I hope you have signed up for TDN Premium and are enjoying the new trade function in the Mock Draft Machine. It not only makes the experience better but allows the TDN staff to start forecasting trades of our own. Trevor Sikkema did just that this week with his 2020 NFL Mock Draft 5.0.
Overall, I thought Sikemma’s mock was logical and presented a reasonable scenario. There were some things I really liked and others I questioned. This week’s 6-Pack digs into those matters.
I hope that this column has become a staple for you each week, but in case you are new, 6-Pack Thursday is my weekly brain dump on six football-related things that involve the NFL, college football or NFL draft.
Let's crack this thing open.
Favorite Pick: Tua Tagovailoa to the Panthers at No. 3
The Carolina Panthers quarterback situation is unsettling. Cam Newton has been dealing with a slew of injuries since his MVP season in 2015 and his contract is very easy to unload. There could be several interesting veteran quarterbacks available on the open market, but given the Panthers are in rebuilding mode, Carolina isn’t likely to be appealing.
Nothing is more important to a successful rebuild than landing a new franchise passer, and Tua Tagovailoa brings an exciting skill set to the table. Many of the same traits that made the Joe Brady-Joe Burrow combination so special at LSU are present in Tagovailoa. If a team is going to be aggressive with a trade, it should be for a quarterback. Tagovailoa brings the skills needed to run Brady’s modern offense and take over as the face of the franchise.
Biggest Surprise: Bucs Trading Back Into Round 1 for Jacob Eason
Whew! This would be something.
I get it, though. Jacob Eason has all of the characteristics Bruce Arians covets for his vertical passing game. The fit is extremely logical.
When researching the history of quarterbacks drafted in the No. 20-32 range of the first round, there simply aren’t many hits. You are probably thinking about Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson. But for every hit, I can give you a Paxton Lynch, Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell, J.P. Losman and Patrick Ramsey to quickly serve as a reminder of how unlikely those picks are to pan out.
Now that doesn’t mean Eason can’t be successful, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be making a strong bet on themselves for Eason to be an outlier.
Tell Me Why: Joe Burrow Shouldn’t be the First Pick
Sikkema’s analysis on the pick was simply, “Yep.” In my 2020 NFL Mock 4.0, I had this to say when analyzing Burrow to the Cincinnati Bengals:
For the next five months of writing mock drafts finding different ways to say Joe Burrow is a slam dunk at No. 1 overall is going to be a challenge. A lot more challenging than the Cincinnati Bengals’ decision to make him the face of their franchise moving forward. He is a perfect fit for Zac Taylor’s offense.
I understand it’s foolish to talk in absolute terms at any point with the NFL draft, but I just cannot think of a compelling reason for the Bengals to go in any other direction. Convince me otherwise.
Sneaky Good Selection: Josh Jones to the Titans at No. 29
It’s a strong year for offensive tackles so landing a prospect like Josh Jones at the end of the first round is a possibility for the Tennessee Titans. They are facing a big free-agent decision with starting right tackle Jack Conklin, which could create a big hole to fill. Considering the Titans are among the top-10 teams for percentage of cap tied up in offensive linemen, it’s not crazy to think they could let him walk being mindful of overall cap disbursement.
Jones has an exciting pass blocking skill set that isn’t often found this late on Day 1.
Best Value: Jeffrey Okudah To The Jaguars at Pick No. 9
Someone call 911. Jeffrey Okudah at No. 9 is robbery.
Okudah is a top-five prospect in the class and among the best cornerbacks to come out in recent years. He brings high-level traits across the board and projects to becoming one of the best in the league at his position. Given cornerback is a premium position and how talented Okudah is, I couldn’t settle on any other selection to be considered the best value.
I Don’t Get It: Colts Trading Back Into Round 1 for Neville Gallimore
Neville Gallimore is a good prospect that translates well to being a penetration-style 3-technique in the Indianapolis Colts’ 4-3 scheme. With that said, is he worth trading up for? Gallimore is an inconsistent run defender that had plenty of warts on tape before his breakout year in 2019. The Colts likely could have waited until pick No. 34 to land Gallimore or perhaps even a better defensive tackle prospect in Ross Blacklock. I just don’t see the value in making this move for the Colts.