The NFL world is still four months away from the 2020 NFL Draft. However, the Senior Bowl is upon us as are other off-season all-star games. With the first weekend of NFL playoffs games over, the 2020 first-round draft order is getting closer to being finalized. Like in live drafts where trades are conducted, this mock will also provide multiple scenarios where a team trades up to address an area of need or to acquire an elite talent sliding down the draft. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the NFL Playoffs Mock Draft.
1. Cincinnati Bengals – QB Joe Burrow, LSU
Each time Joe Burrow plays, he is setting records and perfecting more of his craft. From his accuracy to his mobility, not to mention his overall improvement from last year, Burrow arguably has the highest ceiling among first-round drafted quarterbacks over the last few years. Now, his underdog career has been rewarded in the most satisfying way – becoming the top pick. It’s going to be rough initially, but in time the Athens, Ohio native could bring the Bengals back to becoming a competitive team sooner rather than later.
2. Washington Redskins – OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
There are really just two legit options: Andrew Thomas or Chase Young. Washington needs an upgrade at tackle, and a player of Young’s caliber would immediately bolster the Redskins’ pass rush. Young is not a once in a generation type player that he is being hyped up as, but he is a dominant player, nonetheless. However, Washington can improve their defense later as they go with Thomas here, who is an athletic tackle as well as an underrated blocker in space.
3. Detroit Lions – DE Chase Young, Ohio State
Detroit is in a win-win situation no matter what here. They could go and bolster their secondary with Jeff Okudah, select the top prospect in the draft this year in Chase Young, or go with a chess piece like Isaiah Simmons. Detroit ops for Young here and does not look back.
4. New York Giants – CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State
There is a clear difference between Okudah and the other corners in the 2020 NFL Draft. Okudah has the size, speed, athleticism, and cover skills to go up against any opponent’s top wideout. Jalen Ramsey was a great prospect when he entered the draft out of Florida State. For me, that is who I see when I watch Okudah, and he might even be better than the former Seminole.
5. Miami Dolphins – QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
As of the posting of this mock, it is unknown if Tua will, in fact, declare for the draft. If he does, it makes too much sense for him to go to Miami. If that somehow does not happen, cases can be made for him to go to the Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina, Tampa Bay, and a few others later on as well. Tua can make all the throws, has enough mobility to get in a position to make plays, and his pre-snap reads and post-snap reads are superb. Had it not been for his regular-season injury, the expectation would be for him to go first overall. If the Dolphins truly want to go quarterback but decide against Tua, Oregon’s Justin Herbert also makes a lot of sense here.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – LB/S Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
While a rookie quarterback is tempting, the focus is elsewhere for the Chargers. Simmons is a matchup nightmare who can excel at either linebacker or safety. PFN CEO Matt Cannata shares the same view of Simmons as me, which he discussed in his mock last week, and I am sure many of you, which is that Simmons is a “chess piece” that any team would enjoy having to make plays after plays. For LA, he should play more linebacker, but regardless, no matter where he lines up, Simmons is going to be a mainstay on defense.
7. Carolina Panthers – QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
Carolina sits in no man’s land at the moment as they have to make a decision on what they are going to do with Cam Newton. Assuming Newton is playing elsewhere, Carolina needs to address the quarterback position early. Having Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel helps Justin Herbert and, in time, upgrades along the offensive line will come; but first comes the quarterback with a new coaching staff coming in. The one concern that I and others have about Herbert, which will be his ultimate factor in whether or not he succeeds, is the mental game. If he can move onto the next play whether good or bad, maintain his poise, and not let the previous plays impact what he does, then the Panthers will have made the right pick.
8. Arizona Cardinals – DL Derrick Brown, Auburn
There is not one player on Arizona’s defense and specifically their front seven with the exception of Chandler Jones that teams instantly know to account for. Enter Brown, who has the size and motor to require constant attention from the get-go from opponents. Arizona focused heavily on offense in last year’s NFL draft. This year, the Cardinals should continue to add to the offense but also focus on defense with prospects added in the trenches along the defensive line and then work itself backward throughout the front and back seven.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Regardless of whom is under center, additional help is needed offensively. By adding Jeudy into the fold, the Jags create a promising one-two punch at wide receiver with D.J. Chark. Both wideout and tackle could be considered here, along with secondary help, but given the depth at wideout, tackle, and in the secondary, Jacksonville goes for flash early with the best player available at the moment with the uber-talented Jeudy.
10. Cleveland Browns – OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
The Browns are in dysfunction… again. They currently do not have a head coach and John Dorsey recently decided to mutually part ways with the team. One area that was screaming for help all season was the Browns’ offensive line. Subpar free agent signings in recent seasons have not cut it, and without a more stable offensive line in front of Baker Mayfield, the former first overall pick will maintain his play of this past regular season, among other reasons. Enter Wirfs who can play either LT or RT and is a day one starter. As long as he can shore up his pass protection a bit, Cleveland drafted a tackle prospect who could be really special.
11. Indianapolis Colts trade with NY Jets – QB Jordan Love, Utah State
12. Las Vegas Raiders – WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
13. New York Jets trade with Indianapolis Colts – OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
15. Denver Broncos – WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
16. Tennessee Titans trade with Atlanta Falcons – EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
17. Dallas Cowboys – S Grant Delpit, LSU
18. Miami Dolphins via Pittsburgh Steelers – RB J.K. Dobbins, OSU
19. Las Vegas Raiders via Chicago Bears – LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
20. Jacksonville Jaguars via Los Angeles Rams – CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
If the Colts stay where they are, they run the risk of someone else trading up or someone currently with an earlier pick selecting Love. Instead, they trade up and get their franchise quarterback. The Jets need a lot of help on both sides of the ball, especially on offense; from linemen to wideout upgrades, multiple areas need to be addressed. Without a good offensive line, Sam Darnold won’t be able to be in a position to improve and win. So, while selecting a wideout is tempting before the trade, the Jets instead bolster their line with Wills with the expectation that wide receiver is addressed in round two.
Like the Love scenario, seeing A.J. Epenesa starting to drop puts the Titans in a decision-making situation. Multiple teams ahead of Tennesee initially could use a skill-set like Epenesa’s, and because of that, the Titans decide not to wait as they trade up. Tennessee is already a physical team offensively, and by adding A.J. and his great point of attack and hand usage, the Titans become more physical defensively while also improving their pass rush.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado
22. Buffalo Bills – WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
23. New England Patriots – EDGE Curtis Weaver, Boise State
24. New Orleans Saints – CB C.J. Henderson, Florida
25. Atlanta Falcons trade with Tennessee Titans – DT Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma
26. Minnesota Vikings – CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama
27. Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans – OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn
By trading back, Atlanta upgrades its defensive line with Gallimore, who is a borderline first-rounder. Assuming he gets drafted on April 23rd with a good performance at the combine, the early 20s is his ceiling.
There is a lot of praise and expectations surrounding Jeudy and Lamb. If Shenault had better quarterback play and an overall better offense, he would be in that category too. When we look back at this draft, Shenault should be one of the few first-rounders that teams’ decision-makers shake their heads at knowing he was a steal. I see some A.J. Green in Shenault, and for Philly in this scenario, he would be a great compliment to their offense as their new WR1.
Although Miami did not address defense in the first round, they certainly addressed three of their biggest needs. While Dobbins at 18 can be seen as a little high, he is a do-it-all back with overlooked pass protection skills. Using him as the first and second-down back, Dobbins will provide a presence that the Dolphins have been seeking for a while. That is a great thing for them considering a quarterback’s, specifically Tua’s, best friend is a great running game. Not a ton of focus nationally has been on Wanogho, but as PFN’s Tony Pauline had expressed in the latest mailbag, he could be an option later in the first. Wanogho is not a road grader and needs work in open space blocking, but he does have overall good blocking ability.
28. Seattle Seahawks – C Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin
29. Kansas City Chiefs – RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia
30. Green Bay Packers – OL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers trade with San Francisco 49ers – QB Jacob Eason, Washington
32. Baltimore Ravens – DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
Just think what the Seahawks could do with some of the top linemen coming in and upgrading different spots along their offensive line. Biadasz, who is very physical and athletic, is the top center this year, and his presence will go a long way into improving the Seahawks’ line for years to come.
Can Kansas City possibly get even more dynamic on offense? The answer is yes through Swift. Former Georgia running back is the top player at his position for some. His speed and ability to make plays in space are just a couple of the reasons why he is the talent that he is.
Tampa needs to fix their quarterback situation, and since they did not upgrade the position earlier, the Bucs trade back up and get Eason with the fifth-year option. While it is a bit early for Eason, he is their best option available. Eason is selected with the hope that his arm strength and overall skill-set will take Tampa’s passing game to a new level with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, while also helping get them back to playing for wild card berths, division crowns, and more.
Ryan Rosko is PFN’s NFL Draft Director and Content Director. You can follow him at @SkoSports on Twitter.