There are still eight teams in the running to be crowned as Super Bowl LIV champions on Feb. 2, but the Cincinnati Bengals have locked in the No. 1 overall pick at the 2020 NFL draft on April 23.
The Bengals are expected to select Heisman Trophy-winning LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.
Burrow most recently logged a record-setting Peach Bowl performance in the College Football Playoff semifinal on Dec. 28 with 493 yards and seven touchdowns on a 74.4 completion percentage along with one rushing touchdown.
LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson's four touchdowns also tied the record for most receiving touchdowns in an FBS bowl game. Jefferson is one of many highly touted wide receivers in this draft class.
The quarterback class is less certain after Burrow, as Alabama quarterback and 2018 Heisman finalist Tua Tagovailoa won't decide between declaring for the draft or returning for his senior season until Monday.
In other words, who goes where is contingent on a lot of fluid factors. Below is a look at the draft order as well as projected picks based on what position each team needs to address.
2020 NFL Draft Order
1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14): Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
2. Washington Redskins (3-13): Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
3. Detroit Lions (3-12-1): Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
4. New York Giants (4-12): Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
5. Miami Dolphins (5-11): Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11): Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
7. Carolina Panthers (5-11): Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
8. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1): Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
9. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
10. Cleveland Browns (6-10): Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
11. New York Jets (7-9): CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
12. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9): Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
13. Indianapolis Colts (7-9): Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
15. Denver Broncos (7-9): Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
16. Atlanta Falcons (7-9): A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
17. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Grant Delpit, S, LSU
18. Miami Dolphins via Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8): Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
19. Las Vegas Raiders via Chicago Bears (8-8): Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
20. Jacksonville Jaguars via Los Angeles Rams (9-7): Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
21. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7): Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
22. Buffalo Bills (10-6): Xavier McKinney, DB, Alabama
23. New England Patriots (12-4): Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
24. New Orleans Saints (13-3): DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
25. Tennessee Titans (9-7): Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
26. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
27. Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans (10-6): J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
28. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
29. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4): D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
30. Green Bay Packers (13-3): Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
31. San Francisco 49ers (13-3): Creed Humphrey, C, Oklahoma
32. Baltimore Ravens (14-2): Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Order via Tankathon.com
Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Young heightened hopes for plenty of NFL teams by officially declaring Friday:
However, it's hard to imagine Washington letting him slide beyond the second overall pick. Dwayne Haskins—former Ohio State quarterback, 2018 Heisman finalist and Washington's 2019 first-round pick—seems to agree:
Young was the FBS leader with 16.5 total sacks in 2019. The 20-year-old set Ohio State's all-time record for sacks in a single season when he recorded three sacks against Penn State on Nov. 23—his first game back from a two-game suspension for an NCAA violation.
Washington's odds to lean toward defense with the second overall selection increased when defensive-minded Ron Rivera was hired as the new head coach on Wednesday and Jack Del Rio was hired as Rivera's defensive coordinator on Thursday. At the same time, it's difficult to peg down who the franchise may favor after longtime general manager and president Bruce Allen was fired and a replacement has yet to be hired.
ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has Young as the No. 1 prospect in this class. "He's clearly the best prospect in this class, and I expect him to stay at the top of my Big Board through April," Kiper wrote in early December.
The Bengals desperately need a quarterback to succeed Andy Dalton, though, which likely leads to them choosing Burrow and Young dropping into Washington's lap.
The 3-13 Redskins ranked 27th in scoring defense (27.2 points per game) and total defense (385.1 yards per game). Young would only add to the team's 10th-ranked 46.0 sacks recorded in 2019.
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
The Lions secondary took a hit when the team traded cornerback Quandre Diggs to the Seattle Seahawks in late October.
Detroit was also reportedly open to moving cornerback Darius Slay but had an "incredibly high" asking price, per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo (h/t Jeff Risdon of Lions Wire). Slay stayed a Lion beyond the league's 2019 trade deadline, but he is set to hit free agency in 2021.
The Lions' direction is fluid. Head coach Matt Patricia fired six members of his coaching staff before defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni and offensive line coach Jeff Davidson each stepped away. Even so, Kiper's latest big board has Okudah ranked fifth among all prospects, and the Lions' need at the position is glaring.
Detroit had the worst passing defense in the league in 2019.
Okudah declared for the NFL draft on Wednesday after cementing his place in Ohio State history:
Given Detroit's 3-12-1 2019 campaign was the franchise's worst mark since going 2-14 in 2009, the Lions inherently have several needs. But Okudah's upside may be too promising to pass up.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
A lot is riding on Tagovailoa's announcement Monday.
Operating under the assumption he opts to go pro, an injury-riddled 2019 has dropped Tagovailoa from the No. 1 overall discussion.
Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending dislocated hip in mid-November that required surgery. Prior to that, the 2018 Heisman finalist tallied 2,840 yards, 33 touchdowns and three interceptions on a 71.4 completion percentage across nine games.
It just so happened that Burrow put in an out-of-this-world 2019 to compare with Tagovailoa's limited campaign.
The Dolphins undoubtedly need a quarterback—despite veteran journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick playing inspired ball down the stretch in Miami—and Tagovailoa figures to be there for the taking. However, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller had an anonymous "high-level source" disclose to him for a story published Friday that "no team has done more work on Oregon's Justin Herbert than the Dolphins."
Herbert could be the safer pick given Tagovailoa's checkered injury history at Alabama, but the Dolphins should not be interested in playing it safe when they haven't had a true franchise quarterback since Dan Marino. Tagovailoa's upside blows Herbert's away.
It just depends on how risky the Dolphins are feeling come April 23.