Whole Nine Sports

Jonathan Otiker’s 2020 NFL Mock Draft v1.0

NFL Mock Draft
Jon Otiker
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This is an exciting Monday for Mock Drafts as the NFL draft order saw some serious changes at the top following Sunday’s games. The Bengals were able to secure the first overall pick, a new team is in the first place of the Chase Young sweepstakes, and there has been a major shift in the top-10 order. With only one week of the regular season left until it’s officially draft season for the fans of non-playoff teams, let’s take an early guess at how it could all play out.

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1.1 Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow

The pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

The Bengals are officially on the clock, securing the number one overall pick with their loss on Sunday, so you can get used to seeing this selection for the next few months. Even if Tua Tagovaiola didn’t sustain a season ending hip injury that puts into question his long term health, I think Joe Burrow would still be the pick for the Bengals. Bengals owner and head of football operations Mike Brown is known for his old school mentality and scouting philosophies, and while Burrow doesn’t have the biggest arm, he does possess the more prototypical size. He also has the old school moxy and charisma to lift the Bengals out of the grips of mediocrity.

1.2 Washington Redskins

Chase Young

The pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

Although Giants fans probably enjoyed seeing Daniel Jones have an outstanding performance, the realization that they played themselves out of Chase Young has to hurt a little. Young is the best player in the draft, and despite selecting pass rusher Montez Sweat last year in the first round, is too good to pass up here.

1.3 Detroit Lions

Derrick Brown

The pick: Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn

With Martha Ford announcing earlier this week that both Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn will be returning in 2020 with the subtext of “playoffs or bust” this pick needs to be an instant impact player. Jeffery Okudah is also of strong consideration here depending on what happens to Darius Slay and his contract in the offseason, but the Lions also desperately need to upgrade their pass rush. Brown would provide an immediate upgrade to the interior of the defensive line, and allow Trey Flowers to rush from the edge more often.

1.4 New York Giants

Jedrick Wills

The pick: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Here is a little bit of a shakeup after what is becoming the routine first three selections in mocks so far. I have been a vocal part of team “Jedrick Wills as OT1”, but Dane Brugler of The Athletic has also reported that many teams currently have Wills slotted there as well. Although adding a true number one receiver is appealing, it has been proven time and time again that good teams build through the trenches first. Nate Solder has not played up to this lofty contract and Wills will help solidify protect Daniel Jones while paving the way for Saquon Barkley on the ground.

1.5 Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa

The pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

The Dolphins are committed fully to rebuilding from the ground up and have shown they are willing to be patient. For the sake of this mock, I’m going to assume Tua Tagovaiola’s medicals come back clean after the combine, and will make a full recovery in 1-2 seasons time. In that case the Dolphins can draft Tua and bring him along slowly as they continue to add pieces around him.

1.6 Jacksonville Jaguars

Jeff Okudah

The pick: Jeffery Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Ironically the Jaguars replace Jalen Ramsey with arguably the best corner in the draft since Jalen Ramsey. Okudah is a true shutdown corner who has the ability to make an instant impact as a starter from day 1, similar to former Buckeye Marshon Lattimore of the Saints.

1.7 Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert

The pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

While I personally am not a fan of selecting Herbert this high, the Chargers can’t pass on a chance to select their future franchise signal caller. Father time has appeared to caught up to Phillip Rivers, who has been rumoured to want to get out of LA and back closer to where he grew up in the southern United States. Herbert has all the physical traits one could ask for in a quarterback that will likely have a team rolling the dice early in the first round.

1.8 Carolina Panthers

Trevon Diggs

The pick: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

James Bradberry is in the final year of his contract and despite playing well, the Panthers could be looking to upgrade at the position through the draft. Diggs is still a bit raw, but has the size/length/speed traits that you can’t just teach, with the potential to develop into one of the top corners in the league. Together with Donte Jackson the Panthers would have a formidable tandem of corners on the back end of their defense.

1.9 Arizona Cardinals

Tristan Wirfs

The pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

After watching Murray leave the game with a hamstring injury on a scramble to avoid the pass rush, the need to upgrade the offensive line and keep him upright seems all that more important. Wirfs is an athletic freak for his size, showing excellence balance and movement skills, and has a chance to become OT1 in this class by April.

1.10 New York Jets

Andrew Thomas

The pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Even Adam Gase (if he returns) shouldn’t be able to mess this pick up. The Jets must protect Sam Darnold better if he is going to have a chance to turn his flashes of great play into consistent production. Thomas can secure Darnold’s blindspot, while also helping to pave open run lanes for Le’Veon Bell.

1.11 Denver Broncos

Isaiah Simmons
(Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

The Broncos just miss out on a tackle, but shouldn’t be too disappointed in settling for the best player available in Simmons. Simmons fits the modern mold for an NFL linebacker, with the range and athleticism to run, blitz, and cover all over the field. With Von Miller, Bradley Chubb, and Justin Simmons, Isaiah Simmons will give the Broncos a playmaker on all three levels of the defense.

1.12 Cleveland Browns

Austin Jackson

The pick: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

Since the start of the season offensive tackle has been written in ink as the Browns top need this offseason, as Baker Mayfield has struggled to find a groove and get the ball to his playmakers on the perimeter this season. Jackson needs some polishing, and might be a bit of a reach here, but has the athletic upside to develop into a dependable left tackle.

1.13 Atlanta Falcons

AJ Epenesa

The pick: AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

A versatile defensive linemen who wins with power and effort from both the edge and inside, Epenesa will finally give Grady Jarrett a competent running mate. Former first round picks Vic Beasley and Tak McKinley have failed to live up to their draft status, and Epenesa breaks away from their style of finesse pass rush, instead winning with powerful hands, a relentless motor, and surprising agility for his size.

1.14 Oakland Raiders

Jerry Jeudy

The pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

I didn’t intend for the receivers to fall this far, but it always seemed like a luxury pick for the teams selecting earlier, allowing for the Raiders to get a steal at fourteen. The Raiders have been making due with a corp of #2 and #3 receivers, and Jeudy could step in day one as their go to guy. An exceptional route runner and explosive runner with the ball in his hands, Jeudy needs to clean up some body drops, but has all the tools to develop into a #1 wide out.

1.15 Dallas Cowboys

Grant Delpit

The pick: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

A silver lining for Cowboys fans, the loss on Sunday caused a seven spot swing in draft selection, allowing Dallas to finally upgrade at the safety position. While this pick very well could be used in a trade for another former LSU safety currently playing in New York, the Cowboys should also be happy with Delpit. The Dallas secondary has lacked someone who can consistently make plays on the football, and Delpit can do that as both a true free and strong safety. His versatility and instincts as a playmaker should appeal to whoever ends up being the new head coach in Dallas next year.

1.16 Indianapolis Colts

Jordan Love

The pick: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Jacoby Brisset has done admirably taking over as the starting quarterback, but his play this season has shown that he is still best suited as a bridge player until the new franchise quarterback can be found. This would be an ideal situation for Love, who has all the talent in the world, but has struggled with a new head coach and bad supporting cast at Utah State. He can sit and learn under Brisset until Frank Reich feels he is ready for action.

1.17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

JAvon Kinlaw
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

The pick: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

Shaq Barrett has played outstanding this season, and if he can be resigned then will help cover the need for an outside edge rusher. Kinlaw has an NFL ready frame, with the length, power, and explosiveness to create havoc on the inside. Pairing him on the inside with Vita Vae, and having Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul on the edges would create a nice defensive front for Todd Bowles to work with.

1.18 Oakland Raiders (CHI)

Dylan Moses

The pick: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

Once considered a top 10 pick, if the medicals on Moses indicate that he’ll have no lingering issues from his ACL tear, Moses could end up a steal later in the first half. The Raiders have lacked athleticism and range at the linebacker position for too long, and Moses is another high character, excellent leader player that fits the Mike Mayock liked last year.

1.19 Miami Dolphins (PIT)

K'Lavon Chaisson

The pick: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

An athletic freak, with length, speed, and flexibility to attack and win the edges, Chaisson is a high upside pick for Brian Flores to work with. He is still raw from a technical standpoint, but his burst and bend are top tier, making this a worthy gamble this late in the first round, and give the Dolphins an outside rush to help Christian Wilkins.

1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (LAR)

CeeDee Lamb

The pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Whether Gardner Minshew or Nick Foles is at quarterback next year, the Jaguars have lacked a consistent receiving threat outside DJ Chark all season, and Lamb would be an excellent complement to Chark. A player, they’d probably be comfortable taking in the top-10 falls all the way to them at pick twenty. Imagine the highlight plays that could be had off of Minshew’s wild scrambles and finding Lamb running free through the secondary.

1.21 Philadelphia Eagles

Henry Ruggs III

The pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

The Philadelphia Eagles are in desperate need of speed in both the secondary and at receiver, and the fastest player in the draft falls to them here. Doug Pederson has seen what his former mentor Andy Reid has been able to do in Kansas City with Tyreek Hill, and can try to replicate the same success in Philadelphia, allowing Carson Wentz to show off his arm talent downfield.

1.22 Tennessee Titans

Josh Jones

The pick: Josh Jones, OT, Houston

Right tackle Jack Conklin is set to head to free agency after the Titans declined to pick up his fifth year option, and left tackle Taylor Lewan has been inconsistent with penalties and his play. Josh Jones is being called this year’s Andre Dillard, an extremely gifted athlete and tackle who should quickly rise through the draft process.

1.23 Buffalo Bills

Tee Higgins

The pick: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

It seems like a wide receiver has been written in ink for the Bills in every mock draft since the start of the season and it’s no different here. The Bills receiving corp currently lacks a big bodied receiver who can consistently win contested catches down field. Enter Tee Higgins. A tall, lanky receiver, Higgins has excellent body control and an extensive catch radius, making him an exciting new threat to help further along Josh Allen’s growth.

1.24 Minnesota Vikings

Kristian Fulton

The pick: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

Xavier Rhodes play has fallen off the deep end and has become a liability on the back end of the defense. While there would still be some dead money, his contract does allow for the Vikings to part ways with him this offseason if they want, leaving an opening at corner. True freshman Derek Stingley stole most of the attention for LSU’s defense this season, but Fulton played at a high level opposite him the entire time, and while injured the majority of the time. Fulton is a fluid mover, with excellent patience and awareness to excel in man coverage at the next level.

1.25 Miami Dolphins (HOU)

Alex Leatherwood

The pick: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

Dolphins fans chant Roll Tide for the second time, this time for a new offensive tackle. If the Dolphins are going to invest in Tua, then protecting him becomes the second highest priority, given his injury history. Leatherwood doesn’t jump off the screen, but he is sound in his technique consistently gets the job done, providing some stability on a porous offensive line.

1.26 Kansas City Chiefs

Jeff Gladney

The pick: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

The Chiefs new look defense has played at a much higher level this season, but the addition of another talented cornerback could help take them to the next level. Gladney is a four year starter that has the play speed and recognition to excel in any scheme. An athletic marvel, Gladney is expected to blow up the combine and cement himself as a first round prospect.

1.27 Seattle Seahawks

Terrell Lewis

The pick: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama

The Seahawks have done a good job rebuilding their secondary, but need to continue to upgrade their defensive line, especially if Jadaveon Clowney does not return as a free agent. Lewis has some medical concerns that will need to be cleared by team doctors, but has had an excellent comeback season, showing the ability to win with speed and power as a pass rusher.

1.28 Green Bay Packers

Laviska Shenault

The pick: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

Another pick that seems to be written in ink is the Packers selecting a wide receiver. Davante Adams is one of the best receivers in the league, but has lacked a running mate to help open things up in the passing game. Shenault is a do it all threat that Matt LaFleur can get creative with, showing the ability to win as a receiver downfield and create after the catch, as well as on jet sweeps and as a running back.

1.29 New England Patriots

Creed Humphrey
Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The pick: Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

The Patriots offense has struggled to find any level of consistency, in large part due to poor play and injuries along the offensive line. Enter Creed Humphrey, smart, tough, and athletic, he fits the Patriot mold and will can help keep father time away from Tom Brady for a little bit longer.

1.30 New Orleans Saints

Jalen Reagor

The pick: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

Assuming either Drew Brees returns or Teddy Bridgewater resigns, the Saints offense could use another receiving weapon. Michael Thomas catches enough passes for two receivers, but the Saints could use a deep threat like Reagor to add a vertical dimension to their passing attack. Reagor was held back at TCU due to poor quarterback play, but has 4.2 speed and would be exciting to see in a Sean Payton offense.

1.31 San Francisco 49ers

Shaun Wade

The pick: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

Richard Sherman has played at a high level this season, but the 49ers should be looking for his running mate and eventual replacement. Wade might be just a nickel for the Buckeyes, but he has the versatility, length, and quick twitch athleticism to play on the outside, inside, or at safety, giving the 49ers a versatile chess piece to match up with opposing offenses.

1.32 Baltimore Ravens

Kenneth Murray

The pick: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

While LJ Fort and Patrick Onwuasor have played well, the Ravens could still use a replacement for CJ Mosely in the middle of the defense. Murray is another rangy linebacker, with the speed to make plays sideline to sideline in the run game and in coverage, and the aggressive mindset and toughness of a Raven.

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