NFL Mock Draft 2020: Updated Predictions for Top College Prospects

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 30, 2019, file photo, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons (11) celebrates a stop against South Carolina during an NCAA college football game, in Columbia, S.C. Simmons was selected to The Associated Press All-America team, Monday, Dec. 16, 2019.(AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)
Sean Rayford/Associated Press

With the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine set to kick off Sunday, the draft picture is beginning to come into focus. There's still a long way to go until April 23, but we do know who some of the top college prospects are likely to be.

The draft could essentially start with the third pick, as LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and Ohio State pass-rusher Chase Young appear to be can't-miss prospects and likely one-two selections.

This could change if Burrow tries to force himself away from the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 1—an unlikely scenario—but the Heisman Trophy winner hasn't sounded excited about playing for the Bengals.

"If they select me, they select me," the 23-year-old told Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Regardless of where Burrow ends up, he and Young are the two "safest" prospects in this class (there are no sure things in the draft world). They're likely to be the first of several future NFL stars to hear their names called on draft night.


2020 NFL Mock Draft

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: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson

8. Arizona Cardinals: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

10. Cleveland Browns: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

11. New York Jets: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

13. Indianapolis Colts: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

15. Denver Broncos: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville 

16. Atlanta Falcons: K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

17. Dallas Cowboys: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh): Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

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

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

21. Philadelphia Eagles: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

22. Buffalo Bills: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

23. New England Patriots: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

24. New Orleans Saints: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

25. Minnesota Vikings: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston): J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State

27. Seattle Seahawks: Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State

28. Baltimore Ravens: Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin

29. Tennessee Titans: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

30. Green Bay Packers: Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin

31. San Francisco 49ers: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU


Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama

John Raoux/Associated Press

If quarterback and pass-rusher are the two most important positions in the NFL, then offensive tackle is next in line. If a team already has a franchise quarterback, it obviously wants to keep him upright and healthy.

In terms of blindside blockers, Alabama's Jedrick Wills Jr. may be the best of a relatively strong class. He played right tackle in front of the left-handed Tua Tagovailoa and could play on either side of the line.

"His game is tailor-made for the NFL, and his range of success is good starter to All-Pro," NFL Media's Lance Zierlein wrote.

Wills may not be as prolific a prospect as Burrow or Young, but for tackle-needy teams, he may be even more enticing.


Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson

If a team is seeking a do-it-all defender with power, speed and the range to cover everything between the sidelines, Clemson's Isaiah Simmons should be on its radar. The hybrid linebacker-defensive back can run and hit with the best of them.

"He's got natural timing and punch to him," Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables said, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. "He can flat beat it when it comes to running, so he is generating a lot of force when he closes to the ball."

In addition to his combination of attributes, the 21-year-old is a top prospect because of his schematic versatility. There essentially isn't a position at the second or third level that he didn't man during his college career:

Isaiah Simmons @isaiahsimmons25

Guess I just play defense😂 https://t.co/D2Nafd66Kp

Simmons should be a fit for any NFL defense and should be especially valuable to those that regularly utilize subpackages. With the 6'4", 230-pounder in the lineup, a team could switch from, say, a 4-3 base to a 4-2-5 look without making a substitution.


Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

Interior defensive linemen don't always command the media attention that edge-rushers and ball-hawking defensive backs do. However, their ability to impact both the running game and the passing game—via the interior pass rush—makes them incredibly valuable.

Watch several series of All-Pros Aaron Donald or Grady Jarrett and you'll quickly understand why last year's draft featured two defensive tackles in the top 10. Auburn's Derrick Brown is likely to follow as another top-10 selection.

"Brown is underrated as a legitimate top-tier player in the 2020 draft class," Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller wrote. "He's drawn comparisons from scouts to Ndamukong Suh as a potential game-wrecker up front with his power and first-step ability playing any of the interior line positions."

Even if Brown doesn't post overwhelming numbers early in his NFL career, he's highly unlikely to bust entirely. Because of his high floor, the 21-year-old could be one of the first defenders at any position off the board.