2020 NFL Mock Draft: Post-Week 17 Breakdown for First-Round Prospects

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 30, 2019

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young (2) during the first half of the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against Clemson, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri).
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The two top selections in the 2020 NFL draft appear to be locked in four months before the event in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young have established themselves as the top two prospects, and they could fill needs of the franchises with the opening selections. 

Burrow headlines a quarterback class that could put three players in the Top 10 along with Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon's Justin Herbert. 

Young may be joined by a teammate in the Top 10, or Top 5, as Jeff Okudah is regarded as one of the top defensive backs in the draft class. 


2020 NFL 1st-Round Mock Draft

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU 

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

3. Detroit Lions: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

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

5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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

7. Carolina Panthers: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

8. Arizona Cardinals: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

10. Cleveland Browns: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

11. New York Jets: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

12. Oakland Raiders: Grant Delpit, S, LSU 

13. Indianapolis Colts: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

15. Denver Broncos: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

16. Atlanta Falcons: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

17. Dallas Cowboys: Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh): Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

19. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU 

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

22. Tennessee Titans: Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State

23. Buffalo Bills: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

24. Minnesota Vikings: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

25. Miami Dolphins (from Houston): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

26. Seattle Seahawks: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

27. New England Patriots: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

28. San Francisco 49ers: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

29. Kansas City Chiefs: D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

30. Green Bay Packers: Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin

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

32. Baltimore Ravens: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama


Cincinnati's decision seems straightforward with Burrow, an Ohio native, on top of the majority of draft boards. 

ESPN.com's Todd McShay and Bleacher Report's Matt Miller both have the LSU signal-caller going first to the AFC North side. 

Selecting Burrow would allow Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor to work with a young quarterback he and his staff chose directly. 

Both Andy Dalton and Ryan Finley struggled in Taylor's offense, and the Bengals are in perfect position for a fresh start to attempt to make a run at the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers. 

If Burrow has his name called first, he would be the fifth quarterback in six years to go at No. 1. 

One of those players, Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams, achieved success last season with Taylor on the offensive coaching staff. 

In any other year, Young may have been the second defensive end chosen first in the last four seasons. 

However, Burrow's excellent campaign at LSU and Cincinnati's need for a quarterback should push him down to No. 2. 

The Washington Redskins have taken three defensive linemen with their last four first-round picks, and while some would be concerned about overflowing at one position, Young is clearly one of the top two prospects in the draft.

The San Francisco 49ers faced a similar debate ahead of the 2019 NFL draft, and they ultimately decided on Nick Bosa to add to their defensive line depth. 

Young's selection could make even more sense if the Redskins hire Ron Rivera as their next head coach. 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Rivera "has emerged as the top candidate" for the job, and his potential defensive influence could sway the franchise in Young's direction. 

Once Burrow and Young are off the board, the attention should turn to where Tagovailoa and Herbert land.

The Detroit Lions have Matthew Stafford and the New York Giants drafted Daniel Jones in 2019, so both could pass on quarterbacks, leaving the Miami Dolphins with their pick of the two. 

The Los Angeles Chargers are an intriguing team to watch for either Tagovailoa or Herbert, even if Philip Rivers remains with the franchise. 

Anthony Lynn and Co. could decide to use the No. 6 pick on an elite prospect to learn from Rivers and either take over in the middle of the 2020 season, or sit behind the veteran and start the 2021 campaign. 

Depending on their offseason decisions, the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars may be in the mix for Tagovailoa and Herbert, if they fall to the back end of the Top 10. 

However, with so many needs at the sport's most important position in the top six picks, they will likely be off the board early.


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