2020 NFL Mock Draft 3-17-20

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The NFL Draft, in a highly altered and very much scaled down form, might be the only sporting event that survives the next couple months. If they can pull it off, and it is very much doable, you could see the MLB, NBA and NHL follow suit. It won’t be actual sports, but hey, it will be something close.

Just this morning, the National Football League announced that the draft will go on, on the planned date, but all fan events are cancelled. So for now, it’s on, but who knows what could change between now and the end of April.  Personally, I think it would be really cool if they went all retro/back to their roots- just a bunch of old dudes in a conference center ball room picking names off of a board.

What will probably happen with this event is a television studio show akin to Selection Sunday or the College Football Playoff Rankings. Obviously, there will be no audience, nor close-up interviews or meet-and-greets with people shaking hands.

You can do it, with good social distancing, if you put thought into it and the league still has six weeks to figure it out. After all, day three of the NFL Draft, for the past few years, has had no actual location. If you actually watch it, on that Saturday, you’ll notice all the picks being announced from remote locations. You can do that for the whole thing.

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Sorry, no small boats shuttling picks to a floating stage set up in the Bellagio fountains. For our NBA MOCK DRAFT go here

For the MLB mock draft go here, and the NHL is on the way.

1 Cincinnati, Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Heisman Trophy winner is odds on favorite to become the #1 overall NFL Draft pick. Only six players, all QBs, have done it since the turn of the millennium.

The list consists of Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Jameis Winston, Cam Newton, Sam Bradford and Carson Palmer.

2 Washington, Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State

Young is just the most dominant player, all around, period. Forget about that NCAA suspension non-sense. It was all meaningless b.s. that will not affect his draft stock one bit. Young deserves both the Heisman and #1 pick status, but he’ll get neither simply because quarterback is the most important individual position in all of sports.

3 Detroit, Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

The best cornerback on the board, as OSU continues to be the factory for the NFL that Kentucky is for the NBA.

4 NY Giants, Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Given the importance of quarterback, there is of course also a major premium on protecting the QB. That’s where Thomas comes in, as big boys beefing up the signal caller’s blind side will always be in high demand, and thus command the big bucks.

5 Miami, Tua Tagovailoa, QBAlabama

Was the #1 overall on many a draft board and in many a 2020 NFL mock draft until the hip injury.

6 LA Chargers, Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Time for Chargers to draft and develop Phillip Rivers’ replacement. Herbert really should have come out last year, as this season has done nothing but provided scouts and GMs with more material to pick apart his game.

7 Carolina, Isaiah Simmons, S, Clemson

Versatility gives him a wide range of places that he could slot in, and he was definitely one of the combine’s biggest winners. Simmons led all linebackers with a 4.39-second 40. His 39-inch vertical and 11-foot broad jump impressed too. He’s also the first player since at least 2003 to record a 38-plus-inch vertical jump, broad jump of 11 feet or more and a sub-4.4 40-yard dash at the combine while weighing 230-plus pounds, per NFL Research.

clemson tigers

8 Arizona, Mekhi Becton OL

6-7, 364, Becton exactly what this team needs, especially considerint he moves with the agility and athleticism of a man 100 pounds lighter. He’s got the whole package, for a team that’s badly in need of help up front.

9 Jacksonville, Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Jeudy is the whole package, as good a prospect we’ve seen at the position in a very long time. It seems like JAX is always in need of offensive playmakers.

10 Cleveland, Jedrick Willis, OT, Alabama

Lots of big road graders, space eaters will go very high in this draft. Browns must upgrade both tackle positions.

11 NY Jets, Tyler Biadasz, OL, Wisconsin

The Wisconsin NFL OL factory keeps churning. He’s up next, and there will be many more to come.

12 Las Vegas, Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

Has all the tools to develop into a disruptive force. We did have him much higher initially, but there really seems to be a lot of volatility in his stock price right now.

clemson tigers

13 Indianapolis, Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

So much talent at this position at Clemson right now, Trevor Lawrence did a great job distributing the ball around to everybody and keeping everyone happy.

14 Tampa Bay, Austin Jackson, OL, USC

Upgrading the o-line is a key, top priority for Tampa. Unless they trade up for a QB.

15 Denver, Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa

Hawkeyes continue to remain among the elite in developing O-linemen and tight ends for the NFL.

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16 Atlanta, CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Has a combination of size, athleticism, explosiveness and body control that makes him a legit potential NFL WR1. AWESOME name too. Not the biggest need, but too great a value to pass up, plus the Falcons are known to value depth at this position. Honestly though, we may have to move him up because he probably won’t last this long.

Obviously, there are plenty of other ways the Falcons can go with this pick, but we often see teams not go in direction of biggest need on draft night.

dallas cowboys

17 Dallas, Kristian Fulton, DB, LSU

Cowboys need to beef up the secondary.

18 Miami via Pittsburgh, CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

I like the Dolphins to stay local and fill out their secondary

19 Las Vegas via Chicago, Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

For his career, Gross-Matos has 36.0 TFL and 18.0 sacks as part of his 110 tackles. He was the team’s Reid-Robinson Award winner as the most outstanding lineman in 2018 and was an honorable-mention All-Freshman Team selection.

20  JAX via LA Rams, Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame

Fighting Irish have produced a decent amount of pro prospects at this position in the 2010s, and Kmet continues this tradition.

21 Philadelphia, Grant Delpit, DB, LSU

LSU continues to be DBU; rinse and repeat. May not even last this long, but if he does perfect for Philly’s team needs.

WILD CARD ROUND LOSERS

22 Buffalo, Zack Baun, Edge, Wisconsin

Fills a need with Shaq Lawson likely headed for a free agent move away.

23 New England, Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama 

It would be good for the Patriots to shore up depth at wideout

24 New Orleans, Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota

Saints might go for beefing up depth behind Michael Thomas. Johnson had a monster year in what a historical season in Minneapolis.

DIVISIONAL ROUND LOSERS

25 Minnesota, Javon Kinlaw, DE, South Carolina

One of the most interesting prospects in the draft.

26 Miami via Houston, Curtis Weaver, Edge, Boise St. 

Fins need a lot of help in rushing the passer.

27 Seattle, Jordan Fuller, S, Ohio State

A big hitter who is effective against both the run and the pass.

28 Baltimore, Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama

Probably could have come out and been a late first round or early second round pick this year.

baltimore-ravens-james-brown-ray-lewis

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP LOSERS

29 Tennessee, Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

Under the radar name to watch this fall, and the Titans need wide outs.

30 Green Bay, K.J. Hamler WR, Penn State

Pack probably goes best WR available at this point, and we can debate who that might be. OT has to be at the top of the needs list as well.

SUPER BOWL TEAMS

31 San Francisco, K’Lavion Chaisson, Edge, LSU

Has shown the ability to be an every down player as he’s effective against both the run and the pass.

32 Kansas City, Cesar Ruiz, OL, Michigan

Ruiz would experience quite a change if everyday he went to work blocking for Patrick Mahomes, instead of Shea Patterson! Ha!

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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Comments

  1. The choice of a cornerback in Round One for the Packers is an ill-informed, illogical pick. Look at the team, the media talk, and every other mock draft website. Green Bay will take a wide receiver or an offensive tackle or an inside linebacker in the first round. There is no alternative now beyond Davante Adams. Bryan Bulaga is on his last legs. Blake Martinez will be a free agent and he is only average. Try again!

  2. I would think that my Bucs would select the best O-lineman vailable when they pick. I can’t cavil w/ tis particular choice.

  3. Your choice of a wide receiver for the Packers in Rd One is a big improvement! And since you allow for some debate, my thinking is that Hamler is more likely a player who goes late in round two. When I look at the receivers on the team right now, there aren’t any ordinary size guys. My picks for pass catchers are for tall players like Tee Higgins or Justin Jefferson. Thanks!

  4. I actually really liked your draft. I was disappointed and surprised that you had cam Akers ahead of swift and Dobbins. The first 7 though all seem very logical, but why AJ Espensa with Juedy and Brown on the board? Also why so many teams needing WRs passing on Lamb?Also what do you hear about teams moving up?

  5. paulmbanks says

    Hi David,

    You make a lot of great points and I will try to address all of them in the future with updates, and then adding on to the player descriptions. I really appreciate your feedback and taking the time here.

    When it comes to trading up, I do see a lot of mocks do that, forecast trades, but I do not. I feel there are enough variables as it is without them.

  6. Falcons with a WR? Get out. No way that happens.

  7. Giving Buffalo a RB in the 1st round is just not doing your homework. They picked up Devin Singletary in the 3rd round last year and he’s been great. Bills need a WR or DE first and foremost. Everyone with any knowledge of the team knows this to be a fact.

  8. brownsfan1 says

    I don’t think Austin Jackson will go before Tristan Wirfs, but I’ve been wrong before

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