2020 NFL Draft: Potential Trade Scenarios That Could Shake Up the Top 10
One of the best aspects of the NFL draft is its unpredictability.
And the 2020 iteration could be one of the most exciting in recent memory, as there are several possible trade scenarios that could shake up April 23's first round. Five teams have multiple first-round picks, and with a top-10 loaded with talent at key positions such as quarterback, offensive tackle and cornerback, we could see lots of deals.
We've tried to predict the unpredictable and crafted these hypothetical swaps for each of the top-10 picks with just a few weeks to go until the draft.
Bengals Trade No. 1 Pick to Dolphins
The Trade: Bengals send No. 1 pick to Dolphins for picks Nos. 5, 18, 56 and 2021 first-round pick
The Selection: QB Joe Burrow, LSU
Is it likely the Cincinnati Bengals would trade the No. 1 pick and the right to take 2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow? No.
But there is one team with enough draft capital to at least make the Bengals consider a swap: the Miami Dolphins. They're loaded with five first-rounders over the next two drafts. They also have several other middle-round picks that could help sweeten a deal.
If the Dolphins were to offer three first-rounders and a 2020 second-round selection, would that be enough for the Bengals to drop to pick No. 5? If so, Cincinnati would likely still have the chance to select either Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert.
The Dolphins have gaudy draft capital and a need for a franchise quarterback. Burrow is a rare prospect, as we have never seen another college quarterback put up his single-season numbers while having that much team success (15-0, national title), so it's at least possible Miami goes all-in for him.
Redskins Trade No. 2 Pick to Giants
The Trade: Redskins send No. 2 pick to Giants for picks Nos. 4 and 36
The Selection: DE Chase Young, Ohio State
Intradivision trades rarely happen. But this all-NFC East swap can't be ruled out, because a move down would greatly benefit the Washington Redskins.
While Ohio State defensive end Chase Young is an outstanding talent, the Redskins have an abundance of pass-rushers, especially after selecting Montez Sweat in the first round last year. The trade up for him has left the Redskins short on draft assets, as they don't have a second-round pick this year. They also have Ryan Kerrigan and Ryan Anderson under contract.
If the Redskins moved down to No. 4, they could add another asset and still grab an elite player, such as linebacker Isaiah Simmons or cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, and improve their defense.
For the Giants, pass-rusher is one of their biggest needs. Markus Golden led the team in sacks last season with 10, but he is a free agent and is unlikely to return, per ESPN's Jordan Raanan. Young would be a star on the Giants defense, as he would play alongside the likes of Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson and Leonard Williams. And if it only costs a second-round pick, the swap might be worth it.
Lions Trade No. 3 Pick to Dolphins
The Trade: Lions send No. 3 pick to Dolphins for picks Nos. 5, 26 and 141
The Selection: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
The most realistic, likely trade in this draft is the Dolphins moving up for a quarterback. With three first-round picks and two second-rounders, Miami could try to make sure it leaves the draft with a signal-caller.
The most obvious trade spot is at No. 3, as Burrow and Young are expected to be the first two picks, and Detroit doesn't need a signal-caller.
But the biggest question is: How much would the Lions ask for?
Miami would likely have to move at least one other first-round pick, along with No. 5. selection. It probably wouldn't be a historic haul, but it should be multiple first-rounders on top of a few other middle-round choices.
Giants Trade No. 4 Pick to Chargers
The Trade: Giants send No. 4 pick to Chargers for picks Nos. 6, 37 and 2021 second-round pick
The Selection: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Now that Tagovailoa has "fulfilled all medical obligations," per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, you can bet there will be a bidding war for the former Alabama quarterback. The two teams expected to fight for his services are the Dolphins and Los Angeles Chargers. And if the Redskins and Lions are set on making picks at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, then the bidding will begin at No. 4.
For the Chargers, the fit couldn't be better. They have a win-now roster, especially on defense. On the other side, they have a litany of weapons and an improving offensive line. With better quarterback play, this team could make a lot of noise in the AFC.
Tagovailoa likely wouldn't be asked to do much as a rookie and could even sit behind Tyrod Taylor for a while to ensure he is 100 percent healthy and comfortable in the pros. But the Chargers don't have enough assets to outbid the Dolphins should Miami want Tua also.
Dolphins Trade No. 5 Pick to 49ers
The Trade: Dolphins send No. 5 pick to 49ers for pick No. 13, No. 31 and 2021 third-round pick
The Selection: CB Jeffrey Okudah
If two quarterbacks are taken inside the top four, and the Dolphins can't secure either Burrow or Tagovailoa, it wouldn't be a shock to see the team move back and take a QB in next year's draft class. Assuming Young and an offensive lineman are also gone, it's impossible to imagine Okudah would fall past No. 5. If he's available, there should be a number of teams interested in moving up for the cornerback.
In this trade, the 49ers make the bold jump up to secure the former Ohio State Buckeye. But with the 49ers lacking in trade capital this year, they could send picks No. 13, No. 31 and another 2021 third-round selection.
The 49ers have a win-now roster and could use a stud cover man to pair with Richard Sherman. Okudah is one of the best players in the draft and would give the team another versatile corner who could be used in both man and zone coverage.
Since the 49ers own two first-round picks and are in a championship window, don't be surprised if they are one of the most aggressive teams in the draft.
Chargers Trade No. 6 Pick to Jaguars
The Trade: Chargers send No. 6 pick to Jaguars for pick Nos. 9, 73 and 157
The Selection: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
The Chargers are in a difficult situation. They need a quarterback, but the team ahead of them, Miami, also needs one and has a war chest of assets. If the Bengals take Burrow and the Dolphins end up with Tua, L.A. will have to decide whether Herbert or Jordan Love is suitable at No. 6. If the answer is no, the Chargers could move down and try again next year in a loaded quarterback class.
One potential partner is Jacksonville.
The Jaguars are loaded with picks, as they have 12 selections and seven in the first four rounds. They also have an extra first-rounder in 2021 thanks to the Jalen Ramsey trade.
Expect Jacksonville to be aggressive and target elite talent. One name that makes sense is linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons. With Myles Jack and Joe Schobert already on the roster, Simmons could play a hybrid position in Todd Wash's defense. He could line up as a safety, an edge-rusher or even as a strong-side linebacker.
The Jaguars are still far from contending in the AFC, so they would be wise to stockpile as much talent as possible. Simmons would be a steal for Jacksonville at No. 6 if it only cost a few middle-round picks to get there.
Panthers Trade No. 7 Pick to Falcons
The Trade: Panthers send No. 7 pick to Falcons for pick Nos. 16, 47 and 2021 third-round pick
The Selection: CB C.J. Henderson, Florida
This is another intradivision trade, as the Panthers bail from pick No. 7. If they aren't sold the remaining QBs, it wouldn't be a shock to see them move down, accumulate assets and potentially try to acquire Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields in 2021. Other than the signal-callers, there aren't many great fits for the Panthers inside the top-10 picks. This move also allows the Panthers a year to see how the recently-signed Teddy Bridgewater fits in Joe Brady's offense while also accumulating picks and talent around him.
For the Falcons, they need to upgrade their cornerback group. The team released veteran Desmond Trufant this offseason, leaving a massive hole in their secondary. Okudah will be off the board at this point, but Florida's C.J. Henderson is one of the fastest-rising prospects in this draft.
Henderson crushed the NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.39 40-yard dash at 204 pounds. He's got outstanding size (6'1", 204 lbs) and is one of the best man-to-man corners in the class. While there are concerns about his tackling ability, Henderson has all the tools to become one of the league's top corners.
With teams such as the Jaguars, Raiders and Broncos all needing help at the position, the Falcons can't expect him to fall to No. 16. Instead, they should make the bold move to take the second-best cornerback in the draft and an instant starter.
Cardinals Trade No. 8 Pick to Broncos
The Trade: Cardinals send No. 8 pick to Broncos for pick Nos. 15 and 46
The Selection: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
It's no secret that the Denver Broncos need to add talent to their wide receiver corps. Courtland Sutton had a big sophomore season, but they could use some speed on the opposite side of the field for quarterback Drew Lock.
The receiver that makes the most sense for the Broncos is Henry Ruggs III. But the odds that he'll fall to pick No. 15 don't seem great, as teams covet his speed (4.27 40). Given the type of athlete he is, it wouldn't be a shock to see him be the first receiver drafted. And pairing him with Sutton would give Lock a chance to succeed.
The move makes sense from a Cardinals' perspective, too, as they have just two selections inside the top 110 because of the DeAndre Hopkins trade. Moving back to the middle portion of the first round would allow them to gain another premium selection who could help rebuild their defense.
With the Jaguars, Jets and Raiders all looking to add receivers, the Cardinals could be in a perfect situation to trade down.
Jaguars Trade No. 9 Pick to Jets
The Trade: Jaguars send the No. 9 pick to Jets for pick Nos. 11 and 79
The Selection: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
There aren't enough quality offensive linemen in the NFL. That is why we saw so many steep overpays in free agency for average players. However, the 2020 draft has several elite line prospects who could be taken inside the top 10.
One team that desperately needs O-line help is the New York Jets. During the offseason, they gave backup tackle George Fant $30 million for the next three years. He has started just 24 games and has struggled. Even if Fant pans out, the Jets need to address their right tackle spot.
Given that they draft behind line-needy teams such as the Giants, Panthers, Cardinals and Browns, it wouldn't be a surprise if they tried to jump one of those squads to secure a tackle. A small trade up with the Jaguars makes sense, as they could leapfrog the Browns and should be able to secure a player like Mekhi Becton or Jedrick Wills Jr.
Jacksonville could keep stockpiling picks, and the team likely could still grab a high-impact defender at No. 11. Look for the Jaguars to have an interest in Henderson to help fill the void left by Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. On paper, this trade makes sense for both parties.
Browns Trade No. 10 Pick to Eagles
The Trade: Browns send No. 10 pick to Eagles for pick Nos. 21, 53 and 2021 second-round pick
The Selection: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Both the Browns and Eagles are among the league's most trade-happy organizations. And with the Eagles having a massive hole at wideout, it wouldn't be a shock to see them target arguably the best receiver in the class, assuming CeeDee Lamb escapes the top nine selections.
He would instantly be the team's No. 1 receiver and give Carson Wentz a legitimate weapon on the outside. And while the cost would be two second-round picks, Philadelphia's roster doesn't have many other holes.
As for the Browns, they could drop to pick No. 21, where they would ideally grab one of the best remaining offensive tackles. One name that makes a lot of sense is Ezra Cleveland from Boise State, who tested as an elite athlete at the NFL combine. In the back half of the first round, Cleveland could be a value pick.
From there, the Browns could use their four Day 2 selections to continue to build their defense, especially in the secondary. For a team that is still a year or two away from competing in the AFC, this would allow it to continue to rebuild its depth on both sides of the ball.