Ranking the prospects for the NFL Draft is both science and art, and it’s something we actually originated at Pro Football Weekly over 50 years ago.

Obviously, independent Draft rankings have evolved over the years, but there are four basic steps to coming up with accurate and worthwhile rankings.

The first is watching tons of tape of as many college football stars as possible. The process begins about the middle of the college football season and continues right up until Draft Weekend.

It is from watching tape that we have arrived at these initial rankings for the 2020 Draft. From our own evaluations, we have ranked all the Day 1 (first round) prospects and Day 2 (second- and third-round) prospects.

All of our Day 4 (fourth through seventh round and priority free agent) prospects are listed in alphabetical order because we still have a lot more work to do on them before we can attempt to rank them accurately.

These rankings will be adjusted regularly and repeatedly as we work through the next 8 ½ weeks leading up to the Draft.

Step 2 begins this coming week at the Combine as we are able to plug in actual heights, weights, speed, strength and agility measurements from the Combine, interview as many of the top 300 prospects as we can get to in a tightly condensed schedule and work as many of our sources as possible to find out things they may have learned from medicals and team one-on-one interviews with most of the top prospects.

Following all of that – probably by Friday, March 6 or the Monday or Tuesday of the following week — we will have our most significant reordering of our rankings in the first three rounds and we will rank all of the Day 3 prospects, while adding a number of additional players to these lists as well.

Many of these players will move up or down rounds and even days in our rankings.

We will also add all of their measurements and test results from the Combine to these rankings.

In step three, we will continue to work as many sources as possible, as well as attending pro days for a number of players to begin to assess what various NFL teams Draft Boards look like and make further adjustments to our rankings based on a consensus of what NFL teams are thinking about these prospects.

A big part of this step will be getting back to the tape and now looking with a more critical eye at each prospect trying to identify things we have or have not learned from the Combine and/or their pro days to try and give them final “football grades.”

Lastly we will begin mock drafting, in part just entertainment for our readers but also because by getting a sense of what each team’s needs are and what they might be looking for each time they’re on the clock, we realize players we might have a slightly lower grade on than others could be drafted higher or lower than they should because of great depth at their position, or a lack of depth, and that could cause us to adjust our rankings accordingly.

At the end of the day we do our best to get you as much information as possible about every player your favorite club might end up with or pass on, but for now, here are our initial rankings to give you an idea of which young men you may want to focus on most closely going into and coming out of this week’s Combine.

QUARTERBACKS

Day 1 Prospects

1. Joe Burrow, LSU

2. Tua Tagovoila, Alabama

3. Justin Herbert, Oregon

4. Jordan Love, Utah State

5. Jacob Eason, Washington

Day 2 Prospects

6. Jake Fromm, Georgia

7. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

8. Anthony Gordon, Washington State

Day 3 Prospects

Tyler Huntley, Utah

Brian Lewerke, Michigan State

Jake Luton, Oregon State

Cole McDonald, Hawaii

Steven Montez, Colorado

James Morgan, Florida International

Shea Patterson, Michigan

Bryce Perkins, Virginia

Nate Stanley, Iowa

Khalil Tate, Arizona

RUNNING BACKS

Day 1 Prospects

1. D’Andre Swift, Georgia

2. J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

3. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

Day 2 Prospects

4. Cam Akers, Florida State

5. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU

6. Zack Moss, Utah

7. Eno Benjamin, Arizona State

Day 3 Prospects

Reggie Corbin, Illinois

DeeJay Dallas, Miami

AJ Dillon, Boston College

Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State

Antonio Gibson, Memphis

Kylin Hill, Mississippi State

Joshua Kelley, UCLA

Anthony McFarland Jr., Maryland

Lamical Perine, Florida

James Robinson, Illinois State

J.J. Taylor, Arizona

Patrick Taylor Jr., Memphis

Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt

WIDE RECEIVERS

Day 1 Prospects

1. Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

2. CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

3. Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

4. Justin Jefferson, LSU

5. Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State

6. Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado

7. Tee Higgins, Clemson

8. Jalen Reagor, TCU

Day 2 Prospects

9. Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan

10. Bryan Edwards, South Carolina

11. K.J. Hamler, Penn State

12. Denzel Mims, Baylor

13. K.J. Hill, Ohio State

14. Van Jefferson, Florida

15. Michael Pittman Jr., USC

Day 3 Prospects

Lynn Bowden Jr., Kentucky

Chase Claypool, Notre Dame

Gabriel Davis, UCF

Quartney Davis, Texas A&M

Devin Duvernay, Texas

Aaron Fuller, Washington

Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty

John Hightower, Boise State

Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State

Collin Johnson, Texas

Tyler Johnson, Minnesota

TIGHT ENDS

Day 1 Prospect

1. Cole Kmet, Notre Dame

Day 2 Prospects

2. Hunter Bryant, Washington

3. Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic

4. Brycen Hopkins, Purdue

5. Thaddeus Moss, LSU

6. Adam Trautman, Dayton

7. Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt

8. Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri

Day 3 Prospects

Devin Asiasi, UCLA

Jacob Breeland, Oregon

Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati

Luke Farrell, Ohio State

Cheyenne O’Grady, Arkansas

Colby Parkinson, Stanford

Stephen Sullivan, LSU

Mitchell Wilcox, USF

OFFENSIVE TACKLES

Day 1 Prospects

1. Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

2. Jedrick Wills, Alabama

3. Mekhi Becton, Louisville

4. Andrew Thomas, Georgia

5. Austin Jackson, USC

6. Josh Jones, Houston

7. Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn

Day 2 Prospects

8. Isaiah Wilson, Georgia

9. Lucas Niang, TCU

10. Saahdiq Charles, LSU

11. Ben Bartch, St. Johns

12. Trey Adams, Washington

13. Matthew Peart, Connecticut

Day 3 Prospects

Hakim Adeniji, Kansas

Ezra Cleveland, Boise State

Jack Driscoll, Auburn

Yasir Durant, Missouri

Scott Frantz, Kansas State

Charlie Heck, North Carolina

Jon Runyan, Michigan

Terence Steele, Texas Tech

Alex Taylor, South Carolina State

OFFENSIVE GUARDS / CENTERS

Day 1 Prospects

1. Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin

2. Lloyd Cushenberry III, LSU

Day 2 Prospects

3. Robert Hunt, Louisiana-Lafayette

4. Solomon Kindley, G. Georgia

5. Cesar Ruiz, Michigan LSU

6. Netane Muti, G, Fresno State

7. Jake Hanson, C, Oregon

8. Matt Hennessy, Temple

9. Nick Harris, C, Washington

10. Ben Bredeson, G, Michigan

11. Shane Lemieux, G, Oregon

12. Damien Lewis, G, LSU

Day 3 Prospects

Justin Herron, Wake Forest

Jonah Jackson, Ohio State

Tommy Kraemer, Notre Dame

Frederick Mauigoa, C, Washington State

Michael Onwenu, Michigan

John Simpson, Clemson

Logan Stenberg, G, Kentucky

Darryl Williams, C, Mississippi State

DEFENSIVE TACKLES & 5-TECHNIQUES

Day 1 Prospects

1. Derrick Brown, Auburn

2. A.J. Epenesa, 5-Tech, Iowa

3. Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

4. Raekwon Davis, Alabama

Day 2 Prospects

5. Ross Blacklock, TCU

6. Jordan Elliott, 5-Tech, Missouri

7. Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma

8. Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M

9. James Lynch 5-Tech, Baylor

10. Larrell Murchison, North Carolina State

11. Rashard Lawrence, LSU

12. Leki Fotu, Utah

Day 3 Prospects

McTelvin Agim, Arkansas

Tyler Clark, Georgia

Nick Coe, Auburn

Khalil Davis, Nebraska

Joe Gaziano, 5-Tech, Northwestern

Trevis Gipson, 5-Tech, Tulsa

Davon Hamilton, Ohio State

Benito Jones, Mississippi

Bravvion Roy, Baylor

Raequan Williams, Michigan State

EDGE RUSHERS

Day 1 Prospects

1. Chase Young, Ohio State

2. Yetur Gross-Mantos, Penn State

3. Curtis Weaver, Boise State

4. Jordan Elliott, Missouri

5. Marlon Davidson Auburn

Day 2 Prospects

6. Terrell Lewis, Alabama

7. Julian Okwara, Notre Dame

8. Jonathan Greenard, Florida

9. Bradley Anae, Utah

10. Josh Uche, OLB, Michigan

11. D.J. Wonnum, South Carolina

12. Anfernee Jennings, Alabama

13. Darrell Taylor, Tennessee

14. Kenny Willekes, Michigan State

15. Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame

Day 3 Prospects

Kendall Coleman, Syracuse

Trevis Gipson, Tulsa

Alex Highsmith, Charlotte

Trevon Hill, Miami

Alton Robinson, Syracuse

Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina

Jabari Zuniga, Florida

LINEBACKERS OLB & ILB

Day 1 Prospects

1. Isaiah Simmons, OLB/S, Clemson

2. Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma

3. Patrick Queen, ILB, LSU

Day 2 Prospects

4. Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin

5. Troy Dye, ILB, Oregon

6. Jordyn Brooks, ILB, Texas Tech

7. Akeem Davis Gaither, OLB, Appalachian State

8. Jordan Mack, OLB, Virginia

9. Malik Harrison, ILB, Ohio State

10. Evan Weaver, ILB, California

Day 3 Prospects

Joe Bachie, ILB, Michigan State

Michael Divinity Jr., OLB, LSU

Dele Harding, OLB, Illinois

Keandre Jones, Maryland

Chris Orr, ILB, Wisconsin

Jacob Phillips, ILB, LSU

Shaquille Quarterman, ILB, Miami

David Woodward, Utah State

SAFETIES

Day 1 Prospects

1. Xavier McKinney, Alabama

2. Grant Delpit, LSU

Day 2 Prospects

3. Ashtyn Davis, California

4. Shyheim Carter. Alabama

5. Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota

6. Kyle Dugger, Lenoir-Rhyne

7. Khaleke Hudson, Michigan

8. Brandon Jones, Texas

Day 3 Prospects

Antoine Brooks Jr., Maryland

Terrell Burgess, Utah

Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois

Jalen Elliott, Notre Dame

Alohi Gilman, Notre Dame

J.R. Reed, Georgia

K’Von Wallace, Clemson

CORNERBACKS

Day 1 Prospects

1. Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State

2. C.J. Henderson, Florida

3. Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State

4. Jaylon Johnson, Utah

5. A.J. Terrell, Clemson

6. Kristian Fulton, LSU

7. Trevon Diggs, Alabama

Day 2 Prospects

8. Damon Arnette, Ohio State

9. Jeff Gladney, TCU

10. Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn

11. Bryce Hall, Virginia

12. Troy Pride Jr., Notre Dame

Day 3 Prospects

Trajan Bandy, Miami

Essang Bassey, Wake Forest

Jaron Bryant, Fresno State

A.J. Green, Oklahoma

Harrison Hand, Temple

Lavert Hill, Michigan

Darnay Holmes, UCLA

Dane Jackson, Pittsburgh

Lamar Jackson, Nebraska

Michael Ojemudia, Iowa

Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech

Reggie Robinson II, Tulsa

Stanford Samuels III Florida State

Levonta Taylor, Florida State

Bears