The 2020 NFL Combine came to an end a little over a week ago, meaning free agency is just around the corner. Before we get to that point, I thought it would be a good idea to do a complete three-round mock draft to see how the NFL Draft could play out.
Additions via free agency will certainly change things up for nearly every team around the league, so for now I’m basing my selections for each team based on need and potential best fit. For this exercise I’m pretending as if there will be absolutely zero trades and each team will pick where they are currently slotted to.
Let’s get started…
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Nothing to see here… Joe Burrow will be drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals No. 1 overall and replace Andy Dalton as their new starting QB. The only way this doesn’t happen is if Borrow refuses to play for Cincinnati or if the Bengals receive a king’s ransom for the No. 1 overall draft pick. Neither is likely to happen though.
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
The Washington Redskins are expected to stick with Dwayne Haskins as their starting QB, so they could be open to trading the No. 2 overall pick to a QB-needy team. However, staying put and drafting a difference-making pass rusher could be too good to pass up. As the best player in this year’s draft class, Chase Young is a no-brainer here.
3. Detroit Lions – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Like the Redskins, the Detroit Lions could also be willing to trade the No. 3 overall pick to a team looking to move up for a QB. But, if they stay put drafting Jeffrey Okudah here makes a lot of sense because they could decide to part ways with their veteran CB Darius Slay. Out with the old, in with the new.
4. New York Giants – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
The New York Giants have a chance to snag an impact defensive player here (Isaiah Simmons), but GM Dave Gettleman likely believes upgrading their offensive line to protect their young investments at QB and RB is of more importance. Adding Mekhi Becton with Will Hernandez on the left side of their OL gives the Giants two maulers in the run game and a better blindside protection for Daniel Jones.
5. Miami Dolphins – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Miami Dolphins have been pretty hush-hush about who they may target here, but I think it’s pretty obviously it will be a QB…but who? Tua Tagovailoa certainly could be in play here, but until his medicals are sorted out he’s a hard sell for teams looking for a franchise QB. That’s why I think Justin Herbert is the best option for Miami right now. It could very well be the way they’re leaning anyways.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Jordan Love continues to rise up draft boards and could be the best fit for the Los Angeles Chargers at this point in the draft. His athleticism/mobility will be needed until they can upgrade their offensive line, a unit that struggled to keep Philip Rivers upright all last season. He has all the tools to become their franchise QB, although the offense may need to evolve a little to better suit his skill set to give him the best chance of succeeding early on.
7. Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Having Isaiah Simmons slide this far would be a dream come true for the Carolina Panthers. They wouldn’t have to worry about replacing recently retired LB Luke Kuechly, because Simmons should be able to step right in where Kuechly left off. His leadership, athleticism, and versatility makes him a plug-and-play player with little to no drop-off for the Panthers defense.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Arizona Cardinals may want to give second-year QB Kyler Murray a new toy to play with in the passing game, but I think they need to shore up their offensive line first. Locking up LT DJ Humphries is a step in the right direction, but they need to upgrade the right side of the OL as well. That’s where Tristan Wirfs comes into play. His fluidity, body control, versatility (can play LT or RT), and athleticism immediately helps upgrade the entire OL.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
It’s looking as if the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to have a mass exodus of players this offseason while they are in the midst of a rebuild. The latest victim was CB A.J. Bouye, who they traded to the Denver Broncos. With a void at the position, they should turn their attention to one of the more athletically gifted CBs in this year’s draft class, C.J. Henderson. As a fellow Floridian, they should know all about the former Florida Gator and what he brings to the table.
10. Cleveland Browns – Jedrick Willis, OT, Alabama
The Cleveland Browns desperately need to upgrade the OT position to protect their young QB, Baker Mayfield. The best option available to do just that is Jedrick Willis. He mainly played right tackle during his time in Alabama, but has the traits to transition to the left side in the NFL. That kind of versatility could prove to be invaluable depending on other OL moves the Browns make this offseason.
11. New York Jets – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Like the Browns, the New York Jets need to desperately upgrade their OT position to better protect their franchise QB Sam Darnold. Andrew Thomas could fit in perfectly with what Adam Gase wants to do with the Jets offense. Thomas excels as a run blocker and projects as a steady force at LT in the NFL as well. Depending on what they do in free agency, Thomas sounds like a no-brainer right now.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Las Vegas Raiders offense is desperately in need of a big-play threat from the wide receiver position and CeeDee Lamb would certainly provide that. His football intelligence, physicality, and YAC ability is something GM Mike Mayock and HC John Gruden will certainly approve of, as will Derek Carr or whoever else they may deploy at QB in 2020. He immediately becomes their No. 1 WR and has the potential to be a Pro Bowler as a rookie.
13. Indianapolis Colts – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tua Tagovailoa sliding this far could be a win-win situation for both the Indianapolis Colts and the former Alabama QB. Unlike the QBs drafted ahead of him, the Colts have a stable offensive line already in place. For a QB that may have injury concerns, this is ideal. Plus, Tua’s deep ball accuracy would be a huge boost to their aerial attack, especially for T.Y. Hilton.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
The NFL Combine wasn’t kind to Auburn DT Derrick Brown which is why I have him sliding out of the Top-10 in this mock draft. But, that’s good news for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Pairing him with Vita Vea in the middle of the Buccaneers defensive line would give them arguably the best DT duo in the league.
15. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
The Denver Broncos already have an up-and-coming No. 1 WR in Courtland Sutton, but they could use someone to take a little pressure off him in the passing game. Henry Ruggs’s God-given speed would do just that and also give the Broncos offense somebody who is capable of taking it to the house anytime he touches the ball. A young offensive core of Sutton, Ruggs, Drew Lock, Phillip Lindsay, and Noah Fant could be an emerging force in the AFC West.
16. Atlanta Falcons – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
All indications point to the Atlanta Falcons parting ways with Vic Beasley this offseason, meaning they need someone to to replace him. K’Lavon Chaisson is arguably the second best pass rusher in this year’s draft class and someone who is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. With him coming off the edge and Grady Jarrett from the interior, the Falcons defensive front could be a force to be reckoned with.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
If things truly go down as I’ve predicted, there is no way the Dallas Cowboys should bypass drafting Jerry Jeudy over any of the other players still on the board. He is a perfect fit with the Cowboys due to his precise route running and YAC ability. I know a lot of Cowboys Nation would prefer DT Javon Kinlaw or one of the top safeties, but Jeudy is regarded by almost everybody as a Top-10 prospect and true blue-chip player with little to no weaknesses in his game. You simply can’t let those types of players slip through your grasp.
18. Miami Dolphins (via PIT) – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
With the Miami Dolphins in the middle of a rebuild drafting any player with the second of their two first-round draft picks isn’t out of the question. Luckily for them though, Javon Kinlaw not only slid out of the Top-10, but landed right into their laps at No. 18. Kinlaw possesses a lot of likable traits and projects as a potential Pro Bowl player in the NFL, but he’s still little a raw and needs time to develop. He would given the time to develop in Miami while they continue to upgrade the roster.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI) – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The Las Vegas Raiders need a defensive playmaker and former LSU LB Patrick Queen proved to be just that last season. His play speed and physicality will endear him to Raiders Nation from Day 1. Adding Queen with Maxx Crosby, Jonathan Abram, and Clelin Ferrell would give the Raiders a solid young and up-and-coming core to build around.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR) – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The Jacksonville Jaguars started their defensive rebuild with the first of their two first-round draft picks earlier with former Florida CB C.J. Henderson and continue the upgrade here with Xavier McKinney. McKinney is a versatile defensive playmaker who should have a 10+ year career in the NFL. He should become the tone setter and vocal leader for the Jaguars defense not only as a rookie, but for years to come.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
The Philadelphia Eagles secondary has been decimated by injuries the last few seasons, so addressing the issue seems like a no-brainer to me. That’s why I predict them drafting Trevon Diggs with the No. 21 overall pick. As a former WR, Diggs’ bring some rare athleticism, ball skills, and route recognition to the CB position. He’s still little raw as a prospect, but his ceiling is as high as any in this year’s draft class.
22. Buffalo Bills – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
The Buffalo Bills could look to give QB Josh Allen another weapon in their passing game, but with the depth at the position in this years draft I have them upgrading their pass rush instead. Yetur Gross-Matos size and athleticism are intriguing, but he’s still learning the intricacies of the position. His addition would give the Bills a young defensive core of Tre White, Tremaine Edmonds, and Ed Oliver.
23. New England Patriots – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
A.J. Epenesa has seen his draft stock continue to decline this offseason, but count Bill Belichick as someone who can figure out how to best use Epenesa’s skill set. His heavy hands, power, and tenacity as a pass rusher would fit right in with what Belichick expects from his EDGE players. This could be as close to perfect fit for both parties as there is.
24. New Orleans Saints – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
For a few years now the New Orleans Saints have been trying to find a WR to complement Michael Thomas in the passing game. They have tried and failed until now. Justin Jefferson and Michael Thomas would form one of the more scary WR duos in the entire league. The former LSU Tiger would get to stay in state and join one of the more explosive and dynamic offenses in the entire NFL.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
The Minnesota Vikings have been getting quite a bit of inconsistent play from their CBs here lately and neither Xavier Rhodes or Trae Waynes are expected back in 2020. Lucky for them, Jeff Gladney has slid right into their lap. He is just as physical in passing game as he is in run support, which will quickly endear him to HC Mike Zimmer. His size may cause him to struggle with bigger WRs in the NFL, but his competitiveness is never going to allow an easy completion.
26. Miami Dolphins (via HOU) – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
In order to protect their newly drafted QB, Justin Herbert, they need to upgrade their offensive line, especially their blindside protector. Josh Jones opened a lot of eyes at the Senior Bowl and proved he can hold up at LT at the NFL level. He’s still developing as a prospect, but all of the traits are there to build upon.
27. Seattle Seahawks – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
The Seattle Seahawks offense has survived over the years because of Russell Wilson’s mobility, but it’s way past time to find him some protection so he’s not always running for his life. Austin Jackson is a high upside offensive tackle with the athleticism to fit in with Wilson’s scrambling ability. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s drafted much earlier, but if he still here for the Seahawks it’s an absolute no-brainer.
28. Baltimore Ravens – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
I don’t know if there is a more perfect fit for the Baltimore Ravens then former Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray. He not only looks the part of what the Ravens look for in their defensive players, but his character and on-field play fits as well. He will quickly become a fan favorite in Baltimore.
29. Tennessee Titans – Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
The Tennessee Titans could very well lose Jack Conklin this offseason, meaning they’d have a hole to fill at the right tackle position. Ezra Cleveland absolutely crushed the Combine, showing off his athletic ability that pops off on film when studying him. Rumors are he’s receiving first-round consideration and as such could be a great fit with the Titans.
30. Green Bay Packers – Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
Zack Baun was a versatile chess piece during his time at Wisconsin and was a playmaker in a variety of roles on the defensive side of the ball. Watching his film he reminded me of Clay Matthews coming out of college and what better team to utilize his skill set then the one who drafted Matthews in the first place. He may be utilized as an off-ball LB early on, but he has the traits develop into an every down pass rusher as well.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
If the San Francisco 49ers are unable to bring back Arik Armstead, they could look to use this pick to find his replacement. Former TCU DT Ross Blacklock is an ascending player who struggled with a few injuries in college. If those injuries are behind him though he could become a true difference maker from the interior of the defensive line.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
A.J. Terrell’s last collegiate game against LSU in the National Championship didn’t leave the best impression on a lot of fans, but he reminded everybody just how talented he is at the NFL Combine. Not only did he run a 4.42 40 yard dash, but he was smooth/impressive in the on the field drills as well. I believe that performance has worked in back into first-round consideration.
33. Cincinnati Bengals – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
34. Indianapolis Colts (via WAS) – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
35. Detroit Lions – Jordan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
36. New York Giants – Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
37. Los Angeles Chargers – J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
38. Carolina Panthers – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
39. Miami Dolphins – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
40. Arizona Cardinals – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
41. Cleveland Browns – Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
42. Jacksonville Jaguars – Marlon Davidson, DT, Auburn
43. Chicago Bears (via LVR) – Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
44. Indianapolis Colts – Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
46. Denver Broncos – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
47. Atlanta Falcons – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
48. New York Jets – Cesar Ruiz, OG/C, Michigan
49. Pittsburgh Steelers – Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan
50. Chicago Bears – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
51. Dallas Cowboys – Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M
Justin Madubuike is likely one of the highest rated players left on the Dallas Cowboys board if everything’s played out the way I predicted so far. There is no doubt they need to upgrade their defensive line and Madubuike could immediately step in to Maliek Collins’ role as the Cowboys under tackle (3-tech) if Trysten Hill – last year’s second-round pick – isn’t up to the task. Regardless, they need the depth and the former Texas A&M DT would definitely provide that at the very least.
52. Los Angeles Rams – Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
53. Philadelphia Eagles – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
54. Buffalo Bills – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
55. Atlanta Falcons (via NE) – Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
56. Miami Dolphins (via NO) – Lloyd Cushenberry II, OC, LSU
57. Houston Texans – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
58. Minnesota Vikings – Ashtyn Davis, S, California
59. Seattle Seahawks – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
60. Baltimore Ravens – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
61. Tennessee Titans – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
62. Green Bay Packers – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
63. Kansas City Chiefs – Robert Hunt, OG, Louisiana
64. Seattle Seahawks – KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
65. Cincinnati Bengals – Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU
66. Washington Redskins – Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
67. Detroit Lions – Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
68. New York Jets (via NYG) – Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
69. Carolina Panthers – Matt Hennessey, OG, Temple
70. Miami Dolphins – Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
71. Los Angeles Chargers – Matt Peart, OT, UConn
72. Arizona Cardinals – Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
73. Jacksonville Jaguars – Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
74. Cleveland Browns – Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
75. Indianapolis Colts – Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
76. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee
77. Denver Broncos – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
78. Atlanta Falcons – Damien Lewis, OG, LSU
79. New York Jets – Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
80. Las Vegas Raiders – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
81. Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI) – Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
82. Dallas Cowboys – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
Cameron Dantzler’s draft stock took a pretty big hit after the NFL Combine after posting a 4.64 40 yard dash. Prior to the Combine he was considered to be a Top-50 selection. He will need to improve his 40 time at his Pro Day, but even if he doesn’t his film is pretty impressive. He’s contained some of the best collegiate WRs during his time at Mississippi State and I don’t believe that to be a fluke. I think he could end up being a steal in the third and a great addition to the Dallas Cowboys secondary.