CBS released a very early top 100 for next year’s NFL Draft.
This really should come as no surprise but Minnesota’s Tyler Johnson is on this list and comes in at 52nd, solidly in the 2nd round. He’s the 8th overall WR and the top WR out of the Big Ten.
The “way too early” nature of this ranking is important to note as Johnson will have plenty of opportunities in the next 12 months to move himself up or down this list. But this is a clear recognition of his talent.
Seeing Johnson on this top 100 list begs the question, what other Gophers have a shot to be drafted in 2020 (and beyond).
- Rodney Smith - a healthy and strong senior season would likely put Smith into the the conversation of being drafted. He’d have to have an outstanding senior season to move up into the first or second day of the draft, but finding his way into day 3 is realistic.
- Carter Coughlin - an edge rusher with a productive college career, Coughlin will also impress in interviews. He’ll be drafted, production as a senior may determine how high he goes.
- Thomas Barber - not ideal size but great production to go along with the pedigree name. Barber won’t be a top 3 rounds kind of pick, but there’s a good chance he gets a phone call next year before round 7 is completed.
- Conner Olson - just a junior but Olson has been pretty damn good. Will he leave early for the draft? Doubtful, but possible. And certainly a name who could be drafted in 2021.
- Antoine Winfield Jr. - technically a sophomore after a couple redshirt seasons. Winfield needs to stay healthy and if he has a great year, you may see him test the draft before using up all four years. His age won’t do him any favors, so one great year and you may see him go. He lacks ideal size but he bears the name of an all-time great who also “lacked ideal size,”
- Daniel Faalele - we get a couple more years out of him, but he will be drafted. I’m convinced he’ll be drafted very high and likely won’t play four years.
- Rashod Bateman - Like Faalele, he’ll be drafted high...eventually.
- Curtis Dunlap Jr. - Will be drafted high and considering he got some decent experience while retaining his redshirt, he may end up leaving early as well.
A handful of others could be listed, but I don’t know how deep into speculation I want to get.