New York, NY–The 2020 NFL Draft will no longer be in Vegas, but Roger Goodell has mentioned that the draft will go on April 23-25, probably from the Commissioner’s Mansion.
NFL teams are adjusting to life without Pro Days and have to acquaint themselves with prospects on videoconference chats amid the COVID-19 restrictions. The Giants and Jets have the 4th and 11th picks respectively and hope they can get it right with those picks.
Here’s a look at how the early part of the draft could unfold in a few weeks:
1. Bengals: LSU QB Joe Burrow
The Heisman Trophy winner had a stellar college football career. He completed 76.3 percent of his passes for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns with only six interceptions, setting an FBS record for passing efficiency. There is no doubt in my mind Burrow won’t be the first name called in the 2020 NFL Draft.
2. Washington: Ohio State Chase Young
Ron Rivera is a defensive-minded coach who will use his pick wisely and draft the best defensive player in the draft which is Ohio State DE Chase Young.
3. Dolphins (via trade with Lions): Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa
With Ryan Fitzpatrick’s injury being a question mark for this coming season. It is only fitting they draft a QB in this spot. Tua Tagovailoa, who’s been medically cleared for football activities four months after hip surgery seem like the ideal choice. Tagovailoa is the most pro-ready quarterback to come of college in the last ten years.
4. Giants: Louisville OT Mekhi Becton
Dave Gettleman has a lot riding on this year’s draft and he is hoping he can strike gold this year. With Blue Blue struggling on the offensive side of the ball, the G-Man will probably draft the freakish size (6-7, 364 pounds and athletic (5.10 seconds in the 40-yard dash) Mekhi Becton out of Louisville to protect Daniel Jones blind side.
5. Lions (via trade with Dolphins): Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah
After cornerback Darius Slay Pro Bowler bolted off to Philadelphia. Matt Patricia has to save face after coming off the league’s worst-ranked pass defense a year ago. Ohio State Jeffrey Okudah, who is listed the No. 1 corner in the 2020 NFL Draft seems to be the most logical choice. He was a 2019 unanimous All-American rates among the best corner in the past decade.
6. Chargers: Georgia OT Andrew Thomas
Anthony Lynn has to find a replacement for long time stalwart QB Philip Rivers. With the Chargers ranked (28th) 90.8 yards on the ground they definitely have to rebuild their offensive line. They have a few tackles that fit into their scheme that would be offensive tackle Georgia Andrew Thomas or Alabama Jedrick Wills JR.
7. Panthers: Clemson LB/S Isaiah Simmons
Matt Rhule definitely wants to definite beef up on the defensive side of the ball that points to Auburn DT Derrick Brown and Clemson Isaiah Simmons. Rhule is enamored with Simmons’s versatility and speed to pass on him. With Simmons in the lineup, he will definitely be a game-changer.
8. Cardinals: Alabama OT Jedrick Wills
Kliff Kingsbury definitely wants to protect QB Kyler Murray but also need a WR that can spread the field so this should be an interesting pick for the Cardinals. Wills is a plug-and-play right tackle. So my guess Wills be packing his bags to Arizona.
9. Jaguars: Auburn DT Derrick Brown
Jacksonville allowed more than Jacksonville’s 5.1 yards per carry last season. Total Defense they were (24th) in the league giving up 139.3 yards (28th) per game. Brown is difficult to move off his spot, overpowering opponents with his raw strength and using good pad leverage to plug up gaps.
10. Browns: Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs
The 2020 NFL Draft has a plethora of good OT to choose from. Cleveland loves Wirfs athleticism and nasty demeanor of the field which was on full display at the NFL Combine in Indy. If the Browns trade for Redskins’ Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams, Wirfs is no longer an option.
11. Jets (trade down to No. 15 with Broncos) Houston OT Josh Jones
The Jets definitely need to strike lightning in a bottle with this pick. Joe Douglas is praying that Williams gets traded to the Browns so that one of the top four tackle prospects falls into their lap. Wirfs is the guy that they’re are salivating all over.
The Jets offensive line was injury-prone and ineffective last season. There were (31st) rushing the ball with a 78.6 yards per game and (29th) passing with 194.4 yards per game with those stats that doesn’t cut it in the NFL.
Look for the Gang Green to find a few starters via free agency and the draft to help their anemic offense. Wirfs or Jones would be a great place to start.