NFL Mock Draft 2020: Best Landing Places for 1st-Round Prospects

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2019

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The NFL regular season has ended. While teams like the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants are turning their attention to the head-coaching market, other non-playoff teams are beginning to focus on looming free agency and the 2020 NFL draft.

The order for the non-playoff teams has been set, with the Cincinnati Bengals unofficially on the clock.

Here, we'll examine the full draft order—with records determining the pick order for the 12 playoff-bound franchises—and dig into some of the top potential pairings of Round 1.


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. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson

8. Arizona Cardinals: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

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

11. New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

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

13. Indianapolis Colts: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

15. Denver Broncos: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

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

17. Dallas Cowboys: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh): D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

19. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Julian Okwara, DE, Notre Dame

22. Tennessee Titans: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

23. Buffalo Bills: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

24. Minnesota Vikings: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

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

26. Seattle Seahawks: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

27. New England Patriots: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington

28. Green Bay Packers: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

29. Kansas City Chiefs: John Simpson, OG, Clemson

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

31. San Francisco 49ers: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

32. Baltimore Ravens: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama


Miami Dolphins: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

John Amis/Associated Press

While LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is largely considered the top quarterback prospect in the draft—and quarterbacks quite often go No. 1 overall—there is a chance that the Miami Dolphins can still land him.

The Dolphins won't be on the clock until the fifth selection. However, they own three first-round picks this year and could potentially package them to move up if sold on Burrow as a franchise quarterback. Alternatively, Burrow could slide if the Bengals decide to take elite edge-rushing prospect Chase Young at No. 1 instead of Burrow.

Quarterback is not a significant need for the Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins or New York Giants, though it wouldn't be a total shock to see Detroit draft Matthew Stafford's successor—he was drafted two years before the Bengals took Andy Dalton.

It would make a lot of sense for Miami to take Burrow. While Miami has gotten solid production out of Ryan Fitzpatrick this season, he is 37 and not a long-term answer. 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen might be, but he was only given a brief audition this past season.

It feels unlikely that Miami's next franchise quarterback is currently on the roster. Perhaps, he's gearing up for the College Football Playoff title game.


New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The New York Jets have a budding young quarterback in Sam Darnold. What they don't have is a reliable No. 1 receiver with which he can take advantage. Jamison Crowder has been solid, and pending free agent Robby Anderson is a talented deep threat, but Darnold does not have a target opposing defenses have to game-plan around.

Drafting a receiver like Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb could change that.

Lamb, who had 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2019, declared for the draft a day after Oklahoma was ousted from the playoff. He should be a prime target for the Jets in the middle of Round 1, though certainly not the only one.

The beauty of this draft class for a team like New York is that there are several first-round talents at the wideout position. While an athletic, sure-handed receiver like Lamb would be perfect for a developing quarterback like Darnold, the Jets shouldn't have to reach to address the wide receiver position.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers: K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

Eric Gay/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers edge-rusher Shaquil Barrett just wrapped up a 19.5-sack season. While he is scheduled to become a free agent in the offseason, he has expressed interest in returning to the Buccaneers for 2020 and beyond.

"I don't have plans on leaving Tampa," Barrett said, per Eduardo A. Encina of the Tampa Bay Times.

Even if the Buccaneers do re-sign Barrett, it would make sense to grab a young edge-rusher to complement—and to offset the risk of him being a one-year wonder. Tampa has only seen flashes form Carl Nassib and is set to lose Jason Pierre-Paul to free agency.

Adding an edge-rusher like LSU's K'Lavon Chaisson would help the Buccaneers challenge quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Matt Ryan in the NFC South. For Chaisson, who has 13.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks this season, the presence of Barrett would afford him a lot of one-on-one matchups as a rookie.

This would be a tremendous situation for Chaisson, who is still rounding into form after a torn ACL in 2018.