Top-10 NFL mock draft, key prospects to watch at 2020 NFL Scouting Combine

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It’s a very rich draft at wide receiver, above average at corner (the high school 7-on-7 tournaments around the country are producing crops of players who can catch and defend against the catch), and good at running back, defensive tackle and quarterback . . . and suspect everywhere else. So, a 2020 NFL Combine Preview.

I asked Daniel Jeremiah, the worthy successor to Mike Mayock on the 28-hour NFL Network TVing of the event beginning Thursday from 4-11 p.m. ET), to give me his top 10 in this draft entering the combine, along with an early top 10 mock draft. They’re pretty different, side by side:

The headlines and opinions, from Jeremiah and others, are interesting heading into the official start of the draft season.

• The Hawaiian’s health. Every quarterback opinion this year is prefaced with, “If Tua Tagovailoa’s healthy . . .” As in: If Tua’s healthy, and his surgically repaired hip checks out, he won’t go below Miami at five. But it’s a big if. Tagovailoa’s a marvelous prospect, but he had two high ankle sprains and a major hip injury in his last 14 months of college football. This week gives 32 team medical staffs the chance to evaluate the hip (especially) and to probe whether his injuries will become professionally chronic, or whether they’re flukes. It’s a really important week for him.
“If I’m picking, let’s say, five, six or seven,” Jeremiah told me Saturday night, “you’ve got the Dolphins, the Chargers, the Panthers. That’s quarterback alley right there. If I’m the Dolphins and I’m picking 5 and my doctor tells me, ‘Look, I think he needs to sit out this entire season to get 100 percent healthy, but in my opinion, the odds are in our favor—that he will return to 100-percent health and will be no more likely to re-injure this hip than you or I, or any other player on the team—then you pick him. I wouldn’t even care if you redshirt him.”

If not? That’s when the pressure will really be on the medical staff. Anthony Munoz, with an iffy knee, got flunked on his pre-draft physical by 14 NFL teams and went on to play 13 years at the highest Hall of Fame level for Cincinnati.

• The Burrow coronation. He’ll speak to the press Tuesday morning and be asked whether he intends to play for the Bengals if picked one overall by Cincinnati, as is expected. That’s one story. The rest of his story? The Bengals, and those hoping he falls, will continue to probe his past, particularly this: One team told me if Burrow had left LSU after his mediocre 2018 season, that team would have given him approximately a fifth-round grade. And now he’s likely to go number one. So should 15 otherwordly games in 2019 (60 touchdowns, six interceptions) bury the evidence of 2018?

Jeremiah: “He was training an hour from my house with [QB coach] Jordan Palmer. He was out there with Sam Darnold and Josh Allen and Kyle Allen. I went up there and watched him work out, throw. I had a chance to visit with him for 20 minutes. I said, ‘Joe, you’re gonna get asked this question at the combine: Why the unbelievable leap from last year to this year?’

“He said, first of all, he’s a grad transfer. Most grad transfers transfer in the spring. He said, ‘I got to LSU after the freshmen had already reported for full camp.’ So you talk about trying to learn everything in a heartbeat and try to get to know your teammates, and then plug in and be ready to play. That’s the first part of it. Second part, he hadn’t played much football in the previous three years. There was some rust. Okay, this makes sense. And then schematically, and this is the big one, they were in a lot of seven-man protection in that offense last year. Burrow, his greatest gift, and you can see it this year when you watch him, is he has the vision to be able to take a snapshot of the entire field, to see everything, to process, and to throw accurately. Well, when you’re in seven-man protection and you limit the number of guys that can get out on a route, you’re limiting the answers you can give somebody. He was handicapped by them trying to mass-protect him. There’s no room for him to use his athletic ability to take off and go if you want. There’s no room for him to slide around, more around, find windows. It was just a congested brand of football.

“And then, you look at this year. He gets [passing-game coordinator] Joe Brady in there. He becomes a master of the offense. At the beginning of the season, they were in a bunch of six-man protection, which he’s playing really well. And he said eventually Joe Brady said in week three or four, ‘Let’s just go five-man protection. Let’s get everybody out into the route.’ When they did that, [he] completed about 80 percent from that point on.

“His super-power is his ability to see the entire field, to work through progressions, and then throw the ball accurately. So they kind of unlocked that super-power this last year. And the rest is history.”

I told Jeremiah: “You’ve got to tell America that on TV this week.”

“I’ve only got 28 hours!” he said.

• The next wave of QBs. Oregon’s Justin Herbert had a great Senior Bowl week and could creep into the top 10. Jordan Love of Utah State could go between 15 and 28. Jeremiah has a pre-combine top 50 out today. He has Love 20, Herbert 21, Washington’s Jacob Eason 47 and Georgia’s Jake Fromm 50.

• Washington should not listen to ransoms for Chase Young. The Ohio State pass-rusher might be better than Nick Bosa. Might be. With last year’s first-round rusher Montez Sweat and (possibly) formidable rusher Ryan Kerrigan in place, Washington could have one of the game’s best pass-rushes on day one. “There’s some guys you don’t trade off of,” Jeremiah said. “I don’t trade off of quarterbacks and I don’t trade off of elite edge rushers because that’s how you win football games. You win championships with great quarterback play and pass rush. We saw two teams at the Super Bowl, one with the great quarterback, the other one with the great pass rush. That’s how the game’s played right now.”

• Embarrassment of riches at receiver. Last year in the draft, 12 wide receivers went in a 52-pick span, between 25th overall (Marquise Brown) and 76th (Terry McLaurin). It’s amazing how many had instant impact in year one: Brown, McLaurin, Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, Mecole Hardman and DK Metcalf. This year, Jeremiah has given 27 receivers grades in the top three rounds; he says it’s the best draft for receivers in the 18 years he’s scouted college players. Since three receivers got picked in the top 10 in 2017 (Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross went 5-7-9) and significantly underachieved, teams have largely taken the attitude that since there are so many good ones in the crop, let’s pass on receiver now and get one in the third our fourth round—such as McLaurin at 76 last year by Washington.

“It’s not just last year where we’ve seen the day two group [rounds two and three] outshine or at least be neck and neck with the day one group,” Jeremiah said. “I think this class this year goes deeper than that. Last year, I probably had 18 or 19 players with top-three-round grades. This year there’s just more of them.

“And it makes sense, with the way the game is being played. These college teams are playing four and five wide receivers at all times. These guys are catching a million balls and the NFL offenses are still asking these guys to swallow a phone book playbook. When you look at what Deebo Samuel did in the Super Bowl . . . Just get the ball in his hands. Use him in the run game. Throw to him. Everything.” Which brings us to . . .

• The positionless player. Pro Football Focus has done a good pointing out how so many teams—Baltimore most notably, but San Francisco and others—have been playing defensive players at multiple spots freely and as a matter of strategy. Samuel’s a good example, or Tyrann Mathieu all over the back end of the Kansas City defense. In this draft, PFF points out that Clemson safety/inside linebacker/outside linebacker Isaiah Simmons played more than 100 snaps at four different positions, and that’s why Simmons has top-10-pick value this year. He’d be a perfect player for Baltimore defensive coordinator Wink Martindale, who had a bunch of Swiss Army Knife players.

“Are we heading toward the position-less player profile as we go into the future? That’s where I think it’s going,” Jeremiah said. “And I think guys like Isaiah Simmons have tremendous value. I’ve talked to a couple defensive coordinators around the league about this and they see it. It’s like the way the NBA went. You just want to get as many tall, long, explosive guys on the field as you can. And some weeks you might deploy them differently than others.”

Read more from Peter King’s Football Morning in America column here. 

49ers vs Broncos live stream: How to watch SNF online, time, TV channel tonight for NFL Week 3 matchup

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With 2 weeks of action already in the books, all the attention now shifts to Week 3. This Sunday night, September 25, it’s Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers taking on Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos in a battle at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America on NBC and streaming live on Peacock.

Wilson is 16-4 against the 49ers in the regular season and has thrown 36 touchdown passes against San Francisco, the most he’s thrown against any opponent. On the other side, Garoppolo, who entered the game in Week 2 after Trey Lance suffered an ankle injury, owns a 31-14 record as the 49ers’ starting quarterback and has led the team to two NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl.

More from NBC Sports Pressbox:

San Francisco and Denver will meet for the 16th time on Sunday and the 49ers currently hold an 8-7 advantage in the all-time series, including the postseason. The SNF matchup will mark the first meeting between the teams since Week 14 in 2018. The 49ers went on to win that game, 20-14.

RELATED: 2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

NBC has got you covered with all you need to know about the game including the TV channel, start time, live stream information, and more.

How to watch 49ers vs Broncos live on Sunday Night Football

  • Where: Empower Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado
  • When: Sunday, September 25
  • Start Time: 8:20 p.m. ET; live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night In America
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Stream liveWatch live on Peacock or with the NBC Sports App

RELATED: Peter King’s 2022 NFL Season Predictions

This NFL season, Peacock is streaming all of NBC’s NFL games including regular season and playoff games. More from Peacock’s website:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football with a Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here.

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: See the 2022 NFL Sunday Night Football schedule here

Tune into Football Night in America this week and all season long, for new weekly segments hosted by Chris Simms and sports betting and fantasy pioneer Matthew Berry, now showcasing real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker, courtesy of BetMGM. 

Don’t forget to stick around postgame because Peacock Sunday Night Football Final is going to go deep on all the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

Make sure to visit NBC Sports EDGE, NBC’s betting and fantasy sports site, for in-depth coverage highlighting the players and storylines impacting the football season on Peacock and across NBC Sports digital platforms.

RELATED: Check out all the latest NFL news and Rumors for the 2022 season

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule: TV channel, live stream info, NFL schedule

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The 2022 NFL Football season is finally back in session. This Sunday night features a match-up between Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers vs Russell Wilson and the Denver Broncos. NBC and Peacock have got you covered with access to this week’s game as well as every Sunday Night Football game this season. See below for the complete 2022 Sunday Night Football schedule and find out how to live stream every game on Peacock.

RELATED: FMIA Week 2 – Mike McDaniel’s ‘F— It’ Play Powers Dolphins’ Comeback and How 49ers Adjust Without Trey Lance

This year’s Sunday Night Football coverage will feature Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth in the booth and Melissa Stark on the sidelines. Live coverage begins every Sunday night at 7:00 p.m. ET with Football Night in America with the talented group of Maria Taylor, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Jason Garrett, Chris Simms, Jac Collinsworth, Mike Florio, and Matthew Berry. Berry, a fantasy football industry pioneer, will also appear on Peacock’s exclusive NFL post-game show, Sunday Night Football Final.

RELATED: How to watch Matthew Berry on NBC Sports

Football Night in America will also feature a weekly segment hosted by Simms and sports betting and Berry, which highlights storylines and betting odds for the upcoming Sunday Night Football game on NBC, Peacock, and Universo. Real-time betting odds on the scoring ticker during FNIA also will be showcased. Peacock Sunday Night Football Final, an NFL postgame show produced by NBC Sports, will also go deep on the storylines and BetMGM betting lines that proved prominent during the matchup.

2022 Sunday Night Football Schedule:

*Live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday, Sept. 8 (Week 1) – Josh Allen’s four touchdowns power Bills to 31-10 victory over Rams

Sunday, Sept. 11 (Week 1) – Bucs take care of business against Cowboys, who lose Dak Prescott late

Sunday, Sept. 18 (Week 2) Packers roll over Bears 27-10 as Aaron Jones, Preston Smith star

Sunday, Sept. 25 (Week 3) – 49ers at Broncos

Sunday, Oct. 2 (Week 4) – Chiefs at Buccaneers

Sunday, Oct. 9 (Week 5) – Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, Oct. 16 (Week 6) – Cowboys at Eagles

Sunday, Oct. 23 (Week 7) – Steelers at Dolphins

Sunday, Oct. 30 (Week 8) – Packers at Bills

Sunday, Nov. 6 (Week 9) – Titans at Chiefs

Sunday, Nov. 13 (Week 10) – Chargers at 49ers

Sunday, Nov. 20 (Week 11) – Bengals at Steelers

Thursday, Nov. 24 (Week 12) – Patriots at Vikings

Sunday, Nov. 27 (Week 12) – Packers at Eagles

Sunday, Dec. 4 (Week 13) – Colts at Cowboys

Sunday, Dec. 11 (Week 14) – Chiefs at Broncos

Sunday, Dec. 18 (Week 15) – Patriots at Raiders

Sunday, Dec. 25 (Week 16) – Buccaneers at Cardinals

Sunday, Jan. 1 (Week 17) – Rams at Chargers

Sunday, Jan. 8 (Week 18) – Matchup TBD

 RELATED: How to watch 49ers vs Broncos – Live stream, TV Channel, Game Preview


How to watch Sunday Night Football on Peacock:

If you have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can watch Sunday Night Football on your TV or with a TV provider login on the NBC Sports app, NBC app, or via NBCSports.com. Check your local listings to find your NBC channel. If you can’t find NBC in your channel lineup, please contact your TV provider.

RELATED: 2022 NFL Regular Season Schedule – How to Watch, Live Stream, Dates, Times, Matchups

If you don’t have access to NBC via your TV provider, you can stream Sunday Night Football on Peacock with a $4.99/month Peacock Premium plan.  Sign up here or, if you already have a free Peacock account, go to your Account settings to upgrade or change your existing plan. 

RELATED: PFT’s Week 3 2022 NFL power rankings

Please note that selection of a Premium plan will result in a charge which will recur on a monthly or annual basis until you cancel, depending on your plan. You can cancel your Premium plan at any time in your Account.

RELATED: PFT’s Week 2 2022 NFL picks


 Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 NFL Season, and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!