2020 NFL Mock Draft 12.0: Pre-Scouting Combine edition
2020 NFL Mock Draft 12.0
The NFL Scouting Combine begins next week, a major event for NFL Draft prospects to either boost or lower their stock.
Our latest mock draft is full of quarterbacks, wide receivers and edge rushers looking to stand out next week in Indianapolis.
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1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow
Notes: The Bengals grab the 2019 Heisman winner with the top overall pick. The Bengals need a fresh start at QB after years of Andy Dalton and a horrid three-game stint from 2019 rookie Ryan Finlay.
Joe Burrow has been amazing this year and will be the face of the franchise from day one. His accuracy and pocket awareness skills are some of the best from a collegiate QB in recent memory.
He’s coming off arguably the greatest season ever by a college QB, finishing the season with 65 total TDs (60 passing/five rushing). Burrow has a long successful NFL career ahead of him.
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young
School: Ohio State
Notes: Chase Young is a stud and the greatest talent in this class. The Redskins are lucky to get him here at No. 2 since the Bengals need a QB.
Young is a transcendent talent, he is an absolute monster off the edge indicative of his school-record 16.5 sacks. Young is a game wrecker that has the potential to be in the same class of the Von Millers and Khalil Macks of the world.
Chase Young and last year’s first-rounder Montez Sweat should strike fear in opponents coming off the edge for years to come.
3. Detroit Lions: Jeffrey Okudah
School: Ohio State
Notes: No. 3 overall is really high for a cornerback, but if you saw what Okudah did in the College Football Playoff semifinal vs. Clemson against guys like Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross, you see he’s worthy of the selection.
His length and man coverage skills were on full display when the lights were the brightest. His game resembles All-Pro Jalen Ramsey to me and he would form a devastating duo with Pro Bowler Darius Slay.
4. New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons
Notes: New York gets one of the best and most versatile defenders in the 2020 class at No. 4 overall.
I love Simmons’ potential and that he can play literally anywhere. He lines up at linebacker, in the slot, and at single-high safety. He displayed great range on an interception in the College Football Playoff semifinals that shows he's not a normal “LB”.
5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa
Notes: I know this is a controversial pick right now considering his recent serious hip injury, but if all his medicals check out, he’s a top 5 pick.
This selection also has to do with the fact that Burrow and Tua are way above the next batch of QBs in this draft. Tagovailoa is one of the best QB prospects in recent memory due to his anticipation, deep ball, and pocket movement ability.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert
Notes: Los Angeles finds its successor for Philip Rivers with this selection. I think this is a great situation for him because he can sit the year behind Rivers or Tyrod Taylor.
Herbert has an ideal frame and the physical ability to be a solid NFL QB. He’s inconsistent at times and a little raw so his new team will need to be patient with him.
7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown
Notes: Derrick Brown is a beast who I feel like isn’t talked about as much as other top prospects but he belongs in the conversation for sure.
He’s a standout run stuffer who can also be a productive pass rusher due to his power/speed combo and devastating bull rush move. He’ll fit in nicely on a Carolina defense that has been weak against the run this year.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills
Notes: Jedrick Wills has really shot up draft boards in the last few months. I think he’s in contention with Andrew Thomas to be the first tackle off the board.
Sam Darnold and the Jets need a quality left tackle in the worst way, and I think Wills could solve that issue. Wills has played mostly on the right side in his career but his skill set will translate easily to the left side due to his athleticism and sound technique.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Javon Kinlaw
School: South Carolina
The Jaguars might need to go through some defensive line reconstruction this offseason due to the high cap numbers of Calais Campbell and Marcell Dareus. Selecting the South Carolina d-lineman will help them replace some of that production lost.
Javon Kinlaw is one of my favorite defensive players in this 2020 class. He plays with an endless motor and severe ferocity. Just ask the Georgia Bulldogs if you don’t believe me.
His stock is only going to keep soaring after a Senior Bowl week where he showed enough in two days of practice to shut it down for the week.
10. Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton
Notes: The Browns had a woeful offensive line this year, so they go with the high upside left tackle prospect here in Mekhi Becton.
Mekhi Becton is absolutely massive at 6-foot-7, 370 lbs. but don’t let the size fool you, because he looks like a dancing bear on film. He dominates defenders in the run game and has experience at both tackle positions.
Becton can be the long-term answer to the Browns’ tackle problems.
11: New York Jets: Andrew Thomas
Notes: Left tackle has been a problem spot in New York for years now. The team needs a quality one to help with the development of young QB Sam Darnold.
Thomas can be a plug and play starter for the next 5-10 years at LT. He’s still a little raw but if his natural skills are unlocked he’ll be a Pro Bowler. Hopefully, Adam Gase and the staff can get it out of him.
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy
Notes: The Raiders get arguably the top wideout in this class to help provide what they thought they were getting in Antonio Brown at pick No. 12.
Jerry Jeudy’s route running ability is some of the best you will ever see from a college player. His separation skills are unreal and he can get open against any type of coverage. He’s a very smart player who knows how to set up his man and find the open areas in zone coverage.
Jeudy will be a key piece for whoever is behind center in Las Vegas.
13. Indianapolis Colts: CeeDee Lamb
Notes: The Colts could go QB here but I don’t know if there are any worthy of pick No. 13. This team needs weapons. There are no real impact players outside of T.Y. Hilton, whom himself has durability questions.
That’s why selecting an explosive guy like Ceedee Lamb makes perfect sense. Lamb is one of my favorite WR prospects in this class with the way he competes, run routes, and attacks the ball in the air.
We’ve seen what his former college teammate Marquise Brown is doing for the Ravens so far and I think Lamb makes a similar impact from day one in the league.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Grant Delpit
Notes: The Bucs could go QB here but I don’t think Bruce Arians wants to start over at signal-caller at this stage of his career so look for them to explore free agency or even give Winston another shot.
Tampa Bay has had safety problems for years now. By selecting All-American Grant Delpit they finally put those issues to bed.
Delpit can thrive playing single-high safety and in the box. He’s a complete safety in the mold of his fellow LSU alumni Jamal Adams.
15. Denver Broncos: Tristan Wirfs
Notes: Current left tackle Garrett Bolles has been a bust since being a first-rounder a few years back, and with the way rookie QB Drew Lock finished the 2019 season, the Broncos need to set him up for success.
Tristan Wirfs can be the blindside protector Lock needs due to good movement skills and the strength to hold up against a variety of rushers at the next level.
16. Atlanta Falcons: K'Lavon Chaisson
Notes: The Falcons need to get the impact rusher they thought they were getting in guys like Takk McKinley and Vic Beasley. After those failed attempts, drafting the LSU pass rusher can help provide the impact the team has long desired.
Chaisson can be a double-digit sack type of player from year one for the NFC South club. He impressed in the College Football Playoff vs. Oklahoma with constant pressure and two-sack performance.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Xavier McKinney
Notes: Jeff Heath is a serviceable player but a guy like Xavier McKinney can take a defense that already has a solid set of pieces to an even higher level.
McKinney can cover the slot and hold his own against the run, he’s the prototypical safety prospect for today’s NFL.
18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh): A.J. Epenesa
Notes: The Dolphins could use some pass-rushing help to take this Brian Flores led defense to another level.
Epenesa has been an impact rusher since day one at Iowa and I expect him to continue that at the next level due to his size and pass-rushing moves. I think he has the best bull-rushing moves in his class.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago): C.J. Henderson
Notes: The Raiders have a solid starter in rookie cornerback Trayvon Mullen but they need someone on the other side to compete in a division that has Patrick Mahomes.
C.J. Henderson has some of the best ball skills in the class and has the potential to be a true No. 1 corner. I really like this pick for a team that needs a strong off-season with a move to a new city.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles): Kristian Fulton
Notes: All LSU does is produce impact NFL defensive backs. The Jaguars need to replace what they lost in All-Pro CB Jalen Ramsey and Fulton provides them with that.
The preseason All-American is a baller that excels in press-man to man coverage and would be a welcome addition to Duval County.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Henry Ruggs III
Notes: The Eagles need more weapons for Carson Wentz. They relied on a former college QB as their No. 1 receiver for the last half of the season.
Henry Ruggs III will be the fastest WR at the combine with the ability to run a full route tree. He can score from anywhere on the field at any time.
Ruggs will resemble what Desean Jackson was for the team in the early 2010s with his game-breaking tendencies.
22. Buffalo Bills: Tee Higgins
Notes: Josh Allen has accuracy issues so he needs playmakers that have a wide catch radius, Higgins is just that. A jump ball specialist along with being a beast after the catch. Just another impact WR in the long line of them out of Clemson.
Higgins didn’t have the College Football Playoff some expected due to injuries and a tough LSU secondary, but you can see the talent he brings to the NFL on his impressive long touchdown run in the championship.
23. New England Patriots: Curtis Weaver
School: Boise State
Notes: The Patriots could easily go with a QB here like Utah State’s Jordan Love or Georgia’s Jake Fromm, but I think it’s too early in the process to make that assertion just yet.
For those reasons, New England goes with a talented pass rusher at pick 23. Curtis Weaver is a strong and explosive edge rusher who can flat out get to the passer, which is shown in his 34 career sacks in three seasons. With a nice combine, he can lock down a spot in the top 20.
24. New Orleans Saints: Justin Jefferson
Notes: The Saints have the best wide receiver in the game right now in Michael Thomas. He finished with nearly 120 more receptions than the receiver with the second-most on the team (149 to Ted Ginn’s 30). Thus, the team needs more depth and talent at WR so they go with Justin Jefferson with this selection.
.Jefferson has been one of the biggest risers since the year started.
He can play all three WR spots but is especially dangerous from the slot. I like how he finds ways to get open no matter the coverage, he has a really good feel/instincts for the game.
His 227-yard and four-touchdown performance in the College Football Playoff semi-finals vs. Oklahoma has solidified his first-round status.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Jones
Notes: The Vikings love to pound the rock with Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook and getting a versatile guy like Josh Jones will help them continue to do that.
Jones is a mammoth of a prospect at 6-foot-7 who will succeed at the next level due to his unlimited yet raw physical skills. He’s an experienced player who should be able to start on either side from Day 1.
26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston): D'Andre Swift
Notes: The Dolphins get their new QB a new weapon in this Georgia running back. D’Andre Swift is a dynamic player who could be Miami’s most talented rusher since Ricky Williams.
He’s a gifted one-cut runner who is also a real threat as a pass-catcher out of the backfield. Swift will be a nice piece added to an already up-and-coming young offense.
27. Seattle Seahawks: Yetur Gross-Matos
School: Penn State
Notes: Jadeveon Clowney might be headed elsewhere in free agency so the team goes with the Virginia native Gross-Matos to help replace his production.
Gross-Matos shows up every time you turn on the film as a guy that has a wide array of moves and finishes plays. He had 17.5 sacks over the last two years and could be a steal this late in the first round.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray
Notes: Oklahoma has a Murray drafted in the first round for the second straight year. This year’s Murray has been balling out all year showing impressive instincts and breaks on ball carriers that rival any other prospect in the class.
He’ll help replace what Baltimore lost last year in former Pro Bowler C.J. Mosley.
29. Tennessee Titans: Zach Baun
Notes: The Titans need another impact rusher on the opposite side of young up-and-comer Harold Landry. An impressive senior bowl week helped vault Zack Baun into the first-round conversation.
Baun had a great breakout senior year finishing with 12.5 sacks. Baun made some real eye-popping plays on film this year and I think the Titans could be getting a player on the rise with this selection.
30. Green Bay Packers: Laviska Shenault
Notes: The Packers really need another WR to go with Davante Adams and help ease pressure off of Aaron Rodgers as he enters the twilight of his career.
Enter Laviska Shenault, who can do it all and can be given the rock in a variety of ways including out of the backfield. He had somewhat of a down year but is an absolute monster with the ball in his hands.
I think his stock will rise because I think he’ll have a strong combine showing and his versatility will intrigue teams
31. San Francisco 49ers: Noah Igbinoghene
Notes: The 49ers defense is the main reason the team made it to the Super Bowl, but if there’s one spot they can improve on it’s in the secondary.
Noah Igbinoghene has serious speed, not surprising since he’s a former track star so expect him to have one of the fastest forty-yard dashes at the combine.
He is a little raw considering he was a wide receiver just two years ago, but he has the traits and potential to be a standout outside corner in the NFL if he continues on his ascending development track
32. Kansas City Chiefs: J.K. Dobbins
School: Ohio State
Notes: The Super Bowl Champs go with somewhat of a luxury pick here with a supremely talented back out of Ohio State. Dobbins is an explosive player indicative of his two long runs and 174 yards rushing against Clemson in the College Football Playoff semis.
He had over 2,000 yards rushing and broke Eddie George single-season record for rushing yards in a season. Dobbins would make an already talented offense even scarier for defenses to deal with.