Ideal Draft Picks For All 32 Teams (2020 NFL Mock Draft)
We’re at the point in the offseason where we’ve heard first-round buzz around many players, as well as which teams are interested in them. While some of it will turn out to be a giant smokescreen, some players will go much earlier than expected. This is an ever-evolving process that won’t be finalized until days before the draft, so we thought of a way we could have some fun with it.
I’ll be posting my final mock draft the week of the draft, but in this article, I’m going to run through each of the 32 first-round picks and make the selections I would if I were the GM. Because I assume everyone in an NFL front office thinks similar to the way I do, it shouldn’t differ that much, right? There are certainly some teams that value certain positions more than I do, but again, I assume all GM’s are rational people, though I’ve been proven time and time again that’s not true.
*DISCLAIMER* If you’d like to see my real mock draft, you can view that right here.
1.01 Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow (QB – LSU)
It’s no secret that I love Burrow as a prospect. Even though Andy Dalton is better than most realize, you can’t pass up on the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck.
1.02 Washington Redskins: Tua Tagovailoa (QB – Alabama)
This is eerily similar to the Cardinals situation from last year, only Tagovailoa is better than Kyler Murray, and Dwayne Haskins is likely worse than Josh Rosen. You can’t pass up the chance to draft a franchise-changing quarterback.
1.03 Detroit Lions: Chase Young (EDGE – Ohio State)
You don’t come across elite edge rushers all the time, and that’s precisely what Young’s expected to be. He’s a player who fits every scheme, which is good, because Matt Patricia is likely to be gone in 2021.
1.04 New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons (LB – Clemson)
While watching Simmons, he’s someone who comes along once every five years. To put it simply: he’s special. The Giants signed Blake Martinez, but he’s not a game-changer, and Simmons can play all over the field.
1.05 Miami Dolphins: Andrew Thomas (OT – Georgia)
I know he’s not projected to be the first tackle off the board, but he’s my favorite in this draft class. He’s safe and presents upside. The Dolphins need to lock down their long-term solution at left tackle or it won’t matter who they have under center.
1.06 Los Angeles Chargers: Jedrick Wills (OT – Alabama)
I’m aware the Chargers need a quarterback, but I think this is too early for Justin Herbert. They need a left tackle after trading away Russell Okung, as Trent Scott isn’t going to work. Wills projects as a high-floor prospect who can start right away.
1.07 Carolina Panthers: Jeff Okudah (CB – Ohio State)
I mentioned this on Twitter the other day… The top receivers in the NFC South are Julio Jones, Michael Thomas, Chris Godwin, Calvin Ridley, and Mike Evans. The starting cornerbacks for the Panthers are Donte Jackson, Dominique Hatfield, and Corn Elder.
1.08 Arizona Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs (OT – Iowa)
The Cardinals need someone to insert at right tackle and maybe guard. Wirfs is someone who may project better on the interior, but the Cardinals could use help there as well. They have to focus on protecting their investment in Kyler Murray.
1.09 Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown (IDL – Auburn)
After watching their stars be depleted, the Jaguars need a sturdy presence in the middle of their defense. Brown is the best interior lineman in this draft, so he’s the easy choice here.
1.10 Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton (OT – Louisville)
The Browns would’ve preferred to get a more finished tackle, but they’ll take the upside in the mammoth. He’ll be asked to come in and start day one, so there may be growing pains, but they can’t wait until the second-round.
1.11 New York Jets: Jerry Jeudy (WR – Alabama)
He’s the best wide receiver prospect in the draft and they need to provide Sam Darnold with a receiver he can grow with. Jets fans won’t even remember Robby Anderson.
1.12 Las Vegas Raiders: CeeDee Lamb (WR – Oklahoma)
If a tackle fell to the Raiders, I’d go that route, but they need to get a legit wide receiver who has No. 1 possibilities, too. Getting Lamb now will get them ready for 2021 when they draft a new quarterback.
1.13 San Francisco 49ers: Kristian Fulton (CB – LSU)
The 49ers have to know Richard Sherman is getting towards the end of the line, right? Not just that, but Ahkello Witherspoon shouldn’t be a starter. Fulton can start alongside Sherman and be their future No. 1 cornerback.
1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: C.J. Henderson (CB – Florida)
When you play in the NFC South, wide receivers are a real problem. Upgrading the cornerback unit would be wise. While I debated saying Javon Kinlaw here, they re-signed Ndamukong Suh to play alongside Vita Vea for another year.
1.15 Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs (WR – Alabama)
There are many differing opinions on Ruggs, but one thing I know is that he’d complement Courtland Sutton extremely well. Drew Lock can use a field-stretcher and there isn’t one better than Ruggs in this draft.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons: Trevon Diggs (CB – Alabama)
The Falcons cannot go into the season starting Isaiah Oliver, Kendall Sheffield, and Blidi Wreh-Wilson at cornerback, right? With Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley on the team, the Falcons clearly have no issue selecting players from Alabama.
1.17 Dallas Cowboys: Grant Delpit (S – LSU)
He’s my favorite safety in the class and the Cowboys have been looking for their long-term solution at safety for quite a while. Sure, they signed HaHa Clinton-Dix, but that was to a one-year deal.
1.18 Miami Dolphins (from Steelers): Josh Jones (OT – Houston)
This is earlier than they would like but they can’t sit around and hope he’s there at 26, so they grab him here. He’s not a perfect prospect out of the box but for a team that’s in rebuild mode, he’s perfect, as he presents upside down the road with his incredible length.
1.19 Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears): A.J. Terrell (CB – Clemson)
The Raiders have addressed a lot of their defensive needs in free agency, though cornerback is still questionable. Terrell played alongside Trayvon Mullen at Clemson, so there could be natural chemistry with the two of them.
1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Javon Kinlaw (IDL – South Carolina)
The Jaguars need someone to be the centerpiece of their rebuilding defense and Kinlaw is the choice. He presents massive upside and is expected to go in this range. Cornerback and linebacker are still needs, but they can’t pass on Kinlaw.
1.21 Philadelphia Eagles: Kenneth Murray (LB – Oklahoma)
I know, the Eagles don’t draft linebackers early. Are they really planning to start the season with Jatavis Brown, Nathan Gerry, and Alex Singleton as the starters? They aren’t going to find a surefire starting-caliber linebacker later in the draft, which is why they should pass on a wide receiver.
1.22 Minnesota Vikings (from Bills): Justin Jefferson (WR – LSU)
I’d trade out of this pick if I were the Vikings. They need a pass-rusher but there’s not anyone here I’m particularly crazy about, so moving back to get one makes sense. Staying here, however, they take Jefferson to play alongside Adam Thielen, who’s going to be 30 years old in August. The Vikings need a replacement for Stefon Diggs, even if they don’t throw the ball a lot.
1.23 New England Patriots: Justin Herbert (QB – Oregon)
This is the area of the draft where you take a quarterback knowing his potential. Herbert isn’t my favorite prospect, but when you get to this point, his upside is worth the risk. I still believe the Patriots should trade a 4th or 5th round pick to the Dolphins for Josh Rosen, but since that hasn’t happened, they go Herbert.
1.24 New Orleans Saints: Jalen Reagor (WR – TCU)
The Saints have beefed up the back end of their defense and while another edge rusher would be nice, they need to add some depth at wide receiver. Reagor would add an element to the offense they had back when Brandin Cooks was on the team. This team is built to win in 2020.
1.25 Minnesota Vikings: A.J. Epenesa (EDGE – Iowa)
The Vikings are going through somewhat of a rebuild with their defense, so adding edge rushers seems inevitable. Cornerback is also very high on the priority list, but the top-tier options are off the board.
1.26 Miami Dolphins (from Texans): Raekwon Davis (IDL – Alabama)
The Dolphins have a few different ways to go with this pick, and while safety was considered, putting Davis on the defensive line with Christian Wilkins would create problems for opposing offensive lines. I like Davis more than most and he’d fit that hybrid scheme perfectly.
1.27 Seattle Seahawks: Julian Okwara (EDGE – Notre Dame)
I know he’s not as high on some lists, but Okwara is going to be very good, and the Seahawks have clear needs on the edge. They typically trade back but I don’t know if that’s going to happen this year.
1.28 Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen (LB – LSU)
I’ve mocked him to the Ravens in my actual mock drafts, too. The fit is so perfect, though the only thing that could prevent it from happening is him going before they get on the clock. He brings attitude to the defense and would start immediately.
1.29 Tennessee Titans: K’Lavon Chiasson (EDGE – LSU)
He’s an upside prospect who offers a lot of versatility, and though I’m not a huge fan of what I’ve seen so far, scouts must have some input, especially when it’s such a big need for the team. Yetur Gross-Matos is better suited for a 4-3 and doesn’t have the flexibility Chiasson does.
1.30 Green Bay Packers: Tee Higgins (WR – Clemson)
The last time the Packers used a high pick on a wide receiver, it was Davante Adams. It’s time to give Aaron Rodgers a real replacement for Jordy Nelson and Higgins is the perfect one for that role.
1.31 San Francisco 49ers: Neville Gallimore (IDL – Oklahoma)
The 49ers lost 810 snaps from DeForest Buckner and 325 snaps from Sheldon Day on the interior of their defensive line. Most say that Arik Armstead is going to fill a big part of that gap, but there’s a lot of unknown there, as he played just 112 snaps on the interior last year. Because of that, they should snag depth/safety.
1.32 Kansas City Chiefs: Yetur Gross-Matos (EDGE – Penn State)
The Chiefs defense made tremendous strides last year while switching to a 4-3 defense, though edge rusher is still a need. Their offense is going to be just fine with what they have, but if they can make life easier on their secondary (cornerbacks in particular), they should.