AJ Schulte’s 2020 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Scouting Combine Edition

With the NFL Scouting Combine just around the corner, PFN Draft Analyst A.J. Schulte releases his most recent 2-round 2020 NFL Mock Draft.

16) Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE Iowa
Currently my second-ranked EDGE, Epenesa brings a diverse skill set to the Atlanta Falcons. He’s got the versatility to play all over the defensive line for Atlanta. His power, excellent hand usage, and top-notch fundamentals would be a superb addition opposite of the more juiced-up Takkarist McKinley. Another bonus? Epenesa is arguably the best run-defending pass rusher in this class, which will help the Falcons lower their explosive run plays allowed (42 allowed in 2019).

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Neville Gallimore, DT Oklahoma: Atlanta struggled to generate a pass rush from the interior this season despite the best efforts from star Grady Jarrett. Neville Gallimore is arguably the best interior pass rusher in this draft class and is a world-class athlete to boot. His hot motor and length are going to appeal to Dan Quinn and would be a massive boost to a struggling defensive line.

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17) Dallas Cowboys: Javon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina
After giving Dallas a safety here in my last mock, I wanted to change it up here in this 2-round 2020 NFL mock draft and give them a disruptive force up front. Kinlaw was the most impressive player in Mobile during the Senior Bowl, and it built off of his outstanding tape. While Kinlaw has some fundamental corrections he needs to make, he has the upside to be a 10+ sack per season defensive tackle.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Grant Delpit, S LSU: The Cowboys have needed a safety for what seems like a decade now. Since they passed on several talented ones for a defensive tackle that did practically nothing for them last year, I decided to give Dallas the best safety in the 2020 draft class. Delpit struggled with injuries this year but has elite range and IQ in coverage. He should provide a threatening presence as a playmaker in the Dallas secondary.

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18) Miami Dolphins (via PIT): Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville
I meant it when I said that Miami has to build around Tua with their offensive line. Mekhi Becton is a behemoth of a figure and moves too well. He’s a monster in pass protection and makes opposing pass rushers quit, while also bulldozing through defensive linemen in the run game. It makes too much sense for Miami.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE LSU: The second of three Miami picks in this first round, Miami adds another promising pass rusher to their continued rebuild. Chaisson has so much talent at his disposal, and he isn’t as raw as many analysts are saying. If he continues to grow and develop in Miami, the Dolphins could have added a franchise quarterback and pass rusher with their first two picks.

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19) Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI): Xavier McKinney, S Alabama
The Raiders are in an interesting position in this draft, with enough capital to move up and secure a potential franchise QB, but they also have enough needs to warrant a trade back scenario. Instead of mortgaging picks for a trade up, I double-dipped into the Alabama Crimson pool and grabbed a player who I think has steadily become the top-rated safety in this draft. McKinney is a versatile player who can play in multiple alignments on a defense. With Karl Joseph likely on his way out, McKinney steps right up into the void left behind by his departure.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama: The Raiders were poor in passing defense last season, and they really lack a true number one corner to build around in the secondary. Diggs possesses phenomenal size, length, ball skills, and a good athletic profile that all suggest he can be that lockdown CB1 in the NFL. Oakland goes for a double-dip in the Alabama draft pool and comes out with two budding superstars.

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20) Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR): Kristian Fulton, CB LSU
The Jaguars need to replace the void left from Jalen Ramsey’s departure. Fulton has the instincts, size, and playmaking ability to start right away and could be the Jaguars’ number one corner of the future. Fulton’s taken a bit of a slide with the emergence of other CBs, but he’s still a phenomenal talent in his own right.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Kristian Fulton, CB LSU

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21) Philadelphia Eagles: Laviska Shenault, WR Colorado
The Eagles wide receivers were completely decimated by injuries and inconsistent play all season long, which makes it a bit of a risk giving them a player who has had a few injuries in college. However, Shenault is the most talented wide receiver available and would be a star playmaker for the Eagles, if used properly.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Laviska Shenault, WR Colorado

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22) Buffalo Bills: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn State
I keep coming back to this pick because I think it’s one of my favorite player-team matchups in this 2-round 2020 NFL mock draft. The Bills need an explosive boost to their pass rush, especially with so much talent already leaving the position, while Gross-Matos needs a team that can coach him to his maximum potential. It’s a pick I’ve made before, and it’s one I likely will keep making in future mocks because of this marriage between team and player.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn State

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23) New England Patriots: Terrell Lewis, EDGE Alabama
I’m not sure Lewis will last this long, but his draft stock is the most intriguing due to his talent but obvious injury history. With the Patriots’ two leaders in sacks set for the market and my skepticism that both return, the Patriots will need a new explosive threat to their front seven. Lewis is explosive, powerful, athletic, and has plenty of length as a pass-rusher, which gives him a great set of tools to build on and develop at the next level.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Terrell Lewis, EDGE Alabama

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24) New Orleans Saints: CJ Henderson, CB Florida
With Eli Apple, Janoris Jenkins, and P.J. Williams set to hit free agency and none worth a new contract, New Orleans needs to find new talent at the corner spot to play opposite of Marshon Lattimore. Henderson has his issues in run support but is second-to-none in his man coverage ability with great speed and length.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
CJ Henderson, CB Florida

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25) Minnesota Vikings: Josh Jones, OT Houston
There are numerous questions about Riley Reiff’s future as the left tackle of the Minnesota Vikings, which makes this pick an obvious choice. Josh Jones is an excellent athlete and upside to develop into a stellar franchise left tackle. He was one of the best players at the Senior Bowl and has all the talent to be a success.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville: The Minnesota offensive line has been a problem for years now, and they were exposed once more in the playoff loss to the 49ers. It sounds like the Vikings may move Riley Reiff from tackle to guard, which leaves an opening at left tackle. Insert a behemoth of a man in Mekhi Becton. Think of Orlando Brown but without the Combine, and that’s along the lines of Becton as a player. He’ll be a plug-and-play tackle for Minnesota.

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26) Miami Dolphins (via HOU): D’andre Swift, RB UGA
I really debated if I wanted to put a running back in the first round, but the next pick was Seattle and I didn’t want to tempt fate with that selection. Despite the positional question marks that remain, Swift is a dynamic playmaker that would add another element to the Miami offense.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Josh Jones, OT Houston: Jones is another player that makes me glad that this 2020 NFL Mock Draft is Pre-Senior Bowl because afterward, I’d be stunned if he lasted this long. Jones is a phenomenal athlete at the position who isn’t as much of a project as he’s made out to be. I’ve heard many analysts compare him to Andre Dillard from last year’s NFL Draft with his combination of quickness and pass-protection ability.

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27) Seattle Seahawks: Neville Gallimore, DT Oklahoma
Seattle is always difficult to project with how they’ll draft, as they seemingly blindside analysts every year. The need for another defensive tackle to pair with Jarran Reed is evident with Seattle. Gallimore’s Combine testing will solidify him as a first-round pick, but I believe this is his best range in the draft.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Julian Okwara, EDGE Notre Dame: Maybe this year Seattle finally takes a defensive end that sees the field during their rookie season? It’s clear that Seattle desperately needs a pass-rushing boost with a measly 28 sacks generated in 2019. Okwara is a juiced-up pass rusher with top-notch bend and a good variety of ways to win. He still needs to develop in some areas, but Okwara is a 10+ sacks per season player if developed properly.

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28) Baltimore Ravens: Cesar Ruiz, IOL Michigan
Matt Skura is on his way out, and I’m not sold on Patrick Mekari being a long-term option at center. With Marshal Yanda retiring as well, both center and right guard fall into question. Fortunately, the Ravens can draft a player that can play either spot at a high level in Michigan’s Cesar Ruiz. Ruiz is a great athlete with plenty of power and a hot motor. He can slide in at either center or right guard and be a quality starter for a decade.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Cesar Ruiz, IOL Michigan

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29) Tennessee Titans: Isaiah Wilson, OT Georgia
With Tennessee electing to decline Jack Conklin’s fifth-year option, it seems likely that he is on his way out of Nashville. Ryan Tannehill is a guy that needs an effective offensive line in front of him to reach his maximum success, so grabbing a replacement is critical for the Titans. I personally am not this high on Wilson, but scouts have been high on him for a long time due to his natural combination of size, length, and quickness.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Isaiah Wilson, OT Georgia

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30) Green Bay Packers: Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma
“K9″ has been mocked higher than this in other mocks, but for my 2-round 2020 NFL mock draft, I’m dropping him a little further. As the process goes along, I wouldn’t be shocked if his name started to drop further down this list due to the questions of his ability as a three-down player. Murray is often asked to rush the passer on third downs, casting doubts on his coverage skills. With the way Mike Pettine likes to creatively use linebackers, and the fact that the Packers have multiple linebackers departing, this match seems perfect.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma

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31) San Francisco 49ers: A.J. Terrell, CB Clemson
Jason Verrett, Emmanuel Moseley, and Dontae Johnson all hit the free-agent market this season, with Richard Sherman’s deal expiring soon as well. San Francisco needs to find a promising young corner to add to their defense. Terrell got a bad rep in the LSU game, but he showed up well in coverage and never really made bad plays. With his fluidity and length, he would fit in well with the Niners’ zone-heavy defense.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
A.J. Terrell, CB Clemson

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32) Kansas City Chiefs: Jeff Gladney, CB TCU
As improved as Kansas City’s defense has been, they still need a playmaker at the cornerback position. Gladney may come from the Big 12, but that doesn’t diminish his ability at all. He’s feisty, incredibly fast, and has plenty of ball skills to create turnovers at the next level. He can play in a man-heavy or zone-heavy scheme, which will only serve him well as a prospect.

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Pre-Senior Bowl Mock Draft
Jeff Gladney, CB TCU

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Flip to the next page for the second round of this mock draft.

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