One of my favorite segments of last draft season was getting insight from those who study the game of college football at a closer-to-the-field level than I am able to. Last year, I reached out to an anonymous player personnel assistant and was given insight on a few of the top prospects in the draft and one of those players, Jace Sternberger, became a future member of the Green Bay Packers.
With that in mind, I decided to go back to the well and dig up more information on some of this individual’s favorite prospects in the 2020 version of the draft. Here are three of those players of interest, as well as an honorary mention.
Marlon Davidson, Auburn, DL
6033, 303 pounds
5.04 second 40 (1.78 10-yard split)
2019: 12 games; 48 total tackles, 12.5 TFL, 7.5 sacks, 2 FF
He’s 6’3 and 300 pounds. Marlon, at Auburn, had to play defensive end because Derrick Brown was there. Derrick was playing the three-technique spot the whole year. Marlon is so athletic at his size that they put him at end opposite Nick Coe and they sometimes used him as a stand-up end. So here’s a 300-pound dude that’s not even getting down in the dirt some plays.
He’s so athletic and he’s going to end up being a three-technique in the NFL. But his quickness was never shown at that spot a lot because Derrick Brown was there and he got overshadowed. Derrick Brown, in my opinion, is going to be a Pro Bowler for a long time. But I think Marlon Davidson is going to be a really good player once he gets to that spot full-time. He’s played out of position his whole career.
Antoine Winfield, Jr., Minnesota, DB
5091, 203 pounds
4.45 second 40 (1.58 10-yard split)
2019: 13 games; 88 total tackles, 3.5 TFL, 3.0 sacks; 7 INT, 8 PD, 2 FF
If you want the biggest baller, or use the term “gamer,” who’s going to show up and make big plays, it’s Antoine Winfield, Jr. This kid is a stud. There is not a wide receiver in college football that could block this kid. When he’s coming downhill to make plays in the box…unblockable. Unblockable. Open-field tackler – nobody is better. Nobody. Then there’s the fact that he actually has really good ball skills despite being 5-foot-9.
I don’t know what he is. Is he a slot corner? Is he a free safety? Is he a strong safety because he’s over 200 pounds? He can really do just about anything in your secondary besides be a boundary corner. But the dude just shows up in big games and makes big plays. Fresno State last year early in the season, he had the game-winning interception to end it in overtime. And then, against Penn State, he was the best player in that game. Period. Minnesota doesn’t have a two-loss regular season without him. He’s just a baller. I’m telling you somebody will take him in the first round. He’s a safe pick. His dad was the best tackling corner I’ve seen in my entire life and he was 5’9.
Colby Parkinson, Stanford, TE
6072, 252 pounds
4.77 second 40 (1.66 10-yard split)
2018: 29 receptions, 485 yards (16.7 Y/R), 7 TD
2019: 48 receptions, 589 yards (12.3 Y/R), 1 TD
He’s 6’7 and Stanford has had a really good history of producing good tight ends. The dude is going to have a Kyle Rudolph-like career. He’s just going to be a huge red zone guy. He’s not going to go out there and blow anyone off the ball, that’s not who he is. He’s not going to go out there and separate like Zach Ertz. He’s not a route-runner like that. But neither is Kyle Rudolph – he’s a guy that you throw it up there to him once in awhile and he goes up and gets it. Kyle Rudolph has a had a really good career. Parkinson is a good day-three guy.
Honorary Mention - Andrew Thomas, Georgia, OT
6051, 315 pounds
5.22 40-yard dash (1.83 10-yard split), 21 bench press reps; 7.58 3-cone, 4.66 shuttle
Favorite player in this draft. There’s nothing sexy. Doesn’t have the longest arms. Doesn’t have that long, linear, athletic build like an Austin Jackson. But what Andrew Thomas is, is a guy that just shows up and will be a 10-year starter at left tackle. He could be on the right side, but he belongs on the left.