With the reported news that Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is expected to throw a full session in early April, a bidding war could be created at the top of the first round. It is doubtful that the Cincinnati Bengals or Washington Redskins would entertain the idea of trading out of the first two picks, but business is open at No. 3 with the Detroit Lions. Keep an eye on that situation as the 2020 NFL Draft draws near.
Only a few days remain for the college football players to declare and potentially withdraw their names from the upcoming draft. This time next week, the 2020 NFL Draft order will be set, with the exception of two teams, and the pool of talent will be crystal clear. The College Football Playoff provided a glimpse into the potential that a few players offer as you might notice working through the latest mock draft projection below.
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The draft order is based on team records through the divisional playoffs.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • Sr • 6'5" / 264 lbs
There has been some buzz that maybe Young is not the best prospect regardless of position. The NFL Draft process is long and tiring. It is a classic case on some people overthinking the obvious.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Sr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
Detroit is planning for a life beyond Darius Slay. Okudah is a sensational talent that deserves all the praise. His footwork and coverage skills make him a great cornerback, but his aggressive play in run support makes him an elite cornerback prospect. The Lions could probably slide down a bit and still land the Ohio State product if another team were to call about moving up for Tua Tagovailoa.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Clemson • Sr • 6'4" / 238 lbs
How could anyone watch Monday night's College Football Playoff National Championship and not be excited about the promise of Simmons? He is a chess piece in the modern NFL. He can line up inside or outside. He can play safety. He can play nickel. The man wears so many hats but he should wear only one color in the NFL for a long time.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • Sr • 6'1" / 227 lbs
With the latest report that Tagovailoa intends to throw a full session in early April, there should be no concerns about taking him early. In fact, Miami may need to move up a little further to secure his rights.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Auburn • Sr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Damion Square is scheduled to be a free agent. It was a position that likely needed a rejuvenation regardless for the Chargers. They have a dynamic pass rush tandem with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, and the addition of Brown, who is no slouch at applying pressure either, should make life even easier for those two.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Alabama • Sr • 6'4" / 307 lbs
Carolina might have been hoping for Isaiah Simmons to slip to them after the Luke Kuechly news, but the Giants had other plans. Wills is a strong, technical standout at the offensive tackle position. Carolina can plug and play with him on either end without the worry of him faltering.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Sr • 6'1" / 193 lbs
Larry Fitzgerald is returning, but that is a short-term fix and the Cardinals still may need receiver help. Jeudy can be a reliable option for a long time, similar to Fitzgerald. His attention to detail as a route-runner will allow him to be around the game for a long time.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • Sr • 6'5" / 319 lbs
Josh Allen was tremendous as a rookie and Calais Campbell continues to deliver Pro Bowl play. The defense did not rise around them the way many had anticipated. Kinlaw will give them another daunting force up the middle for which opponents will have to contend.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Georgia • Sr • 6'5" / 315 lbs
Thomas to Cleveland would have felt like a mirage not long ago. He has been surpassed by a more consistent Jedrick Wills as OT1. The Browns would not argue with either falling to them. It is a big need at both bookends.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Oregon • Sr • 6'6" / 236 lbs
Jacob Eason could also make sense here; Jon Gruden will develop an affinity for one of them. Upside is the key word for each of those players. It will require some work to bring out the production.
Round 1 - Pick 13
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Sr • 6'2" / 200 lbs
Quarterback needs to be upgraded, but it is more likely that the Colts look at themselves in a Super Bowl window and target a more established veteran to compete with Jacoby Brissett. But stop relying solely on T.Y. Hilton. He cannot do it all himself, and the offense becomes very anemic when he is dealing with injuries.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Georgia • Sr • 5'9" / 215 lbs
Tampa Bay, I know you wanted an offensive tackle, and maybe you need a quarterback. The options at those two positions would be a reach right now. The board does not always fall as hoped or planned.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Alabama • 6'0" / 190 lbs
I apologize to Broncos fans for the lack of originality here. Ruggs has been locked in here for awhile. It is a perfect fit. The concept of Noah Fant, Courtland Sutton and Ruggs being together is exciting for a football fan.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Round 1 - Pick 17
LSU • Sr • 6'3" / 208 lbs
Some are concerned with the play of Delpit during his senior season, and that is warranted. However, he battled an ankle injury and it feels as though another unnecessary Derwin James-type slide could play out.
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 18
Wisconsin • Sr • 6'4" / 316 lbs
OK, Miami has their franchise quarterback. What next? Given Tua Tagovailoa's recent injury history, it would be wise to bolster the group asked to block for him. Biadasz is hands down the top center prospect following Creed Humphrey's decision to return for his junior season.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 19
Tee Higgins WR
Clemson • Sr • 6'4" / 219 lbs
Oakland lands some help at quarterback and wide receiver in the first round. It is actually becoming a bit boring because it feels like this will be the trend for the next three and a half months.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
Alabama • Sr • 6'0" / 201 lbs
McKinney is not a traditional cornerback, but he offers a lot of flexibility. He can fulfill a role similar to Minkah Fitzpatrick with the Steelers. He provides options as a safety or nickelback, and the talent is too good to pass up.
Round 1 - Pick 21
K'Lavon Chaisson EDGE
LSU • Sr • 6'3" / 245 lbs
Philadelphia needs to bolster their wide receiver unit, but it does not make sense to reach as there is depth at the position. Hold tight and take the best player available, or trade down and pick up some additional draft compensation and a wide receiver.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Colorado • Sr • 6'1" / 220 lbs
Shenault may not be a perfect fit but Buffalo is desperate for receiver help on the edge. John Brown was tremendous this season but, is it sustainable? Shenault is an insurance policy for Josh Allen.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Oklahoma • Sr • 6'2" / 241 lbs
New England's linebackers and secondary were fantastic this season. Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins are among their free agents, and Bill Belichick likes to plan for the future. Murray is an active linebacker capable of playing inside or outside. He gives the defense even more flexibility.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Cole Kmet TE
Notre Dame • Sr • 6'6" / 260 lbs
Jared Cook performed really well this season, but he is not a long-term solution. The Saints offense is so much more efficient when they have a productive tight end. It takes some of the pressure off Michael Thomas as well. Kmet can contribute as a blocker and pass-catcher.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Oklahoma • Sr • 6'2" / 302 lbs
Gallimore has been a popular projection for Minnesota recently. The Vikings were dominated by San Francisco in the trenches. The defensive tackle can come in immediately and start applying some pressure on the opposition.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 26
Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE
Penn State • Sr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Miami needs upgrades across the board. They have their potential franchise quarterback, so they need to focus on taking the best talent available. Gross-Matos is the best player available at this point.
Round 1 - Pick 27
LSU • Sr • 5'11" / 197 lbs
Seattle needs another starting cornerback opposite Shaq Griffin. They're also set to lose a lot of depth in that room in free agency. Readers beware though: the Seahawks generally trade down or out of the first round altogether.
Round 1 - Pick 28
LSU • Sr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews were great weapons for Lamar Jackson this season, but he needs a reliable downfield threat. Jefferson has great body control and size. He will make a difference for that offense.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Terrell Lewis EDGE
Alabama • Sr • 6'5" / 262 lbs
The Titans have fought and clawed their way to the AFC Championship but they need some additional pass rush help. Lewis is a long, athletic player that has been well-coached. His familiarity with Rashaan Evans on that defense should help his transition.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Florida • Sr • 6'1" / 204 lbs
Green Bay actually invested a lot into the cornerback position in recent years, but it has not panned out the way many expected on the front end. It is a position of concern entering the offseason.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Bryce Hall CB
Virginia • Sr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland are both scheduled to hit free agency this offseason. Kansas City was already in the market for cornerback help, so it remains an emphasis for the team. Considering their depth at the position, it might be wise to call up the Philadelphia Eagles and shop Sammy Watkins for another draft pick.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Netane Muti OL
Fresno State • Sr • 6'3" / 307 lbs
San Francisco battled injuries along the offensive line all season. It hurts this argument that Muti has battled injuries the past few years as well. When healthy, he is a dominant force. Center Ben Garland is among their free agents this offseason.