Who lied to me this year?
It happens every year in the lead-up to the NFL Draft. Personnel people and general managers guard their secrets closely, which is why it can be tough to garner information for a mock draft.
This year, because of the coronavius lockdown, it's been even tougher.
"There isn't as much gossip this year," one team's general manager said. "It's much more buttoned-up."
Even so, I am ready for my final mock draft, the one that all those mock graders -- yes, it's a thing -- will hold me to this year. In this draft, I have two trades, one in the top 10.
I have the Jacksonville Jaguars trading up from No. 9 to No. 4 with the New York Giants to take Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert. It would be a bold move for sure, and one that would cost them their second-round pick this year and another fourth, either this year or next. To be a great team, you have to land that franchise passer, and it would be worth the risk.
The other trade I have is the Denver Broncos moving from No. 15 to No. 13 to take Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs. I think he fits with what they want better than the other receivers in this draft, and there would be teams eyeing a potential trade up to get him.
Mocks are fun, right?
Or are they? Do we really stress over getting guys in the right spots? After all, it's lying season, and this year has been even tougher to gauge.
So eat this one alive after the first round is done.
|NFL Mock Draft - 04/22/2020|
|1. Cincinnati Bengals|
|Joe Burrow, QB, LSU: I love this pick. He will be a star. He has the makeup you want from a quarterback and can make all the throws, even if his arm isn't elite. The Bengals will be big-time winners with this kid.|
|2. Washington Redskins|
|Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State: You can't let great pass rushers pass you by in a draft. The Redskins won't. Young would be a nice addition to Jack Del Rio's front seven.|
|3. Detroit Lions|
|Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn: There is a chance the Lions trade out of this spot, but I will keep the pick here for this mock. It will be a tough decision between Brown and Ohio State corner Jeff Okudah, but I will go with Brown.|
|4. Jacksonville Jaguars (Mock Trade with New York)|
|Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon: They have to hit this pick and Thomas is a safe choice. I thought about Isaiah Simmons here, but I just don't think the position value is there.|
|5. Miami Dolphins|
|Andrew Thomas, OL, Georgia: They miss on Herbert and pass on Tua Tagovailoa to take a top tackle prospect. Thomas will be a long-time starter with little risk.|
|6. Los Angeles Chargers|
|Mekhi Becton, OL, Louisville: They pass on Tua Tagovailoa to take a tackle who can step in and fix the problem on the left side. He has all the tools if he stays in shape and keeps his weight down.|
|7. Carolina Panthers|
|CJ Henderson, CB, Florida: They decide to take Henderson rather than Okudah. There are a lot of personnel people who think Henderson is the best cover player in this draft. The Panthers have to get a corner.|
|8. Arizona Cardinals|
|Jedrick Wills Jr., OL, Alabama: With Thomas and Becton gone, they have to decide between Wills and Wirfs, and I think Wills is the tougher of the two, which would fit this team better.|
|9. New York Giants (Mock Trade with Jacksonville)|
|K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU: This is something that has picked up steam in recent weeks with the Giants said to be high on Chaisson. They need edge help in the worst way, so taking him over a tackle here makes sense.|
|10. Cleveland Browns|
|Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson: They get a speedy player to add to their defense. He can play linebacker, safety or whatever. They will find a way to make it work.|
|11. New York Jets|
|Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State: They would be shocked if he's here, but in this mock he is, so they'd take him in an instant. Their corner situation is a mess.|
|12. Las Vegas Raiders|
|Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama: The fall of Tagovailoa will end here as the Raiders take him to compete with Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota. He could sit and get healthy for a year in this scenario.|
|13. Denver Broncos (Mock Trade with San Francisco)|
|Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama: One of the things they lack in their offense is a big-time speed threat. Ruggs can fly, and Drew Lock will love his field-stretching ability. It's worth moving up to get him.|
|14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa: They probably didn't think one of the tackles would fall to this spot, so it would be an easy pick. Wirfs played right tackle at Iowa, so now he steps in as the starter on the right side for Tom Brady.|
|15. San Francisco 49ers (Mock Trade with Denver)|
|CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma: They move back two spots and add a draft pick and still land a big-time receiver. Lamb is great with the ball under his arm.|
|16. Atlanta Falcons|
|Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State: This is a player who is loved much more by the NFL personnel people than the draft analysts. The Falcons need to fix that pass rush ? even with Dante Fowler ? and he can help do that.|
|17. Dallas Cowboys|
|A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson: They lost Byron Jones to the Dolphins in free agency, so why not take a smooth cover player to take over? Terrell will be an immediate starter for them.|
|18. Miami Dolphins|
|Jordan Love, QB, Utah State: They pass on quarterback at No. 5 and come back to take Love here in this spot. He has a ton of upside and can learn from Ryan Fitzpatrick for a year.|
|19. Las Vegas Raiders|
|Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama: After getting Tua Tagovailoa with their first pick, they get his college receiver with the second first-round pick. They could also consider corner here.|
|20. Jacksonville Jaguars|
|Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina: If he falls to this spot, the Jaguars would race the card up to the podium. He has the potential to be a lot like Chris Jones of the Chiefs.|
|21. Philadelphia Eagles|
|Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU: After getting Darius Slay in a trade, they need to use this pick on receiver. Jefferson would fit in perfectly with what they need, with the ability to play both inside and outside.|
|22. Minnesota Vikings|
|Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU: They have to get help at corner and Fulton is a long, athletic player who could step in and start. We know Mike Zimmer loves to draft corners.|
|23. New England Patriots|
|Patrick Queen, LB, LSU: They have to get linebackers who can run to the football. With Kyle Van Noy gone and Dont'a Hightower in the final year of his contract, taking Queen makes sense.|
|24. New Orleans Saints|
|Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma: The middle of their defense needs a little help and Murray would be a nice addition next to Demario Davis. Their roster is impressive so they can go a variety of ways here.|
|25. Minnesota Vikings|
|Ezra Cleveland, OL, Boise State: This might seem like a strange pick, but they could play Cleveland at tackle and move Riley Reiff inside to guard to get bigger and stronger. Cleveland needs to gain some weight, but he has the feet scouts love.|
|26. Miami Dolphins|
|Cesar Ruiz, OL, Michigan: He is one of the cleanest players in this draft. The Dolphins have Ted Karras for a season, but Ruiz can play guard next year and then move over in 2021. He will be a star center.|
|27. Seattle Seahawks|
|Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor: They have a big hole at right tackle and what they have on the roster now isn't good enough. Wilson is a massive man who could step in and play right away.|
|28. Baltimore Ravens|
|Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois: They have an aging Earl Thomas, but Chinn is a rare talent with size and speed to play the hybrid spot in their defense. They could also go linebacker here.|
|29. Tennessee Titans|
|Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn: They need help on the outside and this kid can cover and tackle. He would give them another cover player, which they need to try and catch the Chiefs in the AFC.|
|30. Green Bay Packers|
|Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State: He can line up anywhere on the defensive line, which is an area that needs upgrading for the Packers. They have to be better against the run.|
|31. San Francisco 49ers|
|Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah: He has a shoulder injury, but is expected to be back healthy for the season. Johnson would be a surefire first-round pick if healthy, so I will put him in this spot, even with the shoulder situation.|
|32. Kansas City Chiefs|
|Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech: They need an athletic play-making linebacker on their defense. Brooks is a player scouts have raved about in recent weeks.|