2020 NFL Draft: Who could trade up for Joe Burrow at No. 1, and what such a move would cost

Joe Burrow will be the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. That certainly feels like the consensus given how dominant he has been during his senior season at LSU, and that the Cincinnati Bengals are locked into to that top selection after managing just two wins during 2019.

But Cincinnati isn't the only outfit in the market for a franchise quarterback. The Dolphins began the season looking like they were #TankingforTua, the Chargers are likely moving on from Philip Rivers after 16 seasons, and teams like the Panthers, Jaguars, Lions, Colts, Buccaneers, Raiders, Patriots and Saints could, to varying degrees, be eyeing new QBs for 2020 and beyond.

First things first: Would the Bengals even entertain the idea of trading down, missing out on Burrow, and using the haul of picks and (possibly) players to restock a roster for a team that is five seasons removed from their last playoff appearance? Presumably, owner Mike Brown would be willing to listen to potential offers and then go from there. What might some of those offers look like? Below, we consider five teams, based on draft order and need.

We'll reference three systems in determining what a potential move up the draft would cost. One is the traditional trade value chart that has become a bit antiquated. One is an updated trade value chart developed by then-Harvard undergraduate Kevin Meers in 2011 that relies on Pro-Football-Reference's Career Approximate Value metric to assess what a trade should cost, though those prices come in on the low side for what we see on draft day. (Meers later worked for the Browns as director of research and strategy before leaving to attend Harvard Business School last fall.) And the last is an updated chart developed by Pats Pulpit's Rich Hill in 2018 based on trades that actually do happen in the draft; those estimates will look on the high side.

Detroit Lions, No. 3 pick

The Redskins have the No. 2 pick and they appear set at quarterback after selecting Dwayne Haskins 15th overall last April. That brings us to the Lions, who finished 3-12-1, in part because Matthew Stafford played in just eight games in 2019 due to a back injury. He's just 31 years old, playing at a high level when he's healthy and has three more years left on his current deal. But Stafford will also count $26.7 million, $31.2 million and $24.2 million against the salary cap over that time, and should the Lions want to rebuild around a younger, cheaper quarterback they could be in the market to move up for Burrow.

What would it cost?

Hill: No. 3, 35, 67, 2021 first and second for No. 1. 

Traditional: No. 3, 35 and 67 for No. 1.

Meers: No. 3 and 99 for No. 1.

Of course, any trade scenario would likely include Stafford as part of the deal, meaning fewer draft picks the Lions would have to part with.

What's the likelihood it happens?

Two percent sounds high, to be honest. Stafford is still an elite quarterback and the Lions' priority should be getting him healthy, beefing up the offensive line and shoring up the defense ahead of the 2020 season. And the Bengals aren't going to magically fix everything with a handful of picks with either Andy Dalton (whose contract expires after 2020) or a 31-year-old Stafford under center.

In our latest mock draft, we had the Lions taking Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah with the third overall pick.

Miami Dolphins, No. 5, No. 18, No. 25 picks

The Dolphins traded for Josh Rosen during the 2019 NFL Draft, but he started just three games last season and was outplayed by 37-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick, who has a year left on his current deal. First-year coach Brian Flores got off to a rocky start -- Miami was 0-7 but finished on a 5-4 run, including a huge win over the Patriots in Week 17 -- and by the end his players were all-in on his plan to right the franchise. The Dolphins are stocked with picks and have more cap space than any other team, but the quickest route to a turnaround starts with finding a quarterback. We'll know by Monday whether Tua Tagovailoa will declare for the draft. The Alabama star had hip surgery in late November and it's unclear what 2020 holds for him. If doctors give him a clean bill of health, he's a top-10 pick. If he chooses to return to Alabama, it complicates things for the Dolphins -- and other teams in search of a young quarterback.

What would it cost? 

Hill: No. 5, 18, 25 and 2021 fourth for No. 1.

Traditional: No. 5, 25 and 39 for No. 1.

Meers: No. 5 and 39 for No. 1.

What's the likelihood it happens?

If Tua doesn't declare for the draft and the Dolphins truly think Burrow is a special talent -- and in a different class than Justin Herbert, Jordan Love and Jacob Eason (and he certainly appears to be) -- we would put the chances at at least 50 percent that they will want to trade up. Of the 12 teams in the playoffs only one (the Bills with Josh Allen) has a quarterback that ranks near the bottom in Football Outsiders' QB efficiency metric -- but the former No. 7 overall pick improved a lot in only his second NFL season.

In our latest mock draft, we had the Dolphins taking left tackle Andrew Thomas at No. 5, quarterback Justin Herbert at No. 18, and edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos at No. 25.

Los Angeles Chargers, No. 6 pick

A year ago, Philip Rivers threw 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and finished third in QB efficiency behind only Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees. In 2019, Rivers, who ranked 14th in QB efficiency, threw at least 20 interceptions for only the third time in his 16-year career, and his 23 touchdowns marked his lowest total since 2007, his second full year as a starter. With his contract up, Rivers will likely be elsewhere next season, which means the Chargers should be in immediate need of a replacement. The Tua decision will have a domino effect down the draft board, starting with the Dolphins, who have the No. 5 pick. If Tua declares, it would be much cheaper for the Chargers and other interested teams to trade up to the No. 3 or 4 pick to leapfrog Miami and take Tua. But if Tua returns to Alabama, things get a lot more expensive to move up for Burrow, and more importantly, there becomes a huge drop-off to the second-best passer in this class.

What would it cost?

Hill: No. 6, 37, 71, 2021 first and 2022 first for No. 1.

Traditional: No. 6, 2021 first and second for No. 1

Meers: No. 6 and 37 for No. 1.

What's the likelihood it happens?

While history tells us that moving up from No. 6 to No. 1, on average, is only worth an additional early second-rounder, according to the updated trade value chart, we would imagine that would be a tougher real-life sell to Mike Brown and the Bengals if you're Chargers general manager Tom Telesco. With that in mind, even parting ways with two first-rounders and a second-rounder doesn't sound unreasonable for a team that doesn't appear that far off from being a playoff contender. The skill-position players are there, the defense has play-makers at every level and the biggest need is restocking the offensive line, which can happen in free agency or with the remaining draft picks. A 65 percent chance of wanting to move up for Burrow doesn't sound insane.

In our latest mock draft, we had Los Angeles taking defensive lineman Derrick Brown.

Carolina Panthers, No. 7 pick

The Panthers are in the market for a new coach and, quite possibly, a new quarterback, depending on how Cam Newton recovers from foot surgery. If Newton is fully healthy, there's every reason to keep him under center; after all, he's just four years removed from an NFL MVP campaign. But in addition to the foot injury, Newton battled through a shoulder injury in 2018, and there's no guarantee the 30-year-old will be able to hold up to the rigors of a 16-game season given his physical style of play. The Panthers drafted Will Grier in the third round last spring but he doesn't appear ready for a full-time role, and neither does Kyle Allen, who started 12 games in place of Newton this season.

What would it cost? 

Hill: No. 7, 38, 69, 2021 first and 2022 first for No. 1.

Traditional: No. 7, 2021 first and second for No. 1

Meers: No. 7 and 38 for No. 1

What's the likelihood it happens?

A lot will depend on who the Panthers hire to replace Ron Rivera. If it's, say, Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman, he might want to stick with Newton given the success he has had with Lamar Jackson, and before that, Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco. If it's someone else and they want to start fresh with "their" quarterback, moving up for Burrow is a more realistic possibility, assuming Tua doesn't declare and that they don't consider Herbert a top-10 pick. We would put the chances at 35 percent.

In our latest mock draft, we had the Panthers taking wide receiver CeeDee Lamb.

Las Vegas Raiders, No. 12, No. 19 picks

Late last month, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported that "the Raiders could be moving on from starting quarterback Derek Carr this offseason, with several team sources sensing a growing frustration with the veteran by the coaching staff, and concerns about how much potential for growth remains." Carr is just 28 and has several years remaining on his contract, but coach Jon Gruden might be in the market for a passer who can more consistently push the ball down the field ahead of the Raiders' move to Vegas.

What would it cost? 

Hill: No. 12, 19, 81, 90, 2021 first and 2022 first for No. 1.

Traditional: No. 12, 19 and 2021 first for No. 1.

Meers: No. 12, 80 and 81 for No. 1.

What's the likelihood it happens?

Gruden has been known to fall in love with quarterbacks, and no one has been more impressive this season than Burrow. But Gruden could also be blown away by Herbert or Jordan Love's physical tools -- namely athleticism and rocket right arms -- and be willing to wait to get one should they fall to the Raiders in the first round. For now, we'll put the chances of the Raiders wanting a trade at 30 percent.

In our latest mock draft, we had Vegas taking cornerback Trevon Diggs and wide receiver Henry Ruggs.

Honorable mentions

Colts, pick No. 13: We're convinced Jacoby Brissett's struggles in 2019 were primarily a function of a knee injury that forced him to miss a start and saw his production slip over the final two months of the season. Brissett signed a two-year deal before the '19 season and even if Indy is happy with him now, the team could draft his replacement in the spring with designs of having him take over the job in 2021. Chances they'd attempt to trade up for Burrow: Two percent.

Buccaneers, pick No. 14: Bruce Arians got the best out of Jameis Winston, and that was evident in his career-best 33 touchdown passes. But Winston also tossed a career-worst 30 interceptions, including a pick-six on his final throw of the season. Winston's contract is up but it sounds like the Bucs will bring him back, but if the two sides can't agree on terms perhaps the organization will look to the draft for his replacement. But would Tampa Bay be willing to move up 13 spots to land Burrow, or would they stand pat and hope Herbert falls to them? The latter seems more likely in a world that doesn't include Winston, which is why we put the chances of attempting a trade at less than 10 percent. 

Patriots, No. 27 pick: Tom Brady has not looked like himself this season and the 42-year-old has just one more year left on his contract. But it's easy to argue that the biggest issue facing the Patriots' offense is a lack of downfield play-makers. If Brady returns -- and it sounds like he plans to keep playing -- New England could draft a couple wideouts in this insanely deep class, sign a few more in free agency and return to the form we're accustomed to seeing. That said, if Bill Belichick thinks Burrow is a transcendent talent, maybe that's the only way the team considers moving to the top of the draft to grab him. This assumes, too, that the Bengals would be a willing participant in prolonging the Patriots' dynasty, which seems ... well, preposterous. Chances Burrow happens: 0.1 percent.

Saints, No. 30 pick: Drew Brees is 40, but he continues to be one of the NFL's best passers. Having Mike Thomas, Jared Cook and Alvin Kamara makes things easier, and the Saints might be better suited drafting another wideout over mortgaging the future for Burrow, who has just one season of production at LSU. What seems more likely: The Saints stand pat and take a flier on someone like Jordan Love at the bottom of Round 1, or maybe wait until Day 3 for Jalen Hurts, who in a lot of ways is similar to Taysom Hill. Chances Burrow happens: 0.01 percent.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson joined CBS Sports in June 2011. He covers the NFL and NFL Draft for CBSSports.com and CBS Sports HQ, and is a regular on the Pick Six Podcast. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from... Full Bio

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