2020 NFL Draft Stock Watch: Najee Harris soaring up draft boards

NCAA Football, NFL Draft

The latest edition of 2020 NFL Draft stock watch features Najee Harris who is on the rise after his performance vs. LSU and Grant Delpit who is falling.

It was a great Saturday in college football with two undefeated matchups, which meant plenty of attention from the scouting community. With NFL Draft season closing in, it’s now or never for draft prospects to show out in their biggest games of the year.

LSU-Alabama delivered, and draft analysts drooled at the talent there. A few players on this week’s stock watch come from that game (for more on that game scouting wise, here’s a good post to look at) when many could’ve made the cut. The two who did are a pair of running backs that need to be taken more seriously in the running back class.

A couple of players delivered elsewhere this week, while one top prospect takes a little slide with his latest performances. Let’s take a look at this week’s stock watch.

Stock Up: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, running back, LSU

LSU rode to a big victory in Tuscaloosa behind the stellar play (once again) of quarterback Joe Burrow. However, Clyde Edwards-Helaire was also a big part of the win. Edwards-Helaire had 29 total touches against the Crimson Tide and finished with 180 total yards and four touchdowns.

He looked excellent all game long, showing great contact balance and the appetite for picking up every yard he could. Edwards-Helaire picked up several key first downs down the stretch. Let’s not forget about his quickness to make defenders miss. He showed that in a brilliant spin move that turned into a short touchdown run.

In this running back class, which is super deep right now, Edwards-Helaire is a name to remember should he declare.

Stock Up: Najee Harris, running back, Alabama

Speaking of running backs in the LSU-Alabama game, Najee Harris also had a big game. He had 22 touches for 190 yards and a pair of scores in the game. His best score was as a receiver, where Tua Tagovailoa threw him a back-shoulder pass and he rose up and snatched the ball like a tight end.

Harris doesn’t have the breakaway speed of some running backs, but he runs very well for a taller back. He has the lateral quickness to make defenders miss along with his balance through contact, which is elite in this class, along with it being an imperative trait for the next level. With his receiving skills also looking natural, Harris will be an interesting option for teams looking for a big, powerful back with the ability to catch out of the backfield.

Stock Down: Grant Delpit, safety, LSU

This isn’t a major indictment on the play from Grant Delpit this year. We know he has all the talent in the world, but it’s starting to look like he isn’t going to grade as an elite safety like Jamal Adams, Derwin James, and Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Delpit has the range and ball skills to succeed on the back end, and we know about his speed to fly downhill and make plays. The issue this year has been his tackling. Delpit gets overly aggressive at times instead of slowing down a bit and breaking down to make the play. He missed four tackles against Alabama on Saturday, and it’s something that had been an issue before his injury.

Delpit is still a first round talent, but I’m unsure of how much this issue will matter to NFL teams, especially at a position that isn’t as valued in round one. He could end up being one of those fallers in the 2020 NFL Draft and be a good value later in round one.

Stock Up: Antoine Winfield Jr., safety, Minnesota

As one safety goes down, another flies up the board. I hadn’t seen much of Antoine Winfield Jr. or Minnesota yet this season, but in a big game, Winfield Jr. brought it for all who were watching. He picked off two passes on the day and had 11 tackles. His first interception was an excellent play, where he adjusted well down the field and went up over a bigger receiver to make the play. His second one was a great read of Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford‘s eyes.

If Winfield Jr. can make plays like that on the back end, along with being extremely physical up near the box (he was against Penn State, consistently finishing on tackles.), he’s gonna be a high 2020 NFL Draft pick. Expect to see Winfield Jr. on my next big board update.

Stock Up: Denzel Mims, wide receiver, Baylor

Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims decided to return for his senior season, and even in a deep class, it’s paying off. He has 44 catches for 675 yards and eight touchdowns this season, on pace to beat last year’s yardage and to set a new mark on touchdowns.

Mims only had six catches for 57 yards against TCU, but he did have two touchdowns, both in big moments in a thrilling triple-overtime win. Mims is a very good target in the red zone who looks better as a route runner in his senior season. He’s also got some speed to get vertical and stack defenders. He will be a player teams like a lot during the 2020 NFL Draft process, especially if he gets to Mobile.

Next: Big Board: Top 100 prospects

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