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Top NFL draft prospects

When it comes to the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, there is essentially no debate about who is going to be the first pick overall. Louisiana State University’s fifth-year quarterback Joe Burrow going to the Cincinnati Bengals appears to be the lock of the decade. Burrow began his final season at college as a projected fifth-round pick with incredibly low odds at winning the Heisman trophy. By the end of the season, he completely sprinted away from the rest of the Heisman candidate pool and won the award by an overwhelming margin. From a fan’s perspective, Burrow would be entering the black hole for quarterbacks, but that perception is a bit overblown. Burrow will begin his NFL career with a cast of wide receivers in speedster John Ross and wideout Tyler Boyd while running back Joe Mixon has proven to be a bell-cow back. Though not guaranteed, it would be surprising to see tight end Tyler Eifert and veteran wide receiver A.J. Green not return, especially if the Bengals want Burrow to succeed and develop quickly.

That gives Burrow a significantly better supporting group than most first overall pick quarterbacks. The big question will be how well the Bengals staff can develop Burrow into an NFL level player. Undoubtedly Cincinnati has to be working on a system where they can use Ross and his blazing speed in a role similar to that of the Kansas City Chiefs’ track runner Tyreek Hill.

As for the second overall pick, that also appears to be a spot reserved for Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. Many say that Young is the best overall player in the draft and that he has the potential to make more of an impact in the NFL than former Buckeyes Joey and Nick Bosa. The Redskins, behind their new head coach Ron Rivera, would be foolish to pass on the generational talent that is capable of just wrecking an offensive game plan, especially after inheriting one of the worst defenses in the league.

One of the bigger question marks is Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovoiloa. Tagovoiloa suffered a serious hip injury at the end of the season that put an end to his collegiate career. Going into the season, Tagovoiloa seemed to be the consensus top prospect until the emergence of Burrow and his hip injury. However, Tagovoiloa will still likely be picked high in the draft. Miami was expected to finish the season with the worst record in the league which would have put them into position to draft Tagovoiloa, who was likely their guy at the beginning of the season. All things considered, Miami still seems like a fit for Tagovoiloa, and they could wisely have him sit behind journeyman quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick for his first season, giving him more time to recover and learn the team’s offense.

The New York Giants have the fourth pick of the draft. With Chase Young essentially locked to go to division rival Washington, the Giants will face him twice a year for the next decade, which would be a nightmare for the Giants’ young quarterback, Daniel Jones. This is even worse when you consider how poor the Giants’ offensive line has been for the past few years. Looking to protect their quarterback of the future, the Giants elect to dip into the offensive line talent of this draft and go with offensive tackle Mekhi Becton from Louisville. Becton makes use of every bit of his 6-foot-7-inches tall, 370 pounds frame, paired with an athletic ability that makes him nimble in pass protection. If the Giants want their young QB to develop into the player they think he can be, it is crucial for them to keep him healthy by surrounding him with a good offensive line. Even beyond Young, the Giants will be facing the likes of defensive linemen Demarcus Lawrence, Robert Quinn, Brandon Graham, and Fletcher Cox twice a year as well.

If a shakeup is to happen in this draft, look no further than general manager John Elway and the Denver Broncos sitting at 15th overall. With Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy looking to be one of the best prospects since current All-Pro Julio Jones, Elway could look to trade up for the young speedster. After a dreadful couple years searching for a quarterback in the post-Peyton Manning era, the Broncos look like they may have their guy with big-armed quarterback Drew Lock. Lock took over for the Broncos in the final five games and they finished the season 4-1 down the stretch. After an iffy start to the season, the Broncos finished strong and will look to build off of that going into the next season. The Broncos have a solid supporting cast offensively with running back Phillip Lindsay, last year’s first-round pick tight end Noah Fant and the emerging wide receiver Courtland Sutton who truly elevated to a Pro Bowl level talent this past year, despite his inconsistency in the quarterback position for a majority of the season. Pair up Alabama’s playmaking wide receiver with Sutton and the Broncos offense can really elevate into something special. The combination of Lock, Sutton, Jeudy, Fant, and Lindsay will surely strike fear into the eyes of opponents. With Sutton and Lindsay both entering their third years in the NFL, this could be a long-lasting offensive core with the potential to take over the NFL in the years to come.

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