With the last football game of the season out of the way, we can finally turn our attention to things that actually matter, like the NFL Draft. Is that mentality fair to the Super Bowl champion Chiefs? Of course not. But 30 fan bases turned their attention to the draft and free agency well before Super Bowl Sunday.
I'll get into the weeds with trades in future mock drafts, but here we'll start off draft season with a no-trades look at a potential first round. My preliminary rankings have a bit of a drop-off at around the 14th pick, so I imagine teams looking to trade up will be trying to get into the top 14 to secure one of those names before the well is dry. Of course, the biggest posturing comes with the quarterbacks, and this is projected to be an offseason with a lot of movement at the position.
The offseason is officially upon us, so what will happen with Tom Brady, Drew Brees and other star players? Jason La Canfora joins Will Brinson to break down all the biggest storylines for the next few months on the Pick Six Podcast; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
Enjoy the mock draft below.
Round 1 - Pick 1
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • Soph • 6'5" / 264 lbs
Edge rusher isn't the biggest need for the Redskins, but when you can get the undisputed best player in the draft, you pull the trigger. Just ask the 49ers, who rode Nick Bosa and a fierce D-line to the Super Bowl.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Auburn • Soph • 6'5" / 320 lbs
The Lions can use help at a lot of positions, and could even consider going QB here. But Brown gets the edge over Jeff Okudah due to the completeness of his game, and the Lions are losing a lot of snaps at DT to free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Alabama • Jr • 6'4" / 307 lbs
A proven commodity at the right tackle position, Wills can lock down that position in his rookie year and potential slide over to left tackle in 2021. He gives the Giants the upgrade they need in protection for their young QB.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 217 lbs
Tagovailoa is the hardest player in the draft to peg. If his medicals check out across the board, you could see teams jockeying to trade ahead of the Dolphins to draft him. Or if the relevant teams are afraid of his medicals, he could fall later than he should.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Oregon • Jr • 6'6" / 236 lbs
Even if the Chargers go after a veteran at the QB position in free agency, they should also plan for the future. Why not add one here and have him battle a solid vet for the 2020 starting job? Herbert shined at the Senior Bowl but was shaky in his final collegiate season.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
Okudah is talented enough to go in the top five without question, but if the Lions pass on him at three then the Panthers could wind up with a great value by taking the unquestioned top corner in the draft. Carolina is set to lose two key players at cornerback in free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Clemson • Soph • 6'4" / 238 lbs
Haason Reddick hasn't lived up to his billing as a former 13th overall pick, and the Cardinals could upgrade their defense considerably by adding the versatile Simmons, who can do anything required on that side of the ball.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • 6'5" / 319 lbs
The Jaguars could also go tackle here, but with depth at that position strong in the first round and with another pick coming up, they instead opt for a much harder to find talent at defensive tackle. Kinlaw can immediately step in and give the Jags what Marcell Dareus didn't.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Georgia • Soph • 6'5" / 315 lbs
The Browns are in a great position to address their biggest need and improve Baker Mayfield's protection, as there are four tackles potentially worthy of being top 10 picks. Thomas is a nice blend of experience and upside at left tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Mekhi Becton OL
Louisville • Jr • 6'7" / 363 lbs
The Jets are another team that has to improve the protection in front of their young quarterback, and they'll be able to do it with their first pick. Becton moves exceptionally well for his massive frame.
Round 1 - Pick 12
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 200 lbs
The Raiders thought they addressed the receiver position last offseason by adding Antonio Brown, but that didn't pan out. So here they grab the best receiver in the draft, a player who can immediately step in as a quality No. 1 target.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Soph • 6'1" / 193 lbs
Jeudy entered the year as one of the best overall prospects in the draft, if not the best, but after a good-not-great year, his stock is down a little bit. That means someone in this range will get a steal. He'll provide the Colts with reliability in the passing game, which they desperately need.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
We don't know who's going to play QB for the Bucs next year, but the team must get whoever it is some better protection. Some project Wirfs to move inside at the next level, but he should definitely get the chance to stick outside in Tampa.
Round 1 - Pick 15
LSU • Jr • 5'11" / 197 lbs
If the Broncos aren't bringing Chris Harris back, cornerback becomes a top priority. Fulton can man up on the outside as Bryce Callahan returns from an injury to play the slot, setting the back end of the Broncos defense up well.
Round 1 - Pick 16
A.J. Epenesa EDGE
Iowa • Jr • 6'6" / 260 lbs
The Falcons have already made it clear they're moving on from Vic Beasley, and they'll need an immediate starter at defensive end to help share the load. Epenesa looked like a top-10 pick before this season and did nothing to cause his stock to dramatically fall.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Trevon Diggs CB
Alabama • Jr • 6'2" / 195 lbs
The Cowboys may not be able to re-sign all their star players, and if Byron Jones leaves as expected, the team should make finding a corner early in the draft a key priority. Diggs functions best in zone coverages but also has the physicality to give receivers trouble.
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 18
Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
The Dolphins need help everywhere, and the best player available here is Gross-Matos, who brings a needed boost to the pass rush but is even better against the run. He can play immediately and should eventually develop into a three-down player.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 19
Jordan Love QB
Utah State • Jr • 6'4" / 219 lbs
Passing on Love for Lamb earlier was a tough move, but the Raiders luck out and land him here. He raises the ceiling of the Raiders offense considerably, but he'll be best served sitting for a year behind a veteran, whether that's Derek Carr or someone else.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
Josh Jones OL
Houston • Jr • 6'5" / 319 lbs
Jones is on the rise after a strong Senior Bowl performance, and with the upside of a franchise left tackle if he continues to develop, he could very well be taken in the back half of the first round. The Jaguars should target some O-line help early.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Alabama • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Ruggs certainly could go much higher than this, but if he's available, he'll bring the dynamic presence the Eagles sorely lacked last year when DeSean Jackson, who is 33, missed most of last season with an injury.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Tee Higgins WR
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
I'd like to see the Bills explore a trade up to land one of the top two receivers, but even if they stay here, they can land a difference-maker in a strong class. Higgins is a big, downfield weapon who can bring another element to the Bills' passing game.
Round 1 - Pick 23
USC • Jr • 6'5" / 325 lbs
With Dante Scarnecchia finally riding off into the sunset, it's imperative to bring more talent in to reinforce the trenches as you can't lean on elite coaching any more to elevate the guys up front. Jackson brings good length at tackle and could be a long-term option on the right side.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Arizona State • Soph • 6'0" / 200 lbs
The Saints don't know who will be under center in 2020, but whoever it is should be presented with better secondary weapons in the passing game so Michael Thomas doesn't have to catch 149 balls again. Aiyuk is a big-play threat who can stretch the defense.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Florida • Soph • 6'1" / 204 lbs
The Vikings are losing two corners to free agency and Xavier Rhodes is likely to be cut, so they'll need to address the position somehow. Henderson has a high ceiling and should be able to handle himself when pressed into early duty.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 26
Alabama • Soph • 6'0" / 201 lbs
The Dolphins had to trade Minkah Fitzpatrick away when he didn't want to be moved around like a chess piece, but McKinney has plenty of experience in that role. He brings much-needed talent to the back end of the defense.
Round 1 - Pick 27
LSU • Jr • 6'3" / 208 lbs
The Seahawks defense was at its best when it had elite talent at safety, and while Delpit's stock dipped in 2019, he brings that kind of upside back to the Seattle secondary. If his tackling improves, he'll end up being one of the best in the league at his position.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 241 lbs
The Ravens are losing a lot of snaps in free agency with Patrick Owanusor and Josh Bynes hitting the open market. Murray brings excellent speed to the position and can solidify one spot in the starting lineup.
Round 1 - Pick 29
K'Lavon Chaisson EDGE
LSU • Jr • 6'3" / 245 lbs
The Titans need to bring in a young edge defender to pair with Harold Landry, and Chaisson would be a great value at this point, as he could go 10 spots higher than this and it wouldn't shock me at all. He's an excellent run defender with untapped potential rushing the passer.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Colorado • Soph • 6'1" / 220 lbs
Shenault will be more productive in the pros than he was for the Colorado offense, and his presence brings much needed depth to the receiver position in Green Bay. Davante Adams finally has a worthy running mate, which raises the ceiling of this offense.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Jeff Gladney CB
TCU • Soph • 5'10" / 191 lbs
The 49ers defense was a strength for the team right up until the last half of the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Gladney is a sleeper for the first round who can do basically anything you need at the corner position, and he'll help the team prepare for life after Richard Sherman.
Round 1 - Pick 32
LSU • Jr • 6'0" / 232 lbs
The Chiefs have to focus on retaining key players on defense this offseason, but one place where they could stand to improve is at linebacker. Queen has all the tools to succeed at the linebacker position and is capable of playing on all three downs.