Mike Tagliere’s Final 2020 NFL Mock Draft with Trades (4.0) – Three Rounds
It’s a weird time to be alive. It’s not often you’re taking part in a particular event that you absolutely know will be in history books, but right now, that’s exactly what’s happening. Generations from now, schools will be teaching children about the year of 2020 and the events that took place.
There are many things that’ll stand out about this time, but one of the most significant things to sports fans will be the absurdity of an online NFL Draft. No, not fantasy football. NFL GMs will be submitting their draft picks online, just like you do for your fantasy leagues.
There are many different things this will have an effect on this Thursday. Prospects who are coming off injury haven’t had a chance to prove to teams that they’re healthy and able to contribute, which means some may fall much more than they were supposed to. Trades may be harder to make, as internet connection will be relied upon to make picks, and if one little thing goes wrong, it could be disastrous. Because of that, teams may not remain on the clock as long.
Whatever the case, we’re here to cover all the madness that’ll take place this week. We’re also doing a live broadcast of the NFL Draft on Thursday, discussing every pick and giving you the fantasy fallout on the spot. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and get notified when we go live. Here’s a link to the broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGb4gTvVoSI
With all that being said, here is my final mock draft of 2020, with trades included. I’m not going to be aggressive with trades, as one bad guess would completely ruin the remainder of the round, though there are a few teams who should absolutely consider moving up/down.
1.01 Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow (QB – LSU)
As I’ve stated from the get-go, the Bengals are not trading this pick. They’re selecting their franchise quarterback. Burrow may not have a long resume, but based on what he does have, there’s little concern about how he’ll translate to Zac Taylor’s offense. He’s immediately going to make this offense better. Get excited, Bengals fans.
1.02 Washington Redskins: Chase Young (QB – Ohio State)
If the Redskins had more opportunity to investigate Tua Tagovailoa‘s injury and meet with him, I believe that he was a real possibility for them at No. 2 overall. But knowing that Ron Rivera hasn’t had a chance to work with Dwayne Haskins long, and that he’s a defensive-minded coach with a need at edge rusher, Young makes too much sense.
1.03 *TRADE* Los Angeles Chargers (from Lions): Tua Tagovailoa (QB – Alabama)
The Chargers give up their No. 39 overall pick and a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Lions in order to move up three spots. I’ve seen some suggesting Tagovailoa falls down draft boards due to the injury concerns, but it’s all about risk/reward. “Tank for Tua” was a thing just a few months ago, as he was considered the surefire No. 1 pick in the draft. The Chargers can say they view Tyrod Taylor as a long-term quarterback all they want. Adding Bryan Bulaga at right tackle this offseason was huge, as he’d be protecting Tagovailoa’s blind side. If the Chargers really want Tagovailoa, they can’t sit back and hope the Dolphins pass on him.
1.04 New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons (LB – Clemson)
We all know Dave Gettleman loves athletes, right? You won’t find many better than Simmons, and he just happens to fill a giant void on the Giants defense. Offensive tackle would also make a ton of sense here, but we’ve heard new head coach Joe Judge say they want a player who’ll make a difference “for years to come.” Simmons is that guy for a defense that’s lacking star power. They’ll address the offensive line at the top of the second round.
1.05 Miami Dolphins: Justin Herbert (QB – Oregon)
It seems that the Dolphins are incredibly high on Herbert, so much that some are projecting them to trade up and take him at No. 3, though that seems completely unnecessary. Herbert is a polarizing prospect, as many sit on one side of the fence, with none in between. Recently, Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner said he likes Jacob Eason over Herbert.
1.06: *TRADE* Detroit Lions (from Chargers): Jeff Okudah (CB – Ohio State)
The Lions moved back to No. 6 and got the No. 37 pick, as well as a 2021 fourth rounder, in order to take the player they would’ve selected at No. 3 overall. Okudah will come in and immediately be asked to cover top-tier receivers like Davante Adams, Allen Robinson, and Adam Thielen twice per season. Fortunately, he’s pretty dang good.
1.07 Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown (IDL – Auburn)
Let’s be clear: The Panthers have holes everywhere on their defense. If Isaiah Simmons were to fall to them here, they should select him as the centerpiece of the defense, but Brown should help a defensive line that lost Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, Mario Addison, and Vernon Butler this offseason. Brown alongside Kawann Short will at least give them a strength in the trenches.
1.08 Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills (OT – Alabama)
After the Cardinals gave D.J. Humphries a contract extension for $45 million over three years, they feel set at left tackle, but right tackle is a big void. Wills projects as a right tackle starter right out of the gate and is considered by many as a can’t-miss prospect, even if his ceiling isn’t as high as someone like Mekhi Becton.
1.09 Jacksonville Jaguars: C.J. Henderson (CB – Florida)
This one was a toss-up between Henderson and Javon Kinlaw, as the defense should be their top priority. Their starting cornerbacks as of this moment are D.J. Hayden, Darqueze Dennard, and Tre Herndon. When you’re lacking a great pass-rush, you need top-tier cornerbacks, and Henderson shot up draft boards after a great Combine performance.
1.10 Cleveland Browns: Andrew Thomas (OT – Georgia)
There have been rumors about the Browns willing to trade back, but it makes no sense, as they need a left tackle who can start right away. Thomas is that player. They won’t find a player of his caliber later in the first round. He’s my favorite tackle in this draft and would provide immediate protection for Baker Mayfield.
1.11 New York Jets: Tristan Wirfs (OT – Iowa)
The Jets paid George Fant $27.3 million over the next three years to come in and play left tackle. He’s openly stated that’s the only reason he signed with them – to play left tackle. Wirfs projects as a right tackle in the NFL and the Jets would be surprised to see him available here. Wirfs dominated the Combine and some have him being selected as a top-five pick, but athleticism doesn’t overrule tape in this situation.
1.12 Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy (WR – Alabama)
This is a dream scenario for the Raiders, who need a clear No. 1 receiver. Jeudy provides them with the do-it-all option they wanted when they traded for Antonio Brown. This is the last go-around for Derek Carr (and Marcus Mariota), so giving him a legit target magnet would remove any excuses.
1.13 San Francisco 49ers (from Colts): Javon Kinlaw (IDL – South Carolina)
The 49ers are reportedly trying to trade back to acquire some more picks. They own the No. 13 and No. 31 picks, but don’t have any others until the fifth round, so it makes sense. The issue is that they may not find many takers to trade up with the draft circumstances. Because of that, they take the heir apparent to DeForest Buckner on the defensive line.
1.14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mekhi Becton (OT – Louisville)
After we found out that Becton had a failed drug test during the pre-draft process, it’s going to impact his draft stock a bit. While marijuana is legal now, some teams will view this as a lack of discipline during an important time in his life. The Bucs can decide to move Donovan Smith to right tackle or start Becton there, but whatever the case, they need to protect Tom Brady.
1.15 Denver Broncos: CeeDee Lamb (WR – Oklahoma)
The Broncos have done enough work on their defense this offseason to allow them to go wide receiver here. While it’s possible Henry Ruggs could be higher on their board (and complement Courtland Sutton well), Lamb is a moveable chess piece who’s a monster after the catch.
1.16 Atlanta Falcons: Kristian Fulton (CB – LSU)
I’d been mocking the Falcons with an edge rusher but after they released Desmond Trufant and signed Dante Fowler, cornerback has jumped to the top of their list of needs. Fulton is my No. 2 cornerback in this draft who can start immediately. They’d have a solid starting duo of Fulton/Isaiah Oliver. In a division with the Bucs, Saints, and Panthers receivers, they need to address cornerback early.
1.17 Dallas Cowboys: K’Lavon Chaisson (EDGE – LSU)
I’ve been openly stating that Chaisson is overrated by many, but when you see NFL insiders mocking him top-20, he’s likely to go there. Losing Robert Quinn creates an immediate need for the Cowboys, and they’ve been interviewing more defensive players than any other team in the league, particularly edge defenders. Mike Nolan’s scheme is reportedly going to be fluid depending on his personnel, and Chaisson does offer flexibility.
1.18 Miami Dolphins (from Steelers): Josh Jones (OT – Houston)
The Dolphins are in rebuild mode, we know that, right? Jones isn’t someone who’s expected to be great right away, but he does present tons of upside as a long-term left tackle with tons of length to him. The Dolphins currently have Julie’n Davenport and Jesse Davis starting at tackle. It’s a real problem.
1.19 Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears): A.J. Terrell (CB – Clemson)
One player who’s generated plenty of steam heading into draft week is Terrell, who’s now expected to be a top-20 pick. We know Mike Mayock loves him some Clemson talent, as evidenced by his picks of both Clelin Ferrell and Trayvon Mullen last year. Teaming up Terrell and Mullen once again would make sense.
1.20 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams): Henry Ruggs (WR – Alabama)
There’s been tons of whispers about the Jaguars selecting a wide receiver, and while I fought it at first, Ruggs might be a possibility. New offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has always loved to have a field stretcher available in his offense, and Chris Conley has just one year remaining on his contract. They can also cut Conley with less than $1 million in dead cap. Ruggs, D.J. Chark, and Dede Westbrook make for a solid starting group of receivers.
1.21 Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson (WR – LSU)
If there’s one team in the 20’s who many have the same player going to, it’s the Eagles. Jefferson fits the offense perfectly and would start in the slot immediately, taking Nelson Agholor‘s place. Not just that, but he offers a long-term replacement to Alshon Jeffery, as the Eagles are expected to move on sooner rather than later.
1.22 Minnesota Vikings (from Bills): Tee Higgins (WR – Clemson)
With the Patriots and Saints behind them (both could use wide receivers), the Vikings don’t want to pass on wide receiver here. Higgins would be a great replacement for Stefon Diggs as a field stretcher who’d complement Adam Thielen very well. Higgins also has long-term No. 1 wide receiver upside if he continues to develop.
1.23 *TRADE* Baltimore Ravens (from Patriots): Kenneth Murray (LB – Oklahoma)
The Ravens trade away their No. 28 pick, as well as their No. 60 pick to the Patriots in order to move up and select Murray, who is considered the best pure linebacker in this draft (Isaiah Simmons is a hybrid player). The lone glaring weakness on the Ravens defense is linebacker and it’s highly unlikely the Ravens find one who can start day one later in the draft.
1.24 New Orleans Saints: Jordan Love (QB – Utah State)
After we heard Sean Payton acknowledge that 2020 will be Drew Brees‘ final year (despite the two-year contract), they need to find their long-term solution at quarterback, and no, it’s not Taysom Hill. I really wanted to give the Saints a “win now” player, as they’re built to win a championship in 2020, but they can’t simply ignore the future, and Love has plenty of upside if groomed.
1.25 Minnesota Vikings: A.J. Epenesa (EDGE – Iowa)
This is tough because we don’t have a clear answer on what’s going on with Everson Griffen, but he’s not on their team, which presents a huge need on the edge opposite Danielle Hunter. Many have suggested cornerback, but I don’t think Mike Hughes and Holton Hill are horrendous. Edge is a bit more important here, though they’ll look back to cornerback in the second round.
1.26 Miami Dolphins (from Texans): Xavier McKinney (S – Alabama)
After going offense with the first two picks, the Dolphins come back to the defensive side of the ball and snag McKinney. We can’t expect them to think Eric Rowe and Bobby McCain are the long-term answers, right? McKinney is a moveable safety who can play both positions, though he’s best suited as a free safety/nickel cornerback type. The Dolphins have needs at both positions.
1.27 Seattle Seahawks: Raekwon Davis (IDL – Alabama)
There are many who critique the Seahawks for taking players too early, and that’d likely be the case here, but Davis should be a first rounder, and that’s why I’m slotting him in. After losing both Quinton Jefferson, Al Woods, and likely Jadeveon Clowney on the defensive line, that’s where I’d look the Seahawks to attack.
1.28 *TRADE* New England Patriots (from Ravens): Cole Kmet (TE – Notre Dame)
The Patriots accepted a trade for the No. 23 pick, moving back to No. 28 overall, as well as getting the Ravens No. 60 overall pick. They are extremely high on Kmet and he’s the best all-around tight end in this draft class. He reminds me of a Jason Witten-type player, which is why the Patriots don’t risk waiting around on him until the second round.
1.29 Tennessee Titans: Austin Jackson (OT – USC)
The Titans can go a few different ways with this pick, as they need help on the edge and offensive line, but also lack depth at other positions. Jackson appears to be a consensus first-round pick, even if I don’t have a first-round grade on him. He would slide into Jack Conklin‘s position at right tackle. It will also help his transition to the NFL moving from the left side to the right side.
1.30 Green Bay Packers: Patrick Queen (LB – LSU)
The Packers would be thrilled to see Queen fall to them with this pick, as the Ravens were the team expected to snag him at No. 28 overall. The Packers did snag Christian Kirksey in free agency to replace Blake Martinez, but they still need a second inside linebacker for their 3-4 defense.
1.31 *TRADE* Dallas Cowboys (from 49ers): Cesar Ruiz (IOL – Michigan)
The Cowboys can’t afford to sit back and wait to see if their Travis Frederick replacement lasts, so they trade up with the 49ers to get him. To do that, they give up their No. 51 overall pick in this year’s draft, as well as their second-round pick in the 2021 draft.
1.32 Kansas City Chiefs: Yetur Gross-Matos (EDGE – Penn State)
There are rumors that the Chiefs want to trade up to take Henry Ruggs, though I’m not buying them. The Chiefs need help on the edge, that’s no secret. They also need cornerback help but feel they can find someone competent later in the draft. Gross-Matos is a perfect fit for their 4-3 scheme and combining him with Frank Clark should help make the secondary look better.
2.01 Cincinnati Bengals: Grant Delpit (S – LSU)
The Bengals need playmakers on their defense, period. Delpit was once considered a top-10 prospect, though he fell a bit after a somewhat inconsistent 2020 season. He’s an upgrade over Shawn Williams at the strong safety spot, and the additions they made at cornerback this offseason allow them to make the pick. There just aren’t any linebackers available who are deserving of this spot in the draft. Trading back here would make some sense.
2.02 Indianapolis Colts (from Redskins): Denzel Mims (WR – Baylor)
We’ve heard first round buzz for Mims ever since the NFL Combine, though he falls to the second round in this scenario. Mims makes for a great complement to both T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell, and should have no issue beating out Zach Pascal for reps. It should also be noted that Hilton and Pascal are both on the last year of their contracts. Safety Grant Delpit is someone they’d likely love to take here, but the Bengals spoiled that with the first pick of the round.
2.03 Detroit Lions: Julian Okwara (EDGE – Notre Dame)
After losing Devon Kennard this offseason, the Lions desperately need help on the edge, and Okwara is being undervalued. He’s a rock-solid pass-rusher that would provide a pass-rush from day one. They need an interior lineman, but it just feels too early considering this rookie class.
2.04 New York Giants: Ezra Cleveland (OT – Boise State)
After testing extremely well athletically, many have shoved Cleveland up draft boards. The Giants have Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming for the time being, so they don’t absolutely need to rush the raw Cleveland into the starting lineup, though he will have a shot.
2.05 *TRADE* Detroit Lions (from Chargers): Jonathan Taylor (RB – Wisconsin)
This was part of the trade compensation for moving back from No. 3 to No. 6 overall with the Chargers. It seems the Lions want a power back mixed in with Kerryon Johnson, as they’ve had LeGarrette Blount, C.J. Anderson, and Bo Scarbrough in significant roles over the last two years. Johnson’s health has also been a problem, leading the Lions to select Taylor, who many consider to be the best pure runner in this class.
2.06 Carolina Panthers: Trevon Diggs (CB – Alabama)
The Panthers kind of lucked into Diggs here, as he’s considered to be a first-round talent. The Panthers play in the toughest division in the NFL when it comes to wide receivers, so the current combination of starting cornerbacks (Donte Jackson, Dominique Hatfield, and Corn Elder) needs to be fixed.
2.07 Miami Dolphins: D’Andre Swift (RB – Georgia)
The Dolphins hold out on running back and get their guy in the second round. Swift is a three-down back who may not be truly elite at anything, but he also has no glaring weaknesses. The Dolphins have over 15 touches per game available to give a running back, so Swift is the choice.
2.08 Houston Texans (from Cardinals): Ross Blacklock (IDL – TCU)
The Texans cleared up one of their needs trading for Brandin Cooks (even if the collection of receivers they have is odd), so they can move on to another need that arose when D.J. Reader left them in free agency. Blacklock did visit with the Texans before they had to shut down operations, so the interest is there.
2.09 Cleveland Browns: Jordyn Brooks (LB – Texas Tech)
The Browns are in dire need of linebackers and Brooks is one of the last three-down starter-worthy linebackers in the draft. Brooks is a hungry player who can get a bit overaggressive at times, but teammates will love his effort.
2.10 Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Madubuike (IDL – Texas A&M)
The Jaguars have so many needs on the defensive side of the ball, it’s tough to narrow it down, but replacing the combination of Calais Campbell and Marcell Dareus has to be a priority. Madubuike is getting plenty of buzz as a borderline first round pick. The alternate route would have been taking an edge defender.
2.11 Chicago Bears (from Raiders): Antoine Winfield Jr. (S – Minnesota)
The Bears should be targeting a safety, cornerback, or interior offensive linemen with their two picks in the second round, though it wouldn’t be a shock to see them move back considering they don’t have another top-150 pick. Winfield has first-round talent and should come off the board around this time, so pairing him with Eddie Jackson makes tons of sense.
2.12 Indianapolis Colts: Jeff Gladney (CB – TCU)
Not many have Gladney falling this far, though it’ll all come down to each team’s big board. The Colts moved on from Pierre Desir this offseason, so they have a clear need at the position. No, signing Xavier Rhodes isn’t the answer, especially long-term. Colts fans should be extremely happy if he fell to them here.
2.13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB – LSU)
This is a dream fit for a lot of reasons. Tom Brady‘s swing passes to his running backs are a thing of beauty and Ronald Jones isn’t known to be a great receiver. Edwards-Helaire is a true three-down back who reminds me of Ray Rice on the field and can catch 80-plus passes if you need him to. The Bucs haven’t been active in the free agent market with running backs, which tells me their targeting one in the draft. Edge rusher would be the alternate option.
2.14 Denver Broncos: Lloyd Cushenberry (IOL – LSU)
The current starter at center for the Broncos is one of either former undrafted free agents Patrick Morris or Austin Schlottmann. They signed guard Graham Glasgow in free agency to help protect Drew Lock, but missing the centerpiece could be an issue. Cushenberry is considered a plug-and-play center by many, though I feel he’s a tad overrated.
2.15 Atlanta Falcons: Zack Baun (LB – Wisconsin)
After news dropped about Baun’s diluted sample at the NFL Combine, his stock could fall. The Falcons could benefit from that, as Baun is a versatile linebacker who can play on the edge and provide a pass-rush, as well as dropping back in coverage.
2.16 New York Jets: Brandon Aiyuk (WR – Arizona State)
There are many projecting Aiyuk to go in the first round, but I don’t see it. He’s a solid player but nothing pops off the page that teams can’t pass him up. The Jets are in major need of a perimeter receiver and it’s possible they snag a big-bodied receiver like Michael Pittman, but Aiyuk should come off the board before him.
2.17 Pittsburgh Steelers: Jalen Hurts (QB – Oklahoma)
Please don’t shrug off the possibility of the Steelers drafting a quarterback. Ben Roethlisberger is coming off a major injury to his throwing arm and is 38 years old. They have no idea how he’s going to hold up and this team is built to win right now. They cannot afford to have a repeat of 2019, and Hurts has been a winner on the big stage. The Steelers backups proved they’re incapable last year, and there are many who believe Hurts is going to be a star in the league.
2.18 Chicago Bears: Matt Hennessy (IOL – Temple)
The Bears don’t have another pick until the fifth round and can’t wait on an interior lineman to replace Kyle Long. Hennessy is someone they were interested in back at the Senior Bowl, and after he dominated the NFL Combine, he’s moving up draft boards.
2.19 *TRADE* San Francisco 49ers (from Cowboys): Jalen Reagor (WR – TCU)
This is part of the compensation from trading out of their No. 31 pick with the Cowboys. Instead of taking Henry Ruggs at No. 13 overall, the 49ers traded back into the second round and have Reagor fall into their lap. While I don’t believe he should fall this far, we can’t pretend his Combine didn’t lower his stock. Reagor would make for a solid complement to Deebo Samuel.
2.20 Los Angeles Rams: Isaiah Wilson (OT – Georgia)
Some have Wilson going as high as the end of the first round, but he’s far too raw to go that early. He’s a massive man at 6-foot-7 and 340 pounds, which helped him look great in college, though the NFL will be a tougher task. They can start him at right tackle and hope that he can eventually replace Andrew Whitworth at left tackle.
2.21 Philadelphia Eagles: Kyle Dugger (S/LB – Lenoir-Rhyne)
There were many who wondered how high Dugger could move up draft boards considering he was coming out of a small school, but after doing extremely well at both the Senior Bowl and NFL Combine, I believe he’s going on Day 2 of the NFL Draft. His upside is immense, and the Eagles have needs at both positions he’s likely able to play.
2.22 Buffalo Bills: Netane Muti (IOL – Fresno State)
The Bills are one of the most well-rounded teams in the NFL right now, but if there’s one glaring weakness I had to point out, it’s on the interior of the offensive line. Muti is someone who brings a mean streak to the field. He may seem like an angry man running around at times, but if there’s a tussle, he’s likely going to win.
2.23 Baltimore Ravens (from Falcons (from Patriots)): Donovan Peoples-Jones (WR – Michigan)
It’s no secret that the Ravens need wide receiver help. The question is: how much do they value the position? They need an offensive guard after Marshal Yanda decided to retire, though it’s a weak class for interior linemen. Peoples-Jones would fit right into the slot, a position that’s empty right now after Seth Roberts left via free agency. Peoples-Jones is a baller who should come off the board on Day 2.
2.24 Miami Dolphins (from Saints): Nick Harris (IOL – Washington)
The Dolphins continue to build their offensive line, as they’ve done this offseason. The addition of Ted Karras was a stopgap one-year deal, while Ereck Flowers‘ play has been up-and-down (mostly down) throughout his career. Harris should provide some stability.
2.25 Los Angeles Rams (from Texans): Curtis Weaver (EDGE – Boise State)
The Rams snagged Leonard Floyd after the Bears released him, but still lost Dante Fowler and Clay Matthews this offseason. Weaver is best-suited for a 3-4 defense as an edge defender who can drop back into coverage as needed.
2.26 Minnesota Vikings: Jaylon Johnson (CB – Utah)
Some will say there’s no way Johnson falls here to the Vikings, but there are going to be players available here that no one expected. I’m not particularly high on Johnson, though he’s a fine player, and one the Vikings are happy to get here. It’s a solid cornerback draft, which is why I have him falling just a tad.
2.27 Seattle Seahawks: Jonathan Greenard (EDGE – Florida)
The Seahawks have some clear holes in the trenches on both sides of the ball, but the defense has lost far too many players to ignore. Greenard is a sturdy pass-rusher who’d provide relief if Jadeveon Clowney were to move on (which seems likely).
2.28 *TRADE* New England Patriots (from Ravens): Malik Harrison (LB – Ohio State)
After losing Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts, and Kyle Van Noy in free agency, the Patriots need to address the linebacker position. Harrison can play either inside or outside, which is something the Patriots have always valued (versatility).
2.29 Tennessee Titans: Terrell Lewis (EDGE – Alabama)
This is assuming they don’t land Jadeveon Clowney before the draft, as he would completely change their plans. But as of right now, the Titans need an edge rusher, and no, Vic Beasley isn’t the answer. Lewis isn’t one of my favorite prospects, but many are expecting him off the board by now, and the Titans have talked with him.
2.30 Green Bay Packers: Neville Gallimore (IDL – Oklahoma)
I like Gallimore more than most and he may not fall here, but if he does, the Packers should jump. The Packers front seven would be among the best in football, especially when they added Patrick Queen in the first round. Wide receiver is clearly a need, but the Packers continually pass on them, even when value has been there in years past.
2.31 Kansas City Chiefs (from 49ers): Jonah Jackson (IOL – Ohio State)
The four teams who’ve met with the most offensive linemen are the Browns, Buccaneers, Jets, and… Chiefs. They surely want to protect Patrick Mahomes and allow him to get the ball downfield. Jackson is much better in pass protection, so the fit makes sense.
2.32 Seattle Seahawks (from Chiefs): Michael Pittman (WR – USC)
We’ve heard Russell Wilson ask for more weapons, and Pittman is rising up draft boards. He’d be on the perimeter opposite D.K. Metcalf with Tyler Lockett in the slot, forming a potent 3WR set. I can see them going offensive line here, though many of the lineman they’d hoped for are gone.
3.01 Cincinnati Bengals: Lucas Niang (OT – TCU)
He’s someone who’ll likely fall further than he should due to hip surgery, but the Bengals have to think risk/reward here. If he’s healthy, they’ll have Jonah Williams and Niang as their starting tackles, which is much better than they’ve had in years past.
3.02 Washington Redskins: Laviska Shenault Jr. (WR – Colorado)
Prospects dealing with injuries are going to fall further than most expect, and Shenault is one of them. He did participate in the Combine 40-yard-dash despite a core muscle injury and it wasn’t great for his stock, but many realize he’s a playmaker with tremendous upside. This is the area I’d expect a team to take the leap.
3.03 Detroit Lions: Robert Hunt (OL – Louisiana-Lafayette)
The Lions lost Graham Glasgow this offseason and have yet to replace him. Hunt is viewed as a tackle prospect who has experience on the interior. He’d provide some versatility that teams love, which is why I’m expecting him to go on Day 2.
3.04 New York Jets (from Giants): Cameron Dantzler (CB – Mississippi State)
After snagging a few offensive players, the Jets move back to the defense and take Dantzler, who they’ve virtually met with in the draft process. After cutting both Trumaine Johnson and Darryl Roberts, the Jets need talent at the position. Sure, they picked up Pierre Desir and re-signed Brian Poole, but they’re both free agents in 2021.
3.05 Carolina Panthers: Jeremy Chinn (S – Southern Illinois)
The Panthers continue the rebuild on defense, selecting Chinn. He showed up big time during the NFL Combine and got a lot of attention, but it’s hard to have a meteoric rise during this odd draft process. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him go earlier than this, but he may fall further than most expect.
3.06 Miami Dolphins: Marlon Davidson (DL – Auburn)
The Dolphins have made quite a few acquisitions to the defense this offseason, but that doesn’t mean they’ll ignore that side of the ball. They were at the Auburn Pro Day, presumably to watch both Derrick Brown and Davidson. It would make sense that Brian Flores would like Davidson, who can play either tackle or edge in his hybrid defense.
3.07 Los Angeles Chargers: Ben Bartch (OT – St. John’s Minnesota)
The Chargers traded away Russell Okung and snagged Bryan Bulaga in anticipation of drafting Tua Tagovailoa, but they still need a tackle on the left side. Bartch comes from a small school, but had a great Senior Bowl, met with the Chargers, and has experience at left tackle.
3.08 Arizona Cardinals: Josh Uche (EDGE/LB – Michigan)
The Cardinals need to improve the defense that allowed 27.6 points per game last year. It starts with slowing down the tight end, which is something Uche can do. He looked fantastic at the Senior Bowl and should be selected before this spot, but the Cardinals are glad he wasn’t.
3.09 Jacksonville Jaguars: Ashtyn Davis (S – California)
A riser throughout the last few months, many believe Davis will go in the second round. The Jaguars have needs all over the place, so it’s nice to get a safety who can come down and play nickel cornerback like Davis can. The Jaguars need some grindy players like him now more than ever.
3.10 Cleveland Browns: Damon Arnette (CB – Ohio State)
Some believe Arnette has first-round talent but was known to have a bad attitude a few years ago. He’s reportedly matured quite a bit while at Ohio State, but knowing teams couldn’t meet with him to confirm, I’m expecting him to fall a little bit. The cornerback trio of Denzel Ward, Greedy Williams, and Arnette would be nasty.
3.11 Indianapolis Colts: Brycen Hopkins (TE – Purdue)
The Colts clearly have a plan for life without Eric Ebron, and Hopkins can very well be that plan. There’s always a move tight end in the Frank Reich offense, and Hopkins fits the role perfectly. He’s a better blocker than Ebron was, and might just be a better receiver, even if it takes a little bit of time to learn the offense. Another name to watch here is Chase Claypool, as he could fit that role as well.
3.12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brandon Jones (S – Texas)
After giving Tom Brady a few new additions to the offense, the Bucs come back to address the defensive side of the ball. Jones is a high-effort player who’d pair well alongside Justin Evans. He can also come down and help cover the slot, though there are some areas of improvement in man coverage.
3.13 Denver Broncos: Noah Igbinoghene (CB – Auburn)
They lost Chris Harris Jr. this offseason and replaced him with A.J. Bouye. Is it an upgrade? Probably not. Even with Harris, this secondary needed more talent, as Isaac Yiadom has been a bust. Sure, they may get Bryce Callahan back on the field, but he’s best-suited for slot duties.
3.14 Atlanta Falcons: KJ Hamler (WR – Penn State)
I’ve stated before that Hamler isn’t just a slot guy, and that means a lot to the Falcons, who want to move Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones around. Putting Hamler on the track inside the dome would be dangerous, as teams would be forced to respect his speed over the top. As of now, the Falcons primary slot receiver is Russell Gage.
3.15 New York Jets: Darrell Taylor (EDGE – Tennessee)
There are many who are starting to move Taylor up boards, as there are NFL GMs who’ve been stating he’s going to go higher than expected. I’m not sure what the expectation was, but in the middle of the third round is where the Jets select the high-potential edge rusher who’s still developing.
3.16 Las Vegas Raiders: Prince Tega Wanogho (OT – Auburn)
I think it’s possible the Raiders draft a tackle in the first round, as Kolton Miller was not a Mike Mayock pick and has been the weakest link on the offensive line. Tega Wanogho is considered a high-upside prospect who is inconsistent in his play, though could be a sturdy left tackle with some good tutelage.
3.17 Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears): Chase Claypool (WR – Notre Dame)
Yes, the Raiders selected Jerry Jeudy in the first round, but their wide receiver depth chart needs an overhaul. Claypool has tight end size (6-foot-4, 238 pounds) but moves like a wide receiver, as evidenced by his 4.42 40-yard-dash. The issue for me is that Claypool doesn’t play that fast. Still, some team is going to fall in love with his size/speed and the Raiders are the ones.
3.18 Dallas Cowboys: Troy Pride Jr. (CB – Notre Dame)
The Cowboys need to address the loss of Byron Jones in free agency, so they snag Pride, who has plenty of skills you want to see for the Cowboys zone-heavy scheme. He does a good job keeping his eyes on the quarterback while flipping his hips effortlessly. There are inconsistencies in his film, which is why he falls to the third round.
3.19 Denver Broncos (from Steelers): Bradlee Anae (EDGE – Utah)
The Broncos could use some depth at linebacker and edge rusher, and Anae is someone who should likely start out in a part-time role, but potentially grow into more. He fits their 3-4 scheme well as a rotational rusher.
3.20 Los Angeles Rams: JK Dobbins (RB – Ohio State)
Did you know: The Rams have met with more running backs than any other team not named the Texans? Keep in mind that some of those meetings were prior to them releasing Todd Gurley. Clearly, they want to add someone, and Dobbins is considered a Day 2 talent.
3.21 Detroit Lions (from Eagles): Bryan Edwards (WR – South Carolina)
The Lions have to be getting ready to move on from Marvin Jones and Danny Amendola, as they’re both free agents in 2021. Because of that, they need to take the next wide receiver on their board. Edwards is someone who isn’t expected to start right away (for me), but he does run a full route tree and can play if there were an injury.
3.22 Buffalo Bills: Cam Akers (RB – Florida State)
The Bills were in on Melvin Gordon during the free agent period, and they’ve clearly wanted a multi-back system over the last few years. Pairing a bruiser like Akers who fights for every yard with Devin Singletary makes plenty of sense.
3.23 New England Patriots: Jake Fromm (QB – Georgia)
I still think the Patriots may trade for Josh Rosen or scoop up Andy Dalton, but as of now, they haven’t. Fromm would fit their offense perfectly, as he wouldn’t be asked to throw the ball downfield very often. His accuracy is something that should be coveted more than it currently is.
3.24 New Orleans Saints: Evan Weaver (LB – California)
He’s someone who may go earlier than some expect. High-effort player who always plays until the whistle and not someone many will escape the grip of. The Saints linebackers are suspect outside of Demario Davis, so adding competition on a Super Bowl contending roster makes sense.
3.25 Minnesota Vikings: Terrell Burgess (S – Utah)
The Vikings did franchise tag Anthony Harris, though there’s been rumors that they’re still willing to trade him. Bottom line is that the Vikings defense is in rebuild mode and Burgess is considered a player who hasn’t achieved his ceiling yet.
3.26 Houston Texans: Amik Robertson (CB – Louisiana Tech)
Deemed an undersized cornerback by some, Robertson is likely to have appeal to late Day 2 teams in need of a cornerback. Robertson has played on the perimeter but projects as someone who should be able to cover the slot at just 5-foot-8. Outside of Gareon Conley and Bradley Roby, the Texans have no certainty at cornerback, so they need to acquire depth.
3.27 Las Vegas Raiders (from Seahawks): Davion Taylor (LB – Colorado)
The Raiders have rebuilt their linebacking corps this offseason, losing Tahir Whitehead, Will Compton, Vontaze Burfict, and Kyle Wilber. They’ve replaced a few of them with Nick Kwiatkowski and Cory Littleton, but they may not be done. Taylor is one of my favorite late Day 2/early Day 3 picks at linebacker.
3.28 Baltimore Ravens: Tyler Biadasz (IOL – Wisconsin)
The Ravens take a chance on Biadasz, who has first round talent, but was reportedly dealing with injuries the past two years, which has many teams backing off without being able to test him medically. The Ravens need to take a chance on the upside after losing Marshal Yanda.
3.29 Tennessee Titans: Jordan Elliott (IDL – Missouri)
The Titans haven’t retained Logan Ryan, which creates a big void at nickel cornerback for the Titans but think they could find one later. Instead, they take Elliott to help make up for the loss of Jurrell Casey this offseason.
3.30 Green Bay Packers: Matt Peart (OT – UConn)
The Packers lost Bryan Bulaga this offseason and replaced him with Rick Wagner, who has not been what you’d call a great tackle to this point. The contract the Packers gave him was essentially a one-year deal that they can get out of if they want to. Peart is considered a developmental tackle who also has experience at guard, should they need help there.
3.31 Denver Broncos (from 49ers): Akeem Davis-Gaither (Appalachian State)
The Broncos haven’t met with many linebackers in the pre-draft process, but it doesn’t mean they can ignore the position. He’s a smaller linebacker but one who continually finds the ball.
3.32 Kansas City Chiefs: Bryce Hall (CB – Virginia)
The rich get richer. No risk, no reward. The defending champs have a first-round talent fall to them at the end of the third round due to the injury concerns with Hall, as no one has been able to check out his recovery from a broken ankle last year.
Compensatory Pick 3.33 Cleveland Browns: Antonio Gandy-Golden (WR – Liberty)
Compensatory Pick 3.34 New England Patriots: Tyler Johnson (WR – Minnesota)
Compensatory Pick 3.35 New York Giants: Damien Lewis (IOL – LSU)
Compensatory Pick 3.36 New England Patriots: K’Von Wallace (S – Clemson)
Compensatory Pick 3.37 Seattle Seahawks: Zack Moss (RB – Utah)
Compensatory Pick 3.38 Pittsburgh Steelers: Alton Robinson (EDGE – Syracuse)
Compensatory Pick 3.39 Philadelphia Eagles: Willie Gay Jr. (LB – Mississippi State)
Compensatory Pick 3.40 Los Angeles Rams: Logan Wilson (LB – Wyoming)
Compensatory Pick 3.41 Minnesota Vikings: Davon Hamilton (IDL – Ohio State)
Compensatory Pick 3.42 Baltimore Ravens: Reggie Robinson (CB – Tulsa)