Tyler Forness | November 22nd, 2019
Every year, we obsess over mock drafts and it starts earlier every year. While a lot of these exercises aren’t worth a whole lot in November, they are a lot of fun to see what every team has needs for and fantasy book who will go to each team. A lot of the players mentioned today will be drafted at the top of the draft, while some are likely to fall.
Each mock draft is done in one of three ways: how you would draft it, what you believe will happen and what you think teams should do. While all 3 are slightly different, they all end up being similar because a lot of draft analysts end up thinking similar with certain fits. With this mock draft, I will be coming at it with what I would do if I was each team drafting. Without further ado, here is my 2020 mock draft 1.0.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Joe Burrow, LSU
The Bengals are in dire straits right now. They have the worst offensive line and linebacker group in the league. There are, however, a couple of bright spots to build around. They have one of the better wide receiver trios when healthy in A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd and John Ross and a stud running back in Joe Mixon. After hopefully getting a piece or two to help the offensive line in free agency, getting a quarterback to distribute the ball to those weapons is the perfect scenario for Zac Taylor. Joe Burrow is the guy who can turn this team around. Not only does he have all the talent, but he also has the charisma and moxie to bring the Bengals back to true relevancy.
2. Washington: DE Chase Young, Ohio State
Defensive line is far from the biggest need for Washington, but with a quarterback of the future in Dwayne Haskins, taking Chase Young in this spot is the easiest decision Bruce Allen will make during the offseason. Young is a true game changer who will dominate at the line of scrimmage. Putting him on a strong defensive line Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne, Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat, Washington has a great defensive foundation for whoever takes over as the head coach.
3. New York Giants: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State
As long as Dave Gettleman is the general manager of the Giants, they are going to be a wild card when it comes to the draft. With his defensive line absolutely loaded, solidifying the cornerback position should be a priority and Jeff Okudah is the guy. In an era where lock-down corners are getting harder to come by, Okudah. With the Deandre Baker pick from last year seeming like a miss and Janoris Jenkins on the outs, sliding Okudah into the secondary can make an instant impact.
4. Miami Dolphins: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
If Tua Tagovailoa didn’t have hip surgery, he would be in bigger consideration for the pick here, but I have been beating the drum to not take a quarterback and take Jerry Jeudy at this spot. When rebuilding a franchise, you can’t take a quarterback and expect him to succeed without weapons or a good offensive line. Jeudy immediately gives you a number one receiver while you still figure out what you have in Josh Rosen. Jeudy is fast, elusive and a crisp route runner who dominates in open space, something Miami can utilize while they continue their rebuild.
5. New York Jets: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
The New York Jets are lacking immensely in three areas: wide receiver, edge rusher and cornerback. With the top player at all three positions off the board, the Jets get receiver 1B in Lamb. While he won’t test great at the combine, what he does well is getting open, catching the football and is elusive in space. Lamb will give Darnold what he desperately needs: a true WR1.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
We need to be honest with ourselves here. Jameis Winston just isn’t the guy who can get it done for the Buccaneers and they need to move on from him. Justin Herbert is the guy who Bruce Arians can get the most out of. While he flashes at Oregon with incredible throws, Herbert lacks consistency and there have been questions about his maturity as well. There isn’t a better coach to pair him with than Bruce Arians, who knows how to get the most out of a quarterback both as a player and a person.
7. Denver Broncos: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
If the draft board falls like this, the Broncos will be sprinting to the podium. Andrew Thomas is a plug and play tackle who will help keep Drew Lock upright and open holes for both Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. Not only is this a need pick, but also at a great value.
8. Atlanta Falcons: LB/S Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
The Falcons are in a weird spot. They have invested 150 million dollars into a quarterback that isn’t what he used to be, 22 million into a receiver who has a tendency to disappear and a trio of first round draft picks on defense that haven’t worked out. After investing in their offensive line last year with two first round picks used on lineman, the Falcons go best player available on defense by getting Isaiah Simmons. At 6’4″ and 230 pounds, he is the perfect chess piece, being excellent in coverage and as a pass rusher. If Dan Quinn is still around next season, he is going to have fun with Simmons.
9. Arizona Cardinals: G/T Trey Smith, Tennessee
Kliff Kingsbury has been a pleasant surprise this season. After having a losing record at Texas Tech, the Cardinals have been competitive in every game this season. In order to help Kyler Murray‘s development, the Cardinals need to drastically improve their offensive line. While Trey Smith has had trouble staying healthy, he has been a monster at guard this season for the Volunteers and has the ability to move outside and play tackle. With that versatility, Smith will be an instant upgrade and will likely play guard next to former first round pick DJ Humphries.
10. Detroit Lions: DT Derrick Brown, Auburn
Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia have been rebuilding this team from the trenches out. They started with Frank Ragnow and followed up with Trey Flowers and TJ Hockenson. They continue that trend with an absolute wrecker in the middle with Derrick Brown. For a guy who weighs around 320, he is incredibly quick and great a penetrating the gaps to get into the backfield.
11. Los Angeles Chargers: QB Jacob Eason, Washington
We need to face the facts: Philip Rivers is done and he just happens to be on the last year of his current deal. With all of the talent they have on the outside and in the backfield, a competent quarterback and Eason can be that guy. While he does turn the ball over too much for my taste and has struggled in big games, he doesn’t have a lot of talent around him to help. Eason has elite level arm talent and put in a situation with a multitude of weapons, he would be provided time to learn and develop on the fly.
12. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Henry Ruggs, Alabama
The Jaguars need two things more than anything in this draft: a dynamic receiver and a shut down corner and they get the former in Henry Ruggs. Not only is he amazing in space and a solid route runner, there is legit talk that he could run a sub 4.2 second 40 yard dash. With how Tyreek Hill has impacted the Chiefs offense, he will have a similar affect on the Jaguars.
13. Cleveland Browns: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
This is a dream scenario for the Browns. Far and away the biggest need for this team is on the offensive line and just like the Broncos, they get a great player at a really good value. Wirfs is excellent in his lower body providing great power and consistent footwork. He will be a bookend tackle for years to come.
14. Oakland Raiders (Via Chicago Bears): CB CJ Henderson, Florida
After trading away Gareon Conley, the Raiders are in the market for a replacement and they find it in C.J. Henderson. While he does have issues with tackling and being too aggressive, that same aggressiveness along with ball skills are his biggest strengths. His closest comp is Marcus Peters without the off-field concerns and Mayock and Gruden will be able to get the best out of him.
15. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
Unfortunately for the Eagles, Ruggs didn’t fall to this spot. Doug Pederson would have used him exactly like Tyreek hill in this offense and it would have been incredible to watch. Instead, they get a guy who will eventually take over for the often injured Alshon Jeffrey. While he consistently gets overshadowed by his teammate Justyn Ross and the rest of the receivers in this class, Higgins is the best in this class at playing “above the rim” and winning the 50/50 balls that are so important.
16. Miami Dolphins (Via Pittsburgh Steelers): DE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
Brian Flores is going to want to win in the trenches and he will find a steal at 16 in A.J. Epenesa. A speed to power edge who can lineup inside, he can win in many ways. His comp for me is Everson Griffen and if he can have a similar career, this is a no-brainer move to pair next to Christian Wilkins.
17. Tennessee Titans: QB Jake Fromm, Georgia
The Titans have proven themselves to be a pretty good football team in spite of their struggles at quarterback. Having competency at the position would have this team closer to eight wins than their current six. This is why I would take Jake Fromm here. While he doesn’t have any elite traits or will impress you physically, Fromm does nothing poorly and everything really well. His football IQ is his best trait and I have him as Peyton Manning lite: he isn’t the talent that Manning was, but they have similar play styles and football IQ.
18. Carolina Panthers: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
In Norv Turner’s Air Coryell offense, Tua Tagovaiola is the perfect fit. He has shown excellent ball placement, touch and decision making, all of which are crucial to the downfield passing attack he implements. This pick is perfect for Carolina because they have the means to let him sit, heal and develop behind both Kyle Allen and Will Grier.
19. Oakland Raiders: EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
Five picks earlier, they scored a potential shut down cornerback, and they get another good pass rusher in Chaisson. After hitting on Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby in last years draft, adding Chaisson, who has played his best in the biggest games, to the rotation will make a group that only had 12 sacks in 2017 a true strength.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (Via Los Angeles Rams): CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
In the first of two number one picks that Jacksonville got from the Rams, they get a replacement in Fulton. While he isn’t Jalen Ramsey, Fulton is a guy who does really well in man coverage and will be able to develop on the fly opposite AJ Bouye.
21. Dallas Cowboys: S Grant Delpit, LSU
Far and away the biggest weakness for this team is the secondary. While we do not know what will happen with Byron Jones, I think they should go safety because Heath and Woods are just not going to cut in moving forward. Delpit has struggled this year which has pushed him down further in the draft. Delpit can do it all at the safety position and would be a huge coup for the Cowboys to get him at 21.
22. Indianapolis Colts: DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
I thought about going quarterback here but the Colts really believe in Jacoby Brissett. After that, their biggest need is a pass rusher. Gross-Matos has been dominant this year at Penn State. Putting him in a rotation with Justin Houston and Kemoko Turay would be excellent for the Colts.
23. Miami Dolphins (Via Houston Texans): RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
As I mentioned earlier, before you get your franchise quarterback, it is a good idea to load him up with weapons. Not only did the Dolphins get WR1, but they double down with RB1 in Jonathan Taylor. A high school 100 meter dash champion in high school, Taylor used his track speed paired with great power and vision to excellent production at Wisconsin. I believe the Dolphins will give Josh Rosen all of 2020 to prove he can be the future of this team. If he shows that he isn’t, they will have the draft capital to move up for either Lawrence or Fields in 2021.
24. Minnesota Vikings: DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Rick Spielman has built one of the deepest rosters in the NFL and has done a masterful job at retaining the immense amount of talent he has drafted while staying comfortably under the salary cap. With this team only having real needs on the interior, I would take Javon Kinlaw, as the zone blocking scheme can help mask those defeciencies. Kinlaw has been an unstoppable monster this season for the Gamecocks, wreaking havoc against everyone he plays against. Having him on a line with Joseph, Griffen and Hunter is exactly what Zimmer envisioned before a botched surgery ended the career of Sharrif Floyd.
25. Kansas City Chiefs: LB Dylan Moses, Alabama
When need and value come together, its a huge win for any team and the Chiefs get lucky with Moses falling to them. Pre-season, Moses was getting legitimate top ten buzz, but then he tore his ACL. With everything on track for a full recovery, this is the perfect spot to take the risk, especially with a torn ACL recovery having come a long way over the past ten years.
26. Buffalo Bills: WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado
For the Bills, the hope was that Tee Higgins fell to this spot, as he is exactly the type of receiver they need to compliment John Brown and Cole Beasley. Instead, they get the versatile weapon in Laviska Shenault. While he isn’t very polished as a receiver yet, he reminds me a lot of Cordarrelle Patterson coming out of Tennessee. Built really thick, great speed, vision and elusiveness in the open field. If they give him the time to truly develop as a route runner and learn the ins and outs of playing the receiver position, the Bills can hit a home run at 26.
27. Green Bay Packers: OT Trey Adams, Washington
Shenault falling to the Packers was a dream scenario, and, while guys like K.J. Hamler, Tyler Johnson and Jalen Reagor would all make sense, I think it is too early for all 3 and I think they will prioritize OT over Michael Pittman Jr. Brian Bulaga is 35 and set to be a free agent and this is the perfect time to draft his replacement in Trey Adams. The only real concern with Adams is what the medicals look like, because he is a great run and pass blocker who can be perfect opposite Bakhtiari. If they come back clear at the combine, this is a huge steal for the Packers.
28. Seattle Seahawks: OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama
Depending on if Jadeveon Clowney re-signs, an edge rusher might be the Seahawks biggest priority, but I believe they need to continue to work on their offensive line, as Russell Wilson is scrambling for his life more often than not. Alex Leatherwood is a very athletic tackle that possesses natural power who will be able to move in space to help capitalize on Wilson’s mobility.
29. Baltimore Ravens: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
As is a theme for the teams at the bottom of the draft, the Ravens do not have a lot of needs, but one of them has shown to be glaring, and that is middle linebacker. We all knew CJ Mosely leaving would hurt, but it has created more of a gap than anticipated. Patrick Onwuasor has been good, but drafting Kenneth Murray would solve that issue. I believe that he is on par with Moses when it comes to potential and talent and he will fill the MLB position perfectly in Baltimore
30. New Orleans Saints: RB DeAndre Swift, Georgia
Running back isn’t even close to a need for the Saints, but Sean Payton is one of the best innovators in football. Payton will take one look at DeAndre Swift and have a vision on how he can use both him and Kamara together in the backfield, slot and even as wing backs. Wide receiver is the need opposite Michael Thomas, but this duo would split carries and also put up wide receiver numbers while providing match-up nightmares for defenses.
31. New England Patriots: TE Hunter Bryant, Washington
This is likely to be a pick that gets mocked a lot throughout the process, as the New England offense is at its best with multiple tight ends, as they have shown with both Gronkowski and Hernandez/Bennett. Enter Hunter Bryant who looks and plays like Evan Engram. His versatility at the position will be perfect to compliment Harry and Edelman.
32. San Francisco 49ers: WR Michael Pittman Jr. USC
Nobody in this deep wide receiver class has seen his stock rise more than Michael Pittman Jr. He has done an excellent job producing while playing with both the second and third string quarterback for the majority of the season. He is a perfect fit for the 49ers being a big bodied receiver who can play both the X and as a bigger slot receiver similar to Larry Fitzgerald. Having him with Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis and possibly Emmanuel Sanders (not to mention George Kittle) would be a talented and diverse group of receivers that would pose problems with Kyle Shanahan‘s creative play calling.
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