Perhaps the top two picks aren't as guaranteed as we thought.
The first pick is all but guaranteed to be LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, and most everyone believes Ohio State defensive end Chase Young will go to Washington at No. 2, so this development piques interest. They seem like the two no-brainer selections in a draft filled with premier talent. With Cincinnati's need for a new franchise quarterback and with Young existing as the best player in college football who didn't win the Heisman Trophy, these two shouldn't take much brain power.
At least, that's what the thought has been.
We're in peak smokescreen season right now, and this could be just that. This is the same team that saw its new coach speak effusively about Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa earlier this offseason despite having drafted Dwayne Haskins in the first round of last year's draft. Ron Rivera's comments sparked a new belief that the Redskins might follow in the footsteps of the Cardinals and select a quarterback in the first round two years in a row, something that lasted in the national conversation for a healthy amount of time before eventually dying down.
A day after Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported the New York Giants (picking No. 4 overall) are open to trading out of their spot, and four days after Lions general manager Bob Quinn told reporters he's taking calls on the No. 3 overall pick, Washington appears to have joined the fray. While the important details don't indicate the Redskins are as aggressive in considering trade offers, the fact they're listening only adds further intrigue to what is setting up to be a wild first round.
Most everyone wants to make a move, it seems. Here's to hoping they all have as many phones as John Lynch.
NFL.com will keep you updated on the latest 2020 NFL Draft buzz, rumors and reports in the days leading up to Thursday's Round 1. Here's what else we're monitoring Tuesday:
»The Atlanta Falcons continue to be the team to watch when it comes to moving up Thursday night. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Atlanta has talked to teams well into the top 10 picks and appear ready to move all the way up from No. 16. Rapoport floated two names at corner, considered a position of need: Ohio State'sJeff Okudah and Florida's C.J. Henderson.
Dimitroff has made drastic trades to move up to get his guy in the past, most memorably dealing a package of picks to Cleveland to select Julio Jones in 2011.
»*Tua Tagovailoa* is one of the draft's biggest question marks, but his college coach recently made a personal analogy for what could happen if a team passes on the Alabama star in this week's draft.
Saban did his best to quell any concerns about Tagovailoa's surgically repaired hip. "The sky's the limit," he said. "I don't think any of the questions with Tua have to do with his ability to throw the ball and be effective."
»Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell is all ready to go from his personal film-screening hub, dubbed The Caldwell Theater, which has been converted to become The Caldwell War Room (our name, not theirs).
»The best-liked prospect in this draft is Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray, per Rapoport, who reported no teams have said anything negative about the linebacker who brings with him an excellent background.
»Louisville tackle Mekhi Becton's potential has scouts tremendously excited, per Rapoport. Becton's incredible combine performance (minus the on-field drills, in which he did not participate), combined with his fantastic strength, power and light feet make for a potential All-Pro -- if he can adjust to the next level and improve his technique.
»Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas will likely be the most publicly overlooked player who is selected the highest in the first round, per Rapoport.
»Much like his position fit, Isaiah Simmons' selection projection continues to move around. NFL.com's Lance Zierlein said on Tuesday's NFL NOW the linebacker might find himself selected anywhere from No. 3 to No. 8 -- or beyond.
"Arizona may be looking at a situation where Isaiah Simmons is on the board for them at eight," Zierlein said, "and that might be a difficult call for (Cardinals GM) Steve Keim to pass on such a talented, such an elite, traits-based guy who's available right there who can play so many different positions."
Zierlein explained a potential slide isn't a product of anything about Simmons, but about the state of the league and depth of other positions, as well as the current draft order.
»Zierlein added he thinks Ohio State corner Jeff Okudah could fall to as low as No. 7 if he isn't selected by the Detroit Lions at No. 3, simply because of the way the draft order is set.
»The sweet spot for running backs is in the Nos. 26-32 range in the first round, per Rapoport, who said one or two could be selected in that range, with some teams ranking Georgia tailbackD'Andre Swift as the No. 1 back.
»Houston tackle Josh Jones has the biggest draft range of rounds 1-3, per Rapoport.
»Vikings GM Rick Spielman told reporters Tuesday he's had calls and opportunities with teams behind Minnesota who are trying to trade up, and he's also had talks with teams in front of the Vikings who want to trade back. With Minnesota owning picks Nos. 22 and 25, there's a lot of activity possible in a draft that Spielman says is full of "flavor" at the receiver position after the Vikings traded Stefon Diggs to Buffalo in March.
»While NFL teams took part in a mock draft on Monday to get used to the virtual nature of this year's selection process, Seahawks general manager John Schneider told the media on Tuesday that Seattle and a few other teams would do another trial draft. Tuesday's rehearsal will focus on trading.