The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is officially in the books. But while the world will stop to analyze the selections, the NFL will hit the ground running again later tonight, and run through the second and third rounds. There’s plenty of talent still yet to be had. Here’s a look at how the board might play out from this point onward, with a Day 2 mock draft looking at the remaining prospects.
2020 NFL Draft: Post first-round Day 2 mock draft
33) Cincinnati Bengals: Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB Appalachian State
The Bengals could go offensive tackle to kick off the second round, but they have Jonah Williams coming back to man the left side, and they seem content with Bobby Hart on the right, for better or worse. Just as they addressed quarterback with the first overall pick, they can now address the quarterback of the defense with pick 33. Akeem Davis-Gaither provides the athleticism and instincts needed to man multiple linebacker spots.
34) Indianapolis Colts (via WAS): Laviska Shenault, WR Colorado
The Colts could go quarterback here, but the value isn’t great just yet. Pick 34 will give them a chance to nab any first-round talent that seeped through the cracks, and with his athletic and analytical profile, Laviska Shenault qualifies. He adds size and dynamic ability to Indianapolis’ receiving core, and as he develops, his skill set will only be maximized.
35) Detroit Lions: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn State
This is a slam dunk pick for the Detroit Lions, who get a long, athletic, and competitive defensive end after missing out on Chase Young in the first round. Yetur Gross-Matos has a ton of potential. He and first-round selection Jeffrey Okudah will symbiotically assist each other in the passing game.
36) New York Giants: Antoine Winfield Jr., DB Minnesota
One of Joe Judge’s most striking quotes in his introductory press conference with the New York Giants came when he talked about maximizing what a player could do, and not fixating on what they can’t do. Judge, coming from New England, has to value versatility highly, which is why Antoine Winfield Jr. might be his first pick to address the team’s need at safety. Winfield’s instincts, ball skills, and closing abilities are transcendent at the position.
37) New England Patriots (via LAC): Josh Uche, OLB Michigan
At this point, you’re not going to get your next surefire franchise quarterback if you’re New England, so why force it? Take the best value on your board. For a team that could use both help on the edge and at outside linebacker, Josh Uche is a good fit. He’s a versatile, athletic linebacker prospect who has roots as a pass rusher, but the traits to fulfill a more multifaceted role.
38) Carolina Panthers: Kristian Fulton, CB LSU
Even after selecting Derrick Brown in round one, the Carolina Panthers still have quite a few holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball. One rests at cornerback, where James Bradberry left a void in free agency. That void can be filled by Kristian Fulton, who has the ease of movement and the mental acuity to become a well-rounded CB1 for Matt Rhule’s squad.
39) Miami Dolphins: D’Andre Swift, RB Georiga
Miami’s selection of Noah Igbinoghene at 30 might signal some future shuffling in their secondary, thus obscuring the need at safety. Additionally, now that it’s the second round, the value of running backs has increased. Thus, the Dolphins can safely add to their stockpile of weapons on offense, and D’Andre Swift is a quality addition, with the explosiveness and creation capacity to add a new element for Brian Flores and Tua Tagovailoa.
40) Houston Texans (via ARI): Robert Hunt, OG Louisiana
After his free agency performance, I can’t trust acting general manager Bill O’Brien to make a normal selection at 40. That said, while this pick might be a reach on most boards, Robert Hunt is a fairly well-rounded lineman who projects well as a guard at the next level. He’s powerful, alert, and active with his hands, and he can help Houston invest in the safety of their star quarterback.
41) Cleveland Browns: Logan Wilson, ILB Wyoming
After losing Joe Schobert and Christian Kirksey in free agency, the Cleveland Browns could stand to reaffirm their investment in the linebacker position. Logan Wilson is a player who’s been rising steadily throughout the draft process, and he’d provide the Browns with a healthy mix of athleticism, physicality, and smarts, something they could use at the middle linebacker position.
42) Jacksonville Jaguars: Grant Delpit, S LSU
The Jacksonville Jaguars have an ascending strong safety in Ronnie Harrison, but they could use a rangy cover man over the top to compliment him and maximize a defense which they’ve suddenly invested two first-round picks in. Grant Delpit is Jacksonville’s third defensive selection of the 2020 NFL Draft, and his athleticism and instinctive play can help the unit take the next step, as the Jaguars try to go back to their roots.
43) Chicago Bears (via LV): Denzel Mims, WR Baylor
If you’re going to have an uninspiring quarterback battle, the least you can do is equip those uninspiring quarterbacks with the weaponry necessary to potentially elevate their game. Denzel Mims, at the very least, has that framework; he’s a long, 6-foot-3 receiver with 4.39 speed and a 38-inch vertical, and with his explosiveness, he could catalyze the rebuild of the Bears’ offense.
44) Indianapolis Colts: Jaylon Johnson, CB Utah
Jaylon Johnson simply feels like a Colts cornerback. He’s not an elite athlete, but he’s only a couple tiers below that level, and he more than makes up for it with his awareness, physicality, ball skills, and fundamental polish. He has the potential to start early, and run away with that role in a crowded cornerback room.
45) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: AJ Epenesa, DL Iowa
AJ Epenesa, once a mainstay in first-round mocks, fell out of first-round consideration last night. His below-average athleticism as an edge rusher contributed to his fall, but in the right situation, he can be an immensely valuable chess piece on defense. For the Buccaneers, who employ a hybrid 3-4 alignment, Epenesa fits as an interior end who can flex out to the edge based on situation.
46) Denver Broncos: Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama
The pieces are slowly coming together for Vic Fangio in Denver, but he still doesn’t have his long, athletic cornerback on the boundary. Trevon Diggs can help with that. Diggs has some balance and polish issues to reconcile once he hits the NFL circuit, but his affinity for making a play on the ball is undeniable, and he has all the raw traits needed to be a premier starter.
47) Atlanta Falcons: Matt Hennessy, OL Temple
With the offensive guard position in flux and Alex Mack past 33 years of age, the Atlanta Falcons could use an infusion of talent on their interior offensive line. Matt Hennessy is a great pick here, as he offers immense upside with his freedom of movement and competitive flare as a blocker.
48) New York Jets: Tee Higgins, WR Clemson
Name recognition brands Tee Higgins as an upside pick, but in truth, he’s a bit limited in what he can do athletically. Still, with his length and competitiveness in contested situations, he’ll find a role at the next level, and in an uncertain Jets receiving core, there’s room for him to ascend.
49) Pittsburgh Steelers: Zack Baun, OLB Wisconsin
Linebacker is a substantial area of need for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and at 49, Zack Baun is a player who can help them two-fold in this area. He has the versatility to line up as both an outside linebacker and an edge rusher, and that flexibility will help Mike Tomlin optimize the rest of his defensive cast.
50) Chicago Bears: Cameron Dantzler, CB Mississippi State
Six cornerbacks went in the first round, and already, three more have gone in the second. Cameron Dantzler was projected to slide after his subpar NFL Combine performance, but once the top-tier is mined dry, he’ll be the next one up. Dantzler’s tape makes up for his lacking numbers, as he put the clamps on almost every SEC receiver he faced.
51) Dallas Cowboys: Bradlee Anae, EDGE Utah
Jerry Jones, being alone in the draft room, didn’t impact the Cowboys on the first day of the NFL Draft, but will that be the case on the second day? After the first round, things become fairly straight forward for Dallas. They need more security on defense, and at edge, Bradlee Anae might not have the most upside, but he’s a player you can trust to contribute.
52) Los Angeles Rams: Julian Okwara, EDGE Notre Dame
The Rams signed Leonard Floyd after letting Dante Fowler go in free agency, but Floyd is seriously lacking as a pass rusher. While Julian Okwara is much more inspiring, from a technical standpoint, he offers the raw explosiveness and size teams look for on the edge. The Rams have enough at the position to allow Okwara time to develop and tap into his upside.
53) Philadelphia Eagles: Xavier McKinney, DB Alabama
There’s always at least one prospect who slides when he shouldn’t, and Xavier McKinney, a common inclusion in first-round mocks from February to April, feels like that player this year. The Eagles are the beneficiary of his fall in this mock, as they get a versatile defensive back to fill the void left by Malcolm Jenkins.
54) Buffalo Bills: Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin
Running back is the trendy pick for Buffalo here, not necessarily because it’s what they should do, but because it’s what offers the best value on most boards. Jonathan Taylor, widely considered RB1 by various draft analysts, is a great get late in the second round for Buffalo, as he has both the running durability and the receiving upside to help out Josh Allen on the offensive side of the ball.
55) Baltimore Ravens (from NE via ATL): Michael Pittman Jr., WR USC
The Ravens invested a great deal in the wide receiver position last year, and while their early returns were decent, they weren’t inspiring enough to negate the position as a need this year. Searching for size, athleticism, and fluidity, the Ravens would be astute in their selection of USC receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who has all of the aforementioned qualities.
56) Miami Dolphins (via NO): Jeremy Chinn, DB Southern Illinois
Noah Igbinoghene gives the Dolphins a ton of versatility right off the bat, but why stop there? There’s still a moderate need at safety, which Brian Flores could creatively fill by adding Jeremy Chinn. Chinn has an elite athletic profile at multiple positions, and for the next few months, Flores can now daydream about how he’s going to use these new pieces.
57) Los Angeles Rams (via HOU): Ezra Cleveland, OT Boise State
Andrew Whitworth isn’t getting any younger (Although at this point, he might not be getting any older either), and with an eye to the long-term future of the tackle position, the Rams select Boise State bookend Ezra Cleveland. Cleveland is a superb athlete, and with some time to add power and technical consistency to his game, he can be a quality starter.
58) Minnesota Vikings: Josh Jones, OT Houston
Josh Jones is raw, but in Minnesota, he won’t have to start right away, given Riley Reiff’s status as the starting left tackle. Jones has a supremely enticing combination of athleticism and power, and with a year of seasoning, he can take the reigns from Reiff and give Kirk Cousins quality blindside protection.
59) Seattle Seahawks: Curtis Weaver, DE Boise State
Curtis Weaver is a subpar athlete and has been slipping steadily since the start of the 2019 season, but he still fits what the Seahawks look for in their linemen. Weaver is an effort rusher who has the size to fulfill a sort of hybrid role, and that will be enough for the Seahawks to bank on his production at 59.
60) Baltimore Ravens: Lloyd Cushenberry, OL LSU
Patrick Mekari played very well down the stretch as an undrafted free agent for the Ravens in 2019, and odds are, he remains the starter. But the Ravens still have some uncertainty on the interior, and if Mekari regresses, they’ll want a backup plan. Lloyd Cushenberry can fill that role, as he has enough athletic ability, length, and power to be a versatile interior blocker with starting upside.
61) Tennessee Titans: Marlon Davidson, DE Auburn
After trading Jurrell Casey away to the Denver Broncos, the Tennessee Titans are in need of new talent on the defensive line. Marlon Davidson is a good fit for Tennessee’s 3-4 end designation, has he has the size and athleticism to fulfill that role.
62) Green Bay Packers: Chase Claypool, WR/TE Notre Dame
The Green Bay Packers are on the clock, and they still need talent at both wide receiver and tight end. Why not add both with one pick? Chase Claypool, standing at 6-foot-4, 238 pounds, has 4.42 speed and a 40.5-inch vertical. He doesn’t quite match those athletic measurements on tape, but his testing proves that that is part of his potential. In the right role, Matt LaFleur can find Claypool’s best version, and in a versatile role, he could flourish.
63) Kansas City Chiefs (via SF): Bryce Hall, CB Virginia
The Kansas City Chiefs were expected by just about everybody to pick a cornerback at pick 32. They instead picked a running back, leaving their cornerback position open for more talent. At the tail end of round two, there isn’t much adequate value on the board, but Virginia’s Bryce Hall has enough in his toolbox, with his length, physicality, and quick processing ability.
64) Seattle Seahawks (via KC): Matt Peart, OT UConn
The Seahawks managed to add to their tackle group in free agency, but the position is still mired in a degree of uncertainty. Matt Peart won’t solve that right away, but he’s a long-term project with a ton of upside, given his length and athletic talent.
Continue to see our Day 2 third-round mock draft.