Thursday at 8:00pm starts the biggest sporting event since the global sports shutdown- the NFL Draft. Here at i80 Sports we wanted to make predictions for each of the first round picks as a companion to our LiveStream (Thursday, April 23rd at 7:45pm on YouTube.com/i80Sports).
Let us know what you think at the i80 Sports Facebook Discussion Board and by commenting on YouTube as each pick rolls in on Thursday.
Needless to say we are super excited to get started and to see you all Thursday. Lets get to the picks.
Pick 1- Cincinnati Bengals
Team Needs- QB, OL, LB, TE, EDGE
Bob- Joe Burrow, QB- LSU: Bengals SHOULD pass on Joe Burrow from LSU here, but probably won’t. For me, Tua has more experience and has proven himself with a larger body of college work. I would take Tua, they WILL take Joe Burrow QB from LSU.
Steve- Joe Burrow, QB- LSU: Joe Burrow’s work ethic showed and paid off with a 2019 Heisman trophy. He can apply that same work ethic and be a franchise QB for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Ed- Joe Burrow, QB- LSU: The ONLY way Burrow doesn’t end up in a Bengals uniform in 2020 is if a team like Miami trades multiple top picks to move to #1. I don’t see that happening- Joe Burrow will be a Cincinnati Bengal.
Pick 2- Washington Redskins
Team Needs- EDGE, OL, MLB, WR, CB
Bob- Chase Young, EDGE- Ohio State: The 6’5” 265 lb edge rusher from Ohio State is the best athlete in the 2020 draft. He had 68 solo tackles and 40.5 tackles for loss in 34 college games. This is a no-brainer. This tandem of Chase Young and Montez Sweat will have it all as I predict a move to a 4-3 defense in 2020.
Steve- Chase Young, EDGE- Ohio State: I don’t see the Redskins trading this pick although that is always a possibility.
Ed- Chase Young, EDGE- Ohio State: My only concern is Chase Young finishing the 2019 college season with 0 sacks over his last 3 games (and no tackles against Michigan). The Redskins WILL go safe and take Chase Young.
Pick 3- Detroit Lions
Team Needs- CB, DT, OL, EDGE, LB
Bob- Jeff Okudah, CB- Ohio State: After trading Big Play Slay I think they shore up their secondary with the 6’1” cornerback.
Steve- Jeff Okudah, CB- Ohio State: I think they will trade out of this pick and STILL might end up with Jeff Okudah from Ohio. He has a mix of skill, size, and instinct which will make him a difference maker for Detroit.
Ed- Jeff Okudah, CB- Ohio State: Trades for Tua could start here. If I have to pick a player here I would agree and take Jeff Okudah.
Pick 4- NY Giants
Team Needs- OL, EDGE, WR, LB, S
Bob- Tristan Wirfs, OL- Iowa: I heard from Ralph Vacchiano that Giants are “in love” with Wirfs. He fits their strongest need at OL. I think they address the defense elsewhere but protect Daniel Jones with the #4 pick.
Steve-Tristan Wirfs, OL- Iowa: Wirfs has all the traits to be a good left tackle for Daniel JOnes, but I also think he could be an even more dominant Guard.
Ed- DOLPHINS select Tua Tagovailoa, QB- Alabama: I don’t think the Giants will make this pick. They will trade for someone willing to take Hebert or Tua. I believe rumors that include a trade in picks with Jaguars that include EDGE Yannick Ngakoue.
Pick 5- Miami Dolphins
Team Needs- QB, OT, S, EDGE
Bob- Tua Tagovailoa, QB- Alabama: This pick makes sense and I do believe he will still be on the board. Tua provides the whole package and is the only player in this class that I believe INSTANTLY transforms this team.
Steve- Tua Tagovailoa, QB- Alabama: The Dolphins were supposed to be “Tanking for Tua.” They won a few games but with Tua’s injury he still lands at pick 5.
Ed- GIANTS select Mekhi Becton, OT- Louisville: I think this is where Giants ultimately take a offensive lineman, and they take MEkhi Becton, a TRUE offensive tackle (as opposed to Wirfs, who looks more like a guard).
Pick 6- LA Chargers
Team Needs- QB, OT, CB, LB
Bob- Isaiah Simmons, LB- Clemson: I think they could go with a non-QB pick here. If I were GM I would reunite lineman Trai Turner with Cam Newton and spend picks on defense.
Steve- Justin Hebert, QB- Oregon: Tyrod Taylor will NOT be the QB Chargers are looking to replace Philip Rivers with. They are in prime position to take Justin Hebert, even if they have to trade up.
Ed- Justin Hebert, QB- Oregon: May take Jordan Love because this also allows Anthony Lynn to save face after stating that Tyrod was their man for 2020. But stays safe and grabs Hebert.
Pick 7- Carolina Panthers
Team Needs- DT, CB, LB, S
Bob- Kenneth Murray, LB- Oklahoma: This offseason got their QB this offseason with the addition of Teddy Bridgewater. Here they address another hole left by a parting veteran- that of LB Luke Kuechley. Murray had 140 solo tackles in his sophomore and junior years, and aided in 117 more. He is a heat-seeker that wants to be in every play.
Steve- Isaiah SImmons, LB- Clemson: He is a diverse linebacker who can play all over the field. He will fill multiple needs for the Panthers.
Ed- Isaiah Simmons, LB- Clemson: Panthers have never drafted a Clemson Tiger in team history (which is odd when you consider Carolina played their first season in Death Valley) but they will take their first at pick 7 in 2020.
Pick 8- Arizona Cardinals
Team Needs- OL, EDGE, LB, TE, DT
Bob- Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama: This offense is going to be exciting again in 2020 with the Air Raid offense of Kliff Kingsbury. They got their franchise QB last year at the first overall pick with Kyler Murray. This year they protect him with the 6’5” 320 lb Wills.
Steve- Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama: Not much to say here. Wills is a top tackle in the draft this year and will line up opposite DJ Humphries to protect Kyler Murray.
Ed- Jedrick Wills Jr., OT Alabama: Let’s keep building this offense, Cards get Kyler a tackle.
Pick 9- Jacksonville Jaguars
Team Needs: DT, CB, S, EDGE, LB
Bob- Justin Herbert, QB- Oregon: This could go either way depending on the way trades work out. For the record, I don’t see Jaguars taking this pick FROM the 9th slot, but to save some time I am writing my selection in the wrong space on our document. They get the 6’6” 267 lb gunslinger from Oregon.
Steve- Derrick Brown, DT- Auburn: I think the Jaguars address their biggest weakness here and take a Defensive Tackle. He could be a monster pickup to anchor this defensive line.
Ed- Derrick Brown, DT- Auburn: I like this option as much as I like defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw from South Carolina here. I could also see the trade we talked about before- Yannick Ngakoue to the Giants to move up. How much do they trust Minshew?
Pick 10- Cleveland Browns
Team Needs: OT, S, LB
Bob- Mekhi Becton, OT- Louisville: This is Cleveland’s last chance to prove they have given Baker Mayfield every opportunity to prove himself. They will give him a new offensive lineman to go with his incredibly short leash.
Steve- Mekhi Becton, OT- Louisville: This is Cleveland’s chance to get one of the best three tackles in the 2020 draft. He will be a strong addition to their offensive line to protect Baker Mayfield.
Ed- Tristan Wirfs, OT- Iowa: My question here is how much do Eagles have the desire (or capital) to move up to take Lamb or Jeudy? If there is no trade Browns take Wirfs, but we will wait till draft day to see a trade here.
Pick 11- NY Jets
Team Needs: OT, EDGE, WR
Bob- CeeDee Lamb, WR- Oklahoma: I think it would be wise of the Jets to get a top receiver. Henry Ruggs is the speedster but I think they will look more for a possession receiver. At 6’2” 198 lb I think my unpopular top WR off the board CeeDee Lamb from Oklahoma is their choice. He fits their offense better- at this point in his career Sam Darnold doesn’t need to be throwing bombs- he needs to be connecting with CeeDee Lamb.
Steve- CeeDee Lamb- WR- Oklahoma: The Jets need playmakers to pair with Jamison Crowder. Lamb fills that need, Perriman was a nice signing for the Jets but he is not enough. The Jets could go defensive line but they can address that later in the draft.
Ed- Andrew Thomas, OT-Georgia: Break Tom and the Bucs heart and take the last of the big 4 OT. WR is deep this year, Jets grab Thomas to Help Darnold in Pass protection and grab a WR with next pick.
Pick 12- LV Raiders
Team Needs: WR, CB
Bob- Jerry Jeudy, WR- Alabama: After losing out on top talend Antonio Brown with headspace issues in 2020, they need a game changing possession WR. Like the Jets, I don’t think they are looking for a deep threat and Jerry Jeudy may be the top player on many people’s WR board.
Steve- Jerry Jeudy- WR- Alabama: Even if CeeDee Lamb falls to the Raiders I believe that Gruden will take the more polished route runner with a better route tree.
Ed- Jerry Jeudy, WR- Alabama: Jeudy and Jacobs and Waller start to form a solid offense. Could we see the Raiders draft their future QB with pick 19? Jeudy is my WR 1 and is ready to step in and start now.
Pick 13- SF 49ers
Team Needs: WR, CB, DL
Bob- Henry Ruggs, WR- Alabama: I think 49ers will be looking outside the WR zone for their first pick, but as my board has it you can NOT pass on Ruggs falling to pick 13. Jimmy Garoppolo has the best arm out of teams looking at a top WR, and Ruggs fits this offense (and makes them scary on paper).
Steve- Javon Kinlaw, DT- South Carolina: Common sense says Henry Ruggs III but I believe John Lynch wants to keep that defense young. Replacing DeForest Buckner with one of the best interior lineman in the draft.
Ed- CJ Henderson, CB- Florida: John Lynch wins out and gets D with this pick. They need a nice young corner and Henderson is just that. They will find Deebo a running mate at pick 31.
Pick 14- TB Buccaneers
Team Needs: OT, RB, WR, EDGE
Bob- Andrew Thomas, OT- Georgia: Tampa or TOMpa, as they say, needs to protect an aging wonder at the QB position. The best offensive lineman here is Andrew Thomas from Georgia.
Steve- Andrew Thomas, OT- Georgia: Thomas addresses a big need to help protect newly acquired Tom Brady. Arians is not known for having the strongest offensive lines but this pick will help strengthen one of their weaker positions.
Ed- Javon Kinlaw, DT-South Carolina: I really think the Bucs will do all it can to trade up if the OT’s start jumping off the board. If they can’t pull that off and the OT’s are gone, they get what some say is the best DT in the draft in Kinlaw.
Pick 15- Denver Broncos
Team Needs: WR, CB, OL
Bob- CJ Henderson, CB- Florida: With the top WRs gone by pick 15 Broncos are willing to wait. They get the next cornerback off the board, CJ Henderson.
Steve- CJ Henderson, CB- Florida: With the Broncos having Cortland Sutton on top of the depth chart pushes the need for receiver to later rounds. Henderson replaces Chris Harris Jr and can immediately start opposite AJ Bouye.
Ed- CeeDee Lamb, WR – Oklahoma: Broncos were hoping Ruggs would fall to them. A pleasant Surprise to have CeeDee fall to them. Lock,Gordon,Sutton and Fant and now Lamb. I can see Elway smiling all the way here in New Jersey.
Pick 16- Atlanta Falcons
Team Needs: CB, DL, EDGE
Bob- Kristian Fulton, CB- LSU: Back to back cornerbacks go off the board in consecutive picks. These two are interchangeable (and you can add AJ Terrell to that list of top CBs as well.
Steve- K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge- LSU: The Falcons had the 4th fewest sacks in the NFL last year. While the team signed Dante Fowler, it was a 1 year prove it deal. The Falcons will need to invest in their future and Chaisson can be the long term solution for their defensive line.
Ed- Jaylon Johnson, CB – Utah: Lots of talk that the Falcons are doing all they can to move up and grab Simmons or one of the top 2 corners. If they can’t make that happen they scoop up Johnson here. I have him ranked over Fulton.
Pick 17- Dallas Cowboys
Team Needs: CB, EDGE, S, OL
Bob- K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE- LSU: Cowboys get their man sniped at pick 16 and have to move from the cornerback market to the outside rusher market. Lucky for them K’Lavon Chaisson is still on my board, and heads to Dallas.
Steve- Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama: The Cowboys need to improve the back end of their defense. They wanted Earl Thomas but pissed out on him, they wanted Jamal Adams and couldn’t orchestrate a trade. Getting McKinney would help bolster the back end of the Cowboys defense.
Ed- K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge -LSU: They love Henderson but he is gone, they also are very high on Ruiz from Michigan and may trade down and take him. But the 2nd best edge rusher is too good to pass up here.
Pick 18- Miami Dolphins
Team Needs: QB, OL, S, WR
Bob- Josh Jones, OT- Houston: After getting their franchise QB earlier in the draft they will look to solidify their line. As a side note, I think this pick will be a team with which they find a trade partner, possibly also a team that needs another OL like NY Giants. So the pick stands, whichever team makes it.
Steve- Austin Jacoson, OT- USC: The Dolphins second pick will be to help solidify their offensive line. Austin Jackson and Josh Jones make the most sense here but Jackson is the more natural Left Tackle.
Ed- Henry Ruggs III, WR-Alabama: Tua gets one of his guys. Dolphins can’t believe their luck when Ruggs falls to them here.The O starts to take shape in Miami. They may also look to grab a safety(McKinney) here to replace Fitzpatrick.
Pick 19- LV Raiders
Team Needs: WR, CB
Bob- AJ Terrell, CB- Clemson: After getting Jeudy earlier in round 1 Raiders get their top CB on the board in TJ Terrell from Clemson.
Steve- AJ Terrell, CB- Clemson: Raiders address two of their biggest needs in the top 20 of the draft. The Raiders need help in the back of their defense and he has size and speed to be a top corner.
Ed- AJ Terrell, CB- Clemson: Mayock and Gruden love what a Clemson player brings to their organization. They grab Terrell to pair with former Tiger, Mullen at the other corner. Bob and I are on the same page here.
Pick 20- Jacksonville Jaguars
Team Needs: DT, CB, S, EDGE, LB
Bob- Derrick Brown, DL- Auburn: It is long overdue for one of the top defensive lineman to leave my board. He finds a new home in Jacksonville.
Steve- A.J Epenesa, Edge- Iowa: With the Jaguars open to trading their defensive line, they will have to restock. Epenesa can solidify their line with as a strong young pass rusher.
Ed- Xavier McKinney, S- Alabama: one of the co#1 safeties comes off the board here. Jags grab the long term answer at safety here.
Pick 21- Philadelphia Eagles
Team Needs: WR, LB, CB
Bob- Tee Higgins, WR- Clemson: Eagles fail to trade up and instead take Tee Higgins as their consolation prize for missing the big three.
Steve- Henry Ruggs III, WR- Alabama: I know that Ruggs is mocked to go much earlier in the draft and he will be top playmaker for whoever drafts him.
Ed- Justin Jefferson, WR- LSU: If they don’t move up for Jeudy or Lamb, they will try and move up for Ruggs if he falls. If none of that happens they stay put and get another big time WR in Jefferson. He slides right into the slot for the Birds.
Pick 22- Minnesota Vikings
Team Needs: CB, WR, EDGE
Bob- Trevon Diggs, CB- Alabama: Vikings have a lot of holes. Let’s fix the secondary with the addition of Trevon Diggs from Alabama. One Diggs out, one Diggs in.
Steve- Kristian Fulton, CB- LSU: The Vikings have a need in many areas of the defense. They can fill that need with Fulton at Cornerback. He can be a day one starter for the team.
Ed- Kristian Fulton, CB- LSU: Vikings need Defense and Wideouts. They start with grabbing a potential star who falls into their lap because of some flaws (does not have elite speed) in his game.
Pick 23- NE Patriots
Team Needs: QB, WR, EDGE, OL
Bob- Denzel Mims, WR- Baylor: How much do Patriots trust Stidham and Nkeal Harry? That question guides everything. I was high on Stidham and have to stick to my guns. They draft Denzel Mims here as an eventual successor to Gronk as a 6’3” end zone target.
Steve- Jordan Love, QB- Utah State: With many of the top defensive players taken, the Patriots should go Quarterback here to replace Tom Brady. Bill Belichick will fix the defense in time but it is the offense that needs the most help. Love will develop well under Josh McDaniels tutelage.
Ed- Jordan Love, QB- Utah State: Why do people hate the Pats? Because they always end up getting what they want. They may trade up to get Love (if Jags really want him, it would be a must) I see them getting their way again and Love falls into their laps at 23.
Pick 24- NO Saints
Team Needs: LB, CB, WR
Bob- Patrick Queen, LB- LSU: Hometown boy heads to New Orleans at pick 24.
Steve- Kenneth Murray, LB- Oklahoma: Saints biggest need is linebacker and Murray is the next best on draft boards. He is explosive and versatile but will still need some development.
Ed- Kenneth Murray, LB- Oklahoma: He has been flying up most draft boards, but he has some concerns ( over pursuit, Shedding blocks) in my eyes, regardless of those concerns he is the best LB not named Simmons in the draft and the Saints will have him starting day 1.
Pick 25- Minnesota Vikings
Team Needs: CB, WR, EDGE
Bob- Justin Jefferson, WR- LSU: LSU boys go back to back at 24 and 25, and Minnesota fills their biggest offensive hole with Jefferson.
Steve- Justin Jefferson, WR- LSU: Jefferson has speed, is versatile, and great route running skills.
Ed- Tee Higgins: WR- Clemson: Vikes have 3 WR to choose from here, they grab the best route runner of the group that remains. Tee provides a nice downfield target and should be a monster in the red zone.
Pick 26- Miami Dolphins
Team Needs: QB, OL, S, WR
Bob- D’Andre Swift, RB- Georgia: With Jordan Howard and Kalen Ballage leading the current backfield, the Dolphins could definitely look to a pass catching running back. Why not the local D’Andre Swift who can do it all (and be a future fantasy bellcow).
Steve- D’Andre Swift, RB- Georgia: Swift is one of the better Running Backs in the Draft. Georgia has a knack in recent years for producing NFL ready running backs (Nick Chubb and Todd Gurley), and I think that Swift would provide a dynamic spark for the offense.
Ed- Antoine Winfield Jr., S – Minnesota: I think the Giants will be picking here after Miami moves up a spot for Tua. Either way both teams need a Safety and Winfield is the best left on the board. Kiper loves him and Winfield has the NFL in his blood.
Pick 27- Seattle Seahawks
Team Needs: EDGE, OL
Bob- Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE- Penn State: If the Seahawks aren’t re-signing Clowney then they need to replace him. They take an edge rusher here with AJ Epenesa from Iowa or Yetur Gross-Matos from Penn State.
Steve- Josh Jones- OT, Houston- While the Seahawks have one of the best Quarterbacks in the NFL, he is always top of the sack list. Assuming Seattle doesn’t do what they always do in the first round, trade the pick, I think they will invest in a strong Offensive Tackle to help keep Wilson upright.
Ed- AJ Epenesa, Edge – Iowa: I really think Seattle trades out of the first round. Build up some picks and address RB,OL and DL with multiple later round picks. If they stay Epenesa is the pick. Cowboys could be buying back into this round and if Ruiz is still here don’t be shocked to see them here to grab him.
Pick 28- Baltimore Ravens
Team Needs: LB, OL
Bob- Zach Baun, LB- Wisconsin: Baltimore needs a linebacker so I am going next man up with this pick.
Steve- Patrick Queen, LB- LSU: Queen is a dynamic talent and Harbaugh loves those dynamic linebackers. He has a high ceiling as a playmaker and would be an asset to the Ravens defense.
Ed- Patrick Queen, LB- LSU: Would love to get Murray, but will be just as happy with Queen. Instant impact on this Defense. Lamar gets another weapon or two later in the draft.
Pick 29- Tennessee Titans
Team Needs: EDGE, DL, OL
Bob- AJ Epenesa, EDGE- Iowa: Titans go next man up for an edge rusher and land AJ Epenesa from Iowa.
Steve- Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge- Penn St.: The Titans want to continue solidifying their defense. Matos had 20 tackles for loss in college in one year. His upside is hard to gauge but
Ed- Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE- Penn State: Another Team that may want out of round one. If they stay here they pass on a better player (Ross Blackock) because he doesn’t fit the scheme and grab the edge with Gross-Matos.
Pick 30- GB Packers
Team Needs: WR, TE, DL
Bob- Laviska Shenault Jr, WR- Colorado: Let me say it one last time for the people in the back- Davante Adams is NOT ELITE nor can he carry an offense. Packers need future stars at the wide receiver position and go to Colorado to take the Sammy Watkins prototype Laviska Shenault.
Steve- Justin Jefferson, WR- LSU: The Packers need talent behind DeVente Adams and Jefferson is a solid pass catcher, he averaged 16.2 yards per reception as a sophomore year with an impressive 111 receptions for 1,540 yards and 18 Touchdowns last season. The Packers need that type of production in their offense.
Ed- Denzel Mims, WR- Baylor: Rodgers and company were hoping Tee Higgins would slide here, when that doesn’t happen they grab Mims, a big WR that can get downfield and go up and get the ball.
Pick 31- SF 49ers
Team Needs: WR, CB, DL
Bob- Javon Kinlaw, DL- South Carolina: It is almost criminal that Javon Kinlaw is going this late. San Francisco is going to take a strength and make it stronger with this pick.
Steve- Trevon Diggs, CB- Alabama: I know the 49ers are in need of a wide receiver, but with a position that has so many potential gems, I think the 49ers would be better suited to taking a high caliber Cornerback to sure up their defense.
Ed- Brandon Aiyuk, WR – Arizona State: This young man is climbing up alot of draft boards. I think there will be a battle in the niners war room to decide between Aiyuk and DL Blacklock from TCU. They went D early so O wins this round and Aiyuk is the pick.
Pick 32- KC Chiefs
Team Needs: CB, OL, RB
Bob- JK Dobbins, RB- Ohio State: I think Chiefs may use this pick at running back if any of the top three are available (and I project two of them will be). JK Dobbins is better for Andy Reid than Jonathan Taylor because he can play every down as evident by his 775+ touches over three seasons at Ohio.
Steve- JK Dobbins, RB- Ohio State: Damien Williams may have deserved MVP consideration but he can’t stay healthy. Dobbins is an every down back that fits the Chiefs system. He will give the Chiefs yet another weapon for defenses to worry about.
Ed- D’Andre Swift, RB- Georgia: They would love to go CB here but all the top names on their board are gone. Could go Diggs but with backs like Hampton, Walker , Hearst , Davis, Gurley , Chubb and Michel, you got to believe they keep the Dawg RB History cranking and Grab Swift here.