Carson Zorn’s NFL Mock Draft 1.0

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Carson Zorn, Writer

With the 2020 NFL Draft quickly approaching many analysts have been publishing predictions on who will get picked by what team in the form of “mock drafts.” I will now be jumping on the bandwagon with mock drafts of my own. I plan to publish three mock drafts and then an article reacting to the first round of the draft. This mock draft will not include any trades but my future mocks will. Without further adieu, here is my first mock draft.

 

  1. Cincinnati Bengals-Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

As a Bengals fan, I am tired of seeing all these false and nonfactual narratives about Joe Burrow not going to the Bengals. For months on end Bengals fans have had to endure hearing made up stories about Joe Burrow pulling an Eli Manning (Which is if he is drafted by the Bengals, he would choose not to play for them). Burrow shot down that story himself, but the media still persists with it. Now the media is trying to report that the Bengals will trade down or that the Bengals will pass on Burrow for Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa. Listen, if you’re a Bengals fan reading this, don’t worry. None of that stuff is going to happen. This is a no-brainer pick that even the Bengals front office can’t screw up. Through all of the Bengals free agency moves, they have made it clear they are building a team for their future franchise QB, and that QB is going to be Joe Burrow. This is may be the most obvious pick of the draft.

 

        2. Washington Redskins-Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

The Redskins have recently been hinting at maybe drafting Tua at two, but I think it’s all smoke and mirrors. I think it’s a ploy by the Redskins to try to get the Dolphins to take the bait and trade up to pick two to ensure they get Tua. Although the Dolphins might bite, I think most people see right through what the Redskins are doing, and when the time comes the Redskins will take Young at number two. The Redskins need help at almost every position on their team, hence why they have the number two pick, and picking Young will greatly improve the Redskins defensive front, and even more, their pass rush. This is another no-brainer pick that I feel comfortable locking in for the draft. 

 

         3. Detroit Lions-Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

The Lions recently lost their star corner Darius Slay to free agency, meaning they will be looking to fill the hole left in the defense by his departure. Okudah fills that need and could turn out to be even better than Slay. He is a true stud in pass protection and deserves to be one of the top picks in the draft. Lions fans will rejoice when his name is read out loud by Roger Goodell. 

 

          4. New York Giants-Isaiah Simmons, ILB, Clemson

This was a tough choice for me. I had it narrowed down to Simmons and OT Andrew Thomas, and eventually settled on Simmons. The Giants do need O-Line help, but at pick number four it’s almost impossible to pass up on Isaiah Simmons. Simmons is a one of a kind talent that can play almost any position on defense. While I could see the Giants trading up later in the draft to draft an Offensive Lineman, I think they’ll take Simmons at pick number four. 

 

            5. Miami Dolphins-Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

While there are some concerns about Tua’s health I think the Dolphins have made it very clear that they want Tua to be their QB of the future. Whether it’s through trading up, or picking him at five, Tua will end up on the Dolphins roster one way or another. Tua looks to be the next Russell Wilson of the league and the Dolphins will not let him slip out of their hands.

 

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

There are some question marks about the Chargers pick at number six. If they sign Cam Newton or Jamies Winston, they’re definitely not taking Herbert here. There’s a possibility they trade down and take Jordan Love, or even draft him at six. As for right now though, my best guess is that they will take Herbert at six. He could learn the offense while Tyrod Taylor starts for a couple weeks, and then jump in as the starter. The Chargers have a Playoff-ready roster, they just need the QB that can take them there, and Herbert is that QB.

 

              7. Carolina Panthers-Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn 

The Panthers were one of the worst teams on defense last year. They couldn’t stop the run to save their lives. Now, with most of their defensive studs on the Bills, they will be looking for someone to bulk up that D-Line. Lucky for them, the extremely talented Derrick Brown will fall right into their lap at pick seven. Brown was a monster of the defensive front in college and it looks very promising that he will be able to transfer that to the NFL almost immediately. This is the first step in rebuilding the Panthers defense, and it’s a really good one.

 

               8. Arizona Cardinals-Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville 

Prior to the DeAndre Hopkins trade the Cardinals were definitely going to take a WR here, but now they will be looking to draft someone to solidify that O-Line to give QB Kyler Murray time to find his receivers and not get sacked. Becton lit up the combine and shot to the top of the OT rankings, and the Cardinals won’t even have to trade up to get him. Becton will solidify that O-Line for years to come.

 

               9. Jacksonville Jaguars-Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

The “Sacksonville” defense that took the Jaguars to the playoffs a couple years ago is gone. Almost every single defensive player that was on that roster is gone. It is clear the Jaguars are in full rebuild mode and the first steps to take are on the defensive side of the ball. Kinlaw will help improve the Jaguars’ depleted D-Line quite a bit, but many more draft picks will need to be spent on defensive players in the draft. But Kinlaw to the Jaguars seems like a near lock.

 

                10. Cleveland Browns-Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

The Browns clearly need to give Baker Mayfield more time in the pocket, and there’s no better way to do that than to pick Wills at number 10. The addition of Jack Conklin was a step in the right direction, and drafting Wills will round out a solid O-Line for the Browns. Thankfully for the Browns if they somehow don’t get Wills, there will still be a lot of O-Line talent left in the draft at pick 10.

 

                 11. New York Jets-CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

The Jets needed WR help before free agency. Now, after the loss of Robby Anderson, they desperately need a WR. Yes, they signed Breshad Perriman, who is talented, but he’s not a number one WR, and he doesn’t have the deep threat the Lamb does. CeeDee Lamb is an excellent route-runner, and his speed is insane. He will be a great weapon for Sam Darnold to throw to, and should have a pretty solid rookie season.

 

                 12. Las Vegas Raiders-Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Raiders are in big need of a stud WR. Luckily for them, this draft is full of them. With the addition of Jeudy the Raiders offense looks pretty nice next year. Derek Carr really hasn’t had a true weapon to throw to since Amari Cooper was traded away, so Jeudy will step into that role, and we could see a really good season from Derek Carr.

 

                 13. San Francisco 49ers-Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

In my opinion, Ruggs is the best receiver in this draft, and he fits the 49ers offense nicely. He’s a speed demon (he ran a 4.27sec 40 at the combine) and can catch the ball and take it the distance. He’s almost like a better version of Ted Ginn Jr. With the loss of Emmanuel Sanders to the Saints, the 49ers will be looking for some WR help, and thanks to their trade with the Colts, they’ll get it by picking Ruggs at 13.

 

                 14.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

The Buccaneers made possibly the biggest splash in free agency by acquiring QB Tom Brady from the Patriots. While Brady is possibly the greatest QB to ever play the game, he’s not exactly mobile, and doesn’t move around in the pocket too well, and he’ll need time to find stud WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin down the field for a deep shot to the endzone. That’s why I have the Buccaneers picking up some O-Line help in Round One. Wirfs is a Top-10 talent that will fall to the Buccaneers at 14. He was a stud in college and will easily transition into the NFL, opening up both the pass and run game for the Buccaneers in 2020.

 

                 15. Denver Broncos-C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

The Broncos are trending upwards for the 2020 season and adding a stud corner following the loss of Chris Harris Jr. will solidify their already solid defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Broncos traded down from 15 to make this pick, but I feel as though the Broncos will desperately want more secondary help, and Henderson is the second best CB in the draft.

 

                 16. Atlanta Falcons-K’Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU

After losing Vic Beasley to the Titans, the Falcons are searching for someone to be the star of their weak Linebacking core. Chaisson was a standout defensive player for LSU in 2019 and will greatly improve the Falcons questionable defense in 2020. Defense just became much more important for any team in the NFC South (due to Tom Brady of course) and the Falcons will add to their defense in the draft.

 

                 17. Dallas Cowboys-Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Cowboys have a lot of question marks surrounding their offense for the 2020 season. With the loss of star CB Byron Jones, questions have also surfaced about their defense. The Cowboys can return to focusing just on offense after they draft Fulton at 17. Fulton was a stud for LSU in their 2019 National Championship run and will easily fill the hole left by Jones’ departure. 

 

                 18. Miami Dolphins-Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Assuming that the Dolphins draft Tua at five, they will want to protect their QB of the future, and not have him take many hits. Even though he has fallen from his Top-10 projection, Thomas is still a fantastic offensive tackle that almost any defender should fear. This draft is all about setting up the future for the Dolphins, and securing Thomas is a necessary step.

 

                 19. Las Vegas Raiders-Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

After addressing offense earlier in the draft the Raiders will then turn to the defensive side of the ball and draft Diggs to solidify their secondary. The Raiders were one of the easiest teams to pass on in the 2019 season and every opponent exploited that. By drafting lockdown corner Trevon Diggs, the Raiders will vastly improve their secondary and become a more formidable pass defense for 2020.

 

                 20. Jacksonville Jaguars-Grant Delpit, S, LSU

As I said earlier, this Jaguars defense is depleted. After addressing the D-Line with Kinlaw, the Jaguars will then try to improve their secondary. If I didn’t believe the Raiders were going to draft Diggs I would’ve had him landing here, but given my prediction the Jaguars will have to scramble for the next best thing, and lucky for them, Delpit is possibly the best Safety in the draft. He will be the centerpiece of a rebuilt secondary for the Jaguars in 2020. 

 

                 21. Philadelphia Eagles-Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

The Eagles are possibly the most WR-needy team in this draft, but they don’t get to pick until 21. I could easily see them trading up into the teens to solidify a better WR, but Jefferson is not a receiver to complain about landing. He was one of the highest graded WRs at the combine and his stats with LSU (1,540 yards and 18 Touchdowns) is enough to make any QB jump for joy. Assuming he falls to the twenties, this should be an easy pick for the Eagles to make.

 

                22. Minnesota Vikings-Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

After receiving this pick from the Bills in exchange for Stefon Diggs many would think that the Vikings would take a WR here. But I don’t think so. As you’ll see later I think the Vikings take a WR with their 25th overall pick and use this pick to fill a hole on their defense left by the departure of Xavier Rhodes. Gladney is extremely talented and deserves all the hype surrounding him, and the Vikings will be lucky to secure him.

 

                 23. New England Patriots-Patrick Queen, OLB, LSU

Now that the Patriots lost many key defensive players in free agency, they will be looking to fill some of the gaps in the draft and drafting Queen at 23 will fill the gap left by Kyle van Noy’s departure. Queen was another defensive standout for LSU in 2019 and will most likely operate at the same efficiency as van Noy, resulting in this being a solid and likely pick for the Patriots.

 

                 24. New Orleans Saints-Kenneth Murray, OLB, Oklahoma

The Saints are pretty solid at basically every position on their team, but one position that could definitely use an upgrade is the Linebacker position, and with Queen supposedly off the board, the Saints will turn to the next best player, Kenneth Murray. This pick will help the Saints bulk up their defense quite a bit and act as a player similar to Kwon Alexander for the Saints for years to come.

 

                 25. Minnesota Vikings-Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

As I mentioned earlier, this is where I foresee the Vikings taking their WR. They obviously need a WR2 after losing Stefon Diggs to the Bills and Reagor can step right into that role. I don’t think Reagor could become the WR1 with Thielen still on the Vikings but he will fill the Stefon Diggs role very well and opens up the passing game for Kirk Cousins quite a bit.

 

                  26. Miami Dolphins-Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

With their final pick in the first round I think the Dolphins will address their biggest need (That’s right, I think an RB is the Dolphins biggest need in the draft, and they’ll be able to get one at pick 26). The Dolphins were hurting badly in the running game last year. In fact, QB Ryan Fitzpatrick was the Dolphins leading rusher last year with only 243 yards. Yikes. Thankfully, Taylor is a quality RB that can slide right into the starting role for the Dolphins. Combined with Tua’s mobility, the Dolphins rushing game should be strong for years to come.

 

                 27. Seattle Seahawks-A.J. Epensea, DE, Iowa

If there’s one position where Seattle needs quite a bit of help, it’s at Defensive Edge, especially with Jadeveon Clowney likely to leave. His size and quickness with shedding tackles makes him one of the better DEs in the draft and he will greatly improve Seattle’s pass rush in the coming season.

 

                 28. Baltimore Ravens-Josh Jones, OT, Houston

In a draft with a lot of O-Line talent, the Ravens are still getting a fantastic player this late in the draft. There aren’t many positions on the Ravens team that need fixed but adding O-Line help for a potent and frequent run game is never a bad idea. This is one of the picks I’m more unsure of, but I could easily see the Ravens taking a tackle here, and Jones will be the best on the board at this point.

 

                  29. Tennessee Titans-Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

The Titans are another really solid team, but they could use some help with pass rush and Gross-Matos is the guy to do it. Another extremely talented DE that will be available in the late 20s, this is an easy pick for Tennessee to make, and with some development he will be something truly special for many years to come. 

 

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

Many believe Mims will fall into the second round, but I think he’s a first round talent that the Packers won’t pass up on. Other than Davantae Adams, the Packers don’t really have a solid WR. Mims can be that nice WR2 compliment to Adams after a strong career at Baylor. His success in contested catches is truly special and he is a very physical WR that will help improve the Packers passing game even more.

 

                 31. San Francisco 49ers-Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma

While the 49ers don’t need much buffing up on defense, this draft pick should fill the hole left by DeForest Bucker’s departure to the Colts. He needs a bit of work and development, but what better place to draft a player like that than at the end of the first round. With development Gallimore will be a stud on the 49ers defensive front in about two years.

 

                    32. Kansas City Chiefs-D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

This pick is a question mark for the Chiefs as they really don’t have any positions that need addressed. But if there is one, they could use a slight improvement at Running Back. Swift is another extremely talented back that can either be a workhorse or work in tandem with Damien Williams. This pick adds another weapon to an already potent Chiefs offense.

 

Well there’s my first mock draft. Expect a couple more in the coming weeks! Disagree with my picks? Let me know in the comments and if I get enough responses, I’ll write a response article.