With the college football season coming to a close, we inch ever closer to the NFL Draft. With that, expect to see wild predictions on social media, sports apps, websites, and pretty much everywhere else you may get football news. No one knows how the draft will fall until it actually happens, but it’s also entertaining to make some educated guesses and return to see just how many you got right.
Comparing my first mock of the season to how that draft actually turns out is particularly humorous. However, with the information we currently possess, what are some 2020 NFL Draft predictions we can make to spice up this lull before the draft season fully kicks off?
#1. Five wide receivers will be drafted in the first round.
My first 2020 NFL Draft prediction is that five receivers will be selected in the first round. In the past four years, there has not been a single draft in which five receivers were selected in the first round. 2015 had six, and 2014 had five. No other class has come close to 2014, but this 2020 class could be the first to match. In 2014, players like Odell Beckham Jr. and Mike Evans were the big selling points, but the class also benefitted from strong complimentary play from Sammy Watkins and Brandin Cooks. Kelvin Benjamin was the fifth receiver from the first round, and even he was productive for a few years.
The 2020 class has CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, and Laviska Shenault, who will all receive first-round grades from me. Meanwhile, Tee Higgins, Jalen Reagor, and Justin Jefferson are all players I could see teams taking a chance on in the first round. This class is viewed as a possibly “historic” class. If it can match the production from the 2014 class, it’ll do well. If somehow all seven receivers were selected in the first round, it would be the first time since 2004 that seven were drafted that high. If I was to predict seven, though, that would be a very bold 2020 NFL Draft Prediction.
#2. Four quarterbacks taken top 15, zero selected 16-50.
For my next 2020 NFL Draft prediction, I believe that four quarterbacks will be selected in the top 15. Those QBs are Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, and Jordan Love. The most likely teams to select these QBs are the Bengals, Dolphins, Chargers, and Colts. However, don’t be surprised if a team like the Lions, Panthers, Jaguars, Raiders, or Buccaneers takes one if they love the value. That’s four teams that should take a QB, and five more that could if they love the prospect. Nine spots, four QBs, all in the top 15 picks.
For the other part of this 2020 NFL Draft prediction, I don’t believe another quarterback will be selected in the Top 50. The drop off of talent between QB4 and QB5 is massive. A team would have to love the arm talent of Jacob Eason, or the leadership and running ability of Jalen Hurts. However, neither player falls into my top 50, and I don’t expect them to be viewed like that for an NFL front office. I could be wrong, but once the fourth QB is selected, don’t expect another to be called for some time.
#3. Ten offensive tackles will be taken before Round 3.
This offensive tackle class is stacked, and the belief is that you can find a quality starter into Day 3. I’m here to say that you won’t be able to because for my final 2020 NFL Draft prediction, ten offensive tackles will be selected in the first 64 picks. The NFL knows this class is legit, so expect teams to get their guys when they have the chance. If you can get your franchise left tackle in Round 2, you get that player. Once teams start recognizing the value, they’ll start taking their guys, and this will cause a chain reaction. It might be in teams’ best interest to take a guy as soon as possible. Otherwise, they might not get another chance.