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NFL Mock Draft 2020: Latest Projections for Highly Sought-After Prospects

Jake RillSenior Analyst IIIApril 12, 2020

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (13) throws a pass against Mississippi State during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

For months, NFL teams have evaluated the best players from the college ranks. They've watched tape, attended the NFL Scouting Combine and started to develop a strategy for this year's draft.

Now, in less than two weeks, it will be time to put those plans to work. The NFL draft is set to take place April 23-25, one of the few sports-related events on the calendar that hasn't been postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

It still had an impact, however, as the draft won't be in Las Vegas as originally planned and instead will be done virtually. Still, prospects will find out where they'll be beginning their professional careers and fans will find out who their favorite team is adding.

Here's a look at how the first round of this year's draft could unfold.

     

2020 NFL Mock Draft, 1st Round

1. Cincinnati: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

2. Washington: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

3. Detroit: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

4. N.Y. Giants: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

5. Miami: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

6. L.A. Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

7. Carolina: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

8. Arizona: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

9. Jacksonville: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

10. Cleveland: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

11. N.Y. Jets: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

12. Las Vegas: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

13. San Francisco (via Indianapolis): CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

14. Tampa Bay: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

15. Denver: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

16. Atlanta: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

17. Dallas: K'Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU

18. Miami (via Pittsburgh): Josh Jones, OT, Houston

19. Las Vegas (via Chicago): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

20. Jacksonville (via L.A. Rams): Antoine Winfield Jr., S/CB, Minnesota

21. Philadelphia: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

22. Minnesota (via Buffalo): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

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

24. New Orleans: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

25. Minnesota: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

26. Miami (via Houston): D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

27. Seattle: Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State

28. Baltimore: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

29. Tennessee: Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State

30. Green Bay: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

31. San Francisco: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

32. Kansas City: Cesar Ruiz, C/G, Michigan

    

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

After Joe Burrow gets drafted by the Bengals at No. 1, Tua Tagovailoa will be the best quarterback on the board. And there are a lot of potential landing spots for the former Alabama quarterback because of the teams drafting right after Cincinnati.

It's possible the Redskins could draft Tagovailoa at No. 2, but it seems unlikely. They're probably going to enter 2020 with Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Kyle Allen as their quarterbacks, with Haskins likely to start. And the Lions and Giants, who own the No. 3 and No. 4 picks, respectively, are unlikely to draft a quarterback.

That means Tagovailoa should fall to No. 5 and be selected by the Dolphins, who are likely to draft a franchise quarterback this year. Unless a team trades up to one of the picks ahead of them, which remains a possibility.

It could also be Miami that trades up in order to secure Tagovailoa, as it may deem the price worth it to move up a pick or two so it can ensure that it gets it man. Either way, the Dolphins seem like a good fit for Tagovailoa as they're likely going to be overhauling their offense through the draft, and he can be the leader of that unit for years to come.

     

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Three quarterbacks selected in the first six picks? That's how the start of this year's draft could unfold, as Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is likely to follow Burrow and Tagovailoa off the board shortly after the draft begins.

Herbert is the most experienced quarterback of that trio, as he was a four-year starter at Oregon. He particularly excelled over his final two seasons with the Ducks, passing for 3,151 yards and 29 touchdowns in 2018 and 3,471 yards and 32 touchdowns last year.

Because of his wealth of experience while playing in a Power Five conference, Herbert could have a smooth transition to the NFL and quickly become a starting quarterback in the league. It would make sense for him to do that with the Chargers, who will likely be looking to draft a quarterback now that longtime starter Philip Rivers has signed with the Colts.

If Los Angeles would decide to pass on Herbert and address another position of need at No. 6, then Herbert could end up on the board for a while as there aren't many teams following the Chargers that are likely to take a quarterback. But it seems more likely that Herbert will be heading to L.A.

      

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Jeffrey McWhorter/Associated Press

This year's draft class is loaded with talented receivers, and there's likely to be a run of them selected early in the first round. The Raiders (No. 12), 49ers (No. 13) and Broncos (No. 15) could all be looking to add a wide receiver, so that's when that run could occur.

Alabama's Jerry Jeudy will likely be the first wide receiver drafted, and he could be heading to Las Vegas. That will leave San Francisco to decide from the best remaining receivers on the board, which means it will likely pick Lamb.

The 49ers won the NFC title and reached the Super Bowl last season, yet they own the No. 13 pick after trading All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Colts in exchange for the selection earlier this offseason. That means whomever they select will already be playing for one of the best teams in the league and should have a chance to compete for a championship in 2020.

Lamb will give 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo a much-needed offensive weapon to utilize, which could help them become a more balanced team after relying heavily on their running game last season. And Lamb has the potential to develop into a star after recording 62 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns for Oklahoma last season.

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