Halfway through the 2019 NFL season, and we’re finally starting to get a clearer image of which teams will be picking and what their needs are. There are five winless or one-win teams currently, meaning it’s anyone’s game to get the first overall pick. For now, I’m using the NFL standings as the draft order. For each selection, I chose players based on team needs and where I think the NFL will value them. That means these players aren’t selected according to my board, but more a prediction to how the NFL will view them. Without any further explanation, here is my midseason 2020 NFL mock draft.
#1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
No prospect has raised their stock more than Joe Burrow. He’s gone from late-round pick to potential Heisman winner and first overall pick. He has displayed pinpoint accuracy and is a perfect fit with the new look LSU offense. I believe Bengals head coach Zac Taylor would view Burrow as his ideal candidate in his west coast scheme.
#2. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
This is a hard decision to make. While I’m sure the NFL will like Tua as a prospect, I know they’ll love Chase Young. However, Miami needs their franchise QB, and won’t risk missing out.
#3. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Chase Young is the best player in the country, and while the Redskins don’t have a pressing need at edge rusher, you can’t pass on a talent like him. Young will be a serious contender to go first overall. The Redskins get a steal at three, and the paring of Young and Montez Sweat will be the most athletic pass rush duo in the NFL.
#4. Atlanta Falcons: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Jeffrey Okudah is the best cornerback that I’ve ever evaluated. The Falcons are desperate for defensive talent. This pick seems like a match made in heaven. Okudah has elite cover skills and has shown great ball production this season. The Falcons’ secondary gets an instant upgrade with this pick.
#5. New York Jets: Andrew Thomas, LT, Georgia
The Jets have a needs all over the roster. So they’re going to take the best player available. Andrew Thomas has been a stonewall at Georgia for three years now. He’s dominated the competition and has excellent physical traits to go with a well-refined skill-set. He’s a plug-and-play tackle, and it shows the Jets are investing in their franchise quarterback.
#6. New York Giants: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
After trading Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants have struggled to produce big plays outside of Saquon Barkley. This selection changes that. With his elite route running and excellent ability after the catch, Jeudy can become another catalyst for the Giants offense and provide them with one of the best young trios in the league.
#7. Denver Broncos: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Broncos selected quarterback Drew Lock in the second round of last year’s NFL Draft. However, Lock hasn’t registered a snap this season and head coach Vic Fangio hasn’t come off as Lock’s biggest fan. Justin Herbert could have been the first passer selected in last years draft, but falls to third this season. His upside is arguably the best in class, and he fits the mold of QB’s GM John Elway prefers.
#8. Cleveland Browns: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Cleveland has issues, and their biggest is the offensive line. Baker Mayfield has regressed in his second season, and a part of that is due to the constant pressure he’s under. The Browns would be wise to invest in his future and provide him, competent lineman, as they look to bounce back from this failed season. Wirfs physical tools are off the charts, and I expect him to be a combine standout. He has experience at both tackle spots and is another Iowa lineman that looks to dominate in the NFL.
#9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Coming into the year, I viewed Tampa as having the weakest edge rushing unit in the NFL. However, Shaw Barrett decided to come in and prove me wrong. With his breakout season coming on a one year deal, Barrett will be looking to get paid this offseason. I’m not sure if Tampa intends to pay Barrett, but whether or not they do, this pick makes sense. AJ Epenesa dominates the line of scrimmage with length, power, and a non-stop motor. Whether he’s being paired with Barrett, or being selected to replace him, he’ll be a force in Tampa/
#10. Los Angeles Chargers: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
I’m a documented fan of Phillip Rivers, but if the Chargers are picking top-10 something obviously needs to change. Rivers is an unrestricted free agent this year. Even if the LA chose to re-sign him to a one or two year deal, they should invest in the quarterback position. Jordan Love has excellent physical tools and his sophomore season was excellent. He has struggled this season, and will likely need time to adjust to the NFL speed, but his traits and mentality are that of an NFL star.
#11. Las Vegas Raiders: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
The Raiders defense is lacking in two major areas: linebacker and safety. So, why not give them both? Isaiah Simmons is a physical freak who has both the instincts and size to play linebacker and the athleticism and coverage ability to play safety. He’s an instant boost to the Raiders secondary.
#12. Miami Dolphins(via PIT): Grant Delpit, Saf, LSU
DBU for a reason, LSU has produced another star. Grant Delpit has garnered comparison to Derwin James, and for good reason. Both are ultra-versatile safeties who can cover the pass, stop the run, and rush the passers. There’s not enough uses for Delpit, and the Dolphins are littered with holes.
#13. Las Vegas Raiders(via CHI): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Raiders traded away Gareon Conley this season, and are once again looking to draft a true CB1. Fulton chose to return to LSU for his senior season, despite potentially being a first round draft pick last season. He hasn’t disappointed. Fulton is an elite cover corner with exciting athletic ability and ball skills to match. He’s a better prospect than former teammate Greedy Williams was last year.
#14. Arizona Cardinals: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
The Cardinals had a massive draft class and filled their needs at QB, WR, and CB. However, they failed to fill their biggest hole: offensive line. Luckily, Kyler Murray is capable of making plays out of the pocket, but if they want Murray to reach his full potential, they’ll invest in his future. Alex Leatherwood moved to left tackle after playing most of last season at guard. He’s a blend of athletic ability and size, who shows both power and finesse. Of the three tackles that have been selected thus far, Leatherwood is the biggest project, and will likely struggle at times as a rookie. However, if coached correctly he can be one of the top tackles in the league.
#15. Philadelphia Eagles: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Toast. Breakfast of champions. Well, more like secondary of champions. One year removed from a Super Bowl title, and the Eagles are projected to finish with a top 15 pick. The biggest reason? Teams are able to move the ball at will against them. The secondary has been ravaged by injuries, but even when healthy they haven’t been very good. Adebo is a blend of size and speed, but he also produces the ball skills and technique teams covet. He hasn’t been as dominant this season, but the talent is undeniable.