While it’s still early in the 2019 NFL season, it’s never too early to look ahead at the 2020 NFL Draft. So without further ado, let’s get into the mock!
Well everyone here we are, an early mock draft for the 2020 NFL Draft. For those whose teams are embracing the “We’ll get em’ next year” mantra for this upcoming draft, these mocks and the ones that proceed it will be important to you.
As for the prospects, I have a feeling the first round will look quite different than what I have presented here. If you’re a seasoned draft watcher you know that prospect stock rises and falls like the tides. However, there are a few whom I believe will stay right where they are once April comes around.
So without further ado, here’s my first 2020 NFL Mock Draft
*NOTE: The draft order I am using is based on both Superbowl Odds and a prediction of how each team will finish.
1. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa – QB – Alabama
Every trade Miami made this offseason has been leading up to this very moment, with this pick, the #TankForTua plan will have come full swing. Miami has traded away every valuable piece on their team not named Xavien Howard in order to build towards the future.
While I could see them sticking with Rosen, Tua should be the pick here given all of the ability he currently possesses. Tua is having an amazing 2019 season in Tuscaloosa, throwing over 20 touchdowns through the first third of the season. Now the onus is on Miami to build around him.
2. Washington Redskins – Andrew Thomas – OT – Georgia
There are, admittedly a few different ways the Redskins could go with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. I could see Bruce Allen and Co. taking a pass-rusher here given that Ryan Kerrigan is in a contract year. They could select an electric receiver to pair with Terry McLaurin and Trey Quinn, giving Dwayne Haskins a well-rounded receiving core.
However, the selection for right now is an offensive tackle for a few reasons. One is that perennial Pro-Bowler Trent Williams doesn’t seem all that inclined to rejoin the Redskins right now and a mutual parting of the ways is still in the air. Two, for my money, Andrew Thomas is the finest offensive tackle prospect since Laremy Tunsil, who could come in right away and be a franchise cornerstone.
3. Cincinnati Bengals – Justin Herbert – QB – Oregon
Like Washington, the Bengals could go one of two ways with this pick but the all-around consensus right now is that they need new blood at quarterback. Andy Dalton has had some nice games throughout his career but he seems to be passed that now, making this decision much easier.
Justin Herbert is one of the best quarterbacks in college football right now, and I believe that it’s safe to say he’s done enough to prove that short of winning a national championship. His consistent accuracy and ideal mobility are exactly what the Bengals need on their offense.
4. Denver Broncos – Jeffrey Okudah – CB – Ohio State
So far this season, the Vic Fangio-led defense in Denver has been struggling, as they were nearly in danger of going sack through the first quarter of the season. In addition to their struggling pass rush, the play and lack of depth at cornerback hasn’t helped either.
Chris Harris is older and in an expiring contract, and Fangio could use a young top-flight corner in his defense. In San Francisco, he had Carlos Rogers while in Chicago he had Kyle Fuller. With Jeff Okudah in town, Fangio would definitely have another potentially great corner at his disposal.
5. New York Jets – Chase Young – Edge- Ohio State
To some, this may be a fall for Chase Young but to me, this is what will most likely happen. Come draft night in April, some of the more quarterback hungry teams could trade up and get their guy, leaving elite level players like Young for one lucky team.
Speaking of which, Young has been dominant with a capital d this season, as he looks to break the ten sack mark by midseason. With failing to hit on the Jachai Polite pick in 2019, the Jets need to find an elite pass-rusher. Luckily for them, they get the best one in the entire 2020 NFL Draft class.
6. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh) – Jerry Jeudy – WR – Alabama
I mentioned earlier how Chris Grier and Co. need to build around their new quarterback. One way to help is to get your shiny new passer a shiny new weapon. Although they locked up Devante Parker through 2020, and 2019 UDFA Preston Williams has shown flashes, the Dolphins could use an elite no. 1.
Jerry Jeudy might be one of the best wide receivers to come out since the Odell Beckham/Mike Evans draft, that’s how special he is. Jeudy’s elite speed, size, and soft hands make him a must-have if you plan on building around a young quarterback.
7. Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs – OT- Iowa
Arizona is another one of those franchises that could go a number of different ways in the 2020 NFL Draft. They have a few different holes at a few different positions such as pass rusher, safety, and linebacker. But to me, offensive tackle is their most pressing need.
It’s unfortunate that DJ Humphries never quite panned out for them, and Marcus Gilbert will be coming off a torn ACL plus he’s an older player, so they should address this position in the offseason. Tristan Wirfs is young for sure —he’ll be 21 in January—but his upside is through the roof and worth betting on.
8. Atlanta Falcons – AJ Epenesa – Edge – Iowa
Two Iowa players back to back, this time it’s along the defensive line, something the Falcons are in need of. Vic Beasley is in a contract year and hasn’t really produced since his 2016 breakout year where he had 14.5 sacks.
Epenesa, despite a slow start this season is still a top prospect in my book. He’s still doing his part to prove why he’s one of the edge rushers in the 2020 NFL Draft. Epenesa’s burst off the edge and use of hands is exactly what the Falcons should be after. He also offers scheme versatility to play on the interior in nickel packages.