Updated: Apr 16, 2020
2020 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
April 15, 2020
This is my first piece of content contributed to the BFB and I am extremely excited to share with you my first round mock draft.With that being said I am hoping this is the first of many pieces between now and the draft! Before we dive into the picks I just wanted to give a quick background. I’ve been making mocks for several years now and I can honestly say this is the hardest year to try to accurately predict. Coronavirus has been the leading cause. It has caused a lack of in person meetings and thus info of interest and possible selections being leaked out. Along with that, this draft is loaded in my opinion, it very well might be the best draft I have tried mocking in terms of talent. It is a deep draft that could go a million different ways but I will try to predict as well as I can as well as throw in some trades I could see happening to make things a little more interesting. Let’s get into it!
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow - LSU
This is the no-brainer pick of the draft. He is the best QB in this class and has the potential to turn around a Bengals franchise that had a very disappointing past decade. The Bengals have been aggressive in FA, something they typically never do and I truly think it’s because they want to show Joe Burrow they are serious about winning and building a contender.
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young - Ohio State
Another no-brainer pick, Chase Young might be the best pass rushing prospect we have seen in a very long time. If the medical concerns weren’t there for Tua I could see them going in that direction but with all of the uncertainty surrounding that the Redskins will take the “safest” prospect in the draft and give Haskins 1 more year to show what he has.
3. Miami Dolphins (Trade with Lions) – Justin Herbert - Oregon
The draft finally gets “started” with the 3rd pick this year and the Dolphins make the move up to secure their Franchise QB. The Dolphins package picks 5 and 39 to receive picks 3 and 65. Herbert is in my opinion the 3rdbest QB in the draft but he ends up being the 2nd QB taken due to Tua’s medical concerns.
4. New York Giants – Isaiah Simmons – Clemson
Gettleman typically loves taking big guys up front but there has been a lot of smoke about the Giants interest in Simmons and I believe it. He is my #1 player in the entire class. He can do it all; play off ball linebacker, rush the QB, play some safety, and he was even used as the slot corner at times at Clemson. Players like that are so valuable in todays NFL and I do not think the Giants can pass that up. Look for them to potentially trade up later in the first round to secure their tackle to protect Daniel Jones.
5. Detroit Lions (Trade with Dolphins) – Jeff Okudah – Ohio State
Lions move down 2 spots and still snag the guy everybody has them taking at 3. Okudah is the best corner and a top 5 player in the draft and instantly replaces Darius Slay as the Lions #1 CB.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – Derrick Brown - Auburn
Another possible spot for Tua but again I think the Chargers avoid him and go the safe route with DT Derrick Brown from Auburn. Derrick Brown is going to be a pro bowl level player in the NFL for a decade.Might not be the neediest position for the Chargers but they go best player available and again this is a team to keep an eye on at the bottom of the first round.
7. Carolina Panthers – CJ Henderson - Florida
Not many people have CJ going this highly but I think this pick makes sense for a number of reasons. The Panthers lost #1 CB James Bradberry in FA and are currently projecting to start Corn Elder opposite of Donte Jackson which is something I would not feel comfortable with. Cornerback is also a premium position in the NFL now, causing some to get overdrafted at times.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills Jr. - Alabama
I would have had the Cardinals going with CeeDeeLamb had they not absolutely robbed the Texans out of DeAndre Hopkins. But with WR no longer being an area of need the Cardinals take the best Tackle in the class out of Alabama. OL is a much needed area of upgrade for the Cardinals if they want to give Kyler the best chance to succeed.
9. Las Vegas Raiders (Trade with Jaguars) – Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama
The 2nd best QB is finally off the board. Tua falls almost outside of the top 10 and the Raiders cant help but move up (Raiders receive pick 9 for picks 12, 80 and 159) to secure him. Jon Gruden and the Raiders love high character and high intelligence players. Tua fits both of those categories along with giving Gruden the ability to move on from Derek Carr, something that seems to be a rumor every offseason.
10. Cleveland Browns – Tristan Wirfs – Iowa
The Cleveland Browns have a gift fall into their lap due to the depth of the OT class. Wirfs probably should have been well off the board by pick 10 but here he is and the Browns cant pass him up. Wirfs had quite possibly the most impressive combine for a player in my lifetime.
11. New York Jets – Mekhi Becton – Louisville
I was between Becton or one of the top 3 WRs but decided to go with Becton due to the following reason. The Jets will be able to get a day 1 starting caliber WR at 48 no questions asked but I can not say the same about OT. They desperately need to get Sam Darnold help and they do that by taking the best OL on the board.
12. Jacksonville Jaguars – Javon Kinlaw – South Carolina
3 years ago the Jaguars had the Patriots on the ropes and were looking like they were headed towards a Super Bowl appearance. Now they are in the midst of yetanother rebuild. They need help almost anywhere on the football field. After trading down 4 spots and accumulating more picks they are still able to snag a guy that would’ve been worthy of being picked at 9. Kinlaw is one of my favorites in this draft, if you haven’t read his story go look it up after this mock you’ll root for him too!
13. San Francisco 49ers (From Colts) – Henry Ruggs – Alabama
Any of the top 3 WRs make plenty of sense here but I went with Ruggs. After getting beat by the Chiefs and seeing Tyreek Hill go for 9/105 in Super Bowl 54 I picture Shanahan thinking what he could do with a player like Tyreek. Well he gets his opportunity with Ruggs!
14. Las Vegas Raiders (Trade with Buccaneers) – Jerry Jeudy– Alabama
Raiders move up again! This time for a Bama WR to pair with their new franchise QB from Bama Tua Tagovailoa. This might seem a little unreasonable to see the Raiders move up twice in the first round but I really think it’s a realistic and fun scenario. The Raiders send the Bucs Picks 19 and a 2021 2nd for picks 14 and 194. Jon Grudenpulls these deals off because outside of Bill Belichick he might have the most job security in the NFL. That’s what happens when you’re given a 10 year-$100 million deal. After these 2 moves the excitement for the new Las Vegas Raiders is through the roof and they finally look ready to compete for a wild card spot.
15. Denver Broncos – Andrew Thomas – Georgia
Everyone in the world would have the Broncos going WR here and with CeeDee Lamb on the board I feel I should as well. But what is the fun in following what everyone else is saying! The Broncos take the best OL on the board and it gives them an immediate upgrade on disappointing 2017 First Round Pick Garett Bolles as well as a long term answer at LT for Drew Lock.
16. Atlanta Falcons – K’Lavon Chaisson – LSU
This was a tough choice for me. The Falcons have to go defense here and Chaissons’ college teammate Kristian Fulton was tempting but I think the Falcons would ultimately go with the high upside of Chaisson.
17. Dallas Cowboys – CeeDee Lamb – Oklahoma
Even after re-signing Amari Cooper the Cowboys can’t let Lamb fall any further. I have Lamb as a top 10 player in this draft and he falls right into the Cowboys laps at 17. This pick gives the Cowboys the best WR group in the NFL and makes their offense almost unstoppable.
18. Miami Dolphins (From Steelers) – Joshua Jones – Houston
After moving up and getting their Franchise QB the Dolphins stay at 18 and get him a new OT. Jones is the best OT on the board but its close, they could also go Austin Jackson or Isaiah Wilson here. Justin Jefferson is another name to watch with this pick.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – D’Andre Swift – Georgia
While going with a future QB to groom for post TB12 is a possibility I think the Bucs want to start this relationship off right. They opt to get TB12 the best RB in the draft and one that they can trust on 3rd downs. Another fun idea here is taking Patrick Queen andpairing him with old college teammate Devin White and letting those 2 run all over the field and create havoctogether.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Kristian Fulton – LSU
The Jags go CB here after taking Kinlaw earlier. After trading away Bouye and Ramsey they need to add some talent at CB. They do some by grabbing Fulton from LSU and letting him be their #1 guy.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Justin Jefferson – LSU
This one is too easy. If Jefferson is on the board at 21 I am not sure how he is not the pick. Alshon Jeffery is coming off his worst season since his rookie year and DeSean Jackson is not getting any younger. They did take JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the 2nd round last year but he had a very underwhelming rookie season and his skill set sort of overlaps with Alshon. Jefferson would come in and instantly give Wentz a unique weapon as well as fill both a short term and long term need for this offense.Patrick Queen or Kenneth Murray both make sense here but I can not picture them passing on a talent like Jefferson.
22. Minnesota Vikings (From Bills) – Tee Higgins – Clemson
After trading away Diggs to Buffalo the Vikings desperately need another WR. Higgins is perfect for the Vikings as it will allow them to move Thielen back to the slot full time and let Higgins be the go to on the outside.
23. Kansas City Chiefs (Trade with Patriots) – Patrick Queen – LSU
24. New Orleans Saints - Kenneth Murray – Oklahoma
Saints go with the BPA and take another one of my favorites in LB Kenneth Murray from Oklahoma. When you watched Oklahoma this past season you couldn’t help but notice Murray was in on every play it felt like.He’s very fast and has very high character. His is another story to look up if you haven’t already!
25. Minnesota Vikings – AJ Epenesa – Iowa
26. New York Giants (From Texans, Trade Via Dolphins) – Austin Jackson – USC
The Giants move back into the end of the first round by sending picks 36, 110, and a 2021 3rd round pick to the Dolphins for pick 26 to get some protection for Daniel Jones. Giants leave Round 1 having taken the best player in the draft (Simmons) and a day 1 starter on the offensive line, not too bad.
27. Seattle Seahawks – Cesar Ruiz – Michigan
The Seahawks opt to take the best Center in the draft to help solidify the O-Line for Russell Wilson and the running game. This might be a team to keep an eye on regarding a potential trade down as well.
28. Baltimore Ravens – Zack Baun – Wisconsin
Matt Judon has been franchised and the Ravens may decide ultimately to move on from him. In steps a ready made replacement in Zack Baun. Baun is a good value pick at this point in the draft.
29. Los Angeles Chargers (Trade with Titans) – Jordan Love – Utah State
30. Green Bay Packers – Brandon Aiyuk – Arizona State
The Packers desperately need to find Aaron Rodgers another dependable target, outside of Davante Adams. In steps Aiyuk who has big play ability and is great with the ball in his hands.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Ross Blacklock – TCU
The 49ers really do not have a glaring position of need so they opt to go BPA route and take Blacklock from TCU. He would help relieve the loss from trading away Pro-Bowl DT DeForest Buckner.
32. Carolina Panthers (From Chiefs, Trade Via Patriots) – Yetur Gross-Matos – Penn State
The Panthers move up a few spots to secure edge rusher Gross-Matos. The Panthers send the Patriots picks 38 and 113 for 32. I could also see this playing out for a team trying to move up for the 5th QB to secure that 5th year, Jalen Hurts perhaps?
Thank you for taking the time to read my mock draft 1.0! I hope you enjoyed it, please let me know any thoughts you had on some of the picks. Also be on the lookout for my NFL Draft Props blog that should be posted a little later this week!
BPA for Round 2:
- AJ Terrell
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire
- Jermey Chinn
- Cole Kmet
- Laviska Shenault
- Denzel Mims
- Marlon Davidson
- Jaylon Johnson
- Jalen Reagor
- Lloyd Cushenberry