Will We See Top Talents At OT Or WR Gone First?

Photo: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL draft is known for its positional runs. 

Whether it is a slew of quarterbacks off the board in the top five, a stretch of several wide receivers plucked off the board in the mid-20s or the frantic response to the first interior offensive lineman off the board, teams often react to the draft as it unfolds by making sure they're able to get someone to plug a hole on their roster. 

Once that position starts catching run, the snowball effect usually isn't far behind.

The 2020 NFL Draft should hold a series of runs; one, as usual, at quarterback. But the fascinating sub-plot of position versus position is to watch and see which of the elite tiers is gone first: wide receivers or offensive tackles?

Historically, the offensive tackles have an edge. The league hasn't jumped at receivers in the top 10 with frequency, and even this year we may not see a receiver selected there. But with the elite offensive tackle class possessing four names (and one extra in comparison to the elite receiver tier), this could get interesting.

Which is more likely to happen? Will we see the "Big Four" offensive tackles gone before the "Big Three" receivers or vice versa?

Before we can answer that, here's who we're including:

Offensive tackles

Wide receivers

The most realistic starting point for an offensive tackle run is with the Los Angeles Chargers, who hold the sixth-overall pick. The Chargers are widely considered to be in the quarterback market, but if they aren't enamored with who is available when they come on the clock, they do have a dire need at tackle. We could see them kick off a run that features Carolina at No. 7, Arizona at No. 8, Cleveland at No. 10 and the New York Jets at No. 11; teams that will all jump at the chance to get one of the plug-and-play starters up front. The New York Giants at No. 4 are also considered a popular offensive tackle destination.

A wide receiver run is a little more complex, but it would likely start with the Jets. New York is also in the market for an offensive tackle, which causes a critical pivot point on whether we'll see the top shelf tackles or receivers all the way off the board. But with New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco all picking in succession, there's a possibility we see each of the top three receivers gone by the 14th pick, which just so happens to be the next possible offensive tackle destination.

It will be a fun race to see play out later this month.

The floor for all four offensive tackles feels to be at No. 14, where Tampa Bay picks and hopes to stabilize the line for its new quarterback, Tom Brady. The floor for all three wide receivers feels like No. 15 to Denver. The Broncos would like to add another dynamic wideout opposite Courtland Sutton.

Ultimately, lean towards the offensive tackles coming off the board first. The Panthers are a critical spot for the tackle run as well but because they could also trade out of this spot and allow a tackle hungry team to ensure the run starts well inside the top 10. The receiver run is much more likely to start at No. 11 than it is at No. 8 or anywhere else; and with so many prime destinations for an upgrade on the line awaiting inside the top 15, consider these four as good as gone by the time the second half of the first round rolls around.

Written By:

Kyle Crabbs

Director of Content

Director of Content & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Former NDT Scouting Overlord.

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