In one of the easiest decisions of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow can make just about every throw in the book despite not having exceptional arm strength. His accuracy to all levels of the field is outstanding and he oftentimes drops a dime into good coverage, making a difficult throw look easy. Paired with targets A.J. Green, John Ross and Tyler Boyd, the Bengals would have the makings of a potent passing offense.
The Washington Redskins already have quite the defensive line and adding Chase Young to it would give them one of the best defensive fronts in the league. There is no offensive tackle that Young can’t figure out over time, as he can win with both power and speed. He is adept at using the correct counter moves when he doesn’t win off the snap and offers both stand-up and hand-in-the-dirt ability. Whoever takes Young will have a future All-Pro manning the edge of their defensive line.
There’s a ton of chatter right now that the Miami Dolphins are looking to trade up for their pick of the litter in this year’s offensive tackle draft class. While it sounds like they want to do so without giving up the fifth pick, it’s unlikely that happens.
So here, they give up the fifth pick plus some day-two picks to take Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs. Wirfs can play either guard or tackle but should get to start out his career at tackle. He is extremely athletic and moves fast for a man his size at the end of the offensive line. He would give the Dolphins a franchise tackle and is worth giving up the extra picks for if Miami feels he is the best tackle in the 2020 NFL Draft.
There is much discussion going on about whether the New York Giants will take a tackle or the do-it-all defender Isaiah Simmons. Simmons is a freak of nature if there ever was one. He can fly, he is agile and athletic in all facets of the game, and has the ability to play a multitude of positions for whatever team drafts him. He needs a little work done to his run defense, but he will come into the league as a plus pass defender and the second choice to win Defensive Rookie of the Year behind only Chase Young.
After collecting a couple of extra day-two picks, the Detroit Lions add the best corner in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, Jeffrey Okudah. Okudah has the wheels needed to not lose on routes downfield and has the athleticism to mirror receivers on their routes. He is big enough to play press-man coverage against receivers like Julio Jones and quick enough to stick with receivers like A.J. Brown. Trading down and landing the player they would likely take at three anyway is good business and gives the Lions an early win for the draft.
After sweating out the first five picks of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers land one of the draft’s top quarterbacks in Tua Tagovailoa. The Alabama quarterback is highly accurate to his first reads and in the short to intermediate levels of the field, but suffers a slight downtick in accuracy and ball placement when forced off his platform or made to extend his progression to the third or fourth read. Still, he possesses great arm talent and has a huge ceiling that will only be helped by talented pass-catchers like Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry.
The Carolina Panthers have a big hole in the middle of their defense that needs to be filled by a lineman who is already polished and ready to contribute from day one. Auburn’s Derrick Brown is that guy.
Already an NFL-level run defender, Brown can be a two-down starter from day one. He offers limited upside with his pass-rushing repertoire, but his big power and body should be enough to earn him the occasional sack and handful of pressures. Brown is a high-floor prospect that would pay dividends right away for the Panthers squad.
It seems the Atlanta Falcons are trying to trade up for the opportunity to draft either Chase Young, Jeffrey Okudah, or C.J. Henderson. It’s highly unlikely they can get high enough to draft Young or Okudah, but could very well move up for Henderson.
Henderson is a sticky man corner who some think will translate better to the NFL than Okudah. He is very fast and will not let receivers run by him, sticking to their hip all the way down the field. He is aggressive in press coverage and won’t be bullied by the opposition. For a team that needs an alpha-dog corner on the team, Henderson brings the skill and attitude that the Falcons are looking for.
After seeing the Falcons trade up and take the top remaining corner on their board, the Jacksonville Jaguars select a disruptive lineman from South Carolina, Javon Kinlaw. Kinlaw is very powerful and can blow through just about anyone he lines up against. He is not as refined as Derrick Brown but offers a higher upside when rushing the passer.
Kinlaw has a lower floor than Brown, as he is not yet reached that level, but because of his power and athletic profiles, his ceiling is considerably higher. Kinlaw is a good pick for a team that needs some firepower along its defensive line.
Word around the NFL world is that the Denver Broncos are wanting to trade up to ensure they can take Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy is fast and a masterful route runner that would be a big help to the development of quarterback Drew Lock. Jeudy also brings reliable hands with him and will be a nice addition to a young core of pass-catchers that includes Noah Fant and Courtland Sutton.
The New York Jets stay put at 11 overall and grab the safest offensive tackle prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. Thomas doesn’t have the highest ceiling but is a tackle who should be in Pro Bowl form from day one of his rookie season. Once he gets his hands on the defender it’s over for him, as his strong arms and nifty hand placement see to that. Thomas would be a reliable tackle to protect franchise passer Sam Darnold‘s blindside.
In an offense devoid of tier-one receiving talent, it is essential that the Las Vegas Raiders give their quarterback a legitimate number one receiver. Lamb isn’t the biggest wide-out, but he plays bigger than his listed size and can win in a variety of ways.
He can win jump balls, creates a lot of yards after the catch and can win early in routes by creating separation. Lamb is the type of receiver that the Raiders need to add to their offense if they want to field a real passing threat on offense.
After taking their top offensive tackle earlier in the draft, the Miami Dolphins trade up to ensure they land Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. Herbert has great arm talent and a good pocket presence. He needs to work in his accuracy and ball placement, but his highlight reel throws are exciting to watch and showcase a guy that can develop into one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL. The Oregon product would be a good franchise quarterback for the Dolphins and could take Miami to the next level.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been busy this offseason, adding future Hall of Famers like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski to the roster. The only thing that the offense is missing now is an offensive tackle that can protect Brady’s blindside. If they get that then the offense will be nearly impossible to stop.
Alabama’s Jedrick Wills has the potential to be the best protector of the bunch in this year’s draft. Wills has top-notch hand placement and strong first punches, leading to his opponents not knowing what hit them before the play has even started. He plays with a mean streak in him and shows it in how he constantly punishes guys that aren’t up to the task of facing him. Wills gives Brady his blindside protection and the Buccaneers a long-term left tackle.
It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles need a lot of help in their wide receiver room and trading up to snag a slipping Henry Ruggs III is a good way to begin fixing that problem. Ruggs is a dangerous threat because he is more than just a speed demon (a la John Ross), he is also a savvy route runner and good at body positioning.
Quarterback Carson Wentz will have a field day with Ruggs as soon as his rookie season, knowing that Ruggs will win deep and actually catch the football when it hits his hands.
Once thought to be a possibility to go as high as number four overall, Louisville’s Mekhi Becton finds himself the last of the tier one tackles to go off the board. The Arizona Cardinals get a tackle they may consider at eight overall at 16 overall here due in part to his flagged drug test at the Combine. Becton has the best mixture of measurables and athleticism in the 2020 NFL Draft when considering the offensive tackles, but at the end of the day, he is still quite raw with his fundamentals and technique.
He will need time to adjust and develop at the NFL level as his size and power will no longer be enough to get him through tough outings. If he lives up to his full potential, this would be a steal in the first round and the Cardinals would no doubt be happy with this outcome.