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Post-Free Agency Three Round NFL Mock Draft: Quarterbacks go Top 2

Post-Free Agency Three Round NFL Mock Draft: Quarterbacks go top 2
Photo Credit: Alabama Athletics

The hype of free agency has started to dull with almost all of the big names signed. Now, the attention has shifted to the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, with fans itching to see the new faces of their franchise. It seems like the event will take place as scheduled, but in a different format than many of us are used to. Regardless, the anticipation for this event is at an all-time high, given the circumstances of the world right now. I daresay the 2020 NFL Draft might be the most-watched event of the year, given the lack of sports on television at the moment. With free agency almost wrapped up, it’s a good time to release my latest three-round NFL mock draft, including trades. Note: *=denotes trade within mock

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Post-Free Agency Three Round NFL Mock Draft

FIRST ROUND

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB LSU
The first overall pick is the easiest one in this three-round NFL mock draft. Burrow’s the best quarterback in the class and is a truly elite prospect. Unless Cincinnati receives a historic and unprecedented haul for this pick, Burrow should be in the black and orange.

2. Miami Dolphins (via WAS)*: Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
Washington sends pick #2 and pick #108 while Miami sends pick #5, #18, #39, and pick #70. With rumors swirling that Detroit may or may not be interested in Tua Tagovailoa, Miami takes it out of consideration and trades up to take their much-desired franchise QB. It’s a steep price, but Miami still has an extra first, second, and gets an additional fourth-round pick to build around Tua.

3. Detroit Lions: Chase Young, EDGE Ohio State
So I said the Joe Burrow pick was the easiest pick in this mock earlier, but I lied. This was. Chase Young is an instant difference-maker for Detroit and should boost their pass rush immediately. Young would complete the overhaul of the Detroit defense this season.

4. New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S Clemson
The word on the Giants since the Combine has been their continued interest in Clemson playmaker Isaiah Simmons. I know they signed Blake Martinez in free agency, but that really shouldn’t stop them from taking a talent like Simmons.

5. Washington Redskins (via MIA)*: Jeffrey Okudah, CB Ohio State
Washington misses out on the chance to add Chase Young to their roster, but they rebound by adding an elite cornerback prospect in Okudah. Okudah, plus several added picks, brings so much more value to the Redskins roster that cannot be ignored. After losing Josh Norman and trading Quinton Dunbar, Washington can boost their corner room with an elite piece right away.

Related | Tony Pauline’s Overall and Positional Rankings

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB Oregon
The popular pick recently has been an OT, but I would be astounded if the Chargers drafted a left tackle here as the team believes in 2019 third-round pick Trey Pipkins. Drafting the QB of the future is the smart move, even if they believe Tyrod Taylor can hold it down for a year.

7. Carolina Panthers: Javon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina
Carolina lost Dontari Poe, Gerald McCoy, and Vernon Butler on their defensive line, leaving them Kawann Short and little else up front. Kinlaw is an outstanding penetrator on the defensive interior and would form a deadly duo with Short.

8. Denver Broncos (via ARI)*: Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama
Arizona sends pick #8 and pick #131 while Denver sends pick #15, #46, and pick #118. The Broncos’ interest in Henry Ruggs has been one of the worst kept secrets of the draft season. The pairing of Ruggs and Courtland Sutton would be an explosive combination for Drew Lock. They’ll have to leap ahead of the WR-needy teams, but the Broncos have a ton of assets to pull off this move.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: C.J. Henderson, CB Florida
Henderson becomes the immediate CB1 for a Jaguars team that lost both Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. He’s an excellent cover corner and will provide a playmaking boost to a secondary in rebuild mode.

10. Cleveland Browns: Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa
The Browns signed Jack Conklin to play right tackle and should keep him there for the time being. So why Tristan Wirfs? I admittedly am not a fan of moving sides for tackles, but Wirfs has experience playing left tackle in college and has the traits to succeed. Out of all of the offensive tackles in this class, Wirfs is the best fit in the Stefanski offense. Under talented OL coach Bill Callahan, Wirfs can be a stalwart franchise left tackle for a team that’s been missing one since the retirement of future Hall-of-Famer Joe Thomas.

11. New York Jets: Ceedee Lamb, WR Oklahoma
I’m passing on an offensive tackle here as much as I think that’s where the Jets should target. The Jets threw a ton of money at George Fant to be the starter at left tackle (success of this plan remains TBD), and I was a fan of the tape Chuma Edoga put out and believe in him at right tackle. Thus, they take a playmaker to give Darnold another weapon after the Jets lost Robby Anderson in free agency.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama
Jeudy may be the last of the big-3 wide receivers taken, but that doesn’t diminish his ability. He’s an elite route-runner and playmaker after the catch, something that Las Vegas doesn’t really have. The Nelson Agholor signing should not affect their need at WR at all.

13. San Francisco 49ers (via IND): Derrick Brown, DT Auburn
Javon Kinlaw is off the board, but the 49ers should still draft Buckner’s replacement in Derrick Brown. I think Brown is being seriously underrated by a lot of analysts. The 49ers’ defensive line lost a few players this offseason, but Brown here at 13 would provide a behemoth up front for the Niners. Try to figure out who to double-team on that defensive line.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jedrick Wills, OT Alabama
The Buccaneers let Demar Dotson walk in free agency, but couldn’t have picked a better draft to nab his replacement at right tackle. Wills steps in right away at right tackle to protect new Buccaneer Tom Brady (still weird to type), and Tampa Bay is already a winner in this three-round NFL mock draft.

Related | AJ Schulte’s Top-20 offensive tackles in the 2020 NFL Draft

15. Arizona Cardinals (via DEN)*: K’Lavon Chaisson, OLB LSU
Arizona ends up recouping the second-rounder they lost in the DeAndre Hopkins trade by trading back with the Broncos. They lost a shot at both Javon Kinlaw and Derrick Brown, so they boost their defense in a different way. They signed Devon Kennard but he’s more likely to be the drop-LB/SAM OLB for Arizona, and it’s no secret the staff has been shopping Haason Reddick, leaving an opening at the primary pass-rusher spot opposite Chandler Jones.

19 of the team’s 40 sacks came from Chandler Jones by himself, and the team only has one player with more than one sack last year coming back in free agency so far.  It’s not a common pick in many mock drafts, but Chaisson is a great fit and absolutely fills a need for Arizona, given the division they play in.

16. Atlanta Falcons: Kristian Fulton, CB LSU
After releasing Desmond Trufant, the Falcons need his replacement in the secondary. Fulton’s athleticism makes him an appealing target for Atlanta. He’s a high-upside pick whose best football is ahead of him.

17. Minnesota Vikings (via DAL)*: Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville
Dallas sends pick #17 and pick #164 while Minnesota sends pick #22, #58, and pick #155. Minnesota leapfrogs several tackle-needy teams to take the behemoth from Louisville in this three-round NFL mock draft. There have been rumors that Minnesota is contemplating moving Riley Reiff to left guard, which presumably would only happen if they had a better option at left tackle. Enter Becton.

18. Washington Redskins (via MIA)*: Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia
The writing on the wall is that All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams will be leaving Washington either via a trade or release. If that happens, Washington needs a new left tackle. Luckily, this draft has plenty of them to choose from. With the trade down with Miami, Washington has the assets to either take one here at 18 or trade-up if they feel the need to.

19. New England Patriots (via LVR)*: Jordan Love, QB Utah State
Las Vegas sends pick #19 while New England sends pick #23, #87, and pick #125. The Patriots move up a little to secure their quarterback of the future (and keep him away from Jacksonville) in talented gunslinger Jordan Love. While they may ultimately believe in Jarrett Stidham as their guy, for now, I’ve not seen enough from him to feel comfortable moving forward.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR): Justin Jefferson, WR LSU
Jacksonville has some serious speed on offense with D.J. Chark and Dede Westbrook, but they don’t have a receiver with a skillset quite like Jefferson. His catch radius and route-running skills are reminiscent of Keenan Allen. He upgrades the Jaguars’ passing offense and makes this WR unit a dangerous one, regardless of who is under-center in Jacksonville

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Denzel Mims, WR Baylor
Philadelphia’s wide receiver corps last year was decimated by injuries and their top weapons are aging in Alshon Jeffrey and DeSean Jackson. Mims adds a new explosive element to the offense that Philly doesn’t quite have at the moment and allows more rotation in their personnel.

Related | AJ Schulte’s Top-50 wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft

22. Dallas Cowboys (via MIN)*: Jeff Gladney, CB TCU
After adding more assets via a trade-down, Dallas takes their replacement for Byron Jones in TCU’s Jeff Gladney. Gladney can be too grabby in deep coverage at times, but his athletic gifts and instincts will help Dallas fill the void left from Jones’ departure.

23. Las Vegas Raiders (via NE)*: Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma
Las Vegas picks up an extra second-day pick and still gets the guy I would have given them at 19. Even though the Raiders signed Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkowski in free agency, I still believe they should add another linebacker to the mix. “K9” is an old-school style linebacker who’ll appeal to both Gruden and Mayock and help the culture change in Las Vegas.

24. New Orleans Saints: Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama
New Orleans took wide receiver off of their first-round needs list with the Emmanuel Sanders signing. I’d look for an upgrade at corner opposite Marshon Lattimore in New Orleans, especially given the offensive talent in the NFC South. Diggs is a lengthy corner with plenty of athleticism and upside. He’ll need some seasoning in his overall technique, given he was a former wide receiver, but Diggs is one of my favorite corners in this class.

25. Baltimore Ravens (via MIN)*: Cesar Ruiz, C Michigan
Minnesota sends pick #25 while Baltimore sends pick #28 and #60. Baltimore leaps over Miami and Seattle to take my top-rated center in the 2020 Draft class. Whether Baltimore puts Ruiz at center over Skura/Mekari or puts him at right guard to replace Marshal Yanda, Ruiz will be a plug-and-play offensive lineman that’ll help protect Lamar Jackson for years.

26. Miami Dolphins (via HOU): Xavier McKinney, S Alabama
We finally have the first safety off the board! I love the fit of McKinney in Miami under Brian Flores. With Reshad Jones being released, Miami has a need at safety. McKinney’s intelligence, athleticism, and versatility added to a secondary that already boasts Byron Jones and Xavien Howard would be simply incredible for Miami.

27. Green Bay Packers (via SEA)*: Jalen Reagor, WR TCU
Seattle sends pick #27 while Green Bay sends pick #30 and pick #175. It is incredibly likely that Seattle moves down in the 2020 Draft in the first-round (almost a guarantee). Green Bay needs a playmaker at receiver but so does Minnesota, who picks ahead of Green Bay. Seattle recoups the fifth-round pick they lost trading for Quinton Dunbar, and Green Bay gets an exciting deep threat to pair with Davante Adams.

28. Minnesota Vikings (via BAL)*: Damon Arnette, CB Ohio State
Minnesota solved their need at left tackle, so we turn to the secondary. Though it seems like Minnesota drafts a corner in the first round every year, the Vikings need one or two to replace the losses of Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander, and Xavier Rhodes. I’ve heard rumors of off-the-field issues with Arnette, but nothing concrete enough for me to downgrade him from a late first-round selection. He’d step in as a starter right away opposite of Mike Hughes.

29. New York Giants (via TEN)*: Ezra Cleveland, OT Boise State
Tennessee sends pick #29 while New York sends pick #36, #110, and a 2021 2nd. Dave Gettleman isn’t known for trading up, but the Giants have to build around Daniel Jones. Ezra Cleveland has been getting first-round buzz since the NFL Combine, and the Giants have to consider leaping over Seattle to nab him.

30. Seattle Seahawks (via GB)*: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE Penn State
Jadeveon Clowney left in free agency, and the other defensive ends Seattle has on the roster aren’t exactly inspiring. It’s time Seattle added a new presence up front. Gross-Matos is still figuring out the position, but he’s an explosive freak with a huge upside.

31. Dallas Cowboys (via SF)*: Ross Blacklock, DT TCU
San Francisco sends pick #31 while Dallas sends pick #58 and #82. Dallas signed Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, but that shouldn’t stop them from adding an upgrade to their defensive line, given the poor play of the unit overall and the contracts of Poe and McCoy. Rebuilding the defense should be a priority for Dallas in the 2020 NFL Draft, and doubling down on the TCU studs is an excellent start. The last TCU defensive tackle they drafted in the first round worked out well for them in Hall-of-Famer Bob Lilly.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Patrick Queen, LB LSU
If Kansas City wants to replicate their Super Bowl success, they’ll need to retool their defense, and it starts with their linebackers. Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson both played over 60% of snaps on defense and neither are as good as Patrick Queen. Adding Queen’s explosiveness to the Kansas City defense that ranked 26th against the run last year is a perfect fit.

NEXT PAGE: Rounds 2-3

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