Regardless of the Coronavirus, the NFL Draft is going ahead as scheduled from April 23rd to the 25th! I think the NFL got it right here. They have still taken the necessary precautions. I’ve heard Commissioner Goodell will be announcing the picks from his home. It’s happening and I’ve got you covered!
Before I present my mock draft, I wanted to give my thoughts on several things. It amazes me how many different mock drafts I’ve read that have different running backs being the first ones picked off the board. Most ones I’ve seen, have Swift being the first. I’ve also seen quite a few that have Johnathan Taylor being the first. Just yesterday, I read an article that had Clyde Edwards-Helaire as being the best back in the draft. Most other articles have him as the fourth, if not fifth, running back in the draft. All this to say, I am very curious as to where the running backs will land and which rounds they will be drafted in! As a guy who loves wide receivers, this draft has got me pumped! This is the deepest draft at the wide receiver position I can remember. Look no further than Lamb, Jeudy, Ruggs III, Higgins and Jefferson. This is the most excited I’ve been for a draft, especially because my Dolphins have 3 picks in the first round… Let’s hope we hit on at last 2 of them. Without further ado, here is my mock draft:
1) Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow QB LSU
There was some talk about the Bengals potentially listening to the Dolphins about a potential trade as the Fins have 3 first round picks. I don’t see that happening here. I think the Bengals are more than happy to draft Burrow first overall especially after the season he has last year. He had video game type numbers and does not seem to have any weak spots in his game. The Bengals have been looking for a franchise QB for a while, and there is no need for them to overthink this one.
2) Washington Redskins: Chase Young DE Ohio State
Said by several people to be the best player in the draft. The Redskins will probably toy with the idea of potentially drafting Tua here, but I think Young is too good to pass up on. They also need to give Haskins another year to prove himself. Young had an incredible year last year, and it says it all that as a defensive player he was a Heisman finalist. He is the safe pick for the Redskins here and seems like the perfect fit for them.
3) Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah CB Ohio Sate
This has gotta be the pick for the Lions here. Not only is this guy a baller, but he fills a need for the Lions here. The lions have recently traded cornerback Darius Slay to the Eagles, and Okudah can be the next Slay for them. Don’t forget Matt Patricia’s defensive background and how he wants to structure this team.
4) New York Giants: Jedrick Wills OL Alabama
What do the Giants do after drafting a QB with their first pick last year? Everything they can to protect him. It’s no secret the Giants have had O-line problems throughout the last few years, so why not address that immediately? The 6 foot 4, 312 pounder fits in perfectly with the Giants. If they expect a productive season from QB Daniel Jones, they need to help him out.
5) Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
Probably the most intriguing player heading into the draft. Is he heathy? Will he be able to play in 2020? Either way, the Dolphins are drafting a star with this pick. I still think that if he did not have a history of injuries, he may be the front runner to be the first overall pick. Incredible to think that after being the backup at Alabama and replacing Hurts in that championship game, he would have the college career he did. The Dolphins have been looking for their next Dan Marino for ages now, and Tua has the ability and potential to be a Hall of Famer. The Dolphins have be linked to Tua before the beginning of last season, and are ecstatic to land their guy.
6) Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert QB Oregon
After losing Rivers in free agency, the Chargers seem to be content with Tyrod Taylor having the starting job heading into next season. I was a bit surprised that they didn’t go after another QB in free agency, but they still get one of the nation’s best QBs here. I think the Chargers will take the best QB remaining once they pick here, and Tua and Burrow will likely already be taken. Herbert is quite different than Rivers in that he is more of a quiet leader and lets his game do the talking. I think that’s what they need in order to start fresh and start being more relevant than years past. In a division with the Chiefs, the Chargers will need to score a ton of points, and I don’t see that happening with Tyrod Taylor.
7) Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons LB Clemson
While listening to NFL Live the other day I heard very high praise for Simmons. He seems like a guy who can do it all. In the passing game he can guard tight ends, running backs, and if asked, slot receivers. I’m not even sure this guy can be considered a linebacker he’s so versatile. This is a franchise in need of some good news as they have seemed to have fallen off over the last few years. They have had a productive offseason in adding Bridgewater and Robby Anderson, and add to that with once-in-a-generation type linebacker.
8) Arizona Cardinals: Derrick Brown DT Auburn
I’ve heard a lot of good things about this guy. He’s a guy that’ll get sacks and stuff the run at the line a scrimmage. This defense was middle of the pack last year in total sacks, and by bringing in Brown that number is surely to go up. The Cards have already addressed the offensive side of the ball in free agency, acquiring one of the leagues best receivers in Hopkins, and now it’s time for them to think about the defensive side of the ball.
9) Jacksonville Jaguars: Ceedee Lamb WR Oklahoma
I think Lamb is the best WR in the draft. Most mock drafts I’ve seen have Jeudy being the first WR taken, but I think it’s going to be Lamb. The Jags had a tough offseason, losing QB Nick Foles and DL Calais Campbell. What better way to make a splash than to draft one of the most elusive wide receivers in the draft? Lamb has the ability to turn every play into a touchdown. He’s fast and has sure hands. The Jags have been lacking a true number one receiver for years now, so I feel like this is a perfect fit. Look for Lamb to be Minshew’s main target in the upcoming season.
10) San Francisco 49ers: Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
**** Browns trade the 10th overall pick to the 49ers and Browns receive the 13th overall pick
The 49ers don’t want to take any chances with the Jets and Raiders drafting in front of them, so they trade up and take the second WR off the board. They can afford to do so while having another first round pick. Losing Emanuel Sanders to the Saints was big and they need to do something about it. Imagine a wide receiving core with Jerry Jeudy and Deebo Samuel. I can see this being the best WR duo within the next few years.
11) New York Jets: Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama
Another team looking to replace a wide receiver they lost in free agency. Ruggs III is the perfect guy to replace Robby Anderson. Not only is Ruggs fast, similarly to Anderson, but he can truly stretch the field and has that big-play ability. Of all his receptions at Alabama, over 24% went for touchdowns. He’s not simply a deep threat. He can also be used in the screen game, which would take the pressure of Sam Darnold and allow him to attempt short and high percentage throws.
12) Las Vegas Raiders: Justin Jefferson WR LSU
I still can’t believe they’re the Las Vegas Raiders now….. Anyway, the Raiders draft Jefferson, making it 4 straight wide receivers drafted at this point. Recently, I was talking to a friend of mine, and discussed with him that I was having trouble naming even 2 wide receivers on the Raiders. I guess Tyrell Williams would be considered their number one and Renfrow is a good slot receiver, but they definitely need to add more depth at that position. Jefferson, overshadowed by receiver Ja’marr Chase at times, balled out when it mattered most. He caught 4 touchdowns and had over 220 yards in the Peach Bowl and then had 9 receptions for over 100 yards in the National Championship game. He just might be the steal of the draft.
13) Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton OL Louisville
Even though they already added Jack Conklin, I think the Browns go Oline here too. Baker Mayfield seemed to be running for his life last season, and someone as elusive as him should not have been sacked as much as he was. Not the sexiest pick here for the Browns, but no team can expect to be relevant without a good offensive line.
14) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Andrew Thomas OL Georgia
The Bucs are pleasantly surprised to see Thomas still available when the pick at 14. I would not be surprised if he went 4th overall to the Giants. After acquiring Tom Brady in free agency, this pick makes perfect sense for Tampa Bay. The only thing missing for this offense is a solid 3-down back. I guess there’s a chance they draft Swift out of Georgia here, as he seems to be the type of running back Brady likes, but I think Thomas is the smarter pick for them.
15) Denver Broncos: C.J. Henderson CB Florida
I was thinking of the possibility of the Broncos drafting a wide receiver, but with 4 already gone by this point in the draft, the decide to go with defense. I’ve heard a lot of good things about him as well, and from what a gather he is quite the competitor. The Broncos have prided themselves on being solid on the defensive end, and they draft Henderson here in an attempt to replace long-time Bronco Chris Harris Jr.
16) Atlanta Falcons: K’Lavon Chaisson DE LSU
The Falcons were high on linebacker Vic Beasley when they drafted him in 2015, and it did not work out the way they had hoped. Chaisson is not a linebacker, nor does he have as much hype coming out of college that Beasley did, but he is still a solid player. Already making a huge splash in free agency on the offensive side of the ball (getting Todd Gurley), they go after a playmaker on defense with their first round pick.
17) Dallas Cowboys: Xavier McKinney S Alabama
Another Crimson Tide player selected here, making him the fifth already. This pick may seem weird considering they have recently acquired Haha Clinton-Dix, but hear me out. I think the Cowboys draft the player here more than the position, if that makes sense. Regardless of if you have a solid safety, you want McKinney on your squad. Clinton-Dix has been a tough guy to figure out and in case he does not reach his full potential, the Cowboys now have what should be a reliable safety. \
18) Miami Dolphins: Josh Jones OL Houston
The Dolphins have lacked a solid Oline for as long a I can remember. Dating back to Tannehill’s first year in Miami. People said Tannehill never had a shot of being a solid QB because of how bad our Oline was. Miami is filling a big need here. Most of the better Olinemen will have been taken by this point, but the Dolphins will be happy to have landed Jones. If Jefferson, wide receiver of LSU, is still available at this point, I think Miami drafts him. I like the Jones pick though, because you need to consider that Miami drafts Tua with the fifth pick, and they need to do everything they can to protect the him as he comes back from his injury.
19) Las Vegas Raiders: Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma
The Raiders make this pick with no hesitation. Said by many to be the second best linebacker in the draft. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already taken by the time this picks comes around. Not so long ago Khalil Mack was the anchor of this defense at the linebacker position. Murray may never reach Mack’s level, but I think he’d make an immediate impact on a team that seems to be searching for answers.
20) Jacksonville Jaguars: Jordan Love QB Utah State
Lemme admit something first. I don’t think I heard Love’s name mentioned even once throughout the entire college season… and yes, I do watch college football haha. Maybe I wasn’t paying enough attention, but I find it super interesting how often his name has been thrown around in various mock drafts and NFL shows. I am more curious to see where he lands than anyone else in the draft. All that being said, the Jaguars lost Foles this offseason and I’m not too sure they’re ready to give the starting job to Minshew. From what I’ve heard, Love did not have the best statistical season last year, but shows great leadership and glimpses of Patrick Mahomes. I went back and forth on this pick but told myself there’s always at least one surprise in round 1, and I think this is the one.
21) Philadelphia Eagles: Denzel Mims WR Baylor
I’d say Mims is the most underrated player heading into this draft. The Baylor Bears don’t get as much publicity as the other big time schools which I think hurts him. Either way I think he’ll get drafted in the first round. I watched a few Baylor games this passed season and I’ve seen nothing but good things from him. He has strong hands and is able to make contested catches seem easy. The Eagles were decimated with injuries last year, especially at the wide receiver position. Mims gives them the depth they need and a sure handed receiver.
22) Minnesota Vikings: Tee Higgins WR Clemson
The sixth wide receiver taken off the board. This says more about the other receivers than Higgins. In the average draft, with less depth at the receiver position, he’d probably be the second or third wide receiver taken. Higgins is long and can “go up and get it.” I’d compare him to a guy like AJ Green. Diggs wanted out of Minnesota and got his wish. I love Adam Thielen, but I think he’s the best WR2 in the league and I’m not sure about him being a WR1. I feel bad even saying that, because I really appreciate his game. I think the Thielen Higgins DUO will be tough to stop and the Vikings should not hesitate if Higgins is still undrafted.
23) New England Patriots: AJ Epenesa DE Iowa
I think the Patriots may just go with best player available here rather than actually trying to fill a need. If Jordan Love is available at this point, maybe they take a chance on him. New England can definitely use a player on defense considering they lost several key pieces this offseason. Epenesa is 6 foot 5 and 275 pounds. He is a perfect Patriot pick and they will be pleasantly surprised to still see him available when they pick.
24) New Orleans Saints: Patrick Queen LB LSU
I think the Saints have gotta be thinking defense first with this pick. They already had one of the best offensives in the league, and have added wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. If it wasn’t for his teammates at LSU, Queen would have gotten more publicity. This guy is quick and can do a variety of things. He can play in coverage and rarely misses a tackle. The last solid Saints linebacker I can remember is Vilma and it seems they have been searching for his replacement for a while. Queen may be the piece they need in order to get over the hump and represent the NFC in the Super Bowl in 2021.
25) Minnesota Vikings: Javon Kinlaw DL South Carolina
So the Vikings get their wide receiver with their first pick and now decide to go defense. When I think of the Vikings, I usually think of their offensive weapons. I think this defense wants to become more relevant and I think this is a great way of doing just that. Kinlaw is quite versatile and will never take a play off. I’ve heard him compared to DeForest Buckner.
26) Miami Dolphins: D’Andre Swift RB Georgia
Ok, so Miami got their quarterback of the future with their first pick and someone to protect him with their second pick. What do they do with their third first round pick? Continue addressing the offense. I hope this is what they do. They stocked up on defense in free agency with the additions of Byron Jones, Kyle Van Noy, and Shaq Lawson. Now it’s time to do the same on offense. Swift is said to be the only three-down back in the draft and can also be huge in the passing game. He was referred to as the “Alvin Kamara of this year’s draft.” I went back-and-forth here as to whether or not Miami with go with Johnathan Taylor from Wisconsin, but I think they’ll go with Swift who seems to have a higher ceiling. The Dolphins leading rusher last year was Ryan Fitzpatrick, so yes, addressing the running back position is a must. This draft will have huge implications on where Miami is 10 years from now and Swift can be a big part of that.
27) Seattle Seahawks: Grant Delpit S LSU
Another LSU Tiger being drafted here. The Seahawks want to get back to having one of the league’s best defenses. Delpit is quick and is very good at tracking the ball. He has good closing speed and is a perfect fit for this Seahawks defense. The Seahawks may also consider drafting safety Antoine Winfield Jr from Minnesota here. With both of them still on the board, I think safety is where the Seahawks will be going here.
28) Baltimore Ravens: Zach Baun LB Wisconsin
Unfortunately, Simmons, Murray, and Queen will be gone by this time, so the Ravens have to settle with Baun. I can’t see the Ravens drafting offense here and it seems as though they want to deal with the linebacker spot here. This may be more of the Ravens filling a need rather than being in love with Braun. He is still a nice addition and is good in coverage.
29) Tennessee Titans: Trevon Diggs CB Alabama
The incredible playoff run by the Titans last year was fulled by Derrick Henry and the defense. I don’t think this defense has gotten the credit they deserve over the last few years. I think they want to bulk up on defense and continue to work the old school mentality of running the football and playing hard-nosed defense. Diggs is well sized at 6 foot 1 and will only make this defense better.
30) Green Bay Packers: Brandon Aiyuk WR Arizona State
The Packers are in desperate need of adding depth at the wide receiver position. I thought they would have been able to land Robby Anderson in free agency but couldn’t pull it off. Devante Adams is a solid receiver but he needs the Packers to find him a WR2. Fortunately for them, this is a deep wide receiver class. I don’t know too much about Aiyuk, but have heard he possess that big play ability and can take any pass to the house.
31)San Francisco 49ers: Raekwon Davis DT Alabama
Already having drafted Jeudy, the 49ers now look for someone to replace DeForest Bucker. I think they will fall in love with Davis’ size. He’s 6 foot 6 and 311 pounds. The 49ers identity last year was based off of that defense and especially the defensive line. In all honesty, I’m surprised they traded Bucker. Bosa is of course, a monster, but the addition of Davis will hopefully prevent Bosa from get doubled teamed and allow him to continue to dominate. Look for the 49ers to go for a Dlinemen here.
32) Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Taylor RB Wisconsin
The Chiefs offense can’t get any better, right? Wrong with a capital W! It’s no secret the Chiefs don’t run the ball much, but why would they with Mahomes? The addition of Taylor, won’t turn them into a running team, but on 3rd and 1, you can bet your Oreo cookies they’re giving it to Taylor to pick up that yard. It almost seems unfair for Taylor to join the Chiefs, but this makes so much sense for them. Damien Williams is a capable running back, but not necessarily a game changer. So, they now have one of the best quarterbacks and tight ends in the league, the fastest wide receiver and a running back who crushed records at Wisconsin…. Sounds like someone’s ultimate team in Madden… or have I just been playing too much of it over the quarantine?
That’s it folks! Hope you enjoyed it! Feel free to write in the comments and give your thoughts! Hope y’all ain’t sleeping on the Dolphins….