“In the draft this year, the most fateful decision will be another medical one…to draft Tua Tagovailoa with his injury history, or to pass him by.” – King on Miami at the No. 5 pick
“Jordan Love’s a polarizing player. He’s the most exciting quarterback in the draft. He’s not (Patrick) Mahomes, but coached well, he could become a really good player.” – One NFL GM to King
“Roger Goodell will preside over the first round, as is the commissioner’s habit. On April 23 at 8 p.m. ET, he’ll appear via an in-home camera in the basement of his home in Westchester County, N.Y.” – King
ProFootballTalk.com Provides the Latest Free Agency and Draft News and Updates; Florio & Simms on PFT Live Weekdays at 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 13, 2020 – Peter King provides notes on potential first round draft picks and discusses the mechanics of the 2020 NFL Draft, which will take place virtually in 10 days, in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also speaks with players, executives, and individuals from around the NFL about their lives while in quarantine.
This week on NBCSN, Lunch Talk Live with Mike Tirico continues each weekday at Noon ET and The Rich Eisen Show debuts today at 1 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Football Flex, a new, one-hour show featuring the most topical news and analysis from NBC Sports’ digital football content, also debuts today at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN. For more information on NBCSN’s weekday programming, click here.
Additionally, ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest free agency news and NFL insider Mike Florio and analyst Chris Simms provide offseason and NFL Draft updates on PFT Live.
The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:
FIRST-ROUND DRAFT NOTES
King on the Bengals drafting at No. 1: “There’s little chance the Bengals will trade out of this pick. LSU’s Joe Burrow makes too much sense for the long-term best interests of the franchise.”
King on the Redskins at No. 2: “No one in my sphere thinks Ron Rivera will do anything but log on to the NFL’s secure Microsoft Teams draft channel when Washington is on the clock and enter Chase Young, Ohio State.”
King on the Lions at No. 3: “Defensive player or trade down…Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah or Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown would be Matt Patricia types…Even a trade down for slightly less value would be smart for Lions GM Bob Quinn.”
King on the Dolphins at No. 5: “In the draft this year, the most fateful decision will be another medical one…to draft Tua Tagovailoa with his injury history, or to pass him by…I do hear that (GM Chris Grier) and coach Brian Flores are very much against trading the farm to move up to get Burrow – which some in the organization want to do. I doubt owner Stephen Ross will pull the owner card and force a mega-offer to try to move up to number one, but we’ll see.”
King on the Chargers at No. 6: “A GM friend of (Chargers GM Tom) Telesco’s thinks he’s very high on Justin Herbert. But head coach Anthony Lynn is legitimately bullish on Tyrod Taylor, and maybe for more than one year.”
King on the 49ers at No. 13: “Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. Another defensive lineman in the first round?!! This sounds crazy, and maybe it is, after all the first-round defensive-line capital the Niners have used up…But I hear the Niners are desperate for a space-eating defensive tackle who can threaten the pocket.”
King on the Patriots at No. 23: “‘They love Justin Herbert, but enough to trade up for him?’ one rival GM said…After losing out on Hayden Hurst in their latest hunt for a tight end, no way the Pats could reach for versatile Notre Damer Cole Kmet here to solve the tight end problem, is there?”
One GM to King on Utah State QB Jordan Love: “Jordan Love’s a polarizing player. He’s the most exciting quarterback in the draft. He’s not (Patrick) Mahomes, but coached well, he could become a really good player.”
2020 NFL Draft
King on Commissioner Goodell’s role: “Roger Goodell will preside over the first round, as is the commissioner’s habit. On April 23 at 8 p.m. ET, he’ll appear via an in-home camera in the basement of his home in Westchester County, N.Y.”
King on Goodell announcing picks: “Interesting note from a Saturday conversation with the NFL’s special-events czar, Peter O’Reilly: During each pick, a virtual montage of 15 fans of the team on the clock will be the backdrop behind Goodell, with those fans reacting (booing?) to the commissioner and to whoever their team picks.”
King on the draftees: “The draftees will be in their homes, mostly, and have been told to have no more than six people in the picture when the in-home camera focuses on them at the time of the pick. In the first round, most of the picks will be shown reacting, and then they’ll be interviewed.”
King on the process of making a pick: “Each team’s designated drafter will be connected to the league’s official Microsoft Teams private and encrypted draft channel, and will make the pick through that channel. There are two fail-safes: A GM can call (NFL VP of player personnel Ken) Fiore or a member of his team directly by landline or cell with the pick. Also, there will be a conference call for the length of the draft with club officials muted; the club official designated to make the pick can unmute his/her line and announce the pick.”
King on teams speaking internally: “Each team will have choices, but I talked to five over the weekend about the mechanics of it. The Saints, for instance, will have two video conferences working simultaneously. One will have GM Mickey Loomis, coach Sean Payton, assistant GM/college scouting director Jeff Ireland and VP/football administration Khai Hartley; the other will have those four people plus every scout.”
King on draft day trades: “That’s what teams are still working out. One GM told me he’s likely to divide the 31 potential trade partners into four groups. Each one of those groups, with seven or eight teams in it, will be told before the draft if he/she has a trade to discuss during the draft to call the contact person, who will then tell the GM that Team X wants to talk trade…But it won’t be as smooth as having everyone in the same room.”
King on Las Vegas: “So the financial hardship on Las Vegas has been great with the closure of the casinos, and the NFL having to cancel the Vegas-hosted draft this year doesn’t help…The league really wants the draft in Los Angeles soon, so my guess is Vegas and L.A. will each host sometime by 2025.”
LIFE IN QUARANTINE
NFL Draft prospect QB Justin Herbert: “I’m back in Eugene with all my family, my [two] brothers, my parents. It’s been cool to get to spend time with them…This is an exciting time, as tough as it may be with everything that’s going on. I think it would’ve been really, really cool to be at the draft and it would’ve been a really special moment to just be there in general. Instead of that, being in Eugene, I’ve always loved Eugene and being here is really special.”
Dolphins center Ted Karras: “I’ve used some of my time to work toward my Master’s in Business Administration at Indiana University. I’ve been studying for a midterm in financial management, re-watching some of the lectures. This is kind of fun – (former Patriots teammate) Joe Thuney is going for the same degree.”
Chargers GM Tom Telesco: “It is surreal to be home. I’ve never been home this much in my life. My [three] kids are upstairs in their rooms, doing their school stuff from about 8 to 2:30 every day. We don’t have a basement, so I’m at the dining room table with a Surface, an iPad, a Mac, an XOS computer, working as usual.”
Redskins head coach Ron Rivera: “Being a new head coach now, the last time I was in this position in Carolina was during the  lockout. So I didn’t get to meet my football team until the day we started training camp. This is not unchartered territory.”
The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:
- The Rich Eisen Show: Rich Eisen, a four-time Sports Emmy studio host nominee and NFL Network’s first on-air talent, will bring his Los Angeles-based The Rich Eisen Show to NBCSN for a special two-month run on weekdays, beginning today at 1 p.m. ET.
- Lunch Talk Live: NBC Sports’ hour-long, daily sports talk show, which is hosted by Mike Tirico, continues each weekday at Noon ET on NBCSN. Today’s featured guests include NHL on NBC’s Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick and New Jersey Devils defenseman K. Subban. Click here for more information on Lunch Talk Live and The Rich Eisen Show.
- NBC Sports Football Flex: Debuting today at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN, the new hour-long show features the most topical news and analysis from NBC Sports’ digital football content. Click here for more information.
- PFT Live: Mike Florio and Chris Simms provide updates on NFL free agency and continue to discuss the upcoming NFL Draft.
- On the Simms Unbuttoned podcast this week, Simms speaks with 49ers defensive lineman Arik Armstead and ranks the 2020 defensive back draft class.
A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.