Good morning, everyone. Well, against the wishes of many of the league’s general managers, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell informed the league’s 32 teams last week that the draft will go on as scheduled in three weeks, and anyone in the league who doesn’t agree with that decision needs to zip their lips or face a stiff fine.
It’s unclear whether the GMs who wanted the draft postponed felt it was inappropriate to hold it in the middle of a pandemic or just didn’t feel they are adequately prepared to make sound decisions on players, given that most of the college Pro Days were cancelled and the only way they can interview draft prospects is by video chat.
My guess is the latter.
As for the appropriateness of going forward with the draft, I applaud Goodell’s decision if not the unnecessary shut-your-face fine threats that came with it. The truth is, we badly need a diversion to take our minds off of what’s going on right now, even if it’s just for a few days. And if teams have to make picks on guys without knowing their exact 40 time or being able to recheck injuries, well, so be it. They’ve made bad picks before, and they’ll make them again.
— Paul Domowitch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sometime after 11 p.m. on the 23rd of April, from the living room of his Bronxville, N.Y., home, Roger Goodell will clear his throat and announce, “With the 21st pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the Philadelphia Eagles select ...
“ ... Justin Jefferson, wide receiver from LSU.’’
There. Now you know. Now you can get back to binge-watching Law & Order SVU or training the new pup or trying to cut your hair or whatever it is you’ve been doing to try to stay sane during these scary coronavirus times.
You know the ending. You know who the Eagles will be taking in the first round of the draft.
They won’t be trading up, and they won’t be trading down. They will stay at 21 and, much to the delight of their fans, will take the best wide receiver left on the board, which will be Jefferson.
It will be the easiest pick general manager Howie Roseman has made in his career.
The top two wideouts in the draft, Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, both likely will be among the top 15 picks. Most mocks have Jeudy going 12th to the Raiders and Lamb going either 13th to the 49ers or 15th to the Broncos. ‘Bama’s other stud wideout, speedy Henry Ruggs, who ran a blazing 4.27-second 40 at the scouting combine, also isn’t likely to make it to the Eagles.
And you know what, Eagles fans? That’s just fine and dandy. Because Jefferson still will be there, and Roseman will gladly grab him and call it a very, very good night.
Jefferson was one of the nation’s most productive receivers this season. When the Eagles select him, Carson Wentz will jump for joy.
The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Louisiana native was one of the most productive wideouts in the nation last season. He caught 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns in 15 games.
Caught nine passes for 106 yards against Clemson in the national championship game. Caught 14 passes for 227 yards and four touchdowns in LSU’s 63-28 rout of Oklahoma in the semifinals.
Caught seven passes for 115 yards and one touchdown in the SEC championship game against Georgia. Big games, big performances.
“I love this kid,’’ said draft analyst Ben Fennell of the NFL Network and ESPN College Football. “He is what you wanted Nelson Agholor to be from Day 1.
“Jefferson led the nation in every slot category. Moving the chains. Third-down catches. The whole deal. Tough catches over the middle. Jump catches on the sideline.
“I have a bunch of plays [on tape] where Joe Burrow took a sack, and Justin had carved up a corner or safety. So his numbers could have been even bigger. He’s a really shifty, loose guy. He’s perfect for Doug Pederson’s offense.’’
I think not trading for (DeAndre) Hopkins is the stupidest move the franchise made. How could you not take the opportunity to give Carson Wentz a Hall of Fame wide receiver? — @JasonwithaJay via Twitter