It’s so close. I can feel it. We are ONE DAY away from the 2020 NFL Draft. It’s exciting, isn’t it?
I’ve toyed with several scenarios over the past few weeks, and I’m excited to present my final mock draft of 2020 to you. I’m not going to forecast any trades because it’s impossible to predict to be honest. I can see some of these selections occurring via trades, but this is my best guess at which players end up with which teams.
Sit back, read, enjoy, leave your thoughts in the comment section, yell at me on Twitter (@JustinM_NFL), whatever.
I now present to you my final mock draft of 2020.
1. Cincinnati Bengals | Joe Burrow | QB | LSU
It’s been a no brainer the entire time. There’s nothing to see here. Move along.
2. Washington Redskins | Chase Young | EDGE | Ohio State
If the Redskins stay put, Young is the obvious choice. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of action they get on this pick. If no offer materializes, they should be thrilled to land Young here.
3. Detroit Lions | Jeffrey Okudah | CB | Ohio State
Detroit is another team that may get some action on this pick. I actually think they are more likely to trade down from here than Washington is at No. 2 overall. A team will come get a quarterback here. I ultimately think the Lions land Okudah at fifth or sixth overall.
4. New York Giants | Tristan Wirfs | OT | Iowa
Daniel Jones had a stellar rookie season. The Giants need to continue to invest in the protection around him. Wirfs had a legendary combine and I believe he’s poised to be the first tackle off the board.
5. Miami Dolphins | Tua Tagovailoa | QB | Alabama
Much has been made about the medicals and the potential of a draft-day slide for Tagovailoa. I’m not buying it. The need for a franchise quarterback always wins out. I think Miami lands him either here or via a trade up with Detroit.
6. Los Angeles Chargers | Justin Herbert | QB | Oregon
This became more much likely after the Chargers whiffed on Tom Brady in free agency. It may be too obvious at this point, and they may need to trade up in order to land Herbert. Either way, I believe the Chargers come away with him.
7. Carolina Panthers | Isaiah Simmons | LB | Clemson
New head coach Matt Rhule gets a defensive play-maker. The Panthers were stunned by the early retirement of star linebacker Luke Kuechly. They land a much needed defensive stud here.
8. Arizona Cardinals | Jedrick Wills Jr. | OT | Alabama
It wouldn’t shock me if the Cardinals were tempted to take Derrick Brown or CeeDee Lamb here. Trading for DeAndre Hopkins was the best move of the off-season, and securing the return of Kenyan Drake at running back was a smart move as well. The focus should now shift to protecting Kyler Murray. Wills is a bully that generates a ton of movement up front. Will see if Steve Keim can help himself.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars | C.J. Henderson | CB | Florida
It’s time for the Jaguars to rebuild this defense, specifically the secondary. Where have Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye gone? Henderson is an elite cover corner who should really thrive at the next level.
10. Cleveland Browns | Mekhi Becton | OT | Louisville
The Browns still have a glaring need at offensive tackle despite the addition of Jack Conklin. Becton has been a huge riser throughout this process. Offensive tackles simply aren’t supposed to move as well at Becton does for his size. He can slide in at LT immediately while Conklin mans the right side.
11. New York Jets | Henry Ruggs III | WR | Alabama
Speed always wins out. That’s why I have Ruggs as the first receiver off the board. The Jets desperately need to surround Sam Darnold with more weapons if he is to have any chance of succeeding. They lost any resemblance of speed they had on offense when Robby Anderson departed. Ruggs would certainly make up for that.
12. Las Vegas Raiders | Jerry Jeudy | WR | Alabama
Las Vegas badly needs a play-maker at receiver, and Jeudy would immediately become the best wide-out on their roster. Whether it’s Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota at quarterback, they need a weapon on the perimeter. Jeudy is an exciting play-maker that can bring some game-breaking ability to Las Vegas.
13. San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis) | Javon Kinlaw | DT | South Carolina
The 49ers acquired this pick from the Indianapolis Colts in a blockbuster trade that sent DeForest Buckner the other way. It would make sense for the 49ers to replace Buckner with this pick. Kinlaw has all the tools to become a highly effective player at the next level.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers | Andrew Thomas | OT | Georgia
The Bucs are poised to make a run at greatness this season with Tom Brady at the helm. It’s very clear that they are “all in.” When you add a 42 year old quarterback to the fray, you better keep him upright. Adding a pro-ready offensive tackle like Andrew Thomas would certainly help.
15. Denver Broncos | CeeDee Lamb | WR | Oklahoma
Denver is going to give Drew Lock every chance to succeed as their quarterback of the future, and rightfully so. Lock showed several promising flashes after taking over for Joe Flacco in 2019. He already has one big-time player at receiver in Courtland Sutton. Can you imagine adding CeeDee Lamb to the other side? That would be exciting.
16. Atlanta Falcons | K’Lavon Chaisson | EDGE | LSU
The Falcons desperately need to find another pass rusher. They let Vic Beasley walk in free agency, and added Dante Fowler Jr. Fowler is a great addition, but that’s not enough. Chaisson is a lengthy pass rusher with an exciting arsenal of moves.
17. Dallas Cowboys | Kristian Fulton | CB | LSU
Dallas has shown interest in Kristian Fulton throughout this predraft process. Who replaces Byron Jones? That’s the big question in Dallas right now. Fulton fits what they’re looking for in the secondary.
18. Miami Dolphins | Josh Jones | OT | Houston
This scenario saw Miami grab their quarterback of the future earlier. Who’s going to protect him? Jones has received interest from nearly every NFL team. He would make a lot of sense in Miami.
19. Las Vegas Raiders | | Kenneth Murray | LB | Oklahoma
Play-makers on offense and defense. That’s how this first round should go for the Raiders. Having grabbed Jeudy earlier, we turn our attention to the other side of the ball. The Raiders have to get better and faster up the middle of their defense. Murray has the skill-set that the Raiders so desperately need.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars | Derrick Brown | DT | Auburn
Could Derrick Brown be in store for a draft-day slide after his below average performance at the combine? Stranger things have happened. Brown is an immensely talented defensive tackle that can fill the void that Marcell Dareus left behind.
21. Philadelphia Eagles | Denzel Mims | WR | Baylor
The Eagles badly need a receiver (or several of them). Mims has seen a meteoric rise throughout this process. It started at the Senior Bowl and carried over into an excellent combine performance. He’s squarely placed himself on the first round map.
Jeremy Chinn before Grant Delpit or Xavier McKinney? It’s possible. There’s a lot to love with Chinn. Safeties are simply not supposed to move that well at his size. He would give Mike Zimmer a fun chess-piece to work with on defense.
23. New England Patriots | Austin Jackson | OT | USC
I toyed with Jordan Love here. Wouldn’t that be fun? He ultimately doesn’t strike me as a Bill Belichick prospect. Instead, I think the Patriots will make a safe pick and draft someone like Jackson. The Patriots need help on the O-line and Jackson has his best football ahead of him.
24. New Orleans Saints | Patrick Queen | LB | LSU
The Saints could look to upgrade several positions with this selection. I toyed with the idea of an interior offensive linemen (Cesar Ruiz) or cornerback (Jaylon Johnson) here but ultimately felt like the Saints made some good moves at both of those positions in free agency. Queen is a rangy linebacker with click-and-close ability.
25. Minnesota Vikings | Justin Jefferson | WR | LSU
Now that they’ve freed themselves of the Stefon Diggs headache, it’s time to replace him on the outside. Adam Thielen is an excellent No. 1 receiver, but the Vikings need to add another play-maker here. Jefferson may have the safest floor of any receiver in this class thanks to his outstanding route running skills and general ability to get open.
26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston) | Terrell Burgess | SAF | Utah
The addition of Byron Jones in free agency was huge for them. Don’t look now, but Miami may have one of the best one-two punches at the cornerback position. Add an exciting, versatile safety like Burgess to the mix and you quietly have a nice group for head coach Brian Flores to work with. Burgess in the first round? It could happen.
27. Seattle Seahawks | Yetur Gross-Matos | EDGE | Penn State
Will Jadeveon Clowney be back in Seattle in 2020? We still don’t have the answer to that question. Gross-Matos makes sense as a replacement. He’s a long-armed, powerful technician that understands how to win in a variety of ways.
28. Baltimore Ravens | A.J. Epenesa | EDGE | Iowa
The Ravens know good players when they see them. Epenesa had a poor combine, but is a very good player on tape. This fact will not be lost on a front office as smart as the one in Baltimore. Despite the athletic limitations, Epenesa is an overwhelmingly powerful prospect with the length and impressive hand usage to become a big-time player at the next level.
29. Tennessee Titans | Jeff Gladney | CB | TCU
The Titans currently have five players on the roster at the cornerback position, and three of them shouldn’t see much playtime (Tye Smith, Kareem Orr and Chris Milton). Enter Gladney, a prospect the Titans have met with virtually. I believe his ball production and ability to play man coverage line up with what Tennessee looks for in the cornerback position. If you haven’t read Mike Herndon’s piece on the cornerback class and how they fit the Titans, you should do so here.
30. Green Bay Packers | Zack Baun | LB | Wisconsin
The Packers need to add some toughness and versatility to their defense. Much has been made of how the San Francisco 49ers abused the Packers in the ground game on what felt like a snap-by-snap basis in the NFC Championship Game. Baun is an all-around defensive weapon that impacts the game in a multitude of ways.
31. San Francisco 49ers | Cesar Ruiz | C | Michigan
There aren’t a lot of holes on this 49ers roster. I addressed one earlier with the selection of Kinlaw, and I think they could look to upgrade the interior of their offensive line with this pick. Ruiz is a good, smart, versatile player who’s seen time at both center and guard.
32. Kansas City Chiefs | Jaylon Johnson | CB | Utah
The Chiefs defense played much better down the stretch, but they’re still a little thin on the outside and you can never have too many cornerbacks. Johnson is a long, physical cornerback with the skil-set to thrive in man coverage at the next level.