Finally, it's time for mock drafts to matter. (Assuming we have a draft! We can all hope.) Free agency has begun and most of the big names are off the board -- this dramatically changes everything we know about mocks and the draft approach from teams. This is especially true in "weird" years, like the 2011 lockout offseason or the 2020 coronavirus offseason.
Take the Jets for example: they were widely projected to get an offensive lineman for weeks/months in mock drafts. And then they went out and signed a bunch of offensive linemen! That doesn't prevent them from drafting another lineman if he's the best player on the board, but I think there's a really good chance the Jets look at adding an offensive weapon for Sam Darnold instead.
So who would make sense? Well you'll need to scroll down (or scroll up) ... actually I'll just tell you, it's Jerry Jeudy. And to me, the Jets taking him at 11 would create a potentially crazy run on wide receivers during the first round. We thought some of these guys might drop, but I'm getting the sense we could see a bunch in the first round.
All right, let's get to it.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • Soph • 6'5" / 264 lbs
The sense I get is the Redskins would love to bluff someone into coming up for Tua, but no one will be willing to give them the requisite picks (aka the RG3 package) to do so. Standing pat and taking Young is plenty fine.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Clemson • Soph • 6'4" / 238 lbs
Do-it-all linebacker/safety hybrid makes a lot of sense for a Bill Belichick protege like Matt Patricia to draft. That would be one thing about the Lions' offseason that makes sense, so that's good.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Mekhi Becton OL
Louisville • Jr • 6'7" / 363 lbs
It is NOT hard to picture Dave Gettleman fawning over the "rhair" (rare) physical traits and athleticism that Becton possesses. The Giants also need help on the offensive line and Gettleman has spent free agency addressing the defense primarily.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 217 lbs
Tua's draft stock is in flux with people wondering about his health status, and the coronavirus situation probably isn't helping him much in terms of being able to prove he's healthy in person. That could benefit the Dolphins by allowing them to sit back and land him with the fifth overall pick.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Soph • 6'1" / 193 lbs
The Jets could definitely still go offensive line here, but I think their free agency plan is setting them up to give Sam Darnold some weaponry, especially considering the likely departure of Robby Anderson.
From Indianapolis Colts
Round 1 - Pick 13
Mock Trade from Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 1 - Pick 14
Jordan Love QB
Utah State • Jr • 6'4" / 219 lbs
Yes, the Raiders already got Marcus Mariota and they have Derek Carr, but I don't think Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden are satisfied yet. There's not an ideal guy for Tampa at 14, so they make sense as a trade down partner here.
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 18
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • 6'5" / 319 lbs
I'm not sure the Dolphins will be obsessed with landing any particular player or position, rather just getting the best players they can find. Kinlaw and Christian Wilkins on the interior would be outstanding.
Mock Trade from Las Vegas Raiders
Round 1 - Pick 19
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
From Buffalo Bills
Round 1 - Pick 22
Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Adding a cornerback will definitely be a priority for Minnesota but they can wait a few picks with the options on the board. Here, they focus on replacing Everson Griffin and/or improving their defensive line and getting better against the run.
Round 1 - Pick 23
LSU • Jr • 6'3" / 208 lbs
Duron Harmon was sent packing so the Patriots could very well choose to beef up their secondary here, although everything feels up in flux with New England choosing not to add to the quarterback position yet, outside of Jarrett Stidham.
Round 1 - Pick 24
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 26
Julian Okwara EDGE
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'4" / 245 lbs
The Dolphins are just loading up on the defensive line in this draft and I don't mind it one little bit, especially with what they've done on the secondary. If this defense is suddenly GREAT, Miami could end up being frisky in 2020.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Colorado • Soph • 6'1" / 220 lbs
The Ravens have a loaded roster and I think they'll go best player available here -- grabbing a stud WR who fell because of injury feels like a fun thing to do in order to help out Lamar Jackson.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Round 1 - Pick 32
Georgia • Jr • 5'9" / 211 lbs
I don't know what to give the Chiefs in this draft. I do know they would probably consider trading out of the spot, but that they also could use some running back depth. Damien Williams has been a revelation in KC, but there's nothing wrong with more talent in an Andy Reid offense.