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2020 NFL Mock Draft by Zio Taio - 2.7
Published at 2/8/2020 4:51:04 PM
Pre free agency mock draft. No trades allowed.
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Bust for Burrow ? The Bengals were absolutely atrocious last year, but they have a chance to start their rebuilding process by selecting their new franchise QB to move over from Andy Dalton. Burrow is coming off arguably the greatest season in CFB history after basically sweeping all the possible individual and team accolades. He showcased the ability to work with accuracy, timing and awareness within a pro-style offense and he also has toughness, leadership and some functional mobility. There are concerns about his arm strength and the fact that he is a one season wonder, but it would be utterly shocking if he isn't the first name called in Vegas.
In a situation similar to the 49ers a year ago, the Redskins spent a huge amount of draft capital and resources on their D-line, but the clear best player available is a pass rusher. Trading down would most definitely make sense, since they have serious holes elsewhere, but I don't think they can afford to pass on who is considered a generational pass rusher. Young has been ridiculously productive for the Buckeyes over the past two seasons and possesses all the requisite traits to become a terror off the edge. This should be a no-brainer.
The Lions are desperately hoping Tua Tagovailoa clears his medical issues, so some QB-hungry team trades up to #2 and they can snag Chase Young. They could also try to put together a trade of their own, but since there is no such possibility in this mock draft, they have to take the pick. Okudah is not a bad consolation prize, though: he is a lenghty, athletic, sticky corner, who should thrive in Matt Patricia's man heavy scheme.
The Giants are another team who could go down several different paths with this pick. The priority, however should be protecting Daniel Jones, who showed a lot of promise during his rookie campaign and especially now that their division rivals just landed Chase Young. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty as far as who the top lineman in the class is. Thomas' pedigree, though, is unmatched: he was a three year starter for a SEC team like Georgia who had a lot of success upfront, especially running the ball. He seems to be the surest prospect here.
By all accounts the Dolphins were tanking for Tua, then they started winning some games, but they can still select their guy, because of the injuries to the Crimson Tide signal caller and Joe Burrow's ascendance. Tagovailoa is a supremely gifted thrower of the football and his accuracy stands out in particular. The major on the field concerns is due to the fact that during his two year career he had some subpar games against elite competition, partially due to the fact that he was affected by injuries. Which leads me to addressing the elephant in the room: I love the player, but his medical history scares me to death, considering he couldn't finish a college season healthy despite having some of the nation's top players at his disposal. My guess is that the Dolphins select Tua and do everything in their power to protect him.
The Chargers appear to have moved over from Philip Rivers, so finding a new franchise QB should be a top priority on that side of LA. The Chargers are another of Tua's likely landing spots, but with the Alabama QB off the board they have to settle for Justin Herbert. Herbert fits the mold of the prototypical NFL QB: big, strong, plenty of arm strength and athleticism. The question marks come in when considering his inconsistent accuracy and the fact that he hasn't progressed as expected over the past couple of years. Some teams seemed to also wonder about the fact that he isn't really a vocal leader, so they might have pushed him further down their board. His Senior Bowl MVP performance did help raise his stock, though.
After back to back QBs, the Panthers are left with plenty of quality options with this pick. Another signal caller is a possibility here, as the new front office could decide to move over from Cam Newton, but with Tua and Herbert gone, they could explore other options. Carolina just got significantly weaker in the middle of their defense after Luke Kuechly's retirement, so they use an athletic, rangy, do-it-all chess piece like Simmons to patrol a stop unite in the sudden need of a leader.
Kyler Murray is coming off a rookie of the year campaign under Kliff Kingsbury, but they could use more offensive talent to make sure he takes the next step. A WR is an highly intriguing option here, especially with the top two pass catchers still on the board, but the draft is so deep at that position and OL is a bigger need, so Willis is the pick. After spending a couple of seasons securing Tua Tagovailoa's blindside he figures to become one of the league's top pass protecting right tackles: he is freakishly athletic and could put on a show at the combine.
Jacksonville has several needs, but they have to revamp one of the worst rush defenses in the league (2nd most ypc, 5th most ypg surrendered) and could also make a move ahead of schedule considering Calais Campbell is 33 and becomes a free agent after the 2020 season. Brown also happens to be one of the best and safest players in the entire draft: he anchored Auburn's defense for three years and is especially stout against the run.
Quite frankly the Browns O-line was an abomination last year and needs to be strengthen as soon as possible. Luckily for them there are a few worthy prospect still available at the position. Becton is just a massive human being with superior athleticism for his size. This pick is all about potential: his ceiling is though the roof.
The Jets can't believe they have their own choice of WRs, with both Jeudy and Ceedee Lamb lasting all the way to #11, as they try to provide Sam Darnold with some new weapons. Jeudy is an incredibly smooth, quick and fast receiver with elite route running skills, who is drawing comparisons to former Alabama receivers like Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley: many consider him the premier offensive weapon in the draft.
Back to back WRs, as the Raiders bolster their subpar receiving core, as they head to Las Vegas. Lamb is only the last extremely productive pass catcher to come out of OU: he is versatile as he can make contested catches, run routes and get yards after the catch breaking taclkes: Jon Gruden would be very happy to have him.
The Colts have a solid roster, but they could use help at different spots, starting with QB. Jordan Love is reportedly high on some boards and could be a surprise high upside pick, kinda like Patrick Mahomes was a few years back. Assuming the Colts aren't sold on any signal caller, they could turn to other needs, including the interior of their D-line. I can't believe Kinlaw lasted this long: he is rumored to be a top 10 pick after a spectacular performance at the Senior Bowl. The Colts will be over the moon with this pick.
Free agency will impact this pick, as Tampa needs to make a decision on Jameis Winston: if they move on from him a QB could be in play here, as well as other needs like DB. Otherwise, they'd better make sure he is protected. Let's assume the second scenario as Wirfs is there for the taking.
The Broncos are seem to have found their future franchise QB in Drew Lock, now their focus should be on putting the requisite pieces around him. Another OL could be in play here, but with Tristan Wirfs off the board it feels like a reach. Therefore John Elway and co. could turn to the skill positions. Shenault is a versatile offensive weapon who can make things happen as long as the ball is in his hands: he could help take some pressure off Lock.
The Falcons played hard for Dan Quinn, but if they want to return to relevancy under him, they need to improve their highly suspect defense at multiple levels, including pass rusher. Epenesa is an athletic and skilled DE, who was highly productive over the past two season. He would fit nicely in the 4-3 scheme Atlanta runs.