The (virtual) 2020 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and aside from maybe the first two picks of the process, no one's sure exactly how things will play out from the homes of all 32 NFL teams. What better way to welcome the unpredictable than by trying to predict it? Is Tua Tagovailoa actually going to fall past the Miami Dolphins? Will Justin Herbert be the second quarterback off the board? Are the New England Patriots truly content riding with Jarrett Stidham instead of pursuing a big-name Tom Brady replacement?
All of those questions -- and lots more -- are answered in the mock draft below, with a whopping six projected trades included in the first-round rundown. Will these picks come to fruition? Only time will tell! But in the meantime, try to enjoy (or, you know, find me on Twitter and ridicule me like it's your job):
Mock Trade from Detroit Lions
Round 1 - Pick 3
Alabama • 6'0" / 217 lbs
Dolphins acquire No. 3 from Lions for No. 5, No. 39. Tua's medical questions may be legitimate, but Miami isn't going to shy away from this year's smoothest winner at the QB position. After watching Josh Rosen collapse in the pocket, they convince themselves Tagovailoa's upside and pocket poise is a better gamble than Justin Herbert. The move up simply ensures no one can steal their guy.
Mock Trade from Miami Dolphins
Round 1 - Pick 5
Round 1 - Pick 6
Alabama • 6'4" / 312 lbs
If Anthony Lynn's touting Tyrod Taylor and/or wanted Tom Brady, it sure seems like he'd prefer to win now, and the rest of his roster justifies that mentality. So while Justin Herbert might be tempting, Wills immediately shores up the left tackle spot and pushes L.A. one step closer to the playoffs.
Mock Trade from Carolina Panthers
Round 1 - Pick 7
Clemson • 6'4" / 238 lbs
Browns acquire No. 7 from Panthers for No. 10, No. 74, 2021 seventh. Andrew Berry makes like old boss Howie Roseman in his first year fully in charge, taking a big swing for a play-maker. A tackle makes all the sense in the world for Cleveland, but Simmons is a bona fide star-in-the-making who fills not one but two needs (LB, S) for the Browns' defense.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Auburn • 6'5" / 325 lbs
With both Wirfs and Wills off the board at OT, Arizona adds more beef to its D-line in an effort to at least replicate San Francisco's trench warfare in the West, getting maybe the best gap-plugging defender in the class.
Mock Trade from Cleveland Browns
Round 1 - Pick 10
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • 6'5" / 319 lbs
Panthers acquire No. 10, No. 74, 2021 seventh from Browns for No. 7. Carolina could've easily just stood pat and taken Simmons at No. 7, but instead, Matt Rhule adds another high pick for his rebuild, and Carolina snags one of the top interior D-linemen of the class -- a local product who can help their porous run "D" from the jump.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Mekhi Becton OL
Louisville • 6'7" / 364 lbs
Joe Douglas wants desperately to build New York from the trenches, and something says George Fant isn't his only plan at LT for protecting Sam Darnold. Becton's massive frame gives the Jets a blind-side blocker for the long haul.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • 6'1" / 193 lbs
Jon Gruden is ready to win some ballgames. A year after striking out on Antonio Brown, he and Mike Mayock get the guy who best resembles Brown's abilities on the field. A pro-ready route runner, Jeudy can step in and make plays from Day One.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Round 1 - Pick 17
LSU • 6'1" / 202 lbs
Michigan OL Cesar Ruiz seems like a real possibility, especially with Travis Frederick gone. But can the Cowboys resist Jefferson, a near-perfect fit in the slot, where Randall Cobb no longer resides? If Chaisson is gone and CBs can be had later, why not give Dak Prescott even more weapons?
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 18
Mock Trade from Las Vegas Raiders
Round 1 - Pick 19
Oregon • 6'6" / 236 lbs
Patriots acquire No. 19 from Raiders for No. 23, No. 87. Surprise! Josh McDaniels bangs the table over Zoom as Herbert slides within reach, and New England gets a mentally sharp, physically gifted signal-caller for the post-Brady haul. Yes, they may have been fine rolling with Jarrett Stidham, but for this price, why not take the gamble?
Mock Trade from Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 21
LSU • 6'1" / 227 lbs
Saints acquire No. 21 from Eagles for No. 24, No. 130. New Orleans is strictly in win-now mode for Drew Brees' last hurrah, and they also don't have a ton of needs. So they move up to secure the draft's top LB, a local standout who instantly brings instincts to the middle of their "D."
From Buffalo Bills
Round 1 - Pick 22
Josh Jones OL
Houston • 6'5" / 319 lbs
This is purely a value pick from Rick Spielman, who can address WR and CB later. The Vikings are in perpetual need of OL reinforcements, especially now that they're increasingly built around their ground game.
Mock Trade from New England Patriots
Round 1 - Pick 23
A.J. Terrell CB
Clemson • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Raiders acquire No. 23, No. 87 from Patriots for No. 19. Mayock isn't leaving the first few rounds without a CB, and Terrell hails from Clemson, which both Mayock and Gruden adore. This is a prospect who's familiar playing with Trayvon Mullen and brings the toughness both decision-makers like.
Mock Trade from New Orleans Saints
Round 1 - Pick 24
Arizona State • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Howie Roseman is absolutely no lock to be pigeonholed into WR, but after moving down to collect an additional pick, he gets the next best thing at wideout after Justin Jefferson: a versatile big-play target for Carson Wentz.
Mock Trade from Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 27
Jordan Love QB
Utah State • 6'4" / 219 lbs
Colts acquire No. 27 from Seahawks for No. 34, No. 75. "Take that, haters" -- Frank Reich and Chris Ballard, to all the Colts fans ripping them for making Philip Rivers the only solution at QB. Indy jumps back in the first by way of the trade-happy Seahawks (and without mortgaging a huge haul) to get a high-upside project for Reich. With Rivers locked in as the stopgap for 2020, Love becomes the Colts' franchise QB-in-waiting.
Mock Trade from San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 31
J.K. Dobbins RB
Ohio State • 5'10" / 212 lbs
Lions acquire No. 31 from 49ers for No. 35, No. 152, 2021 fifth. Detroit makes use of its extra capital from the earlier trade with Miami in order to add a compact complement to Kerryon Johnson. D'Andre Swift would seemingly be in play as well, but either way, the Lions capitalize on San Francisco's desire to trade back and give Matthew Stafford a new toy.