NFL mock draft 2020: Eagles trade up to land a stud wide receiver
It's NFL draft night! In our final first-round mock draft, the Eagles trade up for a wide receiver — one of several projected swaps — and he's a fan favorite. Plus, Tua Tagovailoa falls out of the top five, while the Patriots make a bold power play for a surprise quarterback with the Cowboys' help.
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1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The Bengals reportedly spent the maximum allowed time talking to the Heisman Trophy winner during the pre-draft process. Doesn't sound like the Dolphins will be coming over the top with a trade offer, either. Cincinnati has lacked a true franchise quarterback for a decade, and Burrow is coming off the most prolific season by a passer in college football history.
2. Washington: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Ron Rivera is looking for "that high-impact guy ... that's going to come in and really change our football team." Jack Del Rio said: "It all starts for us with the penetrative, disruptive defensive linemen" like Von Miller. Widely considered the best prospect in the draft, Young is in that mold with 21 tackles for loss, 17 sacks and 7 forced fumbles last season as a junior.
3. Detroit Lions: Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
This is where things get interesting. The Lions reportedly have had discussions with teams about trading down. They are portrayed as motivated to move back. The trouble is Tua Tagovailoa's stock sounds as though it's fallen, so who are teams jumping up to get? If Detroit stays put, the 6-foot-5, 326-pound Brown can become the keystone of its defense.
4. New York Giants: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Another team that will "seriously entertain" a trade out of the top five, in the words of Dave Gettleman, though he too may have trouble finding suitors. The Giants are certainly a lot better at sending smokescreens, having been linked to numerous prospects at 4. Ultimately, the coaching staff's Alabama ties means the logical fit is Wills, also the top tackle in his class.
5. Miami Dolphins: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
There are numerous signs the Dolphins may be scared off by Tua Tagovailoa's injuries, while either Justin Herbert, Jordan Love or both could be available later. What good is a franchise quarterback if he's not protected anyway? There's plenty of debate over how the tackles are ranked, but Miami likes Thomas, a Day 1 starter on either the left or right side.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
Tom Telesco sits back and gets his man, winning the draft's misinformation war. Yes, Tagovailoa's medical history is a real concern, but he's arguably most talented quarterback in his class. The Chargers like Tyrod Taylor in the short-term, it's just not realistic to believe he's the future. Tagovailoa can sit for a year and still be the team's most marketable star.
7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
The Panthers appear to be in a win-win situation, as at least one of Brown, Jeff Okudah or Simmons is almost certain to be on the board at 7. Their defense needs help, and while a big body up front might have been the preference, Simmons is a truly unique player -- a versatile, do-it-all defender with with elite athletic traits.
8. TRADE -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Cardinals might be able to squeeze more out of Atlanta for this pick, but don't drop as far back in the first round under this scenario. Plus, Steve Keim and Jason Licht go way back. Arizona doesn't wrangle a second-round pick, but adds firepower for this year and next, while the Bucs get the right tackle they so desperately need to protect Tom Brady in Wirfs.
9. TRADE -- Atlanta Falcons: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
Sometimes where there's smoke, there really is fire. The Falcons are no strangers to moving up, their need at corner is glaring and Henderson's stock has risen since running a sub-4.4 40 at the combine. Meanwhile, the Jags are loading up to make a run at a franchise quarterback in the next year or two, so they're happy to add picks -- maybe even next year's first.
10. TRADE -- Las Vegas Raiders: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
While Okudah's tape shows a shutdown corner, a mediocre combine could cause him to slip. Were that to happen, the Raiders could leap two spots, in front of the Jets, to steal a talent many consider one of the top overall prospects in the draft. Las Vegas still has another first-round pick remaining, and the Browns, as always, are happy to stock up on draft capital.
11. New York Jets: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Receiver is a huge need, but Joe Douglas wants to build a team that wins in the trenches. Becton is the last of the remaining top tackles, and the most physically impressive of the bunch, running a 5.1 40 at 6-foot-7, 364 pounds. The Jets probably do like Henry Ruggs III, but how much of their interest was in tempting Howie Roseman to trade up?
12. TRADE -- Denver Broncos: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Did Denver really need to get all the way up to 8, or even 10? Maybe not. Cleveland is moving back again, and the Broncos will want jump ahead of the 49ers to ensure their choice of wideouts -- reportedly Jeudy, who racked up 145 catches for 2,478 yards and 24 touchdowns over his final two seasons and was named best receiver in the nation in 2018.
13. San Francisco 49ers: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The 49ers need to maximize Jimmy Garoppolo, so while a DeForest Buckner replacement might make sense here, the offense needs firepower. Lamb didn't run the greatest at the combine, but he's a big target at 6-foot-2 and still managed to average 19.0 yards per reception with 32 touchdowns in three collegiate seasons.
14. TRADE -- Arizona Cardinals: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
The gamble swapping with the Bucs pays off. Steve Keim breathes a sigh of relief when the 49ers pass on Kinlaw, leaving a 6-foot-5, 324-pound disruptor with 10.0 sacks and 15.0 tackles for loss over the past two seasons. He shouldn't be here, but he is, and is the type of prospect who can help transform the Cardinals' suspect defense overnight.
15. TRADE -- Philadelphia Eagles: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
The Browns move back for the third and final time, as Andrew Berry swings a deal with his old boss. It's no secret the Eagles need a wide receiver -- Alshon Jeffery is injured and possibly on the trade block and DeSean Jackson turns 34 in December. And if Howie Roseman learned anything from watching the Chiefs win it all this year, having a fleet of speedy receivers who can stretch defenses vertically can benefit even the best quarterback in the league. The Birds pay the price for Ruggs' 4.27 speed and never think twice about it.
On the Clock: Henry Ruggs III could make an instant impact with the Eagles
16. TRADE -- Jacksonville Jaguars: K'Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU
This isn't just a rebuild of a roster, though Yannick Ngakoue will be just the latest high-end talent the Jaguars will have to replace once he's dealt. It's also the the rebuild of a culture. Chaisson is a lift in both departments, as he combines Pro Bowl pass rush potential with high character and intelligence. Plus, Jacksonville has whatever picks the Falcons surrendered.
17. TRADE -- New England Patriots: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
It won't surprise anybody the Patriots are selecting a quarterback, or even trading up ahead of Miami to do it -- but Love over Herbert? There are rumblings the Dolphins are "intrigued" by Love, and his potential availability would be part of any gambit to skip a QB in the tip 5. He's a better fit for Bill Belichick than Herbert though.
18. Miami Dolphins: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Dolphins' attempts to move back into the top 15 were unsuccessful, so Herbert is the consolation prize. That's OK. With all the homework they've done and on all the mock drafts indicating he could go as high as third overall, Miami will be able to sell this as the plan all along -- even if fans will be disappointed by any name other than Tua.
19. Las Vegas Raiders: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
No doubt Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden would've liked to nab one of the big three receivers, but Jefferson is no slouch. Often mistaken for a slot receiver, he's plenty fast and knows how to get open, busting out in 2019 with 111 catches for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns. Not a bad weapon to come away with considering the Raiders stole Okudah.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The Jaguars traded themselves out of one of the top two cornerbacks, but McKinney might be the next best thing. Though listed as a safety, he's a ballhawk with cornerback instincts and the ability to cover zone or man-to-man. He's a leader as well, which Jacksonville could use to erase the bad vibes of the last two seasons and get through another lean year ahead.
21. TRADE -- Cleveland Browns: Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
We know the Browns like stocking up on draft picks, and we're hearing multiple reports they love this kid. If they were already going to settle for the fourth-best tackle on the board, why not move down and get the fifth, plus a bunch of additional mid-round picks? Some will call this a reach, but there's always a premium on the position.
22. Minnesota Vikings: Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
An interior lineman graded in the 20s? This kid already has Minnesota written all over him. Seriously though, the Vikings defense needs to be rebuilt after a devastating offseason of defections, and it starts in the middle. Blacklock has the agility and quickness at 6-foot-3, 290 pounds to become a disruptive force on the interior.
23. TRADE -- Dallas Cowboys: Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan
Some picks simply make too much sense. With the sudden retirement of five-time Pro Bowler Travis Frederick, the Cowboys need a new center. It's such an important position, they may even pull the trigger at 17 in lieu of a trade partner. Fortunately for Dallas, the Patriots wanted up, so the pick doesn't look like as much of a reach here.
24. New Orleans Saints: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
New Orleans isn't exactly hurting for receivers with Mike Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. Then again, the roster isn't hurting for much at all. Reagor is just one more weapon at Drew Brees' disposal, a quick-twitch receiver who can act as a safety valve underneath, where he can turn an easy pitch-and-catch into a big gain.
25. TRADE -- Kansas City Chiefs: D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Don't expect the Chiefs to be satisfied having one Super Bowl. The team doesn't need much, with most of its starters returning, but imagine how much more dangerous they are with a true three-down back. Swift can run between the tackles, catch the ball out of the backfield and has the explosion to hit the home run. Vikings move back
26. Miami Dolphins: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Running back will have to wait now, though it's possible a chess piece for the secondary would intrigue Miami here anyway. Delpit has defensive back speed in a near-linebacker body at 6-foot-2, 213 pounds. He can hit, he can cover, be can blitz and he can line up all over the back end of the defense.
27. Seattle Seahawks: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
Yes, the Seahawks almost always trade down. The trouble is there are a bunch of team at the end of Round 1 that would like to move back. Plus, with Jadeveon Clowney looking like he's blowing town, Seattle could use another edge rusher. Gross-Matos has annual double-digit sack totals written all over him if he develops.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
It's very possible the Ravens trade up for get a linebacker, being that they have numerous selections in Rounds 2, 3 and 4. A receiver is possible too. If they wait though, that linebacker could wind up falling right in their lap, as it's not a premium position. Queen is the replacement for C.J. Mosley the defense lacked last season.
29. Tennessee Titans: Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin
The Titans might like to trade out of here and could generate some interest from a receiver-needy team. However, should they stay put, there's a big boost for the pass rush off the edge waiting. Baun is a tad undersized, but racked up 12.5 sacks a season ago, so he knows how to get to the passer.
30. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
Time is growing shorter by the year with Aaron Rodgers, and besides Davante Adams, the cupboard looks a little bare at receiver. You saw how that went when Adams got hurt. Aiyuk has the ability to take the top off a defense and is a dangerous after the catch. Not only that, he gives Green Bay a legit return specialist.
31. TRADE -- Los Angeles Chargers: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
With Tagovailoa in the bag, now the Chargers need to keep him healthy. They can wait for the next group of tackles in Round 2, but that's a risk not worth taking with an injury-prone franchise quarterback. The 49ers want out, and Jackson had the pedigree and physical traits to play on the left side at the next level.
32. TRADE -- Minnesota Vikings: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Restocking the depleted defense continues, as cornerback was hit just as hard as the line of scrimmage. Diggs is a big, physical corner at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds and the immediate starter Minnesota needs. Then again, you could just as easily the Vikings have to fill holes at wide receiver and defensive end, too.