There will be plenty of top 2020 NFL Draft prospects to see at this weekend’s Ohio State-Penn State matchup. Broncos GM John Elway will be attending.
It may seem a long way off at this point, but the Denver Broncos are in the thick of their scouting process for the 2020 NFL Draft and with just a few weeks left in the 2019 college football season, John Elway is about to start taking some road trips.
At this point, I don’t know that I can recall reading anything about Elway attending any specific games in person in 2019, but I’m sure he has been to at least a game or two over the course of the season.
With that said, Elway confirmed on Elway Access with the Denver Broncos media team that he will be attending the Ohio State-Penn State game over the weekend on the way to Buffalo for the Broncos’ week 12 matchup with the Bills.
There are plenty of enticing prospects in this game. Let’s look at the top 100 players on Dane Brugler’s big board (player’s overall rank in parentheses).
Ohio State Buckeyes
(1) Chase Young, DE
The Broncos have virtually no shot at Chase Young unless they trade up, and the fit here would be interesting. It would seem like adding Chase Young would make little sense with Bradley Chubb and Von Miller on the roster, but I would be willing to take Young and put him at RDE in Vic Fangio’s scheme, and watch offensive linemen cringe at the thought of having to block all of Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, and Chase Young on a given play.
Young is coming back from suspension in this game, and he’s put together a Heisman-worthy season as a defensive end. No kidding.
If there’s a player in this draft class I would be willing to trade up for, it’s Chase Young.
(6) Jeffrey Okudah, CB
Perhaps more within the Broncos’ price range and more logical needs range, Jeffrey Okudah has been the most outstanding cornerback in college football this season.
He has size, speed, ball skills, toughness, and instincts to be a Pro Bowl type of player right away. He would be tremendous as Denver’s top draft pick.
(35) Shaun Wade, CB
Ohio State has been a defensive back factory in recent years, and this year is certainly no different. Shaun Wade has been outstanding this season and has improved his stock maybe more than any of the guys on this list. He’s tough in run support and has the physicality and speed to hang with any type of receiver.
(40) Damon Arnette, CB
Does Ohio State find defensive backs in bulk at Costco or something? Damon Arnette is yet another well-built, aggressive, physical defensive back who can match routes with excellent footwork and long speed. He may be sneaking his way into the first-round discussion along with Shaun Wade but perhaps he’s an option for the Broncos in the second round.
(50) JK Dobbins, RB
The Broncos don’t have a need for a running back in the top 50 picks, but JK Dobbins has the look of a strong featured back at the NFL level with great patience, ability to break tackles, and pass catching ability.
Penn State Nittany Lions
(29) Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE
More of a traditional ‘edge’ player than Chase Young of Ohio State, Gross-Matos doesn’t fit a particular need for the Broncos right now and while his talent is outstanding, his production is leaving a bit to be desired at this point. I don’t think he’s an option for the Broncos in round one and he may not last until round two.
(52) KJ Hamler, WR
Now we’re talking.
Hamler’s stock is absolutely soaring right now, and by the end of the 2019 season, I have a hard time believing he won’t be inside Brugler’s or anyone else’s top 50 prospects.
Despite being 5-foot-9, 179 pounds, Hamler is electric with the ball in his hands, a constant big play waiting to happen, and a true playmaker in space.
The Broncos aren’t necessarily looking for a ‘small’ fast guy at receiver, but Hamler’s elite play speed and quickness is something this offense will utilize and he’s a great fit for the scheme Rich Scangarello is implementing.
In all, this makes seven prospects in the top 100, and that’s one man’s opinion. There are undoubtedly more players on each roster worthy of evaluating, and Elway will be able to get an in-person look at Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, one of the top quarterback prospects beyond this season.