Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse, a survey of fans across the NFL powered by SurveyMonkey. As the season kicks off in just a few weeks, each week, we’ll send 32 polls to 100+ plugged in fans from each team. Colts fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.
This week’s FanPulse gives us our main question which determines the confidence level from each team’s fan base, but as the season creeps towards the end for 20 NFL organizations, the two national questions take a look at the 2020 NFL Draft.
Naturally, there’s very little drama here when talking about the Indianapolis Colts, and the way their season has played out to this point. They’ve lost five of their last six games, and as a result the fan base’s confidence level has dropped to its lowest point of the year over the past two weeks.
Last week, in particular, the confidence level hit a season-low at 30 percent, but despite putting up 35 points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 14, a loss is a loss in the minds of Colts’ fans. This week’s numbers did get a bit of a boost from the survey, however, it was just a tiny one.
This week, the confidence level sits at 36 percent as the Colts prepare to head into New Orleans to face the Saints on Monday Night Football. To this point, it’s been a tough go of it for the Colts in terms of injuries. While their offensive line has remained healthy all year, their backfield, the quarterback, the wide receivers, their secondary, as well as their defensive line have seemingly been smacked with injury stick pretty consistently throughout the year.
It wouldn’t seem that another close loss would give the level a boost heading into next week, but I wouldn’t have imagined it would have last week either. The Colts need a big win against a top NFC contender in the final few weeks of the year to at least give the team some momentum heading into the offseason, if a playoff berth falls off the plate.
Now, let’s take a look at our first national question of the week.
While most teams are somewhere in the middle of the pack — otherwise known as draft purgatory — there are a handful of teams fighting it out for the top overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Washington (3-10), the Miami Dolphins (3-10), the New York Giants (2-11), and the Cincinnati Bengals (1-12) are at the bottom of the barrel of the league this season, but also in prime position to land the No. 1 overall pick.
As you might guess, the survey showed out just as their respective records show on paper. D.C. and the Dolphins were considered the worst teams in the league for the first half of the season regardless of records of other terrible teams, yet, they’ve each found some success in spite of their depleted rosters and are showing some life as the season winds down.
The Giants haven’t done much to impress with Daniel Jones under center which could cloud their future at quarterback before it’s all said and done. If they’re going to stay with Jones, they’re going to have their hands full attempting to build around him going forward. There’s a lot of developing that needs to happen there.
The Bengals, in this case, have gotten the votes by a wide margin with the belief that they will land the first-overall selection in the upcoming draft — with 85 percent of the vote. They’ve benched Andy Dalton, brought him back into the starting role, been without their top receiver all season, and are dealing with a new coaching staff as well as a ton of new faces.
Though they’re showing that they can be competitive, the fans see the Bengals as the team that will get the first crack at the NFL’s 2020 crop of prospects.
And speaking of top 2020 prospects, let’s move on to our second national question of the year which is already making draft junkies rub their hands together. Just a month or so ago, Ohio State Buckeyes’ pass rusher, Chase Young, was considered to be the defacto top selection just about anywhere you went.
While that may still indeed end up being the case come April of next year, someone else is getting the attention within our survey. Justin Herbert, and Tua Tagovailoa have gotten a great deal of attention this season, especially Tagovailoa before his injury. Herbert’s frame is getting him second and third looks from a lot of analysts, but a hot take voicing little faith in his skillset, and referring to his frame as being a misleading towards his overall talent isn’t far behind.
Well, as the weeks pass even Chase Young has been surpassed by a signal-caller on the rise. Joe Burrow was not the hot name throughout the bulk of this season. Yes, he’s consistently been called one of the best quarterbacks from this 2020 class, but now he’s not only getting top quarterback love, but possibly No. 1 overall pick love is being thrown around as well.
Burrow has plenty of NFL height for those teams who want the size aspect to satisfy their templates at the position. He’s largely redefined the position at LSU as very few in recent history have been able to sling it as well as he has this season. Burrow is nearly at a 78 percent completion rate (No. 1 ranked NCAA QB) while amassing 439 attempts, throwing for the second-most yards in college football (4,715) while also leading the NCAA in passing touchdowns (48).
With quarterbacks always being the most in-demand position in the NFL, and his eye-popping numbers backing up his hype, it’s very hard to argue against Burrow being the top selection in 2020. While I think Burrow is legit, and very likely worthy of that top selection, getting either him or Young would make me a very happy GM come April.