At the risk of tinkering too much with my final mock draft of the year, I've made some draft day changes that include a few surprise names falling out of the top 10. Check out all those picks below.
We're finally nearing the finish line of the 2020 NFL Draft season, with the virtual insanity kicking off Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. You'll be able to pregame here at CBS Sports HQ with Fantasy Football Today at 6 p.m. ET and the Pick Six Podcast at 7 p.m. ET before we roll right into grades, analysis and everything else you need to know as the draft unfolds pick by pick.
As for my final mock draft, I tried to separate the smokescreen from the fire when it comes to the buzz surrounding what could happen on Thursday night, and as a result I wound up settling on six potential trades, more than I expected to have when I started gaming out these picks. Below you'll find the Falcons moving into the top 10 for a top cornerback, and the Broncos doing the same for a wide receiver.
You'll also see two quarterbacks who have been consensus first-rounders to this point fall outside the top 20 picks, and despite the negative buzz surrounding Tua Tagovailoa, he's not one of them. Which of the quarterback-needy teams passed on taking a franchise signal-caller early on, and where did those QB slides end? Read on to find out.
The draft is almost here, which means it's time for some bold predictions! Will Brinson and the Pick Six Podcast Superfriends make their forecasts for the big event plus much more; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Joe Burrow QB
LSU • Sr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
No surprise at No. 1, as the Bengals select Joe Burrow as the new face of the franchise.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • Sr • 6'5" / 264 lbs
Also no surprise at No. 2, as Washington is unable to get the right deal to move down and pass on the chance to add the draft's best defensive player.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Auburn • Sr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Making a late switch here, as it appears Brown could be the preferred option for the Lions over Jeff Okudah whether they can trade down or not. I have defensive tackle as Detroit's top need, so it does make sense if they want to lock in Brown's high floor while hoping to develop him into a perennial All-Pro.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Alabama • Sr • 6'4" / 307 lbs
The Giants might be able to squeeze something out of the Dolphins to move back one pick -- in our podcast mock draft, we had them trade No. 4 and 110 for No. 5 and 70 -- but either way, I expect them to go with Wills when they ultimately turn the pick in, based on Joe Judge's Alabama background and Dave Gettleman's love for building in the trenches.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • Sr • 6'1" / 217 lbs
Every smoke alarm in the NFL Draft Season house is blaring as rumors swirl that the Dolphins could pass on Tua for Justin Herbert. To me, it seems like a play to avoid trading up to get their guy, and it could be successful this year in a way it might not be in any other, with most teams possibly hesitant to trade a lot of draft capital for one player after not getting to do a full work-up during a stay-at-home predraft process.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Georgia • Sr • 6'5" / 315 lbs
I think if the Chargers have a shot at getting Tua, they'll do it in this spot. But despite the late buzz for Justin Herbert, Plan B for L.A. could be to just take one of this year's elite tackles after trading away Russell Okung, and then try and get a quarterback later. Their FA additions set the Chargers up as a team that wants to compete in 2020, and adding a stud left tackle like Thomas will have the most immediate impact for this team.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Sr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
With the Lions passing on Okudah, the Panthers have a tough call to make when they get on the clock: the top corner in this class, or the positionless Isaiah Simmons. I'm giving the edge to the corner, which could cause Simmons to slide much further than anyone expects.
Mock Trade from Arizona Cardinals
Round 1 - Pick 8
Florida • Sr • 6'1" / 204 lbs
The Falcons pay the Jack Conklin price to move to No. 8, surrendering No. 16, 78 and a 2021 second-round pick to get their guy. Henderson gives the team a legit No. 1 cornerback in a secondary that has been a weakness in recent years. I don't see any way he gets past the Jaguars, Jets and Raiders, so the Falcons have to get aggressive if they want him.
Round 1 - Pick 9
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Sr • 6'2" / 200 lbs
With the top two corners and Brown gone, the Jaguars are faced with a dilemma: reach for a defensive player, take a franchise quarterback, or go get your current quarterback some help. That could be in the form of an offensive lineman, but they will have options later in the first round there, so they take the top receiver in this class in Lamb.
Mock Trade from Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 10
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Sr • 6'1" / 193 lbs
The Broncos have a lot of draft capital this year with three third-rounders in their pocket, and they don't have a ton of needs after a busy offseason. So it makes sense to swing a deal to go up and get their WR1 rather than sit back and hope you can get possibly your third choice at the position. They give up No. 15, 83 and 118 to get to this spot for an excellent receiver in Jeudy.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Iowa • Sr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Joe Douglas figures to look at an offensive lineman if he can get one he likes, and Wirfs is one who would definitely fit the mold as an explosive talent after he tore up the combine. Offensive line has been a clear focus this offseason so far, and it extends to this first-round pick, especially with C.J. Henderson off the board and the talent deep at receiver, leaving plenty of options in Day 2.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Alabama • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Receivers are coming off the board more quickly than expected, and the Raiders will want to lock in one of the top four options with this pick. I'm giving Ruggs' speed the edge over Jefferson but could see either in this spot.
Mock Trade from San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 13
Mekhi Becton OL
Louisville • Sr • 6'7" / 363 lbs
The Dolphins can't afford to wait to solve their left tackle issues, so they package No. 18 with No. 70 to move up five spots and land the last of the top four tackles remaining before the Bucs have the opportunity to get him. This is a team that still took Laremy Tunsil after his draft night video emerged, so don't expect them to shy away from Becton.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Clemson • Sr • 6'4" / 238 lbs
It seems foolish to let a player as good as Simmons fall this far in the draft, but sometimes teams -- especially the ones picking at the top of a draft -- have trouble envisioning how to get the most out of a prospect like this. Once upon a time, Derwin James slipped past the halfway point of Round 1. The Bucs need playmakers on defense, and I like Simmons as a safety who can do lots of different things to elevate this unit.
Mock Trade from Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 15
LSU • Sr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
There's one lock first-round receiver left, and the Eagles make sure they get him, sending No. 21 and 53 to the Browns for this pick and No. 97 after Cleveland's earlier trade down. Jefferson will be an excellent option out of the slot on Day 1.
Mock Trade from Atlanta Falcons
Round 1 - Pick 16
K'Lavon Chaisson EDGE
LSU • Sr • 6'3" / 245 lbs
The Cardinals move back to pick up the No. 78 pick and what could be a good 2021 second-rounder from Atlanta, and while that takes them out of play for a top tackle, the team is still able to land an impact edge rusher in Chaisson, who can immediately work into the rotation and potentially take over for Chandler Jones in 2021.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Southern Illinois • Sr • 6'3" / 220 lbs
Buzz has started to pick up that Chinn is going to be a first-round pick, and he would make a lot of sense for a Cowboys team who needs a difference maker to improve their coverage after losing Byron Jones.
Mock Trade from Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 18
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • Sr • 6'5" / 319 lbs
The 49ers slide down five spots, pick up a premium selection in No. 70 and still land a player they could nab at No. 13 if they stay put. I could also see them valuing Justin Jefferson if available, but they should feel comfortable moving down to 18, considering the options that could be available.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 19
A.J. Terrell CB
Clemson • Sr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
The buzz around Terrell has grown in the late stages of the predraft process, to the point I believe he'll be the third corner off the board. And the Raiders definitely have a need at the position and showed last year they love taking Clemson defenders.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
USC • Sr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
The Jaguars picked up a No. 1 receiver with their first pick, and now they get someone to man the blind side, putting Gardner Minshew in the best possible position to succeed. While they have plenty of needs on the defensive side of the ball, 2020 must be spent evaluating whether Minshew is a franchise QB, or whether they're going back to the well in 2021.
Mock Trade from Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 21
Oklahoma • Sr • 6'2" / 241 lbs
I believe the Browns will be able to work out a trade for Trent Williams, addressing their need at left tackle. Now they can attack their biggest need on defense with one of this class's best all-around linebackers in Murray. Cleveland enters Day 2 with No. 53, 83 and 118 now in their pockets while also shipping away No. 97.
From Buffalo Bills
Round 1 - Pick 22
Utah • Sr • 6'0" / 195 lbs
The Vikings like drafting cornerbacks early in the draft when they don't need one, so in an offseason where they lost three of their top players at the position, they absolutely have to take at least one in the first round. Johnson is reportedly ahead of schedule in his rehab, and if the Vikings are comfortable with that timetable, he makes a lot of sense here.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Oregon • Sr • 6'6" / 236 lbs
If the Chargers opt to pass on the QB position at No. 6, it could be quite a fall for one of the presumed top picks in this class. If the Patriots don't have to give up anything extra to land Herbert, this could be his ultimate landing spot, and it would give him a great chance to succeed at the next level.
Round 1 - Pick 24
LSU • Sr • 6'0" / 237 lbs
I'm sure it would be tough for Sean Payton to pass on Jordan Love here, but this is a team looking to win a title in 2020, and that means adding an impact player at a position of need with their one pick in the first two rounds.
Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 25
Jordan Love QB
Utah State • Sr • 6'4" / 219 lbs
The Chargers passed on a quarterback at No. 6 to take an elite tackle, and that's caused two QBs to tumble further than people expect. And the Chargers themselves are the beneficiary, packaging No. 37 and 71 to get to this spot for Love, who can sit and learn for a year as the team goes with Tyrod Taylor in 2020.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 26
Cesar Ruiz OL
Michigan • Sr • 6'4" / 316 lbs
If the Dolphins are unable to trade up from No. 18, I can see Ruiz being their choice at that spot, but in this final mock we have them moving up to land Becton. Here's where they come back and land this class's best center, giving them three top-tier players at positions of need.
Mock Trade from Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 27
LSU • Sr • 5'11" / 197 lbs
The Jags spent two picks on offense earlier, and here they package No. 42 and 73 to come up and get the best cornerback left on the board in Fulton to be their new CB1. You know the Seahawks are open for business when it comes to trading down.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Texas Tech • Sr • 6'0" / 240 lbs
Linebacker is a key position of need for the Ravens after their losses over the last few offseasons, and they're able to get a good one here in Brooks if they can't trade back and pick up some extra selections.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Robert Hunt OL
Louisiana • Sr • 6'6" / 335 lbs
Hunt has drawn some late first-round buzz as we enter the home stretch of the predraft process, and the Titans are one of the teams that have shown interest. If they can't find a deal they like to move back, he'd be a solid find as someone who has experience at multiple spots in college who could plug in at guard or be an option at right tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Denzel Mims WR
Baylor • Sr • 6'3" / 207 lbs
Mims fits the Packers mold as a big target at 6-foot-3, and he brings a dangerous downfield element to their offense while taking pressure off Davante Adams.
Mock Trade from San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 31
Josh Jones OL
Houston • Sr • 6'5" / 319 lbs
After missing out on a tackle earlier, the Buccaneers package No. 45 and 76 to get to this spot and land a good right tackle to help their offense. Coming away from the first three rounds with Simmons and Jones is a big win for this team.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Jeff Gladney CB
TCU • Soph • 5'10" / 191 lbs
The Chiefs are well-positioned to add some much-needed corner talent with this spot, even with the run at the position earlier in the round. Gladney can contribute immediately and eventually lock down a starting role on the outside.