As we barrel into the offseason, one of my goals is to try and create a myriad of Mock Draft scenarios for you to think through dear reader. In an effort to achieve that, I’ve reached out to a number of the NFL writing community to help me GM the first 14 selections. Our draft started on Friday night and concluded about 3 PM on Monday, so keep that in mind with a couple of the picks as the situation with a few top guys was clouded in mystery for the better part of the weekend.
1. Cincinnati Bengals - QB, Joe Burrow, LSU
We know this is going to happen unless Zac Taylor and Burrow have some sort of falling out at the Senior Bowl or they find a body in his trunk.
Most touchdowns thrown into a tight window (per @PFF)— Anthony Treash (@PFF_Anthony) January 6, 2020
1. Joe Burrow – 24
t2. Sam Howell – 14
t2. Jamie Newman – 14
If Joe Burrow was a stock, I’d literally invest my savings in him. pic.twitter.com/74ZEDMab5S
2. Washington - ED, Chase Young, OSU
Dan Snyder’s Alabama Buckeyes continues.
Chase Young and Montez Sweat off the edge. Matt I, Jonathan Allen and Da’Ron Payne on the interior. Maybe go after Cory Littleton in free agency or just draft Malik Harrison! Redskins defense has a really solid foundation forming.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) January 3, 2020
3. Detroit Lions - DL, Derrick Brown, Auburn
Walker Kelly: Damon Harrison seems likely to retire and both A’Shawn Robinson and Mike Daniels are free agents. Detroit needs a star in the middle of their defense. Derrick Brown is that man.
Auburn DT Derrick Brown is one of the Best players entering the NFL Draft.— Sanjit T. (@Sanjit__T) December 21, 2019
In this Play, he dominates LSU's All American OG Damien Lewis, by using great leverage and controlling the chest plates. He literally throws the OG into the QB.@DerrickBrownAU5 pic.twitter.com/njimbqkrgU
4. New York Giants - CB, Jeffrey Okudah, OSU
By DVOA, only Miami had a worse pass defense in 2019. The Eagles and Cowboys are going to bring back scary aerial attacks in 2020, so patching the secondary is a high priority.
Since You’ve Been Gone. https://t.co/MuBY0rOJ41— Jeff Okudah (@jokudah) January 1, 2020
5. Cleveland Browns (from Miami) - OT, Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Jeff Essary: Cleveland is in desperate need of a top tackle and I didn’t want to risk Thomas and Wirfs both being off the board at #10, so when the Giants passed on Thomas at #4 and the #5 came open, I saw an opportunity to get the top tackle in the class and shore up a major weakness on offense.
I have to give you guys a very small teaser on Andrew Thomas with this one GIF. He's not perfect, but imagine Nate Solder trying to handle this kind of speed/spin move off the edge. Derek Barnett destroyed him. People call his footwork bad...didn't seem like an issue here. pic.twitter.com/cNKgEf5Ax3— K.Shah (@KSIXI) December 31, 2019
6. Los Angeles Chargers - QB, Justin Herbert, Oregon
Taylor Kothe: The 2019-2020 period will go down in NFL history as one of the most significant changes of the guard at QB to ever happen. The Chargers get in on the action as Philip Rivers’ play and career both sputter, seizing the opportunity to draft a talented young QB who should be a great fit for their system.
Justin Herbert showing he has wheels too pic.twitter.com/sgeEfZjuGj— ESPN (@espn) January 2, 2020
7. Carolina Panthers - QB, Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Nick Kendell: As is obvious in the NFL, if your team doesn’t have ‘their guy’ at quarterback, the team is going nowhere fast. The future of Cam Newton in Carolina is questionable, but what is very obvious is that Will Grier and Kyle Allen are ‘not it’. Tua Tagovailoa is a risk, no doubt, but there is risk in any quarterback or pick ever. Tua has better overall tools than Burrow and can be brought about slowly year one behind Newton. With new coaching staff in play, and ownership seemingly pushing offense and analytics, the chance at a franchise quarterback was too much to pass up, injury be damned.
One reason #Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa declared for the NFL Draft: I’m told his visit to NY to get an update on his medical situation was all positive. He has more tests at 12 and 16 weeks, but he got a solid before saying he was NFL bound.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 6, 2020
8. Arizona Cardinals - WR, CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
JoRo: Larry Fitzgerald is a surefire Hall of Famer, but if he doesn’t retire he will be 37 before the opening day of the 2020 season. It’s time to grab the next number one target for Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray to take their offense to another level.
Never forget that @_CeeDeeThree scored on this play. pic.twitter.com/CUaBuTrYHq— We Boom Soon (@Jaben4Real) December 30, 2019
T-9. Jacksonville Jaguars - LB/S, Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
Scotty Payne: The absence of Telvin Smith was evident this past year as the Jags defense struggled. Adding Simmons to the mix with Myles Jack will help the Jags defense get back to their 2017 ways.
Clemson's Isaiah Simmons is such a difference-maker, hard not to get Derwin James vibes from him.— Austin Gayle (@PFF_AustinGayle) December 31, 2019
He's the do-it-all type every NFL team is looking for right now.pic.twitter.com/dBlYEQ0iyt
10. Miami Dolphins (from Cleveland) - OT, Jedrick Wills, Alabama
Chris Spooner: It’s nearly a foregone conclusion that, if Tua is available at 5, he’ll be the selection for the Miami Dolphins. But where’s the fun in that? What would the Dolphins do if someone manages to leap them and select Tua before them? This pick was made with that in mind. The way this board falls is just about a nightmare scenario for the Dolphins. To my knowledge, neither of the Iowa guys have declared yet, so in keeping with the theme of not selecting guys who may not be there, the pick would be Jedrick Wills with the hope that Love is still there at 18.
Jedrick Wills is the only Alabama prospect who would be a shock if he fell out of the top-15, IMO. Tua is completely dependent on the medicals.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) December 31, 2019
There's also a reason Saban probably cut this off at "Top-15" and not "1st round" as he tries to keep guys from leaving. https://t.co/sh76yuPANq
11. New York Jets - OT, Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Cody Roark: Need some first round help on the OL to protect your first round QB from 2018.
Here’s an idea of Tristan Wirfs athleticism on Iowa’s first TD run. pic.twitter.com/g17iDNE5Ni— Jordan Reid (@JReidNFL) December 28, 2019
12. Las Vegas Raiders - WR, Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Cyril Penn: The first-ever Las Vegas draft pick is Jerry Jeudy. Gruden gets a prototypical WR1 to bolster what was sneakily the ninth best offense by DVOA in 2019.
Bama's first play of the day— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 1, 2020
Mac Jones hits Jerry Jeudy for the 85-yard TD
13. Indianapolis Colts - DL, Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Joe Mahoney: 2018 2nd rounder Parris Campbell should be back and play in more than the 7 games he saw in 2019 before going on the IR. Hilton and Campbell should be a good duo at WR in 2020, so Indy goes defense and bolsters their very aged DL group by selecting Javon Kinlaw. They had six players play significant snaps at DE/DT/NT in 2019. Their ages are 30, 24, 29, 30, 32 and 26. They need some young blood on the DL.
T-14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - ED, K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
Shaq Barrett broke the team record for sacks after signing a one year prove-it deal. He also led the team with more than 50 pressures per Sports Info Solutions’ charting. Even still, the Bucs had issues defending the pass and Ndamukong Suh and Jason Pierre Paul are free agent. Adding a talent like this former Tiger would give Todd Bowles a dynamic edge threat across from Barrett and free up interior rushers like Vita Vea.
Year 3 ✍ ... @S4CKGURU pic.twitter.com/YXu5U7aN37— Footwork_King (@footwork_king1) December 4, 2019
15. Vote for who you would draft in this scenario Broncos Country!
Who should the Broncos draft?
This poll is closed
S, Grant Delpit, LSU
DL, A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
CB, Kristian Fulton, LSU
WR, Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
WR, Tee Higgins, Clemson
RB, D’Andre Swift, Georgia
QB, Jordan Love, Utah State
CB, Trevon Diggs, Alabama
RB, Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
WR, Laviska Shenault, Colorado
ED, Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
LB, Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
DB, Xavier McKinney, Alabama
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As quiet as it has been kept, the Denver Broncos have one of the best groups of young core players. Drew Lock — a 2019 second-round pick — had a strong performance starting the final four games, and receiver Courtland Sutton showed plenty of promise to make the team believe he could be a No. 1 option going forward. The Broncos should continue helping their young QB should be the focus of their offseason. With all of the reasonable offensive tackle options off of the board, the next best asset is to get a field stretcher for the strong-armed Henry Ruggs III to throw to as well as open things up even more for Sutton and Noah Fant.
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Speculation is fun. It’s what gets the imagination going.
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