With the draft now less than a week away, GMs are a little more eager to chatter.
Draft boards are largely set. Teams are trying to get a handle on what is likely to transpire. People in the football business are looking for information, and after speaking to several general managers in the past few days, here is some of what I have been able to glean about what is going on at the top of the draft.
Chargers content to let a QB fall to them
Seems unlikely the Chargers move up for a quarterback. And the Dolphins should get their pick of the second QB in the draft at five as long as the Chargers, or someone else, do not move up for a passer. I get the sense L.A. will be fine with either Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert and content to let the process play out and one of them to fall to them.
Dolphins intrigued by Love, but ...
Teams seem convinced the Dolphins really are super intrigued by Jordan Love … but doubt they are intrigued nearly enough to walk away from Tua and take a left tackle with their selection and then try to trade around for Love later in the first round. Playing a game of chicken with New England – a team in the QB market – probably doesn't make sense.
Falcons looking to trade up
The smoke about the Falcons looking to move up is very real. I don't think they are a player away from doing much of note, and neither did the other teams I spoke to. But it has become an accepted reality within league circles that the Falcons are motivated to land corner CJ Henderson if possible. And if history is an indicator, they will be willing to pay the price.
Lions torn on what to do at No. 3
Henderson seems to have a decent shot to be selected before Jeff Okudah even if Atlanta does not trade up. The Lions are torn, league sources said, between simply taking Okudah or addressing the point of attack with Derrick Brown or Isaiah Simmons. But more than anything else, this franchise is motivated to trade down – within reason – and still be in position to draft an impact player on defense. But who will trade up?
More 2020 draft notes
- The draft starts at 3 (the pick, not the time). Joe Burrow is going No. 1 and Chase Young is going second. If someone was going to pay a ridiculous reward to move up to Washington's spot, it would have happened by now. The Skins should turn the pre-draft attention to trading Trent Williams, once and for all.
- The Giants continue to have deep internal discussions about what exactly Simmons is, and how he fits in their scheme. They are deeply intrigued … but at the end of the day, the GMs I spoke to expect Dave Gettleman to take an offensive lineman, of which he needs several. Iowa's Tristan Wirfs – the former wrestler and leverage king – is who these GMs are mocking there.
- I know of several teams who believe Andrew Thomas is the best tackle in the draft with the highest upside. But I also continue to hear from execs that Okudah and Thomas are two players at the top of the first round who could slide some. Don't get me wrong – they'll go in the top half of the first round. But perhaps not the top 10.
- The Browns are willing to move off of the 10th overall pick, I'm told. They could find an impact tackle a few spots down, potentially, and the thinking is another team might want to hop the wide-receiver needy Jets, Raiders, 49ers and Broncos to land CeeDee Lamb or whomever they believe is the best receiver in the draft before that initial run on pass catchers begins. Would make some sense.
- Speaking of teams in that mix, with Joe Douglas in his first draft as a GM, and there being so much receiving depth available in this draft, some of his peers are thinking he actually takes an offensive lineman with the Jets' first pick and not a WR. Would make some sense. It's still a huge need for the Jets after they made some makeshift moves for stopgap-at-best linemen in free agency. I could see him going that route, depending on how the board falls.
- There has been a lot of national chatter about the Cardinals taking an offensive lineman, but the more I have dug into that situation this week, a defensive linemen makes a ton of sense, too, and is definitely in play. I could see the Cardinals at No. 8 being the deepest Auburn's Brown would fall.
- The Ravens trading out of the first round is hardly out of the question. There is more depth in this draft at two of their critical needs – linebacker and defensive line – than many draftniks suggest, and adding a third second-rounder is a distinct possibility depending on how the board falls.
- I have yet to speak to an exec in this league who believes there is no chance the Raiders explore a mobile QB like Tua or Love. Could be they take a corner – over a receiver – with their first pick and get in the QB game with their second pick, knowing there will be a bevy of WRs available Day 2 who could make an immediate impact.