Finally, Draft Day is almost upon us. It’s been about a month since a major sports event has occurred, which means this draft is extra special. That’s why I’ve been doing so much coverage on this event on my Instagram. This could be the only thing we can look forward to for months. So, for the next nine days, I’ll be thinking about nothing but the draft, leading up to my final mock that I’ll probably release the day of. For now, enjoy this mock that I put together about a week and a half before the big day.
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Same old, same old. Burrow looks like the clear favorite to be #1 overall, and that hasn’t changed since day 1.
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State
Same old, same old again. Young is by far the best defensive player in this draft. The ‘Skins may have the opportunity to trade down, but if they don’t, Young should be a lock.
3. Miami Dolphins (from Detroit Lions) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
In this mock trade, the Dolphins send a second-rounder to the Lions for a pick swap here. I think the Dolphins will end up moving up to get their guy. However, they may not feel they have to since Justin Herbert will also be available. Either way, the Dolphins have to leave the first round with a new QB, so why not use your assets to grab an elite signal-caller?
4. Los Angeles Chargers (from New York Giants) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Once the Dolphins move up, the Chargers decide to do the same. I’m a Herbert believer, but he can’t be a day 1 starter. So, if this happens, we’ll likely see Tyrod Taylor start the majority of the 2020 season.
5. Detroit Lions (from Miami Dolphins) – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
After the Darius Slay trade, this pick makes total sense. The Lions need a lockdown corner now, and Okudah is just that. In three years, I guarantee he’ll be a top 5 corner in the league. So, the Lions really win in this mock. They get the best cornerback and obtain an extra second-rounder. This is ideal for Detroit.
6. New York Giants (from Los Angeles Chargers) – Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
Just like last year, the Giants are giving me headaches. I have been flip-flopping on whether they should take Simmons or an O-Lineman for weeks. However, the OT class this year is extraordinarily deep this year. They hold the 36th pick, which is a location where plenty of OTs should be available. Josh Jones, Isaiah Wilson, Ezra Cleveland, and Austin Jackson top the list of possible candidates. However, top front 7 players are in short stock this year. Plus, Simmons is such a beast that he’d make the Giants defense legit. So, for now, I have them taking Isaiah Simmons.
7. New York Jets (from Carolina Panthers) – Tristan Wirfs, OT/OG, Iowa
If Simmons is gone by pick #7, the Panthers should look to trade down. Derrick Brown is an option, but trading back and acquiring more picks is the better option. The Jets could be a candidate for this trade. They made some O-Line improvements in free agency, but Wirfs would really make this unit feel secure. He’s got the athleticism and versatility that make him my favorite OL in this class. Carolina will probably have trouble finding a partner to trade up with, though. As I mentioned before, this OT class is stacked, so the Jets may be satisfied with OT3 or OT4.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
Becton could be the move here, but I went with Wills for this mock. With D.J. Humphries returning, the Cards need a right tackle. Wills was a right tackle at Alabama. Wills would be a day 1 starter in Arizona.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Lo and behold, the Jags got rid of Calais Campbell and are set to trade Yannick Ngakoue, too. So, they’re really gonna need some new blood up front. Brown is an obvious successor to Campbell. He’s a big-bodied run stuffer who dominates, just like Calais. He could go earlier to the Panthers, but I really like the fit in Jacksonville.
10. Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
The Browns made some big moves in free agency, including the signing of RT Jack Conklin. However, they still need a new tackle on the left side. Becton, a left tackle at Louisville, fits the bill. He’s a dominant force that would add an instant kick to the Brown’s O-Line. Even if Becton isn’t the pick, it’s clear the Browns will select an OT with this pick.
11. Carolina Panthers (from New York Jets) – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
So after Derrick Brown goes at #9, the Panthers grab the next best thing, Javon Kinlaw. Brown may be the better run defender, but Kinlaw has the edge in pass rush. Carolina’s defense is depleted, but Kinlaw would be a nice foundational piece for this unit.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Lamb is the type of receiver that can carry a heavy load. I didn’t think this at the beginning of draft season, but now I see it. He’s more explosive than Jeudy, and that was shown at the Combine. He’s the guy the Raiders thought they were getting with Antonio Brown last year.
13. San Francisco 49ers – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Kyle Shanahan with Jeudy’s route-running savvy? Scary. A young receiving core with Jeudy, Deebo Samuel, Jalen Hurd, and Kendrick Bourne would be formidable for years to come. Pair the receivers with George Kittle and their stable of running backs and you have an offense ready to dominate.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Thomas is a little bit of a wild card. He could be the top OT on some people’s boards, but his ceiling isn’t as high as the first three OTs gone in this mock. In any other class, he’d be my top offensive lineman. However, the Bucs land a NFL-ready pass protector here, perfect for Tom Brady’s needs.
15. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
No change in the pick here. The Broncos could go in many directions with this pick. However, if Ruggs is there, I believe John Elway won’t be able to pass up on him. He’s the speed Drew Lock needs to elevate this offense.
16. Atlanta Falcons – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
After releasing Desmond Trufant, cornerback is the Falcon’s top need. Need meets value perfectly here, as Henderson is the clear CB2. He’s been rising up boards, going as high as 9th in some mocks I’ve seen. He has the making of a great corner in the NFL, exactly what the Falcons need right now.
17. Dallas Cowboys – K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
The Cowboys lost Byron Jones and need a cornerback, but to be frank, I don’t have any more CBs graded high enough to go here. So, instead, Chaisson makes sense. The Cowboys also lost Robert Quinn on the edge. Slotting Chaisson opposite DeMarcus Lawrence would really make this front 7 special. And, as we learned from the 49ers, having a great front leads to having a great secondary.
18. Miami Dolphins – Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan
I remember last year when interior linemen Garrett Bradbury and Chris Lindstrom went a lot higher than I projected. My bet is we see the same thing here. Ruiz is incredibly sturdy and technically sound. He’s been rising up boards lately, but this is probably the highest you’ll see him go in a mock. This would likely mean newly-signed Ereck Flowers would play outside, but he’d probably end up playing better than Miami’s current tackles anyway. So, watch Ruiz on draft night.
19. Las Vegas Raiders – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
The buzz around Johnson and the Raiders is palpable. Mayock and Gruden definitely love his physicality and instincts. However, the Raiders could trade down here, but they could still easily land Johnson after doing so. The Raiders have a big night ahead, and Johnson could be a part of it.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Gladney is my sleeper pick of this class. He racked up 26 pass deflections in his final two years at TCU along with 3 INT. His arm length is a cool 31 ⅞” and his vertical is 37.5”. He has great feet to boot. He’s the prototype of a great man corner in the NFL. He’s exactly what the Jaguars need with this pick after losing Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
After patching up their secondary, wide receiver is clearly what Philly needs. Reagor didn’t show his speed in the 40-yard dash, but his play speed is off the charts. DeSean Jackson is aging and injury-prone, so the Eagles need a reliable speedster. That’s what Reagor could be in Philadelphia.
22. Minnesota Vikings – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Losing Stefon Diggs really hurt this Vikings offense. Their receiving core was already paper thin, but now they just have Adam Thielen. Kirk Cousins is gonna need another guy who can eat up targets. That’s where Jefferson comes in. He’s reliable (111 receptions last season) and could learn a ton from Thielen. Jefferson isn’t nearly as explosive as Diggs, but I think he’d match Cousins’ play style a bit better. Whether it’s Jefferson, Mims, Reagor, or anyone else, expect Minnesota to grab a new WR2 this draft.
23. New England Patriots – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
It doesn’t look like the Pats are interested in Cam Newton and Jameis Winston, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll roll into next season with their current QB room. Love is worth the risk here because they have another young QB in Jarrett Stidham. My bet would be that Belichick goes into 2020 with Stidham as his man and Love in his back pocket. Love has drawn Patrick Mahomes comparisons and Mahomes sat a year before starting, so could the Patriots do the same with Jordan Love?
24. New Orleans Saints – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The Saints once again have one of the most stacked rosters in the NFL. However, they could use a run-stopping linebacker to stifle the likes of Christian McCaffrey and Todd Gurley in their division. That’s exactly what Queen is. He has great instincts and playmaking ability at the line of scrimmage. Adding Queen would push this unit over the top.
25. Minnesota Vikings – A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa
Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen are out the door, so it’s time for the Vikings to add some new pass rushing talent. Epenesa could either play inside or outside for them, making him an ideal fit in Minnesota. I think he could step into Griffen’s spot immediately.
26. Miami Dolphins – Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
Last draft, Darnell Savage came out of nowhere to be the first safety drafted. Could we see a guy like Winfield vault Grant Delpit and Xavier McKinney? I think so. Winfield’s stock has been rising lately. He had 7 picks last season at Minnesota. He’s the type of guy who’s always in the right place at the right time. He’s also what Miami lost when they traded Minkah Fitzpatrick. It’s a risky pick, but I think we could see Winfield jump into the first round.
27. Seattle Seahawks – Zack Baun, Edge, Wisconsin
Baun is a player that could fill Jadeveon Clowney’s shoes quickly. He does it all from the edge. He racked up 12.5 sacks, 19.5 tackles for loss, and 75 total tackles in his senior season. Him and Clowney are very different in terms of size, but in terms of impact, Baun has the tools to reach Clowney’s level.
28. Baltimore Ravens – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
With Calais Campbell eating up blocks up front, Murray would FEAST in Baltimore. After losing C.J. Mosley, the Ravens have needed a dominant middle linebacker. He’s the playmaker their front 7 needs to become elite.
29. Tennessee Titans – Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
Gallimore has been one of my favorite prospects since early on, and Tennessee would be a great landing spot for him. The Titans lost Jurrell Casey up front, so Gallimore would be a logical replacement for him at defensive tackle. The Titans could also go O-Line here after losing Jack Conklin.
30. Green Bay Packers – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
A 40.0” vert and 33 ½” arm length? Are you serious?? Aiyuk has serious sleeper potential. He’s reliable and has explosive play ability. He’d be a great second option to Davante Adams.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Fulton is a guy who I could see learning a ton from Richard Sherman. He’s more of a man corner than Sherman, but he has the IQ and coverage skills of Sherman. I think he would adapt well to a more zone-oriented scheme in San Francisco.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
Terrell has the size of a standard NFL corner. His only real test came in the national championship against LSU, but he fared better than most think against Ja’Marr Chase. He played well against the best QB and WR in the nation, but he still gets slander for allowing three big catches in that game. Cornerback is a top need for the Chiefs, so expect them to explore the CB class in either the first or second round.
Hope you enjoyed!