It’s that time of the year again, less than a month until the NFL Draft, which is going ahead behind closed doors for the world to watch. There’s no fanfare this year, for obvious reasons, but we could see more viewers than ever, especially with the lack of sport on our TV’s.
Over the past month, I’ve been grinding away watching all the film in the world to produce a list of My Top 50 players and subsequently a mock draft, so without further ado, let’s take it away.
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow – QB – LSU
I have Quarterback listed as Cincinnati’s primary need and with the top pick, there are two brilliant options to choose from Tua Tagovailoa, the better prospect, but not a great medical history, and Joe Burrow the safer option with lesser upside and smaller hands.
Due to the current Covid-19 situation, with teams not being able to complete a physical evaluation of the class in their own buildings, and many players not having a pro day, Burrow is the pick.
NFL Comparison – A good mix of Dalton, Tannehill, Trubisky, and Russell Wilson
Burrow’s a unique prospect, there’s no one really like him in the NFL, especially with his leadership qualities.
Let’s start with measurements, size-wise he’s not too dissimilar from Andy Dalton, the longtime starting QB of you guessed it, the Bengals. He has an arm the same sort of strength as Ryan Tannehill and the mobility of Russell Wilson.
However, overall the former LSU Tiger has similar intangibles to Mitchell Trubisky, having a just above-average skill set with mobility to back it up. Burrow is a better prospect, and leader than Trubisky, and will always have the edge over him. His one good college season will always lead to a comparison to Mitch, however.
2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young – EDGE – Ohio State
There’s a lot of talk on whether Washington will trade out of this slot or not, but I just don’t see it, especially with the generational talent of Chase Young on the board. The Skins have a quality front seven, meaning Young will join the likes of Matt Ioannidis, Da’Ron Payne, Ryan Kerrigan, and Montez Sweat in trying to get to the NFC East QB’s.
NFL Comparison – Julius Peppers, Bosa Brothers
Young and Peppers have similar skill sets, and with JP being a scheme fit in the Ron Rivera style defense, Chase Young seems too good to pass on. What Young lacks in length on Peppers, he makes up in speed, he’s faster and just as powerful than Peppers ever was and will be double teamed in the NFL for a long, long time.
The Ohio State Buckeye will follow in the footsteps of the Bosa brothers by being another edge rusher to come out of the program and be selected in the top 10 of the draft. Like Joey and Nick, Chase is exceptional with his hands and is used to shedding off blocks and double teams to reach the end goal, the pocket.
He has by far the best motor of any prospect in the class and has the explosiveness out the blocks to get past a good O-line in seconds, watch the Clemson tape, then you’ll understand. Best player in the draft, generational talent.
3. Detroit Lions trade pick to Los Angeles Chargers
DET gets picks 6, 37 in 2020 Draft, Chargers 2nd rounder in 2021
LAC gets picks 3, 67 in 2020 Draft.
Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert – QB – Oregon
The Chargers are hearing talk that the Dolphins might wait till 5 and draft Herbert, and they themselves may not be comfortable with Tua’s medical. Because of this, they strike a deal with Detroit to move up 3 spots and take their next franchise QB.
NFL Comparison – Carson Wentz
I really like Herbert, he’s my 3rd QB in my Top 50 players, but it’s a very good class, something we couldn’t say in the lead up to last year, was it the right decision to stay in college?
Yes, 2019 was his best college season by far and looks like a better prospect one-year later. Herbert completed 67% of his passes in 2019, for 3471 yards, 32 TD’s and 6 INT’s.
The Wentz comparison may surprise you, but if you go back and watch the film they move incredibly similarly both in and out of the pocket and the intelligence required to work through progressions and not panic when the first read is covered.
He has great awareness and knows exactly when to scramble for a few extra yards. He also has height and a stronger arm on the Eagles QB. The only criticism with Herbert is off the field, the former Oregon Duck’s attitude has raised questions.
Teams believe he is quiet and introverted, which aren’t great qualities for the biggest leaders in sports, those at the Quarterback position. Many believe he lacks the killer instinct that the likes of Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and indeed Carson Wentz have.
4. New York Giants – Mekhi Becton – OT – Louisville
Knowing Dave Gettleman he’s likely to throw in a curveball pick, like the Daniel Jones draft selection last year. But the Giants have huge needs at both defensive end and offensive tackle, and with Chase Young off the board they opt for Becton, a giant of a man, he could be a perfect fit, no pun intended.
NFL Comparison – Trent Brown
Becton is a raw prospect, but has monster-like athletic prowess and has the potential to be a quicker and better version of the Raiders tackle. Brown is a top 5 tackle in the league, and Becton has a greater upside, he could be an all-pro talent.
For his size, Becton is surprisingly light and quick with his movement firing out of his stance very fast, ready to protect his quarterback.
He’s also great in space, easily being able to hit blocks. The former Louisville Cardinal’s real strength is in the run game however, he’ll create extra space for Saquon Barkley. Becton generates movement in the run game, whilst overwhelming and manipulating the opposing defense.
His size could provide some issues however, he’s bigger than Brown, and may even be too big for the NFL. Becton certainly has the biggest upside of the offensive tackle class, and knowing Gettleman, he’s the developmental piece the Giants may like.
5. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa – QB – Alabama
Burrow’s off the board and the Dolphins get the QB they’ve coveted since his walk-on National Championship win back in early 2018. All this tank for Tua nonsense was put aside when they started to pick up wins, finishing 4-4 in the second half of the season. Only now Tua’s coming off a major hip injury.
NFL Comparison – Drew Brees
The Dolphins made a mistake passing on Drew Brees when he hit free agency back in 2005, when Brees’s surgically repaired shoulder was too much of a risk to put a deal on the dotted line. Current Alabama coach Nick Saban was in the same position in Miami at that point and left not long after, whilst Brees has put together a HOF career.
With the two of them being considered undersized, they have to bank on their ball placement and zip to play at the highest level. Luckily for Tua, he’s one of the most accurate passers college football has ever seen and thrives in the pocket.
Speaking of the pocket, Tagovailoa has the best pocket presence in the class and doesn’t hesitate at all when the first read is covered, much like Brees.
The only questions raised about the Alabama graduate is whether he’s going to last very long, due to his suspect durability. Some teams may not like the fact he’s left-handed as it will take time for their receivers to adjust, so maybe Miami is a perfect landing spot.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is coming off a decent year and will be the 2020 starter for the Fins, giving Tua a whole year to recover from his injury and get the likes of DeVante Parker acclimatised.
6. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah – CB – Ohio State
Simply the best fit here for the Lions, a plug and play starter to replace Darius Slay. My number 2 overall player in this entire draft, and by far the best corner in the class. Detroit plays the Patriot way, not worrying about having an elite pass rush and play with a tonne of man to man coverage, Okudah allows just that for Matt Patricia and co.
NFL Comparison – Marshon Lattimore and Byron Jones
Okudah is of a good size, 6ft 1″ and has the length and quickness to be an all-pro corner at this level. Okudah matches that shutdown man to man corner that the Pats’ coaches and their disciples like, so Stephon Gilmore, Xavien Howard, and Byron Jones.
He’s more comparable to the latter as his feet are incredibly light, whilst also having the freakish athletic ability, elite-level tackling, and great vision.
Lattimore is the most similar player, however, and not just because they come from the same school. The two of them have almost identical measurables and intangibles and track the ball well downfield, with great recoverability and height.
The run the route with the receiver and are excellent against the speed guys that some corners struggle against.
7. Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown – DT – Auburn
Carolina is in the process of tearing it up and starting afresh under Matt Rhule. They could be in the QB market here, but there’s a bit of a drop off to next couple guys, it may be too early to take Jordan Love.
They’re incredibly thin on the defensive line, with Efe Obada and Kawann Short being the only players of note, having Brown in there makes it an instantly deep group, although they may need to double up later in the draft.
NFL Comparison – Danny Shelton
You could also compare Brown to Marcell Dareus, but Brown lacks in length compared to the former Buffalo Bill. I see Danny Shelton in the Auburn man, as the two of the can take over a game with the sheer amount of power they possess, and their ability to shut down the run game and the inside of the field.
From watching his tape I like the way Derrick controls the one-on-one blocks he’s presented with, and how often he dominates when double-teamed. But it’s his explosiveness that’s the best part of his game.
He can get to the backfield within seconds stopping the rushing attack in the process, there’s no doubt he’s the best run-stopping defensive tackle in this draft. If Brown had come out last year, in a very strong DT class I’d have him third behind Quinnen Williams, and Ed Oliver, who were both drafted within the Top 10 picks.
It may have been a smart decision to stay at Auburn an extra year and be the top player at the position, but there was actually a different reason for returning for his senior year. Brown wanted to finish his Business degree after his Dad always told him to finish whatever he started and that education was happening, not an option.
8. Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills Jr – OT – Alabama
About a week ago I would have had Arizona drafting a receiver, probably Jerry Jeudy out of Alabama. Since then, however, the Cards rinsed Houston off or DeAndre Hopkins and have a whole load of weapons for Kyler Murray.
The franchise looks in a much better place than it did 12 months ago, and will take another Crimson Tide prospect, instead it’s their best lineman.
NFL Comparison – Brian Bulaga
Arizona could have signed Bulaga this week, but he ended up at the Los Angeles Chargers, who have an incredibly poor O-Line and are now without Russell Okung. He’s more of a right tackle, but their athleticism and size is very similar, as well as their blocking technique.
Wills will be able to play either side in the NFL, with him playing over on the right at Bama, protecting Tua’s blindside. He’s another great lineman to come out of Nick Saban’s coaching team and is terrific in the run game.
He’s going to need to work on picking up blitzes, as he can be late to see them off the edge, but that could be down to his poor hand placement when pressured. Overall a very good run blocker, working with nastiness and power. O-Lineman come at a premium, Arizona draft one of the best in the class.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Isaiah Simmons – LB – Clemson
Jacksonville’s draft strategy the past few years has been simple, best player available, and that’s the case here. Simmons is my number 3 prospect this year and has been unfortunate to fall this far.
He joins an already loaded linebacker corps of Joe Schobert and Myles Jack, whilst also having the versatility to play at nickel or safety. The start of a very good first round for the Jags, first Clemson Tiger off the board.
NFL Comparison – Lavonte David
Simmons is hands down the best pass coverage linebacker in the draft and there’s a huge drop off after him, but that’s not it, he’s also an elite run stopper and has the size to get physical.
He and David are very similar players, Simmons is just taller, and teams won’t see that as a bad thing either, it’s always good to have length in your defense.
Not only is Simmons tremendous in the run game, being a sideline to sideline backer, he’s also, as stated the best pass cover linebacker in the class. There’s no either-or with him, such as the likes of Raekwon McMillan, who’s an amazing run stopper but isn’t so great in the passing game.
He possesses the rare speed and athleticism to be an elite 3 down linebacker, meaning he’s a value pick for all teams, much like Lavonte for the Bucs. Best player available Jacksonville improves their defense AGAIN.
10. Cleveland Browns – Tristan Wirfs – OT/G – Iowa
Cleveland needs improvement on the O-line, and they take the best lineman available, there are questions as to whether Wirfs can play tackle at the highest level, so it’ll be interesting as to whether Cleveland plays him at Guard.
He’s got all-pro potential at guard, just like Jonah Williams this time last year, either way, Wirfs had an outstanding combine, the best of the class, earning the chance to be picked in the top 10 of the draft.
NFL Comparison – Lane Johnson
Wirfs won’t play left tackle in the NFL, that’s a dead cert, and with RT Jack Conklin signing in free agency maybe Wirfs is destined to play to guard in the league. He’s coming out of college as a tackle though, so I’m going to evaluate Wirfs in that position.
Starting off with the measurables, he’s around an inch smaller than Lane Johnson, with there only being a couple of pounds difference too, he’s already a natural comparison. But it’s not just the size, they’ve got incredibly quick feet and were both gifted athletes coming out of Oklahoma and Iowa respectively.
Johnson had one weakness coming out of college though, the lack of strength in the upper body to pick up blocks in the run game, he’s one of the best in the league at that now, but he had to work on it. Wirfs, on the other hand, is rather good at that, fitting in a run-first offense for the Browns, and should be able to slot in right away.
That’s the Top 10 picks for you, let’s whittle through the rest of the NFL Draft, starting with pick 11.
11. New York Jets trade pick to New Orleans Saints
NYJ gets picks 24,130 in 2020 Draft, Saints 1st rounder 2021 Draft
NO gets pick 11 in 2020 Draft
New Orleans Saints – Jordan Love – QB – Utah State
The Saints and Drew Brees have agreed to two more years, and two more attempts at getting a second Super Bowl ring for the future HOFer. Now, Jordan Love isn’t by any means ready to start in the NFL, fitting with the Saints, similar to the Favre-Rodgers pairing in Green Bay.
Love will sit until Brees is done, and learn from some of the best offensive coaches in the league, as he has the biggest upside of all QB’s in this draft, he’s quite raw, however. If you watch Love’s tape he’s a similar signal-caller to 2018 MVP Patrick Mahomes.
12. Las Vegas Raiders – Jerry Jeudy – WR – Alabama
Jeudy is without a doubt a top 10 player in this draft class, unfortunately for him, the group of wideouts is stronger than ever, which could result in teams waiting till Day 2 of the draft to grab their new starting receiver.
The Raiders’ biggest need going into their inaugural season in Vegas is in the position, and they take the best of a bunch of star pass catchers.
The Antonio Brown situation really messed with their offensive play-calling and scheme last year, I’m intrigued to see what Gruden has up his sleeve with a new weapon to play with. Jeudy’s route running ability is unheard of, the best we’ve seen coming out of college in a good few years.
13. San Francisco 49ers (Colts) – Javon Kinlaw – DT – South Carolina
Best player available from the Niners, how fitting that the pick they received from the DeForest Buckner trade is used on a new starter for their elite defensive line. Kinlaw will slot straight in as San Francisco embarks on the goal of reaching SB55 in Tampa.
Their elite D-line has a chance of leading them back to the big game for the second year in a row. Defense wins championships y’all and Kinlaw certainly has the skill set to win at the next level, potentially at an all-pro level with his strong hands and a quick get off.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Andrew Thomas – OT – Georgia
Tampa has just spent 30 million dollars on bringing Tom Brady to Florida, they need to protect him at all costs if they are to make a Super Bowl run in those two years.
Because of that, they draft the best offensive tackle on the board, in Georgia Bulldog, Andrew Thomas. He’s good with his hands and can mirror speed rushers, something required to protect the aging TB12.
15. Denver Broncos – Henry Ruggs III – WR – Alabama
Denver look set to stay with Drew Lock as their Quarterback of the future, for now anyway. Lock had a strong end to his rookie season earning the right to get a full season to start at QB 1.
Because of this Denver could do with one more weapon to accompany the likes of Courtland Sutton, Phillip Lindsay, and the newly acquired Melvin Gordon.
Ruggs is certainly a weapon, he’s one of the fastest receivers to come out of college in recent memory possessing game-changing speed, whilst also being an intelligent route runner.
16. Atlanta Falcons – CJ Henderson – CB – Florida
All the top linemen are off the board, and with the Falcons next biggest need being at the cornerback position they draft the former Florida Gator, CJ Henderson. He has the size and speed to match up with Michael Thomas and Mike Evans, and then also Chris Godwin in their division.
The only knock on Henderson is his tackling, it’s not the best. If he can sort that out he can be a Marcus Peters level Pro-Bowl corner. His draft stock rose after an impressive combine performance, the best of all cornerbacks.
17. Dallas Cowboys – Grant Delpit – S – LSU
What’s the Cowboys’ main need? The Secondary. If you would have told me a year ago that Grant Delpit would have fallen to 17 I would have laughed at you, to be honest, I just wouldn’t have seen it happening, he looked a dead cert for a top 5 pick.
He had one of the best 2018 seasons in all of college football, but as the LSU Tigers began to dominate college football in 2019, Delpit was moved around a lot and suffered because of that. He’s a talented player, just leave him at strong safety, Dallas!
18. Miami Dolphins (Steelers) – Austin Jackson – OT – USC
Miami needs to come out of this draft with a couple of tackles having only addressed the interior positions in free agency, and with their second first-rounder, they select the best tackle left on the board, Austin Jackson. He’s raw, but has tremendous upside and could become a franchise left tackle.
There’s a lot of good tape, and some very bad tape, thanks to Bradley Anae. That doesn’t stop Jackson from being one heck of an athlete, with the quickness required to mirror speed rushers. He also has a fair bit of experience against quality opposition in college.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (Bears) – Ross Blacklock – DT – TCU
This is a potential trade back spot here, with CeeDee Lamb still on the board. The Raiders will stick where they are, selecting Ross Blacklock in the process. He will add depth to the defensive line, joining Maurice Hurst and Maliek Collins, as Gruden and Mayock continue to build the trenches.
He’s an effective interior pass-rusher, who’s quick at the point of attack to close in on the quarterback in a hurry. Don’t count out his ability in the run game either.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (Rams) – Kristian Fulton – CB -LSU
Jalen Ramsey and AJ Bouye have both departed the Jags within the past six months, leaving Jacksonville needing a defensive back in their rebuild, and doubling up on defense in this draft.
Fulton can play off-man, press-man and zone coverage, with the ability to move into the slot when needed. He runs the route with the receiver, much like Okudah. He’s a physical corner, but that could be his downfall too, sometimes he’s too physical downfield.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – CeeDee Lamb – WR – Oklahoma
Steal of the draft here for Philadelphia, they’ve needed receiver help for a year now, one of their only needs, and get the second-best receiver in the draft class to add to their already stacked roster.
We could see the Eagles trade up to get their man, but just like the Jeudy pick, receivers can be got in the second and third rounds, so Lamb may just drop to them at 21.
22. Minnesota Vikings (Bills) – Justin Jefferson – WR – LSU
The Steffon Diggs-less Minnesota Vikings are in need of a number two receiver to partner Adam Thielen. And with the 22nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, they select Justin Jefferson out of LSU, with the pick they received for Diggs.
At 6ft3 he’s a RedZone threat, who should accompany Thielen nicely, and be a nice target for Cousins. The Vikings may need to dip back in on Day 2 or 3 to draft a speed guy sadly, as Jefferson lacks the speed to burn past DB’s deep.
23. New England Patriots – AJ Epenesa – EDGE – Iowa
To be really honest with you, I have absolutely no idea what New England will do here, for once they have a huge amount of holes, even at Quarterback, for the first time in my lifetime. I’ve got them drafting AJ Epenesa out of Iowa, not only is he the best player left on my board, but he’s also a scheme fit for the Belichick defense.
Miami has eyes on him, however, and could even take him at 18, meaning he might not be on the board at 23. If he falls to them, I can see the Pats selecting the 2nd best pass rusher in the draft.
24. New York Jets (Saints) – Laviska Shenault – WR – Colorado
The Jets are lacking weapons and need a replacement for Robby Anderson, the newest Carolina Panther. They end up taking one of the best receivers in the class and acquiring a first for next year, where they can go with an offensive lineman.
A smart trade from Joe Douglas in his first draft as Jets GM. Shenault is an Adam Gase style receiver, as he has elite run after catch ability and can be moved around, we could even see him at running back.
25. Minnesota Vikings – Trevon Diggs – CB – Alabama
Onto the Vikings second first-round pick, and it’s an interesting one. After using their first on a Stefon Diggs replacement, the second is addressing their biggest need, the cornerback position by drafting his brother, Trevon.
Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackenzie Alexander all left last week, so they need to address the position in this draft, taking one of the Top 5 boundary corners in this class.
26. Miami Dolphins (Texans) – Xavier McKinney – S – Alabama
After one Alabama defensive back comes another, this time in the form of safety Xavier McKinney, who lands in the Dolphins lap at pick 26. Safety is a big need, and whilst they can operate with versatile DB’s Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe back there, an upgrade would be nice.
If McKinney wasn’t still on the board they’d be eyeing up Ashtyn Davis or Antoine Winfield early in the second anyway, a gift for Miami. Flores and co will like his versatility and toughness.
27. Seattle Seahawks – K’Lavon Chaisson – EDGE – LSU
Knowing John Schneider we’re going to see a trade at some point in this first round from Seattle. I’m going to keep them where they are for now. Chaisson is an intriguing prospect and will still be the pick even if the Hawks do resign Jadeveon Clowney.
They’re a young team rebuilding their defense from the legion of boom days, so here’s another piece for them to coach up to hopefully pro-bowl level, with the amount of upside he’s got. Chaisson will hopefully fare better than Arden Key and Barkevious Mingo in the NFL.
28. Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Queen – LB – LSU
Baltimore is in need of a linebacker and takes the best one left in Patrick Queen, yet another LSU Tiger off the board. They’ve improved their defense a lot already in free agency, and add another piece to embark on another deep playoff run with Lamar Jackson at the helm.
He’s a very fast, three down, sideline to sideline linebacker, just like Isaiah Simmons, but lacks the strength you’re going to need to shed blocks in the NFL. If Queen can improve that, then the Ravens have got themselves a steal.
29. Tennessee Titans – Neville Gallimore – DT – Oklahoma
Jurrell Casey was on a LOT of money, so it was smart to get rid of him, especially when another top defensive lineman like Gallimore is available at pick 29, yes 29! The Titans decided to settle on Ryan Tannehill as their quarterback for the next few years, whilst applying the franchise tag to Derrick Henry.
That then means that they’re keeping the two standout stars from last season’s impressive end, and having another crack at a first Super Bowl trophy for the city of Nashville. Two options here, d-line or corner, all the top corners are off the board, so unless they love a guy still on the board, Gallimore is the selection.
30. Green Bay Packers – Brandon Aiyuk – WR – Arizona State
Beyond Davante Adams, Green Bay lacked that firepower a Sean McVay disciple needs in his offense last season. So, to combat that the Packers draft the best receiver available, Brandon Aiyuk out of Arizona State.
He’s off an impressive performance at the NFL Combine, especially the bench press drill. He’s slightly slower than Sammy Watkins, but they have similar skill sets, that’s the kind of receiver the Packers need. He’s got a strong build, as seen at the combine, which makes him great after the catch.
31. San Francisco 49ers trade pick to the Miami Dolphins
SF gets picks 56, 70 and 153 in 2020 Draft
MIA gets pick 31 in 2020 Draft
Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Taylor – RB – Wisconsin
The Dolphins trade up to get the perfect running back to pair up with new free agent acquisition, Jordan Howard. The Niners need to trade back in one of those first-round picks, as they have little to no picks on Days 2 and 3. Javon Kinlaw was too good to pass on, so they trade out of 31 instead. He’s a typical power back, with elements of Saquon Barkley and Marshawn Lynch, my best back in the group.
32. Kansas City Chiefs – J.K. Dobbins – RB – Ohio State
The Chiefs don’t have many holes or much cap room, in fact, they have needed a running back for a while since Kareem Hunt was released really. Dobbins is an upgrade on Damien Williams and has the potential to be a bigger and slightly better Devonta Freeman.
He’s a three-down back, with him being the best receiving back in the class, he does lack a bit of speed, maybe D’Andre Swift’s a better fit. I still believe Dobbins is the guy, having a guy who can catch passes in the backfield is the selling point for Kansas City.
Best Players still on the board.
- D’Andre Swift
- Clyde Edwards-Helaire
- Tee Higgins
- Cole Kmet
- Cesar Ruiz
- Josh Jones
- KJ Hamler
- Zack Moss
- Jacob Eason
- Kenneth Murray
- Antoine Winfield
- Ashtyn Davis
- Yetur Gross-Matos
- Marlon Davidson
- Bradley Anae
- Jeff Gladney
- AJ Terrell
- Damon Arnette
- Zach Baun