The 2019 NFL season wrapped up this past Sunday, as the Kansas City Chiefs hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. With that said, here is our latest full 2020 1st round mock.
With the Kansas City Chiefs winning the Super Bowl this past Sunday, the 2019 season is officially wrapped up. All eyes will now shift to the scouting process and with the 2020 NFL Draft taking play in Las Vegas, all eyes will be on the local team, the Raiders.
Moving into my second full first round mock draft of 2020, I’ve done a much deeper dive into the prospects and have made a few changes to how I would draft and rank my prospects.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Joe Burrow, LSU
The Cincinnati Bengals pick is a no-brainer, Joe Burrow, the Heisman winner in 2019.
Burrow’s film speaks for itself. His biggest asset is his football IQ and field vision. The guy understands what he needs to do in every situation, whether the defense is blitzing, playing zone coverage, or man to man coverage.
To take it a step further, his film shows that he can make every throw accurately. In fact, 61.6% of his throws ten-plus yards downfield this past season were placed accurately, according to PFF. To put it into perspective, Baker Mayfield held the previous record at 55.7% in 2017.
His arm talent is ridiculous and if the Bengals take anyone other then Burrow, they will regret it for years to come.
2. Washington Redskins: DE, Chase Young, Ohio State
Chase Young is the best player in this draft class. When you look at a prospect, he should be able to do a certain number of things correctly, and in Young's case, he checks every single box you want from a prospect. He is strong at the point of attack, quick with his feet/hands, and one of the most intelligent prospects coming out this year.
New head coach Ron Rivera can solidify his defensive front with Young, which would give the Redskins four first-round defensive line on their front: Montez Sweat, Daron Payne, & Jonathan Allen. Since Chase Young is as sure a thing as his former teammate Nick Bosa was last year, this could pay off huge for this team.
3. Detroit Lions: CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State
Matthew Stafford is a capable quarterback, and although some might speculate the Lions will take a quarterback with the 3rd pick, they’d be smart to avoid this position. Unless they trade this pick, they should focus on addressing two big needs, defensive line or cornerback.
Since Jeffrey Okudah has the potential to be the next Jalen Ramsey, he would be the pick here. After watching his film and thoroughly studying his technique, I would be surprised if Okudah is not taken in the top-5.
He has very good technique, and it starts with his length. He played a ton of press man to man coverage at Ohio State, and he’s very quick with his hips and feet which allows him to close on any wide receiver. He allowed a passer rating of 37.6 in 2019. He also hasn't allowed 50 or more yards in any single game this season.
4. New York Giants: OLB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
If any player raised his stock in the College Football Playoff, it’s Clemson’s hybrid S/LB Isaiah Simmons. He might be the best player in this draft when we look back at this class in five years, as he has that kind of versatility.
The Giants hired assistant coach of the New England Patriots, Joe Judge. He brought in another Patriots assistant to run the defense, Patrick Graham. If we know anything about Patriots coaches, they love hybrid players who can do it all, and Isaiah Simmons fits that role.
He lined up all over the place in his three seasons at Clemson. In 2019, he lined up 106 times on the defensive line, 239 times at linebacker, 256 times at slot corner, and 130 times as a free safety.
That versatility is what the new wave of linebackers looks like. At 6’4”, 235-pounds, Simmons will be best as an OLB in a 4-3 defensive scheme. In base defense, he can shift to cover the slot, and on passing downs, he will be the sole linebacker in the game. Covering receivers is something Simmons excels at.
5. Miami Dolphins: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
The Dolphins will get younger at the quarterback position this year and they are in the perfect spot to take a quarterback. Only one of the four teams in front of them need a quarterback, which means they will be able to select between Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert, or anyone else they might like.
The pick should be Tua Tagovailoa. The hip injury is a concern for a lot of us. This injury is super rare, and according to reports, Tagovailoa could have complications pop up in the coming months, Avascular necrosis of his hip’s ball joint could develop at any time over the next 4-6 months following his injury, resulting in the death of that bone. This could end his career.
Assuming he is fully healthy, we saw what he can do, in nine games in 2019, Tua had 2800 yards, 33 touchdowns to three interceptions, and a 71.4 completion. His decision making is easily the best among all quarterbacks coming out this year. On 781 career dropbacks, Tagovailoa has had only 24 turnover-worthy plays per PFF.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
The Phillip Rivers era is over in Los Angeles and for good reason. If you watched him play last year, you knew it would soon be over. The Chargers could easily go out and get a quarterback like Drew Brees, but they’d be wise to take their future with this pick, Justin Herbert.
The 6’6” 237-pound Quarterback has a huge arm. The velocity on his throws is something else, however, since he plays in the Ducks quick short passing offense, he didn’t get the opportunity to throw it deep much.
Of Herbert’s 3,456 yards, 714 came on screenplays (2nd Most), and 874 on deep throws (29th Most). On the rare occasion he was able to throw it downfield, he did show great ball placement. The only concern scouts have about him is he tends to freeze a bit when it comes to making his second or third read. His short-throw accuracy isn’t great either.
7. Carolina Panthers: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The Carolina Panthers will take the best offensive linemen coming out of college football, and that player is Georgia's Andrew Thomas. Some might have other offensive tackles going ahead of Thomas, but from watching the tape, there is no question Thomas is the best.
He is super consistent with his technique and has been one of the most dominant players this past year. In 746 total snaps, he gave up one sack. His run blocking is also one of the best among college offensive tackles.
8. Arizona Cardinals: OT Jedrick Wills Jr, Alabama
The Arizona Cardinals' biggest needs this offseason is an offensive tackle and defensive line. The second-best offensive tackle is still on the board and he will be an instant starter for the Cardinals. Jedrick Wills protected Tua Tagovailoa’s blind spot and really excelled this season.
Over the course of the season, Wills improved drastically. He was faster out of his stance and showed his quick feet in pass protection, something he was knocked for in 2018. In 2019, he allowed only 11 pressures.
His best trait, however, is his run blocking. He was ranked as the second-best Offensive Tackle in run blocking, behind only Penei Sewell, a sure top-3 pick in the 2021 draft.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
The Jacksonville Jaguars offense has primarily relied on Leonard Fournette and DJ Chark. To get more from their offense, they will need to give their young quarterback, Gardner Minshew, another playmaker.
Now, of course, this playmaker is a special player. In the 2000s, we were given Larry Fitzgerald. In the 2010s, we were given Julio Jones. This next decade, we are given CeeDee Lamb. He is a once in a decade receiver.
The Oklahoma wide receivers blend of size and speed makes him an ideal outside receiver who can also line up on the inside. The 6’3 200-pound wide receiver is the top receiver in the 2020 draft class. Early feedback from scouts rave about his football IQ.
He understands how to create leverage in his routes, and he excels at beating defenses. Each year in college, he got better:
2019: 62 rec, 1,327 yards, 21.4 avg, 14 TD
2018: 65 rec, 1,158 yards, 17.8 avg, 11 TD
2017: 46 rec, 807 yards, 17.5 avg, 7 TD
10. Cleveland Browns: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Mekhi Becton is Trent Brown of college football. He physically overpowers players and imposes his will on almost any defensive linemen in college. The 6’7 370-pound offensive tackle has shot up the draft board for me. After watching his film, I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes as high as the No. 4 overall pick.
The Cleveland Browns pick is not easy to predict because they don’t have a general manager, however, based on need alone, they don’t have a starting Left Tackle. Greg Robinson is set to be a free agent, and after his benching last year, I don’t think he is re-signed.
Becton becomes an instant starter, and Nick Chubb’s best friend as per PFF, Becton had the second-most big-time blocks of any offensive tackle in the FBS. Of course, this stat can be confirmed from watching his film.
11. New York Jets: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Any young quarterback needs to be protected. Sam Darnold on average was sacked 2.5 times a game, which makes him the tenth most sacked player. What’s more alarming is his numbers when under pressure against when not pressured.
When protected, Sam Darnold has completed 73% of his throws, as opposed to 44% while under pressure. Fill in Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, who fits perfectly with this offense.
His strength is something that has impressed a lot of scouts. He can block just as well to his right, as to his left. And his quickness while reach blocking is impressive. Some say he is the best offensive tackle coming out and could go in the top-7 picks. He should be a day one starter for the Jets.
12. Las Vegas Raiders: DT Derrick Brown, Auburn
The Las Vegas Raiders are now a real thing, and this offseason will be key for this young team heading into 2020. At one point in the season, the Raiders were 6-4 and on the verge of making the playoffs. That was until the injury bug hit them, with two of their best players missing multiple games to end the season, Josh Jacobs and Trent Brown.
To make another run this year, the Raiders must address three big needs: Wide Receiver, Linebacker, and Defensive tackle. Most mocks have the Raiders taking a wide receiver, however, unless CeeDee Lamb falls to the 12th pick, the Raiders will wait to pick a receiver.
Instead, they will select the best interior defensive linemen, Derrick Brown.
The All-American linemen has been a disruptive force all year long and he will fill a huge need for the Raiders. “I think we’re a long way away on the personnel side,” says Mike Mayock. “We’ve got to get better. We’ve got linebacker issues. We’ve got to get better at defensive tackle. So, we have a lot of holes to fill on defense.”
Derrick Brown is not known by many fans, but he should be. The Auburn defensive linemen will be a difference-maker at the next level. He does a great job getting off the ball. He has an explosive first step. He uses his quickness and pass-rushing technique to beat offensive linemen and he can get after the quarterback very consistently.
Last year he had 29 pressures, including four sacks on 270 pass-rush attempts. He also had 55 tackles, two forced fumbles, and four passes deflected. The Raiders will have a really nice 7-man rotation featuring Derrick Brown, PJ Hall, Maurice Hurst, Jon Hankins, Clelin Ferrell, Maxx Crosby, and Arden Key.
13. Indianapolis Colts: QB Jordan Love, Utah State
The Indianapolis Colts gave Jacoby Brissett a short term 2-year deal because they knew they didn’t have any other options after Andrew Luck retired prior to the 2019 season starting. This year, however, the Colts will be able to scout and find their future quarterback. Fill in Utah State’s Jordan Love.
Love has drawn comparisons to Patrick Mahomes due to his big arm and willingness to take deep shots. The Colts offense has been a run-first offense, and while Love learns the playbook, Brissett can continue to start. But over the course of 2020, and heading into 2021, Frank Reich will open the playbook for Love.
A big concern with Love is he threw for 20 touchdowns to 17 interceptions in 2019. However, a lot of that can be attributed to the changes at Utah State from 2018 to 2019. He lost his starting running back, Darwin Thompson to the NFL, his three main receivers, Dax Raymond, Ron’Quavion Tarver, and Jalen Greene, all to the NFL. And lastly, the whole coaching staff was changed. All of this led to Love struggling.
Jordan Love did show us what we know he can do during the Senior Bowl. He really impressed, and scouts believe he will be a first-round pick.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Ndamukong Suh played more than any other interior defensive linemen for the Buccaneers last year. He was signed to a one-year deal for just that, short term help. With Vita Vea finishing his second year, I fully expect him to be recognized as the superstar he is this upcoming year. However, he can’t do it alone, so fill in Javon Kinlaw at pick No. 14.
Javon Kinlaw is 6-foot-6, 310-pound monster. He has all the physical traits you could want in a defensive tackle. Kinlaw has a quick get off, which translates to him getting very good pressure. Last year he totaled 40 pressures and was given a pass-rush grade of 90.7 by Pro Football Focus, making him an elite pass rusher. He and Vita Vea will be the most dominant defensive tackle duo in the NFL.
15. Denver Broncos: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
The Denver Broncos have a very young talented offense, starting with their quarterback Drew Lock, who went 4-1 as a starter in 2019. They have also surrounded him with good young players on that side of the ball, including Dalton Risner, Phillip Lindsey, Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, and Royce Freeman.
The craziest part is this teams only going to get better with experience. If the Broncos want to take this offense to the next level, they’d be wise to add one of the best playmakers, Jerry Jeudy. Jeudy would be a fantastic complementary route runner on the inside, to second-year receiver Courtland Sutton‘s outside ability. This will also give Lock three very good targets, in Sutton, Fant, and Jeudy.
The Alabama wide receiver is considered one of the best coming out of college. He is a great playmaker and runs very crisp routes. With the ball in his hands, Jeudy can make many people miss. Although I don’t think he is as good as Lamb, Jeudy will be a great complementary receiver.
The only knock on him is he’s had a little bit of a drop issue. He dropped seven passes on 78 targets or 9% of his targets.
16. Atlanta Falcons: DE K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU
The Atlanta Falcons drafted the best way to draft, by need. They knew they needed to fix their offensive line, so they took two offensive linemen in the first round. This year, they will follow that up with taking another position of need, defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson. To make it more clear, they told the world they are not resigning Vic Beasley Jr.
Last season, the Falcons were the tenth-worst defense in points and the 11th-worst in passing yards, all that would change with a good pass rusher. Chaisson has more potential than any other player in this draft. His pass-rush skills are off the charts.
It starts with his explosiveness. He is super quick off the line off scrimmage. He plays with great technique and utilizes his hands very well. The only knock on him is finishing. He only had six sacks in 2019.
17. Dallas Cowboys: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
The Dallas Cowboys moved on from Jason Garrett and upgraded to one of the league's winningest coaches, Mike McCarthy. Fresh off a season in which Dak Prescott threw for over 4900 yards, this offense is going to be very interesting in 2020.
To match the offensives potential greatness, the Cowboys defense should take the best corner in the draft, LSU's Kristian Fulton.
The Cowboys need players in the secondary who can force turnovers. Last year they had the fewest in the league with only seven. Fulton is a great fit for this Cowboys team that likes to play a ton of man to man. Fulton has great man to man technique and is very quick with his feet. He should be able to translate to a good corner who can play both the inside and outside.
18. Miami Dolphins (f/PIT): DE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame
Tank for Tua is what the Dolphins were doing this year. Although they didn’t do a great job because they didn’t end up with the first pick, they will still most likely end up with Tua, the second best quarterback.
Since they took a quarterback earlier in the day, they can turn their focus to the defensive side of the ball. With this pick, defensive end Julian Okwara is their guy.
By taking an edge player on defense, this will help the Dolphins get after the opposing quarterbacks in the division. Okwara is a lengthy defensive end who can get after the quarterback. He has an explosive quick step and will need to work on certain parts of his game, but his ceiling might be the highest in this draft class.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (f/CHI): LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
Kenneth Murray is the best true linebacker in this class. He can play on the inside and outside, but will most likely be a weakside linebacker, who can shift to the inside on passing downs. Although players like Troy Dye and Patrick Queen have shot up the draft board, they will likely not go in the first round. They are more likely to go on day two.
When you look at the Raiders defense, they need a linebacker with speed, who can support the run, and help in coverage. Surprisingly to some, the Raiders were pretty good against tight ends this past season, but focusing on tight ends has allowed the outside receivers to get open.
Murray had 155 total tackles in 2018, and 102 in 2019. He also had 17 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in 2019. If the Raiders want to get Paul Guenther the type of playmaker on defense that can make a difference, Murray is his guy.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (f/LAR): CB C.J. Henderson, Florida
Losing Jalen Ramsey is huge for this team, but with losing him, the Jaguars were able to get a first-round pick. To replace him, the Jaguars will pick one of the better corners coming out over the past five years, C.J. Henderson.
Henderson is very good in man to man coverage and will not be beaten by most receivers. He had a great 2018 campaign but unfortunately followed that up with a not so great 2019 season. Part of that could be because of the new stuff he was asked to do.
His playmaking ability is there, as since the start of 2018, he’s broken up 11 passes on 66 targets.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: S Grant Delpit, LSU
The Eagles secondary needs help and with Rodney McLeod set to be a free agent, and Malcolm Jenkins making it clear he will not play without a new contract, the Eagles two starting safeties could both be gone come 2020.
To replace either one of those two players, the Eagles will take LSU’s Grant Delpit, who by many is considered the best safety in this draft class. He is stout against the run, and not bad in pass coverage, as he has given up only nine catches on 17 targets. Delpit is a playmaker in coverage. He has gotten his hands on the ball six times on those 17 targets.
The only concern scouts will have is his tackling, as last year he had 20 missed tackles.
22. Buffalo Bills: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
The Bills have one of the NFL's best defenses. So, in this draft class, they should focus on their offense, and give their franchise quarterback, Josh Allen, some needed help at wide receiver.
Henry Ruggs III is a yard after catch monster and is most definitely slated for the first round this April. Ruggs has the type of speed that I'm not sure even Josh Allen could overthrow. Over his college career, he had a total of 98 receptions, and of those, 24 have gone for touchdowns.
23. New England Patriots: OT Austin Jackson, USC
Tom Brady isn’t done with the Patriots, especially the way he lost. The New England defense was one of the best I’ve seen in a while, and if that defense can stay healthy and play the same way they did this past season, then by fixing this offense, this team can do great in 2020.
This offense has two issues, the first is they don’t have great weapons, the second is the offensive line. Last year, the Patriots tackles gave up a combined 14 sacks, which is the most they’ve given up in a long time. Fill in USC's Austin Jackson, one of the best offensive tackles in this draft class.
Jackson is a great athlete with very quick feet. He excels in pass protection and should only get better as a run blocker. Jackson can come in and play tackle but can easily kick to the inside if needed. Not only does this give them depth, at a position that they haven’t been consistent at over the past two seasons, but it allows them to move on from Marcus Cannon and get younger.
24. New Orleans Saints: DT Jordan Elliott, Missouri
The Saints have a great offense, but with an aging Drew Brees, they’d be wise to shift there team to a more defensive team. Unless you have a defense to match the Vikings, San Francisco 49ers and the improving Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, you will likely lose in the first round again next year.
Fill in Jordan Elliott of Missouri, an incredibly gifted defensive tackle. After Derrick Brown, and with Marvin Wilson going back to school for another year, Elliott is the next best true interior defensive lineman in this draft class. He should help the Saints get much better on the inside of that defense. He has a quick explosive step and should start immediately for this team.
25. Minnesota Vikings: CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama
The Vikings could easily take an offensive tackle here, but with the shocking decline of Xavier Rhodes this past season, the Vikings should take the best corner available here, Trevon Diggs.
In 2019, Diggs allowed 22 catches from 52 targets for 309 yards and a passer rating of 44.5, which is as close of a dominant season you will see. Diggs should come in and be able to win a starting spot right away. His man to man skills are very impressive and he can easily play on the inside with his quick feet.
26. Miami Dolphins (f/HOU WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
The Miami Dolphins got their quarterback in this draft, and will now get some much-needed help at receiver. Fill in Clemson star Tee Higgins. Higgins is a 6’4” mammoth with a huge wingspan. The junior is averaging 20.8 yards per catch and has the highest receiving grade of any Power-5 receiver per PFF.
27. Seattle Seahawks: DE/DT A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
The Seahawks traded a 3rd round pick for Jadeveon Clowney, but he wasn’t as great as they’d hope since heading to the Northwest. Even if they retain Clowney, they will still need to fill the other edge spot. AJ Epenesa is a defensive coordinator's best friend.
Epenesa is a physical defensive end who could easily play on the inside, based on his size, where he comes in at 6’6” 280 pounds. Epenesa uses his strength to win at the point of attack, but could easily use his quickness. His NFL comp for me is Calais Campbell.
28. Baltimore Ravens: WR Laviska Shenault Jr, Colorado
What more could you do if you are the Baltimore Ravens? You have one of the best offenses and one of the best defenses. But there are some improvements that this team can make on offense. Lamar Jackson will most likely not put up his 2019 numbers again in 2020.
Like teams started to do towards the end of the year, they will force him to throw it more and keep two safeties over the top to eliminate big plays. In order to stay ahead, the Ravens should draft another wide receiver, one that can make the same catches across the middle of the field that his tight ends do.
One player slated for the first round is Laviska Shenault Jr. from Colorado. Shenault didn't produce quite like he did in 2018, however, he was in the conversation for the Biletnikoff Award as a true sophomore, after hauling in 87 passes for 1,019 yards and breaking 29 tackles in the process. He should fit right into this offense on the outside of Hollywood Brown.
29. Tennessee Titans: DE Curtis Weaver, Boise State
The Titans were very good this year. Along with the San Francisco 49ers, they were a bit of a surprise. One way to keep improving this team is by taking a defensive end opposite of Harold Landry. Fill in, Curtis Weaver.
Although his combined sacks (14) and hits (12) are three more than anyone else in college football, he doesn’t have the flexibility and bend that you need at the next level. This is a major concern for many scouts. However, If he can improve this part of his game, he can be a really solid piece for this defense.
30. Green Bay Packers: TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
Cole Kmet changed his mind. He was not originally coming out this year but decided to head for the NFL, which is a smart move. Kmet is the best tight end in this draft class. Although the two first-round tight ends last year were better, Kmet will be a really good pass catcher, and he can block pretty good as well.
Aaron Rodgers will love his new 6’6 250 pound TE.
31. San Francisco 49ers: S Xavier McKinney, ALABAMA
The San Francisco 49ers are one of the league's best teams. After coming just short to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Niners will look to improve part of there defense that hasn’t been all that great. If you look at what the Chiefs do to most teams, there is no surprise you’d want to go out and get a better secondary, however, the 49ers really struggled to stop the Chiefs, especially in the 4th quarter.
Fill in Xavier McKinney, who will bring an instant playmaker for this Niners defense. McKinney can easily go as high as 13 but will likely be the second safety taken. His deep coverage ability is something that will be a huge upgrade for this Niners defense.
32 Kansas City Chiefs: RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State
The Kansas City Chiefs have improved tremendously on defense over the past year and although they could draft to keep improving, one of the biggest disappointments of this team has been their lack of explosiveness in the run game. Although Damien Williams had himself a Super Bowl to remember, the Chiefs running game has not been the same since Kareem Hunt.
If they decide to upgrade there, they might as well get the best running back in college football, Ohio State's JK Dobbins. The divisional rival, the Raiders, drafted Josh Jacobs, and he was an instant game-changer for the organization. Dobbins will have the same impact.
Dobbins rushed for over 2000 yards in 2019, to go along with 21 rushing touchdowns. The explosiveness is there, and he will take this Chiefs offense to the next level.