2020 NFL Draft Rumor Tracker: Bengals Staying Put With No. 1 Pick

Jordan Cohn
April 23, 2020 - 7:00 pm
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Of all the major sports events, the NFL Draft -- especially the 2020 one, considering the lack of live events in today's world -- is perhaps the one that gets the rumor mill going more than any other.

With so many moving parts, trade opportunities, team needs to fulfill, scouting reports, health updates and more, there's a lot to keep track of leading up the draft in order to stay on top of what the likeliest outcomes are.

Consider this your guide to staying on top of all the latest rumors that might affect how your favorite team will operate come April 23 and the rest of the NFL Draft weekend. We'll keep churning out updates up until the draft and analyze what the fallout from such a rumor might be.

Most recent updates will appear at the top of the below list.

Bengals Staying Put With No. 1 Pick

Despite murmurs earlier that there could potentially be a massive deal in the works involving the Dolphins, NFL reporter Ian Rapoport has confirmed otherwise.

Bengals fans, put away whatever fears you had developed, and be ready to welcome LSU's quarterback into the ranks. We think.

A New Suitor May Have Emerged For Tua

According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, "talk lingers" of the interest Jacksonville has in Tua Tagovailoa. They have the No. 9 and No. 20 picks, meaning that they could package both of them to move up. That said, they may not even need to move up depending on whether or not Tua falls down the draft boards like some speculate that he will.

Cleveland and Atlanta Could Be Engaged In Trade Talks

Sources around the league have told CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones that the Falcons are hungry to move up for a defender in the draft, and one of the teams presented as a realistic trade partner are the Cleveland Browns. With the 10th overall pick, it seems likely that one or more of several top-tier defenders, including C.J. Henderson, Derrick Brown, Isaiah Simmons or Javon Kinlaw, will be available. This especially becomes the case if, like noted in an earlier rumor below, there is an early run of offensive tackles.

Lions Coach and Executives May Not Be On The Same Page

According to CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones, Lions head coach Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn may differ in who they want to select in the draft. That could also mean that the two have differing thoughts about whether or not they should trade the No. 3 overall pick. Apparently, Quinn wants Okudah, meaning they may be less likely to trade than if they go with Patricia's desires, as he is reportedly in love with Auburn's Derrick Brown.

Dolphins May Attempt To Pull Off A Deal For No. 1 Pick

The rumors just get better and better. In what would require a lot of smooth talking and agreement on various sides of the deal, the Dolphins could look to draft Joe Burrow using the first overall pick. A league source told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that the Dolphins attempt to get the No. 3 overall pick from the Lions without giving up their fifth overall selection may be part of a grander plan. The 3 and 5 would then be packaged in a deal with the Bengals, resulting in a phenomenal draft day maneuver. Will the Bengals even begin to consider the idea? That remains unknown.

According to Jimmie Johnson's draft pick value chart, the Dolphins No. 18 and 26 picks are worth 1,600 in the hypothetical value points, whereas the Lions' third overall pick is valued at 2,200. Thus, they'd need to forfeit some more in this draft or in the future. Then, the third and fifth pick totaled together comes out to around 3,900, where as the first overall pick is valued at 3,000. However, seeing as the Dolphins and/or Bengals may value Joe Burrow much higher than anyone that could be taken at third or fifth, it's not really pragmatic to evaluate the trade in terms of draft value points knowing the players involved.

One potentially major problem? It seems as though the Lions are fairly confident in the fact that they'll get the fifth pick in return, according to RADIO.COM Sports NFL insider Armando Salguero.

TE Cole Kmet, QB Jalen Hurts Among Potential Draft Risers

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network says that he's heard talks that indicate some draft prospects could be taken earlier than most are expecting.

The predominant consensus has Burrow, Tua, Herbert and Love going in the first round, but should Hurts sneak into the first, it would create an intriguing quarterback situation for whichever team decides to look his way. Some potential candidates could be the Saints, the Patriots or the Steelers (should they try and trade up, or use their second round pick on him).

Jerry Jeudy's Knee Issues Seem Innocuous

Although a couple teams expressed concern over a previous knee injury to Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy, Ian Rapoport shared a letter from a doctor that states Jeudy should be able to go on without any limitations. Thus, don't expect his draft stock to take a hit as a result of his knee history.

Additionally, Jeudy invited Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, his childhood friend, over to watch the draft at his watch party, but this doesn't mean anything regarding the Ravens as a potential trade-up candidate for Jeudy's services.

Dolphins Want To Trade Up, But Not For Tua

According to NFL reporter Ian Rapoport, the Dolphins are thinking about trading up. Okay, nothing new there. But who they're targeting with the potential move is news to us.

RADIO.COM Sports NFL insider Michael Lombardi reinforced the initial report.

This creates an interesting twist in the draft, seeing as most if not all mock drafts had Burrow, Tua and Herbert going to the Bengals, Dolphins and Chargers -- the last two in both the players and teams are interchangeable -- at some point in the first round. But if only one of them gets taken, could Tua or Herbert drop down the draft boards. Could someone like the Raiders take a gamble with the 12th overall pick. Could a team like the Patriots trade up if Tua or Herbert falls? We shall see.

An extra possibility, which is nothing more than an outside idea for the time being, could provide the Dolphins with two top-five picks.

Another development that links to Rapoport's tweet is the unprecedented run of offensive tackles, as some have reported that all four premier tackles could be gone very early on.

Henry Ruggs In Talks With Raiders, 49ers, Broncos, Eagles

In an interview with Ian Rapoport, Ruggs detailed that the four teams he's spoken to most pick at No. 12, No. 13, No. 15 and No. 21. The Eagles have been a team that has widely been associated with the speedster as a potential replacement to the aging and oft-injured DeSean Jackson, but his talents could cause him to be the first receiver off the board. Interestingly, he didn't mention the Jets, meaning they could be looking to go with Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb or with another position at No. 11. Another team that could draft a receiver early is the Jaguars, at No. 9, though Ruggs didn't mention them either.

Giants Reportedly Have Had Justin Herbert As QB1 Since 2018 But Won't Draft Him

In Charles Robinson's newest podcast, he says that the Giants have had Herbert as the No. 1 QB on their draft board over guys like Tua, Kyler Murray and Joe Burrow. However, he's equally certain that they're not going to look in his direction.

Cardinals, Panthers Are Open To Trading Down

According to Tom Pelissero, the Cardinals could be looking to gain quantity over quality in this year's draft and they have made the No. 8 overall pick up for grabs.

Another possibility, outside of a trade up for an OL or QB, could be that a team like the Eagles looks at the pick as an opportunity to snag the top wide receiver available, or that the Falcons look to draft someone like Isaiah Simmons or Derrick Brown and trade up from No. 16.

The pick immediately prior to the Cardinals' pick is also apparently up for grabs, according to Ian Rapoport, and could attract attention from similar teams, though it doesn't seem they'll drop down as far 16 or 21.

Jaguars Could Look To Rebuild Receiving Corps

Although the defense seems to be the part of the Jaguars that needs the most work and could stand to gain the most as a result of the draft, the team's recent release of Marquise Lee raises some eyebrows in terms of what they could do with their early picks.

Giving Gardner Minshew another weapon would serve to ease his role as the everyday starter, but with the departures of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, along with the inevitable split between the Jags and Yannick Ngakoue, Jacksonville has plenty of focal points to work on throughout the draft.

Teams like the Eagles, the Raiders, the Jets and the Broncos are likely hoping that the Jaguars stay away from the wide receiver pool with their first pick, as that would just intensify the competition and value of the remaining elite wide receivers of the group.

Peter King On Henry Ruggs, Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts

In Peter King's most recent mock draft, appearing Monday morning, there were a few surprising tidbits. First, King suspects that the Eagles could get the deal of their dreams and that Henry Ruggs could fall to them at No. 21, negating the need to trade up. However, another team that could be in the hunt are the Kansas City Chiefs, who already possess the NFL's most devastating speedster in Tyreek Hill.

King also spoke on two quarterbacks. While Tua Tagovailoa is projected to be a top-five pick in the majority of mock drafts, King had him not only outside the top five, but outside of the top 10. Instead he had the Alabama QB dropping to pick 13, where the Patriots trade up for him. It's not a report, per se, but it's more affirmation that the stock is falling on the injury-prone quarterback. Mel Kiper Jr., a draft analyst for ESPN, thought similarly in his appearance on WEEI in Boston this week.

Then, there's Jalen Hurts, who is not expected to be taken until later in the draft, but could be of interest to the Falcons, a team that was reported to have been looking at quarterback options this year.

Justin Herbert Has Been Getting A Lot Of Attention From The Giants

Though no one is exactly sure where Dave Gettleman is going to go on draft night, with both the offensive line and the entire defense both target areas. Names like Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs, Isaiah Simmons and Derrick Brown have received a lot of attention.

But a quarterback? Apparently, Daniel Jones might not be the definite guy for Joe Judge moving forward.

RADIO.COM Sports contributor John Healy believes that it may be a "smokescreen" of sorts to that a potential target could drop down to them at No. 4 or so that a team will offer to trade up to their draft selection.

San Francisco 49ers Open To Trading First Round Picks

After acquiring the No. 13 overall pick from the Colts in a trade involving DeForest Buckner, the 49ers have two first round picks. However, one or both of those are open for trade negotiations.

The team is also reportedly interested in a tight end, meaning they could trade down and grab one in the second round, look at free agents like Trey Burton, or exchange some calls with the Giants and discuss a trade involving Evan Engram.

Louisville OT Mekhi Becton Reportedly Flagged For Drug Test

Ian Rapoport reported that the projected early first-round selection will enter Stage 1 of the league's intervention program. As RADIO.COM Sports NFL insider Ross Tucker notes, Mekhi Becton's failed drug test raises some eyebrows.

Several teams are in the running for an offensive tackle early in the draft, and it remains to be seen how Becton's stock may change as a result of this test. However, so long as he gets through the intervention program without any hiccups, he shouldn't take a hit on the draft board.

Patriots May Aggressively Pursue Tua Tagovailoa If He Slips

In an appearance on Ordway, Merloni and Fauria on WEEI in Boston, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said that the Pats have done their "due diligence" on Tua and that "if he starts to slip to the middle of the first round, they could be aggressive in trading up to get him."

Giants Open To Trading Down From No. 4 Selection

Rumor has it that Dave Gettleman and the Giants want an offensive lineman in the draft, meaning they could potentially trade down with a team that wants to shoot up the draft board in order to obtain someone like Isaiah Simmons.

However, given the fact that the consensus group of four top offensive linemen could be gone before too late, the Giants will have to be selective with their trade partners. It seems likely that at least one of Mekhi Becton, Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills and Tristan Wirfs will be gone by the end of the top 10, if not two or three of them.

Colts Don't Want To Force A Quarterback Pick

Colts GM Chris Ballard says that he doesn't want to reach or do anything too drastic in order to obtain a quarterback in the draft.

Given that the Colts traded away their first round pick to the 49ers in return for DeForest Buckner, they don't have too much 2020 draft capital handy to help facilitate a trade up in the draft, anyway. It doesn't seem like the Colts are rushing to get their hands on the likes of Jordan Love or Justin Herbert based on the above statement.

Lions Receiving Calls About No. 3 Pick

The Lions have prime draft real estate with the No. 3 pick, a slot in which they're expected to go after Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah. However, with several teams hungry for a quarterback and/or defensive playmaker like Isaiah Simmons, the Lions could be willing to move down.

Teams that could be making those calls are the Dolphins, the Chargers, the Falcons or any number of teams that could want to get their hands on someone like Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert or Simmons. Apparently, this draft has a lot of moves we don't see coming, meaning that no one should be ruled out as a potential trade partner with Detroit in this scenario.

Falcons Could Be Targeting Clemson Linebacker Isaiah Simmons

One of the most intriguing names mentioned as a potential trade-up candidate for Atlanta is versatile Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons, who could potentially go as high as the third or fourth overall pick in the draft. Falcons analyst Dave Archer has Simmons as the No. 2 overall prospect in the entire draft behind only Chase Young.

Earlier reports, as noted lower down on this list of draft rumors, have indicated that the Falcons are targeting several different prospects. However, most of them wouldn't require such a big move up the draft boards as would be required if the team was serious about acquiring Simmons.

Scout Has Strange Criticism Of Top Offensive Tackle Mekhi Becton

We don't think this is going to hurt Becton's draft stock, but we still have to take note of the fact that Becton is being criticized by at least one scout for being a little too comfortable in the kitchen and around food.

It's a strange critique to say the least, but given that excessive weight could make injuries more likely or lessen an offensive lineman's mobility against quicker pass rushers, the scout may just be saying that he the Louisville alum needs to be wary of his figure.

Potential First Round WRs Brandon Aiyuk, Laviska Shenault Have Successful Surgeries

Injuries have been a concern for two of the most exciting wide receiver prospects in the loaded 2020 NFL Draft class, but it seems that they are well on the way to a speedy recovery.

Teams drafting toward the back end of the first round, such as the Eagles, Patriots, Vikings, Saints and Packers, are all teams that could use some help bolstering their wide receiver units, and both Aiyuk and Shenault fit the bill as high-ceiling but risky selections.

Giants Linked To Top Offensive Tackle Jedrick Wills

The 2020 Draft features a group of four offensive tackles that seem to be no-doubt first round prospects, comprised of Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton, Andrew Thomas and Tristan Wirfs.

There is mounting buzz that the Giants could start the offensive tackle carousel at pick No. 4, where the team should have practically unlimited ways to go about utilizing their pick. Defensively, some analysts point to names like Derrick Brown or Isaiah Simmons as good fits for the Giants after a lackluster year defensively.

However, with Daniel Jones' health being of primary concern, some rumors are circulating that the No. 4 pick could be used on a tackle. ESPN's Jordan Raanan says that Wills is the name that could be the best fit for the Giants, as the Alabama alum could fit on either side of the line and make an immediate impact.

Patriots Could Use Premium Pick On A Quarterback

While Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer are the two guys currently looking to duke it out over the starting quarterback role in 2020, Ian Rapoport thinks that the Patriots could be in the mix for a quarterback in the first few rounds of the draft.

This shouldn't come as a huge surprise, but it could affect their strategy in 2020, considering there has been a lot of speculation that the Patriots would go with a bridge quarterback like Hoyer for a year before trying their hand at a top commodity like Trevor Lawrence in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Rapoport says a name to keep an eye on is Jordan Love, someone who they may not need to trade up from No. 23 in order to acquire, and his potential has drawn comparisons to Patrick Mahomes (see video above).

Cardinals Likely To Draft A Non-Receiver At No. 9

Although quarterback Kyler Murray advocated for his Oklahoma teammate CeeDee Lamb, the Cardinals' trade for DeAndre Hopkins should have satisfied their need to draft a wide receiver.

Protecting Murray should be their primary concern, meaning that one of the many projected first-round offensive line prospects are realistic choices here. The run of receivers could very well start at pick No. 11, where the Jets are looking for help after the departure of Robby Anderson. The Raiders and the 49ers, the subsequent picks, also need help in that department.

Should a team like the Raiders, 49ers or Eagles trade up for a receiver, then guys like Lamb, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs could be taken within the top ten.

Eagles Reportedly Chasing Top Wide Receiver

In a rumor that backs up a lot of existing speculation, Eagles reporter Brandon Lee Gowton shared that the team is "aggressively pursuing" Oklahoma wideout CeeDee Lamb.

The Birds would almost undoubtedly need to trade up in order to draft Lamb, and beat writer Eliot Shorr-Parks has listed the Browns, who are currently drafting at No. 10, as a potential partner.

Atlanta Falcons Could Trade Up, Eyeing Several Positional Needs

The Falcons are currently sitting at No. 16 in the draft, but could look to move up a small amount of picks to secure one of many potential prospects. They have been linked to C.J. Henderson, a cornerback out of Florida.

Additionally, the name Javon Kinlaw, a highly-coveted defensive tackle out of South Carolina, has been floated around.

Peter King recently appeared on Dukes & Bell on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta, saying that the team was interested in K'Lavon Chaisson, another defensive line prospect.

However, the defense may not be the only side of the football that the Falcons are concerned with in this draft, as Ian Rapoport additionally predicted that the Falcons could be a team that looks to draft a franchise quarterback despite the presence and contract of Matt Ryan.

Tua Tagovailoa Health Concerns A Smoke Screen?

RADIO.COM Sports NFL insider and host on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore Jason La Canfora thinks that several of the rumors regarding Tua Tagovailoa's health are acting as a "smoke screen" and that it's "contrived."

Though there are reports out there from fellow RADIO.COM Sports insider Michael Lombardi that teams high up in the draft are flunking Tua's physicals, there are numerous contrasting reports dating a while back that say he's in good health.

La Canfora chooses to believe the latter, saying that he just doesn't buy that the hype surrounding Tua has faded away for Justin Herbert -- with specific reference to Miami possibly abandoning it's "Tank For Tua" campaign -- and that the medical evaluations are "looking as good as can be expected."

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