By Andy Moore (@AJMoore21)
I know why you are here, you know why you are here. let’s not beat around the bush and get straight to it. Would love to hear your opinions on Twitter!
Cincinnati Bengals: QB – Joe Burrow – LSU
Keep it simple, keep it safe. Bengals get their ‘face of the franchise’ and plug him in to play on day one.
Washington Redskins: DE – Chase Young – Ohio State
I think the Redskins will try and move down here, they don’t pick again until the 3rd round and the new coaching staff needs to build a support system around Dwayne Haskins. The Dolphins at 5 seem the most likely candidates, but I think they’ll wait and see if there is any real need to move up.
Instead, the ‘Skins take the best player in the draft and get themselves a dominating edge rusher who will immediately give the NFC East’s defensive co-ordinators a significant headache.
Miami Dolphins: QB – Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama
The Dolphins give up pick 5, 39 & Houston’s 2021 2nd rounder, managing to keep their two other first rounders in place and get their guy.
Ever since Miami traded away Laremy Tunsil before the 2019 season started, it has looked like their sights have been firmly set on the Alabama signal caller. The surprisingly resolute nature of Brian Flores’ team at one point seemed to put that in danger, but the hip injury sustained by Tua means the Fins still have a shot at their guy.
This pick isn’t without risk, but the upside, attitude and star dust that Tua offers makes him the perfect candidate to head to South Florida. Will he wear #13?
New York Giants: OT – Jedrick Wills – Alabama
Tristan Wirfs had a dominant combine, and there is certainly an argument to be made for the Giants to take him 4th overall. But, I think Wills is the slightly better prospect.
Wills is a violent Right Tackle who excels in both pass protection and the running game. He’s a day one starter, with a ridiculous frame, and his addition will immediately help Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley.
Detroit Lions: CB – Jeffrey Okudah – Ohio State
I know, this isn’t offering many surprises so far, but Okudah to the Lions makes way too much sense. They’ve just traded away Darius Slay, and although Desmond Trufant has just arrived in Detroit, that isn’t going to put Matt Patricia off his guy.
Okudah brings a strong work ethic and willingness to contribute in the run game, alongside the ability to operate as a true shutdown corner.
LA Chargers: LB – Isaiah Simmons – Clemson
Don’t get me wrong, I think the Chargers probably go Herbert here. But, in this situation they take a gamble and take a QB slightly later in the draft.
Simmons is my favourite player in this draft, his range and versatility make him the perfect modern player and his hard hitting, explosive nature make him a turnover machine. Imagine him lined up in the same defense as Derwin James, Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram & Chris Harris. Whelp.
Cleveland Browns: OT – Tristan Wirfs – Iowa
Paul DePodesta and Andrew Berry make the move up to 7, leapfrogging the Cardinals, to get the 2nd best Tackle in the class. To do so they give up pick 10, 74 and a 2021 4th.
As I mentioned earlier, Wirfs had a phenomenal combine, building on three years of strong performance at Iowa. A career starter at right tackle, Wirfs could easily slide across to the all-important left side of the defense. His footwork and patience in pass protection will look to buy Baker Mayfield time in the pocket and power will look to free up Nick Chubb out of the backfield.
Arizona Cardinals: OT – Mekhi Becton – Louisville
The run on Offensive Linemen continues, with the Cardinals adding a man mountain in Mekhi Becton to provide much needed protection for Kyler Murray.
Becton weighs in at 364 pounds and has the versatility to line up at tackle or guard. His strength lies in the run the game, where a powerful drive can easily open up lanes for the RB, or say, an athletic QB. However, he’s relatively comfortable in pass protection as well, possessing aggressive hands and a firm punch off the line. There are some slight concerns about his ability to redirect to hit a moving target, meaning the Browns are happy to pay to move up and take Wirfs instead of him.
Jacksonville Jaguars: DT – Derrick Brown – Auburn
Those of you who listen to the Move the Sticks podcast will have heard Daniel Jeremiah raving about Derrick Brown, giving him the 2nd overall grade in his 2nd Top 50 list.
It’s easy to see why, Brown is a three year starter who earned First Team All American honours in 2019. Effective across all three downs, Brown bull rushes opponents up the field to collapse the pocket and possesses incredibly quick hands. The Jags get a steal here at 9, making the most of the early run on tackles to boost a defensive line which just lost Calais Campbell.
Carolina Panthers: DT – Javon Kinlaw – South Carolina
Despite paying Teddy Bridgewater, it’s not hard to imagine the Panthers going all in for Trevor Lawrence next year. In this scenario they could take one of the other highly rated tackles at 10, or trade back again with the hope in boosting their pick haul.
Instead I’ve got them taking local lad Javon Kinlaw here, First Team All-SEC honours put the icing on top of a senior season which saw Kinlaw rack up 35 tackles and 6 sacks. After losing Gerald McCoy, Kinlaw is the perfect replacement, an explosive, athletic defensive tackle that’ll be an immediate boost to Phil Snow’s defense.
New York Jets: OT – Andrew Thomas – Georgia
Adam Gase’s first year in New York was a flop, with the most memorable moment being Sam Darnold’s confession that he was seeing ghosts in a Monday night horror show against the Patriots.
There were clear issues on the offensive line with 33 sacks allowed, and despite adding George Fant in free agency, I think the Jets address this further in the first round. Step forward Andrew Thomas, a two year starter at left tackle who projects as an immediate starter with high upside.
Las Vegas Raiders: WR – CeeDee Lamb – Oklahoma
It’s a coin toss for me here, between Lamb and Jeudy. Gruden and Mayock opt for the production of Lamb over the route running prowess of Jeudy.
Over three seasons, the Sooners receiver has posted 3300 yards, 32 TDs and a 19 yard per catch average. Those are elite numbers at any level and an impressive combine only helped Lamb’s stock. Derek Carr (or Marcus Mariota) gets a clear WR and the Raiders look to make a splash in Sin City from the off.
San Francisco 49ers: CB – CJ Henderson – Florida
The 49ers will probably want to trade down, but will there be a buyer that gives them the round 2 and 3 capital they want? In this scenario I’ve said no and had them address an area of need in their secondary.
Richard Sherman is aging and Ahkello Witherspoon is entering the last year of his rookie year with a lot left to prove. Henderson comes in and adds a dose of speed, athleticism and a ceiling to the mix, pushing Witherspoon for his spot on day 1.
Philadelphia Eagles: WR – Jerry Jeudy – Alabama
A big statement move by the Eagles here. We all know that Carson Wentz ended the season throwing to Greg Ward and co, so Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman trade up to get arguably the best receiver in the class. By trading pick 21, 103 and a 2021 3rd, the Eagles move up above. the Broncos who have been heavily linked with a WR pre-draft.
Despite the fact the WR class is loaded, Jeudy adds real class to the Eagles offense. A polished route runner who creates separation effortlessly, he’ll plug in opposite Alshon Jeffrey and gives Wentz a significant upgrade.
Denver Broncos: WR – Henry Ruggs – Alabama
The Broncos make it two Crimson Tide receivers in a row, adding explosive deep threat Henry Ruggs III to partner Courtland Sutton in a new look offense.
Drew Lock finished the season with a bang, going 4-1 as the starter in Denver. There’s a lot of feel good factor around the team at the moment, with Sutton and 2nd year Tight End, Noah Fant, being joined by Melvin Gordon in the offseason. Ruggs offers something different to Sutton, giving Lock a deep threat target and Pat Shurmur the opportunity to stretch the field with his play calling.
Atlanta Falcons: S – Xavier McKinney – Alabama
Three in a row for Alabama as the Falcons get in on the party. McKinney brings a well-rounded option to the Atlanta secondary, capable of playing against the run and the pass, particularly when lining up over the slot receiver.
Dallas Cowboys: S – Grant Delpit – LSU
Another coin toss here, as I had to decide between the Cowboys taking Delpit and his LSU teammate Kristian Fulton. The Cowboys lost Jeff Heath in free agency, and despite adding HaHa Clinton-Dix, they’re in need of an upgrade.
Delpit surged at the end of LSU’s championship winning season, leading the SEC in interceptions, whilst making 74 tackles. He tracks the ball well in the air and displays excellent sideline to sideline ability. Some concerns over his tackling ability, but Mike Nolan is getting a player with a lot of upside here.
Miami Dolphins: OT – Austin Jackson – USC
The Trojans left tackle becomes the Dolphins’ replacement for Laremy Tunsil here, slotting next to Ereck Flowers in their new look offensive line.
Jackson comes from NFL stock, his father having played 5 seasons on the offensive line for the Packers. His nimble feet and athleticism will entice the Fins to take him 18th overall, but there is work to be done on hand placement. Will benefit as a day one starter, but will need time to reach full potential.
Las Vegas Raiders: LB – Kenneth Murray – Oklahoma
I considered throwing a curveball in here and drafting Southern Illinois Safety Jeremy Chinn as a huge upside pick here. However, Mike Mayock reigns in my inner Jon Gruden to add Oklahoma linebacker, Kenneth Murray.
A three-year starter for the Sooners, Murray is a top quality run and chase style player, he’s incredibly quick and accompanies that with a violent nature at the point of tackle.
New Orleans Saints: QB – Justin Herbert – Oregon
Big one. The Saints move up above the Patriots and give the Jaguars some more capital in the 2021 draft for the privilege. With New England’s QB situation uncertain at the moment, it feels like they’re enough of a threat to ensure the Saints jump above them if they decide to go after Drew Brees’ successor.
Last year saw Dwayne Haskins ‘drop’ into the teens, and it’s not inconceivable that the same happens to one of the 2020 class. Herbert is probably the most likely candidate for a slight slide here, with most mocks having him go in the top 6.
Herbert is a big arm, traditional pocket passer. A three year starter who is confident attacking downfield sounds right up Sean Payton’s street. With a year to sit behind Brees, it’s easy to see a bright future for the Oregon star if the draft falls like this.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OT – Ezra Cleveland – Boise State
The Buccs moved back from 14 to pick up further draft capital and with the top 4 tackles off the board. They get next first round tackle here at 21 instead, giving Tom Brady a big upgrade over Demar Dotson.
As you’d expect, Cleveland has the most to improve of the top five tackles, with Lance Zierlein noting how much stronger he needs to get to hold up as a starter. However, there’s a clear need at the position and with Tampa in win now mode, Cleveland makes sense here. Could possibly go Josh Jones instead.
Minnesota Vikings: DE – AJ Epenesa – Iowa
The Vikings use the first of their two first round picks to add a defensive end that has all the traits to become a thorn in the side of NFC North Quarterbacks for years to come.
14.5 tackles for a loss and 11.5 sacks in 2019 give a flavour of the Iowa product’s production, but it’s his ability to read the game and the explosiveness he shows out of the block that make him a first round pick.
Houston Texans: S – Antoine Winfield Jr – Minnesota
New England trade out of 23 here, opting to pick up some additional draft capital in 2021 and another pick in the top 100 of this draft.
The Texans improve their secondary with an instinctive safety in Winfield. Capable of tracking the ball through the air, and hit hard in the open field, he’ll bring a Honey Badger like attitude to a defense that missed him last season.
Jacksonville Jaguars: CB – Kristian Fulton – LSU
Simple one here for the Jags, who trade down from 20 and still get a corner to replace the departed Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye.
Fulton hasn’t sold everyone, with character issues putting off a few teams. Consistency is another concern, with the occasional lapse in judgement meaning the Jags are taking a risk on the flashes of bigtime ability we’ve seen over the last two season.
Minnesota Vikings: WR – Denzel Mims – Baylor
Another hand in glove fit here, as the Vikings choose to replace Stefon Diggs with the big upward mover in this receiver class. Mims impressed throughout Senior Bowl week and then took the combine by storm.
Quick off the line, with a big frame and the ability to high point the ball, Mims has all the makings of the perfect target for Kirk Cousins.
LA Chargers: QB – Jordan Love – Utah
With QBs sliding a bit here, the Chargers decide to jump over the Colts and back into the first round to take their new QB.
Lock comes as a bit of a project, with a huge arm but inconsistent decision making. Anthony Lynn and Shane Steichen will feel they’ve got a bargain on their hands at 26 though, with a few comparisons being thrown around to Pat Mahomes. I’m not so sure on that, but it’ll be fun to watch Love develop.
Seattle Seahawks: C – Cesar Ruiz – Michigan
Another trade candidate for the Chargers here, if the Dolphins choose to stick with 26. Pete Carroll and co have made a living trading out the back of the first round, so it feels unlikely they’ll make this pick in reality.
However, with Russell Wilson being sacked 48 times last year, in this scenario the Seahawks choose to upgrade their offensive line with Cesar Ruiz out of Michigan. Ruiz grew into the center role in Ann Arbor and will be a fine addition for whoever takes him at the end of the first / early second.
Baltimore Ravens: OLB – K’Lavon Chaisson – LSU
A dangerous Ravens defense only improves with this pick. Chaisson brings leadership on and off the field, as well as a dangerous set of athletic tools
With time to develop around the likes of Calais Campbell, Earl Thomas and Marcus Peters, Chaisson can not only become a dominant player, but the leader of the Ravens D for years to come.
Tennessee Titans: OT – Josh Jones – Houston
A direct replacement for Jack Conklin, Jones is a raw prospect that needs work. With the glut of tackles going in the first round, Tennessee will probably hope that any of the above fall to them here.
If that doesn’t happen then I don’t think they sweat it too much with Jones, he has the build that you want in a tackle and four years of playing experience with Houston. The red flags for scouts seem to be focused on handwork and timing, both things which can be developed with the right coaching.
Green Bay Packers: WR – Justin Jefferson – LSU
After throwing to a rag tag group of receivers with Davante Adams out for a few weeks last year, it’s fair to say Aaron Rodgers would be very happy with this pick.
Jefferson is a winner, he wins contested catches, wins at the line of scrimmage and wins national championships. With Rodgers heading towards the twilight of his career it seems only right that the Packers go all in now, Jefferson is a day one asset and will upgrade the wideout position no end.
Denver Broncos: CB – Jeff Gladney – TCU
With little draft capital outside the first round, the 49ers look all but guaranteed to trade back out of one of their top 32 picks.
I struggled to find a team that would want to trade into this spot. Eventually I settled on the Broncos, as they leap above their divisional rivals and take TCU’s Jeff Gladney.
Gladney is smaller in stature, which may mean he’s initially utilised in sub-packages at nickel cornerback. However, he strikes me as the ideal player to utilise against Tyreek Hill and Mecole Hardman as the Broncos play catch up to the Chiefs.
Kansas City Chiefs: CB – Trevon Diggs – Alabama
The last pick in the first round sees the 6th Crimson Tide prospect go off the board. Diggs possesses elite height, weight and length for a corner, mixing these attributes in with the skills he picked up as a former receiver.
The Chiefs often face themselves going against offenses in full attack mode, trying to play catch up with Mahomes and co. Diggs makes a lot of sense in that regard, upgrading the positional group and potentially making the transition to safety, should that be a more natural fit.