By Reece Mowlem.
First off I need to make just one thing clear, this mock draft represents what I would do if I were the GM of each franchise and not what I think will happen in the 2020 NFL Draft. I used to try and predict the future in my mocks but quickly learnt it to be an entirely impossible task (unless your name is Ian Rapoport). Instead, this year I have studied hours of tape and pored through pages upon pages of stats to create my own Big Board of my Top 200 prospects, which you can find here. Using these rankings, I put myself in the shoes of each of the decision makers around the league to create a mock draft that shows what would play out if a version of me was in every NFL War Room (or GM's house) from the 23rd-25th April. That being said, I decided to exclude trades as negotiating with myself did not go well.
If anyone wants an explanation to why I made a certain pick then feel free to tweet at me @ReeceMowlem97 and I'll be more than happy to give my thoughts.
So without further ado, I present my 5-round NFL Mock Draft 2020!
By Owen Turner.
Buzz. It’s the sound a bee makes. It’s a feed you go to for garbage news and quizzes. It’s an animated space ranger from Disney. But most importantly, buzz is those juicy nuggets of information that leak out before the great NFL Draft. It’s information you’re not sure you can trust but is still more accurate than your opinion. It can make you mad, it can make you excited and it can make you want pack it up and follow Tom Brady to Tompa. But buzz is best for one thing: hours and hours worth of time-consuming, inaccurate and ultimately futile mock drafts. I have taken this burden upon myself and sifted through all the buzz (yes, every single page of the internet). I’ve cut crap and present you, the good listeners of the First Down Podcast, with the most precise and insightful mock draft ever produced. It’s certain to get at least 5 pick right this year…
This draft is shaping up to be a classic. We’ve got record breaking quarterbacks, cannon-armed quarterbacks and brittle-boned but oh so exciting quarterbacks. We have athletic freaks on the defensive side of the ball and a plethora of fierce offensive lineman to resist them. We don’t have tight ends though. We never have tight ends. We’re so void of tight ends the Lions though T.J. Hockenson was worth a top 10 pick… Tampa Bay, Denver, Atlanta and more could be on the way up. Arizona, Jacksonville and anyone picking after 20 are looking to go down. For God’s sake we even have a top 5 talent so damaged the most revered Dr David J. Chao said he’d need a hip replacement by the time he’s 35! And to top it all off, the entire draft could be shut out if the WiFi cuts out… Even Coronavirus cannot beat the NFL Draft for drama.
Lets just get to it before another anonymous GM can tells us the media couldn’t be any ‘wronger’ again (nice to know you don’t need to speak no English good to work in the NFL).
First thigs first, we need to know who’s reporting what. It matters a lot. It could be the commissioner himself or Fergus Head on the other side of that twitter handle. Here’s a quick outline below so you know which people to put your trust in.
Gospel Tier: Adam Schefter (ESPN), Ian Rapoport (NFL Network)
True Believer Tier: Matt Miller (Bleacher Report), Albert Breer (Sports Illustrated), Peter King (NBC Sports)
Take It with a Grain of Salt Tier: Regional Journalists and Radio Hosts
Smoke Screen Tier: Team Officials, Anonymous General Managers
The Sh*t Producing Smoke which isn’t even Smoke it’s Steam Tier: Anyone Announcing the Browns are about to Trade Odell Beckham Jr.
We’re almost ready. Just so you know when the buzz lets us down, because some teams know how to keep secrets, we’re turning to your podcast host Reece Mowlem’s rankings. Check them out here: http://www.firstdown.co/draft. Again, these aren’t the picks the First Downers would make, they’re purely off rumours (don’t hate me Tua fans)... OK you’re ready, so let’s get to it. The Cincinnati Bengals are on the clock.
(Oh, and if you want to enter our Mock Draft Competition, Click Here.)
1. Cincinnati Bengals
This is as close as an NFL Draft pick has come to a certainty since Andrew Luck in 2012. Ian Rapoport reported that LSU’s Joe Burrow to the Bengals is ‘biggest slam dunk we have seen in a very long time.’ In 2019 Burrow recorded the single greatest statistical season ever by a collegiate quarterback, throwing for a record 60 touchdowns on route to taking home both the National Championship and the Heisman. The Bengals haven’t tried to hide their interest. Per Albert Breer they have ‘maxed out’ their conversation time with Burrow (three one-hour sessions a week) and all signs point to them wanting him at No.1.
But if you’re still holding out for some draft day intrigue at No. 1 then I offer you a brief glimmer of hope. Rumours circulate at the Combine that the Ohio native isn’t as sold on the Bengals as they are on him. This isn’t to say he would pull an Elway or an Eli and attempt to force a trade if selected, but it does beg the question that if Burrow didn’t want to play in Cincinnati what it would take to prise away the No. 1 pick. The only team with the capital to pull of such a move would be the Miami Dolphins, with three first round picks and six in the top one hundred. According to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN the Dolphins like Burrow ‘a lot’ but the trade remains unlikely. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has denied the team is willing to trade the pick but Matt Miller believes they will at least field calls. Also factoring into a potential deal is that the Bengals are ‘true believers’ in Oregon’s Justin Herbert per Peter King. Could the Bengals trade down from No.1 to pick Herbert at No.5? For it to happen the Dolphins would have to give up at least what the Redskins did to move up from No.6 to No.2 in 2012 to pick Robert Griffen III (three 1strounders and a 2nd). Still even if the Bengals do pull a shock and move the top pick you can be confident Burrow will still be the 1st player taken.
The Pick: Joe Burrow (QB, LSU)
2. Washington Redskins
It’s just as concrete at No.2 I’m afraid. Redskins fans may dream of seeing Tua Tagovailoa swap Alabama crimson Washington burgundy but with 2019 1stround quarterback Dwayne Haskins in the building it seems unlikely. Selecting Tua would be especially cruel as Haskins is hosting the Redskins virtual draft party (yes, apparently draft parties can be virtual now). Instead it is widely believed the Redskins will select the No.1 player on many people’s boards in Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young. The Redskins have another 2019 1stround pick in Montez Sweat at defensive end as well as veteran Ryan Kerrigan. Young however is considered a generational talent that new head coach Ron Rivera could not possibly pass up. Peter King has not heard of anyone within ‘his sphere’ that thinks the Redskins won’t pick Young at No.2. A trade down could be possible but it would be cheaper for teams looking to jump the Dolphins for a quarterback to target the Lion’s No.3 pick or the Giants at No.4. Go ahead and write this pick in ink on your mock drafts.
The Pick: Chase Young (EDGE, Ohio State)
3. Detroit Lions
The excitement begins at No.3. The Lions would likely acquire a premium defensive player such as Ohio State’s Jeff Okudah, Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons or Auburn’s Derrick Brown with this pick, but analysts are almost unanimous that the Lion’s should trade down with either the quarterback-needy Dolphins or Chargers. Rapoport and Breer have both reported this is what Detroit are looking to do. Unless Detroit is in love with one particular player or Washington passes on Chase Young, a trade down to acquire extra draft capital would be in their best interest. Regardless, we are not projecting trades in this mock. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported the Lions have done their due diligence interviewing Tua and Herbert, but with Matthew Stafford returning from injury this is likely nothing more than smoke to entice potential bidders. The consensus among insiders is that if the Lions stay put they will replace the departed Darius Slay and select the best corner on their board.
The Pick: Jeff Okudah (CB, Ohio State)
Don’t Be Surprised: Isaiah Simmons (LB/S, Clemson), Derrick Brown (DI, Auburn)
4. New York Giants
If Detroit stays put the Giants should look to move their pick, even if it means only moving down one spot. The 49ers did this with the Bears in 2017, acquiring an extra two thirds and a fourth rounder whilst still picking they player they’d have taken at their slot. If the Giants could pull of a similar move with the pick-heavy Dolphins it would be as good as stealing. Unfortunately for Giant’s fans general manager Dave Gettleman is notorious for many things on draft day, one of them being a reluctance to trade down (he has never moved down from any pick in any round as a GM).
Gettleman is also famous for his desire to draft the largest human being available. Because of this a large part of me truly believes that it will be Louisville’s 6’7”, 364 lbs offensive tackle Mekhi Becton pulling on a Big Blue cap on draft day. But this mock is based purely on buzz. In most mock drafts you will find linebacker Isaiah Simmons taken here, but Gettleman’s belief of building through the lines and the recent signing of former Green Bay tackling machine Blake Martinez makes this seem unlikely. Reports out of New York indicate offensive tackle will be the pick. Matt Miller heard that Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas could be the surprise first tackle taken, but ESPN’s Jordan Raanan and Rich Cimini both believe that the pick here will be Alabama tackle Jedrick Wills. Two reports beat one.
The Pick: Jedrick Wills Jr. (OT, Alabama)
Don’t Be Surprised: Isaiah Simmons (LB/S, Clemson), Mekhi Becton (OT, Louisville), Tristan Wirfs (OT/OG, Iowa), Andrew Thomas (OT, Georgia)
5. Miami Dolphins
Here comes the draft day drama we all love. The fans and analysts will all be calling for Tua here but Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has been told by team staff members with ‘no horse in the race’ that without a physical examination Tua is too risky in the top 10. Couple this report with another from the Athletic’s Bob McGinn that Tua is totally off three team’s draft boards and the concern of a Aaron Rodgers-esque draft day slide is very real. Cameron Wolfe of ESPN states the Dolphins are yet to decide which quarterback they will take (and with which pick). Matt Miller and many other insiders believe the fans will be disappointed and the Dolphins will pass on Tua. There are whispers that Utah State’s Jordan Love may be in play here as well, but the majority believe the pick will be the quarterback out of Oregon.
The Pick: Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon)
Don’t Be Surprised: Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama)
6. Los Angeles Chargers
As is the case most years, there is almost no buzz coming out of Los Angeles (that still feels weird to say but not as weird as Las Vegas…). Early reports indicated the Chargers were happy to stay put and select whichever quarterback the Dolphins didn’t, but head coach Anthony Lynn has since reaffirmed the team’s confidence in journeyman Tyrod Taylor. If Lynn is to be believed (and that is a very big if) and if the Tua’s injuries are as worrying as reported, an impact defender or offensive lineman is likely the pick. Adding athletic freak Isaiah Simmons to an already stacked defensive unit would keep offensive coordinators up at night, although this pick feels like a luxury. Reinforcing the offensive tackle positions after trading Russell Okung to Carolina would seem a greater priority. Jordan Love’s name has also been floated here, but it is believed by Ian Rapoport that the Chargers are instead looking at Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts at the top of the second round. With little information to go on we turn to Mowlem’s big board for the first deciding vote.
The Pick: Tristan Wirfs (OT/OG, Iowa)
Don’t Be Surprised: Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama), Isaiah Simmons (LB/S, Clemson), Andrew Thomas (OT, Georgia), Mekhi Becton (OT, Louisville)
7. Carolina Panthers
Here is the first time this mock moves away from the buzz. Most reports from Carolina have the Panthers selecting Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown in this spot. Albert Breer would be ‘surprised’ if Brown made it past this spot. Brown would be the pick here in most drafts, however in this mock Isaiah Simmons somewhat surprisingly remains on the board. Both defensive tackle and linebacker can be considered needs for the Panthers, with the latter becoming so as a direct result of Luke Kuechly’s retirement at age 29. Whilst Brown is undoubtably an elite prospect in this draft, the value of a nose tackle cannot match up against a generational athlete capable of destroying offensive game plans on any given Sunday. It is unlikely the Panthers would pass up the opportunity to replace one All-Pro linebacker with another.
The Pick: Isaiah Simmons (LB/S, Clemson)
Don’t Be Surprised: Derrick Brown (DI, Auburn)
8. Arizona Cardinals
Arizona’s pick is the first of the second group of prime trade-down spots. Teams looking to jump the inevitable wide receiver run could look to make a move here, as could a team needing an offensive tackle. Assuming Arizona stays put, the Cardinals will likely pick the player the Panthers passed on with their previous pick. Derrick Brown or one of the offensive tackles have been the names on most reports from Arizona, but the tie breaker here comes down to Fox and NFL Network analyst Peter Schrager. Schrager is known to have a close working relationship with Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury and was the first to suggest Kyler Murray as the No.1 pick last season. It’s worth pointing out that general manager Steve Keim has not ruled out a wide receiver here, but this is most likely smoke following the heist of DeAndre Hopkins. Schrager, among the many others, are predicting Arizona to select the big guy out of Auburn here.
The Pick: Derrick Brown (DI, Auburn)
Don’t Be Surprised: Mekhi Becton (OT, Louisville), Tristan Wirfs (OT/OG, Iowa)
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville have burned the whole thing down. Jalen Ramsey, A.J. Bouye, Telvin Smith and Calais Campbell; the stars of Sacksonville during their run to the AFC Championship game in 2018 are all no longer with the team. Yannick Ngakoue and Leonard Fournette may not be far behind. Per Albert Breer, the Jags will likely trade down from this spot and look to acquire more picks for their rebuild if defensive tackle Derrick Brown is off the board. Again, as with Arizona, teams looking to jump up for a wide receiver or an offensive tackle could look to make a deal. Peter King and Ian Rapoport both think this pick is unlikely to be a quarterback, but general manager Dave Caldwell has surprised them all before with his pick of Blake Bortles in 2014. If the team is to pick here, The Athletic’s Ben Standig believes corner C.J. Henderson from Florida would be the choice. Henderson has shot up draft boards recently and almost seems a sure-fire top 10 pick. One anonymous general manager (very very smoky) told King 40% of teams actually have Henderson over Ohio State corner Jeff Okudah. Fans of the Jaguars may be hoping for one of the big three receivers here to help the Jaguar King himself Gardner Minshew, but there has been little belief this will happen.
The Pick: C.J. Henderson (CB, Florida)
Don’t Be Surprised: Tristan Wirfs (OT/OG, Iowa), Javon Kinlaw (DI, South Carolina)
10. Cleveland Browns
Let’s get one thing out of the way first: Odell Beckham Jr. is unlikely to be traded. A wild report from Marc Malusis of WFAN Moose (remember what we said about source reliability…) believed the Vikings were imminently trading two picks in 2021 for the wide out. This has since been shot down by none other than the greatest insider of them all Adam Schefter. Schefter and his colleagues are almost unanimous that the Browns will take a left tackle here. General manager Andrew Berry did warn Cleveland.com not to ‘assume what Cleveland is going to do’, but really what else would he say? Per Ian Rapoport, the shocking name linked to the Browns is Boise State offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland. It’s safe to assume the front office will make their decision on more on just a player’s name, but would anyone really be surprised if Cleveland (the team) didn’t? Cleveland (the player) being picked here would be a tremendous reach on Mowlem’s (101) and many other’s boards, and if he is their guy the Browns would likely trade down to make this pick. Michael Lombardi of the Athletic believes Denver is a likely trade partner. Even if the Browns do love Cleveland, if the pick is made here it will likely be for one of the more established offensive tackles. There is no buzz as to whether this would be Georgia’s Andrew Thomas or Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, so I’ll leave the tie breaker to Mowlem’s Big Board.
The Pick: Andrew Thomas (OT, Georgia)
Don’t Be Surprised: Ezra Cleveland (OT, Boise State), Mekhi Becton (OT, Louisville)
11. New York Jets
Lots of intrigue here. The Jets two biggest needs are at wide receiver and offensive tackle. Matt Miller believes tackle will be the pick, whilst SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano believes the team are high on Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs III and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb. Vacchiano also reports that ‘several sources’ believe the Jets like Georgia’s Andrew Thomas more than Louisville’s Mekhi Becton at tackle. Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman also reports the team have interest in Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. Overall, most of the buzz here points to offensive tackle. That being the case, and with the rest of the top four off the board, this pick makes itself.
The Pick: Mekhi Becton (OT, Louisville)
Don’t Be Surprised: Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama), CeeDee Lamb (WR, Oklahoma), Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama)
12. Las Vegas Raiders
Moving to Sin City, needing a face for the franchise and a coach who loves to collect his quarterbacks. Sounds like a match made in heaven right? Unfortunately not, and Tua Tagovailoa sees his slide continue. There is a LOT coming out of Oakland, which is surprising given the teams secrecy a year ago (the Raiders sent all of their scouts home before the draft last year). General manager and hero of the podcast Mike Mayock said that the Raiders are happy at QB and are looking to ‘rebuild’ Marcus Mariota. This presumedly rules out selecting Tua. Most believe this is pick will be a wide receiver. Henry Ruggs III’s and his 4.2 speed have Raider written all over him but Adam Caplan of SirusXM Radio reports head coach Jon Gruden is looking for a ‘true X’ with great speed. Seeing Tyreek Hill twice a year will do that to you. Peter King believes Mayock ‘loves’ Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb. Lamb fits the mould of a traditional X receiver but lacks Rugg’s game breaking speed. South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw has also been mentioned here. My gut says to give the Raiders the flashy speed guy, but the mock is on buzz, so the Raiders go with the safer guy and the higher player on Mowlem’s board.
The Pick: CeeDee Lamb
Don’t Be Surprised: Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama), Javon Kinlaw (DI, South Carolina), Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama)
13. San Francisco 49ers (from Colts)
Per Adam Schefter, the 49ers are another team looking to trade down. If they stay, most assume it will be for an elite wide receiver. Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III both remain on the board. Albert Breer reports head coach Kyle Shanahan wants speed, and Matt Miller believes this pick will be a corner or a wide out. Strangely though, with a pick acquired from trading DeForest Buckner to the Colts, Peter King and NBC colleague Matt Maiocco believe the 49ers are ‘desperate’ for a replacement tackle in South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw. Picking Kinlaw (who has an incredible backstory you should read about) would present a cheaper, younger version of Buckner to reinforce an already stacked defensive line. One final thought: general manager John Lynch released a video of himself on twitter watching Kentucky vs Louisville (with Louisville on offense). The only player on the board worth pick No.13 is Mekhi Becton. Perhaps this means the 49ers are looking at offensive tackle, although I struggle to believe any general manager is dumb enough to share something like that on twitter without it being smoke. If the 49ers stay put logic says receiver here but the evidence says otherwise.
The Pick: Javon Kinlaw (DI, South Carolina)
Don’t Be Surprised: Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama), Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama)
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
One of the easiest teams to predict this year are the Buccaneers. The Bucs signed some older dude named Brandy or something to play quarterback for them this year and he apparently requires extra protection per Albert Breer. Tampa may look to trade up for one of the top four tackles, but with them off the board Matt Miller believes the pick will be USC’s Austin Jackson or Houston’s Josh Jones. Again, the decision goes in favour of the top guy on Mowlem’s and most other analyst’s boards.
The Pick: Joshua Jones (OT, Houston)
Don’t Be Surprised: Austin Jackson (OT, USC)
15. Denver Broncos
There are a multitude of reports stating Denver are looking to move up in this draft. Albert Breer believes it is for an offensive tackle but most other insiders believe it will be for a wide receiver. Rather unusually the run on receivers has not happened in this mock, but if trades were possible teams like the Broncos, Eagles and Vikings would all jump in and snap them up. Both Alabama receivers being on the board would be a dream for general manager John Elway and quarterback Drew Lock. Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network also notes the team are high on Baylor wide receiver Denzel Mims, although no one is expecting the Broncos to take him over Jeudy or Ruggs. Woody Paige of the Colorado Springs Gazette believes the team wants Jeudy and will do whatever it takes to secure him. Him falling into their lao is too good to pass up.
The Pick: Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama)
Don’t Be Surprised: Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama)
16. Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta are the other team with the most buzz surrounding a potential trade up. Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL scouting legend Gil Brandt both believe this would be for Florida corner C.J. Henderson. This would make sense given the general struggles of their secondary and the loss of Desmond Trufant. Henderson is long gone by now though, so Atlanta are left looking at the rest of the corner market. LSU’s Kristian Fulton, Clemson’s AJ Terell, Utah’s Jaylon Johnson, Alabama’s Trevon Diggs and TCU’s Jeff Gladney make up a solid second tier for the Falcons to choose from. LSU pass rusher K’Lavon Chaisson may be in the conversation here too, but the signing of Dante Fowler to an inflated contract to play opposite Tak McKinley makes this pick a luxury. ESPN’s Vaughn McClure reports corner is the pick here, but with little information as to who it may be with Henderson off the board I defer once more to Mowlem’s rankings.
The Pick: Kristian Fulton (CB, LSU)
Don’t Be Surprised: K’Lavon Chaisson (EDGE, LSU), Any Other Corner
17. Dallas Cowboys
Imagine the scene if Tua’s slide finally ended in Dallas. One of the many consequences would be Dak Prescott walking after playing this year under the franchise tag. Of course, this is unlikely and again not the pick (sorry Tua, for the record I’d have drafted you at No.5…). YGM’s Calvin Watkins and Michael Gehlken report Dallas interviewed pass rushers K’Lavon Chaisson and Penn State’s Yetur Gross-Matos, both of whom would be logical after Robert Quinn left for Chicago in free agency. I doubt the Cowboys will be pleased relying on the oft suspended Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith to generate pressure opposite DeMarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys also spoke with corner C.J. Henderson. Henry Ruggs III could be another option but this may not be the case after the Boys gave Amari Cooper a $200 million-dollar extension. Peter King has heard that the Cowboys ‘love’ Michigan centre Cesar Ruiz. Cowboys fans will likely be less than satisfied if the team passes on big attractions like Tua and Ruggs, but the team history does suggest an offensive lineman is a possibility. The team surprised everyone in 2013 selecting recently retired centre Travis Fredrick, and also picked up Notre Dame guard Zack Martin in 2014 and LSU’s La’el Collins in 2015. Dallas’ recent success has been built on the ‘Great Wall of Dallas’ and it is believable that Jerry Jones would fall back on what has worked.
The Pick: Cesar Ruiz (C, Michigan)
Don’t Be Surprised: K’Lavon Chaisson (EDGE, LSU), Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama), Yetur Gross-Matos (EDGE, Penn State)
18. Miami Dolphins (from Steelers)
Miami has a lot of roster holes so there are a lot of ways they could go with this pick. Protecting new franchise quarterback Justin Herbert should be a priority. A shiny new toy in Henry Ruggs III would be an attractive option as well. Despite having the NFL’s highest paid corner duo, Barry Jackson or the Miami Herald believes they are exploring adding another. This isn’t totally nonsensical. Head coach Brain Flores comes from the ‘Belichickian’ school where defences are built back to front. Lots of analysts are also reporting buzz that the Dolphins would like to add an edge rusher, although I cannot actually find a reliable source for that rumour. Alabama safety Xavier McKinney would also represent value and fill a need. This is a very difficult one to predict as almost all Miami coverage is dominated by Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert. There seems to be one player trending more in the right direction than others though.
The Pick: K’Lavon Chaisson (EDGE, LSU)
Don’t Be Surprised: Almost Anyone
19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears)
Is Tua too tempting here? I would not be in the least surprised if the answer was yes but as reported at pick No.12 the Raiders are not looking at a quarterback. With a receiver added, corner becomes Vegas’ biggest need. Defensive tackle is another but the value is not there. The name generating the most buzz approaching the draft is Clemson corner AJ Terrell. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler reports several teams believe Terrell is going in the top 16. Mayock and co. shocked everyone last year selecting Terrell’s former teammate Clelin Ferrell at No.4, citing his character and leadership as leading factors in the decision. Terrell is another high character guy from a school Mayock greatly respects and all signs point to him being the pick here.
The Pick: AJ Terrell (CB, Clemson
Don’t Be Surprised: Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama), Any Other Corner
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams)
Poor Henry Ruggs III is still on the board. He seems to have been second choice to every pick since the Jets at No. 11. On the night I expect him to be off the board in the mid-teens by the latest, but somehow he has slipped all the way to the twenties based on the buzz (including getting past the Raiders twice!). Tua is still sliding as well, but Vegas is a more likely landing spot at the pick before than this. A trade down is again a possibility for a team looking to jump the Eagles and take Ruggs. If Jacksonville stays put corner is another possibility, but the team already selected C.J. Henderson at No.9. Edge rusher is another need if Ngakoue is traded, but with little to no buzz coming from Jacksonville the best player available is the pick, even if it isn’t the Jags who end up picking him.
The Pick: Henry Ruggs III (WR, Alabama)
Don’t Be Surprised: Yeutr Gross-Matos (EDGE, Penn State), A.J. Epenesa (EDGE/DI, Iowa), Xavier McKinney (S, Alabama)
21. Philadelphia Eagles
Reece would be in a fit of rage seeing Ruggs taken just out of his Eagles reach. He’ll be even more incensed by the consolation. Per Matt Miller, the initial consensus on this pick has been LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson for a long time. Many believe that in last year’s draft Jefferson would’ve been the first receiver taken. Joe Tordy of Penn Athletics believes the Eagles are ‘aggressively pursuing’ a trade up to select Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and will trade back if the top four receivers (including Jefferson) are off the board. The Eagles also like Baylor wideout Denzel Mims, although that is according to Mims himself. 6ABC’s Jeff Skversky also reports the Eagles are interested in Michigan centre Cesar Ruiz, taken in this mock by Dallas at No.17. Linebackers such as Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray and LSU’s Patrick Queen are other possibilities. But the consensus remains the same, and by one pick Mowlem has seen his No.12 overall player be replaced by No. 32 overall (WR9!)
The Pick: Justin Jefferson (WR, LSU)
Don’t Be Surprised: Patrick Queen (LB, LSU), Kenneth Murray (LB, Oklahoma), Any Other Receiver
22. Minnesota Vikings (from Bills)
Hopefully you’ve forgotten the OBJ hype since the Browns’ pick. Unfortunately for those wanting the Vikings to swiftly replace the departed Stefon Diggs, Matt Miller reports the Vikings will not add a receiver in round one as they believe the value is better later on in this deep wide out class. That leaves defensive end and corner as the two most likely positions. A range of second tier corners including Utah’s Jaylon Johnson, Alabama’s Trevon Diggs and TCU’s Jeff Gladney remain available, as does Penn State edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos and Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa who could both potentially fill the cleats of long-time end Everson Griffen. Buzz gets more elusive the further down the draft you go as fan interest dwindles, so by now we are really clutching at straws. So again, the pick comes down to needs, scheme fit and Mowlem’s rankings.
The Pick: A.J. Epenesa (EDGE/DI, Iowa)
Don’t Be Surprised: Jaylon Johnson (CB, Utah), Trevon Diggs (CB, Alabama), Jeff Gladney (CB, TCU), Yetur Gross-Matos (EDGE, Penn State)
23. New England Patriots
Could it happen? Has the next great quarterback fallen into the lap of the Patriots? Will two decades of dominance continue without interruption? Sadly, even as a Patriots fan, I must say no (though wouldn’t it be the most Patriots ever to have a franchise quarterback fall into their lap thanks to a virus. Prepare for the Belichick did it rumours to start…). ESPN’s Mike Reiss, Ian Rapoport and others believe the Patriots will add a quarterback during the draft but likely not in the first round. Peter King was also told by a rival general manager that the Patriots love Justin Herbert (this has smoke written all over it!). All of the Patriots draft coverage is rightly surrounding quarterbacks after the GOAT left for the sandy beaches of pirate bay, but actual information leaking from within 1 Patriot Place is as usual scarce.
You may be surprised to know the Patriots share an unceremonious record with none other than the team drafting first overall; the Cincinnati Bengals. They hold the longest streak without drafting a Pro-Bowler (six years!). As a result, this is one of the least talented Patriots teams since the Belichick era began, regardless of Brady’s departure. LSU linebacker Patrick Queen and Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray could add some sorely need dynamism to the defence, and Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos could aid a pass rush still looking to replace Trey Flowers (and even Chandler Jones). In truth, every position except corner is a need, which is why the Patriots likely trade this pick. The team doesn’t have a second rounder after the inexplicable trade for Mohammed Sanu (who they valued the same as NFC champion franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo) and draft capital is badly needed. It’s safe to say Belichick the coach is saving Belichick the general managers job. The pick goes to the player who most suits the Patriot way with his character and intangibles.
The Pick: Kenneth Murray (LB, Oklahoma)
Don’t Be Surprised: Patrick Queen (LB, LSU), Xavier McKinney (S, Alabama)
24. New Orleans Saints
The Saints have the most complete roster in the NFL. Have a brief scan over their depth chart and you will see almost no holes. Linebacker may be the only question mark with an aging DeMario Davis leading the group. LSU’s Patrick Queen would be a nice fit staying in Louisiana. Unfortunately, there are very little reports to confirm this. The only reports coming out of New Orleans concern the quarterback position. So, does that mean the slide is over? Well… YES IT DOES! ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports the team have done a lot of work on Utah State’s Jordan Love and Larry Holder of the Athletic believes the Saints would trade up to select Tua if he fell. In this draft he has fallen to their laps all the way at No.24. Drew Brees is signed to broadcast for NBC next season and it is notable how long the team retained starting calibre backup Teddy Bridgewater. In Tagovailoa the Saints get a more talented heir with the chance to sit and learn from Brees for a year. The pick makes too much sense and lines up perfectly with the buzz.
The Pick: Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama)
Don’t Be Surprised: Patrick Queen (LB, LSU), Jordan Love (QB, Utah State)
25. Minnesota Vikings
Just a brief note on the Vikings. The need for a pass rusher opposite Danielle Hunter was filled at No.22 so its time to fill their other need at corner. Head coach Mike Zimmer has a long history of drafting corners in the first round and he now has his pick of Utah’s Jaylon Johnson, Alabama’s Trevon Diggs and TCU’s Jeff Gladney. They could go any way here, so I’ll leave the decision to Mowlem’s rankings.
The Pick: Trevon Diggs (CB, Alabama) -- yes, his brother is Stefon! --
Don’t Be Surprised: Jaylon Johnson (CB, Utah), Jeff Gladney (CB, TCU)
26. Miami Dolphins (from Texans)
Final pick in the first round for the Dolphins. Tackle still hasn’t been addressed and is perhaps their biggest need but the value here is likely the same as it will be at their pick at the top of the second round. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the team love a player at a position not yet selected: Georgia running back DeAndre Swift. Jackson also reports the Dolphins want to come away with a top running back and the top prospect will not be available when they next pick. The Dolphins still have needs everywhere but selecting the best player available is usually the best approach.
The Pick: DeAndre Swift (RB, Georgia)
Don’t Be Surprised: Almost Anyone
27. Seattle Seahawks
How to mock draft for the Seahawks in the first round:
The Pick: Jeremy Chinn (S/LB, Southern Illinois)
Don’t Surprised: Anyone. Literally Anyone.
28. Baltimore Ravens
This pick seems like another no-brainer. Matt Miller reports that most of his sources believe the Ravens will draft a linebacker in the first round and look to add a receiver later in the draft. Wisconsin’s Zach Baun is good value towards the end of the first, but LSU linebacker Patrick Queen is one of the best player available and fills the biggest need on the roster. Comments from general manager Eric DeCosta indicate they may address offense and attempt to fill the hole left by retired All-Pro guard Marshall Yanda. They may do this later in the draft, but the chance to grab a valuable player to fill C.J. Mosely’s cleats is too good to pass up.
The Pick: Patrick Queen (LB, LSU)
Don’t Be Surprised: Zach Baun (LB/EDGE, Wisconsin)
29. Tennessee Titans
Another trade down candidate according to PFN’s Tony Pauline. Matt Miller believes that offensive tackle, corner and receiver are the positions the Titans will look to address here. TCU’s Jeff Gladney and Utah’s Jaylon Johnson are good value by this point, but Miller has heard the Titans will most likely address tackle in the first round to replace the departed Jack Conklin. Georgia’s Isaiah Wilson is solid right tackle prospect, whilst USC’s Austin Jackson is raw but more athletically gifted. Conklin being a right tackle means the Titans will more likely target the specialist on that side with the higher floor.
The Pick: Isaiah Wilson (OT, Georgia)
Don’t Be Surprised: Austin Jackson (OT, USC), Jeff Gladney (CB, TCU), Jaylon Johnson (CB, Utah)
30. Green Bay Packers
Every casual fan will tell you the Packers need another weapon for Aaron Rodgers. It seems to be the narrative that has surrounded his entire career, even when he played with Jordy Nelson, a young Randall Cobb and Davante Adams all at once. Rodgers doesn’t need more weapons; he has a proven No.1 receiver already which is more than most other teams have alone. A tight end or wide out in the second round may be a smart investment though. In the first round all the buzz revolves around Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. Rodgers was picked as a rookie to sit behind Packers legend Brett Favre to begin his career and history may repeat itself. Matt Miller, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and NFL Network Analyst Daniel Jeremiah all believe Love to the Packers is a real possibility. Linebackers like Wisconsin’s Zach Baun and Alabama’s Terrell Lewis could be in play as well per Peter King.
The Pick: Jordan Love (QB, Utah State)
Don’t Be Surprised: Zach Baun (LB/EDGE, Wisconsin), Terrell Lewis (EDGE, Alabama), Any Wide Receiver
31. San Francisco 49ers
Multiple sources including the great Adam Schefter believe this pick is going to be dealt. Teams often look to trade back into the end of the first round to secure a player with a fifth-year option in their contract (think Baltimore Ravens with Lamar Jackson in 2018 and Minnesota with Teddy Bridgewater in 2014). If the 49ers stay put Matt Barrows of the Athletic believes the team will pursue a corner or an offensive tackle. Albert Breer believe the 49ers will look for a left tackle to learn from stalwart Joe Stately before taking over. If they go corner, Utah’s Jaylon Johnson and TCU’s Jeff Gladney are still on the board, but the consensus here is tackle, and one raw left sided prospect fits their need exactly.
The Pick: Austin Jackson (OT, USC)
Don’t Be Surprised: Jaylon Johnson (CB, Utah), Jeff Gladney (CB, TCU), Ezra Cleveland (OT, Boise State)
32. Kansas City Chiefs
The late round selections seem to be following a theme and the final pick is no different. The Superbowl champions are widely believed to be looking to trade down from this spot, but if they stay put Matt Miller believes they will take a running back or a corner. Head coach Andy Reid has never taken a running back in the first round, so we will look to corner. It’s between the two names it feels like have been mentioned at every pick since the Falcons took Fulton at 16; Utah’s Jaylon Johnson and TCU’s Jeff Gladney. A wild rumour did surface on Monday per Peter King that the Chiefs were potentially planning to trade up in none other than Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III began to slip. Ruggs in an offense with Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill feels like an overkill. If Ruggs falls like he did in this mock that may be a possibility. If the Chiefs are looking to add another offensive weapon, TCU’s Jalen Reagor and Colorado’s Lavishka Shenault Jr. fit their profile. The final pick of this mock will be a corner though and without any information it seems fitting to turn to Mowlem’s rankings one final time.
The Pick: Jaylon Johnson (CB, Utah)
Don’t Be Surprised: Jeff Gladney (CB, TCU), Jalen Reagor (WR, TCU), Laviska Shenault Jr. (WR, Colorado)
And there we have it! Sorry again Tua fans but I fear your guy may be in for a long night. Keep your eyes peeled on your favourite news sites but remember to check the sources. News is going to filter out until the commissioner calls the first pick. The Browns leaked they were picking Baker Mayfield 3 hours before the start of the 2018 draft and everyone lost their minds! Or ignore everything, sit back and enjoy the constant desire for your team to trade up knowing deep down inside they won’t.
If you would like to join our mock draft competition then Click Here. There is no reward greater than pride... Happy Draft Day everyone!
By Reece Mowlem.
Well hasn't this been a crazy offseason so far. The Texans trade the best wideout in the league for a goldfish and a vanilla yoghurt, the GOAT migrates down south to less greener pastures (but much redder uniforms), and the world goes into total shutdown due to a global pandemic. But even though the apocalypse looks to be imminent, the NFL draft is set to go ahead as scheduled, just virtually. Yes it may be different, yes it may be underwhelming, but at least it's happening, giving us football fans something sport related to actually look forward to, a light at the end of the tunnel, a reason to keep going. So to help you prepare for the upcoming draft, I have worked tirelessly to create my 2020 big board, a list ranking the top 200 college prospects ready for picking come the 23rd April. Positional value is factored in (hence why you won't find a running back until No. 45) as well as injury history, off-field concerns and anything else NFL teams have to consider when scouting. Essentially, this is what would be on my War Room wall if I was lucky enough to be a GM (it will happen one day I'm sure). So without further ado, I present my Top 200 Big Board for the 2020 NFL Draft! Enjoy!
By Reece Mowlem & Owen Turner.
Let's be honest, the only thing getting us all through the quarantine is the 2020 NFL Draft. Well that's the case with us at least, so earlier on in the week, we decided to do not one, not three, but TWO mock drafts! This mock is based on our predictions of what we think each NFL team will do on draft night. Enjoy!
By Reece Mowlem & Owen Turner.
Let's be honest, the only thing getting us all through the quarantine is the 2020 NFL Draft. Well that's the case with us at least, so earlier on in the week, we decided to do not one, not three, but TWO mock drafts! This mock is based on what we would do if we were lucky enough to be in each NFL team's war room on draft night. Enjoy!
By Reece Mowlem.
After countless hours of tape watching, player analysis and scout research, my 2019 big board is finally complete. This 100 player list takes position value, as well as injury history, into consideration, but doesn't account much for off-field concerns and character issues, mainly as I haven't personally interviewed any players so it's hard to make a judgement. Regardless, this is what my draft board would look like if I was a GM in the NFL. If you disagree with any of my decisions, feel free to tweet me @ReeceMowlem97, I love a good debate.
1. Quinnen Williams (DI, Alabama)
Williams can wreck an offensive game plan in both the run and pass game, earning a 96.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2018, the highest ever given to an interior defender.
2. Nick Bosa (EDGE, Ohio State)
The younger Bosa brother has all the traits teams look for in an edge defender. His hand technique and ability to execute a wide range of pass-rush moves makes him almost unplayable at times.
3. Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma)
Without a doubt the best quarterback in the class. Kyler possesses arm strength and accuracy as a passer, as well as devastating speed and elusiveness as a runner. Murray is the ultimate dual threat QB.
4. Josh Allen (EDGE, Kentucky)
The most effective pass-rusher in all of college football in 2018. In addition, Allen has solid coverage skills that make him the ideal 3-4 outside linebacker.
5. Jonah Williams (OT/OG, Oklahoma)
A dominant tackle with a delicious blend of power and mobility. Some NFL franchises might see him as a guard, but Williams has the skills to be elite at either position.
6. Ed Oliver (DI, Houston)
Oliver is undersized but that doesn't stop him from getting the job done. The Houston prospect finished the year with a 90+ pass-rush grade per PFF.
7. Brian Burns (EDGE, Florida State)
Burns racked up 69 pressures last season, the most of any Power-5 defender. His combination of flexibility and explosiveness makes him a nightmare for opposing tackles.
8. Byron Murphy (CB, Washington)
Physicality, passion, great feet, quickness, zone awareness, run defense, press technique, fluidity: Murphy has it all. He's stronger playing zone, but his skills make him a scheme-transcendent talent.
9. Jawaan Taylor (OT, Florida)
The best pure right-tackle in the draft. Taylor was elite as both a pass and run blocker at Florida, making him a valuable commodity.
10. Devin White (LB, LSU)
With freak athleticism, superb coverage skills and the ability to get home when blitzing, White is the perfect linebacker for the modern day NFL.
11. Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)
Haskins' production as a Buckeye was exceptional in 2018. There's still a few question marks over his abilities, but the one-year starter has franchise QB potential.
12. Jeffery Simmons (DI, Mississippi State)
If it wasn't for an ACL injury at the start of the year, Simmons would probably be near the top of this board. His off-field past isn't great, but his talent is unquestionable.
13. Jerry Tillery (DI, Notre Dame)
Although the sack total didn't match, Tillery tied Quinnen Williams for the highest pass-rushing grade among interior defenders in college football last year, according to PFF.
14. Dalton Risner (OT, Kansas State)
Risner was one of the best all-round tackles in college and could do the same in the NFL. The Kansas State prospect only allowed a single sack during his four year college career, a highly impressive stat.
15. Andre Dillard (OT, Washington State)
Maybe the best pure pass-blocker available, Dillard had the highest PFF pass protection grade of any starting tackle in the country this past season.
16. Christian Wilkins (DI, Clemson)
Christian Wilkins was top three in both PFF's run-defence and pass-rushing grades among interior players this past season.
17. Greedy Williams (CB, LSU)
An elite press-coverage cornerback with blistering speed. Williams allowed a catch rate of just 36% when targeted in 2018.
18. Clelin Ferrell (EDGE, Clemson)
Ferrell is a versatile player who has the talent and build capable of fitting any scheme. The 21-year-old had 14 sacks and 14 QB hits in his final year at Clemson.
19. Cody Ford (OT/OG, Oklahoma)
Ford, like Murray, may have only started one year at Oklahoma, but he made the most of his short career, not allowing a single sack until the college playoffs.
20. DeAndre Baker (CB, Georgia)
The Georgia cornerback only gave up a single touchdown during his entire collegiate career and allowed just 10 first downs last season.
21. T.J. Hockenson (TE, Iowa)
One of the rare tight ends who's as effective as a run blocker as he is a pass catcher. Hockenson boasted less than a 2% drop rate last year at Iowa.
22. D.K. Metcalf (WR, Mississippi)
Metcalf is blessed with quite ridiculous physical traits, running a 4.33s 40-yard dash at 6'3" and 228lbs. The only concerns with the Mississippi wideout are his poor change of direction skills and his injury history.
23. Devin Bush Jr. (LB, Michigan)
Bush lacks slightly in length but more than makes up for that deficiency in his processing skills, physicality and range. He projects as an every down linebacker in the NFL.
24. Nasir Adderley (S, Delaware)
Maybe the best in coverage out of all draft eligible safeties. Adderley also possesses all the attributes required to play as a single high safety.
25. Deebo Samuel (WR, South Carolina)
The South Carolina pass catcher broke a crazy 21 tackles on 62 catches in 2018. Samuel is most likely to find a home in the slot but can also make plays as an outside receiver.
26. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (WR, Stanford)
When it comes to contested catches, not many of Arcega-Whiteside's peers are close to his level. He also raised some eyebrows at his Pro-Day, running considerably faster than expected.
27. Dexter Lawrence (DI, Clemson)
Lawrence is incredibly athletic for his size. The 160kg nose tackle can affect both the run and pass-game of opponents, making him a sort after prospect.
28. Amani Oruiwariye (CB, Penn State)
Oruwariye had a productive 2018 season at Penn State, as well as an outstanding week at the Senior Bowl. He doesn't have the highest ceiling in this year's CB class, but he has a high floor.
29. Garrett Bradbury (C, N.C. State)
Of this year's draft eligible centres, Bradbury has had the highest PFF grade over the past two seasons. The only true knock on him is that he's played almost exclusively in a zone blocking scheme.
30. Darnell Savage (S, Maryland)
Savage has all the athletic tools to be a starting safety in the NFL. His aggressive mentality makes him a missile around the line of scrimmage and a ball hawk when playing deep.
31. Josh Jacobs (RB, Alabama)
The best three-down back in the draft. On a reasonably light workload at Alabama, Jacobs showed great power, vision, and most importantly, pass-catching ability.
32. A.J. Brown (WR, Mississippi)
A superb all-round receiver, Brown forced 17 missed tackles and only dropped only 5 of 90 catchable targets in 2018. He can play either in the slot or on the outside.
33. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (S/CB, Florida)
A versatile safety who's more than happy to play as a nickel cornerback. Although he hasn't done it too much, CGJ has the physical tools to also be used as a lone deep safety.
34. Montez Sweat (EDGE, Mississippi State)
Sweat is an athletic freak who put up recording breaking numbers at the scouting combine. A raw talent, his production didn't quite match his potential at Mississippi State.
35. Noah Fant (TE, Iowa)
An incredible receiving tight end with excellent speed and route running abilities. If Fant can reduce his drops, he can be a mismatch weapon for an NFL team.
36. Andy Isabella (WR, UMass)
An absolute speed demon. Isabella was PFF's highest graded wide receiver in college football last year racking up over 1,600 yards, including 219 against Georgia.
37. Drew Lock (QB, Missouri)
Lock has elite level arm strength, making 33 big-time throws in 2018 for Missouri. He has to seriously improve his accuracy and decision making to become a franchise quarterback.
38. Elgton Jenkins (C/OG, Mississippi State)
Highly efficient in pass-protection, Jenkins allowed only 5 pressures on over 360 pass-blocking snaps in 2018. He could play guard, but is definitely more comfortable at centre.
39. Hakeem Butler (WR, Iowa State)
A man monster at 6'5" and 227lbs, Butler actually led this receiver class in downfield receptions (20+ yards) with 19. Some compare his physical traits to Calvin Johnson.
40. Chase Winovich (EDGE, Michigan)
The only Power-5 edge defender to receive a 90+ overall PPF grade in both 2017 and 2018. Winovich hasn't got the highest ceiling, but is a solid day one starter,
41. Taylor Rapp (S, Washington)
Rapp might be the best tackler in the draft, missing only two last year. He does lack a bit of speed, but he certainly doesn't lack effort.
42. Rashan Gary (EDGE/DI, Michigan)
Raw and unproven. Gary's power and quickness make him an exciting prospect but he needs a lot of development to reach his potential. He played mainly on the edge at Michigan but could find a home inside in the NFL.
43. Greg Little (OT, Mississippi)
Over the past two seasons, Little has allowed just 26 pressures on nearly 1000 pass-blocking snaps. He could be highly effective in the right scheme and with good coaching.
44. N'Keal Harry (WR, Arizona State)
Harry possesses an enticing combination of contested catch skills and the ability to make big plays after the catch. However, his incapacity to gain separation is a concern.
45. Chris Lindstrom (OG, Boston College)
Lindstrom gave up only four pressures during his first season as a guard at Boston College. He has the polish to be an instant starter.
46. Marquise Brown (WR, Oklahoma)
Brown looks like he could take it to the house every time he gets the ball in his hands. The Oklahoma burner scored 10 touchdowns on 77 receptions last year.
47. Charles Omenhiu (DI/EDGE, Texas)
More proficient as a run-stopper than a pass-rusher, but did generate pressure in flashes. Omenihu's combination of speed, size and athleticism are hard to find.
48. Justin Layne (CB, Michigan State)
Excellent in coverage during his time as a cornerback at Michigan State. Layne also took 36 snaps at receiver in 2018.
49. Amani Hooker (S/CB, Iowa)
Despite projecting as a safety in the NFL, Hooker was one of the best defensive-backs in college football when it came to coverage last year.
50. Jachai Polite (EDGE, Florida)
Polite's production was outstanding last season, achieving a 90+ grade from PFF as both a pass-rusher and run-defender. If it wasn't for his miserable testing and attitude at both the combine and Florida pro-day, he would be a top 15 player.
51. David Long (CB, Michigan)
52. Juan Thornhill (S, Virginia)
53. Zach Allen (EDGE, Boston College)
54. Erik McCoy (C/OG, Texas A&M)
55. Julian Love (CB, Notre Dame)
56. Daniel Jones (QB, Duke)
57. Dre'Mont Jones (DI, Ohio State)
58. Kelvin Harmon (WR, N.C. State)
59. Irv Smith Jr. (TE, Alabama)
60. Khalen Saunders (DI, Western Illinois)
61. Anthony Nelson (EDGE, Iowa)
62. Max Scharping (OT, Northen Illinois)
63. Oshane Ximines (EDGE, Old Dominion)
64. David Montgomery (RB, Iowa State)
65. L.J. Collier (EDGE, TCU)
66. Darrell Henderson (RB, Memphis)
67. Jace Sternberger (TE, Texas A&M)
68. Michael Deiter (OG/OT, Wisconsin)
69. Ben Burr-Kirven (LB, Washington)
70. Deionte Thompson (S, Alabama)
71. Hjalte Froholdt (OG, Arkansas)
72. Yodny Cajuste (OT, West Virginia)
73. Te'Von Coney (LB, Notre Dame)
74. Damien Harris (RB, Alabama)
75. Riley Ridley (WR, Georgia)
76. Miles Sanders (RB, Penn State)
77. Tytus Howard (OT, Alabama State)
78. Blake Cashman (LB, Minnesota)
79. Chuma Edoga (OT, USC)
80. Kaleb McGary (OT, Washington)
81. Maxx Crosby (EDGE, Eastern Michigan)
82. David Edwards (OT, Wisconsin)
83. Terry McLaurin (WR, Ohio State)
84. Rock Ya-Sin (CB, Temple)
85. Devin Singletary (RB, Florida Atlantic)
86. Christian Miller (EDGE, Alabama)
87. Jamel Dean (CB, Auburn)
88. Nate David (OG, Charlotte)
89. Mack Wilson (LB, Alabama)
90. Connor McGovern (OG, Penn State
91. Ronheen Bingham (EDGE, Arkansas State)
92. Jonathan Abram (S, Mississippi State)
93. DaMarkus Lodge (WR, Mississippi)
94. Marquise Blair (S, Utah)
95. Sean Bunting (CB, Central Michigan)
96. Will Grier (QB, West Virginia)
97. Caleb Wilson (TE, UCLA)
98. D. Andre Walker (EDGE, Georgia)
99. Gerald Willis (DI, Miami)
100. Emanuel Hall (WR, Missouri)
Once again I've decided to attempt the impossible task of predicting how the first round of the NFL Draft will play out on Thursday night. Now obviously my picks are guesses as I'm not in the war rooms, but I ensure you they are educated guesses and I've not just thrown prospect darts at a dartboard of teams (although that would probably be more accurate). If you want to know what I would do in the first three round if I was the GM of each team then read my "What I Would Do" mock draft here. Anyway, my final note is this: unless I get at least 5 picks correct, forget this mock draft ever existed. Got it? Good. Well in that case, enjoy!
This year I've decided to do two different types of mock draft, and this is one of them. This mock represents what I would do in the first three rounds if I was the GM of each NFL team, not necessarily who I think they ultimately will draft in April. If you don't like the players I give to your team then I'm sorry, it's just my opinion.
Texans get Pick 12 / Packers get Pick 23 and Pick 54.
Chargers get Pick 25 / Eagles get Pick 28 and Pick 91.
* = Compensatory pick
By Reece Mowlem.
Draft season is here! These rankings represent who I personally believe are the best prospects at each position in terms of how successful I believe they can be at the NFL level, as well as at what pick range I would be willing to draft them in if I was an NFL GM. They will be updated regularly as we approach the 2019 NFL Draft.
Where I'd be willing to draft them, taking position value into consideration:
Pick 1-10 Pick 11-20 Pick 21-32 2nd Round 3rd Round 4th Round
By Reece Mowlem.
This year I've decided to do two different types of mock draft, and this is the first. This mock represents what I would do in the first round if I was the GM of each NFL team, not necessarily who I think they ultimately will draft in April. If you don't like the player I give to your team then I'm sorry, it's just my opinion. (Pick by pick analysis below picture).
1. Arizona Cardinals - Quinnen Williams (DI, Alabama)
The Cardinals don't draft Kyler Murray. Instead they take, in my opinion, the best player in the draft. Williams can wreck an offensive game plan in both the run and pass game, earning a 95.0 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2018, the highest the in country. Now I'm not saying Quinnen is bust proof, but I think he might be bust proof.
2. San Francisco 49ers - Nick Bosa (EDGE, Ohio State)
I know they just payed Dee Ford big money to bring some edge pressure, but adding another elite rusher to the other side certainly won't hurt. Nick would be a slam dunk pick despite him missing the majority of the 2018 season, and might even be better than older brother Joey.
3. New York Jets - Josh Allen (EDGE, Kentucky)
The Jets were willing to pay Anthony Barr a ridiculous contract to be a pass rusher. Josh Allen is younger, better and cheaper, and also posted the highest pass-rush grade in all of college football last season according to PFF. It looks like the Kentucky prospect will be available for the Jets whatever happens in the first two picks, so if I were them he'd be my choice.
4. Oakland Raiders - Jonah Williams (OT/OG, Alabama)
I nearly took Kyler Murray off the board here, but I stopped myself as I do still believe Derek Carr can be successful when surrounded by talent. So because of that, I gave the Raiders Jonah Williams, the best offensive linemen in the draft. Williams would be an upgrade over either of Oakland's current tackles in my opinion, but could also slot into the guard spot left vacant by the departure of Kelechi Osemele. Gruden would never make this move, but I would.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma)
I may believe in Derek Carr, but I don't believe in Jameis Winston anymore. The combination of his inconsistent play on the field and poor choices off it lead me to the conclusion that the former first overall pick is not the future of this franchise. That's why I've given them Kyler Murray, the best quarterback in the class and a player with the potential upside of a Patrick Mahomes or Baker Mayfield.
6. New York Giants - Brian Burns (EDGE, Florida State)
Now I know the Giants need a quarterback, because Eli certainly isn't still the answer, but at this point I'd rather wait until next year for either Herbert or Tua than draft Dwayne Haskins. Edge rusher is also huge need for the Giants after trading Olivier Vernon to the Browns, so the G-Men draft Brian Burns out of FSU. Burns is a top tier talent who racked up 69 pressures in 2018, the leading tally for all Power-5 conference defenders.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Ed Oliver (DI, Houston)
This could be another potential landing spot for Haskins, but seeing as the Jags just payed Nick Foles to be their starter, I decided to add even more talent to the already loaded defence. With Malik Jackson moving to Philly, there is a gap on the depth chart at the defensive tackle position. Enter Ed Oliver. I know Jacksonville need to improve on offence, but putting Ed Oliver next to Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and Abry Jones would make the Jags defensive line one of the scariest units in the NFL.
8. Detroit Lions - Devin White (LB, LSU)
Unfortunately for the Lions there's not any players available at their positions of need that wouldn't be a slight reach to draft at pick 8 in this scenario. So instead I gave them the best available player on my big board, and that was Devin White. White is the ideal linebacker for the current NFL, showing great athleticism and coverage skills at LSU, as well as the ability to be an effective rusher when blitzing.
9. Buffalo Bills - Jawaan Taylor (OT, Florida)
The offseason addition of Ty Nsekhe, arguably the best swing tackle in the NFL, was certainly a savvy move, but I don't think it solved the problem at right tackle. If I were the Bills GM, I would make Jawaan Taylor the solution. Taylor, a player who was elite as both a pass and run blocker at Florida, could step in immediately and help keep Josh Allen safe.
10. Denver Broncos - Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)
I think we can all agree that Joe Flacco isn't the long term answer to Denver's seemingly eternal QB woes. Now Haskins might not be the solution either, but I'd still take the shot on the Ohio State pocket-passer here if I was John Elway. Haskins put up great numbers in college and possesses a lot of the skills required to succeed at the next level. He may not have the high ceiling that Murray does, but his floor looks reasonably safe and I expect him to have a successful career as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
11. Cincinnati Bengals - Byron Murphy (CB, Washington)
It seems every Bengals fan on planet earth (and maybe other planets if they care about Ohio sports) wants Devin White on their roster. Unfortunately for them, in this draft, the LSU prospect is no longer available. Cornerback isn't as big a need as linebacker, but it's still a position that Cincy need to address. Murphy, PFF's top graded college cornerback in 2018, is a top 10 player in my opinion, and would make an instant impact in a secondary that struggled last season.
12. Green Bay Packers - Jeffery Simmons (DI, Mississippi State)
Calm down Packers fans, CALM DOWN! Yes I know you have Mike Daniels. Yes I know you also have Kenny Clark. However, I think the Eagles have proved in recent years that having a rotation on the defensive line can be highly effective, so adding a defensive player with top 5 pick talent into the mix certainly wouldn't hurt the roster. In reality I wouldn't draft Simmons at all due to his assault of a woman in 2016, but it seems like most franchises are willing to look past the arrest. In terms of on the field play, the defensive tackle has All-Pro potential.
13. Miami Dolphins - Jerry Tillery (DI, Notre Dame)
One of the most underrated players in the draft, Jerry Tillery is en elite pass rusher from the interior. His abilities in the run game are questionable, but he got consistent pressure on the quarterback during his time at Notre Dame. Tillery would add some juice to a Dolphins defensive line that lacks high-level talent. I presume many Miami fans would probably want a QB in the first round, but I don't feel the value of Drew Lock and Daniel Jones is high enough to take either in the top half of round one.
14. Atlanta Falcons - DeAndre Baker (CB, Georgia)
I know my friend/colleague Owen Turner will enjoy this one, he likes to keep players in state. Baker may lack size and speed, but he certainly doesn't lack production. The Georgia cornerback only gave up a single touchdown during his collegiate career and I see no reason why he can't do similar at the NFL level. It may not be the most probable pick, but for the Falcons I think it's a necessary one.
15. Washington Redskins - Greedy Williams (CB, LSU)
Much like the Dolphins, the Redskins are in desperate need of a young quarterback. However, I still think this pick would be too early to take a shot on Lock or Jones. Instead I've decided to go with the best player available and give Josh Norman some help in the cornerback room. Williams is exceptional in man coverage and possess elite level speed, traits that most locker rooms would be more than happy to accommodate. The offence is in need of help more than the defence in Washington, but I don't feel the Redskins can pass on a talent like Williams.
16. Carolina Panthers - Clelin Ferrell (EDGE, Clemson)
I love this pick. Well I love all of my picks, they're my picks, but this one in particular I'm a fan of. The Panthers are in dire need off edge rushers and Ferrell can come in and produce from day one. The Clemson pass rusher has great hands, athleticism and football IQ, as well as being a stout run defender. He can certainly fill the void left by Julius Peppers and bring some excitement to the defensive front in Carolina.
17. New York Giants (via Cleveland Browns) - Dalton Risner (OT, Kansas State)
The Giants have worked hard to improve their offensive line over the past few off-seasons via free agency, trades and the draft. However, there is still a glaring hole at right tackle, a hole Dalton Risner could fill. The Kansas State prospect only allowed a single sack during his four year college career, a truly remarkable stat. Eli needs protection and Risner can provide it.
18. Minnesota Vikings - Andre Dillard (OT, Washington State)
Much like the Giants, the Vikings need help on the offensive line. Andre Dillard might be the best pass blocker in the entire draft, giving up just the single sack and 3 QB hurries in 2018. Kirk Cousins received a wave of criticism for his play last year, but with Dillard keeping the pocket clean, I think we could see the former Redskin get back to his best.
19. Tennessee Titans - D.K. Metcalf (WR, Mississippi)
The slide stops here. Is Metcalf the right style of receiver for Mariota's offence? Probably not, but I don't think the Hawaiian is necessarily the future QB of this franchise. Either way, D.K.'s raw athleticism and big play ability would be a great to compliment to the versatile Corey Davis and new addition in the slot Adam Humphries. That's one impressive receiver trio.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Devin Bush Jr. (LB, Michigan)
Despite their best efforts, the Steelers have struggled to replace Ryan Shazier at linebacker since his horrific injury in 2017. Now he not might be quite as good as Shazier, but Devin Bush would be a enormous upgrade on Jon Bostic. The Michigan man was one of the best off-ball linebackers in terms of blitzing over the past two years and could be a playmaker for a Pittsburgh defence that needs a spark.
21. Seattle Seahawks - Christian Wilkins (DI, Clemson)
The Seahawks defensive line isn't what it used to be, so why not add a stud on the interior? Christian Wilkins was top three in both PFF's run-defence and pass-rushing grades among interior players this past season. I know most people have Seattle pegged as taking an edge rusher, but nowadays in the NFL it's just as important to build up the middle.
22. Baltimore Ravens - Cody Ford (OT/OG, Oklahoma)
Let's be honest, the Ravens are going to the run the ball 99% of the time this year. Because of that, I decided to draft Cody Ford for Baltimore. I believe they need to keep building up front to create the lanes for Lamar Jackson if they want to be successful. Pass rusher might be a bigger need for this team, but I liked the value of Ford better than any edge defender at this spot.
23. Houston Texans - T.J. Hockenson (TE, Iowa)
The Texans, another team locking for offensive linemen. Unfortunately for them, none of my first round graded tackles or guards are on the board in this scenario. So instead I've given them T.J. Hockenson, a tight end who can be as effective as a blocker as he can as a pass catcher. Watson also needs another target outside of DeAndre Hopkins and the Iowa prospect could be that guy.
24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears) - Montez Sweat (EDGE, Mississippi State)
The Raiders as a team had only 13 sacks last year. In comparison, their former player Khalil Mack had 12.5 on his own, a total that was bettered by 11 players. So needless to say, Oakland needs pass rush. Montez Sweat might be more potential than production at this stage, but he showed enough at Mississippi State to make me believe he can put up good numbers in the NFL. Plus he can run fast and that matters for edge rushers now apparently.
25. Philadelphia Eagles - Josh Jacobs (RB, Alabama)
As most of you know, I often argue that running backs don't really matter and I still believe that. But in some rare situations, the right RB can help a team achieve greatness. This could be one of those situations. The Eagles' only open starting spot is in the backfield and Josh Jacobs could step into it day one and improve the Philly offence instantly. The Alabama grad is the most complete running back in the draft and has also never received a huge workload in college, something I see as a positive. This probably won't happen, but as an Eagles fan, I really hope it does.
26. Indianapolis Colts - Jachai Polite (EDGE, Florida)
I don't care that he had a miserable combine, Jachai Polite can play. The Gator was one of the best in the nation as both a pass rusher and run defender in 2018, achieving a 90+ grade from PFF in both departments. Now despite signing veteran Justin Houston, the Colts still need to add bodies on the defensive line in this draft. It may have only been one year of high level production, but I have faith that Polite can make plays in the NFL.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys) - Dexter Lawrence (DI, Clemson)
The Raiders have so many holes that from this point on they should just be drafting the best player available. In this scenario, the highest ranked player on my board was big Dexter Lawrence. The 160kg nose tackle can affect both the run and pass game and would be a great compliment to the smaller interior defender Oakland drafted last year, Maurice Hurst.
28. Los Angeles Chargers - Nasir Adderley (FS, Delaware)
Pairing Adderley with Derwin James, my favourite player in the NFL, would create one of the most dynamic safety duos in the league. The Delaware free safety has incredible speed and range, traits that make him a superb single-high safety, which would allow James to play in the box where he does his best work. The fit is perfect, I'd love to see it become reality.
29. Kansas City Chiefs - Amani Oruwariye (CB, Penn State)
The Chiefs are crying out for help at two positions: cornerback and edge rusher. Now despite Rashan Gary being on the table still, I have Amani Oruwariye quite a few places higher on my big board. It would only be one piece, but he would add some much needed ability to the secondary in KC.
30. Green Bay Packers - Deebo Samuel (WR, South Carolina)
Deebo wouldn't just be Randall Cobb's replacement, but would be a major upgrade in the slot. My second highest graded receiver in this draft, Samuel is incredible in space and after the catch, breaking 21 tackles on 62 catches in 2018. He also knows how to get open and find the end-zone. I think Aaron Rodgers would love having him on the roster.
31. Los Angeles Rams - Garrett Bradbury (C/OG - N.C. State)
And the first interior offensive linemen comes off the board! This is a simple one for me personally. The Rams don't have too many weaknesses and I think Bradbury would be the perfect replacement for departing centre John Sullivan.
32. New England Patriots - J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (WR, Stanford)
With Gronk retiring I was tempted to slide Noah Fant into this spot, but New England also have a huge need for receivers and Arcega-Whiteside is higher on my board than the Iowa tight end. The wideout from Stanford is a superb contested catch receiver as well as having the ability to create separation. Oh and he also does solid work in the red zone. He may not be the most exciting player in this class, but that why he's a Patriot.
Mowlem is a young sports writer from Reading, United Kingdom. All articles are written by Reece Mowlem (unless stated otherwise).