The 2020 NFL Draft is just a shade over two weeks away and it couldn’t get here soon enough. Takes and narratives have been flying as of late, making it a bit exhausting keeping up with the draft; so why not make it even more exhausting by putting a mock draft out there.
Aside from the first two picks, which appear to be written in sharpie at this point (hopefully, we don’t have to wait the full time for the teams to bring up the cards), this mock draft will be a “what would I do” (WWID) mock draft.
Disclaimer: There are no trades.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
The Jacksonville Jaguars staff has been pretty open about who they will be selecting in the upcoming draft and barring anything flying out of left-field there is a solid chance that Lawrence will find himself playing in the Florida next season. Lawrence has been on the NFL’s radar ever since he led Clemson to an undefeated season as a freshman.
2. New York Jets – Zach Wilson, QB, BYU
Similar to the Jaguars, it appears the Jets are pretty set in stone with who they’ll will be picking with their first selection in the first round. Wilson may have the flashiest play of all the quarterbacks in this class and with the Jets recently trading away Sam Darnold they seem prepared to hand over the reins to Wilson at the start of the new season.
3. San Francisco 49ers – Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
If we were to follow the lead of the media, Mac Jones would be the pick here, but it’s a good thing they are not. One could argue that Justin Fields has the highest ceiling of all the quarterbacks in this class. He is currently the most accurate of the “top-4” and has elite athleticism for the position. Let’s all remember how excited Sean McVay was when he got to call plays for John Wolford when Jared Goff got hurt last season. One would be hard pressed to believe Kyle Shanahan isn’t drooling at the mouth to call plays for Fields.
4. Atlanta Falcons – Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State
The Atlanta Falcons recently reconstructed Matt Ryan’s contract making people believe that he is the quarterback of the future. Perhaps he will be, but there isn’t a high possibility they will be drafting this high in the future. When you have the opportunity to take a QB, especially one with Lance’s ability, you have to take it. Giving Lance a year or two behind Ryan may even be best for his career and he gives new head coach Arthur Smith a future whenever they or Ryan decide to part ways.
5. Cincinnati Bengals – Penei Sewell, OT, Oregon
There has been a pretty big stir in the “Draft Twitter-sphere” as to what direction the Bengals should take with their selection between Ja’Marr Chase and Sewell. In recent history we’ve seen talented wide receivers who have contributed early on and with where they will be selecting in the second round, they’ll be in position to get a talented wide receiver. Getting one of the better offensive tackle prospects we’ve seen in recent years should be at the top of their list.
6. Miami Dolphins – Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
Kyle Pitts is an absolute unicorn and Tua Tagovailoa needs someone he can turn to over the middle of the field. Yes, the Dolphins already have a talented tight end in Mike Gesicki, but Pitts is much more than a tight end. He can line up in any alignment and he will be a mismatch. He is too big and strong for corners and too shifty and athletic for any linebackers who are forced to cover him. Pitts legitimately has the toolkit to be one of the best tight ends we’ve ever seen and you can’t pass that up if you’re Miami.
7. Detroit Lions – Jaylen Waddle, WR, Alabama
Drafting for the Lions is rather tough, they need help on both sides of the ball at nearly every position. If a quarterback falls they could certainly go that way even with Goff’s massive contract, but instead they elect to go with one of, if not the best play-makers in this class. Waddle is dangerous from the slot and will give the Lions some much-needed juice on offense.
8. Carolina Panthers – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
For some, Rashawn Slater may be the pick here, but Darrisaw is the better player. Even with Sewell in the class, no one makes playing the tackle position look as easy as Darrisaw does. He is super smooth in pass-pro and dangerous when he gets out in space on the second level. Darnold was running for his life with New York his first 3 seasons, but with Darrisaw manning down the left-side things are likely to change.
9. Denver Broncos – Greg Newsome, CB, Northwestern
Greg Newsome in the top-10? Absolutely.
Newsome is not only a great scheme fit for Vic Fangio’s zone-heavy defense, but he is also the best cornerback in a very deep and top-heavy class. Newsome not only has the athleticism to be a top corner, but he is also an exceptionally technical player. Newsome may be a surprise pick, but he’s the right pick.
10. Dallas Cowboys – Rashawn Slater, OT, Northwestern
The Cowboys need help in the secondary, but when a tackle prospect with Slater’s talent, it makes it rather tough to pass up on. Slater may be best suited at guard, but he possesses the athletic ability to play out on the edge. Slater will likely start off his career at the guard position, but a transition to tackle could certainly be in his future when Tyron Smith steps away.
11. New York Giants – Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State
Another team that was extremely tough to slot a player, but ultimately Parsons is the selection here for the Giants. Parsons put up bonkers numbers at his pro-day and quickly put himself back on the map after opting-out of the season. Parsons not only can play linebacker, but he can also drop down and rush the passer, which is also a place of need for New York. If he reaches his potential he could be the ultimate chess piece on the Giants defense.
12. Philadelphia Eagles – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
The best receiver in the draft falls to 12 and the Eagles sprint to the podium with the pick. The Eagles were depleted at the position last year, mostly due to injuries, but even with everyone back and healthy they still hold one of the weaker receiver groups in the NFL, but Chase will help to give them a boost and will likely be their best receiver on the team, even as a rookie.
13. Los Angeles Chargers – Jaycee Horn, CB, South Carolina
New head coach Brandon Staley, formerly the defensive coordinator for the Rams, was able to find as much success as he did because of Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey was able to shadow the best receiver on the opposing team and drafting Horn will give him that same type of corner. For South Carolina, Horn aligned up all over the field and will likely be given that same assignment with the Chargers.
14. Minnesota Vikings – Alijah Vera-Tucker, OT/iOL, USC
The Vikings offensive line hasn’t been great for several seasons, but drafting a player like Vera-Tucker who will not only give them versatility up front, but a true piece they can build around. Vera-Tucker played at left tackle in his last season for the the Trojans, but will likely be sliding into guard which is where Minnesota needs the most help.
15. New England Patriots – DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
Another first round receiver for Belichick and the Patriots, but we can all agree that Smith is a much more polished prospect that N’Keal Harry was coming out of Arizona State. Smith’s frame caused him to fall maybe a tad more than he should, but now Cam Newton and Co. have someone they trust. Yes, the Patriots went out of their way to spend big money on the position in free agency, they may be losing Julian Edelman for the season and Smith may be best suited to start in the slot early on his career.
16. Arizona Cardinals – Patrick Surtain II, CB, Alabama
For years, the Cardinals were looking for a corner to put on the opposite side of Patrick Peterson, but with his departure they now need to replace him making that need a bit more pressing. Surtain, who has both the size and athleticism that most teams look for in the position, is a great pick for Arizona they are quite lucky he fell all the way to number 16, especially with the numbers he put up at his pro day.
17. Las Vegas Raiders – Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
During free agency it appeared the Raiders didn’t care about the offensive line position letting go of several starters, but perhaps they were looking ahead to what is one of the deepest and most talented tackle classes we have seen in a long-time. What we have seen from Gruden is that he loves himself some smash-mouth football and what prospect fits that better than Teven Jenkins? Not many.
18. Miami Dolphins – Kwity Paye, Edge, Michigan
The first edge to come off the board is all the way at pick 18, and for good reason. This class, for the most part is extremely raw and with many, you’re betting on the upside. Paye, however has a high floor because of how good he is a a run defender, but he also has the potential to be a very good pass-rusher. He has insane tools, and some of the best bend in the class and if he Dolphins can tap into that potential, this pick will be viewed as a steal in 5 years.
19. Washington Football Team – Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB/S, Notre Dame
Washington had one of the best defenses in football and with this pick, their defense gets even better. Owusu-Koramoah brings a ton of versatility and speed to the second level of this defense. Whether or not they elect to keep him in the box or use him as a safety, he will make this team better and faster.
A faster defense, is a scarier defense.
20. Chicago Bears – Mac Jones, QB, Alabama
The Bears get a more athletic version of Andy Dalton with the 20th pick. Mac may not be the most “toolsy” quarterback, but he can get the job done. Even with some of the best weapons in football last year with the Cowboys, Dalton didn’t look very impressive and with even worse skill players around him, he’s probably not going to get any better. Jones likely won’t start right away, but one wouldn’t be surprised if he was starting half-way through the season, possibly even sooner.
21. Indianapolis Colts – Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
For some, Leatherwood is a guard, but with how smooth he is in pass-pro the Colts will keep him at tackle and pair him up with Quinton Nelson. Carson Wentz is the new quarterback for the Colts and we saw how poorly he did last year when his offensive line continued to get injured. Not only does Leatherwood help Wentz, but he also is going to give an added boost to one of the better run games in the NFL.
22. Tennessee Titans – Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Earlier this week Adam Schefter came out and tweeted that Farley did well at his medicals and is still likely to be a first-round pick, which is good news for the Titans because they need help at corner. In three years, if he is able to stay on the field and healthy, Farley could feasibly be the best corner in his class with his blend of size, speed, and ball skills the biggest question, though is can he stay healthy.
23. New York Jets – Jaelan Phillips, Edge, Miami
Similar to Farley, Phillips has injury questions to answer at his medical checks, but being that is up to the doctors and we may never know that information until the draft depending on where he is selected the Jets take a chance on the best edge rusher in this class. If it weren’t for the medical concerns, Phillips would have been a no-brainer for the top-10 in this mock draft and likely the NFL Draft as well.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers – Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
Although drafting a running back in the first-round doesn’t always present the best value the Steelers cannot start the season with Benny “3.6 yards-per-carry” Snell with an aging Ben Roethlisberger. Harris is a going to be bring a similar presence as Snell, big running backs who aren’t afraid to do the dirty work between the tackles, but he is much more finesse and can make people miss, something Snell cannot. Harris, in addition brings elite receiving skills out of the backfield.
25. Jacksonville Jaguars – Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
With Lawrence being the first pick in the draft, the Jaguars are going to need to keep the man protected in the pocket and Cosmi, who is one of the better athletes at the position can help to do that. Cam Robinson isn’t the future, but he can continue to start while Cosmi cleans up some of the footwork issues he showed on film at Texas. Once he cleans things up, his ceiling is extremely high.
26. Cleveland Browns – Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
Yes the Browns needs help at corner, but with Bateman falling all the way the 26, they simply cannot pass it up. Fielding OBJ, Jarvis Landry, and Bateman on the field at the same time will help to spread things out for one of the better rushing offenses in the league and if Odell, continues to struggle to stay healthy he gives them some more depth at receiver.
27. Baltimore Ravens – Azeez Ojulari, Edge, Georgia
The Ravens recently let Matt Judon explore free agency, but quickly fill that gap with Georgia edge rusher Azeez Ojulari. Not only is Ojulari one of the more gifted edge-rushers in this class, but he’s a great scheme fit as well. In college he was about of a 3-4 front and will be playing in the same front with Baltimore.
28. New Orleans Saints – Terrace Marshall, WR, LSU
When Michael Thomas went down with an injury last season, the Saints receiving corp did not look so hot. With either Jameis Winston or Taysum Hill taking over behind the center, they’re going to need much more help than Drew Brees did. Marshall didn’t find himself getting as much love as Chase and Justin Jefferson last season, and with a much less talented team this year, he has yet to show exactly how good he can be, but he will get that opportunity with Sean Payton calling the plays.
29. Green Bay Packers – Elijah Moore, WR, Ole Miss
The Packers should’ve given Aaron Rodgers help at receiver last year in the draft, but instead decided to draft their quarterback of the future despite coming off an NFC Championship loss. Coming away with the same results this last season, they will need to rethink their draft strategy and what better way to start than by drafting Elijah Moore. Moore will help to alleviate some of the stress off Davante Adams and gives Rodgers someone he can trust over the middle and deep down the field.
30. Buffalo Bills – Asante Samuel Jr., CB, Florida State
Asante Samuel doesn’t appear to be a popular first round pick in other mock drafts, but the Bills are desperate for a cornerback to line-up of opposite of Tre White and Samuel is the perfect fit. Buffalo runs a ton of off-coverage and is primarily in a zone scheme which is what Samuel did extremely well in college. Some worry about his size, but it won’t be as large of an issue if he plays off the line-of-scrimmage.
31. Kansas City Chiefs – Zaven Collins, LB, Tulsa
The Chiefs need help at tackle, but with the way the board fell, there just isn’t a ton of value at the position, so they pivot and go for the best player at a position of need. Collins is absolute massive for a linebacker coming in just under 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 259-pounds. Collins may struggle early on in pass coverage, but he has phenomenal read-and-react skills and has also flashed the ability to rush the passer.
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Christian Barmore, iDL, Alabama
With the Buccaneers returning all twenty-two starters from last season, they don’t really have too many huge needs, however with Ndamukong Suh, getting both older and signing a one-year deal, they find themselves getting the best replacement they can with Barmore. Similar to Suh, Barmore is an absolute game-wrecker, however, he is a bit raw. Playing behind Vita Vea and Suh will give him time to develop.