The past several days around the NFL have been filled with a flurry of blockbuster trades and signings. Tom Brady will play for a team outside of New England for the first time in his two-decade career. Philip Rivers is headed to Indianapolis.
Outside of the quarterback position, blockbuster trades of DeAndre Hopkins and DeForest Buckner have turned the NFL on its head.
Now, with about a month to go before the 2020 NFL Draft is held in some form, that annual event has been shaken up big-time.
The gist: Mock drafts over the past few months can now be thrown completely out the window. Teams that seemingly had needs at certain positions addressed those needs in free agency or via trades. This is no small thing.
Out in front, the Arizona Cardinals have no need at wide receiver after absolutely shafting the Houston Texans for DeAndre Hopkins . Likely in the market for a quarterback heading into free agency, the Carolina Panthers are now seemingly sitting pretty with Teddy Bridgewater.
As you can tell, things have shifted in a major way when it comes to the top of the 2020 NFL Draft. We look at that and more below.
Washington: Nothing Washington has done this offseason changes the dynamic too much in the nation’s capital heading into the 2020 NFL Draft.
New York Giants: As he continues to struggle with the basic elements of his role as a general manager, Dave Gettleman showed his hand in a big way during free agency. It’s almost now a foregone conclusion what direction New York will go in during the 2020 NFL Draft.
Los Angeles Chargers: It’s not surprising that the Chargers parted ways with Philip Rivers after 16 seasons. A divorce seemed to be the best end result for both sides. It is surprising Los Angeles did not replace him.
Carolina Panthers: Signing Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $60 million contract seems to suggest that Carolina will avoid a quarterback in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. It also has another glaring need.
Arizona Cardinals: Linked to every possible top-end receiving prospect heading into the draft, Arizona is now going to avoid that position with the eighth overall selection.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Here’s another wild card heading into the draft after making multiple moves that thinned out its roster.
Cleveland Browns: I am pleasantly surprised with how new general manager Andrew Berry navigated through his first wave of free agency with the team.
New York Jets: Largely quiet in free agency after striking out on some of their top targets, the Jets now need to find a play maker for young quarterback Sam Darnold.
Las Vegas Raiders: Jon Gruden and Co. largely decided to help out their defense with the plethora of cash they had to spend.
San Francisco 49ers: Shocking. That’s the best way to describe the 49ers’ decision to trade All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.
New England Patriots: Now in the market for a long-term starter following Tom Brady’s decision to leave in free agency, the Pats are a major wild card.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, quarterback, LSU
2. Washington: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
3. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, quarterback, Alabama (trade prediction with Detroit)
4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs, offensive tackle, Iowa
5. Detroit Lions: Isaiah Simmons, linebacker, Clemson (trade prediction with Miami)
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, quarterback, Oregon
7. Carolina Panthers: Andrew Thomas, offensive tackle, Georgia
8. Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills, offensive tackle, Alabama
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jeff Okudah, cornerback, Ohio State
10. Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, offensive tackle, Louisville
11. New York Jets: Jerry Jeudy, wide receiver, Alabama
12. Las Vegas Raiders: CeeDee Lamb, wide receiver, Oklahoma
13. New England Patriots: Jordan Love, quarterback, Utah State (trade prediction with San Francisco)
That’s just a number of different ways the top of next month’s NFL Draft could go. What we do know is that things have changed drastically on this front since the start of free agency.
It happens every year. Blockbuster trades are made to change things midstream. Huge signings are pulled off that determine what route a team might take.
Tom Brady moving on from the Patriots. The blockbuster DeAndre Hopkins trade. San Francisco now picking in the top 13. The Los Angeles Chargers ignoring the quarterback position. All of these moves will shake up the foundation of the 2020 NFL Draft.
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