Mock Draft 1.0 (Pre-Free Agency)
The 2019 NFL Season is officially complete and we’re just under three months away from kicking off the 2020 NFL Season with the NFL Draft. I’m sure if you’re reading this you are already doing your due diligence on the college prospects in this years class. Here’s my first of THREE mock drafts leading up to the big weekend in April!
#1 Cincinnati Bengals: QB Joe Burrow (LSU)
After his Championship performance just a few short weeks ago, Joe Burrow looks like he will undoubtedly be the #1 pick in this years draft. Andy Dalton has played his last down in Cincy and they are ready for a fresh start.
#2 Washington Redskins: EDGE Chase Young (Ohio State)
The Redskins have more glaring needs in other areas, but Chase Young is simply too special of a talent to pass up. I don’t think a trade would be out of the question in this spot either.
#3 Detroit Lions: CB Jeffrey Okudah (Ohio State)
The Lions led the league in passing yards allowed in 2019 at nearly 300 YPG. If they don’t give Darius Slay some help in free agency, they’ll do it with the top corner in the draft.
#4 New York Giants: T Jedrick Wills Jr. (Alabama)
Mike Remmers was a human turnstile and if it weren’t for his guaranteed money, Nate Solder would also probably be hitting the road this offseason. If the Giants want their young QB to progress appropriately, they better protect him.
#5 Miami Dolphins: QB Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)
Isn’t this pick obvious? The Dolphins need an upgrade at almost every position and Ryan Fitzpatrick is a rental at this point.
#6 Los Angeles Chargers: OL Tristan Wirfs (Iowa)
It doesn’t matter if the Chargers upgrade from Philip Rivers at the QB position this offseason, if they don’t address their biggest issue up front. Tristan Wirfs gives them the versatility that they need to be plugged in at Tackle OR Guard day 1 and make an impact.
#7 Carolina Panthers: LB Isaiah Simmons (Clemson)
Isaiah Simmons is a freak athlete at the Linebacker position. Meet your new Luke Kuechly replacement.
#8 Arizona Cardinals: T Mekhi Becton (Louisville)
Kyler Murray and his play style won’t last long in the NFL if the Cardinals don’t protect him. The 6’8″-370 pound Mammoth, Mekhi Becton stays in red and black.
#9 Jacksonville Jaguars: DT Derrick Brown (Auburn)
This is a value pick that the Jaguars can’t afford to pass up. Derrick Brown has the talent of a top 5 pick and will help give Jacksonville one of the most feared defensive lines in the NFL in 2020.
#10 Cleveland Browns: T Andrew Thomas (Georgia)
You probably noticed Baker Mayfield took a major step back in 2019—and rightfully so. Cleveland’s TOP priority will be the offensive line this offseason and Andrew Thomas gives you the flexibility to play inside and out at a high level.
#11 New York Jets: WR Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)
If the Jets want to continue progressing Sam Darnold they’re going to have to give him some playmakers. Drafting the best wide receiver in the country is a good place to start.
#12 Las Vegas Raiders: QB Justin Herbert (Oregon)
Ding-ding! Maybe the first surprise pick in the draft? The narrative outside of the Raiders fan base is that Derek Carr is walking on thin ice as the starter. Mike Mayock makes a splash with this pick and brings in some competition for Carr to earn his right as the starter in 2020.
#13 Indianapolis Colts: WR CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)
The Colts will without a doubt have a different starting QB in 2020 if they’re going to keep pace with the Titans and Texans in the AFC South. They very well could go QB at #13, but with Herbert already off the board i’m not sure there’s another QB that’s worth the value at this spot. TY Hilton is aging fast and outside of him the Colts have no real playmakers at the wide receiver position.
#14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: IDL Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina)
Kinlaw has soared up big boards after a fantastic Senior Bowl week. The Buccaneers will be looking to get younger along the interior with Ndamukong Suh (33) set to become a free agent.
#15 Denver Broncos: WR Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)
The Denver offense ranked near the bottom of the league in total offense in 2019. Courtland Sutton is a star in the making, but outside of him they are hurting for playmakers. Henry Ruggs III might be the fastest player in the draft and his utilization in an offense is endless.
#16 Atlanta Falcons: DE K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU)
The Falcons have been begging for a consistent pass rusher for what seems like a decade now. Chaisson has the athletic traits to become an elite edge rusher in the pros.
#17 Dallas Cowboys: DE AJ Epenesa (Iowa)
Jerry Jones has been desperate for an answer across from Demarcus Lawrence for years. You don’t let Epenesa get past this spot. An excellent value selection for the Cowboys.
#18 Miami Dolphins: S Xavier McKinney (Alabama)
Xavier McKinney is a playmaker—and that’s something the Dolphins lack a lot of right now. A Reshad Jones/Xavier McKinney tandem is a pretty exciting centerfield.
#19 Las Vegas Raiders: LB Patrick Queen (LSU)
The Linebacker position is currently the weakest link in the Raiders locker room. They desperately lack athleticism, youth, and playmaking ability. Patrick Queen is a Mike Mayock guy and this is a super exciting pick for the VEGAS Raiders.
#20 Jacksonville Jaguars: S Grant Delpit (LSU)
The Jaguars secondary has been a mess ever since Jalen Ramsey was traded away. Grant Delpit brings new life to the Jacksonville secondary and a feared physical presence in a division that features playmakers like DeAndre Hopkins and Derrick Henry.
#21 Philadelphia Eagles: CB CJ Henderson (Florida)
This pick could also be a wide receiver but the class is much deeper at wide receiver than it is at cornerback. Draft a good one while they’re still available. Both of Philadelphia’s starting corners from 2019 are set to become free agents in March.
#22 Buffalo Bills: WR Tee Higgins (Clemson)
John Brown was terrific last season as the Buffalo’s leading receiver but i’d be surprised if you can name another Bills receiver outside of him.
#23 New England Patriots: QB Jordan Love (Utah State)
Regardless if Tom Brady is back in 2020 or not, I think i’d be shocked if the Patriots didn’t draft a QB in this draft.
#24 New Orleans Saints: WR Justin Jefferson (LSU)
The Louisiana native gets to stay home. Michael Thomas is probably good with receiving all of those targets every week but I think Sean Payton might think differently. The Saints will give Brees all the firepower he needs for one final run at a second ring.
#25 Minnesota Vikings: CB Kristian Fulton (LSU)
In a single offseason, the Vikings went from “great” to “terrible” shape at the cornerback position. Xavier Rhodes likely won’t be back with the team, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander are pending free agents, and former first round pick Mike Hughes has had some nasty injuries to begin his career that may not translate well to the field going forward.
#26 Miami Dolphins: RB D’Andre Swift (Georgia)
The Dolphins will be in search of a Kenyan Drake replacement this offseason and drafting the best running back in this class is a great investment for your rookie QB (Tua Tagovailoa).
#27 Seattle Seahawks: T Josh Jones (Houston)
Germain Ifedi might be the worst starting right tackle in the NFL and the Seahawks should finally be ready to move on from him.
#28 Baltimore Ravens: RB JK Dobbins (Ohio State)
A surprise pick? Maybe. Mark Ingram will be 31 this year and we all know that the age of 30 marks the beginning of the end for most NFL running backs. He’s been great but the Ravens may be looking for a replacement for that insane rushing attack and Dobbins is a talent too good to pass up.
#29 Tennessee Titans: CB Jeff Gladney (TCU)
The Titans need to get younger in the secondary and Jeff Gladney may be Logan Ryan’s replacement for the 2020 season.
#30 Green Bay Packers: WR Laviska Shenault Jr. (Colorado)
Aaron Rodgers (will be 37 in December) is running out of time and if Green Bay wants to get back to the NFC title game, they better give him some help across from Davante Adams.
#31 San Francisco 49ers: OL Cesar Ruiz (Michigan)
Cesar Ruiz can start off as a Guard and transition into his natural position at Center if you decide you’d like to move on from the injury-prone, Weston Richburg.
#32 Kansas City Chiefs: LB Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma)
The Super Bowl Champion, Kansas City Chiefs grab a Linebacker who plays sideline-to-sideline at a high level with the last pick in the first round.