2020 NFL Mock Draft: Is Joe Burrow a Lock for the Top Pick?

2020 NFL Mock Draft

Getty Justin Herbert & Tua Tagovailoa headline the 2020 NFL Draft

The 2019 College Football regular season has come to an end. While we still have to shimmy through a multitude of bowl games, the NFL Draft season is essentially upon us.

See where top-end talents such as Chase Young and Jerry Jeudy land in our 2020 NFL Mock Draft. Plus, will the up and down play of Justin Herbert, along with a concerning injury history for Tua Tagovailoa, cause both of these once projected franchise quarterbacks to slide come draft day? Let’s take a look.

2020 NFL Mock Draft (Picks 1-16)

  1. 1) Cincinnati Bengals
  2. Joe BurrowQB | LSU 
  • Ryan Finley is clearly not the guy for Cinci after lasting just three games under center before having the plug pulled on him. Depending on how Andy Dalton plays out the rest of the season, he could potentially work his way into a mentorship role for the player taken with this pick. Joe Burrow has skyrocketed up boards this season, completed 70% of his passes in every game this year. Smart, mobile, and, accurate, Burrow is just what Zac Taylor will be looking for in his future franchise signal-caller.
  1. 2) New York Giants
  2. Chase Young | EDGE | Ohio St. 
  • New York ends up with the best player on most draft boards. Chase Young has been a wrecking ball all season long, racking up 16.5 sacks, an Ohio State record. The Giants haven’t had a double-digit sack artist since Jason Pierre-Paul back in 2014.
  1. 3) Washington Redskins
  2. Andrew Thomas | OT | Georgia 
  • It’s safe to say Trent Williams will never suit up for the Redskins ever again. Washington needs to protect Dwayne Haskins to see what they have in the young quarterback. Wideout is certainly an option here, yet Terry McLaurin and Kelvin Harmon have the potential of becoming a solid WR duo in this league.
  1. 4) Miami Dolphins
  2. Tua Tagovailoa | QB | Alabama
  • There’ve been a lot of knee jerk reactions to Tua’s injury. Just remember, draft day isn’t until late April. Teams will warm up to selecting Tua early, as long as he checks out medically. Miami has essentially been eyeing the Bama QB for two seasons now. If he’s there, he should be their pick.
  1. 5) Atlanta Falcons 
  2. Jeff Okudah | CB | Ohio St. 
  • This is a near-perfect player scheme fit. Dan Quinn will be salivating to scoop up this prototype number-one corner. Atlanta can use all the defensive back help they can get with Michael Thomas, DJ Moore, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans roaming the division.
  1. 6) Detroit Lions
  2. Isaiah Simmons LB/S | Clemson
  • Simmons seems like the prototypical Bill Belichick player. He’s a guy who can serve in multiple roles, all at a high level. So why not give him to Belichick’s understudy in Matt Patricia? Linebacker Jarrod Davis has been a disappointment up until this point, while Christian Jones is nothing more than serviceable. Simmons is a more rangy, athletic Shaq Thompson, with glimpses of Derwin James.
  1. 7) Arizona Cardinals
  2. Jerry Jeudy | WR | Alabama
  • Arizona is building something special offensively. Kyler Murray seems to be legit. Let’s see how much he can grow with a true #1 receiver. Jeudy is a technician at the position, and as crisp of a route-runner as you will find in this draft. Team him up with the speed of Kenyan Drake and Christian Kirk, and the Cards offense can be scary for years to come.
  1. 8) Jacksonville Jaguars
  2. Tristan Wirfs | OT | Iowa
  • Andrew Norwell has proven to be a bust free agent signing. Fellow guard AJ Cann has an abysmal 53.7 PFF grade. The Jags can move on from one, or both of these players, slide current left tackle Cam Robinson into guard where he’d be better suited to play and plug in Wirfs on the left side. A line built of Wirfs, Robinson, Jawaan Taylor, and Brandon Linder should hold up well enough for Jacksonville to figure out if Minshew Mania can sustain its magic over the long haul.
  1. 9) New York Jets 
  2. CeeDee Lamb | WR | Oklahoma 
  • Sam Darnold is better than people want to admit. However, a compilation of Jamison Crowder, Robby Anderson, and Demaryius Thomas will not be enough to tap into his true potential. CeeDee Lamb has elite ball-tracking skills and body control, that has drawn comparisons to Deandre Hopkins. He’s also deadly after the catch. Lamb has potential WR1 written all over him.
  1. 10) Los Angeles Chargers
  2. Justin Herbert | QB | Oregon
  • Does Herbert actually last until 10 on draft day? Likely not. Players such as Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson have proven that attributes like raw talent and mobility are good enough to win games in today’s NFL. Philip Rivers has digressed tenfold this season. He also drives an hour-plus to work every day because he doesn’t want to live in Los Angeles. Rivers may be trending towards hanging ’em up and playing father to his nine kids.
  1. 11) Denver Broncos
  2. Henry Ruggs III | WR | Alabama
  • It took a bunch of swings, and just as many misses,  but Jon Elway may have finally hit on a QB when it comes to Drew Lock. Lock will need more receiving weapons to truly showcase his abilities. Let’s give the big-armed QB a receiver who reportedly ran a 4.25 40-yard dash this offseason. Courtland Sutton is the only Denver wideout with more than 13 receptions on the season.
  1. 12) Philadelphia Eagles
  2. Kristian Fulton | CB | LSU 
  • A lot has been said about Fulton not living up to expectations this season, mostly due to his lack of forced turnovers. However, it’s hard to get your hands on the football when opposing QBs avoid you at all costs. Fulton is a stud, Philadelphia’s secondary is atrocious. Wideout is also an obvious need here if the right player falls to them.
  1. 13) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  2. Grant Delpit | S | LSU 
  • Speaking of LSU players not living up to expectations, Grant Delpit went from a top-five lock this offseason, to a mid-to-late first-round prospect as we sit here today. Reminds me of another highly thought of safety coming out of college a few years ago, Derwin James. Tampa’s current two starting safeties have both failed to exceed a 54.2 PFF grade this season.
  1. 14) Carolina Panthers
  2. Brycen Hopkins | TE | Purdue
  • This is a bit early for my liking, but Hopkins has continued to trend up over recent weeks. Greg Olsen will almost undoubtedly be talking about football games next season, not playing in them. Whoever is under center in Carolina in 2020 will benefit from bolstering a security blanket such as Hopkins.
  1. 15) Cleveland Browns
  2. AJ Epenesa | DL | Iowa
  • Left tackle is likely the biggest need for Cleveland going into the offseason. However, John Dorsey will likely not want to wait until the middle of the first round to fill his most glaring hole. Instead, expect him to make yet another headline-grabbing transaction once the offseason kicks off to fill that void. At 15 they can now focus on improving their pass-rush with Iowa’s AJ Epenesa. The 6’6” 280 lbs. specimen gives them a replacement for Olivier Vernon who has been an utter disappointment this season with just three total sacks.
  1. 16) Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders
  2. Tee Higgins | WR | Clemson
  • The Raiders are improving, but they’re just not quite there yet. We saw the strides their offense took once they got a legitimate running back in the fold. A potential number one target out-wide should only speed up the rebuild for the future Las Vegas tenants. Higgins posses plus-size, plus-speed, and an outstanding catch radius for Derek Carr. Carr enjoyed his best seasons in the NFL with Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, both of whom check off mostly all of those boxes.  

READ NEXT: Round 1 Mock Continued (Picks 17-32)