2020 First Quarter Mock Draft

Clayton Smarslok with his first quarter of the NFL season 2020 mock draft…

Alas! Mock draft season is upon us! Sure, some may say it is a waste to do a mock draft this early because of everything that can change but people who say that hate fun. This is supposed to be fun for me and you, but also informative for us all to know who is out there and who could be added to your favorite team as the next building block in their hopeful run at a Super Bowl.

As mentioned above, things will change. So do not take this mock draft in early October and rub it in my face when something (or everything) is completely off by the time late April comes around. 

Disclaimer: The draft order is based off the order given on Tankathon.com, using the current record and strength of schedule of every team. 

  1. Miami Dolphins

EDGE Chase Young, Ohio State

K.I.S.S. An abbreviation that most kids are taught a long time ago but I feel like it needs repeating for the Dolphins. Keep it simple, stupid. Chase Young is getting to the point where Myles Garrett was when he came out, the automatic first pick of the draft. Unless Cincy has this pick, it should be automatic. Miami has stripped this roster completely down that it would practically be a waste to take a quarterback, especially when you just traded a second round pick to see what Josh Rosen could do. Build the roster around the quarterback this upcoming offseason, see what Rosen could provide for you in 2020 and then go from there.

2. Cincinnati Bengals

QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

The time has come for the Bengals to give up on Andy Dalton. He had a nice start to his career and even had a career game in week one of the season, but it is over for him. The Bengals are not a good team to say the least and Dalton is not doing them any favors. Tua on the other hand has done nothing but dominate in the 2019 season for the Crimson Tide. If he plays 15 games like last season, he is on pace for 69 passing touchdowns and ZERO interceptions. It’s not likely those numbers are on his final stat list but that just goes to show how great he has been this year. If Zac Taylor is able to stick around for another year, he would be so giddy to have a player like Tua fall in his lap.

3. Washington Redskins

OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

This was a tough choice for the Skins. Rather than take Jerry Jeudy, it would be wise for them to build the offensive line to protect Haskins. Jeudy very well could be a can’t miss guy at a position that Washington could very well use. But with the way Terry McLaurin has come out of the gates in addition to the depth at receiver in this draft class, tackle should be the pick. Thomas could allow you to get rid of Trent Williams who obviously does not want to be there and give you probably another first round pick. Just saying.

4. Denver Broncos

QB Justin Herbert, Oregon

Yes, the Broncos just drafted Drew Lock in this past draft. But if the team suffers this much, they could just decide to move on after one year. Lock has been injured so far and was never a sure thing in my mind anyways. Herbert has come back for his senior season and looks better than he did in the 2018 season. He has all the traits, limits turnovers and has exceptional athleticism for a guy his size. You could probably talk me out of the Broncos taking a quarterback but considering that he fits the exact profile John Elway looks for in a quarterback, being tall, it makes too much sense.

5. New York Jets

OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

The Jets face the same predicament as the Redskins. They could either go tackle or Jerry Jeudy at this spot. Tristan Wirfs is the only dominant tackle left in this class. As for receiver, there are six or more receivers that could be outstanding right away, meaning one could definitely fall to them in the second round if need be.

When Joe Douglas came in, we knew what to expect. He wants to build this team through the trenches and through three games, it’s obvious that it needs to be done, bottom line. Wirfs is an athletic freak that has experience on both the left and right side of the line but if landing in New York, the left side should be his home as it could be Edoga that takes over for Brandon Shell in 2020. This will not be a sexy pick by any means, but it absolutely necessary if the team wants to get the most out of their young, full of potential quarterback and their outstanding running back who they are paying over 13 million.

6. Arizona Cardinals

CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State

This is the worst case scenario for Arizona. They need to build the offensive line in the worst way so we should expect a trade back if this was the real draft. But because trades are not allowed in this mock, they take the best cornerback in the draft. Okudah seems to be putting it all together this season. He has all the tools but he seems even stickier in coverage and his hands seem to be stickier considering he has all three of his career interceptions in the last two games. Patrick Peterson won’t be around forever and building the secondary with Okudah, Byron Murphy and Budda Baker could be a great way to help stop what the Rams got going at receiver.

7. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh)

WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama 

Do I think Jeudy should fall this far? No. But with the luck of the draw, the Dolphins get absurdly lucky to get my top two players in this draft at one and seven. You can put Jeudy in the Dolphins offense now and he would be the top target for them right away. He can do what Kenny Stills did for them and more. He has elite speed, athleticism, route running, YAC ability and the list goes on. Teaming him up with Preston Williams could be a nice little duo for Josh Rosen next year if they actually do decide to pass on a quarterback in this draft.

8. Atlanta Falcons

EDGE AJ Epenesa, Iowa

The Falcons have a bunch of talent on the team but they cannot seem to get it going in the right direction. Where they do lack some talent is on the defensive line. Grady Jarret is still a beast, but he could use some help. With AJ Epenesa, that changes things. Sure he has not had a very great 2019 season, production wise, but he has all the traits and we know he has the skills. If he can just put it all together down the stretch, he could cement his spot in the top ten.

9. Indianapolis Colts

WR Ceedee Lamb, Oklahoma

There was some consideration with taking a quarterback here but Jacoby Brissett has not done anything to warrant getting replaced, yet. If they end up selecting in the top ten, that could change the minds of the front office but my gut says they wait it out one more season. Where the issue lies with this team isn’t the play of Brissett, it’s the play at the wide receiver position. Without TY Hilton, they have shown that they will struggle. Lamb is the type of receiver to fit well opposite of Hilton. He provides a little bit of size but can also win deep, if needed. Give Brissett one extra year with some reliable targets at his disposal. 

10. Jacksonville Jaguars

S Grant Delpit, LSU

The Jaguars defense will most certainly take a hit after they trade Jalen Ramsey, whenever that will be. But even with him, they could stand to use a little more help on the back end. With Delpit, they could utilize him in a multitude of ways, whether it be deep, in the box, in the slot or as a linebacker. They already have a bunch of athletes in the second and third levels of their defense, making this pick just fit in with the group. Delpit has missed some more tackles this year than we are used to but I expect him to start getting back to his 2018 self soon enough.

11. Baltimore Ravens

LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

The Ravens took the world by storm after their 2-0 start but have come back down to Earth in their last two games. Lamar Jackson has taken a step back in these games but you can see there will be no issue with him as a quarterback moving forward, easily improving as a passer from last season. What could stand to improve is the defense. They lost a lot of pieces just this past offseason and it seems that losing a guy like CJ Mosley is kicking in a little after playing two cupcake offenses in Miami and Arizona. Simmons will bring leadership, skills and the insane athleticism needed to fit in this defense. Onwuasor is well respected in the Baltimore locker room but Kenny Young would be best served as a secondary piece.

12. New York Giants

WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

If we have learned anything in this 2019 season, it is that speed kills. Look at some of the players who have dominated this year, partly due to their speed (John Ross, Terry McLaurin, Mecole Hardman, DJ Chark, etc.) Ruggs is much more than that but having an elite trait like that could mean a world of difference for a team. Think about it for the Giants for a second. Putting a guy with the top end speed, like Ruggs, could open up the offense for so much more, whether it be for Saquon in the running game or Daniel Jones in the passing game. As much as we would like not to see the Giants succeed, this would be perfect for them.

13. Los Angeles Chargers

LB Dylan Moses, Alabama

Taking a risk here putting someone with a torn ACL in the top 15 but the kid is just that talented. Alabama has put out linebackers again and again, with Moses maybe being the best of the bunch in recent history. The good news for Moses is that the injury happened in the summer rather than winter, so he should be able to get onto the field come the start of the 2020 season. The Chargers fans might not like taking a guy with an injury history, considering the organizations history with injuries, but the kid plays a position they need at such a high level, it’ll be tough to pass up.

14. Philadelphia Eagles

CB Bryce Hall, Virgina

Whether you think Aaron Rodgers is getting washed up or not, he absolutely torched that secondary last Thursday night. The Eagles could easily use this pick to get a guy like Jalen Ramsey but since that has yet to happen, they will get the next best thing available to them. Bryce Hall is a football magnet, leading the nation in pass deflections with 21 in 2018. He does not have as many this year but teams are starting to realize to stay away from his side of the field. Getting a player like Hall, who is not so gullible against a double move, will be big for the Eagles considering all of their cornerbacks seem to fall for it.  

15. Tennessee Titans

QB Jake Fromm, Georgia

The most natural fit of the entire first round seems to be Fromm to the Titans. Marcus Mariota has never really exploded since being the second overall pick for the Titans back in 2015. In his fifth year, Mariota is now at the end of his road with the Titans who should not spend the money for an average quarterback in today’s game. They have a lot of good pieces, but being able to make it even better with a quarterback on a rookie salary sounds a lot better. Fromm may be athletically limited compared to others like Tua or Herbert or Burrow or… you get the point. But Fromm may be the smartest of the class who knows what to do when put into any situation. There was a reason he held the starting position at Georgia over Jacob Eason and Justin Fields the past couple of seasons. 

16. Carolina Panthers

CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford

This was a very close choice between Adebo and a quarterback. Newton could be taking the same road as Andrew Luck, but Kyle Allen has actually played pretty well in his two starts. So before handing the reins off to someone else, let’s give Allen the opportunity to run away with the job, at least until Cam comes back this season. With that being the case, they need to get some more help in the secondary. Adebo fits what they like to do in Carolina and this gives them a guy who can step onto the field right away. Considering you have receivers like Julio, Michael Thomas, Mike Evans and the emergence of Chris Godwin in your division, you need to have good players in the secondary.

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

HB D’Andre Swift, Georgia

With Ronald Jones playing the way he has been, this might not even be an option for the Bucs. But it has been a really small sample and D’Andre Swift could step in and be the guy right away in Tampa. Swift can do it in all three phases needed from the position. He is a dynamic runner with good vision and speed, reliable receiver out of the backfield and the natural blocker. He could stand to get a little better in the blocking department, but Peyton Barber is still around if need be. Whether Arians decides to still stick with Winston for another year or not, it never hurts to have a deep group of guys at the running back position to help your timid quarterback through the rough times.

18. Minnesota Vikings

IDL Derrick Brown, Auburn

The Vikings have had such a solid group of guys the past few years and cannot reach their expectations year in and year out. It would probably be wise to take a quarterback and forget all about Kirk Cousins but he will still be getting paid a hefty amount in his last year with the team in 2020. It would not be a shock to see them make a move at the end of the first round to take one if some guys continue to fall. But in this scenario, Derrick Brown falls right into their laps. Brown was a top recruit coming out of high school, could have entered the draft last year but decided to go back for a senior year to dominate yet again. He will replace the hole that Sheldon left behind after his departure in March.

19. Detroit Lions

IOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma

Your rival gets an interior defensive lineman, you counter that with an interior offensive lineman. The Lions just took one in Ragnow in 2018 but the good thing with him is that he already has experience playing as a guard, allowing Humphrey to come in as the center right away. Last year, the Oklahoma Sooner offensive line was considered the best group in the nation by most media members. The best of that group was arguably the youngest of them all in Humphrey. Beef up the line and give some time for Stafford and room for Kerryon. They’re going to have to get physical up front to compete with defenses like the ones in their division.

20. Seattle Seahawks

EDGE Kenny Willekes, Michigan State

Going out on a limb here and giving the Seahawks a weird pick that they are undoubtedly going to do. 2018 was Rashaad Penny, 2019 was LJ Collier and now it’s Kenny Willekes. I actually really like Willekes and what he can do, maybe not top 20, but definitely top 40. He has had a great start to the 2019 season with the Spartans meaning his stock could only be growing. The best thing to like about Willekes is his motor. It nevers stops running and you can just see Pete Carroll falling in love with that, as well as his versatility on the defensive line. The worth of this pick may not be there, but it just seems right.

21. Cleveland Browns

OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn

The Browns offensive line has actually started doing a little better after a rough start. Even so, they need a new offensive tackle. Greg Robinson signed a one year deal with the team but it would not be a shock to anyone if they just let that contract run out with no intention to bring him back. In comes Prince Tega Wanogho. Not only is that an awesome name but he has the skills to back it up. The physical traits are there but he looks improved from a technique standpoint, meaning he could take over the third tackle spot in the draft class. If that’s the case, the Browns will definitely keep an eye out for him.

22. Oakland Raiders

WR Tyler Johnson, Minnesota

To say that the Antonio Brown experiment did not work is an understatement. It was a complete and utter failure. Luckily for them, they still signed Tyrell Williams who has done a good job as their number one receiver, scoring a touchdown in all four games thus far. But Jon Gruden is going to need more and he knows that. Tyler Johnson has been compared to Devante Adams quite a bit recently and there is no reason as to why the Raiders offense couldn’t use a guy with his skill set. If he can get to even 70% if what Adams is with Tyrell and Hunter Refrow alongside him, that can turn into a really good bunch.

23. Dallas Cowboys

CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

The Cowboys have put themselves in a situation where they might have to choose between a couple of their best players. They have extended a lot of their top players like Tank Lawrence, Jaylon Smith and Zeke Elliot but they still have others like Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper and Byron Jones. At the end of the day, it could come down to Jones and Cooper. Considering that they just gave up a first round pick in last years draft and that they are spending a lot of money on their quarterback, they will want to make sure they give him the best opportunity to succeed, meaning Jones could be the odd man out. If so, Fulton, the next best corner, is the guy for them.

24. Green Bay Packers

WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado

Last year, the Packers had two first round picks and decided to continue to rebuild the defense that now looks like one of the top units in football. But now, they have to look to help the offense. Rodgers won’t play forever and next year will be his age 36 season. While he’s still playing at a high level, you need to give him the weapons to make the most of what you have. Shenault has taken a little bit of a step back this year but he is still a dynamic playmaker. Whether you want to have him out wide or in the backfield, he can provide a lot for an offense, especially with the ball in his hands. 

25. Miami Dolphins (from Houston)

OT Lucas Niang, TCU

Chase Young, Jerry Jeudy and Lucas Niang. Dolphins fans should love me. They traded away two outstanding pieces in Minkah Fitzpatrick and Laremy Tunsil and got the best receiver in the class and a very solid offensive tackle as the first two steps in replacing them. The best thing for the Dolphins is continue on this track of building the team first before taking a quarterback and throwing him in a situation where they can’t succeed. This way you get a guy like Niang who will get a year of playing time under his belt before the Dolphins ultimately take Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields in 2021.

26. Buffalo Bills

HB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

The Bills look like they got a pretty good player in Devin Singletary, albeit in a limited sample, but now they just made their offense immensely better with a talent like Taylor. I would use the analogy of thunder and lightning but Taylor is both more physical and faster than Singelary. Taylor is in the middle of a Heisman race where he will be competing with some historic numbers by some quarterbacks. So it may not be likely he wins, but in most years of the past, he would be the front runner, no doubt about it. I don’t know if the Bills would take a running back this early or not, but this just seems like a good fit for the brutal winters of Buffalo.

27. Los Angeles Rams

IOL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin

This honestly does not seem like a pick the Rams would make in the first round, but they desperately need an upgrade over Brian Allen. Allen was a fourth round pick in 2018 but he just is not cutting it for the Rams offensive line. If Biadasz, who could have been the top center in 2019, falls this far for Los Angeles, they would be wise to pick up the one guy who can instantly fill the void at the position. 

28. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago)

EDGE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame

The Raiders shocked the draft community by taking Clelin Ferrell fourth overall last year. It was smart to take anyone who played the position but the truth of the matter is, they need to take another one. With only five sacks in four games, they need to get more players who can get to the passer naturally rather than having to do it with a blitz. Okwara, the brother of Romeo, can come in and be that guy. He is a little more raw than Ferrell was coming out but he is showing he has the traits and even putting up the production you would like to see, against some good competition too. With this, you start to build a bit of a rotation along the edge.

29. New Orleans Saints

QB Joe Burrow, LSU

We are still waiting to see what Teddy Bridgewater is for the Saints but at this current time, it is not worth to spend the money on him and risk it. As for Drew Brees, he is obviously not only in the back nine of his career but maybe even on the 18th hole. It is time to look in a new direction. That direction just happens to be only an hour North West of the Superdome. No quarterback has come onto the scene more than Joe Burrow, especially after his performance against Texas a few weeks back. He has the traits, the attitude and is finally putting it all together in his final season in Baton Rouge. He will likely be at the Senior Bowl come January and once he gets around all those scouts, he could go even higher than this.

30. New England Patriots

TE Grant Calcaterra, Oklahoma

How this organization continues to reload at every position is just unfathomable as a Jets fan. There are no real weaknesses on this team outside of tight end, hence this pick. Truthfully, my gut says they would just trade out of this pick but they are here for now. Calcaterra could be what the offense needs, giving them a big, reliable target that can run seam routes over and over again. 

31. San Francisco 49ers

CB CJ Henderson, Florida

The surprise of the mock, the 49ers go from picking second overall to second to last in one season. Granted, they have not played a fourth game like the rest of the NFL but it’s an impressive start for them nevertheless. This is actually a pretty talented roster with some very good coaching to go along with it. Where they need to look to upgrade is on the backend of the defense. Ahkello Witherspoon is the starting corner opposite Richard Sherman right now but Henderson is more than talented enough to take over that spot right away. He is one of the best natural cover corners in the class, it’s his tackling that will get him in trouble. If the Niners can look past that or get him to improve a little bit, this can be a steal.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

HB Travis Etienne, Clemson

The rich get richer. The Chiefs have the best offense in the league with LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams as their lead backs right now. McCoy is having a comeback season but is 31 years old and Williams has never been a starting running back in his six NFL seasons. Going young at this position gives the Chiefs an unfair advantage at almost every skill position on offense. As mentioned before, speed kills and Etienne has just that. He can break away on any given snap and with guys like Hill, Kelce and Watkins around, the boxes will practically never be full for the running attack. Mocking something like this does not seem fair, but it sure would be fun to see.