2020 NFL mock draft: Projected first-round picks before combine
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Underwear Olympics NFL Scouting Combine is here. Prospects will rise and fall on draft boards because of the size of their hands, how fast they run in compression shorts and how well they move around bags.
Makes sense, right?
Here's where things stand before the combine, with plenty of changes since our last update.
NBC Sports Bay Area's Josh Schrock and Dalton Johson alternated picks in their latest 2020 mock draft. No trades were allowed and more than a few not-so-family-friendly phrases were dropped when certain gems were swiped off the board.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow
Until he pulls an Eli Manning, Joe Burrow will be a Bengal. --Dalton Johnson
2. Washington: Chase Young
School: Ohio State
Wsahington might entertain a trade, but they'd have to be overwhelmed to not take the best player in the draft. -- Josh Schrock
3. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah
School: Ohio State
The No. 3 pick has trade written all over it. But that's not allowed here.
If Darius Slay really is on the block, Okudah can come in right away and be a shut-down corner. --DJ
4. New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons
Simmons is versatile, athletic and built for the modern NFL. The Giants might want to take an offensive lineman, but Simmons is too good to pass up. --JS
5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa
Tua's future comes down to his medicals after dislocating his hip this year, but the once-in-a-generation QB is too good to pass up if there are no red flags. So far, there haven't been.
That will be the talk of the combine, and teams could be putting their chips on the table to trade up. --DJ
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert
There are questions about Herbert's leadership. That's absurd. There are no questions about his physical tools. He's got a bazooka attached to his right arm and is deceptively fast. The Eugene, Or., kid is headed to SoCal. The Chargers are set at QB for the next 10-15 years. --JS
7. Carolina Panthers: Jedrick Wills Jr.
It's a new era in Carolina with Matt Rhule and Joe Brady running the show. Whoever their QB is, they need to protect him. Wills is a great pass-blocking tackle, who thrived playing on the right side for the Crimson Tide. --DJ
8. Arizona Cardinals: Mekhi Becton
It's going to be hard for Kyler Murray to dazzle if he's always picking himself off the turf. At 6-foot-7, 368 pounds, Bechton is a mountain of a left tackle. He's powerful, strong, has nimble feet and great length. Operation Keep Kyler Alive is in full swing in the desert. --JS
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown
Brown can be a dominant player with his size, power and athleticism. The Jags could have a scary D-line of Brown, Yannick Ngakoue, Josh Allen and Calais Campbell. --DJ
10. Cleveland Browns: Andrew Thomas
The Browns needed a new tackle before Greg Robinson was gaffled up at the border with 157 pounds (!) of marijuana. The Browns will draft Thomas and move on from Robinson. Thomas is a dominant run blocker, and can be a solid left tackle if he improves his balance. --JS
11. New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb
The Jets need to protect Sam Darnold and could go offensive line here. But CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy will be awfully enticing. Unless he's stuck in the dirt again, Darnold will love this pick. --DJ
12. Raiders: Jerry Jeudy
Now that I'm finished burning down the office after Dalton snaked CeeDee from the Silver and Black, let's talk about Julio Jones 2.0. Because that's who the Raiders just drafted.
Jeudy is an elite route runner with great burst and awareness. He's great at using his speed and hands to beat press coverage. He's elusive after the catch and should put up elite numbers almost immediately. --JS
13. Indianapolis Colts: Javon Kinlaw
School: South Carolina
Kinlaw dominated Senior Bowl practice before realizing he's too good and didn't want to risk an injury. The 6-6, 310-pounder had 15 tackles for loss and 10 sacks the last two seasons.
His upside is through the roof, and he has one of the best stories in the draft. --DJ
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jordan Love
School: Utah State
From one big-armed quarterback who makes questionable decisions with the ball to another. The Jameis Winston era is done, but Jordan Love gives Bruce Arians a high-upside QB to mold the way he wants. --JS
15. Denver Broncos: Tristan Wirfs
The Broncos have their running backs in Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman. They have an exciting young receiver in Courtland Sutton. And John Elway might have actually found his future QB in Drew Lock.
Go protect Lock with Wirfs, who looks the part of a prototypical NFL offensive tackle. --DJ
16. Atlanta Falcons: K'Lavon Chaisson
The ceiling, should Chaisson be able to reach it, is in outerspace. He's got dominant physical traits and can be an elite pass rusher if he's molded from athlete to football player. --JS
17. Dallas Cowboys: Xavier McKinney
A speedy receiver like Henry Ruggs could be the play here, but we went with another Alabama product. McKinney can do a bit of everything from the secondary and fits a huge need for Dallas. --DJ
18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers): Henry Ruggs
Tua meet Henry. Henr -- Oh, you already know each other. The Dolphins pair their franchise quarterback with one of his favorite targets from college. Ruggs is destined to be a combine star with all the speed of a cheetah with a rocket strapped to him. --JS
19. Raiders (via Chicago Bears): Patrick Queen
We have hammered this over and over again. The Raiders have two huge needs in this draft: Receiver and linebacker. The Silver and Black grabbed their WR1 in Jeudy with the No. 12 pick and go linebacker seven spots later.
Queen had 85 tackles -- 12 for loss -- and three sacks as a junior, but it's his coverage ability that has him rising up rankings. The Raiders badly need that at linebacker. Queen is their man. --DJ
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): Kristian Fulton
The Jaguars need to replace Jalen Ramsey and Fulton should be up to task. While he lacks elite speed, Fulton is great in coverage and tough when defending the run. He's smart, fluid and competitive. A perfect piece for the rebuilding Jags. --JS
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson
That's three straight players from LSU. Yeah, that team was loaded with talent.
The Eagles badly need help at receiver and Jefferson was a star this past season for Burrow and the Tigers. --DJ
22. Buffalo Bills: A.J. Epenesa
Size, strength and effort. That's what you need to know about Epenesa. He's got a variety of moves and should be a reliable 10-sack player. Look out, AFC East. --JS
23. New England Patriots: Tee Higgins
Tell Tom Brady you'll go after someone like A.J. Green in free agency and take advantage of a stacked draft class for receivers. No matter what, the Pats need help on the outside.
Higgins is a jump-ball specialist who plays faster explosive than his straight-line speed. --DJ
24. New Orleans Saints: A.J. Terrell
Terrell is a great cover corner who uses his hands better than anyone in this class. He's long, rangy, fluid and effective in a number of coverages. Putting Terrell opposite Marshon Lattimore is a no-brainer. --JS
25. Minnesota Vikings: Austin Jackson
Riley Reiff is entering the final year of his deal. Jackson should provide depth from Day 1 but could be even more right away. He's light on his feet at 310 pounds, and could possibly play either side of the line. --DJ
26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans): D'Andre Swift
How do you rebuild an offense with three first-round picks? You take a franchise quarterback, dynamic WR and the draft's best running back. These aren't the same old Dolphins anymore. --JS
27. Seattle Seahawks: Zack Baun
The Seahawks need to address both their linebackers and pass rush. Baun helps in both areas. He had 75 tackles -- 19.5 for loss -- 12.5 sacks and two forced fumbles as a senior. --DJ
28. Baltimore Ravens: Brandon Aiyuk
School: Arizona State
Aiyuk is skyrocketing up draft boards and he's only going to climb higher. After registering an 80-inch wingspan at the combine, Aiyuk will have teams salivating at the thought of adding him to their offense.
He's strong, physical and great after the catch. Lamar Jackson has a new weapon. --JS
29. Tennessee Titans: Kenneth Murray
Murray seems like a plug-and-play guy right away. He's someone who can lead a defense for years to come. The Titans could look at cornerback or even a running back here, but for now, Murray makes sense. --DJ
30. Green Bay Packers: Laviska Shenault
Davante Adams can't be asked to do it all. In order to take advantage of Aaron Rodgers' last years, the Packers take perhaps the most athletic guy in the class.
Shenault is electric with the ball in his hands. He's physical and runs through tacklers. He'll contribute right away. --JS
31. 49ers: Grant Delpit
The combine could be huge for Delpit. He entered his junior season as a consensus top prospect but was hampered by injuries and missed way too many tackles last season. When healthy, however, he's one of the best players on the field.
Delpit has a bit of Derwin James in him and Robert Saleh would have a lot of fun with him. A handful of cornerbacks and receivers make sense here. Delpit is just too good to pass up. --DJ
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Ross Blacklock
The Chiefs have a decision to make with Chris Jones. They can franchise him, pay him a massive contract or trade him. If Jones and the Chiefs split this year or down the road, KC will need someone to fill the void.
Blacklock is an explosive defensive tackle, who's first move jolts linemen back. He has some durability concerns but he is a special talent. --JS