2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
These selections are based on what I believe will happen in the draft, not what I would do if I was the one making the selection. Without further ado, here is my 2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0.
1.) Cincinnati Bengals:
Selection: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU.
I am not sure this selection requires much of an explanation at this point. The rumors that the Cincinnati Bengals have considered Chase Young, Tua Tagovailoa, etc seem trivial and I am comfortable saying this is almost a guarantee.
2.) Washington Redskins
Selection: Chase Young, DE, OSU
It immediately gets interesting at the 2nd pick in the draft, for most of the off-season, many other mock drafts had Chase Young penciled to the Washington Redskin’s. In recent weeks, it has changed and many have other analysts have mocked Tua Tagovailoa to the Redskins. I don’t see a defensive-minded coach, with a 2nd year QB, passing on a potential generational defensive lineman. I think Bruce Allen & Ron Rivera have a serviceable QB in Colt McCoy, and tons of potential in Dwayne Haskins. Often forgotten about, Alex Smith is still under contract with Redskin’s(due $21.4m in 2020) and has intentions of playing again.
3.) Detroit Lions
Selection: Jeff Okudah, CB, OSU
The Detroit Lions have traded Darius Slay, and the recent signing of Desmond Trufant isn’t enough to be comfortable about the secondary. Okudah has to be the selection here if Matt Patricia wants to save his job. He is a natural CB, extremely fluid and great in man-coverage. Elite CBs are a commodity in the NFL, and it really is a win-win for the Lions. Truftan and Okudah, can have one of the better CB tandems in the NFL, solidifying the back end of that defense.
4.) New York Giants
Selection: Mekhi Becton, OT, Lousville
David Gettleman seems to fall in love with large humans, and this just seems too obvious of a “Gettleman” pick. Even if it’s slightly overdrafting for a position of major need, the Giants get one of the top tackle prospects to continue the rebuild of one of the league’s worst offensive lines and to protect their “future” in Daniel Jones . Aside from Gettleman really loving large players, he is also a defensive minded coach, and the Giants roster is devoid of talent. I considered Isaiah Simmons here too, but opted for Becton purely based on the need to protect Daniel Jones.
5.) Miami Dolphins
Selection: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
I don’t do trades in my mocks, but I actually think there is a possibility of the Dolphins having to trade up if they want to acquire their QB of the future. In this mock, they are lucky enough to have Tagovailoa slide to them at #5. Tagovailoa would probably be in the conversation for the #1 overall pick for some teams, if he didn’t have health scares. That isn’t the reality though, so the Dolphins get a QB with extreme upside, when healthy. It is safe to say the Josh Rosen experience didn’t give the Dolphins much confidence that he could be the QB of the future, welcome Tua to Miami.
6.) Los Angeles Chargers
Selection: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
I would say this is one of the toughest selections of the top 10, just because it is unclear whether or not they are “in love” with any of these QBs, or whether they would rather pursue a free agent option. There have even been whispers they want to ride with Tyrod Taylor for a season. I personally don’t see how they pass on a prospect like Herbet at #6, with no clear succession path to Phillip Rivers. Herbert is an immensely talented athlete with a talented arm, that hasn’t sold me on some of the key intangibles I like in QBs, like leadership, passion, etc.
He seems to lack a “clutch” gene in him, and for how talented he is, he has often left people wanting more. That pretty much sums up his college career, and most scouts’ perceptions of him. That being said, he wasn’t dealt the best weapons or offensive system at Oregon. It may be worth it for the Chargers to take that chance on him, because his upside is one of the highest of the class. I could see Herbert being a John Elway-esque QB, at his peak. I could also see Josh Rosen as his floor. That is a wide margin and there is a large level of uncertainty surrounding him, but I don’t think that stops him from being drafted in the top 15 picks.
7.) Carolina Panthers
Selection: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
Isaiah Simmons is easily the best athlete in the 2020 NFL draft, and an extremely talented football player too. I wouldn’t have mocked him to the Panthers, but I think the gap left defensively by Luke Kuechly needs to try to be filled. I am not certain where Isaiah Simmons projects to play in the NFL, but I assume he projects as a Weakside Linebacker, or more of a “coverage” styled LB in the Panthers system. The interesting part about Simmons is his speed, at his size. He can really line-up at most defensive positions and perform them to a high level, due to his athleticism. The forefront of his game really is his outstanding coverage ability, and that’s why I project him as pass coverage style LB, with the versatility to take snaps at Safety, MLB and even Slot CB.
8.) Arizona Cardinals
Selection: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
In 2019, the Arizona Cardinals spent the 1st overall pick on Kyler Murray. In 2018, the Arizona Cardinals spent the 10th overall pick on Josh Rosen. They are done spending top 10 picks on QBs, and they admitted they were wrong on the Rosen selection. Part of Rosen’s tumultuous start to his NFL career was the beating he took behind one the league’s worst line in 2018, that destroyed his confidence.
In 2019, Kyler Murray performed at an impressive level given his weapons, offensive line and rookie status, but to avoid a major injury they need to bring in some offensive line help and quickly. Wirfs projects perfectly to them. A starter his freshman year at offensive line factory Iowa, Wirfs possess generational athleticism for an Offensive Lineman. His ability to move as OL schemes perfectly with Kyler Murray’s ability and tendency to move around. I love this pick, and I think this really catapults Kliff Kingsbury one step closer to his ultimate goal.
9.) Jacksonville Jaguars
Selection: Javon Kinlaw, DT, So. Carolina
I think Javon Kinlaw goes over Derrick Brown here, just based on the pure pass rush potential that Kinlaw brings to the table. The Jaguars have now moved off of Calais Campbell, as well as several other key pieces to what was the league’s best defense a few years ago. In order to get back to that form, they’re going to have some holes to fill across the defense. Former 1st round Defensive Tackle Tayvon Bryan, has turned himself into a nice rotational piece on the defensive interior, but there is definitely major room for growth across on that defensive line and they get one of the best defensive lineman available here. I know the Jags are going to need CB help desperately too, but there isn’t a CB here worth the 9th overall selection.
10.) Cleveland Browns
Selection: Jedrick Willis, OT, Alabama
This actually has the chance to turn into a pretty remarkable story, and team. The Browns immediately splashed in free agency, going out and getting free agent Offensive Tackle Jack Conklin. Ultimately, the Brown’s could benefit from two new tackles and Jedrick Wills has the potential to step right in, and make this the best OL in football. I have considered some other positions here now that they have signed Jack COnklin, but I cannot get myself over the idea that they could have an offensive line that is Jack Conklin, Jedrick Wills, J.C Tretter, Wyatt Teller, and Joel Bitinio. Protecting the 1st overall pick from two drafts ago, should be the main priority.
11.) New York Jets
Selection: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The New York Jets have several roster holes that need to be plugged, and that makes this selection tricky. It makes the most sense to with an elite level pass catcher. Their WR corps is looking sickly with the loss Robbey Anderson. Daronld’s top options are currently Jameis Crowder, Josh Doctson and Quincy Enunwa. That probably won’t be enough to help 3 year QB Sam Darnold grow. Jerry Jeudy actually isn’t the top WR on my board, that spot belongs to CeeDee Lamb, but Jeudy fits this system better as he is a refined route runner, slightly more speed and creates separation at an elite level.
12.) Las Vegas Raiders
Selection: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
I went with the best player available at one of the biggest players of need for the Raiders. I don’t LOVE the fit to Las Vegas, but CeeDee Lamb is a do it all player. He is a special prospect, the best hands in the class, outstanding after the catch ability, great route runner, outstanding body control and high pointing ability. He’s basically everything you want in a receiver.
The reason why I don’t love this fit is because Lamb isn’t going to generate as many actual yards of separation as receivers like Jeudy. It may look like he’s covered, when he is not. I fear with a “reserved” QB like Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota, they will hesitate to give him the chances that would truly make him into a top WR in the NFL. I hate to throw around player comparisons, especially this one because everyone has said it, but his skill-set is similar to DeAndre Hopkins, but he’s faster, shiftier and better after the catch than Hopkins. It’s these things that make him the number one receiver on my board, and can’t-miss prospect.
13.) San Francisco 49ers
Selection: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
I had to come back and re-edit this pick, since the Indianapolis Colts traded the 13th overall pick for DeForest Buckner. It seems pointless for the 49ers to have traded DeForest Buckner, and then use the draft selection to just draft another defensive lineman, but Brown is the best all-around DT in the 2020 NFL draft, an absolute monster up the middle, he has the highest probability of translating to the NFL out of all of the other DT prospects. The only reason I have Javon Kinlaw going before him, is because Kinlaw has a higher “pass-rushing” upside. Derrick Brown’s play style is more similar to a Gerald McCoy, Ndamukong Suh, etc. It would be a great selection for the 49ers that would replace DeForest Buckner with a player with potentially more upside and on a cheaper rookie deal.
14.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Selection: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Tampa Bay shattered the media by luring Free Agent QB Tom Brady to them. Loaded with weapons, and a deceptively developing defense, they need to get an elite OT to replace Demar Dotson. Tampa Bay had the 7th highest graded offensive line by PFF in 2019, and Thomas is easily one of the best tackle prospects. Labeled as a “day-one” starter prospect, Thomas can help bring that crucial pass-protection to Tampa Bay immediately. They have invested loads of money into Tom Brady, and should want to protect him.
If you deep dive into the Tom Brady statistics from 2019, it is glaring that most of the offensive issue in New England was awful skill position play. It doesn’t help that he sustained an elbow injury(lateral epicondylitis) in week 8. In Tampa, Brady is being handed the keys to one of the best offensive rosters in the NFL, and I firmly believe Brady still has MVP level play in him, especially with the addition of elite weapons around him. Thomas will help Tampa Bay take that next step. The Buccaneers are my “sleeper” Superbowl team for 2020.
15.) Denver Broncos
Selection: C.J Henderson, CB, Miami
In the prime of the “no-fly-zone”, the Denver Broncos had an elite defense, based around an elite secondary. In getting back to those ways, they traded for Jacksonville Jaguars CB A.J Bouye. They also lost one of their defensive center pieces of the last decade in Chris Harris Jr. C.J Hendersen is a great CB prospect, and if paired with A.J Bouye could form a deadly CB duo.
16.) Atlanta Falcons
Selection: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Short and sweet: Outside of Deion Jones, Atlanta doesn’t have any good linebackers. They lack depth at Linebacker too. Kenneth Murray is the best LB prospect in this draft class, and would compete with Jones for best Linebacker on the roster. It seems like the shortest explanation, but Murray can help solidify an average Atlanta defense from day-one.
17.) Dallas Cowboys
Selection: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
It seems like season after season there has been a major head-line pertaining to the Dallas Cowboys obtaining a top-tier Safety, but they have never come to fruition. With the loss of Byron Jones and Jeff Heath, it is a top priority for the Cowboys to add pieces to their secondary. They did so in the form of signing Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in free agency, but he plays a more Strong Safety role. They finally get there Free Safety of the future in Grant Delpit. Delpit dominated the nation at the Safety position in 2018, and slightly regressed in 2019. Missed tackles has been a huge issue of his, and that is why he is behind Xavier McKinney on my “big-board”, but he is fantastic in coverage and fits more of the Free Safety role the Cowboys are looking to fill. Cornerback is a possibility here too.
18.) Miami Dolphins
Selection: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Miami is in need of WR help, and they get a dream scenario here with pairing Ruggs with his former college QB in Tua Tagovailoa. Ruggs is my personal favorite player in the 2020 NFL draft and the only way to describe him is “electric”. Many other analysts have made the argument for him being the number-one ranked receiver in this draft class. When you watch his tape, you see he can pretty much do it all. Ruggs has a blend of blazing speed, run-after-the-catch ability, strength, route running and even the ability to make difficult catches. His really only “downside” is his smaller frame(5’11 and 188lbs). I think he could become of the best receivers in the NFL.
19.) Las Vegas Raiders
Selection: Jordan Elliot, DT, Missouri
One of the “sleeper prospects” in this draft, this pick seems like the perfect blend of “shocking” enough for Mike Mayock while still filling a desperate need on the Raiders defense. Elliot boasts some serious upside as a pass-rushing prospect, with a high-motor and relentless desire to get to the QB. Some teams may be cautious as he was only a one-year starter, but not Mike Mayock. If Elliot want’s to establish himself as an every-down player, he should improve in the run-game. Concerns aside, he has shown enough upside at stopping the run, blended with an elite pass-rush capability to be a 1st round pick.
20.) Jacksonville Jaguars
Selection: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
In this instance, the Jaguars slightly overpay for a position of need. They brought in Darqueze Dennard from Cinnicinati, but he has had an unspectacular career so far. D.J Hayden has been a solid CB for the Jags, but has mostly worked out of the Slot. They have lost Jalen Ramsey and A.J Bouye in the course of two seasons and need to get some help on the back end of their defense if they want to contend.
21.) Philadelphia Eagles
Selection: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The Eagles already needed Safety help, and now they need it more than ever with the loss of Malcom Jenkins. They get very lucky that McKinney falling to this spot, because Dallas would be my other team to consider drafting him, but this mock the Cowboys just can’t pass on Derrick Brown. So, the Eagles land the best Safety prospect in the draft. McKinney is an instinctive, physical Safety with good coverage ability and a great tackler. I have been saying since pre-combine, that McKinney’s playing style reminds me of Malcom Jenkins. That comparison was later confirmed by PFF, who have also listed his player comparison as Malcom Jenkins.
22.) Minnesota Vikings
Selection: Laviska Shenault WR Colorado
Laviska Shenault is the perfect Stefon Diggs replacement. The Buffalo Bills sent a “boat-load” of draft picks to the Vikings for Stefon Diggs, and even though Diggs is one of the best WRs in the NFL, that deal was hard to say “no” too. They get a receiver in Shenault that can do many of the same things. Shenaults combine numbers don’t jump off the screen, but his tape does. He clearly plays the game more athletically on the field, than what his numbers at the combine suggest. I think the Vikings get a great receiver here who has as high of a ceiling as Stefon Diggs.
23.) New England Patriots
Selection: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
This is a tough draft to do for the Patriots, as they have several holes to fill. It appears from reports that Belichick is “comfortable” with his QB room, and there isn’t a QB here that is worth this high of a draft selection. They lost 3 key LBs in Jamie Collins, Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts. It does appear as though they have a few prospects waiting to get their chance at LB, but Patrick Queen is an extremely young(20 years old), developing linebacker who may be able to immediately become the Patriots best LB.
24.) New Orleans Saints
Selection: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Micheal Thomas dominated the league in 2019, but the Saints clearly lacked another capable WR, specifically a deep threat. They did sign Emmanuel Sanders, but they will still need a WR for the future, and another weapon doesn’t hurt. Denzel Mims was considered a 2nd round pick, before his astonishing performance at the combine. He put the football world on notice, posting a 4.38 40-yard dash, 6.66 3-cone drill, and a 38.5 inch vertical all while being 6’3 and 207lbs. Yeah, he is an athletic freak. They get a player with immense up-side, and talent. This could be this year’s D.K Metcalf, but with a much higher route-running ceiling.
25.) Minnesota Vikings
Selection: Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Kirk Cousins has been under-duress for most of his time in Minnesota, and with them extending him an additional two-years, it is clear he is the QB of their future. In order to help Cousins, who has looked great at times and shaky at other times, they need to help build what has ran every other QB out of Minnesota: the offensive line. Cousins is one of the most efficient passers in the NFL from a clean-pocket and can do some real damage to opposing teams. Getting a top “under-the-radar” OT prospect helps solidify an improving offensive line.
26.) Miami Dolphins
Selection: K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
Brian Flores has to get at least one defensive piece in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL draft, and he gets a great pass rushing prospect in Chaisson to replace what they have been missing since moving on from Cameron Wake. Chaisson is a very “New England” style pass-rusher, he usually plays from a standing-up stance. Similarly to Jamie Collins, Brian Flores is a former NE coach and this integrates perfectly into his system.
27.) Seattle Seahawks
Selection: Yetar Gross-Matos
After losing Jadeveon Clowney to free agency, their defensive line needs some work. Gross-Matos is a great late first-round prospect. Though, Gross-Matos isn’t the most refined player, but he has all the tools that allow him to have a sky high-ceiling. It fits a glaring need for the Seattle Seahawks.
28.) Baltimore Ravens
Selection: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Continuing to surround Lamar Jackson with offensive talent should be a top priority for the Ravens. Lamar Jackson is looking to improve off of his great 2019 season, and he gets another key piece here in Tee Higgins. Higgins is an absolute size mismatch, and deceptively athletic with fantastic ball skills. Lamar Jackson isn’t always the most accurate passer in the NFL, and having someone with that size mismatch, jumping ability and willingness to attack the ball in the air, could help the Ravens take the next leap forward.
29.) Tennessee Titans
Selection: A.J Epenesa, DE, Iowa
It’s sad to see Epenesa fall this far, but he was athletically disappointing at this year’s combine. That being said, you can’t argue with what’s on the tape. In the last two seasons at Iowa, he had 30.5 tackles for loss and 22 sacks. He is worth the risk here late in the first round with the potential to blossom into a very good pass-rusher.
30.) Green Bay Packers
Selection: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Outside of Davante Adams, the Packers are pretty anemic at receiver. In 2019, the leading receiver(the aforementioned Davante Adams) had 997 receiving yards and the next closest leader was their running-back with 474 receiving yards, It is a glaring need, and luckily for the Packers this is one of the best receiver drafts of all-time. Reagor tested poorer at the combine than most expected, because he is dominant on fill and faster than the 4.47 40-yard dash he clocked. That being said, my concern for Reagor is his route-running.
Reagor clocked a very pedestrian 7.31 3-cone drill. Tom Brady ran 47.2 3-cone. D.K Metcalf was heavily criticized after the 2019 scouting combine when he ran a 7.38 3-cone drill, and went on to shock the world. The difference between Reagor and Metcalf is substantial from an athletic profiling standpoint, as Metcalf is faster, taller, heavier, stronger and just all-around more dominant. The reason Reagor is still a first-round pick is because his tape is undeniable.
31.) San Francisco 49ers
Selection: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
The brother of Stefon Diggs, Trevon Diggs has dominate size at 6’1 205lbs. He consistently went up against the best receiving core in the nation in practice and that helped translate to the field. He earned a 88.5 grade in 2019, via PFF.
32.) Kansas City Chiefs
Selection: A.J Terrell, CB, Clemson
One of the most elite offenses in NFL history over the past two seasons has been backed by a lackluster defense. The defense did improve in 2019, but they get another key piece for there secondary here. Terrell is an athletic freak, running a 4.42 at 6’1. He can lock up fast receivers, and have a height advantage in many match-ups. There are some concerns about his tackling, but he is a fringe 1st round pick and at the last pick in the 1st round he is a solid value. He earned a 76.9 grade from PFF in 2019.
I will probably have the third iteration after free agency, trades and pro-days are done. I hope you enjoyed it, and feel free to comment or tweet me your thoughts @PatriotsDisect.
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