Merry Christmas to all! Everyone here at NFL Draft Lounge wishes you all Happy Holidays. As a gift, I’ve released my latest 2020 NFL Mock Draft. I hope you all enjoy it.
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Joe Burrow has new hardware for his trophy case in the form of the Heisman Trophy. The improvements that we’ve seen Burrow take this season, and his meteoric rise up draft boards, are quite rare. Now that the Bengals have officially locked up the first overall pick, I think it just makes too much sense to mock them Burrow. Cincinnati has an out in the contract of current QB Andy Dalton, and they should absolutely exercise it.
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Consider me shocked if Washington looks elsewhere with this pick. Chase Young is arguably the best defensive prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft and is clearly a day one starter. I’ve seen enough from Young this season that I can see whims a defensive end or an outside linebacker, so it’ll be up to the new coaching staff to find a permanent role for him.
3. Detroit Lions – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
I’ve been all over the place in trying to predict what the Detroit Lions will do here. If I had to put money on it, I’d guess that they’d be quite open to the idea of moving down the draft board to acquire additional draft picks.
However, I do believe that Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb would be a huge asset for QB Matthew Stafford. I have Lamb projected as an outside receiver. He’s come up huge in big situations for the Sooners, which I think could translate to Sundays in the NFL as well.
4. New York Giants – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The Giants have a potential out in the contract of current LT Nate Solder. Whether they take it or not is a discussion for another time. Regardless, I have Andre Thomas as a fit for this offense, even if Pat Shurmur’s services as head coach aren’t retained by New York. Daniel Jones has far exceeded my expectations for him this season, and while I’d also push for finding him a long-term answer at receiver, they’ll need to protect him first and foremost.
5. Miami Dolphins – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Before the injury to Tua Tagovailoa, I had the Dolphins selecting the Alabama QB written in permanent marker. It wouldn’t be a typical football season without a curveball or two.
Justin Herbert would be the next man up in terms of the quarterback position. I didn’t have a huge gap between Herbert and Tagovailoa, so I don’t believe that the Dolphins are losing much in terms of long-term value.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Jacksonville is going to be tasked with cleaning up the mess left by Tom Coughlin. According to recent reports, head coach Doug Marrone is likely to return in 2020, so there will be some continuity there. The quarterback position might be the most unclear on the team, but with that being said, they’d be wise to find a franchise receiver that can stay on the field. DJ Chark has performed rather well this season, but the rest of the receiver corps is less than desirable. Jerry Jeudy has shined over the past few years for Alabama and would bring a playmaking ability to a team that desperately needs it.
7. Los Angeles Chargers – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Chargers QB Philip Rivers is 38-years old and in the final year of his contract. Los Angeles was wise in signing Tyrod Taylor to a two-year contract, which would give them time to develop a franchise player. Tua Tagovailoa is coming off the hip injury, but is expected to begin throwing in the Spring. The Chargers could essentially redshirt Tagovailoa for the 2020 season and let him focus on comprehending and deciphering complex NFL defenses before putting him on the field in 2021.
8. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn
The Panthers seem to be headed into a full rebuild mode as they are likely to move on from QB Cam Newton. I have them out of position to draft a quarterback, but I don’t think they should panic. Derrick Brown could fall into their laps here as they look to revamp their defensive front. From there, they could look at trying to get back into round one, or use their second round pick to draft a QB of the future.
9. Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
I’ll be the first to admit that I saw this season being a disaster for the Cardinals under head coach Kliff Kingsbury. However, they’ve performed much better than I, or I think most, expected. I’m still maintaining that it’s a matter of time before NFL defenses are able to keep QB Kyler Murray in the pocket, so finding offensive lineman to protect him is a high need for the Cardinals.
10. New York Jets – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
I have the Jets improving their pass rush here. I’m a big fan of what A.J. Epenesa has been able to do on tape for Iowa. As I mention in my scouting report, I’d like to see A.J. Epenesa add a few more moves to his tool belt, which Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams should be able to do.
11. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
QB Drew Lock has performed well considering the talent on the team. Adding a receiver with the speed and explosiveness that Henry Ruggs III possesses would be a huge upgrade. I still have some concerns about how he fits into an NFL offense, but at the very least, he’ll be able to extend the field and open up more of the run game.
12. Cleveland Browns – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
The Cleveland Browns salvaged what began as a disappointing start to the season, although they still underachieved in my book. Adding an instinctive safety like Grant Delpit, along with the range that he plays with, would be smart.
13. Atlanta Falcons – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
I have Jeffrey Okudah much higher on my draft board than 13th, but it’s been difficult to find a fit. Atlanta has been much better throughout the second half of the season, but must find talented prospects to upgrade their level of talent. Okudah falling slightly would be blessing for the Falcons.
14. Oakland Raiders – Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
Despite missing the 2019 season due to a torn ACL, Dylan Moses still remains a top fifteen pick. He hasn’t officially announced his decision to declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, so there’s still chance that he returns to Alabama. The Raiders found a ton of talent in last year’s draft class. This year, GM Mike Mayock should look at the inside linebacker from the Crimson Tide.
15. Dallas Cowboys – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
This season has been full of ups and downs for the Cowboys, which means that head coach Jason Garrett is likely finished in Dallas. I have the Cowboys drafting Trevon Diggs, who is ranked second in my positional rankings at cornerback. If Dallas doesn’t look to upgrade their secondary, they could look at a defensive tackle, such as Javon Kinlaw.
16. Indianapolis Colts – Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina
The Indianapolis Colts are likely going to look heavily at drafting a wide receiver here. However, I have them slightly out of position to do so. They could still look at someone like Tee Higgins or Laviska Shenault Jr., but instead, I have them upgrading the interior defensive line. I’m a big fan of Javon Kinlaw and his abilities, which should translate really well into the NFL.
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
The Buccaneers look poised to retain Jameis Winston for 2020, which is the right move in my opinion. Beefing up the offensive line, and giving Winston more time in the pocket, would go a long ways in cutting down his interceptions in 2020.
18. Oakland Raiders (Via Chicago Bears) – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Tyrell Williams has been solid for the Raiders, but Oakland will have to build a supportive staff around him. Tee Higgins is my best available receiver left on the board. Higgins is great as a downfield receiver, although I do knock him for an inability to create separation at the line of scrimmage.
19. Miami Dolphins (Via Pittsburgh Steelers) – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
With the 5th pick, I had the Miami Dolphins selecting Justin Herbert. With this pick that they acquired from the Steelers, I have the Dolphins coming back to protect Herbert. Austin Jackson is a borderline first-round draft pick, but I have him projected to take a slight jump throughout the offseason process.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (Via Los Angeles Rams) – Kristian Fulton, CB,LSU
I have the Jaguars using the pick they received for CB Jalen Ramsey to replace him. I don’t have Kristian Fulton projected to be as good as Jalen Ramsey, but I do believe that he fills a role that’s a desperate need for Jacksonville in 2020 and beyond.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
A talented playmaking wide receiver is top priority for the Philadelphia Eagles. Laviska Shenault Jr. has been phenomenal for the University of Colorado throughout his collegiate career. His skillset would be great for the Eagles offense moving forward.
22. Tennessee Titans – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
The Titans are a much different team under Ryan Tannehill at quarterback, so I have them focusing on the defense here. Curtis Weaver would bring depth and talent to the Titans defense, which isn’t a primary need, but it is a need nonetheless.
23. Buffalo Bills – Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
Let’s plug the interior defensive line for the Buffalo Bills with this selection. Wide receiver is also a need for the Bills, but at this point in the draft, I don’t see much of a drop off between the receivers left on the board and those that will be there in round two.
24. Minnesota Vikings – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Offensive line is a need, but I have their secondary as more of a pressing need. With the Vikings picking Hall at 24, I wouldn’t have any major concerns in terms of the injury history of Bryce Hall.
25. Miami Dolphins (Via Houston Texans) – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
I’ve had the Miami Dolphins addressing the need at quarterback and an offensive tackle to protect him. With this pick from the Texans, I have the Dolphins selecting a pass rush to help on the defensive side of the ball. Julian Okwara is a top-fifteen talent on my draft board, so I see tremendous value here.
26. Kansas City Chiefs – Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
I’m sending Tyler Biadasz to the Chiefs here to improve the interior offensive line. This should open up the running game and allow the Chiefs to do even more on the offensive side of the ball.
27. Seattle Seahawks – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
This is based on the assumption that the Seahawks won’t be able to bring back Jadeveon Clowney, who is a free agent this offseason. I have Gross-Matos as a fringe first round prospect, so it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Seattle selects him here.
28. Green Bay Packers – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Every year we see a prospect fall in the NFL Draft. This year, I’m predicting that it’ll be Isaiah Simmons that takes a tumble. I have a top-fifteen grade on him, so the Packers are getting excellent value.
29. New England Patriots – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
I believe that we’re finally starting to see the end of Tom Brady’s career coming to an end. However, by addressing their run game, they could alleviate the pressure on Brady and possibly prolong his career.
30. New Orleans Saints – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Finding a middle linebacker for the Saints defense is an obvious need herein the first round. Kenneth Murray is clearly the best available.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
What head coach Kyle Shanahan has been able to do with the 49ers is impressive. I have them selecting Paulson Adebo to add depth in the secondary. By doing so, they can let Adebo mature and refine his skills, possibly replacing Richard Sherman in 2021.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens have been unstoppable this season. I’m going to have them drafting Jalen Reagor here to open up the offense even more so. If NFL defenses are able to contain Lamar Jackson and keep him in the pocket, they’ll need a speedy receiver to take the top of the defense.