2020 NFL Mock Draft (Round 1)

1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Let’s stop overthinking this. Joe Burrow is not only coming off of one of the best seasons by a QB in college history, but his roots trace back to the state of Ohio. The Dolphins might possess the draft capital to get a deal done, but it’s nothing more than a pipe dream.

2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, Edge Rusher, Ohio State

Washington’s decision seems like a foregone conclusion. It is too early to move on from Dwayne Haskins after using your 15th pick on him last season, and it doesn’t hurt matters that Chase Young appears to be a generational talent off the edge. There really isn’t much to think about here; Young will be the selection.

3. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Conventional wisdom would typically point towards this being a prime spot for the Lions to be able to trade down in the draft and still acquire either CB Jeff Okudah or DT Derrick Brown. Unfortunately, a weak QB class significantly dampens the potential that Detroit can pull off a deal in a year that is going to have its fair share of issues with teams forced to select their picks virtually. I don’t think it is out of the question that Miami moves up a pick or two to prevent the Chargers from leapfrogging them at either three or four, but I think the cost ends up not being worth the price of admission for anyone involved. Detroit’s staff can’t afford another losing season, which makes it challenging to trade too far down the board, place the Lions in a position where they must grab the player who can help them win right away. I believe that to be Okudah over Brown.

4. New York Giants – Tristan Wirfs, Offensive Tackle, Iowa

If we have learned anything from the New York Giants, it is to expect the unexpected. That narrative is going to drive many to believe that general manager Dave Gettleman is going to have a shocking pick in store for us on draft night, but it is essential to look at his previous two opening-round selections before jumping to that conclusion Yes, RB Saquon Barkley at the 1.02 in 2018 and QB Daniel Jones at the 1.06 in 2019 might not have been what fans wanted, but it does tell me that the Giants are placing a heavy emphasis on the offensive end of the football. While Isaiah Simmons is a do-it-all savant on the defensive side of the ball, the team needs someone that can not only keep Jones upright but also open up running lanes for Barkley. Tristan Wirfs might be the most athletic tackle in a class that is deep at the position, and I think that level of skill will catch the eye of the Giants.

5. Miami Dolphins – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

From a personal standpoint, I don’t think Miami has to select a quarterback here. Isaiah Simmons makes a lot of sense for a team that is loaded with draft capital over the course of the seven rounds, and there is always a chance that we see either Tua Tagovailoa or Jordan Love still available for Miami’s 18th pick, but the issue is that I am not sure that mentality will be seen the same way by fans. There will already be some scrutiny thrown the direction of the Dolphins if they pass on Tagovailoa at five and going anything other than quarterback might be enough to cause a complete meltdown of the fanbase.

*** Reports have come out that Miami does not have Justin Herbert in their plans and will instead decide between Tua Tagovailoa and Andrew Thomas. Those rumors may very well be accurate, but it feels like a drastic stance to take in the final few hours and could be nothing more than an attempt to bait Los Angeles into moving up in the draft to grab Tagovailoa themselves. While it doesn’t seem like it would accomplish much on the surface, it does give the team a built-in excuse for why they had to settle on Herbert and potentially could net them a trade partner if a team like the Chargers or Cleveland Browns want to move up to grab their man. I’m going to stick with Herbert at 5, but it is a situation worth monitoring.

6. Los Angeles Chargers – Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Georgia

Tom Telesco runs a tight ship as the general manager for the Chargers. You aren’t going to get much insight into what way the team is leaning, but I don’t think it is farfetched to believe the organization bypasses on quarterback if given the option. NFL teams haven’t been able to run a physical of their own on the former Bama quarterback, which leaves me to believe that he is going to experience a slide on draft night. Once again, Isaiah Simmons is an option on the defensive end, but is it too much of the same thing with what they already have on defense with Derwin James? I’m going to say yes, leading me to believe that they will attempt to bolster up the offensive line with Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills or Mekhi Becton.

7. Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, Defensive Player, Clemson

It is difficult to label a position for Isaiah Simmons. He has played strong safety, cornerback, both inside and outside linebacker and it seems likely that he will transition to the NFL as a hybrid safety/linebacker/edge player. Position-less prospects sometimes can scare off teams because they aren’t sure how to use them in their system, but Simmons is as versatile and talented of a player as we have seen in years. The Panthers most likely have their eyes on DT Derrick Brown but would have to think twice about passing on Simmons if he slips to seven.

8. Arizona Cardinals – Derrick Brown, Defensive Tackle, Auburn

Offensive line is going to be a popular position most will take when mocking out who the Cardinals will select with the eighth pick in the draft. While I do believe a player like Jedrick Wills is firmly an option in most scenarios, I find it difficult to imagine we would see Arizona bypass selecting Derrick Brown, who would step in and be the anchor for the defensive line on day one

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

Many believe CJ Henderson is the best CB in this year’s draft. That general belief should be all the Jaguars needed to hear to realize the Florida corner won’t be available for them at pick number 20. There are teams like the Atlanta Falcons that could take an aggressive stance to try and get themselves into the top 10 for either Okudah or Henderson, but it is challenging to see where that opening will come with the way the board has played itself out so far.

10. Philadelphia Eagles (Via Cleveland Browns) – CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

It seems likely that the Cleveland Browns are eyeing a left tackle in this year’s draft, and if the Chargers do decide to take LT Andrew Thomas at six, things open up for the cards to be shuffled for the first time on the night. There have been rumors circulating for the last week that the Eagles are “aggressively pursuing” trading up for Lamb, and this might be their last chance to jump the teams ahead of them to land their man.

11. New York Jets – Jedrick Wills, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

It would be considered a moderate surprise to see Jedrick Wills drop out of the top 10, but it does seem possible with the way the board is set up in front of the New York Jets. Wills allowed only one sack in his college career and would provide much-needed help if Sam Darnold wants to stop seeing ghosts.

12. Las Vegas Raiders – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Henry Ruggs is more than a burner and has the ability to transform into a Tyreek Hill sort of player for whatever team drafts him. Reports are that head coach Jon Gruden is enamored with the speedster out of Alabama and may try to mimic what the Chiefs have in Hill. It would be a bit of an upset to see Ruggs go ahead of Jeudy, but it is well within the range of possibilities.

13. Atlanta Falcons (Via San Francisco 49ers) – Javon Kinlaw, Defensive Tackle, South Carolina

The Niners are running a masterclass on how to manipulate a draft. It feels as if they have been linked to every player around this range, which should allow them to acquire a little extra value at the end of the day. If the Falcons whiff on getting themselves into the top 10, Javon Kinlaw should be their last go-to choice.

*** I do believe San Francisco might stay put if Henry Ruggs falls to them at 13. Ruggs would be a dynamic playmaker to pair next to Deebo Samuel.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mekhi Becton, Offensive Tackle, Louisville

Mekhi Becton’s flagged drug test might cause a slight slippage to occur on draft night. If that does end up being the case, Tom Brady and company would land a mountain of a man at the 14th selection. Becton measured in at 6-foot-7 and 364 pounds while running a 5.1 40-yard dash. Tampa needs help in protecting their newly acquired asset, and Becton would be an ideal fit.

15. Denver Broncos – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Some believe the Broncos are prime candidates to move up in the first round to grab one of the big-three WRs, but if things play out in this manner, they will be able to stand pat and potentially land the best WR in the class at no extra cost.

16. New England Patriots (Via San Francisco 49ers) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Originally slated to be the selection of the Atlanta Falcons, the Niners move back for the second time in four picks – this time working out a deal with Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots. Predicting trades can be difficult, but we do know that John Lynch and company will be doing everything in their power to add to their measly two selections in the first 155 picks. Belichick gave San Francisco Jimmy Garoppolo for what was considered to be pennies on the dollar in 2017, and don’t be surprised if the two sides are able to work out another deal that can help both organizations.

17. Dallas Cowboys – K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge Rusher, LSU

The loss of Byron Jones and Jeff Heath has thinned out Dallas’ secondary, but the Cowboys remain stubborn with their attitude of not selecting a safety in the first round, settling on edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson out of LSU. Chaisson might be viewed as a disappointment to some Cowboys fans, but he is the perfect fit for their defense.

18. Miami Dolphins – Xavier McKinney, Safety, Alabama

I am not sure the options of Xavier McKinney or Joshua Jones will make Dolphins fans feel better after losing Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick, but both are options and firmly in play with the 18th pick. If Miami plays their cards right, they have a chance to walk away with both, and I believe selecting McKinney first gives them their best chance of doing that.

19. Las Vegas Raiders – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

The Raiders would prefer to trade back to gain extra selections in this year’s draft, but assuming they are unable to do so, Mike Mayock has never been afraid to reach for a guy he likes. Terrell is shooting up draft boards, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Las Vegas grab a corner that could bolster their secondary for years to come.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

With the way the board is currently set, the Jaguars would have a few ways to go about this selection. A.J. Epenesa of Iowa and Yetur Gross-Matos of Penn State are both in play as replacement options with the Yannick Ngakoue situation in mind, as is Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson, who could be an intriguing addition to a squad that needs help for Gardner Minshew. Frankly, the Jaguars need pieces across the table, making what they will do a complete shot in the dark. I lean towards Jefferson after the team just released Marqise Lee, but all options are in play.

21. Cleveland Browns (Via Philadelphia Eagles) – Ezra Cleveland, Offensive Tackle, Boise State

Ezra Cleveland to the Cleveland Browns?! It sounds like a match made in heaven. As noted for Philadelphia’s selection at number 10, the Browns are in the market for a left tackle, and Cleveland is the player they will have in mind if they trade out of the 10th pick.

22. Minnesota Vikings – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

Enter one of the disaster situations for the Minnesota Vikings. Justin Jefferson looks like a surefire choice for the Vikings if he falls to 22, but their man won’t be on the board for the selection this time around. Jeff Gladney, Jaylon Johnson and Kristian Fulton are all options that can help fill a void at cornerback, but Gladney seems like the best stylastic fit.

23. San Francisco 49ers (Via Patriots)  – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

The 49ers have been left with an intriguing board after moving down multiple times to the 23rd pick. Is CB the biggest need for San Francisco this season? Probably not. But with Richard Sherman, K’Waun Williams and Ahkello Witherspoon all dealing with expiring contracts in 2021, either Kristian Fulton or Trevon Diggs would make sense as potential replacements. There have been some reports that the Niners have Fulton in play if they stay pat with the 13th pick, but Diggs feels like a more natural selection for Robert Saleh’s defense because of his size. In reality, I could keep trading these picks back for the Niners, but it becomes redundant after a certain point.

24. New Orleans Saints – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

I really did want to mock Jordan Love to the New Orleans Saints, but I think it is going to take head coach Sean Payton falling in love with the Utah State QB to pass on a pressing need. I find it hard to believe Payton would use a valuable selection on a quarterback when 1. Taysom Hill is a fascinating-but-unproven backup and 2. With no second-round pick, it feels like a waste of a resource when you are trying to win a Super Bowl in what could be Drew Brees’ final season. Both Patrick Queen and Kenneth Murray fit the system and would give the team athletic linebackers who can not only drop back in coverage but also blitz or roam the sidelines. Murray seems like more of the prototypical selection the Saints would make, but the intrigue of selecting an LSU Tiger in the first round has to be something worth considering for a team that has never been able to call one of their own on opening day.

25. Minnesota Vikings – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

I think it is important for the Vikings to leave the first round with a WR to help replace Stefon Diggs. Assuming they don’t get that at 22 with Justin Jefferson, they should have a handful of options that include but aren’t limited to the likes of in Denzel Mims, Brandon Aiyuk or Jalen Reagor. Perhaps no wideout has helped himself more since the end of the season than Mims, who several teams grade as a top-25 caliber prospect.

26. Miami Dolphins – Joshua Jones, Offensive Tackle, Houston

The situation plays itself out perfectly for the Dolphins, who are able to land Xavier McKinney at 18 and still get Josh Jones at 26. Jones logged four seasons as the starting left tackle at Houston and has an ideal frame at 6’7″ and 320 pounds.

27. Seattle Seahawks – Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

I can’t imagine we see Yetur Gross-Matos slip out of the first round, and Seattle may do something they typically don’t – which is stay put on opening day. At 6-foot-5 and 266 pounds, Gross-Matos is an athletic specimen that will add needed help off the edge, even if the team does ultimately re-sign Jadeveon Clowney.

28. Baltimore Ravens – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

The slide of Kenneth Murray ends with the Baltimore Ravens, and they get themselves arguably the best pure linebacker in the draft. Defensive coordinator Wink Martindale would acquire a chess piece that can create havoc from sideline-to-sideline, making him one of the best value picks in round one.

29. Tennessee Titans – A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa

A.J. Epenesa’s 5.04 40-yard dash will cause him to slide in this draft, but he still has the power, size, and skill set needed to succeed at the NFL level. It doesn’t hurt that he is a great fit for the Titans next to Jeffery Simmons on passing downs.

30. Green Bay Packers – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

There is a definite buzz forming around Brandon Aiyuk, and you can sense it from multiple GMs. Aiyuk has quickly started to propel up draft boards and makes for the perfect fit in a Packers offense that can use a playmaker.

31. Los Angeles Chargers (Via San Francisco 49ers) – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

The 49ers have made it clear that they are open to trade on Thursday and will move back for the third time on the night at pick 31. This is an ideal spot for any team that wants to trade up and secure that fifth-year option on a first-round pick, and organizations such as the Los Angeles Chargers or Indianapolis Colts feel like the prime candidates to be the ones to make that move if they want Jordan Love.

32. Kansas City Chiefs – Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan

Kansas City is capable of going in any direction. They are returning 20 of 22 starters next year and should have a handful of credible choices when they do round out the opening day. Kristian Fulton is in play, as is a dynamic playmaker such as Georgia RB D’Andre Swift. With no real need in place, I expect the Chiefs to take the best man available and adding an intelligent player that can protect Patrick Mahomes is never a bad idea if they do believe Cesar Ruiz is that guy.

 

 

What Went Wrong For Deontay Wilder Against Tyson Fury?

Boxing is a fast-moving sport that sometimes can take multiple viewing sessions to decipher what transpired on the night. It’s why watching old tapes on an opponent can give you insight into what you can expect from a stylistic standpoint, and it can also help a fighter to uncover any faults of his own that might be seeping through the cracks.

All of that insight is good for the boxers themselves, but it can also be used as a tool from a gambling perspective. I live in a world where my goal is to find tiny edges that aren’t seen by the public and to exploit that specific advantage against the casinos. That doesn’t mean I always solve the mystery that is placed in front of me correctly, but I do my best to leave no stone unturned.

I’m a big proponent that it can be dangerous to go with your first initial reaction when watching an event live because of the numerous pitfalls placed in front of us. Whether it is a biased crowd/announcing crew, a personal vested interest deviating us from the truth or perhaps just being too emotionally invested in the outcome, I believe there are a ton of subtle things we miss along the way.

The first time I watched the Fury/Wilder fight live, I had a few assumptions and takeaways that I no longer believe to be true. For starters, I was under the opinion that Fury hit Wilder with a rabbit punch that broke the American’s eardrum in round three. I don’t want to get into the logistics on if the blow was legal or not, but we learned that Wilder didn’t suffer damage to his eardrum after getting medical attention after the fight, nor did he sustain a concussion that might have caused the wobbly performance we witnessed for the next handful of rounds. I’m not saying the punch didn’t affect his equilibrium, but there’s more to it than one shot changing the outcome.

Naturally, if we can’t use that as an excuse, there needs to be another reason for Wilder lost. Boxers live in this world where they build themselves up to be the toughest man on the planet and can’t admit defeat when it is handed to them. It is why guys like Prince Naseem Ahmed have retired from the sport shortly after their first loss, and it is why random excuses always enter the fray. For Wilder, his reasoning came down to his pre-fight ring costume being too cumbersome. The 40-pound attire drained his legs before the fight even started and never gave him a fighting chance to compete. I do believe this explanation is closer to what did ensue on the night, but it wasn’t a costume that ended Wilder’s hope of keeping his undefeated record.

Here are five things I believe went wrong on the night:

1. Upper Body Too Big, Legs Too Small

Yes, Wilder is 100% correct. His legs did cost him the fight on February 22nd, but let’s not blame a ring entrance. Wilder entered the battle at a career-high 231 pounds, causing him to carry extra weight he wasn’t used to having for his smaller lower body.

2. Tyson Fury’s Strategy 

To make matters worse for Wilder, Fury decided to weigh-in at 273 pounds – the third-heaviest of his career. Fury implemented a strategy to use his size and strength as an advantage by not only walking the American down but also using his weight to push down on Wilder during clinches. All of this caused strain to Wilder’s legs, and the increase of his own mass to go along with Fury’s size caused the lower part of his base to crumble.

3. Inability To Keep Distance 

I believe Wilder was ill-prepared for Fury’s gameplan. As you can tell by now, all of these factors go hand-in-hand as a trickle-down effect for what eventually befell the ‘Bronze Bomber.’ Once one determinant started to crumble, the whole boat sank. Wilder’s lack of a jab didn’t keep Fury honest and allowed him to smother Wilder on the inside.

4. Incapacity To Disguise Right Hand

The great equalizer in boxing can be power, but one-punch knockouts don’t work if you don’t have the space to unleash the punch, nor does it operate correctly if the shot can’t be disguised. Wilder has a terrible habit of tipping his punches before they come, and while it might work against a smaller opponent that is forced into retreat mode, it doesn’t work against a larger adversary that is placing you on your back foot.

5. Lack of Boxing Skills

Once the strengths have crumbled for Wilder, his lack of boxing skills start to take center stage. Without the size or strength advantage he usually possesses, the American was transformed into a sloppy fighter who was manhandled on the night. Wilder’s inability to keep Fury off of him wore his legs down, and the abuse he took began to depreciate on itself round after round. By the end, Wilder became nothing more than a battered opponent who was too tired to stand on his own two feet.


What Does This Mean For Their Third Fight?

Power is the great equalizer and will probably need to be deployed for Wilder early in their fight if he wants to change Fury’s straightforward onslaught. Until he can get the Englishman to take a step back, it won’t be easy for him to find his range on shots. It would help if he could time Fury coming in, but Wilder is going to need to do a better job of using his athleticism for defensive purposes to create openings.

I’ve heard rumors that the American wants to put on about an extra 15 pounds for their third meeting, and while the idea of him becoming even more stagnant on his feet is a scary one, I don’t mind the concept if they focus on adding on some bulk to his lower half. Wilder has enough upper body strength that we don’t need to add extra muscle up top, and it would only cause the same outcome to happen once again.

Does Wilder’s camp have enough time to rebuild his frame before their next fight? I would have said no before the coronavirus put the world at a standstill, but their work will still be cut out to change the complexion of the third meeting. Ultimately, I think we see Fury put together a similar outcome after perhaps surviving an early desperation attempt from Wilder, and I think the American’s lack of reality of why he lost the second fight will come back to bite him in the end. Fighters need more than “yes men” in their corner, and it appears as if Wilder has one too many people who are unwilling to tell him the truth.

 

 

 

Week 5 NFL Betting Card

Season Results: (8-3-1) +4.38 Units

The card will be updated throughout the week. Stay tuned for new additions as numbers change.

Week 5

San Diego Chargers & Denver Broncos Over 44 -110
1.10 to win 1.00

 

Past Results:

Week 4

Denver Broncos -3 -110 over Jacksonville Jaguars
1.25 Units to win 1.14 Units

Week 3

Jacksonville Jaguars +110 over Tennessee Titans
0.90 Units to win 1.00 Units

Pittsburgh Steelers +7 -115 over San Francisco 49ers
1.15 Units to win 1.00 Units

Washington Redskins & Chicago Bears Over 40.5 -110
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units

Week 2

Cincinnati Bengals 0 (+100) over San Franciso 49ers (-120)
1.50 Units to win 1.50 Units

Green Bay Packers -2.5 (-110) over Minnesota Vikings (-110)
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units

Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 (-110) over Seattle Seahawks (-110)
1.37 Units to win 1.25 Units

In-Game Wagers (Halftime)

Detroit Lions +3.5 over Los Angeles Chargers
0.82 Units to win 0.75

Washington Redskins +10 over Dallas Cowboys
0.82 Units to win 0.75

Week 1

Green Bay Packers +3.5 (-110) over Chicago Bears (-110)
1.65 Units to win 1.50 Units

Buffalo Bills +3.5 (-110) over New York Jets (-110)
1.37 Units to win 1.25 Units

Houston Texans +7 (-110) over New Orleans Saints (-110)
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units

Week 4 NFL Betting Card

Season Results: (8-2-1) +5.63 Units

The card will be updated throughout the week. Stay tuned for new additions as numbers change.

Week 4

Denver Broncos -3 over Jacksonville Jaguars
1.25 Units to win 1.14 Units

 

Past Results:

Week 3

Jacksonville Jaguars +110 over Tennessee Titans
0.90 Units to win 1.00 Units

Pittsburgh Steelers +7 -115 over San Francisco 49ers
1.15 Units to win 1.00 Units

Washington Redskins & Chicago Bears Over 40.5 -110
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units

Week 2

Cincinnati Bengals 0 (+100) over San Franciso 49ers (-120)
1.50 Units to win 1.50 Units

Green Bay Packers -2.5 (-110) over Minnesota Vikings (-110)
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units

Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 (-110) over Seattle Seahawks (-110)
1.37 Units to win 1.25 Units

In-Game Wagers (Halftime)

Detroit Lions +3.5 over Los Angeles Chargers
0.82 Units to win 0.75

Washington Redskins +10 over Dallas Cowboys
0.82 Units to win 0.75

Week 1

Green Bay Packers +3.5 (-110) over Chicago Bears (-110)
1.65 Units to win 1.50 Units

Buffalo Bills +3.5 (-110) over New York Jets (-110)
1.37 Units to win 1.25 Units

Houston Texans +7 (-110) over New Orleans Saints (-110)
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units

Week 3 NFL Betting Card

Season Results: (5-2-1) +2.63 Units

The card will be updated throughout the week. Stay tuned for new additions as numbers change.

Week 3

Jacksonville Jaguars +110 over Tennessee Titans
0.90 Units to win 1.00 Units

Pittsburgh Steelers +7 -115 over San Francisco 49ers
1.15 Units to win 1.00 Units

Washington Redskins & Chicago Bears Over 40.5 -110
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units

Past Results

Week 2

Cincinnati Bengals 0 (+100) over San Franciso 49ers (-120)
1.50 Units to win 1.50 Units

Green Bay Packers -2.5 (-110) over Minnesota Vikings (-110)
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units

Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5 (-110) over Seattle Seahawks (-110)
1.37 Units to win 1.25 Units

In-Game Wagers (Halftime)

Detroit Lions +3.5 over Los Angeles Chargers
0.82 Units to win 0.75

Washington Redskins +10 over Dallas Cowboys
0.82 Units to win 0.75

 

Week 1

Green Bay Packers +3.5 (-110) over Chicago Bears (-110)
1.65 Units to win 1.50 Units

Buffalo Bills +3.5 (-110) over New York Jets (-110)
1.37 Units to win 1.25 Units

Houston Texans +7 (-110) over New Orleans Saints (-110)
1.10 Units to win 1.00 Units