There’s little debate about who the No. 1 overall pick of the 2020 NFL draft will be. The Cincinnati Bengals are expected to select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow to become the new face of the franchise. There’s likely to be some pre-draft rumors about the Bengals considering other options at the first pick, but they’ll be nothing more than traditional pre-draft posturing in an effort to illicit trade offers.
What’s less certain is where, and how many, other quarterbacks will be picked in the top 32.
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa — assuming his hip checks out — should end up a top-five pick, and Oregon’s Justin Herbert is a consensus top-15 prospect. Utah State’s Jordan Love seems like a safe bet for the first round, too.
According to NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks’ first mock draft of the season, Herbert will join Tagovailoa as a top-10 pick. Love, per Brooks, will slide a bit farther; No. 24.
No. 6: Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon)
The likely departure of Philip Rivers puts the Chargers in the QB market. Herbert could be a nice fit as an athletic, high-IQ passer with intriguing physical tools.
No. 24: New Orleans Saints – Jordan Love (QB, Utah State)
Sean Payton could be the perfect coach to cultivate Love’s talents as an athletic gunslinger.
Herbert solidified his draft stock with a strong showing at the 2020 Senior Bowl. He looked the part physically, checking in at 6-6, 227 pounds, and his arm was as good as advertised. Love helped himself in Mobile too, and at times looked like the best quarterback at the game.
The biggest question surrounding Herbert is whether he has the kind of personality required to take charge of an NFL locker room. His soft-spoken demeanor won’t be a fit for every front office, and he’d offer a stark contrast for a Chargers team that’s been led by the fiery Philip Rivers for the last 16 seasons.
Love, meanwhile, faces questions about his consistency and decision-making. He’s more of a gambler who trusts his arm a tad too much, but his combination of traits makes him a strong first-round pick. If this mock scenario turns into reality, it would be the best-case scenario for Love. He’ll have the benefit of sitting behind Drew Brees (assuming he re-signs in New Orleans) for 2020 before taking control of the offense in 2021.