Steven Cheah's 2020 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

The 2019 season has concluded with Super Bowl LIV and the Kansas City Chiefs are on top of the football world. Congratulations on a fantastic come from behind win and championship season! I’m very happy for their fans who haven’t been to the big game in 50 years. But the cold reality is that 31 teams did not win the Super Bowl this past season and that means that since the Super Bowl is over, it’s officially NFL DRAFT SZN! So without further ado, here is my first mock draft:

1) Cincinnati Bengals – QB Joe Burrow (LSU)

Duh. You couldn’t have a better year than Burrow did with the Tigers this past season. Shattering records and destroying top 10 team after top 10 team. He’s cemented his spot as the top pick, but it should be interesting to see how he translates to the pros. LSU Passing Game Coordinator Joe Brady tailored his offense to what Burrow does best. Big Dick Joe’s only real knock is he has an average NFL arm, but you sure couldn’t tell based on his deep completion percentage. The Ohio kid is the only logical choice for Zac Taylor and the Bengals.

2) Washington Redskins – EDGE Chase Young (Ohio State)

Young has been widely regarded as the best player in the draft for quite awhile and while some may argue Burrow is that guy, Young certainly has made his case with 16.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss this season. He dominated the competition this year and is a no brainer #2 overall pick for a team that took his former teammate Dwayne Haskins in the first round the year before. Haskins  also foreshadowed this selection on twitter:

3) Detroit Lions – QB Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)

Here is where the draft really starts this year with the first two selections basically universally known at this point. Detroit could certainly be a candidate to trade out and fetch a king’s ransom for Tua or another prospect someone else covets. Tua’s health is certainly a concern after Brandon Walker put out the hit on him during a 1st half beatdown of his beloved Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Combine medical checks will be enormous for Tua, but hip injuries are a tricky thing and are super important for QBs (see: Dak Prescott pre-game warmups). But with Matt Patricia struggling after two seasons (9-22-1) and Matt Stafford unable to stay on the field, I think he looks to a young rookie’s star to hitch his wagon to. If he can surpass last season's 3-12-1 record and get to 6-7 wins with a rookie QB he'll be trending upwards in the eyes of Lions fans.

4) New York Giants – OT Tristan Wirfs (Iowa)

This is another surprise pick, but the Giants really need to protect the investment they made in young QB Daniel Jones. Jones was the 6th overall pick last year and the Giants offensive line was a complete train wreck. Everything I’ve heard is that Wirfs fits a Gettleman profile, so we’ll see if they go with the big tackle out of Iowa.

5) Miami Dolphins – OT Mekhi Becton (Louisville)

Becton is a mammoth Left Tackle at 6’7” 370 lbs. But he’s as nimble as they come at that size and with Miami trading away Laramy Tunsil, they need to replenish that position. While they hoped for Tua, they wait to address the QB situation as the positional value isn’t there at #5. Did I mention this dude is HUGE?!

6) Los Angeles Chargers – OT Jedrick Wills Jr. (Alabama)

We get our third Offensive Tackle off the board in a row here with Wills who plays Right Tackle. The Chargers couldn’t block anybody last year and you saw Philip Rivers’ numbers decline because of it. I actually foresee a new signal caller in LA this year (maybe the GOTSBE Tom Brady??), but whoever is taking those snaps needs to be protected and Wills fits the bill at #6.

7) Carolina Panthers – CB Jeffrey Okudah (Ohio State)

The buzz will be QB here and they certainly could go that route. They’d be a favorite to trade up if there was one in my mind. However, Justin Herbert isn’t the best fit for a spread despite playing in that offense with Oregon, so I foresee the Panthers addressing the Cornerback position which needs some help. James Bradberry is a nice player, but the NFC South boasts so many weapons, you really need two good CBs and Okudah has drawn Stephon Gilmore comparisons.

8) Arizona Cardinals – WR Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)

The Cardinals could use some help along the Offensive Line, but they also need some more weapons for Kyler Murray. Christian Kirk is a nice player, but with Larry Fitzgerald returning, it’s a great opportunity to teach another young blue chip receiver the ropes and Juedy is an outstanding talent. A smooth, polished route runner who will likely time faster than most think, he’s slippery after the catch and could be a real threat in Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid attack.


9) Jacksonville Jaguars – DT Derrick Brown (Auburn)

Brown would have been a top 15 pick last year had he come out. He returned to finish his senior season and is a 320 lbs. disruptor in the middle of the defense. Those type of guys don’t grow on trees and that’s a big need in northwest northeast Florida. Great value here for the Jags as Brown is a guy I could see going as high as #3.

10) Cleveland Browns – LB/S Isaiah Simmons (Clemson)

There may not be a more versatile player in college football than Simmons. He can blitz, play in the box, roam the middle of the field, cover tight ends, whatever you need really. In today’s NFL, the “money backer” is becoming a real thing (shoutout Mark Barron). Simmons would be a nice fit for a Browns defense that needs help at both positions.

11) New York Jets – OT Andrew Thomas (Georgia)

The Jets Offensive Line was dreadful last season and they have a young QB they need to protect as well. Thomas is a versatile tackle that can help give Sam Darnold a little extra time to get rid of the football. Receiver is another position they could look at here.

12) *TRADE* Miami Dolphins (via Las Vegas Raiders) – QB Justin Herbert (Oregon)

The Dolphins can’t leave this draft without their Quarterback as they’ve got three first rounders. In this scenario they bypass Herbert at #5 to draft his massive blindside protector, but they give up #18 and their best 2nd rounder (#39 overall) to move ahead of potentially QB needy Indy & Tampa Bay. The Raiders are a logical partner both because of position and we saw last year GM Mike Mayock was willing to move up and down the board. Word on the street is that the Dolphins have done the most legwork on Justin Herbert, so despite all the 'Tank for Tua' rumors, he could be their guy the whole time.

13) Indianapolis Colts – QB Jordan Love (Utah State)

There is always a surprise and this would certainly be one. There have been rumors that GM Chris Ballard and Coach Frank Reich really like Love. However, he had a pretty down junior season after torching everybody his sophomore year. But take into account he lost a majority of his offense to graduation and you can maybe tip the scales a little back in his way. His numbers were by no means good, but he’s a loose thrower with other worldly arm talent (see Senior Bowl incompletion below). He may need a year to sit, but he’s an exciting prospect and the Colts have said they are not married to Jacoby Brissett. 

14) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DT Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina)

Kinlaw is a muscular 6’6” 310 lbs. and put on a show at the Senior Bowl practices in front of coaches and execs. The Bucs have questions at 5-technique and Ndamukong Suh will be a fairly pricey free agent. While they’d surely hope to have him back, Kinlaw would likely represent best player available at this point.


15) Denver Broncos – WR CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)

Courtland Sutton had a Pro Bowl season in Denver but in a receiver-rich draft, John Elway looks to get another toy for Drew Lock to hopefully accelerate his development. Some regard Lamb as the top receiver in the draft, but wherever you stack him, you can't deny his speed and ability to make plays with the ball in his hands. He'd be an ideal compliment to Sutton.

16) Atlanta Falcons – EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU)

The Falcons love drafting speed rushers and Chaisson might be the best edge rusher this year outside of Chase Young. With Tak McKinley not being who they thought they’d get and Vic Beasley not returning to form, this fits a need in Dan Quinn’s zone based system.

17) Dallas Cowboys – S Grant Delpit (LSU)

Dallas has needed a Safety for a couple years and been caught flirting with Earl Thomas as a potential option. Delpit wore #7 at LSU, so you know he’s the real deal. Despite having somewhat of a down year, Delpit would look really good flying around the secondary in Jerry’s World.

18) *TRADE* Las Vegas Raiders (via Miami Dolphins) – WR Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)

Jon Gruden LOVES to have speed on the field and Ruggs has an extra gear. The Raiders have been missing a true #1 WR since they shipped Amari Cooper to Dallas and Ruggs is a speedster who can bring that 8th man out of the box to let Josh Jacobs run the ball more effectively.

19) Las Vegas Raiders – CB Jaylon Johnson (Utah)

The Raiders drafted a CB in the 2nd round last year with Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen who had a promising rookie year. But they still need help on the outside and go with the tall 6’2” Johnson out of Utah with their back half of these back-to-back picks.

20) Jacksonville Jaguars – LB Patrick Queen (LSU)

The Jags defense is built on speed and LSU has gone from being DBU to LBU with recent studs like Kwon Alexander, Deion Jones, and Devin White. Queen is the next in line from that group and he’ll help solidify a position that Telvin Smith’s year off has left a ton of question marks around.

21) Philadelphia Eagles – S Xavier McKinney (Alabama)

Malcolm Jenkins is 32 years old. Might as well get a guy who can play next to him before he needs replacing and McKinney is a Safety that comes from Nick Saban’s school of hard knocks. He can cover and hit and the Eagles need all the help they can get on the backend.

22) Buffalo Bills – WR Tee Higgins (Clemson)

The Bills desperately need some playmakers on the outside. John “Smoke” Brown had a great year, but Josh Allen needs some targets with a big catch radius. That’s why they go with the 6’4” 215 lbs. Higgins here. He can give Allen a big target while also being a weapon outside.

23) New England Patriots – WR Laviska Shenault Jr. (Colorado)

Shenault is a do-it-all receiver who best fits in the slot and is a menace after the catch with Runningback-like ability. His short area quickness is his biggest strength and whether Tom Brady sticks around or not, Josh McDaniels and Bill Belichick won’t change their scheme a ton for whoever is taking snaps. Oh, he can play QB in a wildcat too...


24) New Orleans Saints – CB C.J. Henderson (Florida)

Super physical CB who can play both press and off coverage, Henderson does a nice job mirroring receivers on the outside. He had really great makeup speed for when he’s beat, but needs to become a better tackler.

25) Minnesota Vikings – CB A.J. Terrell (Clemson)

Minnesota loves drafting Cornerbacks high (Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Mike Hughes) but didn’t go to back to the well last year. Terrell has good size for a Cornerback at 6’1” 195 lbs. and could help replace CB Xavier Rhodes who had a down year despite making the Pro Bowl.

26) Miami Dolphins – RB D’Andre Swift (Georgia)

Miami went through a carousel of Runningbacks last season from Kenyan Drake, to Mark Walton, to Kalen Ballage, to Patrick Laird. Brian Flores knows how important a running game is so they invest a 1st rounder in Swift. Swift can run inside, outside, run routes, catch the ball, and pass block and is worthy of a 1st round selection.

27) Seattle Seahawks – DT Ross Blacklock (TCU)

Blacklock came back from an achillies injury this past season to post good numbers from a Defensive Tackle spot. His game and effort translate to the next level and Seattle needs to beef up their run defense to compete with the 49ers.

28) Baltimore Ravens – EDGE Bradlee Anae (Utah)

Anae raised his stock tremendously with a huge Senior Bowl and he fits what a Raven looks like. With Z’Darious Smith bolting to Green Bay last year, they’ve yet to find an adequate replacement. Anae can team up with Matt Judon and Jaylon Ferguson to give the Ravens some more heat off the edge.

29) Tennessee Titans – OT Josh Jones (Houston)

First off, this is not a shot at my new co-worker, Titans Left Tackle Taylor Lewan. Especially because I imagine Jones playing Right Tackle where the Titans didn’t pick up the 5th year option on RT Jack Conklin after a few injury plagued years. Jones had a really great week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl and is firmly in the 1st round discussion. Also, be sure to subscribe to Barstool's newest podcast, Bussin' With The Boys.

30) Green Bay Packers – WR Brandy Aiyuk (Arizona State)

A dynamic receiver who attacks the ball in the air, Aiyuk will need to work on his route running, but possesses the type of competitive toughness that Aaron Rodgers craves in his receivers. The Packers need to get more weapons in addition to Davante Adams and Aiyuk is just the ticket on the outside.

31) San Francisco 49ers – WR Justin Jefferson (LSU)

You couldn't help but watch the Super Bowl thinking the 49ers needed another playmaker. Deebo Samuel has certainly been worth the investment, but Emmanuel Sanders is long in the tooth and in a receiver-rich class like this, you've got a guy available who had 14 catches for 227 yards and 4 TDs in the national championship game. No brainer, the 49ers would run the card up if this were to happen.

32) Kansas City Chiefs – LB Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma)

While the Chiefs defense is certainly improved towards the back half of the 2019 season, they still need some help, especially at Linebacker. Murray is a sideline-to-sideline guy who is used to playing in shootouts coming out of Oklahoma. The world champs get even better with this pick.