With the world seemingly in a standstill during this quarantine, the only thing most of humanity seems to be wanting is to be able to leave their houses. However, for hardcore sports fans, the NFL Draft is just one week away and everything that us scouts have been working towards is almost completed. With my scouting and rankings seemingly finalized and grades assigned to prospects, it is time for my final solo mock draft of the 2020 NFL season. This is a predictive mock draft, based on what I believe could and will happen next week. So some selections may not reflect my personal beliefs on a player, but what the league’s perception of that player is.
Also, as the NFL Draft comes closer, Whole Nine Sports is going to be having a lot of great content coming your way so make sure to follow @WholeNineSports on Twitter for all the latest notifications and check out the other amazing articles and mock drafts on wholeninesports.com. As always, if you want to comment on my mock and scream at me for how much I ruined your team, hit me up on Twitter @JoshBerg0611. I would love to reach the 400 mark by the time Joe Burrow is a Cincinnati Bengal. Did I just spoil the first pick for you? Oh well, let’s dive in.
1.1 Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Is anyone else tired of this pick? Zac Taylor and the rest of the Cincinnati Bengals front office are not, as they cannot wait to make this selection come April 23rd. Joe Burrow is the most complete quarterback prospect a lot of evaluators have scouted since Andrew Luck, and that group includes myself. Burrow is a transcendent talent with tools that a lot of QBs coming out of college just don’t have right away. This pick makes the most sense for Cincinnati. Let’s move on.
1.2 Washington Redskins
The pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Chase Young is good at football. He is the most dominant, complete and best player in this draft class. We all know Washington does not need defensive line help with Montez Sweat, Matt Ioannidis, Jonathan Allen and Ryan Kerrigan already on the roster, but Chase Young is that good of a player. He can transcend and dominate the defensive side of the ball.
TRADE: DET trades pick 1.3 for MIA picks 1.5, 1.26, and 5.154
1.3 Miami Dolphins (via DET)
The pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Miami has been tanking for Tua for what seems like almost two seasons now. However, with the injuries and everything that has transpired throughout the process, the Dolphins seem to be falling out of love for the lefty from Bama and moving towards the big strong armed kid from Eugene. The whole Herbert infatuation could be smoke for Tua to fall in Miami’s laps at five, but I think the Dolphins have sold themselves on Herbert who does have some appealing traits, but some not so appealing tape. Based on this being a prediction of how the draft shapes out, Herbert ends up in Miami.
1.4 New York Giants
The pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
The Giants are in an intriguing spot in the draft. They can go one of two directions. Make their choice of any of the top tier tackles available, or take the most dynamic defensive chess piece the NFL has ever seen. Although Wills or Wirfs is tempting here, Simmons is too good to pass up. The Giants need a difference maker on the defensive side of the ball. Simmons can do anything and everything on the defensive side and give them some sort of identity and leader on the defense.
1.5 Detroit Lions (via MIA)
The pick: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Detroit trades down, gains draft capital, and still gets their guy. Regardless of the buzz around CJ Henderson being seen by some teams as the top corner in the class, Okudah is just more polished as a technician. After trading away Darius Slay to Philadelphia, the Lions have a major void at the corner position and Okudah can easily step in and be a lockdown defensive back for the foreseeable future in the Motor City.
1.6 Los Angeles Chargers
The pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Anthony Lynn has been talking for months about Tyrod Taylor being the quarterback for the 2020 season. In this scenario, he is still the starting QB for 2020, but Tua is the man moving forward. Nobody is denying the talent that the left-hander from Hawaii has; his accuracy, poise and touch are some of the best evaluators have ever seen.
The major red flag with Tua is his ability to stay healthy. Between a leg, two ankles, and a hip injury he has taken a beating throughout his college career. The Chargers can take Tua here and let him sit for 2020 to get fully healthy before making him the starter, and with this roster Tua will have all the weapons needed to compete at a high level when healthy.
1.7 Carolina Panthers
The pick: Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn
Carolina has already had a fun and busy offseason. Bringing in Matt Rhule, Joe Brady, Teddy Bridgewater, and Robby Anderson will create a fun and electric offense to the table. Now it’s time to replenish the defense that is losing nearly everyone on the defensive interior. Derrick Brown is a mauler and powerful human being that just wins reps against lineman. His athletic upside is not as high as Javon Kinlaw’s, but his floor is higher and he is ready to produce immediately. Carolina takes a BPA approach and grabs Brown.
1.8 Arizona Cardinals
The pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Rumors have been swirling that the Cardinals will take Derrick Brown here if he is available at eight. Unfortunately for them, he was sniped by Carolina at seven and so they’re forced to go another direction. Tristan Wirfs is not a bad consolation prize, however. After a dominating combine and impressive tape, Wirfs has emerged as the potential top tackle in this class. It remains to be seen how much Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury value offensive lineman in the new Air Raid scheme, but after investing a number one overall pick in Kyler Murray, it makes sense to protect him.
1.9 Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina
With CJ Henderson’s stock rising by the minute, it would not be a shock to anybody to see him taken here by Jacksonville. The Jags are in desperate need for a corner to replace the voids left by the AJ Bouye and Jalen Ramsey trades. However, Calais Campbell is also a major loss for the defense on the interior and there is no better player on the board than Javon Kinlaw. Kinlaw impressed many with his testing and sheer dominance at the Senior Bowl and cemented himself as a top ten player in this draft. The ceiling and athletic upside with this player is limitless and Jacksonville just needs to compile talent at this point.
1.10 Cleveland Browns
The pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
This is a spot in the top ten that could sneakily be a trade partner for a team like Denver, Philadelphia, or Minnesota, who might be looking to add a top tier receiver. However, Cleveland stands pat here and takes the tackle that fits their scheme the most. Kevin Stefanski is going to implement a lot of zone blocking schemes that he had in Minnesota. That’ll allow them to try and move and shift the pocket for not only the run game, but the pass attack with Baker Mayfield. There is no more athletic tackle than Becton for this scheme and this pick here at ten.
1.11 New York Jets
The pick: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
Jets fans rejoice, as Sam Darnold finally gets some much needed help among that offensive line. The Jets did bring in George Fant and Connor McGovern to shore up the front five a little bit, but neither are significant enough pieces to give Darnold the amount of protection he needs. Wills is the best tackle in this class and can step in week one to protect his blindside. Now it is all about getting Darnold some threats on the outside to throw to.
1.12 Las Vegas Raiders
The pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
This pick just seems like a perfect fit. The Raiders have been trying to get a dynamic vertical threat for QB Derek Carr to throw to for what seems like 2-3 seasons. They thought they had that solution with Antonio Brown, and we all know how that turned out. Henry Ruggs blew everyone away with his speed on tape, and solidified that speed with an amazing performance at the combine. Carr gets his dynamic deep threat to balance out the offense here in another perfect fit for what the team wants to do offensively.
1.13 San Francisco 49ers (via IND)
The pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Niners traded up to presumably get one of the top tier receivers in this class and now have their choice of Jerry Jeudy and Ceedee Lamb. Lamb has the strongest hands in the class, and does an incredible job at controlling his body weight throughout the catch point. Lamb and Deebo Samuel running over the middle of defenses would be a mis-match nightmare for opposing coaching staffs to gameplan for.
1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The Bucs made a huge splash by landing Tom Brady this offseason, so QB is not a need for them here anymore. Instead, Tampa looks to protect their investment by getting the offensive tackle with the most experience at left tackle, and the highest floor at the position. He hasn’t been talked about as much as Wills, Wirfs, or Becton throughout the process, but Thomas can be an immediate plug and play starter at left tackle, and protect Tom Brady for as long as he is there.
1.15 Denver Broncos
The pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Similarly to the Jets, Broncos fans can rejoice as they land a top ten player in the class in Jerry Jeudy. The dream scenario and perfect compliment to Courtland Sutton would be Henry Ruggs, so look for Denver to entertain trade offers to move up in the draft, but in this scenario they land Jerry Jeudy, who is in no way a consolation prize. Jeudy is the best route runner, and savvy player after the catch in this class. He is the best receiver in the draft, but has been over-evaluated during the stretch of this process. Drew Lock now has playmakers surrounding him everywhere he looks on offense.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons
The pick: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
The Falcons let go of Desmond Trufant and invested a lot of money on the front seven of the defense over the last few seasons. (Grady Jarrett received an extension and Dante Fowler was brought in from LA.) The Falcons struggle on the back end with their secondary, especially with corners. Insert CJ Henderson, who probably won’t be here at 16 come draft night, but is a perfect fit for Atlanta and what they need. Henderson is the best pure athlete in this secondary class, and has a really good nose for finding the football. The narrative around him is he can’t tackle, and although it is not his strongest trait, the narrative is overblown. Atlanta gets a great scheme fit, a great athlete and a potential lockdown corner for years to come.
1.17 Dallas Cowboys
The pick: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Dallas has a lot more needs than people will want to admit. They need a safety (or two), they need a corner (or two), they could use another receiver. But potentially the most glaring need on this team is a presence off the edge opposite of DeMarcus Lawrence. They let go of Robert Quinn in free agency and need a replacement. K’Lavon Chaisson should not still be available here at 17, but with the value of tackles, quarterbacks, and receivers pushing top tier talent down the board, Chaisson ends up in the hands of the Cowboys. Chaisson is an explosive playmaker on the edge that just needs some refinement from a technique and hand placement perspective.
1.18 Miami Dolphins (via PIT)
The pick: Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Miami could go in any direction here with this pick because of how many glaring needs they have. Josh Jones is a drop off from the previous four tackles taken, but with Miami in desperate need for any upgrade at the tackle spot, they take Jones here. Jones has the ability to play left tackle, he just has some work and refinement to be done. There is no denying his athletic ability, though, and ceiling alone will warrant some teams having him this high. With Miami needing a player that can protect their new franchise QB, Jones is the pick.
1.19 Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI)
The Pick: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Vegas added a dynamic playmaker to their offense with their earlier pick, and now add a defensive player to stop other teams dynamic playmakers. Insert Kristian Fulton, who without lingering injuries, would probably be a top 15 lock. He is fluid in the hips, feisty with competition, and plays bigger and stronger than his size suggests. He’ll get beat because he opens up too quickly, and the durability concerns seem to be real with him, but Fulton is the type of savvy player Vegas needs in their locker room and on their defense.
1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR)
The pick: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Jacksonville needs secondary help. Insert a guy that can do it all for the defense. Xavier McKinney’s versatility alone warrants a first round choice. He is someone that Alabama used all over the field: as a single high free safety, nickel corner, and someone in the box. McKinney is not the best man coverage athlete and will need some coverage refinement, but the Jaguars need talent, and McKinney is another versatile chess piece that is an asset for defenses to have.
1.21 Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Poor Carson Wentz. He needs some help on the offensive side of the ball. Alshon Jeffery can’t separate, DeSean Jackson can’t stay healthy, and Nelson Agholor can’t catch. They fixed one of those issues by letting Agholor walk in free agency, now they just need to filter through and pick up some weapons. In any other draft class, Justin Jefferson would be in the conversation for WR1. With three elite talents at the same position, however, he is going to get pushed down the board. Philadelphia gets their number one need in round one with a very good player.
1.22 Minnesota Vikings (via BUF)
The pick: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
The Vikings secondary went through a complete overhaul this offseason. Xavier Rhodes, Mackensie Alexander, Trae Waynes are all departed and they have yet to bring in anybody to replace them at corner. Jeff Gladney is one of the better corners in this class due to his length, incredible footwork and feisty nature. He has all the ideal traits that Mike Zimmer looks for in first round corners (which has become a meme at this point). Gladney is the perfect fit for a Mike Zimmer defense.
1.23 New England Patriots
The pick: AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Nobody ever truly knows what New England is doing in the draft. They could go a multitude of different directions here with 23. It would not surprise anybody if Jordan Love or Jacob Eason went here. Epenesa is the selection in this scenario, due to his scheme versatility. He has not tested well, he did not have mind blowing production this past season, and does not have as high of upside as his EDGE counterparts in this class have. With that being said, Epenesa can be used inside and outside on the line of scrimmage and is just felt like he is tailor-made for a Patriots-like defensive scheme.
1.24 New Orleans Saints
The pick: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
With the signing of Emmanuel Sanders, the Saints can turn their attention to other needs on the team. QB is in consideration here, but linebacker is a bigger immediate need for the Saints, who want to try and make another run at the Super Bowl. Murray is an athletic and instinctive playmaker in the middle that creates and gives an immediate impact on the team as soon as he steps on and off the field. DeMario Davis and Kenneth Murray in the middle of the Saints defense would be really fun.
1.25 Minnesota Vikings
The pick: Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
It is no secret to anybody that Minnesota needs offensive line help. Riley Reiff hasn’t been worth the big payday, Pat Elflein has regressed a ton, and they released Josh Kline because they needed the cap space. Garrett Bradbury, Dru Samia, and Brian O’Neill all appear to be good young pieces to add to the front. Bring in Cesar Ruiz here to play the right guard spot next to Bradbury and O’Neill. Ruiz is clearly the best interior offensive lineman in the class and there is a massive drop off after him, so Minnesota gets a good player here.
1.26 Detroit Lions (via MIA via HOU)
The pick: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
In the second pick acquired by Miami in the trade down, the Lions go with a player that perfectly fits the type of player Matt Patricia likes to have. Gross-Matos fits a 4-3 incredibly well and there is no denying his physical traits. If he can develop mentally and technically the way he has physically, then Gross-Matos is going to be a force on this defensive line.
TRADE: SEA trades pick 1.27 for IND picks 2.34, 4.122 and a 2021 3rd
1.27 Indianapolis Colts (via SEA)
The pick: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Jordan Love to the Colts just makes sense. Seattle also is not allowed to ever make a first round pick. The Colts traded pick 13 to get DeForest Buckner, and still can trade up to get the player they were likely targeting at 13. Love can sit behind Rivers for a year and develop, and then take the starting job in 2021. Seems like a win-win scenario here.
1.28 Baltimore Ravens
The pick: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The Ravens need a playmaker in the middle. As good as Baltimore was last year, they missed CJ Mosley. Patrick Queen is somebody that just fits the mold of what Baltimore looks for in their players. He’s a smart, intelligent, rangy athlete that can do a lot of different things. He can be the captain in the middle of the defense at a position of need for Baltimore.
TRADE: TEN trades pick 1.29 for NYJ picks 2.48, 5.158, and a 2021 3rd
1.29 New York Jets (via TEN)
The pick: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
The alluded “weapons on the outside for Darnold to throw to” has arrived, in the form of Baylor standout Denzel Mims. Mims has had a meteoric rise on draft boards after an explosive performance in Indianapolis at the combine. Mims is the perfect big bodied complement to Jamison Crowder in the WR room. He does not run the most clean routes, and struggles sometimes in changing direction, but his toughness, catch point and overall long speed make him a fun talking point and finally gives Sam Darnold a legitimate weapon to throw to.
1.30 Green Bay Packers
The pick: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
Speaking of perfect complements. Aiyuk’s savvy underneath ability, as well as his possession and speed in space, makes him the perfect WR2 to Davante Adams’ big bodied nature. Rodgers years as a top tier QB are numbered, and he finally has a solid defense to support him in games and a run game. Aiyuk can slide in as the WR2 here and give Green Bay a really nice 1-2 punch at receiver.
1.31 San Francisco 49ers
The pick: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
After landing Ceedee Lamb at pick 13, San Fran decides to go to the other side of the ball and add depth in the secondary. Jaylon Johnson seems to get lost in the shuffle when it comes to this CB group. He is long, physical and incredibly tough in coverage. He lacks elite speed and athletic ability, but it is still good enough for the position. With Richard Sherman aging and Ahkello Witherspoon’s inconsistencies, Jaylon Johnson has a chance to step in and start right away.
1.32 Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson
It is no secret that the Kansas City Chiefs need help in the secondary. It’s a little bit less urgent now after they brought back Bashaud Breeland, but AJ Terrell is a difference maker. He has gotten such a bad rap for having one bad game against one of the best receiving groups in college football. Other than that one game, Terrell was elite. He has ideal size and speed for the position, and is one of the smoothest technicians in the entire class. He can start day one on the outside for Kansas City and become a difference maker in a secondary that struggled a lot last season.
2.33 CIN – Lloyd Cushenberry III, IOL, LSU
2.34 SEA (via IND via WAS) – Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
2.35 DET – Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn
2.36 NYG – Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
2.37 LAC – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
2.38 CAR – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
2.39 MIA – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
2.40 HOU (via ARI) – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
2.41 CLE – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
2.42 JAX – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
2.43 CHI (via LVR) – Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
2.44 IND – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
2.45 TB – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
2.46 DEN – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
2.47 ATL – Ross Blacklock, IDL, TCU
2.48 TEN (via NYJ) – Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin
2.49 PIT – Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma
2.50 CHI – Jonah Jackson, IOL, Ohio State
2.51 DAL – Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
2.52 LAR – Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State
2.53 PHI – Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
2.54 BUF – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
2.55 BAL (via ATL via NE) – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
2.56 MIA (via NO) – Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal
2.57 LAR (via HOU) – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
2.58 MIN – Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
2.59 SEA – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
2.60 BAL – Robert Hunt, IOL, UL Lafayette
2.61 TEN – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
2.62 GB – Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M
2.63 KC (via SF) – JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
2.64 SEA (via KC) – KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
3.65 CIN – Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
3.66 WAS – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
3.67 DET – Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
3.68 NYJ (via NYG) – Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan
3.69 CAR – Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State
3.70 MIA – Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
3.71 LAC – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
3.72 ARI – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
3.73 JAX – Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
3.74 CLE – Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
3.75 IND – Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
3.76 TB – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
3.77 DEN – Matt Hennessy, IOL, Temple
3.78 ATL – Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
3.79 NYJ – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
3.80 LVR – Terrell Burgess, S, Utah
3.81 LVR (via CHI) – Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
3.82 DAL – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
3.83 DEN (via PIT) – Matt Peart, OT, UConn
3.84 LAR – Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
3.85 DET (via PHI) – K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson
3.86 BUF – Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
3.87 NE – Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
3.88 NO – Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State
3.89 MIN – Ben Bartch, OT, St. John’s (MN)
3.90 HOU – Jordan Elliott, IDL, Missouri
3.91 LVR (via SEA) – Damien Lewis, IOL, LSU
3.92 BAL – Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
3.93 TEN – Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
3.94 GB – Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
3.95 DEN (via SF) – DaVon Hamilton, IDL, Ohio State
3.96 KC – Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
3.97 CLE (via HOU) – Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
3.98 NE – Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
3.99 NYG – Hakeem Adeniji, OL, Kansas
3.100 NE – John Simpson, IOL, Clemson
3.101 SEA – Nick Harris, IOL, Washington
3.102 PIT – Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
3.103 PHI – Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
3.104 LAR – Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
3.105 MIN – Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee
3.106 BAL – Antonio Gibson, RB/WR, Memphis