NFL Mock Draft 2020: Latest Predictions for Justin Herbert, Other Top Prospects

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMarch 14, 2020

Quarterback Justin Herbert works out during Oregon football pro day in Eugene, Ore., Thursday, March 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Collin Andrew)
Collin Andrew/Associated Press

Each year as the NFL draft draws closer, a more intense focus usually gets paid to the available quarterbacks.

A handful of signal-callers could land in the first round in 2020, including Oregon's Justin Herbert and Utah State's Jordan Love.

Herbert had an opportunity to work out at Oregon's pro day, and Love partook in a meeting with the Miami Dolphins before the coronavirus outbreak limited the contact between prospects and teams.

After Friday, draft-eligible players are prohibited from meeting with team personnel in person because of concerns about the spread of the virus, per NFL.com.

While that could hamper parts of the process, teams can still break down film and meet over the phone with prospects, which may be a key part of the draft buildup this season.


2020 NFL 1st-Round Mock Draft

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU 

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

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

4. New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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

7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

8. Arizona Cardinals: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

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

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

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

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

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

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

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

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

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago): Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams): A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU 

22. Buffalo Bills: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

23. New England Patriots: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

24. New Orleans Saints: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

25. Minnesota Vikings: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston): Josh Jones, OT, Houston

27. Seattle Seahawks: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU 

28. Baltimore Ravens: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

29. Tennessee Titans: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU 

30. Green Bay Packers: Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU 

31. San Francisco 49ers: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

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


Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Herbert participated in Oregon's Pro Day in front of a pair of important observers.

Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney and Miami Dolphins quarterback consultant David Lee were present in Eugene, Oregon, per The Oregonian's James Crepea.

The highlight of the showcase was Herbert launching a football 62 yards in the air from a flat-footed base.


62 yards. Flat-footed. Justin Herbert showed off his arm at @OregonFootball Pro Day 💪 https://t.co/0k8CTlRnDe

Herbert stood out during the final few games of Oregon's season, and he turned in an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl.

Although he did not record more than 200 passing yards in his final three Oregon appearances, Herbert led the Ducks to the Pac-12 championship and a Rose Bowl victory.

In the win over the Wisconsin Badgers, Herbert flexed his ground prowess by rushing for a trio of scores.

Where Herbert lands is dependent on the preferences of teams with quarterback needs, which could include favoring other prospects over him.

Once Joe Burrow likely goes off the board at No. 1 to the Cincinnati Bengals, the pressure will be on the Dolphins to take a quarterback at No. 5, whether it be Herbert, Love or Tua Tagovailoa.

If trades do not happen to swoop for the available quarterbacks, the likely run of signal-callers will be triggered by Miami.

Were the Dolphins to prefer Tagovailoa, that would leave the Los Angeles Chargers and the Panthers as the most intriguing landing spots. The Chargers are looking for a new man under center after ending the Philip Rivers era, while Carolina has questions to answer about Cam Newton's durability in Matt Rhule's first year in charge.

Regardless of where he lands, Herbert is likely to be taken early given the high demand at the position.


Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

Love might have the most to gain of any draft prospect before the event in Las Vegas.

The Utah State product has risen up draft boards, partly because of his collegiate career and the demand at the position.

If Cincinnati, Miami and either Los Angeles or Carolina take the top three quarterbacks off the board in the first seven picks, Love could be the hottest commodity for teams still in need of players at the position.

Before in-person visits were prohibited, Love met with the Dolphins on Friday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Because Miami has a glaring need at the position, it has to do research on all of the top prospects to figure out the best fit. While that still may be Tagovailoa, the Dolphins have to do their due diligence on Love—as will other quarterback-hungry teams.

Love is coming off back-to-back 3,000-yard seasons with Utah State, but he was more successful in 2018, throwing 32 touchdowns and six interceptions. In 2019, Love struggled in comparison by generating 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

Some of the difficulties could be linked to the departure of head coach Matt Wells, who took the Texas Tech job before the 2019 campaign.

One of the likely landing spots for Love could be the Indianapolis Colts, who may move on from Jacoby Brissett or bring in a young quarterback to challenge him for the starting job. The Colts could always make a move in free agency, but until then, they have to be considered, especially if the top three signal-callers are off the board.

If Indianapolis passes on a quarterback in the first round, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could land Love at No. 14, but that is dependent on the decisions made with Jameis Winston and in free agency.

Regardless of where he lands, Love is not likely to last past the first round because of the demand at his position, which could even include a trade up by a suitor.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90Statistics obtained from ESPN.com.