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Stat of the Week: Best Players at Each Position in the NFL Draft by Total Points

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The NFL Draft starts this Thursday, and it promises to capture the attention of football fans in a way we haven't seen before. To get you ready for the first round of action, here are the top players in college football in 2019 by SIS's Total Points System. Total Points takes the wealth of charting data that SIS collects and evaluates every player on the field using Expected Points Added as the currency. We'll go through three position groups on both offense and defense to make sure we have a broad swath covered.

For more information about these prospects as they start their careers with their new teams, check out The SIS Football Rookie Handbook, on sale at the link to the right for just $15.


2019 Total Points Leaderboard (Draft-Eligible QBs)

Name School Total Points
Joe Burrow LSU 251
Anthony Gordon Wash St 180
Jalen Hurts Oklahoma 162

Joe Burrow is the consensus No. 1 pick heading into the draft, so it's no surprise that he tops the Total Points leaderboard. That he does it by such a wide margin might be a surprise. Anthony Gordon played in the high-volume Mike Leach passing offense, which contributes to his standing here, and Jalen Hurts' rushing ability gave him an edge over the competition. Tua Tagovailoa's injury leaves him on the outside looking in despite being the best on a per-dropback basis.

Running Backs

2019 Total Points Leaderboard (Draft-Eligible RBs)

Name School Total Points
Clyde Edwards-Helaire LSU 82
Zack Moss Utah 80
J.K. Dobbins Ohio State 72

LSU gets out of the gates strong here with Clyde Edwards-Helaire leading running backs in Total Points after Burrow led quarterbacks. He falls fourth in the rankings by scouting grade, with D'Andre Swift taking the top spot on that list. Swift's underwhelming after-contact numbers contribute heavily to his not appearing on the above leaderboard, especially compared to Zack Moss, who ranked second among draft-eligible backs in both Yards After Contact per Attempt and Broken Tackles per Touch.

Wide Receivers

2019 Total Points Leaderboard (Draft-Eligible WRs)

Name School Total Points
Justin Jefferson LSU 53
Omar Bayless Arkansas State 47
Isaiah Hodgins Oregon State 44

The run of leaders coming from LSU will stop after this, but for now Justin Jefferson keeps the train rolling. Considering the incredible depth at the position it's probably surprising not to see names like Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, or CeeDee Lamb up there. Of course, Jeudy and Ruggs limited each other's opportunity to put up big numbers. Total Points adjusts for quality of opponent in college, so Lamb's facing Big 12 defenses hurts him in this case. Total Points standouts Hodgins and Bayless fall in the middle tiers in terms of scouting grade in the Rookie Handbook, in contrast to their outstanding 2019 stats.

Defensive Line / Edge Rusher

2019 Total Points Leaderboard (Draft-Eligible DL/EDGEs)

Name School Total Points
James Lynch Baylor 67
Chase Young Ohio State 64
Zack Baun Wisconsin 59

Chase Young is at the head of the class from a scouting perspective, all but certain to be off the board by the third pick of the draft. He doesn't lead in Total Points, though, owing to a couple missed games. James Lynch accumulated three fumbles, 19 tackles for loss, and 13.5 sacks in a disruptive campaign facing off against Big 12 offenses. Zack Baun separated himself by leading the position group in Run Defense Total Points in 2019.


2019 Total Points Leaderboard (Draft-Eligible LBs)

Name School Total Points
Isaiah Simmons Clemson 76
Chris Orr Wisconsin 74
Francis Bernard Utah 63

The scouting and analytical sides agree once again on Isaiah Simmons, whose versatility is tantalizing. He finished in the top two among linebackers in both Run Defense and Pass Coverage Total Points, and he chipped in eight sacks for good measure. Chris Orr, on the other hand, was graded as the fifteenth-best weakside linebacker in the draft class, although his stats suggest strong coverage and tackling ability. He had the best Yards per Target Allowed, second-best Broken Tackle Rate, and second-best Adjusted Tackle Depth Plus at the position (tied with one other player).

Defensive Backs

2019 Total Points Leaderboard (Draft-Eligible DBs)

Name School Total Points
Antoine Winfield Jr. Minnesota 74
Xavier McKinney Alabama 66
Amik Robertson Louisiana Tech 56

Ohio State corner Jeffrey Okudah is the only defensive back projected to perform at a Pro Bowl level in his first two seasons, but his 2019 stats are edged out slightly by Louisiana Tech's Amik Robertson at cornerback. Robertson's support against the run allowed him to edge out Okudah, who led corners in Pass Coverage Total Points. Two safeties lead the way overall, though, with the second- and third-highest graded players at the position (Antoine Winfield Jr. and Xavier McKinney, respectively) leading in Total Points.

Interested in more college football analysis from SIS? Check out the 2020 SIS Football Rookie Handbook, available from Amazon or from ACTA Sports.

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