NFL Draft 2020: Final Mock Draft Predictions Before Wild Card Weekend

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJanuary 4, 2020

Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (4) during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern Miss, Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

Heading into the weekend, the top 20 slots of April's draft have been settled. Another four NFL teams will have their spots cemented as they get knocked out of the wild-card round.

Wild Card Weekend will have little meaning for the league's bottom-feeders, though, as they dial in on prospects like Joe Burrow, Chase Young and Tua Tagovailoa at the top of the draft. Those teams are fully committed to the evaluation process. That process will have its biggest stage at the scouting combine, which will kick off on February 24.

Here, we'll run down the current draft order and examine some of the top prospects who casual fans may not yet be familiar with. Let's dig into that Round 1 mock.

    

2020 NFL Mock Draft

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

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

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

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

5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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

7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson

8. Arizona Cardinals: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

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: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

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: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

24. Minnesota Vikings: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

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

26. Seattle Seahawks: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

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

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

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

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

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

32. Baltimore Ravens: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama

    

Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson

Sean Rayford/Associated Press

While Young may be the top defender available in this year's draft, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons will be a terrific consolation prize for teams not picking at the top. The former safety has the athleticism, quickness and range to be a legitimate sideline-to-sideline linebacker at the next level.

"It felt like he was playing defensive line, linebacker and safety all in the same play," one opposing coach said of Simmons, per ESPN's David M. Hale. "He's a problem."

This will make Simmons a coveted prospect, as the rise in the precision mid-range passing game has increased the value of linebackers who can run and cover. Just consider that two such linebackers—Devin White and Devin Bush—landed in the top 10 of last year's draft.

Simmons' productivity—he had 97 tackles, 7.0 sacks and three interceptions in 2019—and work ethic will likely have him off the board early.

Just a few years ago, the idea of a non-rush linebacker being a top-five pick would be surprising. No one should be shocked if that's where Simmons lands.

    

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

While most casual fans are familiar with Tagovailoa by now, several may not be as familiar with Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. This isn't the case for fans who watched him in the Vrbo Citrus Bowl on New Year's Day.

Jeudy destroyed the Michigan defense, catching six passes for 204 yards and a touchdown. While this stat line may lead fans to believe that Jeudy is primarily a deep threat, his biggest asset may actually be his ability to generate separation with precision route-running.

Even before Alabama's bowl game, Jeudy was trending as the top receiver in this draft class. He had little to gain by even playing in it, but his drive and determination should resonate with prospective NFL employers.

"I love playing football, so I just wanted to come out here and compete with my brothers," Jeudy said, per Charlie Potter of 247Sports.

Fellow Crimson Tide receivers Henry Ruggs III and DeVonta Smith are also potential first-round picks, which should say a lot about Jeudy's status as the go-to target.

     

Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

When LSU takes on Clemson on January 13, most fans will be eying LSU quarterback Joe Burrow—widely expected to be the first pick in the 2020 draft. However, there will be several potential first-rounders in the College Football Playoff Championship, including safety Grant Delpit.

Delpit has been a do-it-all defender for LSU all season long. In 2019, he racked up 59 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and three interceptions. What's impressive is that Delpit played most of the season after making the switch from strong to free safety. He was also hampered by injuries but got healthy in time to make a championship push.

"He got healthy towards the end of the year, and that was kind of the turning point of our defense," Burrow said, per Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press. "I think that just shows how important he is."

Toughness and positional versatility are traits that NFL teams value highly, and they could cement Delpit as a first-round pick in April.  

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