Updated: Aug 24, 2020
Draft week is finally upon us! I have to admit, this year’s draft comes at a time where we all need some sports in our lives, perhaps more than any other time in recent history. Joe Burrow is in line to go to the Cincinnati Bengals at #1 overall. The Ohio kid who transferred to LSU and became a superstar last season looks to be coming back home. After that, Chase Young should be going to the Redskins. From #3 overall and on, the draft could take a few crazy turns. Multiple sources have reported that the Lions and Giants are open to trading their picks. Teams like the Dolphins, Chargers, Raiders and Jaguars could look to move up to get Tua or Herbert. The NFL Draft always presents interesting scenarios for quarterback needy teams, but this year could be unlike any other. Do the Chargers make a move for Tua or stand pat and draft an offensive tackle? Are the Dolphins leaning towards Justin Herbert?
The current environment has shown a clear disconnect between the media and NFL front office’s plans. Perhaps this year, we could see the most unpredictable draft of all time. Given all of that information, we are still privy to the needs each team has and the top players available at those positions. Below is my three round mock draft that does not include trades, even though there will be several. I based this mock draft off of what I believe each team should do given their current situation. I have factored in potential trades and took that into consideration. Take a look and see how your favorite team did and you can yell at me via Twitter (@Bsweet2020). Happy Draft Week!
1. 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. This is a home-run selection for Cincinnati and immediately puts them in position to compete in the AFC North if Burrow is successful.
2. 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. Young should make an immediate impact on the Redskins defense.
3. Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Detroit adds a top replacement at the corner position for the loss of Darius Slay. This could be a prime spot for a trade where they could still end up with Okudah and acquire more picks. The Lions need secondary help and Okudah is the guy. Simmons could very well be in play here as the Carolina Panthers may be targeting Okudah as well.
4. Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
The buzz surrounding Simmons to the Giants has quieted down quite significantly. That’s why I think he ends up in New York. Simmons is so versatile and the Giants need an impact player on that side of the ball more than they need an offensive tackle in my opinion. This is a very deep tackle class and they could regret passing on Simmons here in the long run. GM Dave Gettleman has put it out there that the Giants are open for business. It’s going to be very interesting to see what he does with this selection.
5. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Miami ends up going with Herbert in a surprise selection here. A lot of experts have been discussing the possibility that the Dolphins prefer Herbert over Tua because of the medicals. I’m not 100% bought in to the idea, but the buzz cannot be ignored. Herbert has the ability to come in and compete for the job, while also learning behind Fitzpatrick and Rosen. My feeling is if you take a guy at #5, you better believe he can play in year one.
6. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
In my first mock draft, I had the Chargers taking an offensive lineman. If Tua is there, I believe he goes to Los Angeles. Tagovailoa comes into a situation where there is a veteran quarterback in Tyrod Taylor, a similar situation where Baker Mayfield found himself in after being drafted #1 overall to the Browns in 2018. Taylor is capable of starting if Tua isn’t ready to play in week 1. The injury concerns are there, but with a stacked roster and a veteran QB, the Chargers have more room for error here than other teams.
7.Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn
The Panthers need an interior defensive lineman to anchor their defense and they get Brown here at #7 overall. Brown is the top defensive tackle prospect in the draft and Carolina hopes he will help improve their run defense, which ranked 29th in the NFL last season. Working a deal with the Lions for Okudah could be in play. If that doesn’t happen, Brown or Kinlaw will be a Panther.
8. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
This selection is all about protecting Kyler Murray and fast-tracking his development. Adding DeAndre Hopkins allows them to focus on a major position of need. Wirfs is regarded by some as the best tackle in this draft. The Cardinals would be thrilled if he fell to them at #8. If Brown falls to Arizona, they could look to select him to improve that defense, but an offensive tackle would be huge here.
9. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
This is a prime position for the Jaguars to trade back and acquire more draft capital. With Herbert and Tua off the board, they could look to trade back with Denver, Las Vegas, or other teams looking to jump ahead to take the top receiver on their board. Henderson has been garnering top 10 buzz and this feels like the type of pick the Jaguars could make at this position or sliding back a bit in the draft, similar to the Lions position with Okudah.
10. Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Cleveland has been linked to an offensive tackle at this slot and it would make a lot of sense. I’ve gone back and forth on this selection for the Browns, but truly believe if Thomas is there, they will go with him. Thomas is the safer pick over Becton and falls to the Browns here. Cleveland could also look to trade back and as we are familiar here in Cleveland, they could do something unexpected.
11. Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
It’s been a tossup with this pick for me and I went with Wills here. The Jets need to add a significant weapon to their offense with the loss of Robby Anderson, but getting Wills here would be excellent. Ultimately, I believe it comes down to a wide receiver or tackle for New York. I believe a wide receiver or two can be found in the second/third/fourth rounds for the Jets. The separation between the top 4 lineman and the rest of the bunch is too great to risk passing on one.
12. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Gruden and Mayock take Lamb 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 can still get another quality player. If Tua slides, look for the Raiders to be in play for him.
13. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The 49ers catch a break here with Jeudy sliding to #13 overall. San Francisco lost Emmanuel Sanders to Free Agency this off-season and need to reload on that side of the ball. I do believe Kinlaw could be in play here, but passing up on Jeudy would be dangerous. Jeudy is a better fit with Jimmy G over someone like Ruggs III.
14. Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
The Buccaneers need a tackle to protect Tom Brady if they want to have an extended run with him. Becton falling to this spot would be great for “Tompa Bay”. Becton is regarded as one of the top 4 tackles in this draft and fills a huge position of need in Brady’s first season. Becton may be a project, but his size and versatility will work well with Bruce Arians’ system.
15. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Selecting Ruggs III would provide a much needed piece to go with Courtland Sutton. The Broncos depth chart could use the addition of a play maker in Ruggs to help with the development of second year quarterback Drew Lock. An offensive tackle should be looked at later in the draft. More than anything in this draft, Denver needs a second receiver to pair with Sutton. They could be in play for one of the top 4 tackles as well due to Bolles’ poor play since being drafted in 2017.
16. Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina
The Falcons have been rumored to be interested in trading up in the draft. Getting Kinlaw at #16 or higher would drastically improve their defense. They might have to trade up to get him, but Kinlaw is a fit with Atlanta. He’s another guy who can step in and make an impact in year 1.
17. K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
An edge rusher in Chaisson would be a huge haul for the Cowboys in round one. The need for a cornerback after the loss of Byron Jones is there, but Chaisson could be the biggest steal of the draft here at #17 overall. Dallas could also be interested in a receiver if anyone falls to them. Chaisson or the top cornerback on their board should be the selection here for the overall improvement of the defense.
18. 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 Justin Herbert. Adding an offensive lineman with one of these 3 selections in the first round is vital.
19. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
McKinney should thrive in Vegas as a leader on defense. He has the ability to play closer to the line of scrimmage and attack the quarterback. The Raiders need to add a hard hitting safety after the loss of Karl Joseph. McKinney would look great in black and silver ushering in a new era for a team in need of a defensive star.
20. Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Delpit could be drafted in the first round or fall to the third round. There is a ton of speculation on him and concern about his ability to tackle. Jacksonville needs a safety and after going with C.J. Henderson at #9, they continue to add to the secondary with Delpit here. He is a very physical player and can be coached up on his tackling at the NFL level.
21. Justin Jefferson, WR (LSU)
Paging Carson Wentz and Adam Mack! Both parties 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. I would not be surprised if they made a play to get into the top 10 of the draft to go after one of the top 3 receivers. Jefferson is a fit here, but if they feel like they need Jeudy or Lamb, they seem prepared to make that jump.
22. Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
The Vikings secure a defensive back with their first pick of the first round. Improving the secondary should be a goal for Minnesota with two first round picks. Igbinoghene has the ability to play press man coverage at the line of scrimmage. He has been rising on draft boards throughout the NFL and I believe he could be a nice addition to Mike Zimmer’s defense after losing Rhodes and Alexander to free agency.
23. Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
This year’s Patriots team is in a much different position than in years past. Clearly, they may be going through a rebuild, but I tend to have faith in Bill until proven otherwise. I believe they are comfortable with Jarrett Stidham and will look to improve the team now with this selection. Getting Queen at #23 allows the Patriots to build a new defense around a star linebacker. Their defense has always been at its best with a solid inside linebacker.
24. Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Murray comes off the board here at #24 overall. Murray can be an anchor for the Saints defense that always seems to fail them at the wrong time. I expect Murray 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, but they believe in Taysom Hill as a successor to Brees for now.
25. Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Mims fills a void at receiver for the Vikings after dealing Stefon Diggs this off season. After adding another piece in the secondary, they fill a huge need at receiver here. Mims is able to step in and learn from one of the premier route runners in Adam Thielen. At 6’3″, he is a great complement to the offense.
26. Cesar Ruiz, IOL (Michigan)
Ruiz is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. After playing on a tough offensive line at Michigan, he is more than prepared for success right away at the NFL level. The Dolphins have significantly upgraded their offensive line here in the first round and can look at find a running back in the second or third round. Addressing the offensive line should be priority number 2 after finding their QB of choice.
27. Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
After losing out on Ruiz and Jones, Seattle fills a need with a young edge rusher. Clowney may not be back next season, so they address that potential void with Gross-Matos here at the end of the first round. Gross-Matos was a beast for the Nittany Lions and with some solid coaching, he can be an impact player for the Seahawks for years to come.
28. Zach Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
Baltimore gets an experienced edge rusher in Baun towards the end of the first round. Baun is projected to be a second round selection, but the Ravens get him now while they can. Adding another young pass rusher to counteract the Bengals selection of Burrow could be eye opening.
29. Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Gladney is projected to be a late first round pick according to most experts. The Titans could also be in the market for an edge rusher, but I went with a secondary need here. Gladney comes in to a defense who was shredded by the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game a season ago. Getting Gladney can help with that problem, as you cannot have enough good cornerbacks.
30. Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Back-to-back Horned Frogs at #29 & #30 overall. Reagor has excellent speed and can get vertical with an offense led by Aaron Rodgers. Drafting another outside weapon to go with Adams on the opposite side is crucial to the continued success of the Packers offense in year two of Matt LaFleur’s tenure. If Adams goes down again, they need to have another weapon to turn to.
31. Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
This position could be a spot where the 49ers look to trade back. They do not have a second, third, or fourth round selection in this year’s draft. Johnson would fit a huge need in the secondary.
32. A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
The Chiefs need a cornerback and Terrell would be a solid prospect to get at this point in the draft. Terrell had a great career at Clemson, but did show in the two playoff games that he can be attacked with bigger and more physical receivers. Ultimately, the Chiefs should be able to turn Terrell into a successful cornerback in the NFL.
Cincinnati – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Indianapolis – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Detroit – Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
New York Giants – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
Los Angeles Chargers – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Carolina – Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
Miami – Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
Houston – Marlon Davidson, IDL, Auburn
Cleveland – Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
Jacksonville – Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma
Chicago – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Indianapolis – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
Tampa Bay – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Denver – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
Atlanta – Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
New York Jets – Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
Pittsburgh – J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
Chicago – Lloyd Cushenberry, C, LSU
Dallas – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
Los Angeles Rams – Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State
Philadelphia – Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
Buffalo – Joshua Uche, EDGE, Michigan
Baltimore – Jonah Jackson, IOL, Ohio State
Miami – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Los Angeles Rams – Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
Minnesota – Justin Madibuike, IDL, Texas A&M
Seattle – Matt Hennessy, IOL, Temple
Baltimore – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
Tennessee – Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
Green Bay – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
Kansas City – Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
Seattle – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
Cincinnati – Robert Hunt, IOL, Louisiana-Lafayette
Washington – Matt Peart, OT, UCONN
Detroit – Ashtyn Davis, S, California
New York Jets – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
Carolina – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Miami – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
Los Angeles Chargers – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
Arizona – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
Jacksonville – Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
Cleveland – Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, App. State
Indianapolis – Davon Hamilton, IDL, Ohio State
Tampa Bay – K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State
Denver – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Atlanta – Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
New York Jets – Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee
Las Vegas – Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
Las Vegas – Jordan Elliot, IDL, Missouri
Dallas – Terrell Burgess, S, Utah
Denver – Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
Los Angeles Rams – Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
Detroit – Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan
Buffalo – Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
New England – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
New Orleans – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
Minnesota – Ben Bartch, OT, St. John
Houston – Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU
Las Vegas – Damien Lewis, IOL, LSU
Baltimore – Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming
Tennessee – Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
Green Bay – Rashard Lawrence, IDL, LSU
Denver – K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson
Kansas City – Antonio Gibson, RB, Memphis
Cleveland – Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina
New England – Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida
New York Giants – Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
New England – Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU
Seattle – K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
Pittsburgh – Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
Philadelphia – Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech
Los Angeles Rams – Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State
Minnesota – Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah
Baltimore – Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington