Quick NFL Turnaround
With the 2020 NFL Draft being as deep as it is, it bodes well for teams that are rebuilding or on the cusp of making a run for the playoffs. There are a lot of potential keyholes that could be filled from this class on both the offense and defensive side of the ball. Let’s take a look at some of the teams that have a plethora of draft picks that could help them be more successful in the near future.
*All draft picks are according to Tankathon.
9 Total Draft Picks
The Buffalo Bills currently own picks 22, 54, 86, 118, 138 150, 169, 182, and 188 in the upcoming NFL Draft. Being that they are only a few pieces away, they are more than capable of turning this team into a deep playoff team. The Bills are in a spot with their first two picks to snag a couple of offensive weapons. They could go decide to pick a running back or receiver with either one of those picks. With 22 they could get a back like D’Andre Swift or J.K. Dobbins and they could end up with a wide receiver like Jalen Reagor or Henry Ruggs, someone to give their power arm quarterback a good deep threat. They could get a really solid edge rusher with their 86th pick with a guy like either one of the Flordia rushers Jabari Zuniga or Jonathan Greenard, or they could go with Michigan State rusher Kenny Willekes. The offensive line improved last year but it still needs some work to get even better this year. Interior offensive linemen like Zack Shackelford out of Texas, Logan Stenberg from Kentucky, and Oregon’s Shane Lemieux are all guys that could make a run at providing help inside that offensive line. The Bills have done a very good job at rebuilding this team and this would be one of the final steps to taking them to that next tier of top-level teams.
9 Total Draft Picks
The Denver Broncos currently own picks 15, 46, 77, 83, 95, 108, 127, 162, and 215 in the upcoming NFL Draft. This feels like a team that is on the cusp of making a playoff run very soon with the weapons they have on offense. This year they will likely get a full offseason with Drew Lock under center. With their 15th overall pick, they could go in many different ways. They need to get a good deep threat for Lock who has a very strong arm. Landing a guy like Henry Ruggs there would be huge. But if they don’t take him, there’s a likelihood that a good offensive tackle such as Mekhi Becton from Louisville or possibly Andrew Thomas out of Georgia who has seemed to have slipped down draft boards a little bit. At 46 it would be ideal that they take one of these talented corners who are sure to still be there. Someone like Bryce Hall out of Virginia who dealt with an injury this year that kept him out for the majority of the season would be a good pick at 46. Otherwise, if they want a physical man cover guy they could go with Utah’s Jaylon Johnson. Somewhere around their 77 and 83rd overall pick is where they should look at taking one of these athletic linebackers. Wake Forest’s Justin Strnad would be a good option. He can drop into zone coverage and is a good sideline to sideline type of player. Also, someone like Akeem Davis-Gaither from Appalachian State or Logan Wilson from Wyoming, both former defensive backs, would make for good picks in the middle rounds. With their final three picks, they are going to need to find some more depth. This wide receiver class is loaded and that’s where I think they will need to go to address that. The interior defensive linemen in this class are also quite talented and Denver could also find themselves a rotational piece later in the draft. These picks would give Denver the depth they need as well as some key pieces to take them to the next level on offense.
9 Total Draft Picks
The Indianapolis Colts currently own picks 13, 34, 44, 75, 112, 143, 174, 192, and 205 in the upcoming NFL Draft. This is a team that is on the verge of breaking the threshold and being a team to reckon with in the near future. One of the questions is will they be a team that addresses the quarterback position in this draft. Utah State’s Jordan Love has been linked to them in quite a few mock drafts lately and that could be where he ends up at with the Colts’ 13th overall pick. They could also address their need at interior defensive line with Javon Kinlaw from South Carolina. At picks 34 and 44 they could begin to look at the wide receiver position. With guys like Bryan Edwards from South Carolina and Denzel Mims out of Baylor, they could find a potential stud possession wide receiver with a high upside to compliment TY Hilton. With their 75th overall pick, it might be a good idea to start looking towards drafting a quality backup running back for Marlon Mack who seems to be injured quite a bit. A couple of guys that could still be there at that pick that would fit well would be Zack Moss from Utah and Ke’Shawn Vaughn out of Vanderbilt. With their final picks in the draft, it would be in their best interest to address the depth in the secondary. Later in the draft, you should still be able to find high upside development prospects like Kindle Vildor out of Georgia Southern or Amik Robertson out of Louisiana Tech. These picks would be good building blocks to take the Colts to the next level and compete with some of these high-end teams for the next number of years.
Los Angeles Chargers
7 Total Draft Picks
The Los Angeles Chargers currently own picks 6, 37, 71, 102, 133, 167, and 198 in the upcoming NFL Draft. While they don’t hold as much draft capital as some of the other teams, they are just a few key pieces away from making a big-time run. If they can remain healthy and make the most of these picks, we could be talking about the Chargers being Super Bowl contenders again. With Phillip Rivers out of the picture, it’s about as sure as it gets that the Chargers will be in search of their next franchise quarterback.
The Chargers have been linked to guys like Justin Herbert from Oregon or even trading up to land Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Both would be good options for them with their early first pick. Hopefully, they will address their offensive line which has struggled a lot over the years. Guys like Austin Jackson from USC or even Josh Jones from Houston could potentially be there with the 37th overall pick. At 71 it might be time to see if they can hit on a guy for their interior part of their line. Georgia’s Solomon Kindley or Fresno State’s Muti Netane will likely be there and could put up a fight for starting time next year. With their picks in the 100’s, they should start looking at what they can do on the second and third levels of their defense. If they can land a guy like Troy Dye from Oregon or Joe Bachie from Michigan State, that would give them depth at linebacker. Dye would give you that pursuit and tackling ability while Bachie would help you against the run up the middle and ability to make big-time tackles. With their final picks, they could find a solid developmental corner like Oklahoma State’s A.J. Green or Essang Bassey from Wake Forest. With the Chargers being on the cusp of the playoffs the majority of the past few years, this draft will help them get through this mini rebuild they’re in.
11 Total Draft Picks
The Miami Dolphins currently own picks 5, 18, 26, 39, 56, 70, 145, 148, 166, 178, and 224 in the upcoming NFL Draft. They have the most draft capital currently and have some of the biggest holes to fill. You name the position and the Dolphins need to find someone to fill the void. This may not be the draft that gets them to the playoffs, but it’s going to be a major step in their current rebuild. They have been the team that has been linked to Tua Tagovailoa for quite a while now, but it appears they may have to trade up to three to get him. Or they could sit and wait for Justin Herbert which has been a storyline as well. With their other two first-round picks, there’s potential for them to take a very quality edge rusher like A.J. Epenesa out of Iowa or maybe even a Terrell Lewis from Alabama. They also should consider taking one of the top offensive tackles in this class and maybe have to trade up for a guy like Tristan Wirfs from Iowa or Jedrick Wills from Alabama. They have the draft capital to make a lot of moves in this draft to get the guys they want. With their second-round picks, they could address the trenches again but this time on the defensive side of the ball. This is where they could take a versatile guy like Marlon Davidson from Auburn or Justin Madubuike out of Texas A&M. Their 56 and 70th overall picks should have them addressing their corner need. They should be able to snag a really good zone coverage corner like Cameron Dantzler from Mississippi State or Auburn’s Noah Igbinoghene who is pretty scheme versatile. Once they get to the 100’s they need to start finding some depth pieces at wide receiver and running back. A lot of people will be wanting those picks early but they can find value late in this draft at those positions like WR Isaiah Hodgins out of Oregon State or RB Darrynton Evans from Appalachian State. The Dolphins aren’t going to solve all of their problems this year, but this should get them very close to becoming relevant in the NFL again.