The annual National Football League draft, which is set to take begin on Thursday, April 23rd, will have a different flavor than usual thanks to the current COVID-19 pandemic which is forcing the league to do a virtual version of the event.
However, the draft will still go on as planned, and will feature seven rounds of picks and both teams and amateur players looking to make moves that will bring them success in the future.
Let’s take a shot at predicting the top five picks of the draft, which could end up changing the fortunes of the franchises that select these players.
First Pick, Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Burrow is a near-lock to be the first overall pick in the draft, and it’s easy to see why. The Bengals need a quarterback and a franchise player, and the talented and steady Burrow is the perfect man to fill that role. Choosing a player who grew up in Ohio could even give Cincinnati the added plus of energizing a fan base that hasn’t had much to cheer about recently.
Second Pick, Washington Redskins
Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Chase Young might just be the best player in the draft on a pure talent level, and while Washington might be tempted to select a quarterback here, we think they will ultimately pick the game-changing Buckeye here. Young is a destructive pass-rushing force that will give an immediate boost to a team that needs talent at all positions on the field
Third Pick, Detroit Lions
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Looking to shore up a leaky pass defense like the Lions have had lately? Jeff Okudah, the top secondary player in this year’s draft, is a no-brainer for the team here. Detroit allowed the most pass yards in the league last year and only intercepted 7 balls, so Okudah would be a great addition for them to take a step forward in this regard.
Fourth Pick, New York Giants
Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
The Giants are a pretty big wild card in the draft, with no real read on them having a clear preference for any player in particular. With Daniel Jones looking like the team’s current preference at QB, they probably won’t take a signal caller, so we think that they will take Wirfs, the best pass-blocker in the draft, with the #4 pick.
Fifth Pick, Miami Dolphins
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Much has been written and debated about who will be the second quarterback taken in this year’s draft. The discussion centers around Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon’s Justin Herbert, which most drafts have going in the top ten. We think the Dolphins will take the big, talented right-hander from Oregon over Tagovailoa, however, due to his cleaner bill of health and his more traditional QB traits.