Mock draft 1.0 for me was a fun variant of what is going to be a fairly monotonous draft – at least in the first few picks. Those picks as of right now seem like near certainties, but as always someone is going to do something really, really dumb. In my second mock draft, I aim to refrain from such stupidity by selecting who I think the teams should select.
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Yep, next pick.
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
3. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Firstly, Matthew Stafford is going absolutely nowhere, at least for as long as I’m the GM. The Lions have already moved on from Darius Slay this offseason, leaving a glaring hole at cornerback. Okudah is undoubtedly the best cornerback in this draft and he can be a pro-bowl calibre player as a rookie.
4. New York Giants – Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
I’m not sure if Dave Gettleman is going to be able to pass up on an athlete like Tristan Wirfs here, but thankfully, I’m not Dave Gettleman. Wills is almost a flawless Tackle – he’s incredibly athletic, strong, fluid pass protector, and feisty in the run game. And the Nate Solder deal has also been a complete disaster for the Giants who look to protect Daniel Jones.
5. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tua’s medicals seem to bode well for his future recovery, it might be preferable for him to sit out as a rookie and Ryan Fitzpatrick makes that plan feasible. Obviously, Fitzpatrick isn’t the long-term solution for the Dolphins, but Tua might be. He is the highly accurate commander of an offense that the Dolphins so desperately need.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
The Philip Rivers era is over in LA; the end wasn’t what anyone wanted, Rivers never got the ring he deserved as he rapidly declined and the Chargers could never string consistent runs together. Alas, they have to move on – that starts with taking a quarterback high this draft. I don’t love taking Love (pun intended) this high, but this is the only chance the Chargers have at taking a good quarterback in this draft. Jordan Love is a tremendously talented quarterback who had some struggles following an exodus of his offense from 2018 to 2019.
7. Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
The surprise retirement of Luke Kuechly was a blindside blow to the Panthers, but here they have the chance to replace him. Simmons is admittedly a very different player to Kuechly. But when you’ve got two players with the talent they do, a stylistic difference can be overcome. Simmons doesn’t quite have the influence between the tackles, but he more than compensates for that in his ability to run sideline-to-sideline and his versatility to line up all around the defense.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Cardinals threw money at D.J. Humphries, but that still leaves a gaping hole at right tackle. Thankfully, an elite right tackle and the best athlete in the draft remains on the board at pick no.8. Kyler and Kliff’s inaugural season was a mild success that Steve Keim will look to build upon in 2020. That starts with protecting Kyler Murray with an elite offensive tackle.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
I am a firm believer in finding the quarterback of the future at all costs. The question Jacksonville has to ask themselves is: “Is that guy Gardner Minshew?”. My answer to that question is an emphatic no. Minshew is a good back-up quarterback who can be thrown into starting situations, but he’s not someone I trust over the course of a 16 (and now 17) game season. Herbert hasn’t developed as many had anticipated, but his talent is still abundantly clear.
10. Cleveland Browns – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Baker Mayfield regressed jarringly in his sophomore season in large part due to the collapse of his Offensive line. But I still believe Mayfield is the solution for the Browns, he just needs help. Andrew Thomas is that help; he is a big and powerful Tackle who is being overlooked in this absurdly talented class.
11. New York Jets – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Whatever the pick is, it has to do one thing in one form or another: help Sam Darnold! The discussion the Jets have to hold is one to determine what position is prioritised here. I think the Jets’ tackles are weaker than their receivers hence the Becton pick. Becton is one of the most outlandishly athletic players in the entire class, standing at 6’7” 364lbs and hitting a 40 time of 5.1s.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
I don’t know if the Raiders will roll with newly signed Marcus Mariota, or Derek Carr. Carr has shown flashes of 2015 Derek Carr that gives me the reluctance to move on from him, but he has to return to 2015 form this season. Mariota has never quite lived up to the hype of a Heisman trophy winning, number 2 overall pick. But Lamb can help him to do so with his absurd catching skills and proficient route running.
13. San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis Colts) – Xavier McKinney, SS, Alabama
The Deforest Buckner trade yielded the 13th overall pick for the 49ers, a pick that they don’t necessarily need. But this is an opportunity for them to boost an already very solid roster. McKinney could take over for K’Vaun Williams in the nickel on day-1, and can eventually take over at strong side safety from Jaquiski Tartt who is entering the final year of his contract.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
Tom Brady is going to be Tampa’s quarterback for at least the next 2 years, giving them some time to find a guy for the future. But for now, Tom Brady isn’t going to be able to win games anymore by throwing the ball 30-40 times a game, he needs a running back he can rely on, Ronald Jones is not that running back. I don’t love taking a running back this high, but Dobbins is such a well-rounded running back with more than adequate receiving skills.
15. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Drew Lock looks like he might be something for the Broncos; he didn’t play very much last year, but when he did he showed promise. So, intuitively, you would like to surround him with a plethora of offensive weapons, unfortunately that’s not exactly the case with the Broncos. Courtland Sutton is a very good big-bodied receiever, and Noah Fant emerged as a dependable tight end towards the end of last season, but this offense is still missing a true burner. Henry Ruggs is exactly that.
16. Atlanta Falcons – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Grady Jarrett is an exceptional 3-technique, but he is small for a defensive tackle. The Falcons lack a true big-bodied run plugger on the interior. Derrick Brown is a gigantic defensive tackle, who complements Jarrett very well, and he is fairly disruptive against the pass.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Losing Byron Jones was a pretty big loss for Dallas this offseason. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are the two projected cornerbacks heading into 2020, and that’s something I won’t let happen. Gladney is a freakishly athletic cornerback who is violent in both press coverage and in man coverage.
18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh Steelers) – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
The good thing about drafting for the Dolphins is that you can give them almost anyone, and they will probably need them. The Dolphins are projected to start Vince Biegel (I don’t even know who that is) at edge rusher this season. Chaisson is an explosive pass rusher who was finally able to stay on the field in 2019.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago Bears) – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
I couldn’t let a player as good as Jerry Jeudy slide down the board any longer. Yes, the Raiders took CeeDee Lamb but they need more wide receivers. Hunter Renfrow is going to emerge as a dependable slot receiver for years to come in Las Vegas, but the best outside threat for the Raiders is Darren Waller – a tight end.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams) – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
This Jaguars team needs help, a lot of it. I gave them what seems to be their franchise quarterback inside the top-10, but they need a lot more to resemble any form of a competent roster. The Jaguars have now thrown away the defense they assembled in 2017, the rebuild starts with selecting the best player available. In that case, the best player is Javon Kinlaw – a disruptive force on the defensive line.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Howie Roseman has assembled an above average group of cornerbacks in just one offseason, leaving that position off the table for now. Wide receiver is a popular pick at this slot, but I think linebacker is an even bigger need. I don’t love Kenneth Murray, but he is much better than the disaster they have now.
22. Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo Bills) – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Vikings could go either wide receiver or cornerback here, but at least the Vikings have Adam Thielen on offense. Xavier Rhodes collapsed into obscurity last season, and they desperately need someone to replace him. Fulton is a very smooth mover that plays with good physicality in man coverage.
23. New England Patriots – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
I don’t know who plays quarterback for the Patriots, but it probably shouldn’t be any of the quarterbacks remaining on the board. Much of Brady’s struggles last year is attributed to the abysmal wide receiver core last year. Julian Edelman is a mere cog in the Patriots machine, N’Keal Harry couldn’t separate, and there was no one else even noteworthy. However, Jefferson is a master separator who gets open with route running savvy.
24. New Orleans Saints – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
This is the final push in Drew Brees’ career and he needs as much help as he can get. Michael Thomas is a top-3 wide receiver in the NFL, but aside from him the Saints don’t have very much. Reagor provides an element of speed and explosion that the Saints offense is missing.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
The Vikings get a chance to fill their need at wide receiver following the departure of Stefon Diggs. Thielen is a prolific route runner, and Mims can complement that by being a big-bodied freak athlete for Kirk Cousins to throw 50-50 balls up to.
26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans) – Grant Delpit, FS, LSU
Delpit is the highest rated player left on my board and it just so happens that the Dolphins need him. And in reality, there aren’t many players the Dolphins don’t need. Delpit has struggled with minor injuries and tackling, but he has tremendous range as a single-high free safety.
27. Seattle Seahawks – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
L.J. Collier was a rather predictably terrible pick last year for the Seahawks. Epenesa fits favourably in the Seahawks 3-4 defense as a heavier, more powerful rusher. I like Epenesa more than this draft slot would suggest, but I am wary of his limitations as an athlete and his dependence on scheme. But this is a landing spot I really like for Epenesa.
28. Baltimore Ravens – Cesar Ruiz, OC, Michigan
The retirement of Marshal Yanda came as somewhat of a surprise to me. Ruiz could play either center or guard for the Ravens because of his athleticism and versatility. Cesar Ruiz fits in well to the Ravens offense, as a center who is highly mobile, but also fierce in the run game.
29. Tennessee Titans – Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
For better or for worse, the Titans traded away Jurrell Casey and they have a huge hole there. Jeffery Simmons was a very good pick for the Titans last year, and pairing Blacklock with him is a scary proposition. Blacklock is a violent and explosive force on the defensive interior that can forma lethal pass rush inside from Landry, Beasley, Walker, and Correa on the edge.
30. Green Bay Packers – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
There are wide receivers that I prefer more than Aiyuk that still remain on the board. But those are big-bodied possession style receivers that the Packers roster is already littered with. But Aiyuk is a very different change of pace to what is already on the Packers roster – he is a sharp route runner with incredible run after the catch ability.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
As the Super Bowl proved, the 49ers need a new cornerback, or two. Although Arnette ran a disappointing 40 time at the Combine, his physicality in man coverage and his ability to disrupt the catch point makes him still a fringe first-rounder for me.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
The Chiefs roster is very well constructed, outside of one position: cornerback. Rashad Fenton, Charvarius Ward, and Keith Reaser are the three projected starters at cornerback for the Chiefs and that needs to change. Although he has tackling woes, Henderson is a big, strong, physical and fast corner who would walk into this team on day one.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
- Indianapolis Colts (via Redskins) – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
- Detroit Lions – Lloyd Cushenberry III, C, LSU
- New York Giants – Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
- Los Angeles Chargers – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
- Carolina Panthers – Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
- Miami Dolphins – Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
- Houston Texans (via Cardinals) – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
- Cleveland Browns – Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
- Chicago Bears (via Raiders) – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
- Indianapolis Colts – Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jonah Jackson, OG, Ohio State
- Denver Broncos – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
- Atlanta Falcons – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
- New York Jets – Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M
- Chicago Bears – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
- Dallas Cowboys – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
- Los Angeles Rams – Ben Bartch, OT, St. Johns (MN)
- Philadelphia Eagles – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
- Buffalo Bills – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
- Baltimore Ravens (via Patriots) – Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
- Miami Dolphins (via Saints) – Matt Peart, OT, UConn
- Houston Texans – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
- Minnesota Vikings – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
- Seattle Seahawks – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
- Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
- Tennessee Titans – Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
- Green Bay Packers – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
- Kansas City Chiefs (via 49ers) – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
- Seattle Seahawks (via Chiefs) – Ashtyn Davis, FS, California
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