Updated: Aug 24, 2020
A day late, but not a dollar short. My board has been changing drastically recently. I think the NFL Draft is going to get pretty funky, and for that reason, I’ve gotten bold and risky with this mock draft. Let’s get weird.
1. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
2. Chase Young, EDGE, OSU
Still not convinced this is the pick, but because I’m going off the rails with the rest of this mock, I figured I’d wait until pick number three to have all of you yelling at me. Chase Young is the number one overall pick in most years, and I guess he can go 2nd in this mock.
3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Chargers send 1.06, 2.37, & a 2021 2nd-round pick to the Detroit Lions for 1.03.
A lot of people are pegging the Dolphins to trade up for Tua. Some people think that Matt Rhule and company will pull the trigger down in Carolina. I, personally, believe the Chargers are going to fall in love with Tua. A lot of people have him comped to Drew Brees, and I’ll bet the Chargers wish they would have held onto that guy. Now, they get a second chance.
4. Isaiah Simmons, LB/S/EDGE/CB, Clemson
You like that position description? I know Randy isn’t convinced, and I’m not sure I am either, but the Giants were always at their best with a stout defense, and adding an athlete like Isaiah Simmons can rise this team to a new level. I think he’s a superstar in the making, and he gets to shine in the Big Apple.
5. Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
No quarterback, no problem. Maybe the Dolphins have interest in Herbert, as was reported Monday afternoon, but I fully believe that’s a smoke screen. Because the Chargers jumped them, I also think they just go BPA relative to biggest needs. They absolutely need a stud offensive tackle, and Wills fits that mold.
6. Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
The Lions receive 1.06, 2.37, & a 2021 2nd-round pick from the Los Angeles Chargers for 1.03.
Trade back from the 3rd overall pick and still get your guy? Sign Lions fans up for that. I think that, in this scenario, there’s a good shot that this is Derrick Brown instead of Okudah. But Okudah is the best CB prospect I’ve scouted (3-4 years.. I think? Time is a construct that humans created and is therefore irrelevant to this mock draft).
7. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
A lot of people think that the Panthers will build the slow, Sashi Brown-esque way. I think the Panthers will have wide eyes watching Herbert fall all the way to their pick. While Herbert definitely has his issues, and quite honestly isn’t even my QB3, he feels like a player that Matt Rhule will love.
8. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
“The Cardinals need receivers” – Randy Hall, my wonderful co-host on The Cut. While I may not 100% disagree, I also think they will give Hakeem Butler a chance to prove himself and Andy Isabella a chance to not be so bad. Insert the second best defensive lineman in this draft. The Cardinals have a dire need on the interior defensive line, and Derrick Brown is quite the fix (and a value at the 8th overall pick).
9. Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
The Jets send 1.11, 4.117 & a 2021 5th-round pick to the Jaguars for 1.09.
Jets fans: I know how badly you want weapons for Sam Darnold. I get it. But your head coach doesn’t seem to, and because of that, the Jets give up valuable draft capital to move up two spots to draft…. an offensive lineman. It’s not the worst thing in the world, I guess.
10. Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
The Buccaneers send 1.14 & 3.76 to the Cleveland Browns for 1.10 and 6.187.
The Bucs seize the opportunity to perhaps replace Jameis (though I am a Jameis stan, admittedly). I think they’ll bring Jameis back, but I really don’t think they will sign him long-term. And because of that, they jump up four spots and ahead of the Raiders and Colts, to select Jordan Love.
11. K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
The Jags receive 1.11, 4.117 & a 2021 5th-round pick from the Jets for 1.09.
AJ Epenesa is still my EDGE2. But Chaisson feels like a better fit with the Jaguars defense. He’s sure to continue rising, and I don’t think Jags fans should be upset at (probably) replacing Yannick Ngakoue with K’Lavon Chaisson.
12. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
In a way, I feel like this is the floor for Jerry Jeudy. In another, weirder way, I feel like this is also pretty close to the ceiling. I think Jeudy is the WR1, and while draft pundits are overanalyzing the hell out of this kid, I’ll just sit back, watch his route running, and think about the Las Vegas Raiders’ offense with his presence.
13. Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
Not much separates Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw, and that’s no knock on Kinlaw. I love this fit, and while I understand the Colts do need a quarterback, I also understand that Phil Rivers is likely going to end up there. Kinlaw is an immediate-impact player and him and Brown remind me of Ed Oliver and Quinnen Williams, respectively. Kinlaw could prove to be better than Derrick Brown when it’s all said and done.
14. Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
The Browns receive 1.14 & 3.76 from the Tampa Bay Bucs for 1.10 and 6.187.
Shoutout to the guy on Facebook (whose name is escaping me) who made me go back and watch Becton. Yes, he has shown signs of laziness. Yes, he lacks some technical skill that the others in the class currently possess. I get it. That’s nothing Bill Callahan can’t fix. Oh, also, the Browns turn a 6th-rounder into a 3rd-rounder in this trade. A lot to like, Browns fans.
15. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Normally, this pick goes to Henry Ruggs III. I think the Broncos really do need some speed to complement Courtland Sutton’s set of skills. CeeDee isn’t a burner, so that doesn’t apply here, but he may just be the best receiver in this draft when all is said and done. He’s a big play machine and would immediately give the Broncos one of the most dynamic receiving duos in the NFL.
16. D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
I’ve given the Falcons defense every mock thus far, and I said we’re getting weird, so let’s get weird. The Falcons are reportedly planning to release Devonta Freeman to save some cap space. With their backup running backs being atrocious and the market for running backs being pretty expensive, it makes more sense to invest in one in the draft. Running back high is rarely a good idea. Two UDFA running backs started in the Super Bowl. But D’Andre Swift is a playmaker. I’ll be honest, I don’t love this, but someone is going to bite on the top running backs in the first, and this time, it’s Atlanta.
17. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The best safety in this draft (unless you count Isaiah Simmons) goes to the Dallas Cowboys at pick number 17. With Fulton still on the board, this seems a little ludicrous, but as I said on Episode 2.05 of the podcast, I think McKinney fits both needs. He’s versatile. He’s all over the field when you watch his tape, and I think that he provides some much needed help in stopping the tight end tandem in Philadelphia.
18. JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
After watching the first running back come off the board two picks before this, the Dolphins (the most running back-needy team in the history of football, including the XFL) select what may be the best running back in the draft. While I think Swift fits the team better, that clearly was not an option here. Dobbins’ one-cut ability would enhance this offense tremendously, even if the quarterback is Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2020.
19. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
I can’t believe it took until pick number 19 for Fulton to come off the board, but the Raiders get my CB2 with their second pick and fix what is quite honestly the biggest weakness in their team. This was almost Kenneth Murray, but the need for corners is so glaring that I had to give them Fulton.
20. Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Trenches matter. Andrew Thomas falling to the Jaguars at 20 is basically a dream. Their offensive line play was mediocre at best in 2019, and Andrew Thomas can immediately step in and fix that. Whether it’s him moving inside or Jawaan Taylor, it doesn’t matter. The Jaguars get some extra muscle up front.
21. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
It’s shocking that Ruggs is still on the board at 21, as we’ve had the Eagles trade up to get him in previous mocks. Here, they stay put and still end up with their guy. The perfect complement to what JJ Arcega-Whiteside should be as he develops, Henry Ruggs may be the fastest player in the history of the Combine after next week.
22. AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
I’m not sure how he fell to 22, but when I saw him still on the board, it was a no-brainer. Sure, the Bills need receivers. But with how deep this class is, it makes sense that they’d select what I believe is the second-best edge rusher in the draft. I think Epenesa is going to be one hell of an NFL player, no matter where he lines up.
23. Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Kenneth Murray really does feel like a New England Patriot, doesn’t he? He’s a very versatile linebacker that has quite a bit of speed. He’s a great tackler, and he is on the ball every single play. I think Murray’s slide ends at 23, and I’ll bet both the Patriots and Murray are ecstatic with this landing spot.
24. Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
I’m seeing a lot of fades on Justin Jefferson and a lot of hype for Laviska Shenault recently. I like the fit of Shenault to New Orleans. I also think it’s intriguing to see what Justin Jefferson could do opposite Michael Thomas. The Saints have tried to sustain two productive wide receivers, but Justin Jefferson would step in and be the best one they’ve ever had from the start of rookie camp. I’m just intrigued at the thought of this.
25. CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
The Titans send 1.29 & 3.93 to the Minnesota Vikings for 1.25 & 6.204
The Titans move up four spots to replace Logan Ryan and solidify the secondary that outperformed expectations in 2019. CJ Henderson is sliding down my board a bit, but I have a feeling that he’s going to impress me at the Combine, so I have him going here.
26. Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
I’m not sure how Queen fell this far, but here he is, ready to be selected by the Miami Dolphins. Solidifying that defense has to be a priority, and since the first two picks went to the offensive side of the ball, it was either Queen or a slight reach on a safety. I choose Queen.
27. Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
I think I had Cushenberry here last time, and while I think that neither of these guys is worthy of a first-round selection, I’m on the train that Ruiz is better than Cushenberry now. I also think that a team will reach to get an interior OL, because I don’t recall a draft in which a team didn’t.
28. Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
Alright, Winfield over Delpit is crazy right? Nope. Antoine Winfield can actually secure tackles. He’s also quicker to the ball in run support than any safety in this class, in my opinion. The Ravens just released Tony Jefferson, and that frees them up to draft another great safety. Good for them, bad for me, a sad Browns fan.
29. Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
This is a name you aren’t used to seeing, I’m sure, but you should probably get used to it. The most physical of the corners not named Jeff Okudah comes off the board to a cornerback-needy team, despite what the Pro Bowl replacement decision-makers think. Igbinoghene is a little stout, but he makes up for his lack of size with extreme physicality and some crazy sticking ability.
30. Josh Jones, OT, Houston
I’m not sure the Packers continue to avoid the wide receiver position like they have in the past, but with a need at tackle mixed with the talent of Josh Jones, it’s hard to avoid this pick. I’m sorry, Packers fans. I want to be wrong.
31. Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
The Steelers send 2.49, 3.102 and a 2022 3rd-round pick to the 49ers for 1.31.
I’ve done this in a mock before, and I’m starting to really like the possibility. Jacob Eason watching Big Ben for a year or two and then taking over may be the perfect scenario for him. Learning the nuances of the game from Ben Roethlisberger can only help the big-armed Eason. I hate this, as a Browns fan, as well.
32. Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
The Chiefs have quite a few needs and not a lot of cap space. Jeff Gladney helps one of those needs. Sure, that means that this pick could easily be traded for some additional capital. But with Gladney still on the board, I think the Chiefs would sit here and sprint to the phone to call in the pick.
Bengals – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
Colts – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
Lions – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Giants – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
Lions (from Chargers) – Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
Panthers – Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
Dolphins – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
Cardinals – KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
Browns – Lloyd Cushenberry III, IOL, LSU
Jaguars – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Bears – Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue
Colts – Joshua Uche, EDGE, Michigan
Buccaneers – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
Broncos – AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson
Falcons – Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State
Jets – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
49ers (from Steelers) – Ashtyn Davis, S, California
Bears – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
Cowboys – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Rams – Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
Texans (from Eagles) – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
Bills – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
Falcons – Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
Dolphins – Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma
Eagles (from Texans) – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
Vikings – Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M
Seahawks – Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
Ravens – Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
Titans – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Packers – Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
Chiefs – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
Seahawks – Marlon Davidson, EDGE/DT, Auburn
I told you we were getting weird. Until next time!