We’re almost there folks. The NFL Draft is less than 2 weeks away and with most Pro Days cancelled and teams unable to interview players in person, it’s becoming harder and harder to predict what is going to happen on April 23rd. With that being said, I decided to have a little fun with the 6th edition of my 2020 mock draft. Not only did I go over what I think each team will do, but I also made a second mock with what I would do as the general manager at each pick, and believe me, I disagree with a lot of teams on what should be prioritized.
1. Cincinnati Bengals
Bengals Pick: QB Joe Burrow, LSU
Nason’s Pick: QB Joe Burrow, LSU
Did you watch college football this season? Joe Burrow literally had the greatest year a quarterback could ever have! He didn’t lose a game, won a championship, broke a ton of statistical records, and did it all with a swagger that NFL teams are going to love. He’s from Ohio and the fans in Cincy will love that, and he’s the best QB available in this draft. Does he have a huge arm? No. Is he a physical specimen? No. But this dude knows how to play quarterback, he’s a good runner, and he has great pocket awareness. Cincy has to take him, and I have to agree. The fans will love him.
2. Washington Redskins
Redskins Pick: Edge Chase Young, Ohio State
Nason’s Pick: Edge Chase Young, Ohio State
Chase Young is the best player in this draft class, and even if he doesn’t live up to the hype, he’s a 9-11 sack pass rush specialist in the NFL. That’s a really good floor for a guy who has a ceiling as an all-pro player. Washington is getting the best player available. I thought about taking Tua Tagovailoa here, because Dwayne Haskins wasn’t that good last year, but Tua has injury concerns and Chase Young is just too good. Let Haskins play this year, and if he sucks, tank for Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields next year. In the meantime, they are getting the best player available who can be a cornerstone of their franchise for years to come.
3. Detroit Lions
Lions Pick: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State
Nason’s Pick: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State
With the trade of Darius Slay, Detroit has a huge need for a new, shut down cornerback. Okudah ranks up with Jalen Ramsey and Patrick Peterson as one of the best cornerback prospects to come out of college in the last 20 years. This is a prime spot for Detroit to trade down, and if the Chargers or Dolphins want to move up here to take a quarterback, I’m making that deal in a heartbeat. At 5 or 6, its highly likely that the Lions can still get Okudah.
4. New York Giants
Giants Pick: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
Nason’s Pick: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
My first disagreement of the day. The rumors have leaked that the Giants love Simmons and plan to take him 4th overall. Simmons, who is fantastic in coverage and is a physical freak who can play safety and linebacker, would form a good partner to newly signed Blake Martinez, who is a more traditional, run stopping linebacker who struggles in coverage. If I am the Giants, I am investing in protecting my top assets, quarterback Daniel Jones, who they took in the top 10 last year, and running back Saquan Barkley, who they took with the 2nd overall pick in 2018. The Giants need to give them protection, and there is no better protection than Jedrick Wills, who can step in from day 1 and be their franchise left tackle, or worst-case right tackle.
5. Miami Dolphins
Dolphins Pick: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
Nason’s Pick: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
The Dolphins are going to take a quarterback this year, I am 99% sure of that. For most of the year, the thought was that they were going to take Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, but with his major medical and longevity questions, along with the COVID-19 crisis preventing team doctors from meeting with players, Tua is one of the biggest question marks in draft history. Justin Herbert meanwhile has no medical concerns, looks like the prototypical QB prospect, and is day by day becoming the popular pick for the Dolphins at 5. He is likely the pick. For me, I don’t trust Tua’s medicals, but I also don’t trust Justin Herbert to turn my franchise around as a top 5 pick. I’ll pass on a QB here, and instead take the 2nd best tackle in the draft in Wirfs, who is a freak athlete and will upgrade the Dolphins O-Line significantly. Have you seen the guys playing tackle right now for Miami? They desperately need new offensive linemen before they can put a rookie quarterback on the field.
6. Los Angeles Chargers
Chargers Pick: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Nason’s Pick: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
This was a tough one on my side. For the Chargers, I think they will see Tua fall past Miami and jump all over him, with the plan of having Tyrod Taylor play this season while they make sure Tua is healthy and ready. For me, I still don’t trust the medicals for Tua to use a top 10 pick, and there’s also a guy out there named Cam Newton who I would be calling and trying to sign. The Chargers are a good team missing a QB and with a bad offensive line. I’ll take a risk here on the 6’7, 360-pound Becton, who’s ceiling is one of the best tackles in football. He makes me nervous, because I don’t know how he’ll handle elite pass rushers at the next level, but the potential is there for sure. Draft Becton, sign Newton, and all of a sudden, the Chargers are a wildcard team.
7. Carolina Panthers
Panthers Pick: DL Derrick Brown, Auburn
Nason’s Pick: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
Carolina would be all over Simmons if he was available here, but if the board falls like this, Brown makes so much sense. The Panthers defensive line needs a major upgrade, and Brown is a wrecking machine in the middle and will be a star in the league. There is also a high possibility that the Panthers trade down here, especially with the rumor that they really want Justin Jefferson. If they could get Simmons as I have here, he would be a fantastic replacement for the recently retired Luke Kuechly.
8. Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals Pick: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Nason’s Pick: DL Derrick Brown, Auburn
Brown is apparently high on the Cardinals wish list, but with him unavailable in the actual mock, they’ll look to upgrade their offensive line with Wirfs, who’s athleticism will fit perfectly with Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. If they can get Brown, he provides an immediate upgrade on their defensive line, and he will give the QB’s in the NFC West nightmares for years to come.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars Pick: CB CJ Henderson, Florida
Nason’s Pick: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
I honestly don’t know what Jacksonville will do. Quarterback is in play here, defensive line, wide receiver, offensive tackle, and corner. For now, Henderson makes a lot of sense as a replacement for Jalen Ramsey, who was traded to the Rams last season. This may be early for him, but with the drop off from Henderson to the next cornerback prospects, he may be worth reaching for. Meanwhile, I’ll take the best player available and the best WR in this class in my opinion in Jeudy. Pairing him and DJ Chark together gives Jacksonville a dangerous combo for years to come. And who knows, maybe they go out and sign Cam Newton or Jameis Winston. Throwing to guys like that has got to be attractive to free agent quarterbacks.
10. Cleveland Browns
Browns Pick: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
Nason’s Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
The Browns have one of the best group of skill players in the NFL, but they need to be able to protect Baker Mayfield, so offensive tackle should be the pick. Wills is my number 1 tackle in this class, so at 10 he’s a steal. For mine, Thomas isn’t as athletic as the other top tackles, but he is a smart, reliable player who is a plug and play left tackle.
11. New York Jets
Jets Pick: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Nason’s Pick: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Similar to the Browns, the Jets must protect Sam Darnold, so with Becton being the last of the top tackles on the board, this is a slam dunk pick. With none of the top 4 available for me, I’ll give Darnold a weapon in Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, a freak after the catch who will give the Jets a great possession receiver and an endzone threat.
12. Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders Pick: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Nason’s Pick: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Antonio Brown became insane and a PR nightmare, so Las Vegas don’t have a true wide receiver one, so they’ll look to address that in the draft, where they are in great position to get one of the big 3 in Jeudy, Lamb, and Henry Ruggs. For this, Lamb falls to them, which is great because it’s rumored that he is their #1 wideout in this class. For me, Ruggs is the last one available, and I am not mad about that. Ruggs will give the Raiders their own version of Tyreek Hill, and now the Chiefs will get a taste of their own medicine twice a year.
13. San Francisco 49ers
49ers Pick: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Nason’s Pick: CB CJ Henderson, Florida
Kyle Shanahan gets his star wide receiver at last. After failing to trade for Odell Beckham Jr, Jeudy is the next best thing, being a great athlete and the best route running prospect in recent draft history. In my draft, the top 3 pass catchers are off the board, so I’ll grab Henderson and address the corner position, where Richard Sherman is getting older.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Buccaneers Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Nason’s Pick: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
Protecting Tom Brady should and will be Tampa’s top priority in this draft, and Thomas can step in and provide an immediate upgrade at left tackle, in fact he may be the best tackle Brady has played with in a while. With none of the top 4 tackles available for me, and the top corners off the board, I’ll take Jefferson, who can give Brady an extremely talented slot receiver to pair with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. That Tampa offensive would be a nightmare for defensive coordinator.
15. Denver Broncos
Broncos Pick: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Nason’s Pick: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Pairing Ruggs with Courtland Sutton and Drew Lock’s cannon arm is just too good to pass up for John Elway and the Broncos. With no wide receivers, offensive tackles, or corners here that I value at 15th overall, I’ll take the best player available in Kinlaw, who can pair with newly acquired Jurrell Casey to open up more pass rush lanes for Von Miller and Bradley Chubb.
16. Atlanta Falcons
Falcons Pick: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Nason’s Pick: Edge K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
With no defensive backs worth the 16th pick here, trading down is an option, but pairing a wrecking ball in Kinlaw to pair with Grady Jarrett may be too good to pass up for Atlanta. I’ll take Chaisson, who can provide an upgrade over former 1st rounder Takkarist McKinley as both a pass rusher and run stopper, who can also drop into coverage. Him and Dante Fowler form a nice pass rush duo for the Falcons.
17. Dallas Cowboys
Cowboys Pick: Edge K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
Nason’s Pick: IOL Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
Pairing Chaisson and DeMarcus Lawrence will give the Dallas defense a big boost, especially in a division with some inexperienced quarterbacks in Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones. If I’m Dallas, my priorities are edge, corner, and wide receiver. I don’t value anyone at those positions here. With Travis Fredericks recent retirement, Cesar Ruiz could step in and provide a great replacement and keep the Cowboys O-Line as one of the best lines in the league.
18. Miami Dolphins
Dolphins Pick: OT Austin Jackson, USC
Nason’s Pick: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
This is a dream scenario for the Dolphins. They get a top offensive tackle, and a very talented quarterback at a pick where if his medical issues become an issue, it’s much easier to recover. A top 5 player busting hurts a lot more than the 18thoverall selection. But alas, that’s my draft and not what will happen. I have been flip flopping between Josh Jones and Austin Jackson, but for tackles, Jackson passes the eye test, and has a lot of potential. And let’s face it, there’s no better protection than a (USC) trojan. Get it?
19. Las Vegas Raiders
Raiders Pick: LB Patrick Queen, LSU
Nason’s Pick: LB Patrick Queen, LSU
Queen just makes sense here. With wide receiver taken care of, adding an off-ball linebacker will fill out the Raiders defense, which made huge strides in free agency. Queens athleticism will be huge playing against offenses like the Chiefs and Broncos.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jaguars Pick: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
Nason’s Pick: CB AJ Terrell, Clemson
Jacksonville is moving forward with Gardner Mishew for now, so they should help him out and give him another offensive weapon in Jefferson, who can play in the slot and outside. With Jefferson unavailable, I’ll take Terrell, who is one of these corners who are long and can run, to upgrade their secondary.
21. Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles Pick: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
Nason’s Pick: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
Eagles fans will be in tears after missing out on Jefferson by 1 pick. I don’t think the NFL will value any other wide receivers at this spot, so Philly will look to address another need at linebacker. Murray is a great athlete with high character who can step in day 1 and run the Eagles defense. They can address wide receiver later on in this deep class.
22. Minnesota Vikings
Vikings Pick: CB Jeff Gladney, TCU
Nason’s Pick: CB Jeff Gladney, TCU
The Vikings desperately need cornerbacks, and Gladney provides a physical presence with solid speed to go against the talented wide receivers in the NFC North. There are better players here, but they need to make sure they get a top corner before they miss out.
23. New England Patriots
Patriots Pick: Edge Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
Nason’s Pick: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
Stop thinking the Patriots are going to take a quarterback. They clearly like Jarrett Stidham, so they are going to move forward with him and use this draft to improve the overall roster. Gross-Matos is a raw talent, but he has high upside as a pass rusher and could be the Patriots new Chandler Jones. I’ll take Murray, who can play alongside Donta Hightower and eventually replace him.
24. New Orleans Saints
Saints Pick: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
Nason’s Pick: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
Marshon Lattimore is a great talent, and Janoris Jenkins is returning, but adding another corner to a secondary that has been shaky the last few years is a priority for a team trying to win a Super Bowl in Drew Brees’s last season. For me, with Herbert available here, I am going to take him, have him learn behind the future hall of famer and NBC broadcaster Brees, and take over in 2021. Herbert has the qualities you look for in a quarterback prospect, but he is not ready to step on to an NFL field as a rookie. This is an ideal landing spot for him.
25. Minnesota Vikings
Vikings Pick: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
Nason’s Pick: Edge Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
Replacing Stefon Diggs is an essential need for the Vikings, and Higgins adds a vertical threat allowing Adam Thielen to work underneath. Higgins has been falling in mocks lately, and Denzel Mims has been a popular pick here, but the fact is Higgins produced in college, and Mims hardly did. Mims I can see being like DK Metcalf last year, really good testing and a great draft process, but the tape will have him fall to the later half of the 2nd round. I’ll bet Higgins goes before him. For me, Everson Griffin is leaving and I don’t see a receiver here worth taking, so I’ll take the high upside player in Gross-Matos to give me a pass rush upgrade opposite Danielle Hunter.
26. Miami Dolphins
Dolphins Pick: RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia
Nason’s Pick: OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
With 3 1st round picks, I won’t be surprised to see Miami take a running back here. Swift’s pass catching ability puts him atop the running back class, and the Dolphins will want to have a safety outlet for their young quarterback. For me, no running back is worth a 1st round pick this year. I am going to continue to build up my offensive line with Isaiah Wilson, who is a massive right tackle prospect. With Wilson on the right side and Wirfs on the left, I would feel confident that I have done a solid job protecting Tua in his 1st season. The Dolphins can find skill talent and defensive pieces on day 2.
27. Seattle Seahawks
Seahawks Pick: DL AJ Epenesa, Iowa
Nason’s Pick: OT Josh Jones, Houston
Jadeveon Clowney may or may not be returning to Seattle, so either Epenesa provides relief to their pass rush if he signs somewhere else, or he provides an upgrade opposite Clowneyover last year’s 1st round pick L.J. Collier, who was just not good. I’ll take Jones here as a way to beef up the offensive line, which will need to step it up as Russell Wilson gets older.
28. Baltimore Ravens
Ravens Pick: IOL Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
Nason’s Pick: LB Zach Baun, Wisconsin
Getting Ruiz to replace the recently retired Marshal Yanda at guard is just unfair and will keep the Ravens running game as dominant as it was last year. I really hope this pick doesn’t happen, as a guy who can’t stand the Ravens. Baun came off the edge for Wisconsin, but I see him as more of a linebacker in the NFL. He will provide immediate depth for the Ravens, who will be looking to bolster their front seven early in this draft.
29. Tennessee Titans
Titans Pick: OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
Nason’s Pick: Edge AJ Epenesa, Iowa
This may be a reach for Wilson, but replacing Jack Conklin at right tackle should be a top priority for the Titans so as to keep their running game strong. Epenesa seems like a Mike Vrabel type of guy, which is why this pick makes a lot of sense for me. Tennessee needs pass rush opposite Harold Landry, and Epenesacan provide just that.
30. Green Bay Packers
Packers Pick: QB Jordan Love, Utah State
Nason’s Pick: WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
With no receivers valued here and the huge upside Jordan Love has, drafting the heir to Aaron Rodgers makes a lot of sense for Green Bay. While the Green Bay front office thinks about the future, I am trying to win now with my future hall of fame quarterback, so I’ll take Aiyuk here, who is so dangerous with the ball in his hands. Having him on the field will free up Davante Adams.
31. San Francisco 49ers
49ers Pick: CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama
Nason’s Pick: WR Denzel Mims, Baylor
Diggs is fast, has good length, and comes from a big program in Alabama. With corner being a huge need for San Fran, the pick makes sense here. What is more likely to happen here is John Lynch trades out of this pick to get more draft capital, which they are seriously lacking. Mims is a similar player, he has speed, size, and has had a very strong draft process, looking great at the Senior Bowl, and testing extremely well at the combine. He adds to a young, improving receiver room in the bay area.
32. Kansas City Chiefs
Chiefs Pick: CB AJ Terrell, Clemson
Nason’s Pick: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
The Chiefs have Bashaud Breeland coming back, but they still desperately need defensive backs. They need to simply take the best available cornerback. For them, its Terrell, for me, it’s Fulton. The Chiefs are another trade down candidate.
Photo: (Jay LaPrete – AP Photo)