Monday, Dec. 30, 2019.
2020 NFL Mock DRAFT
- WALT'S | CHARLIE'S
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The overreaction mock draft is back! You never know what outside-the-box thinking will end up being prophetic.
Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The Bengals grab Zak Taylor's quarterback of the future.
After surveying league sources over the injury to Tua Tagovailoa, the majority of sources voted for Burrow as the quarterback who will be the first one selected next April. This year, Burrow (6-4, 216) has been fantastic for LSU, completing 78 percent of his passes for 5,208 yards with 55 touchdowns and six interceptions. On the ground, he has 311 yards rushing and four touchdowns. Burrow has the ability to start in the NFL given his quality size, functional mobility, and above-average accuracy. The senior has been lights out this year and dominated the SEC.
In speaking to a few directors of college scouting for NFL teams, they felt that Burrow has looked good but has some limitations in arm strength for the next level. They based that off of watching Burrow in person this year in games and practice. They thought that he is an efficient game manager with prototypical size, but his arm talent is not elite. Because of the skill-set limitations, they see him as a prospect similar to Andy Dalton or Derek Carr. Some said they even had graded Burrow as a fourth-rounder at the beginning of this season, but with his incredible 2019, he has skyrocketed. Burrow has benefited greatly from a revamped scheme that has been superb for LSU. He also has a very good offensive line, a strong running game, and some early-round receiver prospects. Everything has gone right for Burrow and LSU this season.
Burrow flashed at times for LSU in 2018, showing some size and running ability. The Ohio State transfer completed 58 percent of his passes in 2018 for 2,894 yards with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. He ran for 399 yards and seven scores.
Washington Redskins: Chase Young, DE/3-4OLB, Ohio State
The Redskins take the best player in the 2020 NFL Draft and could form a legendary defensive line with Young, Jonathan Allen, Da'Ron Payne and Montez Sweat.
Young (6-5, 265) dominated a lot of the opponents Ohio State played this season and missed two games with a suspension. He has some size to him to go along with speed and athleticism off the edge. With his superb first-step, pass-rushing moves, agility, and ability to close, Young looks like a future Pro Bowler who annually produces double-digit sacks. Young totaled 16.5 sacks, 46 tackles, six forced fumbles, three passes batted and a blocked kick in 2019. With the way Young dominated this season, he is the top prospect for the 2020 NFL Draft regardless of position.
With Nick Bosa injured for most of 2018, Young took advantage of the opportunity to have a breakout season. In 2018, he recorded 34 tackles with 15.5 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, five passes broken up and two forced fumbles. As a freshman, he totaled 19 tackles with 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble.
Detroit Lions: Derrick Brown, DT/3-4DE/NT, Auburn
Detroit's defense was a massive disappointment this season. A'Shawn Robinson and Mike Daniels are entering free agency and may not be re-signed. Here's a versatile defender who could dominate between Snacks Harrison and Trey Flowers.
Brown has 50 tackles with four sacks, four passes batted and two forced fumbles in 2019. Against Oregon and Texas A&M, he was very disruptive and made a lot of superb plays that showed off his tremendous skill set.
Brown totaled 48 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 10.5 tackles for a loss and one forced fumble in 2018. Teams sent consistent double teams at him, but he still managed to stuff runs and cause disruption. Brown also has the quickness to fire into the backfield and pressure the quarterback from the interior. The 6-foot-5, 316-pounder contains a ton of upside and is just scratching the surface of what he is capable of doing.
Brown (6-5, 316) had an impressive 2017 season, playing well down the stretch when Auburn made a run into the SEC Championship. He totaled 56 tackles with 3.5 sacks, nine tackles for a loss, one pass broken up and two forced fumbles on the year.
Carolina Panthers: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
TRADE!! Carolina moves up with the Giants to jump ahead of the Dolphins. The Panthers have seen Cam Newton is declining and having a hard time staying healthy. They're taking a big risk in moving up for the injured Tagovailoa, but the Panthers will have to do a move like this at some point to avoid getting stuck in quarterback purgatory.
In 2019, Tagovailoa completed 71 percent of his passes for 2,840 yards with 33 touchdowns and three interceptions. He had two rushing touchdowns as well. The 6-foot-1, 218-pounder is an aggressive passer who doesn't hesitate to challenge defenses downfield. He throws a very good deep ball, showing a quality arm and an ability throw well-placed passes. He may not have an elite cannon, but his arm looks good enough. In the pocket, Tagovailoa shows patience and doesn't panic when his first read is covered. With his presence and feel, Tagovailoa has the ability to throw the ball accurately with timing and precision to lead his receivers to yards after the catch. He is a good athlete with enough quickness to get yardage on the ground too. His mobility and athleticism allow him to buy time and escape sacks. There are also times when Tagovailoa shows an ability to scramble and make throws off platform to move the chains. If it weren't for his dislocated hip and long-term durability concerns stemming from that injury, Tagovailoa would be a lock as a high first-round pick.
After his heroic effort to win the National Championship in 2017 for Alabama, Tagovailoa was even better as a sophomore, completing 69 percent of his passes for 3,966 yards with 43 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also is a good athlete with some running ability, notching five rushing touchdowns in 2018.
Miami Dolphins: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Dolphins miss out on Tua Tagovailoa, but they land their future franchise quarterback in Herbert.
In 2019, Herbert has completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,333 yards with 32 touchdowns and five interceptions. He has all the tools to be a good NFL starter. All year, Herbert has shown his powerful arm, mobility, good decision-making, and accuracy. But there are some uneven moments for Herbert when his instincts seem a bit off. Some team sources question his leadership for the next level due to him being a quiet kid who has lived in the same area his entire life.
In 2018, Herbert completed 59.4 percent of his passes for 3,151 yards with 29 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He only played in eight games during 2017, but completed 67 percent of his passes for 1,750 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions. The sophomore also ran for five touchdowns that season. As a freshman, Herbert completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,936 yards with 19 touchdowns and four interceptions.
The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder has an excellent skill set and displayed that as a junior. He has a strong accurate arm along with pocket presence and mobility. Herbert has a ton of upside. He also is known as more of a quiet and lead-by-example type of personality. Herbert was receiving positive buzz in the scouting community before returning for his senior year. If he had declared for the 2019 NFL Draft, he likely would have been a high first-round pick.
Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
TRADE!! Indianapolis has two second-round picks, so the team could be aggressive to add a game changer to the roster. The Colts need more play-makers for Jacoby Brissett. Here's a No. 1 receiver of the future who would immediately provide them with a dynamic big-play trio including T.Y. Hilton and Parris Campbell.
Jeudy has 71 receptions for 959 yards and nine touchdowns this season. In 2018, he totaled 68 receptions for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns. NFL scouts who attended Alabama's practices in the fall of 2017 told me Jeudy (6-1, 192) was the next great Crimson Tide receiver to keep the tradition going under Nick Saban that has seen elite receivers like Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley dominate the competition. Jeudy is similar to Cooper and Ridley in his skill set as Jeudy is a phenomenal route-runner who consistently generates separation through his speed and route-running. He is dangerous with the ball in his hands and is a big-play threat. He looks like a true No. 1 receiver for the NFL.
New York Giants: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
TRADE!! The Giants move down with the Panthers to get more picks for Day 2 to help fill their many holes. Here, they land a franchise left tackle to protect Daniel Jones.
Thomas has been rock solid in pass protection and the run game in 2019, having his way with defenders, including the edge rushers from Notre Dame and Florida. He is a reliable pass protector for Jake Fromm with excellent feet, quickness, athleticism, and the size to anchor. In the ground game, Thomas has been an asset to open holes for D'Andre Swift, and Georgia has run behind Thomas and Solomon Kindley in critical situations.
Thomas (6-5, 320) was very impressive at right tackle as a true freshman, starting there all season and helping the Bulldogs to produce a dominant rushing attack. He also flashed impressive athleticism and length in pass protection. With Isaiah Wynn moving on to the NFL, Thomas moved to left tackle for Georgia and has been superb on the blind side over his final two seasons.
Arizona Cardinals: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Arizona has a lot of needs, including improving its pass coverage. Here's a long-term No. 1 cornerback to go with Byron Murphy.
Okudah has a great skill set with upside to develop. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder is big, athletic, agile and can run. He is superb at blanketing receivers and preventing separation. Okudah has all the physical skill set NFL teams hope to find in a No. 1 cornerback, and he put it all together with a dominant junior season. Okudah recorded 35 tackles with nine passes broken up and three interceptions in 2019. Okudah saw some brief action as a freshman, recording 17 tackles and a breakup before playing more as a sophomore. In 2018, he totaled 32 tackles with eight breakups.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
The Jaguars grab a replacement for Jalen Ramsey.
In 2019, Diggs totaled 37 tackles, three interceptions, eight passes defended and a fumble returned 100 yards for a touchdown.
Diggs took his game to another level in 2018 before going down with a broken foot that ended his season midway through the year. He flashed in 2017, but still was developing at cornerback after starting his career playing both offense and defense. Diggs was able to focus on corner in 2017, and his play took a huge jump in 2018. He totaled 20 tackles with six passes broken up and one interception on the season before the broken foot.
As a freshman, Diggs had 11 receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown. He also brings added value as a punt and kick returner after doing that during his first two seasons at Alabama. In his sophomore year, Diggs totaled 13 tackles with five breakups and an interception. He was buried on the depth chart behind Anthony Averett, Levi Wallace and Tony Brown. Diggs is listed at 6-foot-2, 199 pounds and has excellent speed and athleticism.
Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
The Browns grab a left tackle to protect Baker Mayfield.
Becton (6-7, 369) is a massive blocker who is a good athlete for his size. For the next level, it would help him to trim some weight and get in better condition. Becton has weight issues and some teams have medical concerns with him relating to his back. However, some team sources have said he is extremely talented with a ton of upside. They think Becton could be a franchise left tackle, and some sources believe he could end up going as top-16 selection.
Oakland Raiders: Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson
TRADE!! The Raiders have three third-round picks, so they have the ammo to move up in the first round in this trade with the Jets. Las Vegas badly needs a linebacker upgrade, and Isaiah Simmons or Kenneth Murray would be a great scheme fit for the Raiders.
In 2019, Simmons has 96 tackles with six sacks, one forced fumble, three interceptions and six passes broken up. He collected 89 tackles with six passes broken up and one interception in 2018.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Simmons is a sideline-to-sideline run defender who is fast and physical. He has good instincts and is a hard hitter. He also covers extremely well in pass coverage. In zone coverage, he covers a lot of ground, and he shows the ability to play man coverage on tight ends down the seam and running backs out of the backfield. Simmons has even run with slot receivers this season. On top of being an asset in coverage, Simmons is very capable to contribute to the pass rush as he is a dangerous blitzer. Simmons is a tough run defender who flies around the field and is a physical tackler. His best fit for the NFL would come as a Will linebacker. Team sources told me they have been impressed with Simmons.
New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb Jr., WR, Oklahoma
TRADE!! The Jets take advantage of a strong wide receiver class and move down while still being fortunate to land the player they would have taken if they hadn't traded down. Between Lamb and Laviska Shenault, New York could have two great options as potential No. 1 wide receivers for Sam Darnold. Adding another second-day pick while moving down would be a great draft for the Jets. The 2020 NFL Draft is loaded at receiver and strong on the offensive line, so New York is in good position to add more talent around Darnold.
In 2019, Lamb notched 62 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also scored a rushing touchdown. Lamb didn't get the attention of teammate Hollywood Brown, but Lamb was very good for the Sooners in 2018. On the year, he hauled in 65 receptions for 1,158 yards with 11 touchdowns.
Team sources say that Lamb has the body and physique of a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. They say he has great hands, runs good routes, and is a polished receiver. Lamb makes some ridiculous catches that are reminiscent of DeAndre Hopkins and Odell Beckham Jr. His body control, concentration, and ability to adjust are tremendous, and they put him in position to make a lot of difficult receptions. After the catch, Lamb is very dangerous with the ball in his hands, showing elusiveness and physicality as a runner. NFL evaluators love Lamb's run-after-the-catch skills, and some compare him to Davante Adams as a prospect entering the NFL. While he has good size, Lamb does not have mismatch speed according to team evaluators, and they've said he could be a 4.55 guy in the 40-yard dash. Lamb is not overly fast, but he uses polished footwork and some suddenness to create separation. His route-running generates separation and makes up for the lack of elite speed.
Los Angeles Chargers: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
TRADE!! The Chargers missed out on the top quarterbacks and are able to move down to take advantage of a deep class of offensive line talent while adding picks for Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft. Here, the Chargersy land a long-term starting left tackle.
Evaluators say Jackson is a great athlete with quick feet and excellent agility. The 6-foot-6, 305-pounder is an easy mover with the ability to bend at the knee and play with good leverage. There are times when Jackson gets away with some mistakes because he is so athletic, and he will need to work on technique for the NFL. He is raw from a fundamentals standpoint, but his skill set is that of a franchise left tackle.
Team sources say that Jackson is a good kid who will interview well in the leadup to the draft and also will work out well because of his excellent skill set. Earlier this year, Jackson took a leave from the USC program in order to donate bone marrow to his younger sister, and he has played extremely well since coming back to the Trojans. Staff with pro teams also say that Jackson will skip his senior year to enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
It looks like Ronald Jones might follow the same path as other recent second-round picks like Noah Spence, Roberto Aguayo, and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. To help Jameis Winston, the Bucs have to get a more consistent rushing attack, something he hasn't had since Doug Martin in 2016. Tampa Bay could land a lead back with either D'Ande Swift or Jonathan Taylor
In 2019, Swift has averaged 6.2 yards per carry for 1,216 yards with seven touchdowns. He has 24 receptions for 216 yards and a touchdown as well.
Some team sources are high on Swift and feel he is a better prospect at this point than Nick Chubb, Sony Michel or Josh Jacobs were. It can be hard to get carries at Georgia with the program's stable of future NFL backs, but Swift (5-9, 215) was so talented, he forced his way onto the field. He flashed as a freshman even though Sony Michel and Nick Chubb got the majority of attempts. Swift averaged 7.6 yards per carry for 618 yards and three touchdowns that season. In 2018, it was Elijah Holyfield who split the touches with Swift. Swift took over as a starter last season and totaled 1,049 yards with an average of 6.4 yards per carry and 10 touchdowns on only 163 carries. The sophomore also contributed well as a receiver, collecting 32 receptions for 297 yards and three touchdowns.
Swift has a good build to him with a surprising burst to hit the hole and accelerate downfield. He has a lot of upside and should enter the NFL without much wear-and-tear due to the Georgia backfield platoon.
Seattle Seahawks: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
TRADE!! The Seahawks trade up with Denver to land a difference-maker for their secondary. Seattle could use an upgrade at safety because the team's new secondary has been a weakness throughout 2019. With two second-round picks, the Seahawks have ammo to move up.
In 2019, Delpit has 59 tackles, two interceptions, one sack and seven passes broken up. The junior has shown NFL teams he has the ability to do anything they ask of a safety as he can function as a single high free safety, play as a tough eighth man in the box, handle man-coverage skills on tight ends, and is generally a good physical tackler. While he can play free safety, Delpit looks more natural as a strong safety closer to the line of scrimmage.
Delpit was a very productive player for LSU in 2018 with 74 tackles, 9.5 tackle for a loss, five sacks, nine passes batted and five interceptions. As a freshman, he totaled 60 tackles with eight passes broken up and an interception. The 6-foot-3, 208-pounder has excellent instincts to go along with a good combination of size and speed.
Atlanta Falcons: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE/3-4OLB, Penn State
The Falcons' defense needs a lot of help, so they should take the best player regardless of position, with the possible exception of safety. Here, Atlanta lands an edge rusher who also will improve the team's run defense. Vic Beasley is entering free agency, plus the Falcons could use a bigger end to go with Takk McKinley.
In 2019, Gross-Matos totaled 40 tackles with 9.5 sacks. He enjoyed a breakout sophomore season in 2018, recording 54 tackles for a loss, 20 for a loss, eight sacks and two forced fumbles.
The 6-foot-5, 265-pounder has a lot of upside to improve as he gains more experience. He has strength and physicality with the quickness to get upfield. Gross-Matos is a good run defender and emerging pass-rusher.
Go to Overreaction 2020 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 17-32
Sorry for cutting this into two halves; I've received complaints about load times and putting the mock draft on two pages saves bandwidth.
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