The 2020 NFL Draft is less than a week away, and the pressure is mounting on decision-makers across the league.
Five teams (49ers, Dolphins, Jaguars, Raiders, Vikings) have multiple first-rounders this year, with Miami boasting three of the top 26 selections. The Dolphins are also one of seven teams (Broncos, Giants, Jaguars, Packers, Patriots, Vikings) that currently hold 10 or more total picks. Meanwhile, the Bears have just three selections in the first five rounds, including no first-, third- or fourth-rounders.
Whether they have a ton of draft capital or must make do with limited resources, already have playoff-ready rosters or desperately require to find a franchise cornerstone, all are feeling the crunch as they finalize their draft boards. In reviewing the varying degrees of urgency in this year's draft, one simple question emerged:
Which team is under the most pressure to nail the 2020 NFL Draft?
(Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft begins at 8 p.m. ET on April 23, Rounds 2-3 will be held on April 24 beginning at 7 p.m. ET and Rounds 4-7 will be held on April 25 beginning at 12 p.m. ET. Tune in to NFL Network, ABC, ESPN and ESPN Deportes for live coverage. The draft will also be streamed live via the NFL app and ESPN app.)
DAVID CARR: It has to be the Miami Dolphins, right?! They have three picks in the first round (Nos. 5, 18 and 26) after trading away former first-round picks Laremy Tunsil (to Houston) and Minkah Fitzpatrick (to Pittsburgh) last season. Miami also has a good, young coach in Brian Flores and made a splash in free agency. Plus, with Tom Brady no longer in the division, Chris Grier and Co. have a real shot to turn things around in South Beach.
JAMES JONES: The Minnesota Vikings have made some postseason runs over the last half-decade and always seem to have a talented roster. With 12 picks in this year's draft, including Nos. 22 (from the Bills in the Stefon Diggs trade) and 25, they should be able to continue that trend. If Rick Spielman, who's drafted 16 Pro Bowlers in 14 seasons as GM, can nail this draft -- and it pains me to say this -- the Vikings have a shot at being a real Super Bowl contender.
MAURICE JONES-DREW: The Houston Texans have been postseason regulars of late and that has created very high expectations. But after Bill O'Brien shipped star receiver DeAndre Hopkins to Arizona in a lopsided trade in March, the Texans MUST hit on a receiver and use his remaining six picks to fill other positions of need (D-line, edge rusher). O'Brien has been facing a lot of scrutiny this offseason, and this is his chance to get haters on his side.
BRIAN BALDINGER: This question feels a little silly because who doesn't need to win the draft? Every team aims to get to the pinnacle of the season, and it starts with the draft. That said, my pick is the New York Giants. They have gone through three head coaches in five years, and GM Dave Gettleman has been in and out of hot water since he was hired in 2018. Seemingly the one constant over the last five years is that the Giants have held a top-10 pick (four times), but they haven't improved much when doing so. The pressure is on Gettleman. Big time.
NATE BURLESON: The Dolphins have a league-high 14 draft picks, including three choice selections in the first round. If GM Chris Grier can clean up in this draft, building on some quality moves in free agency, the Dolphins could go from a team rebuilding in 2020 to one contending for the Lombardi Trophy in 2022.