ATTENTION SPORTS FANS! A significant sports relevant event is on the horizon! The NFL prepares for the COVID-19, Socially Distanced 2020 version of the the NFL Draft this Thursday, April 23rd. We here at Northern Lights Sports have heard there are gambling opportunities available, betting who gets picked where. So obviously we are interested. Here is what I think will happen in the 1st round:
#1) Cincinnati Bengals. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU: Don’t expect any surprises here. Burrow had one of the greatest seasons in NCAA history. Heck, the guy is even from Ohio. Even the Bungles can’t mess this up. Can they?
#2) Washington Redskins. Chase Young, DE, Ohio State: There will be a few teams making calls to see what the Skins would like for this pick here, but rumour has it the asking price is too high. I would like to see them trade down here and acquire more picks and assets as they build. Lots of talented tackles, corners and linebackers in this draft. But there is no better defensive player in the draft than Young. He is from Maryland and has fellow Buckeyes in Haskins, and McLaurin on the squad. Lock it in.
#3) Detroit Lions. Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State: Make it back to back Buckeyes. The Lions traded CB Darius Slay to the Eagles, leaving a gaping hole in the secondary. Strong possibility the Lions trade down here as they can likely get a solid CB a few picks later. Both the Dolphins and the Chargers need a QB and Draft 5 and 6. Hmmm. I still think the Lions pick the best CB in the draft here.
#4) New York Giants. TRADE to San Diego Chargers for 6th overall pick and Chargers 3rd round pick.
San Diego Chargers. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon: The Giants find themselves in a great position. The two teams that follow them in the draft are in need of a QB. Too many questions surrounding Tua and his injury so I think it will be a fight for the services of Justin Herbert. Herbert looks to be the safer pick, especially this high. The Rivers era has ended and the Herbert era begins.
#5) Miami Dolphins. Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa. The Dolphins might have wanted Herbert here, but the Chargers did the old switcheroo on them. They will desperately try to trade this pick to acquire more picks (they have 3 1st rounders) but the Zoom Room draft won’t be fast enough. Start tanking for Trevor Lawrence and pick up assets to protect your franchise QB. Wirfs is the best Lineman in a deep lineman draft. Huge, strong and athletic, he can anchor the line for years to come.
#6) San Diego Chargers TRADE with New York Giants.
New York Giants. Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson: The Gaints trade down and still get their man. Simmons can play all over the field and ran a sub 4.40, 40 yard dash at the combine. Not bad for a guy who is 6-3 and 238 pounds.
#7) Carolina Panthers. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn: The Panthers were 29th in the NFL last year against the run giving up 143.5 yards per game. Derrick Brown is 6-5 and 325 pounds. That will fill in a lot of those holes. He is the best inside guy in the draft and a new defensive toy for brand new head coach Matt Rhule.
#8) Arizona Cardinals. Jedrick Willis Jr. OL, Alabama: The future in Arizona looks bright with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. Solidifying the line to protect Murray and establish the run will be key. Willis is a great run blocker and an athletic freak for his size 6-4, 315lbs. He is a scary young man, going to a scary young team.
#9) Jacksonville Jaguars. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama: I do think there is a chance Tua falls beyond this, but I think despite the potential risk, this pick makes a lot of sense for the Jags here. They have a functional starter in Gardner Minshew II, but I don’t think anyone is thinking he is the future in Jacksonville. Tua can take a year holding the clipboard and recovering from whatever injuries he may have. Feels like a great upside pick here.
#10) Cleveland Browns. Andrew Thomas, OL, Georgia: Still a number of options at OL here but I like the Browns to take Thomas. Four years with the Bulldogs and this man is seasoned and ready to step onto an NFL roster at either RT or LT. 6-5, 315lbs, he is a presence that Baker Mayfield will greatly appreciate.
#11) New York Jets. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma: The Jets were a thin group at WR before losing Robby Anderson to the Panthers. Lamb is the top WR in this group. at 6-2, 198 he has enough size to go with great speed and exceptional hands. If you watched any Sooners games last year you know he is a threat every time he touches the ball. Buy him something nice Sam Darnold.
#12) Las Vegas Raiders. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama: Make that 3 Crimson Tide players in the last 5 picks. John Gruden finally punted on Antonio Brown last year (that was fun wasn’t it?) but gets a stud in Jeudy here. Might be the most NFL ready WR in the draft and can move into the Gruden system right away.
#13) San Francisco 49ers. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama: The run on wide receivers and Alabama players keeps rolling. At 5-11 he might be a small in stature, but he is lightning fast. 4.27 in the 40 fast. And he has a sure set of hands (dropped 1 ball in 2019). Jimmy G will may have to throw that ball a bit quicker and further to catch up with this one.
#14) Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mekhi Becton, OL, Lousiville: Just a giant of a human being at 6-7, 364. His pass blocking needs some work, but with that size you make up for a whole lot of mistakes. And Tom Brady does not hold the ball long. Could be a monster to help anchor this line going forward.
#15) Denver Broncos. Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina: Suprised to see Kinlaw this far down, but the run on WR’s and OL benefits the Broncos. A tremendous pass rusher who can play up and down the line the strength of the team in Denver gets stronger with this juggernaut.
#16) Atlanta Falcons. CJ Henderson, CB, Florida: The Falcons had a disappointing 2019 and were in the bottom half of the league in passing defence. Henderson is a fast NFL ready corner with some good size 6-1, 204.
#17) Dallas Cowboys. K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU: The first Sophomore taken in this draft (and you won’t see another for a while). He missed 2018 with and ACL injury but erased those thoughts in 2019. A great pass rusher who may need a season or two before reaching his true potential. Massive upside.
#18) Miami Dolphions. Xavier Mckinney, S, Alabama: The Dolphins make their 2nd selection in the first round and pick up the versatile McKinney, yet another Crimson Tide 1st rounder. He can play multiple positions and is a very good blitzer. Gives lots of options in different schemes. A good fit here.
#19) Las Vegas Raiders. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU: The Raiders also make their 2nd pick of the draft and take this LSU stand-out corner. A natural in man coverage he appears to be well over his 2017 suspension for test tampering. Could thrive under Gruden.
#20) Jacksonville Jaguars. AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa: Another team taking their 2nd player, the Jags go for 6-5, 275 edge rusher Epenesa. Big and explosive he can get into the backfield and wreak havoc.
#21) Philadelphia Eagles. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU: With 111 catches and 18 TDs in 15 games there is no doubt Jefferson is a top rated WR. The Eagles are thin at that position and Carson Wentz needs weapons. Good pick-up for Philly.
#22) Minnesota Vikings, Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson: With two of the next four picks I think the Vikings will take a WR (to replace Diggs) and a CB (to replace the entire secondary). There are more top CBs left than WRs so they take the 6-4 216 pound Higgins. A big target with good hands, he will be a welcome addition on 3rd down and in the redzone for Captain Kirk.
#23) New England Patriots. Patrick Queen, LB, LSU: The new era in New England begins and it will be defence first. Belichick loves his versatile players who can play multiple positions and that’s what they will get with 6-0 229 Queen.
#24) New Orleans Saints. Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma: I think the Saints would pick Queen here if the Pats didn’t, but I think they will take a LB here and get a good one in Murray. He too can play multiple positions just in a larger slightly less quick package at 6-2 241.
#25) Minnesota Vikings. AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson: Would be interesting to see them go with Trevon Diggs here (Brother of Stefon) but given I have both rated equal I went with less drama. Terrell is a versatile corner who is comfortable all over the field and in multiple coverage situations. Fills a big need.
#26) Miami Dolphins. DeAndre Swift, RB, Georgia: The Dolphins continue to build and make their 3rd choice of the 1st round the RB of their future. A 5-9, 225 pound bulldog, Swift runs heavy and is effective in the screen passing game.
#27) Seattle Seahawks. Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU: Lots of options here, but Seattle will take a defensive player and Blacklock is a big powerful tackle that can get into the backfield, something coach Carroll loves.
#28) Baltimore Ravens. Zach Baun, LB, Wisconsin: Stout against the run, Baun was a big part of the Badger defence in 2019. At 6-2 238 he is strong and effective in almost any situation.
#29) Tennessee Titans. Josh Jones, OT, Houston: The Titans may have been the surprise of the 2019 season. Derrick Henry was a beast. Getting a talented OL like Jones here is a scary prospect. Not as polished as some of the other OL in this class, but he has the size (6-5, 319)and footwork to be a solid starter in the NFL.
#30) Green Bay Packers. Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor: When you have Aaron Rodgers as your QB you try to get him as many weapons as you can and hope the defence can hold their own. At 6-3 207 pounds Mims is a big target who is fast (4.38 40 yard time). He’s a guy who can go up and get it and Rodgers sure can put them up.
#31) San Francisco 49ers. Austin Jackson, OL, USC: With one of the top defensive units in the NFL the Niners use their 2nd pick of the 1st round on the offence again, taking the 6th O-Lineman in the 1st round. He might be a bit young at 20 years old, but 6-5, 322 pound Jackson has huge upside and athleticism for what he lacks in experience.
#32) Kansas City Chiefs. Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama: Alabama make it 6 players in the 1st round (edging out LSU who have 5). A tremendous athlete who is quick on the ball and has a long reach, Trevon is considered NFL ready and finds himself on a pretty good NFL team.