2020 NFL Mock Draft: Tua goes No. 3 after trade up, Cowboys make a splash, Packers add receiver for Rodgers
The 2020 NFL Draft could bring more moving and shaking to the draft order than normal
The NFL trade projections are going to start happening more frequently now that the draft order is set and the objectives of each team are starting to come into focus, so I apologize in advance to my editors for all of the work that has to be done on the back end. I dipped my toes in this week with a scenario that will become increasingly popular as the 2020 NFL Draft approaches.
The depth of the offensive tackle class and the need to climb high to select a quarterback will drive some very good players down the board. The teams that do not have a need for either stand to benefit the most.
Position rankings are based on our composite prospect rankings.
Check out this week's draft episode of the Pick Six Podcast, where Will Brinson is joined by Ryan Wilson and R.J. White to break down Wilson's latest mock draft and set the stage for draft season; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness fired into your eardrums.
Let's kick this off!
Round 1 - Pick 1
Joe Burrow QB
LSU • Sr • 6'4" / 221 lbs
Joe Burrow already has a steak named after him in Cincinnati and a billboard was placed outside of town congratulating him on his national championship victory. Boomer Esiason handed him a Bengals helmet on national television so that essentially counted as 'turning in the card' for me. I can't wait to see what else is named after him. Are there any more hippos being born soon?
Round 1 - Pick 2
Chase Young EDGE
Ohio State • Jr • 6'5" / 264 lbs
Ron Rivera had Julius Peppers in Carolina. He understands the difference a game-wrecker at that position can make. The Redskins will receive calls about trading out but the new era begins with a truly special talent.
Mock Trade from Detroit Lions
Round 1 - Pick 3
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 217 lbs
I wasn't going to project a Lions-Dolphins trade this week -- not because I do not think it will happen -- but then I saw everyone else doing it and started to feel left out. Detroit already seems to be posturing for a trade at No. 3 overall. They are not trading Matthew Stafford for a variety of reasons. Miami is able to move up, potentially costing them a first round pick, and select not only a quarterback, but a leader and voice for their football team.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Alabama • Jr • 6'4" / 312 lbs
The names change but the position stays the same. NFL draft analysts are in near unanimous agreement that Dave Gettleman is going to take an offensive tackle. He values the unit and they need two. Isaiah Simmons would be another player that causes them to pause and consider their options though.
Mock Trade from Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 5
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 205 lbs
Detroit is able to trade down, acquire more picks and land their initial target. It is a win-win for Dan Quinn and Matt Patricia. Okudah is a really fluid cornerback but his willingness to contribute in run support is what makes him a great prospect.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Auburn • Sr • 6'5" / 326 lbs
Chargers fans may be accustomed to seeing Brown in this spot. It may be strange seeing a defensive tackle and fans may think draft analysts are plugging him in simply to fill a need. Make no mistake about it, Derrick Brown is a player. He is a big man that has figured out how to play fast and apply pressure. Los Angeles is getting a difference maker and not just a safe pick that fills a need.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Oregon • Sr • 6'6" / 236 lbs
Owner David Tepper made it very clear that the team was likely moving on from Cam Newton recently. Do they fill the void with a veteran, draft a rookie or punt for a year and make a run for Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields? Planning the future is always dangerous because a lot can happen in a year; look no further than Tua Tagovailoa for an example.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Round 1 - Pick 9
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 238 lbs
The old saying 'never look a gift horse in the mouth' applies here. It is unclear how or why Simmons fell to No. 9 overall, but arguing about it would be a waste of time. He is the best talent on the board and also a need until someone figures out what is going on with Telvin Smith.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
Cleveland wants to run a Kyle Shanahan-Gary Kubiak style offense that utilizes a lot of motion and misdirection. The Browns would become a zone-blocking scheme team, which fits well with either Mekhi Becton or Wirfs. There are some concerns with the latter's game but Bill Callahan is one of the best in the business at coaching the position.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Mekhi Becton OL
Louisville • Jr • 6'7" / 364 lbs
The Jets are not messing around with this tackle class. If a scenario plays out that four tackles could go before No. 11 overall, then New York should look to move up. In this case, Becton is available so they take a chance on his size and athleticism becoming something special at the next level.
Round 1 - Pick 12
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 198 lbs
Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock could not bypass an opportunity to add the draft's most explosive offensive playmaker. Lamb has great body control and elusiveness after the catch to match. Las Vegas likely still needs to add their quarterback but Lamb gives them a viable downfield threat and allows Tyrell Williams to function more successfully in a more comfortable role as the No. 2 wide receiver.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Jordan Love QB
Utah State • Jr • 6'4" / 224 lbs
If the Colts do not use free agency to add a veteran quarterback, then Love makes a lot of sense. There are similarities between him and Patrick Mahomes, who was drafted by Chris Ballard and others in Kansas City. There is a lot of commitment to the head coach and general manager in Indianapolis, so I could see them making a long-term move.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 193 lbs
I know Tampa Bay has bigger needs but no Buccaneers fan could complain if Jeudy fell into their laps at No. 14 overall with or without Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Godwin will be a free agent after the 2020 season and would require a hefty contract extension. It would not be fiscally responsible to pay up with so many other needs.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Alabama • Jr • 5'11" / 188 lbs
Javon Kinlaw could make a lot of sense here considering their entire defensive line is subject to free agency. Ruggs, to me, is the most fun option and would really elevate the entire offense. His presence should create even more opportunities for Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant.
Round 1 - Pick 16
A.J. Epenesa EDGE
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 275 lbs
I've been saying for awhile that Epenesa and the Falcons felt like a perfect union. The Iowa pass rusher has been devalued a bit as this process has progressed. Dan Quinn happily ends his fall at No. 16 overall. Yes, the rhyme was intentional.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • Sr • 6'5" / 324 lbs
There are already reports that Dallas wants to move up and make a splash in the 2020 NFL Draft. Perhaps they would consider allowing Amari Cooper to walk and then draft either CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy? Nonetheless, they are able to stand firm at No. 17 overall and still make a splash with Kinlaw. He is the No. 7 overall prospect according to our rankings, so the Cowboys are adding great value.
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 18
K'Lavon Chaisson EDGE
LSU • Soph • 6'3" / 254 lbs
Miami already landed their quarterback so attention turns to adding the best available talent. There is no denying that Chaisson could be a special player if he is able to stay healthy and continues to develop. The Dolphins need to build a stronger pass rush.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 19
Jacob Eason QB
Washington • Jr • 6'6" / 231 lbs
The Raiders were able to use their first of two Round 1 picks on a supreme talent. They turn around and add the best remaining quarterback with their second. Eason allows Jon Gruden to push the ball downfield. The only question is, who will be receiving them on the other end?
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
Josh Jones OL
Houston • Sr • 6'5" / 319 lbs
Jacksonville landed Isaiah Simmons with their first selection so now they get an offensive tackle that they desperately needed. A case could be made for several positions within the first round.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Tee Higgins WR
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 216 lbs
Higgins is going to be a popular pick for Philadelphia. He is a big weapon more closely related to Alshon Jeffrey in his prime. The Eagles are expected to overhaul the position so Higgins is a need. The concern with him is injuries. He seems to accrue a new ailment every week, which could be a frustration for one of the most snake-bitten teams in the NFL over the past three years.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Colorado • Jr • 6'1" / 227 lbs
Shenault is a unique talent. His strength is his ability after the catch. Buffalo has an over-the-top threat with John Brown so the presence of Shenault should allow them to be more creative and work closer to the line of scrimmage as well. Josh Allen's arm is strong but not every pass has to exceed 30 yards.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'3" / 241 lbs
New England will never reach for a player; they will stay true to their board. Murray is the best player at this spot. Outside linebacker is more of an edge with Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy scheduled to hit free agency but Murray has the versatility to play that spot. He is such an active player and will fly around the field for Bill Belichick's defense.
Round 1 - Pick 24
CJ Henderson CB
Florida • Jr • 6'1" / 204 lbs
It would make sense for New Orleans to target another wide receiver but they also need cornerback help. The cornerback prospects available at this point are stronger than the wide receivers, which should be available into Round 4. The Saints add another Gator to the secondary after adding a productive Chauncey Gardner-Johnson a year ago.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Oklahoma • Sr • 6'2" / 304 lbs
The NFL season can expose some weaknesses and provide a more clear view of what it requires to be successful. The playoff game against San Francisco was a clear indicator that the Vikings need to fortify the trenches. Gallimore is an active, pocket-pressing interior defensive lineman that could make a difference next season.
From Houston Texans
Round 1 - Pick 26
Alabama • Jr • 6'0" / 201 lbs
Miami is just stacking talent at this point. They land their second Crimson Tide player in the first round with McKinney, who reminds a lot of Minkah Fitzpatrick. It is my belief that McKinney could play either safety position as well as cornerback. The same conversation was had regarding Fitzpatrick a few years ago.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE
Penn State • Jr • 6'5" / 266 lbs
Jadeveon Clowney may not re-sign, which makes Seattle even more devoted to acquiring pass rush aid. Gross-Matos is a pick that makes sense whether Clowney returns or not because he could also replace Ziggy Ansah on the other side. Over the past two years, he has produced 17.5 sacks.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Terrell Lewis EDGE
Alabama • Sr • 6'5" / 262 lbs
Alabama to Baltimore has been a pipeline through the Ozzie Newsome years. Although he will not be making their draft decisions, it would not be a surprise to see them return to the well for another talented pass rusher. Lewis has a lot of upside and could serve as a replacement for the surging Matt Judon.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Zack Baun LB
Wisconsin • Sr • 6'2" / 238 lbs
Tennessee has made it clear that they need to rejuvenate their linebacker room. Baun has a lot of versatility and will be loved by Mike Vrabel. He is instinctive and does a tremendous job of getting off blocks.
Round 1 - Pick 30
LSU • Jr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
Green Bay does not have enough pass catchers to support Aaron Rodgers. Davante Adams is great but Rodgers was most successful with multiple outlets. Jefferson has great body control and play-making ability after the catch. K.J. Hamler might make some sense here too as a guy that could provide an underneath option similar to Randall Cobb.
Round 1 - Pick 31
LSU • Jr • 6'3" / 213 lbs
There were some concerns with Delpit's regression this season but this would be the steal of the first round. Medicals will be important for him at the NFL combine but I would not be surprised if he gets healthy and rises back towards the top of the board before it is all said and done. The 49ers could lose Jimmie Ward this offseason and Delpit could step in and contribute from Day 1.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Wisconsin • Jr • 6'4" / 314 lbs
Kansas City's defense grew by leaps and bounds in 2019 with key contributions from stars like Tyrann Mathieu, Chris Jones and Frank Clark. They are not perfect on that side of the ball but the growth allows them to re-direct assets back towards the interior offensive line. Biadasz remains the top center for me and an anchor of that offensive line.
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