With the 2020 NFL draft just barely behind us, we are already looking forward to next season. Which teams will be significantly better, and most of all, who’ll win Rookie of the Year?
The Eagles and Jalen Hurts
It still doesn’t sit that well with me that an injured Tua Tagovailoa was taken early in the first round and Jalen Hurts, who is arguably just as good, fell to the second round. This young former Alabama and Oklahoma star is going to come into the NFL with a chip on his shoulder.
That said, he’ll be starting behind an elite QB in Carson Wentz. So, the odds of Jalen Hurts as one of the top guys to win ROY is surprising. So, the sportsbooks must think that Wentz’s recent run of injuries will continue and Hurts will get to step in, take over, and save the day … eh, season. But, to think that Hurts as a rookie, would be able to outperform Wentz – if he goes down– is wishful thinking at best; laughable at worst. That said, he was a wise pickup by the Eagles, as he could be an immediately reliable backup and of course, can be groomed into their next franchise guy under center.
The Philadelphia Eagles opened with the 5th most likely odds to win the Super Bowl at +1600. However, since then, they’ve slid down to +2000 which is 6th place, just below the Dallas Cowboys who are still at +1800.
Jalen Reagor might be a better option for ROY. He’ll have a good QB no matter what and he has a lot off opportunity for targets. He isn’t the highest touted receiver and he didn’t have the best combine. But there is plenty of room –because of a lack of talent– at WR in Philly. At +2000, I would be more inclined to throw a few bucks on Reagor than Jalen Hurts.
Cincinnati Bengals and Joe Burrow
The cream of the crop rises to the top and Joe Burrow has already taken his place as the early favorite – by a long-shot, I might add. The LSU stud is sitting at +215 on the Rookie of the Year odds boards. Again, I’m not sure that he’ll get more snaps than Andy Dalton. Let’s be honest, Dalton, although not the best QB in the league, is a pretty darn good guy to have under center. The problems with the Bengals are rooted much deeper than that position.
In fact, Dalton is one of the only things that wasn’t a problem with this latest iteration of a Cincinnati squad. Coaching, defense, offensive line, targets … pretty much everything else is the problem. So, will Joe Burrow make an immediate impact? Dalton has been in the league for some time now, but he’s not washed up. And although Burrow is going to replace him, I doubt it will be right off the bat. In fact, it would be the smart move to let Joe Burrow sit under Andy Dalton for a season and learn the ropes.
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) April 26, 2020
But, there was a lot of room for top QB talent last season, so we could see the Bengals trade Dalton away to fill some of the holes that still exist. That said, they just picked up ten undrafted free agents and snagged both Austin Calitro and Samaje Perine from the waiver wire. So it’s safe to say that they are completely reloading their practice squad to see who will make the cut under the stadium lights. All in all the Bengals have had a really productive offseason and should be a significantly better team in the next couple of years, if not immediately.
I hate to say it, but the best move for the Bengals would be to free up the 17.7 million that comes with Andy Dalton’s salary and use that money to plug other holes. But where would he go? Well … the first team that comes to mind just had their guy go to Chicago. The Jacksonville Jaguars need a Qb that can step in and lead that team. But we just don’t know … because coronavirus adds a new element. There won’t be any camps to speak of this spring and early summer, no OTAs … so how are they going to get Joe Burrows up to speed in time?
I think that the Bengals hold Dalton for one more season or perhaps the first half of the season before dealing him.