The Cincinnati Bengals would be foolish to trade the No. 1 pick because selecting LSU’s Joe Burrow, the draft’s best quarterback, injects hope into the veins of a struggling NFL franchise.
Washington will either select Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young, adding him to its arsenal of pass rushers, or Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to challenge Dwayne Haskins because trading out of the No. 2 pick would cost the Redskins an elite player.
Most NFL insiders thought Detroit would be the draft’s hot spot at No. 3 for teams that covet Tagovailoa, but word is spreading that Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah might be too talented a cornerback for Detroit to pass up after trading away Pro Bowler Darius Slay. So, teams committed to getting ahead of Miami’s No. 5 pick might be able to get a better deal from the New York Giants.
There’s plenty of validity to this theory if you consider the Giants, who drafted quarterback Daniel Jones No. 6 last year, likely will end up selecting the same caliber of player whether they keep the No. 4 pick or move down a couple spots by trading with the Dolphins, Los Angeles Chargers (No. 6), Carolina Panthers (No. 7) or Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 9).
If the Giants intend to select an offensive tackle — which is highly unlikely considering general manager Dave Gettleman’s history of waiting until the second and third days of the draft to address that position — unless the franchise has its heart set on a specific tackle, they could move down a couple spots and address that need with ease, considering Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr., Iowa’s Tristen Wirfs, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton all have comparable draft grades.
If the Giants covet Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown or Clemson linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons, two blue-chip defenders, the odds one of them would be available at 6, 7 or 9 are high if a run on quarterbacks commences.
That means it is pick No. 4, which is worth 1,800 trade value points, that should be viewed as the hot spot of the 2020 NFL draft.
If you’re wondering what it would cost the Dolphins to move up from pick No. 5 to pick No. 4, the trade value chart estimates the price is 100 points, which is the equivalent of a compensatory third-round pick (selection 100, which is owned by New England).
Miami’s 2020 third-round pick (No. 70) is worth 240 points, and the Giants’ third-round pick (No. 99) is worth 104 points, so a swap of third-rounders could potentially get a deal done for Miami, or the Chargers, which own pick No. 71, which is worth 235 points.
All of this is contingent on Miami being committed to landing Tagovailoa, who comes with a significant amount of risk because of his injury history.
According to league sources, the Dolphins decision makers are split on Tagovailoa because of the medical risk involved and concerns about his long-term durability. There’s plenty of speculation that Miami could be leaning towards selecting Oregon’s Justin Herbert or Utah State quarterback Jordan Love with one of the franchise’s three first-round picks.
Nobody knows if Miami’s lukewarm stance on Tagovailoa, who the Dolphins met with at the NFL combine, is real or a smokescreen. But what can be verified is that the Dolphins are committed to keeping all three of their first-round selections (Nos. 5, 18 and 26) unless they can make a deal for Burrow, which seems unlikely, or a proven established veteran like Washington offensive tackle Trent Williams.
But if the Giants are willing to do business with teams coveting Tagovailoa — and they should be considering a trade down has very little impact on the caliber of player they get — striking a deal might be more feasible for all interested parties.
©2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)