2020 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions and Top Receiver Prospects

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 29, 2019

TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA - OCTOBER 26:  Jerry Jeudy #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide carries this reception in for a touchdown in the first half against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 26, 2019 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL draft is loaded with point-producing prospects.

Specifically, it's heavier than most—maybe any this decade—in scorers of the pass-catching variety. While the 2014 talent grab gave us the likes of Mike Evans, Odell Beckham Jr. and Sammy Watkins, this class could have more to offer. If our crystal ball is correct, one school alone could send three receivers to the opening round.

After running through our latest mock draft, we will spotlight the top three receivers on our draft board.


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, Alabama

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. Dallas Cowboys: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

16. Indianapolis Colts: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

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

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

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: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama


Top 2020 Draft Receiver Prospects

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Crimson Tide's receiving core could be historically special, and Jerry Jeudy is at the heart of it.

Equal parts elite athleticism and skill, he's as tough of a cover as they come. If his straight-line speed doesn't dismantle a defense, his quick-twitch movements can. He's a smooth route-runner, and the branches on his route tree have branches sprouting out from them.

"He's unguardable at the college level, and he should immediately become a No. 1 NFL receiver after he gets drafted," ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. wrote.

It's been years since the collegiate game sent a wideout with this much potential to the big leagues. With 23 receiving touchdowns since the start of last season, he's basically a turbo-boost for any passing attack.


CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

LSU coach Ed Orgeron has seen plenty of top receiving talents in the college game. But when he looks at Oklahoma receiver CeeDee Lamb, a Louisiana native, he sees "the one that got away."

"He's big, and he's strong," Orgeron told reporters. "He's one of the best receivers we've seen. ... We see some really good receivers every day in practice. But he's different. Yards after the catch from this guy are phenomenal."

Lamb clearly had the Tigers' attention entering Saturday's Peach Bowl, and he still delivered a 119-yard performance. It was his seventh time in triple digits this season. Altogether, he's turned 58 receptions into 1,208 yards and 14 touchdowns. That's a ridiculous 20.8 yards per catch and a score on roughly every fourth reception.

He's explosive and always balanced, which makes him a touchdown threat any time he touches the football. Considering he's also equipped with great hands, he should get those touches early and often at the next level.


Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

Even in a receiving group as packed as this, Laviska Shenault Jr. stands out from the crowd.

As the lines continue blurring between traditional position designations, the allure of versatility is at an all-time high. That happens to be where Shenault shines brightest. He's a big-bodied, physical receiver, but when he has the ball in his hands, you wonder whether he might be a 6'2", 220-pound running back.

"My pro comparison is an interesting one; but I think this is the most accurate I can currently come up with," Cecil Lammey wrote for Denver's 104.3 The Fan. "Shenault is a mix of Julio Jones and Christian McCaffrey."

Even if that's hyperbolic, the lesser version of a Jones-McCaffrey amalgamation is still a wildly intriguing prospect. Shenault's game screams "offensive weapon" in modern NFL vernacular. With 10 receiving touchdowns and seven more on the ground since the start of 2018, maybe he's best described as simply a playmaker.


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