With the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft now in the books, the Indianapolis Colts will kick off their draft with the 34th and 44th overall picks on Friday night (barring a trade down).
While a handful of wideouts were selected and Utah State quarterback Jordan Love is long gone, there are still a number of highly talented prospects still available for Indianapolis.
So without further ado, here are at least a few names:
Jeremy Chinn, Safety, Southern Illinois
The 6’3”, 221 pound senior safety recorded 71 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 7 passes defensed, and 4 interceptions during 10 starts in 2019—earning 2nd-Team AP All-American and 1st-Team All-MVFC honors respectively.
The Fishers, Indiana native posted a 4.45 forty time, 41.0 inch vertical, and 138.0 inch broad jump at the NFL Combine. His SPARQ rating (which measures overall athleticism) is in the ~99% NFL percentile.
Chinn is a ‘super-athlete’ at the safety position with the size, speed, and production that scouts typically covet—showcasing big-hitting ability.
He’s at his best as a strong safety or as a sub-package linebacker in nickel situations, but has shown the ability to be a ballhawk and playmaker in coverage—generating turnovers.
In fact, Chinn has the versatility to play all over the defensive secondary for the Colts.
He’ll need to improve in man coverage and continue to improve his instincts and overall football I.Q. at the next level—which should come with more experience.
While he’s still a bit of a developmental safety, the upside is high.
Chase Claypool, Wide Receiver, Notre Dame
The 6’4”, 238 pound senior wideout caught 66 receptions for 1,037 receiving yards (15.7 ypr. avg.) and 13 touchdown receptions.
Claypool posted a 4.42 forty time, 40.5 inch vertical, and 126.0 inch broad jump at the NFL Combine. He’s a freak athlete, as he is in the ~98% NFL percentile (which is the third best among wide receivers in his draft class).
The former Fighting Irish star is a big bodied wideout who makes contested catches, has a huge catch radius, and can go up and win 50-50 jumpballs downfield. He’s an incredibly physical wideout after the catch and as a run blocker. With his combination of size, speed, and strength, it’s also no surprise that he’s also a standout special teams performer.
Claypool doesn’t play as explosive as he tests—as he has more straight-line speed, and he could withstand to become more fluid in his overall route running.
Ezra Cleveland, Offensive Tackle, Boise State
The 6’6”, 311 pound redshirt junior offensive tackle started 40 games for the Broncos—and earned All-Mountain West First-Team honors the past two seasons.
Cleveland posted a 4.93 forty time, 30 inch vertical, 7.26 3 cone drill, 30 bench reps, and a 111.0 inch broad jump at the NFL Combine (among all offensive linemen who tested) and has a SPARQ rating in the 91.7% NFL percentile (2nd best among the offensive lineman in his draft class).
The former Boise State bookend has the size, athleticism, and pass protection skills—with quality hand technique to be a future impact starter at offensive tackle. However, he’ll need to get stronger and a little nastier in his overall temperament in the trenches.
Trevon Diggs, Cornerback, Alabama
The 6’1”, 205 pound senior cornerback recorded 37 tackles, 8 passes defensed, and 3 interceptions (including for a touchdown) for the Crimson Tide defense during 12 starts in 2019—earning First-Team All-SEC honors.
As the younger brother of Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs (and a high school wideout himself), Trevon excels in zone coverage—showing impressive length (32 3/4” arms), technique, ball skills, and anticipation on pass break-ups. Diggs has also shown the ability to play press coverage too—using his long arms to his advantage to help redirect and slow down opposing wideouts in their tracks.
His tackling needs work at the next level though, which is normally a prerequisite for all incoming Colts cornerbacks. He’s a twitchy cornerback athlete, but only has okay—but not great speed at the next level. Still learning the position, Diggs should only get better.
Jacob Eason, Quarterback, Washington
The 6’6”, 231 pound junior quarterback completed 260 of 405 throws (64.2%) for 3,132 passing yards, 23 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions in 13 starts for the Huskies in 2019.
Eason posted a 4.89 forty time, 27.5 inch vertical, and 110.0 inch broad jump at the NFL Combine, which placed him in the 16.7% NFL Percentile (14th best in his quarterback draft class).
The equally big bodied, big armed quarterback has the prototypical size and arm strength that scouts simply love from the quarterback position. He can fit the football through tight windows, throw bombs with the best of them, and really shines in play-action situations—showcasing the ability to hang tight under pressure.
However, Eason needs to continue to work on his accuracy, progression of reads, and pocket composure at times.
He can also trust his rifle arm entirely too much. Eason has also faced questions regarding his work ethic and laid back personality for the quarterback position.
A.J. Epenesa, Defensive Line, Iowa
The 6’6”, 280 pound junior defensive end is fresh off a 2019 season in which he recorded 49 tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles in 13 games—earning All-Big Ten First-Team honors for a consecutive season (after having double-digit sacks again).
Epenesa had a 5.04 forty time, 17 bench reps, 32.5 inch vertical, and 117.0 inch broad jump at the NFL Combine. His SPARQ rating was 15.1% NFL percentile (16th best at his draft class among edge defenders).
Epenesa won’t wow anyone with his speed or athleticism, but he wins off the edge with his power, a relentless motor, and exceptional hand technique. He has the versatility to play as either a defensive end or a defensive tackle along the defensive line. Scouts would like to see a little bit more of a nasty demeanor from him however in the trenches.
Kristian Fulton, Cornerback, LSU
The 6’0”, 197 pound senior cornerback had 38 tackles, 15 passes defensed, and an interception during 15 starts for the National Champion Tigers’ defense in 2019—earning 2nd-Team All-SEC honors.
Fulton was one of the nation’s top cornerbacks this past year—even while battling an ankle injury. However, one could make the argument that Fulton’s 2018 tape was even better when he was fully healthy just a season prior.
Fulton did find himself in trouble after his freshman year—after reportedly fudging a drug test for marijuana and was essentially suspended for the entire 2017 season—but still practiced with the team.
Fulton posted a 4.46 forty time, 35.5 inch vertical, and a broad jump of 123.0 inches at the NFL Combine. His SPARQ rating is in the 69.4% NFL percentile, which is the 9th best in his draft class among cornerbacks.
The former Tigers’ standout has the length, athleticism, and physicality to excel at the next level—as he’s at his best in press-man coverage. He’s also a willing tackler in run support—albeit inconsistent at times.
However, he needs to get stronger playing through contact and doesn’t seem to possess great ‘ball hawking skills’—as he only has two interceptions over the past two seasons combined (22 games).
Jalen Hurts, Quarterback, Oklahoma
The 6’1”, 222 pound quarterback completed 237 of 340 passes (69.7%) for 3,851 passing yards, 32 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions in 14 starts—as well as rushed for 1,298 rushing yards on 233 carries (5.6 ypc. avg.), and 20 rushing touchdowns. (He even caught a touchdown on the season too).
With the Sooners in 2019, Hurts became the Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year, First-Team All-Big 12 member, a Big 12 Champion, and was the Heisman Trophy Runner-Up.
Hurts posted a 4.59 forty time, 35.0 inch vertical jump, and 125.0 inch broad jump. His SPARQ rating was in the 95.6% NFL percentile (the highest among the quarterback prospects who tested at the NFL Combine).
As an impressive athlete, Hurts is a dynamic playmaker at the next level—with his ability to both throw and run at a high level. He’s also been highly regarded for his leadership, poise, and for having the “IT” factor.
While Hurts could improve his accuracy, getting rid of the football faster, and his timing/anticipation of open reads, he has a strong arm, impressive pocket presence, and has shown continued development as an improving passer.
Jaylon Johnson, Cornerback, Utah
The 6’0”, 193 pound cornerback recorded 36 tackles, 11 passes defensed, and 2 interceptions during 13 starts in 2019—earning First-Team All-Pac 12 honors for a consecutive season.
Johnson posted a 4.5 forty time, 36.5 inch vertical, and 124.0 inch broad jump at the NFL Combine. His SPARQ rating is in the 64.3% NFL percentile (14th best in his cornerback draft class).
Johnson has had two offseason shoulder surgeries which may have hurt his draft stock.
However, when healthy, he’s a good athlete—who’s at his best utilizing his length and physicality in press coverage. He has excellent anticipation, ball skills, and always seems to be right on the wide receiver’s hip pocket in coverage—mirroring their moves.
Johnson doesn’t have great long speed and while physical, he could improve his tackling.
He also could just be a scheme dependent player—best utilized in press coverage near the line of scrimmage where he excels.
Josh Jones, Offensive Tackle, Houston
The 6’5”, 319 pound senior offensive tackle started 45 career games at the blindside for the Cougars—earning American Athletic All-Conference 2nd-Team honors in 2019.
He only allowed one sack during his senior season.
Jones posted a 5.27 forty time, 24 bench press reps, 28.5 inch vertical, and 109.0 inch broad jump at the NFL Combine—which gives him a SPARQ rating in the 44.7% NFL percentile (which was the 18th best among all offensive lineman in his draft class).
On the field though, Jones looks like a long, athletic tackle prospect with good lateral movement in pass protection, the quickness to get to the second level of defenses in run blocking, and the nastiness to finish off would-be tacklers into the ground.
He projects best in a zone-blocking scheme, as move-oriented run blocker—with his length, athleticism, and ability to play in space.
That being said, Jones is still a bit raw developmentally at tackle.
He needs to improve his overall hand placement and footwork technique. He could really benefit from a ‘redshirt year’ at the next level for development purposes. There’s also been some reported makeup concerns.
Xavier McKinney, Safety, Alabama
The 6’0”, 201 pound junior safety recorded 95 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 5 passes defensed, and 3 interceptions in 13 starts during 2019—earning First-Team All-SEC honors.
The former Crimson Tide standout posted a 4.63 forty time, 36.0 inch vertical, and 122.0 inch broad jump. His SPARQ rating was in the 20.3% NFL percentile (19th best at the safety position in his draft class).
McKinney has a high football I.Q., shines as a plus tackler, and has the versatility to play all over a defense as a strong safety or subpackage linebacker.
He does a lot of things very well, even though he doesn’t have great deep range in coverage—as indicated by his lackluster forty time.
Denzel Mims, Wide Receiver, Baylor
The 6’3”, 207 pound senior wideout caught 66 receptions for 1,020 receiving yards (15.5 ypr. avg.) and 12 touchdown receptions in 13 starts this past season—earning First-Team All-Big 12 honors.
The former track star posted a 4.38 forty time, 38.5 inch vertical, 6.66 3 cone drill, and 131.0 inch broad jump at the NFL Combine. He has a SPARQ Rating in the 94.6% NFL percentile (the 4th best among wide receivers in his draft class).
Mims might be the ideal combination of size, speed, athleticism, and proven production for the Colts—and he also has been highly regarded for his character and make up. He can consistently generate separation and make highly contested catches—while also winning 50-50 jumpballs downfield.
However, he needs to get stronger at beating press coverage and at the point of attack. He has also struggled somewhat with drops at times—although his hands remain reliable.
Michael Pittman Jr., Wide Receiver, USC
The 6’4”, 223 pound senior captain caught 101 receptions for 1,275 receiving yards (12.6 ypr. avg.) and 11 touchdown receptions during 13 starts in 2019—earning First-Team All-Pac 12 honors and was also named a Second-Team All-American.
Pittman posted a 4.52 forty time, 36.5 inch vertical, and 121.0 inch broad jump. He tests in the 85.7% NFL percentile (which is 9th best in his wide receiver draft class).
Pittman might have the best hands in this entire draft—as he only had 5 drops in 176 career catchable passes (2.8% drop rate). He also is a pretty good athlete for his immense size and runs well. As a cherry on top of the sundae, Pittman has been a key special teams contributor and has been lauded for both his leadership and toughness—as the son of former longtime NFL running back Michael Pittman Sr.
While Pittman isn’t the most explosive athlete and doesn’t always separate, he uses his size, leverage, and body control to consistently make contested catches and has the ability to win 50-50 jumpballs downfield. His ceiling isn’t as high as some of the other wide receivers in this draft class, but he already has a pretty high floor—as the polished wideout should make an immediate impact for his next NFL team.
Antoine Winfield Jr., Safety, Minnesota
The 5’9”, 203 pound senior safety recorded 83 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, a pass defensed, and 7 interceptions (including one for a touchdown) during 12 starts this past season.
The unanimous All-American earned All-Big Ten First Team honors and was named the Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year in 2019.
Winfield Jr. posted a 4.45 forty, 36.0 inch vertical, and 124.0 inch broad jump at the NFL Combine—which helped give him a SPARQ rating in the 81.8% NFL percentile (which is the 7th best in his draft class among safeties).
As the son of former NFL All-Pro cornerback Antoine Winfield, the younger Winfield has a high football I.Q. and incredible instincts—as one can easily tell he’s been well coached and learned the game very early on.
While a good athlete for the safety position, Winfield obviously lacks ideal size, but makes up for it with his ability to quickly diagnose, anticipate, and react to plays.
He’s a sure tackler, has a nose for finding the football in coverage, and is just a solid all-around playmaking safety—with obvious football smarts.