With just over 200 days until the 2020 NFL Draft in Las Vegas, it seems like a good time for my first mock draft of the season. This draft is going to be a big one, tons of high-level quarterbacks and a star-studded running back and wide receiver class. All signs point to 2020 being a stacked class with tons of headlines. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
1.1 Miami Dolphins
The pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
After years and years of struggle at quarterback the Dolphins take their most talented QB since Dan Marino. There has been a lot of talk on Tua and if he’s overrated because of the talent surrounding him. I don’t take those claims seriously. Tagovailoa has everything you could ask for in a quarterback prospect and if the Dolphins fix up the rest of their abysmal roster, they will be winning a whole lot shorty.
1.2 New York Jets
The pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
It’s likely that the Jets would be receiving a ton of trade offers if they were to pick in this spot, but I think it makes the most sense for them to assess the top need on their team, Offensive line. Sam Darnold is the quarterback of the future in New York and it’s time to protect him. They are in a good place with most of the other spots on the roster and that’s why I have them passing on some big skill position players for the powerful Tackle out of Georgia. Thomas is a bruiser with great size and arm length, he’s dominant in pass protection and has shown improvement in the run game already in 2019. He’d be a plug and play guy for the Jets right away at Left Tackle.
1.3 Washington Redskins
The pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The Redskins need to surround Dwayne Haskins with weapons. They have lacked at Wide Receiver for years and adding the best WR prospect in years to a group that already has promising young players like Terry McLaurin and Trey Quinn would set up a bright future on offense for the Redskins. Jeudy is as all around as you can get, and he currently sits at number one on my board. Practically everything about Jeudy is ideal but his route running stands out the most. He’s an absolute natural in that area and would be a top 10 route runner in football right away.
1.4 Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Bengals faithful finally get their wish and find the new franchise quarterback in Cincinnati with the Senior QB from Oregon. 1st year HC Zac Taylor was most recently the QB Coach for the Rams, you could imagine he’d love to get his hands on a 6’6” 1st round pick that has every physical trait you could ask for. Hebert has the arm talent, ball placement and experience that should allow him to be successful very quickly in the NFL. He has his flaws with decision making but this full season at Oregon and maybe some time behind Andy Dalton in 2020 could get those kinks worked out.
1.5 New York Giants
The pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
This result would have the Giants front office jumping for joy. Young is clearly a top 3 player in the class and will be number one for some. He’s a physical freak of nature who draws comparisons to Myles Garrett and Jadeveon Clowney. He’d fit well at OLB in the Giants 3-4 defense and he could finally give them the pass rush beast they’ve been craving for years. Young would be a staple on defense for years with his combination of all-around athleticism, bend and football IQ.
1.6 Las Vegas Raiders
The pick: AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
By this point in time the black hole will have moved to Sin City and will be looking for the perfect complement to 2019 first round pick, Clelin Ferrell. With a lacking pass rush other than Ferrell it makes clear sense to run to the podium with Epenesa’s name on the card. He is a prototypical 4-3 defensive end with his ideal size at 6’6” 280 lbs. Not only does he work with phenomenal power but good bend as well which is really impressive for a guy his size. Gruden would fall in love with his tape as the Raiders look to finally build up a defense that’s been lacking for years.
1.7 Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Whether the starting QB of the 2020 Jags is Gardner Minshew or Nick Foles, the bottom line is they NEED more weapons. They have a nice pair in Dede Westbrook and DJ Chark but the rest of the WR group is weak. They’d have a choice of some really talented receivers in this spot between CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma and Laviska Shenault of Colorado but the one who’s been rising the most in this young season is Henry Ruggs III. He’s the 2nd option behind Jerry Jeudy but he’d be the clear WR1 on almost every other depth chart in college football. He’s ridiculously fast and could run in the 4.2’s at the combine. He’s an electric player and would bring even more game breaking speed to a WR group that already has a ton.
1.8 Arizona Cardinals
The pick: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
The Cards defensive backfield is either aging or flat out weak. Patrick Peterson is still a top corner but is headed for his age 30 season and could use some help on the other side of the field. In comes rising prospect Jeff Okudah, he is gaining major recognition for his performance in the college football season so far and his unreal footwork plus his upside and potential to be lockdown in coverage are the main contributors for his draft stock rising.
1.9 Miami Dolphins (PIT)
The pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The building around Tua begins as the Fins use the pick, they received for Minkah Fitzpatrick on arguably the top offensive tackle in college football. The Dolphins offensive line is in ruins and this is only a first step to building it back but it’s a strong first step to say the least. Wirfs is light on his feet and is highly effective in run and pass protection. His 320 lbs. frame gives him great power. He is an all-around beast and a steal at 9th overall, Tua is thanking Miami already if they go this route.
1.10 Denver Broncos
The pick: Grant Delpit, DB, LSU
This is a classic best player available pick; it also fits a need. Delpit is the 2nd player on my board and he’d come in right away to replace 31-year-old Kareem Jackson. Vic Fangio is a defensive minded coach and a star in the back end would really complete a Broncos return to the top of the defensive rankings in the NFL. Delpit has great speed, intelligence and ball skills. Everything about him is impressive, he can play in the box as he possesses good strength. His tackling ability is good, he’s a phenomenal talent all around. Denver would be sprinting to the podium if he were available.
1.11 Carolina Panthers
The pick: Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn
The Panthers have had a long fall from being 15-1 and representing the NFC in Super Bowl 50. The roster has multiple holes but the most evident one is on the interior defensive line. Gerald McCoy is on a one-year deal and Kawaan Short is now 30 years old. In steps the powerful DT from Auburn Derrick Brown. He’s got a big frame and long arms at 6’5” 320 lbs., he’s got a mean punch off the snap and moves well for his size. Not a flashy pick for Carolina, but one that will help a lot in the trenches.
1.12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Simply put, Jameis Winston has failed as a number one pick. He leads the league in interceptions since he’s entered, and it seems like he has never developed. His contract is coming to an end and Bruce Arians may not want to wait around and hope Winston finally figures it out. Thus, the Bucs turn to Jordan Love as the next franchise QB. After watching a lot of his film and seeing him live in the season opener against Wake Forest I think I’ve got a good feel for him. He’s got the intangibles you look for and has the arm talent to succeed in the NFL. His main issues come from field vision but some time working with an NFL staff could absolutely help him improve in that area. A new era in Buccaneers football begins with Jordan Love.
1.13 Tennessee Titans
The pick: Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
Now this would be quite the scenario. 5 Drafts after the Bucs and Titans took Winston and Mariota 1st and 2nd overall, they take their replacements back to back. Mariota simply has not been the dominant dual threat the people thought he’d be. He’s been lackluster throughout his career and it seems like that’s just how he is as an NFL Quarterback. Jake Fromm isn’t the deep threat big play QB like the others in this class. He’s a highly intelligent and safe QB, he’s got really good touch and seems to have improved greatly early in this college season. He’s got good accuracy and as we saw against Notre Dame he can roll once he gets into a groove. Hopefully Fromm succeeds at the next level and maybe it would get more people to remember the Titans…
1.14 Las Vegas Raiders (CHI)
The pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The 2nd pick of the Vegas era hopes to get some stability in the WR position for the Raiders. After the downfall of the Antonio Brown saga the Raiders have been left weak at receiver once again. Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow currently headline that group and that’s simply not enough. Enter CeeDee Lamb, a big bodied receiver with top tier body control will give Derek Carr the star that he’s needed on the outside.
1.15 Detroit Lions
The pick: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
One of my personal favorite players to watch in this year’s draft comes off the board and will head to the Motor City to give Matt Stafford some much needed help. The Calvin Johnson days are long gone for Detroit and although the Lions receiver corps isn’t terrible, it could use an upgrade. Danny Amendola is aging, and Marvin Jones isn’t a top receiver on a playoff team. Shenault is absolutely electric. He’s a home run threat any time he touches the ball. He has good versatility and can do pretty much everything well.
1.16 Cleveland Browns
The pick: Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
John Dorsey knows Baker is the head of this team, and he needs more protection. This pick won’t wow anybody or make headlines but it’s a really good one for Cleveland. Biadasz has experience playing everywhere on the interior, as a Senior, he’ll be ready to jump in right away wherever. He’s the classic Wisconsin O-Lineman with old fashioned power and grit, he also has plus mobility and overall blocking ability. Major help in the trenches for the Brownies.
1.17 Minnesota Vikings
The pick: Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
Mike Zimmer could always use more D-Lineman, and in this spot I have them taking one with quite the story to him. Raekwon Davis made the decision to stay in school rather than entering the draft this past year. He’s got talent but he also has a backstory that teams will need to look into, he was shot in the leg in August of 2017 and then less than a week later played in week one for Alabama. He’s been ejected numerous times and once for throwing punches against Missouri. Aside from personal questions, he has the talent of a 1st round player. Great size at 6’7” 310 lbs., he’s got big time strength and can knocks people off the line of scrimmage with ease. He has great technique and football IQ; the Vikings should be happy with him at this spot.
1.18 Atlanta Falcons
The pick: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Dirty Birds need DB help no matter how you look at it, rookie CB Isaiah Oliver has done good but not great, Desmond Trufant continues to get older and is now 30 years old, their secondary has been weak for a while and it’s time to invest in it. Fulton makes a lot of sense here; he has big size for a corner but moves well with it. He is really good in press coverage and has shown the ability to be lockdown in man coverage. A problem for him could be his lack of length and weak tackling ability. Overall, it’s good value at this point and fills a need for Atlanta.
1.19 Buffalo Bills
The pick: Isaiah Simmons, S/LB, Clemson
Ultimately, Simmons might be long gone by this pick but in this scenario, he falls right into the Bills lap. At 6’3” 225 lbs. he really can play anywhere. Stick him at Box Safety and he’ll do the job, slot him next to Tremaine Edmunds and that’s one of the best young LB duos in football. His athleticism is off the charts and he really does fit the young and fast build that the Bills are trying to build throughout their defense.
1.20 Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
This draft class is absolutely lethal at the RB position, make a pick of Swift, Etienne or Jonathon Taylor and you’ve got a stud running back. Here I think the elusiveness and stop on a dime cutting ability from Swift gives him the edge in the eyes of the Eagles front office. Yes, they took Miles Sanders last year and I think that was a good pick, but he hasn’t looked great so far and doesn’t come close to the talent level of the top 3 running backs in this year’s draft.
1.21 Indianapolis Colts
The pick: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
The Colts have some good young talent at corner with rookie Rock Ya-Sin and Kenny Moore II, but they could use more. At this point Adebo is the best player available on my board as I have him as CB1 in the draft at this point. He brings a scrappy mentality to the game and is aggressive but not too much when the ball is coming towards his receiver. He’s got good hip movement and has the size and length that will make some teams fall in love. The Colts continue to add good young talent with this pick.
1.22 Miami Dolphins (HOU)
The pick: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The third and final 1st round pick for Miami brings major excitement to the fanbase down in South Beach. Kenyan Drake has had a brutal start to the year and he’s yet to prove he’s an RB1, Kalan Ballage simply has the worst vision I’ve seen in years. Bringing in Etienne would give Miami a huge boost of explosiveness and home run ability. Pairing the best Quarterback and Running back in college football in one draft would be quite the haul for the Dolphins.
1.23 San Francisco 49ers
The pick: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Corner is a huge need for San Fran and at 23rd overall, I have them taking the best one on the board. Hall has big size and length; he’s been a starter since his freshman season. He has good fluidity and movement skills for a corner his size and although he struggles with guarding smaller and faster receivers especially on double moves, he can be really good in man coverage on big red zone threat receivers.
1.24 Los Angeles Chargers
The pick: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
The Chargers of LA lost Tyrell Williams in free agency and it’s been evident early that they need more then Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. Putting Reagor, who’s one of the most explosive players in the draft in the slot or outside could give a huge boost to the offense. He’s a really good route runner and has proved to be very hard to defend on deep routes. Phillip Rivers gets a big playmaker as he tries to make a final push to collect his first Super Bowl Ring.
1.25 Seattle Seahawks
The pick: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
The Legion of Boom has been torn down and suddenly corner is a BIG need for Seattle. Shaquil Griffin is solid, but not quite as good as the hype suggested after his rookie season. Enter C.J. Henderson. The long and lanky 6’2” Junior out of Florida. He’s super athletic and is experienced and good in Man Coverage. Henderson had a ton of production for the Gators and is a good value and need filling pick late in the 1st round.
1.26 Baltimore Ravens
The pick: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
How fun would this be? A Ravens offense that already looks unbelievably explosive with Lamar Jackson and Hollywood Brown at the helm adding one of the best receivers in the country, that’s just unfair. Higgins has a huge frame at 6’4” and also features great length, he’s full of highlights and can make great catches that aren’t thrown great thanks to his long arms. Watch out for the Ravens if this were to happen.
1.27 Green Bay Packers
The pick: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Now this would be a cool scenario, a potential Heisman winner staying in state and becoming a bell cow for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Here is why I think it might happen; I think very highly of Aaron Jones, but I don’t think Green Bay’s decision makers feel the same. He split touches last season, and everyone thought it was just Mike McCarthy not making a smart move, now however, it’s happening again. Maybe Green Bay thinks lesser of Jones then the public does. Maybe, Jonathan Taylor could be the Packers version of Terell Davis and help push Rodgers over the hump for his 2nd ring. He’s a beast running the ball and if he answers some questions about his catching ability, he could go much higher than this.
1.28 Dallas Cowboys
The pick: Brandon Jones, S, Texas
Jerry Jones loves his Texas boys, and with Jones being one of the best safeties on the board it could work in this spot. He’s an absolute thumper and delivers big time hits which cowboys DB coach Kris Richard loves. His combination of Speed and Strength will boost his draft stock after the combine. This pick makes a lot of sense for Dallas.
1.29 New Orleans Saints
The pick: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Talk about value late in the first huh? The Saints get a big steal and take the injured LB from Bama who’d have gone a lot higher if he didn’t tear his ACL a couple weeks. He’s explosive and has the pursuit and speed that makes teams fall in love. He’s very physical and would fit into the Saints defense well.
1.30 New England Patriots
The pick: Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
The Pats always seem to make the right pick but recently their offensive line has dealt with tons of injuries, most notably former first round pick Isaiah Wynn. The Senior from TCU brings insane size at 6’6” 340 lbs. He’s a mauler that would allow the Pats to move things around how they want. He’d most likely become a Pro-Bowler, because that’s just how the Pats do things.
1.31 Los Angeles Rams
The pick: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Back to back Crimson Tide players come off the board late in the first and the Rams pull Senior CB Trevon Diggs at 30th overall. Diggs could step into a big role right away if they move on from Aqib Talib in the off-season. Diggs is a physical corner who possesses great length and athleticism. He works well in press coverage thanks to his length. Really good value for the Rams here.
1.32 Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: Cam Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
KC doesn’t need much, but they could use a corner. One of the most interesting of this next draft class is Dantzler. He’s 6’2” 185 lbs. and has only spent 2 seasons as a full-time corner. He’s got some rare traits and could end up being really good with some time to develop and good coaching. His main problem is his slenderness, he needs to add weight which is why he needs some time before being thrown into the ring.