Matt Temple-Marsh takes a look at the names in the frame and predicts who the first five picks in this week's NFL Draft will be.
The show will go on in basements & living rooms throughout America - with webcams at the ready to capture all the drama and the trades, as the first ever virtual NFL draft is upon us.
The draft will provide a much needed ray of positivity and at least a short return to normality, as fans rejoice and excitement grows over their new players. Here’s a look at the needs for teams selecting at the top of the draft, and who they will likely select.
First pick - Cincinnati Bengals
You don’t gain the first overall pick in the draft without having a surplus of needs across your roster, notably so at offensive line & linebacker. However the Bengals have spent big money in free agency to fill some of the large holes on defence, and Ohio native Joe Burrow is a lock for the top pick. The Heisman trophy winner recorded the highest ever PFF grade for a college quarterback in his final record-setting season with LSU, and is ready to a pen a new chapter of hope for the torrid Bengals.
Likely pick – Joe Burrow
Second pick – Washington Redskins
A quarterback may be tempting here, but Ron Rivera trading for his former Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen shows faith in his quarterback room, with Dwayne Haskins ready for year two. The Redskins have multiple needs on both sides of the ball, but with the best overall player in the draft available, Chase Young is too good to pass up on. Young broke the single-season sack record at Ohio State last season, a school who herald the Bosa brothers as recent alumni. The addition of Young forms a young and promising Washington defence, with a loaded defensive line.
Likely pick – Chase Young
Third pick – Detroit Lions
With Tua Tagovailoa & Justin Herbert still available, expect the Detroit Lions to trade this pick to either the Miami Dolphins or the Los Angeles Chargers. The Lions have glaring needs at cornerback and on the defensive line after losing Darius Slay to the Eagles, and ranking dead last in pass defence in 2019. Miami’s bounty of high draft picks would put together a tempting trade package, whilst the Chargers could offer a cornerback from their star-studded secondary, along with more draft ammunition. Once the Lions have moved back expect their top pick to be either the best cornerback in this draft class, Jeff Okudah, or Auburn’s defensive tackle Derrick Brown. Trading back will ensure the Lions can add more stars to their talent deprived roster.
Likely pick – Trade back. Jeff Okudah/Derrick Brown
Fourth pick – New York Giants
After selecting Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in last year’s draft, Dave Gettleman’s priority will be to protect his young quarterback - with desperate help needed at offensive tackle. Clemson Swiss-army knife linebacker Isaiah Simmons will be very tempting, and would immediately improve their lacking defence. However, Gettleman wants to prove his doubters wrong and keep his shiny new quarterback upright. The Giants could opt for any one of Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton or Tristan Wirfs, but Gettleman has always favoured athletic freaks with size & speed, so Wirfs or Becton jump out as front-runners.
Likely pick – Tristan Wirfs/Mekhi Becton
Fifth pick – Miami Dolphins
In 2005, the Miami Dolphins decided Drew Brees’ surgically-repaired shoulder posed too much of a risk, as they signed Daunte Culpepper instead. Brees went on to break records and become one of the best quarterbacks of all time with the Saints, whilst Culpepper struggled with injuries and played just four games for the Dolphins. Fast forward fifteen years, and a left-handed Drew Brees has entered the draft. Tua Tagovailoa’s talent is clear to see, but his injury history is a real concern – suffering five notable injuries during his college career. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert stole the show at the combine and the Senior Bowl, with a huge arm and brilliant athleticism – but Tua’s college resume is superior and he possesses a higher ceiling. This is a franchise-altering decision for Miami, and they will have learnt from their past mistakes as they trade up to secure Tua.
Likely pick – Trade up. Tua Tagovailoa
RequestABet on the exact top five in order: Joe Burrow, Chase Young, Tua Tagovailoa, Tristan Wirfs, Jeff Okudah at 40/1
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