For this mock, I went with current (Sunday during the day) Super Bowl odds for draft order, so hopefully it holds up past Sunday night. It’s worth noting that the second half of the NFL season should change things drastically, so maybe this will look more right eventually than by going by current standings. We’ll see. I admittedly haven’t been super in on some of the deeper prospects yet, however my twitter feed lets me know plenty of what’s going on and I crammed for this, so here’s my first mock of the 2020 season.
1.1 Miami Dolphins
The pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
The toss-up between a premier pass rusher and potential franchise QB is a tough call to make. I think it’s obvious though, this roster can’t support a young QB. This appears to be a long-term rebuild considering the losses of young talent Minkah Fitzpatrick and Laremy Tunsil, so getting the best player available makes sense unless they’re 100% convinced on who they deem the best QB. Adding Young with last year’s 1st round pick Christian Wilkins gives Miami an area of strength to start building around.
1.2 Cincinnati Bengals
The pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Meanwhile in Cincinnati, I can see being able to support a young QB. Andy Dalton is more solid than others give him credit for, but he’s going to be keeping this team in mediocrity or worse. Tua joins a team with a young, innovative, but unproven offensive mind. His mobility should help a poor OL, as will the return of Jonah Williams. Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd and hopefully a healthy AJ Green gives him all the talent he needs to find immediate success, and in turn help a defense that’s more talented than they’re preforming.
1.3 Arizona Cardinals
The pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
I’m willing to bet on Kingsbury and Kyler, they’ve been electric through the growing pains of a rookie HC-QB tandem. What hasn’t changed, is pass protection. While the new scheme and Kyler’s mobility help alleviate some of those issues, getting some blindside protection and a powerful presence will help this offense hit new heights.
1.4 Washington Redskins
The pick: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Landing Andrew Thomas to replace Trent Williams would have been ideal. Instead Okudah certainly is a good consolation. This defense is massively underperforming, this might be the most talented front in football, but they aren’t playing like it. Regardless, help on the backend can help this defense leap to the next level. Landon Collins is a good player, but he doesn’t provide a lot in pass coverage. Josh Norman is on his way out while Montae Nicholson took the leap into the most impressive player at corner for this team. Add another high upside sticky cover corner in Okudah and you’re on your way to a top-5 defense.
1.5 Oakland Raiders
The pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The first surprise of the Super Bowl odds, and there are more to come. Oakland seems to be overperforming, but Vegas doesn’t seem convinced. Should they fall into this area I think the choice is clear. AB clearly didn’t work out; Tyrell Williams could be an excellent WR2 and Hunter Renfrow is a great slot weapon. Without forgetting about the breakout of Darren Waller, the only thing missing is that clear weapon X, and Jeudy fits the bill perfectly. An offense this stacked and young can make up for the defense’s shortcomings.
1.6 Detroit Lions
The pick: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Another surprise, Detroit seems to be much better than some of the teams ahead of them here. However, this impressive defense could use just another hit of speed and versatility. Enter Grant Delpit, one of my favorite players of the draft. CB is no issue with Darius Slay continuing to provide CB1 play, and FA ticket Justin Coleman playing up to his contract. Get Delpit on the backend and we’re looking at one of the better defenses in the league, perfect for matching up with Aaron Rodgers, and shutting down Cousins and Trubisky.
1.7 New York Giants
The pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The defensive needs and BPA don’t quite matchup at this spot in my opinion. I’d love to add a pass rusher or cover guy, but later picks and FA will have to patch that up, the value for getting a guy plenty have pegged as WR1 for Daniel Jones remains my priority. This can be the last piece in building an offense stacked with skill position talent. Next to Shepard and Engram, with Barkley as the focus, these players can all allow each other to thrive and set up Jones to be in the best position possible.
1.8 Buffalo Bills
The pick: AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Again, kind of ignoring need but Josh Allen as a playmaker can charge an offense with every opportunity the defense gives him. With Miami sure to have a young QB soon and Sam Darnold looking impressive, shutting down these QBs of the AFCE should stay priority with the head start they already have. The backend is doing the heavy lifting currently, youth at EDGE is what’s most needed and that happens to be ideal with Epenesa still on the board. Add him with Oliver and you have a very dynamic young pass rush duo with an already proven lockdown secondary.
1.9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
For how well Tampa is doing they still seem to be missing plenty. The Winston project seems to have failed, he isn’t terrible and full-on bust by any means but it’s clear he hasn’t improved where he needs to and sticking with him will mean sticking in mediocrity. With most ahead of Tampa already good at QB, get the fast-rising kid out of LSU and put him in and offense with plenty of weapons and a fantastic QB coach in Arians.
1.10 Denver Broncos
The pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Justin Herbert would make a ton of sense here, wouldn’t he? While he would, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Elway give Lock or Flacco another chance while continuing to build the offense around them, or for a future young QB. Hidden in Denver’s constant mediocrity is an offense full of young talent. Philip Lindsay, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant (rough start), Royce Freeman and Dalton Risner. What has stood out is LT Garret Bolles who seemingly has yet to put it together. Elway takes another shot at fixing the OL, and a high upside tough guy like Wifs should develop well under renown OL coach Mike Munchak.
1.11 New York Jets
The pick: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Jets are in a great spot to take BPA should they choose, with excellent young talent on both sides of the ball. If there’s a position of need it appears to be OL or CBs and a player of fit falls right to them. The Trumaine Johnson signing has not gone well, and in between a pair of disruptive pass rushers and excellent safeties, corner continues to kill the Jets. Add this impressive DB into the mix and the Jets continue they’re well balanced approach to team building.
1.12 Indianapolis Colts
The pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Risky, risky, risky. However, a chance like this won’t come again shortly. The Colts have done an incredible job behind GM Chris Ballard building around Andrew Luck and now without him. Questions about Herbert are valid, but the arm strength and skill set is incredibly enticing. With the trenches very well built, especially the offensive line, and a QB that genuinely needs the job taken from him, but doesn’t provide much upside, Indianapolis could be the perfect spot for Herbert.
1.13 Carolina Panthers
The pick: Tyler Bidasz, IOL, Wisconsin
This pick makes a lot of sense for a couple of reasons. A) Should Cam Newton come back healthy, keeping him upright is paramount. B) Christian McCaffrey is the engine of the offense now. So, with a couple other really good lineman there already, Matt Paradis, Trai Turner, Daryl Williams, add Biadasz and continue bullying opponents’ defensive fronts. Adding youth to the group would be very beneficial as well.
1.14 Tennessee Titans
The pick: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
The Titans roster is extremely well built but seemingly hamstrung by QB play. While Winston might be worth giving another chance in Tampa, Mariota looks to be done in Tennessee. With the 1st round QBs (at this time) done, it’s a tough call on who to take in this spot, the best players available are in positions already set. In this case I take who appears to be the best RB of a stacked class. A move to a moderate QB, say Andy Dalton or Case Keenum, very well may be an upgrade of Mariota. Having to wait to nab a young franchise play caller, continuing to add fire power to the skills positions might be the best way to win now.
1.15 San Francisco 49ers
The pick: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
For the start San Fran has it’s curious how low their super odds still are. This pick is interesting too, but Bryce Hall stands out at a position the 49ers are likely to need to address soon. The pass rush is dominant, and while the secondary is holding up for now it certainly seems to be more of a product than compliment to the front. At Sherman’s age it’s important to keep adding youth to the secondary to keep the defense stout for this run-heavy team.
1.16 Baltimore Ravens
The pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Finally, a good spot I can start slotting in the best players left. Baltimore (correctly) didn’t pay what CJ Mosely was asking for, but they weren’t able to replace him in one off-season. Simmons here adds sideline to sideline speed behind what I believe to be the best secondary in the league. With a threat like Lamar Jackson on one side, a defense this loaded on the backside makes Baltimore a very frustrating team to play.
1.17 Atlanta Falcons
The pick: Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
Atlanta needs defensive help. Period. There isn’t much you can add to the offense, getting the best defensive player possible is what’s important here. Brown isn’t the cleanest fit here, it’ll be up to the coaches to utilize both him and Jarrett whose been the standout on a porous Falcon’s D. Should they be able to do that, they with Deion Jones, and hopefully the return of a healthy Keanu Neal should vault this defense to decent.
1.18 Seattle Seahawks
The pick: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
It’s nearly impossible to predict what Seattle will do on draft day. Trading down a few times before still over selecting a prospect seems like a given, but who that will be is a toss-up. I went with DB Diggs out of Alabama who seems to fit the mold of a Carroll defense. Long, tall and productive, Diggs could potentially start day 1.
1.19 Jacksonville Jaguars
The pick: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
While the legend of Gardner Minshew continues to grow, superstar CB Jalen Ramsey made his way out, but doubled the draft stock used to originally obtain him. While the Jaguars aren’t left high and dry with AJ Bouye still very capable, it might be worth adding some youth in a potentially replacement. Should Telvin Smith return and Calais Campbell continues producing, the front-seven is entirely set. The secondary could use a talent boost while most of the offense seems to be in a good spot as well.
1.20 Miami Dolphins (PIT)
The pick: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Upside and burst, this seems like the type of talent to take a chance on with an extra first round pick. Moses would join Christian Wilkins and in this case Chase Young in rebuilding the front-seven to possibly give the Dolphins a strength as early as the new season.
1.21 Minnesota Vikings
The pick: Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
It’s odd to have to project a pass rusher to Minnesota as they always seem to be so set in this area, but the interior push hasn’t quite been up to par lately. Joining an elite pair of edge rushers, Davis could potentially return this Zimmer-led Vikings defense back to where it once was. With a Kubiak-Cook led ground and pound offense that’s a recipe for success.
1.22 Dallas Cowboys
The pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Seems like a steal this late but every spot prior didn’t feel like a great fit between need and talent on the roster already. The Cowboys, however, are in a great spot to compete and should they commit to Dak, giving him every opportunity to succeed will be what gets Dallas deeper into the playoffs. Ruggs can play across from Cooper and give the Cowboys the depth they need to deal with the NFC defenses.
1.23 Miami Dolphins (HOU)
The pick: Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma
Part of a long rebuild means taking some non-sexy picks, and an interior lineman certainly is that. Humphreys is a power presence to add to your line though, and without Tunsil, rebuilding upfront should be a priority if they’re eventually planning on adding a young QB. Preston Williams and Humphrey are the start of the rebuild on offense.
1.24 Green Bay Packers
The pick: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
How much longer does Aaron Rodgers have? He might still be around for a while but adding talent to the offense while the defense took a huge step up should help this team win now. Matt LaFleur loves to run the ball, and while Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams are impressive, local stud Jonathan Taylor could take the offense to a new level. I’m also a sucker for hometown heroes.
1.25 Oakland Raiders (CHI)
The pick: Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
From this point on, and even earlier I’m sure, we can expect a lot of the names to change with how high they can go. In this case, Oakland should keep adding defensive talent where they can, and with Jeudy finishing off the offense that seems completely built now, the pick can easily become best defensive player available. I’ll take Okwara to add a high-upside foil to Clelin Ferrell at the other EDGE spot.
1.26 Cleveland Browns
The pick: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
I feel like Trent Williams to Cleveland is all but certain, when Dorsey wants his guy, he usually gets him. Should the Browns stay in this spot and land the stud LT, there aren’t a lot of places of need on this roster. Filling in the safety spot after shipping off Jabrill Peppers to land OBJ seems like one of the places this team could use some improvement. A versatile piece like McKinney should continue the trend of young defensive talent that Dorsey keeps adding.
1.27 Los Angeles Chargers
The pick: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
If it’s for Philip Rivers next year or the start of a rebuild while they look for a new QB, the weakness on the Chargers roster is obvious. The offensive line is one of the worst in the league and getting talent for this unit is vital.
1.28 Philadelphia Eagles
The pick: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
Drafting this low, I think the Eagles can afford to draft a luxury. Especially with such a stacked RB class, a very good one is going to fall to you here. Miles Sanders can be a good foil as a pass catcher while Etienne gives the offense a young big play threat that they’ve been looking for.
1.29 Jacksonville Jaguars (LAR)
The pick: Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
Two first round picks let the Jags attack both sides of the ball and get extra weapons. If Minshew is the real deal you can afford to add an explosive middle of field threat like Hopkins. A deep WR corps can benefit a young TE and should he develop properly Jacksonville could be working with an embarrassment of riches at skill positions.
1.30 Kansas City Chiefs
The pick: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
If you’re Kansas City the pick is clear. Take the best defensive player possible. In this case there seems to be a deep second group of edge rushers to help bolster the pass rush. Gross-Matos is a longer, taller pass rush who should slide into the opposite EDGE spot across Frank Clark.
1.31 New Orleans Saints
The pick: Alton Robinson, EDGE, Syracuse
The Saints are a team without many weaknesses either. At the moment I’ll give them an EDGE as well as that’s a spot you want as much talent as possible. However, the pick here very well could come down to whichever QB is left and who’s proven to be the better prospect in the Saints eyes. Brees’s time is nearing an end, and time to groom a young QB with Brees as a mentor would be ideal.
1.32 New England Patriots
The pick: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Two 1st round WRs in a row for New England? Trading out of this pick is more likely, but if they were to stay here, I don’t see Belichick passing on the most talented player left. As Brady and Edelman age, adding young and explosive talent to the pass catching group can help prolong the formers career as long as possible.