2020 NFL Mock Draft: Prospect Predictions for Every Selection of Round 1

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2020

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow passes against Clemson during the second half of a NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Now that the college football season has come to an end, the focus can officially move onto the draft process. Though prospect evaluation began long ago, the process will take its next major step on January 25 at the Senior Bowl.

With notable prospects such as Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert and Alabama linebacker Terrell Lewis accepting invites to the Senior Bowl already, the annual all-star exhibition could have a sizeable impact on the first round.

For now, though, prospects will be judged by their game film and by the results of the 2019-20 season, which LSU capped with a 42-25 win over Clemson on Monday.

Let's take a look at the first-round picture following the College Football Playoff Championship.


2020 NFL Mock Draft

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

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

3. Detroit Lions: Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson

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: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

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: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

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

19. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Julian Okwara, DE, Notre Dame

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

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma 

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

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

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

25. Minnesota Vikings: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

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: Grant Delpit, S, LSU


Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

There wasn't a bigger star on Monday night's stage than LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.

The Heisman-winner was incredible against a dangerous Clemson defense, throwing for 463 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 58 yards and another score.

During the game, Burrow also set a new record for passing touchdowns in a single season.

If the 23-year-old isn't the No. 1 overall pick in April, it will come as a major surprise. He's accurate, athletic, poised and big-game proven, essentially all of the traits teams look for in a franchise signal-caller. At 6'4" and 216 pounds, he also has archetypal size.

Quarterback isn't the most pressing need for the Cincinnati Bengals—Andy Dalton wasn't the reason for a 2-14 record—but passing on one who could be a perennial Pro Bowler is a mistake even they aren't likely to make.


Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

With Burrow having perhaps the best season by a college quarterback ever, other prospects are likely vying to be the second signal-caller off the board. One recent development should give Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa an edge in that race.

Coming into this season, the 21-year-old was widely regarded as the top quarterback in the 2020 draft. He possesses a tremendous blend of athleticism, arm strength and accuracy. Like Burrow, he has experience on the game's biggest stage—he helped Alabama win a national title during the 2017 season and put them back in the title game in 2018.

The issue for Tagovailoa is that he's recovering from a dislocated hip and carries significant health concerns because of it. The good news is that he's expected to be healthy enough to throw before the draft.

"The [intention] there is the ball never touches the ground and I think he's gonna blow away teams in that process," his agent, Leigh Steinberg, told Mike Rodak of AL.com.

Whether he throws in a private workout or at Alabama's pro day, Tagovailoa will give teams an idea of how his recovery is progressing.


Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson

Burrow wasn't the only prospect to help his stock in the national title game. Though he wasn't able to deliver a win, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons showed fans and NFL decision-makers his ability and his versatility on Monday. 

A true hybrid defender, the 21-year-old played multiple positions against LSU and proved he is capable of excelling in several roles:

At 6'4" and 230 pounds, Simmons has the size and the movement skills needed to play either defensive back or linebacker. Ideally, he'll be utilized as a combination of the two positions at the pro level, just as he has been with Clemson this season.

Bleacher Reports draft analyst Matt Miller ranked him as his fifth-best prospect for the 2020 draft. It won't be a shock if he goes even higher than No. 5.


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