21. Philadelphia Eagles: WR, Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Desean Jackson was brought in last season to give Carson Wentz a viable vertical threat, and that plan went by the wayside when Jackson was plagued by injuries. With the No. 21 overall pick this April, the Eagles get Wentz the fastest prospect in this draft class, selecting Henry Ruggs III from Alabama.
The Eagles won’t waste anytime making this pick, as he fits an immediate need in this offense. Ruggs III is an absolute burner and a much younger, healthier version of Desean Jackson, and after winning the NFC East last season, the Eagles are looking to fit the pieces in place for another run at a division title.
22. Buffalo Bills: WR, Justin Jefferson, LSU
John Brown had a career year with the Bills in 2019 going over 1,000 yards receiving, but there is still a need for prototypical number one receiver on the roster. In his second season as the starter, quarterback Josh Allen took a step forward, and the franchise is looking for him to continue in that direction in 2020.
Justin Jefferson is a sure-handed receiver with great ball skills, and a combination of size (6’1″) and speed (4.43). During his final season at LSU, he became a favorite of quarterback Joe Burrow, and after his Combine performance, he is definitely slated for the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
23. New England Patriots: DE, A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
This just feels like a typical New England Patriots pick. A.J. Epenesa was being mocked as a possible top-15 pick when the season ended, but after a less than stellar combine his stock has taken a hit.
Bill Belichick once again outsmarts the NFL and gets a very good pass rusher to fall in his lap at pick No. 23. Epenesa has the versatility to rush off the edge and kick inside if necessary, and this Patriots defense needs reinforcements this offseason.
24. New Orleans Saints: S, Xavier McKinney, Alabama
Eli Apple and Vonn Bell are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents, so with their future is up in the air. With the No. 24 overall pick, the New Orleans Saints take Xavier McKinney as a contingency plan at safety in this pre-free agency mock draft.
McKinney played in multiple spots for Nick Saban at Alabama getting snaps in the slot, at free safety, and in the box. The Saints have all the talent they need on offense to make another run in 2020, but if they do not upgrade the back-half of their defense, their ceiling is likely limited to the Divisional Round.