The 2020 NFL draft should be pretty predictable, right? Joe Burrow is almost a lock to be taken by the Bengals with the first overall pick. The Dolphins, armed with three first-round picks, will finally realize their destiny when they take quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick. Chase Young, the talented pass rusher out of Ohio State, will be selected by the Redskins with the No. 3 overall pick, while the Giants, who are right behind them at No. 4, will take former Clemson standout inside linebacker Isaiah Simmons. While each of these predictions looks good on paper, there’s a very good chance (based on history) that the early first five picks of the draft won’t go exactly as planned.
The same can be said about the entire first round of the draft, as many teams are in a position to execute a trade that could shake things up in a major way. With the start of the draft finally here, we decided to rank the 10 likeliest first-round trade scenarios that could take place during or before the draft. And if any of these moves come into fruition later this month, remember who you heard it from first.
1. Dolphins acquire No. 2 overall pick from the Redskins for the No. 5 overall pick and the 39th overall pick
As alluded to above, the Dolphins, as they currently stand, are in a good position to land anyone other than Borrow with the fifth overall pick. That being said, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the Dolphins decide to try to trade up to ensure that they will have their quarterback of choice.
While acquiring the No. 1 overall pick is unlikely, a more likely scenario is the Dolphins trading the fifth pick and one of their two second-round picks to the Redskins for the No. 2 overall pick. That would guarantee them the opportunity to select either Burrow or Tua while still keeping their other two first-round picks. The question is, which of their second-round picks would they have to give up, as Miami currently has the 39th overall pick.
Tua says he’s healthy, so who’ll go after him in the draft? Will Brinson and the Pick Six Podcast Superfriends break down trade scenarios, next year’s free agent class and more; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
2. Patriots acquire the No. 9 overall pick from the Jaguars in exchange for the No. 23, the 87 overall pick and a 2021 second round pick
With Tom Brady headed to Tampa Bay, the Patriots may decide to sign Jameis Winston or Cam Newton in free agency. But if they don’t, the Patriots will have to upgrade their quarterback position during the draft. Their other options are to rely on a second-year former fourth-round pick (Jarrett Stidham) or a career backup (Brian Hoyer).
This leads to them — in this scenario — giving up the 23rd pick overall as well as the team’s first of three third-round picks in order to give them a shot at selecting one of the top remaining qurterbacks in the draft. With the ninth overall pick, the Patriots would likely be in position to select either Herbert or Love, assuming Burrow and Tua are off the board by the time the first five picks of the draft have passed. The Jaguars, in return, would still have a first-round pick and would also have a second Day 2 draft pick.
If this scenario plays out, don’t be surprised if the Patriots try to trade up again to further increase their odds at landing one of the draft’s top quarterbacks. Possible suitors in this scenario include the Giants (with the No. 4 overall pick) or the Chargers, who are also looking for their next franchise quarterback after letting Philip Rivers go earlier this offseason. In this scenario, the Patriots would also likely be looking for a second-round pick, something they lost after acquiring Mohamed Sanu in a trade with the Falcons last season.
3. Buccaneers acquire the 7th and 152nd overall picks from the Panthers in exchange for the 14th and 45th overall picks
This idea was actually hatched during the CBS Sports Mock Draft 2.0, with Jonathan Jones (serving as the Buccaneers general manager) selecting former Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills. While Houston’s Josh Jones and/or Louisville’s Mekhi Becton may still be there at No. 14, Tampa Bay — who may be willing to give up one of their two fourth-round picks in order to trade up — may not want to take any chances at missing out on acquiring one of the draft’s top linemen. The Buccaneers surely want to improve that facet of their team after signing Tom Brady to a two-year deal.
For the Panthers, there’s a good chance that the player they want may still be there with the 14th pick. That was the case during Monday’s mock draft, with former Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah falling to Carolina at No. 14.
4. Chargers acquire the No. 2 overall pick in exchange for the No. 6 overall pick and a 2021 second-round pick
The Chargers, who are also in need of a quarterback, can’t be ruled out of moving up a few spots in order to solidify their odds at landing one of the top signal-callers in the draft. While they are currently sitting in a good position with the No. 6 overall pick, Los Angeles may decide not to be content at acquiring the best quarterback left at that spot, with Burrow and Tua expected to be off the board after the first five selections.
The question here is how much the Chargers like Herbert and/or Love, who both should be there for the taking with the sixth overall pick. Los Angeles also doesn’t have a ton of draft picks to give up, as they currently have one pick in each round. The Chargers, who likely won’t be willing to part with the 37th overall pick, may have to be willing to give up a 2021 second-round pick if either the Redskins or the Lions aren’t willing to accept a third or fourth-round pick.
5. Raiders acquire the No. 3 overall pick from the Lions in exchange for the No. 12 and 19th overall picks
While the Raiders already have Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota on their roster, general manager Mike Mayock has said that he would select a quarterback in the first round if he felt like that player would significantly improve the Raiders’ chances of winning. Las Vegas has reportedly conducted virtual interviews with Justin Herbert and Jordan Love, and would likely be willing to part with their current first-round picks in order to select one these quarterbacks … if they ultimately decide that Herbert/Love is team’s future quarterback.
6. Jaguars acquire No. 3 and No. 109 overall pick from the Lions in exchange for the No. 9 and 20 overall picks
With Nick Foles in Chicago, everyone is expecting Gardner Minshew to be the Jaguars’ starting quarterback heading into the 2020 season. And while that may be the case, don’t be surprised if the Jaguars decide to trade their two first-round picks in order to move up to select Tua, a scenario that was recently dissected by CBS Sports editor R.J. White. While Minshew had his moments last season, Tua, who was enjoying a prolific career at Alabama before suffering his hip injury, has significantly more upside. His arrival would also bolster interest from a Jacksonville fan base that is in need of some excitement following two losing seasons.
Jacksonville could also offer defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (who is trying to get out of Jacksonville) as a trade piece, an offer that should certainly entice Washington and Detroit, two teams that need help at that position.
7. Ravens acquire the 22nd overall pick from the Vikings in exchange for the 28th and 92nd overall picks
While it wouldn’t be a significant jump, moving up six spots could help the Ravens secure one of the top receivers or linebackers — two of their biggest positions of need — in the draft. They also wouldn’t be giving up much, as the Ravens currently have nine picks that includes two second-round picks after trading tight end Hayden Hurst to the Falcons earlier this offseason.
The Vikings, who are also expected to move around in the first round, would pick up an extra draft pick while also keeping both of their first-round picks. Minnesota needs both of those picks to address their needs at receiver and cornerback after losing Stefon Diggs and Trae Waynes earlier this offseason.
8. Packers acquire 20th and 73rd and overall pick from the Jaguars in exchange for the 30th pick, 62nd and 2021 fourth-round pick
CBS Sports NFL draft analyst Josh Edwards noted the Packers as one of the most likely teams that could trade up in the first round. But instead of trading up for a receiver, the Packers may decide to trade up in order to select Kenneth Murray, the top-ranked inside linebacker in the draft. While Green Bay may have to give up a more desirable pick, they’ll surely try to offer one of their three sixth-round picks if they elect to trade up in the first round.
The overall depth at receiver is why I feel the Packers may decide to go after an inside linebacker in the first round. With the 62nd overall pick, the Packers should be able to acquire one of the draft’s better wideouts. One player that comes to mind is Penn State’s K.J. Hamler, who is currently slated as a second-round pick.
9.Cowboys acquire 9th overall pick from Jaguars in exchange for the 17th overall pick and the 52nd overall pick
This scenario reminds me of what the Steelers did last year, trading the 20th pick, the 52nd pick and a 2020 third-round pick to the Broncos in exchange for the 10th overall pick, a pick they used to select inside linebacker Devin Bush. While the Steelers could have waited to see if Bush would have been available at 20 (unlikely), Pittsburgh decided to be proactive while grabbing the player they had been eying all along.
The Cowboys, who lost cornerback Byron Jones to the Dolphins at the start of free agency, may make a similar move, although I don’t think it would cost them a future mid-round pick, as was the case with the Steelers. The Cowboys are in need of a major upgrade at the cornerback position, and they may decide to move up to grab Okudah if the Giants (who are expected to take Isaiah Simmons or an offensive tackle with the fourth pick) and Panthers pass on him. Okudah will likely not make it to the 17th pick, which is why the Cowboys may trade up in order to secure the draft’s top-rated cornerback. The Cowboys’ other needs (specifically at safety and on the defensive line) may prevent them from making a move like this.
10. Miami acquires No. 1 overall pick from Cincinnati in exchange for the No. 5, 18 and 26th overall picks
With the fear of Tagovailoa possibly going to the Redskins with the No. 2 overall pick (as predicted by Will Brinson during the CBS Sports Mock Draft 2.0), the Dolphins decided not to risk losing Tua, the player many expected they were taking for during the first half of the 2019 season, at least in this scenario.
While the Bengals are expected to select Burrow with the No. 1 pick, Cincinnati may ultimately decide to take another quarterback in the draft. While they did meet with Burrow at the combine, the Bengals have also spent significant time with Herbert, who worked with Cincinnati’s coaching staff during January’s Senior Bowl. Bengals’ offensive coordinator Brian Callahan said shortly after the combine that he and the rest of the Bengals staff would continue to evaluate each of the top quarterback prospects in the weeks leading up to the draft. There’s a chance that, during that time, the Bengals fall in love with someone other than Burrow, leading the way for a trade with the Dolphins.