Mason Thompson | March 23rd, 2020
Now that the first week of free agency has passed, it is now time for another round of mock drafts. Of course, players like Jadeveon Clowney, Robby Anderson, and Jameis Winston are still on the market as well as some trades still set to happen. Teams have addressed their needs, while some have opened up new needs(ahem, Houston). Now, that free agency has passed, for the most part, Buffalo has filled their need of a primary wide receiver and Las Vegas has filled their linebacker need.
In this three-round mock draft, I try to fix some of the needs for all 32 teams across the league. In this article, I will be posting the full first round of this mock which includes seven trades, including three in the top ten. Let’s dive in on this Mock Draft Monday.
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
A front seven that includes Young, Jonathan Allen, Da’Ron Payne, Montez Sweat, Matt Ioannidis, Thomas Davis Sr, and Reuben Foster with Jon Bostic, Ryan Kerrigan, and Cole Holcomb mixing in is terrifying. Don’t overthink it Washington.
***Chargers send picks 6, 37, 112, and a 2021 fifth-round selection to Detroit for picks 3 and 182.***
3. Los Angeles Chargers(Via Detroit) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Chargers have a stacked roster outside of one position, Quarterback. While Tyrod Taylor has a winning record and is a serviceable starter, he isn’t the Chargers’ future starter at the position. All of the moves the team made give some intel as to what the pick could potentially be. Tua is left-handed and the Chargers signed Bryan Bulaga, who plays right tackle, also Tua’s blindside. Tom Telesco doesn’t make splashes as big as this, but this offseason has been different and it continues here. Taylor can start while Tua redshirts this year.
4. New York Giants – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Giants are starting whatever an Eric Smith is at right tackle. Wirfs will immediately start at that spot and eventually take over for Nate Solder at left tackle once he retires. This has to be a tackle for the Giants.
***Jaguars send picks 9 and 42 to Miami for picks 5 and 185***
5. Jacksonville Jaguars(Via Miami) – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
With Tua off the board and Carolina adding Bridgewater, the Dolphins can trade back and accumulate more picks and still get the quarterback of their choice. For Jacksonville, they saw that the Lions traded back so they pounce on an opportunity to get Okudah. Jacksonville is still able to keep pick 20.
6. Detroit Lions(Via Chargers) – Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
With the Lions losing out on Okudah, they get the next best option on defense with Simmons. Matt Patricia will find some way to use him on that defense with all of the new additions they have made from New England.
***Eagles send picks 22, 166, and a 2021 first-round pick to Carolina for picks 7 and 221***
7. Philadelphia Eagles(Via Carolina) – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Carolina has a ton of needs on the roster, so when the Eagles offer a first-round selection for next year, the Panthers gladly take it. Philadelphia, meanwhile, is in desperate need of a receiver, and Jeudy is perhaps the best in the class. He is the best route runner in the class and will help Carson Wentz tremendously.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
The Cardinals’ current defensive line consists of Jordan Phillips, Zach Allen, Michael Dogbe, Corey Peters, Miles Brown, and Lyndon Johnson. There is a desperate need of a defensive lineman to accompany Phillips and Allen and Brown is the selection because of that.
9. Miami Dolphins(Via Jacksonville) – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
I know what you’re thinking. Justin Herbert is right here for the taking so how is he not the selection? Well, how can you have a quarterback with no offensive line to protect him? The current starting tackles for the Dolphins are Julien Davenport and Jesse Davis. The offensive line is atrocious and needs help now before adding the quarterback.
10. Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
The Browns added Jack Conklin in free agency and can now focus on their left tackle. Becton is a massive human being who will fit in well in Cleveland and hopefully help the Browns get back to their 2018 form.
11. New York Jets – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
The Jets have needs at offensive line, receiver, cornerback, and edge rusher. With the depth of the class at the other positions, I decided edge was the best fit here with this selection. He is still developing his pass rush moves and is already super explosive. The Jets need are in a position to go in multiple directions with their first-round selection.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Here we go again. The Raiders have added Marcus Mariota to push Derek Carr for his starting job. Well, with Herbert here, maybe they just battle it out with the two former Oregon Ducks and send Carr somewhere else. I’m not as high on Herbert as most but this seems like an ideal landing spot for him.
13. San Francisco 49ers – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The 49ers get their Emmanuel Sanders replacement in Lamb with this selection. The 49ers now have one more weapon at Jimmy Garappolo’s disposal and Lamb paired with Deebo Samuel is a lethal combination of receivers.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
Tom Brady is a Buccaneer. Wow. Still weird to say. The position the Buccaneers select here has stayed the same even with the signing of Brady. The defense improved immensely over the late half of the season and Brady has weapons in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O.J. Howard, and Cameron Brate. Tampa Bay’s current starting right tackle is Joe Haeg. I think it’s safe to say Wills is a good choice here.
15. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
The Broncos are seemingly one piece away from the playoffs and that piece is a receiver outside of Courtland Sutton. Ruggs is the perfect counterpart to Sutton. The combination will make life a lot easier for Drew Lock.
16. Atlanta Falcons – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
The Falcons currently have three cornerbacks on the roster. Even before the release of Desmond Trufant, the Falcons needed a cornerback and they get one here with Henderson, who I believe is the third-best cornerback in the class. Dan Quinn is in a make-or-break year in Atlanta and the Falcons secondary needs improvement.
17. Dallas Cowboys – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Robert Quinn is now in Chicago on a massive contract(Another article for another day). The Cowboys have lost a lot in free agency but the team still needed an edge rusher before Quinn went to the windy city. Epenesa has lost some of his hype in recent months but Dallas is a good landing spot for him.
18. Miami Dolphins – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The Dolphins take another best player available approach here to help with their rebuild. McKinney is the best safety in the class and will help Xavien Howard and Byron Jones on the back end. Don’t worry, you’ll get your quarterback.
19. Las Vegas Raiders – Laviska Shenault Jr. WR, Colorado
Shenault is this year’s, Deebo Samuel. The Raiders will be able to use him in multiple different ways and will be a big help to whoever is playing quarterback. He may not have run the fastest 40-time, but he is one of the best playmakers in this class, which the Raiders need.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
The defensive makeover in Jacksonville continues. Kinlaw is potentially a top-ten talent in this class and he has dropped because of positional value. The Jaguars need help everywhere on defense and Kinlaw helps with that.
21. Carolina Panthers(Via Philadelphia) – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
As I said earlier, the Panthers have a lot of needs. Well, receiver is not at the top of that list, but they do have Joe Brady, who is very familiar with Jefferson. A trio of Jefferson, Curtis Samuel, D.J. Moore, and Christian McCaffrey out of the backfield should help with Teddy Bridgewater in Carolina. There is still a lot of work to do on the defense.
***Miami sends picks 26 and 42 to Minnesota for picks 22 and 58***
22. Miami Dolphins(Via Minnesota) – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
I was tempted to wait until the second round to take a quarterback but figured I should select one here before New England takes one. Love is a wild card in this class as he had a great junior year but a down senior year. Miami has both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen on the roster to help with the development of Love. He should be starting by the end of the year while the offensive line develops in front of Fitzpatrick or Rosen instead.
23. New England Patriots – Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin
Baun is either an edge or a linebacker, it depends on the scheme he’s in. In New England, he is best suited as a linebacker. With the losses of Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins, Baun should get immediate playing time in New England. He just seems like a Belichick guy.
***Detroit sends picks 35 and 67 to New Orleans for pick 24***
24. Detroit Lions – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
With only one selection on day two, the Saints trade back to add a few more selections. Meanwhile, Detroit missed on Okudah and now come back into the first round to select Fulton before the Vikings are on the clock. The addition of Fulton rounds out well with Trufant, Justin Coleman, and Amani Oruwariye. The Lions defense is in need of playmakers and they have gotten two in Simmons and Fulton.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Gladney is my second-ranked cornerback in the class. So, as a Packer fan, this sucks putting him in Minnesota’s hands. The Vikings lost Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, and cut Xavier Rhodes, leaving them with Mike Hughes, Holton Hill, and Kris Boyd as starters. In a division with Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and, well, the Bears, the Vikings need better cornerbacks then those three.
26. Minnesota Vikings(Via Miami) – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
The Vikings are going through a defensive overhaul due to their free agents and cap casualties. Everson Griffin has left Minnesota so the Vikings need to find a replacement for him opposite Danielle Hunter. Gross-Matos has been a steady riser since the collegiate season will be a great partner for Hunter.
***Saints send picks 35 and 88 to Seattle for pick 27***
27. New Orleans Saints(Via Seattle) – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The Saints have a stacked roster ready for another Super Bowl run. There are only a few pieces missing to get them there. One is a linebacker to replace A.J. Klein who left for Buffalo. Queen is a top 15 player on my draft board and it sucks seeing him go three picks before the Packers. The addition of Queen will be beneficial to Alex Anzalone and Demario Davis as well to complete the linebacker core in New Orleans.
28. Baltimore Ravens – Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
With Marshall Yanda retiring, the Ravens need a new right guard. It will be difficult to replace Yanda’s production, but Ruiz is the best candidate in this class to do so. Ruiz could potentially move to center as well in Baltimore. The Ravens need to keep adding to the offense around Lamar Jackson.
29. Tennessee Titans – Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma
The recent trade of Jurell Casey opens up a spot on the defensive line. The Titans have a stout roster overall, but the front seven of the defense could use some upgrades. He has great quickness and power that will help him out. The tandem of him and last year’s first-round selection, Jeffrey Simmons will be intriguing to watch.
***Miami sends picks 39 and 58 to Green Bay for pick 30***
30. Miami Dolphins(Via Green Bay) – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
The Packers lost out on Patrick Queen and have seen the run on receivers come to an end. With no first-round caliber linebackers left, the Packers move down and pick up two extra second-round picks. For Miami, this is an opportunity to keep building the offensive line. The team already added Andrew Thomas and now have added Lucas Niang to pair with him. The rebuild is going nicely in Miami. With four first-round selections, the Dolphins have added Thomas, McKinney, Love, and now Niang, and still have a second-round pick at their disposal.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Ross Blacklock, DL, TCU
Blacklock is a disruptive presence who will help fill the void of Deforest Buckner. The 49ers defensive line still has the same level of production and shouldn’t lose a step next year. Now, their offense has another weapon as well. San Francisco should still be in the hunt next year.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Delpit and Tyrann Mathieu is an incredible duo. Now, add in Juan Thornhill as well and you have a lethal secondary built up of two incredible safeties and a honey badger that can play anywhere in the secondary. This is a luxury pick for the Chiefs and they made the most of it.
I tried making this mock a little different than anyone I have seen. I included three trades in the top ten just to see the chaos that would ensue. Ultimately, I think this is the best of my mocks yet and this is only the first round. Later this week, I will be posting rounds two and three of this mock in the same article, similar to the NFL draft that has both rounds on the same night.
Obviously, a lot of us don’t know what’s going to come on draft night. As always, don’t be afraid to leave your comments on how terrible this mock is and say that player x won’t make it past pick z.
Questions and comments?
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