Jeff Roberson / Associated Press
April is generally known as the season of lies when it comes to the NFL draft. It’s a pretty specific feeling.
In the past April 10, I was lied to a ton – Ronnie Stanley, a lock for the Chargers (in 2016), the Giants wanting Dwayne Haskins (in 2019) and the Chiefs trading for linebacker (in 2017) are just a few, but you learn over the years who to trust and what information gets passed on to you too easily. Or at least you hope so.
With transparency much of what we do in this space each week, let’s take a look at some of the biggest rumors in the league that are a legitimate buzz – not Odell Beckham Jr. at the Minnesota Vikings here – and could Round 1 impact of next week’s NFL 2020 project.
Rumor 1: Georgian Andrew Thomas, first offensive tackle
It has grown in popularity in recent days, with the idea that Thomas, an SEC leftist, is more ready than his counterparts. In a world shaken by a pandemic and the league facing uncertainty as to when training camps or training will take place, the characteristics and readiness of Thomas in the NFL are more valuable than the caps projected from other tackle perspectives.
Thomas could absolutely be the first tackle given this logic, but it would be a surprise if he were selected over Jedrick Wills (Alabama) or Mekhi Becton (Louisville).
Rumor 2: Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson among top 10
This column could be the leader of the fan club CJ Henderson, but it is more difficult to see unless the Carolina Panthers (n ° 7 in total) or the Jacksonville Jaguars (n ° 9) select Henderson or exchange the choice against a cornerback – team in need, like the Atlanta Falcons. These are the only realistic scenarios in which Henderson enters the top 10.
He is considered to be my # 13 player in the overall class standings and is hopeful at a premium position, but the top 10 could be rich unless one of the 1994 expansion franchises allies on a cornerback.
Rumor 3: Miami Dolphins want Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert
Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press
I believe there is a contingent in the front office of the Dolphins who likes Justin Herbert rather than Tua Tagovailoa, but there is growing rumor that Herbert is the man from Miami.
Here’s a crazy theory launched this week: what if Miami writes an offensive tackle at No. 5 and then uses choices # 18 and 26 to trade for Jordan Love?
It wouldn’t be the best value we’ve ever heard of, and it certainly is a brave decision, but if not sold on Herbert or Tua, it allows the Dolphins to fill the second biggest hole in it. team at the left tackle and still get a quarterback from the future.
Rumor 4: Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos want to trade
There is a ton of smoke that these two teams are desperately looking to get into the top 10 – the Falcons for a cornerback or defensive tackle and the Broncos for a wide catcher. We can believe that the two teams might want to progress.
The Falcons should call the Jaguars and head to No. 9 for Henderson. The Broncos should trade at # 10 (Browns) for Jerry Jeudy. Both teams would be instantly better, and the capital project they would have to abandon would not be terrible.
Rumor 5: Tua Tagovailoa falling in the first round
Fans don’t want to hear this, but Tua could absolutely fall into this project due to injury issues.
Vasha Hunt / Associated Press
He is QB2 in my ranking and one of my favorite players and players in this class, but a broken hand (plus surgery), two ankle surgeries and a major hip injury are huge question marks. hard to check in your list of worries when you can’t pass him off for physicals and have your own doctors assess his medicals.
Should you fall? No, but he could end up outside the top 10 perhaps with a fall similar to Aaron Rodgers or Teddy Bridgewater at the end of the first round and in what will end up being a better situation for him.
—An important note the week before the repechage is the status of players who finished the 2019 season with injuries that need to be eliminated. Gathering information from agents and scouts, some notable updates are below:
* Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks was shut out by the teams after suffering a shoulder injury that cost him the end of the season. He is ready to go and gets a late buzz from the first to the start of the second round.
* Wide receiver South Carolina Bryan Edwards (football) is progressing and will be ready to go if there are training camps in June.
*Bryce Hall (BC, Virginia) ended his season with a nasty ankle injury, but was allowed to play football.
* Wide receiver Brandon aiyuk (Arizona State) has had basic muscle surgery and is also licensed and ready to go.
– Ohio State Corner Corner Jeff Okudah slide? Last week, there was a buzz that Henderson, of Florida, was the best cornerback for some teams, but the belief around the league is that Okudah will always be the first cornerback drafted and a top 10 .
– We are talking about the offensive attack by the state of Boise Ezra Cleveland will be a first round, something that could happen, but in my opinion should not. Cleveland has a ton of experience and good athleticism, but he doesn’t have the power to handle NFL pass-rushers as a beginner to beginner. He’s a good development player, but if a team writes it in round 1, I will disagree with that value.
Steve Conner / Associated Press
—The domestic offensive line class isn’t much talked about, but there are some good beginners who will leave the table at the end of the first and at the start of the second round. One such starter is that of Temple Matt Hennessy, who could be a favorite to find former college head coach Matt Rhule with the Carolina Panthers.
—The race for TE1 in this year’s draft decree is heating up. Our Lady Cole Kmet has long been considered the first sure thing on the board, but this week I heard a lot of buzz for Dayton Adam trautman like the waterproof top end.
1. EDGE Chase Young, State of Ohio
2. QB Joe Burrow, LSU
3. CB Jeff Okudah, State of Ohio
4. LB / S Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
5. WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
6. QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
7. OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
8. DL Derrick Brown, Auburn
9. EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
10. OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
11. WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
12. WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
13. CB C.J. Henderson, Florida
14. DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
15. RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia
16. LB Patrick Queen, LSU
17. OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
18. OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
19. LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
20. WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
21. EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, State of Penn
22. S Xavier McKinney, Alabama
23. EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
24. CB Jeff Gladney, TCU
25. RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU
26. OC Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
27. QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
28. WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
29. S Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota
30. RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
31. QB Jordan Love, State of Utah
32. LB Zack Baun, Wisconsin
7. Draft weekly calendar
Draft week is always a crazy time, with a ton of content that can be hard to keep up with, so here you get a handy calendar that lists where all of my content will be next week.
- STF LIVE; 5 p.m. ET, B / R App
- Movie room; 2 p.m. ET, B / R App
- 2020 NFL Grand Final Table Released
- STF Live; 5 p.m. EST, B / R App
- Publication of the final version of the NFL model in 2020
- NFL Draft Round 1 live; B / R App
- Summary of the first round of STF; podcast only
- NFL Draft Rounds 2-3 Live; B / R App
- NFL Draft Rounds 4-5 live; B / R App
Connect to our 2020 NFL Draft Show for a live and in-depth analysis of what each choice means for your team, with hosts Adam Lefkoe, Matt Miller and Connor Rogers. No fluff, no B.S. Download the B / R app and watch starting Thursday, April 23 at 8 p.m. ET.
6. 2020 mortgage for 2021
A popular theory that is gaining ground in NFL circles is that CEOs could play a role in the 2020 project, particularly in the middle rounds, by trying to trade these selections for choices in the class of next year.
It’s not that the 2021 class should necessarily be better, but that NFL teams will have a better picture of the players available in a pre-project world unaffected by a pandemic. It’s just a theory put forward by the teams, but if we see more commercial activity than normal in the middle rounds, it’s something to keep in mind.
5. Position ends late the first round
The first part of round 1 should be dominated by quarterbacks, attacking tackles and wide receivers, but most insiders expect that the second half of round 1 will also be dominated by linebackers and half corner.
Butch Dill / Associated Press
Linebackers Patrick Queen, Kenneth Murray, Zack Baun and Brooks should all be selected from picks 20 and 40, and around the corner is a group of players like AJ Terrell, Jaylon Johnson, Trevon Diggs and Jeff Gladney who are also projected in this same range of 20 choices.
The first 15 selections will be dominated by the offense, but the last 17 choices of the round could be largely devoted to defense.
4. Sleeper of the season: safety Daniel Thomas, Auburn
It might be a deep sleep for casual draft fans, but the safety of Auburn Daniel Thomas is one of the best under-the-radar players in the class after receiving an invitation to the 2020 Senior Bowl and then making a decent presentation to Combine NFL Scouting.
What sets Thomas apart is not his testing time, but his impact on playing in the area for the defense of the Tigers. In big games against Alabama and other high-profile SEC opponents, he was often the guy who followed the quarterback or made big plays in the backfield.
On a defense with three linemen, Thomas was often the brightest star in defense. Keep his name in mind during the weekend draft and as the season approaches.
3. Riser of the season: Quarterback Joe Burrow, LSU
Anyone who had Joe Burrow ranked in the first round before the 2019 season is either a medium, or really, really optimistic. Based on the 2018 strip, Burrow looked like a runner-up, and that’s where he placed on my board at the start of the season.
The hope with Burrow at the head of the campaign was that he could build on a solid finish to his 2018 season – including a victory over UCF in a hard bowling match – and develop into an offense that would be modernized by little-known assistant Joe Brady.
Everything clicked for Burrow, with Brady’s attack proving to be a perfect fit for him and his pass-wrestler cast, and his stock went up every week. Beginning with an impressive victory over Texas in early September, Burrow dominated all defenses on a tough schedule en route to a record 60 touchdowns and just six interceptions, a Heisman Trophy and a national championship.
Burrow started as a finalist, but his cassette in 2019 was undeniably good. He is the best legitimate quarterback in the repechage.
2. Faller of the Season: Safety Grant Delpit, LSU
Don Juan Moore / Getty Images
Grant Delpit entered the season as No. 3 overall on my watch list after a dominant 2018 season that showed him ready for a big jump. This jump never happened, however, Delpit had not had the same impact in his last season at Baton Rouge.
Some LSU contacts have said that Delpit suffered an ankle injury that affected his game last year, but my problems with his strip are more about effort and chasing angles. And if the ankle injury was serious enough to affect his game, why are his same tackle issues also featured on the 2018 tape?
There’s a lot to unpack here, including the fact that Delpit is a fantastic athlete with foolproof potential in the NFL if he can get back to playing with the tenacity and speed we saw on his second strip. But in class alone, he is the biggest faller in this year’s repechage class, down from No. 3 to No. 63 overall.
1. Stick to football is live three days a week in the B / R app, with shows every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 5 p.m. AND. This week we chat with Houston head coach Dana Holgorsen, play Cash or Trash with the latest NFL rumors, and give you our dream landings for the best players in the 2020 class.
Discover all of our podcast episodes, which are also available on Youtube as a video series, and subscribe if you have not already done so. We will also post a ton of content behind the scenes on our Instagram page.
Matt miller covers the NFL and NFL project for Bleacher Report.