With the NFL Draft in a little over a week, now is a good time to take a look at the top five picks in the NFL Draft from my recent mock draft, and give a detailed explanation about my thought process behind the selections.
Pick #1–Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The Cincinnati Bengals have been on a downward swing since the 2016 season. The 2019 season reached the lowest point where they finished as the worst team in the NFL with a 2-14 record. The needs for the Bengals are abundant. They need help at the Quarterback, Linebacker, Offensive Line, Wide Receiver, and Corner positions just to name a few. There is no shortage of needs for this team.
With their first pick in the Draft I believe the Bengals will draft Quarterback Joe Burrow out of LSU. Burrow is by far the best Quarterback in this rookie class. He is NFL ready in every aspect of his game. It is clear the Bengals are ready to move on from their franchise Quarterback Andy Dalton. The team has made it clear that they are either going to try and trade him or cut him. Ryan Finley also doesn’t seem to be the guy they trust in. In the hopes of trying to rebuild the franchise, getting a new guy to throw the ball seems like the best bet. Burrow to the Bengals it is.
Pick #2–Washington Redskins, Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
The Redskins are an intriguing team in a rebuild. They now have a new coach! Ron Rivera, former coach for the Carolina Panthers, is now the new guy leading the team. However, the Redskins show a lot of promise. It seems they believe that Quarterback Dwayne Haskins is the future for the team. They have needs in their secondary, at Wide Receiver, Offensive Line, and Linebacker to name a few.
There have been rumors that the Redskins would end up drafting a Quarterback but that seems to be smoke. Although they don’t have a need for a pass rusher it would be a nice addition to their defense and would help bolster their defensive line even more than it already is. They already have Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat as a part of their pass rush, adding Chase to the mix would make their defense even that much more powerful. It is possible they could go corner, because Okudah is available at this spot, but I feel that the smart move would be for them to take the best player available.
Pick #3–Detroit Lions, Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
The Lions had a rough season in 2019 to say the least. They finished at the bottom of their division with a 3-13 record. There are plenty of needs for the Lions, most on the defensive side of the ball. They need pass rushing help and help with their interior line. Also, help at the cornerback position is a must because their number one corner, Darius Slay was traded to Philadelphia and now there is a need for a lockdown corner.
Looking at the board the best pass rusher in the draft is off the board, and it is too early to take an interior defensive lineman at this spot. The best corner by far in the Draft is Jeffrey Okudah out of Ohio State. He is a true shut down corner who will cause problems for receivers in the pros. He would be a phenomenal replacement for Slay. This is the pick the Lions should take at the number three spot.
Pick #4–New York Giants, Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
The Giants have a lot of needs on the defensive side of the ball. They have a need at the Edge Rusher position. But with Chase Young off of the board, I don’t see them taking a pass rusher here. They have a need at the linebacker position because there is no standout at the position and they really could use some help. The offensive line is also a huge area of need. If the team considers Daniel Jones as their future, they need to build around him and help protect their investment. There are offensive linemen they could take but I just don’t see them going that route considering how deep the offensive line prospects are in the Draft.
The player I see the Giants taking is the second best player on my big board, and that is Isaiah Simmons. Simmons is a freak of nature athlete coming from Clemson. He is fast, strong, and is so versatile. Clemson used him as a Safety, Linebacker, Corner, and Edge Rusher. This would be a smart move for the Giants should they get him. He would be a significant addition to their defense considering the Giants haven’t drafted a first round linebacker since 1984. He would be a disruptive force and would be a plug and play guy for the team.
Pick #5–Miami Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Miami Dolphins finished at 5-15 at the bottom of the AFC East. They put up a fight but it wasn’t enough to help them compete in a tough division. Through free agency the Dolphins were able to bolster their defense with pickups like Byron Jones, Shaq Lawson, and Kyle Van Noy. Offense is now their priority. The team needs help at the running back position, however I don’t see a Running Back being taken until the late first or early second round. Offensive Line is another position that needs help but there is depth here in the Draft, plus they have two more picks in the first round so they can just grab one later if they need to.
The pick the Dolphins should take is a sexy one and it is at Quarterback. I believe the Dolphins should take Tua Tagovailoa out of Alabama. Although Tua has had some injury concerns, plus a major hip injury last season, he is cleared to play football. He is such a game changer with his ability to throw deep and do so accurately, plus he has the ability to make things happen with his feet. The Dolphins desperately need a playmaker and Tua can fit that role.
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