The staple of NFL Draft coverage is the Mock Draft and it’s the reason that lead to me diving into this part of my life. The reason for it’s popularity is everybody either wants to see who their favorite team could be taking, where they’re favorite college football players could go, or where the top prospects could land. This obsession has also lead me to being ranked as one of the most accurate mock drafters over the past five years. Either way you look at it, it’s a fun way to look ahead to the next NFL Draft. Normally when I do mock drafts I base my picks on what I think will happen. Now version 1.0 still follows that premise, but on these early mock drafts because it is still so far out I end up interjecting how I view players in where they go. Regardless, enjoy our 2020 NFL Mock Draft!
2020 NFL Mock Draft
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
With the decline of the roster and a new inexperienced head coach the Bengals are primed to be picking with the first overall pick. If they do end up here there is a great shot they’ll finally replace Andy Dalton. The discussion will be between Tua and Herbert and while Herbert may have a higher upside, Tau’s accuracy and timing are perfect fits in Zac Taylor’s west coast style offense.
2. Arizona Cardinals: Chase Young DE Ohio State
Now that the Cardinals have their quarterback of the future they need to go best available player and build up on elite players that their roster lacks. Chase Young is an athletic freak that has good size and power. In Vance Joseph’s defense they really emphasize having good edge rushers and Young would be the perfect compliment to Chandler Jones.
3. Miami Dolphins: Justin Herbert QB Oregon
As big of a Josh Rosen fan as I am, if the Dolphins are picking this high that likely means that they struggled and Rosen was a part of that. Sure maybe Rosen is able to win over the coaches and look good among their poor roster allowing them to get a good receiver or another position. But if I’m being unbiased it would be really difficult to pass up Herbert.
4. New York Giants: Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
It’s one thing to trade away Odell Beckham Jr but the Giants really didn’t have anybody ready to take over his role as the number one receiver. Even with a full strength group of Golden Tate, Sterling Shepherd and Corey Coleman it was one of the weakest receiving groups in the entire NFL. If the Giants want Daniel Jones to succeed they need to give him weapons. Jerry Juedy will remind some of OBJ on the field and he would be a natural fit within the Giants offense.
5. New York Jets: AJ Epenesa DE Iowa
The Jets are continuing to transition away from Todd Bowles defense that didn’t have true edge defenders while Gregg Williams’ defense needs them to survive. The only true pass rushing outside linebacker the Jets have Jachai Polite but he’s a rookie with a lot of question marks. Expect the Jets to invest in the position this offseason, which might mean a veteran and a high draft pick. Epenesa is likely a better fit in a 4 man front but he’d mainly be used along the line attacking anyways, so it shouldn’t make any difference which scheme he gets drafted to.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Grant Delpit S LSU
In Todd Bowles’ defense the safety position is of main importance as he asked them to do a lot and back in his Arizona days he would play four safeties at one time. When Bowles was in New York the Jets drafted Jamal Adams in the top 10 and then Marcus Maye in the second round. Tampa Bay has drafted a few safeties but nobody like Delpit who could be looked as Bowles new Jamal Adams. Delpit looks like a linebacker but has the safety skill set which makes him the perfect fit for this defense.
7. Baltimore Ravens: Dylan Moses LB Alabama
In the history of the Baltimore Ravens they’ve been known for good defense and a big part of that was the play of their middle linebackers. From Ray Lewis to Bart Scott to CJ Mosley, they always had someone there to hold down the middle. But with Mosley signing with the Jets the Ravens don’t have that guy anymore as Patrick Onwuasor is solid but not the elite guy they are use to. Picking this low could allow them to get back into the mold and take Dylan Moses who is arguably the best inside linebacking prospect that Nick Saban has had at Alabama.
8. Washington Redskins: Laviska Shenault Jr. Colorado
Washington got their quarterback of the future in Dwayne Haskins but the Redskins really don’t have much for weapons. Josh Doctson has never lived up to his first round selection while guys like Trey Quinn and Terry McLaurin are more role type players. Washington would really benefit by targeting one of the top receivers in this class to give Haskins that go to receiver. That guy might be Shenault who has the size, speed and playmaking ability to be one of the next top receivers in the NFL.
9. Buffalo Bills: K’Lavon Chaisson OLB LSU
Steadily the Buffalo Bills have been building up their defense into one of the most underrated units in the NFL. Getting Ed Oliver should help their interior pass rush but they could still use an athletic edge rusher. K’Lavon Chaisson plays in the Tigers 3-4 as an outside linebacker, but at 6’4 250lbs he has the size to play with his hand in the ground and has the athletic ability and speed to terrorize offensive tackles.
10. Jacksonville Jaguars: CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma
Jacksonville wants to be a team that can win with defense and running the ball, so the thought of Tom Coughlin taking a receiver in the top 10. But Coughlin was the head coach in New York when the Giants drafted Odell Beckham Jr with the 11th pick, so it shouldn’t be completely out of the question. Jacksonville already went all in on Nick Foles but they need to give him some weapons on the outside. Lamb has the speed to win down field but also the body control and hands to go up and win in the air.
11. Oakland Raiders: Derrick Brown DT Auburn
Last year’s draft was very telling for the Raiders as they took foundational type players that are high character and leaders, all of which describe Brown. On the field, Brown is a load to deal with showing not only good power but uses his incredible length to keep defenders off his body. When you add in that Brown’s athletic ability and he’s the perfect fit to put next to Maurice Hurst and give the Raiders a good young tackle duo.
12. Green Bay Packers: Trisitan Wirfs OT Iowa
The Green Bay offensive line used to be a big strength but age and players leaving has lessened the group. Right tackle is one area the Packers could look to upgrade as Brian Bulaga is entering the final year of his contract and could be upgraded aways. Enter Tristian Wirfs who has the potential to not only be the top offensive lineman in this group but an All Pro level player. Wirfs who plays right tackle for Iowa is light on his feet allow him to mirror pass rushers while also showing elite power in the weight room. If he can put it all together, the sky is the limit.
13. Detroit Lions: Justin Madubuike DT Texas A&M
Right now defensive tackle is not an issue for the Lions as they have the premiere run stuffer in Damon Harrison while A’Shawn Robinson and recently signed Mike Daniels lock down the other spot. But Harrison is on a huge contract where Daniels and Robinson will be free agents this offseason. More than likely someone is not coming back leaving a big hole. Madubuike isn’t a household name at this point but he is someone that is on the verge of breaking out. The former defensive end has bulked up and gained power but also not lost his defensive end movement skills.
14. Denver Broncos: Paulson Adebo CB Stanford
Going from year one to two under Vic Fangio you’re going to continue to see the Broncos remake their defense to fit Fangio’s style. Cornerback had been a strong suite with Aqib Talib, Chris Harris and Bradley Roby should get a complete makeover next year. Talib and Roby are already gone while Chris Harris is in the final year of his contract. Fangio wants bigger corners and Harris while good isn’t the best fit. At 6’1 Pauson Adebo has the size Fangio likes and plays with good strength and toughness.
15. San Francisco 49ers: Tee Higgins WR Clemson
Over the last couple of years the 49ers have invested a lot of second round capital on build their receiving core and while Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd all have good potential none of them are going to be elite weapons. Kyle Shanahan’s offense will be good with those receivers but it thrived when he had an elite receiver like Julio Jones and Josh Gordon. Tee Higgins will never come close to being as good as Julio Jones but he does have the same skill set and the potential to be a true number one receiver.
16. Carolina Panthers: Xavier McKinney S Alabama
One of the rumors heading into the 2019 NFL Draft was that the Panthers wanted to upgrade the safety position and were looking to use a first or second round pick on the position. That didn’t happen which may have meant that it was just a rumor. Carolina has relied on veterans in the past with Tre Boston and Eric Reid being their starters entering the 2019 season. Instead of going with quick fixes the Panthers may finally find it necessary to get a young impact player to fill the role instead. Xavier McKinney really thrived last year providing help both in coverage along with run support. He’s ideally best suited as a free safety will fit well alongside Reid.
17. Houston Texans: Tyler Biadsz C Wisconsin
Since Deshaun Watson was drafted to the Texans the discussion has been Houston’s need to protect him. Last year the Texans drafted tackles Tytus Howard and Max Sharping to help, but more assistance is needed. Mainly inside where the interior of the Texans line is just as bad as the edges. Tyler Biadsz is viewed as the next good center to come out in the draft and has been the anchor to Wisconsin’s line the last two years. We’ve seen what an elite interior lineman can do to help a young offensive line and the Texans would hope that would be the case here.
18. Tennessee Titans: Jeffrey Okudah CB Ohio State
Tennessee has invested quite a bit of resources into the cornerback positions but its been with mixed results. Heading into the 2020 offseason the Titans will have to make a decision on whether to resign Logan Ryan and whether they can trust Adoree Jackson to be a full time starter. If not head coach Mike Vrabel and the front office may look to Vrabel’s college roots to get star cornerback Jeffrey Okudah. Okudah is a fantastic athlete who has effortless speed to go along with good size and fluidity he has the makings of a shutdown corner.
19. Seattle Seahawks: Trevon Diggs CB Alabama
Before getting injured Trevon Diggs was one of the top cornerbacks in college football and had all the makings for a first round pick and could be a good value here for the Seahawks. A good athlete with plus speed and ball skills makes him a good fit in Seattle’s Cover 3 press man system. Diggs also has the potential to take over as the top cornerback for the Seahawks and form a good tandem with Shaquille Griffin.
20. Minnesota Vikings: Walker Little OT Stanford
Minnesota chose to go with center Garrett Bradbury with the 18th pick over left tackle Andre Dillard leaving left tackle a hole that needs to be filled. Riley Reiff has been manageable but the Vikings would still like to move him inside to guard if they can find the right person to take over at left tackle. That may come here in the 2020 NFL Draft as Walker Little is already getting a ton of attention because of his lateral agility and size are ideal for the position. If Little can get stronger and show better balance he has top 10 potential.
21. Cleveland Browns: Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
Cleveland went from a team that won one game in two years to having one of the most talented rosters is pretty remarkable. Because of that the Browns really don’t have many needs they can really go best player available here and that just so happens to also fill a need. Since Joe Thomas retired the Browns have been patching together at left tackle with an undrafted free agent and former 2nd overall pick Greg Robinson. While they’ve been ok, adding a big physical yet agile tackle like Andrew Thomas could really finish off a talented Browns offensive line.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: CJ Henderson CB Florida
Since being carved up by the Patriots in the playoffs a few years back, the Steelers have been trying to become more of a press man team but have failed in adding good cornerbacks through the draft. CJ Henderson may lack great size but he makes up for it with explosive movement skills which are perfect for what the Steelers want.
23. Dallas Cowboys: Albert Okwegbaum TE Missouri
Dallas was at such a need for a tight end that they lured Jason Witten out of the Monday Night Football booth back to the field. While that will help in the short term, what about in 2020 and beyond? For that the Cowboys will likely be in a position to target the top tight end in the class and that is more than like Albert O. At 6’5 255lbs Okwegbaum is a large tight end but he shows sneaky athletic ability that allows him to find openings in zone coverage and beat defenders with his size. He’s still a bit raw playing mainly as a slot receiver but a year teaming up with Witten could really do him wonders.
24. Los Angeles Rams: Raekwon Davis DT Alabama
Let’s be real, it wasn’t Ndamukong Suh’s play on the field that cause the Rams to let him walk it was his fit in the team’s culture. Los Angeles will feel the loss of Suh as they really didn’t replace him with anybody else leaving there to be more attention on Aaron Donald. Raekwon Davis is not the same level of football player as Suh but his ability to play at multiple techniques along the defensive line and create penetration should fit well within Wade Phillips defense.
25. Atlanta Falcons: Bryce Hall CB Virginia
With the offense in a good position the Falcons can get back to building up their defense with good young talent. At cornerback they’ve been getting by with smaller players but could really use some size to fit their Seattle style Cover 3. Bryce Hall is tall and long with good speed and instincts. Hall isn’t an explosive corner but he should thrive working in press where he can run with the receivers and use his length and ball skills to make up for lacking elite speed.
26. Indianapolis Colts: Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina
Going into the 2019 NFL Draft there was plenty of speculation that the Colts could be in the market for Jeffrey Simmons or possibly Jerry Tillery. Simmons wasn’t available and the Colts traded out of the first round to accumulate picks. Tillery seemed like the perfect fit for the Colts so in the process of scouting Javon Kinlaw the similarities are uncanny. If Indiapolis doesn’t trade out of the first round again they could look to fill that hole with the Kinlaw.
27. Philadelphia Eagles: Isaiah Simmons LB Clemson
Philadelphia is another team that had done well to build up their roster leaving them with very few holes. With Jim Schwartz running the Eagles defense they’ve found veterans that fit the defense well. And while that has worked it might not be bad to find a young impact player that can be a foundation piece. Isaiah Simmons came to Clemson as a safety but has thrived as an outside linebacker using his speed and athletic ability to make plays in space.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jake Fromm QB Georgia
At some point the Chargers will need to find a replacement for Phillip Rivers who has flirted with retirement before. While Fromm doesn’t have elite physical traits he is a winner who has had to compete at the highest level ever since he arrived at Georgia. A year sitting behind Rivers could do wonders for Fromm and allow the Chargers to continue their same style of attack.
29. Oakland Raiders: Creed Humphrey C Oklahoma (From Chicago)
Still reaping the rewards from the Khalil Mack trade the Raiders once again have a second first round pick that they can use to build up their roster. After going with a defensive linemen with their original pick here they look to bolster their offensive line. Sure the Raiders already have Rodney Hudson who is one of the better offensive linemen but he is a free agent after this season and I can see the Raiders be unwilling to pay him the high salary he’ll command, thus leaving a hole for Humphrey to fill. Creed Humphrey may only be a redshirt sophomore but he’s quickly emerged as one of the best linemen in all of college football and had an epic battle with Quinnen Williams in last year’s playoff game holding the 3rd overall in check.
30. Kansas City Chiefs: Kirstan Fulton CB LSU
Kansas City didn’t invest much at cornerback in free agency largely due to the disadvantage that cornerbacks have and not wanting to put a ton of money into the position. Instead they could be looking to add talent in the draft. LSU is known as DB U for good reason and their latest cornerback prospect to come out is Fulton. A fluid athlete with good instincts Fulton is always in the right position to make a play on the ball. In Kansas City’s new defense they are going to need corners who can play man to man on an island and Fulton is someone who is built to do that.
31.New Orleans Saints: Henry Ruggs WR Alabama
It was huge for the Saints to get Michael Thomas locked up for the long term but that shouldn’t mean that they are done at the position. Besides Thomas they have Tre’Quan Smith who is entering his second year and Ted Ginn. While Ginn has been able to get some production they could really use an upgrade. Henry Rugs is a true deep threat who has elite breakaway speed. Knowing how much Ginn has helped the Saints they could look at Ruggs as being an upgraded version and a nice compliment to Thomas.
32. New England Patriots: Paddy Fisher LB Northwestern
Where the Patriots will go with this will always be a mystery but something tells me that Paddy Fisher is a player that Belichick will love. Fisher is a good athlete but not great and just knows how to make tackles. The Patriots have Dont’a Hightower who has been good for a while, but they really lack more than just role players next to him. With Fisher the Patriots could have their middle linebacker for years to come.