Theo Howard, WR
Howard is a very talented receiver. Most Bruins fans knew this when he first joined the program. Unfortunately, he was often misused with the former coaching staff which kept him sidelined. Though his numbers have improved every season, 2019 should be the year where he breaks out. Howard had the second most receiving yards (677) behind Caleb Wilson last fall, and that should climb this fall as he will be the go-to receiver. Not only will he get close to 1,000 yards, but it should help him get drafted high in 2020.
Devin Asiasi, TE
Asiasi is the other junior on this list, albeit a redshirt. Not only does he have experience with multiple offenses (Michigan, Jedd Fisch’s offense, Chip Kelly‘s offense) which will help him adapt, but he has been very reliable. Though he only had six receptions for 130 yards, he averaged 21.7 yards per catch, the most on the team. With Wison moving on, Asiasi will be the premier tight end on the squad. With his role increasing, so do his chances of getting drafted in 2020.
Tyree Thompson, LB
Last year was Thompson’s first season with UCLA as he came in as a JUCO transfer. He did pretty darn well for a player that had less than a year of Power 5 football experience. Thompson finished the season with 55 total tackles (4th on the team) and six tackles for a loss (3rd on the team). This past spring, he picked up where he left off as he was one of the more active LBs. This fall, he should continue to put his talents on display and work his way into the 2020 NFL Draft.
Krys Barnes, LB
With the linebackers taking a big hit with injuries, many defenders stepped up, and one of the most impressive was Barnes. Last season, he had the most tackles of any returning defender (85) and was second in tackles for a loss (10) with one sack. That is good for stopping the run, but he was also a menace in pass defense as he collected one interception and six breakups.
With Barnes leading the middle of the field, expect his draft stock to grow as the season progresses.