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2020 NFL mock draft 1.3: The first 30 picks

Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan is sacked in the

Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan is sacked in the second quarter by Chase Young of Ohio State at Ohio Stadium on Oct. 26, 2019, in Columbus, Ohio. Credit: Getty Images/Jamie Sabau

Joe Burrow, Chase Young, Tua Tagovailoa and other prospects are expected to be top picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, which will be held April 23-25 in Las Vegas. But which teams will pick them?

With Super Bowl LIV two weeks away, here’s our updated mock draft through the first 30 picks. The Chiefs' and 49ers' picks will be determined after the Super Bowl.

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Neither Andy Dalton nor Ryan Finley appears to be the answer under center in Cincinnati. Could Burrow — an Ohio native — be the one to help the Bengals get back to their winning ways? After a relatively quiet first season at LSU in 2018 following a transfer from Ohio State, Burrow shot up draft boards after a Heisman Trophy-winning senior season in the Tigers’ revamped, pass-friendly scheme. He's more than just a system quarterback, however, with the size (6-4, 216 pounds), arm strength, accuracy, awareness and toughness to be a potential long-term starter.

2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, edge rusher, Ohio State

Pass rusher isn’t that high on Washington’s list of needs (those would be receiver, offensive line and cornerback). That said, Young has a very strong case that he's the best player in this entire class and a potential once-every-five-years type of prospect. He broke records at Ohio State — a school that has produced recent star pass rushers Joey and Nick Bosa — thanks to his rare mix of size (6-5, 265 pounds), athleticism, speed and explosiveness. On top of that, he has experience as both a 4-3 end and 3-4 outside linebacker, making him a fit for virtually any NFL defensive scheme.

3. Detroit Lions: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

The Lions allowed an NFL-worst 285.2 passing yards per game in 2019 and might opt to trade star cornerback Darius Slay in the offseason rather than give him a contract extension. Okudah is the latest Ohio State defensive back to garner first-round attention. The 6-1, 200-pounder has excellent ball skills and athleticism and can play both man and zone coverage.

4. Giants: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

After losing out on the chance to draft Chase Young, the Giants could end up drafting the guy who’d be tasked with blocking him for the next 15 years. Among their many needs might be offensive tackle, with Nate Solder and Mike Remmers struggling in 2019 and not quite locks to return in 2020. Thomas was a big reason why Georgia averaged 5.07 yards per carry and allowed only 12 sacks. The 6-5, 320-pounder has excellent technique in pass protection and long arms to keep opposing pass rushers at bay. He also has experience at right tackle.

5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Josh Rosen joined Miami via trade during last year’s draft but spent most of the season as Ryan Fitzpatrick’s backup. If the Dolphins aren’t confident that Rosen is their long-term answer, they’re in a good position to find that guy. Tagovailoa was well on his way to being the No. 1 pick before a dislocated hip ended his season. He burst on to the scene after replacing Jalen Hurts in the 2017 national championship game and has impressed ever since with his arm, pocket poise and mobility. His injury history is some cause for concern, though — along with the dislocated hip, he’s had procedures to repair high ankle sprains in both legs.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

At age 38, Philip Rivers isn’t what he once was, and with the Chargers moving into a new stadium next year, it might be time to look to the future at quarterback. Herbert has prototypical size at 6-6, 233 pounds, as well as great arm strength and touch on his throws, but he works in a quick-hitting offense at Oregon, which can lead to some messy footwork, one-read throws and struggles against the rush. There also are a few questions about his durability (broken collarbone in 2017, deep shoulder bruise in 2018).

7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

The Panthers could lose Vernon Butler, Gerald McCoy and Kyle Love in free agency, leaving them dangerously thin along the defensive line behind Kawann Short (who is coming off a shoulder injury). Brown could have been a top pick last year but instead returned to Auburn. The decision paid off, as he continued to show off his excellent combination of power and athleticism against both the run and pass. The 6-5, 318-pounder also has the versatility to line up anywhere along the defensive line.

8. Arizona Cardinals: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Cardinals have needs all over their defense, but in a draft class full of receiving talent, Kliff Kingsbury could be inclined to get another target for Kyler Murray. Jeudy may be the most complete wideout in this loaded receiver class. The 6-1, 192-pounder is a sure-handed receiver with excellent route-running ability, explosiveness, shiftiness and speed after the catch, which allows him to turn any routine 5-yard slant into a long touchdown.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Jaguars got a haul of draft picks when they dealt Jalen Ramsey to the Rams. Now it’s time to find his replacement in a cornerback-rich class. Fulton excels in man coverage, and at 6 feet, 200 pounds, he has the size to play press when needed. He also has experience in the slot and as a nickel safety.

10. Cleveland Browns: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

For all of the big names on Cleveland’s offense, there wasn’t much in the way of protection: The Browns allowed 41 sacks, and Baker Mayfield regularly was hit or hurried into throwing poor passes. Wirfs played right tackle almost exclusively in three seasons at Iowa, but the 6-5, 322-pounder does have a little experience on the left side. He’s a powerful run-blocker who is able to maintain balance in passing sets.

11. Jets: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

After a 1-7 start, the Jets turned things around to finish 7-9, showing some offensive promise to go along with a stout defense. The weakest part of the Jets’ offense: a line that allowed 52 sacks, couldn’t open up many holes in the run game and might lose left tackle Kelvin Beachum in free agency. The 6-5, 320-pound Wills, who played right tackle for Alabama, is a strong blocker with the bend and balance to take on bull-rushers.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

It’s been a while since the Raiders had a stalwart middle linebacker. Perhaps it’s time to change that. Simmons, a converted safety, is a perfect fit for today’s NFL as a “moneybacker” — that is, a safety/linebacker hybrid. At 6-4, 225 pounds, he has the athleticism and sideline-to-sideline range to cover tight ends as well as the instincts and tackling ability to stop the run.

13. Indianapolis Colts: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

The Colts had several guys perform admirably amid injuries to T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess, but more depth is needed. Lamb's 6-3 frame and excellent body control help him make tough, contested catches, and he also has enough quickness to create separation off the snap.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

Ndamukong Suh is set to hit free agency, leaving the Buccaneers without someone who can provide interior pressure. Don’t let Kinlaw’s 6-6, 310-pound frame deceive you; he moves very well for an interior lineman and uses his quickness and a very explosive first step to create chaos up the middle.

15. Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Drew Lock showed some flashes after taking over as the Broncos’ starting quarterback late in the season. Denver already has some promising targets in Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant, but the Broncos could use another to help offset the midseason trade of Emmanuel Sanders. Ruggs has a very real chance of threatening John Ross’ Combine record in the 40-yard dash. He’s not as well-rounded or polished a prospect as teammate Jerry Jeudy, but he has more than enough speed to take the top off of opposing defenses and the leaping ability and hands to come down with 50-50 balls.

16. Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Epenesa, edge rusher, Iowa

The Falcons sacked opposing quarterbacks only 28 times in 2019 and might allow Vic Beasley (eight sacks) to leave in free agency. Epenesa isn’t as fast, bendy or explosive as Chase Young, but he’s a balanced end with the size (6-6, 280 pounds) and length to play 4-3 defensive end. He uses his combination of strength and power to set the edge against the run and bull-rush opposing offensive linemen.

17. Dallas Cowboys: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

Amid all the talk about contract extensions for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, All-Pro cornerback Byron Jones is set to hit free agency. Diggs, the younger brother of Vikings star receiver Stefon Diggs, shares his older brother’s excellent athleticism, hands and length (6-2, 207 pounds).

18. Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers): D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

After getting their potential franchise quarterback earlier in the first round, the Dolphins add someone to help lessen the load for their young passer. Swift is an elusive, versatile runner whose sharp cuts and excellent vision help him make defenders miss in the open field. He’s a three-down back with the power to run on first and second downs and the hands to contribute as a receiver.

19. Raiders (via Chicago Bears): Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow were OK, but releasing Antonio Brown two days before the season opener left the Raiders without a true No. 1 receiver. The 6-4, 215-pound Higgins is a big-bodied, physical receiver with excellent ball skills, a large catch radius and sneaky speed.

20. Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): Tyler Biadasz, OG/C, Wisconsin

The Jaguars have some good young tackles in Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor, but they could use some help along the interior line. Biadasz (pronounced bee-AH-dish) has been a critical piece in a Wisconsin offensive line that helped Jonathan Taylor become one of the nation’s top running backs in the last three seasons. He’s a very tough, smart, consistent interior lineman in both the run and pass games.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Receiver may be the more glaring need for the Eagles after injuries highlighted their lack of depth, but secondary also is an area of concern. They allowed the ninth-most yards per completion (11.9) and were tied for the ninth-fewest interceptions (11). Safety Rodney McLeod is an impending free agent and Malcolm Jenkins is 32. Delpit’s game is very similar to former LSU teammate and current Jets safety Jamal Adams — so much so that his current teammates call him “Baby Mal." Delpit has the versatility to play centerfield, in the box and the slot, in addition to covering tight ends or blitzing off the edge.

22. Buffalo Bills: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

Josh Allen took a big step forward with new targets in speedster John Brown, slot receiver Cole Beasley and tight end Dawson Knox, but they could use another playmaker. Shenault plays up to his 6-2, 220-pound size when making contested catches and outmuscling defenders at the catch point, and he has the overall athleticism to break off big plays on a regular basis. His true value, however, lies in his versatility — he can line up nearly anywhere on offense, including at H-back and Wildcat quarterback.

23. New England Patriots: Xavier McKinney, Safety, Alabama

Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung both will be 33 in August, and McCourty and third safety Duron Harmon are impending free agents. Given Belichick’s closeness with Alabama head coach Nick Saban, McKinney would make some sense here. McKinney has the versatility and athleticism to play deep zone, up in the box or as a slot cornerback. 

24. New Orleans Saints: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Even Michael Thomas could use a running mate. In this case, the Saints stay local and take Jefferson, a big-play receiver who became one of Joe Burrow’s top targets this season. Jefferson makes up for average athleticism with great size (6-3, 192) and route-running ability, which helps him create separation. He also has experience lining up both out wide and in the slot.

25. Minnesota Vikings: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

The Vikings could lose Trae Waynes, Mackensie Alexander and Marcus Sherels to free agency, leaving them with very little depth behind Xavier Rhodes, who struggled this season. The 6-1, 182-pound Henderson has the length teams look for in an outside cornerback, as well as the athleticism, fluidity and ball skills to match.

26. Dolphins (via Houston Texans): Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge rusher, Penn State

The Dolphins had just 23 sacks in 2019, the fewest in the NFL. Gross-Matos (6-5, 264) is an athletic, long-armed pass-rusher. His length helps him set the edge on run plays, and his quick first step helps him get past blockers when going after the quarterback.

27. Seattle Seahawks: K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge rusher, LSU

The Seahawks’ priority this offseason likely will be re-signing Jadeveon Clowney to an extension. Even if they bring the star pass-rusher back, look for them to add more speed. Chaisson suffered a torn ACL in 2018, but came back with the same burst and athleticism that made him Freshman All-SEC in 2017. He’s a little on the lighter side for an edge rusher at 240 pounds but has experience at 4-3 weak-side end and 3-4 outside linebacker

28. Baltimore Ravens: Curtis Weaver, Edge rusher, Boise State

Matt Judon, the Ravens’ top pass-rusher, could be headed to free agency after racking up a career-high 9 1/2 sacks. Weaver is an explosive, physical defensive end who makes up for average athleticism with great hand technique and instincts.

29. Tennessee Titans: Julian Okwara, Edge rusher, Notre Dame

Assuming the Titans can re-sign star running back Derrick Henry, their next biggest need is at edge rusher, with Cameron Wake turning 38 at the end of January. Okwara has the size (6-4, 248), athleticism and bend to be an NFL pass-rusher, but he still has some work to do on his overall technique and may be more potential than polish at this stage.

30. Green Bay Packers: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

Davante Adams is one of the NFL’s best receivers and Allen Lazard developed nicely in his second season, but the Packers don’t really have a true No. 2 wideout. Reagor’s play bears a lot of similarities to Adams’ – both excel in 50-50 contested catch situations, run very crisp routes and have the speed to make deep catches.

Pick order TBD: Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers


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