Joel Silverberg’s Final 2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
- Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU. The Andy Dalton era in Cincinnati is over. The Bengals need a quarterback. Burrow improved exponentially over his two seasons at LSU and is coming off of arguably the most prolific season for a college quarterback ever. His arm strength, intangibles, mobility and playmaking ability provide a lot of excitement for an organization looking for its first playoff win since 1990.
- Washington Redskins
Pick: Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State. Maybe Dwayne Haskins isn’t the guy, but Young is too good and too safe of a pick to pass up. Along with his ability to terrorize opposing backfields he has NFL size and length. Drafting a quarterback would be tempting for Washington here, but Ron Rivera might be able to utilize some familiarity with Kyle Allen if he opts not to go with Haskins and can use Young to shore up his defense.
- Detroit Lions
Pick: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State. Derrick Brown from Auburn is probably a better pick that addresses a bigger need for the Lions, but Okudah is widely considered the best cornerback in this class and graded out very highly as a cover man with above average ball skills and physicality for a defensive back.
- Los Angeles Chargers (via trade with NYG)
Pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. I think Tyrod Taylor gets an unfair wrap as a starting quarterback. He completes a high percentage of his throws and doesn’t turn the ball over often. That being said, he’s 30 and hasn’t started a game since September, 2018. I’m not buying the Chargers are fully sold on him. Herbert fits a little of that mold. He’s mobile and has a strong arm with a quick release. He’s tough and has prototypical size. It would be tough to pass on him if he’s available. With Miami needing a quarterback, the Chargers will trade up to make sure they get the guy they want.
- Miami Dolphins
Pick: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama. The mixed reviews about Tagovailoa—including the report that he failed at least one team’s physical already—are concerning, but his talent and ability are unquestioned. For a franchise that has struggled to figure out how to get consistent production from the quarterback spot over the years, the reward is worth the risk here.
- New York Giants (via trade with LAC)
Pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson. My WNML colleague Will West has said for years the Giants desperately need help on the offensive line. Earlier this offseason Giants GM Dave Gettleman echoed those thoughts, which is exactly why the Giants will instead draft Simmons and struggle to figure out where on the field he should play.
- Carolina Panthers
Pick: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn. The Panthers have needs all over their defense. Adding Brown to help reinforce the defensive line is a good place to start. He has good pass rush ability for a tackle and is solid against the run.
- Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama. The Cardinals gave D.J. Humphries an extension in February and traded for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins earlier in the offseason. Now they can bookend the offensive line by drafting a tackle to protect the investment in Kyler Murray.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina. The Jags also have needs on the offensive line and in the secondary, but drafting Kinlaw will help bolster a defense that ranked 28th in the league against the run last season.
- Denver Broncos (via trade with CLE)
Pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama. The Broncos need help at receiver and need to replace Emmanuel Sanders after trading him to San Francisco midway through the season. Jeudy’s film speaks for itself. He’s fast, efficient, runs good routes and can create separation. He provides a reliable target for Drew Lock. With so many talented receivers in this class, Jeudy still stands above the rest and the Broncos will assert themselves in front of the handful of teams that need playmakers in the passing game.
- New York Jets
Pick: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama. Ruggs’ speed is unreal. The Jets are looking to replace Robby Anderson and Ruggs’ ability to take the top off the defense and burn opponents in coverage could give Sam Darnold a dangerous deep threat.
- Las Vegas Raiders
Pick: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma. Since Derek Carr was drafted by the Raiders in 2014, the team has been in the top five in dropped passes each season. The Raiders need help at receiver and need reliability at the position. Lamb is great in open space, sure-handed and has the ability to get into his routes against bump-and-run corners.
- Atlanta Falcons (via trade with SF)
Pick: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida. Desmond Trufant led Atlanta with four picks last year, which is impressive considering he only appeared in nine games due to injuries. Losing him hurts the secondary and Henderson helps fill the need to replace the former Pro Bowl corner.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia. The Bucs won the Tom Brady sweepstakes. Now they need to protect the 43-year-old quarterback. Donovan Smith signed an extension last offseason and has been a staple on the offensive line. Thomas is an upgrade for the other tackle spot.
- Cleveland Browns (via trade with DEN)
Pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville. This would be a solid value pick for Cleveland, which has already improved its offensive line with the signing of Jack Conklin. Becton could be a top ten pick.
- San Francisco 49ers (via trade with ATL)
Pick: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU. With the top three receivers off the board, the 49ers trade back and select Jefferson as a replacement for Emmanuel Sanders. It’s easy to put up some numbers when Joe Burrow’s at quarterback, but Jefferson is versatile, a good route runner and has good hands to form a nice pairing with Deebo Samuel.
- Dallas Cowboys
Pick: K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU. Robert Quinn is gone. The Cowboys need help getting after the quarterback. I had Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa here last week, but Chaisson has more burst to get off the edge faster.
- Miami Dolphins
Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa. I’d be surprised if Wirfs is still available at No. 18, but the Dolphins would take it. Last year’s offensive line in Miami was patched together with bubble gum and duct tape. If the Dolphins are drafting an oft-injured Tua, they better do whatever they can to keep him on the field—or out of a body cast.
- Las Vegas Raiders
Pick: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama. The Raiders struck out on Chris Harris Jr., Darius Slay and Byron Jones. Eli Apple isn’t the answer and the Raiders were 25th in the NFL against the pass in 2019. Diggs can be physical and is a solid tackler in space.
- Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State. Jacksonville needs to shore up its front seven. Gross-Matos is a playmaker as a pass rusher who had 17.5 sacks over the last two seasons at Penn State. There isn’t a specific aspect of his game that’s overwhelmingly exceptional, but he’s balanced and does everything really well.
- Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson. Clemson wide receivers with 27 career receiving touchdowns: DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins and Higgins. Drafting Higgins gives Carson Wentz a lengthy receiver with good body control and a nose for the end zone.
- Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State. Stefon Diggs is gone and there isn’t much depth behind Adam Thielen. Tajae Sharpe is good No. 3 or 4 receiver at the absolute best. Aiyuk is a steady receiver with good speed and can play on the perimeter or in the slot.
- New England Patriots
Pick: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State. Tom Keegan of the Boston Herald told WNML his money’s on Jarrett Stidham to be Tom Brady’s successor. Maybe, but there isn’t much behind him if that’s the case. Brian Hoyer was brought in for a second stint, but lost the backup job to Stidham last year. New England doesn’t have a second round pick or the trade collateral to move up in the first round to draft Burrow, Tua or Herbert.
- New Orleans Saints
Pick: Patrick Queen, ILB, LSU. Queen may be a tad undersized, but he plays the position well. He’s quick, can change direction efficiently and has above average field awareness.
- Minnesota Vikings
Pick: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson. The Vikings are very good at safety. The same can’t be said for Minnesota at the cornerback spot. Terrell lacks elite physicality, but is solid in both man and press coverage.
- Miami Dolphins
Pick: Grant Delpit, S, LSU. Miami traded away Minkah Fitzpatrick last season and Delpit gives the Dolphins a versatile defender to help anchor the secondary.
- Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Josh Jones, OT, Houston. Jones might end up moving to the interior on the offensive line, but any help up front for Russell Wilson is good for Seattle. The Seahawks offensive line has been an issue for most of Russell’s career since Seattle drafted him in 2012.
- Baltimore Ravens
Pick: Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma. The Ravens have a strong history of players excelling in Baltimore’s front seven. An athletic linebacker like Murray should benefit from learning in an organization like this.
- Tennessee Titans
Pick: Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU. The Titans need to replace five-time Pro Bowler Jurrell Casey. They addressed the pass rush by acquiring Vic Beasley Jr. and Jeffery Simmons should be fully healthy after missing half of his rookie year. Blacklock has good speed for his size and does a good job of getting through double teams to help bust the pocket or stop the run.
- Green Bay Packers
Pick: Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin. The Packers need help at receiver, but the position might get plundered by this point of the first round. Green Bay could add a versatile player in Baun, whose motor would fit the Packers’ culture.
- San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan. San Francisco could use some help on the interior to give that touted running game some more strength up front. Ruiz was a full-time starter his last two seasons at Michigan and was a two-time All-Big Ten selection.
- Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia. There are needs in the secondary, but the defensive numbers can get inflated with the number of times that unit has to be on the field. Swift is a good pass-catcher out of the backfield along with being an effective runner. Sounds like a nice fit for Kansas City, where he would be another weapon for Patrick Mahomes to work with.