On Thursday night, the most anticipated NFL Draft in league history will get underway. We've been locked up in our homes for over a month, stuck watching replays of games that no longer matter and live broadcasts of virtual games of H-O-R-S-E.
It's been brutal.
On Thursday, all of that changes. We get a live sports event — even if it's not technically an athletic competition — that actually matters. Everything the NFL does matters, and the draft is far and away the most fun, anticipated off-field event in football.
Part of what makes it so fun are the unknowns, the surprises — the OUTRAGEOUSNESS.
Here are five OUTRAGEOUS* predictions for the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday night.
Tua is gone by Pick 3
The biggest story of this draft — and it's not even close — is the mystery of where Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will land. His durability is a huge question mark. His low Wonderlic scored turned some heads.
None of that matters.
The fact of the matter is that there are too many teams in the NFL who are in a position where they MUST throw everything against the wall to see if it sticks. They have nothing more to lose and have a franchise quarterback to gain. For that reason, I firmly believe that Tua will be selected with either the second or third overall pick. The Redskins could stun everyone and take him. It's not like Dwayne Haskins is a proven commodity. The Lions have seen the best of Matthew Stafford. They'd be crazy not to roll the dice. But those two teams also have several needs and could use a stockpile of draft picks. The Dolphins have a stockpile. The Chargers have a need.
Bottom line: There's no way he makes it past the third pick of the draft.
The Eagles draft two wide receivers in Round 1
Nobody is hurting more at a single position than the Eagles are at wide receiver. Every day that goes by where they don't address the need is a wasted day in what should be an amazing career for Carson Wentz.
Wide receiver appears to be one of the deepest positions in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Eagles have the 21st pick. They'll hold that and take a receiver. After that, look for them to trade back into the first round and grab a second, elite wideout.
The Bears and Steelers both trade into Round 1
Two of the most storied franchises in NFL history do not currently have picks in the first round. They both, however, have several needs that should be addressed in this draft. They both need sure-fire starters from this draft at several positions. You get those guys in the first round. Look for the Bears and Steelers to be making moves before the first round comes to an end.
The Raiders draft a quarterback
Few have mentioned this as a possibility, but the bottom line is that the Raiders need to make a splash right away to carve out their place on the Las Vegas strip. They have two picks in the first round. We know they need a playmaker at receiver, and I'm almost certain they'll go that route. With that second pick, look for Jon Gruden — a quarterback connoisseur — to try to replicate what Andy Reid did in Kansas City with Patrick Mahomes. He has a proven veteran in Derek Carr — who will still have trade value after the 2020 season. The same could be said for newly-acquired Marcus Mariota — who could also serve as a long-term mentor to a young signal-caller. Look for the Raiders to shock the world on Thursday by drafting a quarterback who doesn't need to see the field in 2020.
The Patriots trade out of the first round
The talking heads keep tossing out scenarios where New England either moves up for Tagovailoa or stays put and he falls in their lap. I don't believe either will happen. Bill Belichick has a quarterback room with two guys who know the system and culture in New England. The Patriots have greater needs — and plenty of them. They're also the oldest team in the league. Watch Belichick trade down and stockpile picks in the middle of the draft — a place where he has historically found solid starters.
*Remember, "outrageous" can be defined as "wildly exaggerated or improbable," and "very bold, unusual, and startling." These are "outrageous" predictions and should be treated as such.
— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo!, SBNation, USA Today and Bleacher Report. He is a three-time FWAA award winner. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.