As the college football season is quickly coming to an end, the first wave of players have been announcing that they will be leaving their college teams and will be declaring for the upcoming NFL Draft. Quarterbacks such as Jake From from Georgia, Tua Tagovailoa from Alabama, and Jacob Eason have declared along with countless highly-regarded draft prospects.
Here, I will be giving my selections for my first 2020 NFL Mock Draft. Of course, a lot will change before the actual draft. The full draft order for the teams still competing in the playoffs has yet to be determined. Additionally, team needs may change before the draft after free agent signings are made. Nevertheless, based on what each team needs today, here are my 2020 NFL Draft predictions.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow (QB, LSU)
When you have an opportunity to get a stud quarterback, you do it. The Bengals are looking to move away from Andy Dalton, and the 2019 Heisman Trophy winner is the perfect replacement.
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young (EDGE, Ohio State)
The Redskins will likely go best available here. Young is arguably the most talented player in the draft and will bring his overpowering pass rush to Washington.
3. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah (CB, Ohio State)
Darius Slay is getting old and the Lions’ pass defense hasn’t been good. Okudah is quick, big, has great instincts, and will be a huge improvement for Detroit.
4. New York Giants: Andrew Thomas (OT, Georgia)
The offensive line is the clear weakness for the Giants. Thomas is viewed by many as the best pass protector in this draft class and will be needed to protect quarterback Daniel Jones.
5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama)
Although his injury may be worrisome for some teams, the Dolphins will hesitate to pick Tagovailoa. The team has been interested in him for a while, and he could be their next franchise quarterback.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon)
Herbert impressed many with his victorious performance in the Rose Bowl. His size, strength, and pure intangibles are perfect for the NFL, and it is very possible he is Philip Rivers’s replacement.
7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn)
The Panthers had a terrible run defense last season, and Brown can fix that. The monstrous defensive lineman can be elite in run-stuffing and even in the pass rush.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama)
This pick is simple. Kyler Murray needs an elite wide receiver weapon with Larry Fitzgerald likely to fall it quits soon, and Jeudy is the best route runner in the class.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Isaiah Simmons (OLB, Clemson)
Telvin Smith‘s decision to retire before last season left a hole in the linebacker position for the Jaguars. Simmons will bring versatility and fill that hole in the defense.
10. Cleveland Browns: Tristan Wirfs (OT, Iowa)
Wirfs is strong, athletic, and has experience at both tackle positions. Baker Mayfield could use some more pass protection, and Wirfs will certainly give him that.
11. New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb (WR, Oklahoma)
The Jets desperately need a wide receiver. Robby Anderson might leave in free agency, but luckily for them, the elite playmaker in CeeDee Lamb could be heading their way in April.
12. Oakland Raiders: Kenneth Murray (LB, Oklahoma)
Could there be back-to-back Sooners picked here? The lack of talented linebackers harmed the Raiders’ defense last season. Murray is agile, big, and can tackle at a high level.
13. Indianapolis Colts: Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama)
The speedster out of Alabama may actually break the 40-yard dash record time at the combine. The Colts need a reliable pass catcher, and Ruggs is very talented and explosive.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Austin Jackson (OT, USC)
The Buccaneers need immediate help on the offensive line. Jackson’s athleticism and size can make him an elite tackle. Maybe with better protection, Jameis Winston won’t throw as many picks.
15. Denver Broncos: Trevon Diggs (CB, Alabama)
The Broncos’ secondary isn’t what it used to be four years ago. Chris Harris, although still very good, is old, and Denver would be smart to find a talented replacement such as Diggs.
16. Atlanta Falcons: AJ Epenesa (EDGE, Iowa)
Epenesa would be a steal for the Falcons, as many say he has top-five talent. The strong, hard-working pass rusher will be a great addition to a team that struggles to get pressure.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Grant Delpit (S, LSU)
Delpit is another player with top-five talent who can slip to the Cowboys at 17. This would be a perfect fit for them, as they need an athletic, fast safety, which Delpit is.
18. Miami Dolphins: Jonathan Taylor (RB, Wisconsin)
After trading away Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage, the Dolphins need a solid lead running back. Taylor is that man. The Wisconsin standout can be their workhorse for years to come.
19. Oakland Raiders: K’Lavon Chiasson (EDGE, LSU)
The Raiders did not get the production from last year’s first-round pick, defensive end Clelin Ferrell, as they had hoped. Chiasson is a hard-working player that could add more tenacity to the pass rush.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: C.J. Henderson (CB, Florida)
After trading Jalen Ramsey to the Rams, the Jaguars need another cornerback. Luckily for them, Henderson could be available. His experience, strengths and ball skills will make him a prime target.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Laviska Shenault (WR, Colorado)
A large part of the Eagles’ offensive struggles this year stemmed from the fact that they didn’t have a healthy stud wide receiver. Shenault has the size, hands, and skill to be similar to Alshon Jeffery.
22. Buffalo Bills: Tee Higgins (WR, Clemson)
The Bills already have a burner in John Brown and a great slot receiver in Cole Beasley. Higgins and his 6-foot-4 frame will cause havoc for defenses and be that jump ball target the Bills need.
23. New England Patriots: Cole Kmet (TE, Notre Dame)
If Tom Brady is to stay, the Patriots need to get him some weapons. The Patriots may add a top wideout via trade, but they will need a tight end and pick Kmet, a solid blocker and great pass-catcher who fills a position of need.
24. New Orleans Saints: Justin Jefferson (WR, LSU)
The Saints need a second receiver to pair with Michael Thomas. Jefferson has been exceptional all year, and his four touchdowns in the college football playoff semifinal may just push him to the Saints.
25. Tennessee Titans: Javon Kinlaw (DL, South Carolina)
Kinlaw is a strong, dominant lineman who can either play as a tackle or an end in a 3-4 defense. The Titans can pair him with Jurell Casey and Jeffrey Simmons to make a dangerous front three.
26. Minnesota Vikings: Jedrick Willis (OT/OG, Alabama)
Left tackle Riley Reiff is old and has been unimpressive this year. Willis can provide some stability to the Vikings’ line in both the passing and running games.
27. Miami Dolphins: Yetur Gross-Matos (EDGE, Penn State)
The Dolphins had a very weak all-around team last year. Gross-Matos is a steal here and the best available player. He is a quick, disruptive pass rusher with a ton of potential.
28. Seattle Seahawks: Tyler Biadasz (C/OG, Wisconsin)
The Seahawks rely on their running game a lot, and Biadasz is widely seen as the best run-blocker in this class. With Seattle’s line aging and underperforming, Biadasz is a welcome addition.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: JK Dobbins (RB, Ohio State)
The Chiefs have not found a reliable starting running back since Kareem Hunt was released last year. Dobbins is quick, tough to tackle, and will complement Patrick Mahomes and the passing game nicely.
30. Green Bay Packers: Jalen Reagor (WR, TCU)
Davante Adams is really the only reliable receiver on the Packers currently. Reagor’s explosiveness and big-play ability will surely intrigue the Packers and Aaron Rodgers.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Xavier McKinney (S, Alabama)
The 49ers have a very solid all-around team, but they could use more depth and versatility in the secondary. McKinney will bring exactly that to the table.
32. Baltimore Ravens: Creed Humphrey (C/OG, Oklahoma)
Like the 49ers, the Ravens are great all-around and don’t need much help. Humphrey is a possible selection to improve interior offensive linemen depth with Marshal Yanda likely to retire soon.