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NFL Mock Draft 2020: Latest Predictions for Top-Tier 1st-Round Prospects

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 11, 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 2020 NFL offseason is here, and it looks like it will be a doozy.

The free-agent market could be flush with notable names, and while plenty of dominoes need to drop, we already know Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers are splitting up. There's a chance we'll see a game of quarterback carousel before it's all finished.

But with so many passers needing either new deals or scenery changes, teams could consider turning the position over to a youngster. Several seem poised to address that spot early in the draft, and our crystal ball points to three quarterbacks going among the top 10 picks.

We'll take a closer look at those prospects after running through our latest mock.

                   

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: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama

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: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

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

12. Las Vegas Raiders: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

13. Indianapolis Colts: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

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

15. Denver Broncos: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

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

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

18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers): Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

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: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

22. Buffalo Bills: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

23. New England Patriots: K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

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

25. Minnesota Vikings: Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma

26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans): Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama

27. Seattle Seahawks: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

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

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

31. San Francisco 49ers: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

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

                 

Top Quarterback Prospects

Joe Burrow, LSU

Unless you snoozed through the entire college football campaign, you're surely familiar with Joe Burrow. All the 23-year-old did was author arguably the greatest college season the position has ever seen, while winning both the Heisman Trophy and a national championship.

His statistics were so spectacular even expert football gamers would be envious of the production. No matter which metric you chose, it was probably brilliant. He completed 76.3 percent of his passes. He threw for 5,671 yards. He totaled 60 touchdown passes against just six interceptions.

"That guy played a perfect season," LSU receiver Justin Jefferson said, per Dan Wolken of USA Today. "Every single week he performed. He didn't show any signs of doubt or anything. That guy is something special."

NFL evaluators agree on the special part. Burrow might not have the biggest arm in the draft, but his accuracy, decision-making and leadership are unrivaled.

                  

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Everything said above about Burrow is true, but so is this: If Tua Tagovailoa doesn't fracture his hip in November, he's probably holding down the No. 1 spot.

And if anyone can challenge Burrow for his seat atop the draft board, it's Tagovailoa.

"I would argue [Tua Tagovailoa] is better than Joe Burrow, and that will be the great debate in this year's class," ESPN's Todd McShay said on First Take. "When he is right, he's Drew Brees from the left side."

Tagovailoa reads defenses at a rapid rate, and he has the poise and accuracy to exploit gaps in coverage. His injury history will give some teams pause, but the upside is too immense to scare everyone away. Over the past two seasons (15 games), he went 425-of-607 passing (70 percent) for 6,806 yards and 76 touchdowns against nine interceptions.

                    

Justin Herbert, Oregon

While this doesn't always matter, Justin Herbert looks the part of an NFL passer.

He's a sturdy 6'6", 237 pounds, and he checks all the boxes for arm talent, athleticism and potential. Had he ducked out of Oregon a year earlier, he might've been the No. 1 pick.

"You watch guys like Carson Wentz, Andrew Luck ... that's the type of player he is in terms of traits and potential," an evaluator told B/R's Matt Miller in October 2018.

Herbert's numbers all improved during his senior season in Eugene. He bumped his completion percentage to 66.8. He upped his yardage (3,471) and touchdowns (32 through the air, four more on the ground) while cutting down his interceptions (six).

He still struggles with consistency, and his inaccuracy can be problematic. But if an NFL team can tap into all of his tools, he could be the league's next star passer.

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