⇐ My Mock Drafts
Three Round Mock 2.0 (106 WRITE-UPS + TRADES!)
Published at 4/21/2020 10:00:42 PM
I guarantee my 6th overall pick is something you haven't seen mocked, but it COULD happen.
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This was an easy one. Burrow had arguably the best college season ever by a quarterback and now returns to his home state of Ohio.
At first, I was one of the many who believed that the Redskins would drum up trade interest and end up passing on Young while stockpiling picks. After looking back on the last few “can’t miss” edge rusher prospects from the past few seasons, I think the Redskins will continue the tradition of NOT trading back and will instead select the potential franchise-altering player in Young. Although Kerrigan and Sweat are the starters, the 49ers had Dee Ford and Solomon Thomas pegged as their starters last year before they too stayed put at #2 overall and took Nick Bosa.
TRADE! The Chargers send #6 overall this season, their #37 and #112 overall picks this season, and a 2nd round pick in 2021 to the Lions in exchange for picks #3 and #166.
Rivers was so bad downfield that it didn’t make sense for them to keep him on the roster this season and let a rookie develop behind him because he can’t run the offense. He would’ve been a bargain anyways if he came back at $25M or less. The Redskins are probably the ones putting out the Lions drafting a QB rumors to entice an antsy team into trading up to #2. Plus, with this move, the Chargers jump the Dolphins who have also been rumored to be considering Herbert at the #5 overall pick. Herbert has a cannon and can play right away, while Tua may need time to rehab his hip and doesn’t have elite arm strength.
TRADE! The Jaguars send the #9 overall pick and DE Yannick Ngakoue to the Giants in exchange for picks #4 and #150 in 2020, and their 2nd round pick in 2021.
This is a total guess, but if I’m doing a mock draft that includes trades I need to attempt to project how franchise-tagged players will affect trade logic. While Markus Golden was a decent player for the Giants off the edge last year, he doesn’t look to be in the team’s long-term plans. Dave Gettleman has publicly stated he would be open to moving back from pick #4, but wants to have the parameters of a deal in place before he’s on the clock. To me, that’s inviting teams who are trading both players AND picks to the table. If the Lions stay put at #3 and select Okudah, I doubt this trade will take place. However, the Jaguars could move a player who clearly does not want to be a part of their team, save themselves $20 million per season, AND still be in the top 10. All of this to select another cheap replacement for a guy they got multiple first rounders for, Jalen Ramsey. On the flip side, the Giants have the cap space to sign Ngakoue long-term and he fills a major need. Plus, they can still select a top tackle prospect. It’s a win-win.
While I still think they would be better off taking the best OL or defensive player available, Tua has the potential to be a franchise-altering selection if he develops into the player that the NFL media believes he will be. I’m personally looking at Tua the way I looked at Haskins last year: great player, but had a ton of help. Tua was throwing to 3 first rounders every week, with an elite offensive line and running game, PLUS he had arguably the best college coach ever calling the shots. Plus, rumor has it that Tua could potentially slide out of the top ten, which is even more likely if the Jags trade up for Okudah.
This is my first shocker as far as team need/high pick usage. While Isaiah Simmons is still on the board, the Lions have solid depth invested at the linebacker position. Yes, I know that Simmons would be more than a typical linebacker and is most likely better than anyone they have currently, but I would hope that Matt Patricia could use his “defensive genius” label to find cheaper defensive production. Instead, Patricia invests in something he’s not quite as comfortable with: Offense. While the Lions have a solid WR room at first glance, when you look deeper the picture becomes more worrisome. The Lions have no starting-caliber WR under contract past this season. Yes, I know they’ll most likely re-sign Kenny Golladay, but at what cost? There’s almost no way either Danny Amendola or Marvin Jones will be back next season, due to injury history and age. Jeudy is (to me) the best WR in this class and gives Matt Stafford a freakishly talented young pass catching group of Golladay, Hockenson, and Jeudy.
I think it’s a crime that Simmons falls to #7 overall. Simmons is a better player than other linebackers who were selected top five over the past few drafts, but due to QB-craziness he falls in this mock. I hope I’m wrong and he goes higher, he deserves it. But I’m sure Panthers fans hope I’m right and see him fall right into their lap at #7. He’s the perfect replacement for Luke Kuechly, and played against OC Joe Brady in the National Title Game this past January.
While the Cardinals could add an elite player like Derrick Brown to their defense, I’m going to assume that they’re learning from the mistake the Browns made last year. In an eerily-similar way, both teams added an undersized, Oklahoma Heisman-winner with the number one overall pick, and then traded for arguably the NFL’s best WR the next offseason. The Browns made the mistake of not protecting their QB, and here the Cardinals learn from that mistake by selecting Jedrick Wills here. Wills can play either tackle spot, and was arguably the best offensive lineman in the SEC. While he played RT mostly at Alabama, he can stay in that role for the Cardinals, who re-signed left tackle DJ Humphries this offseason.
The Giants have to be happy with this trade. Becton was on their board to possibly be selected at #4 overall, but they slide back to #9, pick up a premier pass rusher along the way, and Becton is still waiting for them. It was recently reported that he failed a drug test at the combine, but I don’t think that will cause him to slide. Becton is an ultra-rare athlete whose size alone should have Gettleman drooling at the prospect of him opposite Nate Solder, opening up massive lanes for Saquon to gallop through.
Brown to the Browns! I know what you’re thinking: did I watch any Browns games last year? I know that the Browns desperately need a LT, and there’s two of them on the board as we speak. However, they also have a need at defensive end as well, and Derrick Brown is arguably a top-3 talent in any other draft class. Olivier Vernon has been a bit of a disappointment, and many thought he was a potential cap casualty this offseason. Their top two interior defenders are both going to be hitting the open market soon. Why not grab a guy who can help the defense here? I actually like the tackle depth in this class, but there aren’t many Derrick Browns to be had after the first round.
While everyone is expecting to see a left tackle’s name called, here the Jets get a big-bodied #1 WR for Sam Darnold. The Jets are in dire need of another OL and DB as well, so don’t be surprised if a tackle or cornerback are taken here. Lamb is the type of big-bodied WR that Adam Gase typically likes to build his passing game around, and could potentially be selected even higher.
The Raiders addressed their defense early in free agency this year, signing both Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski to deals as well as Jeff Heath as a veteran depth option at safety. They already added two stud defensive ends last year during the draft, so now they address their biggest weak spot: cornerback. CJ Henderson is an elite talent and showed he’s capable of shadowing a team’s #1 WR. In a division where you play the Chiefs twice a year, having at the minimum ONE single player capable of just slowing down Tyreek Hill is a huge advantage.
Originally, I had the 49ers taking Ruggs and pairing him with Kyle Shanahan’s creative (and speed-obsessed) mind. However, I’m not sure Ruggs would have won them the Super Bowl last season. Besides, he was scarcely used at Alabama and when’s the last time a receiver who ran a sub-4.3 40 yard dash was actually good in the NFL? McKinney is another Alabama prospect, but is a versatile defensive back capable of playing in the slot, box, and deep middle. Jaquiski Tartt is a free agent after this season, and McKinney is a cheaper option than attempting to re-sign him.
Kirk Ferentz has done a solid job of sending his players up to help protect Tom Brady in the past, and he does it again here. Wirfs could potentially be a top-5 pick, but he slides in this mock. Wirfs is a freak athlete and one of the youngest tackles in this class, which leaves him room to grow. He’ll be a cornerstone to build on both during the Brady era and the transition period afterwards.
TRADE! The Eagles send picks #21 and #53 to the Broncos in exchange for picks #15 and #95.
The Eagles have been rumored to make a trade at some point in this draft for weeks. That’s a pretty broad statement, and when I heard it I was assuming they’d be trading down. However, with a ton of teams open to trading back, the Eagles take advantage of Ruggs falling and make a move. Ruggs will bring them an element of speed they haven’t had since Desean Jackson (his younger version anyways), and gives Doug Pederson his own Tyreek Hill.
I’m willing to bet the Falcons aren’t going to stay at #16 on draft day, potentially moving up for a top CB. Here, they stay put and select Kinlaw, who is a bona-fide game wrecker on the interior. His ability to disrupt offensive blocking schemes coupled with Grady Jarrett in the middle is a great young duo for the next 4-5 years.