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2020 NFL Mock Draft: Analyzing Latest Stock Trends, Full 1st-Round Predictions

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistApril 10, 2020

South quarterback Justin Herbert of Oregon (10) during the first half of the Senior Bowl college football game Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Butch Dill/Associated Press

Anyone who has been following the NFL draft process over the years knows this: About the only guarantee in the draft is that nothing is set in stone.

With rare exception, draft prospects see their stock wax and wane throughout the predraft process. Even surefire No. 1 selections will be picked apart before the first team is officially on the clock. For players who don't appear to be top-five locks, the rising and falling can be even more pronounced.

Here, we'll examine some of the latest draft-stock trends two weeks out from the 2020 draft. First, though, an updated Round 1 mock.

     

NFL Mock Draft, Round 1

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

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

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

4. New York Giants: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

5. Miami Dolphins: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

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

7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

8. Arizona Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

10. Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

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

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

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

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

15. Denver Broncos: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

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

17. Dallas Cowboys: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh): Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago): C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

22. Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

23. New England Patriots: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

24. New Orleans Saints: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

25. Minnesota Vikings: A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa

26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston): Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

27. Seattle Seahawks: Josh Jones, OT, Houston

28. Baltimore Ravens: Josh Uche, LB, Michigan

29. Tennessee Titans: Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU

30. Green Bay Packers: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

31. San Francisco 49ers: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

     

Stock Up: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Collin Andrew/Associated Press

There has been plenty of debate about whether Oregon's Justin Herbert or Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa should be the second quarterback off the board in this year's draft—LSU's Joe Burrow is almost universally considered to be the top signal-caller.

For a team like the Miami Dolphins, who need a quarterback and who own the fifth pick in the draft, this debate is huge. At this point, Herbert appears to be winning that debate. Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller said this could indeed be the route that the Dolphins appear to be leaning toward.

"I'm told by multiple league sources that the Dolphins aren't convinced Tua is the best option and could instead target Oregon's Justin Herbert," Miller wrote. "The situation is fluid, but the buzz around the league is that Herbert has the most fans in the Dolphins' draft room."

Miami isn't the only team interested in Herbert, either. The Cincinnati Bengals, who are expected to take Burrow, could go for the Oregon signal-caller if they decide to trade down.

"I've heard there are some inside the Bengals who are true believers in Herbert, and if so, such a deal could be intelligent for Cincinnati," NBC Sports' Peter King wrote.

It will likely require a hefty draft haul to pry the No. 1 pick away from Cincinnati. If that happens, though, Herbert may well end up a Bengal.

    

Stock Down: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

While Herbert is on the rise, Tagovailoa's stock appears to be taking a hit. This is largely because of his injury history and the fact that he is still recovering from last year's dislocated and fractured hip.

According to Michael Lombardi of The Athletic and the GM Shuffle, "at least one team" has failed Tagovailoa on his medical checks:

Michael Lombardi @mlombardiNFL

https://t.co/rYm5U1TEgX https://t.co/baIJLb23gS

In addition to the hip injury, Tagovailoa has undergone two separate ankle surgeries. According to Lombardi, he has also dealt with a pair of fractured wrists. This is a significant number of injuries for a player who will be exposed to quicker defenders and bigger hits at the next level.

The good news for teams interested in the Crimson Tide standout is that he should be ready for training camp.

"He's in a normal offseason training program just getting his body back in shape now," University of Alabama team physician Lyle Cain said, per ESPN's Stephania Bell.

The bad news is that the NFL's ban on predraft visits means that teams cannot gauge Tagovailoa's progress for themselves.

    

Stock Up: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

AJ Mast/Associated Press

While Tagovailoa's stock may be slipping a bit, teammate Xavier McKinney's appears to be on the rise. The Crimson Tide safety has been quietly gaining traction as an elite defensive prospect.

According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, McKinney is drawing comparisons to Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas:

"One player who got more love than I expected when I was calling around this week: Alabama S Xavier McKinney. I got an Earl Thomas comp out of one of the NFL's most respected evaluators, and not a lot of disagreement when I ran that by a couple of other veteran evaluators. Another called him 'premium ... one of the best safeties I've ever watched.' Teams love his athleticism and his versatility to play up, back or in the slot."

Versatility is a big asset for McKinney, as is proven production. Just last season, he racked up 95 tackles, three interceptions and four forced fumbles. In 2018, he had 74 tackles, two interceptions and 10 passes defended.

While McKinney hasn't commanded the sort of media attention given to defensive prospects like Chase Young, Jeff Okudah and Derrick Brown, he has the potential to be one of the most impactful rookies in this year's draft class.

Now that teams' interest in McKinney has been brought to the forefront, expect him to get a bit more attention heading into draft week.

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