So I have decided that the weekends will be a time to focus on the draft. Sometimes it will be in the form of a mock (although I will keep them spaced out) and others it will be focusing on players or position groups.
I tried to keep it as real as I could for this first one and didn’t get too crazy – I can’t promise that won’t happen in the future as I really enjoy playing around with potential trades. I won’t bore you anymore. Let’s get to the first pick…
1 – Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
There is no point overthinking this. Burrow goes to the Bengals. I honestly think there is a case to be made that Tua Tagovailoa is the better player, despite Burrow’s achievements this year, but the Bengals take the LSU star
2 – Washington Redskins
Chase Young – Edge – Ohio State
Again, the obvious pick. I think there is definitely a price where the Redskins will move out of the pick and trade down, and Tua hype could certainly drive us towards that price, but ultimately they stick and pick the best defensive, and perhaps overall player in the draft.
3 – Miami Dolphins
Tua Tagovailoa – QB – Alabama
Dolphins give up 5,26,70 and 2021 2nd for Pick 3
He may be the best quarterback in the draft and the player that the Dolphins had being eyeing up when they set out on this tank. They won a few too many games but still get their man – and they get to keep the 21st pick.
4 – New York Giants
Jedrick Wills – OT – Alabama
The second Alabama player taken in the first round – and there could be plenty more. There is almost certainly going to be a market for this pick with two quarterbacks already off the board and teams like the Chargers and Panthers looking to find their quarterback of the future. Dave Gettleman isn’t a man that likes to move down though and he takes Wills to help protect last year’s first rounder Daniel Jones.
5 – Detroit Lions
Jeff Okudah – CB – Ohio State
The best two defensive players in this draft are Buckeyes. With Darius Slay potentially on the way out, the Lions get a replacement in the exceptional Okudah. So much natural talent, he can be the perfect player in Matt Patricia’s system.
6 – Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert – QB – Oregon
With Philip Rivers out in LA, they need to find their new man and Herbert could well be they go for. I would not rule them out of making a similar move to Miami, but it is harder without the sort of capital that the Dolphins have. Herbert was pencilled in as QB1 if he had come out a year ago. He has good athleticism for a player of his size and while there are some red flags, he has the potential to be an excellent NFL QB.
7 – Carolina Panthers
Isaiah Simmons – LB – Clemson
The Panthers lost Luke Kuechly in the offseason as the future hall of famer decided to retire. While Simmons isn’t necessarily a direct replacement, the immensely versatile defender can come in and be a game changer on defence right away. He is the sort of player that offences will have to change a game plan for and he can add at a lot of speed at the position.
8 – Arizona Cardinals
Jerry Jeudy – WR – Alabama
There are lots of directions that Arizona can go here, but for me I would be stunned if it isn’t offence. They need to get Kyler Murray some help and Jeudy would certainly do that. Larry Fitzgerald is a hall of fame receiver, but this is likely to be his last season. Jeudy can grow with Murray and become one of the best duos in the league. All that said, it could very well be a tackle here.
9 – Jacksonville Jaguars
Derrick Brown – IDL – Auburn
The Jags look to be back into rebuild mode once again. Calais Campbell could leave to save cap space and that will leave a big hole. Brown can certainly do that. He has so much potential and will be a difference maker from day one.
10 – Cleveland Browns
Tristan Wirfs – OT – Iowa
The Browns are looking to bounce back from a disappointing year. To do so they will need to help Baker Mayfield and try and keep him upright. They gave up 41 sacks last year and Wirfs is ready to come in and start right away. He will give the struggling line a lot of help right away.
11 – Indianapolis Colts
Jordan Love – QB – Utah State
Colts give up 13 and 2021 2nd for pick 11
The Colts were left in a bit of a mess when Andrew Luck unexpectedly retired shortly before last season. Jacoby Brissett was fine, but he isn’t the future in Indianapolis. There is talk of Philip Rivers but that is a short term fix, if it is a fix at all. The Colts give up a second next year to jump the Raiders and get a passer with huge upside.
12 – Las Vegas Raiders
CeeDee Lamb – WR – Oklahoma
I think there is every chance that the Raiders go after Jordan Love, but here the Colts beat them to it. Their first pick as the Las Vegas Raiders is still a crowd pleaser though as they get the incredible CeeDee Lamb. He has incredible athleticism and ball skills. It didn’t work out with Antonio Brown but they get a true WR1 for Derek Carr or whoever it is at quarterback.
13 – New York Jets
Andrew Thomas – OT – Georgia
A powerful tackle with experience against some of the best defenders at the college level in the SEC, Thomas will not just help Sam Darnold but Le’Veon Bell as well. The Jets biggest need is filled as they give Darnold every chance to become the best quarterback he can be.
14 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Javon Kinlaw – IDL – South Carolina
An ideal fit for the Buccaneers. They could perhaps address the O-Line here but they get a player that can wreck an offence. He will contribute immediately and his potential is sky high. He has so much power and explosiveness and will help improve the Bucs defence that was at best up and down last season.
15 – Denver Broncos
Mekhi Becton – OT – Louisville
It is so nice to come into an offseason and not have to talk about the Broncos drafting a quarterback. Instead they look to give Drew Lock some help. Garett Bolles just hasn’t worked out and the Broncos need to address it. Becton has a lot of talent and has the potential to be a top left tackle.
16 – Atlanta Falcons
K’Lavon Chaisson – Edge – LSU
If Chaisson drops then don’t be surprised to see the Falcons move up a few spots to make sure they get their man. He is exactly the type of player Atlanta like. He is versatile, explosive and has a lot of room to grow. He has so much upside and 16 could well be a steal when we look back in years to come.
17 – Dallas Cowboys
Grant Delpit – S – LSU
A real playmaker and the sort of player the Dallas defence is crying out for. Will come in and make plays from defence but could develop into one of the best defensive players in the league. He is everything you could want from a modern safety. He will be highly sought after in this draft.
18 – Philadelphia Eagles
Henry Ruggs – WR – Alabama
Eagles give up 21 and 85 for 18
A player that could easily creep up the draft between now and April. Had the potential to set a new record in the 40 yard dash but will have to settle for the incredible 4.27. The Eagles struggled at wide receiver and give up a third to move up and get their man. He has the potential to be a game changer. As we have seen from the Chiefs, this sort of speed can wreck a defence.
19 – Las Vegas Raiders
Kenneth Murray – LB – Oklahoma
This may be a little high, but the Raiders have shown they don’t mind overdrafting if the fit is right. He is a tone setter with explosive athleticism. He can be a key part of the Raiders defence. Will really attack the football and is the sort of player that can be a star if he gets in the right system.
20 – Jacksonville Jaguars
C.J. Henderson – CB – Florida
The pick that the Jaguars acquired in trading Jalen Ramsey away and they use it to draft his replacement. His length will be really appealing as he goes up against some huge players every week. He is the second best corner in the draft and could end up going off the board earlier depending on how it shakes out at the top.
21 – Miami Dolphins
D’Andre Swift – RB – Georgia
Follows in the footsteps of Todd Gurley and Sony Michel as he becomes yet another Georgia running back taken in the first. The Dolphins could go in all sorts of directions but what better way to help your new quarterback than with a fantastic running back to take some of the pressure away. The Dolphins have struggled to find a back recently but Swift can come in and give them an incredible playmaker.
22 – Buffalo Bills
A.J. Epenesa – Edge – Iowa
The Bills spent most of last season giving Josh Allen help but now it is time to get help on defence. He has some excellent production in college and can carry that into the NFL. He has incredible power and can overwhelm an offensive line. In an already good defence he could come in and be a contributor from day one.
23 – New England Patriots
Laviska Shenault Jr. – WR – Colorado
If Tom Brady is going to return to New England then the Patriots are going to give him the weapons he was so desperately lacking last season. Shenault is the sort of player that the Patriots love. He can do so many things on offence and with his superb athleticism he can give the Patriots something they are lacking. The WR group was already needing some help but now Mo Sanu will undergo surgery. He should be ready for the season, if he is even a Patriot by then.
24 – New Orleans Saints
Brandon Aiyuk – WR – Arizona State
Like the Patriots, the Saints will be looking to give Drew Brees one last chance to get a ring. Pairing Aiyuk with Michael Thomas could finally give the Saints the WR2 they have been looking for. He is a big play receiver, but unlike Ted Ginn can make plays in other areas. He could well be the missing piece on the Saints offence.
25 – Minnesota Vikings
Xavier McKinney – S – Alabama
The fifth (and spoiler, not last) Alabama player in the first round. Minnesota could go in lots of different directions here but for me they take a potential game changing safety. Like most safeties these days he is versatile and can contribute all over the field. The Vikings defence has talent but a lot of it is on the back end and adding a player like McKinney can be a boost to the whole unit.
26 – Detroit Lions
Kristian Fulton – CB – LSU
Another excellent corner, Fulton can give the Lions one of the best corner pairings in the league. It would perhaps be unlikely for them to take a second corner this early, but with it Matt Patricia would be able to implement the sort of defence he wants. Let his corners cover one-on-one and free up the rest of his defence as best demonstrated by the Patriots.
27 – Seattle Seahawks
Yetur Gross-Matos – Edge – Penn State
The Seahawks are one of the toughest teams to mock because they are likely to do something odd, trade down, or a combination of the two. But with Clowney and Ansah potentially leaving the team they would be left with a real hole. A lot of production at Penn State can translate into production in the NFL. At 27, the Seahawks are definitely a team that could trade down if somebody wants to take a quarterback at the back end of the first.
28 – Baltimore Ravens
Terrell Lewis – Edge – Alabama
The Ravens don’t have any big holes on offence, so they use this pick to get a pass rusher with a lot of upside. They may need to work with him to get the best out of him, but he has the raw skills to become an excellent player. Like the Seahawks they could well be a candidate to trade down, but if they stick then expect them to take a defensive player.
29 – Tennessee Titans
Austin Jackson – OT – USC
If Jack Conklin heads out the door then expect the Titans to take a replacement at 29. There are lots of options. Players like Josh Jones don’t really fit, but Austin Jackson has all the tools to fit right in. Assuming the team holds on to Derrick Henry, they will be looking to get a line that can make the most of him.
30 – Green Bay Packers
Justin Jefferson – WR – LSU
The Packers can’t go another offseason without adding weapons for Aaron Rodgers. He can make an impact straight away and be the sort of receiver to put opposite Davante Adams and really scare defences. He would fit so well into the Green Bay offence and at this stage I would be a little annoyed if he isn’t a Packer.
31 – San Francisco 49ers
Trevon Diggs – CB – Alabama
The 49ers have a lot of talent, particularly on defence, but with Richard Sherman getting older, and them struggling to find a player on the other side of the field, they take Diggs to help them and fill in that one real need they have on that side of the ball. He was a wide receiver when he arrived at Alabama so those natural ball skills will only help.
32 – Kansas City Chiefs
Jeff Gladney – CB – TCU
Where the Chiefs go here depends a lot on what happens in free agency. Cornerback is one of the biggest needs though and a versatile corner like Gladney will fit in well in Kansas City. He is an excellent athlete and plays very aggressively. He is smart and can really add to an improving Chiefs defence.
So there it is, my first mock draft of 2020. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts @NFLBecky. Where you think your team will go and where I have it right and where I have it wrong.