This is a list of a few interesting prospects from the 2020 NFL draft. These are not necessarily the best players at their respective positions, but they are the least likely to fail.
The 2020 NFL Draft is filled with a large selection of talented and productive athletes at Tight End. While many have a lot of potential, Kmet has the highest floor.At 6ft 5in, 250lbs, Kmet is the prototypical size at the position. In a productive Notre Dame offense, he was seen as the most versatile talent, playing in a variety of positions: In-line Tight End, Fullback, Wingback, Slot receiver and Single Receiver to the boundary.As a blocker, he is more than capable of blocking defensive ends at the point of attack. Also, he has excellent awareness when required to kick out defensive line on a slice block, or arc to a 2nd level defender.
As a receiver, although not an explosive vertical threat, he is an excellent route runner. He is able to consistently find space against both man and zone coverage, showing excellent footwork and body control. Moreover, he has very safe hands, rarely dropping the ball in his college career.
Having watched his tape, he is eerily reminiscent of a young Jason Witten. He would be an excellent fit at a team like the Texans, who use Tight Ends in a variety of positions, and give Deshaun Watson an extra weapon.
See some of Cole Kmet’s film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mqX_raekOrk
As many draft commentators’ swoon over the more remarkable athletes at pass rusher, there is one prospect who is a “shoe-in” to be a solid player at the next level.
Curtis Weaver is a man amongst boys. The Defensive End from Boise State has been one of the most productive pass rushers in football. At 6ft 3in, 265lbs, Weaver is big and strong, but he is unlikely to test too highly in the athletic testing of the NFL combine. Despite not being the best athlete, he has one trait that separates him from his peers: his hands. Weaver has the most refined hand-fighting ability of any defensive end in the class. He is consistently able to win in pass rush scenarios through high-level technique.
Moreover, when it comes to run defense, he is extremely strong at the point of attack. He has powerful hands and can swiftly throw away blockers to make a tackles on the ball carrier.
As far as pro comparisons go, I cannot look past former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, James Harrison. Like Harrison, Weaver doesn’t physically look like he should be able to contort his body when rushing around the edge or win a hand fight against a much larger tackle. However, Weaver consistently beats anyone lined up against him.Finally, it is worth noting that as part of the Broncos defensive scheme, Weaver is often asked to drop into zone or spy coverage. He has been successful in this role showing good footwork and change of direction. This will make him valuable to almost every defensive scheme.
See some of Curtis Weaver’s film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEpzcH5xz74
The 2020 Cornerback class is one of the strongest I’ve ever seen. So many incredible athletes of different shapes and sizes. Whilst some have been more productive, and some are more athletic, Gladney has the highest floor.Gladney is undoubtedly, the “stickiest” defender in the 2020 class. He has a remarkable ability to use his speed and technique to never allow receivers to gain separation. Occasionally there will be catches made against him in man coverage, but the receiver will not be open, and the catch will be contested.At 6ft 0in 183lbs, Gladney is not the most athletic prospect, and will not be the most physical corner. However, he is still a solid and secure tackler. TCU played some run heavy offenses during his college career, and Gladney was always able to show his efficient and clean ability to tackle.In zone coverage, although he did this less often, he was able to quickly diagnose passing patterns and break on the football before the ball was thrown. His patience and anticipation are core traits that NFL scouts will love.
The ease to which he covers receivers reminds me of Denzel Ward, although relatively new to the league, Ward has shown the value of “stickiness” against the best receivers in the league. Fundamentally, every team in the NFL uses man coverage as a key part of their defense. He could go into most teams in the league and, at worst, be a solid addition to their sub-packages as a man coverage specialist.
See some of Jeff Gladney’s film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCTX_nfKong