2020 NFL Mock Draft: First-Round Predictions (post-Scouting Combine)

Isaiah Simmons was one of the players who really impressed in Indianapolis

The 2020 NFL Scouting Combine is in the books. As usual, there was plenty of news, notes and eye-popping numbers put up in Indianapolis as one of the biggest events on the draft calendar hit primetime for the first time ever. While things were a bit different in terms of timing at Lucas Oil Stadium, the amount of moving and shaking that went on in its wake was not.

 

With all that in mind, how could the first round of the draft play out in a few months? Here's a look at who could go where when it comes time to turn in the card down in Las Vegas:

 

1. Cincinnati Bengals — Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Burrow did not throw at the Combine but that doesn't matter one iota for the Bengals. The franchise remains locked in on the Heisman Trophy winner and likely is only a private workout away from firming up such a pick for their signal-caller of the future.

 

2. Washington Redskins — Chase Young, DL, Ohio State

Lots of smoke connecting the team to quarterbacks but that's just them doing their due diligence and trying to drum up some trade interest. It would have to take a massive offer in order for Washington to pass on adding Young to the guys they already have coming off the edge.

 

3. Detroit Lions — Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

There are enough people in charge of the Lions who come from New England to know the benefit of positional flexibility. There's nobody who has that more than Simmons, who as his blazing fast 40 time showed is a unique player that doesn't come around often.

 

4. New York Giants — Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Watching Becton move around as well as he did as the heaviest player in Indy was a sight to behold. It also ensured his rise continues into the top five of the draft. General manager Dave Gettleman loves his "hog mollies" and will have a hard time passing on the Louisville tackle to solidify things up front.

 

5. Miami Dolphins — Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Medical checks were the big focus for Tagovailoa at the Combine and by all accounts, he came out with flying colors. The bigger question for the Dolphins front office is if they need to move up into the top two or three in order to land the Hawaiian lefty.

 

6. Los Angeles Chargers — Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Herbert has been among the best performers at the Senior Bowl and, now, the Combine. Add that to his physical tools and you can see why the buzz continues to grow around him. GM Tom Telesco likes guys who can also move around too and the Ducks QB continues to look like the next guy under center in LA.

 

7. Carolina Panthers — Jeff Okudah, DB, Ohio State

Cam Newton garners all the talk in Charlotte but the team needs help all over. Matt Rhule can be patient in this rebuild and will have no problem in taking the best available player at No. 7. That's Okudah in this case, a top-three talent that tumbles just a tad through no fault of his own in this scenario.

 

8. Arizona Cardinals — Jedrick Wills Jr., OL, Alabama

Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray surprised plenty of folks around the league with how good they were on offense in Year 1 and the duo hopes to take things to the next level. They can find Larry Fitzgerald's successor and defensive help later in the draft and will instead find their cornerstone tackle in the excellent Wills.

 

9. Jacksonville Jaguars — Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn

Fans in Duval who watch the SEC closely know all they need to about this pick. A darling among draft evaluators, he could take the place of Marcell Dareus and instantly turn the Jags' front from a weakness to a strength.

 

10. Cleveland Browns — Tristan Wirfs, OL, Iowa

Wirfs was one of the stars of the Combine when offensive linemen worked out, testing out of the world. He can play too and should continue to see his stock rise in what is proving to be a talented and deep tackle class as he winds up protecting Baker Mayfield by the lake.

 

11. New York Jets — Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Moving to up to land one of the elite tackles is very much in play for new GM Joe Douglas. While he needs to land some protection for Sam Darnold, he won't reach and will instead add a speedy playmaker that will threaten every opposing defense.

 

12. Las Vegas Raiders — CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Smoke around bringing in a big-name QB is what is dominating the strip nowadays but no matter if that happens or not, the team needs to add some explosive weapons this offseason. There's few with the star power that Lamb has and the brain trust in Vegas can probably barely believe he's still around at this point.

 

13. Indianapolis Colts — Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

Numerous signs are pointing to the team finding their QB of the (near) future in free agency and as much as upgrading the weapons on the outside is a priority, GM Chris Ballard won't pass up adding a stud defensive lineman like Kinlaw.

 

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Don't be shocked if the Bucs move up into the top five to ensure they can still draft Love. The dynamic talent is quickly developing into a favorite of evaluators and Bruce Arians loves guys who have the physical tools that the Aggies QB has at his disposal.

 

15. Denver Broncos — Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Drew Lock is fist-pumping for days seeing Jeudy available at this point. His route running is unparalleled among peers in this draft class and he could instantly become the young QB's best friend right away as a rookie at Mile High.

 

16. Atlanta Falcons — K'Lavon Chaisson, LB, LSU

It's no secret that the Falcons have to get better off the edge and are making that a priority this offseason. Chaisson's versatility, athleticism and ability to line up all over the field will make him an early favorite in Dan Quinn's scheme.

 

17. Dallas Cowboys — Xavier McKinney, DB, Alabama

The Cowboys have young building blocks up front and at linebacker but still need one on the back end (no matter what happens with Byron Jones' free agency). McKinney didn't put up the numbers he wanted at the Combine with a slight injury but he has a chance to be a modern version of Darren Woodson for Big D in Mike Nolan's secondary.

 

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh) — Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

The early run on tackles benefits the Dolphins in landing Thomas, who could play both inside at guard or solidify things at tackle on the next level. The coaching staff will love his physicality and will be thrilled at building around that going forward.

 

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago) — Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden can just make the Pro Day in Norman a one-stop-shop for solving their needs. Murray picked up an injury at the Combine but did everything else he needed to do in order for him to head to Vegas as a likely Day 1 starter.

 

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams) — Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

The Jaguars can re-tool their defense back into a feared unit with these two first-round selections in getting even more speed and athleticism on the field. Queen has been a fast-riser through this process but would fit right in coming off the edge and dropping into coverage as a three-down player.

 

21. Philadelphia Eagles — CJ Henderson, DB, Florida

It's no secret that the Eagles will be re-tooling the secondary this offseason and they can help in a big way by nabbing the former Gators star. He's got speed for days and will come in ready to play right away.

 

22. Buffalo Bills — Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Josh Allen took a big step forward last year but for as good as he was throwing to guys like Cole Beasley or John Brown, the offense still needs more. Jefferson's fast 40 should help remove any doubts the Bills have about the productive Tigers wideout, who can use his size and route running to open up a new dimension upstate.

 

23. New England Patriots — Zach Baun, LB, Wisconsin

So much talk about the Pats' offensive holes since their season ended but there are some needs on the other side of the ball too. With Kyle Van Noy potentially gone, Baun could come in and contribute all over the field in New England.

 

24. New Orleans Saints — Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

The Saints' offense was already dangerous enough, now imagine adding a playmaker like this to the mix. Aiyuk will have plenty of freedom with Michael Thomas taking so much attention and you just know that Sean Payton is going to love drawing things up to use the wideout's ability to rack up yards after the catch.

 

25. Minnesota Vikings — Ross Blacklock, DL, TCU

Corner is a bit more pressing need in the eyes of most in the Twin Cities but that kind of help can be found later in the draft. Blacklock tested extremely well as expected and that only confirmed that he is a unique guy in the middle of the defense. His ability to get up the field makes Mike Zimmer's front seven even more dangerous given the players coming off the edge.

 

26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston) — Grant Delpit, DB, LSU

This isn't a pressing need but something says that Miami won't be able to pass up the opportunity to add a leader like Delpit. The Thorpe Award winner is excellent covering options out of the slot while also coming downhill in a hurry. Those qualities will help in the team's division while also becoming a cornerstone of the defensive turnaround in South Florida.

 

27. Seattle Seahawks — Austin Jackson, OT, USC

Russell Wilson will be the most thankful QB in the league after this pick given how little help he has had to work with. Jackson has tremendous upside as a high-ceiling tackle at the next level and could slide in right away in Seattle to help with pass blocking given how in flux things are heading into free agency for this team. The team hasn't been shy at throwing new faces into the fire and Jackson could slot in at right tackle before eventually taking over for Duane Brown down the road.

 

28. Baltimore Ravens — A.J. Epenesa, DL, Iowa

The Ravens' offensive improvement last season overshadowed how much better their defense got as the year went on. Despite that, there are still some areas of need — especially up front. Matthew Judon should return but he could form a nice tandem with Epenesa as a way of boosting the pass rush off the edge without too much blitzing.

 

29. Tennessee Titans — Yetur Gross-Matos, DL, Penn State

Finding somebody to strike fear in opposing offenses off the edge is something the team has been trying to do early in the draft recently and they'll go to that well one more time for Gross-Matos. He is still a tad raw in some areas but is also such a unique athlete that Mike Vrabel will be able to get him on the field and chasing after the QB very early on.

 

30. Green Bay Packers — Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

Mims' production in Waco had him in the mix for being the next man up in a deep receiver class but then he went and blazed a 4.38 40-yard dash at 6-foot-3 and 207 pounds. Combined with impressive agility work and a knack for attacking the ball in the air and the Pack might have no issues reaching slightly for a player who can really be a threat that Aaron Rodgers needs downfield.

 

31. San Francisco 49ers — Trevon Diggs, DB, Alabama

The roster in the Bay Area is in pretty good shape but adding Diggs to the mix would be a nice move to make for the current window to win now plus well into the future. His size and ability to play all over the field as an attacking ball hawk will fit in well with the current scheme while he learns from guys like Richard Sherman to develop that much more (and eventually take said player's job).

 

32. Kansas City Chiefs — D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

Upgrades on defense remain a priority in the draft but Andy Reid can't help himself passing on a guy like Swift to make the most dangerous offense in the league that much more threatening. He ticks off every box between running inside to catching passes out of the slot. Good luck defensive coordinators.

 

— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.

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