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2020 NFL Mock Draft: It’s Never Too Early

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We have hit the halfway point of football! Yes, football in general, is half over. College ball is entering Week 10 as the NFL enters Week 9. A perfect checkpoint to examine how 2020 NFL Draft boards might look in a universe where football only lasts nine weeks.

I always say this before mock draft season: a mock draft is not a big board.

Mock drafts incorporate team needs and systems into the equation.

I may view Prospect X as a better talent than Prospect Y, yet believe Prospect Y is the better fit for Team Z.

Click here to view my Top-50 Big Board.

How many QBs fall in the first round? Where does Joe Burrow land? Let’s explore the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft for the first time this season.

About three-quarters of the picks are broken down. The full mock draft table can be found at the bottom of the article.

2020 NFL Mock Draft

1.01 – The Cincinnati Bengals select: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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Part of me believes that the quarterback position isn’t where the Bengals need to start. Run blocking for Mixon has been terrible and I’d prioritize the interior of the offensive line in free agency. But if you have the first overall pick in this draft, you’re either going QB or trading down. Besides, the Bengals have announced they are benching Andy Dalton and starting Ryan Finley after their bye. It’s now clearer than ever that the Bengals are eying a top pick for a QB (unless Finley convinces them otherwise). I’d bring in Tua and bring some life back into this offense.

1.02 – The Miami Dolphins select: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

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You can read up on the Dolphins’ QB selection in my latest Big Board update. Tua’s off the board so I went with my second-best QB in this class: Herbert.

1.03 – The Washington Redskins select: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

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This has been a tough season for Redskins fans. Trent Williams has rejoined the team but I doubt his future lies in DC, although he does have a year left on his contract. The Redskins really aren’t far from having a winning football team, if Haskins plays up to his potential. They need to shore up the offensive line, starting at left tackle. Bringing in Thomas is a major step in the right direction.

1.04 – The Atlanta Falcons select: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

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The Falcons defense has been atrocious this season, despite the roster looking good on paper. It starts with failing to rush the passer. Vic Beasley and Tak McKinley haven’t lived up to their first-round status. Chase Young is as freakish a pass rusher you’ll find in this class. He can step in and be an instant disrupter alongside Grady Jarrett.

1.05 – The New York Jets select: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa State

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How many consecutive years are we going to come to the conclusion that the Jets need to add edge rushers?! They flirted with the idea last year but ended up adding the top interior d-lineman in the draft in Quinnen Williams. Add Epenesa this year and this defense, which hasn’t been bad at all, now looks even better. The Jets do need help on offense, I get it, especially protecting Darnold. With Andrew Thomas gone, I don’t see another Tackle warranting a top-5 selection.

1.06 – The New York Giants select: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

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The Giants defense needs all the help it can get. They add the number one Swiss Army Knife in the draft in Isaiah Simmons. Simmons should contribute on all three phases of the game: pass-rushing, covering and against the run. He should be an instant contributor on this defense.

1.08 – The Denver Broncos select: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

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The Broncos traded away Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers, and now need weapons for Drew Lock (assuming he’s the future). Offensive line play hasn’t been as bad as portrayed, Garett Bolles stepped up since his horrendous performance against the Bears in Week 2. They get the top playmaker out wide in Jerry Jeudy. Should be a fun duo with Courtland Sutton.

1.09 – The Cleveland Browns select: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

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Jim Dorsey has a history of going best-player available. In this case, it’s pretty convenient that the BPA happens to be at a big position of need. The Browns have four of their seven safeties headed for free agency including Damarious Randall. For an already thin position, it makes sense to go back for more NFLSU talent in the secondary and bring in the best safety prospect: Grant Delpit. The LSU footprint in Cleveland amplifies.

1.10 – The Miami Dolphins (via PIT) select: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

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Yes, I had some fun with this one. In my big board release, I said the Dolphins should look for the top tackle prospect with the second pick. There’s no way Andrew Thomas is on the board at 10. And in this alternate reality, I want to bring some joy to Miami. Fill the stadium. Remind the city that they actually have an NFL team that wants to compete and look good doing it. Bring in the second biggest playmaker in the Draft. CeeDee Lamb is a house call waiting to happen. His run after catch ability is unreal and he’s got great body control. Let Herbert grow alongside Lamb and Glitch Williams and you’ve got some sweet weapons to build around.

1.11 – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers select: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

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This would be the perfect landing spot for Jeaux Burrow. Every year it’s the same story with Winston. Turnovers and inconsistency. In a contract year, the Buccaneers would be very naïve to give Winston another chance. Assuming they move on, Arians would lock up a great shot caller in Burrow. A lot of his success in Baton Rouge this season is a credit to the system brought in by Joe Brady (formerly with Drew Brees and the Saints). Who else is a passing game mastermind? Bruce Arians. If Arians can scheme Evans and Godwin open as much as Jefferson, Chase and company at LSU, this could be a perfect landing spot for Burrow.

1.12 – The Detroit Lions select: Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

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The Lions are among the worst in the NFL at generating pressure from the interior. Conveniently, the best player available at this point is Derrick Brown. Disruptive against both the pass and the run, Brown’s presence should help this defense all around.

1.14 – The Tennessee Titans select: Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

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Boom. Lightning strikes. The Titans have spoken. Mobile QBs are increasingly getting their shot at the next level:
Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray. 31 NFL teams didn’t think Jackson was worthy of a first-round selection. The Ravens now look like geniuses locking him up for a 5th-year option, and securing a legitimate Super Bowl window. Heisman candidate Jalen Hurts is extremely talented on the ground and his arm has gotten better. Tennessee needs a fresh start at QB, could they take a shot at the most dynamic QB in the draft? Fun to think about.

1.16 – The Las Vegas Raiders (ew) select: Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State

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One of my favorite pass rushers in the draft and he fits the Raiders mold. Weaver would be a great selection for a team improving in the trenches, and it shows in the wins column. This team is already hard to run against, imagine if they had a consistent pass rush…

1.18 – The Las Vegas Raiders select: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

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Speed!!! Speed kills in the modern NFL, and the Raiders don’t have enough of it. They tried the J.J. Nelson experiment which didn’t amount to much. In this mock, they select not only the fastest player in the draft but a talented receiver with good hands and big-stage experience. A mesmerizing playmaker for a relocating franchise. This West Coast offense lacks a big-play threat outside of Darren Waller, Ruggs would be that guy.

1.20 – The Carolina Panthers select: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

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The Panthers defense had been playing great football until they met the 49ers. Especially James Bradberry in the secondary, playing the best football I’ve seen from him so far in his career. He is however in a contract year, along with Cockrell. If the Panthers don’t re-sign him, the cornerback position will be a top necessity for the Panthers along with defensive line. They still have speedy Donte Jackson set to return, so physical Bryce Hall can be a great piece to matchup against bigger receivers.

1.21 – The Dallas Cowboys select: Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina

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I can’t believe I let Kinlaw fall so low. He’s a physical freak with great ability both against the run and the pass. He resets the line of scrimmage on every snap. Kinlaw is exactly what the Cowboys need as both Maliek Collins and Covington face free agency.

1.25 – The Baltimore Ravens select: Paulson Adebo,  CB, Stanford

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The Ravens are legitimate contenders this season. The offense is hard to gameplan against, and this defense rushes to the football like no other. But the winning window on the defensive side of the ball isn’t as sustainable as one would think. The Ravens corners are all entering or nearing the end of their contracts except Humphrey, and same thing for their edge rushers. They take a dip in a strong cornerback class, before selecting an edge rusher with their second-round pick.

1.27 – The Buffalo Bills select: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

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The Bills defense is among the best in the league this season, and offensive line play has been good. Josh Allen is starting to clean up some of the turnover issues he’s had in his rookie year. The future is starting to look bright in Buffalo, now it’s time to bring in some playmakers for Allen to work with. Outside of John Brown, there’s no real long-term weapon on this passing offense. Beasley has always been a checkdown/short-yardage outlet. Adding a playmaker out wide in this great receiver class would make sense for the Bills. Jalen Reagor is among the top talents in the class, he’s super explosive after the catch and is a smooth route runner. I think he’d fit nicely in this offense. They can look for a bigger possession receiver in Free Agency.

1.29 – The Kansas City Chiefs select: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

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I admit it, half the reasoning behind this pick is founded on me believing Swift should in no way be allowed to slide into the second round. The Chiefs running game has been productive this year. They added McCoy who’s shown he’s still got some gas left in the tank. Damien Williams is still a talented option (not elite, but a talented efficient ball carrier). But there’s no real long term fix in the backfield: McCoy is on a one-year deal, Williams’ salary almost doubles next season, Darwin Thompson is a nice prospect but I still don’t see him as a 3-down back. And man, Swift in this zone-running scheme sounds just beautiful. The main need for the Chiefs is in the secondary (I stared at Trevon Diggs for a long time), but as I said: I just couldn’t let Swift slide anymore.

1.32 – The San Francisco 49ers select: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

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It’s so tough finding a position of need for the Niners, so I went for the best player available in a viable position. San Fran doesn’t need running backs, at least not in the first, so I passed on Etienne and Taylor. They don’t need defensive linemen obviously, having the most talented unit in the NFL right now. This left Trevon Diggs, the star Bama corner at the top of the board and I couldn’t pass it up. He’d get a year behind Sherman, keeping him away from WR1’s while he adjust to the NFL. Ahkello Witherspoon has been a good revelation for this team, he could pair up with Diggs and make for a good secondary in future years.

PICKTEAMNAMEPOSSCHOOL
01CINTua TagovailoaQBAlabama
02MIAJustin HerbertQBOregon
03WASAndrew ThomasOTGeorgia
04ATLChase YoungEDGEOhio State
05NYJA.J. EpenesaEDGEIowa State
06NYGIsaiah SimmonsLBClemson
07LACTyler BiadaszIOLWisconsin
08DENJerry JeudyWRAlabama
09CLEGrant DelpitSLSU
10MIACeeDee LambWROklahoma
11TBJoe BurrowQBLSU
12DETDerrick BrownIDLAuburn
13JAXJeffery OkudahCBOhio State
14TENJalen HurtsQBOklahoma
15PHIKristian FultonCBLSU
16OAKCurtis WeaverEDGEBoise State
17ARITristan WirfsOTIowa State
18OAKHenry Ruggs IIIWRAlabama
19JAXTee HigginsWRClemson
20CARBryce HallCBVirginia
21DALJavon KinlawIDLSouth Carolina
22MIAWalker LittleOTStanford
23INDLaviska ShenaultWRColorado
24SEATrey AdamsOTWashington
25BALPaulson AdeboCBStanford
26MINC.J. HendersonCBFlorida
27BUFJalen ReagorWRTCU
28NOTylan WallaceWROklahoma State
29KCD'Andre SwiftRBGeorgia
30GBCreed HumphreyIOLOklahoma
31NEPrince Tega WanoghoOTAuburn
32SFTrevon DiggsCBAlabama

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About Selyan Lonqueux

Selyan's a football addict (no rehab planned). Winner of countless fantasy football championships. Prospect tape grinder, rookie draft smasher, and re-builder of dynasties. Oh, and also plays wide receiver.

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