Grades for every First Round Pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

            No one can truly know how these picks will turn out until years from now when we’ve seen how their NFL careers have turned out, but for now, I will be giving a grade for each day 1 selection that took place yesterday, in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

1. Cincinnati Bengals-QB Joe Burrow

This was the most predictable pick heading into the 2020 NFL Draft and for good reason, it is a slam dunk pick. Joe Burrow has the potential to be a star in this league and for the Bengals, who were moving on from Andy Dalton, there could not have been a better selection made by this team.

Grade: A+

2. Washington Redskins-DE Chase Young

Just like to Joe Burrow to the Bengals, this was the next most predicted pick in this draft. Young is the Best defensive player in this draft, and one of the best pass-rushers to come out of college in the past twenty years. Young grew up right outside of Washington D.C. and it is a great story seeing him end up playing for the Redskins.

Grade: A+

3. Detroit Lions-CB Jeffrey Okudah

This was the player the Lions wanted all along, my only question is where was the trade up for a quarterback? We had been hearing for months that #3 overall was the trade spot where a team would move up to get the quarterback they want. That didn’t happen. I’m giving this an A- only because the Lions probably could have convinced a team that they needed to trade up to #3 to get their quarterback, and they could have added draft picks while still getting Jeff Okudah.

Grade: A-

4. New York Giants-LT Andrew Thomas

I love this pick. Andrew Thomas is my favorite offensive tackle in this draft class and the Giants will be adding someone who will do a great job protecting Daniel Jones from edge rushers for years to come.

Grade: A

5. Miami Dolphins-QB Tua Tagovailoa

The Dolphins did an amazing job of convincing teams they wanted Justin Herbert the last few months, even though they have been #TankingforTua for over a year now. The Dolphins didn’t have to trade up to #3 overall to get their guy and that was huge. If Tua can stay healthy he could be the next great quarterback to lead the Dolphins to a Super Bowl victory.

Grade A+

6. Los Angeles Chargers-QB Justin Herbert

As an Oregon Ducks fan, I am very happy to see that Herbert was able to stay on the west coast and land with the Chargers. I didn’t want to see him go to Miami and get sacked 50 times as a rookie starter. Instead, here in L.A. he can sit behind Tyrod Taylor and learn the offense. Herbert is a quarterback who still has some question marks, but he has a ton of potential. The Chargers could have also gotten a left tackle at this spot, or simply traded back a few spots and then taken Herbert and that is why I can’t quite give this selection an A.

Grade: B+

7. Carolina Panthers-DT Derrick Brown

Derrick Brown had been getting mocked to the Panthers since early January and it was no surprise when they took him 7th overall. I wonder how much the Panthers considered taking Isaiah Simmons at this spot, but they inevitably took Brown and it was a great pick. Brown is a terrific defensive lineman and will help the Panthers stuff the run for years to come.

Grade: A

8. Arizona Cardinals-Hybrid Defender Isaiah Simmons

I was a bit shocked when this pick happened to be honest. Not because I didn’t think Isaiah Simmons wasn’t worthy of a top 10 selection, I did, but because I thought the Cardinals had multiple other positions of need that should have been addressed instead. Javon Kinlaw would have been a great selection here, someone who would be a massive upgrade to their current situation on the defensive line. The Cardinals also could have found their long term solution at RT with this pick. This pick is not getting a great grade, and it has nothing to do with Isaiah Simmons, and everything to do with what they needed most on their roster.

Grade: C+

9. Jacksonville Jaguars-CB C.J. Henderson

This pick didn’t surprise me, the Jaguars needed a replacement corner after trading away both Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye in the past six months, but I do think this was a bit of a reach. The Jaguars could have traded back with someone and still gotten C.J. Henderson. Maybe the Jaguars were worried that if they did trade back the Falcons would trade ahead of them, so it’s understandable, but I still think it was a tad bit of a reach.

Grade: B

10. Cleveland Browns-OT Jedrick Wills Jr.

The Browns added the pass protected they needed to get in this draft. Whether Wills plays LT or plays RT and Conklin slides back to LT (where he played in college) this was a great selection by the Browns. Reducing the number of times Baker Mayfield gets pressured and sacked was the Browns #1 priority this offseason and they did just that with the 10th overall pick.

Grade: A

11. New York Jets-LT Mekhi Becton

The Jets were able to do exactly what they needed to do in this draft, which was to get someone who can protect Sam Darnold, and also open up running lanes for Le’Veon Bell. They did just that when they drafted Mekhi Becton.

Grade: A

12. Oakland Raiders-WR Henry Ruggs

The Raiders love players with championship pedigree, which means Alabama and Clemson, football players. They got one in Henry Ruggs and they got a speed demon at the same time. The Raiders had a slot wide receiver in Hunter Renfrow, and a big-bodied receiver in Tyrell Williams, now they get the deep threat they were lacking.

Grade: A

13. Tompa Brady Buccaneers-RT Tristan Wirfs

The Buccaneers needed to get a starting right tackle with this selection, and they did just that. They traded up one spot, giving up their 4th round pick to ensure they drafted Wirfs, and whether they needed to do that I’m not sure, but it was worth it to ensure they got him. Wirfs will help keep the pocket clean for Brady while also paving running lanes so the Bucs have to be pretty happy about this selection.

Grade: A+

14. San Francisco 49ers-DT Javon Kinlaw

The 49ers traded away their All-Pro defensive tackle Deforest Buckner so that they could draft his replacement at a much cheaper financial cost. I understand why they made this pick, but I can’t agree with their decision when CeeDee Lamb was available on the Big Board and wide receiver was their biggest need at that point in the draft.

Grade: B-

15. Denver Broncos-WR Jerry Jeudy

The Broncos got Jerry Jeudy, who is a great receiver, but they could have had CeeDee Lamb, who IS the best receiver in this draft class. Because of that I just simply cannot give this pick an A grade. It was still a great pick, but they could have had CeeDee.

Grade: B+

16. Atlanta Falcons-CB A.J. Terrell

I did not understand this pick, A.J. Terrell was the 5th best cornerback on my big board and I don’t talent matches the value until pick 30 or later. The Falcons could have had Kristian Fulton Jr. or Trevon Diggs, but instead took Terrell. It wasn’t the worst pick of the first round, but it definitely wasn’t the best pick of the round.

Grade: C-

17. Dallas Cowboys-WR CeeDee Lamb

When CeeDee was still available at #16 overall I was praying that the Packers would somehow trade up from #30 overall and take him. He is a top 10 player in this draft class and the Dallas Cowboys got an absolute steal in this draft. Corner and defensive line were the bigger needs for the Cowboys, but you just can’t pass up on a talent like CeeDee Lamb when he falls to you at #17 overall.

Grade: A+

18. Miami Dolphins-LT Austin Jackson

This was one of the more surprising picks I saw yesterday. Austin Jackson isn’t a first-round talent, let’s just make that clear. He would have made sense at #39 overall, but to reach up so far and take him #18 overall, it’s just not a good use of the #18th overall pick, when there were so many other options they could have went.

Grade: D+

19. Las Vegas Raiders-CB Damon Arnette

This was the shock of the draft. there is always one third-round talent who somehow gets taken in the first-round and this year it was Damon Arnette. I do not understand this selection one bit. If the Raiders did not like the talent available at #19 overall then trade back and acquire extra draft picks and then take Arnette if they truly value him this high, but to simply take him at #19 overall, well it’s befuddling.

Grade: F-

20. Jacksonville Jaguars-DE K’Lavon Chaisson

The Jaguars are going to be trading Yannick Ngakoue in the near future, and getting Chaisson to replace him was a great move by the Jaguars. This was right around where I expected Chaisson to go in the draft and he will form a formidable edge rush with Josh Allen for the next for years in Jacksonville.

Grade: A

21. Philadelphia Eagles-WR Jalen Reagor

This pick was confusing, to say the least. There were a lot of people talking about Reagor as a first-round pick this year, and I don’t know why. I believe his value starts in the middle of the second round, and by taking him here the Eagles waste the value of the 21st overall selection. They could have taken Justin Jefferson, Kenneth Murray, or Patrick Queen, instead they take a receiver they could have traded back 20 spots and then taken.

Grade: C-

22. Minnesota Vikings-WR Justin Jefferson

The Minnesota Vikings capitalize on the Philadelphia Eagles stupidity and as a Packers fan, this was my worst nightmare come true. I wanted the Packers to trade up and take Justin Jefferson, but instead, he goes to the rivaled Minnesota Vikings. This is a fantastic selection for the Vikings, and sadly I’m going to have to watch him torch the Packers for years to come just like I had to when Randy Moss played for the Vikings.

Grade: A+

23. Los Angeles Chargers-LB Kenneth Murray

When I saw that the Chargers were trading back up into the first-round I thought I was to get left tackle Joshua Jones, someone who could help protect Justin Herbert. Instead, they got my favorite linebacker in this draft class Kenneth Murray. Murray is a tremendous leader on and off the field and will serve as a great captain for that defense for years to come. It was a pleasant surprise to see during the 2020 NFL Draft.

Grade: A

24. New Orleans Saints-C/G Cesar Ruiz

This pick shocked me a bit, I figured it was between two players, Jordan Love or Patrick Queen. The Saints though instead get a solid interior offensive lineman who will create running lanes for Alvin Kamara and help keep Drew Brees from getting pressured each week.

Grade: B

25. San Francisco 49ers-WR Brandon Aiyuk

This pick shocked me for a multitude of reasons. The 49ers trading up from #31 overall and gave up picks #117 and #176 to take a wide receiver in the deepest wide receiver draft class we have ever seen. Brandon Aiyuk was a second-round pick in my opinion. A player the 49ers could have gotten even if they traded back from #31 overall. Because the 49ers have so few remaining draft picks, and that they traded up for a wide receiver, I simply cannot give this pick a decent grade.

Grade: D

26. Green Bay Packers-QB Jordan Love

I am a Packers fan, and I’m going to be honest when I saw that we traded up for a quarterback I was pretty pissed. I thought we were trading up for Patrick Queen, if we had I would have given this an A+ grade if we had traded up to get wide receiver Tee Higgins or Denzel Mims I still would have been very happy with this pick, but instead, we traded up for a Quarterback. It wasn’t a Quarterback like Aaron Rodgers, who everyone thought was a top player in the draft, it was for a quarterback who threw 17 interceptions last season while facing mountain west level of competition. The only reason this pick isn’t getting an F is that I’m holding out hope he somehow is the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers and win the Packers a Super Bowl in the next 20 years. Instead of taking a player who could help the Packers win right away, they took a quarterback who will most likely backup Aaron Rodgers for the next four years, and then we will trade him for a day 3 pick. I really hope I’m wrong, I hope he becomes a stud and I grow to Love him, but as of right now I just don’t see that happening.

Grade: D-

27. Seattle Seahawks-LB Jordyn Brooks

This was another shocking pick in the first round. I had an end of round two, early-round three grade on Jordyn Brooks. Linebacker was also not nearly as big a need as a defensive end. Yetur Gross Matos or AJ Epenesa should have been the pick here. This is a Seattle type pick though so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

Grade: D

28. Baltimore Ravens-LB Patrick Queen

This was the first LSU player ever selected by the Baltimore Ravens and it was a damn good one. Ozzie Newsome went to Alabama so he would never draft an LSU player to the Ravens, but he’s retired now and Eric DeCosta makes a great decision. This is who the Packers should have been trading up for, and since they didn’t take him the Ravens get a steal.

Grade: A+

29. Tennessee Titans-RT Isaiah Wilson

The Titans had the freedom to take whatever position they valued the most in the draft and they got Isaiah Wilson. They could have gone defensive tackle or cornerback but instead get a right tackle to replace Jack Conklin. Wilson goes a little bit higher than where his value lies but it’s still a good pick by the Titans.

Grade: B

30. Miami Dolphins-CB Noah Igbinoghene

Noah Igbinoghene is a great player, he’s a first-round talent, but when the Dolphins are already paying Xavien Howard and Byron Jones top dollar money this pick just doesn’t make much sense. I love Igbinoghene, this grade has nothing to do with him as a player, but the Dolphins should have been looking for a safety, linebacker, right tackle or running back in this spot.

Grade: D+

31. Minnesota Vikings-CB Jeff Gladney

The Vikings needed a cornerback and get one here in Jeff Gladney. Gladney was my 7th best corner in this draft, so Gladney wasn’t the top corner I would have taken but at least they fill a need.

Grade: B-

32. Kansas City Chiefs-RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

The Chiefs went running back with their first-round pick and to be honest it was a bit surprising. The Chiefs had a need at running back, but I thought they could find one in the middle rounds of this draft. I expected the Chiefs would go cornerback or linebacker with this pick, and when Kristian Fulton Jr, Trevon Diggs, and Zach Baun were all on the board this pick just didn’t make much sense to me. Edwards is a great addition to the Chiefs offense, but that just wasn’t the need they should have addressed in the first round.

Grade: C-

This concludes my grades on the 32 picks in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. In the coming days I will be releasing my grades on Day 2 picks in the 2020 NFL draft, and then eventually ranking each team’s draft from first to worst once the 2020 NFL draft is over.

Skyler Waterman’s 2020 Day 2 Mock Draft

Yesterday we all watched the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. There were some major surprises, some which made fans extremely happy, and others which infuriated fans. Seventy five percent of the players I had mocked in the first round were drafted yesterday, which means eight first round players are available on day two of the NFL Draft. So here goes day two of the NFL Draft.

Round 2

33. Cincinnati Bengals-LT Josh Jones

The Bengals drafted Joe Burrow yesterday, and now they go and get a starting left tackle to protect him. The Bengals did draft Jonah Williams 11th overall last season, a player who missed his entire rookie season to a shoulder injury, but Williams can slide down to left guard and the Bengals offensive line gets better.

34. Indianapolis Colts-WR Tee Higgins

The Colts need to add a receiver and get a first-round talent in Tee Higgins. When I watch Higgins on film, I see the next A.J. Green, but without the injury concerns. Higgins is a tall, long armed wide receiver who Phillip Rivers can throw jump balls to in the back of the endzone all season long.

35. Detroit Lions-DE Yetur Gross-Matos

The Lions should send a thank you letter to the Seattle Seahawks for allowing Yetur to fall to them at pick 35. Yetur gives the Lions a talented edge rusher to play opposite Trey Flowers. The Lions get Okudah in round one to fulfill their need at CB and now fill their next biggest need at DE. They are winning the draft right now.

36. New York Giants-FS Grant Delpit

The New York Giants need to find someone to replace Antoine Bethea at the back end of their defense and find it here with the former LSU DB Grant Delpit. Delpit gives the Giants a ball hawking free safety who will help improve their defense.

37. New England Patriots-LB Zach Baun

The Patriots get a great hybrid linebacker at #37 overall. One who can play both inside and outside linebacker. Someone who can bring pressure off the edge or drop back into coverage. He will be a great addition to the Patriots and help to fill the void left by the departure of linebackers Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy.

38. Carolina Panthers-CB Trevon Diggs

The Panthers get a first-round talent here at #38 overall, a tall, long armed defensive back who will bat away passes all season long. Diggs will help fill the void left by the departure of cornerback James Bradberry.

39. Miami Dolphins-RB D’Andre Swift

The Dolphins need a star running back and find the perfect running mate for Tua Tagovailoa at #39 overall. It was thought that the Dolphins were taking Swift at #26 overall before the Packers traded up to take Jordan Love, now they get him 13 picks later.

40. Houston Texans-OLB Josh Uche

The Texans need an upgrade at outside linebacker to play opposite Whitney Mercilus and find it in Josh Uche.

41. Cleveland Browns-FS Antoine Winfield Jr.

The Browns need to draft a free safety with the departure of Damarious Randall and they find that safety here at pick #43 in Antoine Winfield Jr, someone who reminds me of Earl Thomas when I watch his tape.

42. Jacksonville Jaguars-WR Denzel Mims

The Jaguars decide to add a weapon for Garden Minshew with the 42nd overall pick. Denzel Mims gives the Jaguars a wide receiver with elite speed and athleticism. Someone who tested almost identical to Julio Jones when you compare their NFL combine performances.

43. Chicago Bears-SS Xavier McKinney

The Bears front office members are cheering from their homes when Xavier McKinney falls to them at #43 overall. HaHa Clinton-Dix left in free agency and now they find a replacement at safety in McKinney.

44. Indianapolis Colts-DE A.J. Epenesa

The Colts traded their 13th overall pick for defensive lineman Deforest Buckner, now they once again find someone who will improve their defensive line in A.J. Epenesa

45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-CB Kristian Fulton Jr.

The fall of Kristian Fulton Jr. finally comes to and end. The Buccaneers see the opportunity to improve the back end of their defense and add a corner who can come in and immediately start on their defense.

46. Denver Broncos-RG Robert Hunt

The Broncos signed Graham Glasgow to be their starting center and now they add someone who can slide right into their offensive line and start at right guard.

47. Atlanta Falcons-WR Michael Pittman Jr.

The Falcons decide to give Matt Ryan yet another weapon and now have arguable the best Wide Receiving core in the NFL with Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Michael Pittman Jr.

48. New York Jets-OLB Terrell Lewis

The Jets found their starting Left tackle in Mekhi Becton, and now they find a starting edge rusher in Terrell Lewis. Some Jets fans might be upset that they haven’t taken a wide receiver yet in this draft, but they have picks #68 & #79 to address wide receiver.

49. Pittsburgh Steelers-RT Lucas Niang

The Steelers need a starting right tackle and find it here at #49 overall in Lucas Niang. Niang is a first-round talent and the only reason he falls to the second round in this year’s draft is because of an injury concern from last season.

50. Chicago Bears-WR Laviska Shenault Jr.

The Chicago Bears add a safety at #43 overall and now they add a playmaker on offense. Shenault is an extremely talented athlete who will improve the Bears offense and give Nick Foles another Receiver to throw to.

51. Dallas Cowboys-CB Jaylon Johnson

The Cowboys decided to add a wide receiver in the first round because CeeDee was the best player available. Now they address the biggest need on their team and a cornerback. Jaylon Johnson can start week one, and help the Cowboys lock down opposing receivers they will face in the AFC South.

52. Los Angeles Rams-CB Cam Dantzler

The Rams need a cornerback to play opposite Jalen Ramsey and find it here in Cam Dantzler. They could have also gone running back or inside linebacker at this position, but instead get a corner.

53. Jacksonville Jaguars-DT Ross Blacklock

The Jaguars trade DE Yannick Ngakoue to the Eagles for the 53rd overall pick and select defensive tackle Ross Blacklock. The Jaguars have now added C.J. Henderson, K’Lavon Chaisson and Ross Blacklock to their defense while adding Denzel Mims to the offense. They are having a terrific 2020 NFL Draft.

54. Buffalo Bills-RB Jonathan Taylor

The Buffalo Bills get their guy here at #54 overall in running back Jonathan Taylor. Taylor will pound the rock in Buffalo for years to come and may end up being one of the biggest steals in this year’s NFL draft.

55. Baltimore Ravens-WR Chase Claypool

Last year the Ravens got Hollywood Brown in the NFL Draft, a crafty slot receiver. This year they get Chase Claypool a large, big bodied 6’4” 240lb WR who ran a 4.42 40-yard draft.

56. Miami Dolphins-FS Ashtyn Davis

The Miami Dolphins needed to draft a safety and finally add one here at #56 overall. The Dolphins have needs at both free safety and strong safety and add a solid starting free safety here.

57. Los Angeles Rams-LB Malik Harrison

The Rams need an inside linebacker and get a run stuffing, hard hitting linebacker here at #57 overall. I love Malik Harrison and he will be an instant starter on this Rams team.

58. Minnesota Vikings-DE Curtis Weaver

The Vikings addressed the need for a wide receiver and a cornerback in the first round of this draft. Now they find a replacement for Everson Griffen with the 58th overall selection.

59. Seattle Seahawks-FS Jeremy Chinn

The Seahawks decide to invest in a defensive back, hoping to initiate the formation of the Legion of Boom 2.0. Jeremy Chinn is a talented safety prospect who tested extremely well at the NFL combine, running a 4.45 40-yard dash, a 41-inch vertical leap, a 138-inch broad jump and 20 bench reps of 225lbs.

60. Baltimore Ravens-SS Kyle Dugger

The Ravens add a solid starting strong safety in Kyle Dugger with the 60th overall selection. Dugger will be a tremendous weapon opposite Earl Thomas in the back end of the Ravens defense.

61. Tennessee Titans-DT Marlon Davidson

The Titans traded away Jurrell Casey this offseason and need to find a replacement and get one here with DT Marlon Davidson.

62. Green Bay Packers-WR Devin Duvernay

Brian Gutekunst needs to make a peace offering to Aaron Rodgers after drafting a Quarterback 26th overall when he could have taken a player that would help the Packers win a Super Bowl this year. He does that by drafting wide receiver Devin Duvernay, someone who’s play reminds me of Randall Cobb.

63. Kansas City Chiefs-CB Bryce Hall

The Chiefs need to add a defensive back and after drafting Clyde Edwards-Helaire 32nd overall they add a defensive back here in Bryce Hall.

64. Seattle Seahawks-DE Anfernee Jennings

Some may not like this selection, but I love Anfernee Jennings and believe he can become a talented edge rusher in the NFL. By drafting Jennings, the Seahawks help fill a big need, considering Jadeveon Clowney is currently still a free agent.

Round 3

65. Cincinnati Bengals-LB Willie Gay Jr.

66. Washington Redskins-LT Prince Tega Wanogho

67. Detroit Lions-DT Neville Gallimore

68. New York Jets-WR Van Jefferson

69. Carolina Panthers-LB Troy Dye

70. Miami Dolphins-RT Ezra Cleveland

71. New England Patriots-DT Justin Madibuike

72. Arizona Cardinals-DT Jordan Elliott

73. Washington Redskins-TE Adam Trautman (Trent Williams traded to Jaguars for #73)

74. Cleveland Browns-LB Akeem Davis Gaither

75. Indianapolis Colts-QB Jacob Eason

76. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-WR K.J. Hamler

77. Denver Broncos-NT Leki Fotu

78. Atlanta Falcons-LB Logan Wilson

79. New York Jets-TE Brycen Hopkins

80. Las Vegas Raiders-LG John Simpson

81. Las Vegas Raiders-DT Raekwon Davis

82. Dallas Cowboys-DE Julian Okwara

83. Denver Broncos-WR Donovan Peoples-Jones

84. Los Angeles Rams-RB J.K. Dobbins

85. Detroit Lions-RT Matt Peart

86. Buffalo Bills-DE Jonathan Greenard

87. New England Patriots-QB Jalen Hurts

88. New Orleans Saints-QB Jake Fromm

89. Minnesota Vikings-RB Cam Akers

90. Houston Texans-TE Cole Kmet

91. Las Vegas Raiders-CB Troy Pride Jr

92. Baltimore Ravens-OLB Bradlee Anae

93. Tennessee Titans-RB Zach Moss

94. Green Bay Packers-RB/WR Antonio Gibson

95. Denver Broncos-LT Ben Bartch

96. Kansas City Chiefs-C Tyler Biadasz

97. Cleveland Browns-DE Khalid Kareem

98. New England Patriots-TE Thaddeus Moss

99. New York Giants-WR Antonio Gandy-Golden

100. New England Patriots-LB Evan Weaver

101. Seattle Seahawks-LG Shane Lemieux

102. Pittsburgh Steelers-QB Anthony Gordon

103. Philadelphia Eagles-LB Jacob Phillips

104. Los Angeles Rams-RB A.J. Dillon

105. Minnesota Vikings-RG Calvin Throckmorton

106. Baltimore Ravens-DT Davon Hamilton

Skyler Waterman’s 2020 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

1. Cincinnati Bengals-QB Joe Burrow

This pick has been a forgone conclusion for months now. The Bengals have decided to move on from starting quarterback Andy Dalton, and who better to replace Dalton then the quarterback who grew up in southeast Ohio, only three hours away from Cincinnati.

2. Washington Redskins-DE Chase Young

With the #2 overall pick the Washington Redskins take Chase Young. Young, like Burrow, gets drafted by a team within his home state. Young grew up outside of D.C. and will now get to play professionally just 30 minutes from his hometown.

3. Los Angeles Chargers-QB Tua Tagovailoa (Chargers trade 6, 37 & 112 to the Lions for #3 overall)

The Chargers need a new franchise quarterback and trade up to acquire Tua Tagovailoa. Everything the Chargers have done this offseason points to them drafting Tua in the 2020 NFL Draft. They traded away their starting left tackle to acquire a guard who will start on the right side. After that they went out in free agency and signed one of the best Right Tackles available in Bryan Bulaga. Both moves make perfect sense for a team who wants to protect the blind side for a left-handed quarterback. Tua also will not have to start right away if he is drafted by the Chargers. Tyrod Taylor can begin the season as the Chargers starter, enabling Tua to continue to heal from the injuries he acquired during his college career.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars-CB Jeffrey Okudah (Jaguars trade 9 & 42 to the Giants for 4 & 150)

In the past six months the Jaguars have traded away two different corners in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. They are depleted at this position and need to find quality replacements as soon as possible. The Jaguars use their 9th overall selection and their second-round pick, #42 overall to move up five spots and take the best corner in this draft class. The Jaguars can afford to lose a second-round pick and make this move because they also hold the 20th overall selection and should also still recoup a second-round pick when they trade Yannick Ngakoue to another team.

5. Miami Dolphins-LT Andrew Thomas

The Dolphins could go in so many different directions in the 2020 NFL Draft, they have six picks in the top 70 overall, including three first round picks. Because of this they could have the biggest impact on how the 2020 NFL Draft turns out. Instead of trading up to take a Quarterback the Dolphins stay at #5 overall and select a franchise left tackle. Thomas can help stabilize a weak offensive line in Miami and give whoever the Dolphins future starting quarterback is, a little more time in the pocket to maneuver.

6. Detroit Lions-RT Jedrick Wills Jr

The Detroit Lions need to protect quarterback Matthew Stafford. He is the Lions most valuable player, and any hopes of the Lions making the playoffs rest on Matthew Stafford’s shoulders. The Lions allowed 43 sacks last season and that was before the departure of starting right tackle Ricky Wagner. The Lions would have liked to draft a corner, but the Jaguars jumped ahead of them to secure Okudah, so instead the Lions do the next best thing and protect the player who is in year four of a 5-year $135 million dollar contract.

7. Carolina Panthers-LB Isaiah Simmons

The Panthers are switching back to a 4-3 base front on their defense and have a need for a starting outside linebacker. The Panthers also have a need at defensive back and Simmons fills both of those voids as someone who can play outside linebacker, and then slide into the slot DB when in nickel & dime packages. Isaiah Simmons is a freak athlete who will also provide the Panthers with someone who can help fill the void left by recently retired linebacker Luke Kuechly.

8. Arizona Cardinals-DT Derrick Brown

The Arizona Cardinals have huge need for a defensive lineman, and they find a huge man to play that position in Derrick Brown. Derrick Brown will provide the Cardinals with a hulking menace who will plow through any individual who tries to block him on his lonesome and will still at times beat double teams. That is why, if you watch Brown’s college tape, there are multiple occasions where he was triple teamed by the offensive line. Calvin Johnson might have been Megatron, but Derrick Brown is Grimlock. The reason being, once you lock up with Brown, your chances of maintaining that block are pretty grim. If you don’t know who Grimlock is, well he’s literally the Tyrannosaurus Rex of transformers.

9. New York Giants-RT Tristan Wirfs

The Giants have a large hole to fill at right tackle and they find a large man to fill it. Tristan Wirfs is a powerful athletic tackle who will serve as a tremendous right tackle for New York. Wirfs will open up running lanes for running back Saquon Barkley all season.

10. Cleveland Browns-LT Mekhi Becton

The Cleveland Browns need a new franchise left tackle and find one in Mekhi Becton. Becton is the most powerful run blocker in this draft class and will serve as a great offensive lineman for Nick Chubb to run behind, while Becton paves running lanes like a snowplow. Becton should also help provide Baker Mayfield with a clean pocket to throw from, which will hopefully decrease the number of interceptions he throws this season.

11. New York Jets-WR CeeDee Lamb

The Jets would have liked to draft a franchise left tackle, but none of the top offensive tacklers were left on the board. So instead the Jets do the next best thing and find Sam Darnold a #1 option in the passing game. CeeDee is the best wide receiver in this draft class and the Jets wide receiving core sorely needs improved.

12. Las Vegas Raiders-WR Henry Ruggs III

The Oakland Raiders need to add a wide receiver and take the fastest one in this draft class. They already have their big bodied target in Tyrell Williams, and their slot receiver in Hunter Renfrow, so now they find their speed demon in Henry Ruggs. The Raiders are tired of watching Tyreke Hill can do to opposing defenses, so Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden find their own version of Tyreke. The Raiders once again also find a player with championship pedigree who is a respected leader with strong character coming out of Alabama.

13. Miami Dolphins-QB Justin Herbert (Dolphins trade 18 & 70 to the 49ers for #13)

The Dolphins took their franchise left tackle with the 5th overall pick, and now they trade up five spots to secure their franchise quarterback. Justin Herbert is one of the most controversial players in this draft. Some people love him, and some people hate him (as a prospect). This is evident by the fact that opinions on him vary so drastically, some view him as the best quarterback in this class, while others, indignantly say he should make the transition to tight end because they don’t believe he can successfully play quarterback in the NFL.

14. Tampa Bay BuccaneersWR Justin Jefferson

The Buccaneers would have loved to draft a right tackle at number fourteen overall, but none of the available talent was worth that high of a selection. Instead the Buccaneers once again make a decision that shows how much they are in win now mode. The Buccaneers acquired Tom Brady this offseason and are hoping to win a Super Bowl within the next two years. Justin Jefferson spent this past season catching footballs from Joe Burrow, (whom many are saying is the next Tom Brady), and together they won a national championship. Tom Brady with a wide receiving core of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Justin Jefferson, plus tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate, would be absolutely terrifying to NFL defensive coordinators.

15. Denver BroncosWR Jerry Jeudy

Some reports are saying that the Broncos could trade up with the Browns at #10 overall, or the Jets at #11 overall, and be the first team to take a wide receiver in this draft. the Broncos don’t need to do this. This is the most talented class of wide receivers ever, in the history of the NFL draft. trading up would be a very unnecessary move by John Elway. With the 15th overall pick the Denver Broncos get Jerry Jeudy, one of the best receivers in this draft class, who will fit perfectly into Denver’s offense.

16. Atlanta Falcons-DT Javon Kinlaw

The Falcons have a bigger need at cornerback than defensive tackle, but Kinlaw is just too talented a player for the Falcons to pass him up. Kinlaw paired with Grady Jarrett will wreak havoc on opposing teams attempt to run the football. Kinlaw will also provide the Falcons with great interior pressure on third down passing situations.

17. Dallas Cowboys-CB C.J. Henderson

Henderson has some of the best coverage skills by any cornerback in this class and that alone allows him to be selected 17th overall. C.J. could have potentially been a top 10 overall selection in this year’s draft had he shown a willingness to tackle in college. Instead he ends up going to the Dallas Cowboys and will fill the void left by Byron Jones quite nicely on their defense.

18. San Francisco 49ers-CB Kristian Fulton Jr.

Had the 49ers stayed at pick 13 they could have drafted a wide receiver, instead they traded back five spots in the draft, and in doing so acquired a third-round pick. With the 18th pick they draft a corner who can play opposite Richard Sherman. Fulton is the best corner available at this point in the draft and will help improve the back end of their defense.

19. Las Vegas Raiders-CB Trevon Diggs

Yet again the Raiders take an Alabama product in this draft, selection cornerback Trevon Diggs. Diggs is a player with tremendous upside and with the help of Jon Gruden’s coaching staff, he should reach his full potential. Diggs is a special draft prospect with his 32.75-inch hands and 78.375-inch wingspan. These physical traits he possesses will allow him to bat away a lot of footballs throughout his career.

20. Baltimore Ravens-LB Kenneth Murray (trade 28, 92 & 108 to the Jaguars for 20)

The Baltimore Ravens need an inside linebacker, so they trade up and secure Kenneth Murray in the 2020 NFL Draft. Murray will be a perfect fit as a 3-4 ILB for the Ravens and will provide them with a great leader both on and off the field.

21. Philadelphia Eagles-WR Denzel Mims

Eagles fans were hoping for Justin Jefferson, but the Buccaneers shocked everyone when they took him 14th overall. Instead the Eagles get Denzel Mims, who is an athletic freak. His testing numbers were so similar to Julio Jones that if you put the numbers side by side, you’d have to blink to make sure you’re not seeing double. Mims ran a 4.38 while Julio ran a 4.39, they both had a 38.5 inch vertical, and they both ran the 3-cone drill in 6.66 seconds. Mims gives the Eagles a speedy weapon to throw into their offense, and a Wide Receiver with an extremely high ceiling of potential.

22. Minnesota Vikings-WR Tee Higgins

The Minnesota Vikings got this pick when they traded Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills, so with the twenty second pick in the 2020 NFL draft they select his replacement. Higgins gives Kirk Cousins a big bodied target to throw to, and a red-zone weapon, which fantasy owners will be foaming at the mouth to draft.

23. Green Bay Packers-LB Patrick Queen (trade 30 & 94 for 23 overall)

The Packers have not taken an inside linebacker in the first or second round of the NFL Draft since 2006 when they Drafted A.J. Hawk 5th overall. That all changes this year because the Packers finally address a need their team has been lacking for years, an inside linebacker with coverage skills. Queen is the youngest player in the 2020 NFL draft and that alone screams Green Bay Packers draft target. The only problem is he will not be available at #30 overall, which is exactly why the Packers trade up and draft him.

24. New Orleans Saints-QB Jordan Love

Drew Brees is going into his last season as the Saints starting quarterback and Taysom Hill is not the Saints long term solution at quarterback. I REPEAT, TAYSOM HILL IS NOT THE SAINTS LONG TERM SOLUTION AT QUARTERBACK. The Saints draft a quarterback who can sit and learn behind Drew Brees for a season before being handed the reigns of the team. It worked out pretty well in Kansas City, so hopefully the Saints can have similar success.

25. Minnesota Vikings-CB Jeff Gladney

The Vikings had three cornerbacks depart the team this offseason, corner is by far the Vikings biggest need, and it is not even close. With the twenty fifth overall pick the Viking select cornerback Jeff Gladney.

26. Miami Dolphins-SS Xavier McKinney

The Dolphins currently have no starting safeties on their roster, that changes when they draft safety Xavier McKinney who they can slot is as a day one starter on their defense.

27. Seattle Seahawks-DE Yetur Gross-Matos

The Seahawks need a starting defensive end with Jadeveon Clowney currently a free agent. Yetur Gross-Matos is a great fit on the Seahawks defense and fills a big need that was vacated.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars-DE AJ Epenesa

The Jaguars traded away Calais Campbell and now need to find someone to fill his shoes, Epenesa gives them just that.

29. Tennessee Titans-CB A.J. Terrell

The Titans have yet to re-sign cornerback Logan Ryan and may look to draft a corner in the first round to replace him. A.J. Terrell is the best corner on the board and fills a big void.

30. New England Patriots-OLB K’Lavon Chaisson

the fall of K’Lavon Chaisson finally ends. He is a talented athlete who probably would have been much higher, had he participated in drills at the NFL combine, but with his lack of participation, combined with his lack of sack production in college he falls down draft boards a bit until he lands with the Patriots. Chaisson gives the Patriots and extremely athletic edge rusher, who could reach another level in the NFL.

31. Cincinnati Bengals-LT Joshua Jones (trade 33 & 180 to 49ers for 31)

The Bengals drafted their franchise quarterback Joe Burrow, now they add an offensive lineman who can protect Burrow and trade their sixth-round pick for the 5th year option on Jones’s contract. The Bengals drafted Jonah Williams 11th overall last year, but he missed all season due to injury. With the addition Williams could slide in and play LG at all All-Pro level.

32. Kansas City Chiefs-LB Zach Baun

The Chiefs need an upgrade at the linebacker position and get it with Zach Baun. Baun gives the Chiefs a well needed addition who can play outside linebacker. Baun can drop into coverage or rush off the edge, which is something the Chiefs will highly value.

Round 2

33. San Francisco 49ers-WR Brandon Aiyuk

34. Indianapolis Colts-WR Michael Pittman Jr.

35. Detroit Lions-CB Noah Igbinoghene

36. New York Giants-FS Grant Delpit

37. Jacksonville Jaguars-WR Jalen Reagor (Lions trade #37 to the Jaguars for DE Yannick Ngakoue)

38. Carolina Panthers-CB Jaylon Johnson

39. Miami Dolphins-RB D’Andre Swift

40. Houston Texans-OLB Josh Uche

41. Cleveland Browns-FS Antoine Winfield Jr.

42. New York Giants-LT Austin Jackson

43. Chicago Bears-WR Laviska Shenault Jr.

44. Indianapolis Colts-RT Lucas Niang

45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-RT Isaiah Wilson

46. Denver Broncos-C Cesar Ruiz

47. Atlanta Falcons-RB JK Dobbins

48. Washington Redskins-LT Prince Tega Wanogho (Jets trade #48 to the Redskins for LT Trent Williams)

49. Pittsburgh Steelers-QB Jacob Eason

50. Chicago Bears-SS Kyle Dugger

51. Dallas Cowboys-DE Curtis Weaver

52. Los Angeles Rams-LB Jordyn Brooks

53. Philadelphia Eagles-LB Malik Harrison

54. Buffalo Bills-RB Jonathan Taylor

55. Baltimore Ravens-WR Chase Claypool

56. Miami Dolphins-FS Jeremy Chinn

57. Los Angeles Rams-CB Cameron Dantzler

58. Minnesota Vikings-DE Julian Okwara

59. Seattle Seahawks-DT Marlon Davidson

60. Baltimore Ravens-RG Robert Hunt

61. Tennessee Titans-DT Ross Blacklock

62. Green Bay Packers-WR Devin Duvernay

63. Kansas City Chiefs-CB Bryce Hall

64. Seattle Seahawks-LB Akeem Davis-Gaither

Round 3

65. Cincinnati Bengals-LB Willie Gay Jr.

66. Washington Redskins-TE Adam Trautman

67. Detroit Lions-DT Neville Gallimore

68. New York Jets-OLB Terrell Lewis

69. Carolina Panthers-DT Justin Madubuike

70. San Francisco 49ers-DT Jordan Elliott

71. Los Angeles Chargers-LT Ezra Cleveland

72. Arizona Cardinals-TE Brycen Hopkins

73. Jacksonville Jaguars-LB Troy Dye

74. Cleveland Browns-LB Logan Wilson

75. Indianapolis Colts-QB Anthony Gordon

76. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

77. Denver Broncos-NT Leki Fotu

78. Atlanta Falcons-CB Damon Arnette

79. New York Jets-TE Cole Kmet

80. Las Vegas Raiders-LG John Simpson

81. Las Vegas Raiders-DT Raekwon Davis

82. Dallas Cowboys-WR K.J. Hamler

83. Denver Broncos-LT Ben Bartch

84. Los Angeles Rams-RB Cam Akers

85. Detroit Lions-RB/WR Antonio Gibson

86. Buffalo Bills-DE Jonathan Greenard

87. New England Patriots-TE Thaddeus Moss

88. New Orleans Saints-WR Van Jefferson

89. Minnesota Vikings-RB Zach Moss

90. Houston Texans-TE Hunter Bryant

91. Las Vegas Raiders-QB Jalen Hurts

92. Jacksonville Jaguars-DT Davon Hamilton

93. Tennessee Titans-RB A.J. Dillon

94. New England Patriots-QB Jake Fromm

95. Denver Broncos-WR Antonio Gandy-Golden

96. Kansas City Chiefs-C Tyler Biadasz

97. Cleveland Browns-DE Khalid Kareem

98. New England-LB Evan Weaver

99. New York Giants-WR Bryan Edwards

100. New England Patriots-DT Rashard Lawrence

101. Seattle Seahawks-SS K’Von Wallace

102. Pittsburgh Steelers-LG Shane Lemieux

103. Philadelphia Eagles-DE Anfernee Jennings

104. Los Angeles Rams-WR Gabriel Davis

105. Minnesota Vikings-CB Troy Pride Jr.

106. Baltimore Ravens-SS Brandon Jones

2020 Mock Draft 2.0

How the 2020 NFL Draft is already being impacted by the ...

Round 1

#1. Cincinnati Bengals-QB Joe Burrow

This pick has been a forgone conclusion for months now. The Bengals get the new face of their franchise and a quarterback they can build around for the next 10-20 years. The only way this pick changes is if it’s the Miami Dolphins trading up to #1 and selecting Joe Burrow.

#2. Detroit Lions-DE Chase Young (Lions trade #3, #67, #85 & their 2021 4th round pick to the Redskins for the #2 overall)

            In my last mock draft, I had the Redskins taking Tua because I personally think he is an upgrade over Dwayne Haskins. However, the Redskins have not shown any sign of wanting to move on from Dwayne Haskins as their starting quarterback. Instead the Redskins, who have no second-round pick, trade back to acquire extra picks in this draft.

            So, with the #2 overall pick the Detroit Lions trade up one spot to get Chase Young, the tenacious pass rusher who will play opposite Trey Flowers and help the Lions reck havoc on offensive lines.

#3. Miami Dolphins-QB Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins send #5, #26, & #70)

            The Redskins trade back again allowing the Dolphins to move up and secure the player that they have wanted all along. Tua, if he can stay healthy, could become the next great franchise quarterback for the Miami Dolphins.

#4. New York Giants-RT Tristan Wirfs

            The New York Giants need to protect their new franchise quarterback Daniel Jones. Wirfs gives the Giants a perennial all pro RT that they can rely on for the next 10+ seasons.

#5. Washington Redskins-LT Mekhi Becton

            After trading back twice and acquiring picks #26, #67, #70, and #85 in this year’s draft, along with the Lions 2021 4th round pick the Redskins find their next franchise left tackle. It is only a matter of time before the Redskins trade Trent Williams, with this pick they find his replacement.

#6. Los Angeles Chargers-QB Justin Herbert

            The Chargers have announced they won’t sign any quarterbacks in free agency and that Tyrod Taylor will be their starting quarterback as they enter the 2020 NFL season. Taylor is only a stop-gap starter who will not be the Chargers long term solution. With the #6 overall pick the Chargers find the next quarterback they can build their franchise around. As some may recall the last time the Chargers drafted a University of Oregon quarterback to be the face of their franchise, they ended up with eventual NFL Hall of Famer Dan Fouts. Let’s hope Herbert can have similar success.

#7. Carolina Panthers-CB Jeffrey Okudah

            Once again, I have Jeff Okudah going to the Panthers and not the Detroit Lions. That’s because in both of my mock drafts I’ve had the Lions selecting Chase Young. If that doesn’t happen, I fully expect the Lions to take Okudah, but for now the Panthers get a terrific player in Jeff Okudah who can match up against Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, and Mike Evans all throughout the season in the NFC South.

#8. Arizona Cardinals-DT Derrick Brown

            The Arizona Cardinals just re-signed RT Marcus Gilbert so drafting a right tackle might not be their biggest concern when they are on the clock with the #8 overall pick in this year’s draft. Instead they now bring in an extremely talented defensive lineman who will anchor the trenches for their defense for years to come.

#9. Jacksonville Jaguars-LB/S Isaiah Simmons

            With the #9 overall pick the Jaguars take the most athletic player on the board. The Jaguars recently added Joe Schobert to pair with Miles Jack. Now they add a third linebacker-hybrid player who can cover receivers, tight ends and running backs all game long. Most teams in a 4-3 defense spend more time with two linebackers on the field and five defensive backs. Simmons gives the Jaguars someone who will never have to come off the field regardless of what the opposing team’s offensive formation is.

#10. Cleveland Browns-LT Andrew Thomas

            The Cleveland Browns current left tackle is facing prison time after being arrested while in possession of 157lbs of marijuana. They need an immediate replacement and they get that with Andrew Thomas. Andrew Thomas could be the next great “Thomas” left tackle for the Browns and could similarly have a long and successful career for them.

#11. New York Jets-LT Jedrick Wills

            The New York Jets need a LT and find it here in the draft with Wills. The Jets recently signed offensive tackle George Fant and claimed he could be their next starting left tackle. That was a terrible joke and it wasn’t funny either. Instead if the Jets get Wills, Fant might be able to be successful on the right side of the line, while Wills protects Sam Darnold’s blind side.

#12. Oakland Raiders-WR CeeDee Lamb

            The Raiders get CeeDee Lamb, the best wide receiver in this draft. he is a gritty player who will be a great Raider for years to come. With CeeDee now leading a receiving core that also includes Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow and TE Darren Waller, I expect Derek Carr to take another step forward in this offense and produce even better numbers than he did in either of the past two seasons with Jon Gruden.

#13. San Francisco 49ers-WR Jerry Jeudy

            The 49ers traded Deforest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for this pick. They will be choosing between a WR & a DT (if they don’t trade back). In this scenario they draft wide receiver Jerry Jeudy to help Jimmy Garoppolo open up the passing game for San Fran. Jeudy is the best route runner we’ve seen come out of college in a very long time, he will make Jimmy G’s job a little bit easier this season.

#14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-OT Josh Jones

            The Buccaneers need to keep Tom Brady healthy during this two-year contract he signed. Josh Jones can come in and start at RT or possibly even start at LT and move Donovan Smith over to RT.

#15. Denver Broncos-WR Henry Ruggs

            The Broncos need to add a wide receiver in this draft and take the one that falls into their lap at #15 overall. Ruggs gives Drew Lock another weapon to throw to and will help Lock be successful at the NFL level.

#16. Atlanta Falcons-CB C.J. Henderson

            The Falcons have a huge need for cornerbacks and find one with the #16 overall pick. C.J. Henderson is probably the best coverage corner in this class outside of Jeff Okudah, his biggest problem is tackling, hopefully the Falcons defensive staff can improve his tackling technique and if they do, he could become an All-Pro corner in this league.

#17. Dallas Cowboys-DE K’Lavon Chaisson

            With the loss of Robert Quinn, the Cowboys need to add an edge rusher to play opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. Here in the Draft they find that replacement in Chaisson.

#18. Miami Dolphins-SS Xavier McKinney

            The Dolphins have no starting level safeties on their roster right now, with this pick they take the best safety on the board and address one of their starting safety positions.

#19. Oakland Raiders-CB Kristian Fulton Jr.

            The Raiders find another player with championship pedigree in Kristian Fulton. Adding Fulton will help the Raiders solidify their cornerback position, giving them someone to play opposite Trayvon Mullen.

#20. Jacksonville Jaguars-CB Noah Igbinoghene

            The Jaguars have lost two cornerbacks recently. Jalen Ramsey being the first, and A.J. Bouye being the second. Igbinoghene gives the Jaguars a talented and athletic corner who they can continue to develop into a potentially all-pro DB in the NFL.

#21. Philadelphia Eagles-LB Patrick Queen

            Yes, I know, everyone has the Eagles taking a wide receiver in their mock drafts, but with the only two players qualified to play linebacker on the Eagles roster being Nate Gerry, and T.J. Edwards they find someone who helps drastically improve the Eagles set of linebackers.

#22. Minnesota Vikings-DT Javon Kinlaw

            So many defensive tackle needs were addressed in free agency that Kinlaw has a bit of a fall in the draft, but he lands here, with the Vikings, where he will pair with Michael Pierce to create a formidable defensive frontline.

#23. New England Patriots-QB Jacob Eason

            The Patriots need a new face of the franchise and find it in talented quarterback prospect Jacob Eason. Some Patriots fan will probably be angry that I didn’t go Jordan Love with this pick, but personally I think Eason is the better prospect. Some may also think Jarrett Stidham is already the answer at QB and that the team should address a need on defense with this pick, only time will tell who is right on this one.

#24. New Orleans Saints-QB Jordan Love

            In my last mock draft, I had the Saints drafting a wide receiver, but with the new addition of Emmanuel Sanders, instead the Saints now prepare themselves for when Drew Brees eventually retires and draft the quarterback of the future in Jordan Love.

#25. Green Bay Packers-WR Justin Jefferson (Packers trade #30, #94, and #209 to the Vikings for #25)

            The Packers need to add another WR to their roster and find their man at #25 overall. Justin Jefferson and Davonte Adams will lineup on the same side of the field most plays and it will terrify opposing defenses.

#26. Washington Redskins-WR Tee Higgins

            Because the Redskins traded back with the Dolphins, they gained another first round pick. With that pick they find an additional receiver for Dwayne Haskins to throw to. The Redskins now have a formidable trio of receivers with McLaurin, Higgins and Harmon.

#27. Seattle Seahawks-DE Yetur Gross-Matos

            The Seahawks might re-sign Jadeveon Clowney, but even if they do, this pick still makes sense. Bruce Irvin is 32 years old and will most likely not be starting for the Seahawks for the next 5 years.

#28. Baltimore Ravens-ILB Kenneth Murray

            Kenneth Murray beautifully falls into the Ravens lap here with the #28 overall pick. He is a great leader with tremendous character who will anchor the Ravens linebacking core for years to come.

#29. Tennessee Titans-DT Ross Blacklock

            The Titans have a hole to fill on their defensive line, since they traded away Jerrell Casey, now they find his replacement in Ross Blacklock.

#30. Minnesota Vikings-CB Trevon Diggs

            The Vikings had a rare trade with the Green Bay Packers but were willing to do so because they knew there would be a solid corner still on the board at #30 overall, and they got the Packers 3rd round pick in doing so. So, with the thirtieth overall pick the Vikings select Trevon Diggs. They have a huge need at corner with the departures of Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, and Xavier Rhodes. They replace one of those corners with this selection. Don’t be surprised if the Vikings take a multitude of corners in this year’s draft.

#31. San Francisco 49ers-CB A.J. Terrell

The 49ers need a cornerback to play opposite Richard Sherman and find it here with A.J. Terrell. Terrell is a solid corner who is coming from a great school and a great culture in Clemson. The 49ers are in win now mode and add a player who knows how to win and can start immediately on their defense.

#32. Kansas City Chiefs-CB Jeff Gladney

The Chiefs, like the 49ers, need to find a starting corner to play opposite their #1 CB Charvarius Ward, with the #32 overall pick they find that starter in Jeff Gladney.

Round 2

#33. Cincinnati Bengals-OLB Zach Baun

#34. Indianapolis Colts-WR Denzel Mims

#35. Cleveland Browns-FS Grant Delpit (Browns trade #41 & #97 to the Lions for #35 & #149)

#36. New York Giants-WR Michael Pittman Jr.

#37. Los Angeles Chargers-LT Prince Tega Wanogho

#38. Carolina Panthers-DT Marlon Davidson

#39. Miami Dolphins-RT Lucas Niang

#40. Houston Texans-RB D’Andre Swift

#41. Detroit Lions-RT Isaiah Wilson

#42. Jacksonville Jaguars-DE AJ Epenesa

#43. Chicago Bears-SS Antoine Winfield Jr.

#44. Indianapolis Colts-CB Jaylon Johnson

#45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-WR Jalen Reagor

#46. Denver Broncos-C Cesar Ruiz

#47. Atlanta Falcons-OLB Malik Harrison

#48. New York Jets-OLB Terrell Lewis

#49. Pittsburgh Steelers-DT Neville Gallimore

#50. Chicago Bears-DT Jordan Elliott

#51. Dallas Cowboys-WR Laviska Shenault Jr.

#52. Los Angeles Rams-RB J.K. Dobbins

#53. Philadelphia Eagles-SS Kyle Dugger

#54. Buffalo Bills-RB-Jonathan Taylor

#55. Baltimore Ravens-OLB Josh Uche

#56. Miami Dolphins-FS Ashtyn Davis

#57. Houston Texans-OLB Curtis Weaver

#58. Minnesota Vikings-WR Brandon Aiyuk

#59. Seattle Seahawks-OT Austin Jackson

#60. Baltimore Ravens-SS Jeremy Chinn

#61. Tennessee Titans-TE Adam Trautman

#62. Green Bay Packers-ILB Jordan Brooks

#63. Kansas City Chiefs-RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

#64. Seattle Seahawks-DT Justin Madubuike

My Grades on all four NFL trades of 3/16/20 and a recap of each teams offseason additions

Getty Images/Houston Chronicle

Trades

The Houston Texans decided to trade away DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals in a move that shocked the entire league, and every football fan on planet earth. This trade was most surprising, not because he was moved, but because of how little they got in return for potentially a future NFL HOF player.

The details of the trade were:

To Texans: David Johnson, Cardinals 2nd round pick (#40 overall), and Cardinals 2021 4th round pick.

To Cardinals: DeAndre Hopkins, Texans 2020 4th round pick

This was a terrible trade that only a team without a General Manager would make. I guess this is karma for Texans owner Robert McNair since he was unwilling to pay anyone to be their GM. This is another example of why head coaches should never be the ones making trades in the NFL. At the very least the Texans should have acquired a first-round pick in return for DeAndre Hopkins. Instead they get a RB who is owed $11,156,250 this upcoming season, and a second round pick. On top of that the Texans also gave up their 4th round pick this season. The Cardinals get an A+ grade for this trade and the Texans get an F.

James Patterson/Associated Press

The Atlanta Falcons decided to let Austin Hooper walk in free agency and find his replacement in Hayden Hurst. The Falcons are sending a 2nd & 5th round pick to the Baltimore Ravens for Hurst and the Ravens 2020 4th round pick. The Falcons pay a steep price for Hurst, giving up a second-round pick, but they also save around $9 million dollars by not paying Austin Hooper. They also move up from pick 158 to pick 134. If the Falcons view Hurst as a better TE option than any of the TE’s in this year’s draft class, then they couldn’t have done better with their second-round draft pick. Meanwhile the Ravens trade their second-string tight end for a second-round pick. This was a terrific deal for the Ravens, they still have Nick Boyle who will serve as a solid TE2 on their roster. My final grade for both teams, the Ravens get an A+, Falcons get a B.

Tony Avelar/Associated Press

The San Francisco 49ers today decided to trade DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts for the #13 overall selection in this years NFL Draft. Earlier today, before this trade went down, the 49ers re-signed Arik Armstead to a contract that will pay him $17 million annually. Buckner has agreed to an extension with the Colts that will pay him $21 million annually. The 49ers couldn’t afford to pay them both and didn’t want to lose Armstead. Instead of letting Armstead walk and get nothing in return they pulled off this trade.

The 49ers can now try and draft Derrick Brown or Javon Kinlaw and save around $18 million annually. Meanwhile the Colts add one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL to their team. The Colts currently have Margus Hunt, Tyquan Lewis, and Denico Autry who can play the interior defensive lineman position. Buckner is a huge upgrade and will anchor that defensive line for years to come. Personally, I thought the Colts should have been looking for a WR1 with their #13 overall pick. They could have targeted guys like CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, or Henry Ruggs. My final grade for the 49ers is an A+, and a B- for the Colts.

The fourth trade of today sent WR Stefon Diggs and the Vikings 2020 7th round pick to the Buffalo Bills for a flurry of draft picks. The Bills in return sent their #22 overall pick, their 5th & 6th round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft and their 4th round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft to the Minnesota Vikings. this was a huge trade for the Bills. In every mock draft I’ve done so far, I’ve given the Bills a WR at #22 overall.

Now instead of getting a talented but unproven college player, the Bills get one of the better receivers in this league. Josh Allen is finally given a true #1 option in the passing game to throw to and it should lead to an ever more dynamic offense for the Bills this offseason. The Vikings in return get a ton of draft picks, including #22 overall. They can use that pick to find a day 1 starter in the NFL. My grade for each team, the Bills get an A, and the Vikings get an A+.

Tracking each team’s offseason moves

Bears

The Bears have been linked to Quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater, Nick Foles, and Andy Dalton via free agency or trade. Reports are that the Bears are just looking to bring in someone who can give Mitchell Trubisky some competition, but the truth is, they just need a new starting quarterback. The Bears made on free agent signing today, adding TE Jimmy Graham to the team. To be Honest, I’m not totally sure why this move was made, since the Bears are looking to add a quarterback in free agency, and still have a hole at RG it doesn’t make much sense to use up cap space on a tight end, which is already a position of depth.

Bengals

The Bengals have franchise tagged A.J. Green. Joe Burrow has stated he wants A.J. Green in the locker room if he is going to play for the Bengals. This is yet another indicator that he Bengals will be taking Joe Burrow with the #1 overall pick.

Bills

The Bills signed CB Josh Norman, DE Mario Addison and re-signed LG Quinton Spain today. The Bills also traded four draft picks, including #22 overall for WR Stefan Diggs. Brandon Beane continues to build this team into a championship contender.

Browns

The Browns have been busy on day one of the legal tampering period. They have made Austin Hooper the highest paid TE in the league at $11 million a season for 4 years ($44M total). They also upgraded their RT position by paying Jack Conklin $42 million over three seasons. Lastly, they also signed Case Keenum to a three-year $18 million deal to be their backup quarterback.

Broncos

The Broncos placed the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons, signed Graham Glasgow to a 4-year, $44 Million contract and traded for CB A.J. Bouye a couple weeks ago. The Broncos have made some smart decisions which should allow them to continue to be competitive in the AFC West division.

Buccaneers

The Buccaneers first moves in free agency were to retain edge rushers Shaquil Barrett (by placing the franchise tag on him) and Jason Pierre-Paul, whom they signed to a 2-year $27 million contract. I expect the Buccaneers to sign free agent quarterback Tom Brady in the coming days.

Cardinals

The Cardinals have placed the transition tag on running back Kenyan Drake and traded for DeAndre Hopkins so far this season. In doing so they sent away RB David Johnson and fleeced the Texans in one of the worst trades in NFL history. The Cardinals continue to put pieces around Kyler Murray so that he can be successful, I expect the Cardinals to address the RT position either via free agency or in the draft this year also.

Chargers

The Chargers have placed the franchise tag on Hunter Henry, re-signed Austin Ekeler and traded for guard Trai Turner this offseason. These were all smart decisions that will continue to allow their offense to be successful. The next big question is what they do at quarterback. Its possible they sign one in free agency, otherwise expect them to try and draft a quarterback in the first round of this year’s draft.

Chiefs

The Chiefs have placed the franchise tag on Chris Jones. They have also picked up the $2.3 million option on Damien Williams contract. The Chiefs have no cap space, so don’t expect to see any big signings over the next few days.

Colts

The Colts have re-signed LT Anthony Castonzo to a two-year contract and traded their #13 overall selection in this year’s NFL Draft for DT DeForest Buckner. Because of this trade I would expect to see the Colts try and sign a wide receiver in free agency.

Cowboys

The Cowboys have placed the exclusive franchise tag on Dak Prescott and re-signed Blake Jarwin to a 3-year contract. They also paid Amari cooper a 5 year 100-Million-dollar contract. I expect that the Cowboys and Dak Prescott will continue to try and reach an agreement on a long-term contract this offseason. I expect that the Cowboys will try find some defensive players on bargain contracts this offseason.

Dolphins

The Dolphins have been very active in this free agency window, signing four players on the first day. Those four players include offensive lineman Ereck Flowers, defensive end Shaq Lawson, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and corner Byron Jones. They used over half of this year’s cap space on those four players. It will be interest to see how the Dolphins use their remaining cap space for the rest of free agency. Melvin Gordon could be the next player signed by the Miami Dolphins.

Eagles

The Eagles had one big day 1 free agent signing in NT Javon Hargrave who they signed to a 3-year $39 million contract. The Eagles still have holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball, I expect they will continue to try and sign players to improve their defense until they run out of cap space.

Falcons

The Falcons have re-signed Tyler Davidson and traded for Hayden Hurst. These two moves filled some holes on their offense and will give them a little more freedom on how they should use their first two draft picks this year.

49ers

The 49ers have re-signed DT Arik Armstead to a five-year deal. They also traded away DT DeForest Buckner to the Colts for the #13 overall pick in this year’s draft. It was also just reported that the 49ers have re-signed safety Jimmie Ward. Losing Buckner really hurts their defense so it is a must that they get someone who can contribute right away with the #13th overall pick.

Giants

The Giants have made three moves so far this offseason, first they placed the franchise tag on defensive lineman Leonard Williams. Then they signed corner James Bradberry to a three-year $45 million contract. Now they have added Blake Martinez on a 3-year $30 million contract. The Giants still need to sign and edge rusher and will most likely look to address that hole in the coming days of free agency.

Jaguars

The Jaguars have placed the franchise tag on Yannick Ngakoue, and many believe they will trade him. It is possible the Jaguars could net a first-round pick for Ngakoue, which would give the Jaguars their 3rd first round pick in this year’s draft.

Jets

The Jets had a disappointing first day in free agency, missing on players like Graham Glasgow and Jack Conklin, but they were able to sign OT George Fant to a three-year contract. Bryan Bulaga is another player that is currently a free agent the Jets should be trying to sign in the coming days.

Lions

The Lions have signed Halapoulivaati Vaitai to a five-year contract at $10 million a season. Additionally, they have signed LB Jamie Collins to a three-year $30 Million contract. These are two players that should start right away and be contributors to the team. The Lions still have cap space and need to add talent to the defensive line, edge rush, and defensive backs, so expect them to be aggressive in the coming days of free agency.

Packers

The packers have signed both ILB Christian Kirksey and RT Ricky Wagner to two-year contracts. Both these players, if healthy are bargains who should contribute each week to the team’s success. I expect the Packers to make one more splash in free agency before focusing on addressing team needs in the NFL Draft.

Panthers

The Panthers traded Trai Turner to the Chargers for Russell Okung two weeks ago. Today they signed QB Kyle Allen to an extension, while also signing free agent DE Stephen Weatherly to 3-year contract. I expect the Panthers to keep addressing needs in free agency over the coming days.

Patriots

The Patriots have lost two key free agents already in Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins, but they were able to re-sign safety Devin McCourty on a 2-year $23 million contract. They also placed the franchise tag on left guard Joe Thuney and re-signed special-teams player Matthew Slater to a two-year extension. I expect Brady to sign elsewhere in free agency so I wouldn’t be surprised if within the next few days, we start hearing rumors about quarterbacks the Patriots are looking to sign in free agency or trade for.

Raiders

The Raiders have signed Marcus Mariota to compete for the starting quarterback position as well as signing Nick Kwiatkoski to bolster the Raiders linebacking core. The Mariota signing is an interesting one in that both Mayock and Gruden were very high on him when he was coming into the league, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gives Derek Carr a run for his money during the preseason this summer.

Rams

The Rams have not made any moves this offseason, although it is believed that many players are available via trade including Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, and possibly Robert Woods.

Ravens

The Ravens have signed Michael Brockers, traded for Calais Campbell and franchise tagged Matt Judon. All three of these moves help bolster a defense that had multiple starters becoming free agents. These moves should allow the ravens to draft an ILB or SS with their #28 overall pick.

Redskins

The Redskins released Josh Norman this offseason and replace him with Kendall Fuller who they signed to a 4-year $40 Million contract. They also franchise tagged guard Brandon Scherff and sign guard Wes Schweitzer to a three-year $13.5 million contract. with the loss of Ereck Flowers, Schweitzer should fill that hole on a bargain contract.

Saints

The Saints will soon officially re-sign Drew Brees, but before that happens, they were able to re-sign David Onyemata to a three-year contract for $27 million ($9M a season). The Saints don’t have cap space so don’t expect them to make any big signings after Brees re-signs.

Seahawks

The Seahawks have re-signed DT Jarran Reed to a 2-year $23 million contract, while also adding Greg Olsen in free agency to bolster the TE position. I expect the Seahawks to re-sign Jadeveon Clowney tomorrow and would be shocked if Seattle loses him in free agency after trading a 3rd round pick for him at the beginning of the season.

Steelers

The Steelers placed their franchise tag on Bud Dupree but that has been the only move they’ve made this offseason. Considering they are $10+ million over the salary cap currently, expect them to be release players rather than signing them this offseason.

Texans

The Texans have acquired RB David Johnson via a trade with the Cardinals for DeAndre Hopkins. They re-signed TE Darren Fells, CB Bradley Roby, K Ka’imi Fairbairn, and backup QB AJ McCarron. The Texans have also signed WR Randall Cobb.

Titans

The Titans were able to address some needs by re-signing Ryan Tannehill to be their starting quarterback, franchise tagging Derrick Henry to retain their starting running back and signing Dennis Kelly to start at RT in place of Jack Conklin who signed with the Browns. These were all smart moves that allow the Titans to keep the core of their team together. I expect the Titans and Henry to try and agree to an extension at some point this offseason.

Vikings– sign punter Britton Colquitt to a 3 year, $9 million contract. They also re-signed FB C.J. Ham to a four-year contract.

2020 Mock Draft 1.0

Image result for 2020 nlf draft

This Mock Draft will not consist of any trades and will only be covering the first round of the NFL Draft. After the first wave of free agency signings are completed, I will update my mock draft and adjust for what team needs were filled. As we get closer to the NFL Draft, I will also cover the second and third rounds.

#1. Cincinnati Bengals-QB Joe Burrow

All reports say the Bengals are targeting Joe Burrow with their #1 overall selection. He is a native of Ohio and will instantaneously become a fan favorite when they draft him. A few weeks ago, I wrote that the Los Angeles Chargers should try and trade up to the #1 overall spot and draft Joe Burrow. That was under the assumption that Burrow wouldn’t want to play in Cincinnati, but he alleviated any of those concerns at the NFL Combine when he stated in media interviews that he will play for whichever team that drafts him.

#2. Washington Redskins-QB Tua Tagovailoa

            Every mock draft in America has Chase Young going to the Redskins with the #2 overall pick, but I don’t think the Redskins are sold on the idea of Dwayne Haskins being the future of the franchise. Haskins was taken #15 overall, which goes to show he wasn’t seen by everyone in the NFL as sure thing and this past season didn’t show enough to alleviate the question of whether he can be successful in the NFL. Tua had been considered the #1 overall pick for the past two seasons until his hip injury. Every medical check Tua has had since his hip surgery has been extremely positive and by the time we reach the draft, there will be no medical concerns regarding Tua’s hip. Quarterback is the most important position on the field and the Redskins get an upgrade with Tua.

#3 Detroit LionsDE Chase Young

            With Tua going to the Redskins at #2 overall, Chase Young beautifully falls into the lap of the Detroit Lions. The Lions desperate need a pass rusher to put opposite Trey Flowers and they find that in the draft with Chase Young. Young is arguably the best player in the draft so at #3 overall Young is a total steal.

#4 New York Giants-LT Mekhi Becton

            The Giants have a plethora of needs, some of which they will hopefully address in free agency. They could go a lot of different ways with this pick. The Giants could draft lock down corner Jeffrey Okudah, they could draft the athletic Isaiah Simmons to provide a playmaker on their defense, or they could draft Derrick Brown to replace free agent Leonard Williams. Instead the Giants address the offensive line. They need to improve the offensive tackle position and with Becton the Giants get the lineman with the highest potential ceiling in this draft class. His ceiling being a future NFL Hall of Fame left tackle. The Giants still have Nate Solder under contract through 2022 and if they made this selection, they would most likely slide him over to the right tackle position.

#5 Miami DolphinsQB Justin Herbert

            The Dolphins need a franchise quarterback and they get one in Justin Herbert. This selection could change if the Dolphins went out and signed say Jameis Winston or Teddy Bridgewater to a long-term contract, but all signs point to the Dolphins selecting a quarterback in this draft and Justin Herbert is the best one on the board.

#6 Los Angeles Chargers-LT Andrew Thomas

            The Los Angeles Chargers just traded away LT Russell Okung to the Carolina Panthers for RG Trai Turner. This trade created a glaring need for a new franchise left tackle. The Chargers fill that need by selecting Thomas. He will provide the Chargers with someone who is an excellent run blocker and exceptional pass blocker.

#7 Carolina Panthers-CB Jeffrey Okudah

            Almost every mock draft out there has Derrick Brown going to the Panthers with the #7 overall pick, because they have Okudah going to the Lions at #3. With Okudah still on the board the Panthers choose him over the other options like Brown and Isaiah Simmons. The Panthers top two cornerbacks in 2019 were James Bradberry and Ross Cockrell, both of whom are free agents this offseason. Okudah is an upgrade over both of those corners and can be a cornerstone of this defense for at least the next five seasons.

#8 Arizona Cardinals-RT Tristan Wirfs

            The Cardinals biggest current need is a starting right tackle, and they get the best one available in the 2020 draft in this mock. If the Cardinals sign a starting right tackle in free agency this pick will almost certainly be a wide receiver, but since that hasn’t happened yet, this is who they should draft. They get an extremely athletic, powerful blocker on the right side of their line who will free up running lanes and help keep the pocket clean for Kyler Murray.

#9 Jacksonville Jaguars-LB Isaiah Simmons

            The Jaguars found themselves in the perfect situation in this draft. Derrick Brown, Javon Kinlaw and Isaiah Simmons are all on the board when they are on the clock. After careful consideration the Jaguars decide to use this pick to draft Isaiah Simmons. The Jaguars get an extremely athletic playmaker to add to their defense. A linebacker who can slide outside and cover Tight Ends and Slot Receivers is a dynamic addition to this already talented defense. Derrick Brown was the other player under consideration, but Abry Jones and Tavon Bryan already provide the Jaguars with solid defensive tackle play so the bigger need is at linebacker.

#10 Cleveland Browns-LT Jedrick Wills Jr.

            The Cleveland Browns starting left tackle from last season is a free agent right now and most likely headed to prison after being arrested while in possession of 157 lbs of marijuana. Jedrick Wills protected Tua Tagovailoa’s blind side the past two seasons, and let me make it clear, he was not at fault for the play that led to Tua’s hip injury. Wills completed his blocking assignment on that play, just like he did essentially every play of his career at Alabama. The Browns get a solid offensive tackle who will help decrease the number of times Baker Mayfield is pressured in the pocket, so that he will hopefully throw less interceptions this upcoming season.

#11 New York Jets-LT Josh Jones

            The Jets have a huge need for offensive tackle, they need an upgrade on both sides of the line. Reports say the Jets have been linked with Jack Conklin in free agency and signing him would address their RT position, but they still need an upgrade on the left side, and they get it in Josh Jones. The Jets get a solid pass protector who also excels in the run game.

#12 Las Vegas Raiders-DT Derrick Brown

            I am shocked every time I do a mock draft, when Derrick Brown is still available after the top 10 picks, but with there being such a big need at Offensive Tackle for the teams in the top 10 I believe we will see this happen when the NFL Draft officially begins on April 23rd. The Raiders, under the leadership of Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock, are trying to develop a winning culture and of all the players available on the board none can help them do that more than Derrick Brown. He is a disruptive force on the defensive side of the ball and provides a solid foundational piece for the Raiders to build their defense around. Some could argue the Raiders should be taking CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy or Henry Ruggs at this spot, but this is such a deep wide receiver class and the Raiders still have a chance to get a top receiver with their #19 overall selection.

#13 Indianapolis Colts-WR CeeDee Lamb

            CeeDee is the best wide receiver in this draft, Jerry Jeudy is a close second, but CeeDee is the perfect choice for the Colts who are in dire need of a playmaking wide receiver. T.Y. Hilton is 30 years old and on the last year of his contact. the Colts could re-sign him this offseason, but they still need help at the position, and they get that from CeeDee.

#14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers-OLB K’Lavon Chaisson

            The Tampa Bay Buccaneers top three pass rushers: Shaquil Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Carl Nassib are all free agents this offseason. It’s rumored that the Bucs might be placing the franchise tag on Barrett, so that would bring one edge rusher back, but with the Buccaneers also in the market for a quarterback this offseason they most likely won’t be able to pay a second pass rusher. Chaisson gives the Buccaneers that second edge rusher to go opposite Barrett.

#15 Denver Broncos-WR Jerry Jeudy

            The Broncos get the best route running wide receiver in this class to pair with Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton. This trio of receivers combined with Noah Fant at TE should give Drew Lock a plethora of options to throw to so that he hopefully has an even more successful sophomore season in the NFL.

#16 Atlanta Falcons-DT Javon Kinlaw

            The Falcons had a lot of areas they could have gone with this pick but end up choosing to draft Javon Kinlaw to put next to Grady Jarrett on the defensive line. These two bad boys should stuff the run all season long and even put some pressure on the quarterback with an interior pass rush.      

#17 Dallas Cowboys-CB Noah Igbinoghene

            The Dallas Cowboys will most likely be losing Byron Jones in free agency this offseason, if they do, Igbinoghene would be a great replacement for the Cowboys. Of all the corners in the SEC Igbinoghene had the best performances against LSU and Alabama when facing their top tier receivers. Igbinoghene originally came to Auburn as a wide receiver but has since made the transition to cornerback and has turned into one of the best corners in college football.

#18 Miami Dolphins-LB Kenneth Murray

            The Dolphins need playmakers on their defense and this guy gives them just that. Murray is a sideline to sideline tackler who will also provide great leadership for that defense both on and off the field.

#19 Las Vegas Raiders-WR Henry Ruggs

            The Raiders get a speed demon with this pick. Someone who can blow the top off defenses and get open against almost anyone with his speed alone. Ruggs, like many of the other picks Mayock and Gruden will be making this April, comes from a winning culture as he won a national championship with Alabama his freshman year.

#20 Jacksonville Jaguars-CB C.J. Henderson

            Henderson is an athletic freak who is a great coverage corner. He will struggle if you ask him to make tackles in the open field, but when it comes to taking away an opposing teams’ number one option, this guy is great for it. Henderson ran a 4.39 40-yard dash at the combine, had 20 bench reps of 225 lbs and had a vertical of 37.5 inches. he isn’t Jalen Ramsey, but he will get the job done for the Jaguars.

#21 Philadelphia Eagles-LB Patrick Queen

            Every mock draft I have seen has the Eagles taking a wide receiver with the #21 overall selection, but I just don’t see it. The Eagles don’t need more receivers, they just need to have the ones they already have stay healthy. The Eagles have other needs that are more pressing. In Patrick Queen the Eagles get a player who can command the middle of their defense. A linebacker who can cover, make plays stopping the run, and even provide some pressure on stunt blitzes.

#22 Buffalo Bills-WR Tee Higgins

            The Bills need a true #1 Wide Receiver on their depth chart, and they need it to be one with size considering their top two receivers (John Brown and Cole Beasley) are 5’11” and 5’8”. Tee Higgins gives them just that, a tall 6’3.5” WR with 34-inch arms who can go up and win jump balls in the air. Josh Allen gets a target with a very large catch radius, something that should help him considering he isn’t known for being the most accurate of passers.

#23 New England Patriots-OLB Zach Baun

            Both New England Patriots starting outside linebackers Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy are free agents this offseason. Zach Baun would fit perfectly into the Patriots defensive scheme as an outside linebacker/edge rusher who can put pressure on the quarterback, drop back in coverage, or match up in man coverage on tight ends and running backs.

#24 New Orleans Saints-WR Justin Jefferson

            Justin Jefferson is one of the best wide receivers in this class and the Saints find him here at #24 overall. Pairing Jefferson with Michael Thomas will give opposing defensive coordinators nightmares all week long as they try and game plan how to stop the Saints passing attack.

#25 Minnesota Vikings-SS Xavier McKinney

            The Vikings could go with strong safety or corner at #25 overall, here they decide to go with Xavier McKinney to replace free agent Anthony Harris. McKinney will slide into this spot well and provide the Vikings with solid play from that position.

#26 Miami Dolphins-LT Prince Tega Wahogho

            The Dolphins have found the new leaders of their offense and defense in Justin Herbert and Kenneth Murray. Now they find a new franchise left tackle who will keep the pocket clean for Justin Herbert. PTW isn’t talked about nearly as much as the top 5 offensive tackles in this draft, but he is right behind that group and will be a solid starter in this league.

#27 Seattle Seahawks-WR Denzel Mims

            The Seattle Seahawks add another weapon in the passing game for Russell Wilson to throw to. The Seahawks have many other needs including left guard, right tackle, defensive tackle, and defensive end, but instead they give the highest paid player in the NFL another weapon in the passing game. A trio of Lockett, Mims and Metcalf would have opposing defensive coordinators trembling.

#28 Baltimore Ravens-OLB Terrell Lewis

            With Matt Judon and Pernell McPhee both entering free agency the Ravens have a need at outside linebacker and Terrell Lewis can fit in nicely with their defense. Lewis gives them someone with speed and athleticism off the edge who can also drop back in coverage when needed.

#29 Tennessee Titans-RB Jonathan Taylor

            Derrick Henry is a free agent this summer and it’s possible the Titans let someone else pay him. It has been seen time and time again throughout history in the NFL that running backs don’t do as well on their second contracts as the tread on their tires starts to wear down. I don’t think the Titans want to risk paying Henry a long-term top dollar contract only to see him then break down due to injury. Jonathan Taylor was the first running back in college history to run for 2000 yards in three consecutive seasons, he’s a beast. He can come in and tote the ball for 25 carries a game and five years from now the Titans can draft another running back.

#30 Green Bay Packers-CB Kristian Fulton Jr.

            The Packers have needs at Wide Receiver and Inside Linebacker but there wasn’t anyone on the board that they loved. Kevin King is a free agent in 2021 and with Kenny Clark, David Bakhtiari, Corey Linsley, and Aaron Jones all also being free agents in 2021 there’s a good chance King doesn’t get re-signed. The packers look to the future with this selection and add another solid cornerback to their roster. Fulton will contribute immediately, and start opposite Alexander in 2021.

#31 San Francisco 49ers-FS Grant Delpit

            The 49ers starting free safety Jimmie Ward is now a free agent and might not be back next season. Grant Delpit would provide the 49ers with a great deep safety for at least the next five years.

#32 Kansas City Chiefs-CB Trevor Diggs

            Three of the Chiefs top four corners are all currently free agents. This is by far their greatest area of need and Trevor Diggs gives the Chiefs a tall athletic corner that can match up against the best wide receivers in the AFC West next season.

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This concludes my first official 2020 mock draft. You may have noticed that Jordan Love was not selected in the first round of this mock draft, that is because I do not believe he is worthy of a first round selection even though some think he could be a top 10 selection. It is very possible that a team falls in love with him and takes him in the first round, but in my opinion that would be a mistake.

If their were any other names you think should have went in my first round mock draft please comment with who you think should have went in the first round and why.

The Biggest Winners and Losers from the 2020 NFL Combine

The 2020 NFL Combine occurred last week in Indianapolis, there, 337 former college athletes were put under a microscope by each NFL team. Their hands, arms, wingspan, and height were measured, along with being weighed. Each NFL team interviewed 45 players of their choosing for 18 minutes. Players were also poked and prodded by team doctors to ensure that their health is in order.

For many of these players, this is their greatest opportunity to put their athleticism on display for all to see. They do so through the many events that occur at the combine including the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, bench press, and 3-cone drill. Sadly though, for some, they will struggle in one or more of these competitions and instead of displaying their athleticism, it will lead to questions as to whether those players are athletic enough to make it in the greatest professional sports league of the world.

Here is a list of the best results from each of the previously listed drills. Henry Ruggs led the speedsters with a blazing 4.27 second 40-yard dash. Donovan Peoples-Jones demonstrating his leaping ability. He led both the vertical jump, with an outstanding 44.5-inch leap, and the broad jump, with another outstanding 139-inch leap. Netane Muti led the way in bench press with an impressive 44 reps of 225 lbs. Denzel Mims had the most outstanding 3-cone time with 6.66 seconds.

Here are the biggest winners and losers by position groups, from the NFL Combine this year:

Quarterbacks

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Justin Herbert continued to show off his big arm at the NFL combine, just like he did at the Senior Bowl practices. He was also able to show his athleticism, running a 4.68 in the 40-yard dash, which was 3rd best among all quarterbacks. He also ran the fastest 3-cone drill among all quarterbacks with 7.06 seconds. Herbert had the 2nd highest Vertical Jump (35.5 inches), and 3rd longest broad jump (123 inches) among the quarterbacks. He continues to demonstrate why he will eventually be a top-10 pick in the upcoming draft, possibly even a top-5 pick.

Cole McDonald also had a great performance at the combine, he had the fastest 40 among QBs with a 4.58. He also had the best vertical jump at 36 inches. He had the 2nd 3-cone drill among QBs with a 7.13 and the 4th best broad jump at 121 inches.

Of all the quarterbacks, the one who’s limitations were most visible had to be Jake Fromm. He ran a 5.01 40-yard dash and had 8.875-inch hands. Considering most scouts see 9” hands as the minimum benchmark for an NFL QBs hand size, it might hurt Fromm’s draft stock. We already know Fromm doesn’t have a strong arm and the 5 second 40 simply adds to how limited Fromm is in his abilities.

The one other quarterback who might not have helped himself was Jacob Eason. He had the 2nd slowest 3-cone result among the QBs, along with the worst vertical, and 3rd worst broad jump. He has a cannon for an arm, and his height (being 6’5 7/8″) is always a plus, but Eason’s poor numbers demonstrate a lack of athleticism that others like Herbert and Love do possess. In today’s NFL where quarterbacks need to be more mobile than ever, these results just give one more reason for Love to be higher on draft boards than Eason.

Running Backs

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Jonathan Taylor and A.J. Dillon had outstanding performances in the RBs group. Taylor had the fastest 40 among all RBs with a 4.39. meanwhile Dillon, ran a 4.53 which is quite an exceptional time for someone who weighed in at 247 lbs. Dillon was also the best leaper among all the RBs with a 41-inch vertical and 131-inch broad jump.

Taylor is already considered a consensus top 3 RB in this draft class and with his 40 time I wouldn’t be surprised if more people start naming him as the #1 RB in the 2020 class. He has the best vision among all the RBs in this draft class. The only thing that holds him back from being the first running back taken in this upcoming draft is his 18 fumbles (15 lost) over his 3-year span with Wisconsin. That is a huge concern for NFL teams. If he can clean up the fumbling issues, the gap between him and the rest of the running backs in this class is huge. I heard talk of teams wanting to move A.J. Dillon to FB once he’s in the NFL. This needs to end now. I’m sick of it. Watch his tape, he’s a unique talent. He is a smooth runner who glides down the field. He is far too athletic a talent to waste at fullback.

The only thing that stood out as disappointing in this RB group was that D’Andre Swift didn’t have a faster 40-yard dash time, and that KeShawn Vaughn didn’t impress me much in the drills he participated in.

Tight Ends

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Cole Kmet had a great day at the NFL combine. His 4.70 40 time was 4th best among TEs. His 37-inch vertical was the best among all tight ends and his 123-inch broad jump was 2nd best among TEs. the 3-cone time was unimpressive at 7.44 but his speed and leaping ability should overcome that one disappointment.

I’m pretty sure Albert Okwuegbunam shocked everyone, or at least almost everyone at the combine when he ran a 4.49 40-yard dash. At 255 lbs Albert O ran a 40 time faster than some notable names including Brandon Aiyuk, CeeDee Lamb, Jaylon Johnson, Patrick Queen, Kenneth Murray, and Laviska Shenault.

 On the opposite end of the spectrum, Jared Pinkney ran a 4.96 40 time, the slowest among TEs who ran. This surprised me, watching his tape I thought he would at least run a 4.8 with the chance of running in the mid 4.7 range. Pinkney will get a chance to improve that time on Vanderbilt’s Pro Day on March 16th. Hopefully, he will take full advantage of that opportunity and show scouts he can run faster than a 4.96.

one last impressive time to note was the 6.78 3-cone time ran by Adam Trautman. That was the 3rd best time among ALL athletes at the combine.

Wide receivers

Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports

Chase Claypool became the first player since Calvin “Megatron” Johnson to measure in at 6’4” or taller and 235 lbs or more and run a sub 4.45 40-yard dash. Claypool is 6’4”, 238 lbs and ran a 4.42 40-yard dash, which was 7th best among all WRs. Claypool was also one of only 6 WRs in this class to have an 80 inch or longer wingspan and had the 7th largest hand size among WRs. Claypool also had the 5th most bench reps among WRs with 19. Lastly, Claypool also had the 4th best vertical among all WRs with a 40.5 inch jump. Teams asked Claypool if he would play TE in the NFL days before he posted all these results. At this point, NFL teams shouldn’t care where they put Claypool on the field, because as long as he’s on the field, he’s going to be useful. Put him outside, in the slot, or even with his hand in the ground as in-line TE. No matter what, he’s going to help your team in the passing game.

Denzel Mims also had a great performance at the combine. He had the fastest 3-cone time among ALL athletes who performed in it, with a 6.66. he also ran the 3rd fastest 40-yard dash among WRs with a 4.38. his stock definitely went up last week, and probably should have been higher on everyone’s board long before the combine started.

Donovan Peoples-Jones jumped out of the building last Thursday in Indianapolis. His 44.5 inch vertical and 139-inch broad jump was the best among all athletes at the combine. He also had a 4.48 40-yard dash time. Those three numbers should help move him up draft boards and result in him being a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Devin Duvernay and Justin Jefferson showed off their speed posting a 4.39 (Duvernay) and 4.43 (Jefferson) in the 40-yard dash.

The biggest letdowns among the WRs was probably how slow Quintez Cephus (4.73), Jauan Jennings (4.72), K.J. Hill (4.60), and Laviska Shenault Jr. (4.58) ran in the 40-yard dash.

Jalen Reagor ran a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash, which is respectable, but many thought he would run much faster, and that combined with the fact that he posted a 7.31 in the 3-cone drill probably disappointed some scouts. Reagor was still impressive in every other facet of the combine, posting 17 bench reps, a 42-inch vertical, and a 138-inch broad jump. It will be interesting to see if Reagor runs faster on his pro day, but in all I don’t think his stock moved up or down much, if at all.

Offensive Line

Brian Spurlock/USA Today Sports

Tristan Wirfs continued to provide an argument that he is the best offensive tackle in this draft class at the combine. He posted the fastest 40 time among O-Lineman with a 4.85, along with the best vertical (36.5 inches) and broad jump (121 inches) among the Offensive Line. He also had the 5th best 3-cone time for all offensive lineman.

Ezra Cleveland also had a nice combine performance. He had the best three-cone drill performance among all offensive lineman with a 7.26 (which was faster than Jalen Reagor’s 3-cone). He also had the third fastest 40-yard dash with a 4.93 and had 30 bench press reps of 225 for the 2nd best among all offensive lineman, and the best among offensive tackles.

Trey Adams and Calvin Throckmorton had two of the most disappointing performances among the Offensive lineman at the combine, they were both among the worst performers in almost all the drills they performed.

Defensive Line

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Jabari Zuniga had possibly the most shocking and least talked about outstanding performance at the combine. He was the 2nd fastest defensive lineman in the 40-yard dash with a 6.64, he also had the 2nd most bench reps for all defensive ends with 29. He had the 7th best vertical (33 inches) for all defensive lineman, and the best broad jump for all defensive lineman (127 inches).

Justin Madubuike had the 4th best 40 time among Defensive Tackles with a 4.83. he also had the 4th most bench press reps with 31. This display of strength and speed should ensure that he is drafted somewhere in the second round of this year’s draft.

Of all the defensive lineman that performed at the combine, A.J. Epenesa’s performances were some of the more disappointing ones. I expected him to do better in almost every drill he participated in.

Linebackers

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Isaiah Simmons is a freak athlete who can play both linebacker and safety. He is 6’3 and 238lbs. he had the 4th longest wingspan of all linebackers measured at the combine. He runs a 4.39 40-yard dash, has a 39-inch vertical (3rd best among linebackers), and a 132-inch broad jump, which was 2nd best among linebackers. Everyone knew Simmons was an athletic freak before the combine started and his performances re-affirmed that fact. He could go as high as #4 in the NFL Draft.

Willie Gay Jr. had a tremendous performance at the combine also. Gay ran the 2nd fastest 40-yard dash among linebackers, with a 4.46 time. He’s tied for 5th in the bench press among linebackers with 21 reps. He leaped 39.5 inches in the vertical which was 2nd best for LBs and had the longest broad jump (136 inches) among linebackers. Willie also has the largest hands in this linebacker class measuring out to 10.5 inches.

Kenneth Murray also had a successful outing at the combine. He had the 3rd longest broad jump at 129 inches. He had the 6th highest vertical jump at 38 inches. He’s tied for 5th in the bench press at 21 reps. Lastly, he was also the 6th fastest linebacker with a 4.52 speed. Murray should be a top 20 pick in this draft and if he isn’t, he won’t fall past Green Bay at #30 overall.

The two most disappointing combine performances by linebackers were from Michael Divinity and Evan Weaver. Divinity had the 4th slowest 40, the 2nd lowest number of bench reps, the 4th lowest vertical jump and the 4th worst broad jump. He looked terrible in comparison to the competition. Evan Weaver didn’t perform quite as bad as Divinity, but I expected him to perform better than he did. He seemingly showed a lack of athleticism that is needed to be productive in the NFL.

Corners

Jeffrey Okudah had a great performance at the combine by simply showing up and getting his body measured. He had the longest arms (32 5/8) and the longest wingspan (78 5/8) of every corner in the draft. That is important for a corner because it helps them jam up the receiver at the line of scrimmage and for swatting away footballs thrown their way. Okudah was also the most impressive leaper of all the corners with a 41-inch vertical and 135-inch broad jump. Okudah also ran a 4.48 40-yard dash, which isn’t blazing fast speed but will get the job done sufficiently. Between Okudah’s speed, arm length, and leaping ability, don’t expect anything thrown to a receiver in his area to ever be caught.

C.J. Henderson ran the 2nd fastest 40 among the corners with a 4.39. he was 5th best among corners in both the bench press (with 20 reps) and the vertical leap at 37.5 inches. C.J. isn’t a great tackler, but his athleticism shined brightly at the combine. His speed will allow him to stay with anyone in coverage, his bench press shows he will be able to jam up receivers at the line of scrimmage, and his leaping ability means he will be swatting away passes directed his way.

Javelin Guidry is only 5’9” tall so will most likely be playing slot corner his entire career in the NFL, but with his 4.29 speed and his 21 bench reps, he has shown he will probably be the best slot corner in this draft class. Someone who can run with Henry Ruggs will be valued by NFL teams.

The most disappointing results among the corners at the combine have to be the 40 times by Stanford Samuels (4.65) and Cam Dantzler (4.64) these times will hurt these players. Hopefully, they can improve upon those times during their pro days, and if they don’t, you can expect to see them slide down draft boards.

Jeff Gladney ran a 4.48 40-yard dash, which as I said with Okudah is fine, but I do think many were disappointed because they expected him to run faster. Gladney’s 7.26 3-cone drill, which was the worst time among the 15 Corners that ran in it, could cause him to slide a bit on draft boards for NFL teams.

Safeties

USA Today Sports photo

Jeremy Chinn had a great performance at the combine and one that was needed considering he is a small school talent from Southern Illinois. Chinn was the largest safety at the combine, measuring in at 6’3 and weighing 221 lbs. Chinn had the 4th largest hands among safeties at 9.625 inches, the 5th longest arms at 32 1/8 inches and the 2nd longest wingspan at 77 5/8 inches. Chinn had the 3rd fastest 40-yard dash by a safety at 4.45 seconds. He had the 4th most bench reps among safeties with 20. He had the 2nd highest vertical leap at 41 inches and the longest broad jump at 138 inches. Chin is an athletic freak, who could develop into the next great NFL safety. Expect him to fly up draft boards over the coming weeks as teams continue to evaluate their options.

Kyle Dugger, the other small school product who hails from Lenoir Rhyne also had a great performance. He had the highest vertical leap by a safety at 42 inches and the 2nd highest broad jump by a safety at 134 inches. He ran the 6th fastest 40 time by a safety at 4.49. he had the biggest hands of any safety at 10.375 inches, along with the longest arms (32 7/8 inches) and longest wingspan (78 1/2 inches). Like Chinn, if Dugger continues to develop with the team that drafts him, he can become a star in the NFL.

The worst performance by a safety must be the one put out by Jalen Elliott. He ran a 4.8 40-yard dash and was 5th to last in both the bench press and vertical jump. His stock just plummeted.

Some people were complaining about how poorly Derrick Brown did in the drill at the combine, but I’m not bothered by them one bit and here’s why: HE’S A BULLDOZER! He’s not a nice sports car that can go real fast, he is a monstrosity that pancakes offensive lineman into their quarterback for sacks. He’s the guy who threw a running back to the ground with one arm. He’s a Titan, not like the kind in Nashville, but the kind that collects all six infinity stones and snaps his fingers. He’s Godzilla in shoulder pads and a helmet. Don’t doubt this man, it would be a terrible mistake… just ask the Avengers.

The other ridiculous thing I’ve heard is that by not competing in the combine drills it’s going to hurt Chase Young’s stock. Uh, guys, he had 27 sacks in the last 25 college games he played, and he played in the Big 10. He is being compared to guys like Von Miller, Jadeveon Clowney, and Myles Garrett. The latter two were 1st picks, and Miller, he went 2nd overall, and should have gone 1st overall. So if you hear anyone saying Chase Young hurt his draft stock by not performing in the combine drills then you probably need to cut them out of your life, or at the very least, never listen to a word they have to say about anything relating to football ever again.

This sums up my evaluation of how the NFL combine affected the stock of those players who participated.

Where the Top 12 Potential Free Agent Quarterbacks should go this Offseason

The 2020 Free Agent class is filled with Quarterbacks who could find themselves as the face of a new franchise this offseason. This article will cover the top 12 potential free agent quarterbacks that will be available for hire when NFL Free agency kicks off on March 14th at 4 p.m. ET, 1p.m. PT. Three of these quarterbacks (Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, and Joe Flacco) are under contract for the 2020 season but could possibly be traded or released before the start of next season and thus were included on this list.

Tom Brady

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Last week I wrote an article stating that Tom Brady should sign with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this offseason, joining a team that is loaded with offensive weapons. He would get the privilege of throwing passes to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate, and Ronald Jones on a regular basis. The Buccaneers would instantly be challenging the New Orleans Saints as the likely favorite to win both the NFC South division and the NFC Conference in 2020. If Brady doesn’t end up in Tampa, my second-choice team would be the Los Angeles Chargers.

Drew Brees

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It has already been reported that Drew Brees has agreed to return to the New Orleans Saints for the 2020 season. This is exactly what I assumed would happen. I expected Brees would either return to New Orleans for another season or retire. After watching Brees throughout the season and in the playoffs, he looked like a player who could still come back and play at a high level for another season so it made complete sense for him to return for one.

Phillip Rivers

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In this photo, Phillip Rivers adequately shows what his plans are this offseason, he’s leaving Los Angeles. Phillips Rivers and the Chargers have already announced that he will not be back with the team for the 2020 season. Now the big question is: Does Phillip Rivers continue to play football, or decide to retire. If he retires, he will most likely be spending his days as a bus driver, driving his nine children around all day. Taking them from home to school, and then in the afternoon from school to all their practices, so my guess is that he continues his playing career.

He probably needs to continue playing honestly. I can’t imagine what the monthly bills must look like feeding and housing all those children under one roof. If he wants to put all his children through college, (which becomes increasingly more expensive by the day it seems) than he probably needs to continue playing football for as many seasons as possible.

If Rivers chooses to continue his playing career, the best possible landing spot for him is the Indianapolis Colts. Colts Head Coach Frank Reich worked with Phillip Rivers for three seasons as a member of the Chargers coaching staff. One of those seasons was spent as the quarterbacks’ coach and the two other seasons as the offensive coordinator. Rivers would already be familiar with Reich’s system in Indy and would be an instant upgrade over Jacoby Brissett, whom many believe will be replaced this offseason. My second-choice team would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (if Brady doesn’t sign there).

Dak Prescott

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Dak Prescott is currently a free agent and is reportedly asking the Dallas Cowboys for $40 Million a year in his next contract. This would be an obvious overpay as the five highest-paid quarterbacks in the league make: $35M, $34M, $33.5M, $33.5M and $32M annually. Prescott is obviously playing hardball, trying to get paid as much as possible in the coming seasons.

The Cowboys have a few options, if they can’t agree to a deal before the start of free agency, they could always place the franchise tag on Prescott. He would play out this season under the Franchise Tag and re-enter contract negotiations after next season. Whether or not Prescott would be willing to play under the franchise tag is an altogether different question. Kirk Cousins did so for two straight seasons with the Washington Redskins and then was rewarded by the Minnesota Vikings with a three-year, $84 million dollar contract, which was fully guaranteed money. That was a risk Cousins was willing to take, which Prescott might not be willing to do.

Another option for the Dallas Cowboys would be to place the Transition Tag on Prescott, which would let teams like the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and others with a need at quarterback, determine the market value of Prescott. This is something that could either benefit or hurt the Cowboys. If another team in the league was willing to pay Prescott, say, the entire $40 million dollars a season, it would leave the Cowboys with the difficult decision of paying him that money or losing him to free agency and getting nothing in return. I don’t see a scenario where Dak Prescott starts next season in any uniform other than the Dallas Cowboys. At some point, a deal will get done between Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys and he will continue playing for them for many years to come.

Jameis Squinston…

Does this image look familiar? It should, it’s what Jameis Winston does after every interception he throws. Winston will be seen squinting towards the Jumbotron watching the replay of his interception hoping to see what he didn’t when he was on the field. Why is this, you ask? Because like myself, Winston has been nearsighted for most of his life. It wasn’t until this offseason, two weeks ago actually, that Winston decided to have Lasik eye surgery to correct his vision. Hopefully, this will help prevent any future 30/30 seasons (30 Touchdowns and 30 interceptions). This past season, Winston was able to throw for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdown passes. If bad eyesight was the only reason Winston has thrown so many interceptions throughout his career then look out, he is going to be tremendous next season. I’m not totally sure that’s the only reason he has thrown 121 interceptions in 72 career games, but only time will tell.

What I can tell you is don’t expect him to be on the Buccaneers roster come this fall. At the end of the 2019 NFL season, Bruce Arians was asked by a reporter if his team could win with another quarterback? His response was: “With another quarterback? Oh yeah. If we can win with this one, we can definitely win with another one.” I don’t believe Arians has any desire to see Winston play another game in a Buccaneers uniform. That doesn’t mean other teams won’t be interested in his services. Would the Miami Dolphins consider signing him in free agency, so they can focus on taking the best player available in the NFL Draft at #5 overall? Are the Chargers interested in bringing him in to replace Phillip Rivers? Does Zac Taylor (head coach of the Cincinnati Bengals) think he would be a good fit for his team, which would allow the Bengals to take Chase Young #1 overall in the NFL draft? Does Matt Rhule think he can be the next starting quarterback of the Carolina Panthers? If Phillip Rivers doesn’t end up with the Colts, would they be interested in signing Jameis Winston?

All of these are interesting questions that will get answered in just a few weeks. My prediction for Jameis Winston is that he signs with the Los Angeles Chargers. With his vision corrected, hopefully, his turnover ratio drastically decreases. The Chargers just parted ways with the man who has been the face of their franchise for the past 14 years. In Winston they get a quarterback who has a stronger arm than Rivers, who can hopefully flourish within the pass-happy offense that is already in place there.

When leaving a place like Tampa Bay, that has Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, Cameron Brate and Ronald Jones, there aren’t many consolation prizes in the NFL better than the Los Angeles Chargers. They have talented receivers in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, as well as the possibility of returning Hunter Henry, Austin Ekeler and Melvin Gordon to the team. This move would also allow the Chargers to use their #6 overall selection in the upcoming NFL Draft on the best player available to them rather than potentially reaching on a Quarterback. My second-choice destination for Jameis Winstonwould be the Miami Dolphins.

Ryan Tannehill

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Ryan Tannehill is the next quarterback on this list. He had an interesting season in 2019. He began as the backup quarterback for the Tennessee Titans until he replaced Marcus Mariota who had been struggling through his first six starts of the season. After starting the season with a 2-4 record, Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry were able to lead the Titans all the way to the AFC championship game, where they lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Tannehill and Henry are both free agents this offseason and the Titans could go in a multitude of directions. The best direction though would be to re-sign both Tannehill and Henry and try to reproduce the season they had this year, except continuing in the playoffs to become eventual Super Bowl Champions. When your team falls one game short of playing in the Super Bowl, it is a sign that things are going well and that you should continue to try and build off what got your team that far. How this deal gets done I’m not sure. They may need to franchise tag Tannehill first so no other team can swoop in and sign him in Free Agency. The Titans could then negotiate a new contract with Tannehill without the fear of losing him this offseason. Ultimately, he should be suiting up in a Titans uniform for the 2020 NFL season.

Cam Newton

Mike McCarn/Associated Press

Cam Newton is in an interesting situation. He is entering the last year of his contract and is scheduled to make $21.1 million dollars. Only $2 million of Newton’s 2020 salary is guaranteed money though, so if the Panthers decided to trade or release Cam Newton, they would save $19.1 million dollars. If they decided to part ways with him, they could use the newly acquired increase in cap space to upgrade their team elsewhere. This is something that I believed could happen until I recently read that the Carolina Panthers are currently moving forward with Cam Newton as their starting Quarterback for the 2020 season. So, for now, I guess we are forced to believe he is staying in Carolina.

`Things can change fast though in the NFL, so if the Panthers eventually change course and decide to part ways with Newton it would be interesting to see where he ends up. The most common team I’ve heard of as a possible landing spot for Newton would be the Chicago Bears. Mitch Trubisky has obviously not played up to the potential many NFL scouts and executives thought he could reach thus far in his career. A healthy Cam Newton would provide an instant upgrade for the Chicago Bears, but one of the biggest reasons I don’t see this happening is that the Chicago Bears do not have the salary-cap space available to pay Cam Newton anywhere near what he will be wanting on the free-agent market.

A scenario that I think could be more likely is if he ended up with the Miami Dolphins, potentially on a two-year deal, with most of the guaranteed money coming in season one. This would give the Dolphins flexibility on how they use their #5 overall pick in this years NFL draft. If say, for example, they draft Tua Tagovailoa, it would allow the team to sit Tua behind Cam Newton for a year before letting him take over the Dolphins offense in 2021 or 2022.

Teddy Bridgewater

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Drew Brees has re-signed with the New Orleans Saints, and it has grown increasingly likely that Taysom Hill will return to the Saints as a gadget tool in their offense. Because of this, I expect Teddy Bridgewater to sign with a different team this offseason, where he will get the chance to compete for a starting quarterback job. I initially wrote that Teddy Bridgewater should join the Carolina Panthers as the younger, healthier version of Cam Newton who can come in and run the zone-read with Christian McCaffrey. There are some obvious differences between Bridgewater’s and Newton’s styles of play. Namely that Newton is a powerful runner who takes on a lot of contact from defenders when running, while with Bridgewater it is more likely that he slides or gets out of bounds when running, to avoid that contact. One other big difference is the arm strength Newton has in comparison to Bridgewater, but even with these differences, I think Teddy could run the offense well with McCaffrey as his running mate.

Yet, since the Panthers are reportedly sticking with Cam Newton this season, I will have to find a different landing spot for Teddy Bridgewater. With that being said, the next best fit would probably be with the Miami Dolphins. They could sign Bridgewater to a shorter contract but pay him NFL starting quarterback money over that duration. This would allow them to lean on him as their starting quarterback, while also drafting Tua Tagovailoa #5 overall. The Dolphins can sit Tua behind Bridgewater this year and allow him to bulk up as much as possible to hopefully avoid future injuries. Then, after year one, Tua can compete with Bridgewater for the starting job in the preseason of year two. Tua would get the chance to be the eventual long term answer for the Dolphins, while Bridgewater provides an immediate short term answer at the starting quarterback position.

Andy Dalton

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Last week I wrote an article saying the Chargers should trade up for the #1 overall pick and draft Joe Burrow, if that does happen the Bengals could keep Andy Dalton since he would be QB1 on that roster. The Chargers haven’t traded up for the #1 overall pick yet, and still need to decide what to do at quarterback. As you saw earlier in this article, I sent Jameis Winston to the Los Angeles Chargers, based on the premise that they haven’t traded up to attain the right to draft Joe Burrow. No matter what happens with Joe Burrow and the #1 overall pick, I believe the Bengals are ready to move on from Andy Dalton. They could just outright release him and save $17.7 million but in this scenario, I see the New England Patriots sending a late-round draft pick for Andy Dalton. Thus, beginning the Andy Dalton and Bill Belichick tandem that we’ve all been waiting for, right? Well maybe not, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Andy Dalton was running the Patriots offense next season.

Marcus Mariota

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Marcus Mariota was drafted #2 overall by the Tennessee Titans in the 2015 NFL Draft, but things haven’t quite gone as planned. Mariota’s passing yards, passing touchdowns, and QBR have declined in each of the past four seasons and culminated in his benching in Week 6 of the 2019 NFL season. He was replaced by Ryan Tannehill who went on to lead the Titans to the AFC Championship game. Mariota’s time in Nashville is over and it’s time for him to look for a new job. Plenty of teams will be calling, offering him their backup quarterback job this summer. Whether any teams will offer him a chance to compete for their starting quarterback position I’m not sure.

My ideal landing spot for him would be to the Cincinnati Bengals on a two years contract totaling around $20 million. If the Bengals take a quarterback in this upcoming draft, Mariota would provide solid competition and be one of the best backup quarterbacks in the NFL. If their rookie quarterback isn’t quite ready to start at the beginning of the season, Mariota could always begin the season as the Bengals starting quarterback until they feel their rookie quarterback is ready to take that next step. A similar example to this would be when the Cleveland Browns began the season with Tyrod Taylor as their starting quarterback. This was during Baker Mayfield’s rookie season, and Baker eventually took over as the starter in week four of the season.

Joe Flacco

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The Denver Broncos could move on from Joe Flacco this summer. If they did, it would clear out $10 million dollars in cap space, which they could use to re-sign some of their own players or use to pursue free agents from other teams. If they do release Joe Flacco, the team will also have a dead cap of $13.65 million this season. That’s a lot of money to pay a player to not be on your team. I don’t think Joe Flacco gets moved this summer. I believe he can provide a solid backup for their young developing quarterback Drew Lock. Flacco is an experienced veteran who could provide quality insights to the 23-year-old as he continues to learn how to prepare as an NFL starting quarterback.

If the Broncos do in fact decide to part ways with Flacco I think his most likely landing spot could be to the Buffalo Bills as a backup quarterback to Josh Allen. Flacco similarly could provide a great veteran presence for the young developing quarterback in Josh Allen. Allen will be 24 years old this upcoming season and probably could use a veteran QB who can help him prepare for the Bills opponents each week.

Case Keenum

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Case Keenum is the last free agent on my list. He is a journeyman quarterback who has spent time with the Texans, Rams, Vikings, Broncos, and most recently the Redskins. Keenum provides a team with one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league. One who can step in and start whenever is needed. This is exactly why I think he is a perfect fit for none other than the Philadelphia Eagles. Carson Wentz is the Eagles franchise quarterback. The one big problem: he tends to get hurt a lot. Nick Foles led the Eagles to a Super Bowl victory after Wentz got hurt in the 2017 season. This year when Wentz got hurt the Eagles called on Josh McCown to try and fill that void but he isn’t the best option to have as a backup quarterback, and considering he will be 41 years old when the 2020 NFL season rolls around he probably isn’t the best option at backup quarterback going forward either. Case Keenum could provide the Eagles with a quality backup in case Wentz goes down with another injury next season. Signing Keenum to say, a 3-year $21 million dollar contract would solve the Eagles backup quarterback situation for the foreseeable future.

            This concludes my article on where the top 12 potential free agent quarterbacks should go this offseason. If you liked what you read, subscribe to my website www.watermansportstalk.com and you will continue to see great sports content.

Why the Warriors are trading Andrew Wiggins this Summer, and the top 10 possible destinations for him

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Earlier this month, the Golden State Warriors decided to trade D’Angelo Russell along with Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman to the Minnesota Timberwolves for: Andrew Wiggins, a 2021 protected first-round pick and a 2021 second-round pick. It was Essentially a Russell for Wiggins swap, while former first round pick Jacob Evans was swapped for a protected 2021 first-round pick, and former #30 overall selection Omari Spellman was swapped for a 2021 second-round pick. Everyone expected this trade to happen. We knew Russell wasn’t going to be a Warrior for long, and we knew Minnesota wasn’t done trying to acquire D’Angelo Russell to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns. What we didn’t necessarily expect was for Andrew Wiggins to end up in a Warriors uniform.

Personally, I don’t expect Wiggins to stay in a Warriors uniform all that long. When asked about the Warriors acquisition of Wiggins, Steve Kerr spoke on how he gives the team someone who can defend Lebron, and at least match up physically with him. This is a bit of wishful thinking by Steve Kerr, considering Wiggins is 6’7″ tall and weighs 202 lbs while Lebron is 6’9″ and 250lbs. Wiggins has also never been known as a great defender in the NBA so that “fit” isn’t there. The Warriors have had a glaring hole at small forward ever since Kevin Durant went to the Nets and the Warriors moved on from Andre Iguodala, so at first glance Wiggins might look like a solution to that problem, but he isn’t. Wiggins is a very athletic, high flying, volume scorer who doesn’t shoot the three ball well and isn’t a great defender. That’s not what the Warriors need next season to pair with the splash brothers in Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Instead what they really need is an elite wing defender that they can put on guys like Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George. That could have been Robert Covington, he would have been a great fit to pair with Draymond Green at the Warriors two forward positions, but that didn’t happen. Instead Covington ended up a Houston Rocket and is no longer an option.

Another glaring issue that the Warriors are presented with is the fact that Andrew Wiggins is not on a pretty contract. He is owed $29,290,000 next season. The Warriors will already owe Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green a combined $100,614,678 next season. That’s three players who together cost over $100 million dollars. NBA rosters usually have 14 to 15 players on their roster plus one or two players on two-way contracts. Teams are always required to have at least 13 players on their roster. When adding in the figure on what Andrew Wiggins is owed next season to what they will already owe Curry, Thompson and Green the Warriors would be paying four players $129,904,678. It has already been reported by Adrian Wojnarowski that the salary cap for the 2020-2021 NBA season will be an estimated $115 million. So according to that the Warriors will already be $14,904,678 over the salary cap with just four players on their roster. When you add in the salary of the other players under contract for the 2020-2021 NBA season the Golden State Warriors total cap number amounts to $145,775,367.

The Luxury-tax threshold is expected to be at about $139 million next season. So, the Warriors are already $6.7 million over the Luxury-tax threshold with only 11 players on their roster. Then you factor in that the Warriors right now have the worst record in the NBA, so for now, we’ll presume they win the NBA Lottery and are awarded the #1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. That player would be owed around $8,567,800 in his first season. So, we can add that figure into their total cap number. The Warriors will most likely also possess the #31 overall pick in the NBA draft, and for simplicity sake we’ll just say he get an even $1 million. So, the cap figure with 13 players on the roster would now be around $155,343,167. Then you must figure in if the Warriors sign anyone with the mid-level or bi-annual exception this summer, plus any two-way contracts. This means the warriors will be at-least $16 Million over the Luxury-tax threshold.

I’m not going to do the math on that, but it means the Warriors would be paying a LOT in luxury tax fines. So how do they solve this problem you ask? Well, if they can trade Wiggins this summer for multiple contracts that match up with his salary it would decrease the Warriors total salary. If they can also trade Wiggins for multiple players and have the total salary of those incoming players be less than what Wiggins is owed next season it would help them reduce the team salary even further.

Here are some realistic trade destinations that I could see Wiggins getting traded to this summer:

I will start with trades that could happen, but that I don’t think are very likely to happen and work my way to the last potential trade which I believe is the most likely landing spot.

10. Philadelphia 76ers-Al Horford to the Warriors for Andrew Wiggins

I don’t think this trade will happen, but it would be an intriguing move for both teams. The Warriors would get a true starting center that would fit in great with what they want to do next season. His ability to defend guys like Joel Embiid would come in handy. He also provides as a great passing big man who can shoot the 3-ball. His 3P% (three-point percentage) is down to 32.7% this season but in the Warriors offense I think that percentage would jump back up to around a 35-36% average. The Warriors would save $1.79 Million in team payroll and probably another $3 Million in luxury tax fines if they made this trade. As for the 76ers and whether this trade makes sense for them, I don’t think Al Horford is a good fit for what they are trying to do. Tobias Harris would get to slide back to his more natural PF position and Wiggins would slot in at the SF. Ultimately I don’t see this trade happening because it doesn’t help the 76ers solve their biggest issue which is floor spacing and the ability to shoot from outside.

9. Orlando Magic-trade Evan Fournier and Terrence Ross to the Warriors for Andrew Wiggins.

This is a trade that I don’t see happening unless the Orlando Magic decide to rebuild their roster. If the Orlando Magic did decide to rebuild, Wiggins would provide them with a player who can consistently score 20+ points a night. That is something the Magic have been lacking for years. They have not had a player average 20+ points in a season for two or more consecutive years since Dwight Howard’s last two seasons on the Orlando Magic. The Magic would get to try and continue to develop Andrew Wiggins into the All-Star caliber player he has the potential to be. In return the Warriors would be getting two solid wing players, including a player in Fournier who is averaging 40.8% on 3PT attempts this season.

8. San Antonio Spurs-Wiggins to the Spurs, DeRozan to a 3 team, players to Warriors TBD

In this scenario the SAS would be sending out DeMar DeRozan’s contract. Whether that is on the $27.7 million player option he has next season, or via a sign and trade. He is the player I am assuming is traded by the Spurs in this scenario that would send Andrew Wiggins to the San Antonio. I don’t think DeRozan fits with the Warriors, and what they do offensively so the Spurs would need to find a third team to make this trade work. Because of that I don’t see this scenario as being very likely. The Spurs could always offer LaMarcus Aldridge for Wiggins, but that seems to me an even more unlikely scenario. If the Spurs were to find a team that is interested in a sign and trade for DeMar DeRozan this summer, then I could see a deal like this heating up quickly.

7. Cleveland Cavaliers-The Cavs send Larry Nance, Dante Exum, and Cedi Osman to the Warriors for Andrew Wiggins.

This is one more scenario that I wouldn’t place much stock on but would be an interesting move. The Warriors would add a lot of depth to a team that only has 11 players signed to contracts next season. This trade would boost that number to 13 players under contract and only add $769,091 to the team payroll next season. That would be less than what a rookie would cost at the league minimum next season. The Cavs would add Wiggins to their core of young guards in Colin Sexton and Darius Garland. Their starting lineup would shake out as:

PG Darius Garland SG Colin Sexton SF Andrew Wiggins PF Kevin Love C Andre Drummond

That may not be enough to be a real contender in the Eastern Conference but might at least give them a chance to compete for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs next season.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder-Steve Adams and Abdel Nader to the Warriors for Andrew Wiggins

This is a trade that I think could happen, it’s not my favorite option, but both sides could be interested in a trade like this. The Warriors would finally solidify their starting center position. A position that has been a revolving door since Warriors traded Andrew Bogut to the Dallas Mavericks in 2016. The rebuilding (or retooling) Thunder, however you want to look at it, would get a solid young player to go with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. This would give the Thunder two players they can build their franchise around for the foreseeable future. The contracts in this potential trade add to be almost exactly the same, the Warriors would save $8,960 in this trade, whiling increasing the number of players under contract from 11 to 12.

5. Detroit Pistons-trade Derrick Rose, Tony Snell, and sign & trade Langston Galloway or John Henson to the Warriors for Andrew Wiggins.

The Detroit Pistons are an absolute (insert poop emoji) show right now and need to hit the reset button. They look like one of those old computers frozen on the reboot screen. They just traded an All-Star center for a bag of rocks. They literally just traded him to ensure that they wouldn’t have to pay him the $28.75 million dollar player option he has for next season. The Pistons didn’t even get a first-round pick in return for him. I gave that trade an F- when it happened just in case you’re wondering. If the Detroit Pistons do go out and trade for Andrew Wiggins this summer, he won’t be the savior of your franchise, that’s something I’m not even sure Lebron or Giannis could do right now, but he would at least give you a talented young player to build around while this organization figures out what the heck it’s doing. As for the Warriors they would get back in return a solid wing defender in Tony Snell who is shooting an outstanding 41.2% from 3-PT range this season. They would get a sixth man who can lead the second team in Derrick Rose, and they would acquire one more role player in either Galloway or Henson.

4. Charlotte Hornets-trade Nicolas Batum & Miles Bridges to the Warriors for Andrew Wiggins

This trade might not be that exciting, but it would at least give the Warriors a solid wing defender, and another wing that they can try and develop. This trade, while adding to the number of players under contract next season, would increase their team payroll by $1,774,754 so this trade probably isn’t as likely as some of the others. What I find interesting about this trade scenario is if Michael Jordan was the one pulling the trigger on this trade, because it would mean he believes he can help Wiggins reach the potential that so many people believe he has, but that he has yet to achieve.

3. Chicago Bulls-trade Thaddeus Young, Tomáš Sotoranský, and Cristiano Felício to the Warriors for Andrew Wiggins

This trade might not be all that realistic, considering the Bulls already have Otto Porter, but there is the always the possibility that he opts out of his player option for the 2020-2021 season and becomes a free agent this summer. I would love to see this trade happen for one reason and one reason only. Zach Lavine has a 46-inch vertical, and Andrew Wiggins has a 44-inch vertical. They can spend each game of the NBA season having dunk contests whenever they get a break away layup. Who needs lob city when you have two guys that can produce highlight dunks at any given moment? In return the Warriors add a ton of depth to their team. No one player who will make their team great, but three solid role players that can help them pursue a championship.

2. New York Knicks-send Julius Randle and sign & trade Maurice Harkless to the Warriors for Andrew Wiggins.

The New York Knicks have a plethora of big men on their roster and aren’t even currently starting their talented, young, 21-year-old center Mitchell Robinson. The Knicks are also in a rebuilding phase. Something they’ve been stuck in since they lost to the Celtics in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs. This past year they drafted R.J. Barrett 3rd overall as a player to build around after their hopes of putting Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant and Zion Williamson together (or trading the Zion pick for Anthony Davis to put him with KD & Kyrie) never came to be. If the Knicks want to keep building up their team, adding a guy like Wiggins to put next to RJ Barrett at the wing spots wouldn’t be a bad move. The Knicks have a nice group of young players in RJ, Kevin Knox, Mitchell Robinson, Frank Ntilikina, and Dennis Smith. Andrew Wiggins could slide in and provide another nice young player to build around, who would most likely be the teams leading scorer next season. Providing those poor loyal Knicks fans with at least a little more of a reason to be excited to go to a Knicks game, where they can enjoy watching one of their players, and not just one of the players visiting the arena from another city.

1. Sacramento Kings-send Harrison Barnes and either Nemanja Bjelica, Jabari Parker or Richaun Holmes to the Warriors for Andrew Wiggins.

This is my favorite trade for one reason: it would re-unite Harrison Barnes with the Golden State Warriors. The only reason the Warriors parted ways with Harrison Barnes was so that they could acquire Kevin Durant, to hopefully be able to beat the Cavs when they weren’t down two All-Stars in the NBA Finals. Now that Durant has moved on to the Brooklyn Nets it’s time to get Barnes back into a Warriors uniform. I think most Warriors fans would love to see this reunion and I’m sure Barnes would like to be competing for championships again. In this trade scenario the Warriors would also get a nice role player off the bench. As for the Kings I think Wiggins is an upgrade for them. He’s three years younger than Barnes, and even though he’s probably not as good a defender as Barnes, he provides more scoring for the Kings, who have been reliant on Fox and Hield for the majority of their scoring the last couple years.

This concludes my article on the trade destinations for Andrew Wiggins this summer, let me know what you think of these trades in the comments section of this article. I would love to hear if there is a different trade you would like to see happen.

This Team Needs to Trade up to the #1 Overall Pick and Draft Joe Burrow

Sue Ogrocki/ Associated Press

The Los Angeles Chargers need to trade up to the #1 selection in this year’s draft and select Joe Burrow and here’s why. The Chargers are not the fan favorite in L.A. and that is creating big problems for them. They have struggled to grow a fan base in a city that had been waiting for their beloved Rams to return home for 20 years. The Chargers are trying to help pay for a new stadium right now and need to sell tickets. The only way they are going to start selling tickets and competing with the Rams as the most popular football team in L.A. is if they do something huge to attract a larger fan base. There isn’t a bigger move they could make right now than trading for the right to draft Joe Burrow as their future franchise quarterback. The Chargers are in a unique place right now, as they are moving on from Phillip Rivers the man who was the face of their franchise for the last 14 years. Unfortunately, Rivers was never able to bring a championship to the Chargers, and thus has hindered the Chargers ability to grow their fan base. If the Chargers want to show people they are committed to winning championships, yes plural, then they need to trade up and draft Joe Burrow.

            Joe Burrow is a winner. He thrives off the competitive nature that football provides. He showed everyone that he is a winner this season, leading LSU to a 15-0 season, arguably the greatest season any college football team has had in the history of college football. Burrow has also made it very clear in the last few weeks that he wants to play for a team committed to winning. He has not yet been willing to link his name to the Cincinnati Bengals in this year’s draft. Last month Joe Burrow was being interviewed on the Dan Patrick Show and Dan asked, “is being (drafted) number one or going to the right team the most important to you?” In response Joe Burrow stated, “Combination of both, you know, you want to go number one overall, but you also want to go to a great organization that’s committed to winning, committed to winning Super Bowls.” Burrow could have said that he wants to go to a team committed to winning, and that if the Bengals are committed to winning then I would love to go to the Bengals. Instead Burrow intentionally did not mention the Cincinnati Bengals as a place he would like to be drafted. I believe this is because he has seen the Bengals track record the last 20 years. They haven’t won a playoff game in Joe Burrow’s lifetime. Do you really think he wants to play for a team like that?

Instead if he went to the L.A. Chargers, he would have the ability to compete for a championship in year one of his NFL career. They were the 11th best team at protecting the quarterback last season and have a multitude of offensive weapons, especially if they re-sign a few key free agents. The Chargers have two 1,000-yard receivers under contract for next season in Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. If the Chargers can re-sign Hunter Henry, and one of their top two running backs in Melvin Gordon or Austin Ekeler then the Chargers should have enough fire power on offense to challenge even the best NFL defenses.

            A realistic trade offer that I think would convince the Bengals to part ways with the #1 overall pick and make this trade happen, would be if the Chargers sent Cincinnati their #6 and #37 overall picks in this year’s draft. Along with their first and second round picks in the 2021 NFL draft and their 3rd round pick in the 2022 NFL draft. This collection of draft picks was not chosen at random. After looking at what teams have had to trade, in order to move up and get the quarterback they desire in past drafts, this is what I believe it will take to make Joe Burrow a Los Angeles Charger.

These are some past examples of what teams have had to give up in order to select the quarterback they wanted. In 2018 the New York Jets traded up three spots so they could select Sam Darnold. In order to do so, they had to give up their #6 overall pick and three second round picks, two of which were 2018 second round picks. In 2017 the Chicago Bears traded up one spot to draft Mitchell Trubisky and had to give up the #3 overall pick along with two 3rd round picks and a 4th round pick. In 2016 the Los Angeles Rams traded up seven spots with the Tennessee Titans to select Jared Goff #1 overall. In order to do so the Rams sent the #8 overall pick along with two second round picks, two third round picks, and the Rams 2017 first round pick. So in all, to move up seven spots for the #1 overall pick in the draft (along with the Titans 4th & 6th round picks) the Rams gave up two first, two second, and two third round picks. In that same draft the Eagles traded up from #15 overall to #2 overall in the NFL Draft so they could select Carson Wentz. In order to do so, they ended up giving up: two firsts, a second, third and fourth round pick. Lastly in 2012 the Washington Redskins traded up 12 spots to select Robert Griffin III #2 overall. In order to do that the Redskins gave up three first round picks and a second-round pick to make it happen.

 All this to say that it costs a lot of draft capitol to trade up to a top draft pick, especially #1 overall, and with the Chargers needing to move up 5 spots in the draft to have the #1 overall pick it’s going to take a lot. This also was to show that this does happen a lot when a team falls in love with a quarterback and is willing to do anything to go up and get him. If the Chargers love Joe Burrow, think he is the best quarterback in this class, and can lead their franchise to its first Super Bowl victory ever then they need to make this deal, no matter the cost.

In conclusion I Believe it is in the Chargers best interests to trade up in the draft so they can acquire Joe Burrow. The real question is whether the Bengals will be willing to listen to offers on their #1 overall pick in this draft, and whether Joe Burrow will try and make a power play to keep from getting drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals. He should probably be calling John Elway and Eli Manning for advice right about now, so that he doesn’t end up playing for the Cincinnati Bengals this fall.