It is here. It is finally here. The 2020 NFL Draft is just hours from commencing and while the three-day event will be conducted under very different circumstances this year, the intrigue, excitement, and storylines are still expressed and seen at a high level. While there is so much we as fans, media professionals, football junkies, etc., “think we know” in regards to this year’s draft, the reality is we don’t.
For understandable and unfortunate reasons, the NFL Draft may be of the few sports-related events people will get to enjoy for some time. With that comes an even greater amount of speculation, more so than previous years. This is why, with all the additional scrutiny, the following five 2020 NFL Draft questions need to be discussed further as they will be important topics during and after this year’s draft.
Who really is the future starting QB for the Patriots?
If the season started today (and sports, in general, would be back), Jarrett Stidham would be starting for the New England Patriots. While Stidham has some talent, there are reasons why he is not viewed as a legit, consensus, starter. Therefore, another option needs to be added to the Pats’ QB room but who?
No matter who the next starting quarterback will be, no one can replace Tom Brady and what he did for New England. That said, we all know Bill Belichick has a plan going into next season and for the future. The thing is, no one knows the full plan except for Belichick. Although he is calling the shots, finding out offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels had a major hand in deciding what they are going to do next when we look back at this draft wouldn’t be a surprise.
So, whom will they go with? Cam Newton is certainly an option but if he would have been added, a deal would have been agreed to by now instead of the one made with Brian Hoyer. Instead, the answer lies in the draft. Does Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa drop past the fifth selection currently held by the Miami Dolphins? Will the Patriots complete a rare trade up and go with the lefty QB? Does Jordan Love, the talented Utah State quarterback with a wide draft projected range, tempt New England enough into trading up? He has a lot of upside, and if he is the Pats’ top QB prospect, they’d be wise to move up as the Dolphins and many others are very interested as well.
This offseason has had what seemed to be an endless amount of potential Patriots starting quarterback discussions. While it is tempting to trade up for one of the top signal-callers, the waiting game has to be played out to know who their next starter will be.
How many veterans get dealt?
The NFL Draft does not usually have many players traded during the three-day event, especially those of value and of relatively big names. Given the current situation and the lack of in-person interaction, this may be the year that we see teams prefer to go the veteran route rather than the rookie option considering there has been so little to base a decision on, outside of just film.
Washington Redskins OT Trent Williams, Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette, and DE Yannick Ngakoue are some of the more notable names mentioned. The Browns and Vikings have been linked to Williams, and if both teams decide to go elsewhere in round one, we could start seeing the reports come out that interest has peaked in a possible deal. We all know their backgrounds: Williams hasn’t played a full season since 2013 and will turn 32 years old during the season. Fournette plays the position with the shortest shelf life and has had injuries impacting his availability. Ngakoue, while immensely talented, is doing himself no favors online getting himself out of Duval.
While three were highlighted above, there are quite a few others such as the Jets’ Jamal Adams. There simply are too many valuable players who need a fresh start and too many teams that would benefit from adding them. Veterans will be dealt but only once teams start to fill their needs and other teams’ preferences are selected.
Prediction: Fournette is dealt for a mid-day three pick and Williams is moved for at least a third rounder.
Does Mekhi Becton see his stock fall?
Recently, Mekhi Becton had a drug test flagged. At the time this piece was written and posted, detailed specifics regarding the test is unknown. No, this is not Tunsil 2.0 but the Miami Dolphins may end up with one of the top tackles again. So, is this a concern and will it cause him to see his stock fall or perhaps have teams drop him or take him off their boards all together? For some teams, yes, this could be a cause for concern.
What his future team, the NFL, and fans all around the world will soon find out is whether Becton is more Bryant McKinnie or Mike Williams. Becton is only 20 years old and while it is quite the scene to watch him move defenders out of the way, what may be of more concern for teams is how long he will be able to maintain such great play at more than 360 pounds?
At the end of the day, Becton did not fail a test and while the talent cannot be ignored, is he the right fit for the Giants at four, Cardinals at eight, Browns at 10, or someone else selecting earlier? If he is not, why was that the case? Was it for the flagged test or do we need to realize it was something that was out of his control? This is arguably the most interesting non-quarterback storyline in the first round.
Prediction: Becton drops out of the top-10 and becomes a New York Jet with the 11th pick.
Continue for the rest of our five 2020 NFL Draft questions.