2020 NFL Mock Draft: Post-Super Bowl Predictions for 1st-Round Prospects

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 3, 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

The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions.

Patrick Mahomes worked his magic again on Sunday, steering his squad out of a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit and into a championship-clinching 31-20 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers.

Mahomes, in case you'd forgotten, was the 10th overall pick in 2017. His Super Bowl counterpart, Jimmy Garoppolo, went 62nd during the 2014 talent grab.

In other words, while you might hear an exhaustive amount about the top prospects on the 2020 board, this draft could propel football's future stars from any spot.

After laying out our latest first-round mock, we'll examine three of our most pressing questions with this draft.


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

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

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


Three First-Round Quarterbacks Or More?

While Joe Burrow has cemented his status as the top quarterback in this class, two other passing prospects make regular appearances in the top 10 of most mocks, this one included. Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa may not make it out of the top five if he quiets any long-term concerns with his hip injury, and Oregon's Justin Herbert could hear his name called shortly thereafter.

But will that be the extent of exposure this position has in the opening round? Or could another quarterback, such as Utah State's Jordan Love, also go on the first night?

We see the Patriots pouncing on Love to help form their latest post-Tom Brady strategy, but some don't see him even lasting that long. NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah has the 21-year-old going 13th overall—one spot ahead of Herbert.

"The Colts haven't publicly committed to Jacoby Brissett as their starter in 2020, and Love is simply too intriguing to pass up," Jeremiah wrote. "He might need to sit for a year, but the payoff could be huge."

With Mahomes heading into the offseason as a champion and Super Bowl MVP, don't be surprised if other franchises snag their next signal-caller earlier than expected.


Who Trades First?

The trade portion of the draft proceedings makes accurately mocking the event almost impossible. We know there's bound to be some wheeling and dealing, it's just tough to pinpoint when those exchanges will take place and which teams will be involved.

B/R's Matt Miller explained that while last year's draft only saw one swap in the top 10 (the Pittsburgh Steelers moving up to No. 10 for Devin Bush), the trade market could be active even earlier in 2020.

"This year the top 10 figures to feature many more trades," he wrote. "Why should 2020 be more trade-heavy? The quarterbacks."

The Dolphins, Chargers and Panthers all have top-10 picks and potential vacancies at quarterback. While they could roll the dice and hope one falls in their lap, they might be motivated to climb the ladder and get their preferred prospect. Miller reports the Colts and Raiders—two teams that also have uncertainty at the position—are "expected to be the most active."

So, who would facilitate those deals by moving down? The Lions and Giants seem the likeliest candidates, since they're selecting ahead of that aforementioned trio and already have passers in place.


Are Running Backs Being Overlooked?

The primary talking points coming out of Super Bowl LIV will inevitably revolve around the quarterback position. With an early start on his ring collection, how many more championships can Mahomes add to his resume? And is Garoppolo the quarterback capable of leading the 49ers to the mountaintop?

Those are worthwhile stories—and ones sure to drive engagement—but the ground game was quietly critical to this contest. Kansas City got a ton of mileage out of Damien Williams, who was Mahomes' biggest MVP threat with 133 scrimmage yards and two scores. San Francisco mostly got what it wanted on the ground (22 carries at 6.4 yards per clip), but it perhaps abandoned the rush too quickly and failed to control the clock.

Long story short, even in 2020, rushing attacks remain crucial pieces of championship formulas. So, will that motivate anyone to address the position early on draft night? This crop isn't deep—especially with Travis Etienne opting for another go-round at Clemson—but it's strong at the top.

D'Andre Swift tops our board for his three-down potential and effectiveness in the passing game. Jonathan Taylor, recipient of the past two Doak Walker awards, goes next as a great rusher, albeit one with concerns about his hands as a receiver.

Does the league also see Swift and Taylor as first-rounders? Could players like Utah's Zack Moss, Ohio State's J.K. Dobbins or LSU's Clyde Edwards-Helaire enter the fray? All of these prospects have impressive upside, but their draft ranges are all over the map at this stage.


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