The 2020 NFL Draft is less than a month away, and we are starting to get an idea of what each team is looking to do with their first-round selections. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to all 32 teams, informing them the process will not be delayed, and we will bear witness to our first-ever virtual draft. Crews will remain at home, players will attend the event online, and the show will go on.
With the process now confirmed, big boards and final adjustments will be made before April’s big day arrives. They say there’s no such thing as a perfect draft, but organizations should be close on making decisions as to who will be the face of the franchise when the new season kicks off.
This week, the Two Minute Warning has little to report. Instead, I looked back at every roster following free agency and played general manager. Every team will have a top priority and will attempt to draft impact players in the first round.
Teams with a first-round pick in NFL’s virtual draft
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Quarterback: Cincinnati, don’t mess this one up. Draft Joe Burrow and call it a day. If you don’t, at least build an indoor practice facility!
2. Washington – Cornerback: The only thing uglier than the name of the franchise is their cornerback situation. Kendall Fuller will return, but he’s destined for the slot or in a safety-like role. Chase Young would fill a need, but his Ohio State teammate, Jeffrey Okudah, would be the better pick. If Dan Snyder can trade back and take the premier cornerback at say, five? It’s a huge win for the organization on so many levels.
3. Detroit Lions – Pass Rush: The Lions added Trey Flowers to a max deal, hoping he would follow and produce like his former defensive coordinator. Both had mediocre seasons last year, while the Lions front seven only produced 28 sacks. Getting Young would be the absolute greatest thing to happen to the Motor City since Motown and Barry Sanders were running the show.
4. New York Giants – Offensive Tackle: In back-to-back drafts, the Giants took their now franchise running back and quarterback. They need to have protection if you want them to stick around. Louisville’s Mekhi Becton is a versatile tackle who will protect both Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley.
5. Miami Dolphins – Quarterback: Miami spent an impressive amount of money this offseason. The Dolphins need a quarterback despite having the greatest beard in history under center. Ryan Fitzpatrick would be an excellent teacher for Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon’s Justin Herbert in their rookie season as Brian Flores relies on defensive play in 2020 to contend.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – Quarterback: You’re not buying the Tyrod Taylor love either? Good. Whoever Miami doesn’t pick should be the next quarterback off the board. Both Tagovailoa and Herbert would have time to develop and take over midseason with a stellar defense and improved offensive line in place.
I've watched this about a dozen times. Isaiah Simmons with some closing speed. pic.twitter.com/dBiHgSKVY6
— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) March 30, 2020
7. Carolina Panthers – Defense: Rest in peace Vernon Butler, Gerald McCoy, Mario Addison, Thomas Davis, Luke Kuechly, James Bradberry, and many others. They didn’t die, but the Queen City’s defense isn’t ready to defend her honor. Literally, any of the top defenders make sense here if Carolina doesn’t trade back. Both Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw would solidify the line while Isaiah Simmons could play multiple roles.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Right Tackle: Arizona pulled the trade of the century for DeAndre Hopkins, addressing their need for the heir to Larry Fitzgerald. Now, the attention turns to the trenches in need of protection for Kyler Murray. Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs primarily played right tackle for the Hawkeyes but has experience on the blindside. If the team is set with D.J. Humphries on the left, why not draft a guy who’s best on the right?
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Defense: Unless Simmons is on the board (which, man, could he be?), have your pick at either Kinlaw or Brown and be happy Duval County. Dave Caldwell has a knack making the right call at defensive picks in his history as the general manager.
10. Cleveland Browns – Andrew Thomas: If he’s there, take the Georgia product, which is the best pure left tackle in the class, and never look back. I’m sure Nick Chubb will convince Baker Mayfield; this is the right pick overall.
Andrew Thomas Georgia LT v. Notre Dame
•Was a BULLY in the run game
•His speed & agility allows him to get to the second level so quickly
•Won the battle consistently against Julian Okwara
I’m so intrigued to see what his bench press is at the combine. pic.twitter.com/u9agCEKAuL
— Bobby Skinner (@BobbySkinner_) January 15, 2020
11. New York Jets – Offense: If all the tackles are gone, address the need for a true top receiver with Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb. If Jedrick Wills Jr. is on the board, Joe Douglas could draft two receivers later and give Sam Darnold protection. The only way to win is by scoring, and New York was the worst scoring offense last season.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – Wide Receiver: Las Vegas should follow the great Al Davis approach and draft speed for their offense. Jeudy, Lamb, and Henry Ruggs III all have it and would be a number one option for Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota. The Raiders are sneaky good, and a wide receiver would make them better.
13. San Francisco 49ers – Wide Reciever: The 49ers will need a new weapon to replace Emmanuel Sanders to compete in a tight NFC West. Jeudy would be the best choice, but all three are solid younger upgrades with potential.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tackle on both sides of the ball: Honestly, if Jason Licht could trade up and draft one of the top four names, no one would complain. Say the team doesn’t and remains at 14 – Kinlaw or Brown would be long-term replacements for Ndamukong Suh in a slowly improving defense. Tampa Bay has Tom Brady, so either way, they’ll be content for two years in the draft process.
Social distancing a Henry Ruggs specialty💨💨💨 pic.twitter.com/4VM8zmDJJc
— Barstool Bama National Champions 🏆 (@BarstoolAlabama) March 30, 2020
15. Denver Broncos – Speed Receiver: Courtland Sutton can’t be the lone option for Denver’s offense, so pairing him with Ruggs makes perfect sense. If the Alabama product is gone, trading back and snagging Baylor’s Denzel Mims is a great consolation prize.
16. Atlanta Falcons – Cornerback: The Falcons required a pass rush, but that went out the door when Dante Fowler Jr. came knocking. Florida’s CJ Henderson isn’t as polished compared to Okudah, but he’s an excellent cover man and an immediate replacement for Desmond Trufant. Dan Quinn loves his defenders, so if the Gator is there, he should run to the podium like he’s running away from the hot seat.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Defensive End: There’s not an interior offensive lineman worthy of taking this early. Instead, Dallas could look to find a replacement for Robert Quinn off the edge. LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson is better than his numbers appeared when looking to attack the quarterback. If he improves on his run game, Dallas’ defensive line is going to be a handful.
18. Miami Dolphins (Via PIT) – Offensive Tackle: They traded away their franchise left tackle, so why not grab another? Houston’s Josh Jones was the most improved offensive lineman down in Mobile and became better in pass protection each snap. Consider it karma for taking the H-Town product away from the city they sent Laremy Tunsil to.
Big reason you see LSU LB Patrick Queen as the 16th overall player on @MoveTheSticks Big Board – his ability to cover
Instincts + burst are top notch! And a finisher once he arrives!
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) January 23, 2020
19. Las Vegas Raiders (Via CHI) – Cornerback: Mike Mayock might be smart in taking someone like Henderson at 12 and finding his speed receiver here. Mims could be the option thanks to his pure downfield ability and hands if the team were to that option. If not, LSU’s Kristian Fulton is still on the board and would be a nice addition over Eli Apple.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (Via LAR) – Defense: If Fulton is available, take him. If the team wants to take Henderson at ninth overall, find Telvin Smith’s replacement here with LSU’s Patrick Queen. Jalen Ramsey will be missed, so the team will need to address the cornerback role, but again, trust Caldwell when it comes to picking an early defensive selection.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Wide Receiver: Why don’t receivers look at Carson Wentz the same way they looked at Nick Foles. It doesn’t matter because Howie Roseman is investing in his quarterback for the future. Mimis, LSU’s Justin Jefferson, or TCU’s Jalen Reagor both would be quality additions to the offense and keep Philly in contention in the NFC East.
21. Minnesota Vikings (Via BUF) – TCU player: Both Reagor and Jeff Gladney already look great in purple and fit a need for the Vikings. Reagor would become a strong complement to Adam Thielen while Gladney is excellent with his footwork and change in direction. They already fit the color scheme and fill a need, plus, we all know Mike Zimmer’s love for drafting cornerbacks.
23. New England Patriots – Quarterback: The team lost Tom Brady, and Jordan Love is the last man standing. Next.
24. New Orleans Saints – LSU product: New Orleans will need help at wide receiver and linebacker. Jefferson and Queen are local products that would enhance either side of the ball.
25. Minnesota Vikings – The other TCU guy: If Gladney is the pick at 21, Reagor will likely fall to 25. The same could probably be said the other way around. Again, Prince wrote a song called “Purple Rain” and both players would reign supreme as the replacement for either Stefon Diggs or Xavier Rhodes.
26. Miami Dolphins (Via HOU) – Have fun: Whatever Chris Grier wants to do here, he’s earned it. A safety would be excellent, and Alabama’s Xavier McKinney or Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr. could be a quality replacement for Minkah Fitzpatrick. Still, if Grier wanted to select a running back like Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor, a need is met, and Miami fans should just be happy they’re relevant again.
27. Seattle Seahawks – Defense: If the team can’t come to terms with Clowney, a player like Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos would be a great addition to the front seven. If they do reach a deal with the former first overall pick, Auburn’s Noah Igbinoghene or LSU’s Grant Delpit will help solidify the secondary. Either way, John Schneider should think defense if he’s stay put.
Auburn CB Noah Igbinoghene is one of my favorite 2-3 year projections in the class. Inexperienced at the position but has all the tools to be a starter down the road – pic.twitter.com/j3X3aEwT7Z
— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) April 6, 2020
28. Baltimore Ravens – Linebacker: Boring wins, and while this pick is predictable, the Ravens need it. It’s going to be a linebacker for Baltimore. Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray I think would be a better fit, but you can’t go wrong with either pick for Eric DeCosta’s top-level defense.
29. Tennessee Titans – Defensive Line: The Titans should look to replace Jurrell Casey early. TCU’s Ross Blacklock, Iowa’s AJ Esperanza, Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore, or Texas A&M’s Justin Madubuike should all be in play for John Robinson here.
30. Green Bay Packers – Wide Receiver: Get Aaron Rodgers weapons, please. Mims, Reagor, or Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. would be a great second option to play alongside Davante Adams and give the future Hall of Fame quarterback another chance for a title.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Interior Help: Both sides of the trenches need help out in the bay. All the names listed for Tennessee minus Esperanza should be in play as DeForest Bucker’s replacement. If they go offense, Michigan’s Cesar Ruiz would be a great addition to the offensive line.
The Steelers were planning to head to Michigan Pro Day from Clemson Pro Day. That means if Michigan Center Cesar Ruiz could be a serious consideration. He moves guys out of gaps with ease. Very athletic player. He's my top-ranked IOL in the draft this year. pic.twitter.com/3PsGrD5VPS
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) March 31, 2020
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Cornerback: Do they still have Patrick Mahomes? Yeah, they’re fine. Let Kansas City take Clemson’s A.J. Terrell or Ohio State’s Damon Arnette and keep the party going all offseason long.
Teams without a first-round pick
No.34 – Indianapolis Colts – Cornerback: The Colts have their defensive lineman of the future, and there’s plenty of depth at wide receiver. Arnette, Igbinoghene, and Terrell would all pair well with Rock Ya-Sin and Kenny Moore as the three cornerbacks.
No.40 – Houston Texans – Wide Receiver: I hear Clemson is excellent at producing wide receivers, right Hopkins? Either Higgins or Shenault should ideally be the person tasked at replacing the top wide receiver in the league down in Bill O’Brien’s offense.
I understand hesitating on Tee Higgins. And I'm as big of a separation > anything at WR guy as anyone. But the Tee Higgins hate has gone way too far. Let's not act like guys like Mike Evans and Mike Williams are useless. And Higgins can move for a big guy! pic.twitter.com/YJ35TNEOPR
— Marcus Whitman (@TFG_Football) April 6, 2020
No.43 – Chicago Bears – Cornerback: Alabama’s Trevon Diggs or the names mentioned above should all be in consideration for Matt Nagy’s defense.
No.52 – Los Angeles Rams – Linebacker: Running backs are like artists now; most are one-hit, in this case one-year, wonders now. The Rams need to replace Cory Littleton, who proved to be an undersized linebacker with excellent potential. Both Ohio State’s Malik Harrison or Appalachian State’s Akeem Davis-Gaithershould be circled on Les Snead’s draft board.
Akeem Davis-Gaither is 6’2” modern day prototypical NFL linebacker.
Great speed, can tackle in the open field, can rush the passer, and can cover WRs. He does it all.
He jumps off my projector screen.
— Steve Franklin (@MyGuySteve) January 22, 2020
No.54 – Buffalo Bills – Edge Defender: Lorenzo Alexander hung up the cleats, so finding a hybrid player here could be the best move. Michigan’s Josh Uche or Florida’s Jonathan Greenard played a similar role to the veteran during their college days and would transition well over to Sean McDermott’s defense.
Stay safe and indoors, gang!