With the combine officially over, it’s time for another mock draft. Let’s make this one a fun and chaotic one. For the first time in preparing for the 2020 draft, I am allowing trades! I am also predicting a couple of the big time free agent decisions for this offseason to help guide some of the decision making here. Before we dive into the mock itself, let’s review a couple of the biggest moves and all the trades.
Projected free agent signings:
Colts sign Jadeveon Clowney
Chargers sign Teddy Bridgewater
Patriots sign Tom Brady, Amari Cooper
Buccaneers sign Philip Rivers, Jack Conklin, tag Shaq Barrett
Dolphins send 1.5 and 1.26 to Lions for 1.3
Colts trade 1.13, 2.44 and 2021 first to Giants for 1.4 and 6.164
Buccaneers send 1.14, 3.76, 2021 first and 2021 fourth to Chargers for 1.6
Giants send 1.13, 2.44 to Cardinals for 1.8
Chargers trade 2.37 and 4.109 and 2021 fourth (from TB) to Titans for 1.29
Eagles trade 2.53, 3.85, 4.124 and 5.168 to 49ers for 1.31 and 6.210
Chiefs tag and trade Chris Jones to Seattle 2.59
Ravens tag and trade Matt Judon to Detroit for 3.67
Lions trade Darius Slay to Broncos for 3.77
Bengals tag and trade A.J. Green to Raiders for 3.91
This is obviously far from an exact science, but it helps guide the discussion a little bit and certainly makes for a very interesting mock draft. With tons of movement coming in draft stock for players following the combine, let’s get into this wild mock draft!
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Don’t overthink this one, Cincinnati needs a franchise quarterback to build around. Burrow has great pocket mobility, a strong enough arm and none of the injury questions facing Tua Tagovailoa.
2. Washington – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
There is a bit of buzz about the potential Washington will target Tagovailoa, but Young is the safer bet. He becomes a headache opposing offenses right away. Ron Rivera would love to get that type of player.
3. Miami Dolphins via Detroit Lions – Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
First trade of the draft here. Miami needs to find its quarterback of the future and Tagovailoa should be an excellent option. He needs to answer those injury concerns, but he comes into a great situation to sit behind Ryan Fitzpatrick for a year before he takes over as starter. Sending the 26th pick in the draft ensures the Dolphins get their guy.
4. Indianapolis Colts via New York Giants – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Giants said they are open to trading down. That is an opening the Colts should pounce on. With lots of draft capital to work with, Indy can send a pair of first round picks and it second second rounder of the year to New York to sign its quarterback of the future. Herbert showed out at both the Senior Bowl and combine. I think he should be locked in as the third quarterback taken.
5. Detroit Lions via Miami Dolphins – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Okudah fills a huge need and is the best player available. His closing speed is impressive and he can fit into either a man or zone scheme. Especially with Darius Slay getting traded in this scenario, the Lions would be wise to find his potential replacement. Detroit drops two spots, lands pick 26 and still gets their guy.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers via Los Angeles Chargers – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Tampa Bay might have signed a veteran quarterback in Philip Rivers, but that is a short-term fix. Love could be the future at the position. He has a strong arm and Bruce Arians will be determined to bring out his 2018 form, when he had a better supporting cast. With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, Love should have plenty of talent to work with.
7. Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
Luke Keuchley retired, perhaps a bit earlier than most expected. As it turns out, Carolina has the best linebacker in the class fall into its lap. Now Simmons is not a perfect replacement for Keuchley, but he has the same nose for the football. He would be a difference maker Matt Rhule can build his defense around.
8. New York Giants via Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Let’s get weird and have the Giants start wheeling and dealing. Unlikely with Dave Gettleman calling the shots, but one can pretend. Not wanting to miss out on the top tackles in the class, New York can send the second round pick it got from Indianapolis to Arizona to land their favorite of the group. I expect it will be Wills, who faced great competition and has the movement skills to be a starting left tackle.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Jacksonville has a lot of questions to answer this offseason. If they can hang on to their top free agents, they can target a player to help Gardner Minshew. Jeudy would complete a solid receiver core with D.J. Chark and Chris Conley. He is dynamic and about as polished as it gets when it comes to route running.
10. Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Protecting Baker Mayfield is the top priority for this team. I think Cleveland will fall in love with the upside Mekhi Becton brings to the table. He is very raw, but his physical skills are incredible given his size. It might take him a year or so to get fully acclimated, but he has the potential to be one of the best tackles in the league with the right coaching.
11. New York Jets – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The run on tackles should continue with the Jets picking at 11. They have made it no secret they want to rebuild this offensive line in front of Sam Darnold. Wirfs is a powerful prospect who could start in a couple different positions. He has the size and mobility to play tackle, which makes him worth taking here. He should also also help Le’Veon Bell be a bit more effective.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
I really debated the Raiders going after Jordan Love here or getting aggressive and trading up for Isaiah Simmons. Instead, Vegas should stand pat and let the draft come to them. Nabbing CeeDee Lamb gives them a dynamic playmaker on the outside that should open up the offense a lot more for Derek Carr.
13. Arizona Cardinals via New York Giants Indianapolis Colts – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
Arizona pulls a savvy move here by trading down and landing a player I thought they might take at number eight. The interior of the Cardinals defensive line was awful in 2019. Javon Kinlaw has flashed incredible pass rushing ability and dominated at Senior Bowl week. I think he should make an immediate impact.
14. Los Angeles Chargers via Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Los Angeles adds a ton of draft capital by moving down and still manages to land one of the top tackle prospects. Thomas is a proven run blocker who struggles occassionally with speed rushers. He should be able to develop into a solid starter on the left side of the line. Thomas will be tasked with keeping Teddy Bridgewater upright.
15. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
Courtland Sutton and Henry Ruggs would form a formidable duo for Drew Lock to work with. His speed in off the charts and he showed it by running a 4.27 40 at the combine, but he brings more than that to the table. He needs to develop his route running, but he should make an instant impact.
16. Atlanta Falcons – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
While Atlanta needs an edge rusher, I don’t think K’Lavon Chaisson fits this defense or is as well-rounded as some in the draft community. Brown could step in next to Grady Jarrett and create a huge strength on that defense. He moves really well for his size and could develop into a solid interior pass rusher.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Receiver, really? I think so. My guess is Dallas will franchise tag Dak Prescott and lock up Byron Jones to a big deal. That could leave Amari Cooper on the open market, where the Cowboys could get priced out. Instead, Jerry Jones can find an immediate replacement with tons of big-game experience and impressive physical tools in Jefferson.
18. Miami Dolphins – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
I personally think Chaisson has a long way to go as a run defender, but he has the chops to be a solid pass rusher. He is a bit undersized, but he is explosive and brings the physical tools scouts want to see. After finishing last in the league in sacks last season, this is a no-brainer for Miami.
19. Las Vegas Raiders via Chicago Bears – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
In the 2019 draft, the Raiders stocked up on Clemson players. I could see them doubling up on Oklahoma standouts in 2020. Murray gives Las Vegas some much needed speed along the middle of that defense. He diagnoses plays well and is an effective tackler.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars via Los Angeles Rams – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Telvin Smith is not coming back. Queen can step in to fill that void. He has a nose for the football and should be a three-down contributor from the moment he arrives in Jacksonville. There is no denying his big-game experience either after winning a national championship. This Jaguars roster looks a lot better with him and Jeudy.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
While fans may be clamoring for a receiver, there are going to be a lot of talented ones available in the second round. Instead, Philly should look to patch a woeful secondary. Xavier McKinney has enough speed to be effective in coverage, but he is truly special making plays downhill. He tackles well and takes good angles to make plays in space.
22. Buffalo Bills – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Everyone wanted to see Higgins run at the NFL combine. We will have to wait for Clemson’s pro day, but he is a great fit in Buffalo. With solid possession receivers in Cole Beasley and John Brown, Higgins’ big play ability and size would make him an excellent complement. Josh Allen will love working with a player that has Higgins’ catch radius.
23. New England Patriots – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
I expect Tom Brady back in New England. I also expect the Patriots to be aggressive in finding a receiver in free agency, landing Amari Cooper. That means New England can turn its attention to other needs. With no tight ends worth going in the first round, the Patriots tab Gross-Matos, who has a good motor and solid pass rush moves. He would immediately become a situational rusher in this defense.
24. New Orleans Saints – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
Laviska Shenault will have to undergo surgery, but I think his tape should keep in the first round. He is quick, athletic and reliable. Colorado did all sorts of things to get the ball in his hands. He would be able to line up across from Michael Thomas right away and hopefully give Drew Brees another dependable target.
25. Minnesota Vikings – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
After a tough season from its secondary, Minnesota should look to add another corner to its defensive backfield. Henderson had a great combine and should, hopefully, put injury concerns behind him. He was a bit inconsistent this year, but he has all the measurables. Give him a year with Mike Zimmer and he could be a great starting option.
26. Detroit Lions via Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans – A.J. Epenesa, DL, Iowa
Epenesa’s combine numbers solidified him as an interior lineman. He clearly does not have the necessary speed to play on the outside. He still has the size and strength to be a 4-3 defensive tackle or maybe even a 3-4 defensive end. He can still rush the passer, but Detroit would definitely be lining him up inside. After cutting Damon Harrison, the Lions definitely have a need there.
27. Seattle Seahawks – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Seattle could head in a few directions here, but I think bolstering the offensive line in front of Russell Wilson makes the most sense. Jones has been generating buzz since showing up big time at the Senior Bowl. He is a bit unrefined despite being a redshirt senior. I could see him growing into Wilson’s blindside protector down the line.
28. Baltimore Ravens – Zach Baun, LB, Wisconsin
Now Baun is not a pure edge rusher, at least not anymore. He worked out as an off-ball linebacker at the Senior Bowl and thrived in the role. His versatility and speed should intrigue the Ravens. With Matt Judon gone, potentially along with Patrick Onwuasor as well, Baun fills a major need.
29. Los Angeles Chargers via Tennessee Titans – J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
After signing Bridgewater and drafting Thomas, Los Angeles needs to retool its offense around them. With Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler both slated for free agency, getting a young running back with game-breaking speed is a must. While the league values the position less than ever, spending a first round pick on a back gives the Chargers an extra year of control. Dobbins should give LA an exciting back to rely on.
30. Green Bay Packers – Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
Peoples-Jones had very pedestrian numbers in college playing at Michigan. I think that can mostly be blamed on the system and the quarterbac. (Sorry Shea Patterson fans.) However, he put up some eye-popping numbers at the combine. Peoples-Jones the best vertical of any participant by 2.5 inches and ran a 4.48 40, which matched Jerry Juedy. If anyone can capitalize on that physical ability, it will be Aaron Rodgers.
31. Philadelphia Eagles via San Francisco 49ers – Michael Pittman, WR, USC
Pittman had an excellent combine that went a bit under the radar. He does not have the same blazing speed as Henry Ruggs, but he ran a 4.52 40 which is really impressive at 6’4″, 223 pounds. He also finished top four in both the three cone and 20-yard shuttle. Across the board, he posted better numbers than a former USC standout by the name of Juju Smith-Schuster. He would give Carson Wentz a huge upgrade on the outside. San Francisco is lacking draft picks and all too happy to pick up a bounty of picks to move out of the first round.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
It feels good to be on top. In order to stay there, Kansas City will need to rebuild its cornerback room. Kendall Fuller, Bashaud Breeland and Morris Claiborne are all free agents. Hall missed the second half of the season with an ankle injury, but looked the part of a shutdown corner prior to that. He has the size and speed to turn into a starter in the next few seasons.
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