The 2020 NFL Draft begins live from Roger Goodell’s basement on Thursday night. Because it is such a unique process, it could be one of the most unpredictable drafts that we have witnessed. Teams haven’t been able to conduct their evaluations in the same way that they normally would. nor have they been able to spend as much time face to face with players. Despite this unpredictably, everyone seems certain that they know which player each team will take. So, we took to social media to conduct a 2020 Twitter mock draft to find out how it will play out.
2020 Pro Football Network Twitter Mock Draft
[TWITTER MOCK DRAFT] Leading up to the #NFLDraft, we'll post 32 polls asking who each team should select in the first round.
— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) April 11, 2020
Clicking on the bold links will take you to Pro Football Network’s Senior Draft Analyst Tony Pauline’s scouting reports, or an article written by one of our team of NFL Draft analysts.
The Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock…
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB LSU
Unsurprisingly, Joe Burrow is the first overall selection as we presume will happen on Thursday night. More surprising was the four percent who voted for the Bengals to select Jeffrey Okudah. Cincinnati added multiple pieces in the secondary during free agency, so that can hardly be seen as their most pressing need.
Their need is quite clearly quarterback and in Burrow, they select their face of the franchise. Burrow comes into the NFL Draft on the back of a historic season of production at LSU and with a winning mentality after securing a national championship for the Tigers. A true competitor, Burrow is exactly what the Bengals need after years of failing to deliver in the postseason.
“Joe was a hard worker. I think that many people see the good reads and the flashy runs and his ability to escape out the pocket,” former LSU teammate Rashard Lawrence told PFN’s Nicholas McGee. “But off the field, he was a guy who didn’t say much – but when he talked, people listened. He got the message across. I think that’s what you want in your quarterback. You want somebody that’s confident. Joe is very confident in his ability and what he’s able to do.”
Lawrence added, “He’s not just a pocket passer and he’s not just a guy that relies on his legs. He can do both. I see him as kind of a dual-threat guy that when he goes to the Bengals he’s going to make them a great team.”
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, DE Ohio State
The consensus best player in the 2020 NFL Draft falls into the Redskins lap at pick two.
Chase Young is a rare talent at the defensive end position and will team up with one of the steals of last year’s draft, Montez Sweat, to create a double-headed pass rush monster in the NFC East.
Interestingly, nine percent of voters in our Twitter mock draft opted for Tua Tagovailoa, perhaps highlighting a lack of confidence in current quarterback Dwayne Haskins amongst Redskins fans, just one year after his selection in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
3. Detroit Lions – Jeffrey Okudah, CB Ohio State
Not only is Jeffrey Okudah the best cornerback prospect in this class, but he is also one of the best cornerback prospects to enter the NFL in recent memory. If the Detroit Lions don’t find a trade partner, presumably the Miami Dolphins or Los Angeles Chargers, then this is the obvious selection here, and 75 percent of you agreed.
After letting Darius Slay leave in free agency, Okudah can slot straight in as a starting cornerback to upgrade a secondary that was much-maligned during 2019. From Tony Pauline, “Okudah possesses the size, skill, and overall awareness to develop into a starting cornerback at the next level”.
4. New York Giants – Isaiah Simmons, LB Clemson
As I wrote last week, the New York Giants are one of the most intriguing teams in the 2020 NFL Draft. After using their first-round pick on Daniel Jones in the 2019 NFL Draft, 29 percent of voters think they should select Tristan Wirfs, the offensive tackle from Iowa to help protect their franchise quarterback. It’s a move that makes a lot of sense.
However, in Isaiah Simmons the Giants would have a defensive playmaker that excels in coverage whilst also providing a pass rush threat. In a league that covets versatility, Simmons is the epitome of the word, lining up all over the defense during his time at Clemson.
5. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
When the “Tank for Tua” campaign began to gather pace early in the 2019 NFL season, who would have thought that there would any doubt that Tua Tagovailoa would be the selection for the Miami Dolphins?
Yet, here we are amid medical reports, leaked Wonderlic scores, and a smokescreen of rumors that the Dolphins preferred Justin Herbert all along.
If it hadn’t been for the hip injury sustained during the 2019 college football season, all these conversations would be irrelevant. The conversation would be about how much the Dolphins would need to give up to the Bengals to snag the best quarterback in the NFL Draft.
Miami is the perfect landing spot for Tua. He can sit behind Ryan Fitzpatrick for a year, learning whilst fully recovering from his hip injury, and then lead the Dolphins from 2021 on.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB Oregon
After parting ways with Philip Rivers at the end of the 2019 season, quarterback was always going to be the biggest need for the Los Angeles Chargers in the 2020 NFL Draft. At the same time, one of the issues with Rivers’ play last year was a disastrous performance by the offensive line. Russell Okung’s trade to the Carolina Panthers also raises the possibility of them taking one of the premier tackles at the top of the class.
Despite 11 percent of the votes addressing the latter need with Tristan Wirfs, the majority voted for Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert to be the next signal-caller for the Chargers.
Stellar performances in the Pac 12 Championship, the Rose Bowl, and Senior Bowl have seemingly helped Herbert overcome some of the question marks that have hounded his college career. In particular, the Chargers will have been impressed by the athleticism he showcased at the Rose Bowl, with mobility being one of the traits that GM Tom Telesco covets in a quarterback.
7. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, DT Auburn
New Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule has re-built two college football programs on the back of excelling on defense and there is no reason to expect any different in his first year as the head coach of the Carolina Panthers.
If Isaiah Simmons was available here, then you could suspect that the Panthers would take him in this spot as a ready-made replacement for Luke Kuechly. After losing James Bradberry to free agency, 14 percent of the votes pinpointed C.J. Henderson as his replacement.
It seems ludicrous to suggest that the number seven pick could be a steal, but Derrick Brown is one of the most physically gifted players in this class.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa
After selecting their franchise quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft, 56 percent of voters opted to protect Kyler Murray using their first-round pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.
It’s unsurprising to see Tristan Wirfs taken as the first offensive tackle in this Twitter mock draft. The right tackle from Iowa has steadily risen his draft stock throughout the process and put on a sensational display at the NFL Combine.
With D.J. Humphries holding down the left side, Wirfs can slide into his familiar right tackle position as a day one starter.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – C.J. Henderson, CB Florida
The Jacksonville Jaguars are in full rebuild mode. Most of the defense that took them to the 2017 AFC Championship has disappeared and last year they featured in the bottom-10 for total yards given up.
With the selection of C.J. Henderson in the Twitter mock draft, they look to replace the defensive production in the secondary that was lost with the trading away of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye.
There are rumors that Henderson is higher on some team’s boards than Jeffrey Okudah. Although I suspect that is more pre-draft rumor-mongering than fact, Henderson is still a solid start to the defensive rebuild.
10. Cleveland Browns – Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia
After the Giants selected Isaiah Simmons in our Twitter mock draft, the Cleveland Browns have their choice of three of the top four tackles at pick 10.
With 49 percent of the vote, Andrew Thomas is the choice, and the Browns should be delighted. Although Thomas has played right tackle, he is the true left tackle that they need to fill the void left by Joe Thomas’ retirement prior to the 2019 season.
Thomas will contribute immediately, adding pass protection but also helping open up holes in the running game for Nick Chubb and the rest of the running back room.
11. New York Jets – Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville
The pick for the New York Jets was the closest vote of them all in our Twitter mock draft. That is perhaps reflective of the number of needs that the Jets have as they head into the 2020 NFL Draft.
Despite making additions across the offensive line in free agency, protecting Sam Darnold seems to be a priority and 28 percent voted for two offensive tackles.
Louisville left tackle, Mekhi Becton, was the pick by the slightest margin over Jedrick Wills Jr. Becton is a fun player to watch, effortlessly discarding pass rushers and creating huge holes in the ground game. It’s unclear how his draft stock will be impacted by a failed drug test at the NFL Combine.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama
If the 2020 NFL Draft falls the way that our Twitter mock draft has, then Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock will be delighted to find all three of the top wide receivers still available at pick 12.
Depending on your preference, any of Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, or Henry Ruggs III could be the first off the board. Here, the new Las Vegas Raiders select Jeudy at a position that was lacking after the Antonio Brown debacle in 2019. In Tony Pauline’s scouting report, he had this to say about Jeudy.
“Game breaking receiver who alters the momentum of contests whenever the ball is in his hands. He will be very effective in the proper system at the next level.”
13. San Francisco 49ers – CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma
With the selection received from the Indianapolis Colts for DeForest Buckner, 47 percent of the Twitter mock draft vote selects CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma.
After losing Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, wide receiver is a huge need for the San Francisco 49ers. Although Deebo Samuel had a standout rookie year, they still need to surround Jimmy Garoppolo with game-changing targets and that’s what CeeDee Lamb offers.
Lamb answered questions surrounding his speed at the NFL Combine and put himself in the mix to be the first receiver taken on Thursday night.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jedrick Wills Jr, OT Alabama
If he is still available at pick 14 on Thursday night, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will run to the (virtual) podium to select Jedrick Wills Jr. and 61 percent of the votes in our Twitter mock draft agree.
If Tom Brady has even the slightest hope of delivering a Super Bowl to the Buccaneers, then he needs protection. Wills is the perfect piece to slide into the right side of the offensive line.
He is a big, strong, right tackle who can be a force in the ground game as long as protecting the new face of the Tampa Bay franchise.
Despite having Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at his disposal, 17 percent thought the Buccaneers should add Henry Ruggs III. That would be just unfair to the rest of the NFL.
15. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama
This is the perfect scenario for the Denver Broncos, and for PFN’s NFL Insider Benjamin Allbright, who has stood firm that Henry Ruggs III is the WR1 in this wide receiver class.
The Broncos seem set on Drew Lock as the future of the franchise, and here he gets a field-stretching speed demon and a game-changing wide receiver threat. This move helps Lock, Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, and the Broncos offense in general.
After allowing Chris Harris Jr. to jump ship to division-rival Los Angeles Chargers, six percent in our Twitter mock draft 2020 think that they should replace him in the secondary with Trevon Diggs.
16. Atlanta Falcons – Javon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina
The Atlanta Falcons have had one of the more interesting offseasons of any team in the NFL. They released a number of their “star” players including Vic Beasley and Desmond Trufant.
Despite cornerback being a big need, only 12 percent like the fit of Trevon Diggs, and only 14 percent would take Kristian Fulton.
68 percent of the vote in our Twitter mock draft sees the Falcons select Javon Kinlaw, the defensive tackle from South Carolina. He brings a strong, physical presence to a defensive line that is tasked with stopping Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara twice a season. He should form a formidable partnership with Grady Jarrett up the middle of that line.
Continue to the next page for the rest of the 2020 Pro Football Network Twitter Mock Draft.