The 2020 NFL Draft is over 250 days away, but it’s never too early to begin preparing. This summer to prepare you for both the NFL Draft and college football season, the Armchair Scout column will be putting out 2020 NFL Draft preseason all-conference teams. These teams are purely from an NFL Draft aspect and will only include draft-eligible players. On top of that, they’ll be running alongside Armchair’s NFL Draft podcast, Seven Rounds in Heaven, and their “Summer Scouting Series” episodes. Those episodes are going conference by conference and looking at the top 2020 NFL Draft prospects. Find the ACC All-NFL Draft team ft. Notre Dame here, the Big Ten All-NFL Draft team here, the Big 12 All-NFL Draft team here, the Pac-12 All-NFL Draft team here, and the Group of 5 All-NFL Draft team here.
The SEC is considered the best of the best in college football… because it just means more. Seriously though, this is the conference with the most talent and that’s not only because of Nick Saban. Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Florida, and Auburn are consistently producing top NFL Draft prospects and this year is no different. Looking for a franchise QB? They’ve got one in the SEC. Need a bell cow RB or a stud WR? Come on down south. Want an elite defender at every level? You guess it, the SEC has got it. Guys like Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy, Andrew Thomas, Derrick Brown, and Grant Delpit among other SEC talents are competing to be the top guy at their position. These are the 2020 NFL Draft prospects to pay attention to this college football season in the SEC.
QB- Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama, Jr (6-1, 218)
- There’s nobody who even kind of pays attention to college football that doesn’t know Tua Tagovailoa. His reputation precedes him thanks to his OT heroics in the 2018 National Championship game against Georgia when he was a freshman. Tua is going to be battling with Justin Herbert for the title of QB1 all season long. His anticipation and passing instincts are superb and the NFL is going to view him as a franchise passer. Tua doesn’t have the biggest arm in the world, but he’s got enough and throws with great velocity to fit the ball into tight windows. Mechanically his throwing motion is wonky, but like Russell Wilson and Sam Darnold’s his release is so quick that it rarely affects overall accuracy. As a junior Tua’s biggest challenge will be showing he’s improved in his pre and post-snap reads. He has all the makings of a modern star QB in the NFL.
Second Team: Jake Fromm, Georgia
Third Team: Riley Neal, Vanderbilt
RB- D’Andre Swift, Georgia, Jr (5-9, 215)
- It seems like every two or three years there’s a “generational” talent at RB in the NFL Draft. This year D’Andre Swift has a chance to earn that title. Right now Swift and Clemson’s Travis Etienne are the consensus top two RBs and both could go first-round. He has a rare combo of burst, power, and elusiveness to go with impressive vision and contact balance. Long story short, he’s a complete back and one of the most natural pass catchers out of the backfield in the country. He will be an instant impact player in the NFL and can be a consistent 1,500 total yard back. If Swift improves in pass protection this season, most college backs need to, he could have a similar rise as a junior to that of Zeke Elliott.
Second Team: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU
Third Team: Kylin Hill, Mississippi State
RB- Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt, RS Sr (5-10, 215)
- It’s not often top talents at RB return for their senior season and it’s even less often that Vanderbilt is loaded on offense. Ke’Shawn Vaughn is one of the best RBs in the country and should keep Vanderbilt competitive in the SEC. He’s an Illinois transfer that got his name buzzing with huge performances late in the season against SEC defenses. Vaughn’s contact balance and short-area quickness made him a menace for breaking off chunk runs. Vaughn is a nice fit as a one-cut back that can make defenders miss on the second level. He’s an instinctual runner but needs to get downhill more frequently and improve on passing downs. If he can impact the passing game as a senior it will help him go early Day 2.
Second Team: Najee Harris, Alabama
Third Team: Rakeem Boyd, Arkansas
AP- Kadarius Toney, Florida, Jr (5-11, 190)
- There’s going to be a lot of interesting conversations surrounding Kadarius Toney and what he is and how to use him. Toney is more of a gadget player right now than anything else. The vast majority of his touches are manufactured and he only sees the ball a few times a game. What he does with the ball in his hands though will have NFL team’s juices flowing. At times he looks like Percy Harvin after the catch. He’s like a human pinball with his elusiveness and contact balance. The issue is that he’s rarely asked to run routes and has suspect hands. His athleticism and YAC ability are great, but this season he needs to prove he can truly play WR or the NFL won’t be taking him early.
Here’s the 66-yard screen Kadarius Toney took to the house. Getting him manufactured touches like this will be a huge factor for the Gators season.
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) August 24, 2019
Second Team: Lynn Bowden Jr., Kentucky
Third Team: Marquez Callaway, Tennessee
WR- Jerry Jeudy, Alabama, Jr (6-1, 192)
- This might be the most talented offense in the Nick Saban era and the most talented player on it is Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy is a top-five talent in the 2020 NFL Draft and the clear WR1 in a class that could rival the likes of the 2014 class. You’ll be hard-pressed to find something about Jeudy’s game to dislike. The reigning Biletnikoff winner is elite. He plays a lot like Odell Beckham Jr. with his ability to break any play for six. Jeudy is one of the best route runners in the country and a technician with his release, he can win instantly off the snap. Despite having average size his body control and athleticism allow him to be a monster in contested catch situations. Once the ball is in his hands he’s at his most dangerous. Jeudy has elite YAC ability with his open-field elusiveness, suddenness, explosiveness, and ability to cut on a dime. Want a future All-Pro? This is the guy.
Jerry Jeudy has rare YAC ability. Looks like Odell Beckham Jr. with the ball in his hands. Alabama has a special one and the WR1 in the 2020 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/hzb0pjP4mf
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) July 10, 2019
Second Team: Bryan Edwards, South Carolina
Third Team: DeVonta Smith, Alabama
WR- Henry Ruggs III, Alabama, Jr (6-0, 190)
- Somehow Alabama not only has the best WR prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft, but they might have the second-best playing opposite Jeudy. Henry Ruggs III is a consensus top-five WR in the class and his ceiling is incredibly high. Ruggs is exactly the type of WR the NFL is falling in love with these days. He’s an elite athlete, maybe the fastest player in the class, and a savvy route runner. Not only can he win with his speed downfield, but he can win at the line or with his routes. Being able to separate in multiple ways is the key to NFL success. Ruggs is also a playmaker after the catch with his ability to explode out of cuts. What he needs to improve on to lock himself into being a top 15 pick is his hands. There are too many concentration drops with him right now. If he can clean the drops up the sky is the limit.
Don’t give Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III a free release. He’s too explosive and will burn you. Alabama has a ridiculous trio of WRs for the 2020 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/XYemS8NX0u
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) July 9, 2019
Second Team: Kalija Lipscomb, Vanderbilt
Third Team: Kendrick Rogers, Texas A&M
TE- Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt, RS Sr (6-4, 255)
- The dark horse team in the SEC this year is Vanderbilt thanks to their offensive talent. Yes, that’s a real statement. Jared Pinkney has a chance to be the top TE prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. Pinkney is one of the few top TE prospects who’s a willing blocker and that’s a huge plus. He consistently gets involved and although his hand placement and power need to improve, he’s physical and the effort is there. As a pass-catcher Pinkney has the athleticism to separate down the seam and his catch radius allows for impressive ball adjustment plays. He needs to expand his route tree and become crisper in and out of breaks to improve his route running. Overall Pinkney has NFL starting TE tools.
Not a lot of TEs as athletically gifted as Jared Pinkney in CFB. Vanderbilt could have the top TE in the 2020 NFL Draft. Should get a ton of Senior Bowl hype. pic.twitter.com/4CWxGKC5a6
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) June 23, 2019
Second Team: Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
Third Team: Cheyenne O’Grady, Arkansas
OT- Andrew Thomas, Georgia, Jr (6-5, 320)
- The 2020 NFL Draft has the potential to be chock-full of talented underclassmen. One of those underclassmen is Georgia left tackle Andrew Thomas. Thomas is firmly considered a top-three OT in the class and a future franchise blindside protector. What stands out with Thomas is his combination of size and power. He will have no trouble translating to the pro game as a run blocker. Thomas brings lower body power, impressive leverage, and a mean SOB mentality. He’s a better run blocker than pass protector, but his potential is the reason to get excited. Despite his size, Thomas is nimble on his feet with his kick step. His base and balance are strong and his anchor consistent, it’s rare he’ll lose against power. When facing undersized more athletic rushers Thomas’ aggressiveness, length, and heavy hands usually are enough to shut them down. This season improved movement skills will be key.
Second Team: Jack Driscoll, Auburn
Third Team: Yasir Durant, Missouri
OT- Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn, RS Sr (6-6, 305)
- Few OTs in the country are as athletically gifted as Prince Tega Wanogho. Tega Wanogho has a chance to skyrocket up, draft boards with a big senior season for Auburn. The biggest positive with him is the footwork. It’s crisp, quick, and consistent, he’s clearly light on his feet and can compete with speed on the edge. In pass pro, he’ll need to play with better leverage, too often power gets the best of him because he’s playing too high. Tega Wanogho also needs to get strong and use his length more consistently. His lower body and base aren’t strong enough with his anchor right now. As a run blocker, he consistently gets to the second level due to his elite quickness, but he’s not always powerful enough at the point because of leverage. Tage Wanogho is a raw athletic monster who can be molded into a first-round talent.
Second Team: Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
Third Team: Colton Jackson, Arkansas
OG- Alex Leatherwood, Alabama, Jr (6-5, 310)
- Depending on who you ask Alex Leatherwood could be considered an IOL or an OT prospect. He started at right guard last season for Alabama, but with Jonah Williams off to the NFL he’s making the move to left tackle this season. Despite being listed here as a guard his best spot in the NFL is likely OT. The athleticism and footwork are going to get teams excited at his ability as a pass protector on the blindside. He’s raw, but all the traits are there to take the step to be a first-round talent. This season he needs to be more of a powerful finisher in the run game and improve his hand placement and physicality.
Second Team: Trey Smith, Tennessee
Third Team: Solomon Kindley, Georgia
OG- Darryl Williams, Mississippi State, RS Sr (6-2, 310)
- For NFL teams looking for a guard or center in a power scheme, Darryl Williams will attract a lot of attention. Sure, he lacks size, but he’s a powerful run mauler and one of the best finishers in the class. He’s a perfect fit at left guard where he can dominate in the run game and hide some of his shortcomings in pass pro. As a senior Williams needs to improve his overall footwork and leverage in pass protection. He’s physical and strong with his hands, but more athletic interior defensive linemen can get the best of him. In the run game, he just needs to show more consistency at getting on linebackers in the second level to spring chunk runs.
Second Team: Logan Stenberg, Kentucky
Third Team: Tre’Vour Wallace-Simms, Missouri
C- Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU, RS Jr (6-3, 309)
- This center class is going to be ridiculously talented and Lloyd Cushenberry looks like a potential Day 2 plug-and-play NFL talent. Cushenberry is exactly what NFL teams running a zone scheme are going to want in the middle of their offensive line. His short-area quickness and ability to get to the second level are the most impressive parts of his game. Cushenberry constantly opens up holes with his swift movement skills to work off doubles up to linebackers. A bit of a worry right now with Cushenberry is his leverage and anchor in pass pro. He needs to sit lower in his stance and get stronger in the lower body to improve against more powerful pass rushers. Overall in the right system, he can be a Rodney Hudson type of center.
Second Team: Drake Jackson, Kentucky
Third Team: Nick Buchanan, Florida
EDGE- Anfernee Jennings, Alabama, RS Sr (6-2, 259)
- A lot of the time the NFL coverts height-weight-speed pass rushers, Anfernee Jennings doesn’t fit that bill. What Jennings does fit though is being a heck of an all-around edge defender. Jennings is a powerful player at the point of attack who consistently gets involved vs. the run. He’s assignment sound and rarely mishandles setting the edge. As a pass rusher, he’s a little stiff and lacks some explosion, but knows how to get to the QB. Jennings wins with hand-to-hand combat thanks to the powerful meat cleavers attached to his arms. With pass rush moves, power, and a big motor Jennings gives hell to OTs. He might not have the traits to be a first-round pick, but Jennings will be an NFL starter for a long time.
Second Team: K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
Third Team: Jonathan Greenard, Florida
IDL- Derrick Brown, Auburn, Sr (6-4, 320)
- This season the SEC is home to by far the best interior defensive line talent in the country. They could have between four and six IDLs taken in the first two rounds. The best one in the country plays for Auburn, Derrick Brown. Brown has the tools to become a top 10 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. His explosiveness, power, and length give him the ability to take over games. Brown is the total package as a 3-Tech. He consistently makes splash plays as a pass rusher using his long arms, lower body power, and violent hands to get offensive linemen out of his way. In the run game, he plays with a phenomenal anchor thanks to his leverage and strength. Brown has the tools to be an NFL Pro Bowler.
Auburn IDL Derrick Brown shoots the B gap and wins with his explosiveness and leverage to create a TFL. One of the best defensive prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/ZxHxKKZ1ID
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) July 20, 2019
Second Team: Rashard Lawrence, LSU
Third Team: Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M
IDL- Raekwon Davis, Alabama, Sr (6-6, 309)
- In the same state as Brown is the second-best IDL in the country, Raekwon Davis. Unlike Brown, Davis feels like a big ball on untapped potential. He’s less proven on the field, but his traits are rare. There are few defensive linemen with his length, athleticism, and versatility. Davis makes flashy plays, but can disappear for stretches and that needs to change as a senior. His ability to shed blocks as a pass rusher has a lot to do with his hand quickness and arm length, this season playing with better leverage could make him even more dangerous. In the run, he does a great job holding the point and protecting his gaps. This season if he can be more disruptive vs. the run it will do wonders for his stock.
Second Team: Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Third Team: LaBryan Ray, Alabama
EDGE- Jabari Zuniga, Florida, RS Sr (6-3, 257)
- In today’s NFL having an edge rusher with the ability to kick inside on passing downs to increase the athleticism and pass rush of a defensive line is huge. Jabari Zuniga has that inside-outside versatility thanks to his frame, motor, leverage, and heavy hands. Similarly to Jennings, Zuniga won’t necessarily wow with explosion and bend, but he wins as a pass rusher thanks to his technique. He’s a plug-and-play player in the NFL thanks to his ability as a run defender and D-line flexibility. Zuniga might not be a consistent double-digit sack pass rusher, but he’s got the tools to be an elite run defender and cause a ton of disruption as a pass rusher.
Second Team: Darrell Taylor, Tennessee
Third Team: Terrell Lewis, Alabama
LB- Jacob Phillips, LSU, Jr (6-3, 229)
- The man taking over for Devin White, the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, is Jacob Phillips. Phillips played next to White last season and flashed a ton of potential. His explosiveness and aggressiveness made him a lethal weapon at times and in the White role he should be put in a ton of situations to make big plays. Now as a junior Phillips must improve his consistency as a tackler. Over aggression led to him missing tackles and playing himself out of place. He needs to be more technically sound this season and do a better job getting off blocks. Phillips instincts and stack and shed must improve for him to be a more impactful run defender.
Second Team: Daniel Bituli, Tennessee
Third Team: Michael Divinity Jr., LSU
LB- Dylan Moses, Alabama, Jr (6-2, 235)
- Unfortunately, Dylan Moses will miss the entire season with a torn ACL. Prior to the injury, he was the consensus LB1 in the 2020 NFL Draft and looked like a lock to be a top 20 pick. Now, Moses must decide if he wants to return to Alabama next season or go pro and rehab to be ready for the NFL next season. He has six months until the NFL Combine and eight months until draft night. On the field, Moses plays with an aggressive mentality but has the instincts and IQ to get himself into the right spots. His athleticism is perfect for a MIKE in today’s NFL. Moses range and ability in coverage are the true X-factors in his game. All the traits are there for Moses to become a Pro Bowl LB in the NFL and if he can be ready for the 2020 season then there’s no reason he should fall out of the first-round.
Second Team: David Reese, Florida
Third Team: Erroll Thompson, Mississippi State
LB- Monty Rice, Georgia, Jr (6-1, 235)
- Quietly one of the best tacklers in the SEC is Georgia LB Monty Rice. Rice was just a true sophomore and part-time starter last season, but should see a massive uptick in playing time and draft hype as a junior. The man just doesn’t miss tackles. He’s technically sound and plays an aggressive brand of football. His instincts were strong for such a young player last season and should only get better. Rice looks like an NFL MIKE with his build, but must prove he’s a more explosive athlete. At times he struggled to make plays due to his lack of range in coverage. Like most young LBs he must also, improve his stack and shed to become more impactful with splash run stops.
Like what I’m seeing from Georgia LB Monty Rice (#32). Consistently flows to the ball and makes run stops. Aggressive tackler and built well, a name to watch in the 2020 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/mmt2WBEKQB
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) July 10, 2019
Second Team: De’Jon Harris, Arkansas
Third Team: TJ Brunson, South Carolina
CB- Kristian Fulton, LSU, Sr (6-0, 192)
- After sitting out his first two seasons for a silly NCAA suspension, Kristian Fulton burst onto the scene in 2019. He was more impressive than teammate Greedy Williams for the vast majority of the season and would have potentially been the first CB taken if he declared for the draft. Fulton is a technician with his ability in press-man. His footwork is some of the best in the country, clean and quick. Fulton’s ability to mirror and find the ball in the air should equal instant success in a man scheme. He’s also a well built and fluid athlete that can keep up with any type of WR. Seeing him more invested as a run defender could help his stock, but he’s a day one NFL starter.
Second Team: Trevon Diggs, Alabama
Third Team: Eric Stokes, Georgia
NB- Shyheim Carter, Alabama, Sr (5-11, 195)
- Playing the Minkah Fitzpatrick role this season for Alabama should be Shyheim Carter. The nickel or “star” is a hugely important position in Nick Saban’s defense and Carter has the tools to truly be a star. There’s not a ton of draft hype around him right now, but it will come. Carter is an aggressive run defender and brings the feisty see it, hit it style to nickel that is needed. In coverage, he’s a fine athlete who uses aggressiveness, instincts, and ball skills to make plays. This season he needs to play with cleaner footwork and looser hips if he wants to be a top nickel prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. Carter is going to be a Draft Twitter favorite.
Second Team: Javaris Davis, Auburn
Third Team: Jeawon Taylor, Florida
S- Grant Delpit, LSU, Jr (6-2, 203)
- The top player on the vast majority of folks big boards for the 2020 NFL Draft is either Jerry Jeudy or Grant Delpit. Delpit is the rare safety who is really more than just a safety, similar to Derwin James coming out of Florida State. The size, physicality, explosiveness, versatility, and instincts make him a defensive weapon. In the NFL teams will be able to line him up at single-high, two-deep, nickel, dime backer, and even blitz him off the edge. He’s a game-changer with all the traits to be an instant All-Pro. Delpit’s ability to match up with tight ends or slots, blow up running backs in the backfield, and get the defense set with his IQ is rare. The NFL won’t mess this up, Delpit will go top five.
Second Team: JR Reed, Georgia
Third Team: Richard LeCounte III, Georgia
S- Xavier McKinney, Alabama, Jr (6-0, 196)
- The SEC has another impressive safety prospect who has been slightly overshadowed due to Delpit’s dominance. Xavier McKinney at Alabama was terrific last season and outplayed the more hyped Deionte Thompson. McKinney is an impressive all-around safety that will be a good fit as a two-deep player but has the range and ball skills to fit single-high. McKinney does a good job manning up vs. tight ends or slots, but his IQ and instincts in zone are what get a lot of folks going. As a run defender, he’s not overly aggressive, but he’s a consistent and willing tackler. There’s just not a lot to worry about with McKinney, he has a very high floor. The ball skills and IQ are reminiscent of Eddie Jackson at Alabama.
Second Team: Brad Stewart Jr., Florida
Third Team: Nigel Warrior, Tennessee
CB- CJ Henderson, Florida, Jr (6-1, 191)
- There are few players in the country more athletically gifted than CJ Henderson. Henderson has NFL traits for days and that’s why there will be a ton of first-round hype for him this season. He has the athleticism, fluidity, and footwork to be a stud in man coverage. In zone, his ball skills, instincts, and explosiveness are constantly showcased. So what’s the issue with Henderson? Like Greedy Williams last season, he seems to be allergic to tackling. He wants no part of it and when teams attack him in the run game it often leads to big plays. This issue needs to be fixed or the NFL will be too scared to take him early.
Hard to find a more natural looking CB in man coverage than CJ Henderson. Has a real chance to be a top 15 prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/URkRfp7yhE
— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) June 15, 2019
Second Team: Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State
Third Team: Marco Wilson, Florida
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