2020 NFL Mock Draft: Chargers, Colts get their QB of the future

With the college football season nearing an end, what would the NFL Draft look like if it happened today? Nick Farabaugh delves into what it could look like in his mock draft.

Some Senior Bowl invites have been sent out, and the College Football regular season is coming to an end. In the NFL, the playoff picture is beginning to take shape, with some teams already eliminated from playoff contention altogether.

That means draft season is starting to get into full swing around fanbases and the league.  I will be using the current NFL standings as of December 1 at 8 AM EST, and thus, that will eliminate all subjectivity in terms of the draft order. In terms of where players are selected, I will not be using my personal big board, but instead, be predicting draft picks where I believe players will go here in our latest 2020 NFL Mock Draft

2020 NFL Mock Draft

#1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

This feels like a slam dunk considering just how well Burrow has performed this year at LSU. It is clear as day that Burrow has risen to the occasion on every challenge thrown in his way. He dominated Alabama, took it to Florida, and has looked like the best quarterback in the nation against every other team that the Tigers have faced this year. 

Burrow’s strides of improvement from his junior to his senior season are going to draw teams to him. But even more so, Burrow has enough arm talent, mobility, and feel of the pocket to improvise outside of the pocket. He possesses the accuracy to make the easy plays routine and still make some great throws into tight windows. The Bengals have made it clear that they are ready to turn over a new leaf and move forward with a new face of the franchise. Burrow is that guy.

#2. New York Giants: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

This is a no brainer for the Giants at this point. Young is the clear best prospect coming into the draft. Still, it is not just the fact that he is the best player in the draft that makes this pick make so much sense. The Giants traded Oliver Vernon to the Browns in the offseason and have had problems getting a consistent pass rush all season. Young solves that issue and more for the Giants, who will get a franchise cornerstone to build around on the defensive side of the football in Young.

#3: Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Tank for Tua was a success, Miami. While it might not have come under the best circumstances given the health concerns surrounding Tagovailoa’s hip injury, Miami has gotten the man that they have been linked to all season long. Tagovailoa has great mobility combined with outstanding accuracy and ball placement. The mental lapses are a thing to watch with him, but there is no doubt that he has the electrifying skill set that can turn the Dolphins into a contender in no time. As long as the medicals check out, I do not think Miami can pass up on their guy in Tagovailoa.

#4: Washington Redskins: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Our own Tony Pauline had this exact pick in his mock draft two weeks ago. I am not sure what other direction Washington can go with Chase Young off the board now. The Trent Williams situation is not getting any better for them, and they have to first and foremost protect Dwayne Haskins. The Redskins need to have to build around him and protect their 2019 first-round pick from an onslaught of pressure. They could go cornerback or even wide receiver here, but when a franchise-caliber tackle prospect with Thomas’s athleticism, footwork, and violent hands comes by, you don’t pass up on the opportunity to take him.

#5: Atlanta Falcons: Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

Derrick Brown is such an easy pick here. I love his fit with the Falcons, and he could cause some serious havoc on the interior with Grady Jarrett. Brown’s a freaky athlete with great mental ability as well in his pass-rush plan. He is a student of the game through it all. His hand usage is as seasoned as it could be for a college defensive lineman, and even more so, combine that with a twitchy first step. The ability to disrupt offenses through a two-headed monster is just too good for Atlanta to pass up, especially with a somewhat ailing defense. 

#6: Denver Broncos: Tristian Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Wirfs may not come out this year, but until he says he is going back, this lock-and-key fit makes far too much sense for the Broncos, especially with their issues at the tackle position. The fact of the matter is that Garrett Bolles has not been successful up to this point, and the Broncos have to solve the tackle position before Drew Lock or any other quarterback that steps under center. Wirfs has incredible athleticism for his size. Given his technical proficiency, specifically with how good his hand placement combines with his good pad level, this one is a slam dunk pick.

#7: Detroit Lions: Isaiah Simmons, ILB, Clemson

This one might be the first semi-surprise of the mock draft. A.J. Epenesa is there for the taking if the Lions wanted to get even stronger up front, but they are absolutely starved for linebackers right now. Jarrad Davis has not progressed like they thought he would. Jahlani Tavai has not been bad at all in his rookie year, but they need the guy who can be a game-changer at the second level. Simmons fixes a plethora of coverage issues over the middle for them. With the infusion of his athleticism and speed to the second level of their defense, they can start to mesh together a talented defensive unit.

#8: Arizona Cardinals: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

The offensive line play in Arizona has improved to a degree this season. However, they still need improvement, and D.J. Humphries could walk this offseason. There must be upgrades along this offensive line, and a guy like Alex Leatherwood can help give Murray cleaner pockets to throw from. Leatherwood has great footwork and pass sets and a mauler mindset in the running game. He should be a welcome addition to the Arizona offensive line.

#9: Jacksonville Jaguars: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Congratulations, Jacksonville, you have just been gifted the steal of the draft thus far! There is no denying the fact that the Jaguars have other needs aside from cornerback, but Okudah is an absolute steal here, and being able to put him on the outside just months after trading Jalen Ramsey would be a great deal for the Jaguars defense. Okudah brings length and ball skills to this Jaguars defense. He is the best cornerback in this draft class by far and is scheme diverse due to his high football IQ and fluidity in zone coverage. This is a sprint-to-the-podium pick. 

#10: New York Jets: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Jets have a ton of uncertainty about the wide receiver room after this year. Demaryius Thomas is anything but young, Robby Anderson could walk, and they still do not have a true number one receiver. Teams are just keying in one Le’Veon Bell, and it has not opened up the offense enough for Sam Darnold and company. Jeudy’s  route running skills and big-play skillset can bring that true number one option to the Jets offense and really help Darnold and this team moving forward.

#11: Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The most divisive quarterback in this class perhaps is Herbert, but the arm talent and ability to pull off great stuff out of structure has to allure teams in no matter what truly happens overall. There are certainly doubts about what he could be, but the Chargers have to make a move themselves at quarterback. Father time is undefeated, and it is knocking on Phillip Rivers’s door. Herbert can energize this offense with his dynamic skill set and can even learn for a year under Rivers to help him develop past his inconsistencies. 

#12: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

The other Alabama tackle is now off the clock, folks. Wills is a superb natural athlete in pass protection. All signs point to Jameis Winston returning as the starter next year. With all the trouble the Buccaneers have had in protecting him during his tenure in Tampa Bay, Wills is a much-welcomed addition to the offensive line. 

#13: Philadelphia Eagles: Ceedee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

The Eagles need a wide receiver so, so badly. Alshon Jeffrey does not look like himself at all, Nelson Agholor drops far too many passes, and otherwise, this wide receiver corps as not been inspiring at all. J.J. Arcega Whiteside has been a disappointment as well. Lamb is considered the best receiver in this class by some. With his ability to separate and make big plays after the catch, this pick makes far too much sense. Carson Wentz can now celebrate as he gets a true number one receiver. 

#14: Cleveland Browns: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

The Browns have had their fair share of struggles at tackle, but the tackle position at this point has been raided. They can not afford to make such a gigantic reach here, especially when the best safety is on the board, and there is a gaping hole at safety on their defense. Morgan Burnett just went down with a season-ending Achilles injury, and behind him, there has not been much talent. Delpit has had his fair share of struggles on the season, especially in the tackling department, but there is no doubt that Delpit is a playmaker who can shore up a weakness in this safety group. 

#15: Carolina Panthers: Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina

I love this fit for Carolina. With so many question marks beyond this season along the defensive line, it seems like the Panthers might need to invest along the defensive line, and what better way to do it than by getting an absolute game wrecker in Javon Kinlaw. Kinlaw’s fantastic first step and power give you glimpses of a potential top ten player in this class if he pans out. He is a bit on the rawer side of things with his hands, but when you hear from analysts that he could be the next Chris Jones, they are not kidding. Kinlaw has all the traits to be a stud for the Panthers here. 

#16: Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

This is a home run pick for the Raiders here. The need at corner, especially after the Gareon Conley failure, is as clear as day for them. Thus, enter the best cornerback on the board, and a guy who brings playmaking ability with his length and ball skills in Trevon Diggs. Diggs has wide receiver like ball skills and great athleticism on top of it to stick with some of the fastest receivers out there. This is a natural fit in a Raiders defense that loves intensity, which Diggs brings. 

NEXT: PICKS 17-32

#17: Las Vegas Raiders: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Two Alabama picks in a row for the Raiders, and at two areas of need as well. The Raiders need a wide receiver. Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow are really solid pieces to build around, but adding a guy with legitimate 4.3 speed and unbelievable ability after the catch? This one is a slam dunk pick. Ruggs allows the Raiders to open up the offense even more than they already have for Derek Carr, and they can really stretch out defenses now with Ruggs and Williams on the same team. Ruggs can add that extra dimension to really kick this offense into full gear.

#18: Indianapolis Colts: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

It has been rumored for a long, long time that Chris Ballard absolutely loves Jordan Love, and as such, he pounces on the opportunity to grab Love here in the middle of the first round. Jacoby Brissett has not been bad, but his limitations have been seen all season long, especially with his lack of willingness to push the ball downfield. Love has fantastic arm talent, and his improvisation skills outside of the pocket are elite. It is the mental side for Love that gives him so much trouble, but with time to sit behind Brissett as well, Love is a no brainer pick here for Indianapolis should he enter the 2020 NFL Draft.

#19: Tennessee Titans: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

Tennessee is going to run this one up the podium! The Titans need another outside linebacker opposite of Harold Landry, but they also need some help along the interior defensive line. Whatever the case may be with their pass rush issues, the Titans can not afford to pass on the best player available who also happens to fill a need in A.J. Epenesa. Epenesa likely slides inside here, but he has a great toolbox of moves at his disposal and fantastic functional strength at the point of attack. That is why he has such a mean bull rush. Epenesa is a plug-and-play starter from day one. 

#20: Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams): Dylan Moses, ILB, Alabama

The Jaguars need a linebacker after Telvin Smith unexpectedly left the team before this season. Myles Jack and Quincy Williams could be two of the linebackers that start on this team in the future, but they still need a third guy to fit in there, and Moses is a wonderful fit to transform this Jaguars defense back to 2016 all over again. With Okudah earlier and now Moses in the middle, the infusion of talent on defense is tremendous. Moses can fill in well at mike LB while Myles Jack moves back to being a weak-side linebacker. Moses may have suffered a torn ACL prior to the season, but his athleticism and coverage ability will still be welcomed in Duval. 

#21: Dallas Cowboys: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Cowboys are going to have to dish out hefty contracts to Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott this offseason, and that likely means that Byron Jones is going to have to walk and find a new home as a result. The consolation prize at this point is an extremely talented cornerback in Kristian Fulton. Fulton is a guy who brings swagger to the field every time he steps out there. However, there is no doubt that the hallmark of his game is his fluidity and ball skills, and it makes him an excellent off-man cornerback. Fulton replaces Jones nicely, especially with his splash-play ability. Fulton fits nicely into the Cowboys defense and allows them to address their biggest need. 

#22: Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh): K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

There is nothing more that I can scream other than upside with this pick. The Dolphins absolutely need to address a pass rush unit that has not produced much flash at all this year. Get the explosive and versatile Chaisson onto the Dolphins defense, and they could potentially have a star pass rusher in the making. The Dolphins thus draft him for his massive upside to be a franchise cornerstone in their rebuild.

#23: Kansas City Chiefs: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

The Chiefs have to fix the cornerback position. That much has been clear, as it has been a nagging problem for years now in Kansas City. Wade has a fantastic skillset to help with the secondary problems in Kansas City. Wade can outside or inside, and what I love about his game is how sure of a tackler he is. Wade is a force in the run game as well. Obviously, coverage skills are far more important, and he has those as well with ball skills to boot. Wade is a top-20 player for me, and I love this value for the Chiefs here. 

#24: Minnesota Vikings: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

Another cornerback goes here just because of the sheer talent of the position and the need around the league. The Vikings are another one of those teams that are looking to go out and grab a cornerback with the corner group they have had this season disappointing along the way. Adebo has silky smooth hips and good instincts, and even though he has struggled this year, no team has been able to develop cornerbacks that have high ceilings better than the Vikings. Adebo has a high ceiling and will allow the Vikings to help their secondary that has not lived up to expectations this year. 

#25: Miami Dolphins (via Houston): Austin Jackson, OT, USC

This one is probably the biggest surprise of the first round by far. Jackson is not a well-known name at all, but by the time the draft comes around, he goes to be very well-known by tackle needy teams. Jackson has fantastic movement skills in space and in his pass sets. His feet are lightning quick, and his functional athleticism is impressive. Jackson plays with some nasty in his game too. He can set the tone along the offensive line. The Dolphins are looking for a guy to fill the void left behind by Laremy Tunsil, and Jackson can easily be that guy right away. He is a plug-and-play starter from day one. 

#26: Green Bay Packers: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

A height, weight, and speed monster paired with Davante Adams and Aaron Rodgers? Sign me up right away for that. Shenault is a physical specimen that has great contested catch and yards after the catch skills. This is the type of target that can help take the pressure off of Rodgers and Adams in a Green Bay offense that desperately needs that second option right now. Shenault has the ceiling to be a true number one option, though, and this could prove to be a phenomenal pairing for the Packers as they hope to push for a super bowl before Rodgers retires. 

#27: Buffalo Bills: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State

The Bills need to invest in some long-term pieces along this defensive line. They have talent along the defensive line, especially with the addition of Ed Oliver, but they are starving for some young defensive end talent. Gross-Matos is an athletic monster that can be just that. He is raw, but the ceiling for him is going to draw NFL teams to him, big time. Gross-Matos has proven his electric first step can win off the jump of the snap, but he has to learn how to use his hands and construct a pass rush plan. Buffalo’s veterans can help with his mentorship while he progresses along his learning curve. 

#28: Seattle Seahawks: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama

I really think as the process goes on that Lewis is going to rise as a prospect. His blend of burst and bend is just about unmatched  in this draft class, and injury concerns aside, Lewis has a massive ceiling as a player. Lewis paired with Jadeveon Clowney would be a force to be reckoned with up front, and at this juncture, it is just too good for the Seahawks to pass up given the potential that Lewis has in this league. 

#29: Baltimore Ravens: Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State

The Ravens have a massive weakness that could be looming next season, and that is at outside linebacker. Matt Judon could potentially walk out those doors, and behind him, there is a bunch of question marks. This is a unit that has just not gotten after the quarterback consistently enough. Weaver has great hand usage and pass-rush plan, and he is an immediate plug-and-play for the Ravens when they need that right away from the outside linebacker position. 

#30: New Orleans Saints: K.J Hamler, WR, Penn State

I really have to question exactly what the Saints are going to do here. They could do so many things when I look at their roster. Quarterback is always an option, but instead, assuming they have one of Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Brees next season, it is necessary to take a little bit more pressure off of Michael Thomas. Hamler can be used in the slot as a deep threat, or play outside and still be a great deep threat for them going forward. It would make the defense have to respect Hamler over the top and open up the offense that much more for Thomas and Alvin Kamara.

#31: New England Patriots: Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma

The Patriots really do not have a ton of flashy names on their roster, but the construction of the entire roster is just littered with solid players all across the board no matter which position you look at on this roster. Thus, when more interior pressure is still on the board? Bill Belichick would jump all over it. Gallimore is a great athlete on the interior of the defensive line and has an electric first step. Add in some really impressive displays of power and Gallimore has worked himself right into the first-round conversation off of his gifts and the leap in his play. A very sure pick with a good bit of upside to him, Gallimore is a quintessential New England draft pick.

#32: San Francisco 49ers: Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

A steal for a team that needs very little, but the 49ers could use some help on the interior of their offensive line. Humphrey is the best interior offensive lineman in this draft, and he is impressive. A great anchor and good athleticism allow Humphrey to be a natural pass protector but also a straight-up mauler in the running game. This is a natural fit, and the 49ers get a steal. 

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