NFL Mock Draft 2020: Predictions for Top Prospects Ahead of Week 17

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 23, 2019

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) works in the pocket against Georgia during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)
John Amis/Associated Press

A 23-point fourth quarter helped the Cincinnati Bengals embark on one of this season's most improbable comebacks.

But it wasn't until they wound up on the wrong side of the overtime ledger from the Miami Dolphins that the Bengals emerged as the campaign's biggest loser—or in draft speak, the biggest winner.

The Bengals, now 1-14 on the year, clinched the top overall pick in the 2020 talent grab. Given their glaring need at quarterback, look for every mock draft under the sun to connect them to Heisman Trophy winner and LSU superstar Joe Burrow.

There's still plenty to sort out with the draft board, though, so we'll take our stab at a 2020 mock draft using the latest order as things stand entering Monday night.


2020 NFL Mock Draft

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

3. Detroit Lions: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

4. New York Giants: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins

6. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

7. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

8. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson

9. Arizona Cardinals: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

10. New York Jets: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

11. Denver Broncos: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

12. Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

13. Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

14. Las Vegas Raiders: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

15. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago Bears): Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

16. Dallas Cowboys: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

17. Indianapolis Colts: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

19. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh Steelers): Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams): Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

21. Tennessee Titans: Julian Okwara, DE, Notre Dame

22. Buffalo Bills: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

23. Minnesota Vikings: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

24. Seattle Seahawks: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

25. Philadelphia Eagles: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans): Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

27. Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

28. Green Bay Packers: Dylan Moses, ILB, Alabama

29. New England Patriots: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

30. New Orleans Saints: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

31. San Francisco 49ers: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

32. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma


Joe Burrow Goes No. 1

The hot-take machines lied to you. The best predictions don't have to be bold.

The Bengals are in the market for a quarterback. Burrow looks like the best available after throwing for 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns against only six interceptions this season.

"If you're a team in need of a franchise QB, which [the Bengals] are, you have to take that shot," Jason Hoffman wrote for the Cincinnati Enquirer. "The NFL places way too much importance on that position to continue kicking the can down the road."

Burrow may not have the biggest arm in the draft, and this is his only season of stardom at the position. But it doesn't matter. The Bengals have to see if this is legit, and if Zac Taylor is the offensive guru they hope he is, maybe those two comprise the backbone of this franchise's next good team.


Redskins Land Chase Young

In terms of raw football talent, Chase Young might be the best prospect on the board. He just happens to line up somewhere other than quarterback, so he probably slips past the top spot.

But he shouldn't fall further than No. 2. How good is he? Well, the New York Giants just watched their top rookie quarterback Daniel Jones enjoy the best game of his career (352 yards with five touchdowns and no turnovers), and the headline for ESPN's recap read: "Daniel Jones' big day hurts Giants' chances to land Chase Young."

Clearly, Young is a special kind of talent. Even that label might fall short of capturing his appeal. When Walter Football's Charlie Campbell asked NFL personnel to compare Young with high-drafted rushers like Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, Joey Bosa, Nick Bosa, Bradley Chubb and Khalil Mack, an AFC national scout responded that "Chase Young is the best; better than all of them."

Is that recency bias? Time only knows. But Young's ceiling is sky-high, and partnering him with Jonathan Allen and Montez Sweat might gives the Redskins the foundation for a dominant defense.


Lions Add Jerry Jeudy

There are no sure things in any draft. But Jerry Jeudy comes closer than most draft prospects.

He does everything. His route tree branches off in a thousand different directions. He ditches defenders with either quick, controlled bursts or blows by them with long speed. His touches almost feel like touchdowns waiting to happen; to wit, he's scored 23 times since the start of last season.

Scouts can't get enough of him. ESPN's Todd McShay called him "the best college route-runner I've ever seen." The Draft Network's Trevor Sikkema lauded Jeudy for having "some of the quickest feet I have ever seen" and dubbing him "a route-running master."

Any offense could use a player like Jeudy, but he could be an extra fun fit in the Motor City. The Lions could have a three-headed monster next season with Jeudy, Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr., then still retain a dynamic duo should Golladay or Jones bolt in 2021 free agency.