So, this is it. We have ground it out for months and now we are here. The 2020 NFL Draft is upon us. Over the last few years, I have not been the best at mock drafting but that isn’t going to stop me from trying here.
Let’s get down to it, my FINAL 2020 Mock Draft:
Burrow was the pick for Cincinnati the minute after their Week 16 loss to Miami. No matter how many people tried to perpetuate the idea that the Bengals may trade the pick, it is all horse manure. Joe Burrow will be the starting QB for Cincy whenever the NFL plays again.
EDGE-Chase Young-Ohio State
Some will argue Chase Young is actually the best player in the draft. Young is an ultra-talented pass rusher who can get at the QB in a variety of ways. Washington got their QB last year. They can now pair Young with another 2019 1st-rounder Montez Sweat to wreak havoc on opposing backfields.
CB-Jeffrey Okudah-Ohio State
After the trade of Darius Slay to Philly, the Lions now have a glaring hole at corner. Okudah is a lockdown cover man that can immediately help a coaching staff that is in win-now mode. I also believe Detroit can pick up some extra selections in a move down and still get Okudah.
4-New York Giants
I had been locked onto an offensive tackle for the Giants for over a month then changed to Isaiah Simmons in my last mock. However, I now think Dave Gettleman will thumb through his GIANT binder of players to take an offensive lineman in the first round. This would mark the first time he has ever done that. Gettleman also never trades down. Wills is one of four offensive tackles that could feasibly go here.
The closer the draft gets here, the more and more I believe Herbert is the QB apple of Miami’s eye. Even if he isn’t, I believe the Chargers like Tua more and may move up with the Lions to take him. Herbert is a tremendous talent. He is an excellent athlete with a big arm.
6-Los Angeles Chargers
The LAC has said they are satisfied with Tyrod Taylor being the starter in 2020. That may work out perfectly if Tua needs some more time to truly recover. Taylor can bridge the year and Tagovailoa can take over in 2021. If they decide to trade up with the Lions, I think pick 6, 71 (3rd), and a 2021 2nd could get it done.
It seems the Panthers are always drafting interior defensive linemen. Derrick Brown is a tremendous talent who is capable of disrupting all facets of an offense. Isaiah Simmons, CJ Henderson, or perhaps even a trade back could be options here.
After acquiring Deandre Hopkins in a trade from Houston, the Cardinals now turn their focus to protecting Kyler Murray. Becton has length, power, and is a hell of an athlete. He has been a right tackle at Iowa but should be able to play either side.
DL-Javon Kinlaw-South Carolina
Jacksonville has a ton of holes on its roster, so they could really go anywhere. Kinlaw provides pass-rush upside, tremendous competitiveness, and ridiculous length. Kinlaw could be available in a trade back scenario as well.
The Browns need an offensive tackle more than anything else. Wirfs is an athletic freak. He is crazy powerful and can be penciled in at left tackle from day one. If the top tackles are off the board, look for the Browns to be on the horn to move back and target Boise State OT Ezra Cleveland later on.
11-New York Jets
The Jets have to get Sam Darnold some weapons. Lamb is phenomenal with the football in his hands. This would be a tough choice between Lamb and Ruggs.
12-Las Vegas Raiders
WR-Henry Ruggs, III-Alabama
The spirit of Al Davis endures from the Raiders’ new digs in Vegas. Ruggs ran sub 4.3 at the combine. He is a better route runner than given credit for. The only knock on Ruggs was his lack of production at Alabama. He was the third most productive receiver for the Crimson Tide.
13-San Francisco 49ers (F. IND)
The emergence of Deebo Samuel a year ago doesn’t preclude the need of a true #1 receiver for Jimmy G. I am not sure the value is there for Mims at this spot but he is big, fast, and the Senior Bowl showed that he is a much better route runner than he was previously given credit for. I would expect if the scenario I have conceived unfolds, GM John Lynch would be trying to move down.
14-Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs need to protect their new 43-year old QB, Tom Brady. Tampa may have to move up to make this happen. Thomas is ready to start at either tackle position day one.
If Jeudy falls to 15, John Elway would type his name so fast into the Microsoft app the teams are using. More realistically I think Denver could move up to Jacksonville’s pick at 9 to secure his services. Denver has three 3rd-round picks. They could use 15 and a couple of those to move up.
The rumor mill has been buzzing with talks of Atlanta wanting to move up to grab a defensive player. I am assuming their targets are Kinlaw and CJ Henderson. However, if Simmons starts to fall within striking distance for the Falcons, Dimitroff isn’t afraid to strike.
If CJ Henderson is on the board then he is the slam dunk pick. He replaces Byron Jones and gives Dallas a corner to build the secondary around.
18-Miami Dolphins (F. PIT)
Miami needs to add some pass rush punch. Chaisson has high upside but he needs refinement.
19-Las Vegas Raiders (F. CHI)
QB-Jordan Love-Utah State
This pick will reek of Jon Gruden. Gruden has always wanted a QB he can groom. Derek Carr has had his moments but you have to feel “Chucky” will eventually want his own guy. The 2018 tape and production for Love were much better than in 2019. However, some will attribute blame to this year on a worse coaching staff and lack of NFL level playmakers.
20-Jacksonville Jaguars (F. LAR)
The Jaguars have been rapidly dismantling their roster all offseason. They need damn near anything and everything. Fulton has some off-field questions to answer but no one can doubt his cover skills.
The Eagles filled the biggest need on the roster with the trade for Darius Slay. Now, they turn to receiver. Alshon Jeffery may be a cap cut. DeSean Jackson is entering his 12th season. They have to get better at WR. Some may pigeonhole Jefferson into the slot but I think he can succeed outside.
22-Minnesota Vikings (F. BUF)
Minnesota needs to add a versatile defensive end to pair with Danielle Hunter. Epenesa can set the edge in the run game and provide some pass-rushing punch.
23-New England Patriots
Versatile defenders are the apple of the Patriot’s eye. Baun can rush off of the edge or be an off-ball linebacker. A trade out of the first round is always a possibility.
24-New Orleans Saints
If a scenario doesn’t go down where Simmons slips into their trade up range, Patrick Queen or Kenneth Murray should get the call. New Orleans has never selected an LSU Tiger in the first round.
Johnson’s name has been appearing in most national draft pundits’ mock drafts so there must be something to it. He is a tremendous talent. Johnson has decent length and covers well.
26-Miami Dolphins (F. HOU)
Miami will now look to protect their new QB with an offensive tackle. Jones flashed during the year at Houston and then had a dominant week at the Senior Bowl. I could also see a situation where maybe Miami trades up for a different OT, selects Ezra Cleveland, or goes with safety.
OT-Austin Jackson-Southern Cal
The Seahawks always seem to come out of left field with their first-round picks (LJ Collier, Rashaad Penny). However, they need to add an offensive tackle early. While I don’t necessarily believe Jackson should go this high, Pete Carroll may feel comfortable with the former Trojan.
The Ravens don’t have many holes on their team but they could stand to upgrade their LB room. Murray is a sideline-to-sideline dynamo. He wasn’t asked to do much in coverage at Oklahoma. However, I believe he projects to succeed there.
The Titans could stand to add a corner. Trevon Diggs has length and cover skills that are coveted. He hasn’t had the most ideal pre-draft process.
30-Green Bay Packers
Green Bay needs more explosive playmakers on offense. Reagor can give them an added dimension to their offense.
31-San Francisco 49ers
OT-Ezra Cleveland-Boise State
I would set the odds of the 49ers actually making this pick at about 50/50. I actually think someone like Indianapolis or Tampa Bay could move up to this pick to take Washington QB, Jacob Eason. The fifth-year option is alluring on a development needed passer like Eason. If they actually stay here, the Niners could go corner or take an interior lineman like Cesar Ruiz. However, they could look to the future at offensive tackle and take Cleveland.
32-Kansas City Chiefs
The defending Super Bowl champs have a loaded roster. RB may be the only position they can “improve”. Swift is the name that seems to be most prominently slotted here. I personally feel Taylor is the best back in the draft, however.