The 2020 NFL Draft is eight days away. When the countdown hits single digits, it starts getting real for teams. They will be ready to roll when the Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock with the first overall pick. Ryan Wilson, Chris Trapasso and I tackled some of the most pressing questions as the main event rapidly draws near.
If you could make draft decisions for one team, who would you choose?
Trapasso: "Well, seeing as though I grew up and live in Western New York, the Buffalo Bills are the obvious choice, but the question is "draft night," which, to me, is only referencing the first night of the draft, and the Bills don't have a first-round pick. So I'll go with the Miami Dolphins. No, not to sabotage them. It's because having three first-round picks -- and 14 total -- is a GM's dream."
Edwards: "The 49ers. I know I have a Super Bowl caliber roster. I'm looking for a few more pieces to take us from runner-up to champion. More importantly, I know that I need to make some trades to pick up some additional draft capital, which means moving down from No. 13 and/or No. 31 overall."
Who is the most versatile prospect in the draft?
Wilson: "Isaiah Simmons and it's not even close. But players like Xavier McKinney, Jeremy Chinn, Kyle Dugger, Terrell Burgess and Akeem Davis-Gaither also offer versatility and will be available anywhere from late Round 1 to early Day 3."
Trapasso: "Isaiah Simmons ... he's the right answer in my opinion, but to give another take on this vital question as the league is becoming more position-less every season, I'll say Jeremy Chinn from Southern Illinois. He's very similar to Simmons stylistically and is a bit smaller yet still stands 6-foot-3 and 221 pounds with sub 4.45 speed and elite explosiveness. Play him anywhere on your back seven and he's going to make plays."
Edwards: "Isaiah Simmons is going to be the obvious answer here but Lynn Bowden Jr. from Kentucky might showcase his diversified skill set more than any other rookie. He can return punts or kicks in addition to his role as a wide receiver. Some suggested that he could even play running back because of his tight space agility. AND, he played quarterback for the Wildcats during the second half of his final collegiate season. I have seen some Antwaan Randle El comparisons tossed around and, quite frankly, I don't hate it."
Which player projected beyond Day 2 are you most confident will succeed?
Wilson: "This RB class is deep but I still think AJ Dillon has a chance to have a lot of success. He's built like Jerome Bettis but runs more like Derrick Henry, and while he doesn't offer much in the pass game, he's a truck with the ball in his hands."
Trapasso: "Based on the film, Florida Atlantic tight end Harrison Bryant looks freaky athletic. But he tested rather poorly, so he probably will land on the third day of the draft. He needed to bulk up from 2018 to 2019 and did, measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 243 pounds but could add another 10 pounds to his frame. On the field, Bryant is a big slot receiver playing tight end. He runs ultra-crisp routes, is a load to bring to the turf, and is consistent in contested-catch situations because he boxes out and has strong hands. And while he's not a road-grader as a blocker, he's decently effective in space on outside runs. To me, Bryant is the ideal modern-day tight end who will quickly make an impact as a pass catcher not just underneath but stretching the seam."
Edwards: "There are a number of options but I feel the most confident in Louisiana Tech's Amik Robertson. I think he can be a starter in a nickel role and also has the capability to play safety. He is a tough, gritty player with the athleticism to match. He could theoretically land on Day 2. If he does, then I will pick Baylor defensive back Grayland Arnold. I'm not sure where he will play but his instincts and athleticism will lead him into a role."
Who is one surprise player that could land in Round 1?
Wilson: "Jeremy Chinn had a standout season for Southern Illinois and he followed that up with a strong performance at the Senior Bowl. He's more comfortable covering tight ends and bigger receivers but he can play safety, a a hybrid role or in the slot. He faced mostly FCS-level talent during his career and the lack of top-flight competition could be the only thing that keeps him out of the first round."
Trapasso: "Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State. His film shows a stellar pass-protector who needs to get a little stronger, and that's fine. Teams know trench players get stronger in the NFL. His combine -- which was awesome -- will get him into the first round. He has a first-round athletic profile."
Edwards: "In, I highlighted Jeremy Chinn as a player that could slip into the first round. The safety position is not heavy at the top and his skill set is so unique."
What is one change that you would make to the draft this year?
Wilson: "I liked Kevin Colbert's idea to extend the draft to 10 rounds since signing undrafted free agents after the first seven rounds conclude can be a circus under the best of circumstances. With the added technological hurdles due to COVID-19, this seems like a concession worth making."
Trapasso: "I'd love to see a draft-trade value chart utilized during the broadcast after a trade goes down. Obviously there are a few out there. A chart that shows a similar trade in the recent past, assigns it a value for both sides, then compares it with a trade for the 2020 draft would be insightful and pretty cool."
Edwards: "A round a day. There is nothing else going on right now. Most of us are drying up our well of Netflix shows so let's spread this thing out for a week. We need this right now."