While it’s hard to believe that the NFL Draft is now just days away, it truly feels great to be approaching a sporting “event” and return to a small sense of normalcy. The 2020 NFL Draft will be unforgettable not because of the order of the picks, but for the unprecedented nature of the team prep and the presentation on draft night.
The beautiful thing about the NFL Draft is that it’s a chance for each franchise to make vast improvements, all within a wildly unpredictable setting. My final 2020 mock draft is plausible, but with any projection of 64 consecutive picks, there can be small surprises.
Brad Kelly’s Final 2020 NFL Mock Draft | Round 1
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB LSU
Cincinnati needs their quarterback of the future, and Ohio-born Joe Burrow is worthy of the first overall pick. Burrow changes the entire outlook of the Bengals franchise.
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE Ohio State
As long as the Redskins have confidence in second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Chase Young’s potential against the run and pass will be too much for them to pass up.
3. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB Ohio State
Detroit’s most pressing need is cornerback, and Okudah is one of the cleanest, highest potential prospects at the position in years.
4. New York Giants – Isaiah Simmons, Defensive Weapon Clemson
Isaiah Simmons is a unique prospect with athletic upside and versatility. He’s a chess piece and playmaker for a defense that could use talent on its second and third levels.
5. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
A dream scenario for Miami as Tua falls to them at the fifth overall pick. As long as he’s healthy, Tua is an elite quarterback prospect with all-pro potential.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB Oregon
It’s difficult to believe that the Chargers will pass on a quarterback during the rare occasion that they’re drafting in the top-10, especially when Tyrod Taylor is in line to be their starter with little competition.
7. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, DT Auburn
Carolina has made an effort to improve their defensive line and pass rush over the past year, but are still searching for interior depth and a foundational piece next to Kawann Short. Derrick Brown provides strength and projects as the best interior defensive lineman in the class.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills, OT Alabama
Arizona needs a starting caliber right tackle to protect second-year quarterback Kyler Murray, and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills has the potential of a franchise cornerstone at that position.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – C.J. Henderson, CB Florida
Jacksonville needs cornerback talent now that both Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are gone. C.J. Henderson provides supreme talent and upside after playing college ball in nearby Gainesville, Florida.
10. Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville
Cleveland will look to replace Greg Robinson at left tackle and provide protection for Baker Mayfield. Mekhi Becton is a massive human being with fluidity and could have the highest ceiling among all offensive tackle prospects.
11. New York Jets – Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa
New York has invested a lot into their offensive line, and for good reason. They’re still in the market for a right tackle, and Tristan Wirfs’ athleticism should make him an immediate starter.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama
Las Vegas needs offensive playmakers, and Jerry Jeudy would provide immediate production and upside for veteran quarterback Derek Carr.
Jerry Jeudy has elite explosiveness and flexibility, but his technique matches his athletic traits. Stays light on his feet, defined cuts and sells his double moves with his eyes.#KellyClips pic.twitter.com/yFyml1MYvU
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) April 16, 2019
13. San Francisco 49ers – CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma
San Francisco’s offense took a step forward when they traded for Emmanuel Sanders, and they’ll need to replace his talent if it’s going to function at that level again. CeeDee Lamb is a high-upside prospect at the position with incredible ball skills.
14. Tampa Bay Bucs – Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia
Tampa needs better protection for Tom Brady, and Andrew Thomas is a pure pass protector who can start right away at either offensive tackle position.
15. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama
Denver lands a field stretcher to pair with second-year quarterback Drew Lock and his bazooka arm. Ruggs would open up the intermediate level for the Broncos offense and provide explosive plays.
16. Atlanta Falcons – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE LSU
Atlanta added Dante Fowler Jr. to improve their pass rush but will be looking for a running mate on the other side. K’Lavon Chaisson provides explosiveness and bend around the edge.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Javon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina
Dallas needs to continue adding to their defensive line depth and rotation, and Javon Kinlaw’s interior pass rush upside makes him a value pick at this point.
18. Miami Dolphins – Xavier McKinney, Safety Alabama
Miami suddenly has two lockdown cornerbacks, but their current safety depth chart leaves a lot to be desired. Head coach Brian Flores will be looking for his own version of Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung, and McKinney brings intelligence and versatility.
19. Las Vegas Raiders – Patrick Queen, LB LSU
After adding to their offensive weapons with their first selection, Las Vegas plugs a need defensively with Patrick Queen, an instinctive, athletic linebacker who has coverage potential.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Grant Delpit, Safety LSU
Jacksonville could completely shore up their secondary by hitting on a cornerback and free safety with their first-round selections. Grant Delpit’s athletic upside in coverage is potentially elite.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Denzel Mims, WR Baylor
Philadelphia needs to keep swinging in attempts to upgrade their wide receiver position, and Denzel Mims provides a vertical and boundary threat with 4.3s speed and a massive catch radius.
22. Minnesota Vikings – Justin Jefferson, WR LSU
Minnesota will be searching for a successor to Stefon Diggs early in the NFL Draft, and the productive Justin Jefferson has some of the same route running and body control qualities.
23. New England Patriots – Cesar Ruiz, C/G Michigan
New England franchise-tagged left guard Joe Thuney, and center David Andrews will be returning from injury and entering the final year of his contract. Adding the position-flexible Cesar Ruiz, the best interior offensive lineman in the class, would shore up their offensive line depth.
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) April 15, 2020
24. New Orleans Saints – Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma
New Orleans doesn’t have many holes on their roster, but linebacker depth is necessary with the health of Kiko Alonso and Alex Anzalone up in the air. Kenneth Murray is an athletic, rangy specimen at the position.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Kristian Fulton, CB LSU
Minnesota needed upgrades at cornerback before their offseason departures, which now makes it even more of a requirement that they land one early in the draft. Kristian Fulton was the best senior cornerback in college football and has experience covering some of the best wide receiver prospects in the country over his career.
26. Miami Dolphins – Josh Jones, OT Houston
After selecting Tagovailoa, Miami will need to surround him with protection. They’re expected to target an offensive tackle early, and Josh Jones is a developmental piece who could become a plus starter.
27. Seattle Seahawks – Yetur Gross-Matos, DE Penn State
Despite selecting L.J. Collier last year, Seattle desperately needs pass rush and versatility on the defensive line. Yetur Gross-Matos fits their “Leo” position skill-set while offering traits to help the interior rush as well.
28. Baltimore Ravens – A.J. Epenesa, DE Iowa
Baltimore is making a concentrated effort on improving their defensive line after getting exposed against the running game in the playoffs, and A.J. Epenesa could potentially be a dominant run defender. He’s the potential Za’Darius Smith replacement that Baltimore didn’t have last season.
29. Tennessee Titans – Jeff Gladney, CB TCU
With Logan Ryan still unsigned, Adoree Jackson possibly entering the final year of his contract, and Malcolm Butler’s play constantly flipping between up and down, Tennessee needs to address the cornerback position. Jeff Gladney’s an instinctive man cover cornerback who could contribute immediately.
30. Green Bay Packers – Laviska Shenault, WR Colorado
Green Bay’s wide receiver depth chart is Davante Adams and a few question marks, making the position one of need. Laviska Shenault fits their size requirements while offering more upside than all of their other complementary options.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama
San Francisco currently has a position battle for their second cornerback spot with Emmanuel Moseley and Ahkello Witherspoon, but neither looked like a permanent answer for all of last season. With few holes on the roster, they should target another cornerback to compete for that spot and potentially take over for Richard Sherman down the line.
32. Kansas City – Zack Baun, LB/EDGE Wisconsin
Kansas City obviously has a strong roster, but they could still improve their athleticism at linebacker. Zack Baun fits the Steve Spagnuolo profile both from a skill-set and size perspective.
See next page for the second round of Brad Kelly’s Final 2020 NFL Mock Draft