2020 NFL mock draft: Eagles snag a top-tier defender
1. Bengals: QB Joe Burrow, LSU
The Bengals are now trying to seem like they’re open to trading this pick but my guess is they end up not overthinking this. They draft the kid who just threw for 5,600-plus yards and 60 touchdowns in a national championship-winning season. Zac Taylor gets his quarterback in Year 2. (All photos USA Today Images)
2. Redskins: Edge Chase Young, Ohio State
Washington has to be really happy that the team in front of them needs a quarterback because Chase Young is going to be an absolute stud. This is just too perfect; he’s the best player in the draft and he is a local kid from Maryland who went to DeMatha Catholic. This is easy.
3. Lions: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
This is where the draft really begins. And Simmons is one of the most exciting players in this class. He’s going to demolish pre-draft testing and has an incredible blend of size/speed. I’m listing him as a linebacker here but he can play multiple positions. For a defensive coach like Matt Patricia, the possibilities with Simmons will seem endless.
4. Giants: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
It’s time for the Giants to get some real help on their OL and that means more than the overpaid Nate Solder. They should have their choice of the top tackle on the board.
5. Dolphins: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
There always seems to be some jockeying for position at the top of the draft and maybe that could happen here. But the three teams in front of the Dolphins don’t need a quarterback, so Miami will have its choice. I think they go with Tua. If the Dolphins need to move up for some reason, they have plenty of ammo with two more first round picks. They’ve gotta get their quarterback.
6. Chargers: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
It’s probably time for the Chargers to finally move on from Philip Rivers. Herbert isn’t without his flaws but he has a big arm and has been pretty accurate during his time at Oregon too. Opinions will be split on him but if the Chargers like him, they shouldn’t hesitate.
7. Panthers: DT Derrick Brown, Auburn
Brown is big and explosive and he’s the type of player Matt Rhule would probably be thrilled to get with the seventh pick. Jeff Okudah should be in play here but it might make more sense to take a defensive lineman with the thought of moving on from Dontari Poe in 2020.
8. Cardinals: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State
If this happens, the Cardinals would probably be pretty happy about it. There are a couple possible landing spots for Okudah before he makes it to 8 but Arizona could find an impressive young corner to learn from Patrick Peterson and then take over for him.
9. Jaguars: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Lamb is probably the best receiver in this draft class. Adding him to D.J. Chark, who had a breakout season in 2019, is an intriguing possibility.
10. Browns: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
Cleveland definitely needs to solidify their offensive line and Wills will start from Day 1. They’ve gotta give Baker Mayfield a chance to have a bounce-back season.
11. Jets: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
The Jets can find a piece to help Sam Darnold in Jeudy, who was once thought to possibly be the best player in this class. Solid two years of production from him at Alabama and Joe Douglas likes college production. He’s a polished player who should be able to help from Day 1.
12. Raiders: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Al Davis has been gone for nearly a decade but speed still matters and the Raiders need some playmakers. Ruggs didn’t have the same production as his teammate Jeudy but he’s more explosive and dynamic.
13. Colts: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
Sometimes when there’s a lot of depth at a position, there’s a run. This is the run. Picking Higgins at 13 might be too high, but it’s an intriguing option. Higgins would be a great big-bodied complement to T.Y. Hilton and Paris Campbell and could make the Colts’ offense dangerous. If they want to move on from Jacoby Brissett, QB Jordan Love could be in play.
14. Buccaneers: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
The Bucs definitely need some help on the OL and Wirfs is a good prospect at guard or tackle. I like an OL for the Bucs; they just need to pick the right one.
15. Broncos: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
The senior from South Carolina is probably going to impress a lot of people with his pre-draft workouts. Meanwhile, the Broncos might need help at DL with Shelby Harris and Derek Wolfe both set to be free agents.
16. Falcons: Edge A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
Yeah, I’m with everyone else. I like this fit. The Falcons need pass-rush help and Epenesa would definitely help. He had a really good career in college and is a high-floor player.
17. Cowboys: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
If the Cowboys can’t re-sign Byron Jones — and even if they can — they should take a long look at Fulton, who was a top corner at one of the best DB schools in the country.
18. Dolphins (via Steelers): Edge Terrell Lewis, Alabama
The Dolphins got their quarterback earlier in the round and now they can go get a guy who sacks the quarterback. Lewis had 11 1/2 sacks in his junior season and at 6-5, 252, he’s a lanky pass rusher who can cause problems for opposing offensive tackles.
19. Raiders (via Bears): LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
After getting a receiver earlier in the round, the Raiders can come back and fill another huge need with a linebacker. They just can’t rely on Vontaze Burfict anymore. Meanwhile, Murray is a modern-day athletic linebacker who had 100-plus tackles in each of his last two seasons and also made big plays in the backfield.
20. Jaguars (via Rams): CB C.J. Henderson, Florida
The Jags need to find a cornerback and Henderson is one of the best in this class.
21. Eagles: S Grant Delpit, LSU
There are still a few intriguing receivers and cornerbacks left but I have the Eagles going with a player who might be the best overall player left on the board. There’s a chance Delpit could go higher than this but he’s the type of player who would fit really well. Rodney McLeod is going to be a free agent and Malcolm Jenkins wants a pay day. Even if Jenkins is back, he’s 32 and the Birds probably need a succession plan. Why not Delpit? He’s 6-3, 202 and is probably the best safety in this class but he does much more. He can play either safety spots, nickel corner, outside corner and can even play linebacker. We’ve seen what Jim Schwartz has been able to do with Jenkins’ versatility and he could do similar things with Delpit.
22. Bills: WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado
Shenault is an exciting player and I like the possibilities with him and a running quarterback like Josh Allen. It’s time to give Allen some help.
23. Patriots: WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
Reagor would be an interesting fit for the Eagles but I think Bill Belichick will find some fun ways to use him. Sure, the Patriots have to figure out this whole quarterback situation — if Brady isn’t back, they could go QB in Round 1— but if Brady is back, give him an exciting new weapon.
24. Saints: CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama
It would be fun to pair Michael Thomas with one of the remaining receivers but two just came off the board. I like the idea of the Saints adding a cornerback to use with Marshon Lattimore for the next few years. They also have Janoris Jenkins and Patrick Robinson but both guys are older and probably past their primes.
25. Vikings: DL Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma
Linval Joseph isn’t getting any younger so the Vikings can find a suitable replacement in the bottom of Round 1. A cornerback would make sense here but the top ones are already off the board.
26. Dolphins (via Texans): OL Mekhi Becton, Louisville
There’s a chance Becton (6-7, 369!) could be long gone by the time the Dolphins are on the clock. If he’s not, they can run this pick in. The Dolphins got their quarterback and now they get someone to protect him. Miami would happily sign up for this first round: Tagovailoa, Lewis and Becton.
27. Seahawks: Edge K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
The Seahawks are going to try to keep Jadeveon Clowney but if they can’t, they should think about replacing him with a talented edge rusher, who had 6 1/2 sacks as a redshirt sophomore in 2019.
28. Ravens: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
I like the idea of getting Lamar Jackson some help and Jefferson is coming off a tremendous college season with the national champions. He had 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2019.
29. Titans: Edge Curtis Weaver, Boise State
The Titans were one win from a Super Bowl so they should take a player who can come in and help immediately. I think Weaver fits that. He had 34 sacks in three seasons at Boise and 47 1/2 TFLs.
30. Packers: WR K.J. Hamler, Penn State
Green Bay needs to give Rodgers another playmaker. This is incredibly the eighth receiver I have in the first round, but it really isn’t that crazy. And Hamler isn’t big (5-9, 176) but he’s quick and can turn short plays into long ones. The Packers could use some of that.
31. Chiefs: CB Bryce Hall, Virginia
The Chiefs already have Juan Thornhill, so they can bring in another Virginia DB to work with him.
32. 49ers: TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame
The 49ers already have arguably the best tight end in the league but they used 12 personnel just 23 percent of the time this season. The Eagles have used a ton of 12 personnel the last couple years and they even drafted Dallas Goedert with a second-round pick when they already had Zach Ertz. This is a similar thought. And because the 49ers are so deep, they don’t have glaring needs. This is a little bit of a luxury pick but could add a dynamic to their offense.