8. Ty Chandler, RB
It might seem unlikely at first glance that running back Ty Chandler would declare early for the 2020 NFL Draft after his junior season this upcoming year, but a breakout year could launch him into the discussion of draftable underclass talent.
Chandler ran for 630 yards and four touchdowns on just 115 carries last season, giving him an average of 5.5 yards per carry. He also caught 19 passes for 183 yards and three scores, giving him nearly 1,000 all-purpose yards and seven total touchdowns.
The 5-foot-11, 201-pound back seems like the perfect weapon to be utilized in Jim Chaney’s offense, and he’s dangerous both between the tackles and out in space. It’s not outside the realm of possibility to see Chandler eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark, and that would give him plenty of reason to go ahead and try and make it in the pros.
A running back’s shelf life is one of the shortest in football. If Chandler can turn enough heads this season and get better blocking from his offensive line, then he might go ahead and forgo his senior season. He has the type of skill set that NFL offenses value highly in running backs, and he could put up enough production in 2019 to warrant leaving UT early.