2020 NFL Draft: Predictions for Night 1
As with any night, the opening night and 1st round of the NFL Draft can be crazy. Some teams make moves that seem to defy logic, while others play the board perfectly. Many unforeseen moves get made. Here are my Draft Night 1 predictions.
At least 4 offensive tackles are taken in the top 15 picks and as many as 3 in the top 10.
The Giants, Cardinals, Jags, and Browns all stand out as possibly taking tackles in the top 10. Washington and Miami also could but will have better options available. The Jets and Buccaneers are other teams to watch with this position in the top 15.
Tua Tagovailoa is NOT the 2nd QB drafted.
Tua’s medicals have caused him to drop substantially. Joe Burrow is now clearly the top pick, and some teams apparently like Justin Herbert better. Seems like Tua’s a prime candidate to fall in the 1st.
Only 1 WR is taken in the top 10.
Most teams in the top 10 need offensive line or defense. Those needs happen to match most of this year’s top prospects. The Jacksonville Jaguars could use a WR the most of the top 10 teams.
4 First round trades, 2 in the top 10.
Detroit and a QB-needy team seem to be a perfect match. Someone from the end of the first round could also fall in love with a player in the top 10. A team could want to snag another first rounder. Teams without 1sts (Houston, Chicago, Indy, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Rams) may see a need to get back into the first night of action.
No running backs in the 1st round.
The first of a couple bold ones. Only once-in-a-lifetime talents at RB go in the top half of the 1st round anymore, and there is no one like that this year. D’Andre Swift and Johnathan Taylor are probably the top candidates to go late in the night, but I think they both last until day 2.
5 QBs in the 1st round.
Another one of my somewhat bold Draft Night 1 predictions. I posted this one in another article, too. Burrow, Tua, Love, and Herbert are the consensus first rounders. Teams seem a little indecisive on the likes of Jacob Eason, Jalen Hurts, and Jake Fromm. Seems like any of those 3 could also sneak into the first. With reports that New England likes Hurts increasing, I’m comfortable enough to make this prediction.
There will be a late run on wide receivers, partially due to some slipping.
Some of the playoff teams from last year could really use another weapon. Of course, it may be a luxury pick for some, but with a WR class like this, why not take a top talent? I can see Green Bay adding another weapon for Rodgers. San Fran needs to replace Emmanuel Sanders and add depth at the position. The Eagles definitely need one. Kansas City might want one. Tennessee could add more pieces to their passing game. Heck, New Orleans might even want another game changer.
New England will draft Tom Brady’s successor.
They very well may be content with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer for now, but they absolutely need to add some competition here. I think they’ll use their first pick for it, but they could be more comfortable making the addition on day 2 instead of reaching.
If (once) the Redskins take Chase Young, the Lions will trade out of the 3rd pick. They will stay in the top 10 and take Jeff Okudah or Derrick Brown.
The team trading up will take a QB. Last week, I would have had the same prediction without Brown, but recent reports say Detroit likes Brown a lot. There is a clear need in their interior defensive line. For me, Okudah would be the pick. He’s a true #1 corner, and there are other DL you can take either on day 2 or with a trade back into the first.
There will be a player taken in the first round who was expected to be drafted on a different day.
This happens most years. I would look at Seattle being a possible team. They tend to target specific types of players that fit their schemes throughout the draft, which can lead to a difference in evaluation. The past 2 years, they’ve taken RB Rashaad Penny and DE L.J. Collier in the first round. Both players were expected to be taken in the 3rd.
The SEC will have the most 1st round players and LSU will lead those schools.
The SEC has a lot of first round talent as well as some very good players later in the draft. LSU and Alabama alone will have more players drafted than some conferences. The Tigers will lead the with many players from their championship defense and a good amount from the offense.
You will hear Mel Kiper say something along the lines of “I don’t understand this pick” at least once.
“Experts” don’t like to be wrong. The draft is generally a crapshoot, so Kiper and others will likely miss some picks they projected. If someone goes way off the board, expect a reaction like this.
The Cowboys will select Michigan center Cesar Ruiz.
This pick has gained some steam lately. Ruiz is a versatile interior offensive lineman and is rising quickly up draft boards. I know many Cowboy fans want a pass rusher like K’Lavon Chaisson to replace Robert Quinn, but the team did also lose center Travis Frederick to retirement. Ruiz would provide them with a suitable replacement from day 1.
Those are my thoughts, but who knows what will really happen. I look forward to seeing if any of these Night 1 draft predictions come true.