We love the NFL Draft because it’s unpredictable. The media and draft Twitter will discuss players, rank them, and put together mock drafts, all based upon their grades and what they hear from teams. Then draft night comes, and someone goes off script. It happens every year.
As we close in on the 2020 draft, it feels we have some surprising movement coming at the quarterback position. Specifically: Is Justin Herbert moving ahead of Tua Tagovailoa?
For all the unexpected action that happens in the draft, this year has felt pretty simple at the top. There are four elite defensive players (Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, Derrick Brown, Isaiah Simmons). There are four offensive tackles who stand above the rest (Tristan Wirfs, Mekhi Becton, Jedrick Wills, Andrew Thomas). And there are three top quarterbacks (Joe Burrow, Tagovailoa, Herbert).
These players should all be drafted within the first 11 picks. The order has always been up for debate, but for the most part, there’s been a consensus on where those three quarterbacks will go. It was Burrow to the Bengals with the first pick, then Tagovailoa in the top five (most likely to the Dolphins), and then Herbert after him (usually to the Chargers at No. 6).
But, something has happened recently. More experts and mock drafts — including Conor Orr, Daniel Jeremiah, and Gil Brandt — now have Herbert ahead of Tagovailoa. Why would they be?
Let’s look at a few of the reasons:
1. Tagovailoa has durability and health concerns
Herbert didn’t miss any games in his final two seasons at Oregon. He’s barely even missed a rep in that span. Yes, he sat out five games during his sophomore year with a collarbone injury, but he came back to finish the season and he’s managed to avoid big hits and injuries since then. Part of that was due to the caution of the Oregon coaching staff. They kept Herbert away from situations where he’d be exposed, and when Herbert did take off, he was quick to slide or avoid contact.