2020 NFL Mock Draft: Justin Herbert slides but lands in perfect spot; Dolphins' win to cost them QB?
The Bengals are the undisputed worst team while the Dolphins are suddenly reverse-tanking (also known as winning)
The Dolphins are doing a terrible job of tanking. And now, after winning their first game of the season, they don't select until fourth overall. Lucky for them, only one of the teams in front of them needs a quarterback, which means they'll get one of the two best passers in the draft. (Here's to hoping they chose wisely.)
Meanwhile, Justin Herbert, NFL., doesn't hear his name called until the bottom third of the first round, but that may be for the best; finding the right organization with the right head coach will be instrumental in his growth and, ultimately, success in the
The draft order is based on team records through the first nine weeks of the season (except MNF).
Alright, let's get to it.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 218 lbs
The Andy Dalton era has ended ingloriously and while we wait to see what rookie Ryan Finley can do, this organization is in need of a complete overhaul. And what better way to start anew than draft a franchise quarterback. Joe Burrow makes sense here, too, but if Cincy wants to go with a passer who has had success at a high level for several seasons, Tua is the guy.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • Jr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Yes, the Redskins have glaring needs along the offensive line, due in large part to the Trent Williams situation. But Young is too good to pass up and may end up being the best player in this class. An explosive first step off of the edge allows Young to get into the backfield quickly and often. He already has 13.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss this season and he'd join 2019 first-rounder Montez Sweat along the Redskins' defensive line.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Georgia • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Add Jets O-line the the long list of issues facing this franchise. But if the plan is to build around Sam Darnold, it might as well start with the front five. One of 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's protecting Jake Fromm's blind side at Georgia through quick feet, athleticism and strength. Coming into 2019, Thomas had allowed just four sacks in two seasons and he can take over in the run game.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Joe Burrow QB
LSU • Sr • 6'4" / 216 lbs
Joe Burrow came into the 2019 season as a Day 3 pick. He has been so consistently good that he's not only worked his way into Round 1, but he could legitimately be the first-overall selection. He had his toughest outing of the season last week vs. Auburn and still completed 76 percent of his throws. A sneaky good athlete, Burrow would give the Dolphins the franchise quarterback they've been looking for since Dan Marino retired two decades ago.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 230 lbs
The Falcons need help everywhere on their defense and what better way to expedite upgrading this roster than getting a player who excels at multiple positions? 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 he's only gotten better in 2019. If Dylan Moses returns to Alabama in 2020, Simmons is the top-rated linebacker while also being one of the nation's top-rated safeties.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 322 lbs
There were reports that the Giants would consider trading Nate Solder before last week's trade deadline, but even with him still on the team there needs to be a plan to protect Daniel Jones heading into the 2020 season. Wirfs, who has a little Cody Ford in his game, 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. There's a chance he returns to Iowa but he's a top-10 talent.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Auburn • Sr • 6'5" / 318 lbs
The Browns arguably have bigger needs along the O-line but they also need to shore up the interior of their defensive front. Enter Brown, who is hard to move off the ball and has the strength to push the pocket, even against double teams. A disruptive space-eater, Brown can also get after the quarterback; he has four sacks and seven tackles for loss this season to go along with three passes defended and two forced fumbles.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Yes, the Bucs used five of their first six draft picks in the spring to bolster the defense, including two cornerbacks and a safety, but if we learned anything from Sunday's loss to the Seahawks it's that you can never have enough young, physical cornerbacks. Okudah is one of the best athletes in this draft class and he's having an excellent 2019 campaign for the Buckeyes. The junior has three interceptions this year after not having any in his first two seasons.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 192 lbs
As we wait for the Broncos to sort out their quarterback situation, they land the most dynamic player in this draft class here. Jeudy, an elite route runner who does everything well, will immediately replace the just-traded Emmanuel Sanders.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 10
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 189 lbs
The Raiders have been one of the biggest surprises of the first half of the NFL season and they have a top-10 offense without Antonio Brown. Credit to Jon Gruden and Derek Carr. Lamb just feels like a Raiders player in Gruden's system. His next-level body control allows him to adjust to throws in mid-air, often with defenders draped all over him, and while he may not look it, pound for pound he's one of the strongest pass catchers in college football -- a YAC monster once the ball is in his hands.
Round 1 - Pick 11
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 12
Trevon Diggs CB
Alabama • Sr • 6'2" / 207 lbs
There were reports that Darius Slay was on the trade block last week. Lucky for the Lions, he stayed put. Either way, Diggs would bring a physicality to the secondary. If he 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.
Round 1 - Pick 13
LSU • Sr • 6'0" / 200 lbs
The Jaguars need to replace Jalen Ramsey and Fulton fits the bill. He considered entering the 2019 NFL Draft, 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.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Alabama • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Wills is a big-bodied (even by Alabama offensive-line standards) right tackle who dominates at the point of attack. He's surprisingly nimble in the passing game and can take over in the running game, which should come as welcome news to Philip Rivers.
Round 1 - Pick 15
A.J. Epenesa EDGE
Iowa • Jr • 6'6" / 280 lbs
Outside of Harold Landry the Titans don't have much in the way of a consistent pass-rushing threat off the edge. Cam Wake has been a pleasant surprise but he's only used in spot duty. Epenesa, meanwhile, 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 16
Dylan Moses LB
Alabama • Jr • 6'3" / 235 lbs
The Raiders linebackers have been replacement-level this season and Moses would go a long way in shoring up the unit. He'll miss the 2019 season after suffering a torn ACL in August but he's the prototypical NFL inside linebacker in that he's explosive, extremely athletic and has sideline-to-sideline playmaking abilities. He can rush off the edge and has the ability to sift through trash and knife would-be blockers to make plays in the backfield. Moses was the best inside linebacker on Alabama's defense a season ago (and that included Browns fifth-rounder Mack Wilson).
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 17
Notre Dame • Sr • 6'4" / 248 lbs
Vince Biegel has been Miami's best edge defender, according to Pro Football Focus, and that should tell you everything you need to know about the state of their pass rush. 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 18
Round 1 - Pick 19
Wisconsin • Jr • 6'3" / 321 lbs
Whether it's Kyle Allen, Cam Netwon or possibly even Will Grier, the Panthers need to strengthen their interior offensive line. Biadasz has few flaws and would've probably been a first-rounder if he declared for the 2019 draft.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
Tee Higgins WR
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Nick Foles appears ready to assume the starting role in Jacksonville and the Jaguars need to upgrade their wide receiver corps after D.J. Chark and Dede Westbrook. Higgins, the 6-foot-4 playmaker with a huge catch radius can high-point the ball as well as anyone in this draft class.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Florida State • Jr • 6'5" / 311 lbs
The Cowboys defensive line ranks 22nd in pass rush and 26th in run defense. Wilson is one of best pass-rushing interior linemen through the first two months of the season (via PFF) and it's easy to see why -- he's strong, quick off the snap and his variety of pass-rush moves frequently gets him into the backfield.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Oregon • Sr • 6'6" / 237 lbs
Justin Herbert is coming off his best game of the season and if there's anyone who can work with an uber-talented young quarterback still growing into his game it's Frank Reich. Jacoby Brissett is currently the unquestioned starter but his contract expires after the 2020 season; Herbert won't be ready to become an NFL starter right away and a redshirt season behind Brissett -- and under Reich's tutelage -- makes a ton of sense.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • Sr • 6'6" / 310 lbs
Linval Joseph has been above average, via PFF, but Shamar Stephen has been replacement-level. Kinlaw, who has five sacks and five tackles for loss in nine games this season, is disruptive at the scrimmage and he has the ability to consistently push the pocket. He would give the Vikings a much needed presence in the middle of the defense.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Alabama • Jr • 6'6" / 310 lbs
Leatherwood, who has played left tackle, right guard and left tackle again during his college career, would add some much-needed consistency (and, if needed, versatility) to the Chiefs' offensive line.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 25
Colorado • Jr • 6'2" / 220 lbs
Shenault got off to a slow start to the season because he was battling injuries, but when he's healthy, he's a game-changer. Look no further than his late-October matchup against USC when he had 9 catches for 172 yards and a touchdown. 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 26
Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 264 lbs
After starting the season as one of the NFL's best defenses, the Bills have fallen to 16th, via FO, and the pass rush is 28th. Gross-Matos has five sacks and nine tackles for loss in seven games this season. He needs to get stronger but has the quickness to regularly find himself making plays in the backfield.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 234 lbs
Murray has had a strong start to the season and has been one of the best players on Oklahoma's defense. And while he doesn't play with the same physicality of the those linebackers that patrolled the middle of NFL defenses a decade ago, at 6-2, 235 pounds, he looks and plays like the linebackers now coming into the league; Murray has sideline-to-sideline speed, the ability to run with tight ends and running backs, and he's capable of making plays in the backfield all game long.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Rookie Marquise Blair is already the team's best safety and while they traded for Quandre Diggs, you can never have too many good defensive backs, especially on a unit that came into the week ranked 22nd overall -- and that was before Jameis Winston threw for 325 yards. McKinney is stronger, faster and more explosive than former Alabama teammate Deionte Thompson, and he's much more versatile.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Oklahoma • Sr • 6'2" / 302 lbs
The Ravens need to bolster their defensive line and Gallimore, who has the athleticism and quickness to get into the backfield and moves effortlessly for his size, is having a standout season for the Sooners.
Round 1 - Pick 30
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. Now imagine him playing opposite Mike Thomas.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Auburn • Sr • 6'7" / 305 lbs
Isaiah Wynn has struggled to stay healthy and Marshall Newhouse isn't the long-term solution to protecting Tom Brady's blindside. Wanagho has ability to drive defenders off the line of scrimmage and combo blocks with ease due to athleticism and strength. He needs to play with more consistency but he's had a strong start to the 2019 campaign.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Minnesota • Sr • 6'2" / 205 lbs
There are few holes in this team, and even though the 49ers just traded for Manny Sanders, Jimmy Garoppolo can never have too many weapons. Johnson is a big slot receiver who regularly makes contested catches look easy -- think JuJu Smith-Schuster, but with a supporting cast in San Francisco.
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