By Tim Monk (@Tim_MonkF10Y)
Time to jump on the bandwagon and start to put a few feelers out there in terms of the 1st round of the NFL draft. Don’t forget to check out the Full 10 Yards College Football podcast that will cover a whole host of topics and no doubt mock drafts from now until April rolls around. Without any further a delay, here is my first mock draft for 2020 (going straight in with trades!).
#1 – Joe Burrow – QB
Let’s not get too crazy right out of the gate, Joe Burrow is a 1/100 shot currently with bookmakers to go 1st overall. I don’t buy all the current smokescreen that Burrow will “pull an Eli”. Not saying I won’t do a mock draft where this happens, but let’s keep things simple, stupid.
#2 – Chase Young – DE
Again, not getting too creative here at 2 and the Redskins get a monster who’ll make his presence felt as soon as he walks through the door as the edge rusher from Ohio State lands in the Nation’s capital. Whilst I think the Redskins will be open to trading back with teams such as Miami, we’ll save the trades until pick number 3,
#3 – Tua Tagoviola – QB
*MIA TRADE #5, #26 and #70 to DET for #3*
Miami trade up to take Tua, who’ll sit behind Ryan Fitzpatrick for at the most part of the 2020 season. The price they pay is their 5th overall, number 26th (from the Texans) and a 3rd round pick. The price could easily be a lot steeper should the Panthers and Chargers sniff around and if Tua’s medical issues are not too much of an issue.
#4 – Jeffrey Okudah – CB
Another year, another top 5 pick for the blue side of New York. This time it’s Okudah that gets the call. The Cornerback out of Ohio State helps plug one of many needs for the Giants. I would suggest that the Giants are candidates to move back, but Gettleman isn’t know for his creativity or intricacy in April (or any month of the year for that matter). As they have a new HC, they’ll keep things simple and go with a best player available approach.
#5 – Isiah Simmons – OLB
*MIA TRADE #5, #26 and #70 to DET for #3*
I wouldn’t put it past Detroit to fall further back and accumulate even more picks from here. Matt Patricia of course would have learned from the best in Bill Belichick in terms of acquiring more dart throws. For now, we have the Lions selecting Simmons, Linebacker out of Clemson. A team that have plenty of gaps to fill on the defensive side of the ball start here.
#6 – Justin Herbert – QB
The Chargers take their shot at QB in Oregon QB Justin Herbert. He’s raw, and a project and the Chargers certainly wont want to be starting him until the latter parts of the 2020 season at the earliest! There are scenarios where I see them trade out of this spot as they acquire their QB in free agency (maybe Cam Newton? Maybe Tom Brady) but we’ll leave that until we have a bit more clarity. For now, Herbert is their guy.
#7 – Derrick Brown – DT
Brown somehow falls to the Panthers here at #7. Whilst they’ll be strong candidates to go QB in the 1st round too as all signs point to Carolina wanting to strip this whole thing back with a whole new coaching staff (which is why I can see Cam going to LA), in this scenario, they take Brown as the QBs left on the board are not worth the #7 overall.
#8 – Jedrick Wills – OT
Arizona have just re-signed DJ Humphries to a long term extension and they double down here and select the first offensive lineman on the board in 2020. The Alabama tackle will come in straight away and help fix the patches on the line and give Kyler Murray the protection they’ve been wanting to provide for years. If Wills isn’t here or they aren’t enamoured with the OT in the class until later on, Arizona are another trade back candidate.
#9 – Javon Kinlaw – DT
The Jaguars were one of the worst against the run in 2019. How to fix that? Stick in a 6 foot 6, 301 anchor from South Carolina. There’s a lot of questions and holes to fill in east Florida, and Kinlaw can be the first guy to plug up the leak in the trench from day 1 and he’ll only improve with the more experience he gets.
#10 – Mekhi Becton – OT
I will be stunned if the Browns look this gift horse in the mouth. Plenty of tackle options for the Browns in this prime spot, Becton is an absolute monster of a man. He’s a freak of nature who moves unbelievably well for a man that is 6 foot 7 and 350+ lbs. Whilst he wont be as effective as some of the other tackles from day 1, a few years down the line, he could be one of the best around. A key piece for Baker’s resurgence as he enters his 3rd year.
#11 – Tristan Wirfs – OL
The most sensible option here for the Jets would be to take a offensive lineman to help protect Sam Darnold. Tristan Wirfs is the guy here who can play either side of the line. Sam Darnold was pressured a lot last season and he needs to be able to feel comfortable with his line to eradicate poor decisions and ultimately interceptions. They could go WR here too, filling the void that Robby Anderson will likely leave.
#12 – Jerry Jeudy – WR
The Alabama WR heads to Sin City to be their star attraction. Jeudy is great at separation and garnering yards after the catch, something Derek Carr will love and it will give a helping hand to Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller after the Antonio Brown experiment failed catastrophically last year. Feel free to interchange this name with CeeDee Lamb as i undoubtedly will do as I get through more iterations of mock drafts.
#13 – Andrew Thomas – OT
Whilst the Colts could have made it three WR in a row, the Colts’ offensive line could see Anthony Castanzo vacate his spot on the line so the Colts could plug that hole back up with the All-American Tackle from Georgia. Who knows who he’ll be protecting at Lucas Oil Stadium.
#14 – Grant Delpit – S
Whilst it’s not the sexiest of picks, the Buccaneers struggled against the pass mightily and have done so for a while. A Shaq Barrett replacement could also be used with this pick but let’s assume he returns to Raymond James here. The LSU Safety has the ability to be one of the best on the field, despite his knock of missing tackles and is most people’s top Safety on the board in this class. McKinney truthers will have to wait a few more picks.
#15 – CeeDee Lamb – WR
Difficult to pinpoint exactly what Denver want to do here. It must be refreshing that the QB talk (for now) has dissipated and in this mock, they give current QB Drew lock and his main guy Courtland Sutton a huge helping hand. CeeDee will help take safety coverage away from Sutton and both could prosper. There are a few holes for Denver to fill including O-Line and CB/LB but hey, WR are more sexy to mock aren’t they!?
#16 – K’Lavon Chaisson – EDGE
The Falcons have made it clear they will not entertain Vic Beasley in one of their new uniforms next season. Enter the man with a name perfect for an edge rusher almost so perfect, it’s a shame Chase Young is in this draft class. The LSU pass rusher is an explosive guy off the edge and should slip in quite nicely here in Atlanta.
#17 – Xavier McKinney – S
Safety is a position Jason Garrett avoided like the plague. Under a new era sparks a new way of thinking. McKinney is very versatile and can play both up top on the line and back deep too. With Byron Jones questions lingering, he could also help fill in at CB. He’ll primarily be their Safety and the odd Nickel/Dime slot Corner, but McKinney ticks a lot of boxes for a team that isn’t known for its brilliance on defence in terms of takeaways.
#18 – A.J Epenesa – EDGE
The Miami Dolphins take another player here to fill a big need. The Iowa pass rusher will come and fill in for a depleted pass rush room where Taco Charlton, a Cowboys castaway is currently “the guy”…yikes. Teams do like to pick a like for like replacement on pick trades; with this being the Minkah Fitzpatrick pick from the Steelers, don’t be surprised to see the Dolphins pick a safety if Delpit/McKinney fell here.
#19 – Jordan Love – QB
If the Raiders, more specifically Jon Gruden, want to transition from Derek Carr, they will be taking a Quarterback in this draft. Love is a more mobile Quarterback than Jacob Eason and seems more like a “Gruden guy”. If they aren’t interested in a QB in this draft, either because they “like” Carr or they bring in a vet from FA, they will likely go defensive side of the ball here with a guy like LB Kenneth Murray. That’s for later.
#20 – Henry Ruggs – WR
*BUF trades #22, #86 #150 for JAX #20, #187*
Buffalo need to give Josh Allen a few more weapons. They have a decent defensive roster and their RB from 2019 Devin Singletary acquitted himself well. With John Brown reaching the age where father time gives him a visit, the WR core needs improvement and rather than getting sloppy seconds after Philadelphia, they trade 2 picks up to get their guy.
#21 – Tee Higgins – WR
Whilst Buffalo traded up to get their guy, Philadelphia’s guy wasn’t the one they selected and Tee Higgins makes it 2 WR in a row. Alshon Jeffrey’s status is unclear but considered Greg Ward and Mack Hollins were rolled out last year, their need at WR is a lot bigger than that at CB.
#22 – Kristian Fulton – CB
Offensive line is another possibility here, but it’s strange how poetic the franchises makes these picks. This being the Rams’ pick for Ramsey, they draft his replacement with one of the picks they receive and use it on the Cornerback from LSU.
#23 – Josh Jones -OT
Isiah Wynn’s injury history seems to be a bit of concern. We know the Patriots like to draft trench players early. If Tom Brady returns, he’ll want the same treatment as he has gotten over the past 2 decades. Kenneth Murray dropping here was the other plausible option here. If either McKinney or Delpit fell, they would be snapped up by Belichick and co. too.
#24 – CJ Henderson – CB
Who knows what the Saints will go with here. Cornerback, Wide Receiver help or dare I say QB (Yes Brees is back, but for how long. Teddy Bridgewater is not a guarantee to stick around and no, Taysom Hill is not the answer)? Considering the WR that are off the board, the Saints would probbaly go with CB here and CJ Henderson is the pick. A CB from Florida joins up with fellow Gator Gardner-Johnson from 2019 draft.
#25 – Kenneth Murray – LB
Murray drops to #25 in this mock and that’s only because the Vikings will rue the Cornerback run from Jacksonville and New Orleans. The athletic LB from Oklahoma is a sideline to sideline guy and would add a lot of speed to this defence. If Minnesota still go CB hunting Trevon Diggs could fit the bill.
#26 – Terrell Lewis – EDGE
The Lions make their second pick in the first round after the trade back with Miami. They fill another hole, this time at pass rush. This Alabama edge rusher is explosive and should help improve this defence along with their other 1st rd pick.
#27 – Yetur Gross-Matos – EDGE
The Seahawks may trade back here to someone who wants to come up and get their guy or a QB. That being said, Ziggy Ansah and Jadeveon Clowney are headed to Free Agency this offseason, will either be back? Who knows. Let’s say they aren’t or 1 is, taking this Penn State Edge rusher helps ease the pain of losing the other (or both).
#28 – Patrick Queen – LB
The offence is pretty much there for the immediate future with no glaring holes. So they decide to bolster the defensive side to stop instances like the Derrick Henry train running through them like they did in the postseason. A replacement for Josh Bynes, who could head for Free Agency. A quick-footed, speedy linebacker who can play all 3 downs is the call here.
#29 – Ross Blacklock – DL
I am not going to explore the idea that Derrick Henry isn’t a Titan next season, purely because i think the coaching staff think he is too ingrained into their offensive identity. They have 1 or 2 holes to fill in the trenches, especially if trying to retain Conklin goes south. However, Blacklock is a good pickup for a Titans team as he’ll require a lot of effort to nullify from opposing O-lines due to his explosiveness and how disruptive he could be.
#30 – Laviska Shenault Jr. – WR
Aaron Rodgers’ window is not going to open for much longer. The Packers focused their efforts on the defence last offseason so this time, they give Aaron Rodgers a bit more help to try and win a 2nd ring. Do it all WR Shenault Jr will be a fun toy to play with and can stick around with Adams years after Rodgers retires.
#31 – Jeff Gladney – CB
Richard Sherman getting toasted by Sammy Watkins will send alarm bells ringing and he is now 31 years old. They also need help opposite him with Witherspoon not pulling up trees, Verrett still always on the treatment table. Moseley filled in capably but the back end of the defence needs a bit of youth injected in to it. Gladney, the corner out of TCU is quite a versatile guy to have on the team, the type of guy that Saleh will do a lot with and will be able to get a lot out of.
#32 – Jacob Eason – QB
*TB Sends #45, #107, 2021 2nd rnd for #32, #128*
Sorry Kansas fans, you wait all night for your pick and they trade out with someone who wants to go up and get Eason. The Buccaneers offence is a decent fit if they wish to move on from Winston or even just keep him for another season or 2, like is currently being reported. Even if Winston leaves, the fun might not stop in Tampa Bay.