Jeff Longville’s 2020 NFL Mock Draft

With the NFL draft approaching fast, I decided to release my 2020 NFL mock draft for the first round. In this draft we will not be including trades, we will just be using the current first round order. The draft was made as of the morning of March 16, 2020, so we will not be taking any trades or free agency activity since then into consideration.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals- Joe Burrow, Quarterback, LSU: There is no speculation about this pick what so ever. Andy Dalton hasn’t worked out for Cincinnati, and the Heisman Trophy winner and National Champion has expressed an interest in playing for the Bengals, and being back in his home state of Ohio. The Bengals are in need of rebuild and where better to start than with a new quarterback?
  2. Washington Redskins- Chase Young, Defensive End, Ohio State: Once again, there is no speculation here. Young accounted for 16.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles last season, and more than proved he is the best defensive player in the draft. With the Redskins dominant pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan, aging and spending the end of last season on injured reserve, it makes sense for Washington to take an edge rusher, and Young is player that they simply cannot pass on.
  3. Detroit Lions- Jeff Okudah, Cornerback, Ohio State: The Lions secondary finished the season ranked 28th in the league according to Pro Football Focus. A new piece in the secondary is what they need, especially since they decided to shop 3x Pro Bowler and All Pro Corner Darius Slay. Okudah is clearly the best corner in the draft with 9 pass defensed, 3 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles, and should be an obvious pick for the Lions.
  4. New York Giants- Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Georgia: The Giants allowed 43 sacks last year, which is almost 3 per game. Nate Solder hasn’t worked out since coming over from New England, so it makes sense for the Giants to try and replace him. Thomas is the best offensive line prospect in the draft and should be a corner stone piece for any ream who drafts him. With Daniel Jones showing promise in his rookie season, it makes sense for the Giants to try and protect the young quarterback as best they can.
  5. Miami Dolphins- Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama: The Dolphins are a team who need almost every position. So why not start with the most important position, the quarterback? Tagovailoa is the next best QB prospect behind Burrow this year, which makes him an easy pick for Miami. There is some concern surrounding the hip injury he suffered back in November, but he has been recovery rapidly and should be relatively healthy come the start of the season.
  6. Los Angeles Chargers- Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon: After parting ways with long time starter Philip Rivers, it makes sense for the Chargers to immediately look for his replacement. LA could look to obtain a QB from free agency. But even then it’s not a bad idea to have a long term plan in play. Herbert has had excellent performances at the combine, and has shown worthy of being the #6 overall pick in this years draft.
  7. Carolina Panthers- Derrick Brown, Defensive Tackle, Auburn: The Panthers ranked 29th against the run last season, and are in need of player in the middle who can stop the run. Derrick Brown is the unquestioned best Defensive Tackle in the draft, coming off of a season with 55 total tackles and 4 sacks. Brown is the obvious pick for Carolina to try and improve their run defense.
  8. Arizona Cardinals- Isiah Simmons, Outside Linebacker, Clemson: The Cardinals had the worst defense in the NFL last year, so it only makes sense that they take the best available defensive player. Simmons is one of the most versatile players in this draft, being able to tackle and cover in space. Simmons was converted from safety to outside linebacker back in 2018, so it is possible that we see Simmons lining up in the secondary at some point in his NFL career.
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars- Javon Kinlaw, Defensive Tackle, South Carolina: The Jaguars are another team who struggles against the run last year, ranking 28th in that category. Kinlaw has the ability to stop the run and rush the passer form the defensive tackle position, and should be the Jags first of two first round picks if they want to get back to that dominant defense from 2017.
  10. Cleveland Browns- Jedrick Wills, Offensive Tackle, Alabama: The Browns have all the talent in the world as far as skill positions are concerned, but it’s hard to have success without a good offensive line, which the Browns are lacking. Greg Robinson has been one of the most penalized players since being drafted back in 2014. The Browns main weakness position wise is the offensive line, and Robinson needs to be replaced. Wills is the obvious pick here, and should be a week 1 starter if drafted by Cleveland.
  11. New York Jets- Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Alabama: The Jets finished 2019 without a one thousand yard receiver. The closest was Jamison Crowder, who finished with 833 yards. The Jets have a weak receiving core and are in need of #1 option for Sam Darnold. Jeudy is the best wide receiver prospect in this draft and would be a big boost for the Jets offense.
  12. Las Vegas Raiders- CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma: The affects of the whole Antonio Brown situation from last year caught up with the Raiders late in the season, as Derek Carr didn’t really have a reliable #1 option. Lamb is the best prospect behind Jeudy in this draft, and would give Carr that reliable target down field that the Raiders lacked last year.
  13. Indianapolis Colt- A.J. Epenesa, Defensive End, Iowa: There is a lot of speculation that the Colts will be looking to take a quarterback in the draft, but I believe defense is the best way to go for the Colts. Injuries really hindered Jacoby Brissett and the Colts last year, and Brissett has shown enough to prove he is a capable starting QB in this league. With that being said one of the weakest positions for the Colts is at edge rusher. Epenesa was a stud last year for the Hawkeyes, and could really improving the Colts pass rush next season.
  14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- K’Lavon Chaisson, Outside Linebacker, LSU: Shaquil Barrett had a breakout season for the Bucs last year with 19.5 sacks. The Buccaneers franchised tagged him this morning so it might be wise to give him a partner-in-crime. Chaisson recorded 13.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and 60 total stops in his redhsirt sophomore season. His production would greatly help the Tampa Bay defense if they were to take him with the 14th pick.
  15. Denver Broncos- Tristan Wirfs, Offensive Tackle, Iowa: Denver’s offensive line needs help, especially at the tackle position. Denver took Garrett Boles in the first round three years ago, which to this point has been a huge disappointment. The Broncos also signed J’aWuan James last year to try and help their offensive line, but he spent much of last year injured. Wirfs has had a fantastic combine thus far, and has shown that he may be the most athletic lineman in the draft, and is projected to be a pro bowler after his rookie season, and would help the Broncos offense tremendously.
  16. Atlanta Falcons- Yetur Gross-Matos, Defensive End, Penn State: The Falcons have decided to move on form Vic Beasley this off season, so it makes sense to replace him. Gross-Matos was a nightmare for the Nittany Lions last year and he finished the season with 9.5 sacks. The Falcons pass rush had a 53% win rate last year, and they should look to keep that statistic for next year.
  17. Dallas Cowboys- Xavier McKinney, Safety, Alabama: The Cowboys defense finished last year with a league-low 7 interceptions. In an effort to change that, Dallas should look to add some help in the secondary. McKinney had 3 picks last year for the Crimson Tide, and should help improve an already very good secondary.
  18. Miami Dolphins- Josh Jones, Offensive Tackle, Houston: With the Dolphins second first round pick, they should look to improve their offense by adding a stud left tackle for their new QB. According to Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins had the worst offensive line last year and should look to improve that by adding Jones to the mix.
  19. Las Vegas Raiders- Kenneth Murray Linebacker, Oklahoma: After losing Vontaze Burfict last year due to unnecessary play, the Raiders should look to improve their linebacker core. Murray racked up 102 total sacks last year for the Sooners, and is fast to the ball and a reliable tackler. Murray has also shown the abilty to play both inside and outside at the linebacker position. Murray is just what the Raiders need in the linebacker department.
  20. Jacksonville Jaguars- Kristian Fulton, Cornerback, LSU: The Jags traded away 3x Pro Bowler and All Pro corner Jalen Ramsey to the Rams last year, and should to replace him to further get that defense back to elite status. Fulton has allowed only a 40% completion rate since 2018, and has the athleticism to continue that trend into the pros.
  21. Philadelphia Eagles- Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver, Clemson: Injuries really hampered the Eagles late in the season last year, especially at the receiver position. Carson Wentz is a talented quarter back who needs a #1 receiver with Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson both in their thirties and coming off season ending injuries last year. Higgins racked up 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Tiger last year and should be one of Wentz’s most targeted receivers in his rookie season, and work his way up to Wentz’s primary receiver in a few years.
  22. Buffalo Bills- Henry Ruggs III, Wide Receiver, Alabama: Ruggs is the fastest receiver in this draft, as he ran a 4.27 40-yard dash. Ruggs’ speed should make him an immediate deep threat for Josh Allen, who has improved every year he’s been in the league, and should the Bills take Ruggs, the connection between him and Allen should be one of the best in the NFL next year.
  23. New England Patriots- Jordan Love, Quarterback, Utah State: With all the speculation of whether or not Tom Brady will be a Patriot next year, it’s a good idea for New England to draft a Quarter back regardless or where Brady ends up. If he leaves they’ll need a replacement, if he stays, the Patriots will need to find their next man up. Father time has been kind to Tom Brady, but lets face it, Brady will be 43 years old by the start of next season, he can’t play forever. Love threw for 3,402 yards and 20 touchdowns last year, and has a lot of the intangibles to be a quarterback in this league.
  24. New Orleans Saints- Patrick Queen, Outside Linebacker, LSU: The Saints weakest position is their linebackers, and need to improve them if they want to make it out of the playoffs. Queen has the ability to shed and outrace blocks to make plays, and should add what the Saint’s have been missing from their linebackers.
  25. Minnesota Vikings- C.J. Henderson, Cornerback, Florida: The Vikings recently released Xavier Rhodes and should immediately look to find someone to replace him. Henderson broke up 11 passes for the Gators last year, and has the talent to fit in with Minnesota’s already impressive defense.
  26. Miami Dolphins- DeAndre Swift, Running Back, Georgia: With the Dolphins last pick in this round they should continue to work on their offense by taking the first running back of the draft. Swift averaged 6.2 yards per carry last year, which lead to 1,218 yards and 7 touchdowns for the Bulldogs last year. Miami traded away Kenyon Drake last season, and his replacement Patrick Laird averaged less than 3 yards per carry, making Swift a smart choice for the Dolphins.
  27. Seattle Seahawks- Justin Madibuike, Defensive Tackle, Texas A&M: With 5 of the Seahawk’s defensive lineman being UFA’s this season, and another being a RFA, it is unlikely that they will be able to resign all of them. With that being said Seattle should look to replace all of those lineman. Madibuike recorded 45 total tackles to go along with 5.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 1 interception last season. Madibuike should be able to provide production immediately for the Seahawks if they take him 27th overall.
  28. Baltimore Ravens- Zack Baun, Outside Linebacker, Wisconsin: 2 years ago the Ravens lost Za’Darius Smith, Terrell Suggs, and C.J. Mosley to free agency. This has left the Ravens with a pass rush that could be heavily improved. Baun totaled 53 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 1 interception for the Badgers last year, and should be able to improve the Ravens pass rush next year.
  29. Tennessee Titans- Trevon Diggs, Cornerback, Alabama: The Titans need improvement at all positions on the defensive side of the ball, but with such a late pick, it makes sense for them to take the best available player for the positions that they need. For the Titans, Diggs is that guy. Diggs had 3 interception sand 8 pass-breakups last season, and could help the Titans lock up opposing teams receivers for the foreseeable future.
  30. Green Bay Packers- Justin Jefferson, Wide Receiver, LSU: The Packers need to add a play making wide receiver to play along side Davante Adams. Jefferson had an impressive season for the National Champion Tigers, racking up 1,540 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns last year, and good help draw defenders away from Adams to open up Green Bay’s offense.
  31. San Francisco 49ers- Grant Delpit, Safety, LSU: The Chiefs were able to burn the 49ers with deep shots in Super Bowl 54, which ultimately lead to their loss to Kansas City. Delpit recorder 2 interceptions and 7 pass-breakups last season, and can help the 49ers complete their already dominant defense.
  32. Kansas City Chiefs- Cesar Ruiz, Center, Michigan: The Chiefs could benefit from drafting a defensive player at #32, but the Chiefs defense played well towards the end of the regular season and into the post season. The Chiefs can look to improve the weakest part of their very talented offense, which is their interior offensive line. Ruiz was the best pass blocking center in the country last year, by allowing only 8 pressures all season, and can help Kansas City complete their incredible offense.

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