NFL Draft 2020: Four Potential Instant Impact RB's to Watch For In This Years NFL Draft
Let us open by saying the obvious will be obvious and that is not to say that we shouldn't say what we feel about the following RB's in this year's NFL Draft. Yes, we chose four obvious players that the world has already been discussing ad nauseam even though this year's class is deep with prospects that could be highlighted. But we believe that its important to highlight the players who appear to be the most likely to have an immediate impact in 2020. LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (5-8, 209lbs, Junior Class) Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a very balanced back who possesses good vision. His low center of gravity makes it difficult for defenders to bring him down. Helaire can make you miss in a phone booth and has proven to be a good player in space. Another area that stands out in his film was his ability to fight for extra yards. Can Helaire Make an Impact Early? Other scouts in the industry have noted that Helaire lacks elite long speed. But when observing his film, he more than makes up for his lack of long speed with a quick initial burst and shows an ability to separate. Helaire could have an immediate impact early because of his three-down ability as a runner and a receiver. Does Helaire's game translate to the next level? He has the strength, power, vision, and football speed to become a featured NFL RB. Helaire's ability as a receiver in the check down game will be a key to his success early on in the NFL. Helaire does not show dominant traits similar to that of today's top NFL RB's. His ability to be clutch in various situations where he steps up and makes a play as a runner or a receiver has shown enough that some scouts believe he can start right out of the gate. Expect Edwards Helaire to contribute early in his career. If Helaire does not become a starter in the league, he can find a place as a backup or a role player in the NFL. Georgia RB D'Andre Swift (5-9, 215lbs, Junior Class D’Andre Swift is an exciting prospect because of how well his game translates to the next level. Swift has good speed and does well hitting the edge of the defense. He has good feet and decent breakaway speed once he gets to the second and third levels of the defense. Can Swift Make an Impact Early? What separates Swift is that he is a good receiver, and many believe he might be the best receiver among all RB's in the 2020 class. His ability to make defenders miss in space will help him at the next level. Does Swift's game translate to the next level? Where Swift can improve as a runner is in his ability to press the hole and sell LB's from the inside out. Scouts have ID'd a tendency where Swift will head directly to the edge without selling the LB's with his eyes to hold them inside before exploding to the outside. Swift's game will translate and progress further once he is able to improve his patience and ability to play cat and mouse behind the line of scrimmage in an effort to freeze defenders before hitting the outside on wide run plays. Swift has the size to be a durable back in the NFL. Wisconsin RB Jonathon Taylor (5-11, 214lbs, Junior Class) Jonathon Taylor was dominant in his Junior Season at Wisconsin running behind one the nation's best offensive lines he was able to run his way to 1st team All-Big Ten, and the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top RB. Taylor blends speed, power, and great feet with a large frame. Taylor, who was a star 4x100 sprinter in Highschool, shows his speed once he enters the second and third levels of a defense. Can Taylor Make an Impact Early? Taylor can make an early impact in the NFL as a pure runner more than a receiver. He has all of the traits you want in a starting RB, including the ability to handle the load out of the backfield as he toted the rock 320 times in 2019. He can still improve his pass protection, and that will be key in addition to his ability as a receiver in order to grow at the next level. Does Taylor's game translate to the next level? In 2019, Taylor was asked to do more in the passing game and he delivered on that ask by accumulating 26 receptions for 252 yds and 5 TD's as a receiver. The Badgers didn't line him up in the backfield and run screens; they also flexed him out wide to apply pressure to the defense and gain a potential matchup with a slower LB. His ability as receiver will be a key to his growth at the next level, and it appears he is dedicated to growing in this area. Taylor has amassed more than 900 carries in three seasons in Madison, and that might make GM's think twice about picking him too early. He has absorbed a lot of wear and tear in only three seasons at Wisconsin. Ohio State RB JK Dobbins (5-11, 217lbs, Junior Class) JK Dobbins is a versatile player and one of the more underrated talents entering the 2020 NFL draft. Dobbins possesses the three-down quality that NFL GM's and coaches are in search of every year. But for Dobbins, the one attribute that stands above the rest is his toughness. Playing vs. Clemson in the 2020 CFB Playoff Semi-Final game, Dobbins played through an injured ankle that he injured early in the game. He was still able to pass protect effectively with one good ankle and found a way to even catch passes effectively out of the backfield. Can Dobbins Make an Impact Early? Dobbins can make an early impact in one of two ways; he can play the role of the three-down back, or he can be the third-down back because of his ability to pass protect, and catch out of the backfield. Dobbins is also an outstanding athlete who possesses good speed and power packed into a tight frame. Does Dobbins's game translate to the next level? Where JK Dobbins might need to prove himself the most in order to become an effective starter in the NFL will be his ability to run effectively between the tackles, or at least show it on film, or in practice. Dobbins amassed an impressive stat line similar to Jonathon Taylor rushing for more than 2000 yds and picking up 200+ more as a receiver. What he needs to prove is that he can be just as effective as a runner in a more pro-style offense if asked to do so. Dobbins increased production in 2019 happened with Justin Fields adding his dual-threat presence to the fold.