Nat L. Faybian’s 2020 NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0, Round 1

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Round 1

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Photo: © For The Win 

Nothing has changed in the past four months, Burrow still looks to be the first player taken in the NFL Draft and headed to Cincinnati.

2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

Washington has a new defense-minded head coach in Ron Rivera. He’s got to be thrilled to start building the foundation of his defense with a player of Young’s caliber.

3. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Quarterback Matthew Stafford was placed on I.R. with bone fractures in his back in December. The Lions went 0-8 without him in the starting lineup. Time to draft the quarterback of the future?

I wouldn’t be surprised. Conventional wisdom though says they take cornerback Jeff Okudah. Detroit’s pass defense was one of the absolute worst in 2019.

***

QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | OG | OC

Nat L. Faybian’s NFL Draft Players Position Rankings

DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | ST

***

4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

The New York media has been reporting that Giants GM Dave Gettleman has fallen in love with Iowa tackle Trista Wirfs. Shortly after the Combine, I had written, “Wirfs showed enough athletic ability at the Combine for the Giants to feel comfortable moving him to the left side.” I’ll stand on that.

5. Miami Dolphins: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

With five picks in the first two rounds, Miami can load up in this draft. They have several options with this pick, including a quarterback, but they will most likely upgrade their offensive and defensive fronts as the rebuild continues.

Miami plays it safe, grabbing the top proven left tackle in the class. Thomas has long arms, a high football IQ, and rarely gets beat.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Photo: University of Oregon Athletics

Herbert had a very good Senior Bowl, followed by an excellent Combine. For those that questioned his leadership, Herbert really helped himself by returning to school and leading his team to No. 6 in the rankings. He’s got prototypical size, good pre-snap read, and has a strong arm.

7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

Carolina has a new head coach, Matt Rhule; and a new offensive coordinator, Joe Brady (of LSU fame). One would think that Rhule and Brady would be eager to starting adding additional weapons their offense right off the bat. However, Carolina had one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. Brown was the winner of the 2019 Lott IMPACT Trophy.

8. Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Arizona has needs on both lines. Protecting last year’s number one overall pick, QB Kyler Murray, would seem to be a priority in this offseason. Wills is an excellent run blocker and an improving pass protector. He should continue to improve with good coaching.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

The Jags need help on the defensive side of the ball. They could go for a corner here, but linebacker is also a need for Jacksonville. Losing Telvin Smith (retirement) and Myles Jack (season-ending injury) last year really hurt this team. Simmons’ leadership and high character will be welcomed, along with his exceptional athletic ability.

10. Cleveland Browns: Mikhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Baker Mayfield, much like Kyler Murray, has found out he’s not in Oklahoma anymore. These guys are running for their lives play-after-play. Since Cleveland needs help all across the line, they’ll certainly find the best spot to plug the raw Becton into.

11. New York Jets: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

The Jets finished 26th in the league in sacks per attempt, Epenesa would be a great addition. One way to improve that number is to improve coverage down the field. Henderson had an excellent Combine and keeps moving up the boards because of his excellent playing speed.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Las Vegas needs a No. 1 receiver, Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy can do all the little things you want in a receiver. He seems to glide across the turf; has deceptive speed; shows excellent nuanced route running; possesses terrific hands; and remarkable body control. I like Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, a lot, too. I just think Jeudy is more ready to step in and be a No. 1 receiver.

13. San Francisco 49ers (from Indy): Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

The Indianapolis Colts sent the No. 13 overall selection to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.

I had Ruggs going to Indy with this pick prior to the trade. The question seems is it possible Ruggs could go before Lamb? 4.27 speed can do that.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: K’lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU

Almost all other mock drafts have Tampa Bay taking an offensive tackle. However, in this draft, the top four are already off the board. That leaves Tampa in a position where they could trade down for Josh Jones.

I would be inclined to think they’d take a DE/OLB hybrid like K’lavon Chaisson. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has his defense going in the right direction and expects a leap from year one to year two. Chaisson has a lot of upside, and could learn a lot from Shaq Barrett and JPP.

15. Denver Broncos: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Denver would be thrilled to land a potential top ten pick at fifteen. Lamb has exceptional body control, strong hands, and good long speed. Lamb also takes pride in his run blocking. Denver, much like Tampa, would like to grab a tackle here. So that’s still a possibility.

16. Atlanta Falcons: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

The Falcons are getting some pressure upfront with Jarrett, McKinley, and Beasley, but not enough. They finished 28th in the league in sacks. Getting some help along the defensive line should be a priority. Gross-Matos has prototypical build with long arms, quickness, and bend.

17. Dallas Cowboys: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

Dallas needs a stud upfront. We know that Kinlaw visited Dallas back at the end of February. Kinlaw is strong, athletic, and a known disruptor.

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pitt): Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Playing it safe, Miami finds their quarterback still on the board at No. 18. While Tua was cleared medically at the Scouting Combine, however, team’s would prefer their own doctor’s take a look before investing too much. I think Tua will be here at No. 18, other’s think he’ll be off the board by No. 5. We’ll see. It’ll be fun to watch!

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chi): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

Las Vegas GM Mike Mayock went to Alabama for his first pick and grabbed Crimson Tide WR Jerry Jeudy. With their second first round pick, the Raiders grab Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs. Diggs has a great combination of size, speed, and agility. He’s not a finished product, so he’s got the potential to get better.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Jacksonville looks to rebuild the backend of their defense. McKinney gets after the ball, either in the air or on the ground. He’s got a good football IQ and takes good angles to the ball. His coverage skills make him a full time player.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

The Eagles will look to bolster their defense. LSU has been putting quality linebackers in the NFL for a number of years now. Queen can blitz, is fluid in coverage, and has shown excellent sideline-to-sideline range. He can give the Eagles a powerful presence in the middle.

22. Minnesota Vikings (from Buf): Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU

Buffalo sent the 22nd overall pick, along with a fifth-round pick (No. 155 overall) and a sixth-round pick (No. 201 overall) in 2020, along with a 2021 fourth-round selection to Minnesota for WR Stefon Diggs.

The Vikings need to get better in their run defense. While Blacklock isn’t a stout anchor, he’s a quick-footed 3-tech that knows how to get in the backfield and disrupt the action.

23. New England Patriots: Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin

On draft day, Bill Belichick rarely does what you expect him to. What we do know is that the Patriots have a history of successfully utilizing versatile linebackers in their scheme. Baun fits that mold. He can rush the passer as easily as he can smother a tight end in coverage. He looks like a potential good fit here.

24. New Orleans Saints: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

I originally had New Orleans taking a quarterback with their first round pick: Drew Brees can’t play forever. After re-assessing their roster though I realized they don’t have an legitimate deep threat receiver on the roster, so they could so with Mims or Hamler. Higgins though would be too good to pass up here.

25. Minnesota Vikings: Antoine Winfield, S, Minnesota

Could Winfield be drafted before LSU’s Grant Delpit? It only takes one team to fall in love with a player. The Golden Gopher has a knack for always being around the ball. He understands his position and is a solid wrap up tackler. Winfield’s father, Antoine Sr., played nine seasons for the Vikings.

26. Miami Dolphins (from Hou): D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

If the Dolphins are able to get LB Isaiah Simmons; QB Tua Tagovailoa; and RB D’Andre Swift out of this draft, they would really improve their team. Even if Tua sits on the bench for a year while he learns the in’s and out’s of being an NFL quarterback, it’d still be a good haul.

I like Swift here over Taylor or Edwards-Helaire, I think he fits better with Miami’s conservative philosophy than the other two.

27. Seattle Seahawks: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

I heard Peter King say the other day that Seattle has traded their first pick eight years in a row. Sounds like there’s a trend. However, I’m not doing trades, so…

Seattle needs line help on both sides of the ball. Jackson has quick feet, good balance, and has excellent upside.

28. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma

A quick, slippery, linebacker that plays fast and plays downfield. Gets good drop in coverage, closes quickly on the ball.

29. Tennessee Titans: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

Epenesa’s game is predicated on size and power. His stock dropped a little after a lack-luster Combine. Epenesa isn’t the flashiest, but he’s a dependable lunch bucket kind of player who is capable of putting up 10-12 sacks a year.

30. Green Bay Packers: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Packers took Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage in the first round in an attempt to shore up their defense. They could use someone to challenge for the corner spot opposite Jaire Alexander. In his three years on the field Fulton has shown he has enough talent to start at the next level.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn

After getting beat by Kansas City’s speed, John Lynch adds an ultra-fast speedster to his defense. Igbinoghene is the son of two Olympic athletes and possesses his own sprinter’s speed.

With a lack of picks, San Francisco is expected to trade out of this spot.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

The rich get richer. Kansas City could go defense with this pick. But when you have a 4.38 speedster sitting there, why not give Mahomes just one more target?

***

Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3

The 85th NFL Draft will take place from April 23-25, 2020, in Las Vegas on the iconic Las Vegas Strip.

***

Nat L. Faybian’s 2020 NFL Mock Draft Version 1.0, Round 1

Round 1

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Photo: Bill Feig|Associated Press 

Burrow has opted out of the Senior Bowl, but even if he opted out of the Combine, he’d still look like a lock for the No. 1 overall pick.

2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

With new head coach Ron Rivera being a defensive-minded guy, it seems reasonable Washington could build around a player of Young’s caliber.

3. Detroit Lions: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Lions should jump at the chance to take a lockdown cover corner.

4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

A surprise to everyone, Giants GM Dave Gettleman took Duke QB Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick. This year, Gettleman can get him a blindside protector.

5. Miami Dolphins: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

With five picks in the first two rounds, Miami can load up in this draft. They have several options with this pick, including a quarterback, but they will most likely upgrade their offensive and defensive fronts as the rebuild continues.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Photo: University of Oregon Athletics

Strangely enough, most analysts seems to forget that Herbert was in the conversation of being a top three pick last year. In 2019, his stats improved all across the board, and he led his team to a top five finish. Chargers take Herbert to replace Phillip Rivers.

7. Carolina Panthers: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Baylor’s Matt Rhule is the new head coach in Carolina: that means a dedication to the spread offense. That means an offense that scores a lot of points. Rhule will need smart, athletic, quarterback with a strong arm.

8. Arizona Cardinals: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Arizona has needs on both lines. I think Kingsbury addresses those needs in FA and later in the draft and uses the No. 8 overall pick on a playmaker for his offense.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

The Jags finished 28th in the league versus the run. Brown is the most athletic interior lineman in the draft. The Jags are hoping that Brown, the winner of the 2019 Lott IMPACT Trophy, can make an immediate impact in Jacksonville.

10. Cleveland Browns: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Baker Mayfield, much like Kyler Murray, has found out he’s not in Oklahoma anymore. These guys are running for their lives play-after-play. So, like Arizona, Cleveland will look for some OL help early in the draft.

11. New York Jets: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

Photo: Hawkeye Sports

When it’s all said and done, Epenesa could be the best unheralded prospect in this class. He doesn’t necessarily have star-power, but he does everything right. The Jets finished 26th in the league in sacks per attempt, Epenesa would be a great addition.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Raiders have two first round picks. They need a wide out and a cover corner. Jeudy is a top ten talent, Raiders gladly grab him at twelve.

13. Indianapolis Colts: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

QB Jacoby Brissett is one of the top deep ball passers in the league. By giving him a guy with 4.25 speed, Indianapolis could become a quick strike team.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Photo: WLTX.com

Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has his defense going in the right direction and expects a leap from year one to year two. Simmons’ versatility, coverge skills, and sideline-to-sideline athleticism would make him an excellent fit. They could also go with Javon Kinlaw here.

15. Denver Broncos: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

Denver could use an offensive tackle, a wide receiver, and a cornerback. With five picks in the middle rounds, they could easily trade up for a receiver in round two while grabbing the second best corner in the draft.

16. Atlanta Falcons: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

The Falcons are getting some pressure upfront with Jarrett, McKinley, and Beasley, but not enough. They finished 28th in the league in sacks. Getting some help along the defensive line should be a priority.

17. Dallas Cowboys: Javon Kinlaw, DT, So. Carolina

Dallas ranked just outside the top ten in run defense, still Jerry Jones knows how important it is to stop the opponent’s running game. Kinlaw would be a great pick for the Cowboys at this pick.

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pitt): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

Photo: Twitter|TrevonDiggs

Dolphins are ranked 30th, defensively, in yards per game. There is no question they’ll have to address their lack of talent and depth an cornerback. Diggs looks like a top 25 pick at this point.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chi): Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Delpit looked like a top ten pick heading into the season. Injuries slowed him down a bit in 2019, but his football instincts and athleticism make him seems like a steal here.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR): K’lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU

Jacksonville took some defensive line help with pick No. 9. Here, look for them to address the offensive line. However, if they can add to the pass rush with redshirt sophomore K’lavon Chaisson from LSU, it’s a possibility.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma

The Eagles will look to bolster their defense during the offseason. Murray is capable of directing the Philadelphia defense.

22. Buffalo Bills: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

Shenault will give the Bills the opportunity to stretch the field.

23. New England Patriots: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame

For the Patriots offense to truly be effective, they need a solid all-around tight end. Kmet gives them a guy who can block and find the seams.

***

QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | OG | OC

Nat L. Faybian’s NFL Draft Players Position Rankings

DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | ST

***

24. New Orleans Saints: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington

Eason has all the tangibles. It will be Sean Payton’s job to grow him into the quarterback of the future.

25. Minnesota Vikings: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

The Vikings continue to improve their offensive line by picking up USC tackle Austin Jackson.

26. Miami Dolphins (from Hou): Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia

The Dolphins pick their quarterback of the future in 5-star recruit Jake Fromm. Fromm’s football IQ would be valued by a defensive-minded head coach who like mistake free football. By picking up a quarterback in the first round, Miami can sign him to a five-year contract instead of four.

27. Seattle Seahawks: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

Seattle surprised everyone when they selected San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny in the first round in 2018. Penny and starting running back Chris Carson are both recovering from injuries. Perhaps its time Pete Carroll invest in a blue-chip running back?

28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick McQueen, LB, LSU

Seattle could go wide receiver if they had their eye on a particular guy. They are also in need of a starting linebacker. McQueen proved in his junior year to be a nice combination of size and speed.

29. Tennessee Titans: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Titans shore up the middle with a guy that’s known as a box safety. Although, that’s not entirely true, as McKinney spent nearly equal time covering the back end or walking out as a slot defender.

30. Green Bay Packers: Tyler Biadasz, OC, Wisconsin

Technically sound and assignment savvy, Biadasz is the country’s top center. He fires off the ball, plays with a bit of a nasty streak and is still learning the position.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

Hall could have been a first round pick last year had he decided to come out. He returned to Virginia, but injured his leg returning a punt against Miami. His health evaluation will determine his final draft grade.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

The Doak Walker Award winner racked up over 6,000 yards in three seasons in Madison. His ability to find the crease and explode through the hole is second to none.

***

The 85th NFL Draft will take place from April 23-25, 2020, in Las Vegas on the iconic Las Vegas Strip.

***

Cornerbacks/2020

Updated April 19, 2020. Pre-Draft.

2020 NFL Draft:  Top Rated CBs

1. Jeffrey Okudah*, Ohio State, 6-1/199

2. C.J. Henderson*, Flordia, 6-1/182

3. Trevon Diggs, Alabama, 6-2/195

4. Kristian Fulton, LSU, 6-0/192

5. Jeff Gladney, TCU, 6-0/187

6. Jaylon Johnson*, Utah, 6-0/181

7. John Reid, Penn State, 5-10/189

8. A.J. Terrell*, Clemson, 6-2/210

9. Bryce Hall, Virginia, 6-1/200

10. Amik Robinson*, Louisiana Tech, 5-9/172

11. Javaris Davis, Auburn, 5-8/179

12. Noah Igbinoghene*, Auburn, 5-11/196

13. Josiah Scott*, Michigan State, 510/172

14. Cameron Dantzler*, Mississippi State, 6-2/175

15. Darnay Holmes*, UCLA, 5-10/199

16. Kindle Vildor, Georgia Southern, 5-11/180

17. Reggie Robinson, Tulsa, 6-1/197

18. Troy Pride, Notre Dame, 6-0/185

19. Harrison Hand*, Temple, 6-0/192

20. Essang Bassey, Wake Forest, 5-10/185

21. Damon Arnette, Ohio State, 6-0/195

22. Lavert Hill, Michigan, 5-11/182

23. A.J. Green, Oklahoma State, 6-1/180

24. Dane Jackson, Pittsburgh, 6-0/190

25. Michael Ojemudia, Iowa, 6-0/200

26. Lamar Jackson, Nebraska, 6-3/215

27. Keith Washington, West Virginia, 6-1/180

28. Elijah Riley, Army, 6-0/205

29. Luq Barcoo, San Diego State, 6-1/175

30. DeMarkus Acy, Missouri, 6-2/195

***

OTHER PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:

  • Thakarius Keyes, Tulane, 6-1/195
  • Trajan Bandy*, Miami, 5-9/180
  • Javelin Guidry, Utah, 5-9/188
  • Myles Bryant, Washington, 5-8/179
  • Levonta Taylor, Florida State, 5-9/181
  • Stanford Samuels III*, Florida State, 6-2/185
  • Jalen Thompson, South Alabama, 6-0/185
  • Chris Williamson, Minnesota, 6-0/200
  • Jace Whitaker, Arizona, 5-10/185
  • Parnell Motley, Oklahoma, 5-11/180
  • Michael Jacquet, Louisiana, 6-2/215
  • Nevelle Clarke, UCF, 6-1/185
  • Kobe Williams, Arizona State, 5-10/169
  • Will Sunderland, Troy, 6-4/196
  • Christopher Frederick, Syracuse, 5-11/194
  • Amari Henderson, Wake Forest, 6-1/185
  • Chris Jackson, Marshall, 6-0/187
  • Damon Hayes, Maryland, 6-1/198
  • Jaron Bryant, Fresno State, 6-1/183
  • Hasan Defense, Kansas, 5-11/188
  • Delrick Abrams, Colorado, 6-3/180
  • Tino Ellis, Maryland, 6-1/193
  • Charles Oliver, Texas A&M, 6-2/202
  • Kyle Meyers, Florida State, 6-0/174
  • Tyrique McGhee, Georgia, 5-10/187
  • Debione Renfro*, Texas A&M, 6-2/198
  • D.J. Williams, Utah State, 5-9/175
  • Monquavion Brinson, Georgia Southern, 5-11/180
  • Rojesterman Farris, Hawaii, 6-1/180
  • Kevin McGill, Eastern Michigan, 6-2/195
  • James Pierre*, FAU, 6-2/185
  • Darreon Jackson, Arkansas State, 6-0/205
  • Daniel Brown, Nevada, 5-11/185
  • Cam’ron Kelly, No Carolina, 6-1/215
  • Scoop Bradshaw, Syracuse, 5-11/188
  • Linwood Crump, Temple, 6-0/175
  • Jessie Liptrot, Georgia Southern, 6-0/190

***

SMALL SCHOOL PROSPECTS

  • Isiah Swann, Dartmouth, 6-0/190
  • Aretavious Hendrix, Stephen F. Austin, 6-0/192
  • Rashad Robinson, James Madison, 5-11/188
  • Manny Patterson, Maine, 5-10/180
  • Kiante Hardin, Pittsburg State, 5-11/180
  • Prince Robinson, Tarleton State, 6-0/190
  • Greg Liggs, Jr., Elon, 5-11/190
  • Michael Junker, Bemidji State, 5-10/180
  • Desmond Fairell, Carson-Newman, 6-0/185
  • Danial Shelton, Susquehanna, 5-11/190
  • Mercardo Anderson, Henderson State, 5-10/185
  • Jeff Hector, Redlands, 6-0/185
  • Justin Calhoun, Montana, 5-10/184
  • Javen Morrison, Alcorn State, 5-10/160

***

*Denotes underclassman.

***

QBRB | WR | TE | OT | OG | OC

Nat L. Faybian’s 2020 NFL Draft Players Position Rankings

DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | ST

College Football: Week 11 LSU at Alabama

#2 Louisiana State University (8-0) vs #3 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0)

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LOUISIANA STATE UNIVERSITY | SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

Coach: Ed Orgeron

LSU Players to watch

Senior QB Joe Burrow (6-4/216)

Back in Week 2, I was guilty of putting Joe Burrow in a box, a box that said he was nothing more than a dutiful play caller whose job was to simply play mistake free football. Burrow lit Texas up in week two, going 31-37 for 471 yards and 4 touchdowns. His performance made me recant. Since then Burrow has look spectacular, placing himself firmly in the Heisman conversation. So far this year, he’s put up 2,805 yards with a 30-4 Td/Int ratio.

Against Tennessee (Oct 19), Burrow made history, passing Jamarcus Russell and Matt Mauck for most touchdowns in a single-season by an LSU quarterback. Burrow is also on pace to break the NCAA single-season completion record, held by former Hawaii quarterback Colt Brennan at 70.4 %. Burrow is currently completing 78.8 % of his passes in 2019. Lastly, he’s also on pace to eclipse Rohan Davey’s single season team mark of 3,347 passing yards.

*Junior CB Kristian Fulton (6-0/192)

Because Fulton is playing opposite freshman sensation Derek Singletary, he’s seen a more balls come his way than expected – yes, Singletary is just that good. Fulton, himself, is projected by some to be a first round pick in 2020. He has tremendous speed and cover skills. While he only has one interception in 2019, he has eight passes defended. Fulton is an all-around player and just as aggressive against the run as he is playing the pass. Shutting down Jeudy, Smith, and Ruggs will be key if LSU is to win this game.

*Junior MLB Jacob Phillips (6-4/229)

Devon White left via the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leaving Phillips to man the middle of this year’s LSU defense. Phillips leads the team in solo tackles and assists. Phillips has good size and length; he plays with good leverage, and sheds well. When coming down hill, Phillips is able to quickly diagnose and fill his gap. His job will be to tee off on Najee Harris and stop the run.

*Junior WR Justin Jefferson (6-2/185)

Jefferson and fellow wideout Ja’Marr Chase both have nine touchdowns on the season. Jefferson is a playmaking receiver that excels in making the difficult catch. He has good speed and great hands. He can be shifty, and might cause some match up problems for the Alabama secondary. Jefferson said via the Lafayette Daily Advertiser’s Glenn Guilbeau that LSU was going to “dominate” ‘Bama. The junior wide receiver has 55 catches for 819 yards for the Tigers, who are fourth in the country averaging 46.8 points per game.

***

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE | SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

Coach: Nick Saban

Alabama Players to watch:

*Junior DE Terrell Lewis (6-5/252)

Alabama is going to need Terrell Lewis to bring his “A” game on Saturday. Last year, the Tide had Isaiah Buggs, Christian Miller, and Quinnen Williams to bring the pressure. This year, Lewis is pretty much the lone pass rush specialist. Getting pressure on Burrow will be key, as will getting off the field. If Lewis and Alabama can put LSU in 2nd and long, their chances at success go way up.

*Junior WR Jerry Jeudy (6-1/192)

As a sophomore, Jeudy won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver. He’s a threat all over the field, can line up anywhere, and has some wheels once he gets the ball in his hands. Jeudy’s production is down this year – he’ll end up with more catches, but less yards – and that’s because defense are keying on him. The result has been that DeVonta Smith has been able to put up some impressive numbers this year. Jeudy is Alabama’s most polished receiver, he’ll have the best chance and besting LSU talented DBs.

Senior CB Trevon Diggs (6-2/200)

With Patrick Surtain on one side of the field, look for Burrow to target Diggs. Like Surtain, Trevon Diggs has football in his genes, he is the younger brother of NFL’s Stefon Diggs. Trevon has three Ints and 5 pbu’s this season. He also returned an fumble for a 100-yard touchdown during the second half of the Tennessee-Alabama game, putting the icing on the cake.

*Junior RB Najee Harris (6-2/227)

Alabama’s run game hasn’t been what it usually is. Harris only has three games of over 100 yards, and leads the team with 642 through eight games. Harris’ backup, Brian Robinson, only has 352 yards. For Alabama to keep the LSU offense off the field, they are going to have to balanced run-pass attack. OC Steve Sarkisian will need to establish Harris in the run and screen game. With Harris running effectively, the passing attack will open more freely against a talented LSU backfield.

***

Bryant-Denny Stadium Grass
Nov 9 | Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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*Note: Prior to this week, rankings were based on A.P. Poll; however this week begins the CFP (College Football Playoff Rankings).