Michael Gaither’s NFL Mock Draft 1.0


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Left: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon Middle Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn Right: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Left: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Middle Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
Right: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Over the past few weeks, I have been pulling out NFL draft analysis from some of the best and most commonly used sports sites in the world, including ESPN and CBS Sports. I used a site called Draft Network to pull all sources into a first round, 32-pick prediction for what NFL teams could do. So,here is my prediction on the 2020 NFL Draft.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow: QB, LSU – A no brainer. Andy Dalton’s time as the Bengals quarterback is coming to an end, and the Bengals need a cornerstone, franchise quarterback, to lead them back into playoff contention and overall relevance.
  2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young: DE, Ohio State – Most experts, including me, say that Young is the best player in this draft. Long and athletic, Young should bring a lot of “juice” to one of the worst defenses in the NFL this past year in the ‘Skins 
  3. Detroit Lions: Jeffery Okudah: DB, Ohio State – The Lions, without a doubt, need defensive help, so they take the best corner in the draft in Okudah. Another long guy, he’s always around the football and does his best to make sure the defense is on point. 
  4. New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons: S, Clemson – Even though his position says safety, Simmons can play just about any position on defense. His versatility and agility make him one of the best athletes and playmakers in this draft class that could really improve this Giants defense. 
  5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa: QB, Alabama – If Tua wasn’t dealing with a plethora of injuries, he would’ve been, hands down, the No. 1 pick in this draft, but, No. 5 isn’t so bad, either. The Dolphins have been struggling to find a franchise quarterback since the days of Hall-of-famer Dan Marino, and Ryan Tannehill getting traded didn’t help. If Miami can fix Tagoviloa’s durability issues, he could turn into a superstar.  
  6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert: QB, Oregon – Justin Herbert also could’ve made a huge case to go No. 1. But with the success of his counterparts in Burrow and Tagovailoa, and Herbert’s inconsistent play, he goes to L.A. Philip Rivers has already cut ties with the Chargers and, in this scenario, they draft Herbert and use his arm talent and mobility to make him their quarterback of the future.  
  7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown: DT, Auburn – A monster in the line. Although he has a rather small frame at 6’2, 245lbs, Brown fits the definition of a “game-wrecker.” Hopefully, his abilities will help improve the Panthers defense.
  8. Arizona Cardinals: Tristin Wirfs: OT, Iowa – The Cardinals draft Wirfs to protect their other multi-million dollar investment in last year’s number one pick and the NFL’s offensive Rookie of the Year, Kyler Murray. One of the better offensive linemen in this class, Wirfs should be a major improvement from what many consider the worst offensive line in the NFL in Arizona.
  9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jerry Judy: WR, Alabama – Most consider him the best wide receiver in this class, in terms of route-running, where some compare him to NFL Hall-of Famer, Marvin Harrison. Although Jacksonville’s receiving core is fairly young, Judy could bring more explosiveness to this offense. 
  10.  Cleveland Browns: Jedrick Wills: OT, Alabama – Some people consider Wills to  be the best offensive linemen in this draft class. Wills’ mobility should help Baker Mayfield stay upright and improve a terrible offensive line in the Browns.
  11.  New York Jets: K’Lavon Chaisson: DE, LSU – Chaisson is one of the many high risers in the draft. His high motor makes him a top-tier defensive end that the Jets, who love drafting LSU players, would be extremely motivated to pick at No. 11. 
  12. Las Vegas Raiders: Cede Lamb: WR, Oklahoma – Lamb is one of the most versatile and agile receivers in this class. With his size and physicality, it should make him a perfect target for quarterback Derrick Carr. 
  13.  Indianapolis Colts: Javon Kinlaw: DE, South Carolina – Gamecock fans, you’ve been waiting for this. If the Colts draft Kinlaw at 13, it would make him the highest drafted Gamecock since Ja’Devon Clowney, who went No. 1 overall in 2014. The Colts would get another high-motor guy who never takes his eyes off the ball.
  14.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Andrew Thomas: OT, Georgia – One of the most experienced offensive linemen in the draft class. Thomas started three straight years on Georgia’s offensive line, and should be perfectly suited to protect the blind side of Tampa Bay quarterback, Jameis Winston.
  15.  Denver Broncos: Mekhi Becton: OT, Louisville – I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone like Becton at his size. He stands at 6’8, 368lbs, which, in my eyes, is a mammoth, and has a lot of potential with his mobility and strength. Becton can provide improved stability for the Broncos offensive live as a blindside blocker for Denver quarterback, Drew Lock.
  16. Atlanta Falcons: A.J Epenesa: DE, Iowa – Let’s face it: for the past few years, the Falcons defense has been pretty lackluster. With the brash of injuries and unproven talent, they need some serious help, and fast. Epenesa can provide immediate help for this Atlanta defense.
  17.  Dallas Cowboys: Kristian Fulton: DB, LSU – While the Cowboys are still trying to pay their cornerstones on offense, the back-end of their defense could also use a couple of upgrades. Earlier in the college football season, I saw Fulton as the best corner in the draft, and he should be able to provide some good help. 
  18. Miami Dolphins: C.J Henderson: DB, Florida – C.J is an undervalued defensive back with a lot of length, speed, and burst. If the Miami Dolphins don’t trade this pick for more picks, then they should pick Henderson to serve as a valuable asset to their defense. 
  19. Las Vegas Raiders: Trevon Diggs: DB, Alabama – Diggs is another value pick at 19 for the Raiders. The Raiders, while they don’t have the best defense, could use some improvement. Diggs is a lengthy defensive back that isn’t afraid to “get his hands dirty.”
  20. Jacksonville Jaguars: Grant Delpit: DB, LSU – Delpit was considered by many to be the best defensive back in this class, but since an injury held him out for part of the season, his value did deteriorate. Because of Delpit’s size and field awareness, it makes him very valuable to the Jaguars. 
  21. Philadelphia Eagles: Henry Ruggs: WR, Alabama – The fastest player in the draft, Ruggs can turn the lights out against any defense. Because of injuries and lack of experience, the Eagles receiving core was severely severed. Ruggs can provide more explosiveness from the Eagles receivers and better help Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. 
  22.  Buffalo Bills: Tee Higgins: WR, Clemson – Tee Higgins has the all-around package when it comes to the receivers. His underrated speed and agility made him valuable to the Tigers and should make him more valuable to the Bills, who even though they made the playoffs, could still use some better weapons.  
  23.  New England Patriots: Yetur Gross-Matos: DE, Penn State – Another high-riser, Gross-Matos got better for the Nittany Lions as the season progressed and became one of the better players on their defense. I know that the Patriots had a multitude of problems on offense (meaning everyone, except Tom Brady). If the Patriots could add him at 23, they would better place them as one of the best defenses in the NFL. 
  24. New Orleans Saints: Laviska Shenault, Jr: WR, Colorado – The Isaiah Simmons on the offensive side, Shenault can line up just about anywhere on the offense, including quarterback, which not only makes him one of the more versatile players in this draft, but also one of my favorites. Could you imagine Shenault paired with Sean Payton and his style of offense!? If Drew Brees doesn’t retire, it could further build the Saints into super bowl contenders. 
  25. Minnesota Vikings: Neville Gallimore: DE, Oklahoma – Gallimore is also a high-riser, considering that his college isn’t always known for defensive talent. But his size and physicality should better improve this Minnesota defense. 
  26. Terrell Lewis: LB, Alabama – Another member of the Crimson Tide goes to the Dolphins at 26. While the Dolphins defense wasn’t terrible, it could still use a couple of upgrades. Lewis is a sideline-to-sideline linebacker who can provide great help for this Miami defense.
  27.  Seattle Seahawks: Jalen Reagor: WR, TCU – Reagor is a lengthy and agile receiver who began boosting his draft stock from these past two years. The Seahawks do not have a lot of receivers and could use another weapon to help out Russell Wilson. 
  28.  Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray: LB, Oklahoma – If I could use one word to describe Kenneth Murray, it would be: monster! Murray, like Terell Lewis, Murray is a sideline-to-sideline who can make a bunch of tackles, but I have him going to Baltimore as he reminds me of Ray Lewis because of his tenacious mentality. He would be a great fit for this Ravens defense.
  29.  Tennessee Titans: Julian Okwara: DE, Notre Dame – A lost prospect during this process, Okwara could easily be a top 20 pick, but I have him falling to Tennessee. With his power, Okwara can turn into a great value pick for a Titans defense that is on the rise.
  30.  Green Bay Packers: Joshua Jones: OT, Houston – The number one objective for the Packers is to keep quarterback Aaron Rodgers upright. These past couple of years, they haven’t been doing that, and could use massive upgrades on their offensive line. Josh Jones is another late bloomer in this draft class, and has a ton of upside. While some could see him as a top 15 pick, I see him falling to 30th.
  31.  San Francisco 49ers: Xavier McKinney: DB, Alabama – One of the better defensive backs in this draft class, McKinney can provide immediate help to this 49ers defense. McKinney can easily be a top 15 pick with his linebacker mentality as a defensive back, but a lot of teams just don’t need his attributes, which is why he falls to 31.
  32. Kansas City Chiefs: Johnathan Taylor: RB, Wisconsin – Having just come off one of the greatest three year stretches for a running back in college football history, Taylor could bring even more fire power to this Chiefs offense. Even though there are a lot of good running backs in this class. I think that Taylor will be the first one off the board.