Which QB-needy team will take or make a move to get Justin Herbert?
The only semblance of normalcy on the American sporting calendar is almost here. Yes, the 2020 NFL Draft is upon us and we'll have the most unique setup for picking players in league history starting on Thursday night.
As intriguing as that aspect is, so too is where each talented player is going to wind up playing for the foreseeable future. At least one team is going to get a key piece that helps deliver a Lombardi Trophy and likely we'll see a few others nab a future gold jacket performer.
So how could the first round play out? Here's a look at who could go where when it comes time to phone in the selection for the 2020 NFL Draft:
1. Cincinnati Bengals — Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Like most years, there is no drama surrounding the No. 1 overall pick. The only question is if Andy Dalton gets traded during the draft or if he will serve as the bridge QB to Burrow in 2020.
2. Washington Redskins — Chase Young, DL, Ohio State
New head coach Ron Rivera hasn't had a chance to meet most of his players but he knows his team could still benefit greatly from having a pass rusher like Young up front. It's not often you can say Washington picked the best player in the draft but you can this year.
3. Detroit Lions — Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
The draft really begins at No. 3 and whether Detroit finds any suitable offers to move down. They can still land the impact corner out of Ohio State a pick or two later but either way, they can land their new building block in the secondary going forward.
4. New York Giants — Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
Pretty much since the draft order was set, general manager Dave Gettleman has been connected to just about every top offensive line prospect. Which "hog mollie" will he end up selecting. Wills is the safest of all the options, has shown natural ability to play right tackle as a rookie and will get the Nick Saban recommendation sent to new head coach Joe Judge to boot.
5. Miami Dolphins — Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The biggest intrigue of the draft is which signal-caller the Dolphins will take in the first round. Opinion out of Davie seems split but for as much as the organization wants to be a little aggressive, Herbert has just as high of a ceiling in the league and none of the medical history of the counterpart he'll forever be linked to in the league.
6. Los Angeles Chargers — Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tua is an ideal fit for the Chargers in numerous ways, including a perfect mentor in Tyrod Taylor and the ability to truly push forward the offense with even more RPOs. The front office will love this selection on the field but the Hawaii native will also delight the folks across the organization as somebody to market and build around going forward in Inglewood.
7. Carolina Panthers — Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
One of Matt Rhule's time-tested beliefs is that you have to have speed on the field, preferably as much of it as possible. Simmons has that and would be a nice fit for the defense the new coaching staff is trying to build in Carolina.
8. Arizona Cardinals — Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
As much as Kyler Murray would love to add CeeDee Lamb to his wide receiving corps, getting more protection up front remains a priority for those actually making this pick. Wirfs will transition from a completely different offense in college but his athletic abilities make him a quality fit with the Air Raid in the desert.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars — Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Don't be shocked if the Jags are a surprise team to move way up to land a QB or fall back to garner extra draft capital if they can't. Brown is still one of the four or five best players in the draft and fills a gaping hole in the middle of the defense in Duval.
10. Cleveland Browns — Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Thomas' run-blocking skills give him a slight nod over a few others in this spot as Kevin Stefanski's system needs guys like this up front. Baker Mayfield and former teammate Nick Chubb will certainly appreciate this pick now and in the future.
11. New York Jets — Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
GM Joe Douglas might have to sweat landing a top-tier tackle if he stays at No. 11 but can still net the massive Becton here. His ability to clear running lanes with the best of them while also serving as a new bodyguard for Sam Darnold might have Jets fans more excited over their offensive line pick than their intra-city rivals.
12. Las Vegas Raiders — CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Lamb's production at Oklahoma kept getting better each season and there's still some growth left to do for the terrific YAC machine. His big-play potential will endure himself to Jon Gruden and company as the Raiders' offense finally gets the top-flight wideout they've been searching for.
13. San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis) — Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Kyle Shanahan used a super-speedy receiver to help him get to the Super Bowl, only to see another strip him of a chance at the Lombardi Trophy. Ruggs solves that need while making a pretty dangerous offense even more of a threat in the NFC.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Tom Brady picking the Bucs had a lot to do with the weapons at his disposal. While Chris Godwin and Mike Evans are great on the outside, the lack of a slot guy that can feast on the middle of the field is notable — especially if O.J. Howard gets shipped out of town. Enter the best route-runner of the draft class in Jeudy and a true No. 1 down the road in the bay.
15. Denver Broncos — Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
John Elway would love to get Drew Lock some help early in the draft but Kinlaw is too good to pass up — and is easily good enough to trade up to get too. The former Gamecocks lineman would solidify the Broncos' front seven as one of the better units in the game with the ability to pressure the QB from all over.
16. Atlanta Falcons — CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Don't rule out a push up the board in the first round with Atlanta very much in win-now mode based on the moves they've made. Either way, it's hard to pass up on the speedy Henderson, who will come in handy facing Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater twice a year.
17. Dallas Cowboys — K'Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU
Chaisson seemed to finally be scratching his potential in the stretch run of the Tigers' run to the national title and big days could be ahead for him. Dallas' front needs another impact player and they can't count on Aldon Smith being the solution.
18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh) — Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The second of six top-70 selections, the Dolphins can fill a need across the board if they don't wind up trading this pick away. McKinney could solidify the team's secondary along with new signing Byron Jones and benefit from being able to line up high or low.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago) — A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
Mike Mayock has shown how much he loves Clemson players in the past so what's another? The long-armed corner can step in early as a rookie and help solidify a weak spot in a division that throws it all over the map.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams) — Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
The Jags have done their homework on QBs in order to be prepared, regardless how much love they profess for Gardner Minshew. Love won't be ready to go right away but has the kind of high ceiling under center that the front office tends to fall in love with.
21. Philadelphia Eagles — Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
The depth at receiver in this draft allows Philly to do something completely out of character and go with a linebacker at this spot. Murray would provide an instant boost in the middle of the defense and seems tailor-made to play the position the way the game is going.
22. Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo) — Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
Mike Zimmer knows how valuable it is to have a building block in the trenches who can also get upfield to the quarterback. Blacklock's potential is off the charts and his quickness will come in play right away for the team.
23. New England Patriots — Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn
Trying to predict what Bill Belichick will do in the draft is typically a fool's errand but he has to be intrigued with the ability to plug Davidson in up front. He can slide inside or outside depending on the down and his strength/speed combination will make for a great fit in New England.
24. New Orleans Saints — Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Queen has great instincts and came on strong in his final year with the Tigers. The Saints staff will lean on those local connections in grabbing a potential impact player on a team primed for a Super Bowl run.
25. Minnesota Vikings — Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
Restocking the secondary is going to be another top priority in the Twin Cities and Johnson can compete right away for a starting gig. He will endear himself to the coaches with his ability to support the run on top of being so physical at the line of scrimmage.
26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston) — Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Dolphins' history of drafting receivers is checkered, to say the least, but Jefferson has the upside of a true No. 1 option for the franchise's QB of the future. His jump-ball ability gets the highlights but there's a lot more to like about the former Tigers pass catcher.
27. Seattle Seahawks — Cesar Ruiz, OL, Michigan
Seattle figures to be quite active trading during draft week and once it gets started but there's a big premium on the top-tier interior line guys like Ruiz. Fans have been arguing to help out Russell Wilson for years and he gets just that in a potential All-Pro out of a fellow Big Ten school.
28. Baltimore Ravens — Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
This selection will make the reigning league MVP even more dangerous as opposing secondaries will have to deal with somebody who has a huge catch radius and also can make a short play turn into a touchdown with ease.
29. Tennessee Titans — Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
Wilson is still a bit raw but his ability to line up at right tackle and provide a boost to the Titans' run game after the departure of Jack Conklin makes him a great fit in Nashville.
30. Green Bay Packers — Austin Jackson, OT, USC
This would be great value for the Pack if they land the former Trojan at the bottom of the first round. Jackson has the upside of an All-Pro left tackle and is as much a pick about the present of the franchise as it is the next few years.
31. San Francisco 49ers — Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
There's a good enough chance the team trades out of this spot to gain more picks while still landing someone like Diggs, who has the size and length the team is looking for to help re-tool their aging back end.
32. Kansas City Chiefs — Zach Baun, LB, Wisconsin
With only a few holes on the roster, the defending champs have options galore at the end of the first round. Baun would be a huge upgrade in terms of athleticism at linebacker and excel at rushing the passer in those shootouts the team has found itself in.
— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.