The Bengals lost this week to Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges, which might make a strong case for why the NFL's worst team should take Ohio State defensive end Chase Young. But teams don't consistently make the playoffs without a franchise quarterback, which is why LSU's Joe Burrow remains the No. 1 pick in our latest mock draft.
And for the first time this mock-draft season, we only have one quarterback going in Round 1. Tua Tagovailoa is a first-round talent, and 1A to Burrow, but he's just a week removed from hip surgery and it's unclear when he'll be able to return to the field. (Once he gets the green light, he'll promptly return to being a top-5 pick.)
Meanwhile, Justin Herbert is coming off his worst game of the season and just when he should be putting to rest any lingering concerns about how his game translates to the next level, he's only created more questions. We're quite certain that some team will take Herbert in Round 1 but the reality is that his lack of consistency shouldn't be overlooked.
(We looked at Herbert's performance in the loss to Arizona State in the latest 2020 NFL Draft QB Stock Watch, as well as the play of Utah State's Jordan Love, Oklahoma's Jalen Hurts, Washington's Jacob Eason and, of course, Burrow.)
Week 12 is in the books and there's a lot to go over. Fortunately Will Brinson, John Breech, Ryan Wilson and Sean Wagner-McGough are here to break everything down on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and be sure to subscribe right here for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
The draft order is based on team records through the first 12 weeks of the season (except MNF).
Alright, let's get to it.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Joe Burrow QB
LSU • Sr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Andy Dalton was benched, but is now the starter again, so it's clear that Ryan Finley isn't the long-term answer in Cincinnati. Burrow, meanwhile, is on pace to win the Heisman Trophy, and he continues to put up dominant performances every week for LSU. Cincy can't pass him up here.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • Sr • 6'5" / 264 lbs
The Giants lose to the Bears but gain the best pass rusher in recent memory. The Giants selected RB Saquon Barkley second overall in 2018, added QB Daniel Jones with the No. 6 pick last spring and now they're in prime position to land edge rusher Chase Young, who will bring some much-needed tenacity to New York's hapless defense.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Georgia • Sr • 6'5" / 315 lbs
The Dolphins are out of the Tua sweepstakes for the time being (at least until we know what Tua's prognosis is after having hip surgery last week) and in the meantime they're beefing up the offensive line; Thomas has been a beast at left tackle for the entirety of his Georgia career and he'll immediately upgrade the Dolphins' LT position.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Sr • 6'1" / 193 lbs
Dwayne Haskins finally won an NFL start and assuming that the Redskins are sticking with him, they'll need to add some playmakers to an otherwise sad-sack offense. Terry McLaurin has been awesome but beyond that ... nothing. Jeudy is one of the most dynamic receivers in this draft class and he'll help open things up for McLaurin.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Iowa • Sr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Garrett Bolles has been a disappointment at left tackle but Elijah Wilkinson has been more problematic on the other side. Wirfs can play both tackle positions, and assuming he declares for the draft he's a top-10 talent.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Sr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
The Falcons went than two games without giving up a touchdown before having the Bucs drop 35 on them on Sunday. But the reality is that this defense isn't very good -- the pass D ranks 27th, according to Football Outsiders -- and upgrading the secondary with the best cornerback in this class is a no-brainer.
Round 1 - Pick 7
LSU • Sr • 5'11" / 197 lbs
The Lions are a bad football team, especially on defense, and you could target any position and improve this roster. Fulton is the No. 2 CB in this class who would give Detroit another playmaker opposite Darius Slay.
Round 1 - Pick 8
A.J. Epenesa EDGE
Iowa • Sr • 6'6" / 260 lbs
Epenesa is playing some of his best football of the season; he has forced fumbles in three straight games, and he's also logged 3.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss in that span. Like Iowa teammate Wirfs, there are reports that Epenesa could return to school but if he doesn't, he too could hear his name called early in the draft.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Clemson • Sr • 6'4" / 238 lbs
The Jags defense has fallen apart this season, falling to 19th in total value, and 30th against the run, according to Football Outsiders (and that was before what Derrick Henry and the Titans perpetrated against them on Sunday). Simmons is a hybrid LB/S who can do a little bit of everything and do it at a really high level.
Round 1 - Pick 10
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Sr • 6'2" / 200 lbs
The Jets would love to add an offensive linemen but with Thomas and Wirfs already off the board, Lamb isn't a bad consolation prize. He's arguably the best WR in this draft class -- even better than Jeudy -- and he'd give Sam Darnold a much-needed playmaker.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alabama • Jr • 6'5" / 312 lbs
The Chargers are a mess and desperately need a quarterback. Unfortunately, Tua's injured and Justin Herbert has been wildly inconsistent. Instead, L.A. targets an offensive linemen, something they've seldom done during the Philip Rivers era; Leatherwood can play both tackle positions and kick inside to guard and that versatility will serve him well on a porous Chargers O-line.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Alabama • Sr • 6'4" / 307 lbs
Demar Dotson is 34 years old and whomever ends up under center next season for the Bus will need to be protected. Tampa's O-line came into the week ranked 20th in run blocking and 22nd in pass protection, according to Football Outsiders. Wills has had a solid 2019 campaign for Alabama and could end up going higher in the draft than teammate Alex Leatherwood.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Trevon Diggs CB
Alabama • Sr • 6'2" / 195 lbs
This makes too much sense. The Eagles have been hobbled by injuries in the secondary and Diggs, one of the most physically imposing CBs in this class, would be a perfect fit on this unit and in the NFC East.
Round 1 - Pick 14
LSU • Sr • 6'3" / 208 lbs
Delpit, who has struggled with tackling this season, has battled an ankle injury in recent weeks, but he's the best safety in this class when he's healthy. In Cleveland's secondary, he'd join 2019 second-rounder Greedy Williams, who is having a strong rookie campaign.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 15
Dylan Moses LB
Alabama • Fr • 6'3" / 240 lbs
Moses suffered a torn ACL in August but he should be healthy in late spring/early summer. He was our No. 1 LB heading into the season and he'd fill a huge void in the middle of Las Vegas' (!!) defense.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Alabama • 6'0" / 190 lbs
D.J. Moore leads the team in targets, though he has just one touchdown on the season and is averaging 12.6 yards per catch. Ruggs is the fastest player on Alabama's roster, which means he's one of the fastest players in the country, and he would take pressure off Moore and Christian McCaffrey to carry Carolina's passing offense.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Florida • Sr • 6'1" / 204 lbs
Daryl Worley is the Raiders' best CB this season, according to Pro Football Focus, and he's been replacement level. He's also in the final year of his rookie deal. But even if he returns, the Raiders need to continue to bolster the secondary, and Henderson is long, fast and athletic.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Auburn • Sr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
In this mock draft, Brown slips to the Colts because of the way the board unfolded but don't be surprised if he's a top-10 pick. In Indy, Brown anchors the middle of the defensive line that has been good against the run but has struggled as a pass-rushing unit.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE
Penn State • Sr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Harold Landry leads the the Titans with 8 sacks. Next on the list? CB Logan Ryan with 3.5. Gross-Matos is a physical freak who has 8.5 sacks this season for the Nittany Lions.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
Tee Higgins WR
Clemson • Sr • 6'4" / 219 lbs
Higgins has a huge catch radius and can high-point the ball as well as anyone in college football. In Jacksonville, he'll join a young WR corps that is led by second-year player D.J. Chark, who has 8 TDs through 11 games.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Florida State • Fr • 6'4" / 303 lbs
Wilson's season is over after suffering a hand injury but he's one of the best pass-rushing defensive tackles in this draft class, something the middle of the Cowboys' defense could use.
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 22
Bryce Hall CB
Virginia • Sr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
The Dolphins need help just about everywhere. Hall was our CB1 coming into the season. He's since suffered an ankle injury that cut short his '19 campaign but he should be fully recovered by the spring.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • Sr • 6'5" / 319 lbs
Kinlaw is stout against the run and is also one of the best pass-rushing defensive linemen in the country. The Chiefs' pass defense ranks fourth, according to Football Outsiders, but the run D is an abysmal 31st. Kinlaw helps with that immediately.
Round 1 - Pick 24
A.J. Terrell CB
Clemson • Sr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer loves big physical cornerbacks and Terrell is that and then some. Plus, Xavier Rhodes has really struggled in 2019 and former second-round pick Mackensie Alexander is in the final year of his rookie deal.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 25
Notre Dame • Sr • 6'5" / 241 lbs
Okwara's season ended earlier this month, and while he wasn't quite as productive as a year ago, he's a high-upside prospect who explodes off the ball.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Colorado • Sr • 6'1" / 220 lbs
Shenault has battled injuries this season but he's a three-down player who can (and does) line up anywhere: out wide, in the slot, H-back, running back and even QB. As Josh Allen continues to progress it makes sense to surround him with versatile playmakers.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Josh Jones OL
Houston • Sr • 6'5" / 319 lbs
Bryan Bulaga is 30 years old and in the final year of his contract. Jones, meanwhile, is having an outstanding season for the Cougars and has the type of strength and athleticism that translates well to the NFL.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Boise State • Soph • 6'2" / 265 lbs
The Seahawks have a replacement-level pass rush after trading Frank Clark, and 2019 first-rounder L.J. Collier has played just 69 snaps this season after suffering a high-ankle sprain in August. Weaver has been dominant for Boise State this season with 13.5 sacks and 17.5 tackles for loss in 11 games.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Oklahoma • Sr • 6'2" / 241 lbs
Josh Bynes is playing out of his mind but he's 30, 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.
Round 1 - Pick 30
K.J. Hamler WR
Penn State • Sr • 5'9" / 178 lbs
Hamler is undersized but so are Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman and they're getting along just fine in Kansas City. In New Orleans, Hamler would give Sean Payton another big-play weapon alongside Mike Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Through 11 games this season for Penn State, Hamler is averaging 17.1 yards per catch (he had 18.0 a season ago) with 8 TDs. He's also a threat in the return game.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Terrell Lewis EDGE
Alabama • Sr • 6'5" / 262 lbs
The Patriots dominant D adds another playmaker. 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. If he's healthy, there's a good chance he finds his way into Round 1.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'4" / 302 lbs
The 49ers' interior O-line has been replacement level at best. Humphrey, who protected Kyler Murray last season and Jalen Hurts this season, is a technician who could step into a starting role on Day 1.