Mike Tagliere’s NFL Mock Draft 2020 (2.0) – Two Rounds
There are some things that will change draft stock significantly, and one of those events just passed. Whether you want to believe it or not, the NFL Combine has an impact on where prospects will be drafted. While certain drills matter to some positions more than others, we must factor in what we’ve seen and heard, because perception is reality.
The other piece of information we must use is what we’re hearing about certain players through the grapevine. While I don’t believe Jordan Love is a first-round prospect, I’m not going to ignore the talk that he can go top-15 because someone has fallen in love with his upside. We’ll hear more about players just like him in the coming months, which should impact mock drafts. Prior to free agency, here’s my best guess at what teams will do.
1.01 Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow (QB – LSU)
Don’t buy the drama leading up to the draft. They want to create a story, we get it, but Burrow will be the starting quarterback for the Bengals come Week 1. Their offense is going to be much better than most realize.
1.02 Washington Redskins: Chase Young (EDGE – Ohio State)
We’re hearing rumors about Ron Rivera wanting to bring in quarterbacks to “compete” with Dwayne Haskins. Let’s be clear: You don’t take a quarterback at No. 2 and have him compete for anything. The Redskins have traded for Alex Smith, signed Case Keenum, and drafted Haskins over the past couple years. They need to focus on the rest of their roster. The defensive-minded Rivera isn’t likely to pass on the best edge rusher in the draft, which also happens to be a need for his new team.
1.03 Detroit Lions: Isaiah Simmons (LB – Clemson)
Some might be shocked to see Simmons go this high in a mock, but truth be told, he was this high in my first mock draft before the NFL Combine. Simmons is a true freak of nature who’s usable all over the field. The Lions have holes all over the place on their defense and need to find the centerpiece.
1.04 New York Giants: Jeff Okudah (CB – Ohio State)
I could see the Giants trading out of this pick to the Chargers, who would jump the Dolphins to get Tagovailoa, but this mock draft doesn’t include trades just yet. Instead, the Giants opt to select Okudah to replace Janoris Jenkins, who they cut towards the end of last year for some inappropriate comments on social media. We don’t really think the Giants are going to go into Week 1 with DeAndre Baker and Corey Ballentine, do we? They can snag an offensive lineman at the start of the second-round.
1.05 Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa (QB – Alabama)
Ok, fine. I’m giving in. Hearing the positive reports about Tagovailoa’s recovery make me feel better about the Dolphins selecting him. While I do not believe they have the foundation in place for him, they aren’t going to pass on their guy if he’s healthy and passes their medical testing. Their next few picks should be spent on protecting their investment.
1.06 Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert (QB – Oregon)
The buzz surrounding Jordan Love might reach the point of him going here, as his skillset aligns well with that of Tyrod Taylor. Still, I can’t see the Chargers go from one extreme to another, as Herbert provides a much more logical replacement to Philip Rivers.
1.07 Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown (IDL – Auburn)
The Combine performance by Isaiah Simmons likely destroyed the possibility of him falling to the Panthers, so they snag Brown to help improve their defensive front. Brown was someone who wasn’t expected to last this long, but after a less-than-stellar Combine performance, the Panthers should have him as an option.
1.08 Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills (OT – Alabama)
While I don’t have Wills as my top tackle in the draft, it’s the general consensus that he’ll be the first one off the board. Sure, the Cardinals signed D.J. Humphries to a new contract, but they need to solidify the right tackle position, which is where Wills played at Alabama. They have to protect Kyler Murray and won’t get a top-tier offensive lineman later in the draft.
1.09 Jacksonville Jaguars: Tristan Wirfs (OT – Iowa)
While Wirfs played tackle in college, many expect him to be a better guard in the NFL. Even so, the Jaguars would be able to start him on the interior, and eventually move him to tackle should they decide that Cam Robinson isn’t the answer (he hasn’t been great).
1.10 Cleveland Browns: Andrew Thomas (OT – Georgia)
After the Combine, most would put Mekhi Becton here, but I still believe Thomas will be highly coveted and could be the No. 1 offensive lineman off the board. He’s my favorite left tackle in the draft and will walk in as the starting left tackle for Baker Mayfield on day one. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s already blocked for Nick Chubb at Georgia.
1.11 New York Jets: Mekhi Becton (OT – Louisville)
Clearly, this is the area of the draft where offensive linemen are flying off the board. The Jets are surprised and happy to land the 6-foot-7, 357-pound tackle out of Louisville here at the No. 11 spot, so they decide to wait on wide receiver seeing it’s a deep class. They need bodies on the offensive line and though Becton is still developing as a player, his potential is endless.
1.12 Las Vegas Raiders: Jordan Love (QB – Utah State)
When we heard reports that the Raiders were shopping Derek Carr, it’s clear they’re at a point where they may move on. Giving him another year with Love on the roster is the best-case scenario, as Love is hardly pro-ready. He looked good at the Combine, and apparently, there’s now buzz for him to go inside the top-10. He has athleticism with a big arm, and we all know Gruden would love the potential he brings to the table.
1.13 Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Jeudy (WR – Alabama)
Free agency is going to determine so much for the Colts, as they have a ton of money to spend, though they do need a quarterback. To be fair, if you need a quarterback, this is the best free agency in a long time. Putting Jeudy out there with T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell would be a nasty trio for someone like Philip Rivers or Tom Brady.
1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Javon Kinlaw (DT – South Carolina)
Depending on what happens with Ndamukong Suh, the Bucs could be looking for someone to play alongside Vita Vea and William Gholston. Kinlaw is a versatile piece who could play anywhere on their defensive line. He’s more of a pass-rusher, which is good considering they seemingly had their run-defense in tip-top shape last year. If they retain Suh, we could see them go with an edge rusher here.
1.15 Denver Broncos: CeeDee Lamb (WR – Oklahoma)
After acquiring A.J. Bouye from the Jaguars for a fourth-round pick, the Broncos have some flexibility with this pick. They could go linebacker, as there won’t be a pro-ready one available in the second-round, but instead they snag Drew Lock another weapon to play opposite Courtland Sutton.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons: K’Lavon Chaisson (EDGE – LSU)
As said last mock draft, I’m not nearly as high as some on Chiasson, but this isn’t a mock of what I would do, but rather what I believe teams will do. The Falcons have already said they’re moving on from Vic Beasley, and they have Adrian Clayborn who is about to enter free agency. The Falcons have three picks on Day 2 of the draft, but they don’t think they’ll get a top-tier edge rusher there.
1.17 Dallas Cowboys: Grant Delpit (S – LSU)
The Cowboys were tied to safeties over the last few years, so once they saw the top receivers come off the board, they snag Delpit. With Jeff Heath, Darian Thompson, and Kavon Frazier all headed to free agency, there’s a giant hole on their defense. Cornerback is also a possibility depending on what happens with Byron Jones in free agency.
1.18 Miami Dolphins (from Steelers): CJ Henderson (CB – Florida)
The Dolphins really need to address their offensive line, but they also can’t plan on going into next year with the cornerback unit they currently have, which doesn’t even account for the looming-suspension for Xavien Howard. Henderson crushed the Combine and improved his stock to the point where he may not even be available this late. They have another pick at No. 26, which is where they’ll hope to land a sturdy offensive lineman.
1.19 Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears): Kenneth Murray (LB – Oklahoma)
With Vontaze Burfict at the end of his one-year deal, Nicholas Morrow a restricted free agent, and Will Compton an unrestricted free agent, the Raiders are thin behind Tahir Whitehead at linebacker. This is not a particularly deep class at linebacker and the Raiders don’t have a second-round pick, so they snag Murray here. Wide receiver is a need, but it’ll have to wait in a deep class.
1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Kristian Fulton (CB – LSU)
The Jaguars have tons of holes on their defense and they created another one when they traded A.J. Bouye to the Broncos for a fourth-round pick. They may actually snag a cornerback with their No. 9 overall pick, but in this scenario, they are able to snag Fulton. He’s a top-three cornerback in this draft and can start day one.
1.21 Philadelphia Eagles: Henry Ruggs (WR – Alabama)
After turning on the Jets and running a 4.27-second 40-yard dash, Ruggs is locked into the first-round conversation. The Eagles have continually looked for a field-stretcher under Doug Pederson, starting with Torrey Smith, going to Mike Wallace, and then DeSean Jackson. Why not lock down the long-term solution?
1.22 Buffalo Bills: Yetur Gross-Matos (EDGE – Penn State)
After A.J. Epenesa failed to impress at the Combine, Gross-Matos may be the selection for the Bills. There aren’t really any interior linemen worthy of going here, though it’s a need for them. With Shaq Lawson and Lorenzo Alexander hitting free agency, they need to add bodies on the edge. The other consideration at this spot was cornerback.
1.23 New England Patriots: A.J. Epenesa (EDGE – Iowa)
The way the Patriots approach their current free agents will dictate a lot here, because if they do retain Tom Brady, they’re likely going to try and add a playmaker early in the draft. If they lose him, they may start to rebuild. Safety is another need if Devin McCourty leaves in free agency. Epenesa can play defensive end in both a 4-3 and 3-4, which is something that will work with their hybrid scheme quite well.
1.24 New Orleans Saints: Justin Jefferson (WR – LSU)
He did nothing but boost his stock at the NFL Combine when he churned out a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, which answered questions that many had. He’s someone who’s ideally suited for a big-slot role, something Sean Payton and Drew Brees are very familiar with, going back to the Marques Colston days. Jefferson can moved all over the field, so pairing him with Michael Thomas would give opposing defensive coordinators massive headaches.
1.25 Minnesota Vikings: A.J. Terrell (CB – Clemson)
The Vikings went from one of the better cornerback units in the league to one of the worst, seemingly overnight. While Mike Hughes should continue to grow, Xavier Rhodes is trending in the wrong direction (and fast). They also have Mackensie Alexander and Trae Waynes hitting free agency. Edge has become a potentially huge need with Everson Griffin opting out of his contract (they’re still hoping to sign him), but they’d be reaching for one here.
1.26 Miami Dolphins (from Texans): Josh Jones (OT – Houston)
After passing on offensive linemen with their first two picks, the Dolphins need to snag the best available offensive tackle on their board at this point. Jones tremendously improved his stock at the Senior Bowl, and though he didn’t “wow” at the Combine, he wasn’t a letdown, either. This should be one of a few offensive linemen added to the roster this offseason.
1.27 Seattle Seahawks: Raekwon Davis (IDL – Alabama)
I’m going to mention this every time, but the Seahawks will likely trade out of this pick, as they do seemingly every year. If they stay, they’re likely to stick with the defensive side of the ball when you consider how many of their top performers are hitting free agency. I’m someone who believes Davis has been undervalued in the draft process and would be a steal here.
1.28 Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen (LB – LSU)
I don’t think Queen should fall this far in the draft, but with the increasing need for offensive tackles and cornerbacks, it’s slid him back a tad. The Ravens wouldn’t be mad, though. Queen is just what they want/need. He’s a gritty linebacker who will help them stuff the run while their top-tier secondary takes care of the receivers.
1.29 Tennessee Titans: Zack Baun (EDGE – Wisconsin)
I’m not particularly high on Baun as a prospect, but he seems well-liked in the draft community. He offers some versatility in their hybrid defense, though he’s best-suited for a 3-4 base. The Titans need help on the edge, whether it be Baun or someone else. If they were to lose right tackle Jack Conklin in free agency, it would create another hole, as would the departure of Ryan Tannehill/Derrick Henry. We’ll get a lot more clarity to the Titans needs once the first wave of free agency subsides.
1.30 Green Bay Packers: Jalen Reagor (WR – TCU)
The Packers benefit from a mediocre Combine performance out of Reagor, as he wasn’t expected to last this long before the event. He weighed in 11 pounds heavier than he was listed and it affected his 40-time and 3-Cone drill much more than anyone expected. But what Reagor does on the field is win, whether it be on the perimeter or the slot. Pairing him with Davante Adams creates problems for opponents.
1.31 San Francisco 49ers: Xavier McKinney (S – Alabama)
NFL Insider Daniel Jeremiah has stated the 49ers will not make this pick, highlighting the fact that they have no second-, third-, or fourth-round pick. But if they do, McKinney should be atop their wish list, especially when you consider the fact that Jimmie Ward is slated to be an unrestricted free agent. We could also see them look at a cornerback who excels in zone coverage, but they still have time to groom someone behind Richard Sherman.
1.32 Kansas City Chiefs: Trevon Diggs (CB – Alabama)
This was a tough one, as the Chiefs can use a running back and would get a fifth-year option by selecting him here, but they can’t continue to ignore the cornerback situation. Diggs is the brother of Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs, so you know he comes from a highly athletic family. There were times while at Alabama I didn’t see Diggs giving it his all, but when he does, he can make an impact. Edge rusher is another position of need but there’s no one here that’s of value.
2.01 Cincinnati Bengals: Austin Jackson (OT – USC)
The Bengals still have tons of holes on their defense, but they must continue to invest in the offensive line to protect their franchise quarterback. This may be their last offensive pick in the draft. While I’m not big on Jackson as a prospect, he’s well-liked in the draft community and is expected to go late in the first or early second round.
2.02 Indianapolis Colts (from Redskins): Jeff Gladney (CB – TCU)
After snagging a wide receiver in the first, the Colts go back to the defense to acquire another cornerback to pair with Rock Ya Sin. The Colts could choose to move on from Pierre Desir, who was a disappointment last year, and releasing him carries no dead cap. Gladney has been steadily moving up draft boards, and at the very least, the Colts can use depth at the position. The alternate pick would’ve been an interior lineman to replace Mark Glowinski. The Colts have so much money to spend in free agency, their picks in mocks are likely to change.
2.03 Detroit Lions: Ross Blacklock (IDL – TCU)
After snagging Isaiah Simmons in the first, the Lions continue to rebuild their defense, adding Blacklock to help replace the void left by the release of Damon Harrison. Blacklock ran a 4.9-second 40-yard dash at 290 pounds, moving him up draft boards.
2.04 New York Giants: Tyler Biadasz (IOL – Wisconsin)
There are many who were expecting the Giants to go offensive line in the first-round, but snagging Okudah with the way their secondary played last year was too good to pass up. Because of that, they snag Biadasz here. He should be able to walk in on day one and start at center, which will help the run-game, as he was the primary blocker for Jonathan Taylor.
2.05 Los Angeles Chargers: Jonathan Taylor (RB – Wisconsin)
The Chargers didn’t want to pay Melvin Gordon, right? But they did want to use him once he did come back to the team, right? And that was even with Austin Ekeler being hyper-efficient. They want their backfield to be a two-man job and Taylor compliments Ekeler very well.
2.06 Carolina Panthers: Jalen Hurts (QB – Oklahoma)
The Panthers can say they are going to “move forward” with Cam Newton all they want, but they need a contingency plan in place. Hurts is the ideal candidate for the potential successor, as it wouldn’t require them to change their offensive gameplan if something were to happen to Newton. Hurts offers that mobility and has enough arm to make plays.
2.07 Miami Dolphins: D’Andre Swift (RB – Georgia)
The Dolphins are going to add a running back in the draft (if they don’t in free agency), as they’re the only team in the league with no possible solution on the roster. Swift is a three-down back who’s ready to play and receive 15-plus touches right away.
2.08 Arizona Cardinals: Josh Uche (EDGE – Michigan)
The sexy pick here would be for the Cardinals to select a wide receiver, but they have to address their defense at some point. Uche fits their 3-4 scheme as someone who can drop back into coverage and also help stop the run with experience on the defensive line, as I believe he’s best-suited in a blitzing linebacker role.
2.09 Cleveland Browns: Antoine Winfield Jr. (S – Minnesota)
They attempted to fix their safety problem last year with a short-term solution (Morgan Burnett) but he can’t seem to stay healthy and is aging, while Damarious Randall is hitting free agency. Because of that, they snag Winfield, who just might be the best safety in this class.
2.10 Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrell Lewis (EDGE – Alabama)
We don’t know what is going on with Yannick Ngakoue right now, but he’s apparently done with them and won’t play on the franchise tag. Because of that, we must assume they try and address the edge in the draft. Whether it be Lewis or someone else, they should take the highest one on their board here. While I’m not a big fan of Lewis, this is the area he’s expected to go.
2.11 Chicago Bears (from Raiders): Jeremy Chinn (S – Southern Illinois)
We all know Ryan Pace is a sucker for athletes, right? Chinn just dominated the Combine and it just happens to be a position of major need for the Bears should they lose Haha Clinton-Dix in free agency, which seems likely. Pairing Chinn with Eddie Jackson would be the long-term solution.
2.12 Indianapolis Colts: Brycen Hopkins (TE – Purdue)
The Colts are expected to move on from Eric Ebron, though it does create a void at the move tight end spot that’s extremely important in Frank Reich’s offense. Hopkins is similar to Ebron in the fact that you don’t want him blocking right now, but he can contribute right away as a receiver, while Jack Doyle serves as the in-line tight end in the offense.
2.13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Lucas Niang (OT – TCU)
The Bucs seem to believe they have their solution at left tackle with Donovan Smith, but right tackle Demar Dotson is headed to free agency. They don’t have another viable solution, so snagging Niang here would be smart. I’m someone who believes he’s being undervalued and is a top-five tackle in this draft.
2.14 Denver Broncos: Neville Gallimore (IDL – Oklahoma)
With all the pending free agents on the interior of the defensive line, I’m assuming the Broncos address the position in the draft. Putting Gallimore inside between Bradley Chubb and Von Miller would be a nightmare for opposing offensive lines. He shouldn’t last this long, but the Broncos are glad he did.
2.15 Atlanta Falcons: Cole Kmet (TE – Notre Dame)
Knowing the Falcons are going to allow Austin Hooper to hit free agency, it tells us they’re open to finding another solution, and likely in the draft. Kmet improved his stock at the Combine and is able to play in-line right out of the gate. Some believe he could be the first tight end off the board.
2.16 New York Jets: Tee Higgins (WR – Clemson)
After passing on receiver in the first-round, the Jets need to address the position here. Higgins is likely going to be a better field-stretcher than Robby Anderson was, and he has more potential to be the complete No. 1 receiver they need for Sam Darnold. He’s not complete yet, but there are elite traits to his game.
2.17 Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Dantzler (CB – Mississippi State)
The Steelers need a tight end extremely bad, but they can’t reach for anyone right here (Thaddeus Moss should fall into the third-round with his injury). Instead, they snag some cornerback depth, as Joe Haden isn’t getting any younger, while Mike Hilton and Artie Burns are free agents. If we were to see Jalen Hurts fall down the board, the Steelers should definitely consider him.
2.18 Chicago Bears: Logan Stenberg (IOL – Kentucky)
The Bears offensive line was horrific last season and part of the reason both Mitch Trubisky and the run game couldn’t get anything going. Losing Kyle Long created a void they didn’t know how to fill. Stenberg brings an attitude to his game, and though he may not have the highest ceiling, he’s ready to play right now. Cornerback is the alternate route with this pick.
2.19 Dallas Cowboys: Denzel Mims (WR – Baylor)
The potential loss of pending free agent Amari Cooper is real, so we’re going to have the Cowboys snag the rising Mims. After a dominant Combine performance, Mims is shooting up draft boards, with some even projecting him inside the first-round. While I don’t think he gets drafted that high, he is someone I felt was being undervalued coming into the Combine.
2.20 Los Angeles Rams: Troy Dye (LB – Oregon)
After Eric Weddle decided to retire, the Rams suddenly have a major hole at the safety position, but they’ll move forward with Taylor Rapp and John Johnson for the time being. Many of the top offensive linemen they wanted have come off the board, so they take Dye, who’s a magnet to ball carriers. He may not be the biggest guy who’ll overpower many blockers, but his effort and athleticism help make up for that.
2.21 Philadelphia Eagles: Kyle Dugger (S – Lenoire-Rhyne)
This could be a perfect fit, as Dugger can play strong safety or linebacker with his athleticism, which are both needs for this Eagles defense. Their linebacker depth is non-existent, and they need to address it. Dugger played against lesser competition than most in college, but there’s tons of buzz surrounding him as we head into the NFL Draft.
2.22 Buffalo Bills: Laviska Shenault Jr. (WR – Colorado)
Many believe Shenault will be off the board in the first round, though I’m not one of them. He’s a versatile wide receiver that’ll remind many of Cordarrelle Patterson, a player who should’ve been much better than he turned out. He’s a boom-or-bust prospect who does provide Josh Allen with a big target who would complement John Brown quite well.
2.23 Atlanta Falcons (from Patriots): Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – LSU)
I mocked him to the Falcons in my last mock draft, though I’ve dropped him to their second pick in the round this time around. He makes far too much sense as a replacement for Devonta Freeman, and the Falcons openly met with tons of running backs (including Edwards-Helaire) at the Combine. An interior offensive lineman is the other route they should consider.
2.24 Miami Dolphins (from Saints): Cesar Ruiz (IOL – Michigan)
The Dolphins have holes all over their defense, but they need to stack bodies on the offensive line to protect their investment. Ruiz isn’t someone I’m particularly high on, but his expected draft location is in the second-round.
2.25 Houston Texans: Jaylon Johnson (CB – Utah)
The Texans have a lot of issues in their secondary, so addressing cornerback here makes too much sense, especially when you consider they didn’t have a second-round pick and that cornerbacks have flown off the board. If they are able to retain Johnathan Joseph and/or Bradley Roby, they’ll likely go with an interior lineman here.
2.26 Minnesota Vikings: Lloyd Cushenberry III (IOL – LSU)
While I’m not high on Cushenberry myself, it seems like a foregone conclusion that he’ll be off the board by the end of the second round. The Vikings can slide him in to replace last year’s last-minute replacement Josh Kline if they choose. Cornerback is another position that makes plenty of sense, but there are too many that have come off the board for them to reach for one here. Wide receiver is a possibility, but there’s plenty of depth at the position in this draft.
2.27 Seattle Seahawks: Troy Pride (CB – Notre Dame)
The Seahawks need to address the cornerback position opposite Shaquill Griffin at some point, as Tre Flowers isn’t the answer. Pride is someone who’s much better as a zone defender, which is what the Seahawks run most of the time.
2.28 Baltimore Ravens: Justin Madubuike (IDL – Texas A&M)
The Ravens had a great rotation on the interior of the defensive line last year with Brandon Williams, Michael Pierce, and Chris Wormley, but Pierce is set to be an unrestricted free agent. Like most teams, free agency can shake things up.
2.29 Tennessee Titans: Isaiah Wilson (OT – Georgia)
It’s looking extremely likely that the Titans will lose right tackle Jack Conklin in free agency, so they need someone who can step in and play right away. Wilson is best-suited for right tackle and comes oozing with upside. He may be rough around the edges, but that’s what they get in the second-round.
2.30 Green Bay Packers: Evan Weaver (LB – California)
It’s no secret that the Packers need linebackers, right? Weaver is someone who plays until the whistle and with high effort. This isn’t a particularly strong linebacker class, so they have to pounce on Weaver now.
2.31 Kansas City Chiefs (from 49ers): Jonathan Greenard (EDGE – Florida)
The wait for an edge pays off for the Chiefs, as they’re able to snag Greenard, who gives them an instant boost on the edge. He may not register the most sacks, but he certainly flushes the quarterback out of the pocket.
2.32 Seattle Seahawks (from Chiefs): Nick Harris (IOL – Washington)
After going defense with their first two picks, the Seahawks turn back to the offense. They debated wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk with this pick but upgrading the interior of their line to protect Russell Wilson won’t get easier in the later rounds.