College football is less than one month away and these are the players that NFL fans should be keeping an eye on during Saturdays because they could soon be helping their team on Sundays.
The order for this 2020 NFL Mock Draft is based on the latest Super Bowl odds from FanDuel Sportsbook. The order will fluctuate throughout the season. The needs for each NFL team will fluctuate wildly too with player performance, team performance, free agency and injuries.
I’ll have updated mock drafts weekly throughout the college football season. This is the first mock draft of the year and the players will rise and fall depending on their performance. New players will enter the first round conversation. The goal of the Mock NFL Draft is to provide fans with an idea of the player(s) that could be helping their team in the near future.
1. Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Dolphins traded for Josh Rosen during the 2019 NFL Draft but he’s very much auditioning to be the guy there long-term. If the Dolphins do get the top pick, Rosen won’t have helped his case. Tua Tagovailoa has special arm talent and accuracy and if he gets through this season healthy and plays well vs. the top defenses he faces, he’ll be the top pick.
2. Bengals – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
It’s time for the Andy Dalton era to come to an end in Cincinnati. Dalton did some good things early in his sting in the Queen City but the team failed to get over the hump and win a single playoff game. Justin Herbert has all the physical tools to be a franchise quarterback. He just has to get through his final season at Oregon unscathed after battling injuries in recent years.
3. Cardinals – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The Cardinals have whiffed with their offensive line picks but Andrew Thomas would be a safe bet. An absolute mauler who can be a mainstay at left tackle but also has the ability to flip to the right side. The Cardinals have to protect Kyler Murray if they hope to compete and Thomas will be his personal bodyguard for years.
4. Redskins – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Chase Young could be the top pick in the draft. The Ohio State edge rusher played well in Nick Bosa’s absence last year and has the speed, power and athleticism to be a double-digit sack master.
5. Lions – A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
If not Young, A.J. Epensesa is the top pass rusher in the class. At 6-6 and 280 pounds, Epenesa is a perfect fit at the right defensive end. He also has the versatility to line up inside on occasion and get to the quarterback.
6. Bills – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Arguably the best player in college football. Grant Delpit gives the Bills a potential face of the defense and leader in the locker room. They may be tempted to give Josh Allen a receiver like Jerry Jeudy but Delpit is a home run type pick.
7. Raiders – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
The Raiders added defensive end Clelin Ferrell with their top pick in Mike Mayock’s first draft last year and they go back to the defensive line with this. Derrick Brown is the best player on what might be the best defensive line in college this year. At 315 pounds, Brown can play in the interior but could be seen as a fit as a base end in an odd front.
8. Giants – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Getting Jerry Jeudy at this spot would be a coup for embattled Giants general manager Dave Gettleman. After trading away Odell Beckham Jr in the offseason, the Giants have a glaring need for a transcendent wide receiver and Jeudy is that guy to pair with Daniel Jones.
9. Broncos – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
The Broncos may not have Chris Harris Jr. for much longer and have to add to their secondary. CJ Henderson is the top cornerback in the class and when you play in a division with Patrick Mahomes, you’ll need a shutdown corner. Henderson is the closest thing to that.
10. Buccaneers – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
The Buccaneers could be looking for a new quarterback if Jameis Winston doesn’t take to Bruce Arians’ offense. But cornerback is also an area of need with the uncertain future of Vernon Hargreaves. Trevon Diggs is the latest elite corner to come out of the secondary school of Nick Saban.
11. Jets – Walker Little, OT, Stanford
The Jets filled a number of holes on the roster this offseason but they could always need more help to protect Sam Darnold. Walker Little could go much higher than No. 11, but if available. the Jets would run to the podium to get the left tackle to protect Darnold’s blindside.
12. Titans – Terrell Lewis, OLB/EDGE, Alabama
The pass rush is vital in the NFL, but even more so, when you play in a division with Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson on the schedule four times each season. The Titans could look at quarterback with Marcus Mariota entering free agency, but assuming he sticks, look for Mike Vrabel to address the pass rush with the top edge rusher Terrell Lewis.
13. Panthers – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
It’s a broken record, but Cam Newton needs more help. Laviska Shenault is a dangerous playmaker who is a weapon after the catch. This sounds like 2018 first rounder, D.J. Moore, who could form a nice young duo for Newton and the Panthers.
14. Jaguars – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
Nick Foles gets a new weapon to work with as Tee Higgins brings the size, speed, route-running savvy and a championship pedigree to the Jaguars.
15. Texans – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Jadeveon Clowney’s time in Houston could be coming to an end after this year due to his contract status so the Texans take another SEC edge rusher to fill the void. K’Lavon Chaisson had an injury last year but he is poised to have a breakout year in 2019 to open eyeballs around the country.
16. Ravens – Anfernee Jennings, EDGE, Alabama
Lamar Jackson has some weapons to work with although more help on the offensive line is always welcome, there isn’t a player at this range that fits. Edge rusher is always welcome too and Alabama has a pair of them as Anfernee Jennings joins Terrell Lewis in going off the board in the top half of the first round.