2020 NFL Mock Draft: Bengals bungle for Burrow, Chargers and Panthers find replacements for Rivers and Newton
For the first time in a long time we have four quarterbacks going in the first round of our 2020 NFL Mock Draft
Another week, another Miami Dolphins victory. Lucky for them, they're still in the No. 4 spot for the 2020 NFL Draft, and two of the three teams in front of them drafted franchise quarterbacks in the spring. But because the Steelers and Texans keep winning, the two first-round picks Miami acquired from those teams (in exchange for Minkah Fitzpatrick and Laremy Tunsil) are now in the 20s. Put another way: In case there was any confusion, the rebuild almost certainly won't be a one-year situation.
Either way, we're making the best of it below and the Dolphins address three of their many, many needs.
The Seahawks handed the Niners their first loss in an OT thriller and there's a lot to go over. Fortunately, Will Brinson, John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough are here to break down the game, the five most exciting players in the NFL and more. Listen below and subscribe here for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
In other news, Justin Herbert makes his way back into the top 15. We still don't consider him a top-15 pick but NFL teams are desperate for franchise quarterbacks and we fully expect a few organizations to fall in love with him. And that also explains Jordan Love's return to the first round. By most measures, he's had a forgettable junior season at Utah State vs. BYU. If that continues, Love has the talent -- even if he lacks the experience -- to be one of the first quarterbacks drafted.
The draft order is based on team records through the first 10 weeks of the season (except MNF).
Alright, let's get to it.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Joe Burrow QB
LSU • Sr • 6'4" / 221 lbs
The Andy Dalton era has ended ingloriously and it doesn't appear that rookie Ryan Finley is the answer either. Lucky for the Bengals, Joe Burrow has gone from Day 3 prospect to the best player in college football in the span of a few months, and he's fresh off a dominant performance against Alabama. Burrow is the clearcut QB1 in this class and Cincy can not pass him up here.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • Jr • 6'5" / 264 lbs
Yes, the Redskins have glaring needs along the offensive line, due in large part to the Trent Williams situation. But Young is too good to pass up, even if he never plays another snap for Ohio State. In fact, he could still end up being the best player in this class. An explosive first step off of the edge allows Young to get into the backfield quickly and often. He already has 13.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss this season and he'd join 2019 first-rounder Montez Sweat along the Redskins' defensive line.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Georgia • Jr • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Daniel Jones has put up impressive numbers through the first half of the season but he's also a turnover machine and that has to be rectified. One of the best offensive lineman in college football, Thomas not only looks the part at 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, he plays like a dominant left tackle. He's protecting Jake Fromm's blind side at Georgia through quick feet, athleticism and strength. Coming into 2019, Thomas had allowed just four sacks in two seasons and he can take over in the run game.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 217 lbs
The Dolphins keep winning but luckily, two of the teams in front of them drafted a franchise quarterback in the spring. For now, Miami can stay put and still land Tagovailoa, who put up a gritty effort against LSU over the weekend, 20 days after ankle surgery. His off-the-charts accuracy, even when pressured, will be useful in Miami where the team is in full-on rebuild mode.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 193 lbs
Jamison Crowder leads the team in receptions and Le'Veon Bell is No. 2. The Jets need a lot of things but a game-changing receiver for Sam Darnold should be at the top of the list. Jeudy is an elite route runner who does everything well.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 205 lbs
The Falcons are in desperate need of playmakers in the secondary, especially at cornerback. The unit ranks No. 31 in pass defense, according to Football Outsiders. Okudah is one of the best athletes in this draft class and he's having an excellent 2019 campaign for the Buckeyes. The junior has three interceptions this year after not doing so in his first two seasons. He'd bring some much-needed physicality and playmaking ability to a sad Falcons defense.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Wirfs can play either RT or LT and both Greg Robinson and Chris Hubbard have had disappointing seasons. Wirfs, who has a little Cody Ford in his game, is surprisingly athletic for his size, and his combination of strong hands and quick feet allows him to control would-be pass rushers. If he gets his hands on you it's over, and he also has the ability to get into space and pave the way in the running game. There's a chance he returns to Iowa but he's a top-10 talent.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 238 lbs
Good news: The Bucs, who used five of their first six 2019 draft picks on defense, are No. 1 against the run. The bad news: They're No. 30 against the pass. Simmons is a special player who can easily transition from linebacker alongside Devin White to patrolling the deep safety position, where Tampa could really stand to upgrade the position.
Round 1 - Pick 9
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 198 lbs
As we wait for the Broncos to sort out their quarterback situation, they land one of our favorite players in this class. Pound for pound, Lamb is the strong wideout in the country and, as evidenced by his 22.3 YPC, he's a threat to take every pass to the house.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Auburn • Sr • 6'5" / 326 lbs
Corey Peters is 31 years old and has one year left on his deal and he's been the best interior defensive lineman on the roster. Hard to move off the ball, Brown has the strength to push the pocket, even against double teams. He doesn't have the dynamism of a Quinnen Williams or Jeffery Simmons but he's a sneaky good athlete that is disruptive around the line and allows teammates around him to make plays.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alabama • Jr • 5'11" / 188 lbs
Regularly the fastest player on the field, Ruggs is a YAC monster who dominates short and intermediate routes and must be accounted for on every play. Marvin Jones and Kenny Golladay both have contracts that expire after the 2020 season.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Oregon • Sr • 6'6" / 236 lbs
We wouldn't draft Herbert this high -- there are just too many questions -- but Philip Rivers is in the final year of his contract and Herbert, who is coming off his best game of the season, will have some QB-needy fall in love with him because of his otherworldly physical talents.
Round 1 - Pick 13
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 14
A.J. Epenesa EDGE
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 275 lbs
Clelin Ferrell hasn't yet lived up to the hype and while Maxx Crosby has been a pleasant surprise, you can never have enough edge rushers. Espenesa hasn't been nearly as productive this season as he was in 2018 but he's a special talent who makes too much sense to pass up here.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Wisconsin • Jr • 6'4" / 314 lbs
The Titans' O-line ranks 24th in run blocking and 31st in pass blocking, according to Football Outsiders, and the interior line needs reinforcements for whomever ends up under center in 2020. Biadasz has few flaws and would've probably been a first-rounder if he declared for the 2019 draft.
Round 1 - Pick 16
LSU • Jr • 6'3" / 213 lbs
Yes, the Eagles desperately need to restock the CB cupboard but the team could move on from Rodney McLeod after the season and do the same with 31-year-old Malcolm Jenkins after 2020. Delpit can line up anywhere -- in centerfield, the slot, near the line of scrimmage, off the edge -- and wherever he ends up he consistently makes plays. He needs to be a more consistent tackler but there's not much to not like about his game.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Dylan Moses LB
Alabama • Jr • 6'3" / 235 lbs
The Raiders' offense is humming along under Jon Gruden and while a WR would be an obvious choice here, the WR class is so deep that Las Vegas (!) could find plenty of options in the later rounds. Instead, the team continues to strengthen the defense. Moses will miss the 2019 season after suffering a torn ACL in August. Still, he is the prototypical NFL inside linebacker in that he's explosive, extremely athletic and has sideline-to-sideline playmaking abilities. He can rush off the edge and has the ability to sift through trash and knife would-be blockers to make plays in the backfield.
Round 1 - Pick 18
LSU • Sr • 6'0" / 197 lbs
Some pockets of the advanced-metrics community make the case that defensive backs are more important than pass rushers, and if that's true, the Colts would be wise to target one of the best cornerbacks in this draft. Fulton, who considered entering the 2019 NFL Draft, has quick feet, smooth hips and was arguably LSU's top CB last season even though he played across the field from Greedy Williams, the Browns' second-round pick this spring.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Jordan Love QB
Utah State • Jr • 6'4" / 224 lbs
Love has played precisely one great game this season but his physical abilities jump off the screen. He's every bit as dynamic as Cam Newton but it's been a mostly forgettable 2019 campaign for him. But is that because the team around him isn't very good or is it something else? If Love finishes the season strong expect him to work himself back into the first-round conversation, though for us right now, he's more likely a Day 2 pick.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 266 lbs
Will the Jags re-sign Yannick Ngakoue, who will be a free agent in the spring? If the two sides decide to part ways, Gross-Matos would be a nice consolation prize to bookend opposite Josh Allen, the 2019 first-rounder.
Round 1 - Pick 21
A.J. Terrell CB
Clemson • Jr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
This is our 10th mock draft of the fall and for the 10th time we have the Cowboys addressing their defense, and usually their secondary. Safety is a need too but adding physical corners is also high on the to-do list.
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 22
Alabama • Jr • 6'4" / 312 lbs
The Dolphins address the offensive line with Wills, one of the most dominant run blockers in the game. He's also solid in pass protection and will serve as Tua's blindside blanket, just as he currently does at Alabama.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Oklahoma • Soph • 6'5" / 316 lbs
The Chiefs interior line hasn't played well this season and Humphrey, who protected Kyler Murray last season and Jalen Hurts this season, is a technician who could step into a starting role on Day 1.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Bryce Hall CB
Virginia • Sr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
Hall's season is over after suffering an ankle injury but he was our CB1 entering the fall. Vikings coach Mike Zimmer loves big physical cornerbacks and Hall is that and then some. Plus, Xavier Rhodes has really struggled in 2019 and former second-round pick Mackensie Alexander is in the final year of his rookie deal.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Tee Higgins WR
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 216 lbs
No need to overthink it. The Bills defense needs some upgrades at pass rusher but Higgins is too good not to take here. This offense has to surround Josh Allen with playmakers and Higgins has one of the biggest catch radiuses in college football. (Hey, Allen ain't particularly accurate, all the more reason to take Higgins.)
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 26
Round 1 - Pick 27
Colorado • Jr • 6'1" / 227 lbs
Imagine Shenault lining up opposite Michael Thomas. In two words, he's a game-changer. He lines up all over the field -- in the slot, offset tight end, H-back, quarterback. Shenault has strong hands -- he's made a living out of plucking the ball out of the air with a defender draped all over him. He can win at every level and is always one play away from taking it to the house. Think a stronger, more physical N'Keal Harry.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Alabama • Jr • 6'6" / 310 lbs
As it stands, Russell Wilson is the Seahawks offense. He could use a little help. Leatherwood can play both guard and tackle and he's having a great senior season at Alabama where he's had no problem replacing Jonah Williams, who was the first-round pick of the Bengals in April.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Florida State • Jr • 6'5" / 311 lbs
Wilson's season is over after suffering a hand injury but he's one of the best pass-rushing defensive tackles in this draft class. The Ravens' offense has been unstoppable but the defense has been replacement-level and the defensive line is No. 26 against the pass this season.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'3" / 241 lbs
Murray has had a strong start to the season and has been one of the best players on Oklahoma's defense. And while he doesn't play with the same physicality of the those linebackers that patrolled the middle of NFL defenses a decade ago, at 6-2, 235 pounds, he looks and plays like the linebackers now coming into the league. Murray has sideline-to-sideline speed, the ability to run with tight ends and running backs, and he's capable of making plays in the backfield all game long.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Washington • Jr • 6'2" / 248 lbs
You're not drafting Bryant for his blocking. And, like every other tight end on the planet, he won't be able to replace Rob Gronkowski by himself. But Bryant is freakishly athletic, a smooth route runner and has soft hands. He reminds us a little of Evan Engram but needs to be more consistent, and that will come with experience. A true junior, Bryant missed nine games in 2018 with a knee injury but he has emerged as Jacob Eason's favorite target through 10 games this season.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 201 lbs
McKinney is coming off a strong effort against LSU and he would bolster one of the few weak spots in the NFL's best defense; Jaquiski Tartt and Tarvarius Moore have been average this season, according to PFF, and McKinney would give the 49ers one more playmaker on this already dominant unit.
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