Mike Fanelli | February 17th, 2020
The 2019 NFL season came and went in what feels like in a New York minute. However, the offseason is just getting started. Teams are beginning to cut veterans to open up cap space and the NFL Combine is almost here. Everyone loves a mock draft, so while we wait for the combine and then free agency to happen, enjoy my 2.0 mock draft. Today I will be sharing part one (the first round), which has six hypothetical trades in it. Part two (the second round) will be out tomorrow morning, so without further ado, the Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock.
1) Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Despite some recent rumors that the Bengals were impressed with the quarterbacks down at the Senior Bowl, Burrow is going first overall. The only question left is, does another team offer the Bengals enough for them to move out of the top draft slot? Probably not.
2) Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Redskins twitter is a nightmare. Some think the team should trade the pick, others think Young is a slam dunk selection. Ignore the group of “we need more picks, we have a lot of needs” and write this pick down in ink. Young will be a Redskin on April 23rd.
*** Lions trade pick #3 to the Dolphins for picks #5 and #26***
3) Dolphins (via Lions) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Expectations are that Tua is expected to be ready to throw sometime next month. Assuming Tua is healthy come draft day, he will be the second offensive player off the board and a team will trade up to select him. Tua has been linked to the Dolphins for over a year now so don’t be surprised when it happens on draft night. With so many picks, the Dolphins can afford to pay the hefty price to move up two spots and secure Tua.
*** Giants trade pick #4 to the Panthers for picks #7, #38, and a 2021 4th round pick ***
4) Panthers (via Giants) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
When you can’t beat them, join them. With the Dolphins trading up, the Panthers get anxious and trade up to grab Herbert. Cam Newton isn’t expected to be back in 2020 and unless the Panthers add Teddy Bridgewater, they will be looking for a new franchise quarterback in the draft.
5) Lions (via Dolphins) – Isaiah Simmons, LB/SAF, Clemson
The Lions were able to move down two spots, add another first-round pick, and STILL have their choice of defensive players. Simmons is the ultimate swiss army knife for any defensive coordinator and since Matt Patricia is a defensive minded guy with an awful defense, don’t be surprised to see the Lions focus early and often on the defensive side of the play during the draft.
6) Chargers – Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
It’s official; the Chargers and Philip Rivers are parting ways. Tyrod Taylor can serve as the bridge gap quarterback but the Chargers need to finish their next franchise guy. However, they didn’t trade up and no quarterback is worth the pick here. With their current situation, taking the best offensive tackle is the correct move. Once they find their next franchise quarterback, they will have a franchise offensive tackle protecting him.
7) Giants (via Panthers) – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
After sliding back, the Giants can still fill their biggest need; offensive tackle. The combo of Nate Solder and Mike Remmers is probably the worst starting tackle duo in the league. Becton would start from day one and help keep Daniel Jones upright.
8) Cardinals – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Patrick Peterson is entering the last year of his deal, will turn 30 years old this offseason, and the Cardinals can open up $12.6 million dollars in cap space by trading or cutting him. If the Cardinals decide it’s time to move on from Peterson, Okudah would be the perfect replacement for him. Even if Peterson is brought back, Okudah would finally give the Cardinals a good number two cornerback.
9) Jaguars – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
The Jaguars are projected to be in salary cap hell. The good news for them is they can open up $24 million dollars in cap space by cutting Marcell Dareus and Abry Jones. The problem is it would leave the Jaguars with very little depth at defensive tackle. Some consider Brown the third best player in the draft class and to get him at nine overall is a steal.
10) Browns – Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa
Some scouts think Wirfs can play offensive tackle in the NFL, others think he would be better off sliding inside to guard. Either way, the Browns need to improve their offensive line this offseason. Baker Mayfield is in a make or break season, and if he isn’t properly protected, he has very little chance of succeeding.
11) Jets – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Many mocks have the Jets adding a wide receiver in the first round (especially when the top two guys are still available). However, the depth in this draft class at wide receiver is excellent, and the Jets can afford to wait till day two to add wide receivers. Instead, the Jets have to add a dominant pass rusher this offseason. Jordan Jenkins led the team with eight sacks, while Jamal Adams (6.5) was the only other Jet to register more than three sacks this season. Needless to say, that can’t happen again next season, and Chaisson had 6.5 sacks his last year at LSU.
12) Raiders – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Tyrell Williams had an up and down first season with the Raiders, in large part due to injuries. Despite some success, the Raiders would run their draft card to the podium if Jeudy last this long on draft night. A trio of Williams, Jeudy, and Hunter Renfrow, along with Darren Waller, would give Derek Carr, or whoever is playing quarterback, no excuses not to perform in 2020.
13) Colts – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Jacoby Brissett isn’t a franchise quarterback. No matter who the Colts add in free agency (assuming they do add someone), they need to find their next franchise quarterback. Love is the most polarizing quarterback in this draft class. A few months ago, I would say taking Love at 13 would be a reach but now I think it’s almost a lock.
*** Buccaneers trade pick #14 to the Eagles for picks #21 and #53 ***
14) Eagles (via Buccaneers) – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Let’s take a minute to show some love for Carson Wentz. The Eagles won the NFC division with him throwing to the likes of Greg Ward and Deontay Burnett as Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson, and Nelson Agholor all missed several games this season. Agholor isn’t expected to be re-signed and Wentz needs a new shiny toy. While giving up a second-round pick to move up seven spots is a hefty price, watching Wentz and Lamb torch defenses for the next decade is well worth it.
15) Broncos – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Long time star Chris Harris Jr. is an upcoming free agent and given his salary demands he may not be back in 2020. Even if he is, the Broncos need to upgrade on the number two cornerback spot, especially in a division with Tyreek Hill, Keenan Allen, and now Jeudy.
16) Falcons – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Another year, another mock draft with the Falcons taking a pass rusher. The Falcons’ twitter page confirmed reports that Vic Beasley will not be back in 2020 (just don’t ask who the source is). Adrian Clayborn is also an upcoming free agent and with the Falcons projected to be tight against the cap, expect the Falcons to add at least one pass rusher during the draft.
17) Cowboys – Grant Delpit, SAF, LSU
After failing to add a certain former LSU safety at the trade deadline, the Cowboys will be very happy to see this former LSU safety fall into their laps on draft night. While Xavier Woods has been solid at one starting safety spot, the trio of Darian Thompson, Kavon Frazier, and Jeff Heath has struggled at the other safety spot. All three are upcoming free agents and I don’t expect any of them to be back in 2020, allowing Grant to start from day one.
*** Dolphins trade pick #18 to the Ravens for picks #28, #60, and a 2021 4th round pick ***
18) Ravens (via Dolphins, Steelers) – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Both starting linebackers at upcoming free agents and the Ravens can easily upgrade at both spots. With the Raiders up next, the Ravens happily give up a few picks to jump up 10 spots to secure the last linebacker with a first-round grade. Murray would take this already great Ravens’ defense to the next level.
19) Raiders (via Bears) – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
After getting snipped by the Ravens, the Raiders grab Queen to lead their defense. Some might feel this is a reach (myself included), but when you have such a glaring need, you tend to reach. Vontaze Burfict is an upcoming free agent and given his history of dirty plays, I doubt the Raiders, or anyone else, offers him a contract this offseason.
20) Jaguars (via Rams) – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
When the Jaguars traded away Jalen Ramsey during the season, they basically admitted they didn’t want to pay two cornerbacks top money. However, they need to find a replacement for Ramsey to pair with A.J. Bouye, especially in a division filled with so many talented wide receivers.
21) Buccaneers (via Eagles) – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
I honestly struggled to find a spot for Kinlaw in the top 20 but I would be shocked if he lasts this long on draft night. The Buccaneers are projected to have almost $80 million dollars in cap space, but they have several key free agents to re-sign, including Shaquil Barrett. There is only so much money to go around and the Buccaneers have three defensive linemen who are upcoming free agents, including Ndamukong Suh. Adding Kinlaw to replace or add along with Suh and Vita Vea would only make that defensive line all the better.
22) Bills – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
John Brown stepped up as Josh Allen‘s top wide receiver this season but neither he nor Cole Beasley is a legit wide receiver one. Ruggs can cement himself as the third wide receiver off the board with a strong combine performance. Imagine how scared defenses will be to stack the box with Allen throwing deep to Brown and Ruggs.
23) Patriots – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
The offseason will be very interesting for the Patriots and their fans. Will Tom Brady be back? What weapons will they add? I believe Brady will be back and the Patriots will add several pieces to the offense this offseason. Last season, Ben Watson and Matt LaCosse combined for the same number of touchdowns as Antonio Brown did (one). The difference is Brown played in one game this season while the tight ends played in 21 combined games. If the Patriots strike out in free agency, look for them to add a tight end early during the draft.
24) Saints – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
Obviously, the 2019 season didn’t go as the Saints hoped it would and the team is going to have some tough decisions to make this offseason. In addition to figuring out who will be playing quarterback next season (hopefully Drew Brees returns), the secondary has several free agents. Cornerbacks Eli Apple and P.J. Williams are both free agents while the Saints will likely need to cut Janoris Jenkins to open up cap space. Down three of their top four cornerbacks, adding Henderson is a must, especially in a division with three great wide receiver duos.
25) Vikings – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The Vikings’ offensive line struggled at times this season and left tackle Riley Reiff could be a cap casualty as the team is currently projected to be over the cap. Fans and draft twitter may be big fans of Thomas but reports are the league views him as a late first-round instead of a top 10 talent. Much like the Saints, the Vikings will need cornerback help this offseason as they have several free agents in the secondary but with Thomas still on the board, he outweighs any of the cornerbacks available.
*** Lions trade picks #26 and #149 to the Titans for picks #29 and #93 ***
26) Titans (via Lions, Dolphins, Texans) – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
While the Titans had 43 sacks last season (middle of the league), Harold Landry was the one player on the team with more than five. The Titans struggled to get pressure on the quarterback without blitzing and that needs to change. For the price of flipping middle-round picks with the Lions, the Titans can leap over the Seahawks and Dolphins (both of who need pass rushing help) and select the last edge rusher with a first-round grade.
27) Seahawks – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
Both Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah are upcoming free agents, and the Seahawks would have loved to get Gross-Matos. However, after being snipped they turn their attention to the offensive line. Germain Ifedi has been inconsistent at right tackle and is a free agent. Wanogho would be a day one starter, replacing Ifedi.
28) Dolphins (via Ravens) – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
What is the best way to help out a rookie quarterback? Give him a running game. Now let’s not kid ourselves, Kalen Ballage, Myles Gaskin, and Patrick Laird aren’t going to get the job done. Swift is considered by many to be the top running back in the draft class and the only one with a shot of going in the first round. The pairing of Tua and Swift would give the Dolphins a dynamic duo on offense to build around for several years.
29) Lions (via Titans) – Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
Finally! The Lions are back on the clock. After two trade downs, the Lions fill one of their more underrated needs. Both Mike Daniels and A’Shawn Robinson are upcoming free agents, while Damon Harrison is rumored to be flirting with retirement. Adding Davis would protect the Lions if all three of their top defensive tackles leave this offseason.
30) Packers – KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
Davante Adams can’t be the only consistent receiver for Aaron Rodgers. Geronimo Allison is an upcoming free agent and shouldn’t be re-signed, while Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Jake Kumerow aren’t starting caliber wide receivers. Pair Adams with Hamler and Rodgers should finally bounce back to his former MVP form.
*** 49ers trade pick #31 to the Chargers for picks #37, #109, #151, and a 2021 4th round pick ***
31) Chargers (via 49ers) – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
Let’s not kid ourselves. If the Chargers end the first night of the draft and haven’t picked a quarterback, the five remaining Charger fans might boycott the team. Eason is a reach with this pick, no doubt about it, but for the cost of a few middle-round picks, the Chargers can jump back into the first round, get the cheap fifth year option on the contract. For the 49ers, thanks to trades they made during the season, they have just one pick in the first four rounds and will likely be a trade partner on draft night.
32) Chiefs – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Coming off their first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years, the Chiefs will have a busy offseason. Patrick Mahomes is in line for an extension making over $40 million dollars a year, while star defensive lineman Chris Jones is the team’s top upcoming free agent. With limited cap space, expect the Chiefs to lose some of their upcoming free agent cornerbacks including Kendall Fuller and Bashaud Breeland. Gladney could easily end up starting week one for the Chiefs; cornerback depth is needed.
For part two of my mock draft click here.
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