AK’s NFL Draft Notebook 9-3-19

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Alex Kurpeski

Future Heisman Winner Jalen Hurts

With week one of the NFL season approaching and the first week of the College Football season in the books, it’s time for us at 3cosports to begin our descent into Jalen Hurts-mania, as we begin to evaluate the best pro prospects for this year’s draft. While we only have a one game sample size to work with, several hype trains came charging out of the station in week one’s slate of games, giving us several topics to touch on. 

Jonathan Taylor is the next big thing

While his 4 touchdown performance came against lowly South Florida, nobody could contain Taylor as he torched the Bulls for 183 total yards on just 18 touches. If he is able to sustain this level of dominance against higher levels of competition there is no doubt in my mind that Taylor will be the next great running back phenom to enter the NFL. With a receiving back’s instincts and elusiveness combined with a powerful and explosive running style, Taylor will no doubt draw some comps to players like David Johnson and Alvin Kamara during the pre-draft process. Pencil him in as your 1.1 for dynasty league drafts.

Could Jalen Hurts be the next Heisman winning Quarterback from Oklahoma?

I had a feeling something like this might happen. While he was often asked to be a game-manager as the starter for Alabama, Hurts always showed flashes of elite talent and those flashes blinded the nation during week one as he tore into Houston’s defense, finishing his day with 408 total yards and 6 touchdowns. Poised and confident in Oklahoma’s wide-open offense, there’s no telling how good Hurts could be this season as he has planted himself firmly into the driver’s seat for the Heisman race. 

Tua, Bo, and Joe make for an interesting race in the SEC West

As great as his predecessor was in his debut for the Sooners, perceived number one overall pick Tua Tagovailoa was just as impressive, with 336 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. It would be shocking if anyone surpassed Tagovailoa as QB1 in the upcoming draft at this stage, as he has the talent and poise to be a superstar in the NFL. While Tua and the Tide took care of business as usual in week one, we saw the rise of two brand new stars in the form of LSU QB Joe Burrow and true freshman Auburn QB Bo Nix. While Burrow masterfully picked apart Georgia Southern with 5 touchdowns on the back of an 85% completion percentage, Nix led a dramatic last-minute comeback against the ranked Oregon Ducks. While it’s easy to be fooled by impressive early season performances, both Burrow and Nix have improved their respective draft stocks (Nix is not draft eligible until 2022 but it’s never too early to build hype for a true freshman phenom).

Trevor Lawrence is still the man

As safe of a bet as Tua is as the top QB prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft, Lawrence is as close to a lock for that honor in 2021 as one can be. With yet another excellent performance, Lawrence continues to prove just why he was the most high profile recruit in the nation in 2018. Enjoy the growing pains of this future MVP while he still has them because one day we will be looking at an utterly flawless NFL QB.

A historically great offensive draft on the horizon?

For those of us that participate in dynasty format fantasy football leagues, the offensive talent expected to be available in the 2020 draft class is not breaking news. However, this class could surpass the expectations of even the most optimistic fantasy footballers. The quarterback position is loaded with franchise caliber passers like Tua Tagovailoa, Jake Fromm, Justin Herbert, and potentially Jalen Hurts (if he keeps balling out like he has). Likewise, there should be playmakers galore, with names like Travis Ettienne, Jonathan Taylor, D’Andre Swift, Laviska Shenault, Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, and Albert Owkwaebunam expected to be called on draft night among many others.

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