2020 NFL Mock Draft: Panthers find Luke Kuechly replacement with Isaiah Simmons, Eagles land Tee Higgins

The hiring of Matt Rhule, luring Joe Brady from the instantly legendary LSU football team, and the retirement of Luke Kuechly -- what a week for the Carolina Panthers. 

And their pick in this mock addresses the latter development, although no one should expect someone to fully replace Kuechly in the middle.

The draft order is now set through No. 28 overall. Position rankings are based on our composite prospect rankings.

Is Trevor Lawrence a better pro prospect than Joe Burrow? Brady Quinn and Ryan Wilson join Will Brinson to break down the 2020 draft 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
You earned this with your 2019 season, Bengals. Burrow is yours.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Ohio State • Jr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
Think Ron Rivera will like the idea of drafting Young? I do too.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
1st
Don't overthink this, Lions. Okudah is everything you could want in a corner and the secondary needs work.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Georgia • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
1st
Dave Gettleman has to protect his 2019 first-round pick better. Thomas is the best left tackle in the class.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 218 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Tua lands in Miami and probably plays at some point in 2020 on a very young and improving team.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Oregon • Sr • 6'6" / 237 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
32nd
POSITION RNK
4th
Herbert is too talented and too experienced to fall in this draft, and the Chargers are in a position to turn to a new chapter at quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
Carolina
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
1st
After the Luke Kuechly retirement, the Panthers turn their attention to the linebacker spot and pair Shaq Thompson with another freakazoid in Simmons.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 189 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
1st
Please make this happen, Cardinals. I want to see Kyler Murray throwing to Lamb again.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Auburn • Sr • 6'5" / 318 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Jaguars could use some fortification on the interior of their defensive front, and Brown is the most impactful pure pocket pusher in the class.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 322 lbs
Projected Team
Cleveland
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
2nd
In this scenario, the Browns aren't able to corral a starting left tackle in free agency. Wirfs is a rock and can play on either edge.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 192 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Jets are perfectly happy landing Jeudy here for Sam Darnold.
Round 1 - Pick 12
LSU • Sr • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Oakland
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Last year, Mike Mayock prioritized drafting players from winning programs, and he follows that philosophy again with Fulton.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Good luck tackling the Colts top two receivers -- T.Y. Hilton and now Ruggs -- after the catch in 2020.
Round 1 - Pick 14
LSU • Jr • 6'3" / 203 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Buccaneers may go defensive line here but instead add more youthful, high-end talent to the secondary.
Round 1 - Pick 15
South Carolina • Sr • 6'6" / 310 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
2nd
The Broncos are suddenly in need of more bodies up front who could disrupt the opposing quarterback. They get that with Kinlaw, the most versatile defensive lineman in the class.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
2nd
After a steadily improving career at Alabama, McKinney is ready to do anything you ask of him on the back end. He's a safety/cornerback hybrid with good range and the mentality of a linebacker against the run.
Round 1 - Pick 17
LSU • Soph • 6'4" / 250 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
36th
POSITION RNK
5th
The Cowboys are going to have a need on the edge next season. Chassion is a bendy, high-motor, heavy-handed star in the making.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Alabama • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
3rd
While he's a right tackle, the Dolphins simply need to add top talent to the roster. Wills isn't a true dancing bear but is as fundamentally sound as you're going to get on the outside and plays with overwhelming power.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Colorado • Jr • 6'2" / 220 lbs
Projected Team
Oakland
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
6th
Shenault would be the ideal complement to Tyrell Williams in Jon Gruden's West Coast offense.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Alabama • Sr • 6'2" / 207 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
26th
POSITION RNK
4th
Diggs has similarly imposing length and physicality to that of Jalen Ramsey.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
4th
Right before the Bills could draft him, the Eagles go Higgins to inject some life into the receiver group for Carson Wentz.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Iowa • Jr • 6'6" / 280 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Epenesa comes in and starts on the edge if Shaq Lawson isn't retained in free agency. He's a three-down player with NFL size, power, and an ascending arsenal of pass-rush moves.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Washington • Jr • 6'2" / 239 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
52nd
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Patriots surprise by going Bryant over the consensus top tight end, Cole Kmet. Bryant is smaller and more dynamic after the catch.
Round 1 - Pick 24
TCU • Jr • 5'11" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
5th
The stars are aligning for the Saints to pick Reagor, an ultra-talented receiver without gaudy statistics in 2019 because of bad quarterback play.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Louisville • Jr • 6'7" / 369 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
45th
POSITION RNK
5th
The Vikings get Kirk Cousins a left tackle of the future in Becton, who plays like he's much smaller than he really is. And he towers over defensive linemen.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Wisconsin • Jr • 5'11" / 219 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
1st
Taylor has legit track speed at 220 pounds, and instantly becomes the bell cow in South Beach.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Virginia • Sr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
31st
POSITION RNK
5th
Hall is off the radar a bit after an early-season injury ended his senior year at Virginia. But at well over 6-0 and 200 pounds with major length and zone savvy, he'd be a perfect fit in Seattle.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Alabama • Sr • 6'5" / 252 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
39th
POSITION RNK
5th
If Matthew Judon isn't retained in free agency, Baltimore will have a glaring need on the edge. Enter Lewis, an explosive, angular outside linebacker with good counter moves.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Boise State • Jr • 6'3" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Weaver has been productive since his freshman season at Boise State and would give Mike Vrabel some coverage versatility from the linebacker spot.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 234 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Murray is the immediate replacement for impending free agent Blake Martinez.
Round 1 - Pick 31
LSU • Jr • 6'3" / 192 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
47th
POSITION RNK
7th
The Chiefs skill-position stars are getting a little older, so Kansas City reloads with Jefferson, one of the best big slot receivers in the class.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Clemson • Jr • 6'1" / 190 lbs
Projected Team
San Francisco
PROSPECT RNK
37th
POSITION RNK
5th
San Francisco adds another lengthy perimeter corner to the roster to learn from Richard Sherman.
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