For all of the teams that didn’t make the playoffs, it is officially draft season for you. For 20 NFL fan bases, their Google search history will be flooded with mock drafts and prospect highlight tapes. The draft in some way, shape, or form gives teams and their fans hope for following years. New players excite people and speculating on their future destinations keeps everybody talking until draft night.
This class is loaded with offensive talent that is unlike most others. There are possibly up to seven quarterbacks, four running backs, and roughly up to 15 wide receivers that could find themselves in the first round of this year’s draft. That leaves open the possibility of teams waiting on offensive skill players until the later rounds so they can get an early bid on the top tier defensive players and offensive linemen. With that being said, let’s see how the draft could possibly shakeout before the playoffs commence.
1. 2020 Post-Regular Season NFL Mock Draft
It is no secret that this pick is virtually a no-brainer. The Bengals need a quarterback and Joe Burrow is the best one in the class. Not only that, but he’s from Southeast Ohio so there should be a sense of comfort for Burrow. Burrow had one of the best seasons in college football history completing almost 80% of his throws and leading LSU who quickly became the best team in the country. He’s a real solid athlete that can move outside the pocket and deliver the ball from weird angles. His accuracy is off the charts and he certainly has suitable arm strength for the NFL. This pick is a no-brainer for the Bengals and it has been for a long time.
2. Washington Redskins- Chase Young (DE, Ohio State)
Chase Young could very easily be the best player in the draft and possibly the best prospect we have seen in a significant amount of time. Young was by far the most dominant defensive player in the country this year and showed that he is virtually unblockable, even by future NFL offensive linemen. Washington is getting a player that solidifies their front seven and could step into their defensive line from day one and be their best player. Pairing 6’6” Young and 6’6” Montez Sweat would be a dream come true for the Redskins. Throw Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne in the middle and that sets up one of the best defensive fronts in football. It’s understandable when people say that they should address the offensive side and help out Dwayne Haskins, but Chase Young is just too good to pass up.
3. Detroit Lions- Jeffrey Okudah (CB, Ohio State)
The Lions have a nice plethora of young corners already on the roster with Darius Slay, Justin Coleman, and Amani Oruwariye, but this secondary would jump to another level with Okudah. He is clearly the best corner in this draft and possibly the best corner since Jalen Ramsey. Okudah at 6’1” has good size for the position and can line up both on the perimeter and in the slot. His strength comes in man coverage, but can be coached up to become more consistent in zone. The Lions have a lot of options here, but Okudah is a can’t miss prospect at the position and if Darius Slay ends up elsewhere in the future, they have a future number one corner to fill in just fine.
4. New York Giants- Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama)
This is the sexy pick that Giants fans can get excited about. Jerry Jeudy is just simply fun to watch. He is unbelievable at creating space and is possibly the best route runner evaluated in the past two decades. There is no doubt that Jeudy is a special talent. The Giants were heavily criticized two years in a row for taking Saquon Barkley instead of a quarterback in 2018 and then taking Daniel Jones as the heir apparent to Eli Manning last year. Taking Jeudy here will give the G-Men one of the most dynamic and exciting combination of skill players in football. Jones proved that he can be starter in this league and Barkley has established himself as one of the league’s best backs. Jerry Jeudy should explode from day one in the NFL and give the Giants a receiving core to be feared.
5. Miami Dolphins- Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama)
Ok, here we go. Everybody drop your tomatoes and hear me out. Tua Tagovailoa is still a special prospect despite the injury. We haven’t heard anything new about the hip and that’s good news. It’s understood that hip injuries are serious and need to be monitored heavily, but if the Dolphins are still infatuated with Tua and think he is the future of the franchise, they should take him at this spot. He has a great arm with great accuracy that can be paired with solid athleticism and scrambling ability. He is unique in the fact that he is left handed and can complete passes at a 70% clip. He has developed fast and barring health, he should continue to get better in Miami. The fit just feels seamless. Tua to Miami. It feels meant to be.
6. Los Angeles Chargers- Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon)
Justin Herbert could have come out last year and have been the best quarterback in the draft, but he decided to go back for one more season at Oregon to try and compete for a national title. Though his title aspirations fell short, he showed NFL scouts how special he can be. He has a big athletic body that can move extremely well. Herbert has a very good arm that will definitely translate to the NFL. His accuracy and decision making could use some work, but he is a really coachable kid with a team-first mentality and should improve quickly. Philip Rivers does not look like he will continue his career in LA and the Chargers don’t have their future answer on the roster so Herbert feels like a great fit here.
7. Carolina Panthers- Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn)
The Panthers are in a really uncomfortable spot because they’re too low to draft a quarterback, but too high to address a definitive position of need. So they go with the best interior defensive lineman in the draft with Derrick Brown. Brown is the definition of a disruptor on the defensive line. He has the size to clog running lanes and the speed to be a legitimate pass rusher from inside. Brown is incredibly explosive and consistently bullies offensive linemen. There are questions about him when he can’t get his arms extended, but Brown is so quick off of his first step that he shouldn’t get caught too much. Carolina’s front seven was one of the strengths of the team and they should make the effort to keep the defensive line young and explosive.
8. Arizona Cardinals- Ceedee Lamb (WR, Oklahoma)
This is a fit that should get everybody excited. Kyler Murray and Ceedee Lamb are quite familiar with each other as they were teammates at Oklahoma and they will be playing in a very similar system as they did in college as well. Ceedee Lamb should thrive within Kliff Kingsbury’s offensive scheme. His size and catch radius fits perfectly in an offense that is based around spacing and making plays in the open fields. Lamb has great hands and a ton of big play ability that should benefit the arm of Kyler Murray. The only knock on Lamb is that he is not lightning fast, but by no stretch of the imagination is he slow. Lamb can still run very well, but he isn’t Tyreek Hill. Adding Lamb to this offense should help elevate the production of the team and the development of Murray going forward.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars- Isaiah Simmons (LB, Clemson)
The Jaguars defense took a clear step back this year after the injury to Myles Jack and the trade of Jalen Ramsey. So the Jags use the first of their first round picks on Isaiah Simmons who is as versatile of a defensive player as there is in college football. He began his career at safety with Clemson and then outgrew the position so he shifted to linebacker and became an elite prospect at that spot. Simmons can line up virtually everywhere on a defense. Pass rusher, inside linebacker, safety, slot corner, pick a spot and he can probably play it to some level. The Jags need somebody that can help this defense rebound and adding a crazy athletic linebacker in Simmons to pair with Myles Jack should help that from the beginning.
10. Cleveland Brown- Andrew Thomas (OT, Georgia)
The Browns get very fortunate here by snagging the best offensive lineman in the draft. We can point the blame in a lot of areas for Cleveland’s disappointing season. Recently fired coach Freddie Kitchens, Baker Mayfield, an inconsistent defense, were all contributors, but the offensive line was a big factor in their lack of success. Thomas is a stepping stone to fixing that problem. Thomas is great in both run blocking and pass protection and should be able to start at left tackle week one. One of the things that makes Thomas so intriguing is his versatility. Her played both left tackle and right tackle at Georgia this year and has the ability to play guard if needed. This is a must have for the Browns and they would be really fortunate to have Thomas fall into their lap like this.
11. New York Jets- Jedrick Wills (OT, Alabama)
Once Sam Darnold came back from mono this season, the Jets were actually not a terrible football team. Darnold played very well when given some sort of protection from his offensive line. The problem was that almost never happened. The Jets had one of the lowest graded offensive lines in football last year so that becomes top priority here. Wide receiver, pass rusher, and corner are also needs, but none as urgent as this need in the trenches. Wills had the benefit of being Alabama’s best offensive lineman protecting Tua’s blindside at right tackle. He should be able to move over to left tackle easily if the Jets decide to move him there. Wills thrives more in run protection as of now and needs to get quicker on his feet in pass pro, but he’s a strong kid that can be more than serviceable right out of the gate.
12. Las Vegas Raiders- Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama)
The second of possibly three Alabama wide receivers goes off the board here to the Raiders who are opening a new stadium in Vegas next year. Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden did well last year in the draft hitting on a lot of players that made an impact right away. Maxx Crosby, Trayvon Mullen, Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram, and of course Josh Jacobs, just to name a few. I don’t buy the fact that the Raiders are dying to move on from Derek Carr. So instead they give him a weapon that can be viewed as a mirror image to Tyreek Hill. He has elite speed and over the top ability and should have no problem creating space with his speed. His route running is not great and that may plague him in the short and intermediate passing game, but Ruggs is definitely a difference maker in any offense and the Raiders could use a legitimate speed threat at receiver to pair with Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow.
13. Indianapolis Colts- Javon Kinlaw (DT, South Carolina)
The Colts are another team that are in an uncomfortable spot. They could easily use a wide receiver as well as possibly a quarterback, but at 13, they don’t really have those options. So they address the defensive line where they can use an upgrade on the interior by drafting Kinlaw. Javon Kinlaw has risen up draft boards like crazy over the course of the season because of his aggressiveness and explosiveness. He is incredibly strong and will bully NFL guards on a week to week basis. He can affect the game in both run stoppage and pass rushing. The knock on Kinlaw is that he has a raw mind and will misdiagnose offensive schemes and plays from the line of scrimmage. He also has a tendency to show a lack of energy late in games, but with solid coaching (and the Colts definitely have that), he should reach his potential as a massive disruptor on the defensive line. Chris Ballard hits another homerun here.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Jonathan Taylor (RB, Wisconsin)
Most people will have the Bucs entertaining a quarterback here, but I don’t see a quarterback worth taking at this spot that fits with Bruce Arians. I think they will give Jameis Winston another shot and instead give him a future superstar running back in Jonathan Taylor. Taylor is one of the best running backs I have seen at the college level. He has dominated for years at Wisconsin and has gotten better every year. He is great in open space and has a knack for finding gaps in the line and down the field. He has good speed for a running back and can definitely break one when he finds the right hole. He isn’t as good of a pass catcher as you would want him to be, but in Tampa, they have plenty of pass catching options with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Cameron Brate, OJ Howard, Ronald Jones, etc. Taylor is a great fit for Tampa as they finally give Jameis Winston a suitable running game.
15. Denver Broncos- Tristan Wirfs (OT, Iowa)
Some view Tristan Wirfs as the best tackle in the draft. I think his anticipation can get a little better, but there is no doubt that he is a phenomenal talent. Wirfs has a huge frame at 6’5” 322 lbs and should immediately be able to handle NFL pass rushers. He played right tackle at Iowa, but he should be able to move to left tackle and replace Garett Bolles without issues. The Broncos look like they might have something with Drew Lock at quarterback, Philip Lindsay in the backfield, and with Courtland Sutton at wide receiver. Noah Fant at tight end also looks really solid. They just need to get better up front. Wirfs gives them two bookend tackles along with Ja’Wuan James who they signed last year in the offseason.
16. Atlanta Falcons- AJ Epenesa (DE, Iowa)
The second straight Iowa player goes here with AJ Epenesa. He is a gifted pass rusher with great size and athleticism which the Falcons desperately need. The Falcons are reportedly planning to keep Dan Quinn as their head coach and Epenesa should be a nice new toy to play with in Quinn’s defensive scheme. He is a strong player that wins a lot with a bull rush style of pass rush. He has the speed to use more finesse moves when needed, but he doesn’t often use it. He may need to gain more confidence in that area, but his talent along with his size could force him into the top ten. The Falcons are getting a steal here with Epenesa and are addressing a need due to the inconsistency of Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley.
17. Dallas Cowboys- Grant Delpit (S, LSU)
The Cowboys have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL and still missed the playoffs. It says a lot about their coaching staff. But that roster could take a hit in free agency as they could lose multiple players in the secondary. Grant Delpit is the pick here. He is easily the best safety in the draft and the Cowboys have needed one for a while. Delpit has a ton of talent in multiple different areas and doesn’t have a glaring weakness. He is extremely affective as a box safety stopping the run and in blitz packages. He can be really versatile in both man and zone coverage. Delpit is a special talent and should make an immediate impact. His only knock is that he isn’t the best tackler and that’s what is causing him to slip somewhat. He is still a physical player, but he does have a tendency to miss tackles that he shouldn’t. The Cowboys getting Delpit here would be very fortunate and he should fit with whoever their new coach is.
18. Miami Dolphins (via PIT)- D’Andre Swift (RB, Georgia)
The second of three picks here for the Dolphins and they take the second running back off the board in D’Andre Swift. After nabbing Tua with their first selection, Miami takes a running back that some people have as RB1 on their boards. He is incredible in the open field and despite his small frame (5’9” 215 lbs), he runs with plenty of power. Swift runs with great balance and can be really hard to take down. He is incredibly agile and can make people miss with ease. Swift can also make plays in the passing game when needed as he is a solid route runner out of the backfield. Swift’s primary issue is that he isn’t a great blocker as a running back so that may limit his snaps on third down. He has to become a better pass protector if he wants to consistently be an every down back. However, Miami needs talent and playmaking at running back and Swift definitely brings that. Pairing him with Tua should be fun to watch right out of the gate.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI)- Kenneth Murray (LB, Oklahoma)
Yes, a defender from Oklahoma is getting drafted this early. Despite being in the Big 12 which has a reputation for terrible defenses, Murray is an extremely talented player that can win in multiple facets. He tends to be more of a finesse player than a power player in most cases. He’s extremely patient in the second level and doesn’t overly commit to one side leaving himself vulnerable. He has great speed and athleticism and anticipates how plays should shape up to be. His lack of aggressiveness does show at points where he gets caught looking weak in some aspects, but he does find ways to make plays when needed. The Raiders need to get better in the middle of their defense. Aside from Tahir Whitehead, they don’t have much at that position so adding Murray would improve that defense immensely.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR)- Kristian Fulton (CB, LSU)
After the Jags traded Jalen Ramsey to the Rams, we have to assume that they will use one of their two first rounders to address corner. So they will use the pick they got from the Rams to pick up Kristian Fulton who has the potential to be a number one corner in the NFL. Fulton is great in press coverage and can lock down receivers with ease especially in the short and intermediate passing game. He has decent size for a corner (6’0” 200 lbs) and he pairs it with solid speed to not get burnt on deep routes. Fulton struggles with 50/50 balls and isn’t a great timing player. He also isn’t the most physical tackler so he will have a tendency to miss tackles in the open field. The Jaguars now have to address corner and sure up this defense that took a step back this past year. They do so by adding Fulton and Isaiah Simmons in the first round.
21. Philadelphia Eagles- Paulson Adebo (CB, Stanford)
The Eagles were riddled with injuries all season long, but the fact remains that they have struggled to get corner right for a number of years. Sidney Jones, Ronald Darby, and Rasul Douglas have all taken steps back so they address it again by getting Adebo. He has great size for the position (6’1” 190 lbs) and can run with almost any wide receiver and not get lost. Adebo is a former wide receiver and it shows with his ability to follow routes, cause turnovers, and battle in the air for the ball. This is something the Eagles need in a corner. The challenge will be that he is only a two year starter and is very new to the position. Sometimes his anticipation wavers and he’s late on reads. But at this stage, the Eagles have to take a chance on a kid with massive upside because they have to hit a homerun at corner. Pass defense has been a problem for years and they have to flood talent in this area.
22. Tennessee Titans- K’Lavon Chaisson (DE, LSU)
The Titans might have found their answer at quarterback with Ryan Tannehill at least for the time being so they address the defense by adding another pass rusher in K’Lavon Chaisson. Chaisson has a great sized frame at 6’4” 250 lbs and has some great speed off the edge. Injuries caused him to miss the entire 2018 season so he is a little raw in his skillset right now. But the physical tools are all there and he can win at the point of attack in multiple ways. Chaisson also works well in a lot of defensive sets with his ability to cover and spy as a linebacker. Mike Vrabel will love this kid’s versatility going forward as he continues to improve as a player. Adding Chaisson to this defensive front should scare teams. Having Chaisson, Harold Landry, Jurrell Casey, and Jeffrey Simmons on the same line will cause problems in the AFC.
23. Buffalo Bills- Tee Higgins (WR, Clemson)
The Bills added Cole Beasley and John Brown at wide receiver in the offseason to give Josh Allen more targets and they certainly helped. But the Bills could still use a guy with a larger catch radius than those two. Tee Higgins gives them that. Trevor Lawrence’s go to guy this year stands at 6’4” 215 lbs and can go up and get it with the best of them. Higgins has great hands and can win a lot of matchups as a deep threat. He isn’t the most polished route runner, but that could be because Clemson limited him in the route tree. Higgins has great breakaway speed for his size and should make up for some of the deficiencies that Josh Allen occasionally has with his accuracy. He’s a go to redzone threat every time down the field. Tee Higgins is a perfect fit in Buffalo and should make an impact right away.
24. Minnesota Vikings- Alex Leatherwood (OT, Alabama)
The Vikings offensive line made big strides this year with the development of Brian O’Neill and Garrett Bradbury. But they could still make upgrades and turn this into a strength of their team. Leatherwood might be the most athletic offensive lineman in the draft and he can play wherever you need him to along the front line. He played left tackle at Alabama and can certainly make that transition in the NFL, but if the Vikings need him to play guard, he can absolutely do that. At 6’6” 310 lbs, he has a large, but athletic body that can move quickly both vertically and laterally. He isn’t the most polished as far as technique and using his hands to keep rushers out of the pocket, but he is a coachable kid and should develop into a real consistent pass protector. Leatherwood would fit well with what Minnesota is trying to establish along the offensive line.
25. Miami Dolphins (via HOU)- Yetur Gross-Matos (DE, Penn State)
Gross-Matos is an extremely long player with great athleticism. He stands at 6’5” 264 lbs and uses those long arms to win battles and the point of contact from the outside. He plays with a ferocious motor and he never gives up on a play. He is very advanced with his pass rushing moves as far as hand usage and rushing from different spots along the line. Gross-Matos has a great head on his shoulders and is very developed as a player. He does have a tendency to play slower than he should not because of a lack of effort, but lack of understanding. He has trouble making reads at certain points and sometimes struggles finding the football after contact. With that said, the Dolphins have to get better in the front seven and after using their first two picks on offensive players, they invest in a high-upside pass rusher here.
26. Seattle Seahawks- Austin Jackson (OT, USC)
The Seahawks need offensive linemen and they need them badly. They haven’t had a good offensive line in a long time and they need to start protecting Russell Wilson who they just paid $35 million per year. Austin Jackson has been flying up boards and the Seahawks snag him right here. Seattle has to replace Germain Ifedi at right tackle and Jackson should do that immediately. Jackson has a long athletic body that makes him affective in both pass and run blocking. He has great footwork and uses his hands really well to irritate defenders. He has a tendency to “tip his pitches,” based on his stance. He can sometimes give away the play based on how he stands at the line of scrimmage. Jackson can also panic when he goes up against faster pass rushers so he can be prone to penalties. With that being said, the Seahawks have to upgrade the offensive line and Jackson definitely does that.
27. New England Patriots- Jake Fromm (QB, Georgia)
The time has come. The Patriots have to address quarterback. Tom Brady has taken a significant step back this year and his age might finally be catching up to him. There is no shame in the Patriots addressing quarterback early in the draft this year. Plus, the guy that they are getting fits perfectly with what they want to do. Jake Fromm’s best quality is his head. He is the smartest quarterback in the draft and it isn’t particularly close. He would work incredibly well with Bill Belichick and Fromm’s lack of skill in certain areas can be coached around with Bill. Fromm has a solid arm with good athleticism. He can get spotty with throws, but overall, has a good all-around skillset. If he can cut down on the interceptions and become a little more accurate, than Jake Fromm should become an excellent quarterback in this league.
28. New Orleans Saints- Justin Jefferson (WR, LSU)
The Saints have a very well-rounded roster with talent all over the field. One of the things that they need however is a number two receiver. Justin Jefferson fills that need very well. He has good size at 6’3” 192 lbs and has great big play ability. Jefferson is supremely athletic and can make plays down the field with his speed and ability to create separation. He is coming out of LSU playing with Joe Burrow who was the most accurate quarterback in college football this year. Jefferson should make the easy transition to playing with the most accurate quarterback in NFL history in Drew Brees. Jefferson can sometimes play smaller than his frame suggests. He isn’t great at 50/50 balls despite his athleticism, he can sometimes let the ball get too deep on his body instead of extending his hands for catches, and he doesn’t use his hands well to separate at the line of scrimmage. However, he’ll only have to be the number two wide receiver as Michael Thomas is the clear number one. Jefferson should fit really well with the Saints without leaving the state of Louisiana.
29. Kansas City Chiefs- Trevon Diggs (CB, Alabama)
Kansas City has to commit to building this defense. They will have no problem outscoring you on any given night, but they can allow a lot of points on the other side of the ball. The Chiefs have to address corner in order for that to get any better. This is where Trevon Diggs comes in. Diggs is an exceptional corner with great zone coverage ability. He has great size for the position (6’2” 207 lbs) and shows it. He can win the battle at the end of the route consistently and is great at going after the ball while it’s in the air. His biggest weakness is as a tackler and it’s a pretty big weakness. He comes off with the impression that he doesn’t like to hit. For his size, he should definitely be better at bringing guys down in space. However, as a coverage corner, he is outstanding and the Chiefs need guys that can keep the ball from getting down field.
30. Green Bay Packers- Tyler Biadasz (C, Wisconsin)
The Packers made a lot of moves both in the draft and in free agency to improve their defense last year. This year, they should focus on the offensive side. The depth at wide receiver in this class is incredible so they will elect to wait on one until the later rounds. Instead, they address a need on the interior offensive line. David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga are good tackles and Elgton Jenkins took strides this year at left guard. But they need to address the center position specifically. Corey Linsley is not getting the job done up the middle. He is the clear weak link. Adding Biadasz should help significantly in both the run and pass game. He plays with a ton of heart and should quickly become a leader in that offensive unit. He wouldn’t have to leave the state of Wisconsin and can settle in nicely as the starting center for Aaron Rodgers. He can sometimes get crossed up by different blitz packages, but that should improve with experience. Biadasz would be an excellent pick for the Packers this late.
31. San Francisco 49ers- Bryce Hall (CB, Virginia)
The 49ers are one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NFL, but they could use some help at corner now and in the future. Bryce Hall provides that. An ankle injury limited his season to just six games, but he has great tools to be a great corner at the next level. Richard Sherman is getting older and they don’t have a reliable number two. Bryce Hall gives you great physicality at the position at the line of scrimmage, in the open field as a tackler, and in blitz packages. He also has great ball skills and can create turnovers at a high rate. He needs to work on his ability to stick to his man in man coverage, but he plays well as a zone player and could possibly move to safety in some sets. Hall has great upside and if it weren’t for the injury that shortened his season, he could have been a top 15 selection without question.
32. Baltimore Ravens- Dylan Moses (LB, Alabama)
The Ravens drafting Dylan Moses at the end of the first round could end up being the steal of the draft. The Ravens need somebody that can officially replace CJ Mosley at middle linebacker. Dylan Moses can do that from day one. He is an extremely physical player who is phenomenal at stopping the run. He can cover at a high level in zone coverage concepts and is phenomenal when used at a second level spy. His athleticism allows him to make some really impressive plays when making tackles and chasing down players. He isn’t great in man coverage, but the Ravens have an incredibly deep secondary so his responsibilities in that area should be pretty limited. Moses saw his stock fall significantly due to an injury that caused him to miss the entire season, but when healthy, he is an elite linebacker prospect that the Ravens should jump on. They could also address pass rusher, but with a player like Moses on the board, they can’t pass him up.