Reader Mock by The Champ

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The Champ
What Teams SHOULD Do, By The Champ - 4.5
Published at 4/5/2020 1:40:22 PM

I've done one of these mocks since I started doing them on this site in 2018. I have Miami getting VERY active early, trading up not once but twice within the first 7 picks! Let's get to it.

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Round 1

Picks 1-16
1. Bengals: Joe Burrow, Quarterback, LSU

No reason to overthink this one.

2. Redskins: Chase Young, 3-4 Outside Linebacker, Ohio State

Washington has a chance to create a truly imposing defensive line, and can't pass on the chance to add Young. If Tua Tagovailoa did not have the injury history that he does, perhaps you could make the argument that he should be the pick here. If he happens to stay healthy in the pros, he could very well be more valuable than Young over the course of their careers. Tua is that good. However, given the risk that you have to include when evaluating Tua's career prospects, the wisest decision here is to simply take a player who scouts think is going to be even better than the likes of Clowney and the Bosa brothers when they were drafted.

3. Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama

TRADE! Yes, this is the move that really should be made. Despite the risks associated with Tua, man, is he good. We all know how far ahead of the curve your team is if you hit on a rookie QB, because it allows you to spend your cap on the rest of your roster. Miami has the draft capital to move up two spots, and there's no reason for Detroit to not get value for having this pick. They can still likely take the player at 5 that they were targeting at 3. I'm not sure if the Chargers would be willing to offer more than #6 and #37 this year, plus a 2021 early pick for Tua, but Miami could certainly up the ante if they wanted to. As in a couple of my prior mocks, I'll say that Miami gives up 5/39 and a '21 2nd rounder here.

4. Giants: Tristan Wirfs, Offensive Guard, Iowa

I really am OK if the Giants take Wirfs, as is being commonly mocked in this spot. I think Simmons would really help their defense (or any defense), but when you've committed yourself to the success of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, it's critical that the blocking up front improves. Wirfs tore up the combine with his 99th-percentile athleticism, and he makes sense for this team.

5. Lions: Jeff Okudah, Cornerback, Ohio State

Yes, the Lions get Okudah at 5 instead of taking him at 3, and they pick up two 2nd rounders in the process, one of which is #39 this year. Perhaps he and Desmond Trufant will give them a better tandem of starting corners than they've had in recent years, which was Darius Slay and Insert-Other-Guy-Here.

6. Chargers: Isaiah Simmons, Outside Linebacker, Clemson

The Chargers could very well go with Herbert at 6, and I'm not sure if Cam Newton is in their back pocket or not. Regardless, this is what teams SHOULD do, and so I think LA should take Simmons. I'm not sold on Herbert and I don't have him as being close to in the same class as Burrow or Tua. Simmons would make a potentially formidable Charger defense even better.

7. Dolphins: Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Georgia

TRADE! The Panthers should move down, given their rebuild and given the fact that they have obvious needs to fill. Picking up additional draft assets for this year and next, if possible, is the way to go. The only question is, how do they execute this? We need to find a match that makes sense for all parties involved.

Drumming up a market for a team that wants to move up to take Herbert is how they could probably extract the most value. The way I see it, the two teams that would be likeliest to have the most interest in taking Herbert are the Jaguars (picking at 9 and 20) and the Patriots (picking at 23). The Jags are in a similar position as Carolina, though, so I'm not sure that they would be willing to give up assets here. That leaves New England. Without a 2nd round pick, are they willing to give up #23 plus a 2021 1st? They do have three 3rd rounders (two of which are compensatory selections), but I have to ask myself, SHOULD the Pats do this? I will say no! As such, we need to find another trade that makes sense.

If not Herbert here, perhaps a team would want to come up for the top WR in the draft, or the top remaining OL guy, or maybe even Derrick Brown/Javon Kinlaw. With the Cards next up at 8 and perhaps gearing up to take a top OL guy, maybe someone will want to come up to 7 to get their guy before Arizona does. And that leads me to...Miami again! Look, Miami now has Tua, and their O-line is awful, so they should be heavily interested in protecting him. Since they happen to have an extra 1st rounder next year courtesy of Houston (heck, they also have Houston's 2nd rounder next year too, important because I have them giving up their own '21 2nd in the move up for Tua), I think it makes sense for Miami to move back up to 7 to pick the polished Thomas. Carolina can move back to #18 and also get Houston's 2021 1st rounder out of this deal.

8. Cardinals: Derrick Brown, 3-4 Defensive End, Auburn

I would've loved Thomas for the Cards here, so perhaps they should just take Becton or Wills instead. Brown and Kinlaw are also solid players who would fill a need; essentially, Arizona needs talent on both trenches. This simply comes down to which player I like the most and which player I think represents the most value. Brown it is.

9. Jaguars: Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon

As discussed before, you're way ahead of the game if you hit on a rookie QB. I happen to have some doubts regarding Herbert, but it's also true that it wouldn't shock me if he hits. With another pick at #20, I think it makes sense to roll the dice on Herbert's upside for Jacksonville.

10. Browns: Jedrick Wills, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

Wills was a RT for the Crimson Tide, but that was Tua's blindside. I feel like the Browns would probably pick Becton over him, but I'm worried that Becton is so big that he could have issues with speed rushers off the edge in one-on-one situations, and he has some up-and-down tape. So I'd take the guy who I trust more to succeed, and that's Wills. Maybe his ceiling isn't as high as that of Becton, but if Wills is just a solid player, the Browns will have done well to get he at LT and Conklin at RT in free agency.

11. Jets: Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Breshad Perriman could be the Robby Anderson replacement for Gang Green, the deep target for Sam Darnold. But a true #1 WR is needed, and Jeudy could fit the bill with his route-running prowess and ability to make big plays himself. No, he's not a speed burner, but some guys just make plays. Look at AJ Brown for the Titans. Anyway, a Jeudy-Perriman-Crowder WR trio doesn't sound too bad.

12. Raiders: CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

The Raiders can stay at 12 and simply let one of the top 3 WR's fall to them. In this case, it's Lamb who is there, so he gets the nod.

13. Raiders: C.J. Henderson, Cornerback, Florida

TRADE! I have mocked Kinlaw here in other places. But in looking at things, the 49ers, after another scheduled 1st Round pick at #31, do not have another pick in this draft until #156 overall. Meanwhile, the Raiders have three picks scheduled in Round 3. I've mocked Trevon Diggs to them at 19, but with the opportunity to move up to get Henderson, and with the draft capital to do it, and with the 49ers' cupboard so bare in this draft after Round 1, I think a deal makes sense for all parties. So to move down 6 spots, I'll have the 49ers picking up #81 overall, plus a 3rd rounder from the Raiders in 2021.

14. Broncos: Henry Ruggs, Wide Receiver, Alabama

TRADE! If the board fell exactly like this, Bucs GM Jason Licht could field calls about teams looking to move up for Ruggs or Becton. I could see the Eagles heavily interested in Ruggs, for example, and I could see aggressive GM Howie Roseman offering up #21 plus a 2021 1st rounder. The Broncos are scheduled to pick next, so it would be pretty unprecedented for a team to give up its 1st rounder next year to just move up one spot. But how about a 2nd rounder in '21? The Bucs may prefer this, because if they just switch spots with Denver, they can still select Becton to fill a RT need. Not to mention the fact that Denver is out of conference, so Tampa Bay would not have to worry about potentially making a playoff rival in its own conference better.

This would be good work by both GM's, because Ruggs really does fill a huge need for Denver opposite Courtland Sutton, and the Bucs still get their guy while leveraging a 2nd rounder in 2021 out of it.

15. Buccaneers: Mekhi Becton, Offensive Tackle, Louisville

The Bucs move down one spot and still get Becton, essentially picking up a free 2021 2nd rounder out of Denver in the process. Quite an offseason for Licht, if he can pull such a move off.

16. Falcons: K'Lavon Chaisson, Outside Linebacker, LSU

This might be lazy, since I've mocked Chiasson to the Falcons in every exercise I've done, but I really do think this pick would make sense. I could've argued for Henderson over Chiasson had he been available, but he's not in this mock.

Picks 1-16


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