There's nothing better than getting weird out of the gate with a mock draft. And this year feels like it could be a weird year for the draft, with a bunch of quarterbacks (Cam Newton, Andy Dalton) lingering as trade candidates. But let's go ahead and move a wide receiver first. The Patriots need help for Tom Brady in order to convince him to come back, and they need help NOW, before Brady's March 18 dead money deadline.
So we'll spice things up by having the Patriots deal their first-round pick to Cleveland for none other than Odell Beckham Jr. No one can say the deal for Odell from the Giants worked out well for the Browns. A first-year coach got fired. A second-year GM got fired. Baker Mayfield took huge steps back.
Maybe Kevin Stefanski can fix everything, but my gut says the Browns would love to cut their losses by landing a first-round pick in this draft, and the Patriots have to be worried about simply finding a first-round impact guy or finding help for Brady in free agency. There simply isn't much out there.
Even if it's not for Brady's last run, the Patriots need help at wideout. Beckham could be the quintessential Pats player who is a pain everywhere and then tightens up in New England.
It almost makes too much sense not to do it, and it's an easy 1-for-1 flip in this case.
Check out this week's draft episode of the Pick Six Podcast, where Brinson is joined by Ryan Wilson and R.J. White to break down Wilson's latest mock draft and set the stage for draft season; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
Alright, let's get to it.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Joe Burrow QB
LSU • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Barring something shocking, you'll be reading the same Joe Burrow blurbs for the next few months. He's going to Cincinnati, he's going first overall and he better turn around the franchise unless he decides to pull an Eli Manning on the Bengals, who probably wouldn't blink even if he did.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • Jr • 6'5" / 264 lbs
With Ron Rivera taking over in Washington, it makes a ton of sense for the Redskins to take the best possible defensive player. Washington would need a massive haul from some other team in order to justify moving down.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 205 lbs
The Lions could go QB here in theory or auction off the pick (I think the latter is more likely), but they also need to win now and so they add a player in Okudah who can help improve their defense immediately.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Alabama • Jr • 6'4" / 307 lbs
Generally speaking when you're trying to figure out what Dave Gettleman will do, the best move is to find the largest human in the draft on the offensive or defensive line. Willis isn't the total lock here, but the Giants need OL help badly so he fits well enough.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 217 lbs
Assuming Tua's medicals check out at the combine, it makes a lot of sense for the Dolphins to end up landing the QB they've reportedly coveted for a lengthy amount of time. I would not rule out a trade up here at all.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Mekhi Becton OL
Louisville • Jr • 6'7" / 363 lbs
It's paramount for the Cardinals to improve protection up front for Kyler Murray. Becton, a massive mountain of a man, can improve the screen game on the second level for Arizona while beefing up their pass protection.
Round 1 - Pick 9
A.J. Epenesa EDGE
Iowa • Jr • 6'6" / 260 lbs
What are the Jags even supposed to do here in terms of fixing their team for the 2020 season? It feels like an all-in year, so let's replace a departing pass rusher with another pass rusher in Epenesa.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Georgia • Jr • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Offensive line has to be the primary thing the Browns need to fix this offseason given how badly the OL performed last year. And this is a good draft to help fix the issues plauging them, by grabbing Thomas here.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Round 1 - Pick 12
Round 1 - Pick 13
Auburn • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Chris Ballard loves getting physical in the trenches without spending a ton of money and Brown is the best interior defensive lineman in the draft this year. Would be a slam-dunk pick for the Colts.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Round 1 - Pick 15
Trevon Diggs CB
Alabama • Jr • 6'2" / 195 lbs
Sure seems like Chris Harris' time is up in Denver, which means the Broncos need to try and find some replacement corner help in the draft. Turning to a Nick Saban-coached stud seems like a decent answer.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • Jr • 6'5" / 319 lbs
After spending two first round picks on offensive linemen last year, it stands to reason the Falcons are going to get some defensive help to keep Dan Quinn from finally getting fired. Kinlaw established himself at the Senior Bowl as worthy of going in the top 20.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 201 lbs
Really curious to see what direction Dallas goes here, and I think it matters a ton what they do in terms of their free agency approach. It wouldn't be stunning to see them take a WR here -- only one off the board -- if they tag Byron Jones, but assuming they tag Amari Cooper, it makes sense to help the secondary.
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 18
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 200 lbs
At a certain point you just have to see value and take it. And Lamb falling to 19th would be insane value, essentially helped by the way the depth and positional ranking of this draft plays out. Lamb is my personal WR1 and this is the best pick of this mock so far.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 19
Julian Okwara EDGE
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'4" / 239 lbs
Mike Mayock likes the big school guys and is intimiately familiar with Notre Dame after calling their games for multiple years. He needs to improve his pass rush -- if Clelin Ferrell takes a leap forward, this defense could be much improved next year.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
LSU • Jr • 5'11" / 197 lbs
I think people draft out of spite more than they would admit sometimes, and I think the Jaguars would love to land a potential stud DB in the pick they acquired by shipping Jalen Ramsey to Los Angeles.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Tee Higgins WR
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 219 lbs
The Eagles ran short on pass catchers last year, so it makes all the sense in the world to mock them taking one in this spot, given how deep the drat is for receivers. Higgins is underrated in my opinion.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Colorado • Jr • 6'1" / 225 lbs
The Bills need to get a couple more young pieces on the depth chart for Josh Allen to really make this offense hum, and adding Shenault without putting any real pressure on him to be a true WR1 is a nice bonus for a team with lots of upside in 2020.
Mock Trade from New England Patriots
Round 1 - Pick 23
Round 1 - Pick 24
Florida • Jr • 6'1" / 204 lbs
Who knows what Sean Payton will do with this pick right now, when we don't even know what will happen with Drew Brees in the future. Maybe he's building around Taysom Hill! Or maybe someone else. Probably someone else. We'll go defense instead.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Bryce Hall CB
Virginia • Jr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
As long as Mike Zimmer is in charge, you should never be surprised when the Vikings go out and spend a first-round pick on a cornerback. That's his MO throughout his time in Minnesota and it's worked out well.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 26
Wisconsin • Jr • 6'4" / 316 lbs
If the Dolphins get out of this draft with a new QB, a new WR and a new starting offensive lineman they should be doing cartwheels in Miami (or whatever you do in Miami when you're excited) over a job well done with this draft.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
I wanted to give the Seahawks a running back just to troll Seahawks Twitter, but the reality is they have to get better at rushing the passer and at stopping the run. Adding YGM would do that for them.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Round 1 - Pick 29
Georgia • Jr • 5'9" / 208 lbs
Let's play in a world where the Titans DON'T keep Derrick Henry because they tag Ryan Tannehill/Jack Conklin and don't want to pay a running back big money. Could they win with Swift running behind a great offensive line? I tend to think so.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Round 1 - Pick 31
Zack Baun LB
Wisconsin • Jr • 6'3" / 225 lbs
I know the 49ers have plenty of talent all over their defensive front seven, but I don't think that will stop them from improving a strength of the team from last year to give them depth and options moving forward.
Round 1 - Pick 32
J.K. Dobbins RB
Ohio State • Jr • 5'10" / 212 lbs
Damien Williams was awesome in the playoffs, but the Chiefs still need to improve the depth at running back. Dobbins is a monster with breakaway speed who would thrive in Andy Reid's scheme. Reid isn't afraid to double down on offense either.