2020 NFL Mock Draft: Dolphins land Tua Tagovailoa as four quarterbacks go in Round 1
Justin Herbert was the top prospect a year ago, but he doesn't go first overall
As is typically the case, the first round of the NFL Draft is all about the franchise quarterback. We wrote earlier this week about how, and those performances certainly played a role in the list below.
Four passers are among the first 32 selections, with Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa going first overall to the Dolphins. Oregon's Justin Herbert, who was the No. 1 NFL prospect a year ago at this time before he returned to school, has all the physical tools you'd want in an elite quarterback, but he has yet to put it all together.
Keep reading to see where the two other quarterbacks -- and four other Alabama players -- go in our first mock draft of the 2020 NFL Draft season.
And before you get angry at the draft order, please know that it's based on the current SportsLine Super Bowl odds projections and has nothing to do with us hating your favorite team.
Alright, let's get to it.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 218 lbs
Tagovailoa's performance against Duke was as close to clinical as you're going to see. The junior finished 26 of 31 for 336 yards with 4 touchdowns and no turnovers and unlike the end of last season, Tua is finally healthy. At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Tagovailoa is undersized by traditional NFL standards but thanks to Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, his lack of ideal height won't prevent him from going first overall. And, oh by the way, the Dolphins are already in the market for a franchise QB.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 192 lbs
Jeudy is an elite route runner who does everything well. If you're looking to nitpick, he doesn't have top-end speed, though you wouldn't know it to watch him in games. The Redskins need help up and down the roster but it makes sense to start with downfield playmakers that will make life easier for Dwayne Haskins.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Chase Young DE
Ohio State • Jr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
An explosive first step off of the edge allows Young to get into the backfield quickly, and he also can set the edge in the run game. He's not Nick Bosa but he's the best edge rusher in the 2020 NFL Draft class.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Georgia • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Arguably 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'll again protect Jake Fromm's blind side at Georgia through quick feet, athleticism and strength. Thomas has allowed just four sacks in two seasons and he can take over in the run game.
Round 1 - Pick 5
A.J. Epenesa DE
Iowa • Jr • 6'6" / 280 lbs
Huge. Strong. Epenesa can rag-doll offensive tackles with a straight-arm and while he's not explosive, he has the strength to control the line of scrimmage. He's a high-motor edge setter in the run game who can't be contained by just one player.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Oregon • Sr • 6'6" / 237 lbs
We'll likely be saying this every week but it's easy to fall in love with Justin Herbert. He's 6-foot-6, 240 pounds, incredibly athletic, has one of the best arms in the country and when he gets hot he's hard to stop. But following a pedestrian junior campaign (he completed just 59 percent of his throws after connecting on 68 percent of passes as a sophomore) he was wise to return for his senior season.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Colorado • Jr • 6'2" / 220 lbs
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 8
Trevon Diggs CB
Alabama • Sr • 6'2" / 207 lbs
If Diggs didn't suffer an injury last season he would've been a first-round pick. At 6-1, 200 pounds, he has the prototypical size and speed for today's NFL cornerback and he has the strength, speed and athleticism that will likely see him go in Round 1 next spring. The brother of the Vikings' Stefon Diggs, Trevon's 2019 campaign got off to a strong start with an interception against Duke.
Round 1 - Pick 9
LSU • Jr • 6'3" / 203 lbs
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's best coming downhill but he'll continue to improve the other aspects of his game and his long, lean frame coupled with his fluid movements make him look like a natural playmaker.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Bryce Hall CB
Virginia • Sr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
A tall, physical corner who isn't afraid to gamble. Last season he played mostly off-coverage in zone looks but showed the instincts and athleticism to come off his responsibility to make plays. He's also stout against the run and is a solid open-field tackler. If Hall had come out after his junior season there's a chance he would've been a first-round pick.
Round 1 - Pick 11
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 191 lbs
Lamb is an elite route runner, has some of the best hands in college football and his next-level body control allows him to adjust to throws in mid-air. And while he needs to put on weight, he's a willing blocker -- look no further than the backside block he put on former Alabama linebacker Mack Wilson during last year's meeting. Yes, he needs to get stronger but bottom line, Lamb is a game-changer.
Round 1 - Pick 12
CJ Henderson CB
Florida • Jr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
Long-legged and long-armed, Henderson can flip his hips, get in and out of breaks against top-flight receivers, and displays good mirroring skills. He's strong in man coverage, and while he isn't a ballhawk (two INTs, five passes defended last season) he has the hands of a wide receiver. Henderson sometimes struggles to disengage from blocks to make tackles in the run game and he'll need to add weight to what can be described as a slight frame, at least by NFL standards.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 13
Notre Dame • Sr • 6'4" / 248 lbs
He was given a first-round grade by the advisory committee before the 2019 season and when you watch him it's clear why. Okwara, who plays bigger than his listed 240 pounds, shows good hand usage and quick first step around the edge and has the athleticism to sink hips and blow past the offensive tackle. He's quick-twitch explosive, not easily blocked, and even when he doesn't get to the quarterback his hands are up trying to make a play.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Auburn • Sr • 6'5" / 318 lbs
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 is a space-eater that is disruptive around the line and allows teammates around him to make plays.
Round 1 - Pick 15
LSU • Sr • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Fulton considered entering the 2019 NFL Draft. He has quick feet, smooth hips and was arguably LSU's best cornerback last season even though he played across the field from Greedy Williams, the Browns' second-round pick this spring. According to Pro Football Focus' metrics, Fulton allowed just 41.5 percent of the passes thrown in his direction to be caught and held receivers to 49 yards after the catch during the '18 season. Fulton's off-field history may give some NFL teams pause but his on-field abilities are undeniable.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Simmons is a hybrid capable of dominating the linebacker position but with the athleticism to drop into coverage like a safety. He even stood out on Clemson's stacked defense from last season's national championship team and Simmons should only get better in 2019. If Dylan Moses returns to Alabama in 2020, Simmons is the top-rated linebacker.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Wisconsin • Jr • 6'3" / 321 lbs
The Ravens have needs along the interior offensive line, and if this offense is truly committed to building around Lamar Jackson, surrounding him with O-linemen with a nasty disposition makes a lot of sense. Biadasz has few flaws and would've likely been a first-rounder if he declared for the 2019 draft.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 264 lbs
His long legs result in a powerful first step when he gets space. Gross-Matos shows good pursuit down the line of scrimmage, the ability to make backside tackles and uses his quickness to knife through the line. He needs to get stronger but has the quickness to regularly find himself making plays in the backfield.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Jalen Hurts QB
Oklahoma • Sr • 6'2" / 219 lbs
While playing behind Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama last season, Hurts attempted only 70 passes. But the highlight came in the SEC Championship Game against Georgia, when he replaced an injured Tua and finished 7 of 9 for 82 yards and a touchdown, and added another 28 yards on the ground, and another score. When he transferred to Oklahoma we all wondered just how good he would be in Lincoln Riley's offense and the answer after one game is "better than anyone imagined." Also: We're not convinced Nick Foles is the short or long-term answer in Jacksonville.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Alabama • Sr • 6'7" / 312 lbs
Don't be confused, Davis isn't nearly as dynamic as his 2018 line-mate, Quinnen Williams. His job was to occupy blockers to allow others to make plays, which he did well. Davis shows the ability to beat one-on-one blocks and he has the strength to control the line of scrimmage. That said, he needs to improve his pass-rush moves; last season he seemed more effective when he lined up between the center and the guard than when he kicked outside between the guard and tackle. Davis did the right thing returning to Alabama; he'll have a much better shot now at going in Round 1.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 322 lbs
He has a little bit of Cody Ford in his game. Wirfs 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.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 190 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. With Randall Cobb now in Dallas, the Packers get Aaron Rodgers another explosive playmaker who can take over the middle of the field.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Round 1 - Pick 24
Stanford • Jr • 6'1" / 190 lbs
The Steelers just signed Joe Haden to a multi-year deal but rookie third-rounder Justin Layne didn't look sharp in preseason and it's easy to imagine Pittsburgh letting Artie Burns walk after the 2019 campaign. Adebo, a former wideout, plays with a physical edge that makes him a natural fit in the Steelers' secondary.
Round 1 - Pick 25
TCU • Sr • 6'7" / 328 lbs
The Browns have serious needs along the offensive line and Niang would immediately upgrade the unit. He started 13 games last season and didn't allow a sack, and Pro Football Focus graded him as the best pass-blocking tackle in the Big 12.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Oklahoma • Soph • 6'5" / 315 lbs
The Rams have few need on offense but upgrading the interior line is among them. Humphrey was an integral part of a dominant unit at Oklahoma last season that had four of his linemates drafted, and he returns in 2019 to anchor a group now charged with protecting Jalen Hurts.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Georgia • Jr • 5'9" / 215 lbs
If Melvin Gordon's done, the Chargers could upgrade the position with Swift. In a word, Swift is explosive. He has the ability to bounce it to the outside using both speed and strength, which sometimes comes with a stiff arm. He can also run between the tackles and he uses his quick acceleration through the hole to get head of steam and that makes him even tougher to bring down. And while he may not be a burner, his one-cut ability can leave defenders flat-footed.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Round 1 - Pick 29
Jacob Eason QB
Washington • Jr • 6'6" / 227 lbs
First things first, Eason passes the eyeball test with flying colors. He certainly looks like a franchise quarterback. And he can throw the ball out of the stadium. And while he hasn't played a lot of football in recent years, you wouldn't have known it to watch him against Eastern Washington. If he plays close to this level for the rest of the season he'll be in the first-round conversation.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 30
Syracuse • Sr • 6'4" / 260 lbs
Yes, the Raiders drafted Clelin Ferrell fourth overall in the spring but it's unclear if he'll have an immediate impact as a rookie. Plus: You can never have too many pass rushers on a defense that managed just 13 sacks last season.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Round 1 - Pick 32
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Is the Chiefs' defense better than it was in 2018? They added safety Juan Thornhill in the draft but lost CB Steven Nelson in free agency. At 6-foot-0, 200 pounds, Okudah is a physical cornerback who excels in man coverage. And while he's still looking for his first college interception he had 8 passes defended last season.
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