2020 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Miller’s Post-Regular-Season Predictions

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The 2019 NFL regular season is in the books, and over the last four months, much changed as it relates to the 2020 draft.

    The Miami Dolphins were supposedly tanking, but they shocked the New England Patriots in Week 17 and will select No. 5 overall. The Cleveland Browns and Chicago Bears were popular preseason playoff picks, but both teams will watch the tournament from home. Meanwhile, teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints lived up to expectations and head into January with championship hopes.

    How does this change the NFL draft? The rise of LSU quarterback Joe Burrow to QB1 status and the injury to Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa are the biggest changes since August, and Burrow is seemingly locked into the top spot with the Bengals secured as the No. 1 seed.

    After Burrow and Ohio State’s rare talent, Chase Young, are selected, the draft could get unpredictable. Here’s an updated look at how it could play out before the Jan. 20 underclassmen deadline.

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    Danny Karnik/Associated Press

    The Pick: QB Joe Burrow, LSU

    This was a no-brainer pick as soon as Joe Burrow torched the Alabama offense back in early November. But in every appearance since taking down the Crimson Tide, Burrow has only solidified his status as QB1 in this class.

    Burrow’s seven touchdowns in the first half against Oklahoma during the opening round of the College Football Playoff once again pointed out how special he is as a prospect. This isn’t a case of teams elevating a quarterback artificially in order to draft them. Burrow deserves to be the first pick in this draft.

    “Just a kid from southeast Ohio,” he said in his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech. That kid from southeast Ohio will be returning to southern Ohio as he becomes the new face of the Bengals, and he’ll get to work with head coach Zac Taylor on an offense that secretly has a lot of young talent in running back Joe Mixon, wide receiver Tyler Boyd and offensive linemen Jonah Williams and Trey Hopkins.

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    The Pick: EDGE Chase Young, Ohio State

    Congratulations to whomever is running the Washington Redskins next season. You get to pair Chase Young with Montez Sweat at pass-rusher, already have a good young quarterback in Dwayne Haskins and boast a player who looks like a potentially dominant wide receiver in Terry McLaurin.

    The rebuild isn’t done in Washington. A new head coach is still needed, and direction from ownership and the front office will determine many of the team’s decisions. But there’s promise here, and creating one of the NFL’s best young rushing duos is a great first step.

    Young is an easy selection for owner Daniel Snyder and Co. given his athleticism and production, and you can even add that he’s a local guy as he played high school football in nearby Hyattsville, Maryland. 

    The Redskins have made a lot of mistakes in the last 30 years. This won’t be one of them.

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    The Pick: DL Derrick Brown, Auburn

    There isn’t a sexy pick for the Detroit Lions at No. 3 overall. The team doesn’t need a quarterback or left tackle, and it’s unlikely to tap into the historically deep wide receiver class with Kenny Golladay on the roster and the position not a huge need.

    So, where do the Lions go? 

    Auburn’s Derrick Brown is underrated as a legitimate top-tier player in the 2020 draft class. He’s drawn comparisons from scouts to Ndamukong Suh as a potential game-wrecker up front with his power and first-step ability playing any of the interior line positions.

    Cornerback Jeff Okudah from Ohio State or linebacker Isaiah Simmons from Clemson could be in consideration here, but Brown is the best fit with matching value on the overall board.

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    The Pick: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

    Where do the New York Giants go from here? 

    The first step to accurately predicting the selection is to know who will be calling the shots at general manager and head coach. As of this writing, the futures of Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur are unknown. But if Gettleman were to return, this wouldn’t be a prototypical pick for him.

    The general manager has always been known as a line-first drafter, which would point to an offensive lineman or edge-rusher here—maybe even linebacker Isaiah Simmons. But whether it’s Gettleman or someone else drafting, the front office and ownership must realize that young quarterback Daniel Jones needs help on offense. 

    That’s where the Giants can look at incredibly talented Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy as a need and fit.

    Jeudy will remind Giants fans of Odell Beckham Jr. without the controversy. He’s a slick route-runner with good hands and excellent ability to find and create openings with his elite agility. He’s not the biggest receiver, but his skills point to an easy NFL transition.

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    Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press

    The Pick: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

    There has been nothing new regarding the hip injury Tua Tagovailoa suffered in mid-November, but the buzz from NFL sources is that he’s still expected to be a first-round selection as long as his hip rehab progresses as planned. 

    For Tua, no news is good news as he and NFL teams play a waiting game to see where he’s at in late February—assuming, of course, that he declares for the 2020 NFL draft instead of returning to Alabama.

    The Dolphins closed out the season strong, and head coach Brian Flores showed his ability by guiding the team to late wins. The team has the right men leading the charge with Flores and general manager Chris Grier. Now it has to find the right quarterback to lead it on the field.

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    The Pick: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon

    The Philip Rivers era is ending in Los Angeles, either now or soon based on his press conference following the team’s Week 17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. 

    Rivers is a free agent, and outside of Tyrod Taylor, there is no answer on the roster for the most important position in football. That’s where the team’s struggles down the stretch and resultant draft pick at No. 6 overall are valuable.

    Justin Herbert will impress scouts and coaches with his traits. He’s 6’6”, has a 237-pound frame with room to grow, possesses a big right arm and is a great athlete. There’s a lot to like from the senior quarterback. Though the downside is that he has struggled to get to second reads and never looked at his best against decent defenses, those who love physical traits will easily fall in love with him.

    Head coach Anthony Lynn and general manager Tom Telesco aren’t in a position to get Joe Burrow or Tua Tagovailoa and should instead turn to a quarterback with high potential, even if he has high bust potential, too.

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    The Pick: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State

    This selection isn’t about need. It’s about an elite player falling down the board and the Carolina Panthers realizing his value. 

    Jeff Okudah has the highest grade I’ve given a cornerback since Jalen Ramsey entered the NFL, and since Patrick Peterson before that. He is truly special with his instincts, ball skills and athleticism. The Panthers haven’t had a cornerback like him since Josh Norman was first getting started.

    Offensive tackle—or even quarterback—is a bigger need, but the value is simply too good to pass up with Okudah somehow still on the board for the Panthers.

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    The Pick: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

    The torch can be passed from Larry Fitzgerald to CeeDee Lamb on draft day as the Arizona Cardinals select a new WR1 who has experience with the scheme head coach Kliff Kingsbury is running and a familiarity with quarterback Kyler Murray. There isn’t a better match for a wide receiver in this class than Lamb to Arizona.

    For the Cardinals, it could be tempting to take the first offensive tackle in the draft here, but it remains to be seen how much general manager Steve Keim and the head coach will value offensive linemen early in the draft. They could instead rely on Murray’s athleticism and a quick passing attack to mitigate pass-rushers.

    Lamb won’t blow anyone away with his testing times at the NFL Scouting Combine, but his tape is clearly special thanks to his physicality, catch radius and body control.

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    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    The Pick: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

    What will things look like in Jacksonville after the firing of executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin? That’s a tough question to answer in the immediate aftermath of a weird season. The future of Nick Foles must be evaluated, and the same for key players Leonard Fournette and Yannick Ngakoue.

    When the Jaguars head to the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, the front office should be thinking about adding a playmaker on defense to pair with Myles Jack and give the team an answer to the speed at quarterback and tight end taking over the NFL.

    Isaiah Simmons started his career at safety but eventually outgrew the position and landed at linebacker. He lines up at slot cornerback, middle linebacker, edge-rusher and safety for the Clemson defense while showing rare athleticism on a 6’4”, 230-pound frame. Comparisons to Sean Taylor and Brian Urlacher have already been heard.

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    The Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

    The run on offensive tackles begins with the Cleveland Browns selecting Andrew Thomas.

    The structure in Cleveland will be interesting to watch. Will chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta run the show with more of an analytical approach? Will general manager John Dorsey remain in charge of the draft with his old-school scouting approach?

    No matter who is calling the shots, the Browns need a plug-and-play left tackle, and Thomas is that. He’s a powerful run-blocker and a well-versed pass protector who has been battle-tested in the SEC over the last three seasons. And unlike Jedrick Wills Jr. (Alabama) and Tristan Wirfs (Iowa), Thomas played left tackle and not right tackle in 2019.

    That might seem like a small detail, but it could be enough for Thomas to be the first tackle drafted.

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    The Pick: OT Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama

    The New York Jets should be smiling all the way to the podium when the card is sent in with my top-ranked offensive tackle coming off the board to protect Sam Darnold.

    Darnold, when protected well this year, showed all the tools to be a very good starting NFL quarterback. The trouble was that he was rarely well-protected as the Jets’ offensive line was ravaged by injury.

    Drafting Wills, who was tasked with protecting Tua Tagovailoa’s blind side as the Alabama right tackle, gives the Jets a Week 1 answer at left tackle. His movement skills are the best of any tackle in the 2020 class, and his technique is pro-ready.

    Receiver is a huge need, as is edge-rusher, but protecting Darnold has to be the top priority for general manager Joe Douglas in his first draft.

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    The Pick: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson

    It’s going to take some time to get used to seeing “Las Vegas Raiders” up there.

    As the team moves east, head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock will look to hit another home run with their second draft class together. The formula followed in 2019’s draft was to look at high performers from major colleges who brought work ethic and discipline to the league. 

    If you’re looking for a wide receiver, start at Clemson. The pipeline since Dabo Swinney took over as head coach has been fantastic with Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins and Mike Williams all going as first-rounders. Tee Higgins is next.

    Higgins’ 6’4”, 215-pound frame allows him to win over the top or deep down the field. His body control and athleticism will remind you of A.J. Green. That’s exactly the type of playmaker Derek Carr needs as the Raiders offense looks to take the next step.

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    The Pick: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

    Why not a quarterback here? The answer is that general manager Chris Ballard doesn’t seem like the type of evaluator to love the traits of Jordan Love or Jacob Eason, the two best quarterbacks left on the board. At least not in the first round.

    Ballard knows he can go into 2020 with Jacoby Brissett at quarterback and get consistent yet average play. That might be good enough if the Colts can surround him with better talent at receiver and remain healthier at the skill positions.

    Henry Ruggs III can be Ballard’s version of Tyreek Hill—a player he found while scouting with the Kansas City Chiefs—but without any issues off the field. He has elite speed and can be a threat stretching the field or working on breaking routes where he’s set up for yards after the catch.

    Colts fans won’t like this pick, but this is a prediction of what Ballard will do and not what you or I would do as the drafter. Knowing Ballard’s process, I would be shocked to see a quarterback here.

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    The Pick: S Grant Delpit, LSU

    The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a decision to make on free-agent quarterback Jameis Winston, and they must completely evaluate the quarterback position on the roster in general. Will head coach Bruce Arians fall for the strong arm and mobility of Jordan Love (Utah State) or the class’ best arm strength in Jacob Eason (Washington)?

    It could happen, but Arians is 67 years old and might not want to coach long enough to develop the fourth quarterback selected in a draft. The buzz around the league is that there’s a strong chance the Buccaneers look at the draft class and decide Jameis Winston maybe isn’t so bad.

    Without a quarterback selected, look for the Buccaneers to fall head-over-heels in love with LSU safety Grant Delpit. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles is the NFL’s best with safeties and will undoubtedly see plenty of Jamal Adams when evaluating him.

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    The Pick: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

    General manager John Elway has received his share of criticism in this space before, so let’s take a second to praise his selections of Drew Lock (4-1 this season), Courtland Sutton (one of the NFL’s best young receivers) and Bradley Chubb, who looks like he’ll be a future star once he returns from a torn ACL in 2020. There’s a foundation here that’s promising; now Elway must add to it.

    The offensive line is an area of concern, even after the Broncos drafted Garett Bolles in 2017’s first round and paid Ja’Wuan James in free agency last year. Bolles hasn’t been the answer at left tackle and could be upgraded.

    That’s where Tristan Wirfs should intrigue Elway. 

    Much like last year’s second-round pick, Dalton Risner, Wirfs is rock-solid and ready to come into the NFL as a starter at multiple positions. He moves well enough to make a transition from college right tackle to NFL left tackle look possible, and that’s where he would slot in as the Broncos’ protector of Lock for the foreseeable future.

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    Charlie Neibergall/Associated Press

    The Pick: EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

    Owner Arthur Blank made the decision to bring back general manager Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Dan Quinn despite the team’s slow start to the season: a testament to their work down the stretch. Now they must evaluate the roster to fix what has kept the Falcons out of contention since their Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots.

    From the outside looking in, a major issue in Atlanta is the lack of a pass rush. Given Quinn’s background as a defensive coordinator, more was expected. Vic Beasley Jr. is set to hit free agency and hasn’t lived up to his draft stock as 2015’s No. 8 overall selection, so it makes sense to attack the board with A.J. Epenesa available.

    Epenesa enjoyed two amazing seasons at Iowa, where his 6’6”, 280-pound frame was almost impossible for Big Ten offensive tackles to stop. He doesn’t have the speed of Beasley or Takkarist McKinley, but he brings a power game that will pair nicely next to Grady Jarrett as the Falcons re-tool their defensive line.

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    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    The Pick: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

    The needs of the Dallas Cowboys are tough to articulate at this stage as free agency is expected to completely remake the look of the team.

    Quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and cornerback Byron Jones are all free agents. And while Dak will be back, even if it means the franchise tag, the rest of the roster is up in the air while the front office sorts out future contracts and the status of head coach Jason Garrett.

    The biggest need is arguably safety. But with Delpit off the board, the Cowboys turn to the second-biggest area of need, which comes along the defensive line. None of the team’s moves at defensive tackle have yet to result in a long-term answer, which makes the value and impact of Javon Kinlaw intriguing.

    A 6’6”, 310-pounder who I’ve compared to Arik Armstead, Kinlaw has dominated in the SEC for two seasons while showing a positional versatility (he would be great in a 3-4) and toughness that will have coaches falling in love with his game.

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    Barry Reeger/Associated Press

    The Pick: EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State

    Quarterback was checked off the team’s list at No. 5 overall. Now the front office turns to the defense and looks to improve the pass rush with a speedy, long player from Penn State.

    Yetur Gross-Matos is this year’s version of Brian Burns: a long, fast and athletic edge-rusher who could use a little refinement in his game and will benefit from time to bulk up but brings an immediate impact as a speed rusher.

    Left tackle is no doubt a big need here, but none are available who make sense at this selection. The Dolphins may look at this draft class and their three first-round selections and decide it’s smarter to trade for Trent Williams than it is to try fitting a square peg into a round hole by reaching for a tackle at Nos. 18 or 25 overall.

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    Ric Tapia/Associated Press

    The Pick: LB Dylan Moses, Alabama

    After selecting a WR1 in Tee Higgins, the Raiders come back on the clock with an eye toward defense while keeping the Mayock philosophy intact: high-character producers from big programs. 

    That’s the description of Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses.

    Moses, who missed the 2019 season with a knee injury, is expected to be ready to go for Week 1 of the NFL season. Many have forgotten how impactful he was at Alabama in 2018, but a quick look back at his game film and you’re reminded he was the best linebacker prospect in the nation headed into the season.

    Moses will give the Raiders an answer to their troubles in the middle of the field thanks to his athleticism, instincts and ability to stay on the field for three downs as a run stopper and coverage ‘backer.

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    The Pick: CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford

    The Jaguars got their Telvin Smith Sr. replacement with Isaiah Simmons earlier in the round and will now look for their Jalen Ramsey replacement with a selection received in return for their traded cornerback.

    Paulson Adebo isn’t Ramsey, but few are. What he does bring to the table are excellent instincts, a history of ball skills—both with passes defensed and interceptions—and a game that looks to have room to continue improving as a two-year starter at Stanford.

    The Jaguars could always look to add offensively if the value matches the team board, but adding pieces on defense is what the team needs most.

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The Pick: WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado

    Speed on offense has to be the focal point of the Eagles’ 2020 offseason. Yes, Greg Ward Jr. provided a spark, but he can’t be the team’s plan at WR1 moving forward. With Alshon Jeffery’s body seemingly breaking down and Nelson Agholor regressing, this is a clear-cut top need.

    Laviska Shenault Jr. isn’t your traditional wide receiver. He’ll line up in the slot or in the backfield and has dominated with the ball in his hands. He’s also a stockily built player at 6’2” and 220 pounds who defenders have a hard time bringing down in space.

    Whether he’s compared to Percy Harvin or a college version of Sammy Watkins, Shenault is a proven playmaker who will finally give Carson Wentz a young receiver to grow alongside, as well as a player for opposing defenses to fear at wide receiver.

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The Pick: RB J.K. Dobbins, Ohio State

    Derrick Henry has been amazing. His NFL rushing title in 2019 is a credit to his talent. But he’s also a free agent, and the buzz around the league is that the Titans haven’t made any effort to start contract talks with the back who will soon be 26 years old.

    Henry, who left Alabama with a ton of wear and tear, has already toted the rock over 800 times in his pro career. Whether he’s back on a short-term deal, adding another running back should be in the Titans’ plans this offseason.

    J.K. Dobbins was one of college football’s best players in 2019. His first-step quickness, vision and hands make him an ideal target for NFL teams. Watch him slice through the Clemson and Michigan defenses and you can easily see what he could bring to a pro offense.

    If Henry isn’t back in Tennessee, Dobbins would make a lot of sense as his replacement given how important the run game is to the team’s success.

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    The Pick: WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama

    It doesn’t take an expert evaluator to know the Buffalo Bills have to give Josh Allen more to work with at wide receiver. 

    Unfortunately (or fortunately), the Bills have won too many games to be in position to draft one of the top-tier receivers. That means general manager Brandon Beane and his staff must be on their scouting game when it comes to finding a quality receiver late in Round 1.

    DeVonta Smith, if he leaves Alabama early, could be exactly what the team needs. He has good speed and is a polished route-runner. The Bills might want more size than his 6’1”, 175-pound frame offers, but his quickness and undeniable playmaking skills could work well in Buffalo’s offensive scheme while also adding an element in the return game.

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    The Pick: CB CJ Henderson, Florida

    The Minnesota Vikings could easily look at offensive tackle at this spot, but none on the board rank as a value at No. 24 overall. The same goes for addressing the edge-rusher or defensive tackle position as the team looks to add youth.

    Value and need meet when looking at cornerback. 

    The Vikings have invested heavily in the position, but the regression of Xavier Rhodes makes this a priority. Florida’s CJ Henderson has excellent athletic traits and the instincts in coverage to be an attacking ball hawk. He perfectly fits the style profile the Vikings attach to the cornerback position with his speed and toughness in coverage.

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    John Amis/Associated Press

    The Pick: RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia

    There are bigger needs, but none fit the value of what’s left on the board. That’s why a left tackle isn’t being selected here. But consider this statistic: Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Miami Dolphins in rushing this season. Something needs to change.

    D’Andre Swift draws a comparison to Alvin Kamara with his stout frame, quickness and ability to beat defenses as a runner and receiver. He was banged up with a shoulder injury to end the season, but he was the best running back prospect in college when healthy. 

    After grabbing a quarterback and pass-rusher, the Dolphins can afford to draft what might not be a priority position, especially when they’re trying to move on from Fitzpatrick as the team’s leading rusher.

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    The Pick: EDGE Terrell Lewis, Alabama

    Free agent Jadeveon Clowney will most likely return—it’s hard to imagine trading for such a player and not re-signing him—but regardless of whether he signs a long-term deal, the Seahawks will jump at the chance to add another athletic and big pass-rusher in the first round.

    Terrell Lewis has top-15 traits on a 6’5”, 252-pound frame. He’s been injured at Alabama, but his 2019 season reminded evaluators just how special he can be. And he’s still getting back to 100 percent.

    Cornerback could be a need, but the Seahawks haven’t prioritized the position early in the draft. With an eye on the draft history of general manager John Schneider, pass-rusher is a pretty good bet in the 2020 first round.

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    The Pick: EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU

    The New England Patriots could go so many directions in Round 1, and what head coach Bill Belichick does will answer many questions about the team’s future. 

    If he drafts to plug holes, you’ll get the feeling the Patriots are loading up for another Super Bowl run. If he instead looks at future needs to reload the roster, we might see the franchise’s first rebuild in 20 years.

    Based on the board and team needs, a pass-rusher is a smart pick for the Patriots. LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson has top-15 traits and is an athletic marvel, though he missed almost all of the 2018 campaign with a torn ACL and hasn’t completely worked his way back throughout this season. 

    Still, Chaisson’s traits have evaluators excited, so much so that he might not be available this late when the April draft rolls around.

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    The Pick: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

    The Packers will be torn between giving Aaron Rodgers more talent at wide receiver or tight end and drafting to round out a defense that was much better in 2019 but still has holes.

    The way the board falls in this mock draft answers that question for them as there isn’t a receiver or tight end worthy of a selection at this spot. That allows the Packers to draft a true three-down linebacker and one of college football’s most productive players over the last two seasons in Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray.

    Murray was a one-man wrecking crew for the Sooners and has shown the speed and instincts to line up at middle linebacker in any defensive alignment. His ability to play against the pass as well as he plays the run will make him a highly coveted prospect in Round 1.

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    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    The Pick: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

    The rise of Charvarius Ward as a CB1 for the Kansas City Chiefs this season has been a much-needed boost to a secondary that will head into the 2020 offseason with few players under contract. Kendall Fuller, Morris Claiborne, Bashaud Breeland and Keith Reaser will all be free agents after the playoffs. Even with Ward and 2019 sixth-rounder Rashad Fenton impressing, cornerback is a huge need.

    LSU’s Kristian Fulton has battled through an ankle injury for much of 2019 while showing the toughness, technique and leadership that coaches will love once they get involved in the scouting process. He’s a clean prospect on the field and has the goods to become a high-level starter in the NFL.

    Compared to other former LSU cornerbacks, Fulton could have an impact similar to what we’ve seen from Tre’Davious White in Buffalo. That would be a huge win for Kansas City late in Round 1.

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    The Pick: CB Jeff Gladney, TCU

    The expectation for the Saints was that wide receiver would be a need heading into the 2020 NFL draft, but then word leaked that they’ve worked out Antonio Brown and are interested in signing the free-agent wideout. He would obviously fill the team’s need at the position and allow the front office to instead address needs on defense.

    TCU’s Jeff Gladney is your typical tough, physical and instinctive cornerback, much like Rock Ya-Sin was in the 2019 draft. He might start his NFL career as a slot cornerback, but the Saints would welcome that as there is no rush to get him on the outside.

    Of course, drafting a cornerback assumes Drew Brees and Teddy Bridgewater will return in 2020. Based on conversations around the league, there’s now a belief that both could be back next year.

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    Sam Craft/Associated Press

    The Pick: FS Xavier McKinney, Alabama

    The 49ers currently own a first-round selection and then don’t pick again until the fifth round. Because of that and the team’s hit rate on middle-round picks, expect general manager John Lynch to try moving back from this spot to add more selections.

    In a mock draft without projected trades, the 49ers address a big need at free safety by grabbing an athletic and rangy prospect with excellent tools to play in the pros immediately. 

    Xavier McKinney was overlooked too often at Alabama because of the offensive firepower and elite front-seven play, but his tape shows first-round caliber traits.

    He has the ability to play Cover 0 to Cover 4 with good size (6’1″, 200 lbs) and that makes him the top free safety prospect in the 2020 draft class. He even has the versatility to play at strong safety as well.

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    The Pick: EDGE Julian Okwara, Notre Dame

    What do you give the team that has everything? According to a team scout I spoke with, pass-rushers.

    The Ravens know they have a special offense and will be playing with a lead often in 2020. Much like the Kansas City Chiefs adding Frank Clark last offseason, the Ravens want to build a defense that can get after the quarterback when they’ve already forced opposing offenses to pass the ball in order to win.

    Julian Okwara has the athleticism to excite coaches and scouts off the edge. His game is a little raw, but the Ravens have time to develop him. The need becomes more urgent if Matt Judon leaves in free agency, and the player type might change, but a Round 1 pass-rusher is the buzz around the league for Baltimore.

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    Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

    Jordan Love, QB, Utah StateEli Lucero/Associated Press

    33. Bengals: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan

    34. Colts (from Redskins): Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

    35. Lions: Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State

    36. Giants: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

    37. Chargers: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

    38. Panthers: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington

    39. Dolphins: Josh Jones, OT, Houston

    40. Cardinals: Creed Humphrey, IOL, Oklahoma

    41. Browns: Ashtyn Davis, S, California

    42. Jaguars: Matt Peart, OT, UConn

    43. Bears (from Raiders): Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue

    44. Colts: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

    45. Buccaneers: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

    46. Broncos: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

    47. Falcons: Najee Harris, RB, Alabama

    48. Jets: Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF

    49. Steelers: Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington

    50. Bears: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

    51. Cowboys: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

    52. Rams: John Simpson, IOL, Clemson

    53. Titans: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

    54. Eagles: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

    55. Vikings: Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M

    56. Bills: Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma

    57. Texans: Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin

    58. Seahawks: Marlon Davidson, IDL, Auburn

    59. Falcons (from Patriots): Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

    60. Packers: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

    61. Chiefs: Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wicsonsin

    62. Dolphins (from Saints): Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC

    63. Seahawks (from 49ers): Matt Hennessy, IOL, Temple

    64. Ravens: Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State

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    Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

    Travis Etienne, RB, ClemsonKarl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

    65. Bengals: Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida

    66. Redskins: Nick Harris, IOL, Washington

    67. Lions: Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State

    68. Jets (from Giants): Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah

    69. Panthers: Ben Bredeson, IOL, Michigan

    70. Dolphins: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Miss. State

    71. Chargers: Jared Pinkney, TE, Vanderbilt

    72. Cardinals: Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama

    73. Jaguars: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

    74. Browns: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech

    75. Colts: Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida

    76. Buccaneers: Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State

    77. Broncos: Ross Blacklock, IDL, TCU

    78. Falcons: Richard Lecounte, S, Georgia

    79. Jets: Cam Akers, RB, Florida State

    80. Raiders: Terrell Burgess, CB, Utah

    81. Raiders (from Bears): Damien Lewis, IOL, LSU

    82. Cowboys: Anfernee Jennings, EDGE, Alabama

    83. Broncos (from Steelers): Lynn Bowden Jr., WR, Kentucky

    84. Rams: Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn

    85. Eagles: Darrell Taylor, EDGE, Tennessee

    86. Titans: Rashard Lawrence, IDL, LSU

    87. Bills: Brandon Jones, S, Texas

    88. Vikings: Troy Dye, LB, Oregon

    89. Browns (from Texans): Jordan Elliott, IDL, Missouri

    90. Raiders (from Seahawks): Shane Lemieux, IOL, Oregon

    91. Patriots: Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame

    92. Packers: Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri

    93. Chiefs: Markus Bailey, LB, Purdue

    94. Saints: Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

    95. Broncos (from 49ers): Evan Weaver, LB, California

    96. Ravens: Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee

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