NFL 2020 1st round mock draft

Cesar+Ruiz+%2851%29%2C+is+the+top+center+in+this+draft.+Photo+by+Nate+Marrero

Cesar Ruiz (51), is the top center in this draft. Photo by Nate Marrero

Nate Marrero and Brandon Mikel

With the NFL Draft just over two weeks away, Brandon Mikel and myself take a stab at predicting who every team is going to pick despite knowing that there’s no way this is going to be accurate. 

The rules for this mock draft was Brandon got the odd numbered teams while I had the even numbered teams, and there were no trades allowed. And remember, if we picked someone you don’t want your team to take, the pick was definitely made with you in mind. 

1st Overall Pick – Cincinnati Bengals: QB Joe Burrow, LSU

Joe Burrow will be a Cincinnati Bengal. Yes, there were rumors that Burrow could end up on a different team, but this is when you put the ear muffs on. An Ohio kid coming in to save the franchise? The story doesn’t get better than that. 

2nd Overall Pick – Washington Redskins: DE Chase Young, Ohio State

The best player in the draft falls in the lap of the Washington Redskins. This past season, Chase Young racked up 16 and-a-half sacks despite missing two games. While defensive end isn’t the biggest need, Young is too good for the Redskins to pass up and he can turn their defensive line into one of the best in the NFL.

3rd pick – Detroit Lions: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

After trading cornerback Darius Slay to the Philadelphia Eagles, I was positive that Detroit would roll with Ohio State’s Jeffrey Okudah. The signing of cornerback Desmond Trufant changes the script. This move puts Detroit in prime position to fix their below average linebacking group. The additions of Trufant and Isaiah Simmons will have an immediate impact on a Lions defense that was ranked 31st in yards given up per game.

4th pick – New York Giants: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama

Oh my beloved New York Giants. With Simmons off the board, taking a tackle here is a no-brainer. Four tackles can potentially go in the top 15 of the draft, and you can make an argument for the Giants picking any of them. Jedrick Wills can come in and start right away at right tackle. If this pick isn’t a tackle, or a trade down to take a tackle while acquiring extra picks, I may not live past April 23. 

5th pick – Miami Dolphins: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

This is the biggest gamble in the draft. You can get a player that can change your franchise forever, or you get an injury prone quarterback that will be off your roster in three seasons. There’s no questioning Tua Tagovailoa’s talent, but three lower body injuries in two seasons is scary. If this was any other team, I would reconsider, but we’re talking about the Miami Dolphins. Bet the house. 

6th pick – Los Angeles Chargers: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon 

The Chargers need to take a quarterback here. Tyrod Taylor isn’t the answer long term, but Justin Herbert can be. While his numbers aren’t the best, it wasn’t like Herbert had the supporting cast that Tagovailoa did. Herbert has the traits to be a franchise quarterback if he’s given time to develop, and he enters a great position to become one with the Chargers. 

7th pick – Carolina Panthers: DL Derrick Brown, Auburn

Let’s be honest, it’s going to take more than one offseason to fix all of Carolina’s holes. It will be tempting for the Panthers to take a cornerback to fix their secondary issue, but Derrick Brown is too good to pass up. Brown will be a key piece in the middle of Carolina’s defense for years to come. 

8th pick – Arizona Cardinals: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

Before free agency, you could’ve penciled in the top wide receiver on the board to the Cardinals. But after Arizona fleeced the Houston Texans for Deandre Hopkins, they can turn their attention to improving their offensive line. Tristan Wirfs is a freak athlete that can play tackle or guard and be an immediate upgrade for the Cardinals. Look out for Arizona in the NFC West. 

9th pick – Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville

Cam Robinson was one of the worst left tackles in the NFL last season. He had 11 penalties while giving up eight sacks (tied for 4th worst in the league). If Jacksonville wants any chance at a playoff run, they need to select Mekhi Becton. Becton proved to be one of the best tackles in college football, giving up only one sack while only allowing just six hurries throughout the 2019 season. 

10th pick – Cleveland Browns: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

It’s no secret that the Browns need to improve their offensive line. After signing Jack Conklin to play right tackle, they still need to address left tackle. Andrew Thomas, who started as a freshman for the Georgia Bulldogs, can slide right in at left tackle and start right away. If the offensive line can improve and Baker Mayfield can play how he did during his rookie season, there’s no reason why the Browns can’t have one of, if not the best offense in football. 

11th pick – New York Jets: CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State

New York’s first attempt at fixing their cornerback problem didn’t exactly have Jets fans jumping up and down. They signed Pierre Desir to a one-year deal, but he is obviously not a long term fix. The Jets would be blessed to draft Jeffrey Okudah. Okudah was arguably the best cornerback in college football. A secondary that contains Okudah, Marcus Maye, and Jamal Adams will strike fear into everyone in the AFC East.

12th pick – Las Vegas Raiders: QB Jordan Love, Utah State

Jon Gruden loves quarterbacks. Las Vegas is only going to pick this high so many times, and Derek Carr isn’t the guy to lead the Raiders deep into the playoffs. Jordan Love’s last season leaves a lot of questions, but his lack of weapons and a coaching change had a lot to do with his regression. If you look at the 2018 season when Matt Wells was his head coach before taking the same position at Texas Tech in 2019, you’ll see why he’s high on a lot of teams draft boards. Love has tremendous traits, and this is one of the best landing spots for him.

13th pick – San Francisco 49ers via the Indianapolis Colts: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

San Francisco trading Deforest Buckner to the Colts for this pick to put themselves in a spot to add another weapon for Jimmy Garoppolo was a brilliant chess move by their front office. Emmanuel Sanders signed with the New Orleans Saints and Deebo Samuel hasn’t proven to be ready to take over the number one wide receiver spot. Jerry Jeudy is the weapon that the 49ers has been missing for the past few years. 

14th pick – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB CJ Henderson, Florida

While it would have been nice to get a tackle to protect Tom Brady, there is no tackle worth taking at this pick. Tampa Bay allowed 270.1 passing yards per game, which ranked 30th in the NFL, and if you want to compete against the New Orleans Saints, that must be addressed. CJ Henderson is a great athlete and can immediately improve the Buccaneers secondary. 

15th pick – Denver Broncos: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

This is an easy pick for the Broncos. Remember when Denver had one of the best wide receiving corps in the NFL? Those days are in the past but this is a huge step in the right direction. Drew Lock will be the Broncos starter next season and relying on Courtland Sutton with a bunch of no names will not cut it. They have already signed Melvin Gordon to take some pressure off Phillip Lindsay, and now it’s time to help Sutton and the rest of that offense by drafting CeeDee Lamb. 

16th pick – Atlanta Falcons: DE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU

The Falcons need difference makers on the defensive side of the ball and K’Lavon Chaisson is just that. Not only does he bolster Atlanta’s pass rush, but Chaisson can also cover. If he can have an impact similar to Josh Allen, who was drafted 7th by Jacksonville last year, the Falcons may be in the hunt for the playoffs. 

17th pick – Dallas Cowboys: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

The Cowboys have big name receivers, a top ten running back in Ezekiel Elliot, and Dak Prescott throws for 400 yards every week.Yet, Dallas scores 10 points in every game that matters. Why is that? Maybe Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup aren’t getting it done. That’s why I think Jerry Jones will ultimately want to add some speed to their wide receiving group. Is wide receiver their biggest need right now? No, but the Cowboys are always on a lookout for a new star. 

18th pick – Miami Dolphins via the Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU

The Dolphins got their quarterback with the 5th pick, now they need to get him weapons. Justin Jefferson has gone from being a two-star recruit to one of the best wide receivers in the draft. Jefferson can do everything from running past a corner to winning 50-50 balls. An offense with Jefferson and Devante Parker is dangerous. 

19th pick – Las Vegas Raiders via the Chicago Bears: Safety Xavier McKinney, Alabama

It’s obvious that Las Vegas needs a receiver, but it’s gonna be hard to select a wide receiver here without reaching. Xavier McKinney is arguably the best safety in the class. His versatility and football IQ will make him one of the better safeties in the league. 

20th pick – Jacksonville Jaguars via the Los Angeles Rams: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

Jacksonville is in the middle of a rebuild and needs to take the best player available with this pick. Patrick Queen would fill the void that Telvin Smith’s absence left, but Kinlaw is too good to pass up at 20. He can step in the role that Calais Campbell was in before he was traded to the Baltimore Ravens. 

21st pick – Philadelphia Eagles: Safety Grant Delpit, LSU

The Eagles have made it a mission to fix their secondary this offseason. The investments into cornerback Nickell Robey Coleman and Slay Jr. will help stop the bleeding, but the Eagles have yet to address their hole at safety after releasing Malcolm Jenkins. If Grant Delpit can regain his 2018 form, this pick would be a steal. The Eagles could go with a wide receiver at this pick, but the rise of Greg Ward makes the Eagles receiving group tolerable for now. 

22nd pick – Minnesota Vikings via the Buffalo Bills: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson

After trading Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for this pick, the Vikings take a wide receiver to set opposite of Adam Thielen. Tee Higgins doesn’t have the speed or route running ability of Diggs, but he’s still explosive enough and his size and length make him one of the best in the draft when it comes to 50-50 balls. 

23rd pick – New England Patriots: DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State

It’s always hard to guess what the Patriots front office wants to do. Yetur Gross-Matos is a natural athlete and has the prototypical NFL size at his position, and he could be a fun project for Bill Belichick. Matos could struggle in a 3-4 defense, but I can guarantee you Belichick will find a way to maximize his talent.

24th pick – New Orleans Saints: RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

The Saints had the 6th best rushing attacks in 2018 when they had Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara in the backfield. Ingram signing with the Ravens and Kamara’s injuries led to them dropping all the way to 16th. Jonathan Taylor can provide the thump that they missed on the ground and help ease the pressure on Drew Brees. 

25th pick – Minnesota Vikings: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

At one point, Xavier Rhodes was one of the best corners in football and the Vikings secondary was on fire. Now, Rhodes is on the Colts. This is Minnesota’s restart button. Draft a guy that was the No.1 overall recruit in Louisiana during the 2015 season and was arguably the best coverage cornerback in college football when he was healthy. Draft Kristian Fulton. 

26th pick – Miami Dolphins via the Houston Texans: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

After going offense with their first two picks, the Dolphins find their captain on the defensive side of the ball. Murray can line up at middle linebacker from day one and be a leader for Miami. 

27th pick – Seattle Seahawks: DE Zack Baun, Wisconsin

I’m 99.9 percent sure that the Seahawks will trade out of the first round, but if there is a player that Seattle could draft, it’s Zack Baun. Baun’s speed and athleticism could make him more than just an edge rusher. I don’t think Seattle is drafting a defensive end after their first round commitment to L.J. Collier last season, but Baun is a guy that could breakout if he improves on his size and upper body strength.

28th pick – Baltimore Ravens: LB Patrick Queen, LSU

The Baltimore Ravens need more speed on the defensive side of the ball and Queen provides just that. He can fill the void that C.J Mosely left when he signed with the New York Jets last offseason. 

29th pick – Tennessee Titans: DE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame

Tennessee’s push for Jadeveon Clowney shows that they’re not content with the group of pass rushers that they have. Even with the Vic Beasley signing, we still hear reports saying the Titans still want Clowney. I believe the Seahawks will retain Clowney forcing the Titans to look for their star pass rusher in the draft.

30th pick – Green Bay Packers: WR KJ Hamler, Penn State

With Aaron Rodgers slowly declining, the Packers need to find a way to get him more help. Hamler is one of the fastest wide receivers in the draft and can help open up their offense opposite Davante Adams. 

31st pick – San Francisco 49ers: DL Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma 

This goes back to the great move by the 49ers front office. By trading Buckner, you’re able to get Jeudy as a weapon for Garoppolo and Neville Gallimore to fill in the hole Buckner left. 

32nd pick – Kansas City Chiefs: Center Cesar Ruiz, Michigan

The Chiefs may very well trade this pick, but there’s no trades in this mock draft. Ruiz is one of the best interior offensive lineman in this draft and he can help open up the running game for Andy Reid.