Most people that read my work or follow me know that I typically stick to Ravens football.
Recently, I’ve had more than one request to do a full first-round mock draft. Since there are three short days until Round 1 kicks off, I thought that today would be a good day to do one.
So on the final Mock Draft Monday of the 2020 NFL Season, I present to you my one-and-only full first-round mock draft. There are no trades. I don’t do trades – mostly because the trade value chart almost never coincides with what teams actually have to pay on draft night.
Don’t expect in-depth analysis of each pick. I don’t want a mile-long article. Enjoy.
Pick 1 – Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
I mean, duh.
It would require a ridiculous trade offer to move the Bengals out of the No. 1 overall pick, and honestly, I don’t think one exists.
Pick 2 – Washington Redskins: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
He’s the best overall prospect in the draft, and I’m not sure that it’s particularly close. On draft night, we may see some craziness here – a trade or Tua being taken at two (alliteration!) but for this draft, the obvious pick is the pick.
Pick 3 – Detroit Lions: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Agai.. you get it.
The Lions get the most perfect cornerback prospect to come out of any school in years. And when I say years, I mean at least a decade. This is another spot where we could likely see a trade.
Pick 4 – New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons, Avenger, Clemson
Dave Gettleman has popped off a lot of smoke in an attempt to trigger a trade down, something he’s never done in any round of any draft. Perhaps that’s for one of the top offensive tackles on the board, but I also think he could trade down a few spots and still get Simmons, who is the single most versatile defensive player in the draft.
Pick 5 – Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tua’s medical history doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either, but the Dolphins need an injection of talent and excitement at the quarterback position. Tua does both of those things, and gives the Dolphins a viable option at the position in a now Brady-less division.
Pick 6 – Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
I don’t buy that the Chargers are happy with Tyrod Taylor as their starter heading into the 2020 NFL season.
Herbert seems more their style, with plenty of upside and *enough* athleticism to escape trouble if he needs to.
Pick 7 – Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, iDL, Auburn
There’s a distinct possibility of a trade at this spot, but in this draft the quarterbacks are gone, and Carolina has a big need in the interior defensive line.
Brown is explosive, destructive, and proficient at both the run and pass rush. Let him wreak havoc on Tom Brady.
Pick 8 – Arizona Cardinals: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
The big guy who ‘loves food more than he loves football’ gets to stay a Cardinal, and Arizona gets to protect their potential lawn-gnome sized franchise quarterback.
Round One, Pick 9 – Jacksonville Jaguars: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
The Jaguars are a franchise in.. flux. Actually, that’s being nice. Let’s call it what it is – dysfunctional.
You may remember them trading with the Rams(ey). As such, they have a dire need at the cornerback position. Some people (not smart people) have Henderson as CB1. Yes, over Jeffrey Okudah.
The Jaguars, not being smart, go ahead and use that as validation to take him ninth overall.
Pick 10 – Cleveland Browns: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The gulf between the four top offensive tackles is minimal at best, and Cleveland has a gaping void where tackle is concerned. In an effort to keep their hot-and-cold ‘franchise’ quarterback upright, they make the smart decision here. Shocker, I know. (Second-most dysfunctional franchise in 2020, by the way.)
Pick 11 – New York (Jersey) Jets (Jests): Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Another bad team, another bad offensive line. The Jets are the worst team in New York, and their offensive line is a big part of that. The 1C offensive tackle should help with that.
Pick 12 – Las Vegas Raiders: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Jon Gruden will salivate at the thought of having his pick of the top three wideouts in this draft, but will ultimately go with the most well-rounded playmaker at the position. CeeDee Lamb will suffer with Derek Carr at quarterback, and everybody will question their choice. Life goes on.
Pick 13 – San Francisco 49ers: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Back-to-back wideouts. Only because I’m thoroughly convinced that the 49ers move down from this spot in an effort to recoup some Day 2 and/or Day 3 picks.
If they don’t? Jerry Jeudy isn’t a bad pick for an offense that went to the Super Bowl in 2019.
Pick 14 – Tompa Brady Buccaneers: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Gotta protect your $30M, 100-year-old quarterback so he can toss the 7-yard out to Mike Evans.
Pick 15 – Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
There have been rumors of the Broncos moving up to take Ruggs. In this scenario, they get him at 15th overall. My only problem with this is that Joe Flacco hasn’t gotten to play with a good wide receiver since Steve Smith, Sr.
Pick 16 – Atlanta Failcons: Javon Kinlaw, iDL, South Carolina
The Falcons are another team rumored to be looking to move up, but they have a need within the defensive line, and Kinlaw takes care of that problem immediately.
Pick 17 – Dallas Cowboys: Patrick Queen, iLB, LSU
The Cowboys need an inside linebacker. They’re rumored to likely move down in the first round in order to take an inside linebacker. They’re rumored to be enamored with Patrick Queen.
Now they have Patrick Queen. The NFL may have devalued inside linebackers, but Uncle Jerry is old-school. He’d absolutely take iLB2 at 17th overall if it came down to it.
Pick 18 – Miami Dolphins: De’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Miami Dolphins in rushing in 2019.
That’s it. That’s the explanation.
Pick 19 – Las Vegas Raiders.. again: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Raiders need a lot of help at various positions. One of those positions is cornerback. Enter Kristian Fulton, who excels in press-man. Enter the Raiders, who have a secondary that doesn’t excel at press-man even though they run it a majority of the time.
Pick 20 – Jacksonville Jaguars.. again: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Count me among the people who don’t view McKinney as a clear first-round pick. But then, I think he’s better than Delpit, who other people think is a first-round pick.
Either way, the Jags need help in the secondary (I feel like a broken record) and McKinney helps solidify the back end of a team in a full-rebuild.
Pick 21 – Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Eagles are bordering on talentless at the wide receiver position, and Jefferson is the kind of top-end do-it-all talent that Carson Wentz will put to good use – when he’s healthy.
Pick 22 – Minnesota Vikings: Cesar Ruiz, iOL, Michigan
The Vikings were a playoff team in 2019, but their offensive line showed some holes throughout the whole season – and not the kind for Dalvin Cook to run through. Cesar Ruiz can line up at center or either guard position, the clear-cut iOL1.
Pick 23 – NEW England Patriots: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
I’m not sure that the Patriots don’t trade up or down, in order to grab a quarterback after the departure of Tom Brady, but YGM seems like very much a Bill Belichick guy. Strong, relentless, intelligent, and versatile.
Pick 24 – New Orleans Saints: Kenneth Murray, iLB, Oklahoma
The Saints need an inside linebacker in a bad way, but they’ve missed out on their own college ‘backer. K9 is a nice consolation prize on a team that doesn’t have many holes.
Pick 25 – Minnesota Vikings.. again: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
I’m just now realizing how many teams have multiple first-round picks.
Diggs has an outside shot to go in the first round, and while it would be very ironic for the Vikings to trade one Diggs and draft another, it also makes sense when you look at the lack of talent/reliability that they have at the cornerback position.
Pick 26 – Miami Dolphins.. for the last time: Josh Jones, OT, Houston
The Dolphins have their quarterback and running back of the future (hopefully), so they need to fix their offensive line in order to use them effectively. Josh Jones is the best remaining tackle on the board, the top of that second tier.
Pick 27 – Seattle Seahawks: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Count me among the people that don’t think Reagor should go in the first round. However, he’s had enough first-round hype that including him makes sense, and the landing spot makes even more sense, on a team that boasts DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, and.. nobody else. Seattle likes their speed at wideout, and Reagor has it in spades.
Pete Carroll hopes he didn’t *drop the ball* on this pick.
Pick 28 – Baltimore Ravens: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
I promise you, I didn’t mean for this to happen. I didn’t mean to give myself (and a lot of other fans) hope.
The more I think about it, the more I think Chaisson’s limited production/tape can shove him down to 28. It’s still slightly unrealistic. But in this scenario, the Ravens have a stud EDGE guy fall into their laps.
Check out his scouting report here.
Pick 29 – Tennessee Titans: Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
Count me among the people that don’t think Zack Baun is a first-round talent. But, since we’re near the end of the round, it’s that time where teams will take ‘their guy’ if they don’t think that they’ll be there when they pick the next time.
I think the Titans like the versatility of Baun, and he would complement the newly acquired/recently struggling Vic Beasley.
Pick 30 – Green Bay Packers: Laviska Shenault, Jr, WR, Colorado
Shenault is extremely versatile, and with an assumed clean bill of health, his upside is unreal. The Packers need an influx of talent at the wide receiver position, with their second-leading wide receiver being Aaron Jones.. a running back.
Pick 31 – San Francisco 49ers: Ross Blacklock, iDL, TCU
After the departure through trade of DeForest Buckner, the 49ers could use a new interior defensive lineman, and of the top three left, I think Blacklock fits what they want to do.
This is another spot that we could see the Niners try to trade back from, but until they do, I’m giving them some desperately needed (el oh el) defensive help.
Pick 32 – Kansas City Chiefs: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
Sure, Chibs. Let’s make a conference rival’s lethal offense even better.
The Chiefs need help at corner, offensive line, and a couple of defensive pieces, but a sneaky need for them is running back. J.K. Dobbins fits that offensive scheme well enough that I couldn’t pass on him no matter how much the fan base annoys me on Twitter.
That’s it, folks. You won’t see another 32-team mock draft from me for approximately a year. Be sure to tell me why your team would never draft _______ at __nd overall. I’m here for the hate!