The 2020 NFL Draft was the first big American sporting event to take place following the COVID shutdowns. While the format and time of next year’s event are in question, thanks to uncertainty surrounding the college season, we can bet on the NFL doing whatever it can to ensure its marquee event is held.
Less certain, as always, is where in the draft each college star will be selected. The most coveted spot, first overall, is just as unpredictable as the rest. The meteoric rise from relative obscurity of last year’s top pick, Joe Burrow, exemplifies this perfectly.
Despite this, some prospects have put themselves with a better chance than others to be taken No. 1. Especially with a potentially shortened or even canceled season, these five studs are on the inside track to donning the first hat at next year’s Draft.
Trevor Lawrence, quarterback, Clemson Tigers
This one is obvious. Trevor Lawrence is the betting favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick by a mile. After his legendary freshman campaign, he has been hailed as the greatest quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck, or John Elway, or straight-up ever.
Clemson’s star followed up his breakout season with another statistical masterpiece. He finished top 10 in nearly every passing metric, from traditional counting stats like touchdowns and yards to more advanced calculations like Efficiency Rating and Adjusted Yards Per Attempt. Lawrence also added value on the ground, tallying over 500 yards and nine rushing touchdowns.
However, like all prospects, the presumptive first pick is not without his flaws. Analysts have noted his struggles on film with decision-making and reading defenses. NFL scouts will certainly have picked up on those issues, too. While his elite production and ridiculous physical gifts still make him the favorite to go first overall, it’s certainly no foregone conclusion.