It is finally NFL draft week ladies and gentlemen. The moment all football fans have been desperately waiting for since February 3rd is finally coming this Thursday. This NFL draft is going to be complete chaos and the only sports event on TV for a long time.
Here is my finalized mock NFL draft. This is what I think will happen, not necessarily what I would do.
Broncos give- 1.15, 3.77, 4.118 and 2021 3rd Cardinals give- 1.08
Seahawks give- 1.27, 4.133 Dolphins give- 2.39, 3.70
49ers give- 1.31 Colts give- 2.34 and 4.122
1 Bengals Joe Burrow, QB LSU
Burrow is fresh off the best season in college football history. I do not see how anyone could make a case for him not being the first pick. Lock it in.
2 Redskins Chase Young, EDGE Ohio State
The number one overall player on almost everyone’s big board this year, Chase Young. A prospect of this caliber only comes around once every 4 years or so. Young really has no problems with his game, and should be a high quality starter in the NFL for years to come.
3 Lions Jeffrey Okudah, CB Ohio State
There is a lot of buzz about the Lions trading back with the dolphins or the chargers with this pick. However; with Tua Tagovailoa’s injury history and the lack of medical information in this year’s draft I don’t see teams trading up for a player with such an extensive injury history. The Lions stay put and draft their replacement for Darius Slay.
4 Giants Jedrick Wills, OT Alabama
I have been thinking that Isaiah Simmons would be the pick here for the Giants. Then Cecil Lammey tweeted on Monday stating that won’t happen. Jedrick WIlls is the best offensive tackle on my Board this year. He is technically proficient, a good athlete and very consistent. The Giants should be trying to give Daniel Jones the best situation to succeed. Adding a franchise bookend on the offensive line does just that.
5 Dolphins Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
Tua’s injury history might scare the Dolphins away from giving up draft capital in a trade for him, but I don’t see them passing on him at 5. Tua is still a very talented player and a potential franchise QB if he can stay healthy. He has the talent, but he needs to avoid going down the same path that Sam Bradford did when he entered the league.
6 Chargers Justin Herbert, QB Oregon
Probably the most polarizing top 10 pick in this year’s NFL draft is Justin Herbert. I do not think he is worth a top 10 pick, but this is not about what I would do; this is what I think will happen. QBs are consistently overdrafted and that continues this year with Herbert. He has all the physical tools to succeed in the NFL, and the Chargers need a plan at QB. I am not sold in the slightest on Tyrod Taylor as the future of the Chargers. Herbert could sit a year and then start in 2021 on a team with a pretty stacked roster.
7 Panthers Isaiah Simmons, LB Clemson
Even before the surprise retirement of superstar linebacker Luke Kuechly, I don’t think the Panthers could have passed up on Simmons at 7. Simmons is far and away the best athlete in this NFL draft and one of the best I have ever seen. Defensive players in the NFL today are moving towards “positionless playmakers” like Derwin James and Tyrann Mathieu and that is exactly what Simmons can do. He has the size to play linebacker, but the speed and coverage ability to play in the slot and deep safety. Any Defensive Coordinator should be salivating at the thought of Simmons in their scheme.
8 Broncos (via AZ) Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama
The first trade of NFL draft day comes with John Elway moving up to get his guy. The compensation is fair, and Arizona gets to move back and take the best defensive player available, because they sorely need it. The Cardinals ranked 28th in Points allowed in 2019.
Why Ruggs? Well, the Broncos have spent the last four years getting burnt by Tyreek Hill twice a year, and they have the opportunity to get a very similar player minus the issues off the field. The skillset that Ruggs can offer is one of the most unique in the league. There are very few players in the league that have his speed, let alone his hands and route running ability as well. He won’t light up the box score right away, but his ability to dictate coverage will open the offense up for Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant to explode in terms of production.
9 Jaguars C.J. Henderson, CB Florida
The Jaguars are in the middle of a full on tear down of everything that got them to the Conference Championship Game in 2017. Right now the only cornerback on the roster is Tre Herndon, who lacked the tools and ability to be a #1 CB in 2019. Henderson has the elite speed and fluidity that you want in a number one CB, and he is very sticky in man coverage. The Jags probably want to draft some offensive talent to help out Gardner Minshew, but as of right now they are at the bottom of the barrel in the secondary.
10 Browns Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia
After what was supposed to be a turning point season in 2019, the Browns are once again picking in the top 10. The offensive line was pretty much the only bad part of their offense besides Baker Mayfield last year, and they can fix it right up by pairing Andrew Thomas with free agent acquisition Jack Conklin. A lot of what happens for the Browns in 2020 depends on how Mayfield bounces back in a new offense, and getting a top LT prospect like Thomas will help immensely. If Baker can’t produce like an average to above average QB this year, there are no excuses, and his job security should be in danger at that point.
11 Jets Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa
While the Jets could easily take a WR right here, I think the more important task at hand is protecting Sam Darnold. Darnold has been playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in football since his rookie season. Adding a tackle prospect like Wirfs would be a good start to fixing that issue. Wirfs can be a very good tackle in the NFL if he cleans up some of his technique, and if he can’t there is no harm in trying him out at guard in year 2 or 3.
12 Raiders Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama
Barring another shocking pick like the one the Raiders made at fourth overall last year, this is a pretty easy selection. Derek Carr isn’t going to push the ball down the field like other top tier QBs, which makes Jeudy the best pairing. Jeudy has separation ability coming into the draft that I have never before seen in a WR prospect. He can come in immediately and catch 70-90 passes for the intermediate passing attack the Raiders like to run.
13 49ers CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma
The 49ers had one of the best defenses in the NFL in 2019 and I don’t see that changing just because they lost one player in DeForest Buckner. They are in prime position right here to take a superstar at WR to pair with Deebo Samuel. CeeDee Lamb offers the yards after catch ability that is coveted in a Shanahan scheme. He also has very strong blocking ability which is great for one of the most run heavy offenses in the league.
14 Buccaneers Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville
By all accounts the Buccaneers are all in on the next two seasons, and while I seriously doubt how well they will do with old man Brady at the helm, they obviously want to help him succeed. Becton is last in the top tier of the offensive tackle prospects in this year’s draft. With a pretty big hole at LT, the Bucs definitely take him to bolster a roster already jam packed with offensive talent.
15 Cardinals (via DEN) Derrick Brown, IDL Auburn
What a lot of people would consider a big slide for the monster defensive lineman out of Auburn, is a big gain for the Cardinals. Their defensive line was pretty terrible outside of Chandler Jones in 2019. Derrick Brown won’t light it up with double digit sacks, but he will be a great run stuffing nose tackle in the NFL.
16 Falcons Javon Kinlaw, IDL South Carolina
Easily the best pass rusher on the interior defensive line this year, the Falcons get super lucky with his slide. He has some issues with his footwork to refine. However, he is crazy powerful and was a very productive pass rusher in college. Pairing him next to Grady Jarrett is a recipe for success on the Falcons defensive line.
17 Cowboys K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE LSU
One of the most raw prospects in the entire draft, Chaisson has incredibly rare bend, meaning he can dip around and underneath the less athletic tackles on the offensive line, a skill out of which Von Miller has made a successful career. The Cowboys need some help with the pass rush after a disappointing year from Demarcus Lawrence. They likely wanted Henderson here, but he goes in the top 10 and they decide to bolster the pass rush.
18 Dolphins Xavier McKinney, S Alabama
One of my favorite prospects in the entire NFL draft. Any teams that are interested in Simmons but missed out, should be looking at Xavier McKinney. He is a slightly less athletic Simmons with better coverage skills. He can play anywhere on the defense, but excels as a safety, something the Dolphins sorely need after trading away Minkah Fitzpatrick.
19 Raiders A.J. Terrell, CB Clemson
This is where the Raiders shock the draft community by reaching on a defender from Clemson; again. Terrell has a pretty poor perception by most of the public because of his performance in the College Football Championship. He was going up against Ja’Marr Chase, who is shaping up to be the best WR prospect since Julio Jones. Terrell had a rough game. It happends to everyone; his just happened to be on the national stage.
20 Jaguars Grant Delpit, S LSU
It has been a hard fall down draft boards this
21 Eagles Justin Jefferson, WR LSU
There has been talk of the Eagles moving up for one of the top WRs, but after the Broncos move up to 8 and grab Ruggs, they decide to stay put. Jefferson is a very good fit for the RPO-heavy Eagles offense. While he will most likely line up in the slot, Jefferson is worthy of a first round pick.
22 Vikings Kristian Fulton, CB LSU
After all these years Mike Zimmer has a good excuse to take his annual CB in the first round. Fulton is a little bit inconsistent, but he has shown flashes of elite coverage ability; for example, his game against Alabama in 2019. The Vikings roster is struggling after losing tons of talent in free agency, and the DB position is at the top of the list of needs.
23 Patriots Zack Baun, EDGE Wisconsin
This guy has got Bill Belichick written all over him. One of the most versatile players in the draft, he can rush the passer and play off ball linebacker equally well at a high level. He reminds me a lot of Kyle Van Noy who the Pats just let walk in free agency. He is a little bit undersized but I think ultimately that won’t matter too much. I can’t think of a more prototypical “Patriots” pick than this in the first round.
24 Saints Patrick Queen, LB LSU
My favorite true ILB in the draft this year is off the board at 24 to a Saints team that doesn’t have too many glaring holes. Queen has the natural instincts that you want in the leader of the defense, along with the athleticism and upside in coverage to be a useful tool in a modern NFL defense.
25 Vikings Cesar Ruiz, IOL Michigan
The best interior offensive lineman in this NFL draft class goes to a Vikings team that desperately needs help on the offensive line. With Garrett Bradbury at center, Ruiz would have to play guard, but that shouldn’t be a problem. He offers great upside in pass protection and is a quality run blocker as well.
26 Dolphins Josh Jones, OT Houston
Jones is the next best tackle after the drop off from the top tier of prospects this year. He is pretty raw, and he likely won’t reach his true potential until year 2 or more likely year 3 The Dolphins however had some of the worst tackle play I have seen in a while in 2019, as they allowed a whopping 58 sacks as a team, tied for the worst in the league. Jones likely won’t be any worse than that in year one.
27 Dolphins (via SEA) Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn State
The Seahawks have traded out of their own first rounder in the NFL draft for seven straight years. I don’t see why they would stop now. The Dolphins have an insane amount of draft capital and would like to secure a young edge rusher with a fifth year option. Gross-Matos is not very refined, but has good power and athleticism. He could be a role player his rookie season then an impact starter in year two.
28 Ravens Denzel Mims, WR Baylor
The 4th best WR on my board is an absolute steal for the Ravens at 28. He can be the big bodied target on the perimeter that the Ravens need. There are questions about his separation ability, but his athletic profile means that he can be taught to separate; much like Courtland Sutton.
29 Titans Jeff Gladney, CB TCU
Jeff Gladney is one of the feistiest players you will find in this NFL draft. He plays like he’s 6’4” 210 pounds, but he is actually 5’10” 191 pounds. He ran a little slow at the combine due to injuries, but his tape shows 4.3 speed. The Titans need a new CB to replace Logan Ryan and Gladney is great value at 29.
30 Packers Jalen Reagor, WR TCU
The Packers offense suffered desperately from not having another threat in the passing game after Davante Adams. Reagor has the ability to stretch the field that was sorely missed on the Packers in 2019.
31 Colts (via SF) Jordan Love, QB Utah State
Ever since trading away the 13th pick in the NFL draft for Deforest Buckner, the Jordan Love talk for Indy has slowed down. The Colts still probably like Love, and they are a great spot for him, pairing the prospect with an elite OL and a very smart offensive mind at head coach. They trade up into the first round to get a 5th year option knowing Love will likely sit for a year or two. It might be a bit risky, but I trust Frank Reich and Chris Ballard to put Love in the best possible situation to improve. Give him a year to sit under a veteran like Phillip Rivers, and Love could be a franchise QB.
32 Chiefs Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma
The Chiefs get pretty dang lucky with this pick. Murray is easily a top two ILB this year along with Patrick Queen. Murray could potentially be that dominant Mike linebacker that they have been missing since Derrick Johnson retired.
That is all for my first article here at Time Skew. I will be joining the team as a writer for everything Denver Broncos and will be doing in depth analysis in the off season for all the moves that the Broncos make.