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Steven Cheah's 2020 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Joe Burrow traded on Draft day?!)

The NFL Combine begins on Sunday and we are firmly in Draft SZN. If you haven’t heard, we’ve rebranded Surf & Turf to Going Deep. We’re keeping the same format, but pivoting to preview and cover the draft and free agency. This week, we’ve got a Combine Mega-Preview featuring a bunch of NFL decision makers. We’ve got a former GM, current Director of Player Personnel, a current Director of College Scouting, a player participating in the Combine, and two draft analysts to give you a full 360 view of what teams will be looking for and a few players fans should keep an eye on this week in Indianapolis. 

In the first segment of the pod, I’ll discuss this Mock Draft (2.0) which has A LOT of movement in the top 10. You can listen to the pod on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher. Let’s get started…

1) Cincinnati Bengals – QB Joe Burrow (LSU)

This is a layup selection, but we’re getting some signals that Burrow doesn’t want to play for the city that’s three hours away from his hometown of Athens, Ohio. We could be in the early stages of a powerplay with this pick and I think he’ll have to put on a Bengals hat on April 23rrd, but I don’t think he’ll be wearing that hat for very long…

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.

3) *TRADE* Miami Dolphins (via 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 is in the cat bird’s seat in the draft with the first two picks being known for some time now. I put Tua here to Detroit in 1.0, and while I still think Tua goes #3, Matt Patricia and GM Bob Quinn have been given the mandate to win now and even though Matt Stafford’s back threw their season for a loop last year, it’s hard to argue a rookie QB will allow them to fulfill their orders. Miami has been rumored to be the Tua market since last season and they’ve got more than enough ammo to make this deal happen.

4) New York Giants – OT Mekhi Becton (Louisville)

When you’ve got a group of blue chip Offensive Tackles with similar strengths and weaknesses, the logical tiebreaker would be size. Becton is going to win that vs. almost anybody at 6’7” 370 lbs. Daniel Jeremiah first thought up this match in his first mock and Becton has been making the way up draftnik’s board’s ever since. Jeffrey Okudah, Tristan Wirfs, and even a receiver could be a sneaky play here, but I’m going with the big Tackle that plays with a nasty streak at #4. You're not going to find an Offensive Tackle with more fun tape than Becton:

5) *TRADE* Detroit Lions via Miami Dolphins – CB Jeffrey Okudah (Ohio State)

The Lions get their guy in Okudah who has been the most common player mocked to the team. They’re looking to trade stud CB Darius Slay in a move that doesn’t make a ton of sense, but they hope they’ve found his replacement in Okudah and get some value with it picking up an early 2nd rounder for their troubles.

6) *TRADE* Carolina Panthers (via Los Angeles Chargers) – QB Justin Herbert (Oregon)

The Panthers do what they have to do and before the draft make a deal sending Cam Newton to the Chargers to move up one spot and get a 4th round pick back in return. They do so with the intention of selecting Oregon signal caller Justin Herbert. While Herbert gets the Panthers’ hat, he’s not going to be wearing it for long as the Panthers pull off a mega deal (*TRADE*) to send Herbert, this year’s 2nd & 4th rounders, next year’s 1st & 3rd round picks to reunite Joe Brady with his star pupil. The Panthers have a new owner who is not afraid to be aggressive and I am sure Brady is singing Burrow’s praises to anyone that’ll listen. This would be a dream fit for the Panthers and Matt Rhule’s spread offense and gives Burrow an organization he’s comfortable with. As for Herbert, the Bengals coaches got a look at him during the Senior Bowl and have a similar grade on him to Burrow. It’s an easy call after Burrow never embraced Cincy and you have a similar valued player that you actually have experience with that you’d get along with a ton of draft assets.

7) *TRADE* Los Angeles Chargers (via Carolina Panthers) – OT Jedrick Wills (Alabama)

Philip Rivers is gone, but their drop down one spot has netted them a former MVP in Cam Newton. The Chargers take their time making the deal but get it done before Draft Night. This way they give Cam the most time to heal and ensure he passes his physical. As for the selection, Wills is a powerful run blocker who can start immediately on the right side and help keep Superman healthy.

8) Arizona Cardinals – 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 definitely an area that’s due for an upgrade out in Glendale.

9) Jacksonville Jaguars – 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 could slot right in to the LB spot that had been suddenly vacated by Telvin Smith who took a year off and whose future with the team is in doubt.

10) Cleveland Browns – OT Andrew Thomas (Georgia)

The Browns really need to protect their investment in Baker Mayfield and they did a poor job of that last season. They need help all across the line and Thomas can play both tackle positions. He’s a very good run blocker who is effective checking his assignments off in pass protection as well. While he doesn’t have the highlight tape of a Mekhi Becton, he is steady and reliable which is exactly what the Browns need.

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11) New York Jets – OT Tristan Wirfs (Iowa)

Speaking of protecting a young QB, the Jets Offensive Line was dreadful last season. Wirfs played Right Tackle in college and can be kicked inside to play Guard as well.

12) Las Vegas Raiders – WR CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)

This is a pick that the late Raiders owner Al Davis would have loved, speed on the outside. Funny thing is, Gruden falls in love with speedy skill position players in a similar manner. Lamb is pure electricity on the outside and he’s dynamic with the ball in his hands after the catch. With the Raiders lacking a true #1 WR, this is an easy choice for Gruden and GM Mike Mayock.

13) Indianapolis Colts – WR Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)

They do need to address the Quarterback situation, but all signs point to Philip Rivers landing in Indy. So assuming that happens, that opens them up to taking a Wide Receiver here. Jeudy is an outstanding route runner which will help him have an easier learning curve than most rookie WRs. He’s said he’s expecting to run in the 4.3s at the Combine and if he does, he may not be here at #13 when the Colts are on the clock.

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 Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)

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. Ruggs has a lot of juice and can flat out go on the outside. He’ll take the top off of defenses and afford Lock bigger windows underneath.

16) Atlanta Falcons – CB C.J. Henderson (Florida)

The Falcons need some help at Cornerback and Henderson is the #2 CB after Okudah in the draft. He’s got good size and great feet which will help his transition to the pros immensely. There were four Pro Bowl receivers on the other three teams in the division so GM Thomas Dimitroff needs to beef up the secondary.

17) *TRADE* New Orleans Saints (via Dallas Cowboys) – QB Jordan Love (Utah State)

Yes, Drew Brees is coming back. Tayson Hill has said he doesn’t mind sitting another year either. But Teddy Bridgewater is likely gone and Sean Payton has been looking for another full-time QB toy for years. I’m just not buying the fact that they are banking on Hill as a franchise QB. Love is very raw and will need some seasoning. But he’ll get 1-2 years to sit on the bench while Brees rides off into the sunset and Hill gets a crack at the gig. The Saints give up a 3rd rounder & a 6th to move up and get their QB of the future.

18) *TRADE* Detroit Lions (via Miami Dolphins) – EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU)

The Lions receive this pick as part of the deal to move down from #3 to #5 so the Dolphins could secure Tua. Is is possible the Lions are winning the draft?! If they play their cards right, they could have a very bright haul in late April. Chaisson only has 9.5 sacks in his entire college career but came on strong with 4.5 in his final two games. He’s got the size and twitch you want out of the position and figures to be among the draft risers once on-field testing begins in Indy.

19) Las Vegas Raiders – LB Patrick Queen (LSU)

GM Mike Mayock loves to dip into schools with championship experience and Queen is coming off an undefeated championship season with the Tigers. 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 will help the Raiders day one:

20) Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Josh Jones (Houston)

The Jags took Jawaan Taylor last year in the 2nd round and he played more snaps than any rookie Tackle. They still need help protecting their Gardner Minshew/Nick Foles duo at QB and Jones played himself into the 1st round after a really successful week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl.

21) Philadelphia Eagles – WR Justin Jefferson (LSU)

The Eagles were so beat up at Receiver last year and the fan base can only tolerate so much more Nelson Agholor. Alshon Jeffrey is a nice player but needs to stay on the field and last year’s rookie J.J. Arcega-Whiteside underwhelmed. Carson Wentz needs more playmakers and Jefferson had an outstanding finish to the season which catapults him into the 1st round conversation.

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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) *TRADE* Dallas Cowboys (via New Orleans Saints) – 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. The Cowboys also get good value with this pick as they pick up a 3rd & 6th from the Saints to move down for a guy they likely would have taken at #17.

25) Minnesota Vikings – CB Jaylon Johnson (Utah)

Minnesota loves drafting Cornerbacks high (Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes, Mike Hughes) and Johnson fits the mold of a Mike Zimmer CB – tall, long, & physical. With Rhodes potentially becoming a cap casualty, they find his replacement with Johnson.

26) Miami Dolphins – OT Austin Jackson (USC)

The Dolphins use their second first rounder on an Offensive Tackle whose primary responsibility will be protecting their Franchise Quarterback who has a history of injuries. Quite the task for a rookie, but Jackson has all the tools to be a successful Tackle.

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 – EDGE A.J. Epenesa (Iowa)

Epenesa checks in at 6’6” 280 lbs. and the Combine will be huge for him. He’s a guy where the 40 yard dash will be important, because at his size, he could be asked to bulk up and move to a 5-technique DE in a 3-4 scheme if he runs a slow time. For the time being, he’s viewed as an EDGE defender that has advanced hand placement and a relentless motor.

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 – S Xavier McKinney (Alabama)

The 49ers have some cap decisions coming in their secondary, specifically at Safety and McKinney can fill in there where he has the versatility to roam the middle of the field and come down and fill the box.

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.

And remember to check out the Going Deep NFL Combine Mega-Preview here: Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher.