26 September 2020

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NFL Mock Draft: 1st Round

For many prospects, their lifelong dream that they have been chasing since they were little kids running around with a football in the backyard will come true very soon.

The NFL Draft is set to take place April 23-25. Originally, the plan was to have the draft held in Las Vegas, Nevada, but with the COVID-19 pandemic going around, it will now be held virtually.

For many teams, the draft will be the make or break for them to make it to the playoffs and for teams who are already playoff contenders, the draft gives them a chance to become Superbowl contenders. Here is our official 2020 1st-round mock draft.

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Round 1, Pick 1: Cincinnati Bengals

QB Joe Burrow, LSU

Burrow to the Bengals is a sure lock as he is coming off a year where he won the Heisman and won the National Championship for LSU. Throwing for 5,671 yards while having a 76.3% completion percentage, 60 touchdowns, and only 6 interceptions, Burrow easily had one of the best seasons we have seen in recent college football history.

It should be interesting what the Bengals will do with current QB Andy Dalton as he has been the team starter for the last 9 years and led them to the playoffs 5 years in a row (2011-15). Will they keep Dalton for a couple of years to be a mentor for Burow or will they look to trade him to add to their current total of 7 draft picks.

Round 1, Pick 2: Washington Redskins

DE Chase Young, Ohio State

Young is easily the top pass rusher in the 2020 draft as he was a one-man wrecking crew at Ohio. With 16.5 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, and 21 tackles for loss recording impressive stats in just 12 games which shows you how unstoppable he was.

The Redskins defense didn’t struggle to get to the QB as they had the 10th most sacks in the league with 46 sacks but, adding an explosive freak of nature player like Young will only make their d-line stronger. Young will add to Washington’s promising d-line’s future as they currently have two 1st-round picks lined up as starters.

Round 1, Pick 3: Detroit Lions 

CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State

The Lions are in need of a star corner as they shipped off 3x pro bowler Darius Slay to the Eagles who was a starter since first entering the league in 2013. Okudah was a straight-up lockdown corner for Ohio State recording 3 interceptions, 9 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles and showed great discipline as he recorded zero penalties in 2019.

Okudah will instantly take the place of Slay and become the face of the secondary for the future. Slay will be lined up across from the Lions newest corner Desmond Trufant who will make a great mentor for the rookie.

Round 1, Pick 4: New York Giants

LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

Simmons is arguably the best defensive player as he displayed his versatility while playing for Clemson last year being able to do it all from covering receivers to rushing the quarterback.

With 7 sacks, 3 interceptions, 8 pass deflections, and 1 forced fumble Simmons showed there wasn’t anything he can do showing he is a sideline to sideline defender. The New York defense was constantly being burnt as they would give up an average of 8 yards per passing play. Adding Simmons as that centerpiece for the defense and building around him can be the start of a solid defense.

Round1, Pick 5: Miami Dolphins

QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

Tagovailoa was putting on an incredible performance before suffering a season-ending injury as he dislocated his hips in a matchup against Mississippi State. Tagovailoa finished up the season throwing for 2,840 yards while having a 71.4 completion percentage, 33 touchdowns with only throwing 3 interceptions.

Many teams would hesitate to select Tagovailoa but the Dolphins could use a QB like him as last year they thought Josh Rosen would be the answer to their QB problems but failed. The Dolphins may be the only team that wouldn’t be affected badly by selecting Tagovailoa and him not returning to his old self as they still have Rosen who is barely entering his 3rd year as their backup QB.

Round 1, Pick 6: Los Angeles Chargers

QB Justin Herbert, Oregon

Herbert may be the second-best quarterback in the draft behind Burrow as he had an impressive season and led the Ducks to a game-winning drive to win the 2020 Rose Bowl game. Herbert recorded 3,471 passing yards with a completion percentage of 67%, 32 passing touchdowns, 4 rushing touchdowns, and 4 interceptions.

The Chargers parted ways with Philip Rivers who was the starter for the last 14 years leaving Tyrod Taylor as the starter in Los Angeles. Taylor can certainly be a starting QB for the Chargers it just how good he will be, LA may want to go with Herbert for the future.

Round 1, Pick 7: Carolina Panthers

DT Derrick Brown, Auburn

Carolina’s defensive line was one of the best in 2019 as they finished the season with 53 sacks just 1 sack shy of tying for the most sacks in the league. The Panthers have the opportunity to make their d-line even stronger by adding the best defensive tackle in the draft as Brown recorded 4 sacks, 4 pass deflections, and 2 forced fumbles.

Brown single-handedly took over games with his explosiveness in games against Texas A&M and Kent State where he did it all. At 6’4 326 lbs Brown is one of the best run stoppers in the game bringing a much-needed skill to a Panther defense that allowed the 4th most rushing yards per game.

Round 1, Pick 8: Arizona Cardinals 

OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama

Before Arizona traded for star wideout Deandre Hopkins it was almost certain the Cardinals were going to draft a #1 receiver. The Cardinals offensive line allowed the 6th most sacks last season with 50 sacks and with Kyler Murray the QB of your franchise barely finishing up his rookie season and getting sacked that much is something you don’t want to see.

Now that they have their #1 receiver in Hopkins they can get Murray some protection up front by adding one of the best linemen in the draft. Wills is a 6’4 312 lbs tackle that is surprisingly athletic and has impressive speed. Not only making an instant impact in the pass protection Wills does great in creating holes for his running backs, something running back Kenyan Drake will appreciate.

Round 1, Pick 9: Jacksonville Jaguars 

DT Javon Kinlaw. South Carolina

The Jaguars traded away 5x pro bowler DE Calais Campbell to the Baltimore Ravens for a bag of chips (5th-round pick) earlier in the off-season. Campbell was a starter for the last three years with Jacksonville and was a key piece to their defensive line. Along with trading, Campbell the Jaguars may be without their other starting DE Yannick Ngakoue as he has publicly stated he wants out of Jacksonville.

By adding Kinlaw the Jaguars get a 6’3 315 lbs monster who recorded 6 sacks and 2 pass deflections, Kinlaw is a player who can be the new face of their d-line. With his impressive size and bull rush, Kinlaw will make his presence felt instantly while lined up for Jacksonville.

Round 1, Pick 10: Cleveland Browns

OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville

The Browns have everything they need with offensive power; all they need is some protection upfront. Clevland allowed the 17th most sacks last year with 41 sacks and allowed 67 QB hits, with the hype surrounding the acquisition of wideout Odell Beckham Jr.

People forgot they still needed a line to be successful. The Browns can add Becton who will become an instant starter for their o-line as he is a physical blocker who can set the tone for Cleveland. Becton also brings excellent run blocking, something that will take the Brown’s run game to the next level. At 6’7 357 lbs, Becton can even look to be one of the best tackles in the league with his impressive speed and athleticism.

Round 1, Pick 11: New York Jets

OT Tristian Wirfs, Iowa

The Jets had huge problems all year with their offensive line at one point they had 3 starters all on IR and their starting o-line never played a nap with all the starters in the game. New York’s o-line allowed the 4th most sacks with 52 sacks and 106 quarterback hits adding Wirfs would be a huge addition for the team not only for QB Sam Darnold but for star running back Le’veon Bell. Wirfs is one of the best-run blockers in the draft and the Jets offense ranked 2nd to last for rushing yards per game with 78.6 yards and New York could desperately use his help. 

Round 1, Pick 12: Las Vegas Raiders

WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

The Raiders could use a #1 receiver as last year things didn’t go as planned with the Antonio Brown drama. Las Vegas has the opportunity to bring in one of the best receivers in the draft in 

Lamb who arguably is the best receiver in the draft. Lamb is coming off a year where he had 1,327 receiving yards on 62 receptions and 14 touchdowns with his excellent route-running and is solid with make plays with runs after his catch. Lamb has the perfect opportunity to go into Vegas and become the instant #1 receiver and gives the Raiders a solid receiving core.

Round 1, Pick 13: San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis Colts)

WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

The 49ers know first hand that speed kills in the NFL as that’s exactly what killed them in the Superbowl as Tyreek Hill torched their secondary. Now they have the opportunity to get Ruggs who’s player comparison was Hill both speed demons San Francisco gives QB Jimmy Garoppolo the receivers he needs. Recording 746 yards on just 40 receptions and 7 touchdowns Ruggs is most exciting after the catch as he has the ability to turn a 5-yard slant into a 60-yard gain. Ruggs will definitely take the 49ers offense to the next level as one of the best in the leagues.

Round 1, Pick 14: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

The Buccaneers signed a 42-year-old ( turns 43 in March) Tom Brady to a 2-year $50 million fully guaranteed contract in the off-season and must protect him at all costs. The Buccaneers offensive line allowed 47 sacks last year which was the 11th most in the league along with 106 QB hits which were one of the highest in the league. Adding Thomas Tampa Bay gets one of the best pass protection tackles along with a solid run blocker in the draft and at 6’5 315 lbs, it is pretty hard to just get around Thomas as he also has quick feet. Thomas even won games for Georgia last year as he created a huge hole allowing running back D’Andre Swift to score the game-winning touchdown the Buccaneers will be getting a great player in Thomas.

Round 1, Pick 15: Denver Broncos 

WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

The Broncos give young promising quarterback Drew Lock another weapon on offense and giving wideout Courtland Sutton the help he deserves. Jeudy is all around one of the most complete receivers in the draft as he has the speed, route running, size, and can make plays after the catch. With 1,163 receiving yards on 77 receptions and 10 touchdowns, Jeudy is exciting to see when he creates separation making him dangerous in short routes. Jeudy will instantly help Sutton and has a high chance of becoming Denver’s #1 receiver.

Round 1, Pick 16: Atlanta Falcons

CB C.J Henderson, Florida

With the departure of longtime starter Desmond Trufant, the Falcons could use a new lockdown corner in their secondary and Henderson is just the man for that. Henderson had an impressive 11 pass deflections as he is one of the best cover corners in pass coverage and has good ball instincts. With the ability to keep up with deep threats and with the Falcons going up against wideouts like Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, and  Chris Goodwin twice a year they could definitely use a lockdown defender like him.

Round 1, Pick 17: Dallas Cowboys

DE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU

The Cowboys lost their 2019 sack leader Robert Quinn and are unlikely to bring back Michael Bennett and could use some help up front. Last year the Cowboys defense had only 39 sacks which were the 14th fewest in the league but they did lose starting DE Tyrone Crawford someone who can boost their d-line up is Chaisson. Coming off a year where he 6.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble, and 2 pass deflections where he showed his toughness as he dealt with an ankle injury throughout the season and kept playing. Chaisson showed off his speed and athleticism as he was able to cover receivers when LSU lined him up at outside linebacker bringing more versatility to Dallas.

Round 1, Pick 18: Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh Steelers)

S Xavier McKinney, Alabama

McKinney recorded 3 interceptions, 5 pass deflections, 3 sacks, and four forced fumbles in 2019 for Alabama showing he can cover anyone from receiver to tight ends. The Dolphins get to add a terrific player to a defense that just added one of the top corners in free agency. McKinney can do it all; he can play free safety in deep zones and can even be the eight-man in the box if needed with his good tackling skills. Last year the Dolphins defense gave up the 6th most passing yards per game with 262.4 given up each year and could desperately use his help.

Round 1, Pick 19: Las Vegas Raiders

CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

The Raider have a young promising cornerback in Trayvon Mullen and could look to pair him up with another young stud. Fulton recorded 13 pass deflections and 1 interception all while playing through the season injured. By keeping up with top talent wideouts and holding his own against solid receivers throughout the year while preventing separation Fulton could definitely make an impact in Las Vegas’s secondary. The Raiders can add another stud corner to a cornerback depth that already includes Keisean Nixon, Isaiah Johnson, and Nevin Lawson.

Round 1, Pick 20: Jacksonville Jaguars ( Los Angeles Rams)

CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama

The Jaguars traded away corner A.J Bouye in the off-season, a player who has played a huge role in Jacksonville secondary. The Jaguars have the opportunity to add a promising corner to lead the secondary for many years with Diggs coming off 3 interceptions and 8 pass deflections. Having good ball instincts will definitely improve Jacksonville’s secondary that gave up the 17th most passing yards per game. With the lack of playmakers at the cornerback position expect Diggs to become a front runner starter by week 1.

Round 1, Pick 21: Philadelphia Eagles

WR Justin Jefferson, LSU

Last year Carson Wentz was throwing to receivers that were 3rd stringers or they were from the practice squad. The Eagles have the chance to snatch themselves a #1 receiver in Jefferson as he is coming off a season where he recorded 1,540 receiving yards on an outstanding 111 receptions, and 18 touchdowns. Jefferson can go up and get the ball if needed as he has a good amount of athleticism and has quick speed that allows him to make plays downfield. Jefferson easily became Joe Burrow’s favorite target at LSU and will become an instant favorite for Wentz in Philly.

Round 1, Pick 22: Minnesota Vikings (From Buffalo Bills)

WR Jalen Reagor, TCU

The Vikings traded away one of their best receivers Stefon Diggs but did receive a good amount of draft picks in return. The Vikings add the speed demon Reagor who can instantly take the spot of Diggs and become the sidekick to wideout Adam Thielen and one of Kirk Cousins’s favorite targets. Reagor recorded 611 receiving yards on 43 receptions and 5 touchdowns even provided TCU with big plays as a punt returner. Reagor could have had more receptions but was held back as TCU had quarterback problems. Imagine what kind of numbers he can put up with someone like Cousins throwing to him.

Round 1, Pick 23: New England Patriots

QB Jordan Love, Utah State

For the first time in over 20 years, Tom Brady will not be the starting quarterback for the Patriots and the Brady-Belichick era has finally come to an end. The Patriots have the opportunity to add a talented quarterback in Love who threw for 3,402 yards on a 62 % completion percentage, 20 interceptions but he did throw for a high 17 interceptions. Love has one of the strongest arms in the draft and under Belichick, he can possibly develop not into the next big thing but he can develop into the next starter for New England. New England has to surround Love with a little bit more talent, maybe a tight end and the Patriots could have a solid offense.

Round 1, Pick 24: New Orleans Saints

LB Patrick Queen, LSU

The Saints have 3 linebackers coming off a season-ending injuries causing them to have problems at that position all year long and that was the weakness in their solid defense. Queen is a player who can be the next starter for New Orleans defense and can lead the defense to a bright future as he is coming off a year where he had 3 sacks, 1 interception, and 2 pass deflections. Queen showed his real potential towards the end of the season at LSU and became a key defender in the defense showing how good he is in pass coverage.

Round 1, Pick 25: Minnesota Vikings 

S Grant Delpit, LSU

While the Vikings deal with their contract issue with starting safety Anthony Harris they could add another solid piece in case things don’t work out. By adding Delpit the Vikings get a safety coming off 2 interceptions, 7 pass deflections, and 1 sack season proving he can be a starter at the NFL level. Delpit showed versatility at LSU as they played coverage with him as a single high free safety, lined up in the box as the eight-man, and displayed man coverage skills on tight ends. Minnesota could use a player like Delpit as he can do it all and even if the Vikings resign Harris and he remains starter Delpit can be a great rotational piece.

Round 1, Pick 26: Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans)

OT Josh Jones, Houston

The Dolphins offensive lines were terrible last year as they gave up the most sacks in the league with 58 sacks given up and allowed 147 QB hits which were also the highest in the league. If the Dolphins are drafting Tagovailoa to be the quarterback of the future they must give him some protection. By adding Jones the Dolphins get a very good pass protector who has great size and length at 6’5 311 lbs. With the lack of size, the Dolphins o-line has it is almost certain that Jones would become an instant starter.

Round 1, Pick 27: Seattle Seahawks

DE A.J Epenesa, Iowa

The Seahawks struggled to get to the quarterback last season as they were the second-worst team when it came to recording sacks as they only had 28. The chances of Seattle resigning their best player on their defensive line Jadeveon Clowney gets slimmer by the day but they can get a great pass rusher in Epensa. Coming off a year where he recorded 11.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 3 passes batted Epensa is a physical and athletic pass rusher which makes him so valuable to Seattle as they currently have nobody like him. He has kept consistency throughout his collegiate career, something coaches love to see and making him an instant favorite to start week 1.

Round 1, Pick 28: Baltimore Ravens

LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

The Ravens can finally find their replacement for C.J Mosley who left them before the start of the 2019 season. Murray is a player that always finds himself around the ball whether it be a forced fumble, tackle, pass deflection, or interception he is basically a ball hawk without all the interceptions. Recording 102 tackles, 4 sacks, and 4 pass deflections Murray can basically do it all as he does great in zone coverage is a dangerous Blitzer can cover a lot of ground in the pass defense and is a sideline to sideline defender. Murray can be the missing piece to the Ravens defense to make them elite next year.

Round 1, Pick 29: Tennessee Titans

CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State

The Titans chances of bringing Logan Ryan back to the team get slimmer as the days go by and can easily find his replacement by selecting Arnette. Arnette recorded 8 pass deflections, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble as he was lined up along Okudah who is the top-ranked corner in the draft. A physical player who has feisty play is what you like to see in a corner and Tennessee could use someone to bring that tough attitude to the secondary. With Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson as the current starting cornerback spots, Arnette could either be a rotational piece or steal one of their starting jobs.

Round 1, Pick 30: Green Bay Packers

WR Tee Higgins, Clemson

The Packers need to take some of the workload off of star wideout Devonte Adams and they can do that by adding a 6’4 216 lbs Higgins to their lineup. Higgins recorded 1,167 receiving yards on 59 catches and 13 touchdowns often finding himself in a miss-match as corners would often be smaller than him. Not only do the Packers take some workload off Adams as teams will feel the presence of Higginson on the field because of his large frame but they also give Aaron Rodgers a big target who can go up and get any ball thrown to him.

Round 1, Pick 31: San Francisco 49ers 

DT Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M

The 49ers gave up one of their best defensive players, Deforest Buckner in order to get the Colts 13th overall pick and should look to find his replacement with their original pick. Madubuike recorded 5.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss having one the best years in his collegiate career.

Very dangerous at his point of attack Madubuike often found himself dominating games throughout the season especially in games against Georgia and Ole Miss. You can expect Madubuike to take over the spot Buckner once had and can do great with San Francisco’s defensive line led by Nick Bosa.

Round 1, Pick 32: Kansas City Chiefs

CB A.J Terell, Clemson

The Chiefs have 20 out of 22 starters returning in 2020 and could look to add to their potential dynasty team by adding a promising cornerback. Terell had 1 pass deflection and 2 interceptions Kansa City can build him up into the player they need who can be a lockdown corner.

Terell has shown flashes off what he can do as he showed great athleticism and played well in coverage for some games but expect him to gain muscle first to be the corner the Chiefs need. The 2019 season wasn’t his best season which is a good thing for the Chiefs as many teams think that season represents his game but he truly is a baller.

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