NFL Mock Draft 2020: Predictions for Top Prospects' Landing Spots

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2020

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, left, and quarterback Joe Burrow, center, hold the trophy beside safety Grant Delpit after a NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game against Clemson, Monday, Jan. 13, 2020, in New Orleans. LSU won 42-25. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

Want to see the potential power of the NFL draft? Look no further than participants of Super Bowl LIV.

The Kansas City Chiefs forever changed their franchise by making electric quarterback Patrick Mahomes the 10th overall pick in 2017. The San Francisco 49ers completed their defensive makeover by spending the No. 2 pick of last year's draft on relentless pass-rusher Nick Bosa.

Those are transformational additions, and neither club would have a seat at the championship table without one.

After laying out our latest mock first round, we'll break down three prospects with fortune-changing potential.


NFL Mock Draft 2020

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

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

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

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4. New York Giants: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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

7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

8. Arizona Cardinals: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

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

11. New York Jets: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

12. Oakland Raiders: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

13. Indianapolis Colts: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

15. Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

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

17. Dallas Cowboys: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

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

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

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

22. Buffalo Bills: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

23. New England Patriots: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

24. New Orleans Saints: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

25. Minnesota Vikings: Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma

26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans): D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

27. Seattle Seahawks: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

28. Baltimore Ravens: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama

29. Tennessee Titans: Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame

30. Green Bay Packers: Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama

31. Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

32. San Francisco 49ers: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State


Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Just ask the LSU Tigers about Joe Burrow's transformational touch. The 6'4", 216-pound passer might have just completed the best college campaign by a quarterback ever, and he gave the Tigers their first national title in more than a decade during the process.

His numbers are so silly you could see them in the video-game realm and still not believe them. His 76.3 completion percentage is unbelievable on its own, but it becomes mind-numbing upon realizing he threw the second-most passes in the country (527). Similarly, his FBS-record 60 touchdown tosses are ridiculous, but they're even more ridiculous when juxtaposed against his mere six interceptions.

"He's one of the greatest players in LSU history," LSU head coach Ed Orgeron told reporters. "He's on a soapbox for the state of Louisiana and LSU. We are so grateful for Joe Burrow."

The Bengals will feel the same sooner than later. Burrow can't fix them by himself, but his advanced skill set gives this offense a chance to thrive. His presence and toughness will help instill an identity, and his accuracy and anticipation will eventually dismantle NFL defenses the same way he shredded college units.


Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

How can an edge-rusher transform an organization? Well, have you seen what's happened since San Francisco snagged Bosa?

"You can't say enough positive things about him and his play, his impact," Bosa's teammate, Richard Sherman, said. "He's just a dominant player. He wants to be dominant every down. He never gets complacent. He's always working."

Why is this relevant to Chase Young? Because ESPN's Todd McShay pointed out he has him graded higher than he did Bosa and his older brother Joey. In fact, McShay rates the 20-year-old as the best edge-rushing prospect since Von Miller.

That's high praise, but that stat sheet says it's justified. Young missed two games this season and still led the nation in sacks, ranked second in forced fumbles and tied for fourth in tackles for loss. He's the ultimate disruptive force, and he could be the final puzzle piece for a Redskins defensive line that already features first-rounders Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.


Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Remember him? You won't have forgotten about Tua Tagovailoa, but his hip injury has dropped him from the draft's headliner to one of its intriguing subplots.

History might wonder why he slid down from the top slot. If he's healthy—he should throw in front of teams before the draft—his ceiling sits as high as any.

"He's one of the best quarterbacks we've seen come through the college ranks," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. "... From a talent standpoint, he's awesome. If I was in the NFL, I'd be taking Tua, because he's a winner. ... He's gonna make everybody else around him better."

A healthy Tagovailoa is a superstar. He checks all the boxes from both physical and mental standpoints, and his production is impeccable. Over the past two seasons, he tallied 6,806 passing yards and 76 touchdown passes against just nine interceptions.