The NFL Draft is often unpredictable and uncanny, with twists coming from the first overall pick through the selection of Mr. Irrelevant. The time spent in between the NFL Combine and the actual draft is filled with speculation amidst free agency and other activities. The truth is we, as draft fans or analysts, don’t really have a clue who will go where or how players will turn out. The one true thing about the draft is that there are no certainties. We can make our best-educated guesses, but until the card is turned in, nothing is set in stone. With that being said, let’s explore ten speculative “what-if” scenarios for the 2020 NFL Draft.
What if the Bengals pass on Joe Burrow?
The consensus of many draft analysts is that the draft starts at pick three, with Joe Burrow going to Cincinnati as the number one draft pick and Chase Young heading to the Redskins. While this may seem like the obvious choice for the Bengals to make, don’t write this one in stone just yet.
There’s been a lot of drama surrounding the ineffectiveness of the Bengals organization and Joe Burrow’s comments on it. This has led many in the media to speculate that Burrow doesn’t seem interested in playing for the Cincinnati Bengals. Many have gone as far as to say he should pull an Eli Manning and demand a trade if he gets drafted by the Bengals.
If the Bengals prefer someone else, it’s likely they’ll go with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon’s Justin Herbert. We all know how good Tua Tagovailoa is, and Cincinnati got a first-hand look at Herbert at the Senior Bowl a few weeks ago. Offensive coordinator Brian Callahan admitted he was personally very impressed by how Herbert responded to their coaching. If they pass on Burrow in favor of one of these other quarterbacks, the price for pick number two just skyrocketed, which brings me to my next What-If scenario for the 2020 NFL Draft.
What if the Redskins don’t draft Chase Young?
This is the second most-consensus pick. It does make a ton of sense, right? Chase Young is the best player in the draft, and Washington could certainly use a player of his caliber. What if they get an offer just convincing enough to pass on him at #2 overall? If Miami is offering all three of their first-round picks for the #2 selection, Washington could certainly entertain such a lucrative offer. Washington paid the price for a massive trade up a few years back. Reaping the benefits of another just a few years later could be the perfect rebound.
What if the Redskins don’t get a worthy offer, but they decide not to draft Young? It seems incredibly far-fetched, but if star left tackle Trent Williams isn’t back with the team, the Redskins could decide to take an offensive tackle that high, given the caliber of the 2020 offensive tackle class. Of course, they could also take that trade down and still select a talented tackle. Or maybe they invest in a corner such as Jeffrey Okudah before the Lions or Giants get him, or maybe even Isaiah Simmons? Would they pass on a player of Chase Young’s caliber? It’s certainly a discussion worth having.
What if the Lions trade Matt Stafford?
This has been rumored for a few weeks now that Stafford would be on his way out in Detroit. While PFN has confirmed the initial reports about trading Stafford were false, things could certainly change at the upcoming NFL Combine. People may remember the NFL Combine helped lead to Odell Beckham Jr. being traded to Cleveland last year.
If Stafford does get traded, it’s likely for a first-round pick and more. Maybe a team like Indianapolis or New England would get involved? The Raiders have two first-round picks and have been active in the QB market. They could certainly provide the capital to trade for the veteran quarterback.
A Lions trade of Stafford all but guarantees one of Burrow, Tagovailoa, or Herbert is their quarterback for the future. While I ultimately don’t believe the Lions would trade away Stafford, there is too much smoke to ignore.
What if the first three picks are quarterbacks?
If the scenarios mentioned above play out, the first three picks would be Burrow, Tagovailoa, and Herbert in some order. This leaves both Young AND Okudah on the board for the New York Giants. That would be the absolute ideal scenario for the Giants, who could use either player. Having one fall would be amazing. Both players falling would be a gift sent from above.
This also puts the Miami Dolphins in a quandary, unless they are the ones who trade up to the second overall pick. All of their top quarterback options on the board are gone. While they certainly have done extensive work on Utah State’s Jordan Love, would they feel good about drafting him at fifth overall? This leads to an interesting debate in my next What-If scenario for the 2020 NFL Draft.
What if Miami tanks for Trevor?
Say Miami loses out on their preferred quarterback options. They don’t want to reach on a quarterback that they are not comfortable with at fifth overall. If their top options at quarterback are gone, that means one or two of Young, Okudah, or Isaiah Simmons are still on the board. They may decide to continue to build out the rest of the roster or see if Love may make it to pick 18.
While I firmly believe in grabbing a quarterback as soon as possible, it’s likely Miami may have different thoughts about it. What if they are still interested in seeing what Josh Rosen can do, now that he’s actually being coached for the first time in his career. They may choose to fill out the roster with him in mind as the quarterback for the upcoming season. If he works out, they’ve got a talented roster to build on, knowing they have a quarterback to build around. If not, Trevor Lawrence is available in the 2021 NFL Draft.