With Week 4 of the College Football season an hour old, and Week 3 of the NFL season underway, the 2020 NFL draft may seem a way away. However, before you know it, the College Football season will have come and gone. Soon after, the Super Bowl winner will be crowned. Then in a blur, free agency will have frenzied, and a team will be on the clock for the NFL Draft.
That team is likely to be the Miami Dolphins. The tank is real folks, as is the potential for an 0-16.
So how will it all go down for the NFL Draft in Vegas next April?
In the first of a regular mock draft segment, I take a look at how the first round could potentially pan out. I’m looking at what teams may do, based on their needs alone.
With that, the Miami Dolphins are on the clock…
1. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa – QB – Alabama
Whether you believe in the hype around the Alabama QB or not, the #TankForTua campaign is real. For a franchise that has spent a year surrounded by losing, Tua brings a winning mentality to Miami. Josh Rosen may be making his first start this week, but that job is only his on loan.
2. Arizona Cardinals – Andrew Thomas – OT – Georgia
I think Arizona made a mistake in not picking up protection for their new face of the franchise last NFL Draft. Time will tell how that impacts on Kyler Murray this season, but it would be a smart move to grab the best offensive lineman available.
3. Cincinnati Bengals – Justin Herbert – QB – Oregon
At the time of writing, Andy Dalton is in the top 5 of the league in passing yards. However, Bengals fans know his time is running out. Ryan Finley wasn’t the succession plan. Justin Herbert is.
4. Buffalo Bills – Chase Young – EDGE – Ohio State
Chase Young is a potential NFL Draft number 1 overall pick. As always though, the clamour for a QB will mean the Bills get a steal at pick 4. Ed Oliver up the middle and Chase Young off the edge. Yes please!
5. Detroit Lions – Jerry Jeudy – WR – Alabama
See above! Jeudy is an absolute freak show talent, but the value of WRs means he likely won’t get overall #1 status. The Lions pair Jeudy with Kenny Golladay and T.J. Hockenson to give Matt Stafford a bounty of weapons.
6. Washington Redskins – Tristan Wirfs – OT – Iowa
The Trent Williams saga continues apace. It’s likely that Dwayne Haskins starts 2020 as the Redskins starting QB. Keep the man upright with a nasty tackle from o-line U!
7. Tennessee Titans – A.J. Epenesa – EDGE – Iowa
The Titans could be in the QB market come April, but here they don’t miss out on the opportunity to add to an already aggressive defense. A.J. Epenesa is up there with Chase Young for my money.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Travis Etienne – RB – Clemson
Whilst Bruce Arians tries to work his magic on Jameis Winston, Peyton Barber is their number 1 back. The Bucs bring in a game changing talent in Etienne, who comes with a winning mentality for good measure.
9. New York Jets – Kristian Fulton – CB – LSU
After their MNF showing this week, the Jets could use a whole host of players. Fulton has the potential to be their first lock down corner since Revis Island was a fixture at the Metlife.
10. New York Giants – Grant Delpit – S – LSU
The Giants secondary has looked a hot mess through two games. Enter Grant Delpit, a truly dominant defensive force and instant fan favourite in the Big Apple.
11. Denver Broncos – Paulson Adebo – CB – Stanford
A poor start to the season for Stanford may impact on Adebo’s draft stock, especially if it continues. The Broncos secondary got torched by Derek Carr in Week 1, and their need at CB is glaring. Adebo represents the best available to them at this point.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – Isaiah Simmons – LB – Clemson
Isaiah Simmons is an absolute game wrecker. Speed, decision making, tackling, the kid has it all. He can only get better learning from the likes of Tahir Whitehead. A franchise altering piece for the Raiders in their first year in Vegas.
13. Jacksonville Jaguars – D’Andre Swift – RB – Georgia
The RB1 debate is fierce, with D’Andre Swift leading the way for many scouts and analysts. There can be no debate that Leonard Fournette’s production has declined and Swift would be an upgrade.
14. Carolina Panthers – Jeffrey Okudah – CB – Ohio State
At this point the Panthers primary need is corner and Okudah is the best man available. Ohio State doesn’t lay claim to being DBU for no reason and Okudah is a clear talent, even drawing comparisons to Jalen Ramsey.
15. San Francisco 49ers – Henry Ruggs III – WR Alabama
Wide receiver is well down the list of 49ers team needs. Help is needed on the interior offensive line, and at corner, but pairing up speedster Ruggs III with Jimmy G is just too good an opportunity to miss.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Bryce Hall – CB – Virginia
The Ravens have been the surprise to start the season. What isn’t a surprise is how good they have been on defense. A game changing playmaker at CB would be the cherry on the cake, and in Bryce Hall that’s what they get.
17. Miami Dolphins – CeeDee Lamb – WR – Oklahoma
By the time the draft rolls around, it’s likely that Preston Williams will be the WR1 in Miami. Here, they give new QB Tua Tagovailoa a bona fide target to help him make some big plays.
18. Atlanta Falcons – Derrick Brown – IDL – Auburn
Brown could have been a first round pick if he’d have declared for the draft last year. However, in a deep defensive class, he would have been overshadowed. In 2020 he will be one of the top interior defensive linemen. The Falcons tried to improve in the offensive trenches last draft, they address the defensive side this time out.
19. Seattle Seahawks – Tyler Biadasz – IOL – Wisconsin
The Seahawks have been trying to find a successful run game ever since Marshawn Lynch left Seattle. With the selection of Biadasz, they find the key to opening up rushing lanes on the offensive line. Biadasz has been paving the way for Jonathan Taylor in Wisconsin.
20. Minnesota Vikings – Laviska Shenault – WR – Colorado
The Vikings have Stefon Diggs and Adam Theilen, I hear you cry! How’s that working out for Kirk Cousins so far this year? In Shenault you get a game changing threat who can be a receiving threat and used in the backfield. It will open up the Vikings offense.
21. Dallas Cowboys – Xavier McKinney – S – Alabama
McKinney would be a day one starter for the Cowboys. Dallas were reportedly in the mix for Minkah Fitzpatrick until he was traded to the Steelers. Think of Minkah Mk II when you think of Xavier McKinney.
22. Miami Dolphins – Creed Humphrey – IOL – Oklahoma
Creed Humphrey is a big, bad, dude! The Dolphins succeed where the Cardinals failed in 2019 and get some protection for Tua. He was part of the offensive line that helped Kyler Murray to the Heisman and there’s a chance he’s helped Jalen Hurts to it by the time the draft rolls around.
23. Cleveland Browns – Raekwon Davis – IDL – Alabama
The Browns would have loved McKinney to still be here at this point, but he’s not. Instead they bolster the interior defensive line with another game wrecker from the Crimson Tide. Size (6’7), strength and raw power is the only way to describe him.
24. Los Angeles Chargers – Dylan Moses – LB – Alabama
The Chargers will need to address the LB position in 2020. Thomas Davis is only a stop gap, a veteran on a final tour. Who knows what will happen with Dylan Moses, after the star linebacker lost most of, if not all, of this year to injury. He is a dominant force who will look to be a leader on a defense, whenever that may be.
25. Las Vegas Raiders – Alton Robinson – EDGE – Syracuse
The Raiders continue their mission to build a defensive juggernaut and Robinson is the latest piece of that puzzle. Syracuse have had a poor start to the season. However, I don’t expect that to impact Robinson’s draft stock.
26. Philadelphia Eagles – Jonathan Taylor – RB – Wisconsin
The Eagles traded for Jordan Howard and drafted Miles Sanders in 2019. However, if Jonathan Taylor is still on the board he will be an instant upgrade on those two.
27. Green Bay Packers – Jalen Reagor – WR – TCU
Reagor is not getting anywhere near the buzz that other wide receiver prospects are, which is ludicrous to me. Aaron Rogers gets a genuine receiving threat, for a Green Bay team which is ready for a Super Bowl after this years defensive improvements.
28. Indianapolis Colts – Jordan Love – Utah State
Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement at the start of 2019, left the Colts in Jacoby Brissett’s hands. He could prove to be the long term starter. However, it’s more likely they go QB in the draft. In Jordan Love they get a guy who could easily be QB1 in this class.
New Orleans Saints – C.J. Henderson – CB – Florida
Through two games the Saints are giving up an average of 275 passing yards and 27.5 points. Eli Apple isn’t the answer alongside Marshon Lattimore. They secure C.J. Henderson who is coming off a 2018 campaign that saw him voted Second Team All-SEC. Sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles, Henderson has it all in the bag.
Los Angeles Rams – Yetur Gross-Matos – EDGE – Penn State
Get your tissues at the ready, this one is going to be the tear jerker of the 2020 NFL Draft. If you don’t know Gross-Matos’ story off the field, go check it out. On it, he’s a monster. Combine him and Aaron Donald on the defensive line and you’re a nightmare for any offensive line.
31. New England Patriots – Curtis Weaver – EDGE – Boise State
The glaring need for New England is at tight end, and someone like Grant Calcaterra could be the guy. However, I feel like round 1 is a bit high for him. Despite drafting Chase Winovich in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Patriots could use edge help and Weaver is a guy who can do damage.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Trevon Diggs CB – Alabama
With Juan Thornhill and Tyran Mathieu, the Chiefs have one of the best safety tandems in the league. They still need to see improvement at the CB position and Trevon Diggs projects to be a definite improvement for everyone’s Super Bowl 54 favourite.