The NFL Combine is over, which means it is mock draft time. With the Combine in the rear-view mirror, teams will start to set up their draft boards and hone in on their favorite prospects. Based on the tape and combine results, these players should all have a good chance of hearing their name during the first round. Note that this NFL mock draft does not include trades, since that’s just adding too many uncontrollable variables into the equation.
Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB
Duh. The Cincinnati Bengals need a quarterback, and they’re going to select the guy coming off arguably the best season in college football history. No need to overthink this.
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE
The Washington Redskins will probably trade out of this selection, but since we’re not mocking trades, they take the best player in the draft. While Burrow is definitely the more valuable, Chase Young is a physical freak of nature that will make life a living hell for NFC East quarterbacks. Dwayne Haskins might not be the future, but the Redskins won’t want to pass on this talent without a safer quarterback prospect on the board.
3. Detroit Lions – Jeffrey Okudah, CB
Darius Slay probably won’t be on the Lions by the time Detroit makes this pick. Even if he is, he’s in the final year of his contract and isn’t getting any younger. The Lions need to build up their secondary, and there’s no better way to do it than taking the best cornerback in the draft class.
4. New York Giants – Derrick Brown, DT
Keep in mind that this NFL mock draft is based upon what I think the teams will do, not what I think they should do. Dave Gettlemen lives for players like Brown, and reports state that Gettlemen wants to trade back and draft Brown later in the round. However, since Gettlemen has never traded back in his life, I project that he will ignore positional value yet again to go and grab his guy.
5. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB
Tua Tagovailoa carries a lot of risk, but the upside is worth it. He’s not the second coming of Peyton Manning by any stretch of the imagination, but he has the chance to be a franchise guy. That alone makes this pick worth the injury risk.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB
If Tyrod Taylor is the answer, then you’re asking the wrong question. Los Angeles says they’d be comfortable starting the season with Taylor under center, but they need to add some actual hope for the future. Coming off a fantastic combine, Herbert should be the ideal choice for Los Angeles.
7. Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, LB
Luke Kuechly chose a convenient time to retire. The Carolina Panthers need to find a new leader for their defense, and Isaiah Simmons is the perfect choice for the job. The athletic freak can play just about every defensive position at a high level and has the football IQ required to eventually call plays and get everyone into position. With the top three quarterbacks off the board, this pick is a no-brainer.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Jerry Jeudy, WR
Kliff Kingsbury loves wide receivers, and Jerry Jeudy is the best in a stacked class. Kyler Murray gave Arizona a reason to believe he is the quarterback of the future, but he’ll need more weapons moving forward. Christian Kirk is a solid starter, but Larry Fitzgerald can’t go on much longer and the rest of the depth chart leaves a lot to be desired. Adding a player like Jeudy could help transform this offense into one of the most explosive units in football.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Tristian Wirfs, OT
No offensive lineman helped their draft stock at the combine more than Tristian Wirfs. The offensive tackle looked like a freak of nature and should be a Day 1 starter in the NFL. Whether it’s Gardner Minshew or Nick Foles under center, they’ll need better protection in 2020 than they received in 2019. This NFL mock draft gives Jacksonville somebody that can start at left tackle for years to come.
10. Cleveland Browns – Andrew Thomas, OT
Baker Mayfield may or may not be the future in Cleveland, but he won’t survive another season if the Browns don’t invest in the offensive line. Greg Robinson wasn’t the answer in 2019, and he definitely won’t be the answer in 2020. Grabbing one of the top tackles in the class should be priority number one for Cleveland’s new regime. Hopefully, with better protection and coaching, Mayfield can look more like the guy from 2018.
11. New York Jets – Jedrick Wills, OT
Speaking of 2018 quarterback draftees in need of protection, the Jets need to do something to keep Sam Darnold upright. The former third-overall pick had a unique 2019 and needs to prove that he can produce over a full season in 2020. The best way to do that is by ensuring he actually has time to stand in the pocket and deliver a pass. As a bonus, better blocking could make Le’Veon Bell start to look like Le’Veon Bell again.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – Ceedee Lamb, WR
Whether it’s Derek Carr, Tom Brady, or somebody else, the Raiders need to upgrade their offensive weapons. Darren Waller is a legitimate stud, Hunter Renfrow looks like a solid contributor, but this offense is lacking a true difference-maker on the outside. Ceedee Lamb should be ready to contribute from Day 1 while providing a reliable threat on all three levels of the field.
13. Indianapolis Colts – Jordan Love, QB
Philip Rivers will probably be the quarterback in 2020, but he’s anything but a long-term fix at the position. Jordan Love isn’t ready to be a Day 1 starter, but he has the raw tools to survive in the NFL. Love is like Jameis Winston in that he makes some of the best and worst plays you’ll ever see from a quarterback. Taking a year or two to learn the nuances of the position wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mekhi Becton, OT
Tampa Bay’s never-ending search to improve their offensive line might come to a close with this selection. Becton is still a raw prospect, but he has the ideal built and footspeed for the position. There’s going to be some growing pains, but he could end up being a Pro Bowl tackle if everything breaks right.
15. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs, WR
Drew Lock put up some interesting tape during his abbreviated stint as a starter and earned the right to enter the season as QB1. The Broncos should do everything they can to maximize his odds of success, and that means drafting the speedy Henry Ruggs out of Alabama. Ruggs is ridiculously good in the open field, has blazing speed, and can make plays on all three levels of the field. Pairing him with Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant could give Denver one of the most explosive offenses in the league.
16. Atlanta Falcons – Javon Kinlaw, DT
The Falcons don’t exactly need more help on the defensive interior, but you can’t pass up a talent like Javon Kinlaw. A physical freak, Kinlaw can make a difference against both the run and the pass. He’s obviously not Aaron Donald, but he could develop into one of the better all-around interior defenders in the league.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Kristian Fulton, CB
The Cowboys secondary was probably their biggest weakness in 2019, and it’s about to take an even bigger hit. Byron Jones will probably leave for greener pastures, which means Dallas is almost forced to draft the best cornerback on the board. Fortunately for the Cowboys, Kristian Fulton is still there and will probably be the best cornerback on the depth chart.
18. Miami Dolphins – Josh Jones, OT
The Dolphins got their quarterback with their first pick, now they need to get someone to keep him upright. Josh Jones is the best tackle left on the board and should immediately improve one of the worst offensive lines in football. The Dolphins have more work to do, but this is a great start for their rebuild.
19. Las Vegas Raiders – C.J. Henderson, CB
The Raiders addressed their biggest offensive need with Jerry Jeudy, now they address their biggest defensive need. C.J. Henderson isn’t a superstar by any means, but he’s a solid starter who should be a part of Jon Gruden’s cornerback rotation right out of the gate. When you’re playing in the same division as Patrick Mahomes, you need as many cornerbacks as you can possibly get.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevon Diggs, CB
The Jaguars use the first of their picks received in the Jalen Ramsey trade to draft his immediate successor. With A.J. Bouye probably on his way out of town, the Jaguars have to essentially rebuild their secondary from scratch. Diggs is a solid building block who excels at press coverage and knows how to use his size.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Tee Higgins, WR
The Eagles need to add a wide receiver, and Tee Higgins is probably the best one left on the board. Carson Wentz carried the whole team last year essentially by himself, and the Eagles will need to make his life a little easier in 2020. Higgins is a perfect fit for what Philadelphia likes to do and should be able to play a supporting role right out of the gate.
22. Buffalo Bills – Grant Delpit, S
Buffalo’s defense goes from good to great with the selection of Grant Delpit. The LSU product has the ability to play multiple positions on the defense and excels at taking away tight ends in man coverage. Combining his abilities with Tre’Davious White should give Buffalo a top-five passing defense. In a league where passing is king, there is no such thing as too much talent in the secondary.
23. New England Patriots – Justin Jefferson, WR
Tom Brady? Jarrett Stidham? Marcus Mariota? Whoever it is, they’ll need somebody to actually catch the ball. Justin Jefferson is a perfect fit for New England’s offense. The LSU product can line up in the slot, runs tight routes, and can haul in contested passes at a high rate.
24. New Orleans Saints – Laviska Shenault, WR
The Saints need somebody other than Michael Thomas at wideout, and they get their guy in this NFL mock draft with Laviska Shenault. Shenault had a terrible couple of days at the NFL Combine, but most of the underwhelming performance can be blamed on an injury. His draft stock shouldn’t fall based on his combine performances, although he could slip if he doesn’t improve during the Pro Day.
25. Minnesota Vikings – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE
Just like Shenault, A.J. Epenesa had a terrible NFL Combine. However, unlike Shenault, Epenesa doesn’t have a built-in excuse. Unless he shows some dramatic improvement during his Pro Day, the former top-15 prospect could end up going to the Vikings with the 25th pick.
26. Miami Dolphins – Kenneth Murray, LB
With the offense addressed, the Dolphins turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball. Head coach Brian Flores comes from the Bill Belichick coaching tree, and Belichick is famous for his love of linebackers. Flores should be no different, as he grabs the future anchor of his defense with the 26th overall pick.
27. Seattle Seahawks – Austin Jackson, OL
Russell Wilson finally gets some protection in the form of Austin Jackson. After years of neglecting the position, the Seahawks finally realize that they can’t just keep counting on Wilson to bail them out on every single snap. Jackson should step in right away and improve a unit that ranked 27th in PFF’s offensive line rankings.
28. Baltimore Ravens – Xavier McKinney, S
The Ravens are one of the most analytically-driven teams in the league, which is why Xavier McKinney is the pick here. Earl Thomas isn’t a long-term fix at the safety position, and the Ravens are going to need a starter sooner rather than later. In this NFL mock draft, the Ravens improve their pass coverage and wait until the later rounds to add edge support.
29. Tennessee Titans – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE
Harold Landry is starting to come into form, and now the Titans need to find someone to start on the opposite side of the formation. While injuries are something of a concern, Chaisson has a chance to be one of the better pass-rushers in the game. Combining these two should give the Titans the defensive front required to get back to the AFC Championship Game.
30. Green Bay Packers – Denzel Mims, WR
Denzel Mims was one of the biggest winners at the NFL Combine and earns a spot in the first round of this NFL mock draft. Aaron Rodgers can’t do it all on his own anymore, and Mims provides another strong, physical target to pair opposite Davante Adams. While he’s something of a raw prospect, his athletic ceiling is through the roof. For the first time in a long time, Aaron Rodgers will finally have two reliable starting receivers.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Trey Adams, OT
Trey Adams probably won’t start right out of the gate, but he won’t need to. Joe Staley is still going strong, but he probably won’t play too much longer. Now entering his age-36 season, the 49ers need to start thinking about life after Staley. Adams gives San Francisco a strong swing tackle in the short term and a potential franchise left tackle down the road.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – A.J. Terrell, CB
The reigning Super Bowl champions have the best offense in football, but the defense could stand to get better. The unit played above the sum of its parts last year, and you can’t bank on that happening again. A.J. Terrell would immediately be the best cornerback on the roster and should help limit opposing passing attacks. Kansas City’s defense doesn’t need to be elite to win another Super Bowl, it just needs to be adequate. Adding Terrell ensures that the defense will be good enough to compete for years to come.
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