Updated: Aug 24, 2020
That being said, I wanted to get my first mock draft out there for everyone to look at. I encourage all of you to engage me on Twitter (@bsweet2020) to discuss my selections. You may agree with some of my picks and you might even disagree. It’s okay to disagree and I’m happy to have a dialogue with you. I follow every team and the league in its entirety. My Mock Draft 1.0 is listed below and I wanted to say that I have avoided doing any trades, even though I know there will be several. I’ve been doing my homework the past few months and am excited to finally publish my first mock draft.
Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB (LSU)
Burrow to the Bengals is going to happen, barring something absolutely bizarre. The Bengals hope this selection turns the franchise around and leads to their first playoff win since 1991.
Washington Redskins: Chase Young, EDGE (Ohio State)
I’m not as comfortable with this pick as I was a few months prior. There is a lot of speculation that Washington could trade the pick for a draft haul. Ultimately, they stay put at #2 and select the best overall prospect in this year’s draft.
Detroit Lions: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S (Clemson)
Detroit adds a playmaker on the defensive side of the ball and surprise some experts with this pick. Jeff Okudah is also being discussed as a selection here, but I believe they will be looking for a more versatile player at #3 overall.
New York Giants: Jeffrey Okudah, CB (Ohio State)
The Giants go with Okudah here and look to address the offensive line in the following rounds. There is a massive hole in the secondary and Okudah steps right in as a potential lock down corner in the NFC East.
Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB (Alabama)
Miami selects Tua at #5 overall and hopes they have found their QB of the future. There are some health concerns here, but the Dolphins feel that he can step in right away and succeed. With 2 more first round picks, they can look to build around him later in the draft.
Los Angeles Chargers: Tristan Wirfs, OT (Iowa)
The Chargers did not feel comfortable enough selecting Justin Herbert here. Going with a solid offensive line prospect in Wirfs, they can look to sign Cam Newton or Jameis Winston to compete with Tyrod Taylor.
Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, IDL (Auburn)
Derrick Brown adds a defensive centerpiece to a Panthers defense who ranked 29th in the NFL in average rushing yards given up per game (143.5 YPG).
Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills, OT (Alabama)
This selection is all about protecting Kyler Murray and fast-pacing his development. Adding DeAndre Hopkins allows them to focus on a major position of need. Wills is one of the top 4 tackles in this draft and falls to Arizona here.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Javon Kinlaw, IDL (South Carolina)
This is a prime position for the Jaguars to trade back and acquire more draft capital. I believe they could trade back and still get Kinlaw. For this mock draft, I have them going with a bigger need on the defensive line. Jacksonville is in full rebuild mode.
Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, OT (Louisville)
Cleveland has been linked to an offensive tackle at this slot and it would make a lot of sense. I think taking a wide receiver such as Jeudy or Lamb would be a surprise pick. With Landry and Beckham making big money, they could consider the top wide out on the board here if they aren’t a huge fan of any of the tackles left over. I went with Becton here because of a bigger need.
New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb, WR (Oklahoma)
Lamb is my favorite receiver in this draft. The Jets need to add a significant weapon to their offense with the loss of Robby Anderson. Ultimately, I believe Lamb could be the pick here and they could look to trade for Trent Williams if the front office believes they are ready to contend. Adding a playmaker of Lamb’s caliber slightly outweighed an offensive tackle at this point for me.
Las Vegas Raiders (That was weird): Jerry Jeudy, WR (Alabama)
Gruden and Mayock take Jeudy here after the trade of Cooper and failed acquisition of Antonio Brown. Regardless of who plays QB this season, they need more weapons on offense to stretch the field. With another first round selection (#19 overall), they could look to move up to draft Herbert if they feel good about his potential sitting behind Carr or Mariota.
San Francisco 49ers: C.J. Henderson, CB (Florida)
With Jeudy and Lamb off the board, the 49ers add Henderson here to improve their secondary. Adding a receiver in the later rounds is definitely something to look for. Kyle Shanahan has proven to be able to add receivers in the second round or later and have success with them on the field.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Andrew Thomas, OT (Georgia)
Tom Brady gets some protection here with the selection of Thomas. One of the top 4 tackles should be available for the Bucs here at #14. If not, look for them to trade back to acquire more draft capital to help out with depth in the later rounds.
Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III, WR (Alabama)
The “Big 4” tackles are all off the board. Selecting Ruggs III would provide a much needed piece to go with Courtland Sutton. The Broncos depth chart could use the addition of a playmaker in Ruggs to help with the development of second year quarterback Drew Lock. An offensive tackle should be looked at later in the draft.
Atlanta Falcons: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE (LSU)
An edge rusher in Chaisson would breathe fresh life into a Falcons pass rush that tied for 22nd in the NFL last season in total sacks. Atlanta needs to add a pass rusher with this pick as it will face Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Teddy Bridgewater two times each in the NFC South.
Dallas Cowboys: Jeff Gladney, CB (TCU)
Gladney doesn’t make it out of Texas as the Cowboys make him their selection at #17 overall. To me, the pick here is either Gladney or Fulton, as the corner position is a glaring need. Gladney should fill the void of Byron Jones quite nicely.
Miami Dolphins: Xavier McKinney, S (Alabama)
With the trade of Minkah Fitzpatrick last season, that leaves a hole at the safety position. Miami goes back to former coach Nick Saban’s juggernaut program and selects McKinney to be their next star at safety. I believe they can address the offensive line in the second-third rounds.
Las Vegas Raiders (Less weird this time): Justin Herbert, QB (Oregon)
The Aaron Rodgers like fall for Herbert ends with the Raiders late in the first round. Selecting Jeudy earlier, they get their QB of the future with this pick. Adding Marcus Mariota to go alongside Derek Carr in the quarterback room is the perfect position for Herbert to come in to (Sorry Josh Rosen). Herbert can come in and learn from two experienced veterans and step in when he is ready.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Kristian Fulton, CB (LSU)
The Jaguars add an experienced and talented cornerback late in the first round. With Bouye and Ramsey out of the picture, they fill a need with Fulton as they look to rebuild their roster. With a primarily man scheme fit, Fulton can help lock down opposing receivers in the AFC.
Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson, WR (LSU)
Paging Carson Wentz! Eagles fans should be thrilled with the addition of Jefferson. I am most confident that the Eagles will select a wide receiver with one of their first two selections. Jefferson comes in off an excellent run with Joe Burrow this past season that culminated in a National Championship.
Minnesota Vikings: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE (Penn State)
Yetur-Gross Matos is a high risk selection in my opinion, but there isn’t a better place to go for him than the Vikings. Their defense has been consistently good under Mike Zimmer and you have to believe he can help develop this guy. The Vikings have lost some veterans this offseason so going with Yetur-Gross pumps some potential back in that defensive line.
New England Patriots: Kenneth Murray, LB (Oklahoma)
This year’s Patriots team is quite different than in past years. Clearly, they may be going through a rebuild, but I tend to have faith in Bill until proven otherwise. They select Murray who fell into their lap here at #23 overall. This guy has the potential to be a stud in New England for the next decade. Improving the offensive line is also a need here, but a linebacker of the future is the selection.
New Orleans Saints: Patrick Queen, LB (LSU)
Another LSU Tiger goes here at #24 to the Saints. Queen can be an anchor for the Saints defense that always seems to fail them at the wrong time. I expect Queen to be a leader on defense and be an every down type of player. Going with a linebacker here allows the Saints to continue to contend for championships as long as Drew Brees is under center. Jordan Love could also be a consideration here.
Minnesota Vikings: Denzel Mims, WR (Baylor)
Mims fills a void at receiver for the Vikings after dealing Stefon Diggs this offseason. I could see them adding another piece in the secondary, in which case they could trade back to a team looking for Mims/Swift/Dobbins. Mims is able to step in and learn from one of the premier route runners in Adam Thielen.
Miami Dolphins: Josh Jones, OT (Houston)
Running back is a position of need, but with all the draft capital the Dolphins have, they could get back into the first round later. Josh Jones comes in and immediately helps out the offensive line. More importantly, you secure a big, athletic offensive tackle to protect Tua Tagovailoa. Adding an offensive lineman with one of these 3 selections is vital.
Seattle Seahawks: Cesar Ruiz, IOL (Michigan)
With a need on the interior offensive line, Seattle goes with Ruiz here to help improve the inside running game. Ruiz is a steal at #27 overall and could prove to be the best inside offensive lineman in this draft. Adding a piece like Ruiz should make Russell Wilson feel comfortable. With Jones off the board, I like Ruiz in this position over Isaiah Wilson or Ezra Cleveland.
Baltimore Ravens: D’Andre Swift, RB (Georgia)
This is a bit of a surprise pick. With the quality of talent the Ravens have, they can afford to select the best player available. Swift comes in and immediately adds fuel to the fire in the powerful ground attack. Mark Ingram is on the back half of his career and can get more rest with a youthful Swift coming in. Adding Swift makes the Ravens a whole lot scarier.
Tennessee Titans: A.J. Epensea, EDGE (Iowa)
The loss of Jurrell Casey leaves a whole on the interior defensive line. However, Epensea is a quality edge rusher than can provide a spark for this Titans defense. Who better to work with a young edge rusher than Mike Vrabel and company? He is a very powerful guy who can get to the passer at critical moments of the game.
Green Bay Packers: Jalen Reagor, WR (TCU)
The need for another wide receiver was more critical for Green Bay here. Adding Reagor should alleviate some of the stress put on DaVante Adams and Aaron Rodgers. Coming in and learning from Adams should put away the concerns about Reagor’s concentration. Rodgers should be able to throw the back-shoulder fade to Reagor at will once they develop a rapport with each other.
San Francisco 49ers: Isaiah Wilson, OT (Georgia)
Wilson fills a high need for the 49ers offense at the tackle position. Standing at 6’7” and weighing over 340 pounds, Wilson is quite frankly a massive human being. Needs to improve on his hand placement and timing, but is an interesting prospect. The 49ers were a quarter away from being champions last season and know that another tackle to go along with McGlinchey could help them get back.
Kansas City Chiefs: J.K. Dobbins, RB (Ohio State)
Jonathan Taylor fits what the Chiefs offense does a little better, but you cannot deny the talent that Dobbins brings. This would be a significant upgrade to the Chiefs backfield and could allow Damien Williams and Darwin Thompson to focus on receiving. Dobbins could be a bell-cow type of back for Kansas City so that they could play two different styles. This doesn’t fill a huge need, but the potential of Dobbins, combined with a stacked Chiefs roster, outweighs the need in my opinion.