NFL Draft Goes Virtual

This years NFL Draft will go virtual.

published under fair use

This year’s NFL Draft will go virtual.

Nick Holt, Staff Writer

For the first time in history, the NFL Draft will not take take place at a physical location because of the recent Covid-19 Pandemic.  Commissioner Roger Goodell will be at his home, announcing the draft picks from a video call.

Teams around the league have had concerns about potential hacking situations, or opposing teams finding ways to hear their discussions and plans for the draft.  The 2020 NFL draft could be the most unpredictable draft in NFL history, so a technological edge, hacking into another team’s Intel, could change the entire outlook of the picks.

With players such as LSU’s Joe Burrow, Ohio State’s Chase Young, and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Thursday, April 23 will fill the need of sports fans across America.

Below is my best attempt at predicting the unpredictable 2020 NFL Draft:

  1. BengalsJoe Burrow, QB, LSU – a lock at number 1, the Bengals get their franchise quarterback.
  2. RedskinsChase Young, DE, OSU – potentially the best player in the draft, Young is a furious pass rusher who can get to the quarterback with ease.
  3. Dolphins (proj trade with Lions) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon – a safer pick than Tua, Herbert had an amazing pro day, but definitely a reach here from Miami.
  4. Giants Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa – an athletic, big guy to protect their young quarterback.  Gettleman gets a team need at 4.
  5. Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB, OSU – a replacement for Darius Slay, Okudah is a flawless, disciplined prospect, with 0 penalties in this recent year.
  6. Chargers – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama – another team to pass on Tua, LA gets a tackle for the next 10-15 years in Wills.
  7. Panthers – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn – this seems like a lock for Carolina, he’s been projected to go here for months now.
  8. Arizona – Isaiah Simmons, DEF, Clemson – a positionless animal who shined in big games all year for the Tigers.
  9. Falcons (proj trade with Jaguars) – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida – after losing Trufant to Detriot, Henderson fills a void at corner.  Could also be considered a better cover guy than Okudah.
  10. Eagles (proj trade with Browns) –  CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma – I could also see Jeudy here, but with his recent knee concerns, the Eagles jump up to finally get an electric receiver.
  11. Jets – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia – The Jets go O-Line here, following Joe Douglas’ plan to build up protection for quarterback Sam Darnold.
  12. Raiders – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama – a flashy pick for Mike Mayock here, the Raiders disregard all pre-draft scares and get the potential best wide out in the draft.
  13. Broncos (proj trade with 49ers) – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama – two back to back Bama recievers, the Broncos panic and get trade up to #13 to get a sure reciever.
  14. Buccaneers Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville – probably the most raw out of the top 4 tackles, the Bucs get a lot of potential protecting their new leader in Tom Brady.
  15. Patriots (proj trade with 49ers *from Denver) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama – finally, Tua gets picked!  5 surgeries in college makes him slide as the hated Patriots trade up to continue their dynasty.
  16. Jaguars Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina (proj trade with Falcons) – the Jags suffered a lot of D-Line departures this offseason, as Calais Campbell moves to Baltimore, and Ngakoue on his way out, Kinlaw fills in and brings youth to the line of Jacksonville.
  17. Cowboys K’Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU – I’ve seen safety at this pick, but the Cowboys get a nice edge rusher as they believe they can still acquire Jamal Adams in a trade.
  18. Dolphins – Josh Jones, OT, Houston – the Dolphins get a tackle to protect their new rookie quarterback in Justin Herbert.
  19. Raiders – Patrick Queen, MLB, LSU – a guy whose been in big time situations, Queen brings experience to a young Las Vegas team.  An instant day one starter.
  20. Jaguars – AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson – after trading away Jalen Ramsey, the Jaguars use this pick to get a replacement for the Pro Bowler.
  21. Browns (proj trade with Eagles) – Austin Jackson, OT, USC – the Browns still get a sufficient tackle with potential after trading down with the Eagles.
  22. Vikings – AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa – one of the most underrated players in the draft, Epenesa will provide the Vikings a replacement for Everson Griffin.
  23. 49ers (proj trade with Broncos/Patriots) – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU – after trading back twice, the 49ers still go wide receiver with their first round pick.
  24. Saints – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State – the Saints get the heir to the throne following the Drew Brees era.  A big armed guy who draws comparisons to Buffalo’s Josh Allen.
  25. Vikings Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah – with no quality edge left on board, the Vikings go corner.  Johnson a tough guy who played great in the Pac-12 this year.
  26. Dolphins DeAndre Swift, RB, Georgia – Jordan Howard is the starting RB in Miami at the moment, and that’s just not going to cut it.  Miami gets their work horse at 26.
  27. Seahawks – Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State – the GM of the Seahawks recently said they couldn’t wait on Clowney.  Well, they get a replacement right here in the late first.
  28. Ravens – Kenneth Murray, MLB, Oklahoma – Losing both CJ Mosley and Patrick Onwuasor to the Jets in back to back years, the Ravens get help at interior linebacker.
  29. Titans – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia – after the departure of Jack Conklin this free agency, the Titans get a replacement in Wilson.
  30. Packers – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, ASU – the Packers get a speedy guy to go with Davante Adams, a return specialist.
  31. 49ers – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama – a real slide for the best true safety in the draft, the 49ers get a present at 31.
  32. Chiefs – Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan – more protection for Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes.  A wise choice here for Kansas City.

This should be an interesting one, lots of trades, the Covid-19 conditions, who knows what could happen on Draft Night.