2020 NFL Mock Draft: Picks 1-10
With the NFL Draft right around the corner on April 23, 2020, KHTK staffers Charles T. Hamilton (even #’s) and Chris Watkins (odd #’s) alternate selections to form their official 2020 NFL Mock Draft.
#1. Cincinnati – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Logic: After what statistically might be the best college football season EVER, Joe Burrow is an easy selection here with the #1 pick for Cinci who is looking to continue their rebuild with a franchise QB.
Fit: With Andy Dalton (seemingly) out of the picture, Burrow, unless ousted by second-year QB Ryan Finley, has a clear line to being the Bengals QB1 on Week 1, whenever that may be to play alongside Sacramento-native Jonah Williams (Folsom High School) who will also be making his NFL debut after missing what would be rookie campaign due to a torn labrum in his left shoulder.
Counter Analysis(CTH): Even though Burrow seems like the consensus pick, we are talking about the Bengals. Are they turned off by the one year of top production? QB analysis can be subjective, do they like one of the other top QBs more? Or do they make the safer pick in Ohio State Defensive End Chase Young?
#2. Washington – Chase Young, EDGE,Ohio State
Logic: Washington makes the safest pick in this years draft with Defensive End Chase Young. He is the perfect combination of athleticism, explosiveness, technique and production you want from a top DE prospect.
Fit: He would fit perfectly with any team, that’s how good he is. But put him on a defensive front with Johnathan Allen, Ryan Kerrigan, and Montez Sweat and the fit looks even better.
Counter Analysis (CW): There is really no counter argument for this. Chase Young is an absolute terror. If not for Burrow breaking just about every single-season passing record there was, Young would almost certainly go as the top pick. In terms of value and fit, Ron Rivera couldn’t be getting a better player to add for his new squad.
#3. Detroit – Jeff Okudah, DB, Ohio State
Logic: At 6’1, 205lbs, Okudah has the size to matchup very well against NFL wideouts along the playing ability to completely shut them down. His combine numbers weren’t anything spectacular, which could mean Detroit could move back a few spots and still may be able to select Okudah, but after watching any of his game tape you will see quickly what has scouts comparing him to other former Buckeye DB’s in Marshon Lattimore and Denzel Ward.
Fit: With the Lions recently moving on from former All-Pro corner Darius Slay, Detroit could throw Okudah right into the fire giving the #1 CB spot in a tough NFC North division with receivers like Davante Adams, Allen Robinson, and Adam Thielen or have him paired him across from Desmond Trufant who they signed shortly before the Slay trade.
Counter Analysis: (CTH): The Lions will probably go defensive here, but is Clemsons Isaiah Simmons versatility enticing enough to go top 3? This could also be a prime spot for a team looking to trade up for a Quarterback. So the Lions should be open for business.
#4. New York Giants – Andrew Thomas, LT, Georgia
Logic: Thomas allowed 1 sack last season at Left Tackle in the SEC. Has the combination of length, strength, and flexibility to anchor the blindside for the next decade. Not just a pass protector he is also a bulldozer in the run game.
Fit: The Giants have spent their last 2 first round picks on Running Back Saquon Barkley, and Quarterback Daniel Jones. No better way to help those two but add a Tackle that’s prolific in both the run game and pass protection.
Counter Analysis (CW): This is yet another spot where you could see Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons being the pick. With a defense full of young and versatile weapons it would be fun to see what Simmons would look like playing alongside the likes of Jabrill Peppers and DeAndre Baker. With that said, the Giants will go nowhere quickly if they cannot manage to get Saquon into open space and Daniel Jones some time in the pocket.
#5. Miami – Tua Tagovailoa,QB, Alabama
Logic: Whether they trade and move up to as high as #3 or stay put at #5, Miami could determine how the rest of the draft board shakes out. With the selection of University of Alabama legend Tua Tagovailoa, Miami could cause as many as 5 QB’s to go in Day 1 of the draft.
Fit: With Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen still on the roster and Tua coming off ankle and hip injuries I would actually be suprised if Tua plays before the second half of the season. When he was able to suit up for the Crimson Tide however, Tua was nothing short of incredible. He first appeared as a second-half replacement for Jalen Hurts due to a poor
performance during the 2017 National Championship Game where Tagovailoa lead the Crimson Tide to a comeback victory. The following season, Tagovailoa won the Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Player of the Year awards in 2018, along with SEC Offensive Player of the Year and second-team Associated Press All-American honors.
Counter Analysis (CTH): Does Tagovailoas hip injury scare off the Dolphins? Could they look to take a top Wide Receiver like Ceedee Lamb of Oklahoma here and take a different Quarterback with one of their other two 1st round picks? The Dolphins have a lot of different options owning three 1st round picks.
#6. LA Chargers –Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Logic: After letting Phillip Rivers walk in free agency the Chargers say they are ready to let Tyrod Taylor take over at Quarterback. Maybe they mean it but Taylor is not the long term solution at Quarterback. That’s where Herbert comes in. Still raw in some aspects of his game he could benefit from a season on the bench working on his mechanics and decision making while Taylor gets his chance.
Fit: With similar arm strength, build, and feel for the game as Phillip Rivers he seems like the perfect replacement. He is more athletic than Rivers and is able to do much more on the ground than Rivers ever did. It just make sense.
Counter Analysis (CW): With veteran QB’s like Jamies Winston, Cam Newton, and Andy Dalton all still available in free agency and a roster that I believe is good enough to make a playoff run next season. The possibility of pairing Derwin James, the most versatile player in the NFL, with Isaiah Simmons, an almost carbon copy of James, could be too enticing for LA to pass on.
#7. Carolina – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Logic: Isaiah Simmons isn’t your typical linebacker prospect. With combine numbers that jump off the page like his 4.39 second 40-yard dash time or his 39″ vertical jump or the 11″ broad jump. This isn’t even taking into account his game film which shows Simmons doing his version of what can only be comparable to the play of NFL safety’s Jamal Adams and Derwin James…..but Simmons is a linebacker, like a true 3-down backer. He can be, and is, all over the field on any given play, making him a nightmare to scheme around.
Fit: With the sudden retirement of future Hall of Fame linebacker Luke Kuechly leaving a huge hole in the middle of their defense for Simmons to come in a fill immediately. Kuechly was probably the best inside linebacker since Ray Lewis so it will be no easy shoes to fill, but if anyone is primed to step in Simmons is the guy. Simmons would also be playing aside Sacramento-native Shaq Thompson (Grant High School) who the Panthers just gave a 4-year, $54.2M contract extension to back in December.
Counter Analysis (CTH): Simmons is a guy that fits with any team because he is that good and versatile. But with the top 3 Quarterbacks off the board is this a spot where Carolina could reach for one? They invested in Teddy Bridgewater but he is no sure thing.
#8. Arizona – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Logic: After spending the first overall pick in last years draft on Quarterback Kyler Murray. Then trading for one of the top wide receivers in the league in DeAndre Hopkins. The Cardinals top priority is finding someone to protect his blindside for the next 10 years. Tristan Wirfs is that guy. He is arguably the best athlete in this years draft when factoring in that he’s 6’5, 320 LBs.
Fit:Still raw in some aspects he is the best for for the Cardinals and their wide open, fast paced offense. His testing numbers at the combine would’ve been good for guys 50 pounds smaller. So while his unmatched athleticism is perfect for the Cardinals passing game, his massive size and strength still allows him to be a major factor in the run game.
Counter Analysis(CW): I think if Arizona is going to go with O-Line here, then the best move would be to trade back. The run of wide receivers who are slated to go in the 1st could start with the next couple picks putting Arizona in a prime spot to sit and listen as the offers roll in. Getting some protection for Kyler Murray is the right move, he’s unsized at QB, and with a shiny new toy in De’Andre Hopkins, Murray could use all the time he can get.
#9. Jacksonville – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Logic: Derrick Brown is simply the best player available and shouldn’t be allowed to fall any further. He was talked about being a top 10 pick if he would’ve came out last year before ultimately deciding to return to school and didn’t disappoint one bit. His game tape against LSU and Alabama speaks for itself.
Fit: With the departure of stars DT Calais Campbell and CB Jalen Ramsey, the Jags are in need of a lot of help on the defensive side of the ball. With Ukudah gone, Brown fills Jacksonville’s biggest need and could create a 2019 49er-esc defensive line playing alongside Yannick Ngakoue and Josh Allen (2019 1st rounder).
Counter Analysist (CTH): Derrick Brown is the best interior defensive lineman in this draft. If the Jaguars decide to build their defensive line back up to its glory days Derrick Brown is the right pick. But with the second ranked Cornerback and top ranked Wide Receiver still on the board, the Jaguars could decide to fill one of those needs.
#10. Cleveland- Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Logic: While the Browns spent the last couple of years drafting, trading, and signing every big name that they could, they completely ignored their offensive line. With this pick they will get the most physically imposing tackle since Trent brown.
Fit: Becton is a beast. At 6’7, 364 LBs he is the biggest tackle in the draft and will come in as one of the biggest in the league. Becton plays exactly the way you would expect a man of his size to play. He is a straight up people mover in the run game and has more than enough athleticism and technique to hold up in the passing game. The 4 top tackles in the draft are all ranked similarly so the Browns have to feel good about getting Becton at 10.
Counter Analysis (CW): Hopefully this doesn’t happen any other times in this mock, but I have no counter to this. This is the clear choice for the Browns here. Like you said, the Browns have thrown their money at just about every problem except for maybe the most important, the O-line. Between Becton, Thomas, and Wirfs it seems like the Browns will have the opportunity to fill a major gap in their roster with one of these high-level prospects.