A lot has happened since my last mock draft came out in November. 4 new teams are in the top 10, Tua Tagovailoa is back on the board, and 4 of my picks decided to go back to school. Everybody needs an offensive tackle, but there’s not enough to go around. Almost everybody has decided this QB class falls off a cliff after QB3 after some mocks had as many as 6 QBs in the first round. The Patriots are dead, as are the Saints, while the Titans may be our new gods. It’s a whole new decade and it’s full of mystery. Let’s try to make some sense out of this, shall we?
1.1 Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Get your Sharpies out. This has been the pick even before the Bengals officially locked up the 1st overall pick. Not only is Burrow an Ohio kid, but he also might be the best QB prospect since Andrew Luck. He’ll be tasked with turning the Bengals into legitimate threats in the AFC in a division with two other young franchise QBs in Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield. With Burrow and a healthy rest of the roster, including Jonah Williams, AJ Green, Joe Mixon, and John Ross, this could be one of the more fun teams to watch in 2020.
1.2 Washington Redskins
The pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
I hope you didn’t put the Sharpie away, because you’ll need it for this pick, too. In the last mock, I got a little too cute with this pick and passed on Young for an OT, so to Redskins fans: I’m sorry, let me correct that mistake. A pass rush tandem of Young and 2019 first rounder Montez Sweat in Jack Del Rio’s new defensive scheme should produce incredible results. Could it even be enough to ensure the NFC East doesn’t have a repeat winner for the first time since 2004? I wouldn’t rule it out.
1.3 Detroit Lions
The pick: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Here’s where the draft really starts, and in the real thing come April, I have a feeling the Lions will trade out of this pick so that a team can jump up and take Tua Tagovailoa, assuming his medicals check out. Without trades in this mock, I’m forced to give the Lions a player they desperately need anyway in Okudah. Detroit’s secondary took a nosedive the minute they traded Quandre Diggs to Seattle, but the addition of Okudah gives them the potential to rise to new heights. As perhaps the best corner prospect since Jalen Ramsey (if you counted him as a corner prospect), Okudah should immediately be almost any team’s CB1. That he’ll almost certainly be on the board at 3 makes this situation a win-win for the Lions.
1.4 New York Giants
The pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
In lieu of GM Dave Gettleman’s comments on Thursday, let’s go ahead and take a guess at what he’ll do with this pick. Will he take a playmaking WR for his young quarterback to pair with rookie standout Darius Slayton? Will he take a defensive chess piece that would instantly improve a defense that struggled for most of the season? Will he take an offensive tackle?
Yeah, he’s going to take an offensive tackle.
That’s not a knock-on Thomas, who’s already proficient enough as a run blocker to win Best Supporting Actor in the Saquon Barkley Show and good enough as a pass blocker to not be a liability. He will need to clean up his footwork to prevent some of the poorer reps he’s shown as a blindside protector, but I think he has the potential to be a franchise left tackle. Is that what Giants fans want? Probably not, but it certainly seems as though it’s what they’re going to get.
1.5 Miami Dolphins
The pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Congratulations, Miami, you did it! Everyone questioned your decision to win a couple games this season, given that you seemed locked in on Tua entering the season, but you were two steps ahead and now you can still get your guy and your team morale is high!
Of course, this is in a world with no trades. In the real thing, Miami will likely have to bid against other QB-needy teams (the Chargers or Panthers come to mind, QB situations pending) for either 3 or 4 to truly secure their QB of the future. Let’s assume they do, for the sake of this exercise. They then have to wait for Tua to get healthy. Right now, the prognosis is that he’ll be able to throw in the spring but being able to throw and playing in a game are different things. Of course, the stylings of Ryan Fitzpatrick are such that the Dolphins will probably be alright until Tua is ready.
Wait, have we thought about the injury concerns of Tua if Fitzpatrick is his backup?
1.6 Los Angeles Chargers
The pick: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Do the Chargers need a new quarterback? Yes. Is Justin Herbert the kind of quarterback they’d want? Probably. Is Herbert a good value at #6 overall? No, at least not in my opinion. I understand those who are putting Herbert in this spot: Philip Rivers is 38 and a free agent. The Chargers need to sell tickets in “their” new stadium and current backup Tyrod Taylor probably doesn’t do that. Other free agents at the position are either geriatric or bad at football. Here’s the thing, though: despite all of that, picking a QB at 6 just doesn’t feel like something the Chargers will do, at least to me. Neither does trading up for Tua. Wills would immediately be the best lineman on the team by a mile and would probably start at RT on Day 1 with plans to eventually move to the left side to replace veteran Russell Okung. Playing Wills at RT allows Michael Schofield to move back inside to guard without having to play Sam Tevi, with a healthy Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney likely competing for the other starting guard spot. With Mike Pouncey returning at the center spot as well, that’s a line I feel much more comfortable putting any QB behind if I’m LA.
1.7 Carolina Panthers
The pick: Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
For the Panthers, this is a perfect marriage of need and value. Brown will likely end the pre-draft process as my #3 overall player, but he doesn’t play a premium position, which is why he’s still on the board at 7. I wrote in November that the Panthers had 5 free agents on the defensive line, plus a likely cut candidate in Dontari Poe, which brought on the need. Since then, only Efe Obada has been re-signed, and Carolina’s league-worst run defense DVOA number somehow got even worse (8.9 points more than 31st compared to nearly 7 in November). Luckily, Brown is an absolute animal on the inside, with his tape showcasing a few times where he got past triple-teams at Auburn. With the rumors that new Panthers boss Matt Rhule is bringing his DC Phil Snow with him from Baylor, it’s safe to assume they’d let Brown play the same sort of attacking defensive tackle position they had Bravvion Roy play this season with great results. Brown is a versatile piece that can rush the passer as well, making him a player Carolina should have at or near the top of their draft board come April.
1.8 Arizona Cardinals
The pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Yes, I’ve seen the rumors that the Cardinals really like CeeDee Lamb at this pick, and yes, I do like the idea of Lamb reuniting with Kyler Murray in that offense. However, if the Cardinals don’t address the offensive line early in this draft, they need to fire GM Steve Keim and replace him with Dave Gettleman. (Kidding… mostly.) Kyler Murray was sacked 48 times this season, which was tied for most in the league. I get wanting to add weapons for your young quarterback but keeping him alive should probably be a priority as well. Wirfs can step in at left or right tackle, depending on whether or not Arizona decides to re-sign LT DJ Humphries, and would be an impact player for the foreseeable future. Of course, Wirfs hasn’t officially declared as of Sunday, so this may all be a moot point. If he does, he, Thomas, and Wills will be OTs 1-3 in some order, and should all be off the board by this pick, if not sooner.
1.9 Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: Isaiah Simmons, DEF, Clemson
The Jaguars defense suffered greatly following the retirement of Telvin Smith the placement of Myles Jack on IR, ending the year starting Austin Calitro, Donald Payne, and Leon Jacobs at linebacker. Not only that, but they traded Jalen Ramsey and failed to address a weak free safety position. There’s only one player who can fix all of those things, albeit not all at once, and that’s Isaiah Simmons. The textbook definition of “versatile”, Simmons can line up at any linebacker spot, either outside or nickel corner, and even safety and provide value at all of them. Imagine if Derwin James was bigger and somehow more versatile, and that comes about as close as you can get to a player comparison for Simmons. Given that James made the All-Pro team as a rookie, any team that lands him in April should be ecstatic.
1.10 Cleveland Browns
The pick: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
If this ends up being how the board falls, the Browns will no doubt be frustrated. Offensive tackle is far and away the biggest need for this team, and the best player available is a wide receiver, which is probably the biggest strength in Cleveland. That makes this a prime pick to trade out of, especially with Justin Herbert still on the board, but if they have to pick, Delpit isn’t a bad option. The Browns do need a safety, and Delpit is the best one in the class despite his stock falling over the course of the season. The Thorpe Award winner is at his best when you let him attack downhill, making him an excellent counter to Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. His tackling consistency is a point of concern, but the physicality he plays with both as a box safety and in coverage should be enough to make some splash plays as a rookie while his consistency comes along.
1.11 New York Jets
The pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Jets have bigger needs at this pick, including offensive line, pass rush, or corner, but with both of the stellar receivers in this class still on the board, the value is too great to pass up. Robby Anderson is a free agent, Demaryius Thomas looks cooked, and Quincy Enunwa landed on injured reserve for the third time in three seasons in 2019. That leaves us with Jamison Crowder, who’s only ever going to be a slot receiver, and a bunch of cast-offs the Jets found on other teams’ practice squads or on the street. Lamb would give this offense so much more space to operate with his ability to stretch the field deep and run after catch ability, which presumably would allow Le’Veon Bell to break off a few more long runs and Crowder to work underneath more effectively. The offensive line would still be a concern, but some designed quick passes to Lamb could mitigate those issues too. That’s what elevates him over the other highly touted name at WR in this class, who shouldn’t last too much longer in this scenario…
1.12 Oakland Raiders
The pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Hey, would you look at that. Jeudy entered the year as the no-doubt-about-it WR1 for many people, drawing favorable comparisons to AJ Green, Julio Jones, and Amari Cooper before his junior season even began. Since then, draftniks have begun wringing their hands about last year’s Biletnikoff winner, namely over drops and letting the ball get inside his frame too often. It’s nothing against Jeudy, it just comes with the hype of a summer first-round grade. Probably the most polished route runner coming out of college in recent memory, Jeudy is without a doubt a WR1 in the NFL and brings RAC ability just short of Lamb’s to the table as well. The Raiders thought they were getting a WR1 to funnel the pass game through last offseason when they traded for Antonio Brown but picking up Jeudy would no doubt bring them the player they were looking for, just a year later. To do it at #12 overall might end up being highway robbery.
1.13 Indianapolis Colts
The pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
I want to confess something to you. You probably won’t like it, but I need to get it out of the way before we talk about this pick.
I think this is still too high to pick Justin Herbert.
It’s not because I’m a UW student, I swear. If that was why, I’d just change this pick to Jacob Eason and be done with it, the same way I ranked Jake Browning over Gardner Minshew last year. It’s mostly because in 2019, Herbert frequently looked rattled whenever pressure came his way. It’s the same problem I had with Drew Lock last year, and while that opinion has yet to bear fruit, it’s something that I personally weight very heavily. If you can’t complete your process under pressure in college, I usually don’t believe you can do it in the NFL. I especially don’t believe it when you played in a one-read system and have already broken your leg and collarbone in football games. Make no mistake, Herbert has all the physical tools to succeed as a franchise quarterback: arm strength, accuracy, mobility, it’s all there. He’s my QB3 by a fairly wide margin. How he mentally processes the game and handles pressure will be what makes or breaks him in the NFL, in my opinion.
1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
The trio of Shaq Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Carl Nassib accounted for 34 sacks this season, but all three of them are now free agents. That leaves the cabinet pretty bare as far as pass rush ability goes, but Epenesa would change that drastically. He’d likely operate as a 3-4 pass rushing DE in Tampa’s system rather than the OLB position the aforementioned players play because he’s more of a pure power rusher than anything else at this juncture. Even so, a front line of Ndamukong Suh (if he’s re-signed), Vita Vea, and Epenesa sounds pretty scary in its own right. If the Bucs also bring back one or more of Barrett, Pierre-Paul, or Nassib, they could very well be an early favorite for the league lead in sacks in 2020. Consider also that Epenesa has been proficient as an edge-setter at Iowa, which in theory would open up even more opportunities for Vea and Suh to swallow opposing running backs whole.
1.15 Denver Broncos
The pick: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Broncos had terrible injury luck at the corner spot this season, with Bryce Callahan and De’Vante Bausby ending up on IR, which forced Chris Harris Jr to the outside, a move he was reportedly not happy with. Isaac Yiadom also showed he’s not NFL starter material, getting burned nearly every week. There’s a solid argument to be made here that the Broncos should stand pat, re-sign Harris, and hope their best players stay healthy. Re-signing Harris is no guarantee, though, which is why Fulton is such a great fit here. If Harris walks, Fulton becomes the #1 corner on the outside and Callahan can move full-time back to the slot, with Bausby on the other side. If Harris stays, it only becomes a deeper group, as Callahan and Harris would both start while trading reps in the slot and outside while Bausby would be a quality 4th corner. In this hypothetical, the Broncos are dealing with the ever-dangerous Chiefs, a Raiders team that just added Jerry Jeudy, and the Chargers with a full offseason in Shane Steichen’s new system in the AFC West. Having at least 3 playable corners will be a must to keep those offenses contained and the Broncos in the division race.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons
The pick: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
It’s no secret the Falcons desperately need help rushing the passer. They face a tough decision with free agent Vic Beasley, who will likely need to take a pay cut to stay with the team. If they choose to let Beasley walk, Chaisson would be a great replacement. At a similar size (6’4”, 249 lbs.) to the Falcons’ 2015 1st rounder, Chaisson would fit into this defense seamlessly, while likely providing more production than Beasley was able to. The LSU star doesn’t turn 21 until July, and with only 4 years of game experience under his belt, it’s going to be a bet on his tools and development for any team looking to spend this high of a pick on him that I think is well worth it. Chaisson’s technique is admittedly raw, and the reps he wins are mostly a result of his insane athleticism, but I’m of the opinion that the Falcons have at least a little bit of time to wait for a player like him to refine his technique and develop a signature move to bring down passers for the foreseeable future.
1.17 Dallas Cowboys
The pick: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
The way the board looks here, it’s a bit of a reach for the Cowboys to address their needs in the secondary. Instead, let’s turn to the defensive line, where Dallas has invested into a ton of rotational guys on the inside that haven’t panned out the way they wanted. Maliek Collins and Antwaun Woods, both interior starters this season, are pending free agents, with Collins perhaps too expensive for the Cowboys to keep and Woods a questionable fit in what’s likely to become a 3-4 defense under Mike McCarthy. That change probably won’t happen immediately due to the personnel Dallas currently employs, but that’s what makes Kinlaw such an excellent fit here. The South Carolina standout likely fits best as a 3-tech in a 4-3 and a 5-tech in a 3-4, but don’t let that limit your imagination. Kinlaw can play anywhere along the defensive line because he’s such an athletic freak and will get penetration as a pass rusher no matter where he lines up. The mental aspect of his game needs to catch up just the tiniest bit, especially as a run defender, but the upside here is sky-high.
1.18 Miami Dolphins (PIT)
The pick: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Gross-Matos is a raw pass rusher with all the tools to succeed in the NFL as long as he can improve his processing speed. In other words, he’s a perfect fit for a Dolphins team that 1) needs talent in general, but especially pass-rushing talent, 2) has a defensive-minded head coach in Brian Flores, and 3) has ample time to let Gross-Matos develop since they’re likely to be in the basement for a few more years. The Penn State product is another big-time defensive athlete, much like the last two picks, and uses that athleticism well to power through opposing linemen. Already a proficient run defender, Gross-Matos has the juice to end up a key contributor for Miami for years to come. Even if he doesn’t reach his pass-rush ceiling, I think the Dolphins are still getting a solid contributor here, which is what they need more than anything.
1.19 Oakland Raiders (CHI)
The pick: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
With wide receiver already addressed, the Raiders turn to their next-biggest position of need and find themselves with a quality player near the top of the available board in Murray. After finding a gem in 4th rounder Maxx Crosby on the edge in addition to the selection of Clelin Ferrell, Las Vegas can finally focus on the other levels of their defense. Murray is the best pure middle linebacker in this class by far, both in coverage and as a run defender. He plays with almost too much patience, often relying on his athleticism to get him to a spot instead of diagnosing a play and already being there. With little competition for the starting MLB spot in the desert, Murray would be a splash addition for an up and coming young Raiders defense.
1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (LAR)
The pick: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
McKinney is another versatile player that would fit very well into this Jaguars defense; think a little bit Minkah Fitzpatrick. That’s a lofty comparison, but McKinney has the ability to play anywhere on the back end the same way Fitzpatrick does. The only concern I’d have would be playing him as a single high safety in Cover 1, but that’s a scheme the Jaguars rarely run. Other than that, you can move him all over the formation. He’s lethal in zone coverage, which is great news for the Jags, who run primarily zone looks. As a run defender, the explosiveness he shows to close on balls in the air translates very well into aggressiveness against blockers, and some of the collisions he’s made with ball-carriers this season make him look like he’s a truck. He does rely on that more than form when tackling, which will need to be cleaned up, but him and Isaiah Simmons would give this defense a huge boost.
1.21 Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
This would be a dream scenario for the Eagles, who desperately need 1) a receiver with fully functioning limbs and 2) speed. DeSean Jackson is returning next year, but he’s also 33 and has battled injuries for the majority of the last two years. Other than that, the 4 wide receivers under contract for 2020 are Alshon Jeffery, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Robert Davis, and Greg Ward. Jeffery has been hurt on and off for the last two seasons also, Arcega-Whiteside’s rookie year was a disaster, Ward came on at the end of the year but likely isn’t a long-term solution, and Davis is a depth piece. That’s not good, to put it lightly. Ruggs would be an immediate difference maker, giving TE Zach Ertz more room to operate in the middle of the field while also providing value as a return man. Learning from one of the best speed receivers in recent memory in Jackson couldn’t hurt, either.
1.22 Buffalo Bills
The pick: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
For the sake of my own sanity, I need the Bills to acquire a big-bodied WR to pair with the smaller, slot-type guys like Cole Beasley and John Brown. Duke Williams probably isn’t the answer there, as much as the Bills would like him to be, but Higgins very well could be. At 6’4” and 215 lbs. with a huge catch radius, the Clemson star is a bona fide X receiver and red zone threat that Buffalo has been missing. He could be an excellent weapon to give Josh Allen while the young quarterback continues to work on his accuracy, because Higgins can and will catch anything in his vicinity. The junior is also a threat after the catch, but there have been some questions about his overall athleticism. Drops and diversified route running are also concerning, but not enough to prevent him from coming off the board here.
1.23 New England Patriots
The pick: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
The Patriots are difficult to pick a player for, both because there aren’t a lot of glaring holes on this team and because Bill Belichick picks players with no regard for consensus big boards. Kmet seems like a logical choice because the dip in this offense’s production after the retirement of Rob Gronkowski was the story of this team. I like Kmet better than a player like Brycen Hopkins at this spot because I think Kmet is a better blocker, albeit still not to the level the Patriots normally like. The junior hasn’t played much football, with 2019 his only season as a starter after splitting time between football and baseball. The fact that he made such an impact as a receiver despite his inexperience makes him an intriguing prospect to evaluate. His blocking is raw, but New England mostly needs receiving production from the TE spot considering they have a couple blocking centric TEs already on the roster in Matt LaCosse and Ryan Izzo.
1.24 New Orleans Saints
The pick: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
The Saints have been rumored to be going WR with this pick for seemingly the entire season, but both my gut and my Saints fan friend Dylan Sanders tell me that may not be the pick. Instead, let’s turn to corner, where only Marcus Lattimore, Janoris Jenkins, and Patrick Robinson are under contract for 2020. I don’t think PJ Williams will return for this team, and limited cap space may prevent them from retaining Eli Apple as well. Jenkins is 31 and Robinson is 32, so some youth needs to be added to this group. Gladney can play inside or out, likely starting inside while Jenkins plays out the last year of his contract, at which point Saints brass can decide whether to move the TCU senior outside or find another option. Especially in today’s NFL, three solid corners are a must for any team looking to make a playoff run, as any Saints fan will be able to tell you after Kyle Rudolph beat PJ Williams on a fade in the wildcard round.
1.25 Minnesota Vikings
The pick: Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma
This is one of the few picks that hasn’t changed since my mock in November. Gallimore figures to be a riser in the pre-draft process thanks to freak athleticism that will have scouts’ eyes popping out of their heads both at the Senior Bowl and at the combine. That same athleticism may convince the Vikings front office to break tradition and go to the trenches, much the same way they did last year when they took Garrett Bradbury. Gallimore has some conditioning questions that will limit his ability to play all three downs immediately, but that’s fine with me if he ends up in Minnesota, where he can rotate with current starters Linval Joseph and Shamar Stephen while gaining more endurance. Eventually, he’d ideally replace the 32-year-old Joseph and become a truly high-impact player.
1.26 Miami Dolphins (HOU)
The pick: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
I view Swift as the most complete running back in this class. He’s a patient runner with great vision that has both power and speed at his disposal and provides value as both a receiver and protector in the pass game. For a team that I said earlier just needs solid contributors, Swift is about as good as it gets. He didn’t touch the ball a ton at Georgia, either, so his workload doesn’t concern me as far as injuries go. With the offensive line not being addressed with either or the first two picks, whoever is starting at QB in Miami will need a couple dump-off options. (Side note: sorry to Dolphins fans for not addressing the line, but the value just isn’t there at any of these picks.) Swift is a dynamic enough player to make something out of nothing when given the ball in the flat and could prop up an offense that may struggle to keep their QB off the ground.
1.27 Seattle Seahawks
The pick: Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
You know how the Seahawks drafted LJ Collier in 2019, compared him to Michael Bennett, and then left him inactive as a healthy scratch for most of the season? That sure was a weird thing for them to do. What if they did it again, but picked a player that people think is good this time? That would be Weaver, the former 3* recruit who was a sack machine this year for Boise State. Seattle ends their season with a gigantic question mark on the edge, with both Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah entering free agency. That leaves them with the aforementioned Collier, who will develop with another offseason under his belt, and Rasheem Green, who has emerged as a plus run defender with pass-rush upside. If Seattle thinks they need a cheap option to rotate in with those two rather than re-signing the options currently in their building, Weaver could well be their guy.
1.28 Baltimore Ravens
The pick: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
I know Ozzie Newsome isn’t the GM anymore, but the Ravens traditionally love Alabama players. Luckily for them, there’s a Crimson Tide prospect at edge rusher, which is probably this team’s biggest need coming off of a loss to the Titans. Lewis is more of a fit into the Ravens’ 3-4 scheme than a 4-3, with great length and athleticism on a leaner frame. He works hard, too, often relying on effort to make a play rather than reading the offense and picking his spots to attack. That sort of playstyle has led to him looking a bit gassed later in games, so ideally, he’d be more of a rotational player while the defensive staff in Baltimore works with him on conditioning and mental processing. For a team that doesn’t need much going into 2020, Lewis could be the missing piece of the puzzle.
1.29 Tennessee Titans
The pick: JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
Is this what I would do? No, but that’s not what this is about. Derrick Henry has been absolutely phenomenal, but the last I could find was that the Titans haven’t discussed a new contract with the former Heisman Trophy winner. While that sounds insane to me, you, and probably everyone that’s watched these playoffs for even a minute, drafting a running back might not be. Even if Henry stays, he’s carried the ball a bajillion times dating back to high school, and Tennessee may grow concerned he doesn’t hold up the same way Chris Johnson didn’t back in the day (different player, different regime, I know). Dobbins would give this offense a quality second back to spell Henry and still create some home run plays the way Dion Lewis was supposed to when he was signed away from the Patriots. Factor in also that coach Mike Vrabel is a Patriots guy and I wouldn’t be completely surprised to see a running back early.
1.30 Green Bay Packers
The pick: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
Did you watch the divisional round game yesterday? The one where Davante Adams has 8 catches for 160 yards and 2 TDs, while the other WRs on the team had 2 catches for 19 yards? I know this group is young: Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown were drafted in 2017, Allen Lazard in went undrafted in 2018, and Geronimo Allison is 25 despite 2019 being his 4th season. Despite that, none of them appear to be the answer opposite Adams, as the Packers struggled in games where the 6-year vet didn’t get into a rhythm. Shenault is a playmaker above all else, which is exactly what the Packers need to take some pressure off Adams and, to a lesser extent, Aaron Jones and the run game. Lining him up on the outside vs as a big slot receiver doesn’t change much about the way he plays, which would allow Matt LaFleur to place him and Adams wherever the mismatch is.
1.31 Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
Perhaps this is reactionary based on the way the Chiefs secondary played in the second half against Deshaun Watson and the Texans, but it looks like they’re playing well enough that corner may not be a Day 1 need. I see Biadasz as a bit more of a pure center than some others do because he has trouble as a pulling lead blocker every now and then. With the Chiefs, that’s not a problem, because they’ve been missing free agent departure Mitch Morse all season. Patrick Mahomes going down with a knee injury early this season might be scary enough that this front office decides to commit heavily to protect him for the future. Biadasz projects as a 10-year-plus starter at center that would be able to do just that.
1.32 San Francisco 49ers
The pick: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
Ahkello Witherspoon was benched this weekend after struggling against the Vikings, but he had a strong start to the season that was interrupted by a foot sprain. His replacement both during the injury and the playoff game was Emmanuel Moseley, who has been surprisingly good and very well might head into next year with one of the starting corner jobs. This pick is more about the long-term future than anything else, considering the 49ers don’t have many holes to fill. Richard Sherman is still performing well, but he’ll be 32 at the start of next season and could potentially move to free safety within the next couple years. Henderson’s stock has fluctuated perhaps more than anyone else’s this year, based on concerns about his tackling but love for his traits, which are good enough that he may end up a Pro Bowler someday. Learning from Sherman may help Henderson even more than the NFL coaching will, making this a pick I like for the future of the Niners.