Bill Belichick isn't doing a bad job when it comes to sellingfor the 2020 season. The future Hall of Fame coach recently alluded to Matt Cassel's 2008 success while explaining how the Patriots may look to continue their winning ways with second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham under center.
Stidham may indeed be New England's Week 1 starter, but that doesn't mean the Patriots won't bring in a touted rookie that will also compete for the job. To do that, however, the Patriots will likely have to trade up in the first-round, which is one of the three trades that was executed in my brand new mock draft.
Here's a look at each of my first-round picks in a mock draft that includes more than a few surprises.
Round 1 - Pick 3
Jeff Okudah CB
Ohio State • Jr • 6'1" / 202 lbs
Former (Burrow started there) Ohio State players go 1-2-3 in the 2020 draft. Okudah, the nation's best cornerback last season, will look to improve a Lions' defense that was 32nd against the pass in 2019.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Round 1 - Pick 6
Oregon • Jr • 6'6" / 236 lbs
Herbert will get to play inside a Chargers' offense that already includes Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry. Herbert enjoyed a prolific career at Oregon, throwing 95 touchdowns against just 23 interceptions.
Mock Trade from Carolina Panthers
Round 1 - Pick 7
Iowa • Jr • 6'5" / 320 lbs
With Okudah off the board, the Panthers trade back and pick up the 14th and 45th overall picks. The Buccaneers, who also get the 152nd overall pick, get the draft's best lineman to help protect Tom Brady. A consensus All-American last season, Wirfs was the only true freshman to start at either offensive tackle position in the Kirk Ferentz era.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Alabama • Jr • 6'4" / 307 lbs
The Cardinals fill a glaring need at right tackle while giving Kyle Murray some much-needed protection. Wills was a staple of stability at Alabama, allowing just one sack and 3.5 quarterback hurries last season.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Auburn • Soph • 6'5" / 320 lbs
The draft's best defensive line prospect, Brown could eventually become the new face of Jacksonville's defense. A consensus All-American in 2019, Brown finished his career with 12.5 sacks, 170 tackles and 33.5 tackles for loss.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Georgia • Soph • 6'5" / 315 lbs
The Browns will boast a formidable duo at offensive tackle in 2020, with Thomas on the right side and Jack Conklin on the left side. Thomas was the 2019 recipient of the SEC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy, the first Bulldog to win the award in 21 years.
Round 1 - Pick 11
Jerry Jeudy WR
Alabama • Soph • 6'1" / 193 lbs
Sam Darnold gets the draft's most complete receiver in Jeudy, who caught 24 touchdowns during his last two seasons at Alabama. He finished second all-time in school history in touchdown receptions and fourth all-time in receiving yards.
Mock Trade from Las Vegas Raiders
Round 1 - Pick 12
Jordan Love QB
Utah State • Jr • 6'4" / 219 lbs
The Patriots give up the 23rd and 87th picks and a 2021 third round pick to land Love, who will help usher in a new era in New England. Love left Utah State as the school's all-time leader with 9,003 all-purpose yards.
Round 1 - Pick 13
CeeDee Lamb WR
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 197 lbs
The 49ers' get a dynamic receiver that can help replace Emmanuel Sanders while complementing Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne. Lamb is Oklahoma's all-time leader with 24 career catches of at least 40 yards and with six career games of at least 160 receiving yards.
Mock Trade from Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Round 1 - Pick 14
Florida • Soph • 6'1" / 204 lbs
The Panthers trade out of the seventh pick and still manage to grab the second best cornerback in the draft. An athletic and intelligent player, Henderson quieted concerns about his speed by running the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds at the combine.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Alabama • 6'0" / 190 lbs
Drew Lock gets an explosive weapon in Ruggs, the fastest player in the 2020 draft. A home run threat every time he touched the ball at Alabama, Ruggs had the Crimson Tide's longest touchdown last season (81 yards) and second longest touchdown reception (75 yards).
Round 1 - Pick 16
K'Lavon Chaisson EDGE
LSU • Jr • 6'3" / 245 lbs
The Falcons grab the draft's second best edge rusher before getting their coveted new cornerback in Round 2. Chaisson filled the stat sheet last season, with 92 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Javon Kinlaw DL
South Carolina • 6'5" / 319 lbs
The Cowboys wait another round to address their needs at cornerback while nabbing the second-best interior defensive line prospect in the draft. A consensus All-American last season, Kinlaw was also a special teams force, blocking three kicks for the Gamecocks.
From Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 18
Mekhi Becton OL
Louisville • Jr • 6'7" / 363 lbs
Miami gets incredibly lucky here, grabbing one of the draft's best lineman and 2020 combine standout. Becton's speed could be attributed to his success on the hardwood as a center at Highland Springs High School in Virginia.
From Chicago Bears
Round 1 - Pick 19
LSU • Jr • 5'11" / 197 lbs
The Raiders land one of the draft's top cornerbacks in Fulton, who broke up a whopping 14 passes while helping the Tigers win the 2019 national title. Fulton allowed Tua Tagovailoa to complete just one pass against him during LSU's regular season win over the Crimson Tide.
From Los Angeles Rams
Round 1 - Pick 20
Josh Jones OL
Houston • Jr • 6'7" / 310 lbs
After passing on a lineman with the ninth overall pick, the Jaguars are able to land Jones, who surprisingly slips to the back half of the first round. The Jaguars get an experienced lineman who was a four-year starter at Houston.
Mock Trade from Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 21
LSU • Jr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
The Packers trade the 30th, 94th and 192nd overall picks to move up to select Jefferson, who caught 18 touchdowns during his final season at LSU. Jefferson ended his college career with a bang, with 21 receptions for 342 yards and five touchdowns in the Tigers' last two games.
From Buffalo Bills
Round 1 - Pick 22
Trevon Diggs CB
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 204 lbs
With the Raiders expected to take a cornerback with the 23rd pick, the Vikings wait on selecting an edge rusher in order to take Diggs, who recorded three picks, eight passes defensed and two fumble recoveries during his final year at Alabama. He allowed a passer rating of just 44.5 when he was targeted in 2019.
Mock Trade from New England Patriots
Round 1 - Pick 23
Round 1 - Pick 24
LSU • Jr • 6'0" / 232 lbs
The Saints pass on Kenneth Murray in favor of Queen, a local LSU product who filled the stat sheet during his final year with the Tigers. Queen's second quarter interception off of Tua helped LSU build a commanding halftime lead en route to a 46-41 victory.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Round 1 - Pick 28
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'2" / 241 lbs
In Murray, Baltimore finally finds their replacement for C.J. Mosley while filling one of their biggest pre-draft needs. Murray, who started in each of his 42 games at Oklahoma, finished his Sooners career with 335 tackles and 37 tackles for loss.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Mock Trade from Green Bay Packers
Round 1 - Pick 30
Tee Higgins WR
Clemson • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
The Eagles get a big target for quarterback Carson Wentz in Higgins, who caught 27 touchdowns at Clemson while averaging 18.1 yards per catch. Higgins, whose 1,167 receiving yards last season was the fifth-highest total in school history, caught a touchdown in five straight games in 2019.
Round 1 - Pick 31
A.J. Terrell CB
Clemson • Jr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
The defending NFC champs grab one of the draft's top cornerbacks in Terrell, a First Team All-ACC selection last season. Terrell played well in last year's College Football Playoffs, with 13 tackles and three pass breakups against the Buckeyes and Tigers.