2020 NFL Draft: First-Round 2020 NFL mock draft mid-free agency

Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images /
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Justin Herbert 2020 NFL Draft
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Quarterback. 1. University of Oregon. Justin Herbert. player. 56. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis

Right now, everyone is expecting the Cincinnati Bengals to draft LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. However, Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert got the chance to impress the Bengals coaching staff during the Senior Bowl and he did not disappoint.

Herbert brings much more starting experience to the table than Burrow and the Bengals may find they prefer Herbert’s plus arm strength, starting experience, and leadership abilities to Burrow’s excellent pocket mobility and accuracy.

Scouting Report. Ohio State University. 2. 58. Pick Analysis. Defensive End. Chase Young. player

The Washington Redskins would no doubt be looking to trade down in this scenario but will be looking for a premium return as trading down would mean losing out on both Ohio State defender Chase Young and the rights to Burrow.

Instead, the Redskins choose to stay put and select the best player in the draft hands down in Young. Young will be an impact pass rusher from week one in the NFL, using his extraordinary blend of size, power, and speed to blow by offensive linemen and punish the quarterback. Washington gets an elite player and their defensive line looks that much scarier going into 2020.

3. Quarterback. Louisiana State University. Joe Burrow. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 59

It’s no secret the Detroit Lions are exploring a trade down from three overall and Burrow slipping to third overall would be huge for general manager Bob Quinn. Quinn would be able to charge an extra price for the rights to Burrow and picking up an extra first and second wouldn’t be out of the question. The Miami Dolphins choose to send the picks over and grab the widely anticipated first overall pick.

Burrow instantly becomes the starter in Miami and his ability to masterfully manipulate the pocket behind what will be a leaky offensive line in 2020 could be huge. His accuracy to all parts of the field will also help the Dolphins offense and defense as Burrow shouldn’t throw as many interceptions as Miami quarterbacks did in 2019. Ultimately, Burrow gives the Dolphins a huge upgrade at the most important position in football and improves the team tenfold.

player. 31. University of Iowa. Tristan Wirfs. 4. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Offensive Tackle

Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs was not expected to be selected this high, but after blowing up the combine, he could be the pick should the New York Giants go with an offensive lineman. Wirfs showed his great athleticism off at the combine and general manager Dave Gettleman is a sucker for highly athletic players.

The general feeling right now is either an offensive tackle or Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons goes here but for now, Gettleman chooses to take the athletic tackle to protect quarterback Daniel Jones.

Cornerback. Jeffrey Okudah. 50. Scouting Report. Ohio State University. 5. player. Pick Analysis

After trading back and adding the 18th and 56th overall picks to their 2020 NFL Draft haul, the Lions pick up elite corner prospect Jeffrey Okudah from Ohio State. Okudah has excellent man coverage skills and his speed and athleticism make up for any slips in technique that might happen from time to time.

His strengths in man coverage line up with what the Detroit defense does most of the time and adding Okudah opposite free-agent pickup Desmond Trufant will more than makeup for the loss of Darius Slay.

6. Quarterback. University of Alabama. Tua Tagovailoa. player. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 13

In this scenario, the Los Angeles Chargers are able to sit pat at six overall and still grab Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa had tremendous supporting players at Alabama and will still have that in LA with wide-outs Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, running back Austin Ekeler, and tight end Hunter Henry.

Tagovailoa has impressive arm strength and accuracy but doesn’t have the same ability as Burrow to work inside the pocket. Tagovailoa has a chance to go higher than the third quarterback but his injury concerns and lack of in-person workouts (due to COVID-19) causes him to fall ever so slightly to the Chargers at six and just the third quarterback off the board.

Defense. Clemson University. Isaiah Simmons. player. 87. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. 7

The Carolina Panthers need a leader in the middle of their defense now that long-time captain Luke Kuechly has retired. Simmons will provide them with another athletic wonder who can do anything that is required of him on defense.

He can line up anywhere from edge rusher to cornerback, but his best usage will come in the middle of a defense where he can see the play unfold and react quickly enough to stop the play in its tracks. He’s not just a terror on the ground as he can also cover everyone from running backs to wide receivers to tight ends. This do-it-all defender gives the Panthers a defensive leader and standout playmaker.

Scouting Report. Offensive Tackle. University of Alabama. Jedrick Wills. 32. Pick Analysis. 8. player

After trading for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (for dirt cheap) the Cardinals no longer have the need to select a receiver in the first round. However, despite signing tackle D.J. Humphries to an extension, they still need a high-level tackle to protect franchise quarterback Kyler Murray.

Alabama tackle Jedrick Wills plays with a nasty streak in him and can dominate opponents in both the run and pass game. Wills is the best tackle overall in the class and has the game to successfully protect Murray despite his knack for scrambling around behind the line of scrimmage.

University of Georgia. Andrew Thomas. 48. Scouting Report. Offensive Tackle. 9. player. Pick Analysis

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made plenty of moves in free agency to fill the holes in the roster. However, at the moment, the biggest need for their roster is a glaring one and it’s unlikely they can land one of the top four offensive tackles if they stay out at 14 overall. That’s why they move up five spots in the first round, jumping two offensive tackle needy teams. With the ninth pick, they select Andrew Thomas out of Georgia.

Thomas is as close to a finished product a tackle can be coming out of college. While he doesn’t have quite the ceiling some others in this class do, his extremely high floor is still worthy of a top-ten pick. He can play either side of the line at a high level and his pass sets are very good as is his run blocking. He is already a Pro Bowl-caliber player and could see him make an All-Pro list once or twice. Overall, he will be a steady presence for years to come on the Tampa Bay offensive line.

University of Louisville. Mekhi Becton. 10. Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Offensive Tackle. 53. player

The Browns sit still at 10 and get Louisville tackle, Mekhi Becton. Becton is a physical freak of nature, a real monster as it were. He is a huge guy but has tremendous movement skills and speed for a guy his size. He is still a little raw and needs more seasoning to reach his potential, but if he can put it all together in the NFL then he could end up actually having the best career out of all the 2020 NFL Draft offensive tackles.