Best and Worst Case Scenarios

Best and Worst Case Scenarios For Teams Picking 1-5

It’s officially draft season everyone. Over the next few months Last Word on Sports and I will be pumping out mass amounts of draft articles to keep readers like you in the know. In this piece, we’ll jump into the best and worst-case scenarios for each selection inside the top five. Make sure to check out my profile for my next article, “Best and Worst Case Scenarios For Teams Picking 6-10.”

Best and Worst Case Scenarios For Teams Picking 1-5

1. Chicago Bears

Best case scenario: Trade down to No. 3, select Marvin Harrison Jr.

Worst case scenario: Joe Alt

Most likely scenario: Caleb Williams

The Chicago Bears are in a win-win situation. Either stick at one and get a top prospect, or trade down to get extra first-round picks. Ideally, the Bears trade down just a few spots to get the player fans across the league are idolizing in Marvin Harrison Jr. Being able to secure a generational wide receiver while possibly getting multiple first-round picks in return would be a legendary haul. 

The worst-case scenario in this spot isn’t bad on paper, but it wouldn’t reflect the draft’s value. Joe Alt has established himself as the best offensive lineman in the class but still holds slightly less value than Harrison Jr. and the top quarterbacks. The Bears also have less of a need for offensive tackle than they do wide receiver. If the Bears completely fall in love with Alt, they’d likely be able to trade back to the 5th pick and select him there.

Still, the Bears are expected to stick at one and take USC’s Caleb Williams.

2. Washington Commanders

Best case scenario: Caleb Williams

Worst case scenario: JJ McCarthy

Most likely scenario: Drake Maye

With a new head coach and general manager duo combined with a massive need at quarterback, it’s highly unlikely the Commanders select anything but a signal caller. The Commanders and Kliff Kingsbury can hope and pray that Caleb Williams falls to No. 2, but it’s extremely unlikely. If they truly want the class’s QB1, they’d have to trade up for him. Still, Drake Maye would be a great consolation prize at No. 2. 

The worst-case scenario for Washington would be selecting Michigan’s JJ McCarthy. He’s raw and has questions about his game. However, if he stayed at Michigan one more year to develop, the discussion about selecting him here wouldn’t be so crazy. He certainly has some makings of an NFL quarterback in terms of arm strength, timing, and physical traits. He’s getting more buzz as of late and is projected to go in the early teens. If he has a great combine and interviews well, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for teams to consider him here.

3. New England Patriots

Best case scenario: Caleb Williams

Worst case scenario: JJ McCarthy

Most likely scenario: Jayden Daniels

Similar to Washington, New England desperately needs a quarterback and would immediately draft Caleb Williams if he were somehow available at this junction. In reality, there’s little to no chance he’ll be there. The most likely scenario is that Jayden Daniels is at No. 3 and the Patriots snatch him. It’s feeling more likely that top free agent quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins and Baker Mayfield will either resign or go to a more attractive destination than New England. Combine that with the 2025 quarterback class not looking great and Daniels makes the most sense. Daniels has both the arm and legs to become an above-average starter in the modern NFL. 

JJ McCarthy would again be the worst-case scenario for this pick. That’s not to say that he can’t become a great player, but it’s less likely to happen in New England for a few reasons. The Patriots have one of the worst receiving corps in the league and the coaching staff is brand new without any experience of developing projects at quarterback. 

4. Arizona Cardinals

Best case scenario: Marvin Harrison Jr.

Worst case scenario: Malik Nabers/Rome Odunze

Most likely scenario: Marvin Harrison Jr.

This one is relatively simple. With or without impending free agent Marquise Brown, the Cardinals are in major need of an upgrade at the wide receiver spot. If teams go quarterback crazy which we’ve seen before, Harrison Jr. could easily be available at the 3rd pick. 

The worst-case scenario is not terrible. If a team jumps the Cardinals to select Harrison Jr., they’re left with a couple of options. Regardless of whether teams prefer Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze, the consensus around the league is that those two guys are the second and third-best receiver prospects. Both of them are likely to end up as top-ten picks. Whichever the Cardinals end up with, they’re highly likely to have a new top wide receiver come the 2025 season.  

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Best case scenario: Marvin Harrison Jr.

Worst case scenario: Olumuyiwa Fashanu

Most likely scenario: Brock Bowers

This is where things become complicated. The addition of Jim Harbaugh plus the value of the draft makes this pick either an offensive weapon for Justin Herbert, or protection for him. Although Harrison Jr. is best best-case scenario here, they’re the least likely team inside the top five to select him. His value is simply too high to fall out of the top four selections. Even without Harrison, they’d still be able to select an elite vertical threat in tight-end Brock Bowers. With his unique skill set and LA’s impending need at the position, Bowers could fall right into the Chargers’ laps.

In terms of the worst-case scenario, Olumuyiwa Fashanu would be far from a bad pick, just not ideal. If the Chargers were to prioritize protecting Herbert, Joe Alt would be the ideal candidate. Beyond that, Taliese Fuaga may even have a slight edge above Fashanu as of late February. Fuaga’s stock is closer than ever to Fashanu’s due to Fashanu’s tape regression in 2023. He showed that power rushers could dominate him on the next level, just ask Ohio State’s JT Tuimoloau. Beyond that, his run blocking could use some improvement. Still, Fashanu would not be a terrible pick at five. 

Main Image: Jason Parkhurst-USA TODAY Sports

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