2020 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions, Landing Spots for Top Prospects

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2020

Utah State quarterback Jordan Love (10) passes in the second half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019. LSU won 42-6. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Professional and amateur sports are stuck in place, yet the countdown to the 2020 NFL draft is suddenly on the horizon.

That sure happened quickly, right?

As always, the closer we are to the draft, which gets underway April 23, the more misinformationor, said another way, intentional misdirectionwill emerge. Executives and scouts will leak details as a way to hide actual plans and/or quiet the buzz around a particular player so he might fall to their team.

We will highlight two prospects who fit that category after updating a first-round mock draft.


2020 NFL Mock Draft Round 1

1. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Joe Burrow, LSU

2. Washington: Edge Chase Young, Ohio State

3. Detroit Lions: CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State

4. New York Giants: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

5. Miami Dolphins: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

6. Los Angeles Chargers: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon

7. Carolina Panthers: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

8. Arizona Cardinals: DT Derrick Brown, Auburn

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama

10. Cleveland Browns: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

11. New York Jets: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

12. Las Vegas Raiders: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

13. San Francisco 49ers (from IND): WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville

15. Denver Broncos: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU

16. Atlanta Falcons: DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

17. Dallas Cowboys: CB CJ Henderson, Florida

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

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from CHI): QB Jordan Love, Utah State

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR): S Grant Delpit, LSU

21. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Jeff Gladney, TCU

22. Minnesota Vikings (from BUF): Edge K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU

23. New England Patriots: LB Patrick Queen, LSU

24. New Orleans Saints: OL Cesar Ruiz, Michigan

25. Minnesota Vikings: DT Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma

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

27. Seattle Seahawks: Edge Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State

28. Baltimore Ravens: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

29. Tennessee Titans: OT Austin Jackson, USC

30. Green Bay Packers: WR Denzel Mims, Baylor

31. San Francisco 49ers: S Antoine Winfield Jr., Minnesota

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Edge A.J. Epenesa, Iowa


Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Ah, yes, we have entered anonymous scout season.

"He is not a tough, physical football player. He's not a hitter. Doesn't break down well. I don't get it. Down in and down out, he's not a factor or a difference-maker," a scout told Bob McGinn of The Athletic.

Kinda wondering what tape he's watching. As a junior at Clemson, Simmons merely totaled 102 tackles with 16 stops for loss and eight sacks. He broke up seven passes and intercepted three while playing five different positions on defense.

Not a factor, though?

Right or wrong, there's no shortage of interest in the Clemson product. B/R's Matt Miller noted the New York Giantswho hold the No. 4 overall pickare rumored to love Simmons.

While the 21-year-old's versatility is a key appeal, he's reliable, too.

According to Sports Info Solutions Draft Guide (h/t Danny Kelly of The Ringer), Simmons missed only six percent of his tackles. That was the second-best rate among linebackers in 2019.


Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Tom Brady and Indianapolis Colts traded their first-round pick, Jordan Love seemed like the possible fourth quarterback off the board in the 10-15 range.

But after those transactions, the 21-year-old could be the odd man outdipping into the late teens. Or, maybe he'll leap Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert for the Miami Dolphins at No. 5 overall?

According to ESPN's Cameron Wolfe, the Dolphins "expressed clear intrigue" with Love at the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine. They also hosted him for a pre-draft meeting at the team facility and had a video call recently.

That reporting is sound. Is the connection even reasonable?

Love put together a brilliant 2018 but underwhelmed last season. He tossed 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, and his yards per attempt dropped from 8.6 to 7.2.

"Context is always paramount when considering interceptions," Robert Mays of The Ringer said. "... But after watching all 17 of Love's interceptions from 2019, I can confidently say that he got his money's worth. And that is worrisome."

Nevertheless, NFL personnel are consistently quick to forgive a tall, strong-armed quarterback with big upside.

Miami is wise to create some buzz around Love. If someone trades up for him, the Dolphins might even be able to add draft capital and still get their preferred quarterback later on.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.


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