2020 NFL Draft: Why Lions Are Torn to # 3, What Dolphins and Chargers Will Do and More Insider Notes


With the project now in less than a week, GMs are a little more eager to chat.

The drawing boards are largely fixed. Teams are trying to understand what is likely to happen. Football people are looking for information, and after speaking with several general managers in the past few days, this is what I was able to glean from what is going on at the top of the project.

Chargers just drop QB

It seems unlikely that the Chargers will come back for a quarterback. And the Dolphins should have their pick for second QB of the draft at five o’clock until the Chargers, or someone else, moves for a smuggler. I have a feeling that L.A will be fine with Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert and will just let the process go and one of them will belong to them.

Dolphins intrigued by love, but …

The teams seem convinced that the Dolphins are really super intrigued by Jordan Love… but doubt that they are almost intrigued enough to get away from Tua and take a left tackle with their selection, then try to go around Love later at first round. Playing a chicken game with New England – a team in the QB market – probably makes no sense.

The hawks seek to exchange

The smoke from Falcons trying to climb is very real. I don’t think they’re a gamer far from scoring, and the other teams I’ve talked to haven’t either. But it has become an accepted reality in league circles that the Falcons are motivated to land if possible the CJ Henderson. And if history is an indicator, they will be ready to pay the price.

Torn Lions on what to do at number 3

Henderson seems to have a decent shot to pick before Jeff Okudah even though Atlanta is not trading. Lions are torn apart, according to league sources, between simply taking Okudah or tackling the point of attack with Derrick Brown or Isaiah Simmons. But more than anything else, this franchise is motivated to trade – within reason – and always in a position to spot a defense impact player. But who will trade?

More provisional notes 2020

  • The draft starts at 3 (the choice, not the time). Joe Burrow is number 1 and Chase Young is second. If someone had to pay a ridiculous reward for settling in Washington, it would have happened before. The Skins should pay attention to Trent Williams’ trade, once and for all.
  • The Giants continue to have deep internal discussions about what exactly Simmons is and how it fits into their scheme. They’re deeply intrigued … but at the end of the day, the GMs I spoke to expect Dave Gettleman to take an offensive lineman, who needs several. Tristan Wirfs of Iowa – the former wrestler and king of leverage – is kidding these GMs.
  • I know of several teams who believe that Andrew Thomas is the best tackle in the repechage with the highest potential. But I also continue to hear leaders say that Okudah and Thomas are two players at the top of the first round who could slip. Make no mistake – they will go into the top half of the first round. But maybe not the top 10.
  • The Browns are ready to leave the 10th overall choice, I am told. They could find an impact in a few places, potentially, and the thought is that another team might wish that the needy Jets, Raiders, 49ers and Broncos with wide receiver land CeeDee Lamb or whoever they think is the best receiver before this initial run on the pass sensors begins. Would make sense.
  • Speaking of teams in this mix, with Joe Douglas in his first draft as GM, and there is so much depth of reception available in this draft, some of his peers think he is actually taking an lineman offensive with the first choice of the Jets and not a WR. Would make sense. It’s still a huge need for the Jets after they make a few makeshift moves for the best free agency line players. I could see him following this path, depending on the fall of the board.
  • There has been a lot of national gossip about the Cardinals who have taken an offensive lineman, but the more I immersed myself in this situation this week, the defensive lineman also makes a lot of sense and is definitely at stake. I could see the Cardinals at # 8 being the deepest Auburn brown that would fall.
  • Ravens trading in the first round is far from out of the question. There is more depth in this project to two of their critical needs – linebacker and defensive line – than many draftniks suggest, and adding a third second round is a distinct possibility depending on how the field falls.
  • I have yet to speak to an executive in this league who believes there is no way the Raiders will explore a mobile QB like Tua or Love. Maybe they take a corner – on a receiver – with their first choice and enter the QB game with their second choice, knowing that there will be a multitude of WRs available on day 2 that could have an immediate impact.


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