2020 NFL Mock Draft 4-23-20 FINAL EDITION

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The NFL Draft, for the first time ever, will be conducted without any centralized physical location. League Commissioner Roger Goodell will announce picks from his home, and teams will make their selections from their headquarters. Basically, it will be the first online only NFL Draft, as everything will be conducted virtually.

Obviously, the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic calls for such measures, but it’s not a totally unprecedented format. After all, day three of the NFL Draft, for the past few years, has had no actual location. Anyone who watches it closely notices all the picks being announced remotely. Now they’re simply doing that for the whole thing.

How different will it be?

This interview with Kevin Hardy is pretty enlightening. The second overall pick in the 1996 draft, who announced the Jacksonville Jaguars pick live in person last year, tells it like it is.

Anyway, we do mock drafts for all sports here at The Sports Bank. Check out our NBA mock draft here. For the MLB mock draft go here, and the NHL mock draft can be found at this link.

And the 2021 NFL mock draft is at this link.

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 farm system for the NFL that Kentucky is for the NBA. Right now, we have back to back OSU picks in the top three.

4. NY Giants,Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa

Hawkeyes continue to remain among the elite in developing O-linemen, D-linemen and tight ends for the NFL. It flies under the radar, and it doesn’t get much media coverage, but the coaching staff in Iowa City really knows what they’re doing in this regard.

5. Miami, Tua Tagovailoa, QBAlabama

The time is now here for the Chargers to draft and develop Phillip Rivers’ replacement. Tua was the #1 overall on many a draft board and in many a 2020 NFL mock draft up until the hip injury.

6. L.A. Chargers, Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

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. Then again he will be among the top three signal callers taken, and that gets you that long dough, so it all works out in the end.

san-diego-chargers-season-preview

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, 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. Still, no matter who you are, I don’t see why you would pass on him if you’re in the top 15 in this draft.

9. Jacksonville, CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

Jaguars find the replacement for Jalen Ramsey and continue their youthful rebuild.

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.

cleveland Browns josh-gordon

11. NY Jets, Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

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.

12. Las Vegas, 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.  Would go higher, but top tier pass catchers don’t have the same value as elite passers, pass rushers, pass defenders and pass blockers in the NFL draft.

13. San Francisco via Indianapolis, Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Jeudy is the whole package, a blue chip prospect in the truest sense.

14. Tampa Bay, 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.

15. Denver, Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama 

Deserves to go higher, but this is a loaded class at receiver.

16. Atlanta, Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

One of the most interesting prospects in the draft. Obviously, there are plenty of other ways the Falcons can go with this pick, but we have often seen Kinlaw mocked to the Falcons.

17. Dallas, Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Cowboys need to beef up the secondary, but if they don’t go that route, they could address their needs for adding depth at edge. The pick will likely be DE or DB.

18. Miami via Pittsburgh, A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

I like the Dolphins to work on filling out their secondary with their second pick in the first round of this draft.

clemson tigers

19. Las Vegas via Chicago, Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

Meets both team need and provides a tremendous value here.

20. JAX via LA Rams, 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.

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. Of course, this is such a deep class of WRs, they may wait until round two for that.

louisiana state

WILD CARD ROUND LOSERS

22. Minesota via Buffalo, A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

Epenesa (6-foot-6, 280-pounds) is a native of Glen Carbon, Illinois, (Edwardsville High School) and a tour de force when it comes to opposing backfield penetration. He’s a dangerous every down player.

23. New England, 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.

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, Austin Jackson, OL, USC

Upgrading the o-line is a key, top priority for the Vikes. They might consider Houston’s Josh Jones in this spot too.

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

Fins need a lot of help in rushing the passer, and this is definitley a prospect that could provide that.

27. Seattle, Jordan Fuller, S, Ohio State

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

28. Baltimore, Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

He’s a lot more than just the next special Badgers back, or even Big Ten back. He’s a very special prospect, who could be an elite feature back at the next level.

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, Julian Okwara, DE, Notre Dame 

There was a ton of next level talent on Notre Dame this year, not a lot of first round potential, or top ten pick kind of guys, but plenty of good, solid pro prospects. Okwara is definitely the most dominant and pro ready guy on this year’s team. Go to this link for more on this versatile, talented, disruptive end.

notre dame

32. Kansas City, De’Andre Swift, RB Georgia

Running backs just don’t have the same value that they used to in the NFL Draft these days.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TV, Sports Illustrated, Chicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.com, on Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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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

  9. Derek Brown never falls past No. 8 at Arizona. If he’s available, the Cardinals will be beyond estatic. Derek Brown has Pro-Ball written all over him. He’s exactly what the Cardinals defense has been missing since Darnell Dockett left. Forget the Combine which is largely a distraction, and just watch the guys game tape for the last 2 years. No one can block the guy, his motor is so non-stop he could be doing Energizer Bunny commercials, and he never takes plays off. He’s a total competitor who will be even better as a pro. I love his motor/ skill set even more than Chase Young, who I have serious questions about, especially his lack of maturity. Derek Brown and Issah Simmons are Arizona’s No. 1 & 2 prospects on their friggin entire board. Arizona has such a huge whole in their front 3 that they really need to draft another space eater as well in the 3rd round, like Raekwon Davis from Alabama Those 2 behemoths in their Front 3 would make running on Arizona really difficult, and could transform Arizona’s defense, possibly get it into the Top 5-10.

    They’ll go after OLineman later in the draft.

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