• Fred Wheeler

Pre Draft Adjustments - Final 2020 NFL Mock Draft V 4.0


Here it is everyone! We’re just hours away from the 2020 NFL draft and for NFL fans it’s like the Powerball, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all rolled into one. I’ll be doing this draft a little differently this go around; this time I’ll be giving you the pick, but also gauging team’s likelihood of trading up or down and why. Ready?

Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow – QB – LSU



We’ve covered what I think the Bengals should do with this pick before – draft Chase Young. He’s the number one player on virtually every draft board (Burrow being #2) and might be the best DE to come out since J.J. Watt in 2011. With that said, the best thing for the Bengals would be to trade this pick for a haul of picks, but that’s not going to happen, they’re taking Burrow first overall.


Possibility of a trade – almost nonexistent

Washington Redskins – Chase Young – DE – Ohio State

With the best player in the draft “falling” to them, Washington has a decision. Do they draft Chase Young and give themselves dynamic bookends (Young and 2019 draftee Montez Sweat) for the next 8-10 years or trade the pick to a team who wants either Young or one of the two highly thought of QB prospects remaining. It’s entirely possible that a team like Miami could trade up to get the guy they want and keep another team from busting their draft bubble.


Possibility of a trade – Medium

Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah – CB – Ohio State

Sure, the Lions picked up Desmond Trufant after Atlanta released him, but Trufant isn’t a CB1 anymore; what he can be is a very good CB2 and mentor for Okudah. Together they could go a long way to mending the Lions last-ranked pass defense. The Lions are in the same spot as Washington and the Giants below them, a lot of holes and not enough picks. Expect teams wanting to move up to work these teams hard as time ticks away on draft day.


Possibility of a trade - High

New York Giants – Isaiah Simmons – LB – Clemson

I’ve had the Giants selecting Iowa OT Tristan Wirfs since my first mock draft, but the last two weeks I’ve heard/read little other than the Giants taking Simmons. It makes sense, they need help at so many spots, why not take a player that can fill all of them to some degree? Still, Simmons can’t block for Saquon Barkley or Daniel Jones so look for the Giants to take an OT early or perhaps trade down to gather up more picks.


Possibility of a trade - High

Miami Dolphins – Justin Herbert – QB – Oregon

There’s been more chatter about Herbert to South Beach over the last ten days and I have to say, I’m not surprised. Teams, especially picking this high, are risk-averse and with Tua’s injury history over the last two years, it doesn’t get a lot riskier. They have two more picks in the first round and lots of holes to fill, if I’m Miami, I sit tight here and take the best player available.


Possibility of a trade – High

Los Angeles Chargers – Andrew Thomas – OT – Georgia

With talk concerning the Chargers and QBs in this draft, it always seems to circle back to Jalen Hurts. That could be nothing more than pre-draft smoke to disguise intentions, but for some reason, it feels real to me. After all, Tyrod Taylor is their current starter, and while not a direct comparison, they both came (or are coming) into the league better known for their feet than arms. Hurts proved he could be a good passer this past season at Oklahoma, but was playing on a stacked team, can he hit the tight windows that he’ll need to to be an NFL starter?


Possibility of a trade – Medium-high

Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown – DT – Auburn

I’m sticking with Brown to the Panthers mostly because it makes so much sense. The Panthers need middle-of-the-defense help with the retirement of Luke Kuechly and even WITH him, they only managed to finish 29th against the run last season, Brown may not be the whole answer, but he goes a long way towards it. With that said, there is talk that the Panthers may trade down, most of it centering around a mock draft on The Draft Network that has them trading down to 11.


Possibility of a trade – Low-medium

Arizona Cardinals – Jedrick Wills – OT – Alabama


After being sacked 49 times last season, I have zero doubt that Kyler Murray would love to have a road-grading mauler added to the Cardinals roster to protect him. Wills is just that, a mauler who can knock defenders off of the ball and clear a path. I feel it’s unlikely to see Arizona trade up or down with this pick unless someone really makes an effort to move up.


Possibility of a trade – Low



Jacksonville Jaguars - Javon Kinlaw – DT – South Carolina

A team that finishes in the bottom third of the league in total defense and in the bottom 5 against the run needs help in the middle. While he’s not the total player or run-stopper that Derrick Brown is, Kinlaw will be able to blow up plenty of plays with his ability to penetrate and get into the backfield. Look for Jacksonville to attempt to trade up if they really like someone or down if they don't, they'll have pieces to make it happen.


Possibility of a trade - High

Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton – OT – Louisville

There’s little debate to be had as to whether or not the Browns need a tackle, they do. But does that tackle need to be taken here? Not necessarily, if they stay put, yes, I believe that Becton would be the best choice but recently there has been talk that the Broncos (picking #15) are talking to the Browns about jumping up to the 10th pick to take one of the top receivers ahead of other teams (Jets and Raiders) who will also be looking to a star wideout. There are always other tackles available later, maybe one the Browns have an eye on.


Possibility of a trade - High

New York Jets – Ceedee Lamb – WR – Oklahoma

Just like a lot of teams at the top of the draft, the Jets have multiple spots they need to improve. Throughout the draft process though it’s felt like they have been focusing on one of the three WRs at the top (Lamb, Jerry Jeudy, or Henry Ruggs III). Any of the three would be an upgrade but if they’ve focused on one, in particular, they might feel compelled to move up to ensure that they get their man.


Possibility of a trade – Medium

Las Vegas Raiders – Tua Tagovialoa – QB – Alabama

If there’s a team that might feel comfortable taking a player with the injury history of Tua, it might be the Raiders. As a franchise they’ve shown that they’re never afraid to swing big and miss and with two fairly capable QBs already on the roster, they might be willing to let Tua come along slowly instead of being dropped in the fire right away. If Tua isn’t here or if the injuries scare them off, this pick is a WR.


Possibility of a trade – Medium

San Francisco 49ers – Tristan Wirfs – OT – Iowa


The Niners didn’t trade DeForest Buckner to take just anyone. I feel that they’ll package their two first-round picks to move into the top 10 and give them a chance to take one of the top two LT prospects (Thomas or Becton). Failing that they can sit tight and either take one of the remaining OTs or could trade back to gain value. Despite their run to the Championship Game last season, the Niners need help at a couple of spots, notably OT, FS, and OLB.


Possibility of a trade – High


Tampa Bay Buccaneers – D’Andre Swift – RB – Georgia

With the possibility of Rob Gronkowski returning from retirement and the four top offensive tackles gone, I’d upgrade my running back if I couldn’t trade into the lower portion of the first round. If the Bucs can trade down there’s a solid chance it’s for another OT like Josh Jones (Houston) or Austin Jackson (USC); if not, Swift is a big upgrade over Ronald Jones II.


Possibility of a trade – Medium-high

Denver Broncos – Jerry Jeudy – WR – Alabama

The rumor is out there that Jeudy is who the Broncos are targeting with a trade up into the Top 10 of this draft, that hasn’t happened yet. In any case, Jeudy falls to them here though I think he’s drafted higher in actuality. The Broncos are looking to add weapons and place second-year man Drew Lock in a position to succeed, putting Jeudy opposite Cortland Sutton makes it likely the Broncos could have a pair of 1000 yard receivers on their roster for the next half dozen (or more) years.


Possibility of a trade – Mile high

Atlanta Falcons – K’Lavon Chaisson – DE – LSU

Adding Dante Fowler in free agency was a good move, but to shore up the worst pass rush in the NFL last year they’ll need more than him. Chaisson can be that bookend edge rusher that has to be accounted for on every play, he’s raw, but his first-step quickness can be hard to recover from, tack on a motor that never stops, and an expanding array of pass rush moves and Chaisson could be a building block to help the Falcons capitalize on the back half of Matt Ryan’s career.


Possibility of a trade – Medium-high

Dallas Cowboys – Xavier McKinney – S – Alabama

After signing former All-Pro DE Aldon Smith it looks like the Cowboys have boosted their pass rush (assuming Smith and Randy Gregory are both reinstated by the NFL) but with a depleted secondary, someone like McKinney could step in and be effective immediately.

Possibility of a trade – Medium-low

Miami Dolphins – C.J. Henderson – CB – Florida

When a team has as many holes are the Dolphins they are afforded a lot of freedom. Stay put and draft the BPA? Valid. Trade down and scoop up more picks? Works for the Patriots. Package pics and move up? Sure, you can do that. With this pick I have the ‘Phins taking Henderson, he’s the second-best corner in this draft (in my opinion) and while Miami doesn’t have an Immediate need here, that may not stop them. I do not expect them to be making this pick and if they still hold the 18th pick with Henderson on the board, I expect them to trade it.


Possibility of a trade – High

Las Vegas Raiders – Henry Ruggs III – WR – Alabama

And with that, the last of the top 3 receivers are off the board (and likely later than they will be tonight). Regardless of whether the Raiders take Tua at 12, getting Ruggs at 19 is a big get and fills a huge hole for Gruden and company. A classic Raiders receiver in the sense that he has the ability to make catches all over the field combined with crazy speed.


Possibility of a trade – High

Jacksonville Jaguars – AJ Epenesa – DE – Iowa

With the loss of Calais Campbell in free agency and the impending loss of Yannick Ngakoue, who has made no bones about his desire to be traded the Jags may look to double down on defensive line picks in the first round and take a player, Epenesa, who reminds me of Campbell. Let’s not forget that the 2019 trade of Jalen Ramsey and the rumors swirling around Leonard Fournette means a couple of other spots the Jags could look to. I would be surprised if the Jags actually make this pick.


Possibility of a trade – Very high

Philadelphia Eagles – Tee Higgins – WR – Clemson

In the mocks that I’ve done, I’ve found the Eagles to be in an odd spot. Too low to get one of the top wide receivers/corners and too high to reasonably reach to one of the lower-ranked ones. That’s not to say I don’t think that they take one or the other, probably a receiver, just that they will likely look to move back tonight and select toward the bottom of the first round or move out of the first round altogether.


Possibility of a trade – High

Minnesota Viking – Kristian Fulton – CB – LSU

The Vikings look like they’re locked into two positions with their picks here and at #25, wide receiver to replace the departed Stephon Diggs (trade to BUF) and CB to replace losing both starters from last season. Fulton has been the name that they seem to have been associated with the most the last few weeks and while I think they could trade down and get players just as good, you need to have a trade partner.


Possibility of a trade – Medium

New England Patriots – Jordan Love – QB – Utah State


For the first time in forever, the Patriots have a legitimate need at quarterback. They’ve drafted and traded a lot of players over the years with their eye toward the day Tom Terrific was gone and now that day is here. Do I know that the Patriots (or, perhaps, more importantly, Billy B) even like Love? Nope, but it makes sense and would give Pats fans a reason to not trade in their Blue #12 jerseys for Orange #12s. Or, they could do what they want and trade down for a first next year, who knows, I certainly don’t.


Possibility of a trade – Medium-High

New Orleans Saints – Kenneth Murray – LB – Oklahoma

The Saints could go a few different ways here, I thought about giving them local product (LSU) receiver Justin Jefferson to give Brees another target behind Michael Thomas or an interior lineman like Michigan’s Ceasar Ruiz or Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz. Instead, I gave them a sideline-to-sideline ‘backer who will make plays from Day 1 and be a leader on the field and in the locker room.


Possibility of a trade – Medium-high

Minnesota Vikings – Justin Jefferson – WR – LSU

If Jefferson falls this far I would expect Minnesota to snap him up right away. Yes, Jefferson lacks top-end speed and agility but he’s smooth, makes contested catches consistently, and can play slot or outside. With the Vikings coming close (but no cigar) the last few years you wonder about the possibility of them trading up to get a truly dynamic player in an effort to get over the hump.


Possibility of a trade – Medium

Miami Dolphins – Josh Jones – OT – Houston


With a franchise QB drafted earlier, Miami now takes a bodyguard for him. Jones shined during Senior Bowl practices and is just about everything you would want in an offensive tackle. With that said, I’m not sure Miami Is making this pick, I feel they’ll try to trade down (maybe out of the first round) to get more players or future picks.


Possibility of a trade - Very high

Seattle Seahawks – Yetur Gross-Matos – DE – Penn State

It’s looking like Jadeveon Clowney’s time in Seattle is done and Gross-Matos would be able to step in and provide a pass rush equal to what they got during Clowney’s one (disappointing) season in town. If you read between the lines is sounds like the Seahawks might be looking to move up and draft someone more towards the first half of the first round, though who they are targeting seems to be a bit of a mystery.


Possibility of a trade – Medium-high

Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Queen – LB – LSU

I’ve had the Ravens taking a wide receiver in two of my three mocks and if Queen isn’t here I would look for them to draft another weapon for Lamar Jackson. Queen has elite level speed and agility for a linebacker and diagnoses the run better than you might think given his limited experience.


Possibility of a trade – Low-medium

Tennessee Titans – Austin Jackson – OT – USC

I came down to two players for this pick, Jackson (to replace the loss of Jack Conklin in free agency) and Ross Blacklock (DT – TCU). Either is a fit and I feel both will be a success in the NFL, but I’m going with Jackson. He doesn’t have knockout power in his hands but seems to vary his style enough to confuse defenders. The Titans also seem to be very aggressive in their desire to trade down.


Possibility of a trade – Medium-high

Green Bay Packers – Jalen Reagor – WR – TCU

The Pack looks like they’ll be selecting weapons to extend Aaron Rodgers’ career and Reagor would be a great choice there. Shifty and explosive he’ll need to adapt to an expanded route tree and work on his concentration, but there’s nothing here to suggest he wouldn’t become a big play waiting to happen with Rodgers under center.


Possibility of a trade – Low

San Francisco 49ers – Grant Delpit – S – LSU

I feel pretty certain that the Niners won’t be making this pick when #31 rolls around, but if they are they’ll be taking the number one safety in this draft. Delpit isn’t the most physical safety you’ll see, but he always seems to be around the ball and is there to make a play – San Fran could use a little more of that.


Possibility of a trade – High

Kansas City Chiefs – J.K. Dobbins – RB – Ohio State


The Chiefs didn’t lack much last year, they won the Super Bowl after all, but one place I feel they could upgrade is at running back. Yes, Damien Williams is a solid player and yes, his 38-yard rush sealed the game for Kansas City in the Super Bowl but a game-breaker? Nah. Dobbins gives you a throwback style running back, someone you can grind out games with. All that said, he can probably be had early in the second round.


Possibility of a trade - High

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