Veterans on the block … With the draft now just over 24 hours away and phone lines around the NFL are reportedly starting to really heat up. Washington, for example, continues to get calls about the 2nd pick overall, and reportedly even have at least one solid offer on the table, but it is still not believed to be all that close. And Redskins head coach Ron Rivera has told teams interested in the second pick that he won’t be entertaining calls once he gets on the clock tomorrow as he plans to close talks on that pick as the draft starts. While the Redskins likely won’t be moving the 2nd pick, there is speculation that they could move star LT Trent Williams either before or during the draft. Williams held out the entire season last fall year due to contractual and personal issues he had with the Redskins regarding a cancerous growth on his head that was later determined by private doctors to be life threatening and he has stated rather emphatically that he will never play for the team again. In fact, there are reports that the Redskins came close to trading Williams to Tampa Bay earlier this off-season for TE O.J. Howard. That deal never materialized but could be back on after the Buccaneers acquired Rob Gronkowski in a trade with New England yesterday. The Bucs have made no secret about the fact that they want a new LT to protect Tom Brady and have been projected to take one with the 14th pick at tomorrow’s draft. There has also been speculation that the Bucs could try and trade up into the top 10 to get their OT, again with Howard as a bargaining chip.
In fact, there is quite a number of veterans who could be on the move over the next few days in deals which could shake up the 2020 draft. Among those believed to be available along with Williams and Howard include NY Jets FS Jamal Adams, who has been rumored to be off the Dallas; Jacksonville DE Yannick Ngakoue, who got into a rather heated debate with team ownership last week; Jacksonville RB Leonard Fournette; Minnesota FS Anthony Harris; New England OG Joe Thuney; and Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton among others.
Meanwhile, the kaboukie dance between Miami and the LA Chargers continues as both jockey for position in the pursuit of QBs Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert. Amando Salguero of the Miami Herald reported earlier this week that two sources familiar with team’s thinking dismissed the idea that the Dolphins would not be trading up from the fifth pick to take any quarterback. At the same time, though, there have also been rumblings that the Dolphins might in fact be thinking about trading up, but to get Georgia OT Andrew Thomas. The Dolphins do have a major need to upgrade at LT, but that just doesn’t make a whole of sense; maybe from the 18th pick, but not #5.
There was also a report out of Philadelphia earlier today that more than one team is worried about the long-term durability of Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy tore an MCL in 2018, but his surgeon recently sent a letter to NFL teams saying that he has had no “subsequent issue, symptoms or limitations” with his knee and that he expects Jeudy to “progress through his career without any subsequent difficulties.” Interesting that that report which hasn’t really been picked up by the national media, appears to have originated in Philadelphia where the Eagles are thought to be very interested in moving up from the 21st pick to get one of this year’s top receivers which of course include Jeudy. Just coincidence perhaps!
As we have noted, it appears that there are a number of teams picking in the middle part of the opening round looking to trade up into the top 10 in pursuit of either a WR, CB or possibly OT. Word out of both Carolina and Arizona, which pick 7th and 8th respectively in this year’s opening round, is that those picks could be available in a trade down. Let the bargaining begin.