Givanni Damico | February 27th, 2020
It’s been too long since I’ve done a mock draft! With the combine approaching, it is most certainly mock draft season. I’m back with a three-round draft this time. This is just the first round. Rounds two and three will be out later this week either Friday or Saturday. I tried to keep the trades at a minimum for this go around because my post-combine draft will be a bit more crazy. Let’s get into it.
1) Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Everyone seems to be obsessed with the idea of the Bengals trading down for more capital, but I don’t see it happening. Burrow to the Bengals seems like a lock at this point. Many people are concerned that Burrow wouldn’t want to play in Cincinnati, but I saw a picture of him signing a Bengals “Burrow” jersey the other day, so I think he’ll do just fine there.
2) Washington Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Someone hand me the sharpie. I need to write this pick in something that cannot be erased by the Redskins’ fans who think that they need to trade down for more draft capital. Take this generational talent and do not think twice.
*** Lions trade pick #3 to the Dolphins for picks #5, #39, 2021 3rd ***
3) Miami Dolphins (via Lions) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
“Tank for Tua” has been a thing in Miami for what seems like an eternity now. Despite his injury, Tagovailoa is still one of the most talented players in this class. He’ll be ready to throw in March, putting away most concerns. The Dolphins make this trade and avoid giving up one of their other first-round picks. Don’t worry Lions’ fans, you’ll still get who you want.
*** Giants trade pick #4 to the Panthers for picks #7, #38, 2021 3rd ***
4) Carolina Panthers (via Giants) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
It looks like the Cam Newton era in Carolina is over. The Panthers trade up to make this pick to avoid having the Chargers steal Herbert one pick before them. Many people try to point out the flaws in Herbert’s game, but if you look at his tape, he does what it takes to win games. I have a very good feeling that he will be successful in the league.
5) Detroit Lions (via Dolphins) – Isaiah Simmons, LB/SAF/CB, Clemson
I will address the question of “why not Okudah?” right now. This guy basically fills the need at linebacker, safety, and cornerback. Where do you want him to play? He’ll probably succeed in playing there. He’s one of the best all-around talents on defense that has come out of the draft in the last decade, so it would be a mistake to pass him up.
6) Los Angeles Chargers – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Oh boy, I have a feeling that I will be getting a lot of flack for this pick. As a Bills fan, I understand that Tyrod Taylor is not the answer at quarterback for the Bolts. With Rivers gone, the Chargers need a quarterback of the future. This is a high-risk, high-reward pick. The stigma that goes with Love reminds me of the same stigma with Josh Allen in 2018. Love has a very high ceiling and has Pro-Bowl potential.
7) New York Giants (via Panthers) – Jedrick Wills, Jr., OT, Alabama
Daniel Jones needs more protection upfront, so why not take the best tackle on the board? Wills is very strong and has a higher ceiling than any other tackle in this house. He is a future cornerstone for this franchise who seems to always be struggling upfront.
8) Arizona Cardinals – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Brown is one of the best players in this draft and can replace the aging Corey Peters at one of the biggest positions of need on the Cardinals.
9) Jacksonville Jaguars – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Due to their salary cap situation, the Jaguars will likely cut A.J. Bouye. Obviously, they lost Jalen Ramsey last year as well, leaving them with Tre Herndon (who performed quite well last season) and Parry Nickerson to man the cornerback position. Okudah is the best cornerback in this draft and would jump in and become CB1 immediately.
10) Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Becton is a MONSTER who is exactly what the Browns need upfront. Chris Hubbard was awful last season and Greg Robinson is facing 20 years in prison, leaving a starting spot wide open for Becton. He has All-Pro potential and would greatly improve the Browns’ offense.
11) New York Jets – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Jets really need to protect Sam Darnold upfront this year. He will never be a successful quarterback if he has five revolving doors blocking for him. Many consider Wirfs the most “pro-ready” tackle in the draft, but this is subjective. What I know for certain is that Wirfs will sure up part of this offensive line and significantly alter this line for the better.
12) Las Vegas Raiders – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Raiders saw the emergence of Hunter Renfrow as a solid slot receiver last season and still have Tyrell Williams tendered, but they need that number one receiver who Derek Carr can throw the ball up to. Lamb is an electrifying talent who is my number one receiver in this class. I don’t see very much “bust potential” in Lamb and I think he can become one of the best receivers in football eventually.
13) Indianapolis Colts – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
There is no quarterback worth taking right now, and a trade-up is not worth it if Indy can get a solid guy in round two. Henry Ruggs is an absolute speed demon. He would complement T.Y. Hilton very well, giving whatever quarterback the Colts put out there a great possession receiver and a guy who can stretch the field. Ruggs has overtaken Jerry Jeudy as my number two receiver in this class.
14) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
With Ndamukong Suh being a pending free agent, the Buccaneers will have to make a decision on whether to bring him back or not. Kinlaw is a force to be reckoned with and I think the pairing of him and Vita Vea could be the best interior defensive line duo in football in a few years. Letting Suh go will free up even more cap room for Tampa Bay.
15) Denver Broncos – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Despite Jeudy having fallen down my board, he is still an electrifying talent who, paired with Courtland Sutton and Drew Lock, could put the Broncos back in contention again. Like Ruggs and Hilton in Indianapolis, Jeudy will be a nice option to stretch the field for Lock while Sutton is a fantastic red zone threat.
16) Atlanta Falcons –K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Chiasson is criticized for his lack of production last season at LSU. Too often people look just at the number of sacks that defensive linemen have in a year, but you have to look beyond that. Chiasson is extremely athletic and has fantastic bend. He is very quick and explosive and will be a great replacement for Vic Beasley Jr., who was not exactly a fan favorite in Atlanta.
17) Dallas Cowboys – Grant Delpit, SAF, LSU
The Thorpe award winner has been overtaken by Xavier McKinney in many people’s draft rankings recently. While I don’t love Delpit as much as I did at the end of last season, I know that he will certainly be an upgrade over Darian Thompson and Jeff Heath. Neither of those guys should be back with Dallas next year (same with Kavon Frazier), so Delpit would be a day-one starter who should make an outstanding impact for the Cowboys.
18) Miami Dolphins – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Taking Thomas here would make me the happiest non-Dolphins fan alive. I just love the idea of this rebuild and the place that they are in. I love Brian Flores, I love DeVante Parker, and I would love them selecting a franchise offensive tackle who should be in the league for the next 15 years. Thomas is very skilled and ready to start right away. I don’t know how high his ceiling is, but he would be an immense upgrade over who they have right now.
19) Las Vegas Raiders – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Fulton is one of my favorite prospects in this draft. The Raiders have a few mediocre guys at cornerback right now like Ken Crawley and Daryl Worley, but with how talented the wide receivers in their division are, it is most certainly a weakness. Fulton would be CB1 from the first day of training camp.
20) Jacksonville Jaguars – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
I love Kenneth Murray so much. He is incredibly athletic and explosive. He can just do it all. His technique is raw but he has plenty of room to grow, and I honestly think he has the potential to be one of the best linebackers in football. Outside of Myles Jack, the Jags don’t have much talent left at the linebacker position. This would be a perfect pick for Jacksonville to go along with Jeffrey Okudah.
21) Philadelphia Eagles – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Queen has shot up draft boards lately and for good reason. He is extremely athletic and was a leader at LSU. The Eagles have quite a few needs on the defensive side of the ball, but right now, only Nathan Gerry, Duke Riley, and Alex Singleton are the only linebackers tendered. I think Queen is a raw prospect who’s ceiling is very high. This may be a bit soon for him to go, but linebacker is the Eagles’ biggest position of need so they should take him while they can.
22) Buffalo Bills – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
The Bills had many players near the top of their board taken before they could pick, so now the best player available at a position of need is Epenesa. He was a bit of a let down this past season but he has the skills to be a successful edge rusher. The Bills have a few holes to fill on defense now and Epenesa would plug one of them.
*** Patriots trade pick #23 to the Seahawks for pick #27, pick #100, 2021 4th ***
23) Seattle Seahawks (via Patriots) – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE
With Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney being pending free agents, the Seahawks have a colossal whole to feel. The Patriots did not see anyone worth taking at this point and time, so they collect picks by trading down. The Seahawks could use an offensive tackle here, but edge rusher is a more pressing need.
24) New Orleans Saints – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Saints need to take some of the workload off of Michael Thomas, so keep Jefferson local. He was very impressive at LSU. I’ve seen mixed opinions on him, but he is just such a reliable target and would bolster the Saints’ offense.
25) Minnesota Vikings – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
The Vikings’ tackles were pretty brutal this year. Riley Reiff is certainly not a fan favorite and may become a cap casualty due to the Vikings’ salary cap situation. Jones is an athletic tackle who has risen the ranks lately. He would start immediately (most likely) and give Kirk Cousins better protection.
26) Miami Dolphins – Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
I’m not sure how Dolphins’ fans are going to feel about this first round, but I love it. Building an offensive line is one of the most important things to do for a football team, and Tua throwing behind Thomas and Ruiz would be amazing. They need defensive help as well as some more weapons which they will get in round two and round three.
27) New England Patriots (via Seahawks) – Xavier McKinney, SAF, Alabama
This isn’t the biggest need on the team, rather more of a “best player available” pick. Devin McCourty’s contract is up but expectations are that he resigns. If he does not though, McKinney could be a day-one starter, fighting with Duron Harmon for a spot. There were no linebackers or tight ends worth taking this early for the Pats.
28) Baltimore Ravens – Ross Blacklock, DL, TCU
Michael Pierce is an unrestricted free agent who is not likely to be back with Baltimore. This pick allows Baltimore to fill that hole with Blacklock, who is incredibly explosive. His first move is deadly and he has flown under the radar throughout this scouting process.
29) Tennessee Titans – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
With Jack Conklin likely being traded, the Titans will need to replace him. They may address this need in free agency, but Jackson would be a good filler for him. He’s a raw prospect with plenty of room to grow. He may struggle out of the gate but he has incredible potential to be a cornerstone tackle.
30) Green Bay Packers – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
I’m a bit higher on Shenault than others. I love his explosive speed and his pure potential. Injuries messed him up at Colorado, so I hope that he can avoid those following him throughout his career. This is a major boom-or-bust pick for the Packers, but they need a secondary target outside of Davante Adams.
31) San Francisco 49ers – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
The 49ers do not have much talent at the cornerback position outside of Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. I need to sit down and watch more tape on Gladney, but I have loved what I’ve seen so far. He could replace Witherspoon as the number two cornerback and bump Witherspoon down to three. This would be a great value pick and fill a hole for the 49ers.
32) Kansas City Chiefs – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Let me make this clear: Swift is not my number one running back in the class but I feel that he fits the scheme of the Chiefs the best. He is a pass-catching back like Damien Williams who is even more explosive. He isn’t a perfect prospect but this would make the Chiefs offense scary lethal.
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