Live blogging the NFL draft
The Eagles beat writers at The Athletic believe the Birds will take a wide receiver in the first round. Will it be LSU’s Justin Jefferson? Or will they trade up to get one of Henry Ruggs/Jerry Jeudy/CeeDee Lamb or down and still end up with Jefferson or TCU wideout Jalen Reagor?
ESPN announces that NFL analyst Todd McShay is recovering COVID-19 and the broadcast is dedicated to him. NFL President Roger Goodell has a solemn intro recognizing first responders and everyone risking their lives on the front lines of this pandemic. And then a moment of silence, followed by Harry Connick Jr. playing and singing the national anthem.
8:13 p.m. Dr. Anthony Fauci commends the NFL for conducting the draft remotely.
8:25 p.m. Surprising no one on earth, Cincinnati selects LSU quarterback Joe Burrow No. 1. I really like Burrow, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. His play last season was beyond fantastic. Does he have any weaknesses? He has the arm strength, the accuracy, he can move in the pocket, he can take off and run occasionally, he’s unflappable, he thrives under pressure. It looks like the Bengals got the whole package.
8:33 p.m. Pass rusher extraordinaire Chase Young, of Ohio State, considered by many analysts to be the best player in the draft, goes second to the Redskins. I don’t look forward to the Eagles having to go against him twice a season for the next 10-plus years.
8:38 p.m. Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah, clearly the top cornerback in the draft, is selected by the Lions. At one point, the first three picks were all on the Buckeyes; Burrow was a backup QB for years before transferring to LSU.
8:48 p.m. Offensive guard Andrew Thomas, of Georgia, is chosen by the New York Giants. The top four picks went as expected (some switched Okudah and Thomas). The Dolphins’ pick at No. 5 is the first wild card.
8:55 p.m. Miami takes Tua Tagovailoa, the Alabama QB. When healthy, he’s a very good prospect, with franchise potential. But his health is the big question, as he’s recovering from hip surgery. The Dolphins have three first-rounders, so they probably feel they can take the risk. The Chargers are next, and they need a QB. Justin Herbert?
9:02 p.m. Herbert it is. ESPN said he worked his way up from sixth string (wow). He was a three-star recruit out of high school, so not everyone taken in the top 10 is the cream of the crop as a recruit. The next QB to go will be Utah State’s Jordon Love, but likely not for a while yet.
9:11 p.m. Panthers go for Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown. Mel Kiper Jr. emphasized Brown’s consistency as perhaps why Carolina didn’t go instead for Clemson outside linebacker Isaiah Simmons.
9:15 p.m. Cardinals don’t waste any time snapping up Simmons, another three-star recruit out of high school. Kiper has him ranked fourth overall among draft prospects, so no wonder Arizona is thrilled to see Simmons still there at No. 8.
9:23 p.m. Cornerback C.J. Henderson is the Jaguars’ choice at No. 9. Still no wide receivers. Is this good for the Eagles, or is there going to be a run on WRs in a few picks?
9:26 p.m. For the 10th selection, Cleveland gets offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. from Alabama. The Browns have to be pretty excited he was still available.
9:35 p.m. Still no WR off the board, as 6-7, 363-pound offensive tackle Mekhi Becton is chosen by the Jets. Sounds like he had a tremendous combine – huge yet really athletic. Attractive combination.
9:40 p.m. The Las Vegas Raiders take Alabama wideout Henry Ruggs, so he won’t be an Eagle (wasn’t likely to happen anyway but still couldn’t help hoping). CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy remain on the board.
9:50 p.m. Buccaneers trade up for Iowa offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs, who will be asked to protect Tom Brady. Again, like with Simmons and Wills, many mock drafts had Wirfs going earlier. Booger McFarland calls Wirfs a steal for Tampa Bay.
9:58 p.m. San Francisco selects Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina defensive tackle, with the 14th pick. McFarland says Kinlaw reminds him of Patriots’ great Richard Seymour. High praise.
10:05 p.m. Jerry Jeudy, the OTHER Alabama receiver, is selected by the Broncos at No. 15. Jeudy could very well emerge as the best WR in this draft class.
10:12 p.m. Clemson defensive back A.J. Terrell goes the Falcons. CeeDee Lamb still on the board. Wow.
10:20 p.m. Cowboys take Lamb. Why didn’t the Eagles trade up four spots to No. 17? Price too steep? They don’t think Lamb is worth it? I don’t think WR was a pressing need for Dallas, but Lamb was hard to pass up.
10:28 p.m. Austin Jackson, USC offensive tackle, is taken by Miami at No. 18. By the way, I like hearing all these personal stories about the players; Jackson donated bone marrow to save his sister’s life.
10:32 p.m. At No. 19, the Raiders select Damon Arnette, Ohio State corner. A surprise this high. No consensus on the draft’s third-best corner after Okudah and Henderson, according to Kiper.
10:41 p.m. LSU linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson is the Jaguars’ choice at No. 20. That leaves Justin Jefferson for the Eagles, if they want him.
10:43 p.m. Philly pick is in already. Hmm …
10:47 p.m. Eagles take TCU wideout Jalen Reagor. So they get the first-round WR after all. I do like his upside and versatility. But could they have traded back to later in the first round, acquired another pick or two, and still gotten Reagor? Possibly. Time will tell if they’ll regret passing on Jefferson.
Logging off now. The virtual NFL draft is working well, I think. Good job, ESPN, NFL and everyone else involved.