2020 NFL Draft Rumors: Roundup of Latest Buzz Around the League

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Quarterback Justin Herbert of Oregon throws a pass during the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

That buzzing noise is the sound of draft talk. The April 23-25 selection process is within touching distance, and insiders, scouts and beat reporters have the latest scoops on potential targets for each team.

Although it's smokescreen season, some of the chatter holds grains of truth. In many cases, we can take a look at depth charts to diagnose clubs' weaknesses, but general managers will have options to fill those voids.

The Miami Dolphins are at the center of a burning draft question. Which quarterback will they take to push their rebuild forward? Is it Tua Tagovailoa, a fanbase favorite, Justin Herbert or someone else? What's the team's scorecard on two of the class' top prospects?

The Baltimore Ravens could make a decision that would put a big smile on quarterback Lamar Jackson's face.

Lastly, the Arizona Cardinals seem intent to build an offensive juggernaut. After acquiring an elite wide receiver in free agency, what's next on the team's agenda?

We'll go through three of the latest draft rumors and what the buzz means for those teams.


Dolphins Skeptical of Tua Tagovailoa, May Prefer Justin Herbert

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

While most mock drafters project a quarterback for the Dolphins with their opening selection in the first round, we don't have clarity on their preferred prospect. Tagovailoa and Herbert come up as the most popular names for the fifth overall pick.

According to Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, the Dolphins have their doubts about Tagovailoa, which opens the door for Herbert.

"I'm told by multiple league sources that the Dolphins aren't convinced Tua is the best option and could instead target Oregon's Justin Herbert," Miller wrote. "The situation is fluid, but the buzz around the league is that Herbert has the most fans in the Dolphins' draft room."

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, NFL teams cannot host predraft visits, so Tagovailoa's recovery from hip surgery may give the Dolphins enough reason to pass on him for Herbert.

Nonetheless, in a recent interview with NFL Network's Steve Wyche, Tagovailoa said, "I feel 100 percent." Furthermore, he went through a medical recheck, which resulted in an "overly positive" outcome, per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

Despite all the reassuring reports of Tagovailoa's health, Miami shouldn't select him if the front office has any doubt about his long-term condition. If the Dolphins take a big swing-and-miss with a top-five pick, their rebuild would be a rough start.


Ravens Will Likely Take a WR Within First 3 Rounds

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The Ravens selected a pair of wide receivers with two of their top three selections in the 2019 draft. As rookies, Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin combined for 59 receptions for 782 yards and 10 touchdowns for a passing attack that ranked 27th in yards but generated the most touchdowns (37) through the air.

According to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, the Ravens may add more offensive playmakers on the perimeter early in the upcoming draft.

"A wide receiver will be under consideration with the 28th overall pick," Zrebiec wrote. "If the Ravens don't take one in the first round, they'll likely come out of Day 2 with at least one new target for Lamar Jackson."

The Ravens should acquire another big receiving target to further aid Jackson's development as a pocket passer. Baltimore traded tight end Hayden Hurst and a fourth-rounder to the Atlanta Falcons for a second- and fifth-round picks.

Don't be surprised to see general manager Eric DeCosta take a big-bodied wide receiver like Tee Higgins (6'4", 216 lbs) or Chase Claypool (6'4", 238 lbs) if they are available on Day 2.

Jackson, the 2019 MVP, could take a big leap with Brown, Boykin, tight end Mark Andrews and a top-notch prospect from the 2020 class.


Arizona Cardinals 'Doing Their Research' on Tight Ends

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

The Arizona Cardinals pulled off a blockbuster trade during free agency, sending running back David Johnson, a 2020 second-rounder and a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Houston Texans for three-time All-Pro wideout DeAndre Hopkins and a fourth-rounder.

With that move, Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has a new lead target in the aerial attack. Still, the front office may not be done with upgrades to the pass-catching stable, per ESPN's Josh Weinfuss.

Josh Weinfuss @joshweinfuss

The Cardinals have also been doing their research on tight ends in this year’s draft class, a source said. Arizona had workouts scheduled with a handful but those, obviously, got canceled.

The 2020 tight end group doesn't have a standout star who's going to garner consideration with the No. 8 overall pick, but the Cardinals could land a natural pass-catcher at the position in the third or fourth round.

Coming out of Notre Dame, Cole Kmet could be out of Arizona's range. He's projected as the top tight end in most mock drafts.

Washington's Hunter Bryant (52 catches, 825 yards, three touchdowns) and Purdue's Brycen Hopkins (61 catches, 830 yards, seven touchdowns) finished with similar receiving statistics during their last collegiate terms. Hopkins had a gradual buildup to his breakout senior campaign. He caught 69 passes in his first three seasons. Bryant only registered 33 receptions before last fall.

Hopkins' steady development and red-zone presence could be the tipping point if the Cardinals have their eyes on him.