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Burrow, Young should be top picks in draft

Jim Walker

On paper, there’s always talent in the NFL draft. It’s what the players and teams do with the talent off paper that determines a successful draft.
Just ask local coach and NFL draft handicapper Bart Burcham who has usually been very successful in his predictions.
Burcham may have selections that are better than the teams who are picking, but trades and what a team believes is their biggest needs determining whom they draft and there are other factors that sometimes determine how well that draft pick performs.
“Like always, it depends on where you end up. If you get in a bad situation or organization, many won’t live up to their potential,” said Burcham.
The first round of the draft will be Thursday with the following rounds on Friday and Saturday. Due to the Coronavirus distancing and isolation rules, the draft will be conducted virtually.
The NFL draft’s main focus every year is quarterback since rule changes have made it a quarterback league.
But this year the wide receiver and defensive end — or edge as it is often referred to — are more dominant is terms of talent and availability.
“I only like (Joe) Burrow and Tua (Tagovailoa) among the quarterbacks in this class. The rest will be average at best,” said Burcham.
“There are a lot of good wide receivers, offensive lineman and pass rushers in this class. I really like (Jerry) Jeudy, (Henry) Ruggs and (Justin) Jefferson among the wide receivers.”
The top pick in the draft is expected to be LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner who played for the Athens Bulldogs and took them all the way to a state runner-up.
Burrow should be drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals with that first pick. The Cleveland Browns have the 10th pick overall.
“Both (teams) have had really good off-seasons so far in free agency. The Browns need help on the O-Line badly. The Bengals have to take Burrow to start,” said Burcham.
“Both then need to take the best player available with every pick after that. You build your franchise by getting the most productive players regardless of position.”
Here is a rundown on Burcham’s first round predictions minus any trades that would make for a topsy-turvy draft.
1, Cincinnati: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU. Athletic, accurate, poised but lacks a big arm.
2, Washington: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State. Athletic and potential to be one of the best in the league. Led nation in sacks. Needs to develop more rush moves.
3, Detroit: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State. Has size and plays physical but needs work against the run.
4, New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson. Possibly the best athlete in the draft. Versatility allows him to play three or four positions. Tough to find a weakness.
5, Miami: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. Has the size and tools plus a good athlete. Accuracy has been questioned.
6, Los Angeles Chargers: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama. Quick release and accurate with short to mid-range throws. Injuries are the only thing to haunt him.
7, Carolina: Derek Brown, DL, Auburn. Has size and strength but not very agile.
8. Arizona: Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa. Most athletic lineman in the draft with good speed. Needs to keep defenders off of him.
9, Jacksonville: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina. Good pass rusher but inconsistent.
10, Cleveland: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville. Although 6-7, 365, moves extremely well. Browns must be patient. He will need time to develop.
11, New York Jets: Jedrick Wills Jr, OL, Alabama. Very good but maybe somewhat overrated. Plays smart but needs more size.
12, Las Vegas: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama. Explosive speed and runs great routes. Needs more bulk weight and strength.
13, San Francisco: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma. Dangerous after the catch but needs to learn how to get away from coverage.
14, Tampa Bay: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia. Strong and can play either side, but not as athletic as other tackles.
15, Denver: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama. Has speed and good acceleration but doesn’t run good routes and struggles at times.
16, Atlanta: K’Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU. Quick off the ball and agile, but injuries a concern.
17, Dallas: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida. Recovers will in coverage but doesn’t play the ball well.
18, Miami: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama. Tough and versatile but has trouble with big receivers.
19, Las Vegas: Jordan Love, QB, Utah. Has size and a big arm but too ancy in the pocket.
20, Jacksonville: A.J. Terrel, CB, Clemson. Has size (6-1, 195) and speed but needs to be more aggressive.
21, Philadelphia: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma. Great going sideline-to-sideline but can get out of control and often gets out of position.
22. Minnesota: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor. One of the fastest WR with long arms but inconsistent hands.
23, New England: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa. Strong, good pass rusher but not as quick as other DE’s.
24, New Orleans: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU. Look for him to play as a slot receiver. Needs to learn to play at the next level.
25, Minnesota: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah. Strong in press coverage but sometimes loses his receiver.
26, Miami, Josh Jones, OT, Houston. Athletic but not as strong of a run-blocker.
27, Seattle: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State. A lot of similarities to Young but not as overpowering.
28, Baltimore: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU. Another big-time LB with speed and athleticism. Size (6-0, 229) could be a problem taking on runners.
29, Tennessee: Austin Jackson, OT, Southern Cal. Athletic with a lot of potential, but at 21 is one of the youngest players among linemen.
30, Green Bay: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State. Another WR who is dangerous after the catch but lacks strength.
31, San Francisco: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama. Has the size and talent but doesn’t recoever well or tackle well in the open field.
32, Kansas City: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia. Not big t 5-8, but weighs 212 and cuts well. Durability could be an issue.