NFL Mock Draft 1.0
Words by Corey Benham 20th March 2020
Round 1 – Pick 1
Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow QB (LSU)
With the first pick the Bengals select their new Franchise QB. There isn’t much doubt with this selection the Bengals are “all in” on Burrow and have been very upfront about that all offseason. Burrow is the top prize in this draft class after amazing play in 2019 while winning the National Championship.
Round 1 – Pick 2
Again, this pick is pretty much a lock barring anything crazy coming from the Washington front office. Chase Young was the most dominant DE in all of college football in 2019 making him a can’t miss product and generational talent as he could bolster any pass rush instantly in 2020.
Round 1 – Pick 3
Detroit Lions – Jeffrey Okudah CB (Ohio State)
Back to back Ohio State products being taken off the board early for the same reason, Okudah is a sensational Cornerback showing he can cover any Wideout during his time at Ohio state. Okudah has extremely good footwork and he is athletic and fast, he will more likely be able to shut down any NFL WR. Also, after trading CB Darius Slay to the Eagles the Lions are in need of a starting calibre CB.
Round 1 – Pick 4
New York Giants – Isaiah Simmons ILB (Clemson)
Although the Giants are in play for an OT with this pick I have them taking arguably the best Inside Linebacker in this draft class. Simmons draft stock skyrocketed after a stellar combine performance, he can play practically any position on defence and cover sideline to sideline. He can make plays on the ball in the run & passing game and with how poor the Giants have been on D the past few years they need Simmons.
Round 1 – Pick 5
Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa QB (Alabama)
Health is a big concern with Tua after he dislocated his Hip during the 2019 season however you cannot deny his natural ability when throwing the ball, his leadership and work ethic. All these pieces combined form the ideal NFL starting QB. Despite rumours saying the Dolphins want to trade up for Burrow I can’t see that happening and Miami will have to settle for the next best thing. Tua.
Round 1 – Pick 6
Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert QB (Oregon)
With Philip Rivers gone its time to find their new ‘Face of the Franchise’ with Burrow & Tua off the board the Chargers take the Oregon product who showed he has the potential to be a starting QB in the NFL. He does have some flaws, but he has a high ceiling too and that is what makes the Chargers excited to take Herbert with the 6thselection. During his Pro Day he showed everyone how powerful his arm is, this could work well when throwing the ball downfield to star WR Keenan Allen.
Round 1 – Pick 7
Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown DT (Auburn)
The Panthers are rebuilding and have just lost veteran DT Gerald McCoy in Free Agency, they were also woeful Against the run in 2019 ranking 29thagainst the run allowing 143.5 rush yards per game. Brown at 326lbs swallows up space in the centre of the D-Line with great run stopping ability. He is also able to disrupt the backfield with explosive power & peed creating tackles for loss and he’s able to sack the quarterback as well. Carolina & Brown are a perfect match. Selecting Brown could transform that Panthers D-Line.
Round 1 – Pick 8
Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills OT (Alabama)
The Cardinals have already got their franchise quarterback in last years No.1 selection Kyle Murray now they just need to protect him. There is no better way to do this than with Alabama product and possibly the best offensive tackle in this class Jedrick Wills. He will be great at keeping Murray upright and safe from opposing pass rushers and with the great weapons Arizona now have there is no reason they would want to pass on Wills, he has great footwork and agility for an O-Lineman. He should be able to block any Pass-Rusher at the next level.
Round 1 – Pick 9
Jacksonville Jaguars – Javon Kinlaw DL (South Carolina)
Javon Kinlaw has great ball rush abilities and is extremely disruptive from the defensive line. Kinlaw is powerful, fast and technically sound making him a great player on the D-Line at getting off blocks and disrupting the backfield. The jags traded Pro Bowl DL Calais Campbell leaving a massive gap in this rebuilding defensive unit. Kinlaw shares many traits with Campbell making him the perfect selection for the Jaguars at this spot. Kinlaw has the potential to be a Pro Bowl player so drafting Kinlaw would be the crucial first step into rebuilding this defence.
Round 1 – Pick 10
Cleveland Browns – Tristan Wirfs OT (Iowa)
Wirfs is one of the best offensive tackles in this draft and has the ability to be an instant starter in the NFL, this is why I have the Browns taking him with the 10thselection. Cleveland has many weapons on offence and has their QB of the future in Baker Mayfield now they just need to reduce the amount of pressure he is facing allowing him to stand in the pocket and drop dimes. Wirfs is the perfect choice for the Browns at this spot. Wirfs has the potential to be a day 1 starter and with the best coaching he could turn into an All-Pro offensive Lineman.
Round 1 – Pick 11
New York Jets – Jerry Jeudy WR (Alabama)
Although the Jets need to sort out and strengthen their O-Line they also need to start supplying QB Sam Darnold with some serious play making weapons. Jeudy is one of many options at this spot however what separates him from the rest is his incredible route running and explosive release, Jeudy is going to be every cornerback’s worst nightmare in the NFL making him the perfect weapon for Sam Darnold.
Round 1 – Pick 12
Las Vegas Raiders – Henry Ruggs III WR (Alabama)
Ruggs III isn’t going to be waiting much longer after teammate Jerry Jeudy is taken by the Jets, after both Alabama products get taken in back to back selections. Ruggs III ran a 4.27 in the 40 at this years combine. He also has good route running abilities and can be a dangerous return man on kicks and punts. The Raiders have always loved fast players and with only a few weapons on offence they will hope that Ruggs III can be a playmaker and future Pro Bowler.
Round 1 – Pick 13
San Francisco 49ers – CeeDee Lamb WR (Oklahoma)
The third Wide Receiver in consecutive picks Lamb will be the ideal player for the 49ers to take here as they look to keep their offence stacked with playmakers as they hope to make it back to the SuperBowl next season. Lamb is another talented wideout in this class that has the potential to tear up defences, with the ball in his hands Lamb can make anything happen with his incredible YAC ability. Kyle Shanahan loves WRs with YAC ability making this a match made in heaven, under Shanahans coaching Lamb will only develop into one of the games best wideouts.
Round 1 – Pick 14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mekhi Becton OT (Louisville)
With the Bucs signing QB Tom Brady in Free Agency they are going to want to make sure their investment can stay upright and avoid the 43-year-old from getting injured. So, they are going to need 6ft 7inch 364lbs Offensive Tackle Mekhi Becton who has a rare 7ft wingspan accompanied with surprisingly quick feet, Becton is exactly who Brady would want in front of him making sure nobody gets to him.
Round 1 – Pick 15
Denver Broncos – C.J Henderson CB (Florida)
After losing veteran cornerback Chris Harris JR in Free Agency the Broncos are going to want to fill that gap ASAP and who better to fill that gap than Henderson. Possibly the best Cornerbacks in the class Henderson has great athleticism, can play a variety of coverages and is very patient when playing the ball, by selecting Henderson the Broncos will move on from Harris JR pretty quickly.
Round 1 – Pick 16
Atlanta Falcons – Kristian Fulton CB (LSU)
The Falcons are in the same position as the Broncos. They have also lost their best Cornerback after releasing Desmond Trufant prior to Free Agency, Fulton is a solid replacement to take over the place of Trufant. He’s only allowed a 40% completion rate since 2018 which is amazing, he also has very solid footwork and athleticism. The Falcons probably won’t even hesitate to find their new CB1 with this selection.
Round 1 – Pick 17
Dallas Cowboys – Trevon Diggs CB (Alabama)
Feels like Déjà vu. However once again a Cornerback is being selected for the exact same reason as before. Dallas is looking for a replacement to star CB Byron Jones who left in Free Agency when joining the Dolphins to become the highest paid Cornerback in the league. So, to say that Byron Jones needs replacing is a need is an understatement. Diggs isn’t the best CB in the class and does have flaws however he does have upside and with time could become the ideal replacement, Diggs is fluid in his motion and his awareness to jump routes will put him in position to become a potential star playmaker and future Pro Bowler.
Round 1 – Pick 18
Miami Dolphins – Andrew Thomas OT (Georgia)
With their future QB1 drafted the Dolphins will start to look at Offensive Linemen to keep Tua on his feet. Thomas is their best option with this pick, this is because Thomas can play at either tackle spot making him a versatile option. He also has powerful hands, plays with a fierce mentality, good footwork and he is able to maintain his base no matter what. He has the talent to transform this Dolphins O-Line and be a starter from day 1.
Round 1 – Pick 19
Las Vegas Raiders – K’Lavon Chaisson OLB (LSU)
The Raiders were a lot better than many expected in 2019 however relocating to LV means they have to start winning week in, week out. One way they can start doing this is by continuing to add more Pass Rushers to sack the QB, K’Lavon Chaisson could help get after the QB and disguise how weak the secondary is while also bringing a sack show to Vegas. Chaisson has been recognised for being a very smart player on and off the field, this is the kind of player that can help change the culture of a defence for the better.
Round 1 – Pick 20
Jacksonville Jaguars – A.J. Epenesa DE (Iowa)
After a relatively poor showing at the Combine A.J. Epenesa watched his Draft stock drop. He isn’t the most athletic or the fastest guy at his position however game film doesn’t lie, this guy knows how to get after the QB he had 11.5 sacks through 13 games in 2019. He has an explosive first step and has a varied rush attack giving him the skill set required to develop at the next level. Jacksonville are going to go heavy in rebuilding this defence, Epenesa will be a Great fit for this team.
Round 1 – Pick 21
Philadelphia Eagles – Justin Jefferson WR (LSU)
He’s quick, he’s got a good burst out of his release, he adjusts his body to get the ball and shield coverage away and he’s everything the Eagles want and need. He finished the 2019 season with 1,540 yards & 18 TDs (4 TDs in the College Playoffs). Jefferson could be the answer to all the Eagles prayers, they are desperate for a fast receiver who can make plays when called upon. The Eagles struggled passing the ball in 2019 but by selecting This LSU product those struggles could be a thing of the past. Jefferson could burst onto the scene in 2020 and turn out to be a Pro Bowl WR.
Round 1 – Pick 22
Minnesota Vikings – Jalen Reagor WR (TCU)
The short but fast & explosive WR would be the ideal replacement for recently traded star Wideout Steffon Diggs. Reagor is very fluid, fast, agile and versatile giving the Vikings plenty of reasons as to why he is a great replacement for Diggs. He will also be able to learn from Adam Thielen and develop his skills while learning how to become a better teammate. He may not become a ‘star’ WR like Diggs, but he doesn’t need too, as long as Thielen is there commanding the No.1 CB Reagor will have no trouble finding success in Minnesota.
Round 1 – Pick 23
New England Patriots – Jordan Love QB (Utah State)
With G.O.A.T Quarterback Tom Brady now gone its time for Bill Belichick to finally look for TB12s successor. With the best QB options off the board at this point Belichick will have to settle for Utah State product Jordan Love, Love isn’t the finished product just yet he lacks consistency and production and he has a longer release motion than most QBs but under Belichick he could reach the maximum of his potential. After all Bill Turned a 199thselection into a 6x SuperBowl Champion, however he can scramble to extend the play and he carries a swagger in the pocket when throwing the ball. So, by selecting Love here Bill could possibly find his way to keeping the Patriots dynasty going.
Round 1 – Pick 24
New Orleans Saints – Tee Higgins WR (Clemson)
Versatile & productive. That’s all that needs to be said about this Clemson WideReceiver. Higgins scored on 20% of his catches at Clemson and played all 3 WR spots, this is the kind of player that the Saints need. He would be a great complimentary WR to All-Pro Michael Thomas while providing Drew Brees with another weapon to dish the ball to, Higgins would make this offensive unit even harder to stop.
Round 1 – Pick 25
Minnesota Vikings – Josh Jones OT (Houston)
After re-investing in QB Kirk Cousins the Vikings are going to want to further add to their offence by strengthening their insurance plan (O-Line). Josh Jones is the best selection here to do just that. He has a very high ceiling due to his natural abilities, with the right coaching he could become one of the top pass blockers in the league but also a useful tool in the running game and with a running back like Dalvin Cook that makes Jones a very promising player and priceless to the Vikings. They would be getting a player who could potentially help turn their offence into one of the leagues best.
Round 1 – Pick 26
Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Taylor RB (Wisconsin)
This is probably all Dolphins fans are wishing for, Taylor is one of the best Running back prospects to come out of College over the last few years. He has blazing fast speed with incredible patience; he is well known for allowing his lead blockers time to get to defenders and block before taking off which allows him to gain so many more yards. Production isn’t a problem either during his career he has had 12 200+ yard games. That is just incredible. Also, the Dolphins need him, desperately. They only ran for 1,156 yards in 2019 so selecting Taylor will see their running game improve leaps and bounds almost instantly. Taylor could become a perennial Pro Bowl player. (He would be selected higher if more teams needed a RB).
Round 1 – Pick 27
Seattle Seahawks – Grant Delpit S (LSU)
Despite still having Quandre Diggs still on their Roster the Seahawks have given S Tedric Thompson permission to seek a trade, this means he will likely be traded. So, they need to find their next starting safety to pair with Diggs. There’s no better place to do so than the Draft. Delpit had 2 INTs, 7 pass break ups & 2.5 sacks in 2019 for the National Champs, showing he can produce for the best team in College football will boost his draft stock. Hense why we could see him being picked at this spot in the Draft.
Round 1 – Pick 28
Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Queen LB
The Ravens struggled in the LineBacker department last season, but they could find the answer to all their problems by Drafting LB Patrick Queen. Queen is a typical Ravens player, he plays with aggression, hunts down ball carriers, plays sideline to sideline and leads by example. His natural ability to lead would be welcomed by the Organisation, as most of the leaders on the roster are veterans so Queen could learn from those players and take over when the time is right and become the next Ray Lewis on that defence.
Round 1 – Pick 29
Tennessee Titans – Yetur Gross-Matos DE (Penn State)
The Titans don’t have too many weak areas on their roster, however finding a young Pass-Rusher could go a long way to improving this team and their chances of being division champs. In a passing league the most successful teams always have the most productive Pass-Rushes, Gross-Matoes is a solid Pass-Rusher who is also very solid when stopping the run. This gives the Titans a duel-threat playmaker on defence putting them in an even better position to win in 2020.
Round 1 – Pick 30
Green Bay Packers – Ezra Cleveland OT (Boise State)
Aaron Rodgers finally has some productive weapons around him & a defence who can shut teams down with potential to get better. However it’s time for the Cheese-Heads to start planning for the future, Rodgers only has a couple years left and soon they will probably start to look for a successor so know is the time to get a O-Lineman with a lot of upside that they can develop now so when Rodgers successor does arrive in Green Bay he will have some decent protection in front of him. The main thing stopping Ezra from being a starter in the NFL is his strength, if he improves his strength, he could become a dominant blocker.
Round 1 – Pick 31
San Francisco 49ers – Ross BlackLock DT (TCU)
BlackLock isn’t the biggest of D-Linemen however he is extremely athletic and quick for a DT. His snappy quick reactions mean he gets off the ball very quickly and he’s able to move off of blockers without wasting much time. Why is it so important for the 49ers to take BlackLock here? Well they traded star DT DeForest Buckner to the Colts so that leaves a huge hole in the centre of the D-Line, if they don’t take BlackLock here he will be gone before they get another chance to select him. There’s no doubt that with the supporting cast he would have around him he would flourish in San Fran and possibly turn into a Pro Bowl player.
Round 1 – Pick 32
Kansas City Chiefs – Jeff Gladney CB (TCU)
Weaknesses on offence? The Chiefs don’t really have any, they don’t really have many on defence either however adding Gladney at the end of the first round he is great value but also a very solid player with a lot of upside. He is able to close in on the ball carrier with an explosive burst out of his break this gives him the ability to make a play on the ball at anytime either against the pass or run. Gladney would be a great addition to this already solid Chiefs defence, led by Tyrann Matthieu and Frank Clark. That defensive unit will become one of the best with a CB Gladney shutting down WRs.