NCAA 20: How the Top 20 Players Would Rank

Many people remember important dates and events in their lives — anniversaries, birthdays, major events in history. 

Well, July 9th, 2013 is a day that I will cherish for the rest of my life. 

A day, that at the time, I didn’t know would mean so much to me. But here we are, six years later, writing about what would become one of the best and worst days of my life. The day I brought home NCAA Football 14.

NCAA Football 14 is still being played today by many people like myself. They just can’t bear to give up the unbeatable triple option, building a dynasty through countless hours of recruiting or perfecting the rosters year after year. Every summer we looked forward to seeing the new ratings and changing the HELL out of them as soon as possible. We felt that no one truly knew how the players should be rated better than ourselves and until the NCAA allows all players to profit off of their likeness, we won’t have another game. So, this post will take a deep dive into how the top players would be rated in NCAA Football 20.

Quarterbacks

Tua Tagovailoa, Junior, Alabama

During his sophomore season, Tua led Alabama’s offense and accomplished things SEC fans only imagined in their nightmares. There’s no way Tua could be rated lower than a 97. His ability to move in the pocket, keep his cool under pressure, and throw with touch accuracy is the best in the nation. In fact, I don’t know if I have ever seen a more accurate college QB. Tua’s throw accuracy rating has to be a 99.

While Tua’s arm is not the strongest, it gets the job done, with a rating of 92 for arm strength. His awareness rating would also be near the top for the position. Not many QBs could come into the National Championship game and lead a comeback as a true freshman, but Tua did it. In real life!

Overall: 97

Throw Power: 92

Throw Accuracy: 99

Awareness: 94

Speed: 84

Trevor Lawrence, Sophomore, Clemson

Trevor Lawrence, much like Tua, had an amazing freshman performance in the National Championship game; beating an Alabama team that looked unbeatable. The five star recruit had it all as a freshman — the arm strength, accuracy and running ability every coach dreams of. So far this season we have seen Trev God struggle to live up to the hype but the traits are still there. Lawrence has a cannon for an arm and runs like a receiver. If he could stop throwing into double coverage and taking so many risks that would be great, but you do you Trevor. 

Overall: 96

Throw Power: 97

Throw Accuracy: 90

Awareness: 80

Speed: 87

Justin Fields, Sophomore, Ohio State

The only knock against Justin Fields is the limited reps he saw during his year at Georgia. Since transferring to Ohio State, Fields has looked perfect. The 6’3”, 230 lbs QB has thrown 18 TDs to just one INT through six games and has Ohio State primed for the playoffs. 

Fields’ best trait might still be his legs. The first year starter is a threat to score from anywhere on the field and has the speed and arm to do it on the ground or through the air. 

Overall: 95

Throw Power: 94

Throw Accuracy: 89

Awareness: 80

Speed: 92

Joe Burrow, Senior, LSU

I don’t want to say Joe Burrow burst onto the scene this year, but NO ONE saw him having this good of a year. Burrow has gone from a good transfer story about a kid getting his chance to play to a superstar looking to lead his team to the National Championship. 

His second year at LSU has showcased confidence and leadership and I believe those two traits fit into the awareness category. Traits that can be measured with a stopwatch or tape measure, but you see when you watch him play. Burrow has taken LSU to the top of the polls and himself to the top of the ratings. 

Overall: 95

Throw Power: 92

Throw Accuracy: 96 

Awareness: 92

Speed: 80

Jalen Hurts, Senior, Oklahoma

Jalen Hurts will end his college career as a three year starter with at least one National Championship and potentially three title appearances. Many people have questioned Hurts’ ability to throw the ball but he is getting the job done in Linocln Riley’s QB friendly offense. With a completion percentage over 70% so far on the season, Hurts is going to get a bump on the accuracy, even though many of his throws have not been contested. 

Overall: 93

Throw Power: 90

Throw Accuracy: 89

Awareness: 88

Speed: 92

Running backs

Jonathan Taylor, Junior, Wisconsin

Jonathan Taylor’s stats are amazing and have to play a role in his rating. 

Through 33 career games, Taylor has 43 rushing touchdowns and 4,996 rushing yards. There is a real chance he could go for over 6,000 career rushing yards in just three seasons. Only four running backs in college football history have rushed for 6,000 yards, and none of them in just three seasons. Those other running backs? Ron Dayne (6,397), Ricky Williams (6,279), Tony Dorsett (6,082), and DeAngelo Williams (6,026).

With at least six and possibly eight games left, Taylor needs to average roughly 125 yards per game to join the 6,000 yard club—and he’s averaging 137 through six games this season. I think he can do it. Oh, by the way, he’s also a New Jersey state track champ with a 10.61 100-meter dash. 

Overall: 99

Speed: 97

Elusiveness: 88

Break Tackle: 94

Catch: 70

D’Andre Swift, Junior, Georgia

D’Andre Swift might be the first running back taken in the 2020 NFL Draft, but he doesn’t have the numbers Jonathan Taylor does — *whispers* but not many people do. What Swift does bring to the field is unmatched elusiveness and receiving ability, which is exactly what the NFL wants at running back. Swift is also proving he can handle the lion’s share of carries this season and putting all questions about his durability aside. 

Overall: 97

Speed: 94

Elusiveness: 97

Break Tackle: 92

Catch: 77


Travis Etienne, Junior, Clemson

Without Travis Etienne, Clemson would not have made it to the National Championship in 2019. The junior running back has carried his team and accounted for 45 total touchdowns in 34 career games, including 26 as a sophomore in 2018. 

There are still a lot of questions about his size and ability to catch, but his size doesn’t keep him from running over any defender in his way at the college level. Etienne is another special running back in this class and the ratings prove it. 

Overall: 96

Speed: 93

Elusiveness: 94

Break Tackle: 95

Catch: 65

Receivers

Jerry Jeudy, Junior, Alabama

Jerry Jeudy is the most complete college wide receiver since Julio Jones. To play with the speed, route running and football IQ that he possesses as a junior is unreal. The only sensible player comparison for what Jeudy has accomplished so far is OBJ. The guy won the Biletnikoff award at Alabama—a team known for running backs, not wide receivers! 

The top trait Jeudy possesses is his route running. The ability to get defenders to turn their hips is phenomenal. He can also beat you with 4.4 speed. The best wide receiver in the nation comes in at 98 overall.   

Overall: 98

Speed: 95

Catch: 96

Route Running: 99

Spectacular Catch: 94 

Rondale Moore, Sophomore, Purdue

Moore is only a sophomore and is battling through injuries this season, but he is a NCAA Football gamers dream. Think Tyreek Hill of college football. You can put him in the backfield, the slot, split him out wide or have him return kicks, whatever you have to do, just get Moore the ball. 

The pound for pound best athlete in the nation has to make my list, even though some of his best traits (strength: 70, agility, 99, acceleration: 99, elusiveness: 98) we’re not using for wide receiver. 

Overall: 96

Speed: 96

Catch: 90

Route Running: 85

Spectacular Catch: 86

CeeDee Lamb, Junior, Oklahoma

I recently compared CeeDee Lamb to Deandre Hopkins and it might be the most accurate comp I have. Lamb doesn’t have game changing speed but he is deadly after the catch (see Texas game) and makes acrobatic catches all over the field. If Lamb can run in the 4.4 – 4.5 seconds area, he is going to be drafted very high. 

Overall: 95

Speed: 92

Catch: 97

Route Running: 92

Spectacular Catch: 97

Henry Ruggs III, Junior, Alabama

Henry Ruggs might be the fastest active football player. 

In. The. World! 

The guy has already been electronically timed in the 4.2 – 4.3’s at Alabama and looks even faster this year. You just can’t overlook that kind of speed. If Ruggs can show potential with the rest of these traits he will be a lock for the first round, but he honestly might be already on speed alone. 

Overall:

Speed: 99

Catch: 90

Route Running: 88

Spectacular Catch: 89

Defenders

Chase Young, Junior, Ohio State

The number one player on my big board and I don’t think he’s getting moved off that spot. 

Chase Young is the perfect defensive end/edge rusher. I remember people drooling over prospects like Jadeveon Clowney, Myles Garrett and the Bosa brothers, but Young might be better. A lot of the other mentioned rushers very easily won battles with pure athleticism, and even though Young can do that too, he is amazing with technique and hand usage. I haven’t seen or heard of any rumored testing numbers, but the ability his there and it shows up on tape.  

Overall: 99

Strength: 90

Acceleration: 94

Power Rush: 92

Speed Rush: 93

Isaiah Simmons, Junior, Clemson

Many people didn’t know about isaiah Simmons coming into the season and we have Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence to thank for that. The three first round picks kept everyone talking about them last year and made Simmons the best kept secret on defense. 

I have Simmons listed at linebacker and number six on my big board, but honestly, he doesn’t have a position. We have seen him line up at corner, safety, and linebacker and play all of them very well. He never has to come off the field and no defensive coordinator should ask him to anyway. 

Overall: 97

Pursuit: 98

Coverage: 92

Tackle: 90

Block Shed: 88

Kenneth Murray, Junior, Oklahoma

The key stat for Murray is 155. That’s 155 tackles as a sophomore in 2018. 

Linebackers need vision and IQ (awareness) to read and react to where the ball is, and no one does that better than Murray. In 2018, he was the only Oklahoma player capable of finding the ball, turns out, he just doesn’t give anyone a chance to beat him to the ball. The speed and power Murray plays with has him skyrocketing up draft boards and imaginary video game rankings.  

Overall: 97

Pursuit: 94

Awareness: 95

Tackle: 96

Block Shed: 92

Jeff Okudah, Junior, Ohio State

Big shocker, but Ohio State has a dominant corner this year. From Marshon Lattimore and  Denzel Ward to Damon Arnette and Kendall Sheffield, Ohio State continues to prove they are DBU. Jeff Okudah carries the torch now and looks like another first round corner for the Buckeyes. Ohio State has relied heavily on man coverage in the past and Okudah has excelled in the press man scheme. Add his ball production, size and fearlessness in run support  and you have built yourself an ideal corner.

Overall: 97

Man Cov: 96

Zone: 94

Press: 95

Catch: 76


Mello covers college football and the NFL draft for Bleacher Report and is the co-host of the Stick to Football podcast and Mic’d Up.

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