Pickard’s Mock Draft 3.0: Final Analysis on Picks and Tradesby Andersen Pickard April 23, 2020 0 comments
With the NFL Draft just hours away, it’s time to make one last prediction for where the nation’s top 32 prospects will end up.
Unlike the first two mock drafts, this one will include trades.
No. 1: Bengals select Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
After an outstanding 2019 season where he boasted his mobility and high IQ, Burrow is a lock to head to the Bengals. His arm could use improvement, but there’s no denying this is the right pick for Cincinnati.
No. 2: Redskins select Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Another lock. Young to the Redskins just makes sense. The best prospect in the draft, Young possesses excellent pass-rush ability while remaining fluid and balanced. You’d be hard-pressed to find a weakness in Young’s game.
No. 3: Lions select Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
There’s been chatter of the Lions trading back, but I just can’t see that happening. Flexible and speedy with elite footwork, Okudah is probably going to wind up with the Lions. His tackling isn’t the greatest, but that shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
TRADE: Chargers acquire pick No. 4 from Giants in exchange for picks No. 6, 112, and 151.
No. 4: Chargers select Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Chargers leapfrog the Dolphins to ensure Justin Herbert lands in Los Angeles. Calm and collected in the pocket, Herbert is a poised signal-caller with a high IQ. The biggest knock on him is his accuracy, but he’s still the second-best quarterback in this draft.
No. 5: Dolphins select Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tagovailoa’s poise and calmness are impressive for a mobile quarterback who often faces pressure beyond the pocket. He has the potential to be the best signal-caller in this draft, but he needs to stay on the field.
No. 6: Giants select Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
This is the best lineman in this draft and it’s not very close. The Giants bolster their offensive line with this powerful Alabama product. It’s hard to find any weakness when it comes to Wills’ game.
No. 7: Panthers select Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Simmons is the most confusing player in this draft. Some experts have him as the best prospect, while others have him as a late first-round pick. Versatile, eager, and smart, Simmons will fall no further than the Panthers at No. 7.
No. 8: Cardinals select Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Power is the name of the game for this Iowa product who could go anywhere between fourth and 14th overall. Wirfs is strong and powerful, making him perfect for protecting Kyler Murray. However, he does need to improve his run-blocking.
No. 9: Jaguars select Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
With the Jaguars likely trading Yannick Ngakoue, it opens the door to drafting Auburn product Derrick Brown. Brown, who was tied to the Panthers in my first two mocks, Brown takes a small tumble in Mock 3––but is willing to get involved and plug gaps with his power and explosiveness.
No. 10: Browns select Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
There’s no real debate that the Browns will look anywhere but the offensive line at No. 10. In this case, Becton is the right choice as he’s the best still on the board. His ability to be powerful and go all out while still being able to remain balanced, speedy, and in control is rare in the trenches.
No. 11: Jets select Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The first wideout off the board, Jeudy is speedy and excels in the route running aspect. His hands are questionable, but it’s pretty clear that he’s the best receiver in the draft. He will slot in as Sam Darnold’s top target right away.
No. 12: Raiders select Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
The Raiders lack a speedy deep-threat receiver as of now, but they will fill that void with Ruggs, who shows off his skills with a magnificent motor and his promising big-play ability. His catch radius isn’t the best, but this is the right choice for Las Vegas.
No. 13: 49ers select CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
After losing Emmanuel Sanders, the Niners will be in the market for a new receiver. As a result, they’ll look to Lamb, who nicely complements second-year receiver, Deebo Samuel. Lamb lacks speed but makes up for that with his sticky hands and ball control.
No. 14: Buccaneers select Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Thomas lands with the Buccaneers and will be tasked with protecting Tom Brady. He has great power and blocking skills but lacks in the footwork and mobility department.
TRADE: Jaguars acquire pick No. 15 from Broncos in exchange for picks No. 20 and 189 and a 2021 third-round selection.
No. 15: Jaguars select Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
McKinney is a versatile and physical safety that has an impressive range in short and medium air attacks. He has struggled, however, when it comes to deep range and tackling.
No. 16: Falcons select C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
After failing to trade down, the Falcons secure the cornerback who was arguably their top target all along. Henderson often clings to opposing receivers and possesses star-caliber ball skills.
No. 17: Cowboys select K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Chaisson is one of the most explosive players in this draft. The Cowboys may reach for an offensive lineman but, quite frankly, the idea of Chaisson is too good to pass up. The biggest knock on Chaisson is his timing, but he is still a top prospect.
TRADE: Titans acquire picks No. 18 and 256 from Dolphins in exchange for picks No. 29 and 61.
No. 18: Titans select Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
The Titans are going to address the defensive line, so why not trade up? A strong force in the trenches, Kinlaw possesses scary power. He can be a bit sloppy, but he’s still one of the best defensive line prospects in the draft.
TRADE: Packers acquire pick No. 19 and 2021 fifth-round selection from Raiders in exchange for picks No. 30 and 62
No. 19: Packers select Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Packers move up to select a wide receiver before the Broncos, Eagles, Vikings, Patriots, or Ravens have a chance to pick. Aaron Rodgers’s newest weapon is a flashy LSU product with good hands and ball skills.
No. 20: Broncos select Josh Jones, OT, Houston
The Broncos didn’t want to miss out on the top four linemen and wideouts, but they benefit by accumulating selections while still landing Jones, who is athletic and mobile despite lacking technique.
No. 21: Eagles select Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The Eagles taking a linebacker in the first round is not traditional, but tradition must be ignored when it comes to a fluid, smart, and flexible player like Queen. He does lack in the power department, but that’s not a big concern.
No. 22: Vikings select Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Gladney possesses great patience and awareness while donning impressive footwork. He lacks length, but he’s the third-best cornerback in the draft and makes sense for the Vikings at No. 22.
TRADE: Browns acquire No. 23 pick from Patriots in exchange for picks No. 41, 74, 115
No. 23: Browns select Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Patriots trade back yet again, surrendering their pick to the Browns, who select LSU’s confident, flexible, and speedy cornerback. His tackling isn’t at the level it should be, but the rest of his traits give him first-round potential.
No. 24: Saints select Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Physical and fluid, Murray is a rangy linebacker with late first-round potential. While his football IQ is lower than ideal, he would still be a nice complement to Demario Davis.
No. 25: Vikings select Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Mims isn’t the sharpest when it comes to running his routes, but he excels pretty much everywhere else. He has good ball skills and a solid catch radius, and he should slot into the WR2 role in Minnesota quite nicely.
No. 26: Dolphins select Grant Delpit, S, LSU
An animal with a high IQ, Delpit has a motor that never dies. He struggles in the tackling game but continues to be aggressive on every play. He should land a job in the late first round.
No. 27: Seahawks select Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Gross-Matos possesses impressive length and an admirable level of physicality and explosiveness. He lacks in the IQ department, but that shouldn’t be too much of a concern considering his dominance on the line.
No. 28: Ravens select Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Versatile and speedy, Reagor uses his twitchy route skills to shake off opposing defenders. He struggles with drops from time to time but is overall a reliable receiver with big playability.
No. 29: Dolphins select J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
With great vision, balance, and the ability to shred tackles, Dobbins has made a name for himself as the best running back in this draft. He struggles in the passing game but makes up for that with his prowess on the ground.
No. 30: Raiders select Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
Winfield has a high football IQ that makes him a scary threat in the secondary. While injuries and durability provide teams with question marks, he should sneak into the first round thanks to his skills and talent.
No. 31: 49ers select Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
The best center in the draft, Ruiz is powerful, mobile, and versatile. His length doesn’t blow anyone away by any means, but he has the overall skill set to be a solid lineman in the pros.
No. 32: Chiefs select A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
With the final pick in the first round, the reigning champs pick up a powerful pass-rusher with impressive length. The Iowa product needs to improve in terms of lateral mobility but he’s an overall solid prospect with an exciting future.