1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
This first pick is going to be fairly obvious. Burrow is coming off of the best season we have seen from a college quarterback, and the Bengals are likely going to be looking to move past the Andy Dalton era. Burrow is also an Ohio kid, which will help endear him to the fans even more than a normal number one pick does.
The excitement about Burrow is obvious. This past season at LSU he was as good as a quarterback can be with his timing and ball placement down the field. However, Burrow is mostly being viewed as can’t miss and that shouldn’t really be the case. He was mostly a one-hit-wonder in college, and at LSU this past season he was playing with an elite offensive line and many NFL weapons. On the Bengals, he won’t be playing with a team that’s always better from a talent standpoint. With that being said, there’s no way the Bengals pass on him.
2. Miami Dolphins (From Washington) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
I think the Dolphins are going to trade up with the Redskins and take their guy. They have plenty of assets to try and move up if they are sold that Tagovailoa is the guy to lead their franchise going forward, and I think they believe that. He has largely been tied to them for the better part of a year now. The only thing throwing a wrench in this eventual marriage is the Dolphins not ending up with the number one pick like they looked like they were lining up to get before last season and the injuries that Tagovailoa suffered in college.
He has dealt with serious ankle issues, and then he is, of course, coming off of a hip surgery after a bad injury he suffered against Mississippi State. There are still some aspects of Tagovailoa’s game that need to be fine-tuned, but he has all the arm talent in the world, and if he can stay healthy, he should be worth trading up to get.
3. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
I personally think Okudah is the second-best player in this draft behind Chase Young. He has all of the tools one needs to be successful at corner perhaps most of all, possessing a great ability to drive on the ball, which enables him to not have to be overly-aggressive on shallow routes, leading him to not get beat deep, but he’s also able to break up passes on shallow routes.
With Darius Slay no longer being in Detroit this also seems like a natural fit as he could essentially be Slay’s replacement. Okudah has the look of being a Pro Bowl-level cornerback, and unless Detroit surprises here and decides to go quarterback and start the plan to move on from Stafford, they’ll take Okudah.
4. New York Giants – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
The Giants would be elated if this situation worked itself out and they were able to pick between Young, who is my number one overall player, and one of the top offensive lineman in this draft. Frankly, the Giants are in a position where they could go either way because they need an infusion of talent on both sides of the ball.
I think they decide to go best available here. Young is not as polished as he could be in terms of pass-rush moves, but athletically he is as good as anyone and that alone should allow him to come in and be an impact player as a rookie. On top of that, he is also strong against the run. With some coaching to fine-tune his pass-rush moves, Young should become an All-Pro level player every season and could easily be a player who racks up around 15 sacks every season.
5. Washington Redskins – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
This receiver class is loaded and Washington is going to decide to go with one of the top ones here to try and help out Dwayne Haskins. Out of CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs, and Jeudy, teams really can’t go wrong with either one.
Jeudy is as good of a route-runner as you will find in this draft, and that’s something that should be able to translate right away to the NFL and give him a chance to be an impact player. The biggest question in Jeudy’s ultimate ceiling at the NFL level will be his ability to get yards after the catch. With his athleticism and ability to create separation with his routes, yards after the catch should be a factor for Jeudy in the NFL, but he didn’t face too much press coverage in college. His ability to deal with that in the NFL will be huge. If he deals well with it, Jeudy could easily be a 1,400-1,600 yard receiver. If not, he’ll probably be more around 1,000-1,100.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
There has been a lot of noise about the Dolphins possibly looking at Herbert, or the Patriots trying to possibly move up for him, or even a surprise team making a play for him. However, I think he’s available here and I think the Chargers take him. Whether he or Tyrod Taylor enters the season as the starter will be a big question going into the season. But I don’t believe the Chargers are sold on just handing it to Taylor and want a competition to take place.
As far as Herbert as an NFL quarterback, there’s a lot of division. Nobody can dispute the physical gifts that he has. He’s as big as any quarterback in this draft, along with Jacob Eason, and he has all the arm talent in the world. However, in college, he was a slow decision-maker at times, especially when his first look was taken away. He also struggled with his footwork and to go with that had a tendency to look robotic at times, which predictably led to struggles. Often times those struggles would happen in a game and then he would snap out of it and play at a high-level. That inconsistency from drive-to-drive is something that’s not going to work in the NFL. In the end, Herbert can be a successful NFL quarterback, but he needs talent put around him, which the Chargers have, and he will need a good quarterbacks coach working with him every day.
7. Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Isaiah Simmons is the most versatile player in the draft in several years. When you watch the film of him it’s not hard to see why he’s going to be a top-ten pick. If Burrow, Tagovailoa, and Herbert are all off the board at this point it’s also unlikely the Panthers decide to go with a quarterback.
Simmons has the potential to be a complete game-changer on the defensive side of the ball. His versatility is going to give the Panthers a player that will allow the defensive staff to run many different blitz packages because of his ability as a pass-rusher, but his ability in coverage will be big for defending the middle of the field and put pressure on opposing offenses to have to try and beat them outside the numbers.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills, T, Alabama
The Cardinals offensive line struggled last season, leading them to address that position group with this pick. Wills is a very athletic tackle, and he showed that during the combine.
With Wills being the best tackle on the board, picking him to try and better protect Kyler Murray will seem like a no-brainer. With his athleticism, he should also fit in very well with the Arizona offense as Kliff Kingsbury and Murray head into year two as a head coach and quarterback combo.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Brown is an absolute disrupter and can be a dominant force in Jacksonville as they try and get the defense back to what it was during their 2017 run to the AFC title game.
As far as size and athleticism go, Brown is truly the complete package. Measuring at 6’5″ and 326 LBS., he can fit into multiple schemes. If you need him to take up two blockers so the linebackers can work freely, he can do that, but he also can shoot gaps and hit blockers and shed those blocks right away, making plays in the backfield.
10. Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton, T, Louisville
Becton is far from a finished product. He will probably need to slim down from 364 LBS when he gets into the NFL, plus he will need to fine-tune some of his technique. However, his wingspan and athleticism at his size is something that I think the Browns are going to want to take.
Cleveland needs to draft a lineman, and with the possible ceiling that Becton has, teams are excited about him as long as they can get him in and coach him up. Ultimately, the tools and size that he has is something that is going to lead to the Browns taking him, because of how good he could be. Becton also had a flagged drug test at the combine, but I think the Browns look past that.
11. New York Jets – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
I personally think Lamb is the best wide receiver in this draft, and if he is still on the board when the Jets are picking they’ll be more than happy to take him and try and give Sam Darnold a big-time target, especially since Robby Anderson left this offseason.
Lamb stands at 6’2″ and he has a very solid vertical. On top of that, he can be a lethal weapon at each of the three levels of the passing tree. He also does a great job of using his instincts and knowing when he needs to come back for the ball and using his hands to catch the ball instead of letting it get into his body. The only real concern I have with Lamb is he is a little on the slender side, and he played in the Big-12, so he wasn’t playing against the best defenses in college football.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
The Raiders have two first-round picks in this year’s draft and I think they’ll use their first pick on a player that some, including myself, really view as a boom or bust prospect.
Kinlaw has great size and when he’s playing up to his capability he’s easily an NFL-level starter and has the potential to make a couple of Pro Bowls. He will need some coaching wherever he goes because his technique is not consistent, but Kinlaw can be a disrupter upfront and if he comes in and is effective it will help out second-year players Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell. If those three players click together it could also give the Raiders a strong defensive front going forward.
13. San Francisco 49ers (From Indy) – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
While trading a player like DeForest Buckner is never easy, the 49ers having the 13th overall pick is huge because they nearly won the Super Bowl this past season and now they’re in a position to add a potential impact player on a rookie contract to a championship-level roster.
With this pick, the 49ers are going to try and add another weapon. Ruggs is a little bit on the shorter side standing at less than 6’0″ but what he does have is absolute burners. Ruggs will likely require safety help at all times and if the 49ers are going to add a receiver that requires safety help at all times it will allow them to take it to the next level on offense.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
The Buccaneers already have a solid roster and with them now having Tom Brady under center, they are in win-now mode and are in a great position to draft for need. Henderson is my second-best cornerback after Jeff Okudah and I think Tampa Bay is going to try and improve their secondary.
Henderson has the size and athleticism needed to be a number one cornerback at the NFL-level. He’s also able to defend deep balls and able to drive on and break up passes within seven yards of the line of scrimmage. Henderson would step in and be a starter right away.
15. Denver Broncos – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
The Broncos desperately need to add a weapon on the outside. Here’s where Jefferson comes in. The former LSU star wasn’t thought of as a big-time NFL prospect going into the season, but much like his teammates on the offensive side of the ball, he saw an explosion on his production this season.
Jefferson doesn’t have elite size, but he does have good speed and that coupled with his ability to get open makes him so good. He’s likely not going to be a top-five receiver ever in the NFL, but he’s a strong pass catcher and a natural receiver who can come in and be a steady presence in the league.
16. Atlanta Falcons – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Atlanta needs to go defense here but they could afford to draft a player at any of the three levels. Here they are going to go with a cornerback out of Alabama, Trevon Diggs. The coverage for the Falcons this past season was among the worst in the league, and this is a passing league, which is why the Falcons are going with a secondary player.
Diggs has excellent size and length and that should allow him to play at the NFL level. The main concern with Diggs is he is an extremely aggressive cornerback and sometimes that can lead to him making big plays, but it can also lead him to get beat at times. He also tends to be vulnerable to deeper throws.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Dallas go cornerback with this pick after Byron Jones left this offseason, however, Delpit is a great playmaker and if he plays up to his potential this can be an absolute steal.
Delpit plays a very physical style of football and he has the size to match up with tight ends. The issue though is that he can be a little tight in coverage, exposing him to get beat against receivers, and he has a tendency to take bad angles when trying to tackle. The angle issue is something that can be coached though, and Delpit played last season hurt so if he is back to being fully healthy and then plays up to what he’s capable, this can be a big steal for Dallas and will improve their defense right away.
18. Miami Dolphins (From Pittsburgh) – Tristan Wirfs, T, Iowa
With the Dolphins trading up for the number two pick, I have them trading their third first-round pick in that deal and still making a pick with this one. And with this pick, they decide to go with Tristan Wirfs to try and give Tua some protection.
Wirfs has great size and he’s a very good athlete for his position. The interesting thing about him is that he also has the look of someone who could slide inside and play guard if it’s needed. His technique has a tendency to be a little sloppy when he’s working on the outside, and at times he doesn’t finish off blocks the way he will need to at the NFL level. Overall though some of his flaws are coachable and he is a versatile option, which is why Miami favors him over Andrew Thomas.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (From Chicago) – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Raiders could very well go receiver here as they will need to draft a receiver in this draft. However, this is a loaded receiver class, so the Raiders are going to take cornerback Kristian Fulton to try and beef up their secondary after trading Gareon Conley during this past season.
Fulton is an interesting prospect. Opinions of him vary a lot and some of that stems from him missing the 2017 season due to a suspension. However, Fulton can play. Despite being opposite a true freshman this past season at LSU, he was targeted much more because Derek Stingley is a prodigy at cornerback, but Fulton only allowed 40 percent of the passes he was targeted on to be completed. So he was tested and time and time again he answered the test.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (From LAR) – Andrew Thomas, T, Georgia
The Jaguars need to address the offensive line and if they can get Andrew Thomas at number 20 that will be a great value.
Thomas could fall here because there are some questions about his technique and ability to be agile enough to consistently block the best pass-rushers in the NFL. However, he is very talented with long arms and has the potential to play both tackle spots, and that alone is going to provide good value for getting him at 20.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
It’s hard to imaging Philadelphia going anywhere else here besides receiver. They did have a lot of injuries on the outside this past season, but even with that the receiver position was a real weak spot for them. Most importantly, they need a player who can stretch the defense, and that’s where Reagor comes in.
Although he is on the shorter side of things as far as NFL wide receivers go, Reagor can run and can be a real playmaker not just deep, but also in the intermediate passing game. On top of his speed, he also has a 42-inch vertical, which does help make up for some of his lack of elite size. If Reagor can consistently get off of press coverage in the NFL he has a chance to be a real contributor right away.
22. Minnesota Vikings (From Buffalo) – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
After trading Stefon Diggs this offseason, wide receiver is a clear need for the Vikings, and luckily for them, there are plenty of them in this draft. With their first-round pick, they decide to go with an absolute prototype out of Clemson.
Higgins has great size, long arms, can go up and get the ball, can play wide and in the slot, and is a great red zone threat. The only real concerns about Higgins are his physicality and ability to run many different routes. However, at Clemson they didn’t need him to run the whole route tree, making it not surprising that he didn’t do that, and as far as physicality goes, that’s something that could improve with him being able to get into an NFL weight room. Another great thing for Minnesota is if they can get their hands on Higgins he won’t have to be the guy with Adam Thielen still in Minnesota.
23. New England Patriots – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The conventional wisdom here is that the Patriots will draft a quarterback here after the departure of Tom Brady this offseason. However, I think they will end up drafting a quarterback a little bit later on in the draft and here will take one of the better players on the board. However, it also wouldn’t be surprising to see them trade out of this pick.
I have them taking Patrick Queen though, assuming they make this pick. Queen has a great build for a modern-day NFL linebacker and on top of that, he plays with really good instincts. He did have a tendency to lose leverage at times this past season, but that’s something that can be coached and in this scenario he’d be going into one of the better defensive systems in the NFL, giving him a chance to succeed right away.
24. New Orleans Saints – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
Coming into the offseason the Saints had two clear needs. A number two wide receiver to take some attention away from Michael Thomas, and another defensive back opposite of Marshon Lattimore. They addressed the first need by bringing in Emmanuel Sanders, allowing them to address the other need in the draft.
Terrell isn’t going to be the best player on the board here, but he will fill a need. He’s a corner with very good size, standing at 6’1″ and weighing nearly 200 LBS. He also got a ton of reps at Clemson, so he’s coming in as someone who is more polished. One of the main things that should allow Terrell to play right away is he has quick hips. That’s one of the key things for an NFL cornerback, especially if they’re going into the NFC South, where there are some great receivers. The big thing that Terrell needs to work on is his tackling. He’s spotty in run support, to say the least, and in the NFL you have to be able to tackle if you’re a defensive player regardless of position, especially in 2020.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
With how much Xavier Rhodes fell off and is no longer in Minnesota, getting another cornerback is a need with the Vikings’ second first-round pick. Gladney would be the best cornerback left on the board at this point.
Gladney is only 5’10” which could be a concern in the NFL, but he has a very good vertical, which should help him be able to get up to the high-point with receivers on jump balls. Gladney also has really good quickness, that should allow him to play in the slot if Minnesota decided that’s where they wanted him to play, and given his size that might be where he ends up playing anyways.
26. Washington Redskins (From Miami) – Josh Jones, T, Houston
In this scenario the Redskins are getting this pick as part of the trade where they gave the number two pick to the Dolphins. They got a potential stud wide receiver in Jerry Jeudy with their first pick and with this one they address the offensive line with Josh Jones out of Houston.
Jones comes in with less fan fare than some of the other tackles in this class, but when it comes to upside he could have just as high of a ceiling as anyone besides maybe Jedrick Wills. Jones should be going higher, but he will fall to this point because of teams drafting based off of need.
27. Seattle Seahawks – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Seattle is a great candidate to trade out of the first-round here and to be frank that’s what I expect to ultimately happen. However, if they were to make this pick, Xavier McKinney would be a great selection here because he would help beef up their secondary.
McKinney is a versatile safety that has a strong football IQ. If Seattle were to be able to add him to their defense he would also provide them a safety who can hold up in coverage. If McKinney is here and Seattle decides to not trade their pick they should jump all over him.
28. Baltimore Ravens – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
The Ravens have a great roster, possibly the best in the league, but they have been one-and-done each of the last two seasons in the playoffs. To take the next step they need to address the receiver position to give Lamar Jackson another weapon.
Physically Mims is a freak. He’s 6’3″ with a 38.5 inch vertical and he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the combine. Those number are as impressive as it gets. The main reason he will be a late first-round or a second-round pick is because he’s had an issue with drops, and has struggled to get off jams at times. However, his physicality would fit the Baltimore offense perfectly because he would help a lot as a blocker.
29. Tennessee Titans – Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
With the Titans committing to Ryan Tannehill earlier this offseason, they are more than likely not going to go quarterback, allowing them to draft a player that can help improve their defense, because with Tannehill they will still need a capable defense.
Here they decide to improve their pass rush with Yetur Gross-Matos. Gross-Matos needs to improve his work with his hands, but athletically he should be able to impact the game pretty much right away as a pass-rusher.
30. Green Bay Packers – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
It’s been years since the Packers have drafted a skill-position player in the first-round, however, this is the season they break that streak by drafting the versatile Laviska Shenault out of Colorado.
Shenault is versatile enough to play any receiver position, and he could actually take snaps in the backfield, a la, Ty Montgomery when he was in Green Bay. He doesn’t have elite top end speed, but he can get by with his speed and strength-wise, he’s as strong as you’re going to find in a wide receiver. The biggest concern is his health as he dealt with a lot of injuries at Colorado, but if he can stay healthy this has the chance to be a great pick.
31. San Francisco 49ers – A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
Epenesa isn’t ready to come in and be a dominant force along the defensive line, but if he were to end up in San Francisco next to the likes of Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa, he has the chance to be a quality pickup. He wouldn’t be DeForest Buckner, but he would be capable and he’d be on a rookie deal.
The ideal part about Epenesa is that he has the size to come in right away and fit in perfectly with the 49ers system. Also don’t be surprised if the 49ers trade out of this spot, but if they can get Epenesa that would be a great pick.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
The Chiefs are still in the envious position of having Patrick Mahomes on his rookie deal, and as a result they have basically no holes in the roster. However, one of their weak spots as a team last season was tackling, and they are going to address that with Kenneth Murray from Oklahoma.
Murray has amazing athleticism from the linebacker spot and he was a tackling machine at Oklahoma. On top of that tackling ability likely carrying it’s way to the NFL because of how well he can run, he should also be a good coverage linebacker at the NFL-level. He will also give the Chiefs defensive staff more versatility when it comes to creativity on blitzing.