It is expected that the 2020 NFL Draft will be loaded with top-end talent next year. Here is an early look at how the first round could play out 11 months from now in Las Vegas.
It’s never too early to start looking ahead to the 2020 NFL Draft. Anticipation is already building for what is expected to be one of the most talent-rich first rounds in recent memory. The quarterbacks will headline the draft class. But as my first 2020 big board shows, elite talent is available at several positions.
With that said, here is my first attempt at laying out how the first round could look in Vegas next year.
1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama
Analysis: Jameis Winston has been given time to prove that he is the franchise quarterback. But he has failed. Tagovailoa is a generational talent, thus the Buccaneers will be running to the podium to turn in this selection.
TRADE: The Arizona Cardinals trade pick #2 to the Las Vegas Raiders for picks #10 and #27
2. Las Vegas Raiders (TRADE): Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon
Analysis: As a result of moving to a huge market like Las Vegas, the Raiders make a bold move to get their franchise quarterback. Derek Carr has regressed since his injury and the Raiders don’t have time to see if he can turn it around.
3. Washington Redskins: Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Alabama
Analysis: The Redskins had a brilliant 2019 draft, notably drafting Dwayne Haskins with the 15th pick. It is important to surround Haskins with top-notch weapons, and Jeudy is the best there is in the draft.
4. Miami Dolphins: Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State
Analysis: If the Dolphins ignore the quarterback position here, that would indicate that Josh Rosen could be their franchise guy. The Dolphins biggest need is on the defensive line, notably pass-rusher. Chase Young addresses that issue in a big way. In fact, he might be even better than fellow Buckeye, Nick Bosa, who was the 2nd pick in the 2019 draft.
5. Tennessee Titans: Jake Fromm, Quarterback, Georgia
Analysis: In the event that the Titans are selecting in the top ten of the 2020 draft, it is time to move on from Marcus Mariota.
6. New York Giants: AJ Epenesa, Edge, Iowa
Analysis: Provided that Epenesa is a monster and the Giants biggest need is defensive end, this is a match made in heaven.
7. Detroit Lions: Grant Delpit, Safety, LSU
Analysis: Delpit is the next great LSU defensive back and the Lions are able to land an elite level talent.
8. Cincinnati Bengals: Jordan Love, Quarterback, Utah State
Analysis: The Bengals need to realize that Andy Dalton isn’t taking them anywhere. While Jordan Love is not a household name just yet, he will end up as a top-ten selection in the 2020 draft.
9. Buffalo Bills: Lavishka Shenault, Wide Receiver, Colorado
Analysis: The Bills did a decent job at giving Josh Allen weapons during free agency. But ultimately, they will need to invest in an upper-echelon pass-catcher for Josh Allen to take the next step.
10. Arizona Cardinals (TRADE): Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Georgia
Analysis: The Cardinals offensive line is a complete dumpster fire. They need to dedicate significant resources to improving the unit.
11. New York Jets: Walker Little, Offensive Tackle, Stanford
Analysis: Given that finding a quality left tackle isn’t an easy task, the Jets spend this pick on someone that will be protecting Sam Darnold for the next decade.
12. Denver Broncos: CJ Henderson, Cornerback, Florida
13. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver, Clemson
Analysis: Eventually the Jaguars will have to find a talented player to be the go-to guy for Nick Foles. Higgins has the size and tools to be that guy in Jacksonville.
14. Carolina Panthers: Trey Smith, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee
Analysis: Cam Newton has taken a pounding during the last few seasons, thus the Panthers spend a first-round pick to help keep him upright.
15. Baltimore Ravens: Dylan Moses, Linebacker, Alabama
Analysis: The Baltimore Ravens, linebackers and Alabama go hand-in-hand. Moses will be Baltimore’s next great linebacker.
16. Seattle Seahawks: Derrick Brown, Defensive Tackle, Auburn
Analysis: Seattle steals the best interior defensive linemen mid-way through the first round of the 2020 draft.
17. Houston Texans: Tyler Biadasz, Interior Offensive Line, Wisconsin
Analysis: It will take a whole lot more than Tytus Howard to fix the Texans offensive line.
18. Atlanta Falcons: Curtis Weaver, Edge, Boise State
Analysis: In today’s NFL, you can not have too many talented pass-rushers. Weaver is explosive off of the edge and instantly bolsters the Atlanta pass rush.
19. San Francisco 49ers: Bryce Hall, Cornerback, Virginia
Analysis: Hall could very well rise to be the first cornerback selected in this draft. Hall is best pure cover corner in the entire draft.
20. Minnesota Vikings: LaBryan Ray, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
Analysis: If I were a betting man, and I am, I’d venture to say that I think the Minnesota defense takes a step back after losing Sheldon Richardson to free agency.
21. Dallas Cowboys: Raekwon Davis, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
Analysis: The Cowboys began their defensive line rebuild by signing Demarcus Lawrence to a long term extension. Next, Dallas focuses on adding some beef to its defensive front.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Alaric Jackson, Offensive Tackle, Iowa
Analysis: The Steelers have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. However, they have a major hole at right tackle.
23. Los Angeles Chargers: CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma
Analysis: Keenan Allen is a very good possession receiver. However, the Chargers still lack that explosive receiver. Lamb is a brilliant player that takes the Chargers passing attack to the next level.
24. Cleveland Browns: Tristian Wirfs, Offensive Tackle, Iowa
Analysis: The Browns have done an astonishing job at building a complete roster over the last few seasons. But one need is quite evident. That need is for a quality left tackle to protect Baker Mayfield‘s’ blindside for the next decade.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Xavier McKinney, Safety, Alabama
Analysis: The Eagles need to start grooming an heir apparent to Malcolm Jenkins.
26. Green Bay Packers: Jalen Reagor, Wide Receiver, TCU
Analysis: The Packers missed out on adding some weapons for Aaron Rodgers in the 2019 draft.
27. Arizona Cardinals (TRADE): Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State
Analysis: Lining this monster across from Chandler Jones will pay huge dividends immediately.
28. Indianapolis Colts: Jaylon Johnson, Cornerback, Utah
29. New Orleans Saints: Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama
Analysis: If it weren’t for injury concerns, we are talking top-15 pick when it comes to Terrell Lewis.
30. Kansas City Chiefs: Travis Etienne, Running Back, Clemson
Analysis: Etienne is a difference maker that instantly brings balance to the Chiefs offense. As a result, the Chiefs might just have the most dangerous offense in the league.
31. Los Angeles Rams: Isaiah Simmons, Safety/Linebacker, Clemson
Analysis: Simmons is a versatile swiss army knife that can be a weapon for the Rams defense.
32. New England Patriots: Nick Coe, Edge/Defensive Line, Auburn
Analysis: Indeed Coe has the look and feel of a New England Patriot. He is a versatile defensive lineman and loves football.