NFL Mock Draft 2020: Initial 1st-Round Projections Following 49ers vs. Chiefs

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 did more than end a 50-year Super Bowl drought on Sunday.

With their come-from-behind 31-20 triumph over the San Francisco 49ers, they also locked up the final pick of the opening round of the 2020 draft.

Since 30 other teams are already two weeks (or more) into their offseasons, it's officially time for K.C. to shift the focus forward and start plotting the potential landing spots for football's future stars.

Barring something unexpected, Joe Burrow and Chase Young should be the first two names announced on April 23. But it's anyone's guess as to how the draft unfolds from there.

We'll make our educated guesses below and, as an ode to the magical Patrick Mahomes, break down the top three passing prospects on our board.


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


Top 2020 Quarterback Prospects

Joe Burrow, LSU

Unless you spent the entire college football campaign under a rock, you had to be blown away by Joe Burrow's potential.

The 6'4", 216-pounder erupted during his senior season for the Tigers, who could go down as one of history's finest. En route to both a Heisman Trophy and a national title, he threw for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns. Those numbers sound unbelievable on their own, but they reach ridiculous territory when combined with his 76.3 completion percentage and six interceptions on 527 attempts.

"You aren't going to go wrong with that dude," one evaluator told's Ian Rapoport. "Everyone loves the guy. If they don't, they have their own issues. A top-tier player."

Burrow is no less than a gift from the football gods for the Bengals. They started moving away from Andy Dalton already this past season, and they need a dynamic passer to give coach Zac Taylor a true shot at success.


Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

This was supposed to be Tua Tagovailoa's draft to dominate. In some ways, it still is.

A dislocated hip prematurely ended his junior season (and subsequently his college career) in mid-November, and it cast some uncertainty over his NFL outlook. But if his medicals hold up—he's planning to throw in front of NFL teams by April—he might be the focus of any team attempting to trade up. His NFL Scouting Combine appearance might be most important, though, even if he's not working out there.

"My main goal is not to win the 40[-yard dash], not to win the bench press, but to win my medical," Tagovailoa said, per's Adam Maya. "I'm going to go over there looking to win my medical and then go in and interview with the teams. That's pretty much what I'm going to do."

On the field, Tagovailoa has few concerns. His lack of size and elite arm strength might qualify for some, but his tape speaks for itself. Over this season and last, he threw for 6,806 yards with 76 touchdowns against nine interceptions.


Justin Herbert, Oregon

While Justin Herbert may not get drafted any earlier than he would have last season, his decision to have another go-round with Ducks seems a smart one.

Consistency was his biggest question mark entering the campaign, and while he didn't completely silence it, he at least quieted it down. He completed a higher percentage of his throws. He bumped up his yards and touchdowns while trimming his interceptions. His passer rating jumped more than a dozen points (144.7 to 156.8).

The experience was worthwhile, in other words, and the same could be said of his decision to participate in the Senior Bowl. He was the highest-rated quarterback at the event, and he looked the part.

"A great showing at the Senior Bowl upped his draft stock, as he was in full control of the offense all week and exhibited some leadership qualities that scouts had been looking for," ESPN's Todd McShay wrote.

If Herbert continues to impress on the workout circuit, he'll cement himself as a top-10 pick and might find his way into the first five selections.


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