Yes, the 2019 NFL Draft just ended three weeks ago and the start of the 2019 college football season is still four months away, but guess what? The 2019 college football season will be here before anyone knows it.
With summer set to begin and football activities on pause for a bit, it’s the perfect time to start digging into the 2020 NFL Draft class. There are two main things that stick out to me regarding the upcoming draft class.
First, wide receiver is going to be loaded. This is one of the deepest classes we’ve seen in a while. So if your team needs more pass catchers, this is definitely the draft to find some.
And second, three quarterbacks (Jake Fromm, Justin Herbert, and Tua Tagovailoa) should be locks to hear their names called in round one. Of the three names listed above, Herbert and Tagovailoa should be locks to go in the top ten.
There are also two edge rushers to watch, Chase Young (Ohio State) and A.J. Epenesa (Iowa) that will have scouts going back and forth as to who should be ranked number one.
Before we get into the mock draft, there are a few things to note. First, none of these players have declared for the draft yet. Second, a lot will change between now and April. This means there will be players who play themselves into first-round conversations and others who drop out of the first-round. Also, the order you see below is totally random.
Enough of the chit-chat, let’s get to the mock drafting.
1.Miami Dolphins: DE Chase Young, Ohio State
I know most will want to see Tua Tagovailoa here, but the Dolphins gave up a second-round pick up for Josh Rosen for a reason. With the way things stand right now, he’s the future face of the franchise. Miami however does, lack a dominant edge rusher. With 12.5 sacks in two seasons for the Buckeyes, it’s clear that Chase Young is one name that is going to receive first-round hype all throughout the fall. In a division that now features Tom Brady, Sam Darnold, and Josh Allen, the Dolphins need someone to get after the quarterback
2. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
The Bengals will need to soon make a decision on Andy Dalton’s future. By moving on from Dalton after the 2019 season, Cincinnati can save nearly $17 million in cap space according to Over The Cap. With a young, offensive-minded head coach now leading the way in Zac Taylor, it’s likely Taylor wants his own quarterback to work with. Tua Tagovailoa is someone who’s taken the nation by storm. He’s the best quarterback in the 2020 draft and has drawn comparisons to Russell Wilson.
3. New York Giants: DE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa
The obvious choice here would be to go, quarterback, however, the Giants already drafted Daniel Jones in 2019. You could make an argument for wide receiver but the team has invested in Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard this offseason. The Giants do, however, need a pass rusher. With 10.5 sacks in 2018, A.J. Epenesa is ready to turn some heads in 2019. With a player like this, the Giants have a guy who Dave Gettleman can build around.
4. Tennessee Titans: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
2019 will be a make-or-break year for Marcus Mariota. After playing at an MVP level just three years ago, Mariota has been up and down since. As he heads into 2019, he’ll be in a career year. Tennessee could choose to let him walk, meaning they’ll need a replacement. Oregon’s Justin Herbert seems to fit what the Titans are trying to build on offense. Had Herbert declared in 2019, he would’ve been a first-round pick. After throwing 29 touchdowns in 2018, Herbert is clearly ready to make the most of his senior season at Oregon.
5. Denver Broncos: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Over the last two NFL Drafts (2018 and 2019), the Broncos invested in the offense adding guys like Courtland Sutton, Royce Freeman, Drew Lock, and Phillip Lindsay. While the hope is that Sutton can develop into a solid wide receiver, Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy enters 2019 as the best wide receiver in the nation. He’s an electric playmaker who is going to have an impact from day one. Jeudy took over as Alabama’s main offensive weapon in 2018 and totaled 1315 yards while catching 14 touchdowns. Jeudy and Drew Lock will develop the type of QB-WR relationship that will carry the Broncos into the next decade.
6. Arizona Cardinals: OT Walker Little, Stanford
The Cardinals allowed 52 sacks last season, 45 of which came with Josh Rosen. It may be a new era under Kliff Kingsbury with Kyler Murray at quarterback, but even Murray will need to be protected to survive in the NFL. The team hasn’t done much to bolster the offensive line this offseason, opting to use the draft to add more playmakers instead. Enter Walker Little who started all 12 games at left tackle for Stanford in 2018. A solid 2019 season will solidify his status as the best offensive tackle for the 2020 NFL Draft.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: S Grant Delpit, LSU
The Buccaneers spent three of their first four picks in 2019 on defensive backs so it’s clear that Bruce Arians is focused on rebuilding the secondary. While Safety may not be this team’s biggest need heading into 2019, a high-impact player like Grant Delpit could make the Buccaneers secondary one of the best in the NFL. With 9.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, and five interceptions in 2019, Delpit proved to be an ascending star. Now, as he heads into his Junior season at LSU, it’s clear he’s making a case to be the best safety in the 2020 NFL Draft.
8. San Francisco 49ers: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Despite adding Deebo Samuel (South Carolina) and Jalen Hurd (Baylor) in the 2019 NFL Draft, San Francisco should still look to add another pass catcher. Veteran Marquise Goodwin could be released next offseason and save the 49ers nearly four-million dollars in cap space. CeeDee Lamb had a big sophomore season averaging 17.8 yards per reception to go along with 11 touchdowns. With a big junior year, Lamb should be a lock to be another wide receiver who gets selected in the first round in 2020.
9. Oakland Raiders: QB Jake Fromm, Georgia
We all saw or heard the reports of the Raiders being interested in a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft. However, the Raiders decided to go with Derek Carr for another year. Looking at Carr’s contract on Spotrac, Oakland can’t financially move on from him in 2019 as he’d leave behind nearly $27.4 million dollars in dead money. The Raiders can, however, begin to find his future replacement. With 54 touchdowns in two seasons at Georgia, Jake Fromm has the makings of being one of the smartest players in the 2020 NFL Draft. He’s not ready to start day one but has the ability to develop into a solid franchise quarterback.
10.Green Bay Packers: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Green Bay has dealt with some issues on the offensive line over the last few years. David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga have both been banged up and the Packers have had average replacements for both. Due to cap implications, the Packers could move on from both next offseason and save nearly $13 million dollars while doing so. Should Green Bay move on from either Bakhtiari or Bulaga, Andrew Thomas would make an excellent replacement. The 6-foot-5, 320-pound lineman started al 13 games for the Bulldogs in 2019. He’s ready to be a starter from the moment he steps onto the field.
11. Buffalo Bills: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
As the Bills continue to build around Josh Allen, they still lack a guy who can be Allen’s go-to target. Buffalo did make some minor additions to their pass catching core this offseason but failed to add a guy who can be a consistent threat on offense. Perhaps a big-bodied guy like Tee Higgins (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) can be the player the Bills are looking for. After averaging 15.9 yards per reception in 2018 and 12 touchdowns, Higgins will enter his junior year and be one guy who could be predicted to be one of the many risers in all throughout the 2020 NFL Draft process.
12. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Collin Johnson, Texas
Like the Bills above, the Jaguars also need fresh blood at the wide receiver position. Ever since Allen Robinson departed in free agency, wide receiver has been a weak link on the Jaguars roster. With Blake Bortles gone and Nick Foles now the starter, Jacksonville needs to rebuild it’s wide receiver room. Every year that he’s been at Texas, Colin Johnson has improved his play. Whoever drafts Johnson will get a big target who has the potential to be a nightmare in the redzone.
13. Atlanta Falcons: CB Bryce Hall, Virginia
We all know the Falcons love to invest in the trenches, whether it be on offense or defense. However, adding a cornerback in 2020 could be one route this team decides to take. One name that the Falcons should explore adding is Bryce Hall. Hall has been a regular starter for Virginia since his freshman year in 2016 and has six tackles for loss along with five interceptions over a three year period.
14. Washington Redskins: WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado
The Redskins have committed to Dwayne Haskins for the foreseeable future which means they’ll need to add some pass catchers around him even after adding Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon. Laviska Shenault is one name that could give Washington one of the best young ariel attacks in the NFL. Shenaut had a breakout season in 2018 with 86 receptions for 1011 yards. He also made an impact in the rushing game, averaging 6.8 yards per attempt.
15. Dallas Cowboys: TE Colby Parkinson, Stanford
Jason Witten may be back, but he’s not going to be the Cowboys tight end forever. At some point, the Cowboys will need to replace him. After having a quiet freshman year, Colby Parkinson became a regular part of Stanford’s offense and averaged 16.7 yards per reception in 2018. As he heads into his junior year, he’ll look to make a case to end up being one of the first tight ends drafted in April 2020. Standing at 6-foot-7, Parkinson has the ability to be a mismatch weapon for a team.
16. Detroit Lions: LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern
Paddy Fisher will use every opportunity he gets to figure out ways to disrupt plays. A two-year starter for the Wildcats, Fisher has totaled 14 tackles for loss and has been a consistent producer under Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald. Detroit may have drafted a linebacker in the 2019 NFL Draft, but Fisher will be an upgrade over who they currently have on the roster and end up being a force on the Lions defense for the next decade.
17. Houston Texans: DT Jabari Zuniga, Florida
After a head-scratching 2019 NFL Draft, the Texans will need to go into 2020 with the goal of getting younger. Jadeveon Clowney‘s future with the team is uncertain while J.J. Watt started all 16 games in 2018 for the first time in nearly three years. The Texans currently have Brandon Dunn as their defensive tackle, however, he’s been just serviceable. A guy like Jabari Zuniga would represent a significant upgrade as he’s got 15.5 sacks and 27.5 tackles for loss since becoming a starter in 2016. A defensive line featuring Watt, Zuniga, and Clowney could easily be the NFL’s most dangerous.
18. Carolina Panthers: CB C.J. Henderson, Florida
A player who possesses the length (6-foot-1) to play cornerback, C.J. Henderson is going to make a case for being one of the top defensive back prospects in 2020. With six interceptions over a two-year period, Henderson can be an excellent fit for what the Panthers are trying to build on defense. Having Henderson play opposite James Bradberry could give the Panthers one of the better cornerback duos in the NFL.
19. New York Jets: WR Tyler Johnson, Minnesota
The Jets invested in Sam Darnold this offseason giving him Le’Veon Bell and Jamison Crowder this offseason, however, the team should continue to be aggressive and give Darnold more weapons. Adding a big bodied receiver like Tyler Johnson is what will give Darnold the target he needs to reach his potential. As a junior in 2018, Johnson has 1169 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: DE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
Yetur Gross-Matos was a force for Penn State in 2018 totaling 20 tackles for loss and eight sacks. As the 2019 season approaches, the 6-foot-5, 262-pound edge rusher is going to make a serious case to be the first edge rusher off the board. He’d be the next big thing on the Steelers defense and is the type of player you can build your team around.
21. Indianapolis Colts: C Tyler Biadsz, Wisconsin
What the Colts decide to do in 2020 will be interesting because this is a team that has the makings of being a Super Bowl contender. If they’re looking to continue protecting Andrew Luck, then adding Tyler Biadsz makes sense. While some will say that he’s better suited to move over to Guard, Biadsz is a guy who can take on a team’s best interior pass rusher and win most of the time.
22. Minnesota Vikings: TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri
There were rumors of the Vikings shopping Tight End Kyle Rudolph during the 2019 NFL Draft which means he’s not in Minnesota’s long-term plans. Rudolph’s contract also ends after the 2019 season meaning the Vikings need to think about possibly replacing him. Albert Okwuegbunam would fit the Vikings offense both as a receiver and as a blocker.
23. Los Angeles Chargers: QB Jacob Eason, Washington
The Chargers may have added Easton Stick and Tyrod Taylor this offseason, but none seem like they can be long-term replacements for Philip Rivers. Although Jacob Eason has had a rocky career so far, you could argue that he’s got one of the best arms out of any of the quarterbacks in the 2020 draft. Although Rivers hasn’t shown signs of slowing down yet, Eason could be the guy to succeed him if he’s willing to sit and learn for a few years.
24. New Orleans Saints: LB Dylan Moses, Alabama
The Saints have one of the best offensive cores in the NFL but need to add linebackers to the defense. Dylan Moses has the potential to emerge as one of the better linebackers for the upcoming draft. Moses took a major step forward in 2018 with ten tackles for loss and 86 total tackles.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama
Alabama has sent some solid defensive back talent to the NFL over the last few years and Trevon Diggs will likely keep that tradition going. A former wide receiver who’s now playing cornerback, Diggs would give the Eagles a nice building block for the future. While he does have a lot more to prove, with the right coaching, Diggs could rise up draft boards this fall.
26. Los Angeles Rams: OT Mekhi Becton, Lousiville
Andrew Withworth continues to age and the Rams will need to replace him eventually. Mekhi Becton is one name who could step in immediately and replace Withworth. Becton was highly recruited coming out of high school and after choosing Louisville, was able to start 12 games his freshman year.
27. Seattle Seahawks: LB Anfree Jennings, Alabama
The Seahawks have made confusing first round picks for the last two seasons and while adding a defensive player may not be the biggest need for Pete Carroll’s squad, the impact that Anfree Jennings has is hard to ignore. With Bobby Wagner’s future cloudy in Seattle, Jennings could be the perfect replacement as he’s coming off his best season since entering college.
28. Cleveland Browns: DT Derrick Brown, Auburn
The Browns have so much talent, it’s hard to classify what the biggest need on their roster is, but adding a guy in Derrick Brown who had 10.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks in 2018. Maybe Brown wouldn’t start right away, but he would be a force to deal with once the team moves on from Sheldon Richardson after the 2020 season.
29. Baltimore Ravens: DT Raekwon Davis, Alabama
Had he declared for the 2019 NFL Draft, it’s likely that Raekwon Davis would’ve been a first-round pick. With Quinnen Williams now in the NFL, Davis has a prime chance to become Alabama’s top interior lineman. With 16.5 tackles for loss over a three-year period, Davis plays with tons of energy and will be a stud at the next level.
30. New England Patriots: WR Henry Ruggs, Alabama
The Patriots will figure out a way to use Henry Ruggs who often gets overlooked at Alabama due to the presence of Jerry Jeudy. Ruggs development took a massive leap forward in 2018 averaging 16.1 yards per reception while catching 11 touchdowns.
31. Oakland Raiders (From Chicago Bears): DE Rashard Lawrence, LSU
Considering Jon Gruden’s comments of it being hard to find a pass rusher, here’s another for the Raiders. Rashard Lawrence is broke out in 2018 and can play either defensive end or defensive tackle. This versatility should bode well for the Raiders who continue to rebuild after trading Khalil Mack.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
Travis Etienne looks to be the one running back that is the most NFL ready at this point. He had a strong performance in the Title Game against Alabama and averaged 8.1 yards per carry in 2018. He also made an impact in the Clemson passing game averaging 6.5 yards per reception. The Chiefs have their running back of the future.