NFL Draft

Scout’s Notebook: Last-Minute Draft Rumors and Gio’s Opinions

Givanni Damico | April 22nd, 2020

Welcome to my last-minute draft article on the final rumors that are swirling as well as some of my own opinions sprinkled in! Let’s just dive right in.

Rumors At Large:

  • Joe Burrow is a lock to be the number one pick. Cincinnati is not going to bungle this pick.
  • Everybody fully expects the Redskins to take Chase Young at the second pick. They have received trade offers but will likely not entertain them.
  • Detroit is looking to trade down from pick three. Jeffrey Okudah is still their prime target, but they should be able to trade down, pick up capital, and still get Okudah. Derrick Brown would be the other target. There have been talks that the Lions will entertain the idea of drafting a quarterback on day two or early day three. Jake Fromm, James Morgan, and Jake Luton are the three prime candidates. 
  • According to Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network, the Giants are expected to address offensive tackle or defensive line with this pick. Translation: Tristan Wirfs or Brown with the possibility of Isaiah Simmons at linebacker.
  • Dolphins almost have to take a quarterback at five. If it comes down to Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa, they would lean Tua, according to Tony Pauline. Expect them to address offensive tackle at either pick 18 or 26. They’ve done extensive work on Ezra Cleveland, making him a candidate at 26 or in the second round. Could potentially address offensive line with both of their other firsts.
  • If the Chargers don’t take a quarterback, they will likely take Andrew Thomas. I think it’s either Herbert or Thomas here.
  • Panthers probably go, Brown, if he’s still here. 
  • Kyler Murray has advocated for his former teammate, CeeDee Lamb, but I expect an offensive tackle here. Probably Jedrick Wills Jr. or Wirfs if he’s here. Arizona also loves Zack Moss, so they may take a look at him in the third or fourth round.
  • Browns want Thomas, but if he’s not there, a trade back for Cleveland is likely. 
  • A tackle would be the right move here. It depends on how the board falls, but any of Thomas, Wirfs, Wills, or even Mekhi Becton is worth the pick here. The only other option here is Henry Ruggs III or Lamb.
  • Raiders love Lamb but may have to settle for Ruggs or Jeudy. Denzel Mims would be their next option, but that is a major reach at this pick.
  • Colts are hard to predict. If Jordan Love is here, it would be hard for Chris Ballard to pass. If the pick is someone other than Love, it could be a receiver or a defensive lineman.
  • 49ers want either Jeudy or Lamb. I don’t love Ruggs as a scheme fit, so I’d say Jeudy is their best bet at 13. San Francisco will look to trade down from 31 to gain more capital in the middle rounds.
  • Buccaneers will probably go offensive tackle in round one. If the big four are gone, I would hope they wouldn’t reach for anyone else, but Josh Jones could be that reach. Tom Brady needs a running back like James White who can catch his checkdowns, so either D’Andre Swift or Clyde Edwards-Helaire is the likely pick in the second.
  • Broncos have shown a lot of interest in Mims and Justin Jefferson. They also like Cesar Ruiz, the center from Michigan. I would expect one of these three.
  • The Falcons want to trade up for Henderson, but they may have to settle for K’Lavon Chaisson, Kristian Fulton, or Kinlaw instead. Fulton may be a slight reach, but a corner is a huge need.
  • With the retirement of Travis Frederick, the Cowboys have taken a strong interest in Ruiz. I would imagine that their other guy here would be Chaisson.
  • If Ruggs is available for the Eagles, they’ll take him. They’ve done their homework on Jonathan Greenard, the edge rusher from Florida, so he is a candidate in the second round. 
  • Vikings need to address offensive tackle, cornerback, and wide receiver. Jones, Jeff Gladney, and Mims are the three names I’m hearing.
  • If a quarterback slides, the Patriots may move up to take him. I think Jarrett Stidham is Belichick’s guy, but it would be hard to pass on Tua or Herbert. Scouts also love James Proche as a mid-round receiver. Great hands, would be a good slot guy after Julian Edelman leaves.
  • The Ravens love Queen and Kenneth Murray. I assume they’ll take whichever falls to them. They may even trade up for one of them if need be.
  • The Packers will probably look for a receiver in round one. Offensive tackle is a dark-horse pick for Green Bay in round one, but don’t count it out. Mims is my favorite scheme-fit, but personally, I want to see Laviska Shenault Jr. just as much. They’ve done their homework on edge rusher Terrell Lewis, who’s stock is falling due to injuries. Might be their guy in round three. Cole Kmet is another name that will garner consideration in round two. Gives Aaron Rodgers a big guy to throw to.
  • The Chiefs really want to create a track team and trade up for Ruggs “if he falls into the 20s”. Not a huge need, but I’d love to see it happen. I think their next best bet would be a cornerback like Damon Arnette or A.J. Terrell.
  • The Texans need some offensive line help to protect Deshaun Watson. They also need some help in their secondary. If a corner or interior offensive lineman falls, they’ll probably be the pick. My two best candidates are Lloyd Cushenberry III and Noah Igbinoghene.
  • The Bears are another hard team to predict. They could use upgrades on the interior offensive line as well as in the secondary. Strong safety would be a sleeper pick here.
  • Steelers will look at running backs since James Conner is on a contract year. J.K. Dobbins and Taylor are the top two candidates.
  • The Rams need a running back to pair with Darrell Henderson. They could also use some help on the offensive line. Tough to predict what they do.
  • The Bills may look at running back in round two, but outside linebacker or box safety is another option. Cornerback would be the sleeper pick here.
  • Becton and Baun may see their stock fall off a bit due to having their drug tests flagged at the combine.
  • Cleveland and Isaiah Wilson are the two tackles that have recently gained more first-round buzz.
  • Some teams view Aiyuk as a very well-rounded receiver, could easily go in the first round. 

My Opinions

  • Iowa safety Geno Stone, a day three guy, is incredibly underrated. Possesses great ball skills and anticipation. 
  • Tyrie Cleveland lacked production at Florida, but he has great intangibles. He has good hands and a solid catch radius. Ran crisp routes on tape. Might be a sleeper day-three pick for someone.
  • JaMycal Hasty, the Baylor running back, is a very twitchy player. Possesses good burst and could be useful in the receiving game.
  • Lamar Jackson is one of the most underrated cornerbacks in this class. Monster size at 6’3” with good man coverage ability.
  • Trajan Bandy is the most underrated corner in the class. The Miami product is a feisty, physical corner who thrives in zone coverage.
  • Khalil Davis has some good counter moves. Definitely a good rotational piece.
  • Darrell Taylor will go higher than many think. Gets locked onto linemen too easily, but has good bend and counters. Decent in coverage.
  • Michael Ojemudia actually disappointed me. Poor tackling ability and too much cushion in zone coverage. Sticky in man coverage with good instincts, though.
  • Reggie Robinson III is a great press/man corner, but he really lacks zone coverage ability and needs to sharpen his tackling technique. Still a gem though.
  • David Woodward is an underrated linebacker who may be a starter at the next level in a few years.

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