1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow (QB/LSU)
The easiest pick to make in this draft, Cincinnati is ready to move on from Andy Dalton and Zac Taylor is able to bring in his guy to replace a holdover from the old regime. With a pretty saturdated quarterback market, Cincinnati may not be able to trade Dalton and would likely have him start the early portion of the season before giving the reigns to Burrow.
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young (EDGE/Ohio State)
A tackle is needed too with Trent Williams’ situation only getting worse, but there’s no way Washington is taking anyone but Young if they stand pat, something that is likely to remain with Cam Newton and Jameis Winston still available on the open market.
3. Detroit Lions – Jeffrey Okudah (CB/Ohio State)
Darius Slay is gone, but even if he stayed I was advocating for Detroit to add more to their secondary. Okudah did not surrender more than 50 receiving yards in a game last season and could very well be the first cornerback selected top three since 1997.
4. New York Giants – Isaiah Simmons (LB/Clemson)
New York is the first tough team to mock for because while I feel a tackle is a significantly bigger need, all signs are pointing to David Gettleman selecting the defensive chess piece that is Simmons. Gettleman has always been one to telegraph his picks and despite all of the money and resources he has spent on offense, he has been chirping that “defense wins championships” this offseason.
5. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa (QB/Alabama)
Miami is one of the teams who need a quarterback but are more likely to take one in the draft over signing Newton or Winston due to their draft position and possession of three first-round picks. Ryan Fitzpatrick is essentially a gun-for-hire at this point in his career and Josh Rosen has continuously been thrown to the wolves with little to show for it.
6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert (QB/Oregon)
The Philip Rivers era is offically over after he signed with the Colts and the penciled in starter for the Chargers is currently Tyrod Taylor. Offensive line could also be addressed here, but I think the most likely scenario is that they land their next signal caller unless they sign Newton, who they have been connected to.
7. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown (DT/Auburn)
Carolina looks committed to Teddy Bridgewater and I expect them to focus on defense in the draft after an offseason that saw them lose Luke Kuechly (retirement), Gerald McCoy (signed with the Cowboys) and James Bradberry (signed with the Giants). Brown is stout against the run, something Carolina struggled with last season.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs (OT/Iowa)
Arizona’s offensive line played significantly better last year than in 2018, but Kliff Kingsbury’s quick release scheme helped mitigate the pressure on Kyler Murray. Wirfs spent his entire Iowa career at right tackle, but should have no issue transitioning to the blind side in the NFL.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jedrick Wills (OT/Alabama)
With Gardner Minshew seemingly handled the reigns in Jacksonville, it’s time to find him some adequate protection. Cam Robinson is entering his contract year and never lived up to expectations while Jawaan Taylor will slide in at right tackle.
10. Cleveland Browns – Andrew Thomas (OT/Georgia)
We officially have a run of tackles being selected. Cleveland signed Jack Conklin, but signs are pointing to him staying on the right side as Cleveland is in desperate need to overhaul their offensive line.
11. New York Jets – Jerry Jeudy (WR/Alabama)
Jeudy is one of the top talents of this draft, but falls out of the top 10 due to positional need. The Jets, however, don’t mind as they get Sam Darnold a weapon he desperately needs.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – CeeDee Lamb (WR/Oklahoma)
The Antonio Brown experiment was a disaster for the Raiders, who ultimately released him before the season began. Offensive weapons are needed regardless of who is throwing the ball in 2020.
13. San Francisco 49ers – Javon Kinlaw (DT/South Carolina)
San Francisco acquired this pick by trading DeForest Buckner to Indianapolis, so it’s fitting that they use it to get a viable replacement for Buckner who doesn’t cost $21 million per season.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mekhi Becton (OT/Louisville)
Anyone who follows my mocks knows I am not a fan of Donovan Smith. With Tom Brady in town for hsi age 43 season, it’s important for the Bucs to provide viable blocking.
15. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs (WR/Alabama)
Courtland Sutton is talened and a deep threat, but Denver is lacking talent-wise at the position outside of him. Ruggs is a YAC machine who will keep opposing defenses honest.
16. Atlanta Falcons – C.J. Henderson (CB/Florida)
Atlanta released Desmond Trufant and let Vic Beasley walk in free agency. The Falcons signed Dante Fowler to replace Beasley, but they still need upgrades in the secondary.
17. Dallas Cowboys – K’Lavon Chaisson (EDGE/LSU)
Dallas have a number of directions they can go in, but I think the best bet is settling on the best player avaialble. Chaisson slides in to replace Robert Quinn, who signed with the Bears.
18. Miami Dolphins – Josh Jones (OT/Houston)
Miami got their franchsie quarterback with their top pick, now they need to focus on protecting him as his 2019 season ended early due to a hip injury.
19. Las Vegas Raiders – Kristian Fulton (CB/LSU)
The Raiders signed Eli Apple, but he wasn’t great in New York nor New Orleans, and he is on just a one-year deal, so I don’t see his signing preventing Oakland from addressing their secondary needs in the opening round.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevon Diggs (CB/Alabama)
Jacksonville has traded Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, turning one of the most stout secondary units in the NFL into a team weakness in the process.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – Justin Jefferson (WR/LSU)
The Eagles wide receiver corps were among the worst in the league last season and nothing has been done so far to improve the unit. Jefferson excels at contested catches, but needs to develop as a route runner.
22. Minnesota Vikings – Yetur Gross-Matos (EDGE/Penn State)
Vikings just lost a ton of players in their secondary and traded away Stefon Diggs, so it’s easy to forget tha Everson Griffen is also not returning. Gross-Matos will slide in to keep opposing defnses from double-teaming Danielle Hunter.
23. New England Patriots – Jordan Love (QB/Utah State)
The Tom Brady era is over in New England and right now Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer are in competition to become the next starter, so adding a new signal caller is definitely in the cards.
24. New Orleans Saints – Jaylon Johnson (CB/Utah)
New Orleans let Eli Apple and P.J. Williams walk in free agency, now it’s time to get their replacements.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Ross Blacklock (DT/TCU)
A mammoth nose tackle to replace the departed Linval Joseph, Minnesota continues to build through the trenches on defense.
26. Miami Dolphins – A.J. Epenesa (EDGE/Iowa)
Miami used their first two picks on offense, now they add a much-needed edge rusher. Xavier McKinney could be an option here too.
27. Seattle Seahawks – Austin Jackson (OT/USC)
The offensive line has been an ongoing issue for Seattle. Edge rusher and secondary help could also be addressed with this selection.
28. San Francisco 49ers – Patrick Queen (LB/LSU)
Baltimore has historically had quality play from inside linebacker, but they are at a bit of a crossroads. Queen is a tremendous athlete who should slide in as an immediate starter.
29. Tennessee Titans – Jeff Gladney (CB/TCU)
Logan Ryan wasn’t re-signed and despite the recent drafting of Adoree Jackson and signing of Malcolm Butler, Tennessee needs to continue to bolster the unit.
30. Green Bay Packers – Jalen Reagor (WR/TCU)
Green Bay has no other weapons outside of Davante Adams. Reagor is a home run hitter who perfectly compliments Adams.
31. San Francisco 49ers – Lloyd Cushenberry (C/LSU)
Weston Richburg tore his patellar tendon late last season, an injury which can be a death sentence in the NFL. San Francisco should look for his replacement.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – A.J. Terrell (CB/Clemson)
The Chiefs secondary performed well last season, but they are losing a lot of talent in free agency, so it is back to the drawing board.