Major changes. Round 3 added.
Next update: Our 2020 NFL Mock Draft will be updated each week. Follow me
*** 2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT (3 rounds) updated Dec. 4. This mock draft will be updated occasionally. Check out old versions of this 2020 NFL Mock Draft in the archived mock section. Follow @walterfootball for NFL Draft updates. ***
It’s clear by now that Ryan Finley is not the long-term answer, so the Bengals will want to select a franchise quarterback with the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The problem is that Tua Tagovailoa is no longer the option because of his devastating injury. Cincinnati will have to look elsewhere.
Joe Burrow’s stock has soared in the wake of his 2019 performances, especially his victory over Alabama. Burrow was actually not considered a first-round prospect back in September. Charlie Campbell reported that NFL Teams See a Day 2 Ceiling for Joe Burrow. However, second-round quarterback prospects are chosen in the first frame all the time. Quarterbacks are pushed up, and all it takes is for one decision-maker to believe in a certain prospect. Plus, Burrow’s stock has improved anyway, so there’s a chance he’ll be the first pick this upcoming April.
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The Giants’ defense is an abomination, and they also need help on the offensive line so that Daniel Jones doesn’t keep fumbling twice every week. A No. 1 receiver can be used as well. New York is in a position to select the top player on its board to fill one of these three major needs.
Chase Young enjoyed a breakout season in the wake of Nick Bosa’s injury in 2018, and has been very dominant this year. He’s a very athletic edge player with great size (6-5, 265).
Trent Williams has vowed never to play for the Redskins again, and he has kept his word thus far. Washington needs a new left tackle to protect Dwayne Haskins.
Andrew Thomas has been very impressive, using his great athleticism and length. NFL personnel believe he has tremendous potential.
The Dolphins are so bad that they screwed up their own tanking, meaning they’re no longer in position to select the best quarterback in the NFL Draft. Luckily, there are several other quarterbacks worth selecting at No. 4 overall, even in the wake of Tua Tagovailoa’s injury.
This includes Justin Herbert, who had an up-and-down 2018 season. He was considered the top quarterback prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft before making the mistake of returning to school, where he’s risking injury and regression. We saw that regression from Herbert late in the 2019 campaign, so at this point, he might be lucky to be a top-five choice.
The Falcons have needed to bolster the trenches for quite some time. I imagine they’d be highly interested in Chase Young or Derrick Brown if they can obtain one of them.
Brown has great size (6-5, 316) and tons of upside. He can be a great interior disruptor if he lives up to his potential. He had a chance to be a top-five pick (No. 4 overall?) in the 2019 NFL Draft before he returned to school. Brown has thrived this past season, and he was an absolute monster in the 2019 Iron Bowl.
Pick change; previously Jeff Okudah, CB
Darius Slay is a terrific cornerback, but the rest of Detroit’s secondary has been horrible this season. They’ve needed an upgrade across from Slay for quite a while.
Jeff Okudah is a big, athletic, speedy cornerback with immense upside.
Pick change; previously Kenneth Murray, LB
What a steal to get Jerry Jeudy at No. 7 overall! Larry Fitzgerald won’t be around much longer, so the Cardinals need a No. 1 receiving option to complement Christian Kirk.
Jeudy is a height-weight-speed freak in the mold of a Julio Jones. He’s the next great Alabama receiver, and he has a good chance of being a top-five selection.
Pick change; previously Derrick Brown, DE/DT
If you’re looking for reasons why the Jaguars’ defense has declined this season, you can point to Jalen Ramsey being traded and Telvin Smith removing himself from the team prior to the season. Jacksonville can find a replacement for Smith with this pick.
Kenneth Murray was co-Defensive Freshman of the Year in the Big XII, thriving in coverage for the Sooners. He broke an Oklahoma record for tackles in a game with 28. Murray has excellent instincts and has great speed and athleticism for coverage.
Pick change; previously Paulson Adebo, CB
The Jets need someone to help Sam Darnold, so both a No. 1 receiver (CeeDee Lamb) and a talented left tackle (Austin Jackson) make sense. The former happens to be the superior prospect, but I think the front office will value protecting Darnold.
Austin Jackson is a terrific athlete with quick feet and superb agility.
Pick change; previously CeeDee Lamb, WR
I think this is the perfect fit for Tua Tagovailoa. Formerly projected to be the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, Tagovailoa’s career has been put in jeopardy because of a devastating hip injury. He’s likely to miss most, if not all of 2020, but there’s a chance he could be ready to go by 2021. This fits in well with the Philip Rivers timeline, as the Chargers could start Rivers for one final season and have Tagovailoa learn behind him until he’s ready to take the field.
By the way, Charlie Campbell polled some teams on where they believe Tagovailoa will be chosen in the 2020 NFL Draft. To read about it, check out the NFL Hot Press.
Courtland Sutton is a beast, but the Broncos have nothing else at receiver after moving on from Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in consecutive seasons. The Broncos appear stuck with Joe Flacco for one more year – or perhaps Drew Lock – so John Elway could reason that he needs to provide better weapons around his signal-caller.
CeeDee Lamb is a terrific route runner with great hands. He’s been amazing this year and is now the No. 2 receiver on my board.
Pick change; previously Jerry Jeudy, WR
The struggles of Philadelphia’s secondary have been well documented. I imagine the Eagles would pounce at the opportunity to select one of the top three cornerback prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft, especially after what happened in Miami.
Paulson Adebo has great size, coverage skills and play-making ability.
Pick change; previously Trevon Diggs, CB
The Buccaneers could draft a quarterback, but that would require general manager Jason Licht to admit that he was wrong about Jameis Winston. Licht believes he’s right about everything, so Tampa might give Winston another shot in 2020. If so, perhaps this pick will be used on a safety to finally make amends for not selecting Derwin James.
Grant Delpit is an exceptional talent who figures to be a top-10 prospect when he declares.
The Panthers improved their pass defense this season, but Tre Boston, one of the team’s starting safeties, will be entering free agency in March. Carolina will need a replacement for him if he departs.
Isaiah Simmons flew all around the field and was a physical presence for Clemson last year.
Perhaps the Browns will think twice about entering the season with Greg Robinson as their left tackle. They desperately need help on the offensive line.
At 6-7, 340, Mekhi Becton is a massive human being. Despite his size, however, Becton is athletic and flexible.
Pick change; previously Austin Jackson, OT
The Raiders wanted to have Antonio Brown as their top receiver in 2019, but their plans went awry. Here’s a new No. 1 receiver to replace him.
Laviska Shenault drew rave reviews during spring practices preceding the 2018 campaign, and he didn’t disappoint. The 6-foot-2 play-maker was college football’s best receiver as a mere sophomore (at least prior to his injury.)
Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I’ve received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwidth.