This was a huge week when it comes to the 2020 NFL Draft, as Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa announced his intention to enter the draft. There is no secret that one team, in particular, is completely enamored with Tagovailoa – the Miami Dolphins. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and general manager Chris Grier were on the sidelines prior to the Citrus Bowl, which featured a showdown between Alabama and the Michigan Wolverines. The Dolphins won’t be the only team with interest in Tagovailoa, as teams like the Carolina Panthers, Los Angeles Chargers, and Indianapolis Colts will also be in the quarterback market.
It’s almost a lock that LSU quarterback and 2019 Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow will be the first overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2020 NFL Draft. As Pro Football Network draft guru Tony Pauline points out in his mailbag this week, the Redskins are sky-high on Ohio State defensive end Chase Young, and it’s very likely that they select him with the second overall pick in the draft.
The third pick of the draft, currently owned by the Detroit Lions, is where the fun will begin. Will teams try to trade up to ensure they get Tua Tagovailoa? Will quarterbacks such as Justin Herbert and Jordan Love ascend to top-10 selections? When it comes to the NFL Draft, there are many questions, and today, we are going to answer some of those questions sent in by Pro Football Network fans.
What are your thoughts on the potential flurry of trades for QB-needy teams moving up to the 2nd or 3rd spot, leaving the New York Giants with Chase Young? [email protected]
I think there will certainly be a number of teams that are going to be interested in jumping into the spot currently held by the Detroit Lions. With that said, the team that has had their eyes set on Tagovailoa from the start also has the most ammunition in terms of draft capital, and that team is the Miami Dolphins. Not only is there a relationship between Dolphins head coach Brian Flores and Lions head coach Matt Patricia, but Flores is also very familiar with Lions GM Bob Quinn. I envision the Dolphins and Lions working out a trade, which would allow the Dolphins to get their man.
Unfortunately for the Giants, I have Chase Young locked into the second overall pick. The Giants will be looking at players such as offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, and defensive end A.J. Epenesa.
What do you think the Panthers will do with their pick now that they have Matt Rhule? Is QB hands-down the route to expect? [email protected]_cummings_9
First off, congratulations to your Panthers on a terrific hire. Rhule is a culture changer who should do wonders for that organization.
When it comes to the 2020 NFL Draft, quarterback is certainly on the table for the Panthers, but much of that will be weighted on the performance of Justin Herbert and Jordan Love at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. However, there is also a chance they keep Cam Newton around.
Another position worth monitoring is defensive tackle. Gerald McCoy and Vernon Butler are unrestricted free agents, and Dontari Poe is coming off of a significant injury. Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown could be on their radar.
How many Bama players go in the 1st round? I think there could be 8-10. [email protected]
Good question, and with most of Alabama’s draft-eligible players having made their announcements recently, a question that could be fairly easy to answer. I think 8-10 Alabama players being selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is a bit ambitious. Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, Jedrick Wills, and Xavier McKinney are locks to go in round one. Additionally, I think one of the following three players will go in round one: Trevon Diggs, Terrell Lewis, or Raekwon Davis. Having said this, I will go with six players from Alabama hearing their names called on the first night of the draft. No one is better than Nick Saban when it comes to producing NFL talent.
Who are your top 5 quarterbacks right now? [email protected]
The phrasing of your question is important here, as “right now” my list would be the following:
- Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama
- Justin Herbert – Oregon
- Joe Burrow – LSU
- Jordan Love – Utah State
- Jalen Hurts – Oklahoma
However, I see this list changing some leading up to the draft. With Herbert, Love, and Hurts participating in the Senior Bowl, good or bad performances will impact their draft standing for me. Also, let’s address the elephant in the room. I know I am crazy for having Justin Herbert above Joe Burrow, but Herbert has elite arm strength, and it’s hard for me to absolutely love a player based off of one strong year. The 2020 NFL Draft is absolutely loaded at the quarterback position.
Are the Chargers a real threat to trade up and get Tua? [email protected]
The Chargers are absolutely a threat to move up to select Tagovailoa. I could also see names like Cam Newton and Tom Brady being on their shortlist as well. The team is moving to a new stadium, and selling tickets will be paramount. While Tagovailoa is a big name player and would help the cause in ticket sales, his injury and inability to play in 2020 could halt the Chargers’ interest. While a team like the Dolphins would have Ryan Fitzpatrick to bridge the gap while Tua rehabs, would the Chargers have the same situation? Remember – Philip Rivers is unsigned for 2020.
What are your thoughts or analysis on Cesar Ruiz, the center at Michigan? [email protected]
Like my colleague at Pro Football Network, Tony Pauline, I am a huge fan of Ruiz. Tony states that “there are some area scouts who like Cesar Ruiz more than Tyler Biadasz…at worst a top-50 pick.” He is a terrific athlete who plays extremely well in space. He is stout against defensive tackles, not allowing much penetration. He looks to be a true plug-and-play for a team needing a center.