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10 best players still on board for Day 2

Thirty-two down, 223 to go.

The 2020 NFL Draft kicked off Thursday night. Eighteen offensive players were selected in the first round, tied for the fourth-most in the common draft era, trailing only the 1968, 2004 and 2009 NFL Drafts (19).

Four offensive linemen – Andrew Thomas (New York Giants, No. 4 overall), Jedrick Wills (Cleveland, No. 10), Mekhi Becton (New York Jets, No. 11) and Tristan Wirfs (Tampa Bay, No. 13) – were chosen among the top-15 selections. It marked just the third draft since 2000 in which at least four offensive linemen were selected in the top-15 picks, joining the 2013 (six offensive linemen) and 2008 (four).

Below is a look at the best remaining prospects from Daniel Jeremiah's "Top 150" list, with their original rankings. The Giants own nine more picks heading into Round 2, which begins at 7 p.m. ET.

16. RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia

Jeremiah: "Swift is a compact running back with excellent patience, vision and quickness. On inside runs, he lets things develop before exploding through the line of scrimmage. He has the vision to see and set up second- and third-level defenders. He has make-miss ability in tight quarters, but prefers to drop his shoulder and seek contact. He has enough speed to capture the corner on outside runs. He is a cradle catcher in the passing game, but it's effective. In pass protection, he likes to cut block and he's reliable. Overall, Swift has a similar skill set to Josh Jacobs, and I expect comparable results at the next level."

19. DT Ross Blacklock, TCU

Jeremiah: "Blacklock is a dynamic interior defensive lineman. As a pass rusher, he launches out of his four-point stance and his bull rush is ferocious. He creates immediate knock-back. He is ultra-twitchy. He flashes a long-arm move where he can jolt, separate and finish. As a run defender, he successfully stacks and sheds single blocks, but he needs to improve his awareness and effectiveness versus double teams, where he gets washed down the line. He does have some durability concerns, but his skill set is special. Overall, Blacklock comes with some risk, but he's worth it. He has the potential to develop into a top-flight interior pass rusher."

NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah's best remaining prospects from his Top 150 ranking of the 2020 NFL Draft.

22. S Xavier McKinney, Alabama

Jeremiah: "McKinney was an instinctive safety for the Tide and he also spent some time playing nickel linebacker. When aligned deep, he is fluid in his movement and he's quick to key/read and drive on the football. His range is excellent. While he can effectively locate the ball, he will occasionally lose a 50/50 battle down the field. He is a dependable wrap/drag tackler. He has a very good feel as a blitzer, displaying timing and burst. Overall, McKinney is an intelligent, versatile defender and he should be very effective in multiple roles."

26. EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

Jeremiah: "Epenesa is a skilled pass rusher with outstanding size, strength and effort. He has average get-off quickness, but he boasts strong hands, can flip his hips and is a reliable finisher. He has a variety of hand techniques, including a violent club move, swipe move and a push/pull move. He also will flash a long-arm move with his inside arm. He has a great feel when an OT is leaning outside, which creates an opening for his up-and-under inside-counter move. Against the run, he can hold the point of attack easily. His effort on the back side is outstanding, but he lacks the burst to make a ton of plays from distance. Overall, Epenesa has a very high floor as a prospect. He should be a consistent 8-to-10-sack performer at the very least."

27. WR Tee Higgins, Clemson

Jeremiah: "Higgins is a tall, long and rangy wideout with elite high-point skills. He uses a quick foot fire to defeat press coverage. He is a smooth, long-striding route runner. He is at his best when on the move: slants, posts and go routes. He lacks snap at the top of his route when working back downhill. He has incredible ball skills down the field. He can elevate and also adjust to the back-shoulder ball. After the catch, he is very smooth and slippery. Overall, Higgins isn't going to do a lot of the dirty work in the middle of the field, but he's very effective on the outside and provides big-play ability."

29. CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah

Jeremiah: "Johnson offers an enticing size/speed combination for the position. He plays a lot of press-bail technique, but also flashes a firm two-hand jam. He is very fluid to open up and has plenty of long speed to carry vertical routes. He also excels when he slides inside to cover the slot. He was rarely challenged down the field in the games I studied. His ball production was outstanding in 2018 and opposing teams chose to avoid him last fall. He is very aggressive versus the run. He closes quickly before coming to balance and delivering firm tackles. Overall, Johnson is very talented and should be a Day 1 starter outside with the potential to cover in the slot as well."

30. EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State

Jeremiah: "Gross-Matos was a tall, long edge rusher for the Nittany Lions. He will stand up on the edge or launch out of his four-point stance. He is a very productive pass rusher. He doesn't have an elite get-off, but he has very active hands and an array of moves. He has a quick swipe move, inside spin and he can also bend/wrap at the top of his rush. I'd like to see him develop more power, but he still has a lot to work with. He is very effective on loops and games. He does need to improve versus the run, as he sometimes plays too high and gets uprooted. Overall, Gross-Matos offers double-digit sack potential, but he does need to add strength at the next level."

33. EDGE Marlon Davidson, Auburn

Jeremiah: "Davidson has average height and a thick/square build. He typically lined up at defensive end for the Tigers, but also possesses the ability to slide inside. As a pass rusher, he is devastating when he has a runway. He generates a lot of power in his bull rush and has an array of hand moves he can incorporate on the move. He doesn't have an elite get-off, but he wins in the ways just mentioned. He destroys tight ends with his strength and power combination. Against the run, he uses his length to stack blocks, and his effort to pursue is outstanding. Overall, Davidson has some inside/outside flexibility and his production should carry over to the next level."

34. LB Zack Baun, Wisconsin

Jeremiah: "Baun is a slightly undersized outside linebacker with excellent athleticism and versatility. He spends a lot of time playing over tight ends and gets the best of them in the run and pass games. As a rusher, he has a good initial burst and can really bend at the top of his rush. He has a nifty inside counter move and he can get skinny before closing on the quarterback. He mixes in a stutter/bull rush, but usually stalls out after generating some push. He is very athletic as a dropper in coverage. He is very good as a back-side run defender because of his burst and effort. Teams will differ on where to play him at the next level. He reminds me of former USC LB Uchenna Nwosu, someone whose versatility the Chargers have tapped into. I'd do the same with Baun."

35. RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Jeremiah: "Taylor is an ultra-productive running back with outstanding strength and speed. On inside runs, he's sudden, carries his pads low to the ground and shows the balance to bounce off tacklers while keeping his legs alive. He isn't overly shifty, but he avoids taking flush hits and he always falls forward for extra yardage. He has plenty of speed to capture the edge and once he gets in space, he can run away from the crowd. In the passing game, he is very effective on screens, where he can set up his blocks and collect big chunks of yardage. He trusts his hands and attacks the ball when he's out in the route. He didn't have a lot of reps in pass protection in the games I studied. Overall, Taylor is an explosive home run hitter with upside in the passing game."


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