2020 NFL Mock Draft: Post Bowl Season Edition

Monday night was a coronation of what we have all expected since at least November. Joe Burreaux led LSU to a dominant national championship victory over a Clemson team that was simply overmatched. JaMarr Chase made a real case to be a top-5 pick in the 2021 NFL draft in the process. There have been few teams in sports in general that were ever more fun to watch offensively than LSU this year.

After watching another great game, I couldn’t wait to dive into another mock draft. A lot has changed even in the past two weeks since my last mock draft due to all the player declarations. Even beyond that, my opinion on players has changed with the chance to go back and watch more film. With college football season officially over, it is time to fully shift our attention to the NFL draft process. This current order is according to Tankathon.

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1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Joe Burrow is far from a perfect quarterback prospect. However, he has the mobility, football IQ and arm talent to be a solid starter in the NFL and get Cincinnati back into playoff contention. Everyone once in a while, he makes a play that is flat out special.

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2. Washington (3-13) – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
I don’t care who will be running the Washington front office. Even with a decent front seven, Chase Young is definitely the best option. He has the physical tools to be a Hall of Fame pass rusher.

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3. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
This is where the draft gets really interesting. Detroit could realistically trade down from this spot with a team needing a quarterback. If they don’t trade down, tabbing the best corner in this draft is a great move. Jeff Okudah would immediately start for this Lions defense.

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4. New York Giants (4-12) – Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
Dave Gettleman is known for taking offensive and defensive linemen, but he should break that trend given how talented Isaiah Simmons is. He would provide the Giants with a defensive playmaker capable of lining up all over the place. New York’s defense could use the help as well.

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5. Miami Dolphins (5-11) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
He has entered the draft, which means he must have some good news regarding his recovery. If you put the injury history aside, Tua Tagovailoa has the tape, experience and intangibles to be the first overall pick. That injury history will probably make him the second quarterback drafted, but he should stay in the top five.

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6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
L.A. desperately needs a future quarterback, but I think the Chargers will go the veteran route at the position and bolster the offensive line instead. Andrew Thomas is a great run blocker who moves well in pass protection. He also faced top-tier competition playing for three years in the SEC.

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7. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Who will start at quarterback next year for Carolina? With Matt Rhule joining the Panthers, odds are he will want to find a young quarterback to work with. Justin Herbert has the physical traits, from arm strength to mobility, to be a successful starter. He needs some refining, but Rhule can help get him there.

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8. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
I still think Jerry Jeudy is the best receiver in this class, but I know there is a connection between Kyler Murray and CeeDee Lamb. Lamb fights through contact and uses his hands well to snag the ball out of the air. His route running might need some refining coming out of Lincoln Riley’s wide open system, but he should eventually take over as the top receiver when Larry Fitzgerald wraps up his Hall of Fame career.

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9. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
With Yannick Ngakoue slated for free agency, Jacksonville is going to need another disruptive edge rusher. A.J. Epenesa is about as good a replacement as the Jaguars could hope for. He is a perfect fit for a 4-3 system. If he can continue to build on his second half of the 2019 season, he will be an impact player.

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10. Cleveland Browns (6-10) – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Cleveland needs to do a much better job keeping Baker Mayfield upright. New coach Kevin Stefanski will be tasked with trying to get Mayfield back on track. That job will be much easier with a potential franchise tackle on the roster. Jedrick Wills is an elite pass blocker who should be able to anchor down the left side of the line.

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11. New York Jets (7-9) – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Tristan Wirfs could be a starting left tackle in the NFL. That is his ceiling. His floor is likely as a starting caliber guard or right tackle. Truth is, the Jets could use an upgrade at every position along the offensive line. Sam Darnold needs more protection and Wirfs should open some holes for Le’Veon Bell in the run game.

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12. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Oakland Las Vegas is in desperate need of a No. 1 receiver and Jerry Jeudy might just fall into their lap. If Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb or Henry Ruggs is here, I fully expect the Raiders to tab a receiver. Especially with another first round to work with, this feels like an easy decision.

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13. Indianapolis Colts (7-9) – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
There are already rumors swirling about the Colts trading down, but it would be hard to pass up a player with Henry Ruggs’ speed. He was the most dynamic playmaker in college football this season and is more than just a straight-line runner.

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14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Tampa Bay could be interested in a quarterback, but that secondary needs loads of help. Grant Delpit would give Todd Bowles the type of player he had in Jamal Adams when he coached in New York.

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15. Denver Broncos (7-9) – Tyler Biadasz, OL, Wisconsin
While receiver is certainly an option here, Denver looks to continue to build its offensive line in front of Drew Lock. Tyler Biadasz is the best interior lineman in this class. He could slot in at guard or center from day one.

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16. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
With no good edge rushers available, Atlanta finds a run stuffing option with pass rushing potential. In watching Derrick Brown’s film, I think he has a bit of ways to go as a pass rusher still. It’s hard to justify drafting an interior defensive linemen who doesn’t generate a ton of pressure in the top 10. At 16, his potential and talent make him a great value.

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17. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
Unlike Derrick Brown, Javon Kinlaw has put together some solid tape as a pass rusher. He is not as physically dominant, but should help the Cowboys defensive line right away. He would be a menace playing alongside DeMarcus Lawrence.

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18. Miami Dolphins via Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Miami tabs its franchise quarterback with the fifth pick, but the Dolphins still need more people for him to throw to. Even after locking up DeVante Parker, Tee Higgins would be a great fit to run alongside him. They have slightly similar play styles, but would offer Tua a pair of great downfield targets.

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19. Las Vegas Raiders via Chicago Bears (8-8) – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Las Vegas needs help along the middle of its defense and the best solution for that at this spot is grabbing a speedy linebacker. Kenneth Murray is a decisive playmaker who would immediately give the Raiders someone to cover tight ends and running backs while making plays in the backfield.

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20. Jacksonville Jaguars via Los Angeles Rams (9-7) – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Jacksonville continues to reshape its defense by grabbing the best corner left on the board. Kristian Fulton is a physical presence who has the chops to turn into a starting-caliber corner. LSU sends a few great defensive backs to the NFL every year, so you can trust his pedigree.

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21. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Philadelphia will get healthier at receiver and can afford to wait until the second round to draft one. Instead, the Eagles grab a big-bodied corner who projects as a future starter. Trevon Diggs has the athleticism and size to help what has been a terrible Philly secondary.

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22. Buffalo Bills (10-6) – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
John Brown and Cole Beasley have performed admirably this season, but Buffalo needs to find a player who can be a number one receiver. Justin Jefferson benefited from playing with Joe Burrow in a pass-happy offense, but he has the size, speed and ball skills to become the Bills’ top option within a year or two.

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23. New England Patriots (12-4) – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
New England bowed out of the postseason after managing a meager 13 points against Tennessee. All season long, the Patriots have needed a tight end to help stretch the field and open up the offense. Cole Kmet should be able to do that from his first day with the team.

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24. New Orleans Saints (13-3) – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
It was another heartbreaker for the Saints, but rather than look to rebuild, I think New Orleans will continue to get the most out of Drew Brees’ final few seasons. Adding another receiver to play across from Michael Thomas has to be high on the to-do list. Laviska Shenault Jr. is a proven playmaker with a skill set I believe Sean Payton can maximize.

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25. Minnesota Vikings (10-6) – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Bryce Hall was one of the best corners in the country before going down with an ankle injury. He is big enough with good enough ball skills to aid a depleted Vikings’ secondary early on. I believe he has the potential to become Minnesota’s top corner down the line.

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26. Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans (11-5) – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
Given Miami’s overall lack of talent on the roster, the Dolphins are probably still a year away from really competing in the AFC East. That gives them time to develop a player like Austin Jackson. The USC left tackle is a bit raw, but has shown flashes of franchise tackle potential. With a bit of patience, he might just become the Dolphins’ long-term starter.

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27. Seattle Seahawks (11-5) – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Jadeveon Clowney and Ezekiel Ansah are free agents this offseason. That means it’s time for Seattle to address its pass rush. Yetur Gross-Matos is a high-motor player with plenty of pass rushing moves to go to. He is close to be a finished product, but could use a bit more polish before being a double-digit sack option at the next level.

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28. Baltimore Ravens (14-2) – Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
After a shocking exit from the playoffs, Baltimore has very few holes to fill. Matt Judon is a pending free agent and regardless, the Ravens could afford to add another pass rusher. Terrell Lewis impressed in his return from injury this season and should contribute right away.

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29. Tennessee Titans (9-7) – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
Somehow, Tennessee is still alive after knocking off New England and Baltimore. The Titans did beat the Chiefs earlier this year, so anything is possible, but looking to their future, the Titans should continue to stock up on pass rushers. Curtis Weaver was dominant in his three years at Boise State and should translate well to the NFL.

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30. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Green Bay is lacking a player who can take the top off the defense and can be electric in the open field. Jalen Reagor should do exactly that and give Aaron Rodgers a speedy target. Reagor brings a blend of athleticism and aggression that make him a fun addition to this offense.

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31. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Kansas City’s defense is improved from what we were accustomed to, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t use a bit more young talent. CJ Henderson has a bunch of physical traits teams look for in a corner. He needs to work on his press technique and improve his tackling, but his speed and hand usage make him a player worth taking here to develop.

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32. San Francisco 49ers (13-3) – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
If the NFL valued the safety position more, Xavier McKinney would probably go in the top 20. As it stands, he would slot in very nicely for a San Francisco 49ers team in need of an upgrade at the position. His physicality and experience make a great option to start right away.

33. Cincinnati Bengals – Michael Pittman, WR, USC

34. Indianapolis Colts via Washington – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington

35. Detroit Lions – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

36. New York Giants – Josh Jones, OT, Houston

37. Los Angeles Chargers – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

38. Carolina Panthers – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

39. Miami Dolphins – Ashtyn Davis, S, California

40. Arizona Cardinals – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame

41. Cleveland Browns – Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State

42. Jacksonville Jaguars – Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan

43. Chicago Bears via Las Vegas Raiders – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn

44. Indianapolis Colts – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Trey Adams, OT, Washington

46. Denver Broncos – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

47. Atlanta Falcons – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

48. New York Jets – Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah

49. Pittsburgh Steelers – Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue

50. Chicago Bears – Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington

51. Dallas Cowboys – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

52. Los Angeles Rams – John Simpson, G, Clemson

53. Philadelphia Eagles – KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State

54. Buffalo Bills – Zach Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin

55. Atlanta Falcons via New England Patriots – Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida

56. Miami Dolphins via New Orleans Saints – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

57. Houston Texans – Justin Mandubuike, DL, Texas A&M

58. Minnesota Vikings – Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF

59. Seattle Seahawks – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State

60. Baltimore Ravens – Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina

61. Tennessee Titans – Matt Hennessey, OL, Temple

62. Green Bay Packers – Jared Pickney, TE, Vanderbilt

63. Kansas City Chiefs – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

64. Seattle Seahawks via San Francisco 49ers – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU

For more NFL Draft coverage, check out the Aftermath’s NFL Draft Podcast, with new episodes every Thursday.

2020 NFL Mock Draft: WRs dominate first three rounds

The NFL regular season is officially in the books. That means the offseason starts now for 20 NFL clubs with four more set to join them by this time next week. If you have been paying attention to draft buzz throughout the season, you will know there are a few slam dunk quarterbacks, an incredible class of skill position players and one franchise-altering edge rusher. I have been following the draft closely for the better part of five years now and this feels like one of the deepest draft classes we have had in a while. In honor of that, this is my first three-round mock of the year.

For this mock draft, there were no trades allowed and the order is based upon the current NFL standings and playoff seeding, according to Tankathon. When picking for each team, I tried to take into account overall talent, team need, positional value and scheme fit, roughly in that order. As the draft gets closer and I get a chance to watch more prospects, I will be able to mock players better for scheme fits. On top of that, teams will begin to address needs in free agency and schemes will change as coaching regimes change. I expect this to look nothing like how the actual draft will unfold, but for now, this is how I see it. Let’s get going.

Bengals Logo

1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Did you watch LSU play Oklahoma? Then you know why Joe Burrow is the top pick in the draft. The Heisman winner accounted for eight touchdowns and punched the Tigers’ ticket to the national championship game. He projects to be Cincinnati’s future franchise quarterback.

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2. Washington (3-13) – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Washington fans have to be ecstatic to earn the second spot because it means their team can select Chase Young. He had a dominant junior season, leading the nation with 16.5 sacks, despite missing a game for a questionable NCAA suspension. Expect him to be an elite pass rusher right away.

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3. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
While the Lions miss out on Chase Young, they get a really good consolation prize in his teammate Jeff Okudah. Okudah has the making of a lockdown corner with his size, athleticism and incredible hand usage. Detroit gave up the most passing yards per game this season. Adding the top defensive back seems like a good place to start.

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4. New York Giants (4-12) – A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa
New York finally started to show some signs of life offensive and while the offensive line still needs some work, edge rusher is a huge need. No one has had a better second half of the year than A.J. Epenesa. He has the size and skills to terrorize an opposing quarterback. Considering the Giants face Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott four times a year, an elite pass rusher is a must-have.

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5. Miami Dolphins (5-11) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
All of this will depend on Tua Tagovailoa’s medical, but assuming he is cleared to play within the next calendar year, I expect the Dolphins will have no problem selecting him here. They have tons of draft capital to build around him and a veteran quarterback to help him transition. This feels like the perfect fit.

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6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Los Angeles could try to leapfrog the Dolphins in order to grab Tua Tagovailoa, but Justin Herbert has the physical tools to develop into a great quarterback in his own right. He has to work on his downfield accuracy, but with no succession plan to Philip Rivers, Herbert would be a logical choice.

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7. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Two teams in the NFL gave up 58 sacks this season. Carolina was one of them. With Andrew Thomas still on the board, this seems like a good way to get the Panthers offense back on track, regardless of who is playing quarterback. Thomas is pro ready and should hold down the left side of Carolina’s line for the next decade.

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8. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) – Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
No one is quite sure how to explain what Isaiah Simmons does. In simplest terms, he is special defensive playmaker. He can line up at safety, slot corner or linebacker and play at a high level in all three spots. With a ton of holes to fill on defense, picking up a do-it-all talent like Simmons is a great move.

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9. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
Guess who had the fifth worst run defense in the NFL this season? While fans might be hoping for a receiver or a corner to replace Jalen Ramsey, Derrick Brown has the potential to be an immediate difference maker. He is the best run stuff in this class and can cause problems as a pass rusher as well. Regardless of what scheme the Jaguars run next year, Brown will improve this pathetic run defense.

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10. Cleveland Browns (6-10) – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
With Freddie Kitchens gone and a mess of offensive talent, the Browns need to rebuild their offensive line. Jedrick Wills has the highest ceiling of any lineman in this draft. He is battle tested coming from Alabama and should immediately improve the protection of Baker Mayfield’s blindside. Maybe then the former Oklahoma quarterback can starting hitting his Pro Bowl receivers.

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11. New York Jets (7-9) – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
It was a strange season for the Jets and while the defense was a pleasant surprise, the offense was a disaster. New York finished dead last in yards per game and second to last in points per game. While pretty much outside of quarterback and running should be on the table here, fixing the offensive line has to be the priority. Tristan Wrifs can be a day one starter at either tackle or guard spot. He should help keep Sam Darnold cleaner and open more holes for Le’Veon Bell.

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12. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Mike Mayock might actually sprint to the podium if this happens. Oakland is in desperate need of a receiver and while a good one is bound to be there at 12, Jerry Jeudy falling here is the best-case scenario. After a less-impressive junior year, Jeudy should still be the first wideout off the board and immediately become Derek Carr’s favorite target.

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13. Indianapolis Colts (7-9) – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
With no quarterbacks worth taking here, Indy gets some help for whoever may be under center next season. CeeDee Lamb is explosive and can often times make a huge play out of very little. He would be a great complement to T.Y. Hilton and boost the Colts’ offensive potential exponentially.

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14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Tampa Bay could be shopping for a quarterback as well, but I am not buying the hype on Jordan Love or Jacob Eason. Instead, the Buccaneers continue to add difference makers to Todd Bowles’ defense. Grant Delpit should immediately improve the backend for Tampa and give Bowles another player he can blitz.

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15. Denver Broncos (7-9) – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
Denver seems to have its number one receiver in Courtland Sutton, but after that has a bit of a void for explosive playmakers. I write this in every mock draft, but Henry Ruggs is the fastest player in college football. He would give the Broncos their equivalent of Tyreek Hill and make life a lot easier for Drew Lock.

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16. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Atlanta’s second-half resurgence knocks them out of range for the top edge rushers, but corner is still a major need. Kristian Fulton has the field sense and speed to play across from Desmond Trufant right away. He would continue the Falcons transformation on defense.

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17. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
After missing out on the playoffs, Dallas is likely to move on from Jason Garrett. Without a ton of disruptive plays this year defensively, the Cowboys would be wise to add the best interior pass rusher in this class in Javon Kinlaw. He is adept at working through double teams, regularly drawing them at South Carolina. He would make a fun pairing with DeMarcus Lawrence along that defensive line.

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18. Miami Dolphins via Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
With the franchise quarterback already on board, Miami needs to ensure he will stay upright. Alex Leatherwood is no stranger to playing alongside Tua Tagovailoa. He started the previous two seasons at right guard and left tackle respectively. Leatherwood figures to be someone who can grow into a role along the line.

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19. Las Vegas Raiders via Chicago Bears (8-8) – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Even with the emergence of Trayvon Mullens down the stretch, Las Vegas (that’s weird to type) could still use some help in the secondary. The Raiders did jettison Gareon Conley midseason after all. Henderson has the physical tools to become a starting corner at the next level. He might take a year to truly reach that threshold, but he offers the team a projectable starter.

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20. Jacksonville Jaguars via Los Angeles Rams (9-7) – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Gardner Minshew worked his magic often this year to power the Jaguars offense. With a couple of playmakers already in place, Jacksonville needs a downfield threat. Tee Higgins brings incredible size, body control and focus to the table, consistently winning jump balls in traffic. He would provide Minshew with a great red zone option as well.

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21. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
I know Eagles fans want a receiver here, but there are a lot on the board and have you watched your secondary play? Paulson Adebo is a ballhawking corner with eight career interceptions to his name. He has great size and is not afraid to get physical. Philadelphia could use a bit of his fire on defense.

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22. Tennessee Titans (9-7) – Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
Lost in the miraculous Ryan Tannehill comeback is the issues plaguing the Titans offensive line. Tennessee has been better at protecting Tannehill of late, but needs to address the interior of the line. Tyler Biadasz is the best offensive line prospect still on the board and would be a day one starter. He is no stranger to power run either coming from Wisconsin.

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23. Buffalo Bills (10-6) – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Happen to watch Joe Burrow torching Oklahoma’s defense? Then you definitely heard this guy’s name a lot. Justin Jefferson has been one of the top receivers in college football this year and took that too a new level with four touchdowns in the semifinal. He would step in as the Bills top receiver and form a solid trio with John Brown and Cole Beasley.

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24. Minnesota Vikings (10-6) – A.J. Terrill, CB, Clemson
I expect the hype around A.J. Terrill to grow following a stellar performance facing Ohio State. He held up well in coverage and showed a good ability to break on the ball. At 6’1″, he would be a great addition to a Minnesota secondary desperately needing another outside corner.

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25. Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans (11-5) – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
After spending two picks on offense, the Dolphins find someone to play opposite Xavien Howard. Trevon Diggs has shown flashes of lockdown corner potential. His size and athleticism alone will entice a team to spend a first round selection on him.

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26. Seattle Seahawks (11-5) – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
Seattle needs a pass rusher in the worst way. Enter Curtis Weaver. He had at least 9.5 sacks in each of his three season at Boise State. At 6’3″, 265 pounds, he would project well as an end in Seattle’s 4-3 system. He should have an immediate impact for a team that needs help right away.

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27. New England Patriots (12-4) – Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
After missing the entire season with a torn ACL, Dylan Moses’ draft buzz has quieted significantly. It is easy to forget he was one of the best linebackers in the country in 2018. With Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins set to hit free agency and Dont’a Hightower approaching 30, Moses would help fill the void and become a leader in the future.

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28. New Orleans Saints (13-3) – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
This is one of my favorite pairings of prospect and team. New Orleans desperately needs receiver help. Michael Thomas is a beast, but there is a significant drop off after that. Surrounding Drew Brees with as much talent as possible in his final years seems to be the priority, so adding Jalen Reagor fits the bill. He has great top-end speed, but also attacks the ball well and plays with a chip on his shoulder. He would be fun to watch in Sean Payton’s offense.

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29. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) – Creed Humphrey, G, Oklahoma
Kansas City has one mission: protect Patrick Mahomes so he can lead them to a Super Bowl. Beefing up the interior of the offensive line is a good way to do just that. Creed Humphrey is just a redshirt sophomore, but he is also a two-year starter on one of the most prolific offenses in the country. He moves well and can step into the starting lineup right away.

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30. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR Colorado
Give Aaron Rodgers more weapons! Davante Adams is great, but Green Bay needs some other reliable contributors. Laviska Shenault has the versatility to take this offense to the next level. Colorado used him as a wildcat quarterback just to get the ball in his hands more. He is the type of player who Rodgers can trust to make a play when he needs him to the most.

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31. San Francisco 49ers (13-3) – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Deebo Samuel has come along well, but Emmanuel Sanders is a free agent at the end of the year. San Francisco needs some more options for Jimmy Garoppolo to throw to. DeVonta Smith has had a great year at Alabama and consistently blows past opposing defensive backs. I am a little concerned about his durability at the next level, as he only ways 175 pounds. If he can bulk up a little without compromising his speed, he could be a difference maker.

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32. Baltimore Ravens (14-2) – Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State
Baltimore rounds out round one by continuing to build depth along the defense. Yetur Gross-Matos is a high-motor, high-character player with solid production coming out of Penn State. He should be a situational rusher right away with the potential to earn more snaps as he develops his coverage skills and technique.

33. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) – Kenneth Murray, LB
Cincinnati needs more speed on defense after giving up the most rushing yards per game. Kenneth Murray has plenty of speed to go with good instincts and good production at Oklahoma.

34. Indianapolis Colts via Washington (3-13) – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
Quarterback number four falls to the second round. I don’t think the Colts’ front office is sold on Jacoby Brissett after the season. Jacob Eason has a ways to go, but certainly has the arm talent to eventually start in the NFL.

35. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) – Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama
The Lions continue to rebuild their defense, this time adding a pass rusher. Terrell Lewis registered 11.5 sacks returning from an injury that cost him all of 2018. If he can improve his functional strength, he could be a steal here.

36. New York Giants (4-12) – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
Austin Jackson is definitely a bit raw. We saw that when A.J. Epenesa schooled him in the Holiday Bowl. Still, his massive frame makes him good left tackle prospect. He could grow into being Daniel Jones’ blindside protector.

37. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) – J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
Los Angeles grabs the first running back of the draft. J.K. Dobbins showed against Clemson why he is a special runner. With Melvin Gordon’s future unknown, Dobbins teams up with Austin Ekeler.

38. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State
NFL games are won in the trenches, so after bolstering the offensive line, Carolina can turn to the other side of the ball. The Panthers were awful against the run this year. Marvin Wilson needs a bit of technical refining, but can be disruptive force in the middle of any defense.

39. Miami Dolphins (5-11) – K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
Miami continues to address needs and find high ceiling players. K’Lavon Chaisson flies around the field. The athleticism jumps off the page and if he can add to his 6’4″ frame, he could be an elite NFL pass rusher.

40. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
Arizona needs to keep Kyler Murray healthy. Prince Tega Wanogho has the size of a prototypical tackle who is comfortable moving and blocking in space. He fits well with a mobile quarterback like Murray.

41. Cleveland Browns (6-10) – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Cleveland add another Alabama prospect, this time to bolster the secondary. Xavier McKinney has huge playmaking ability with some versatility. He should step in as a starter right away.

42. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) – Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State
Primarily a nickel corner in college, Shaun Wade has picked up a lot of momentum in recent weeks. He is physical and comfortable playing press coverage. I would love to have seen him play outside more, but he can learn at the next level.

43. Chicago Bears via Oakland Raiders (7-9) – Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
While everyone seems ready to move on from Mitchell Trubisky, it is important to note his supporting cast isn’t very good. Chicago should retool the offense around him first before giving up. Michael Pittman has big play ability and the size to translate to the NFL.

44. Indianapolis Colts (7-9) – Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame
With some pending free agents, Indy can restock its defense by adding a proven pass rusher. Julian Okwara is still developing his pass rush moves and needs to improve his strength, but he could develop into a starter.

45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Tampa Bay needs to replace the right side of its line after a rough season. Mekhi Becton is a bit of a project, but possesses incredible size. Tampa can let him learn on the right or even start him at guard.

46. Denver Broncos (7-9) – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Josh Jones bring a lot of raw skill as a prospect. He definitely needs some refining, but at 6’7″, Denver can take him knowing that size won’t be an issue. He could replace Garrett Bolles in 2021.

47. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
With Devonta Freeman coming off an injury-plagued season and looking like a cap casualty, Atlanta will need another option in the backfield. D’Andre Swift put together another impressive season. He could take over as the lead back right away.

48. New York Jets (7-9) – Ben Bredeson, G, Michigan
New York desperately needs to continue rebuilding its offensive line. If Sam Darnold is going to be the future at quarterback, he needs time to throw. Ben Bredeson is a big body with improving technique. He looks good at the point of attack, but needs work at the next level.

49. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
After letting Jesse James walk, Pittsburgh was hurting for options over the middle. Brycen Hopkins is a great route runner who needs some fine-tuning elsewhere in his game. He would offer the Steelers a matchup advantage in the passing game.

50. Chicago Bears (8-8) – Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington
Chicago has had basically zero production from the tight end position all year. Hunter Bryant is typical move tight end with good open-field ability. He would be another weapon for Mitchell Trubisky to grow with.

51. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
One of the best corners in the country before he got hurt, Bryce Hall could be a future number one corner. He has good size for the position and fills a clear need for Dallas. Would be a great pairing with Byron Jones.

52. Los Angeles Rams (9-7) – Walker Little, OT, Stanford
Missed the whole season after tearing his ACL in the season-opener, but Walker Little looks the part of an NFL left tackle. He needs to work on his hand placement and film study to improve his anticipation. Little could take over if Andrew Whitworth ever decides to retire.

53. Tennessee Titans (9-7) – Zack Baun, Edge, Wisconsin
Despite being a redshirt senior, Zack Baun would probably need a bit of time to acclimate to the NFL. He has tremendous burst, giving him the potential of being an every down pass rusher. He will need to add to his frame and tighten up his technique to be consistently effective.

54. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – Brandon Ayiuk, WR, Arizona State
Now Philly add its wide receiver. Brandon Ayiuk is a deep ball threat who excels at creating separation downfield. He needs to work on beating the press, but looks like an immediate impact player.

55. Minnesota Vikings (10-6) – Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma
Neville Gallimore likes to play downhill and cause havoc. He has great strength to force his way into opposing backfields. Minnesota should get some value out of him as a rotational right away who can work his way into an every down player.

56. Buffalo Bills (10-6) – Jabari Zuniga, Edge, Florida
Despite a great season from Buffalo’s defense, it still needs more pass rushers. Jabari Zuniga has the size and speed to fit as a 4-3 end for the Bills. Expect him to be a situational player as he adds to his long frame.

57. Houston Texans (11-5) – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
Even after trading for Gareon Conley midseason, Houston needs help in the secondary. Jaylon Johnson is an aggressive corner who plays with a lot of intensity. If he can clean up his hand usage, he could be an impact starter.

58. Seattle Seahawks (11-5) – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Jeff Gladney shows up on film as a solid tackler and does a nice job sticking with receivers in bump and run coverage. He could be a riser during the predraft process. Seattle would be happy to add him to a secondary that needs a boost.

59. Atlanta Falcons via New England Patriots (12-4) – Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
With Grady Jarrett under contract for the foreseeable future, the Falcons need someone to play alongside him on the interior. Raekwon Davis has not been as disruptive this season, but looks the part of an NFL interior lineman with good power.

60. Kansas City Chiefs via San Francisco 49ers (13-3) – Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
Malik Harrison has been flying all over the field this year for Ohio State. He plays downhill and has a nose for the football. He is not forced to make a ton of reads, often times just attacking the offense. Harrison would help that Chiefs defense get faster.

61. Seattle Seahawks via Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
While Seattle has run out of running backs this year due to injury, it is at its best as a power run team. Lucas Niang has all the size and power needed to fit that scheme. He is bulldozing run blocker who can survive as a pass blocker on the right side.

62. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
Troy Dye is a gritty playmaker with solid coverage skills and athleticism. He is definitely undersized for the position, but he should be able to add the weight necessary to be a middle linebacker. He would fill a huge need for the Packers.

63. Miami Dolphins via New Orleans Saints (13-3) – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Miami’s backfield has been a revolving door this year, resulting in Ryan Fitzpatrick being the team’s leading rusher. Travis Etienne is a home run hitter with lot of elusiveness. He needs to improve his ability to find the hole, but when he does, he is extremely dangerous.

64. Baltimore Ravens (14-2) – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Nobody ran the ball more than the Ravens in 2019. With Mark Ingram set to turn 30 and Gus Edwards headed for free agency, adding Jonathan Taylor sets up Baltimore well for the future. Taylor is one of the most accomplished backs in college football history. His hard-nosed running style fits exactly what this team is looking for.

65. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) – Nick Harris, C, Washington
The Bengals have holes everywhere, but their offensive line was particularly bad this year. Nick Harris filling the middle plus the return of 2018 first round pick Jonah Williams should help a lot.

66. Washington (3-13) – Trey Adams, OT, Washington
If Dwayne Haskins is going to be the franchise quarterback, Washington needs to protect him. Trey Adams is massive and could eventually take over at left tackle.

67. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) – Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
Matt Stafford had a great season, but finding him more weapons is never a bad idea. With Danny Amendola set for free agency, Donovan Peoples-Jones can step in as the new number three receiver.

68. New York Jets via New York Giants (4-12) – Darrell Taylor, Edge, Tennessee
New York has needed an elite pass rusher for over a decade. Darrell Taylor likely isn’t the answer to the Jets’ prayers, but he should be a solid contributor early on.

69. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
Carolina has all kinds of question marks at corner. With great size, Cameron Dantzler could develop into a starting option.

70. Miami Dolphins (5-11) – Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State
After trading away Minkah Fitzpatrick, Miami has a void at safety. Hamsah Nasirildeen is unlikely to be as impactful in the short term, but projects as a long-term solution.

71. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) – Darryl Williams, G, Mississippi State
It was a rough season for the Chargers offensive line. Darryl Williams should raise the level of play after a solid career in the SEC.

72. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) – K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State
Larry Fitzgerald is going to retire eventually. K.J. Hamler likely won’t have the same kind of success, but he can help Arizona stretch the field right away.

73. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) – Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal
Jacksonville is getting by with Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson, but Ashtyn Davis offers more potential long term.

74. Cleveland Browns (6-10) – Netane Futi, G, Fresno State
Cleveland continues to rebuild its offensive line with a pro ready option in Netane Futi. He will just need to get acclimated to the NFL speed after playing in the Mountain West.

75. Indianapolis Colts (7-9) – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
Damon Arnette has put together some very good film, but gets overshadowed by his teammates. If he stands out at the Senior Bowl, he could rise well out of the Colts range.

76. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
The quarterback drought ends as Tampa Bay takes on a project in Jordan Love. It is unclear what the Buccaneers will do at the position next year, but Love could be a future starter.

77. Denver Broncos (7-9) – Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia
Denver will likely be actively looking for cornerback help in free agency, but it can double down in the draft as well. Eric Stokes has blazing speed, but needs some refining in coverage.

78. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – Alton Robinson, Edge, Syracuse
Alton Robinson took an interesting path to the NFL and has some boom/bust potential. Desperate for pass rush help, Atlanta is willing to take a flier on him.

79. New York Jets (7-9) – Sage Surratt, WR, Wake Forest
Sage Surratt made a name for himself by torching defensive backs this season. If he can stay healthy, he should be a solid contributor for the Jets.

80. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) – Monty Rice, LB, Georgia
I really thought Jon Gruden would have drafted Roquan Smith if he had been on the board in 2018. The Raiders still need linebacker help and tab a different Georgia player this time in Monty Rice.

81. Las Vegas Raiders via Chicago Bears (8-8) – Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
Back-to-back picks for Vegas sees them double up on receivers. Tylan Wallace is an excellent jump ball option who needs to improve his route tree.

82. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson
Dallas adds another young player to its secondary. K’Von Wallace shows good recognition skills and works well as a blitzer from the second level.

83. Denver Broncos via Pittsburgh Steelers (8-8) – Trey Smith, G, Tennessee
Denver has two solid running backs, but needs to improve the offensive line to maximize the value. The best friend of any young quarterback is a ground game and Trey Smith should help establish that.

84. Los Angeles Rams (9-7) – Kenny Willekes, Edge, Michigan State
Los Angeles is constantly looking to add edge rushers. Willekes should be able to contribute from day one, but seems like a finished product.

85. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – Brandon Jones, S, Texas
Brandon Jones is coming out of the wide open Big 12, but brings a hard-hitting presence to the defense. There are some concerns about his ability to hold up in coverage.

86. Tennessee Titans (9-7) – Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Even with Ryan Tannehill in town, the Titans need a long-term plan. If Tannehill can sustain this, Fromm could be trade bait down the line, but he could also be a future starter if surrounded with the right talent.

87. Buffalo Bills (10-6) – Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa
The offensive line play in Buffalo improved dramatically this season, but the Bills can still solidify to make it a strength. Alaric Jackson has a lot of experience at left tackle playing in the Big Ten.

88. Minnesota Vikings (10-6) – Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota
Tyler Johnson had a breakout year as Minnesota put together an impressive season. The Vikings can keep him close to home and build some much-needed receiver depth.

89. Cleveland Browns via Houston Texans (10-6) – Rashad Lawrence, DL, LSU
LSU’s offense is getting all the plaudits this year, but its defense is doing its part as well. With NFL size, Rashad Lawrence should add some toughness to the Browns defensive line.

90. Las Vegas Raiders via Seattle Seahawks (11-5) – Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
I can’t imagine that Jon Gruden walks away from this draft without a developmental quarterback. Derek Carr has been great at times, but I still don’t think the Raiders are sold on him. Jalen Hurts had a great college career and needs a lot of technical work, but his physical skill set makes him an intriguing prospect. He could always have a Taysom-Hill-like role.

91. New England Patriots (12-4) – Jared Pinkney, TE, Vanderbilt
Maybe Rob Gronkowski comes back and this pick is irrelevant, but until that happens, the Patriots desperately need tight end help. Jared Pickney is a chain mover with some blocking potential.

92. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – Matthew Peart, OT, UConn
Green Bay nabs a developmental tackle to stash behind Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari. Matthew Peart is raw and untested, but has a lot of intangibles to work with.

93. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) – Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
Damien Williams had an uneven year and LeSean McCoy is not a long-term answer. Chuba Hubbard has been outstanding and could be a dynamic player for Andy Reid to lean on.

94. New Orleans Saints (13-3) – Lloyd Cushenberry III, G, LSU
New Orleans addresses the interior of its offensive line. With Andrus Peat headed for free agency, Lloyd Cushenberry could be his successor.

95. Denver Broncos via San Francisco 49ers (13-3) – Leki Fotu, DL, Utah
Denver uses this pick from the Emmanuel Sanders trade to build some defensive line depth. Leki Fotu was a mainstay on an underrated Utah defense.

96. Baltimore Ravens (14-2) – Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
While much of Baltimore’s game is predicated in running the ball, Lamar Jackson could use some more receiving options to throw to. Gabriel Davis is a crafty route-runner who should complement Marquise Brown nicely.

For more NFL Draft coverage, check out the Aftermath’s NFL Draft Podcast, with new episodes every Thursday.

10 Trades that should happen at the NFL Trade Deadline

Well NFL trade season is off and running with Marcus Peters headed to Baltimore from Los Angeles and Jalen Ramsey taking his place in Los Angeles coming from Jacksonville. Those weren’t even the only trades the Rams were involved in on Tuesday, as they acquired Austin Corbett from the Browns. With all the wheeling and dealing already underway, I’ve got to jump in on the action. As I noted in Week 7’s NFL Power Rankings, there is no question this week of NFL action will be the deciding factor for a lot of teams on the fringe. Let’s start talking about some moves that should happen in the next week before the October 29th trade deadline.

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Newton has missed four games this season with a foot injury. (Wikimedia Commons)

Carolina Panthers trade QB Cam Newton
Tennessee Titans trade 2020 2nd round pick, 2021 2nd round pick, CB Adoree’ Jackson

Let’s start with a bang. Cam Newton is a former MVP in this league and has played in a Super Bowl. Still, it might be time for the Panthers to think about moving on from the 30-year-old signal caller. For one, Newton has not been able to stay on the field the past two seasons. Even when he has been available, he has struggled mightily. Carolina has some capable options in Kyle Allen and 2019 third-round selection Will Grier. So far this year, the Panthers are undefeated with Allen under center (4-0) and winless (0-2) with Newton. I will admit that Allen has a very small sample size, but he has shown flashes of real potential. Some fans might be miffed at not getting a first rounder for Newton, but his injury history could make that tricky. Getting more draft capital is nice, but so is adding Adoree’ Jackson. The third-year corner has been losing favor in Tennessee, playing just 52 percent of his team’s defensive snaps on Sunday. At 24, Jackson still has plenty of time to develop. Carolina could use some depth at corner back to help them right away, so this is not just simply a long-term move.

On the Tennessee side of this, I know this team seems content to just win with a grinding defense and a couple of playmakers, but this team needs a better short-term solution at quarterback than Ryan Tannehill. Marcus Mariota is done and while Tannehill is fine as a replacement starter, he is not good enough to lead this team to the playoffs. He takes care of the football for the most part, but the Titans need more playmaking ability from the quarterback position. Getting Newton would be a huge development for the offense. He is a more dynamic player, with the ability to change the game as a passer or a runner. Honestly, he is exactly what the Titans thought they were getting when they drafted Mariota. Assuming Newton can get healthy, he should be well-positioned to lead an offense that boasts a good group of running backs and a bunch of young pass catchers. If Newton does go down for a game, Tannehill can step in as well. Tennessee has the cap space to absorb Newton’s contract and could move on from him as early as this offseason if it doesn’t work out. It would not prohibit the Titans from drafting a quarterback in the first round this year either, but given that they do not seem positioned to grab one of the top passers, getting Newton gives them some other options.

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Green has yet to play this season due to injury. (Wikimedia Commons)

Cincinnati Bengals trade WR A.J. Green
Buffalo Bills trade 2020 2nd round pick, 2020 5th round pick

Don’t look now but the Buffalo Bills are 5-1 and seem headed for the postseason. It hasn’t been pretty most of the way and part of that is the offense’s inability to get into a rhythm. Buffalo’s defense is championship caliber, arguably the best in the NFL, but the offense has been pedestrian at best. To help remedy that, the Bills acquire the 31-year-old A.J. Green. With John Brown and Cole Beasley, Buffalo has a couple of good complements to a top-tier receiver. Green would immediately take over as the top option for Josh Allen to target. It would give this offense a legitimate big-play threat and also a reliable outlet when Allen is under pressure. Given how close the Bills were to knocking off the Patriots earlier this year, this move could be what pushes them into the realm of winning a division title. Green projects as a one-year rental for now with his contract expiring after the season, but that is a risk worth taking.

For Cincinnati, it is time to move on from your franchise receiver. This team is about to begin a major overhaul with Andy Dalton clearly on the way out and possibly the worst offensive line in the league. Flipping Green, who is likely going to leave in the offseason anyway, for a pair of picks seems like the best move to set up the Bengals for long-term success. His return to action this year is not going to make up for the awful start to the year this group has had. Green carries a lot of value right now for a contender, and at 0-7, Cincy is very far from being in that conversation.

Trent Williams
Williams has yet to play this season for Washington. (Wikimedia Commons)

Washington trades OT Trent Williams, 2021 conditional 7th round pick
Cleveland Browns trade 2020 2nd round pick, 2021 5th round pick

Washington is being about as stubborn and ridiculous as I’ve seen an NFL franchise act. Rather than trading Trent Williams at the deadline, they are saying they want to trade him after the season is over. Just a reminder, Williams is holding out and Washington has way more leverage trading to a team in need of immediate help midseason than during the offseason. I’m focusing on what should happen, not what will happen. Bruce Allen should absolutely cash in on his disgruntled left tackle before the deadline. At 31, there is not going to be a much larger trade market for him in the offseason. Getting a second round pick and a late pick next year is a decent haul for a player who has no interest in being on your roster and carries a large cap hit. Saying you plan to trade him in the offseason feels like showing your hand as well. There is no chance Washington lands a Jalen Ramsey-type haul either. Regardless, Washington would be smart to capitalize on the pressing need a team will have at tackle.

One such team in this case would definitely be Cleveland. After re-signing Cam Robinson this offseason, it is clear the Browns need a bit more help protecting Baker Mayfield. After trading away former Pro Bowl guard Kevin Zietler for Olivier Vernon, nothing was ever done to replace him. The former former overall pick from Oklahoma has suffered 16 sacks in just six games this season. He has been hit way more than last year and has spent chunks of games running for his life. Robinson could bump inside as well in an effort to revitalize the offensive line. Williams would be a significant upgrade. Even though he projects as a shorter term solution rather than a long one, he probably still has a few good years left in him. After all, Jason Peters is still going at 37. Eventually, Cleveland will have to pay Baker Mayfield. In the meantime, load up on talent around him to give yourself a championship window with a quarterback on a rookie contract.

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Sanders is second on Broncos in receptions and receiving yards this season. (Wikimedia Commons)

Denver Broncos trade WR Emmanuel Sanders
San Francisco 49ers trade DL Solomon Thomas, 2020 4th round pick, 2021 6th round pick

Emmanuel Sanders might be one of, if not Denver’s best offensive player, but at 32 years old with a team beginning to turn things over to a younger group, it is time to move on. Sanders is in a contract year, so this would be a one-year rental for the 49ers, but given that there are a few other teams that could use some help at receiver, specifically the Bears and Patriots, they will have to give up at least a fourth-round selection to ensure he arrives in the Bay Area. With Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton already on the roster as second-year pros, the Broncos won’t be stranding their offense completely for the future. Given that this is a loaded wide receiver class coming up as well, the front office could easily find some additional help in the 2020 draft. They also add Solomon Thomas. The 2017 third overall pick has not panned out in San Francisco and has yet to play 50 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in a given game. He would provide the Broncos with a situational rusher that also provides some defensive line depth. In his limited time on the field, Thomas does have a pair of sacks this year. He won’t make a huge difference, but he could prove to be a useful piece.

For the 49ers, this fills a clear need. Through their first six games, Jimmy Garoppolo has been throwing to the collection of Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis and 2019 second round pick Deebo Samuel on the outside. George Kittle is one of the top tight ends in the league, but adding a proven receiver like Sanders could help open up the offense a bit more. After all, Kittle is the only receiver to eclipse 200 yards so far this season. Given the investment in both Samuel and Jalen Hurd, who is on injured reserve, San Francisco should have no problem making a short-term addition before turning it over to the young draft picks. This defense looks ready for a championship run, now it is time for the 49ers to bring their offense closer to that level.

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Harris has a $12.5 million cap hit for 2019. (Wikimedia Commons)

Denver Broncos trade CB Chris Harris Jr.
Philadelphia Eagles trade 2020 3rd round pick

Wow this secondary needs loads of help. The backend of the defense was not supposed to be a strength, but it also wasn’t supposed to be this big of a weakness. Sidney Jones and Jalen Mills have both really struggled. Avonte Maddox is still out and while Ronald Darby is finally back from injury, this group needs a boost. Enter Chris Harris Jr., who would not only raise the level of play, but also bring some swagger to this secondary. Rumors have been swirling for a while now about the 30-year-old corner leaving Denver. Philly has more than enough space to absorb his cap hit and parting with a third-round pick seems like a no-brainer for a team that has its eyes set on returning to the postseason.

For Denver, the fire sale continues. Harris has been a good player for the Broncos, but he is nearing the end of his career and on an expiring contract. Netting a third round pick in the 2020 draft is nice compensation for a player they likely would’ve let walk in free agency. It essentially just means Denver receives it’s compensatory pick a year earlier. After an embarrassing showing on Thursday night, it’s time for John Elway to start looking to build for next year and amass draft capital to find some future contributors on this roster.

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Williams was the 6th overall pick in 2015. (Wikimedia Commons)

New York Jets trade DL Leonard Williams
Baltimore Ravens trade 2020 3rd round pick, 2021 5th round pick

The Baltimore Ravens find themselves in an interesting place six weeks into the 2019 NFL season. After watching the Browns faceplant out of the gates, coupled with quarterback injuries in Pittsburgh, the Ravens comfortably hold the division lead. Now let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There is a lot of season left, but this feels like a team that could try to take advantage of a struggling division and start planning for the postseason. One major area of need is at pass rusher. I don’t think the front office is in swing for the fences mode, but they could try to add a quality contributor in the final year of his contract. Leonard Williams fits that bill nicely. Williams is not a pure edge rusher, but he might fit well into Baltimore’s defense scheme. He has enough speed to play outside and enough power to kick inside as well. He is far from a prolific pass rusher, just 17 sacks in his previous four years, without one yet in 2019. I have a feeling though that a change of scenery could see Williams turn into a player who generate six to eight sacks per year and contributes to building a strong culture. That’s something this Ravens team could use, with just 12 sacks so far this season.

Over in New York, this is a team under new management with Joe Douglas taking over for Mike McCagnan late in the offseason. Williams was not a player he drafted and general managers have a tendency to want “their guys” on the roster. Additionally, this is the final year of Williams’ deal. The Jets would likely land a compensatory pick if he walked in free agency, which they can recoup here and add an additional late-round pick to make trading him worth it. New York is desperately in need of pass rushers, but given the signings and draft picks it has made along the defensive line in recent years and Williams’ general lack of production in this scheme, it seems safe to say its time to move on. This will give Douglas some immediately draft capital to start reshaping the roster.

Terrell Suggs
Suggs moved into tie for 9th on all-time sack list on Sunday. (Wikimedia Commons)

Arizona Cardinals trade EDGE Terrell Suggs
Kansas City Chiefs trade conditional 2020 6th round draft pick

Terrell Suggs is one of the most dominant pass rushers of the past 15 seasons. He had 132.5 sacks in 16 seasons for Baltimore. He is up to five already this season with the Cardinals. While Arizona seems like it is heading in the right direction, there is no question that Suggs is a luxury they don’t really need right now. He is 37 and on a one-year deal in the desert. With a number of contenders in need of some pass rushing help, Arizona should look to turn the still productive veteran into a late pick.

Kansas City needs all kinds of help right now defensively. It finally put together a great showing on Thursday night against Denver, but that feels more like an aberration than a sign of things to come. Adding a rotational pass rusher who has lots of big game experience could be transformative for the Chiefs. Suggs has played in and won the games that Kansas City wants to win this year as a part of the Ravens 2012 Super Bowl team. Even though he slowing down, Suggs posted seven sacks last year and seems on pace to at least match that this season. This seems like a logical one-year rental for the Chiefs.

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Beasley was the 8th overall pick in 2015. (Wikimedia Commons)

Atlanta Falcons trade EDGE Vic Beasley
Seattle Seahawks trade conditional 2020 5th round pick

There have been few careers as wonky as Vic Beasley’s in Atlanta. After an uninspiring rookie season, the former Clemson edge rusher led the league with 15.5 sacks in 2016, earning himself a 1st-team All-Pro nod. Beasley hasn’t been able to get over the five sack mark in the two seasons since. With the Falcons spiraling, they have already voiced hopes of trading away their former first round pick. Moving on from Beasley, who is a free agent after the season, makes a ton of sense for the front office.

If there is a team that has shown they are willing to take fliers on players who have flashed talent, but struggled with consistency, it would be Seattle. The Seahawks also desperately need pass rushing help entering the weekend averaging just two sacks per game. Beasley has not been very productive this year, with just 1.5 sacks so far. At just 27 years old though, he is worth it, especially for a conditional late-round pick. There are a lot of similarities between the Atlanta defense and the Seattle one because that is where coach Dan Quinn came from when taking the top job for the Falcons. Few other teams are going to be willing to part with potential pass rushers, especially with Terrell Suggs playing for a division rival, so the Seahawks will make do with what they’ve got here.

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Trubisky has the second-lowest yards per attempt this season, ahead of Josh Rosen. (Wikimedia Commons)

Miami Dolphins trade WR Albert Wilson
Chicago Bears trade 2020 6th round pick

Chicago needs a major boost on offense. This offense already has plenty of speed with Taylor Gabriel and Tarik Cohen, but the Bears could desperately use another explosive playmaker. Mitch Trubisky threw the ball 54 times for just 251 yards on Sunday, which is a microcosm of this unit in 2019. Trubisky on the season is averaging a woeful 5.5 yards per attempt. With Chicago likely to get outbid for the top receivers on the market, Albert Wilson seems like a solid option to help this offense’s efficiency. He seems like the type of player Matt Nagy would be able to integrate into his system quickly to maximize his skill set. His is withering away on a Dolphins team determined to land a top-three pick. He will not solve all of Chicago’s issues on that side of the ball, but he would provide another veteran pass catcher at an affordable price. If he doesn’t work out, the Bears can cut the 27-year-old with just $1.3 million in dead money.

On the Miami end of things, moving on from a player who has been hurt a lot for another late pick always seems logical when you are 0-6. Wilson is not going to make a difference for this team in the long-term and is barely doing enough right now as it is. Part of that is because he is trapped in a floundering offense. The Dolphins might not acknowledge they are tanking, but it really doesn’t look much like they are trying to win. At this point, the more draft capital, the better for this front office.

Vernon Davis
Davis has over 7,000 career receiving yards and 63 career touchdowns. (Wikimedia Commons)

Washington trades TE Vernon Davis
Seattle Seahawks trade 2020 7th round pick

Russell Wilson could use a short term upgrade at tight end. With Will Dissley done for the season after the best start to a year in his short career, Seattle has a big need at the position. Luke Wilson is valuable, but he is not a reliable pass catcher. Nabbing Vernon Davis for a 7th round pick would be a great move to aid the offense. Davis might turn 36 in January, but he has shown flashes that he still has something left in the tank on a terrible Washington team. He would immediately offer the Seahawks another pass catcher capable of picking up some third downs and making plays in the red zone. It is the type of move you make to bolster a team capable of making a deep playoff run.

For Washington, this is just another player that has more value elsewhere. Davis still clearly has a role to play in the nation’s capital, but he is far from the only option the offense has at tight end with Jeremey Sprinkle and Jordan Reed, if the latter ever gets healthy. Picking up another draft pick for this year doesn’t hurt the rebuilding process that is undoubtedly needed. Put it this way, Vernon Davis probably won’t be in the NFL anymore by the time Washington is ready to compete for a division title again, so send him elsewhere and get something in return.

2019 NFL Coaching Carousel

Black Monday came and went in the NFL, leaving eight head coaching vacancies throughout the league. Each team has a bit of a different approach to filling the opening and unique factors to consider, making this a fun exercise. This is who I think each team should hire as their head coach, not necessarily who they will hire. Let’s take a look at the best fits for each opening across the league.

Cincinnati Bengals (6-10)
Previous coach: Marvin Lewis
New hire: Vic Fangio

After 16 years, Marvin Lewis is finally out in Cincinnati. Lewis turned around the Bengals, but never managed to secure a playoff win. It is a result-driven business and the results have not been Lewis’ friend in recent years. This is a team that might be about to undergo a complete overhaul on offense. Rumors persist about the futures of both A.J. Green and Andy Dalton. There are plenty of holes on that side of the ball for the new head coach to fill. Let’s make something clear, Hue Jackson is not the answer to the offensive problems. It sounds like Cincy might go this route, which would be a massive mistake.

However, the defense has been even worse. Cincinnati allowed the most yards per game and the third most points per game. That’s where Vic Fangio comes in. Fangio has overseen the incredible transformation of the Chicago Bears defense. His defense allowed the third fewest yards per game and fewest points per game. At age 60, Fangio is far from a young option, but has 32 years of NFL coaching experience at different levels. Fangio deserves a shot to lead a team. For a team searching for an identity, the Bengals could find one with this defensive guru.

Denver Broncos (6-10)
Previous coach: Vance Joseph
New Hire: Kris Richard

John Elway made it very clear he wants a coach that is an expert on his side of the ball. The Denver Broncos should be very familiar with Kris Richard’s expertise when it comes to coaching defense. He coached the Legion of Boom in Seattle en route to a Super Bowl victory at Peyton Manning’s expense. That was the best statistical offense in NFL history and Richard stymied it.

Over the course of this season as the defensive backs coach in Dallas, he has helped develop Byron Jones into a true lockdown corner. He dealt with all kinds of personalities in that Seattle locker room and learned under Pete Carroll. Richard has a good resume for a first-time coach. The damage he could do with Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, and Chris Harris Jr. would be fun to watch. The team needs to figure out a long-term solution at quarterback, but finding a way to get this defense back on track is a huge step to pushing this team in the right direction.

Cleveland Browns (7-8-1)
Previous coach: Hue Jackson
New hire: Gregg Williams

It has been 15 years since Gregg Williams was a head coach in the NFL, leading the Bills during the early 2000s with no avail. His successes as the defensive coordinator in New Orleans, winning a Super Bowl in 2009, are a bit fresher in our minds. He was excellent in that role, save Bounty Gate. Now, he took over as the Browns coach midseason and led the team to a 5-3 record and much-improved overall play. There is no question Williams and offensive coordinator Perry Kitchens have been essential in that. Cleveland won more games under the duo in the second half of the season than it had in the previous three years combined.

For the sake of the development of Baker Mayfield, Myles Garrett Nick Chubb and some of the other young prospects, it makes sense to keep some stability. No one is going to be better-suited to continue Mayfield’s development than Kitchens other than maybe Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley, who signed a contract extension with the Sooners on Tuesday. Plus the level of turnaround this team saw was incredible. The three losses under Williams came against the Texans, Chiefs and Ravens, all playoff teams. Belief is this club could be a playoff team next year. Keeping this coaching staff in place would be a wise move.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11)
Previous coach: Dirk Koetter
New hire: Eric Beinemy

The biggest task for whoever takes over for the Buccaneers is figuring out what to do at quarterback. Jameis Winston does not seem like a guaranteed long-term solution. The former first overall pick in the 2015 draft will be under contract for 2019, but is not guaranteed anything past that. That leaves the franchise in a very tough position with no other even potential long-term solution at quarterback on the roster.

There is no question that finding an offensive-minded coach to mentor Winston will be crucial. Enter Eric Bieniemy, the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator. Every team will be looking for the next Sean McVay with their newest hire. Bieniemy might not be McVay, but he is a former NFL running back, so there is that understanding of what it is like to be a player in the league.

Concerns with Bieniemy start and end with his experience. This is his first season as offensive coordinator and he is not the one calling the plays. However, the league places a high value on Andy Reid assistants and Bieniemy was Kansas City’s running backs coach from 2013 to 2017. In that span, the Chiefs produced two different 1st-team All-Pro backs and several good role players, including Charcandrick West, Spencer Ware and Damien Williams. Tampa needs a coach to revitalize the franchise and maximize the talent already existing on the roster. I trust Bieniemy to do just that after helping Patrick Mahomes become the 3rd quarterback in NFL history to toss 50 touchdowns in a season. It is time to give him a chance.

Arizona Cardinals (3-13)
Previous coach: Steve Wilks
New hire: Jim Caldwell

Arizona made the perplexing decision to fire Steve Wilks after one season, meaning it is time for a second straight offseason coaching search. This time, the Cardinals would do well to bring in a veteran coach with plenty of experience developing and fostering quarterbacks. Jim Caldwell fits the bill. Caldwell led the Colts to a Super Bowl berth in 2009, and took the Lions to the playoffs twice in four seasons. If you scrub the year where he coached the Colts without Peyton Manning, Caldwell’s record is 60-36. Needless to say, he deserves another chance in the NFL.

With Josh Rosen in need of some real guidance, Caldwell worked with one of the greatest quarterbacks ever in Manning. He also helped Matt Stafford become a much more efficient passer in Detroit. Former Colts center Jeff Saturday described Caldwell as being more laid back as well, an approach that could work well for a team that has Larry Fitzgerald on the roster. Caldwell is good at fostering the culture the players create. Fitz does it better than anyone else. Don’t overthink this and bring in a coach with real experience to oversee this rebuild.

Miami Dolphins (7-9)
Previous coach: Adam Gase
New hire: Dave Toub

There are a number of reasons why Dave Toub may be the best option for Miami. For one, he comes from the Andy Reid coaching tree, which has produced Matt Nagy, Sean McDermott and Doug Pederson most recently. The last Reid special teams coordinator who landed a head coaching job was John Harbaugh, who through 11 seasons is 114-77 including a 10-5 playoff record and a Super Bowl ring. I’m not saying Toub is guaranteed to be Harbaugh, but don’t sneer at the idea of a special team’s coordinator taking the top job. He did a stellar job in 2018, as the Chiefs ranked 2nd in special teams DVOA.

The other reason Toub makes sense is because this roster needs a complete overhaul. He is not a specialist, but a good teacher. That is something the Dolphins desperately need. Outside of a handful of defensive pieces, Miami lacks talent. I actually think Adam Gase deserves a ton of credit for the success the offense did have this season. He had to get creative with a middling offensive line, no true No. 1 receiver, 36-year old Frank Gore as his top running back and the combination of Brock Osweiler and a banged up Ryan Tannehill at quarterback. The bigger decision here will be building the roster. Toub will be good at teaching everyone when they get some better young talent in the locker room. He has the experience teams want in a head coaching candidate.

New York Jets (4-12)
Previous coach: Todd Bowles
New hire: Jim Harbaugh

It’s time to bring some bravado back to Broadway. This is a really young team in New York in desperate need of discipline and leadership. Todd Bowles was a players coach through and through, but the Jets were one of the most penalized teams in the league during Bowles’ final two seasons. Harbaugh also has a pretty good track record at developing quarterbacks. He led the 49ers to the Super Bowl with Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. Under Harbaugh, Kaepernick threw 50 touchdowns to just 21 interceptions and completed 60 percent of his passes. In college, he helped develop Andrew Luck.

Harbaugh would probably be interested in working with Sam Darnold. He is a former NFL quarterback with a great coaching record at 44-19-1 during four seasons with the 49ers. It will take a decent amount of effort to pull him away from Michigan, but the critics have been out in full force after Jim failed to beat Ohio State for the fifth straight year. (Fun fact: Michigan has beaten Ohio State just twice since 2000.) Harbaugh represents a good teacher, with previous NFL head coaching experience and the personality to thrive in the New York market. This is the closest thing the Jets are going to find to the offensive-minded version of Bill Parcells, the last time they had a great head coach. If Mike Macagnan is serious about doing things differently, this is the route to go.

Green Bay Packers (6-9-1)
Former coach: Mike McCarthy
New hire: Josh McDaniels

After what he did to the Colts last season, teams are likely wary of the Patriots offensive coordinator, but he fits well with this Packers team. He is bit more fiery than Mike McCarthy, which is something I think fans will relish. He does have some head coaching experience in Denver, which didn’t go too well, but you would have to think he learned from his mistakes. The Packers also have some good offensive weapons for McDaniels to work with in Aaron Jones, Davante Adams and a solid offensive line.

There is a bigger reason why McDaniels to the Packers rumors will persist. He would have the opportunity to work with possibly the only quarterback in the league comparable to the one he worked with in New England. Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady are in a league of their own in terms of talent and personality. It is no secret they both possess egos that sometimes makes headlines. McDaniels’ experience working with Brady makes him one of the best candidates to work with Rodgers. He might even be able to bring some Patriots assistants with him to help turnover the defense with some good young pieces, but in need of a better system. Overall, it is time for McDaniels to get another chance, and for him to actually take it this time.

Ranking Cities Sports Title Droughts

It has been a wild couple of years in sports in terms of ending title droughts. In 2016, Cleveland won its first championship in any sport in over half a century and the Chicago Cubs broke a 108-year curse by winning the World Series. In 2017, the Houston Astros won their first ever World Series title. 2018 has already seen the Philadelphia Eagles win a long-awaited championship and the Washington Capitals finally bring home the Stanley Cup. Some of the most historic title droughts in all of sports have ended in recent years, begging the question of which cities remain the most tortured for a title. Here is my top ten.

10. Detroit
Teams: Lions (NFL), Pistons (NBA), Red Wings (NHL), Tigers (MLB),
Last title: 2008

It has only been a decade since a Detroit team has won a title, but the history of sports success in the Motor City is not a great one. The Lions have famously (or infamously) never won a Super Bowl, or even appeared in one. They also hold the NFL record for most consecutive playoff losses. Baseball is a little more promising because the Tigers have won before, three times actually, but the last World Series victory came in 1984. The Pistons have had some great teams, but have also been one of the worst run NBA franchises in the last ten years. In the NHL, the Red Wings represent the true bright spot. Detroit has hoisted the Stanley Cup twice since the turn of the century. It hasn’t been that long for Detroit, but it might be a while before one of these four teams wins another title.

9. Indianapolis
Teams: Colts (NFL), Pacers (NBA)
Last title: 2006

Only two teams reside in Indianapolis and the Colts have won a title. The Peyton Manning era is still one fans could look back on proudly, but for a long time the Colts were one of the most tortured franchises in the NFL. They have resumed that post since then. For a city as crazy about basketball as Indy, zero NBA titles is a real bummer as well. The Pacers have only reached the NBA finals once in franchise history losing to the Shaq and Kobe Lakers. Both the Colts and Pacers have been competitive in recent years as well, but always end up faltering in the playoffs, leaving a bitter taste in fans’ mouths.

8. Charlotte
Teams: Hurricanes (NHL), Hornets (NBA), Panthers (NFL)
Last title: 2006

It has also been 12 years since Charlotte has won a title, but they get the edge for having three teams as opposed to Indy’s two. The Hornets have been one of the worst franchises in NBA history. It has been 30 years since the Hornets were founded and the team has never so much as won a division title. Football has treated fans a little better, as the Panthers did reach the Super Bowl back in 2003. They came agonizingly close to beating that Brady guy, but Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winner as time expired to beat Carolina. The Hurricanes are the only team in Charlotte to win a title. After losing in the 2002 Stanley Cup final, Carolina broke through in 2006 to lift the cup. Still, just one title between three teams over the past 30 years is a poor return.

7. Nashville
Teams: Predators (NHL), Titans (NFL)
Last title: N/A

If you also lump in the Memphis Grizzles, the Tennessee would likely move up a few spots on this list. Seeing as Memphis and Nashville are on opposite sides of the state though, it did not seem too fair. Both teams moved to town in 1997, but the Predators came close to bringing home a title in 2017. On the other hand, the Titans made the playoffs in 2017 for the first time in nearly ten years. What holds Nashville back is how new of a sports city it is. It has only had pro teams for 20 years, so the lack of a title is not totally shocking. Only one appearance in a finals setting is more than enough to qualify for this list though.

6. Cincinnati
Teams: Bengals (NFL), Reds (MLB)
Last title: 1990

Oh, where to begin with Cincinnati. For one, the Bengals have been a punch line in the NFL for quite some time. Head coach Marvin Lewis took over in 2003 and has taken the team to the playoffs seven times in his tenure. He is also 0-7 in the postseason. It has been 27 years since Cincy has won a playoff game, the longest active streak in the league. The Bengals weren’t always this way though. In the ’80s, Cincinnati made it to two Super Bowls, both times losing by less than a touchdown to the Joe Montana led 49ers. The Reds haven’t been a whole lot better. Since winning the World Series in 1990, Cincy’s baseball team has only made the playoffs four times. With the Bengals looking like an average team and the Reds in the middle of a rebuild, it could be a while before Cincinnati celebrates another championship.

5. San Diego
Teams: Padres (MLB), Chargers (NFL)
Last title: N/A

Technically, there is only one pro team still in San Deigo, but to not include the struggles of the Chargers in evaluating the drought this city has gone through would be unfair. I actually think the fact the Chargers left makes life as a fan in this city even more torturous. Boasting one of the greatest offenses in NFL history, San Diego never managed to reach a Super Bowl. Its lone appearance was a blowout loss to the 49ers in 1994. Even during the early 2000s, it seemed like the Chargers would finally break through, but never managed to reach the Super Bowl. For the Padres, opportunities for postseason success have been few and far between. In 49 years as a franchise, the Padres have made the playoffs just five times, including two different losses in the World Series. San Diego has long awaited a title and now will have an even tougher time securing one with only the Padres left in town.

4. Phoenix
Teams: Cardinals (NFL), Coyotes (NHL), Diamondbacks (MLB), Suns (NBA)
Last title: 2001

It has been 17 years since the largest city in Arizona brought home a sports championship. The Cardinals came agonizingly close in 2009 before falling to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a wild Super Bowl. The Suns haven’t been good in years, but still remember the days of Charles Barkley and Steve Nash fondly. Neither of the ever managed to bring home a title. The Coyotes have never made it to a Stanley Cup final, much less won one. That leaves the Diamondbacks, who won the cities last championship in 2001. It is the only title in the city’s history. The Cardinals won an NFL Championship in 1947, but that was actually while the team was located in Chicago. Only one title between four teams is tough for fans to swallow and it does not seem like any of them are close to a title for a least a few more years.

3. Atlanta
Teams: Hawks (NBA), Falcons (NFL), Braves (MLB),
Last title: 1995

Between the Hawks, Falcons and Braves, Atlanta has only brought home one title in the history of sports in the city. The Braves broke through in 1995, which isn’t really that long ago, but this city definitely knows what it is like to want a title. The Hawks have never made it to the NBA Finals while in Atlanta. The 2016 Falcons made it to the Super Bowl and blew the largest lead in the history of the game. It marked the second time the Falcons lost in the championship. Looking at the Braves, they lost four other World Series during the ’90s. Had it not been for that World Series in ’95, Atlanta might very well top this list.

2. Buffalo
Teams: Bills (NFL), Sabres (NHL)
Last title: N/A

Western New York is home to one of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports. The aptly named “Bills Mafia” provides a fun home field advantage whenever the Bills are hosting. Sabres fans have suffered through many years of woeful play on the ice, but still support the team nonetheless. Between these two franchises, Buffalo has appeared in six different championships, winning none of them. The Bills came up short in four consecutive Super Bowls! Talk about torture for fans. The Sabres made two different runs to the Stanley Cup final over the years, but fell short in both. It was the NHL team who made Buffalo’s last championship appearance in 1999. Up until last year, the Bills hadn’t even been to the playoffs since 1999. What holds Buffalo back from the top spot is the fact that the city only has two teams.

1. Minneapolis
Teams: Timberwolves (NBA), Twins (MLB), Wild (NHL), Vikings (NFL)
Last title: 1991

21 years ago was the last time a team from the Twin Cities won a title. Minneapolis is home to some of the most tortured fan bases in sports. On one hand, you have the Vikings. The Purple People Eaters lost four Super Bowls from 1969 to 1976. The Vikings have never made it back to the big game since their loss in ’76. It seemed like they would in 1998, with a historically good offense, only to lose in their first playoff game that year. Then there are the Timberwolves. Minnesota finally broke the second longest playoff drought in NBA history in 2018 after 13 years of failing to qualify. In a league where more than half the teams make it to the postseason, that is quite a feat. The Wild haven’t been in town long, but like the Timberwolves, have never even reached the finals. The Twins are the only team in town with a title, but have not returned to the World Series. While Minneapolis has won a title, none of the teams in the city have even reached the championship stage in the 27 years since. This city is starved for a title and well-deserving of the top spot on our list.