The Cincinnati Bengals have been on the clock figuratively for months, but their actual clock is about to start sticking.
The 2020 NFL draft starts Thursday night, and LSU quarterback Joe Burrow should officially latch on with the Bengals shortly after it does. Chase Young probably beefs up an intriguing Washington Redskins defensive front soon thereafter.
And then the drama starts. The Detroit Lions could snag someone to help fix their leaky defense, trade down for more picks or even throw caution to the wind to find Matthew Stafford's successor.
Detroit is the first of several pivot points that will define the direction of this draft.
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: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
5. Miami Dolphins: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
8. Arizona Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
10. Cleveland Browns: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
11. New York Jets: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
13. San Francisco 49ers (via Indianapolis Colts): Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
15. Denver Broncos: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
16. Atlanta Falcons: K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
17. Dallas Cowboys: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers): Austin Jackson, OT, USC
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago Bears): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): Josh Jones, OT, Houston
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
22. Minnesota Vikings (via Buffalo Bills): Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
23. New England Patriots: A.J. Epenesa, Edge, Iowa
24. New Orleans Saints: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
25. Minnesota Vikings: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans): D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
27. Seattle Seahawks: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
29. Tennessee Titans: Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State
30. Green Bay Packers: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
31. San Francisco 49ers: Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Oklahoma
Falcons Eyeing C.J. Henderson
Sorting through April's many smokescreens can be exhausting, but when multiple experts are hearing similar things, it's time to pay attention.
B/R's Matt Miller recently reported that Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson is being rumored as a top-10 pick. Miller also wrote "there is a ton of smoke" around the Falcons attempting to move up into the top 10.
Those rumors might be related.
On Tuesday, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. said on his First Draft podcast that the Falcons are talking to the Jaguars about trading up to No. 9 for Henderson (h/t The Falcoholic).
Atlanta needs some defensive reinforcements. It allowed the 10th-most points per game this past season and cut ties with its top cornerback, Desmond Trufant, in March.
Henderson would be a need-filler, but the Falcons must decide whether that makes him worth whatever the draft-capital cost would be.
Broncos Targeting Jerry Jeudy
If the Broncos are comfortable with Drew Lock quarterbacking them into the future, they should focus on finding him more help. The first order of business should be finding another pass-catching threat to line up alongside Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant.
It seems that's the direction Denver wants to take on draft night, but it might not be able to do that without climbing the board. The Broncos apparently know that.
Miller says Denver is "desperate to get into the top 10" with an eye on the wide receiver position. It might already have a specific target in mind, too.
According to Woody Paige of the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Broncos want Jerry Jeudy and are angling to move up to either No. 8 or No. 10 to get him.
They're in a tricky spot at No. 15, especially if they believe Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs III have the position's top tier to themselves. Hoping one falls to 15 is a big risk—even if Lamb makes it there in this mock.
If Denver thinks it needs to get one of the three (or values a specific one, like Lamb), then jumping ahead of the other potential receiver suitors might be a necessity.