Reader Mock by Keichlin



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Keichlin
2020 NFL Mock Draft by Keichlin
Published at 4/23/2020 6:55:15 PM

My 3rd annual mock draft. This year potential trades won't be factored in due to the near impossibility of accurate projection.

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Round 1

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

Hands down easiest pick to project and I'm not going to try and get cute here. Joe Burrow in his second year under Coach Orgeron has been absolutely sensational with a record-breaking senior season, becoming just the ninth Quarterback in history to win both the National Championship and Heisman Trophy. Exhibits great pocket awareness along with incredibly acute accuracy on just about every spot on the field. For the best example of Burrow on the top of his game, refer to the Semifinal game against Oklahoma in which he torched the Big 12 champ's defense to the tune of EIGHT touchdowns. While certainly a blue-chip prospect, however, he isn't without a few flaws. The two biggest concerns regarding Burrow's potential to become an elite NFL QB, are his age and lack of arm strength. At the age of 24, Burrow is definitely considered to be on the older side of a Rookie and while having an exceptional 5th season, it's hard to completely ignore the lack of production. Additionally, he doesn't have quite the strongest arm in the league, yet is quite certainly more than serviceable and shouldn't be a large inhibitor of his potential. Overall there's no question that Burrow will hear his name called first on Thursday, and will become the 3rd straight transfer QB to be selected 1st overall.

Potential Alternatives:
Chase Young- .01%


2. Redskins: Chase Young, Defensive End, Ohio State

The next great pass-rusher out of Ohio State, Young has the potential to be even better than the Bosa brothers who are both already pro-bowl talents. At 6'5" 265lbs Young as both the elite talent and size to fit into a defensive end role in a 4-3 scheme. Young's elite level as a pass rusher is unquestionable, ending the season with 16.5 sacks against Power 5 talent regardless of a two-game suspensions and opponents adjustment to TRIPLE-team him near the end of the season. Not only has Young shown promise as a pass-rusher, but has also shown an ability to disrupt the run game. He ended the season with 21 tackles for a loss, which while impressive doesn't even tell the whole story. It seemed also every play Young was present in the backfield and I see no reason that this shouldn't carry over into the NFL. Young is my absolute favorite player in the draft and if not for the unexpected monster of a season by Burrow, could very well have been both the No.1 pick and the last defensive player to win the Heisman since Charles Woodson.

Potential Alternatives:
Trade down for a package of premium picks from a QB needy team.


3. Lions: Jeff Okudah, Cornerback, Ohio State

While the Lions just finishing shelling out all of their cap space to make additions on the defensive side of the ball, it shouldn't stop there. Third-year coach Matt Patricia has been rumored to be on the hot seat, and with playoff expectations, it makes the most sense to add an elite talent when available. The departure of Darius Slay creates a large hole on the roster that can immediately be filled by the consensus top CB in the draft, and potentially of recent years. Okudah has been an absolute lock-down corner the entire season at Ohio State, even outperforming fellow OSU alumni Lattimore and Ward of the Saints and Browns respectively. He has the length and skillset to excel in man coverage and has the ability to blanket opposing number 1 receivers. His one con is his consistency in terms of aggression in the run game. While not afraid to attack the line of scrimmage, his effort is sometimes questionable and his tackling can sometimes be lazy. However, his strengths more than makeup for this and his talent is without question. He's an extremely safe pick here, without any major red flags, and will infuse young talent into a secondary that needs it. There have many many rumors of this being the ideal spot for a team desperate for a QB could opt to trade into, although it is seemingly more likely they will stay put. Okudah will become the first Corner since Shawn Springs in 1997 to be taken top three, adding to OSU's claim as the current "DBU" of college football.

Potential Alternatives:
Isaiah Simmons
Derrick Brown
Trade down with QB needy team


4. Giants: Isaiah Simmons, Outside Linebacker, Clemson

The most versatile prospect in the draft, Isaiah Simmons is the kind of player that will be a nightmare for offensive coordinators to plan around. Running a 4.39 at the NFL combine and measuring in at 6'4" 230lbs, Simmons has the athleticism and size to play anywhere along the second level of the defense. While linebacker may not be essentially the biggest need for a giants team with a weakness along the O-line, I'm projecting New York to follow the best-player available approach here and select a game-changer on the defensive front. Simmons is more than capable of both playing the outside and holding his own in coverage, with an interior run stoppage being his only slight "weakness". However, this is another spot that a team could trade into in hopes of selecting a franchise QB and trading down to select an offensive lineman would be a viable option for the Giants as well.

Potential Alternatives:
Jedrick Wills
Mekhi Becton
Trade Down with QB needy team


5. Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama

With reports of Tua's stock falling amongst NFL draft boards. I have seen some recent mock drafts anticipating the Dolphins to select OL here and potentially use one of their other two 1st round selections to pick a QB or create a package to trade back up. However, I find it to be extremely risky, and messing around with a top QB is never a good plan. If the Dolphins like Tua and think he can be the answer to a problem that's been surrounding them for years, there's no reason why they shouldn't select him here. While his durability and injury history are certainly of concern when using a premium pick on a signal-caller, his pinpoint accuracy, decision making, and skillset compare extremely favorably to those who have found success at the highest level. Whoever winds up selecting Tua will be taking a risk of sorts, but the potential reward of him suiting up on game-day is too much to overlook. Brian Flores' chance to build his offense the way he wants around a young cornerstone should be too enticing to pass up.

Potential Alternatives:
Justin Herbert
Jedrick Wills
Tristan Wirfs


6. Chargers: Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon

Personally I see this pick as one that is quite difficult to project. Many people believe that here at number 6, the Chargers will grab one of either Herbert or Tua, depending on how the draft shakes up before them and is who on the board. I'm tempted to project the Chargers to go offensive line with this pick, but with Herbet sitting on the draft board, I think it's difficult to go in a different direction. When looking at the construction of the Charger's roster, it is clear that they still want to win now and currently sitting at the too fo the QB depth chart is.....Tyrod Taylor. He's a bit rawer than the other top QB prospects in the class although he possesses good arm strength and mechanics. However, the primary knocks against him are his occasional lack of consistency and his inability to perform well under pressure. Overall he's a good quarterback prospect and has the potential to become a higher-end starter in the league, I'm just personally not as high on him as the other two members of the top three.

Potential Alternatives:
Tua Tagovailoa
Jedrick Wills
Tristan Wirfs


7. Panthers: Derrick Brown, Defensive Tackle, Auburn

The Carolina Panthers are going to be in for a rough 2020 season (that's if we get one *fingers crossed*). The roster is littered with too many holes to realistically fill and it would make the most sense for them to select the best player available here. Fortunately, the best remaining on the board lines up with probably their biggest hole, being the defense. Brown plays with extreme explosiveness and power up the interior of the line, even showing promise as a pass rusher. With that being said, his hand usage isn't always consistent and has a tendency to rely strictly on his strength to shed blocks. In summary, the addition of Brown alongside Short in the interior of the defensive line gives the Panthers something to build upon on the defensive side of the ball.

Potential Alternatives:
Jedrick Wills
CeeDee Lamb
Trade Back


8. Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs, Offensive Tackle, Iowa

The Cardinals should be entering the draft with the plan on selecting an Offensive Tackle here. While Murarry is certainly capable of extending the play and avoiding pressure, it shouldn't be Arizona's go-to on offense. The Cardinals have a weakness along the right side of the offensive line and with four premier tackles available in this class they should be keen on selecting one. Tristan Wirfs out of Iowa has always played along the right side and would plug into the line immediately. Trading back here is also a real possibility if they believe they can still select a top tackle a few picks back, as they no longer own the rights to their second-round pick following the DeAndre Hopkins blockbuster.

Potential Alternatives:
Derrick Brown
Jedrick Wills
Trade Back


9. Jaguars: Javon Kinlaw, Defensive Tackle, South Carolina

This is another pick that could go all over the place depending on who's still available and the direction that the Jaguars want to take. A quarterback would certainly be a surprise to me, as it's hard to imagine any of the top three falling to 9, and I don't think it would make much sense to trade up or select Jordan Love here. Instead, I have the Jaguars selecting perhaps the most explosive defensive lineman in the draft. For a team that recently traded Calais Campbell, the addition of Kinlaw to pair alongside last year's first-rounder Josh Allen is a smart one if wanting to stick to the Jaguar's defensive identity of recent years. Kinlaw is physically already at a high level and his development in the mental aspect of the game could result in him becoming an elite player.

Potential Alternatives:
Jerry Judy
Tristan Wirfs
Derrick Brown


10. Browns: Mekhi Becton, Offensive Tackle, Louisville

While the addition of Jack Conklin will certainly help what was one of the worst offensive lines in the league last season, more moves will need to be made. Baker Mayfield has shown that he is capable of being a very good Quarterback in the league.....when given solid protection. Becton is one of the top options along the offensive line in this class and if available at this pick should definitely be the selection. A powerful tackle whom many assume as yet to reach his potential, Becton would be a welcome addition to a roster, that if managed right, could contend for a playoff spot and end the never-ending drought in Cleveland.

Potential Alternatives:
Tristan Wirfs
Jedrick Wills
Andrew Thomas


11. Jets: Jedrick Wills, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

In this mock with Jedrick Wills still available, the Jets shouldn't even think twice about the pick. The Jets ranked among the bottom of the NFL in both Pass and Run blocking (30th and 31st) so an improvement along the offensive line is Key to allowing Sam Darnold to continue to develop and put LeVeon Bell's contract to use, establishing a run game. Wills is considered by many to be the best Tackle prospect in a top-heavy class, so the decision here should be a no-brainer. He has excellent footwork and technique, and with an NFL weight training program at his disposal, he will add on to his upper body strength. The one uncertainty surrounding him as a prospect is that he has played exclusively on the right side throughout his career and it is unknown how he would transition to the left if needed.

Potential Alternatives:
Mekhi Becton
CeeDee Lamb
Andrew Thomas


12. Raiders: CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

After the failed Antonio Brown experiment, Gruden finally provides the Raider's quarterback with a No. 1 receiver. Whether that QB is Carr or Mariota is still unknown but the first pick as the Las Vegas Raiders is a flashy one and suits up the best WR in the Black and Silver since Amari Cooper's exit. A great deep threat receiver with the ability to track the ball in the air, top YAC ability, and great hands, Lamb has the potential to be a great first option in the passing game. With an improvement in his route running ability, he can become a threat on all levels of the field.

Potential Alternatives:
Henry Ruggs III
Jerry Judy
C.J. Henderson


13. 49ers: Henry Ruggs, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Honestly, the best option for the 49ers here would be to trade out of pick 13. While owning two 1st round picks thanks to the Buckner deal with the Colts, they don't have another selection until pick 156. Trading out of here makes the most sense as they would be able to add draft capital with the assurance of having another first-round selection later on. The loss of Emmanuel Sanders opens a spot in the 49ers receiving core opposite of Deebo Samuel, and with both highly touted Alamaba receivers on the board here, San Fransico can take their pick. With Ruggs being the fastest receiver in the draft, I'm going to give him the edge over former teammate Jerry Judy, as the addition of Ruggs into Shanahan's offense allows him to get creative and provides Garoppollo with a downfield threat.

Potential Alternatives:
Jerry Judy
CJ Henderson
Trade down


14. Buccaneers: Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Georgia

With the addition of Quarterback Tom Brady and the unexpected trade for newly unretired TE Rob Gronkowski, the Buccs are all-in on their offense. That being said, they should prioritize keeping No. 12 upright and the addition of a top OL prospect is always a welcome addition. An extremely powerful presence along the o-line, Thomas is a day one, plug-in player for a team trying to win now.

Potential Alternatives:
Mekhi Becton
Josh Jones
Jedrick Wills


15. Broncos: Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Alabama

With rising speculation of Denver's intentions to trade into the latter half of the top 10 in hopes of selecting Jeudy, the Broncos are able to stay but and still select the player on the top of their draft boards. Jeudy is an elite route-runner and regarded by many to potentially be the best player in a deep class at the position. That being said, the top 3 are all very close and talent and there's a real possibility Jeudy could still be available. Jeudy would step in as a replacement for Emmanuel Sanders and would provide Drew Lock with a weapon to compliment Courtland Sutton.

Potential Alternatives:
Henry Ruggs III
C.J. Henderson
Justin Jefferson


16. Falcons: C.J. Henderson, Cornerback, Florida

C.J. Henderson is the type of player I could envision going anywhere from the top 10 to the mid-'20s depending on how positional runs play out. Here the falcons would be addressing an area of need with the loss of Desmond Trufant by adding my second favorite corner in the class. Henderson is a speedy and long corner who's excellent in man coverage skills with great ball skills. The one area he could stand to improve on the NFL level would be his tackling, which should come to form with proper coaching and added muscle onto his wiry frame. In a division featuring the potent passing games of the Saints and Buccaneers talent in the secondary is going to be essential for contention.

Potential Alternatives:
K'Lavon Chaisson
Javon Kinlaw
Xavier McKinney


Picks 1-16



 








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