should allow him to beat up on most corners.
  2. Denzel Mims (Baylor) - A surprisingly polished and physical route runner, Mims is already a much more balanced receiver when compared to his peers.
  3. Michael Pittman Jr. (USC) - With great size and hands like vice grips, Pittman is a bully at the catch point—even if he doesn’t earn much separation.
  4. KJ Hamler (Penn State) - Only 5’9” and 178 lbs, Hamler has the speed and hands to make big plays at all areas of the field.
  5. Chase Claypool (Notre Dame) - Yet another big receiver, Claypool is different from his peers thanks to his possession of legitimate long speed and ability to run block.