We’re getting closer and closer to the 2020 NFL Draft. It’s expected to shape up to be a wild & fun draft, an executive said recently. With that, here is our 2020 mock draft.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU. Burrow is touted as the best QB in the draft this year, and rightfully so. He did everything right in college last year and looked pro-ready in a lot of his games. Cincinnati would benefit tremendously from this, as many around the stadium & the fan base finally have hope now.
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, DE, OSU. This is almost a slam dunk pick for Washington and their new brass. Young may be the best player in this draft, and definitely the most game-changing player. To pair Young with a young group on the DL would be scary in 2020 and beyond.
3. Detroit Lions: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State. Detroit will desperately need somebody to step in for Darius Slay, who was recently traded, and he is the perfect man for that. Okudah was a dominant corner at Ohio State last year and was arguably the best corner in the country. Matt Patricia and co. should be looking for somebody to help secure their jobs, and they might’ve found their guy to help with that.
4. New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson. You can line up Simmons at pretty much any defensive position on your team. At Clemson, he lined up at Safety & LB during his 4-year career, among other positions. Simmons would fit in well with the group of guys New York brought in this off-season, as he would slide into the hybrid/OLB role for the team.
5. Miami Dolphins: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. Herbert is my 3rd ranked QB in this draft, but that’s not a bad thing. Herbert did a lot of things right during his time at Oregon, but he still isn’t the flashiest pick for the Dolphins or the fan-favorite. Herbert totaled 10,541 yards, 95 TDs, and 23 INTs in his 4-year career at Oregon. A good pick nonetheless for the rebuilding Dolphins team.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama. Yes, reports are circulating saying the Chargers won’t draft a QB this year, but with 3 weeks left until the draft, you have to wonder if that’s a smokescreen. Tua could sit and learn for a little while behind Tyrod Taylor, and then LAC could unleash him after a while.
7. Carolina Panthers: Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa. Is he a Guard? Is he a Tackle? That’s the question many people have with him, but that shouldn’t matter because either way, you’re getting a top lineman in this draft wherever you play him. Carolina improves their OL here and Wirfs gives them an extra blocker to protect their shiny new QB for the next few years.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills, OL, Alabama. You can plug and play Wills at either Guard or Tackle (I prefer Guard) and not have to worry. Arizona still needs to give Kyler Murray some protection this off-season, and this is the perfect draft to do that.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida. The Jaguars traded their 2 star CBs in Jalen Ramsey & AJ Bouye, hence why taking Henderson here makes complete sense. He is a long, big corner that can dominate at the point of the catch. He’s been shooting up draft boards as of late, and will probably be a high draft pick. Jacksonville can go anywhere with this pick, but corner is probably the best move.
10. Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, OL, Louisville. One of Cleveland’s biggest offensive struggles last year was the tackle position. Baker Mayfield was sacked a total of 40 times through 16 games. That’s a big issue that needs to be addressed without a question in the draft, and this pick would be perfect for them.
11. New York Jets: Andrew Thomas, OL, Georgia. The Jets signed multiple OL this off-season, but none of great value, and definitely none for the future. That’s where the draft comes in. Thomas is probably the most pro-ready OL in this draft class and has the tape to back it up. He will likely compete to start at the RT position this year while gaining some valuable experience from George Fant.
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Henry Ruggs, WR, Oklahoma. Las Vegas was missing speed for most, if not all, of last season, so what better way to fix that than acquiring the fastest receiver in the draft? This is a home run pick as the team would be getting their very own Tyreek Hill-esque player.
13. San Francisco 49ers (trade): Ceedee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma. The 49ers need a tall WR who can go up and get any pass. Enter CeeDee Lamb. He’s without a doubt the best receiver in this draft class and has All-Pro ability. If CeeDee is still available here, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 49ers make a run at him.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama. Okay, if Tampa lands Jeudy to pair with Mike Evans & Chris Godwin, that would be absolutely unfair for opposing teams. This pick makes a lot of sense as Tampa Bay may lose Chris Godwin to free agency next year. Jeudy would presumably be the team’s WR3 on paper, but would still be getting his fair share of targets there.
15. Denver Broncos: Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn. Denver lost Derek Wolfe in free agency this year and have a pretty big hole at IDL. This pick fixes a lot of their problems on the DL as Brown is arguably the best DT in this draft class. Drafting Brown is the right step in that direction for their defense.
16. Atlanta Falcons: K’Lavon Chaisson, LB, LSU. Atlanta needs a lot of positions, including pass rush. The addition of Dante Fowler definitely helped them, but they’re still in need of somebody else. That’s where Chaisson comes in. He seemed to get to the QB a lot last year, totaling 6.5 sacks & 13.5 tackles for loss with LSU.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama. McKinney has been debated as a top safety in this class and has been getting some 1st round buzz. Dallas lost Jeff Heath to Las Vegas this off-season and will need to find a way to upgrade their secondary. If they start at safety, especially McKinney, I think that will help them a lot.
18. Miami Dolphins: Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State. Miami upgraded their LB core and a little bit of their pass rush during free agency, but there’s still a pass-rushing need there. If Miami can somehow land Gross-Matos to pair with Shaq Lawson & co., that would be a pretty solid pass rush for multiple years. He is the best pass rusher available at 18, and that’s not a bad thing at all. In 2019 he totaled 9 sacks and 14.5 QB hits with Penn State, with one of his standout performances against Tristan Wirfs against Iowa.
19. Las Vegas Raiders: Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina. The Raiders could use some help at the IDL position. They signed Maliek Collins from Dallas to pair with Maurice Hurst, but that won’t be enough as they look to improve their line. Kinlaw could come in and be a Day 1 starter for Vegas in a mediocre DT room. Gruden and co. get great value here.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU. Jefferson is that receiver to help the offense Jacksonville is missing: a receiver who will go up and get any ball you throw his way. While you can play him in the slot, that’s not where he’s limited to. You can throw Jefferson outside and line him up opposite of DJ Chark to let him make plays. Depending on where the Jaguars go at QB, he will be a big addition for any QB on that roster.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Kenneth Murray, LB, Alabama. The Eagles have been trying to find a linebacker for a couple years now, and after the release of LB Nigel Bradham, this move is almost a must for Philly. Murray is the best LB in the class, and if it wasn’t for a torn ACL he probably would have been drafted earlier. He is a huge draft pick for Philly and will play good snaps for a rebuilding defense.
22. Minnesota Vikings: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU. Minnesota ultimately released former All-Pro CB Xavier Rhodes among a flurry of roster moves, which left a big gap in the secondary. Outside of losing Xavier Rhodes, the team lost Trae Waynes & Mackensie Alexander in free agency, leaving an even bigger hole to get out of. Using this pick on a corner would only make sense to pair him with a nice safety duo. Jeff Gladney would provide a nice spark to their CB position with his good coverage skills and solid tackling.
23. New England Patriots: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington. The Patriots will need to look for a QB here eventually. Whether it’s in this draft or going after somebody next year, they’ll have to do it soon. Eason won’t come in and light the world on fire right away as he will go through his growing pains, but a couple years down the road, this could be a good pick for the Patriots.
24. New Orleans Saints: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State. New Orleans re-signed QBs Drew Brees & Taysom Hill this off-season but allowed Teddy Bridgewater to depart early in FA. That would leave a hole at the QB position for the future. In comes Jordan Love, who may not be the flashiest QB in this draft, but has solid upside and could be a nice QB in the future for New Orleans. What better QB to learn from & sit behind than Drew Brees? New Orleans likes to use their QB depth chart during games, so Love could also get in there for some designed plays as well. Love totaled 8,600 passing yards, 60 TDs, and 29 INTs in his career at Utah State.
25. Minnesota Vikings: AJ Epenesa, DE, Iowa. The Vikings recently released long-time pass rusher Everson Griffen, who left a gaping hole to fill for Minnesota. If not for a deep draft class, Epenesa probably would have been drafted earlier, but here we are, with Minnesota landing a top pass rusher, a good selection and position of need here for them.
26. Miami Dolphins: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia. Another round 1 pick?! The Dolphins are trying to build a dynasty of the future here in Miami, and have been doing a pretty good job so far. Previously in this mock, we had Miami selecting QB Justin Herbert & DE Yetur Gross-Matos. This time, they select a running back to cap off their 1st round. Swift would come in and provide a nice ground game to an up-and-coming offensive roster. For a young QB like Herbert, he would also provide a nice ground game to support his rookie QB. Swift provides a lot of upside here.
27. Seattle Seahawks: Zack Baun, DE, Wisconsin. Seattle has been trying to find players to start at DE for a couple years now, but nobody has fit their requirements, and with Jadeveon Clowney more than likely leaving, they have a big hole to fix at pass rusher. Baun is a good DE with good physical traits who can step in and fill part of the need there.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU. What do the Ravens need? Well, Queen provides them with a nice LB core of him and Matthew Judon, to go along with a revamped DL. Queen has a lot of potential with this pick, as he had a very good 2019 campaign, totaling 85 tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 INT on a stout LSU defense. He will look to continue his good performance into his rookie year, and potentially make the Ravens the league’s best defense.
29. Tennessee Titans: Josh Jones, OL, Houston. The departure of Jack Conklin left a hole at the tackle position. While Jones will need time to develop, Tennessee needed to make sure their star RB and QB are protected for a long time. He can play either tackle position, but that won’t be needed here with Taylor Lewan on the field. A needed draft pick for Tennesee.
30. Green Bay Packers: Laviska Shenault Jr, WR, Colorado. The Packers have been missing a big physical receiver like Shenault, a do-it-all receiver if you will. Shenault will bring a nice WR duo to go along with Davante Adams, making the Green Bay offense more dominant and flashier than before. One of my favorite things to watch as I scout is his gadget plays. If Green Bay can mix up some special plays to get him in open space he’ll be gone. There’s a lot of upside with this pick for Green Bay management. They should be proud of themselves if they can land the Colorado receiver right here.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Cesar Ruiz, OL Michigan. San Fran has an aging OL that requires fixing. Ruiz will likely need to sit for a year before earning his starting role alongside Mike McGlinchey and Joe Staley. With drafting CeeDee earlier and now Ruiz here, they’re taking the first steps to make sure they’re a Super Bowl-caliber team for a while.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU. Finally, to cap off the 1st round, we have the reigning Super Bowl champions. The Chiefs don’t have too many holes that would need to be addressed in the draft, but outside corner is a big one. After starting CBs Kendall Fuller & Bashaud Breeland hit the open market, the Chiefs secondary has been depleted. Pairing Fulton with Charvarius Ward and maybe another CB later would boost a depleted secondary & give it the help it so surely needs.