With the NFL Draft less than a week away, the staff of Baltimore Beatdown has put together their bold predictions for what could happen in the first round on Thursday night.
My bold prediction is that the Dolphins pass on QB all together with their 5th overall pick and select an offensive tackle. Having to make the decision to select either Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert is a very difficult one for reasons that we all know. However, Miami could grab a top offensive tackle in this top-heavy offensive tackle class.
If they still want a quarterback, they could wait until 18 or make a move for Jordan Love, who the Dolphins also like. Many of the top tackles won’t be available by the time the Dolphins pick at 18, so drafting a top tackle and addressing the quarterback spot soon after may be a route the Dolphins pursue.
Three quarterbacks and three offensive tackles come off the board to start, leaving elite talent sliding down the board. A bevy of trades start to collect between picks 8-14 as teams try to go nab the No. 1 or 2 player at different positions. Wide receivers fall, with only one coming off the board in the top 14, creating a feeding frenzy at the draft’s deepest position.
At the end of the first round, we see four quarterbacks, six offensive tackles, and five cornerbacks push quality players at other positions down the board.
Jalen Hurts sneaks into the end of the first round via trade.
I also believe Hurts will see his name called on Thursday night, to the surprise of many. I think the Chargers will pass on Herbert at No. 6 and instead trade up into the end of the first round and take Hurts. In my eyes, the gap between Hurts and other quarterback prospects like Herbert and Love is marginal, at best, and the 2019 Heisman Finalist is being undervalued as a projected mid-round pick. Los Angeles has the 37th overall pick in the second round, which could be attractive to a team like the 49ers. San Francisco will already be picking at No. 13 and No. 31, so they can afford to move back six slots and acquire extra draft capital in the process.
The Chargers need an infusion of young talent and a popular player like Hurts could help them console a stronger fan base. Additionally, Hurts is a seamless fit behind Tyrod Taylor, who would serve as a perfect bridge/transition quarterback in 2020
Several players will go much earlier than generally expected, such as Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray and Michigan center Cesar Ruiz. I predict both players will come off the board in the teens. Alabama safety Xavier McKinney will not hear his name called on Thursday night and will fall into the second round. A whopping seven offensive tackles will be selected in the first round.
South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw will slide into the back end of the first round due to concerns surrounding tendinitis in his knee.
Two running backs are selected in the first round. First, the Dolphins take D’Andre Swift with the 26th pick. The Dolphins have three first round picks, so they could be open to using a pick on a running back, especially considering their historically bad production from the position last season. Ryan Fitzpatrick was actually their leading rusher with only 243 rushing yards. Kalen Ballage led the team in carries but averaged a miserable 1.8 yards per carry. Swift would be a substantial upgrade at a position of need.
Secondly, the Chiefs end the first round by selecting Jonathan Taylor with the 32nd pick. The Chiefs have been linked to running back Leonard Fournette in trade rumors, but Fournette is owed $8.6 million next season. Taylor is a better and cheaper option. He gives them a true workhorse back moving forward.