Ten moves NFL teams should make after the 2020 draft, including five big-name trades

The 2020 NFL Draft came and went, with 255 different players officially joining the pros and sending the league into what figures to be a quiet couple of months until training camp — or at least what’s scheduled to be training camp.

Just because the draft is over and teams have already stocked up on undrafted free agents, however, doesn’t mean teams are finished tweaking their rosters for the 2020 season. We’ve seen time and again that some of the NFL’s best clubs built their lineups by exploring moves — even blockbusters — far into the summer.

With that in mind, here are 10 moves that teams should make now that the draft is complete:

1. Colts trade QB Jacoby Brissett to Patriots

If the Colts believed Jacoby Brissett was their short- or potentially long-term answer at QB, they wouldn’t have signed 38-year-old Philip Rivers. Brissett is entering the final year of his deal, and Indy just took a mid-round swing on Washington’s Jacob Eason. Why not get something for him now (and add another veteran No. 2 QB if it makes you feel better)? The Patriots, meanwhile, would (or should) welcome Brissett back with open arms. Brian Hoyer can be a placeholder if Jarrett Stidham isn’t ready, but Brissett knows the system and would offer more than either QB in 2020. Even if he comes in for a three-way competition, he makes New England better.

Listen to the Pick Six Podcast recap the NFL Draft below, and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:

2. Packers trade for Texans WR Kenny Stills

Green Bay shouldn’t necessarily be lambasted for targeting a QB to develop behind Aaron Rodgers, but after inexplicably steering clear of WRs in the draft, they could use another proven player on the outside. It’s fine if Matt LaFleur wants to build around the run and turn the Packers into some version of the Titans, but the best way he can remind Rodgers he’s their guy through at least 2021 is to pair Davante Adams with someone who can keep defenders honest catching passes. Stills is the reported odd man out in Houston after Bill O’Brien imported Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb to team with Will Fuller, so let’s get this thing done.

3. Vikings trade for Jaguars DE Yannick Ngakoue

Minnesota owned the quantity game on draft day, making a whopping 15 picks, including nine on the defensive side of the ball. Among those selections: Cornerbacks Jeff Gladney, Cameron Dantzler and Harrison Hand. The best way they can help out such a young crop of cover men is to beef up a pass rush that’s got Danielle Hunter and not much else. This team is entering a couple-year window with Kirk Cousins, Mike Zimmer, etc., and their offense should be fine now that Justin Jefferson has replaced Stefon Diggs, but Ngakoue would solve their need for an Everson Griffen replacement both in 2020 and for years to come. They’ve got plenty of extra draft capital in 2021 to entice Jacksonville.

4. Cowboys trade for Jets S Jamal Adams

Jets general manager Joe Douglas might best serve his defense by locking up Adams, but their relationship seems destined for a bigger hiccup, and Douglas has repeatedly been open to moving the All-Pro. He also just drafted Ashtyn Davis in the third round, and there might never be a time where Adams’ value is higher. The Cowboys, on the other hand, will be coming out of the window to win big on Dak Prescott’s rookie deal, they just added CeeDee Lamb and are clearly focused on winning now. Throw Adams, an unabashed Cowboys fan, onto their defense, and you’re talking about one of the most talented units in the NFC, if not the NFL.

5. Cowboys extend QB Dak Prescott

Speaking of Dak, this one probably should’ve happened yesterday. We know that both Dallas and Prescott are committed to a long-term marriage and have made concessions in contract talks, but any blame for a delay lies squarely on the ‘Boys. Prescott is a lot like divisional rival Carson Wentz in that he’s had ups and downs but is generally a top-level QB when supported. The difference is Wentz had a fifth-year option and still got his deal done before the 2019 season. Dak may not be Patrick Mahomes, but we’re long past the point of the Cowboys acknowledging he’s their future at QB. The longer they don’t pay up, the more this situation has a chance to devolve into a Kirk Cousins-in-Washington scenario, where Prescott milks them for money while they annually toe the financial line.

6. Cardinals sign QB Cam Newton

Newton probably doesn’t have a single starting opportunity at his disposal, unless you think the Jaguars will suddenly change their mind about Gardner Minshew or the Chargers were lying about their belief in Tyrod Taylor and/or their new top-10 pick, Justin Herbert. So unless he’s willing to wait things out until an injury during a preseason that may or may not happen, he better buckle up for a backup job. In Arizona, Kyler Murray started 16 games as a rookie but battled a hamstring issue late. Regardless, the Cards need better insurance than Brett Hundley. They’re vastly improved and should be competitive, so even if it’s a one-year deal, Newton makes sense. Imagine him starting a game or three with Kenyan Drake, DeAndre Hopkins and Larry Fitzgerald. He’d also get a chance to prove he can be a mentor/leader/good soldier before hitting the market again, rested up and ready to roll.

7. Titans sign DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney

Enough with the games already. Credit to GM Jon Robinson for being public about the team’s interest here, but just pay the man $17 million to $20 million for 2020 and be done with it. Paying Vic Beasley was a mistake in and of itself, but at least plugging Clowney in opposite Harold Landry would cover that up. If Mike Vrabel wants to play ground-and-pound for another year, he needs his defense to be tough as nails again, and Clowney’s presence alone would beef up a front that lost Cameron Wake and Jurrell Casey. Stand him up or sit him down, but for one year, what do they have to lose?

8. Dolphins trade for Patriots OG Joe Thuney

Miami got Tua Tagovailoa, and now it better do darn well everything it can to keep him upright, even if that means starting in 2021. Who cares if they paid up for Ereck Flowers and added three linemen during the draft? The Dolphins were downright atrocious up front during Brian Flores’ debut, and there’s no reason they should be rushing to put Tua under center until that is corrected. Thuney is franchise-tagged and almost assuredly available, he’s still just 27, and he can play any position they need him to. You don’t think Bill Belichick wouldn’t mind getting more picks from an old friend for his rebuild?

9. Browns sign DE Everson Griffen

Cleveland’s offense should be much improved with Baker Mayfield better protected and under Kevin Stefanski’s guidance. The defense should be equally as solid. But one area new GM Andrew Berry didn’t address during the draft was pass rusher, where Olivier Vernon and his $15.5 million cap hit are still waiting to be cut. Griffen knows Stefanski from his Vikings days and, more importantly, is a near-lock to come in, start Day One and give you eight to 10 sacks. Whether or not they release Vernon, Cleveland can afford to pony up some dough for another presence off the edge.

10. 49ers sign CB Logan Ryan

San Francisco didn’t draft a corner despite wanting to improve opposite Richard Sherman. And the time is now to bolster its secondary for another Super Bowl run. Ryan has proven himself on multiple contenders and could come in as an immediate starter, not to mention potentially replace Sherman in a year or two. If he truly wants $10 million per year, so be it. John Lynch should be able to make it work, even if it’s a one- or two-year deal.

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