2020 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for Top Prospects Entering Championship Week

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2020

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

The NFL's divisional round came with its fair share of surprises. Notably, the AFC's sixth seed, the Tennessee Titans, knocked off the 14-2 Baltimore Ravens, sending what was considered perhaps the league's most complete team into the draft order.

The Ravens were joined by the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans, rounding out the top 28 draft slots for 2020.

More surprises could come Monday night, though they will involve the prospects entering the draft and not the teams making the selections. Clemson and LSU are set to face off in the College Football Playoff National Championship, a game that will feature multiple 2020 draft hopefuls.

Here we'll dig into some of the top prospects who will be on display during the game, along with the current draft order and an updated Round 1 mock.

          

2020 NFL Mock Draft

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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: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

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

17. Dallas Cowboys: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh): J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State

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. Buffalo Bills: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

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

24. New Orleans Saints: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

25. Minnesota Vikings: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston): A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

27. Seattle Seahawks: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

28. Baltimore Ravens: Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama

29. Tennessee Titans: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

30. Green Bay Packers: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

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

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

             

Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

David J. Phillip/Associated Press

This is the big one. Though LSU quarterback Joe Burrow may already be a lock to be the Cincinnati Bengals' pick at No. 1, he can improve his stock with another strong showing in Monday's championship game. He could also hurt it by struggling against the Clemson defense or, even worse, suffering a significant injury.

An injury would be the worst-case scenario for the Heisman winner. Health is perhaps the biggest thing separating him in the eyes of decision-makers from Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is recovering from a dislocated hip.

In terms of on-field performance, Burrow has put enough on tape—including 5,208 passing yards and 55 touchdowns this season—to justify being the draft's top selection. However, one could argue that Tagovailoa has done the same. The difference is that Tagovailoa's injury may force him into a redshirt 2020 campaign.

Burrow is expected to be a Day 1 NFL starter.

                

Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Sean Rayford/Associated Press

One of the players battling to contain Burrow will be linebacker Isaiah Simmons. The converted safety has a tremendous combination of speed, range and vision, and he can be a nightmare against both the run and the pass.

This combination of traits will challenge Burrow and the LSU offense. It also makes Simmons an intriguing hybrid defender who can thrive in the NFL. With professional coaches relying more and more on linebackers who can run, hit and cover, players like Simmons are highly coveted.

"I never really wanted to limit myself to one position if I could," Simmons said, per Amie Just of the New Orleans Advocate. "So, it's a challenge for me each week having to learn everything. But it's something that I enjoy."

Simmons is capable of filling a variety of defensive roles, which will allow him to stand out Monday—and before long Sundays.

         

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Richard Shiro/Associated Press

Plenty of NFL scouts will be paying attention to quarterback Trevor Lawrence when Clemson has the football. Though Lawrence won't be draft-eligible until next year, he's the sort of prospect teams plan ahead to target.

Catching passes from Lawrence will be Tee Higgins, one of this year's top receiver prospects.

The 6'4" Higgins has the sort of length NFL teams love at the position. He has a large catch radius to go with solid hands and ball-tracking skills. He should be an excellent possession receiver at the pro level with enough quickness to also be a downfield threat.

Higgins will be tested by a tremendous LSU defense—and Round 1 prospects like safety Grant Delpit. He's racked up 1,115 yards and 13 touchdowns on 56 receptions. Another strong outing could cement Higgins' place as one of the first wide receivers off the board in April.