2020 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
David Ladd – @BayAreaGringo
1: Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow – QB / LSU
Ohio kid goes to Cincinnati. No brainer for the Bengals here. 65 total touchdowns, 5,600 passing yards, all on near 80% completion percentage. Elite ability to work in the pocket, avoid pressure, and keep his eyes down field. Had his best games in the biggest moments. Burrow should get the reigns from day 1 putting an end to the Andy Dalton era.
2: Washington Redskins – Chase Young – Edge / Ohio State
Another easy decision comes in at number 2. Although edge rusher may not be Washington’s most glaring need you don’t miss chances to draft players like Chase Young. Wreaked absolute havoc in backfields all year long. After a good 2018 season where Young had 10.5 sacks he came back in 2019 with 16.5 sacks in only 12 games. Wins matchups with more than just an athletic advantage, already a pass rush technician. Unless someone blows Washington away with a package of picks (which I don’t see happening in an unexciting QB class) they should stay where they are and draft the best player available in Chase Young.
3: Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah – DB / Ohio State
The best player available trend continues at 3 with Detroit taking Okudah. Pairing Okudah with Darius Slay could instantly give Detroit the best CB tandem in the NFL. Okudah was elite all of the 2019 season but he also had a great game when facing NFL talent against Clemson. Even if Detroit is planning on moving on from Slay, Okudah would be an important piece to assist in that transition.
4: New York Giants – Andrew Thomas – OT / Georiga
I was tempted to send Lamb, or Simmons to New York here, but with the Giants investment in QB and RB, I felt it was time they shore up the line in front of them. There would be debate on which of the top 3 tackles to take here but I think Thomas’ familiarity with the blind-side has Gettlemen pull the trigger.
5: Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagoviola – QB / Alabama
Tanking for Tua didn’t go exactly to plan, but here is Miami getting their guy at 5. Obviously, this all depends on Tua’s development with his hip injury, but everyone knows Miami would welcome this scenario. When healthy, Tua is a prolific talent. He may not see the field until 2021 so a plan for now would need to be in place.
6: Los Angeles Chargers – Isaiah Simmons – LB / Clemson
Julio Jones on defense. One of the most gifted players athletically we have seen grace the draft since Derwin James. I have the same team that drafted James, drafting the swiss army knife, Isaiah Simmons. He’s being grouped with the LB’s but his potential soars past that. He can line up at deep safety, nickle corner, every LB position, edge rusher, he literally does it all. While defense isn’t close to the Charger’s biggest need taking a player like Simmons ensures getting your hands on a playmaker.
7: Carolina Panthers – Justin Herbert – QB / Oregon
Matt Rhule is in as head football coach of the Carolina Panthers. With Rhule comes Joe Brady as the offensive coordinator. We’ve seen the success Brady has been a part of with the Saints and most recently with Joe Burrow and LSU. Which leads me to believe me they’re going to want their guy in at QB, and I don’t see Newton, Allen, or Grier being that guy. Herbert gives them an ability to hit the reset button and try to build this thing up from the foundation.
8: Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs – OT / Iowa
Arizona improved from the 1st pick a year ago to here at the 8th pick. Make no mistake, Arizona still needs an influx of talent. Larry Fitzgerald agreed to come back another year. That gives Arizona the opportunity to get someone to protect their hottest commodity. Wirfs athleticism from the tackle spot helps him fit in, in Arizona’s offense.
9: Jacksonville Jaguars – Kristian Fulton – DB / LSU
I have the Jaguars trying to soften the departure of Jalen Ramsey by replacing him with Kristian Fulton. With Fulton playing in the SEC West he’s been put under a microscope against NFL level talent and played competently. People were quick to criticize his performance in the Natty but I think he did a good job against fellow NFL hopeful, Tee Higgins.
10: Cleveland Browns – Jedrick Wills Jr. – OT / Alabama
Cleveland NEEDS offensive linemen. So they should be salivating to turn in a Jedrick Wills selection, here at 10. Wills may be the best pass protector in the entire draft. Mayfield, Chubb and company desperately need the guys in front of them to give them some time to make plays. Mayfield was 2nd in the NFL in interceptions and a lot of that had to do with pressure in his face. The best tackle available should be the pick here for Cleveland.
11: New York Jets – Jerry Juedy – WR / Alabama
With the top 3 offensive tackles off the board already, the Jets look to still improve their offense. If Darnold is the franchise QB for New York than they’ll need moke the weapons on the perimeter better than Robby Anderson, Demaryius Thomas, and Jaminson Crowder. RA & DT could both very likely be gone during free agency, making Juedy a good fit for a rebuilding New York team.
12: Las Vegas Raiders – Ceedee Lamb – WR / Oklahoma
Ceedee Lamb is an explosive playmaker and a YAC machine. John Gruden’s offense has looked somewhat conservative so far, so someone who can take short routes to the house would be a welcomed addition. Tyrell Williams didn’t prove to be the no doubt WR1 the Raiders were hoping for. When he got injured last year it also exposed a thin group at the position. Lamb should be an easy pick for the Raiders here if he falls to 12.
13: Indianapolis Colts – Jordan Love – QB / Utah State
Indianapolis has a solid offensive line, decent weapons on offense, and an above average defense. If they don’t end up with a QB in free agency I’d expect them to try and find a new signal caller early. Love is just the kind of high potential player that could boost a middle of the road team to a contender. Having Brissett still also gives Reich time to develop Love for a season à la the Chiefs and Mahomes.
14: Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mekhi Becton – OT / Louisville
Regardless of who plays QB for the Buccaneers next year, they need to improve the tackle position. For Arians to utilize deeper developing routes, the guy throwing the ball will need time to make it happen. Becton has been trending upward and with a good combine he could cement himself as a first-round pick.
15: Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs III – WR / Alabama
Ruggs would make 4 Alabama players in the top 15. Drew Lock showed promise and a strong arm at the end of last season. Ruggs is an absolute burner and would seem to be a good fit for the arm of Lock. By adding Ruggs to an offense with Lindsay, Fant, and Sutton, Denver could end up having a very explosive offense. Although they’ll need to look to add depth at offensive line later.
16: Atlanta Falcons – Derrick Brown – iDL / Auburn
Derrick Brown would be an extremely talented player to fall to Atlanta at 16. Pairing together Brown with Grady Jackson instantly gives the Falcons one of the best interior defensive line combos. Brown is a big-time playmaker on the defensive line. He can line up all over the line and provide pressure on the QB and clog gaps in the run game. Atlanta getting Brown in the second half of the first round would be an incredible steal.
17: Dallas Cowboys – Trevon Diggs – DB / Alabama
Dallas has a lot of pockets to fill and players like Byron Jones may be a casualty as a result. The Cowboys would pretty quickly be one of the most CB needy teams out there. Diggs has the potential through the roof and could be a great successor to Jones.
18: Miami Dolphins – Jeff Gladney – DB / TCU
Back to back CB’s come off the board here. Jeff Gladney didn’t garner the same attention throughout the year as some of the other top CB prospects but he’s definitely as talented. Gladney possesses great length and should skyrocket his stock at the combine. When Xavien Howard was hurt Miami’s passing defense was abysmal. They will need a competent counterpart for Howard if they hope to stop anyone moving forward.
19: Las Vegas Raiders – Javon Kinlaw – iDL / South Carolina
Although many Raider fans may be disappointed to see their team skip on a first round LB, again, it would be crazy to pass on a guy like Kinlaw at a pick like 19. The Raiders definitely improved their pass rush from the dismal 13 sack season, but there’s definitely still improvement to be made. Gruden gets his longtime friend Marinelli one of the most talented players in this draft to take to Las Vegas.
20: Jacksonville Jaguars – Grant Delpit – DB / LSU
For the third pick in a row a team is making their second selection in the first round. I have Jacksonville double dipping on defense by taking Delpit at 20. The Jaguars have invested heavily in their defense in recent years but the original regime is depleting. By continuing to build the defense they keep the opportunity alive of riding their defense on another playoff run. Delpit was criticized for his tackling at points this year but he’s proven to be a playmaker that would instantly contribute on the Jacksonville defense.
21: Philadelphia Eagles – Laviska Shenault – WR / Colorado
The Eagles should be looking to add the best WR or CB available and I think that’s what Shenault is at 21. Wentz needs a reliable guy to get the ball to. Shenault was a swiss army knife for Colorado and a guy Pedersen could utilize all over the place. While Philadelphia really needs to add depth at CB Shenault gives them the best value at a position of need.
22: Buffalo Bills – Tee Higgins – WR / Clemson
It’s clear Buffalo could use some more talent at WR. Tee Higgins seemed to be good at extending and making good catches on balls that weren’t in his chest. He may be perfect for Josh Allen who isn’t pinpoint accurate but likes to throw it up and give his WR’s a chance.
23: New England Patriots – K’Lavon Chaisson – Edge / LSU
Chaisson was one of the players who definitely utilized LSU’s title run to improve their draft stock. He can be used in several different ways and seems like a classic fit for a team that values players with maneuverability. He obviously showed he can rush off the edge but he also has the athleticism to drop into coverage.
24: New Orleans Saints – KJ Hamler – WR / Penn State
The Saints obviously already have weapons at WR but could use a serious deep threat to keep coverages from shading to Michael Thomas. There are other options here with an extremely deep WR class but I think Hamler’s mixture of speed and route running will vault him over the other speed guys. The Saints need to look to win now while Drew Brees is still playing.
25: Minnesota Vikings – Bryce Hall – DB / Virginia
The Vikings’ otherwise solid defense needs to add depth at CB. Bryce Hall was a four-year starter at Virginia and is a hardnosed corner that Zimmer seems to value. If not for a season ending knee injury, we could’ve seen Hall go much higher. If everything clears medically Minnesota gets a solid player at the end of the first.
26: Miami Dolphins – Austin Jackson – OT/ USC
The Dolphins need help on the OL and that’s where I have them going with their third selection of the first round and the 26th pick. Prototypical size for the tackle position but may need time to adjust to the NFL. Could potentially become pro bowl level player and the Dolphins have to be due for some luck.
27: Seattle Seahawks – Julian Okwara – Edge/ Notre Dame
Seattle could be forced to move on from Clowney this offseason which would create a need at edge. Even if they don’t, you can never have too many pass rushers. He may be just a passing situation guy unless he improves on setting the edge in the run.
28: Baltimore Ravens – Terrell Lewis – Edge / Alabama
The Ravens haven’t drafted a first-round edge player since Terrell Suggs but if may be time to again. Lewis should be a good fit with Wink Martindale. He has the size and athletic ability you want may just need some refinement in technique and timing. Baltimore goes to the Alabama well again with Terrell Lewis.
29: Tennessee Titans – AJ Epenesa – Edge / Iowa
If Tennessee can retain Derrick Henry, they seem to have a plan in place. Run the ball and play good defense. Epenesa would be a valuable pick at a position of need for the Titans. Epenesa is a tough versatile player I could see Vrabel getting behind. Adding depth at edge is always important for a team hoping to make a deep playoff run.
30: Green Bay Packers – Jalen Raegor – WR / TCU
Green Bay needs more than Davante Adams at WR. This season exposed how thin they were at the position. Raegor’s track speed would be extremely helpful in freeing up Adams. Green Bay has a great RB, a good defense, and Aaron Rodgers they need to get weapons as soon as possible.
31: Kansas City Chiefs – CJ Henderson – DB / Florida
Kansas City’s passing defense this year was suspect. Although they made strides by acquiring Tyrann Mathieu, and Juan Thornhill they need consistency with their outside corners. CJ Henderson is an extremely talented player, but took knocks this year for what seemed like a disinterest in tackling. The value is too high here at 31 for the Chiefs to pass on, especially on a position of need.
32: San Francisco Forty Niners – Ashtyn Davis – DB / Cal
San Francisco seemed to show a crack in the defense at the safety position. Ashtyn Davis is an extremely athletic over the top safety that would fit in with a cover 3 scheme. Would be a great advantage to the corners to know they had help over the top with Davis’ range. The rich get richer, San Francisco fills a position of need with the last pick in the first.