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NFL Mock Draft 2020: Examining Elite Prospects and Predictions for All 32 Teams

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 25, 2019

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2019, file photo, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) warms up before the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia, in Atlanta. Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019.(AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

'Tis the season, folks—for mock drafts, that is. With the college regular season over and the NFL regular season nearing its conclusion, it's time to start looking ahead to the 2020 draft.

Fortunately for the 20 teams who won't make the NFL postseason, there is a lot to look forward to. This year's draft is shaping up to have a deep talent pool at most positions. Here, we'll examine some of the top prospects, along with the current draft order and a full Round 1 mock.

For teams headed to the postseason, draft order will be determined by record. No draft-day trade will be mocked here.

    

2020 NFL Mock Draft

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State

2. Washington Redskins: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia:

3. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

4. New York Giants: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

5. Miami Dolphins: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

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: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

11. Denver Broncos: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

12. Cleveland Browns: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama

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

14. Oakland Raiders: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

15. Dallas Cowboys: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

16. Indianapolis Colts: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

18. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago): Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State

19. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh): D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams): Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

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

23. Buffalo Bills: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

24. Minnesota Vikings: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

25. Miami Dolphins (via Houston): Josh Jones, OT, Houston

26. Kansas City Chiefs: Josh Simpson, OG, Clemson

27. Seattle Seahawks: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

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

29. New England Patriots: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

30. San Francisco 49ers: Ashtyn Davis, S, California

31. New Orleans Saints: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

32. Baltimore Ravens: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

    

Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State

Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Potentially the best overall prospect in this year's draft, Ohio State edge-rusher Chase Young has what every NFL team is searching for—an ability to get to the quarterback. In 11 games this season, he has 16.5 sacks to go with 21 tackles for a loss and 44 total tackles.

Young has been every bit as dominant at the collegiate level as former teammate Nick Bosa, who is now a viable Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

Is Young good enough that the Cincinnati Bengals would really pass on a quarterback to take him? ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay believes so.

"It would be one of the biggest shocks of my scouting career, 20 years, if he didn't turn out to be a very, very high-end player," McShay said on the Dec. 18 Dan Patrick Show. "And the quarterbacks are, at best, like 40-60 in terms of how they turn out. ... If I know I can have somebody who is as good if not better than the Bosas in Chase Young, I would have to go in that direction."

As bad as Cincinnati has been this season, quarterback is not the biggest need. Andy Dalton is still an above-average starter and just 32 years old. The Bengals would be smart to first upgrade the foundation before adding his replacement.

    

Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

If the Bengals don't take Young at No. 1, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow will likely be the pick. The only reason Burrow falls to five in this mock is the fact that the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions and New York Giants don't have a dire need at quarterback.

Burrow actually falling to No. 5 is unlikely, though, as one of those three teams would almost certainly be willing to trade away the pick.

As a prospect, Burrow checks all the boxes. He has archetypal size at 6'4" and 216 pounds. He's athletic, accurate and seems to have a strong grasp on what he sees on the field. His 2019 numbers spoke loudly enough that the Heisman race wasn't even close.

Burrow took 841 first-place votes. Young had the second-most first-place votes with 20.

The big question with Burrow is whether he's merely a one-year wonder and/or a product of LSU's talent this season. Yes, he completed 77.9 percent of his passes for 4,715 yards with 48 touchdowns and six interceptions. However, his 2018 numbers—in the same number of games—were far, far lower.

Last season, Burrow completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 2,894 yards with 16 scores and five picks. Before transferring to LSU, he failed to earn even notable playing time with Ohio State.

While Burrow may be the top quarterback in this class, he's no sure thing.

    

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

One prospect who does appear to be a sure thing is Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy. He's good enough that the Redskins and Lions may even take him at the top of the draft despite having more pressing needs.

Over the past two seasons, opposing defenses simply haven't had an answer for Jeudy. Though he played much of 2019 without starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Jeudy still caught 71 passes for 959 yards and nine touchdowns. With a healthy Tagovailoa in 2018, he caught 68 balls for 1,315 yards and 14 scores.

Jeudy is more than just raw numbers, though. He has the desired size at 6'1" and 192 pounds and has mastered the art of route-running.

"Jeudy is a great route-runner," Senior Bowl director Jim Nagy told Rainer Sabin of AL.com. "That's his calling card for sure."

Whichever team lands Jeudy is likely to have a legitimate No. 1 receiver from the moment he steps onto the field.