Simms’ Top Five Prospects: Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb (#1), LSU’s Justin Jefferson (#2), Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III (#3), Penn State’s KJ Hamler (#4), and Clemson’s Tee Higgins (#5)
“This is the #1 position in the Draft. It’s so deep, it’s never-ending.” – Simms
“CeeDee Lamb is the best wide receiver in the draft…He’s almost like DeAndre Hopkins in size, but Jarvis Landry with the ball in his hands.” – Simms
“One of my favorite players in the draft. I don’t understand why he’s not getting more hype.” – Simms on Justin Jefferson
“This is a guy like Tyreek Hill…You can’t look at him as a traditional wide receiver. He is a weapon.” – Simms on Henry Ruggs III
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 1, 2020 – NBC Sports’ Chris Simms unveiled his wide receiver draft rankings, discussing this year’s top prospects heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast. In the episode, Simms ranks and breaks down the best prospects in this year’s premier position, including Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, LSU’s Justin Jefferson, Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy, Penn State’s KJ Hamler, Clemson’s Tee Higgins, and more.
Simms, a third-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2003 NFL Draft who played eight NFL seasons, is joined by NBC Sports’ Paul Burmeister on the podcast. The two offer in-depth breakdowns, potential draft sleepers, and NFL comparisons for this year’s top wide receiver prospects.
“This is the number one position in the draft,” Simms said about this year’s wide receiver draft class. “It’s so deep, it’s never-ending. There’s a receiver for everything. If you need a size receiver, they got plenty of them. If you need a jitterbug slot receiver, they got plenty of them. You need explosive, gamechanger type guys? There’s plenty of those to go around too.”
Simms’ Top Five WR prospects:
|1.||CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma|
|2.||Justin Jefferson, LSU|
|3.||Henry Ruggs III, Alabama|
|4.||KJ Hamler, Penn State|
|5.||Tee Higgins, Clemson|
The following are highlights from Simms’ QB draft rankings:
No. 5: Tee Higgins, Clemson
Simms: “He’s a giant. I would say this is Plaxico Burress almost. He can be that type of player. He’s got great, ‘long’ speed, he’s got very good strength, he runs through arm tackles…But the biggest thing more than anything is – yes, I see room for improvement in terms of route running – but the size and ability to catch 50-50 balls is as good as anybody in the class…If he has a chance to get his hands on it, he’s going to catch the ball and that’s where I really like Tee Higgins’ value. I think his game is really going to translate to the NFL in that way.”
No. 4: KJ Hamler, Penn State
Simms: “He’s a guy that I was probably the most pleasantly surprised to watch at the wide receiver position so far…The speed jumps out right away…The negatives are he’s small…I was a little worried about that too. But the one thing that (Ravens wide receiver) Hollywood Brown showed me this year is that that’s another thing in this day in the NFL that’s a little overanalyzed at times. You can find ways to get these smaller guys clean releases…So the size factor is not as big anymore as compared to all the different things…a guy like KJ Hamler can do. The speed is real.”
No. 3: Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Simms: “The value of these types of guys – the stats don’t really say it. One, what they can do on special teams. Two, what they can do after the catch. I mean this is a guy like Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman – I think he was better than Hardman was coming out (of college) – where he can catch a slant and go 70 yards for a touchdown. He can do the same thing in the kick return/punt return game…You can’t look at him as a traditional wide receiver. He is a weapon…He’s a gamechanger in how defenses have to approach your offense.”
No. 2: Justin Jefferson, LSU
Simms: “One of my favorite players in the Draft. I just look at Justin Jefferson and I go, ‘What’s not to like about the guy?’ I don’t understand why he’s not getting more hype…To me, it’s off the charts. Great route runner, can separate from people, fearless over the middle, snatches the ball out of the air…He’s not the most explosive receiver in the draft, but he really understands how to play the game. He has great hands, he’s a great route runner and…in the NFL where offenses are moving guys around again, I think his value is more in the inside of the field just like a Michael Thomas.”
No. 1: CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Simms: “CeeDee Lamb is the best wide receiver in the draft for my money. I just think everything we just talked about with all of these receivers, CeeDee Lamb has it all…He’s the best in the draft with the ball in his hands. The first guy never makes the tackle when CeeDee Lamb catches the ball. He always makes the first guy miss, and then he gets up the field, he can break arm tackles, he can break your ankles in space…I just think he has a little of everything, let alone when the lights come on, he seems to play his best. I just look at him with no weaknesses to his game really, and I think he is a superstar in the NFL…To me, he’s got the body of DeAndre Hopkins, except he’s better with the ball in his hands than Hopkins ever was. He’s almost like DeAndre Hopkins in size, but Jarvis Landry with the ball in his hands.”
Highlights of Honorable Mentions: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama, Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State, Denzel Mims, Baylor, and Chase Claypool, Notre Dame
Simms on why Jeudy wasn’t in his Top-Five: “Everybody thinks Jeudy is going in the first round, but I will say with some of my close friends and the conversations I’ve had with them, Jeudy I don’t think is as loved by the whole NFL as everybody thinks he is…I really like Jerry Jeudy. If he gets drafted in the first round, I’m not going to sit here and say that’s a stupid pick…I just don’t know if there’s any elite traits.”
To hear the full episode with full prospect breakdowns, click here.
The Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast is available for download on all major podcast platforms including: NBCSports.com/podcasts, NBC Sports’ Scores app, Apple, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and iHeart.