2020 NFL Mock Draft: Joe Burrow moves into top 5


Welcome fans of struggling teams to another NFL mock draft. For those of us who support teams that look extremely uncompetitive, this is a good way to find something to get excited about in a lost season. This is already my third mock draft of the year. I expect wide receivers to dominate round one and a healthy number of corners to go as well. The race for either Tua or Burrow might be on, but there is a lot to like about other elite prospects in Chase Young, Andrew Thomas and Jeffrey Okudah.

The draft order is being determined by the Super Bowl odds after Sunday of Week 9 from Caesar’s Sportsbook. Tiebreakers were decided by strength of schedule. Obviously, this draft order is subject to a lot of change still, but after nine weeks of the NFL season, this is where all 32 teams stand. Don’t get mad at me for where your team is picking. It’s time for this November mock draft to get underway.

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1. Miami Dolphins (20000-1) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
Miami comes into the draft with three first-round picks and they have to use one to address the quarterback position. Tua Tagovailoa is still the best quarterback in college football. He has tons of big game experience on his resume. Tagovailoa is pro ready as well, even if he doesn’t have elite arm strength. When it comes to traits, he has incredible accuracy and can use his legs to make plays outside the pocket.

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2. Cincinnati Bengals (20000-1) – Joe Burrow
No one has been worse against the run this season than the Bengals, but they also have no future at quarterback. Andy Dalton may be under contract through 2020, but that shouldn’t stop Cincinnati from drafting their heir apparent. Joe Burrow has seen his draft stock skyrocket to the point where he will almost definitely be a top-five selection. He is the front-runner for the Heisman currently and has looked very strong against an incredibly tough schedule at LSU. We will get a chance to see Burrow play Tua and company next week as well.

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3. New York Jets (20000-1) – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
The Jets need a lot of help on both sides of the ball. While Andrew Thomas should definitely be considered here, Chase Young is too good to pass up. Choosing to nab the best player in the draft seems like a good way to speed up a rebuild. After trading away Leonard Williams, New York could definitely use a new pass rusher. Young is a beast with the potential to be even better than the Ohio State defensive linemen that came before him. He would offer a terrifying duo with Quinnen Williams along that defensive line. There is no question the Jets need the help there with just 13 sacks as a team this season.

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4. Washington (10000-1) – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Trent Williams ended his holdout, but is still refusing to play this year. It is a lost season in D.C. and this team will definitely have finding Williams’ replacement high on the to-do list for the offseason. Andrew Thomas might just be the best way to do that. He is the most talented and most polished tackle prospect in this class and he should slot in as the starter from Day 1. Washington invested in Dwayne Haskins last year and now it is time to help keep him upright.

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5. Atlanta Falcons (5000-1) – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
This has been a horrible season for the Falcons, who should be shocked to be drafting in the top five given the expectations for this group entering the year. No team in the league has fewer sacks (7) than Atlanta this season. Adding A.J. Epenesa should help turn that around right away. He is excellent with his hands and has the size to be a great NFL pass rusher. His numbers have been down this year, but he has a lot of potential and previous production to make me think he will transition well to the NFL.

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6. New York Giants (1500-1) – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
After a promising start, Daniel Jones’ inaugural season has gone sideways. New York certainly has holes defensively, but it cannot pass up on the opportunity to take the top receiver in the draft. With Odell Beckham Jr. in Cleveland, the receiving corps for the Giants this year features a 31-year old Golden Tate, a banged up Sterling Shepard and a promising Darius Slayton. Jerry Jeudy would immediately become the best receiver in that group and create a fun offensive trio with Evan Engram and Saquon Barkley. Someone fittingly, he has drawn comparisons to Odell Bekcham Jr.

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7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1000-1) – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Surprisingly, Tampa’s front seven has been one of the best in the NFL this season. The Buccaneers are allowing the fewest rush yards per game and second fewest yards per attempt this season. However, the secondary is giving up the second most yards per game. Jeffrey Okudah gives Tampa a lockdown corner of the future. He has the makings of an elite press corner given his agility and instincts. Okudah is a sure tackler in space as well.

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8. Arizona Cardinals (1000-1) – Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
Heading into the year, I really thought this team needed another receiver, but it seems like Arizona has invested well in players who can contribute at the position in the future. Plus this is a deep receiver draft. Instead, the Cardinals add a defensive playmaker in Isaiah Simmons. He is a converted linebacker playing safety now, but still operates heavily down in the box. Simmons is one of the most reliable players in this Clemson defense and offers the versatility NFL teams are after.

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9. Denver Broncos (500-1) – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Cortland Sutton seems like a receiver Denver can rely on, but after that it lacks proven players to contribute in this passing game. DaeSean Hamilton has shown flashes, but Emmanuel Sanders is gone and leaves a big hole in the offense. Taking CeeDee Lamb is a great fit for a team that needs a player capable of making things happen after the catch. There might not be a receiver in college football better at making plays in space than Lamb right now.

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10. Oakland Raiders via Chicago Bears (400-1) – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
Oakland has made some serious strides this year on offense, but the defense is still lagging behind. With Clelin Ferrell already on board, the Raiders can opt to bring in an interior pass rusher with great size in Derrick Brown. He is part of arguably the best defensive line in college football and he is the most complete player on it. Brown would be a welcome addition to this defense. The Raiders have another first round pick to continue to reshape the defense, so it can afford to go best player available.

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11. Tennessee Titans (300-1) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Ryan Tannehill has been a nice surprise as a fill-in starter for the Titans, but he is not a long-term solution. Tennessee might have some reservations about drafting another Oregon quarterback after Marcus Mariota, but Justin Herbert is definitely the best passer remaining. He has struggled at times in big games, but his physical talents and past success make him a first-round caliber quarterback. He will certainly need a bit of work to fix some of the technical issues in his game, but he has the arm and smarts to succeed at the next level.

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12. Cleveland Browns (200-1) – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
This hasn’t changed at all. Cleveland needs all kinds of offensive line help, particularly at left tackle. Alex Leatherwood might be a little green at the position, but he is learning on the job and faring extremely well for Alabama. He started at right guard last season before he took over for Jonah Williams at left tackle this year. Leatherwood has not missed a beat. He has the potential to develop into a great blindside blocker. We will learn a long more about him as he faces some great defensive lines down the stretch.

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13. Detroit Lions (200-1) – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Detroit needs defensive help in the worst way. The secondary is giving up the third-most yards per game this season and wasting what has been an impressive year from Matt Stafford. Trevon Diggs would give Matt Patricia a tall corner capable of pressing at the line. He has the athleticism and length to become a top-tier corner at the next level. He is a solid tackler who also has three interceptions already in his senior season. Diggs should be able to contribute right away.

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14. Los Angeles Chargers (75-1) – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
This has not been the type of season most expected from the Chargers. There is chatter about Los Angeles finding the quarterback of the future, but they have to address the very clear issue plaguing the offense in the present. It can’t run the ball consistently. Melvin Gordon will be gone at the end of the year. Time to grab a potentially game-changing running back in D’Andre Swift. The Georgia standout is a complete back with very little mileage from his time in college. Swift is also a great receiver out of the backfield. He should help get this team playing more balanced offensively.

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15. Miami Dolphins via Pittsburgh Steelers (75-1) – Tyler Biadasz, C Wisconsin
After taking Tua Tagovailoa, Miami can start to build up the offensive line in front of him. Tyler Biadasz is an extremely polished prospect who should be able to start at center from Day 1. He is a rock in pass protection and does a nice job as a move blocker in the run game. The Dolphins have a pair of young guards they like in Michael Deiter and Evan Boehm, with Deiter actually being a fellow Wisconsin product. Miami could certainly target a tackle, but with Andrew Thomas and Alex Leatherwood off the board, taking the best interior lineman bodes well for the future of that offense.

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16. Jacksonville Jaguars (75-1) – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
You know what they say, speed kills. Henry Ruggs has top-end speed that would rival any player in the NFL. Jacksonville can use the first of its two first-round picks to help add that game-breaking element to its offense. Dede Westbrook has been good, but he has not had a whole lot of help from his fellow receivers. Ruggs would immediately help the development of Gardner Minshew and open up so much for this offensive system. He could have a Tyreek Hill-type impact.

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17. Oakland Raiders (60-1) – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Oakland already jettisoned one former first round pick it had at corner. Gareon Conley is now suiting up for the Texans. Clearly, the secondary could use a boost. CJ Henderson looks the part of a lockdown corner and has the athleticism to develop into a true number one option. He has long arms and closes well to the football in coverage. He still has to work on his press play, struggling to jam receivers at the line, but he should be capable of contributing right away.

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18. Carolina Panthers (40-1) – Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
So far this year, Carolina has quickly realized the value Christian McCaffrey has in this offense and Cam Newton has been banged up. That points to bolstering the offensive line in the draft. Many think Tristan Wirfs has left tackle potential, but I feel he would be better as interior lineman. Greg Van Roten will be a free agent at the end of the season, creating a void at left guard. Wirfs could slot there from Day 1 and maybe even develop into a tackle down the line. He brings a nastiness in the run game that would only help McCaffrey’s effectiveness.

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19. Jacksonville Jaguars via Los Angeles Rams (25-1) – Krisitan Fulton, CB, LSU
Jalen Ramsey is gone and it is time to go about finding a replacement. Using one of the picks it got for Ramsey, taking Kristian Fulton should help fill the void. Fulton is not Ramsey and probably never will be. He is a tough, determined corner with a nose for the football. He comes out of a school known for producing great secondary players as well in LSU. This is his first full year as a starter, so it would definitely be nice to see a larger sample size. What we have seen though is extremely promising.

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20. Seattle Seahawks (20-1) – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Seattle is in desperate need of a pass rusher. With only two sacks on Sunday, the Seahawks got torched by Jameis Winston. Yetur Gross-Matos has the potential to develop into a double-digit sack guy. He has heavy hands that allow him to control opposing linemen and has the size to handle himself against NFL-caliber tackles. The Penn State star also has an incredible motor and checks the character box as well. Seattle would be getting a well-rounded player.

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21. Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans (35-1) – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Miami grabbed a quarterback and an interior lineman, now it’s time to help the defense. After trading away Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins could use another dynamic safety. Grant Delpit has struggled at times with tackling this year, but he is impressive at diagnosing plays and in coverage. His skillset makes him a really nice option to cover tight ends at the next level. He should be a fun pairing in the secondary with Xavien Howard for years to come (unless they trade him too).

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22. Indianapolis Colts (35-1) – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
I strongly debated going with Jake Fromm here, but I think the Colts have faith in Jacoby Brissett. So instead, Indy addresses the defense by adding another pass rusher. This team has been middle of the road in rushing the passer this season and if it decides not to keep Justin Houston’s hefty cap hit, Curtis Weaver would be a good addition. He is relentless and loves to bull rush offensive linemen. Weaver has been a disruptive force for this Boise State defense for the past three years and should continue doing just that for the Colts.

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23. Minnesota Vikings (18-1) – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
Kirk Cousins has answered a lot of questions about his ability to lead this team. However, the defense suddenly seems a lot less capable than it did at the start of the season. Javon Kinlaw would be fun to watch in this 4-3 system. He is a dominant pass rusher at South Carolina right now, regularly drawing double teams and extra attention. Teams wouldn’t be able to do that with Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffin lining up next to him. He also feels like a nice complement to Lindval Joseph. Adding another disruptive defensive player like Kinlaw should take pressure off the offense.

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24. Philadelphia Eagles (14-1) – Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
The Eagles desperately need secondary help. Sidney Jones has been unable to stay on the field and the combo of Avonte Maddox and Ronald Darby isn’t cutting it. Paulson Adebo is a feared man at Stanford with the Pac-12 no longer even bothering to throw at him. Rightfully so given his eight interceptions in 21 career games. Adebo could immediately provide some corner depth and projects as a long-term starter. He is a ball-hawking corner who should bring some physicality to this Philly secondary.

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25. Buffalo Bills (35-1) – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
Buffalo has a championship level defense, but it needs to bring its offense up to speed. John Brown and Cole Beasley are nice complements to a top-tier receiver. Laviska Shenault Jr. has shown flashes of being just that in the past two years at Colorado. He moves extremely well for a player that measures in at 6’2″ and 220 pounds. Shenault is really good with the ball in his hands, leading Colorado to use him as a wildcat quarterback sometimes just to get him more touches. He should provide some playmaking to a Bills offense in desperate need of it.

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26. Baltimore Ravens (12-1) – Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Baltimore has built an offense around running the ball. While they could probably use another receiver here, it is hard to pass up on an electric running back like Travis Etienne. He is averaging nine yards per carry this season for Clemson and has game-breaking ability. Mark Ingram has been solid this year, but will turn 30 in December. This gives the Ravens another playmaker to deploy in either the run or pass game. Just imagine Etienne running read options with Lamar Jackson.

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27. Dallas Cowboys (11-1) – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
It is hard to know what direction the Cowboys will be headed this offseason with a number of crucial pieces of this roster set to be free agents. With its inquiry into Jamal Adams, there is no question Dallas is interested in bringing in some help at safety though. Xavier McKinney is the best one on the board and projects as a future starter. He is explosive and plays downhill. McKinney seems to be a solid cover option, even shifting down in a nickel role sometimes. His versatility makes him a fun addition to this defense.

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28. San Francisco 49ers (8-1) – Walker Little, OT, Stanford
Through nine weeks of NFL play, the 49ers are the lone remaining unbeaten team. Vegas doesn’t have them as Super Bowl favorites though, having them tied for second to win in the conference. There does not seem to be too many needs on this team though. One potential hole that could form would be if Joe Staley retired this offseason. Even if he doesn’t, finding his future replacement wouldn’t be a bad idea. Walker Little went down during the first week of the season with a knee injury, but when healthy he looks like a future left tackle in the NFL. He moves pretty well and shows good bend for the position. At 6’7″, he certainly fits the size profile.

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29. Kansas City Chiefs (11-1) – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Kansas City’s defense has actually played much better in recent weeks, but that does not mean it is fixed. The Chiefs could definitely use some help on the backend. Bryce Hall went down with a serious ankle injury earlier this year, but assuming he makes a full recovery, he has first-round potential. Hall has the size and ball skills to turn into a solid starting option pretty quickly. He has a ton of college experience and would be a nice addition to what has typically been a struggling secondary.

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30. Green Bay Packers (8-1) – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
If Sunday’s offensive meltdown against the Chargers wasn’t a clear enough reason the Packers need some help at receiver, I don’t know what will be. Davante Adams finally returned, but that was not enough to propel this offense. Jalen Reagor might just be the solution to Green Bay’s problems. He is an explosive receiver who has a great catch radius given his size. He is aggressive when catching the ball, using his hands to catch it away from his body. Reagor might not be quite as fast as Henry Ruggs, but he might be a more complete receiver ready to compete on Day 1.

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31. New Orleans Saints (9-2) – Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State
This team is geared up for a Super Bowl run right now and will want to get the most out of Drew Brees’ final few seasons. Michael Thomas is a beast and arguably the best receiver in the NFL, but the Saints could use someone to play across from him. Tylan Wallace feels like a good fit. He is more than capable of taking the top off a defense and does an excellent job winning jump balls. He is also a decent route runner who has the awareness to be a possession receiver. Wallace did go down for the rest of the college season with a torn ACL, but he has shown enough potential to warrant a first round selection.

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32. New England Patriots (2-1) – Creed Humphrey, G, Oklahoma
If there is an area of need on this team it is along the offensive line. Injuries and inconsistent play have really hurt the Patriots all season long. Creed Humphrey is a rock-solid prospect with tons of experience. He was the lone returning starter this season on the line for Oklahoma. He is solid in pass protection and as a run blocker. He can slot in at either guard spot and give New England a steadier option than anything they’ve been able to find this year.

For more NFL Draft coverage, check out the Aftermath’s NFL Draft Podcast, with new episodes every Thursday.

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