NFL Draft 2020: Order, 1st-Round Mock Projections After Regular-Season Finales

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2019

Iowa defender A.J. Epenesa
Iowa defender A.J. EpenesaCharlie Neibergall/Associated Press

The playoff field and road to Super Bowl LIV are settled, but those who support the 20 teams that don't reach the postseason are already looking ahead to the 2020 NFL draft.

Week 17's results shaped the official order of non-playoff teams, which begins with the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 1.

But the final Sunday of the regular season provided a few notable movers. Both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons dropped three places from where they entered Week 17, and the Indianapolis Colts rose three positions.

While any mock draft is certain to change in the coming months, the following projection shows the relationship between team needs and the best available players within those areas.


2020 NFL Mock Draft

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

2. Washington: Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State

3. Detroit Lions: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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

7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

8. Arizona Cardinals: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama

10. Cleveland Browns: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

11. New York Jets: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

12. Oakland Raiders: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

13. Indianapolis Colts: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

15. Denver Broncos: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

16. Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa

17. Dallas Cowboys: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh Steelers): Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin

19. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams): Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

22. Tennessee Titans: K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

23. Buffalo Bills: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

24. Minnesota Vikings: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

25. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans): Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

26. Seattle Seahawks: Curtis Weaver, Edge, Boise State

27. New England Patriots: Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue

28. New Orleans Saints: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Creed Humphrey, OG, Oklahoma

30. Green Bay Packers: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

31. San Francisco 49ers: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

32. Baltimore Ravens: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida


Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

Since general manager Chris Ballard took over, the Indianapolis Colts have done a tremendous job on draft day. They still need reinforcements on the interior of the defensive line, though.

Margus Hunt and Denico Autry both ended the campaign far below the normal production. And if the Colts decide to release either player this offseason, neither Hunt nor Autry would carry a dead-cap hit in 2020, according to Spotrac.

Javon Kinlaw
Javon KinlawSean Rayford/Associated Press

While that doesn't mean Indianapolis will or should waive Hunt or Autry, the room for improvement is evident.

Javon Kinlaw could provide much-needed explosiveness and power to the defensive line. He's most productive as a pass-rushersix sacks in 2019—and the Colts' current personnel needs more help disrupting quarterbacks than stopping the run.

If the Colts aren't set on drafting a quarterback or don't see an elite receiver fall to them, an interior defender such as Kinlaw must be atop the priority list.


A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa

Heading into 2019, A.J. Epenesa had 22 career tackles for loss and 15 sacks despite never starting a game. While that's merely a technicality because of his place within Iowa's rotation, it suggested an even more productive year was coming.

For two months, that expectation went unmatched. Epenesa managed 3.5 stops for loss (all sacks) in Iowa's first eight games.

But then the breakout happened. Over the Hawkeyes' last five outings, he racked up 11.5 takedowns for loss with eight sacks.

The late-season surge surely grabbed the attention of scouts and executives. And the Atlanta Falcons, who ranked among the NFL's worst in sacks, need to upgrade their defensive line as Vic Beasley and Adrian Clayborn are headed to free agency.

If Epenesa declares for the draft and is available to the Falcons, he must be a heavy consideration.


Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

Aaron Rodgers is still playing at a high level, but the future Hall of Famer is approaching the relative end of his career. The Green Bay Packers need to take advantage of his presence.

That means surrounding Rodgers with better receivers.

Davante Adams is an elite target; that much is indisputable. However, starting wideouts Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allisonas well as tight end Jimmy Grahamdisappear far too often. At this point, they're all replacement-level options with Allen Lazard the only young receiver worth prioritizing.

Near the end of the first round, the Packers should still have several quality options at the position. Laviska Shenault Jr. topped the 1,000-yard mark in 2018 and posted 764 yards in 2019.

Shenault's ability to make tacklers miss would be an ideal addition to a Packers offense searching for playmakers outside of Adams and running back Aaron Jones.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.