NFL Draft 2020: Latest Mock Draft Predictions for Top Prospects of Round 1

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 7, 2020

Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah plays against Michigan in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Quarterback-needy NFL teams have something to think about.

Tua Tagovailoa is officially heading to the big league, and he'll take any questions about his post-hip surgery outlook along with him. Barring any major red flags, it seems unlikely he'll get past the Miami Dolphins at No. 5—if he even gets that far.

But not all of his Alabama teammates will make the jump with him. Leading receiver DeVonta Smith and starting left tackle Alex Leatherwood are sticking around Tuscaloosa for another year.

The player pool will remain fluid up to the Jan. 20 deadline for underclassmen to submit their names, and our draft board will change countless times beyond that. But let's refresh with our latest mock first round, and then spotlight the potential fits for our top three prospects.


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: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

8. Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

10. Cleveland Browns: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

11. New York Jets: Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson

12. Oakland Raiders: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

13. Indianapolis Colts: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

15. Denver Broncos: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

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

17. Dallas Cowboys: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh Steelers): Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

19. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears): Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford

22. Tennessee Titans: Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama

23. Buffalo Bills: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

24. Minnesota Vikings: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

25. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans): Austin Jackson, OT, USC

26. Seattle Seahawks: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

27. New England Patriots: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

28. Green Bay Packers: Dylan Moses, ILB, Alabama

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

30. New Orleans Saints: Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame

31. San Francisco 49ers: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State

32. Baltimore Ravens: K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU


Joe Burrow to the Bengals

The Ohio native comes home.

Joe Burrow, who played his high school ball in Athens, Ohio and started his college career at Ohio State before setting the world on fire at LSU, is the Heisman Trophy winner and an obvious No. 1 choice.

When Bengals coach Zac Taylor explained what he wants to see from a college quarterback, he basically rattled off Burrow's scouting report:

"Leadership. A guy that leads by example. Somebody that outworks all of his teammates and elevates their level of play. There's no question that there's the accuracy that plays into it, and the timing and anticipation and all those things that come with it. No. 1, you want a guy that will lead by example and show others the way and raise the level of their teammates."

Taylor wants the Bengals to air it out. Cincinnati finished with the sixth-most pass attempts even though the quarterbacking was so shoddy that the franchise is about to address the position with the No. 1 pick.

It would be fascinating to see this offense run by a talent like Burrow (who passed for 5,208 yards and 55 touchdowns), let alone what his arrival might mean for the young playmakers at the skill positions.


Chase Young a Lock for Redskins

You know the old adage about going big or going home? Or the modern fascination with everything bold?

None of that applies on draft night, at least not this high on the board. When a no-brainer, game-changing talent is available, you sprint to the podium to submit your pick. Expect nothing different from the Redskins, who may not have a front-office leader but do have an obvious choice with Chase Young sitting on the board.

"It would be the biggest surprise in NFL draft history if Young wasn't the pick here," B/R's Matt Miller wrote.

Young might be the best prospect in this class, it's just that edge-rushers aren't quite as highly regarded quarterbacks. So, the engineer of an absurd 16.5 sacks and six forced fumbles this season will have to settle for landing at No. 2 and on a talented defensive line featuring recent first-rounders Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.


Detroit Gets Defensive with Jeff Okudah

The draft effectively begins at No. 3, and if our mock allowed for trading, this would be the logical place to start.

The Lions have holes all across their defense, which surrendered the second-most yards this season. With Young off the board, they might not feel another prospect separates himself to the point of being the clear-cut third overall choice.

If that happens and some club in the quarterback market makes a healthy offer to move up, Detroit might consider trading down, still adding an impact piece and gaining more draft assets.

But with that scenario unavailable here, we'll instead address Detroit's anemic pass defense—most passing yards allowed—by granting it the best corner in the class. Jeff Okudah looks like the latest prize to be pulled from the Ohio State secondary.

"I think he'll be a No. 1 corner at the next level," ESPN's Todd McShay wrote. "He's athletic and versatile, and he'll make plays on the ball. Okudah could absolutely go in the first five picks."

Not every team will see Okudah as the class' third-best player, but if you spent any time watching the Lions try to contain opposing offenses last season, you get why they would.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.