Hey, the NFL draft is soon. Like right around the corner soon. In a world without sports, this is going to have to be a substitute for a while. While all 32 teams have a first round pick in theory, in practice that isn’t the case. Some traded them away for players, like the Bears did a couple of years ago, and others for picks in previous years. You know why you’re reading, though, and I won’t waste any more time.
Cincinnati Bengals - With the first pick the Bengals take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. Burrow isn’t the best player, but the Bengals want to start over at the QB position and Burrow is supposedly the top prospect (I think he’s not).
Washington Redskins - Washington gets the best player in the draft in Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. Young has that generational-type of talent and Washington should turn this card in right after Burrow’s name is read
Detroit Lions - The Lions can go in a few different positions, needing a lot of work on defense. I have them taking Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown. Hard to go against the best defensive tackle in the draft.
New York Giants - This should be a no-brainer. The Giants need to protect Daniel Jones and open lanes in the run game so they take offensive tackle Jedrick Wills from Alabama. It’s a crapshoot on which OT goes where, but the Giants will take one of the top four regardless.
Miami Dolphins - This is another team going with a quarterback as they choose Justin Herbert from Oregon. Herbert has the physical tools to be a franchise guy; the questions come about his mental decisions at this point. This is one of three first round picks for the ‘Fins.
Los Angeles Chargers - The third team that needs a QB and they go with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. This is your best QB in the 2020 draft. Tua has all the tools to be a franchise guy for years even with the injury concerns. He played in a pro-style offense in college and thrived.
Carolina Panthers - The Panthers have a few ways they can go at either linebacker or cornerback and it’s hard to pass up Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah. Okudah is the best corner in this draft and could go as high as third. In mine he goes at seven.
Arizona Cardinals - With a franchise receiver in their hands, it’s about protecting Kyler Murray. Easy pick here with OT - Mekhi Becton out of Louisville.
Jacksonville Jaguars - The Jags have a few holes on both sides but the value of Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons is too much to pass up here. Simmons can play about four positions on defense so that versatility is huge.
Cleveland Browns - Another team that needs an OT. I have them going with Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs.
New York Jets - They are going to start a run at wide receiver as the next three teams have a need for them. The Jets go with Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy, the top pass catcher in the draft, but not by much.
Las Vegas Raiders - They go with Oklahoma WR Ceedee Lamb. Lamb is close to topping Jeudy for the best WR in this draft but the Raiders would be happy with either of these two.
San Francisco 49ers - Our third and final team on this WR run, as they go with Colorado’s Laviska Shenault Jr. Some might have ‘Bama’s Henry Ruggs here, but Ruggs’ route tree is smaller than Shenault Jr.’s.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - After the Tom Brady signing, a tackle is needed on the edge of the line. The Bucs go with Georgia’s Andrew Thomas to bolster either side of the line.
Denver Broncos - The Broncos have a need at offensive line, WR and cornerback. I have them going with a cornerback in Florida’s CJ Henderson. Henderson is the second best CB in this class and should help rebuild that secondary.
Atlanta Falcons - Atlanta’s defense has more holes than Swiss cheese so they should focus on that side of the ball. I have them picking LSU linebacker Patrick Queen to help the middle level of defense.
Dallas Cowboys - The Cowboys are always a tough team to read with Jerry Jones in charge. I have them taking a defensive end, you can never have enough of those, in Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos.
Miami Dolphins - Miami fills another huge hole on offense by taking the first running back off the board with De’Andre Swift out of Georgia. Swift is the only RB picked in the first round, and it might not even be in this Miami draft spot.
Las Vegas Raiders - The second Raiders pick is a boom-or-bust defensive tackle, Javon Kinlaw out of South Carolina. The man is talented but has the biggest bust potential out of anyone else in this first round. Risk against reward, typical Raiders.
Jacksonville Jaguars - With their second first-rounder, the Jags take LSU linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson. Chaisson will probably move to defensive end to replace some departures for the Jags.
Philadelphia Eagles - The Eagles need a wideout badly. Philly fans were frustrated with that group last year and they take the fastest WR in the draft, Alabama’s Henry Ruggs III. While his route tree is small, he’s the next DeSean Jackson-type.
Minnesota Vikings - This is the first of the two Vikings picks and they’re going to address their secondary with Utah CB Jaylon Johnson. Bad CB play harmed an otherwise solid Minnesota defense last year.
New England Patriots - For the first time in 20 years, the Pats have no idea who their quarterback is. So they take one here in Washington’s Jacob Eason. He has more upside than Jake Fromm at this spot.
New Orleans Saints - Drew Brees is getting up there in age, and they need someone other than Michael Thomas to catch the ball, but the defense needs a bit more work. I have them taking LB Kenneth Murray out of Oklahoma to help stop some of the running backs in the NFC South.
Minnesota Vikings - Since the Vikings traded WR Stephon Diggs, they go ahead and take one here in LSU’s Justin Jefferson. Jefferson will fill a bigger body role to free up Adam Thielen to play in the slot where he thrives.
Miami Dolphins - The final ‘Fins pick of the opening round and they focus on defense here. They take an edge rusher in Iowa’s AJ Epenesa. He won’t be a superstar but he’s going to be a consistent pro.
Seattle Seahawks - The Seahawks thrived in their “Legion of Boom” era so they take the first safety off the board, going with Xavier McKinney from Alabama. Grant Delpit could be in play but his injury history might concern teams.
Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens were a pretty complete team last year outside of one key area, WR. They need to bolster that part of the roster and do so by taking Tee Higgins from Clemson.
Tennessee Titans - It was hard to read what the Titans needed, honestly, so I have them taking a guy who can fit as a 3-4 defensive end in TCUs’s Ross Blacklock.
Green Bay Packers - Like with the Ravens, it’s no secret the Packers could use a lot of help with their pass catching, but I think they focus on cornerback here and take Alabama’s Trevon Diggs, Stephon Diggs’ little brother.
San Francisco 49ers - With their second pick of the first round, the Super Bowl runner-ups will look to work on the offensive line by going with Houston’s Joshua Jones. USC’s Austin Jackson should also be kept in mind here.
Kansas City Chiefs - The Chiefs have a few ways they can do to help reload their roster for another big run. Their cornerback play on half of the field wasn’t great last year so they pick up CB AJ Terrell from Clemson.
So there’s my predictions for the first round. I feel successful if I get up to five picks right, but that’s half the fun of it. Any ideas of your own? Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter @SLPilotSports.