The tape’s been watched, the tests done, the virtual interviews completed… It’s finally here, it’s draft day!* As the football world prepares for it’s first virtual draft your Ninety-Nine Yard writers have put together some final thoughts before it begins this evening.
*Kind of – it starts at 1am tomorrow morning, but lets not split hairs.
What to do with 14 picks?
With a whopping 14 total picks, 6 of which are in the first 70 I’m really intrigued with what Miami will do. They need to hit on their early round picks but their later round ones… 14 is a lot of picks (the most they’ve had since 1992-when there was 12 rounds). Would make sense to package some together to move up a little or even trade out some for next year.
Isiah Simmons to fall?
Many have simmonds going top 10 after an immense workout at the combine and a very productive few years in College. He’s played on the D line, safety, slot corner and linebacker throughout his time at Clemson. Some see Simmons as a huge defensive weapon, I tend to think that he may be more of a “jack of all trades, master of none” prospect and fall down to the back end of the first round.
Hurts to go surprisingly early
Jalen Hurts could conceivably be drafted in the first round, not in the third as some predict. It only takes one team to take a punt on him later in the first round like the Ravens did with Lamar Jackson. Hurts has won everywhere he has been. Whether it be Alabama or Oklahoma. Plus, teams love Oklahoma Quarterbacks. He is also a coach’s son, a trait teams love.
Pass rusher for Philly?
Eagles are tipped to go either corner or receiver early in the draft but I’m thinking they’ll go pass rusher. I wouldn’t hate a move for a linebacker but the depth at cornerand receiver in this draft makes, coupled with the high miss rate in first round receivers, make me think that line help is the move Philly make.
Seahawks guna’ “Seahawk”
I can see Seattle trading out of the first round to pick up some extra draft capital. This is a classic Seahawks move: it would be the 5th time in 8 years they’d be without a first round pick.
Patriots Trade up for a QB
In case you didn’t know Tom Brady now plays for the Buccaneers… The Pats currently only have veteran back-up Brett Hoyer and last year’s 4th round pick Jarrett Stidham. It wouldn’t shock anyone for Bill Bellichuck to swoop forward in the 1st round from their current pick no.23 in order to bag their heir apparent to Brady.
I don’t believe anyone thinks Joe Burrow is going anywhere other than to the Bengals at no.1. Many have Tua Tagovailoa being the second QB off the board. I’d be surprised if this wasn’t Tua but Justin Herbert from Oregon. Herbert’s size, athleticism and arm strength may push him above the Tua and his injury worries.
Cowboys to fill Defensive holes?
Sack leader Robert Quinn and top corner Byron Jones’ departures both leave gaping holes in the Cowboys D. They also need a new slot receiver and potentially centre too (after Cobb left and former all pro Travis Fredderick retired). Unlikely but I’d love the Cowboys to pick CJ Henderson (CB) or Henry Ruggs (WR) at 17. More realistic K’Lavon Chaisson (Edge), Xavier McKinney (S) and I wouldn’t be disappointed if they traded back, picked up another pick and selected Ceasar Ruiz (C) to start at center.
Late round DE’s
Listening to Daniel Jeremiah and Mel Kiper Jr. talk about the prospects in any upcoming draft, the sheer amount of knowledge they have about prospects is awe inspiring. The thing that I took away from listening to them was the idea that there are several pass rushers that could make impact who should be available in the later rounds. Guys like Alex Highsmith from Charlotte and Derrek Tuskza of North Dakota State. I’ve seen Tuskza name popping up in a few places and he’s a solid looking prospect who flashes when you watch his tape. In a league where getting to the quarterback is key he’s my guy to watch!
‘Skins to trade down
Washington has an “open goal” opportunity at the most talented player in this draft: Chase Young. Young could add more talent to their already loaded defensive front. Or they could trade back, pick up some extra picks and use those to fill holes they have elsewhere. I’d guess they do the latter – Young is amazing but they’ve dire needs elsewhere.
…If they do, it could be carnage!
We all expect Washington to draft a foundational player in Chase Young. But, with them actively participating in trade talks they could trade for the right price. The top 5/10 of most mock drafts have fallen the same way: Burrow, Young, Miami and LA taking QBs and a possible run on tackles. Imagine if all this went up in the air…. An even more exciting scenario could see picks #2, #3 and #4 being traded!
Browns could trade down too!
Many, including myself, see the Browns picking up an offensive tackle with their first pick. The Browns would love to shore up their O Line and protect franchise QB Baker Mayfield. But with their no.10 pick? It wouldn’t shock me to see them trade back, pick up an extra pick or two and pick their tackle towards the back end of the first round.
Big day for the Buckeyes!
A lot is being made of where the QB’s will land in the 2020 draft – as it always is. But if you’re a recruiter for a top college football programme there is nothing better than saying to potential recruits “look how many of our players made it to the pros.” Even better if you can say look at our guys who went near the top of the draft. This year Ohio State has a legitimate chance to do just that. Chase Young (DE) looks set to be a top 3 pick. There is a chance that his teammate Jeff Okudah (CB) could be a top 5 pick too. It’s a recruiters dream! Given the competitive nature of the Big 10 a chance for Ohio State fans to take bragging rights for their team too.
The ideal ‘Finns draft
My ideal as a Dolphins fan is Herbert at 5, trade up to 9/10 for Andrew Thomas , then use late first on Xavier McKinney. Grab another tackle early in round 2. Then use 2nd 2nd rounder on Edwards-Helaire, perfect!
A late round receiver prospect
This year’s receiver class is absolutely loaded. ESPN’s draft guru Mel Kiper said on a conference Wednesday “30 to 35 receivers with 2nd-3rd round grades”, great for a team looking for a receiver (or two?).
Keep an eye out for Isaiah Coulter, Rhode Island, as a late round pick, he’s been mocked into rounds 4-7. Coulter has had some high praise: “he could be the Metcalfe of this draft” longtime NFL personnel expert Gil Brandt stated recently.
Maybe not so many trades?
There’s been plenty of talk about trades and there will be some big ones. However with teams scouts, execs, coaches, owners all being seperated in isolation I don’t see there being too many trades. Getting the right people to agree on something in a limited time frame is difficult enough – let alone when they’re not in the same building.
Whatever happens it’s going to be a great few days! keep an eye on our Twitter @Ninety-NineYards for more reaction and news as it happens.