2020 NFL Mock Draft
If you’ve heard me on A Cup of Joe Radio, you know that I’ve repeatedly called myself the Black Woj because more times than not, I can guess what NBA teams will do more often than not. What you didn’t know is that I’m also the Black Adam Schefter and I’ll even go as far as saying the Black Mel Kiper. I’m just that good and it’s not all that fair. I was just born with a gift. I never thought I’d do this, but since I have all this free time due to ‘Rona, I thought I’d dip my hand in the mock draft world and build my own with whatever resources I have. Expect some mock trades (at least one that I can think of right now) and maybe some reaches. Please don’t judge me, I’m going to try my best. Let’s get to it.
#1: Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
This is a given. Even though I love the Red Rifle, he stunk it up (and was benched) too much last season to pass on the record-setting QB from Baton Rouge.
#2: Miami Dolphins (Trade from Washington): Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Miami could stay at #5 and take Tua, but Jacksonville trading Nick Foles to Chicago and having Gardner Minshew as their go-to signal-caller right now should scare Brian Flores and Company. Miami has five picks in the first two round and can afford to deal two firsts (#5 and #26) and both seconds (#39 and #56) to land the guy that they’ve been tanking for all season especially after beefing up on the defensive side of the ball as much as they did during free agency. They can use their remaining pick to pick an O-Lineman that can protect the injury-prone Hawaii-native.
#3: Detroit Lions: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
The Lions were blessed with the Miami trade because that dropped the best player in the draft right into their lap. This team is a mess all over and needs help desperately on the defensive side of the ball. The acquisition of Desmond Trufant at Corner means that they found a “replacement” for Darius Slay so Jeff Okudah isn’t necessary at this spot anymore. This pick also means that Matt Patricia finally has a legitimate chance at saving his job after this season with a pure pass-rusher.
#4: New York Giants: Jedrick Willis Jr., OL, Alabama
The G-Men have a choice to make here: Protect Daniel Jones or sure up that defense enough that it looks respectable. The answer is tough, but left tackle has been an issue for the Giants for a while now and they didn’t get the help from Nate Solder that they thought they would. Willis is an SEC offensive lineman and is used to playing against great athletes. The Giants also have to deal with a revitalized (?) Demarcus Lawrence and an always consistent Philly d-line twice a year each. Willis is a pick they can sleep well at night making.
#5: Washington Redskins (Trade from Miami): Isaiah Simmons, ATH, Clemson
Yes, I have him listed as an athlete. He’s too damn good of a football player to be limited to one position. Ron Rivera might’ve missed out on Chase Young, but he gets the next best thing: a player who can play two positions of need on this team. Simmons already announced that he’d play safety if it was necessary, but he’ll more than likely line up at linebacker for Rivera’s defense. It seemed he consistently had a good defense in Carolina and that’ll be more necessary than ever with the jury still being out on Dwayne Haskins and this offense.
#6: L.A. Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Justin Herbert is another case of it not being a good idea of going back to school if you know you’re going to be a first-round pick (here’s to you, Matt Barkley). Herbert was widely considered one of the best, if not the best, QB prospects in the draft last year. There were even rumblings that he could go first overall ahead of Kyler Murray. Alas, that’s in the past and this is now. His biggest issue seems to be decision making, which the Chargers are familiar with after having Phillip Rivers throwing the ball for them for almost two decades. With Tyrod Taylor in place, he can learn from one of the safer QBs in this league and will inherit one of the deepest treasure troves of offensive talent available in the entire league.
#7: Carolina Panthers: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State:
Matt Rhule took a chance on moving on from Cam Newton and going forward with Teddy Bridgewater. Luke Kuechly retired and he missed out on Isaiah Simmons so going best player available seems to be the best step going forward. Had it not been for the Miami trade I made, he would’ve gone 3rd to Detroit. Also, Carolina has been looking for that lockdown corner ever since Josh Norman left to Washington.
#8: Arizona Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
The Cards committed Grand Theft with the acquisition of Deandre Hopkins, so they’re set at the receiver for the foreseeable future. The next thing that they NEED to work on is that OL. Wirfs is one of the most physically imposing linemen in the draft and it seems that all lineman coming out of the Big 10 are technically sound. The Cardinals have a legitimate chance of being a playoff team going forward for the next several years if they get this draft right.
#9: Jacksonville Jaguars: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Jacksonville was the second team to give up on Nick Foles after two successful stints in Philly and now they’re saddled with Gardner Minshew as their starter. Is he the guy? Probably not but I’d love if he was. The Jags are desperate though and they’re looking for the next Patrick Mahomes. Love’s arm and mobility have been closely compared to the reigning MVP, but his final season in college was lackluster.
#10: Cleveland Browns: Andrew Thomas, OL, Georgia
This is the draft where the Browns solidify their o-line and see if Baker is the real deal or not. He officially has two of the top-10 receivers in the league as well as two of the top-10 tight ends in the league. His running back is elite and they are genuinely trying to protect him now. Thomas is a day-one starter at LT which has been Baker’s biggest issue since coming in the league. This is a very important season for the Browns and Baker.
#11: New York Jets: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The odds that Robby Anderson returns this year are highly unlikely so finding his replacement is key. OL is definitely a really big need so Darnold won’t be seeing ghosts, but Jeudy is the best receiver prospect to come out of the draft in a long time and I’d find it very hard to pass him up. The Jets could also find a way to trade their way back into the first round and pick a tackle from this very deep class.
#12: Las Vegas Raiders: Ceedee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
I am part of the conglomerate that still believes in Derek Carr. He’s been one of my favorite QBs in the league since he was drafted and hearing the disrespect towards him has hurt me personally. The Antonio Brown experiment ended terribly and they’ve needed a #1 receiver since trading Amari Cooper and Lamb fits the bill after tearing through the Big 12 for 3 years. With Hunter Renfrow and Tyrell Williams in place, they’re a receiver away from having a very good weapons list.
#13: San Francisco 49ers (via Indianapolis): Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Trading Deforest Buckner (great name) surprised the league and now it’s time to find a replacement for him. Fortunately, the best interior defensive lineman is still available. That’s an automatic plug-and-play and the reigning NFC champs stay strong. Their second pick HAS to be a receiver after losing Emmanuel Sanders to the Saints.
#14: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
Kinlaw is the best pass-rushing DT in the draft which fits both needs for the Tampa defense. The addition of Tom Brady solidified the offense going forward.
#15: Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
It seems John Elway is committed to Drew Locke of his quarterback of the future and I don’t blame him. In all honesty, had he not been put on IR during the preseason, he probably would’ve won the starting job from Joe Flacco a lot sooner. Now, he needs to get more targets. Courtland Sutton is a rising star in this league with big-play ability, but he isn’t Ruggs. The ‘Bama prospect can take the top off of the defense with his speed (best in the combine) and proved that he isn’t just a sprinter with his crazy vertical. Pairing Ruggs with Sutton and second-year tight end Noah Fant will make the air attack in Denver interesting to watch in the coming years.
#16: Atlanta Falcons: K’Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU
This is a boom or bust pick here for the Falcons who have rebuilt their offense to have nothing but former 1st-rounders. The Falcons are in desperate need of a pass rusher after losing Vic Beasley to the Titans. Chaisson is raw but has the physical build of an elite pass rusher. He also showed flashes at LSU, racking up most of his sacks in the final 4 games for the Tigers last year. He could be one of the next great pass rushers out of the NFC South or he could end up like current Falcon Tak McKinley, a bust.
#17: Minnesota Vikings (Trade from Dallas): Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Minnesota has two picks in this round after trading disgruntled Stefon Diggs to the Bills for a 1st round pick. With the first pick, they can address getting his replacement. Justin Jefferson was one of the biggest contributors to Joe Burrow’s historic season. He ran a solid 40 times and showed solidified himself as a 1st round pick. The Vikings also can’t afford to see if he’ll be available at 25 because the likelihood of the Eagles taking Jefferson is high. Dallas gets the 22nd overall pick and the Vikings 2nd rounder for the 17th pick.
#18: Miami Dolphins (Via Pittsburgh): Mekhi Becton, OL, Louisville
With the pick of Tua earlier, the Dolphins commit to protecting him. Drafting the mammoth of a man that is Becton is a start. For a man of his size, he moves very well and will be able to protect Tua’s blindside at the right tackle position.
#19: Las Vegas Raiders (Via Chicago): C.J Henderson, CB, Florida
Even with LSU in their conference, Florida has quietly been producing some solid NFL caliber corners the past several seasons and Henderson is the latest. He’s got really good size and coverage skills but doesn’t offer much in terms of turnovers and struggles to tackle now and then. The Raiders have to figure out how to stop the elite wideouts they’ll be facing in their division.
#20: Jacksonville Jaguars (Via L.A. Rams): Josh Jones, OT, Houston
They could’ve possibly picked Jordan Love here and gotten a better option at LT at the 9th pick, but let’s face it, owners and GMs hardly make good decisions when things get crazy, and Miami trading up three picks to get Tua did just that which forced the Jags to go for love a lot earlier than he should’ve. Jones was a four-year starter at UH and improved every year. His technique is a struggle, but that’s fixable.
#21: Philadelphia Eagles: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
Shenault is the 5th best receiver in a fairly deep receiver draft. While he might not be the best “receiver” out of the group, he is one of the best playmakers. When you see him, you think running back rather than a receiver. He’s a legit pure football player and that just might be what Philly needs on offense right now.
#22: Dallas Cowboys (Via Minnesota): Cesar Ruiz, OL, Michigan
Up until earlier today (3/23), Dallas’s biggest need seemed to be the secondary. Then, the bomb dropped: Travis Fredrick retired after most of the top free agents were picked up at that. He was arguably the most important piece on that Dallas offensive line for the past seven years, and now he’s gone. Dallas addressed the biggest issue they’ve had in the past several seasons by signing Ha-ha Clinton-Dix to start at safety, someone I thought they should’ve drafted in 2014. Ruiz is the best interior lineman in the draft and one of the highest risers. He’d be an immediate remedy after the consistency that was Fredrick.
#23: New England Patriots: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
There are so many needs for this New England squad this season (who would’ve thought). They need a WR, they just lost the greatest quarterback of all time and they lost three important pieces in that defensive front seven. Queen is the best linebacker available and was one of the key players on that LSU defense that won a national championship and held next year’s 1st pick, Trevor Lawrence, to 25 points, 0 in the 4th quarter.
#24: New Orleans Saints: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
My personal opinion? Taysom Hill isn’t an NFL quarterback. Exciting? Yes. Athletic? Definitely. But he doesn’t have an NFL arm, especially considering that NFL Hall of Famer RUNNING BACK LaDainian Tomlinson has more passing yards in his career than Hill has right now. It’s time to find Brees’ replacement, and the former Husky (and Bulldog) is just the guy. Eason has a pro-style arm and all the intangibles, he just needs time to get used to the NFL. Who’s better suited to teach him how to be a pro than Drew Brees? No one.
#25: Minnesota Vikings: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
The Vikings got rid of all of their secondary it seemed this offseason aside from Harrison Smith. They’re in a relatively quiet division in terms of wideouts aside from the Lions, but every team has a talented improvisational quarterback (aside from Chicago) and beefing up the secondary seems to be the only move here at 25.
#26: Washington Redskins (Via Miami): Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
One of Trevor Lawrence’s top targets heads to play with Dwayne Haskins and gives him more help than Terry McLaurin. Taking a tackle here might be a bit of a reach, and you know what you’re getting with Higgins; an experienced, successful wideout who has a huge catch radius.
#27: Seattle Seahawks: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Russell Wilson, who has the best deep ball arm in the league, gets one of the best deep-ball threats in the draft. Mims was one of the lone, dominant targets in Matt Rhule’s resurgent offense this past season. He can pair well with D.K. Metcalf and Jacob Hollister. This also depends on if Jadeveon Clowney resigns with the team.
#28: Baltimore Ravens: AJ Epenesa, DE, Iowa
This pick is me knowing two things; Epenesa was a talented pass rusher out of Iowa and he’d look awesome in a Raven uniform. You can never have too much depth on the defensive line and aside from the receiver, they don’t need to have any necessary needs.
#29: Tennessee Titans: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
Kmet is a legitimate athlete who also playing baseball while at Notre Dame. He weighed in as the heaviest tight end in the class, but ran the 4th fastest 40 times and had the highest vertical. He can be a nice target for Ryan Tannehill and a good replacement for Delanie Walker after he decides to call it quits.
#30: Dallas Cowboys (Via Green Bay): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
With no immediate need for the Packers, they give up the 30th overall pick to the Cowboys for both of their second-round picks to give Dallas a much-needed boost in the secondary. In my mock draft, he falls from his mid-first round spot due to off the field issues but has the talent to make a difference at the position for Dallas.
#31: San Francisco 49ers: Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin
After being a successful pass rusher, Baun will be transitioning to linebacker. His explosiveness off the ball should translate well to help his sideline to sideline coverage as a linebacker, a position the Niners could use to help him, especially considering Navarro Bowman retired a few years ago and they haven’t found his replacement yet.
#32: Kansas City Chiefs: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn state
They have Frank Clark but getting a pass rusher opposite of him should be the next move for the Super Bowl champs. These two players will wreak havoc on AFC West offensive tackles.
I worked on this for SIX. HOURS. I hope y’all enjoyed this because I am never doing this again. Also, towards the end, some of my picks and decisions were a little unrealistic, but could you imagine if I got them right?