NFL Mock draft season is officially underway and the Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock. This mock draft will be based on a mix of highest positional needs and best player available. Like every year, there will be trade-ups and trade-downs in the first round. However, this mock draft will follow the current draft order.
Pick #1- Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, Quarterback, LSU
Not a shocker here. The Bengals will likely receive huge offers for the first overall pick, but ultimately it would be very surprising to see them give up a chance to take the Heisman Trophy winner.
Pick #2- Washington Redskins: Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State
It’s nice when the best player available on the board also happens to be a position of need. Young is a playmaker and the best defensive player in the draft. Instant Day 1 starter.
Pick #3- Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, Cornerback, Ohio State
Okudah is the highest rated defensive back prospect and Detroit gave up the most passing yards to opposing teams last season. A much needed addition to the secondary.
Pick #4- New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons, Linebacker, Clemson
Simmons is the complete package at linebacker: a great sideline-to-sideline tackler that is capable of covering tight ends and running backs. Simmons will be a great player in the NFL for a long time.
Pick #5- Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama
Even with his hip injury, Tua will still find himself coming off the board fairly early. Miami needs a franchise quarterback and Tua’s potential is sky high.
Pick #6- Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon
The Chargers will see quarterbacks start to come off of the board in front of them and grab the top guy remaining. Herbert appears to be NFL ready and the Chargers have already announced they will part ways with longtime starter Philip Rivers.
Pick #7- Carolina Panthers: Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Alabama
Carolina needs help on the offensive side of the ball. Taking the best receiver in the draft is a step in the right direction. Jeudy dominated at Alabama and looks like a potential star NFL wideout.
Pick #8- Arizona Cardinals: Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Georgia
The Cardinals got their franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray with the first overall pick in last year’s draft, now they need someone to protect him. Thomas looked like one of, if not, the best tackle in college football last season. He will fit in nicely.
Pick #9- Jacksonville Jaguars: C.J. Henderson, Cornerback, Florida
Jacksonville ranked 26th in defensive efficiency last season. Henderson is everything a team could ask for in a cornerback. He’s 6’1″ with good speed and solid tackling ability. The corner out of Florida could very well sneak his way into the top 10.
Pick #10- Cleveland Browns: Tristan Wirfs, Offensive Tackle, Iowa
If Wirfs falls to the tenth pick, the Browns will find themselves an exceptional run-blocker and pass-protector for Baker Mayfield. The All-Big Ten tackle is 6’5″, 322 pounds and ranks as the number two tackle prospect heading into the draft.
Pick #11- New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma
The Jets need to get some weapons for Sam Darnold, and Lamb is just that. The speedy wide-out hauled in 14 touchdowns at Oklahoma last season and could come in and make a difference right away.
Pick #12- Las Vegas Raiders: Justin Jefferson, Wide Receiver, LSU
The Raiders had a promising looking receiving core heading into last season’s training camp. However, Antonio Brown’s off-the-field issues and Tyrell Williams’ average season leaves the team with a need at the receiver position. Jefferson showed all throughout his college career that he is a play-maker. The National Champion could provide a nice spark to Jon Gruden’s Raiders.
Pick #13- Indianapolis Colts: Derrick Brown, Defensive Tackle, Auburn
Indianapolis was a middle of the pack team when it came to sacking the quarterback and rush yards allowed in 2019. They will look to build on that with the addition of a beast in Derrick Brown. This 6’5″, 320 pounder has the ability to take over games and apply pressure as an every down defensive lineman.
Pick #14- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jedrick Wills Jr, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
No matter who is under center for Tampa Bay in 2020, the team needs help at the offensive tackle position. Demar Dotson is coming to the end of his career, and Donovan Smith has been inconsistent since being drafted by Tampa. Wills Jr would provide a massive help to a team that has had troubles protecting the quarterback and creating lanes for running backs.
Pick #15- Denver Broncos: Grant Delpit, Safety, LSU
Delpit is one of the best defensive backs of this draft class. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him go even higher than 15. Denver has the option to take the best player available with this pick and that is the route they’d be taking by selecting Delpit.
Pick #16- Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Epenesa, Defensive End, Iowa
Atlanta announced that they will not be bringing back Vic Beasley in 2020. A nice replacement could be Epenesa, who has impressive size and speed. He recorded 11.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss last season at Iowa. Epenesa will give NFL offensive linemen problems for many years.
Pick #17- Dallas Cowboys: Javon Kinlaw, Defensive Tackle, South Carolina
Dallas has an impressive linebacker corp already, but their interior defensive line could use some help. Kinlaw is a run-clogger and a bull-rush specialist that allows him to get to the quarterback. The 6’5″, 315 pounder will be a day one starter no matter who drafts him.
Pick #18- Miami Dolphins: Curtis Weaver, Defensive End, Boise State
Miami acquired this pick from the Pittsburgh Steelers in return for Pro Bowl defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. Early on this draft, they got their future quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa, and now Miami gets a stud pass-rusher. Weaver had some of the most impressive statistics of any college defensive-end in 2019, racking up 13.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss.
Pick #19- Las Vegas Raiders: Kristian Fulton, Cornerback, LSU
This pick was acquired by the Raiders as part of the Khalil Mack trade with Chicago. The Raiders pass defense was among the worst in the league last season, and Fulton is the best remaining defensive back on the board. NFL teams will likely want Fulton to gain some weight, as he is only 177 pounds, but he is a tall and aggressive corner coming off an excellent year at LSU.
Pick #20- Jacksonville Jaguars: Kenneth Murray, Linebacker, Oklahoma
This pick was acquired in the trade that sent Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams last season. Murray finished his career at Oklahoma with 335 tackles and 37 tackles for loss. He’s extremely disruptive in the run game and is a smart player that will be a captain of the defense in his future.
Pick #21- Philadelphia Eagles: Trevon Diggs, Cornerback, Alabama
Cornerback is the biggest need for Philadelphia, and a first-team All American such as Diggs is a pretty good solution. According to Pro Football Focus, Diggs allowed just a 44.5 passer rating while being targeted last season. He intercepted three passes and broke up eight passes in 2019.
Pick #22- Buffalo Bills: Laviska Shenault Jr, Wide Receiver, Colorado
Buffalo needs size at the wide receiver position, and at 6’2″, 220 pounds, Shenault Jr could be of some assistance. The pass catcher out of Colorado averaged nearly 14 yards per catch and has the ability to win jump-ball situations, a player Buffalo lacked last season.
Pick #23- New England Patriots: Cole Kmet, Tight End, Notre Dame
The Patriots need to get Tom Brady (assuming he will be back) more weapons to throw the ball to. They selected a wide receiver in the first round last year in N’Keal Harry, and now they can take care of the tight end position with Kmet. He hauled in six touchdown receptions to go with 515 receiving yards last year and is the best tight end prospect available.
Pick #24- New Orleans Saints: Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver, Clemson
New Orleans has one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in Michael Thomas. However, they are yet to find a good number two receiver to help take some of the pressure off of Thomas. Higgins is 6’4″ and can fly. He hauled in 13 touchdowns last season and averaged 19.8 yards per catch. He would be a dangerous deep threat for Drew Brees and that already high-powered offense.
Pick #25- Minnesota Vikings: Paulson Adebo, Cornerback, Stanford
Minnesota has two corners facing free agency heading into 2020 (Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander). They’ve also been susceptible to giving up long pass plays and play in a division with Aaron Rodgers. Adebo led the NCAA in pass breakups as a Sophomore in 2018 with 24, and carried that success into last year, where he won All Pac-12 first-team honors.
Pick #26- Miami Dolphins: Mekhi Becton, Offensive Tackle, Louisville
Miami acquired this pick from Houston in exchange for offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil. With their third pick in the first round, Miami will look to protect their new franchise quarterback. Becton’s stock has risen significantly since he declared for the draft. He is a massive individual at 6’7″ 370 pounds, yet still possesses quick feet. He has the power to throw defensive ends completely out of plays and could be a fun one to watch.
Pick #27- Seattle Seahawks: Austin Jackson, Offensive Tackle, USC
Russell Wilson is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and his offensive line is not a large reason why. Wilson often finds himself scrambling and escaping pressure due to subpar O-line play. Austin Jackson has the size and ability to be a franchise left tackle. Though he was a starter for the first time last season, he showed enough talent to work his way into first-rounder discussions.
Pick #28- Baltimore Ravens: Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame
Baltimore needs a stud pass rusher, and Okwara definitely fits the bill. The Ravens haven’t drafted a first round edge rusher since Terrell Suggs in 2003, that may finally change in 2020. Notre Dame has had a very crowded defensive line over the past couple years, but Okwara still managed to stand out with 19.5 tackles for loss and 13 sacks since 2018. Okwara will impress at the combine and work his way up draft boards.
Pick #29- Tennessee Titans: Raekwon Davis, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
Tennessee is another team that will be looking to make the jump from middle of the pack to the top of the league in terms of run defense. They already have a solid pass defense, and Davis would make the defense close to complete. The second-team All American will clog the middle of the line of scrimmage in the NFL and can also be developed into a pass rusher.
Pick #30- Green Bay Packers: Thaddeus Moss, Tight End, LSU
Jimmy Graham has not been the tight end that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were hoping for. Why not give the son of hall of fame wide receiver Randy Moss a try? Moss just won a National Championship at LSU and now has a chance to get taken in the first round. He totaled 570 yards and four touchdowns last season and has the size and pedigree to make a big impact in the NFL.
Pick #31- San Francisco 49ers: Tyler Biadasz, Center, Wisconsin
John Lynch and the 49ers have shown how much they love building the trenches through the draft. This would be no exception. Biadasz is the top ranked center heading into the season and for good reason. He’s 6’3″, 316 pounds and just won the Rimington Trophy, which is handed out to the best center in college football each season. This is a can’t miss pick.
Pick #32- Kansas City Chiefs: Bryce Hall, Cornerback, Virginia
Fresh off a Super Bowl victory, the Chiefs will round out the first round with a lengthy corner who plays well on the outside. Hall’s 2019 season ended early due to injury, which probably prevented Hall from being taken even higher. Kansas City fills one of their few needs with this pick.
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