2020 Mid-Season Mock NFL Draft
Halfway through the NFL season and most fans have made up their mind on what they want to see from their team this year. For Dolphin fans, most are all in on “trusting the porpoise.” While 49er fans are feeling hopeful despite the lowly consensus expectation in the off-season.
While the midpoint may not be the most accurate time to make a mock, it is time to get your look ahead to the future of the NFL. Trust me, the 2020 class will provide many great players for a long time in this league.
So, close your eyes… now open them again, I need you to read this article. But imagine, the date is April 23rd, 2020; Roger Goodell has approached the podium and over the sound of thousands of boos he states, “The Cincinnati Bengals are now on the clock.”
Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
The Bengals were a team that honestly fooled me entering the 2019 NFL season. While there were obvious issues with the squad I believe that Zac Taylor being brought in to revamp the offense mixed with the young slew of talented defenders on the roster, the Bengals could be a dark horse team to make playoffs. Sadly, a few injuries here and there and the continued awful performance by the offensive line and linebacker core and now the Bengals sit at 0-5 on the season.
Burrow is a guy who flew up draft boards entering the 2019 season. The year prior Burrow had a tough time putting up respectable stat lines while continuing to never be able to shake the game manager tag. This year it’s a whole new story, the pocket passer has not only shown poise, but has shown arm talent and is changing the LSU football reputation as one of the best passing attacks in the nation. While I have always defended Dalton, it’s time for Cincinnati to embrace moving on and Burrow can be the perfect guy for that move.
Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Miami Dolphins went into the season with a plan to rebuild this roster from the ground up. While I like Josh Rosen, and want to believe the Dolphins would embrace giving him a chance or going for Trevor Lawrence next year, I believe the talks have already been too heavy that the Dolphins plan to pursue their quarterback this off-season.
Make no mistake though, Tua is a great get for the Dolphins. While there are questions about if he is as talented as he looks, or if he is the product of a strong team. However, Tua possesses accuracy, mobility, and arm strength to be worth the gamble. While he needs to improve on his ability to handle pressure, the Dolphins should be excited if they bring in Tagovailoa this April.
Washington Redskins: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Jay Gruden has been fired in Washington and most likely he won’t be the only one gone by the time the 2020 season takes place. The Redskins are in a spot where they must find a way to support their young quarterback of the future. Whoever the new coach is will likely be a huge Haskins fan and if they bring in a new GM then he will likely try to build support around Haskins.
When it comes to the Redskins there are many potential needs that could be addressed, however, I expect them to look in favor of adding play making talent around Haskins and Jeudy has all the play making ability a team could ever want. Jeudy is an incredible route runner, able to create separation with a great mix of athleticism and fundamentals. While there have been plenty of great receiver prospects over the years, there may be none with a higher floor than Jeudy. One could make the case that Jeudy is a day one top 20 receiver in the NFL, and would easily be the best playmaker on the Redskins.
Atlanta Falcons: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
The Falcons entered the 2019 season with hopes much higher than their current 1-5 record. Injuries to the secondary have plagued what looked to be one of the most talented rosters in the NFC. Now, Dan Quinn sits on the hot seat, and Falcons across the world are left to wonder, what is the future of this team?
Well when it comes to the Chase Young, even getting him with the fourth pick of the draft is a massive steal for the Falcons and addresses a huge need for a team that has lacked a reliable presence on the edge for quite some time. Young is a freak of nature who offers size, strength, and athleticism to win in all ways at the line and providing the struggling Falcons defense with a pass rush could be huge for a team that still remains optimistic about their chances moving forward.
Denver Broncos: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
For Bronco fans, this season is a readjustment for what will hopefully be brighter days heading into the future. When watching the Broncos, it is painful to see penalty after penalty on Garrett Bolles and it has gotten to the point where the broadcasters share no mercy.
Insert my number one prospect in this draft class: Andrew Thomas. Thomas is an incredible talent and while some have issues with his size, there is no question in my mind that Thomas will be an excellent tackle at the next level. The Broncos have Drew Lock as their hopeful franchise QB, in order to give him his best odds they must improve their offensive line.
New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
The Giants have fixed up the offense and have found some new hope under Daniel Jones, now they look to help fix up the defense and adding in an athletic linebacker like Simmons who can help all over the field taking the moneybacker spot allows for the Giants to start to build on their defensive identity. Simmons is one of the most versatile defenders who can cover sideline to sideline and help whether it is in coverage, run stopping, or pass rush, and the Giants could use help in all three.
Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers): Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Dolphins spent the first pick to bring in their QB of the future and now they must invest in protecting him. I hope the Dolphins have seen cases such as Andrew Luck, Josh Rosen, and Deshaun Watson where a lack of protection can cause damage both in terms of health and development and invest their assets in supporting their young QB. Wirfs is an extremely nimble yet large lineman who can play either side of the offensive line, however with Tua being a left-handed quarterback, Wirfs may be the perfect fit to protect his blindside at right tackle.
Arizona Cardinals: Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
Last year there were whispers the Cardinals were passing on Kyler to take the stud lineman, Quinnen Williams, with the first overall selection. Now, with Murray seeming to have the spot held down, the Cardinals have a chance to again take a stud defensive tackle. Derrick Brown is a massive 6’5 318 pounds, who does a great job against the pass and run game. Brown is a well rounded blend of power, athleticism, and size and teams are already enamored with him based on reports, now we just have to see where he lands.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
In most instances, a team trading someone from a position just for someone to mock them a player from that same spot is… lazy. However, the Jaguars need at CB is a legit concern moving forward. While losing Ramsey is huge, Buoye has dropped off and Hayden may be cut to save money in the off-season. Insert Okudah, my best corner in the class who has excellent ability in man coverage. While he is still developing his zone skills, Okudah should fix up an immediate need for Jacksonville.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
While the Bucs brought in Arians in hopes of helping Winston reach his next step, the issues are still there and the Bucs may opt in the direction of moving on instead of waiting around. The Bucs have needs all over the board so personally it would be hard to blame Winston for all of their issues, but maybe it is best for both sides to move on.
Herbert is a young QB with huge upside. He does have consistency issues that will need to be worked on in order for him to be a high level QB at the next level, but he certainly has the arm to fit Arians’ system as well as athletic ability to sprinkle on top.
New York Jets: AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Over the offseason the Jets looked to acquire Anthony Barr to fill their need at edge rusher, when he backed out, we knew there would be issues. Epenesa will help fill that as he is an extremely talented and powerful presence for any team to bring to their edge. While his production is down, Epenesa has clearly been gameplanned for and has brought production to the rest of the Iowa D-Line as a result. It won’t happen in the NFL and Epenesa will be back to dominating.
Cleveland Browns: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
The Browns haven’t gotten off to the start that many expected for them and halfway through the season, it appears as though one of the most talented rosters in the NFL will once again receive an early pick. Well why not grab a top player to start right away. The Browns shipped off Jabrill Peppers in the offseason as a part of the trade for Odell Beckham Jr, and now start Morgan Burnett at safety who has been serviceable. Well now, they bring in one of the top safeties in CFB and continue to build their already strong defense and roster.
Philadelphia Eagles: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
The Eagles have fallen from the days of their Super Bowl glory and if you turn on the game you can tell immediately, the issue is in the secondary. Henderson is a long fluid corner who will be able to help out right away and hopefully elevate the play for the secondary. The Eagles will still keep hope on their young pieces like Jones and Maddox, but help is dire and they don’t have money to spend in free agency in hopes of addressing it.
Los Angeles Chargers: Tyler Biadasz, iOL, Wisconsin
When Mike Pouncey went down with a neck injury, Anthony Lynn told the press that there was no saying whether it was career threatening or not. While Pouncey may be able to play again, the Chargers should look into adding Biadasz as he is one of the best interior line prospects they’ll get a shot at in any draft soon and he can help this team have some consistency moving forward. Sadly, a lot of the Chargers woes this season can be contributed to the injuries to players throughout the roster, however, the Chargers must move forward and make the most of it, and Biadasz is a great step in that direction.
Tennessee Titans: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
In terms of talent, there may be no better player in the country than Terrell Lewis. With an incredible blend of athleticism, play-strength, and ability to disrupt, NFL teams will have a hard time not falling in love with Lewis. Sadly, Lewis comes with an injury history that will drop his stock when it comes to the draft. After an elbow injury in 2017 and a torn ACL in 2018 ending both seasons, and Lewis having to sit out of the Southern Miss game due to a knee injury, a lot of his stock will be determined by the scouting combine’s medical reports. However, if Lewis does manage to stay healthy, he will be a nightmare for opposing offenses week in week out and the Titans would continue to build their stacked team if they bring him in.
Detroit Lions: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Lions have made improvements all over the roster and will continue to look to improve the defense. Fulton continues the long trend of talent at the cornerback position coming out of LSU and for the Lions, they’re thankful he’s available. Slay seemed to be a part of trade talks so if they also move on from their CB1 the position will be a definite need.
Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago Bears): Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama
There is certainly a question mark on if Moses will declare, the star linebacker had a season ending ACL tear that will keep him out, so there are chances he returns to Alabama. However, if he does declare, the Raiders could take advantage of a major talent who offers both good coverage ability and strong run support. The Raiders have looked much better this season but adding to their weak linebacker core could do wonders for this team.
Carolina Panthers: Marvin Wilson, DL, Florida State
In what doesn’t seem like long ago the Panthers arguably had the best interior defensive line in the NFL with Kawaan Short and Star Lotulelei manning the middle. Now, in a 3-4 defense, the Panthers could use a boost at the line. While they have added the needed pass rush help with Brian Burns off to a strong start, the Panthers could bring in his former teammate who has posted incredible pass rush numbers from the defensive tackle position, with size and strength to shut down the run as well.
Las Vegas Raiders: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
The Raiders come back on the clock and get some offensive help by adding Ruggs at receiver. Some may find it shocking that I have Ruggs going ahead of Lamb but I feel like Ruggs mix of speed and contact balance added onto his already impressive ability as a receiver, Ruggs is going to make teams fall in love with him. While the Raiders have weapons in Williams, Waller, Jacobs, and others, adding a do it all athlete like Ruggs could help progress this offense and give them a chance at making the playoffs and potentially more.
Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams): Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
The Jaguars continue to look to defensive help and add in Kinlaw to their changing defensive line. Kinlaw has amazed watchers this season with his versatility and production on the defensive line. Personally, I would love to watch Kinlaw learn next to Calais Campbell for a season as both offer similar versatility and ability. While it may be scary to the rest of the league, Kinlaw to the Jaguars would be a very interesting match to see.
Indianapolis Colts: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Colts have been a really fun team to watch and I think a big reason for that is just how well rounded they are. While some spots are less talented than others I don’t look at this team or any position and think there is much of a weakness. However, pairing CeeDee Lamb opposite of TY Hilton would be a huge acquisition and could continue to propel this already unit to potential becoming a contender (if they aren’t one already).
Seattle Seahawks: Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
The Seahawks this season has been strong but has had their ups and downs, with close games against lackluster opponents and contenders alike, this team is hard to figure out. Russell WIlson is always going to be the star of this club until he falls off but in order to help him last longer they could use some help at right tackle. Niang is huge, athletic, and very strong. Scouts will love him and he may not even be available this late, however, in Week 9… he’s Seattle’s for the taking!
Buffalo Bills: Yetur Gross-Metos, EDGE, Penn State
When you mix high work ethic and loads of potential, the right coaches are bound to make it work. There may be no better place for Gross-Metos to land than with McDermott plus being mentored by Lorenzo Alexander. The Bills defense is definitely one of the strongest in the league, but help in pass rush could push them even further up the ranks as the offense continues to develop and grow.
Minnesota Vikings: Creed Humphrey, iOL, Oklahoma
While Humphrey is a center and a fantastic one at that, the Vikings will look to get all the talent they can when it comes to their interior offensive line and with the more frequent usage of outside zone rushing they found a perfect guy to add with Humphrey as he offers great range to excel in that play style. The Vikings have been lightyears better this season with the addition of Bradbury, going back and getting more help should only continue to improve this team.
Dallas Cowboys: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
When making this mock, I had questions if the Cowboys would really invest capital in replacing Jeff Heath who has managed to be around for years in the Cowboys defense. However, after speculation and rumors the Cowboys came close to acquiring Jamal Adams, it is easier to make this pick. McKinney’s talent does most of the work in making this easy. The Alabama prospect plays all over the field for the Crimson Tide and can play all over well. Whether it is in coverage, as a run stopper, or even as a pass rusher, McKinney will produce, and the Cowboys should love the sound of that.
Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
There may be no more improved player from last season than Kenneth Murray. The Oklahoma linebacker went from too easily being washed out of plays to now becoming a threat all over the field to make plays. The Ravens defense is already extremely scary and adding some strength in the middle of the field can help this team continue to build on their strong young foundation of players.
Kansas City Chiefs: D’Andre Swift, HB, Georgia
I know what you’re thinking, “The Chiefs aren’t going to spend a first round pick on a running back.” Well, I don’t think the Chiefs are against taking a running back early, I believe they just want to get the best value available. When it comes to D’Andre Swift, I can’t see anyone hating this pick based on talent. The Chiefs let go of Kareem Hunt in the offseason and while they haven’t struggled, it is noticeably less dominant in the run game for the Chiefs this season. Bring in D’Andre Swift who is probably a top 10 talent in this impressive class to an already explosive offense and the NFL may truly have no answers for how to slow down Kansas City.
San Francisco 49ers: Samuel Cosmi, OT, Texas
While a bit undersized, Cosmi has developed into an incredible offensive tackle for the Texas Longhorns. He has put on size and developed his play strength but Cosmi is still extremely young and will need to develop further to succeed at the NFL level. While he may end up returning in order to grow his game, he could enter the draft and potentially sit behind Staley for a year or so while he grows as a player until he becomes what I believe would be a major contributor for whoever takes him. The 49ers have done a great job fixing up this roster from just two years ago and now they can take their time with their young picks they acquire to help shape their game and develop them.
Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans): K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
With their third first round pick, the Dolphins finally start getting Flores his guys, some defensive players! While I have said it a lot about many players in this article, Chaisson is extremely versatile and can help at linebacker and edge for Miami’s front seven. The Dolphins need all the help they can get as former first round pick, Charles Harris has struggled to produce during his time with the Dolphins. Whether it is with Chaisson or a different prospect, look for the Dolphins to get some help at the edge rusher position for the 2020 draft.
Green Bay Packers: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
The Packers have dealt with the pain of missing Davante Adams in terms of lack of production from their receiving core, and now with the rest of the roster seeming to be playing lights out, they should be encouraged to go and get Rodgers some toys. Insert Tee Higgins, a 6’4 receiver who time and time again has excelled as a deep ball receiver. It seems to happen like this every few years, the Packers bring in a talented receiver with drop issues and then in their second year they explode. Higgins could very well be the next great receiver dawning the Lambeau green. I know one thing, Rodgers would certainly love to have an athletic 6’4 deep threat to toss to here and there.
New Orleans Saints: Shyheim Carter, DB, Alabama
To start the season, Carter struggled a bit but as of late he seems to be getting better. When watching his 2018 film, I absolutely loved Carter’s aggressiveness and ability to always be around the ball. I believe the Saints have one of the best rosters in the NFL from top to bottom, but could use some help in the nickel, adding a ferocious yet talented defensive back like Shyheim Carter could go a long way for the Saints secondary and defense as a whole.
New England Patriots: Alex Leatherwood, OL, Alabama
The reason I list Leatherwood as OL is because I’m not sure which spot specifically the Patriots would put him at. It would likely be him and Wynn on the left side with position depending on how they perform in camp. Leatherwood has put together a strong season for the Crimson Tide and will likely continue climbing draft boards, and the Patriots will likely have some offensive line issues to address whether it is replacing Thuney, or getting depth in terms of the absence of Wynn and Andrews. The Patriots Super Bowl run last season was guided behind their great offensive line play so Bill will invest if he thinks it needs to be done, but one thing is certain, never think you can figure out what Bill will do come draft day. Well, he’ll probably trade, you can predict that, but don’t think you’ll be able to predict WHO he picks!
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