The 2020 NFL Draft begins on Thursday April 23rd and will take place in Las Vegas.
1. 5 QBs get drafted in first round
Only once in the last 10 years have 5 quarterbacks been drafted in the first round. That happened in 2018 (Mayfield, Darnold, Allen, Rosen, Jackson) and I think it will happen again in 2020.
Those 5 are – Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Jordan Love, and Jacob Eason.
Part of the reason I think this is that all 5 are talented and worthy enough of going in the first 32 picks. But the other big reason is there are a lot more teams than usual in need of a QB. Bengals, Dolphins, Chargers, Panthers, Colts, Bucs, Raiders, Saints. Patriots could all be in the market for a QB, depending on what happens during free agency in the months before.
2. Lions trade down from #3
Joe Burrow will go #1. Chase Young will go #2 to the Redskins. And then the draft begins. Most mock drafts have the Lions taking Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah at #3, but could they move down and get him? Maybe. They could definitely move down and get additional 2020 and probably 2021 picks too. As noted above, several teams are desperate for QBs and may want to move up to get their guy. While the Lions at 3 and Giants at 4 are not in the QB market, the Dolphins at 5 definitely are, so it would benefit a team behind them to move up or the Dolphins to move up and guarantee no one beats them to it to get their guy.
Lions could potentially acquire a 2021 first or second round and add an additional high pick or two for 2020.
3. Javon Kinlaw will be a top 10 pick
And he will be the first defensive lineman drafted, ahead of Auburn’s Derrick Brown. Kinlaw is a massive 310 pound DT from South Carolina who had an amazing week during the Senior Bowl practices.
He had 6 sacks in 12 games in 2019 and has the potential to be a 10+ year impact player, who disrupts the offense with his ability to get pressure.
Lions (if they trade down), Giants, Panthers, Cardinals, Jaguars, Browns could all potentially be in the Kinlaw market in April.
4. Zero running backs drafted in round one
From 2016-2018, running backs were drafted #4, 4, and 2, respectively. In 2019, only one running back went in the first round and that was Josh Jacobs to the Raiders at #24. My guess, is no running backs go in round one in 2020.
D’Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor, JK Dobbins, Cam Akers, and Zach Moss are the best of a very deep running back class. It’s not that I don’t think any of these guys can be great or special, it’s that the value of RBs continues to plummet and there are so many of them, and many who are successful as late round or even undrafted picks (look at the Super Bowl RBs, for further proof of the latter).
Unless a team is desperate for a RB upgrade in the last few picks, I’d expect these guys to start flying off the board in the early second round.