College coaches dish on what NFL teams got draft’s biggest steals from Power 5

College football coaches spent the weekend much like the rest of America. They were home on their couches, second-guessing NFL draft picks.

After hearing from enough of them over the weekend, Yahoo Sports decided to conduct a poll as unscientific as the scouting process itself. We texted more than 120 college coaches and assistant coaches to find out which opposing players they felt were the steals of the 2020 NFL draft

These opinions aren’t biased by the measurements of the Underwear Olympics portion of the draft cycle, nor the character evaluations that weigh heavily on teams. This is a straight-up talent analysis from those who’ve studied the players on film and across the sideline. 

Below is the Power Five version of the All-Larceny team, summing up the draft’s top steals. We polled coaches from every league and tallied votes from both the repetition of appearances and conviction of argument.

Baylor defensive tackle James Lynch, chosen by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round, won the award for the most effusive praise among Power Five coaches. (He had two separate coaches invoke J.J. Watt’s name.) Liberty’s Antonio Gandy-Golden, a receiver selected by the Washington Redskins in the fourth round, won the top spot from the Group of 5 and independents.

Here’s the breakdown of votes and coach opinions by power conferences. 

Michael Aguilar/Yahoo Sports

SEC (63 picks)

1. Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri TE (Denver Broncos, fourth round, 118th pick)

“I think 2018 was a way better year for him because of the quarterback position with Drew Lock.” (Okwuegbunam reunites with Lock in Denver.) “His performance against Alabama in 2018 [four catches for 47 yards], he was an issue for them outmuscling them in the pass game.”

2. Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M DT (Baltimore Ravens, third round, 71st pick)

“He’s short, but he used his height to an advantage with leverage. He’s a wide and super-strong guy with a great first step and quickness. Hard to get movement on and was quick enough to cause penetration.”

3. Jauan Jennings, Tennessee WR (San Francisco 49ers, seventh round, 217th pick)

“He’s very good with the ball in his hands. Hard to bring down and really good hands. Not super fast, that’s the only knock.” 

4. Grant Delpit, LSU S (Cleveland Browns, second round, 44th pick)

“The NFL is a one-high league, and he has incredible range. Think it was injuries that slowed him down this year. He was as good as anyone in 2018.” 

5. Jake Fromm, Georgia QB (Buffalo Bills, fifth round, 167th pick)

“I think he will be in the league a long time. He may never be a star, but he’ll be a reliable player for a long time.” Added another: “Would not be surprised if Fromm has more NFL starts than one of the QBs taken with a top-10 pick.”

The Denver Broncos picked up one of the 2020 NFL draft's top steals in former Missouri tight end Albert Okwuegbunam. (Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Big Ten (48 picks)

1. K.J. Hill, Ohio State WR (Los Angeles Chargers, sixth round, 220th pick)

“Competitive spirit. He ran precise routes. You don’t break the receiving record at Ohio State by chance. He’s a baller. Don’t let the 40-time fool you.” 

2. Geno Stone, Iowa S (Baltimore Ravens, seventh round, 219th pick)

“He plays faster than his times, and he might be the best tackler that we faced.” Added another: “Iowa keeps it simple, so it’s all technique and football IQ. He’s always in the right spot at the right time.” 

3. Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin WR (Detroit Lions, fifth round, 166th pick)

“Just seems to be a playmaker and plays faster than he tests. Seems to have a good sense of craftiness when playing.” Added another: “He uses his body well, durable and I think his mentality could be a good fit.” 

4. A.J. Epenesa, Iowa DE (Buffalo Bills, second round, 54th pick)

“He’s as good against the run as I’ve seen. I can’t believe that he slipped. He probably can’t be an edge guy, but he’s good.”  

5. Markus Bailey, Purdue LB (Cincinnati Bengals, seventh round, 215th pick)

“Before he got hurt, I thought he was a complete player that you had to account for in both run and pass situations. Solid tackler, smart and was decent in coverage and rushing the passer. He played hard and was the leader of their defense.” 

Former Ohio State wide receiver K.J. Hill was Big Ten coaches' top steal of the 2020 NFL draft. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Pac-12 (32 picks)

1. Eno Benjamin, Arizona State RB (Arizona Cardinals, seventh round, 222nd pick)

“I loved that guy and hated playing against him. For him to go in the seventh round, I was like, ‘How on Earth is this guy still on the board?’ ”

2. Ashtyn Davis, California S (New York Jets, third round, 68th pick)

“If he’d have had a combine or a pro day, he’d have jumped to the top two rounds, in my opinion. He tackles, has ball skills and plays special teams. He came down and put heavy hits on our ball carriers. I found him on film a lot.”

3. Bradlee Anae, Utah DE (Dallas Cowboys, fifth round, 179th pick)

“His quick-twitch is ridiculous and his get-off is special. Shoot, he was in our backfield a couple of times before our tackle was out of his stance. He’s a natural football player.” 

4. Jake Luton, Oregon State QB (Jacksonville Jaguars, sixth round, 189th pick)

“He’s got a big body, looks like Ben Roethlisberger. Luton is more athletic than you’d think. He’s got a big arm. Looks like an NFL guy.” 

5. J.J. Taylor, Arizona RB (New England Patriots, undrafted)

“I love J.J. Taylor to the Patriots. Given the right offense like the Patriots, he’s a matchup problem and is tough as well. Has the ability to line up as a wide receiver or run routes out of the backfield.”

Opposing Pac-12 coaches were stunned that former Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin fell into the seventh round of the 2020 NFL draft. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

ACC (27 picks)

1. Cam Akers, Florida State RB (Los Angeles Rams, second round, 52nd pick)

“His offensive line was awful, his program fell apart, but it sure as heck wasn’t because of him. When he runs, it looks like it was designed by Enzo Ferrari.” Added another: “I thought he was the best back in our league.”

2. Justin Strnad, Wake Forest LB (Denver Broncos, fifth round, 178th pick)

“That dude had length, could run and had elite instincts.” Another coach added: “Athletic, long and good instincts. Good against the run and pass. Uses hands well to get off block. He’s a ballhawk.”

3. Joe Reed, Virginia WR (Los Angeles Chargers, fifth round, 151st pick)

“He’s the quintessential guy that becomes an eight-year or nine-year vet as a No. 3 type of guy. Smart, tough and willing to do the over-the-middle dirty work, good route runner.”

4. DeeJay Dallas, Miami RB (Seattle Seahawks, fourth round, 144th pick)

“He’s a complete guy. He’s a leader and tough and I think he’ll play for a long time.” Added another: “He carried Miami’s offense the last few years and will be a multi-use player in the NFL.”

5. Bryce Hall, Virginia CB (New York Jets, fifth round, 158th pick)

“He’s elite on film. The ankle injury [suffered in October of this year] plummeted his stock. But he’s an NFL starter if he’s healthy. He’s a steal.”

Cam Akers, center, reacts as he's selected by the Los Angeles Rams during the second round of the 2020 NFL draft. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)

Big 12 (21 picks)

1. James Lynch, Baylor DE (Minnesota Vikings, fourth round, 130th pick)

“He was the toughest pure football player we saw all year. Not saying he’ll be this good, but he reminds me of a J.J. Watt-type player. He played with that type of motor and toughness. Just seemed like he loved everything about playing football.” 

2. Ross Blacklock, TCU DT (Houston Texans, second round, 40th pick)

“He’s a freak. He’s a really twitchy and high-motor guy that will be a good pro.” 

3. Brandon Jones, Texas S (Miami Dolphins, third round, 70th pick)

“He’s got potential to be super versatile. He could play corner, safety and nickel. He’s really fluid, really, really good athlete. Anytime they wanted to get a big play, their defensive coordinator was making sure he was going to be involved.” 

4. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma/Alabama QB (Philadelphia Eagles, second round, 53rd pick)

“He was super athletic and powerful as a runner, but I think in the right system he has a capable arm to make the necessary throws. He didn’t seem to struggle reading coverages like the perception out there says about him.” 

5. Bravvion Roy, Baylor DT (Carolina Panthers, sixth round, 184th pick)

“Matt Rhule knew exactly what he was getting.”

Former Baylor defensive lineman James Lynch, at the NFL scouting combine in February, was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL draft. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

More from Yahoo Sports: