3 B1G defenders tabbed as 'first-round locks' for 2020 NFL Draft by PFF
There are plenty of impact defenders throughout the B1G, and Pro Football Focus recently tabbed three of them as first-round locks for next year’s NFL Draft.
Michael Renner with PFF recently put out his list of eight first-round locks that was headlined by two SEC quarterbacks. He went with LSU’s Joe Burrow and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa as two of the clear locks for the 2020 NFL Draft.
The first B1G defender Renner highlighted as a lock was Ohio State’s Chase Young. That comes as little surprise considering Young’s season. Renner’s praise for Young was equally steep, arguing he will probably be the top non-QB selection in the draft.
Young is also the highest-graded EDGE prospect in the history of PFF:
Of all the locks, this one will be the hardest to pick. Hell, I’d go so far as to say he’s a lock to be the first non-quarterback taken. He is the only sophomore we’ve ever seen lead the FBS in pressures, and Young is in the midst of the highest graded pass-rushing season we’ve ever seen (97.1 grade). The Ohio State junior is fairly comfortably the best edge prospect we’ve ever graded.
Young was joined by teammate Jeff Okudah on the list. That is noteworthy as Okudah was the only defensive back to make the list.
The final B1G player on the list of locks was Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa. Despite a bit of a down year after a 10.5 sack season in 2018, Epenesa’s value remains high:
Combine a high win-rate with immense physical tools like Epenesa has, and it’s easy to see why he’s a lock. Standing 6-foot-6, 280 pounds yet moving like a man 30 pounds lighter, Epenesa has a 91.2 pass-rushing grade and 21.1 pass-rushing win rate for his career.
You can check out the full list from Renner with his comments on each player here.