2020 NFL Mock Draft: Panthers begin Matt Rhule era with a new quarterback, Patriots get a nice surprise

Will the Carolina Panthers move forward at the outset of the Matt Rhule era with Cam Newton as their quarterback? In this mock draft they don't, instead drafting Justin Herbert in Round 1.

Also, the first surprise of the draft happens inside the top five.

The draft order is now set through No. 24 overall. Position rankings are based on our composite prospect rankings.

What's the latest on Tua's draft stock? Brady Quinn and Ryan Wilson join Will Brinson to break down the 2020 draft, the latest NFL trends and more on the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.

Now, to the picks.

NFL Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
LSU • Sr • 6'4" / 216 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
After years being stuck in quarterback purgatory, the Bengals get what looks like a legitimate franchise guy in Burrow.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Ohio State • Jr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
The Redskins are in position to be on the other end of a gigantic, Robert Griffin III type trade. But if they don't get an enormous haul for the No. 2 overall pick, they'll likely draft Young to continue to build the defensive front for new coach Ron Rivera.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
1st
The Lions are another team that'll likely be fielding calls for a team looking to get ahead of the Dolphins to take a quarterback (presumably Tagovailoa), but Matt Patricia, in this scenario, stays put and drafts the best corner prospect in the class.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 322 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
2nd
First surprise of Round 1, courtesy of Dave Gettleman. Wirfs over Georgia's Andrew Thomas isn't a big mistake though, as Wirfs is a super-strong, athletic blocker with experience at right and left tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 218 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
2nd
The tank job by Miami's front office -- not the coaches nor the players -- will have worked if this happens. Tagovailoa is about as polished as it gets as a quarterback prospect.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Georgia • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
1st
Regardless of who's playing quarterback for the Chargers in their new Los Angeles home in 2020, he will need to be protected better than Philip Rivers has been the past few seasons. Insert Brown to that offensive line, Mr. Telesco.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Oregon • Sr • 6'6" / 237 lbs
Projected Team
Carolina
PROSPECT RNK
33rd
POSITION RNK
4th
No one is quite sure what Rhule will want to do at quarterback, but it wouldn't be off-brand if the new, analytics-based Panthers moved on from Newton to save nearly $20 million. In this scenario, Rhule believes he can get the most out of the super-talented Herbert.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 189 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury. He then drafted Air Raid quarterback Kyler Murray. Logical. The next step in the familiarity project in the desert would be giving Murray his former Oklahoma teammate to become the team's No. 1 wideout.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
1st
Just about every good defense has quality linebackers. Think about it. With Myles Jack and Simmons, the Jaguars would have that, and he'd help the safety position too, as he's a legitimate hybrid with experience (and production) from both spots.
Round 1 - Pick 10
LSU • Jr • 6'3" / 203 lbs
Projected Team
Cleveland
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Damarious Randall, Eric Murray, and Juston Burris are set to hit free agency, so the safety spot could be pretty barren in Cleveland heading into the draft. Delpit has some tackling issues but is a huge safety prospect with plus athleticism.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 192 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
1st
With Wirfs and Thomas gone up front, the Jets are perfectly content with Jeudy here at No. 11 overall.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 234 lbs
Projected Team
Oakland
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
1st
Murray will need to go through the rigors of learning how to read route concepts in the NFL, but from an athleticism and instincts standpoint, he's right up there with Isaiah Simmons at the linebacker spot in this class.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Ruggs flies and isn't a stiff, straight-line track guy. His cuts are sharp, and he's twitchy after the catch. Frank Reich will love him in his offense.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Auburn • Sr • 6'5" / 318 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Buccaneers have loads of impending free agents on their defensive line. Brown is an overwhelming pocket pusher on the inside.
Round 1 - Pick 15
South Carolina • Sr • 6'6" / 310 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Broncos will likely prioritize offense throughout the draft but with some key pieces up front on defense hitting the market -- Derek Wolfe and Shelby Harris -- John Elway decides to go with Kinlaw, a long, heavy-handed disruptor who can line up anywhere.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 264 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Gross-Matos is immensely long, pretty athletic and showcased more pass-rushing prowess in 2019. With Vic Beasley likely done in Atlanta, Dan Quinn dips into the edge-rusher well once again.
Round 1 - Pick 17
LSU • Soph • 6'4" / 250 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
38th
POSITION RNK
5th
Even with DeMarcus Lawrence under contract for many years, the Cowboys quietly will have a sizable need on the edge in 2020. So they go with Chassion here, a ferocious defensive end who blossomed during a mostly healthy 2019 at LSU.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Alabama • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Dolphins go with the fundamentally sound, powerful Wills to shore up the right side of the line.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Colorado • Jr • 6'2" / 220 lbs
Projected Team
Oakland
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
6th
Jon Gruden is a West Coast Offense advocate, and Shenault is a West Coast offense receiver with good size, awesome contact balance, and serious speed in the open field.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Alabama • Sr • 6'2" / 207 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
26th
POSITION RNK
5th
While not nearly as complete of a prospect, Diggs' size and physical style at the line of scrimmage is reminiscent to that of Jalen Ramsey.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
4th
Higgins gives the Eagles the best of both worlds at receiver -- he's tall and speedy down the field. Carson Wentz rejoices.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Iowa • Jr • 6'6" / 280 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
2nd
In this scenario, the Bills are relying on the depth of the receiver class to address the position in Round 2 or Round 3. With Epenesa they get a three-down defensive end with an ascending arsenal of pass-rushing moves.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'5" / 250 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
39th
POSITION RNK
1st
Somewhat of a surprise entry into the 2020 class, Kmet instantly became TE1 after his announcement. He's a decent blocker but thrives as a receiver thanks to a huge frame and smooth cutting abilities.
Round 1 - Pick 24
LSU • Sr • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
2nd
This would represent quite the fall for the reliable and sticky Fulton, and the Saints would be thrilled to stop the plummet and pair him with Marshon Lattimore on the outside.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Michigan • Sr • 6'2" / 250 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
72nd
POSITION RNK
7th
Uche is a freakish speed-to-power edge rusher with quality bend and a nice inside move. With more strength, he can be a high-end pass-rush specialist and has coverage skills thanks to good athleticism.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Louisville • Jr • 6'7" / 369 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
45th
POSITION RNK
5th
Becton is gigantic but actually moves extremely well in a zone-blocking system, music to the ears of the offensive coaches in Minnesota.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Boise State • Jr • 6'3" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
35th
POSITION RNK
5th
Weaver is a heavy and decently polished edge rusher who can set the edge and bend it as a pass rusher. His swipe move is deadly.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Tennessee • Jr • 6'6" / 325 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
53rd
POSITION RNK
1st
We aren't sure yet if Smith will declare for the 2020 Draft, but at guard, he can be an standout player right away because of his rare blend of size, strength, and athleticism.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Ohio State • Jr • 5'10" / 217 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
57th
POSITION RNK
4th
The Chiefs could use a bell-cow back in the Patrick Mahomes-led offense and Dobbins can undoubtedly be that featured back, as we've seen during his career at Ohio State.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Penn State • Soph • 5'9" / 176 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
82nd
POSITION RNK
11th
Hamler hasn't been a high-volume player for Penn State, but his movements are absolutely electric, and he flies down the field.
Round 1 - Pick 31
California • Sr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
San Francisco
PROSPECT RNK
43rd
POSITION RNK
3rd
Keep going back to this pairing because the 49ers, despite their strong defense, could use another safety with linebacker qualities.
Round 1 - Pick 32
TCU • Jr • 5'11" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
5th
The Ravens love throwing to their tight ends, but how about another separation-predicated wideout next to Marquise Brown? Reagor is that type of explosive-movement receiver.
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