As the NFL hits the mid-way point of the season, the majority of teams have an idea of how their season will end. The teams with playoff dreams have been busy adding players via trade while other teams have been selling their assets to build capital with future success in mind. The college football season is also reaching a point in which the best players in the draft are finally pitted against each other. This gives everyone their best idea of how these players will translate when playing the top competition in the NFL. This is the November look-ahead to which players will fit in with certain teams when the NFL draft rolls around next April in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Midseason NFL First-Round 2020 Mock Draft
Draft positions are based on a mix of a team’s current record and where they are projected to finish the 2019 season.
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) – Quarterback
Here, the Bengals manage to be worse than the Dolphins and end up with the best quarterback in the upcoming draft. Tagovailoa suffered an ankle injury in the Crimson Tides’ game against Tennessee but up to this point, he has breezed through the college season. He’s one of the favorites to take home the Heisman, again, and can prove he is the best quarterback in college with a win over rival LSU next week. His 2019 season up to this point has been just as impressive as his 2018 season. Tagovailoa is currently spotting a 27:2 touchdown to interception ratio and is completing 74.7% of his passes — both improvements from a season prior. He might not be a generational talent but Tagovailoa looks like he’s going to be a star in the NFL.
2. Miami Dolphins – Chase Young (Ohio State) – Edge
The Dolphins weren’t able to complete the ‘tank for Tua’ and instead end up going with the defensive player with the best chance of winning the Heisman in 2019. Young is a menace off the edge and has all the tools to be dominant at the NFL level as early as next year. He’s already surpassed his 13 game totals for sacks and forced fumbles from last year through eight games in 2020. What a rookie Nick Bosa is doing in 2019 for the 49ers, Young could do the same for another team in 2020. His game against a great Wisconsin offensive line was perhaps his best of the year.
3. Washington Redskins – Andrew Thomas (Georgia) – Offensive Tackle
With the Trent Williams bridge officially burned in 2019, Washington is going to need a new left tackle. Thomas is the most dominant left tackle coming out of the draft in 2020. He’s got good size, good strength and has great agility. Perhaps what was most impressive was watching him manhandle players on a Gators defensive line with two players likely going in the top-100 of next year’s draft. Standing out on an offense with first-round talent at specialty positions is tough but Thomas makes a standout impact on a lot of plays.
4. New York Jets – Jerry Jeudy (Alabama) – Wide Receiver
Right now, Sam Darnold has nobody on his offense outside of himself that makes much of an impact. The Jets need to fix that by adding playmakers and Jeudy is about as complete a receiver as you will find coming out of college. His numbers haven’t been as crazy as they were in 2018 when he was named best receiver in the country but that has largely been due to the emergence of the rest of the Alabama receiving corps. Of Jeudy’s impressive skillset, what stands out the most is his hands and incredible route-running ability. He may not have the size of a Julio Jones but he could be a dominant NFL receiver very soon.
5. New York Giants – CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma) – Wide Receiver
If the board were to fall like this, I believe the Giants would desperately looking to trade down. However, they are also not above just going with the best player available and improving a team that is lacking almost everywhere outside of running back. Lamb is probably the second-best receiver and about as complete a deep-threat as you can find. When Lamb gets the ball, he scores. For Lamb’s 35 receptions, he has 11 receiving touchdowns. Daniel Jones needs more weapons if the Giants’ offense is to become competent.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Justin Herbert (Oregon) – Quarterback
At this point, Bruce Arians must be getting up with Jameis Winston and his uncanny ability to turnover the football. Winston has 22 turnovers in just eight games this season and it looks like it’s time for a change at the helm in Tampa Bay. Herbert had a statement win as his Ducks trounced USC 56-24 last weekend and looks ready for the big-time after forgoing the NFL draft last year. This is also off the heals of a great game he played against Washington just two weeks ago where he outdueled fellow draft-eligible quarterback Jacob Eason; throwing four touchdowns to no interceptions. He’s a big-armed quarterback who could do wonders with the weapons already assembled for the Bucs.
7. Atlanta Falcons – Derrick Brown (Auburn) – Defensive Tackle
The Falcons have a lot of problems but have recently been heavily investing in their offense. Whether that has been the right thing to do remains to be seen but giving up 379.5 yards of offense per game is a very bad mark. Here the Falcons elect to go with a dominant force up the middle of the defensive line. Brown is a huge run-stuffer at 6’5″ 318 lbs but has improved as a pass rusher in 2019, registering 4.0 sacks (0.5 short of his 2018 total) and two forced fumbles. Atlanta needs another disrupter on the defensive line and Brown could excel in both stopping the run and helping the rest of Falcons pass rushers get to the quarterback.
8. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers) – Jake Fromm (Georgia) – Quarterback
Though the Dolphins failed to get the best quarterback in the class, they end up with another one from the top-end. He hasn’t been tasked with throwing the ball a lot in 2019, but Fromm has shown he has the ability to lead a team while being one of the most accurate intermediate throwers of the ball in college. Fromm has been incredibly consistent at Georgia and had perhaps his best showing of the season against the best defense he’s seen during his matchup with Florida. If the Dolphins are looking for a player they know can lead their locker room and by example from the pocket, Fromm could be a good consolation after missing out on Tua.
9. Denver Broncos – Tristan Wirfs (Iowa) – Offensive Tackle
Though Wirfs would likely not be replacing Garett Bolles, as he’s played the right side throughout his time at Iowa, the Broncos need to improve their offensive line. No matter who’s playing quarterback in 2020, they aren’t going to be successful with the amount of pressure the current offensive line invites. Denver is giving up over 3.5 sacks a game and Wirfs could at least help an elevate some pressure. He’s very nimble for an offensive tackle and is good in both the run and pass game.
10. Tennessee Titans – Joe Burrow (LSU) – Quarterback
Someone is going to take Burrow early in the draft based on his performance in 2019 as opposed to his career prior and Tennessee needs a change from Marcus Mariota. Burrow has lit up the college game since LSU transitioned to a more pass-happy attack and has been nothing short of dominant. He currently leads the NCAA in completion percentage while ranking second in both passing yards and touchdowns. If the Titans want a guy that could bring some life to their passing attack while understanding the importance of a great ground game, Burrow looks like a good fit.
11. Cleveland Browns – Jedrick Wills Jr. (Alabama) – Offensive Tackle
Tackle has been a weak spot on the Browns for a number of years and it has, unfortunately, showed to be even worse than previously thought without a dominant interior. Wills has started 22 straight games at right tackle for Alabama and has been maybe the best player on a line that has only given up 10 sacks on the season thus far. He’s very hard to move and has been named a Crimson Tides offensive player of the week twice already in 2019. That’s very tough to do on an offense with potentailly five first round players.
12. Detroit Lions – Grant Delpit (LSU) – Safety
The Lions shocked a couple people after moving a lockerroom favorite in Quandre Diggs at the NFL trade deadline and grab his replacement here. Delpit can absolutely fly from the safety position and can cover sideline to sideline. He’s the most complete safety and one of the best defensive players in the entire draft. There is no weakness in Delpit’s game and he could be used in a variety of ways in Matt Patricia‘s defense.
13. Los Angeles Chargers – Alex Leatherwood (Alabama) – Offensive Line
I have a growing suspicion that the Chargers are going to find a different way to get a quarterback outside of the draft and for that reason, they go offensive line here. Leatherwood has moved around on the offensive line throughout his time at Alabama but has settled well into the left tackle position in 2019. His size, versatility, and athleticism could allow him to slot into the Chargers line day-one.
14. Arizona Cardinals – Tyler Biadasz (Wisconsin) – Center
If the Cardinals want to keep Kyler Murray healthy, they need to acquire more offensive linemen. One of Murray’s best assets is his ability to scramble from the pocket and he can’t do that if he continues to come under pressure. The Cardinals have allowed the sixth-most sacks as a team in 2019. A.Q Shipley has seen his play slip and Biadasz could be his replacement. Transitioning to a system that takes a lot of snaps out of the shotgun could be a bumpy one for Biadasz but he’s talented enough to adjust at the next level.
15. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jeffrey Okudah (Ohio State) – Cornerback
Out goes one number-one corner and in comes the next. With Jalen Ramsey a Ram now, Jacksonville needs to continue to fortify their defense and keep it young. After being looked at as maybe one of the best raw talent corners coming into 2019, Okudah has shown that he has the ability to match his talent with on-field production. He’s been dominant in coverage and has forced four turnovers on the season. There isn’t much not to like about Okudah right now as he’s helped the Buckeyes once again, have one of the best secondaries in the country.
16. Las Vegas Raiders – Laviska Shenault Jr. (Colorado) – Wide Reciever
As good as Tyrell Williams has been when he’s played, the Raiders receivers really aren’t anything special. They went out last off-season and got Antonio Brown because they knew that they were down a number-one receiver. That problem still exists but maybe Shenault can fix it. The Buffaloes best receiver is dynamic with the ball in his hands and is explosive and elusive in the open field. There is no one in the Raiders receiving corps like Shenault. Using in him both the screen and run-game as well as out wide could be a electrical boost Jon Gruden‘s offense.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Isaiah Simmons (Clemson) – Linebacker/Safety
Though the Cowboys already have a deep group of linebackers, Simmons is one of the most athletic players in the draft and at #17, would be a great value. He’s played all over the field at Clemson and could replace Jeff Heath at strong safety or Sean Lee as his best days are behind him. You stay competitive by taking the best players through the draft and getting someone as fast and talented as Simmons could take the Cowboys defense from good to great.
18. Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago Bears) – Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina) – Defensive Tackle
Despite flashing a 4-4 record at this point in the 2019 season, the Raiders are a flawed team and don’t look ready to contend just yet. Seeing Gareon Conley delt at the trade deadline means they know they’re not there either. Gruden infamously referred to the challenge of finding pass rushers in the NFL but here, they get the best pass-rushing defensive tackle coming into the draft. Kinlaw has been the most standout player on the Gamecocks defense this season and has registered 5.0 sacks — including tallies against both Alabama and Georgia. The Raiders need to keep taking the best players available to build a complete team.
19. Carolina Panthers – Tee Higgins (Clemson) – Wide Receiver
The Panthers are once again a team that doesn’t look ready to make the leap to a perennial playoff team but still has nice pieces in play. Kyle Allen has won a lot since taking over as starting quarterback Week 3 but could use more weapons to improve on his 215.2 passing yards per game. He ranks 23rd amongst starting quarterback with over 100 completions. Higgins is a high-point specialist and has established himself as maybe the best jump-ball receiver in all of college. Adding that kind of 50/50 ball ability to a fairly small group of receivers would open up a lot of doors for the Panthers offense.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) – Henry Ruggs III (Alabama) – Wide Receiver
Before Gardner Minshew took over starting quarterback duties in Jacksonville, the Jaguars receiving corps looked like the biggest weakness on their team. That perspective may change as the year concludes considering the play of D.J. Chark but they still aren’t particularly talented. Ruggs has shown at Alabama that even in a crowded group of receivers, his speed and hands standout. He can line up in the slot or out wide to take the top off of a secondary. Tom Coughlin likes athletic players like Chark, and Ruggs blow up the combine in March.
21. Buffalo Bills – Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin) – Running Back
With the way the Bills offense has developed, Buffalo is going to need a really good running back to carry the offense. Josh Allen is completing just 60.9% of his passes and is only throwing for 206.6 yards per game for a quarterback with one of the biggest arms in the NFL. Though he has been hurt, they also gave Devin Singletary more 10 touches for the first time on the season Week 9. Taylor has been the most productive back in college since starting as a freshman in 2017 and could be the vein the Bills offense runs through. At #21, Taylor is good value even for a running back.
22. Philadelphia Eagles – Paulson Adebo (Stanford) – Cornerback
No matter how stale it gets, everyone needs to continue mocking corners to the Eagles. Their secondary is a mess and their best corner occasionally gets picked on. Adebo is one of the most complete corners in the draft with great ball skills and the ability to tackle in the open field. His knock is that he is only in his second year as a full-time starting corner, as he played wide receiver as well in high school. If the Eagles are to start building a competent secondary, Adebo is a great place to start. He currently leads the Pac-12 in interceptions (four) and pass defenses (10).
23. Indianapolis Colts – A.J. Epenesa (Auburn) – Defensive End
The Colts are a fairly complete team but their defensive line has looked like their weakest defensive link in 2019. Both Jabaal Sheard and Justin Houston are 30 years old and will eventually need more bodies on the defensive line. Epenesa is still struggling to put up big sack numbers but his ability to win off the edge still exists. Like Chase Young, he’s huge at 6’6″ 280 lbs and has the power to boast. He’d be a great addition to a Colts pass rush that ranks 20th in NFL in sacks.
24. Seattle Seahawks – C.J. Henderson (Florida) – Cornerback
While the Seahawks are rocking a nice 6-2 record, it is laregly due to the dominance of their quarterback. Their defense has not been nearly as good. Seattle’s secondary is far past the Legion of Boom days and needs a real leader and presence for their fifth-worst pass defense in the NFL. Coming off of an early seson injury, Henderson showed up in both of Florida’s biggest games to this point — registering three pass defenses against LSU and keepng Fromm at bay for most of the day against Georgia. He has great ballskills and the length you want in a corner with the ability to play through receivers.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Jacob Eason (Washington) – Quarterback
The Vikings are in an interesting position. They have a ton of talent on both sides of the ball but a quarterback in Kirk Cousins that flashes brilliance somewhat sparingly. Cousins has a single year remaining on his contract and the Vikings might be looking for greater consistency at the position. Eason hadn’t started in an NCAA game since 2016 but has steadily improved as the year has gone on. He’s a big-armed quarterback and has had standout performances against good teams in Oregon and Utah. Eason could sit for a year then take over the starting role in Minnesota in 2021.
26. Baltimore Ravens – Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma) – Inside Linebacker
If the Ravens can find some pash rush help through free agency, the other position they badly need to address is middle linebacker. No one has been able to fill the large hole C.J. Mosley left in free agency and it has led to a big drop in the Ravens ability to limit yardage in both the pass and run game. Murray is maybe the fastest linebacker in the 2019 class and is showing his ability to close; on pace to rack up double-digit tackles for loss for the second year in a row. Baltimore has gone through a ton of linebackers so far in 2019 and Murray could be a franchise part of a historically great defensive organization.
27. Kansas City Chiefs – Kristian Fulton (LSU) – Cornerback
Though they may not look as awful as they did in 2018, the Kansas City defense still has a lot of room to improve. Outside a few defensive lineman, they could use more bodies at almost every position. Fulton would come in right away and likely be the second-best corner of the roster. He has all the traits of a good NFL cover-corner and outside of the game against Texas, has played pretty mistake free football this season. If his tackling improves, he could go a lot higher than #27.
28. Green Bay Packers – Tylan Wallace (Oklahoma State) – Wide Receiver
Outside of Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers is throwing to one of the most unimpressive receiving corps’ maybe in the entire league. Enter Wallace, who was one of the most productive receivers in all of college prior to tearing his ACL in late October. In eight games in 2019, Wallace finished the year with 53 catches for 903 yards and eight touchdowns. He might not be the biggest receiver but he’s aggressive and explosive with the ball in his hands. Wallace could do a lot of work in the intermediate for Rodgers; something they’ve been missing since Randall Cobb fell out of favor.
29. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans) – Calvin Throckmorton (Oregon) – Offensive Tackle
If the Dolphins are going to invest in the future face of their franchise at quarterback early in the draft, they need to be equally as committed to protecting him. No matter what quarterback they end up with early, you can’t expect him to be so good that he can win despite getting constantly hit. Throckmorton has been around the Oregon facilities since 2015 and is the leader of maybe the best offensive line in college football. He’s played all over the line at Oregon, including 38 consecutive starts, giving him the ability to start right away no matter where he’s slotted. The Dolphins offensive line is awful and they need to add more talent.
30. San Fransisco 49ers – Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma) – Interior Offensive Line
The Niners assembled a really good defense this past off-season via the draft and free agency but the most impressive element of their gameplan has been the comitment to running the ball. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has used a rotation of four running backs, with the majority having success whenever they’ve been called upon. The way they keep that going is with great, consistent offensive line play. Humphrey’s best trait are his hands, aided by his background as a renound high school wrestler, and was a standout on an offensive line that sent four players to the NFL in 2018. He’s been solid again this year and if he deciedes to go to the NFL, could slot in at both guard or center.
31. New England Patriots – Albert Okwuegbunam (Missouri) – Tight End
Contrary to popular belief, the Patriots and Tom Brady have actually been playing with some pretty decent weapons on the outside in 2019. This was on even further display with Mohamed Sanu impressing in his first game as a Patriot against the Ravens. They could get even better depending on how N’Keal Harry preforms early in his career now that he’s finally healthy. However, unless one of Harry or Sanu, establishes themselves as a red zone threat, they need a receiver for down near the goal-line. Okwuegbunam has a big frame at 6’5″ 255lbs and could be turned into that kind of go-to weapon by Josh McDaniels at the next level. He’s caught 23 touchdowns over his three year Missouri career so far.
32. New Orleans Saints – Dylan Moses (Alabama) – Inside Linebacker
While the offense of the Saints gets a lot of recognition, it’s easy to forget their defense is really good as well. They currently rank as the fifth-best yardage defense and 10th-best scoring defense. However, their is still room to improve in the middle of the field. Moses lost his 2019 season to an ACL tear but was the best linebacker in the class by a good chunk coming into the year. He has the prototypical size and speed necessary for todays NFL and is maybe the best tackling player in the whole draft. New Orleans’ linebackers aren’t bad but Moses would be a stud in the middle of their defense, assuming he comes back healthy.
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