Draft 2020 (April 23-25) is getting closer and closer – the rumor mill is bubbling! In his first mock draft for this year, SPOX editor Adrian Franke looks ahead: Which talents could the teams choose? Which scenarios are likely?
1. Pick – Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU. No brainer. Clearly the best quarterback in the class is going home to Ohio and is said to be the player who turns a Bengals franchise into a playoff team.
2. Pick – Redskins: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State. The Redskins have seen enough of Haskins to give him another chance. So they take the supposedly best player on their board and continue to build a spectacular defensive front.
3. Pick – TRADE! Chargers (via Lions): Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama. L.A. invests # 6, # 37, # 112 and a 2nd Rounder 2021 in the franchise QB and viewer magnet. The otherwise strong squad lacks the QB – if Tua is not fit, Taylor can step in.
4. Pick – Giants: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville. Simmons is also a candidate here, but the tackle need is huge – and Becton is a picture-book Dave Gettleman player. A gigantic tackle that can also move.
5. Pick – Dolphins: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. Rumors are increasing that Herbert and not Tua has the most advocates internally in Miami. That’s why there is no betting with the Chargers, Herbert is getting ready behind Fitzpatrick.
6. Pick-Lions (via Chargers): Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State. The draft worked out perfectly for Detroit. Downtrade – and still get the best cornerback in the class. Okudah becomes the linchpin in Matt Patricia’s Defense.
7. Pick – Panthers: Isaiah Simmons, LB / S, Clemson. And the Panthers are also happy about this course. The ultra-versatile Isaiah Simmons is the most promising attempt in its class to catch Luke Kuechly’s departure.
8. Pick – TRADE! Raiders (via Cardinals): CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma. Picks 12, # 80 and # 91 give the Raiders free choice of receivers, while Arizona wants more picks. Las Vegas urgently needs a number 1 – it’s Lamb.
9. Pick – Jaguars: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn. The jags have made the defensive line a high priority, which is seeping through. With Brown you get without a doubt the most impressive defensive tackle prospect in this class.
10. Pick – Browns: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia. Left Tackle is the clear, crystal-clear construction site in Cleveland. Thomas is the answer. An incredibly developed tackle prospect, insanely high base line.
11. Pick-Jets: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama. Perhaps the best tackle in this class – and few teams have a bigger need than the jets. Day 1 starter. Lamb should also be very popular, here it is already gone.
12. Pick – Cardinals (via Raiders): Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa. Wirfs is not as advanced as Thomas and Wills in its development, but the athletic potential is outstanding. This quality is particularly important in Arizona’s Offense.
13. Pick-49ers (via Colts): Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama. The Buckner trade pays off here. The Niners get the best route runner in this class and a receiver that should do immense damage in Shanahan’s offense.
14. Pick-Buccaneers: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama. After the tackle run, the bucks are the losers. Tampa could do an o-liner here – or take one of the best defenders on the board who also meets a need.
15. Pick – Broncos: Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama. Denver breathes that Ruggs has fallen to them. It’s no secret that the Broncos desperately want more weapons for Drew Lock. Ruggs would be a very good addition to Courtland Sutton.
16. Pick – Falcons: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU. After Atlanta separated from Trufant, Cornerback is finally the largest construction site. Fulton is already an excellent man corner and impresses with agility, balance and speed.
17. Pick – Cowboys: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida. Byron Jones is gone and has left a huge void. Dallas could go Edge or Slot Receiver in Round 2, Henderson is an ultra-athletic prospect in a premium position.
18. Pick – Dolphins (via Steelers): Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina. O-Line would also be an issue here, with Kinlaw the value for a team that is still in the rebuild is greater. Together with Christian Wilkins Miami’s Interior-D-Line for the next years.
19. Pick – Raiders (via Bears): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama. The Raiders like prospects from the top schools, they have a huge need on corners – and Diggs could be one of the better press cover corners in the NFL.
20. Pick – Jaguars (via Rams): Josh Jones, OT, Houston. The jags have to improve their O-Line and their WR corps. Receiver is more possible in rounds 2 and 3, so there is the best remaining tackle on the board with a very high base line.
21. Pick – Eagles: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU. Agholor is gone and the Eagles get the opposite in the slot. An ultra-reliable slot receiver that also brings a lot of athleticism and speed.
22. Pick – Vikings (via Bills): Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor. Maximum bitter course for Minnesota with 4 receivers and 3 cornerbacks already gone. Mims is potentially the largest upside receiver in this draft and can relieve Thielen Outside.
23. Pick – Patriots: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa. Complete surprise bag of what the pats do – if they are as convinced of Stidham as it works, I don’t expect a quarterback. Epenesa is not a first-round talent for many NFL defenses – for the godparents, yes.
24. Pick – Saints: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU. The Saints do not have many construction sites – Jordan Love is also conceivable here. Queen should be able to oust Kiko Alonso quickly and gives the Saints a second linebacker with an enormous range next to Davis.
25. Pick – Vikings: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson. A need pick, but not a complete reach. Terrell is a large cornerback with long arms that moves well – and can play even more physically. Zimmer should be able to teach him that.
26. Pick – Dolphins (via Texans): Austin Jackson, OT, USC. Running back is also traded here, but as the first round has developed, Miami is forced to do something in the O-Line. This leads to a potential reach.
27. Pick – Seahawks: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State. If Clowney ultimately stays, this pick will probably change. But for the moment Edge is a huge need and Gross-Matos fits into the profile that the Seahawks have on the position.
28. Pick – Ravens: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma. Receiver is certainly an issue here, but the rumor mill seems to be moving towards defense. There would be edge or inside linebackers, Murray should be a good fit for the Ravens.
29. Pick – Titans: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU. The first-round offensive tackles are grazed, interior D-line value is not there either – so the Titans take the best edge rusher on the board, who should be able to do very well in their 3-4 base.
30. Pick-Packers: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU. The addition to Davante Adams was painfully visible the largest construction site last year. Reagor can be just that, an explosive, agile receiver that can support Adams early on.
31. Pick-49ers: Grant Delpit, S, LSU. SF would have liked to make more capital out of it via downtrade. Instead, there is an aggressive, physical safety that could become a playmaker in Niners Defense and fill the Kam Chancellor role.
32. Pick – TRADE! Colts (via Chiefs): Jordan Love, QB, Utah State. On the one hand, Indy is in win-now mode with Rivers, but this team is still young – and after 2020 there will be no QB solution. The Colts could be the perfect situation for Love.