It's draft day. Finally.
Of the the 33 previous mock drafts we've done, dating back to the start of the 2019 college football season (you can check out mock draft No. 1 !) this last version proved to be the toughest. For starters, we didn't have any trades, even though it's become quite clear that several teams will be clamoring to move up -- but not for a quarterback, we think. Instead, names like C.J. Henderson, Javon Kinlaw and CeeDee Lamb could go much earlier than the mock-draft community expects.
Knowing that, it's hard to peg which players fall where but, hey, we'll all know soon enough in a few hours. But our hunch tells us that the Dolphins pass on a quarterback at No. 5, the Chargers don't pass on one a pick later, and Justin Herbert not only slides, but ends up going after Jordan Love. Of course, you also have a better chance of buying the winning lottery ticket while getting hit by lightning than we do of nailing all 32 picks, but trying to get into the minds of all 32 teams is what makes this fun.
Alright, let's get to it one last time (until next week, when we unveil our first 2021 NFL mock draft):
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • 6'5" / 264 lbs
Chase Young is the best player in this draft class and Washington has needs up and down the roster. The team can certainly entertain trade offers but drafting a quarterback, as has been speculated in recent months, would be a step in the wrong direction.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Soph • 6'1" / 202 lbs
The team traded Darius Slay and signed Desmond Trufant. Trading out of this pick would be ideal -- it certainly feels like the market has cooled on possible trading partners -- and if the Lions stay put, it'll be hard to pass on Okudah here.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Alabama • Soph • 6'4" / 307 lbs
Isaiah Simmons or an offensive tackle? That's the decision GM Dave Gettleman will have to make. Ironically, the first time Gettleman might be inclined to trade down and he may have trouble finding suitors. If New York stays put, Simmons' versatility is attractive here but Wills is a Day 1 starter, a proposition that has to make Daniel Jones happy.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Georgia • 6'5" / 315 lbs
The Dolphins have done a great job of keeping their true intentions under wraps. Maybe they're fine with Tua Tagovailoa's medicals and will take him here. If not, landing a top-flight offensive tackle makes a lot of sense and Thomas has the versatility to play on either the right or left side.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Alabama • Soph • 6'1" / 217 lbs
It's just hard to believe that Anthony Lynn is all in on Tyrod Taylor, even though both men had success together in Buffalo. Health and durability are the biggest concerns with Tagovailoa, but in terms of on-field play, he's much better than Justin Herbert. And if the Chargers are fine with Tagovailoa's medicals, he's an easy pick here. If not, they could target another position and look to free agency to add a QB like, say, Cam Newton.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Auburn • Soph • 6'5" / 320 lbs
The Cardinals have needs along the offensive line, but the the D-line could use some upgrading too. The team signed Jordan Phillips in free agency but there's little depth behind him, and Brown is one of the most well-rounded players in this class.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • 6'5" / 319 lbs
The Jags need to get better on both the offensive and defensive lines and with Derrick Brown already off the board, Jacksonville turns to Kinlaw here. He's just scratching the surface on his game and he heads to the NFL as the best pass-rushing interior defensive lineman in the entire class.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Mekhi Becton OL
Louisville • Soph • 6'7" / 363 lbs
Teams won't care about Becton getting flagged for a failed drug test at the combine. He reportedly never failed a test during his college career and he also happens to be one of the best offensive tackles in the draft. Which is great news for the Browns, who have a gaping hole at left tackle after signing Jack Conklin in free agency to shore up the right side.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Round 1 - Pick 12
Florida • 6'1" / 204 lbs
The Raiders need a wide receiver and it'll be hard to pass on Jeudy or Ruggs here, but Henderson is the second-best cornerback in this class. He had a strong 2018 campaign (though he did struggle to tackle consistently) and then blew the doors off the combine. He's a height/weight/speed dream for the position and there will likely be several teams clamoring to trade up for him. He will join a young, physical defense that includes second-year players Johnathan Abram, Travyon Mullen, Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby.
From Indianapolis Colts
Round 1 - Pick 13
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Soph • 6'1" / 193 lbs
The 49ers would love to trade down and get some picks in the middle rounds, but if they stay put, Jeudy is an easy choice. Emmanuel Sanders left in the offseason and Jeudy alongside Deebo Samuel and George Kittle is welcome news to Jimmy G.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Iowa • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Best-case scenario for the Bucs, who may have to trade up to get an offensive tackle. But here, Wirfs, who can play on the left or right side, falls to Tampa, and they have immediately upgraded an O-line that is now tasked with protecting Tom Brady. Also: by landing Wirfs at No. 14, it means the Bucs can address RB and WR in Rounds 2 and 3 should their guys be there.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Alabama • 6'0" / 190 lbs
The Broncos want to move up, reportedly for Jeudy, and it's easy to understand why. If they stay put, offensive tackle could also be an option, but it's hard to overlook Henry Ruggs, who is a home run threat every time he touches the ball. Imagine him on the field with Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay -- which will only make life easier for second-year QB Drew Lock.
Round 1 - Pick 16
K'Lavon Chaisson EDGE
LSU • Soph • 6'3" / 245 lbs
The Falcons are another team that could be in the trade-up business, presumably for C.J. Henderson, or perhaps Javon Kinlaw. With both off the board, they turn to bolstering the pass rush. Chaisson is a project here, only because he didn't play with the consistency you'd like to see out of an edge rusher taken midway through Round 1. That said, there's no denying he is explosive off the edge. He's much stronger than his 250-pound frame suggests, and he's only going to get better.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Southern Illinois • 6'3" / 220 lbs
The Cowboys would be ecstatic to have C.J. Henderson fall here (he won't), and if he's gone, K'Lavon Chaisson. If both are off the board -- and there's a good chance they will be -- Dallas could look to safety. Xavier McKinney is our No. 1 safety in this class but CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora reports that the Cowboys really like Chinn and he wouldn't be surprised if they took him here. Chinn is from FCS Southern Illinois but he's a former cornerback who dominated from the safety position, in part because of his versatility, thanks to the type of freakish athleticism that put him on the NFL's radar in the first place.
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 18
Jordan Love QB
Utah State • 6'4" / 219 lbs
Something of a surprise to see Love fall this far, and he may certainly go higher than this on draft day -- but it's more surprising that Justin Herbert is still on the board. Love has drawn comparisons to Patrick Mahomes in terms of his style of play, and with Miami passing on Tagovailoa at No. 5 and opting for tackle Andrew Thomas, the team turns to Love as its latest franchise QB. The former Utah State standout can sit on the bench for a year (just like Mahomes) and be ready to go in 2021.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 19
LSU • Soph • 6'1" / 195 lbs
The Raiders grabbed C.J. Henderson at No. 12 and seven picks later they land Justin Jefferson, who is coming off a dominant 2019 season with LSU. He played primarily out of the slot, but he can also move outside, and in Las Vegas he'll upgrade a passing attack that already includes Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
Oregon • 6'6" / 236 lbs
Based on his tape, Herbert is a second-round pick. We've said that since late last year. But demand for franchise QBs outstrips supply, and he'll likely be a top-10 pick on Thursday night. We have him falling to No. 20 here, and the Jaguars scoop him up with their second first-rounder. Yes, we know, Jacksonville had needs on both the offensive and defensive lines, but their current QB depth chart includes Gardner Minshew and Josh Dobbs. Herbert has all the physical tools and perhaps NFL coaching -- and playing in an offense that fits his strengths -- can help him put it all together. And Herbert will need a year of seasoning on the bench -- he absolutely can not be forced onto the field -- for his best chance at long-term success.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Arizona State • 6'0" / 200 lbs
The Eagles reportedly want to move up for CeeDee Lamb, and we don't blame them -- he's our WR1. But if they stay at No. 21, he'll be long gone. Plan B could include a player like Aiyuk, who is short on experience but is electric with the ball in his hands, both as a receiver and a returner. He'll get better as a route runner but he's already a YAC machine.
From Buffalo Bills
Round 1 - Pick 22
Jeff Gladney CB
TCU • 5'10" / 191 lbs
Gladney plays much bigger than his 5-foot-10 frame and he's one of the fastest cornerbacks in the class. The Vikings have to replace a lot of their defensive roster, starting in the secondary after letting Xavier Rhodes, Mackensie Alexander and Trae Waynes leave earlier this offseason.
Round 1 - Pick 23
A.J. Epenesa EDGE
Iowa • Soph • 6'6" / 260 lbs
This is a little high for us -- Epenesa flashed at Iowa but didn't play with the consistency we hoped to see, and he followed that up with a disappointing combine -- but Bill Belichick has a knack of zigging when others zag, and Epenesa, who plays outside but can kick inside, feels like a player who would excel in New England.
Round 1 - Pick 24
LSU • 6'0" / 232 lbs
No player did more for their draft stock than Queen, who flashed week in and week out for LSU. Demario Davis is coming off a dominating campaign, but there's no depth behind Kiko Alonso in the middle of the field. Queen is a sideline-to-sideline talent who is also strong in pass coverage.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE
Penn State • 6'5" / 265 lbs
The Vikings continue to restock the defensive cupboard, this time with edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos. Gross-Matos looks the part, and while he isn't particularly bendy around the edge he flashes big-play abilities. He won't dominate from Day 1 but has all the physical attributes to be a legit pass rusher in the NFL.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 26
Zack Baun LB
Wisconsin • 6'3" / 225 lbs
The Dolphins have needs at pass rusher and linebacker, and Baun checks both boxes. Baun starred off the edge for the Badgers but he's a tad undersized, which may mean he kicks inside. If nothing else, he can play on the weakside and be a situational pass rusher.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Cesar Ruiz OL
Michigan • 6'4" / 316 lbs
Justin Britt is entering the final year of his contract and the Seahawks have to get better at protecting Russell Wilson. Ruiz, who can also play guard, was the best pass-blocking interior lineman in this class, and perhaps it would prompt OC Brian Schottenheimer to call more pass plays in 2020.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Oklahoma • Soph • 6'2" / 241 lbs
The Ravens lost C.J. Mosley to the Jets last offseason, and Josh Bynes left for Cincinnati. Murray has freakish athleticism but he doesn't have much experience in pass coverage. He'll pick that up in time but for now Wink Martindale will have fun finding ways to use Murray.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Auburn • Soph • 6'3" / 278 lbs
The Titans traded away Jurrell Casey, and Marlon Davidson's versatility is what makes him so attractive here. He plays primarily outside the tackle, where he can get after it as a pass rusher, but he also has the ability to kick inside too. He's much more polished coming off the edge but he'll get better with time.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Denzel Mims WR
Baylor • 6'3" / 207 lbs
Mims followed a strong season with outta-this-world performances at the Senior Bowl and the combine. He's still developing as a route runner but he's a contested-catch machine who will flourish in an offense that includes Aaron Rodgers.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Josh Jones OL
Houston • Soph • 6'7" / 310 lbs
Jones showed vast improvement from 2018 to 2019, but the level of competition will be called into question when trying to project him to the next level. That said, Jones was dominant at the Senior Bowl and the 49ers will eventually have to replace Joe Staley, who will be 36 when the season begins. After grabbing Jeudy at No. 13, cornerback could be the target here too. In a perfect world, San Francisco would trade out of this pick.
Round 1 - Pick 32
LSU • 5'11" / 197 lbs
The Chiefs would've loved to have landed Cesar Ruiz but he's already gone. Instead, they bolster the secondary with Kristian Fulton. He's coming off an impressive 2019 campaign and when he's locked in, he locks down opposing WRs. RB has also been a popular pick here but Andy Reid has never taken a running back in Round 1, and has selected just one running back in the second round: LeSean McCoy.