2020 NFL Mock Draft: Patriots take Tom Brady's replacement, 49ers add another athletic tight end
All told, four QBs go in Round 1, along with five wide receivers and six pass rushers.
There are only three games remaining on the NFL schedule and we're a week away from the Senior Bowl, where names like Justin Herbert, Jordan Love and Jalen Hurts will have one final game to prove themselves to GMs, coaches and scouts.
And for the second time in as many weeks, we have the Dolphins grabbing Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 5 pick, four spots after the Bengals make the no-brainer selection of Joe Burrow. Also for the second straight week: We have four quarterbacks going in Round 1; in addition to Cincy and Miami, Indianapolis and New England also get in on the franchise-QB business.
This mock draft also has six edge rushers go in the first round, along with five offensive tackles, five wide receivers and one tight end -- who joins forces with George Kittle in San Francisco. On the surface this might seem like overkill but keep reading to find out why we love the move.
The draft order is based on team records through the divisional playoffs.
Alright, let's get to it.
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • Jr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Is edge rusher the Redskins' biggest need? No, but Young is going to be special. We're talking, "better than the Bosa brothers"-type talent. The biggest question is whether Washington will listen to trade offers from other teams looking to move up for a quarterback.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Auburn • Sr • 6'5" / 318 lbs
The Lions limped to three wins last year for many reasons, and bolstering the defensive line is high on the to-do list this offseason; the unit ranked 23rd against the run and 31st in pass rushing, according to Football Outsiders. Brown is one of the best players in this class and he would've been a first-rounder had he come out after the 2018 college season.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Typically we've had the Giants targeting an offensive linemen here but this team ranked 27th in defense, according to Football Outsiders, and they were 31st against the pass. Simmons is one of the most athletic players in the country. He can play linebacker, safety, line up in the slot and even take snaps at cornerback. New York would basically be getting three players in one with Simmons.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Round 1 - Pick 6
Alabama • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
The Chargers could be looking for a quarterback here, especially if Justin Herbert and Jordan Love have great weeks at the Senior Bowl. But whomever ends up under center will need to be protected, and Wills is one of the top offensive linemen in this class.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 322 lbs
Rookie left tackles Dennis Daley and Greg Little had their trial by fire in 2019, and right tackle Taylor Moton, who was their best O-linemen last season, is entering the final year of his deal. Wirfs can play either tackle position and is a coming off a dominant season for the Hawkeyes.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
2019 second-rounder Byron Murphy was up and down during his rookie season but he's only going to get better. Patrick Peterson is entering the final year of his deal and even if he re-ups, Arizona desperately needs depth in the secondary. Okudah, the No. 1 CB in this class, is long, physical and fast, and would give Arizona some much-needed help in the secondary.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Georgia • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
The Jaguars have one of the best players in the draft fall to them here and they immediately upgrade their O-line in the process. Thomas was a freshman All-American right tackle and then moved to left tackle the last two years where he dominated. He'll bookend 2019 second-round pick Jawaan Taylor on the Jags' offensive line.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • Sr • 6'6" / 310 lbs
The Browns finally have their coach in Kevin Stefanski, whose job now entails getting this talented group to play like a team. Making his job easier: Landing the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the country; Kinlaw thought about coming out last year but returned to South Carolina where he had a stellar season.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 192 lbs
Jamison Crowder led the Jets in receptions, followed by running back Le'Veon Bell. Third on that list: Explosive downfield threat Robby Anderson, who appears headed for free agency. Jeudy is the best route runner in this draft class and he'd make life immeasurably easier for Sam Darnold and Adam Gase.
Round 1 - Pick 12
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 189 lbs
The Raiders head to Las Vegas with plenty of questions, but CeeDee Lamb would give Jon Gruden an immediate playmaker to pair with Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow (!). Lamb is the toughest WR in this class and he's coming off a remarkable season for the Sooners where he averaged more than 20 yards per reception.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Oregon • Sr • 6'6" / 237 lbs
Herbert didn't play like a first-rounder in 2019 but his physical attributes check all the boxes for what NFL teams are looking for in a franchise quarterback. He'll have a chance to quiet doubters at the Senior Bowl but for now, Herbert will provide the Colts an insurance policy against Jacoby Brissett, who has one more year left on his contract.
Round 1 - Pick 14
A.J. Epenesa EDGE
Iowa • Jr • 6'6" / 280 lbs
The Bucs' 2019 draft class was defense-heavy and the results were immediate; the unit was the No. 5 defense in the league but the D-line could look completely different next season; Ndamukong Suh, Jason Pierre-Paul and Rakeem Nunez-Roches are all soon-to-be free agents. Epenesa is a force on the outside but he can also kick inside and play defensive tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Courtland Sutton is an emerging star who is a bona fide deep threat. Noah Fant is the dynamic tight end entering Year 2. Phillip Lindsay is the backfield playmaker, and Drew Lock is the quarterback who appears ready for the full-time job. Why not add one more weapon to this offense in Ruggs, who was the fastest player on Alabama's roster last season and he can score from anywhere on the field.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 264 lbs
The Falcons 'D' played better down the stretch but the need for an edge rusher remains, especially with Vic Beasley in the final year of his contract. Gross-Matos has the size, strength and quickness to play the edge but he's still raw. The good news is he'll only get better with experience.
Round 1 - Pick 17
LSU • Jr • 6'3" / 203 lbs
The Cowboys desperately need to bolster the secondary, especially at safety, and Delpit is one of the best defensive backs in this class. He struggled with an ankle injury for part of the season, and he has to improve his tackling, but he's a rangy safety with top-flight coverage skills.
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 18
K'Lavon Chaisson EDGE
LSU • Soph • 6'4" / 250 lbs
The Dolphins won five of their final nine games, a clear indication this team bought into coach Brian Flores' plan, but holes remain. With the QB position taken care of above, Miami finds an explosive edge rusher here. Chaisson needs to add weight but he plays much stronger than he looks and can be a constant threat in the backfield.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 19
Trevon Diggs CB
Alabama • Sr • 6'2" / 207 lbs
Daryl Worley was the Raiders' best CB this season, according to Pro Football Focus, and he was replacement level. He's also headed for free agency. But even if he returns, the Raiders need to continue to build the secondary and Diggs is one of the most physical CBs in this class. He's coming off a strong season and could be on the board when the Raiders go on the clock with their second first-round pick.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
LSU • Sr • 6'0" / 200 lbs
D.J. Hayden was the Jags' most consistent cornerback, and the only one above replacement level, according to PFF. Jacksonville won't replace Jalen Ramsey with one player but Fulton is a step in the right direction. The LSU standout, who didn't have his best game against Clemson on Monday night, would've been in the first-round conversation had he declared a year ago.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
32-year-old safety Malcolm Jenkins would like a new deal and Rodney McLoud could be headed for free agency. The Eagles would love to upgrade the cornerback position but three of the top CBs are already off the board. McKinney is a top-flight safety, and could possibly emerge as the top safety in the class by draft night.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Terrell Lewis EDGE
Alabama • Sr • 6'5" / 252 lbs
Jerry Hughes is 31, Shaq Lawson's contract is up and Trent Murphy's contract is set to expire after next season. Yes, the Bills need a deep threat for Josh Allen but this class is so stocked at that position that Buffalo can find big-play targets throughout the draft. Meanwhile, the 'D' was a respectable 13th in pass rush, according to Football Outsiders and Lewis is a long, explosive edge rusher who was impressive in '19.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Jordan Love QB
Utah State • Jr • 6'4" / 225 lbs
Josh McDaniels is back, and assuming Tom Brady returns at 43 years old, the Patriots' QB situation will be set for 2020, and possibly 2021 too. This is perfect news for Jordan Love, who is as raw as they come but has the type of physical attributes that have drawn comparisons to Patrick Mahomes. He needs time to learn by watching and what better place than New England (assuming Brady finally plans on retiring in a couple years)?
Round 1 - Pick 24
Jalen Reagor WR
TCU • Jr • 5'11" / 195 lbs
Ted Ginn is probably playing his last season in New Orleans and even if he remained the Saints need more playmakers around Mike Thomas. Jalen Reagor is a four-down player, who can line up anywhere, and would be yet another chess piece in Sean Payton's offense.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Mekhi Becton OL
Louisville • Jr • 6'7" / 369 lbs
At 6-foot-7, 360 pounds, Becton is a mountain of a man but he moves like someone who weighs more like 260, which pairs nicely with his footwork, balance and strength. Vikings RT Brian O'Neill is coming off a strong sophomore season but Reilly Reiff, 31, is entering the final year of his deal. Becton wouldn't be forced onto the field as a rookie while also providing Minnesota with some much-needed depth.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 26
Josh Jones OL
Houston • Sr • 6'7" / 310 lbs
Jones had an outstanding season for the Cougars and has the type of strength and athleticism that translates well to the NFL. In Miami, he'd be part of a rebuilding effort that would begin with protecting the new face of the franchise, Tua Tagovailoa.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Bryce Hall CB
Virginia • Sr • 6'1" / 200 lbs
It's clear the Seahawks need to upgrade their defense and Bryce Hall is a big, athletic corner who fits Seattle's physical style. He was our CB1 coming into the season but ankle surgery in October cut short his senior campaign.
Round 1 - Pick 28
CJ Henderson CB
Florida • Jr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
The team re-upped Marcus Peters but former first-rounder Jimmy Smith is in the final year of his deal, and 33-year-old Brandon Carr's contract will expire after the 2020 season. Henderson is a long, physical corner who would fit in well in Wink Martindale's system.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Notre Dame • Sr • 6'4" / 248 lbs
Harold Landry led the Titans with nine sacks during the regular season, followed by Jurrell Casey and Kamalei Correa, who had five each. Okwara suffered a leg injury in November but he's an explosive threat off the edge who can still add weight to his frame.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Tee Higgins WR
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
There isn't much DaVante Adams can't do but he needs help. The Clemson standout had his best showing of the season in the ACC title game, hauling in nine passes for 182 yards and three touchdowns, and he also flashed in Monday night's national championship matchup vs. LSU.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 234 lbs
This pick has been a popular one for us because it's a good match for both player and team. The Chiefs defense has improved as the season has progressed, but they struggled to find consistency from their linebackers. Murray changes that. He is undersized but he flies all over the field, and has sideline-to-sideline speed, the ability to make plays in the backfield and the athleticism to cover RBs and TEs.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Washington • Jr • 6'2" / 239 lbs
We typically have the 49ers taking a safety here, or maybe even an interior offensive linemen. But with both Delpit and McKinney off the board, and Creed Humphrey returning to Oklahoma, why not give George Kittle a running mate and Jimmy G one more weapon. Bryant is a move tight end who reminds us of Evan Engram. He's a matchup nightmare for defenses and if he can cut down on the drops (he had 6 on 62 catchable targets in 2019, according to Sports Info Solutions) he will be a difference-maker at the next level.
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