The time is finally here! No matter rain or shine, the 2020 NFL mock draft is starting tonight. With everyone looking for an escape, I wouldn’t be surprised if this live sporting event tomorrow breaks some ratings numbers.
Since teams can’t privately work guys out, medical exams are question marks, and they haven’t been able to do in-person interviews since the Combine, tomorrow should be all over the place. I’m good with it, because I’m just going to be happy sports are back, at least for the weekend.
So with less than 24 hours until the festivities begin, let’s get to our 2020 NFL mock draft. I’ve not accounted for trades, and tried to go with fits.
2020 NFL Mock Draft: Round 1
1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14)
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Not getting cute here with our 2020 NFL mock draft. Burrow is the franchise quarterback that offensive-minded coach Zac Taylor needs and Cincinnati as a city covets.
2. Washington Redskins (3-13)
Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Some say Young is the best player in all of the draft. Some are right, says me. The 6-5, 264 pound monster is a game-changing disruptor who had 16.5 sacks in only 12 games as a junior.
3. Detroit Lions (3-12-1)
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
There are some rumors that the Lions might trade back. If they do, you’ll probably see Tua go in this spot. If not, Okudah is probably the pick. He fits a need and is a ball hawk at 6-1, 205 pounds. He has the build to handle WRs of all sizes, which would help the Lions immediately considering they lost Slay this offseason.
4. New York Giants (4-12)
Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Going to be either Wills or Wirfs in this spot. Either way, look for them to go OL. The 6-4, 312-pound Wills is a strong, powerful run-blocker who might need some time to develop into an elite pass-protector. They need the run blocking with Barkley in the backfield.
5. Miami Dolphins (5-11)
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
I went back and forth a little here with Herbert, but think the Fins go Tua here. When healthy, he is accurate, mobile, and throws a beautiful deep-ball. He impressed me since the first time he stepped in on a big stage and won. Yes, there are health concerns, but if not, the kid can ball.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11)
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Chargers have a little bit of time for Herbert to develop, especially after signing Tyrod Taylor to a two-year deal. Not saying he is the QB of the future, but this way they can bring Herbert along slowly. Herbert is 6-6 and 236 pounds and has all the tools GMs are looking for at the position.
7. Carolina Panthers (5-11)
Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Simmons is 6-3 and 238 pounds and has great speed and range. He seemed to be all over the field from rushing the passer to coverage. With the legend Luke K. retiring, maybe Simmons can be their next defensive star.
8. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1)
Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Cards offense looks stacked now after trading for Hopkins. If they can protect the QB, lookout. A lot of things would have to happen for Wirfs to drop here, but I see the Qbs going early, so have him dropping a little. The guy is a monster at 6-5, 320 pounds and combines pass-blocking skills with power in the run game.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10)
Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
The Jags have a lot of holes. Brown is the best player available right now and is the most impactful interior defensive prospect at 6-5, 326 pounds.
10. Cleveland Browns (6-10)
Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Becton is a beast and Cleveland needs OL help. The Browns took care of right tackle in free agency with Jack Conklin and now can help Baker’s blindside. Becton is 6-7 and 369 pounds with a powerful frame. He is solid in pass protection, so he fits their big need.
11. New York Jets (7-9)
CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Lamb should be the first WR off the board. He is an explosive field-stretcher and steady possession player as well. Good size and productive numbers last year: 1,208 yards and 14 TDs in 13 games last season.
12. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9)
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The Raiders need a go-to guy WR. It will probably come down to Ruggs or Jeudy in this spot. I see them ultimately going Jeudy, as he is more of a classic No. 1 receiver while Ruggs is speed demon. JJ has the intermediate to deep field-stretcher ability and is polished in the red zone.
13. San Francisco 49ers (from Colts)
Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
The Niners need someone to complement George Kittle, especially after losing Emmanuel Sanders. Deebo Samuel with those two guys would be dangerous. Ruggs blew the top off the combine 40, and would give SF the field-stretcher they need.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9)
Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The Buccaneers offensive weapons are stacked now after the addition of Brady and Gronk in the offseason. Now they need to protect Brady, so look for them to go OL here. Thomas has great size (6-5, 315 pounds) with good hands and footwork. He can also help spring the running game.
15. Denver Broncos (7-9)
K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Chaisson (6-3, 254 pounds) can get after the QB. He had 6.5 sacks and 60 tackles during LSU’s championship run. What a great name for a pass rusher, lol. Maybe the Broncos find their next Von Miller?
16. Atlanta Falcons (7-9)
C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
The Falcons lost Desmond Trufant so they have a gap. Their offense can put up points, but they badly need help on D. While he still needs to get more physical and stronger, he has great technique.
17. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
I can see the Cowboys going in a ton of different directions here, but the best player available is Kinlaw. He is massive and knows how to use his size and arms to complement his power.
18. Miami Dolphins (from Steelers)
Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The Fins should walk away from this draft with a couple of solid pieces to build with. This kid is a complete safety who can get physical in the box or drop back in coverage. They go best available here with this pick.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Bears)
A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
The Raiders took their WR earlier, so now they need to focus on their defense, most notably the secondary. Terrell is a versatile player they can plug in.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams)
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Jags have a gaping hole at WR, especially after letting Marqise Lee go. Jefferson is the 4th best WR on the board and best left at this spot. He has the size and is an efficient route-runner with good hands.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7)
Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
The Eagles are in love with Jefferson so it would not surprise me if they moved up for him or another WR. But, if they do not get one, they will sure up their secondary. He is scrappy and aggressive.
22. Minnesota Vikings (from Bills)
Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
He’s had some PED tampering issues, but the talent is there. Would be a great fit with Zimmer in that defense.
23. New England Patriots (12-4)
A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Bill Belichick believes he can win no matter who his QB is. He also believes his players are plug and play type guys. He knows you need to control the line of scrimmage to win. He is also friendly with Kirk Ferentz and needs some help in the pass rush after losing Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins in free agency. This kid is tough, can get to get to the QB, and is strong against the run.
24. New Orleans Saints (13-3)
Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The Saints have a huge need at strong side LB. Queen has terrific range and can drop into coverage.
25. Minnesota Vikings (10-6)
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
The Vikings need another WR after losing Diggs. I see it coming down to Mims or Higgins in this spot. Higgins is an all-around, productive WR.
26. Miami Dolphins (from Texans)
De’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
The Dolphins can finish off a great first-round here in our NFL mock draft for 2020 by getting the best RB on the board. He can run between the tackles and catch, and would be another building block.
27. Seattle Seahawks (11-5)
Cesar Ruiz, G/C, Michigan
The Hawks line has a couple of weaknesses. While guards normally do not go high in year’s past, the Colts’ Nelson has shown just how important building the interior line is. With a QB as good as Russ Wilson, why not go after the clear-cut best interior prospect in this class?
28. Baltimore Ravens (14-2)
Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma
The Ravens have a need at LB and Murray is best available. He is a playmaker and would fit in well in that defense.
29. Tennessee Titans (9-7)
Zach Baun, EDGE/OLB, Wisconsin
Baun has great technique and seems to be getting better.
30. Green Bay Packers (13-3)
Josh Jones, OT, Houston
The Pack will go either OL or WR in this spot. They lost their incumbent tackle and need to protect AR if they want a chance at winning the division again. While Jones is raw, he is athletic and has natural skills.
31. San Francisco 49ers (13-3)
Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
The Niners are stacked and so they go best available here. Gross-Matos is an explosive and versatile defender made to be disruptive in Shanahan’s attacking defense.
32. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4)
Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
Chiefs have an amazing squad, and bring back most of their guys on offense. They could still get better on defense. Blacklock is a beast and can disrupt plays in the backfield. And with that, our 2020 NFL mock draft is done…