2020 NFL Mock Draft: Five quarterbacks go in Round 1; Chargers, Bucs, Vikings all land franchise passers
This is a quarterbacks-driven league so don't be surprised if there's a run on franchise passers on draft day
That's it, the 2019 season is officially in the books, the Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl LIV champions, and the offseason has begun in earnest for all 32 teams. Not surprisingly, for the worst of them, quarterback is the biggest need, starting with the Bengals, who currently have the first-overall pick.
Things got a little awkward during Super Bowl week when Carson Palmer, the No. 1 pick back in 2003 -- to the Bengals, incidentally -- admitted he wasn't a good fit in Cincinnati.
"That's why I wanted out (of Cincinnati)," Palmer told CBS Sports Radio's Damon Amendolara. "I never felt like the organization was really trying to win a Super Bowl, and really chasing the Super Bowl."
It's also worth noting that Carson's brother, Jordan Palmer, is training Burrow in the weeks leading up to the draft.
But Burrow isn't the only story; Tua Tagovailoa told CBS Sports HQ on Thursday that he hopes to have a pro day in either March or April, ahead of the draft. Meanwhile, Jacob Eason, who declared for the draft in January, cracks the top 32 picks for the first time since October. Along with Justin Herbert and Jordan Love, that makes five QBs going in Round 1.
The Chiefs used an epic fourth-quarter comeback to win their first Super Bowl title in 50 years, and there's a lot to go over. Will Brinson and the Pick Six Podcast Superfriends break down everything about Chiefs-49ers in Super Bowl LIV; 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 • Sr • 6'4" / 216 lbs
Things got a little awkward during Super Bowl week when Carson Palmer told CBS Sports Radio's Damon Amendolara that he had to leave the Bengals because, 'I never felt they were committed to winning a Super Bowl.' And by the way, Carson's brother, Jordan, is training with Burrow. Still, Cincy desperately needs a franchise QB and Burrow, barring the unthinkable, will be the No. 1 overall selection.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • Jr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Given the way Burrow played in 2019, the Bengals shouldn't even take calls about trading down. And while we love Chase Young, Washington should listen to offers -- but unless they're blown away, take the layup, draft Young, and spend the rest of the draft rebuilding around Dwayne Haskins.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Okudah's effort vs. Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl last month was the closest thing we've seen to a shutdown corner during the '19 season; he put the clamps on Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross for most of the night and solidified his place as the No. 1 cornerback in this draft class.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Alabama • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Wills is not only one of the best players on Alabama's roster, he's arguably the top offensive linemen in this class. The right tackle quietly had an outstanding 2019 campaign and he'll upgrade a Giants offensive line in desperate need of some consistency.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 218 lbs
Tagovailoa made the rounds at radio row during Super Bowl week and he's insistent that he'll throw for teams in either late March or early April. If he's cleared medically he'll be the No. 2 QB off the board behind Burrow.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Oregon • Sr • 6'6" / 237 lbs
Even if Herbert didn't play with the consistency many had hoped for during the '19 season, he possesses all the physical attributes to be a star in this league. He's also coming off a strong Senior Bowl week, one that likely vaulted him into Round 1. And with Philip Rivers having likely having played his last game for the Chargers, L.A. will be in the market for a QB.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Auburn • Sr • 6'5" / 318 lbs
Brown is a top-5 player who finds his way to Carolina because of an early run on QBs. Gerald McCoy appears headed for free agency along with Vernon Butler after the Panthers didn't pick up his fifth-year option. The team has needs along the offensive line, at cornerback and wide receiver, and possibly at quarterback depending on Cam Newton's health.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Mekhi Becton OL
Louisville • Jr • 6'7" / 369 lbs
The Cardinals need to get better up front; the O-line ranked 21st in run blocking and 26th in pass blocking, according to Football Outsiders. At 6-7, 360 pounds, Becton is a mountain of a man but he moves like someone who weighs more like 260, which pairs nicely with his footwork, balance and strength.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Georgia • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
The Jaguars have one of the best players in the draft fall to them here and they immediately upgrade their O-line in the process. Thomas was a freshman All-American right tackle and then moved to left tackle the last two years where he dominated. He'll bookend 2019 second-round pick Jawaan Taylor on the Jags' offensive line.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 322 lbs
The Browns have myriad problems and fixing the offensive line is as good a place as any to start. Ultimately, this team's success comes down to Baker Mayfield, but protecting him might make that a lot easier. Wirfs was dominant last season and he can play either right or left tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 230 lbs
The Jets have glaring needs along the offensive line and at wide receiver but four tackles are already off the board and this class is deep at WR. Instead, New York takes Simmons, who can line up just about anywhere on the field. He reminds us of a bigger version of Derwin James.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 192 lbs
Our top prospect coming into the 2019 season, Jeudy was good, just not great. It's not entirely his fault; he played alongside Henry Ruggs and DeVonta Smith, two first-round-caliber wideouts, and despite lower production there's still no denying his dynamism. Which is why he makes a ton of sense for the Raiders, who currently lack a consistent downfield playmaker outside of tight end Darren Waller.
Round 1 - Pick 13
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 189 lbs
The Colts have needs on defense, for sure, but T.Y. Hilton missed six games and Zach Pascal led the team in receiving. Jacoby Brissett needs help and Lamb, a YAC monster, would certainly solve a lot of problems in Indy's downfield passing attack.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Jordan Love QB
Utah State • Jr • 6'4" / 225 lbs
The Bucs have a decision to make on their QB position. Do they re-up Jameis Winston and pray he somehow quits throwing interceptions, or take a flyer on Philip Rivers, assuming he's available? We know Bruce Arians' track record with developing quarterbacks, and if the plan is to find the next face of the franchise, Jordan Love could fit the bill. He's coming off a tough season at Utah State but like Herbert, the physical talent is off the charts.
Round 1 - Pick 15
LSU • Sr • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Chris Harris' contract expires in March, and he was the Broncos' most consistent cornerback last season. Fulton had an up and down 2019 campaign but is undoubtedly a first-round talent -- which was also the case a year ago when he considered leaving school early.
Round 1 - Pick 16
K'Lavon Chaisson EDGE
LSU • Soph • 6'4" / 250 lbs
The Falcons D played better down the stretch but the need for an edge rusher remains, especially with Vic Beasley in the final year of his contract. Chaisson is explosive off the edge, even if he's a tad undersized.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
The Cowboys desperately need to bolster the secondary, especially at safety, and McKinney is arguably the best one in this draft class. He can play centerfield or closer to the line of scrimmage, and brings a physicality that was on display week in and week out during the Crimson Tide's '19 season.
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 18
Terrell Lewis EDGE
Alabama • Sr • 6'5" / 252 lbs
Lewis has battled through knee and elbow injuries that forced him to miss most of the previous two seasons but he's shown in 2019 just how disruptive he can be off the edge. After a strong Senior Bowl, there's a good chance he finds his way into Round 1.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 19
LSU • Jr • 6'1" / 227 lbs
The Raiders very quietly had one of the best rookie draft classes last season and they'll look to build on that this spring. Queen flashed early and often during the national title game and those 60 minutes of football served as a microcosm of his 2019 season.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
Round 1 - Pick 21
CJ Henderson CB
Florida • Jr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
The Eagles were hobbled by injuries in the secondary and they'll aim to fix that in the offseason. Henderson is long, fast and athletic and while he hasn't been quite as productive this season, he has all the traits NFL teams look for in lockdown CBs.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Colorado • Jr • 6'2" / 220 lbs
Shenault can line up anywhere and would be a versatile chess piece in Brian Daboll's offense. We've been doing mock drafts since early September and this is one of our favorite player-team matches. How high Shenault is selected will come down to his testing but when he's healthy he's damn near unstoppable.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Ruggs is not only one of the fastest players on the Alabama roster, he's one of the fastest players on the planet (there's speculation he might run a sub-4.3 at the combine). Not surprisingly, he's a threat to take it to the house from anywhere on the field, which is exactly what the Pats were missing in their offense in 2019.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Jalen Reagor WR
TCU • Jr • 5'11" / 195 lbs
Ted Ginn has probably played his last season in New Orleans and even if he remained the Saints need more playmakers around Mike Thomas. Jalen Reagor is a four-down player, who can line up anywhere, and would be yet another chess piece in Sean Payton's offense.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Jacob Eason QB
Washington • Jr • 6'6" / 227 lbs
Eason looks a lot like Carson Palmer when he's on the field. And while he could've benefitted from another year at Washington, he has the physical tools to play the position at a high level. Like most young QBs, he'll need time to grow into the position. In Minnesota, Kirk Cousins has one more year left on his current deal and Eason would be a natural successor should the two sides decide to part ways.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 26
Josh Jones OL
Houston • Sr • 6'7" / 310 lbs
Jones had an outstanding season for the Cougars and that carried over to the Senior Bowl too. He has the type of strength and athleticism that translates well to the NFL. In Miami, he'd be part of a rebuilding effort that would begin with protecting the new face of the franchise, Tua Tagovailoa.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 234 lbs
Josh Bynes played out of his mind last season but he's 30 and was on a one-year deal after spending the previous two seasons in Arizona (and the three before that in Detroit). Murray has sideline-to-sideline speed and is a middle-of-the-field playmaker who has the talent to be the next great inside linebacker in Baltimore.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Trevon Diggs CB
Alabama • Sr • 6'2" / 207 lbs
Logan Ryan and Tramaine Brock are two of the Titans' top three cornerbacks and both will be out of a contract in March. But even if Tennessee brings back one (or both), you can never have enough defensive backs on the roster. Diggs, Stefon Diggs' brother and also a former wide receiver, is one of the most physical CBs in this draft class.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Tee Higgins WR
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
There isn't much DaVante Adams can't do but he needs help. Higgins had his best showing of the '19 season in the ACC title game, hauling in nine passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns. The Clemson standout has No. 1 WR-type skils and Rodgers will find ways to get him the ball.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Washington • Jr • 6'2" / 239 lbs
We typically have the 49ers taking a safety here, or maybe even an interior offensive linemen. Instead, we're giving George Kittle a running mate and Jimmy G one more weapon. Bryant is a move tight end who reminds us of Evan Engram. He's a matchup nightmare for defenses and if he can cut down on the drops (he had 6 on 62 catchable targets in 2019, according to Sports Info Solutions) he will be a difference-maker at the next level.
Round 1 - Pick 32
A.J. Terrell CB
Clemson • Jr • 6'1" / 190 lbs
The Chiefs defense improved steadily this season, and the secondary has been pleasantly surprising at times, but Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland will be free agents in the spring and A.J. Terrell is a long, physical cornerback coming off a strong campaign for the Tigers.
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