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2020 NFL Draft Preview Ahead Of Round 1

The 2020 NFL Draft will be here in hours, and it’s sure to be one of the most-watched (given the coronavirus pandemic has people clamoring for sporting events) and most exciting drafts in history. Ahead of the start of Round 1 tonight, here are five big thoughts for the draft.


Miami’s smokescreens?

The Dolphins have been all over the place in terms of what’s been reported about them heading into tonight, and I believe it’s clearly by design to throw other teams off. I think the Dolphins will come away with Tua Tagovailoa, and it might be via a move up two spots to Detroit’s No. 3 spot, as the Dolphins would likely only have to give up something like a second-round pick if no other teams make serious offers and the Lions still feel they can get their target at No. 5. Dating back to last year, the talk was that the Dolphins wanted to find a way to get Tagovailoa this year, and their presence near the top of the draft almost felt like it gave Tua a floor when he declared for the draft despite a devastating hip injury suffered last year—I think the two sides will be together after tonight. That said, I do buy into the reports of Miami wanting to get to No. 1 to select Joe Burrow, by packaging a bunch of picks to move up to No. 3 while keeping No. 5 and then using two top-five picks to get to the top spot. The bottom line is there is a ton of intrigue with the Dolphins—along with most of the top ten.


Landing spot for Justin Herbert

Assuming the Dolphins take Tagovailoa, it might be tough for Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert to find a landing spot if the Chargers do not take him at No. 6 overall. The Jaguars are an option, but they seem prepared to give Gardner Minshew a shot; from there, a team might not be deeply interested in taking a quarterback until the 20s. However, Herbert is a strong prospect—the type of quarterback the NFL loves—so I don’t expect his wait to last too long. Maybe the Jags will just take him at No. 9 if the Chargers pass, but if not, a team might make a move up the board for the intelligent four-year college starter somewhere in the 10-20 area.


Jake Fromm’s rank in the NFL

We are much higher than Jake Fromm on just about anyone, and the NFL might be closer to us on this than most of the media. I think Fromm might end up going in Round 1—potentially to the Patriots at No. 23 or via a trade up by a team like the Colts toward the end of tonight. But maybe I am way off. If so, will Fromm fall all the way into the 3rd/4th round range? I still think coaches and executives will be high on the Georgia Bulldogs product, so he’ll go in the first two rounds; but it’ll be interesting to see when and where Fromm is selected this weekend. Somewhat on the opposite end of the spectrum, Jordan Love is getting a bunch of love from media draft analysts, but I think he could drop into Day 2.


The wide receivers

This wide receiver class is insanely good, with several guys that could be selected in the first round (CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III, and Jerry Jeudy should be locks for the top half of the round). And past tonight, there will still be plenty of excellent prospects that could be Year 1 contributors and future stars. These offensive weapons are very difficult to rank this year, but the good news for NFL teams is that the depth allows them to find more quality options later than they normally would in the draft. Also, keep an eye out for the top of next year’s receiver class, which could have Devonta Smith, Ja’Marr Chase, and Justyn Ross leading the way as three potential top-five overall prospects.


The virtual draft

Finally, putting the unpredictability of this year’s draft aside, things might already be crazy enough with the event occurring virtually. Teams not only have to find a way to efficiently communicate with each other when making decisions, but they have to talk trades with 31 others teams, give prospects the call when they select them, and get the picks in. This will be like a super virtual fantasy football draft on steroids, and the most prepared teams could actually benefit from this setup. We’ll see how many times the draft is paused because of “technical difficulties.”


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