Chaimo’s Mock Draft 2020 1.0



Jacob Chaimovitch, Editor

‘Tis the season for NFL Mock Drafts around the analytic world. NFL Analysts have already churned out their mock drafts, and with the NFL Combine come and gone, it is only fitting that I break out my first mock draft ever. I’ll only do the first round, but I’ll include the team, player, and a brief description of the player and his fit on the team. The NFL Draft is on April 23rd and will take place in Las Vegas.

     Cincinnati Bengals: QB Joe Burrow, LSU

This much makes sense for the Bengals. The worst team in the NFL has moved on from Andy Dalton, understandably, and are in need of a new franchise quarterback. Heisman winner and National Champion Joe Burrow can be just that. He is a dynamic passer and can have a lasting effect on Cincy assuming they don’t waste him as they did with Dalton. I cannot wrap my head around an offense that revolves around Burrow, WR AJ Green, RB Joe Mixon, and TE Tyler Eifert, but that could be the reality come late April.

     Washington Redskins: EDGE Chase Young, Ohio State

Unless there is a massive trade deal offered by Miami or the LA Chargers, the ‘Skins will take the best player in the draft to run wild against the young QBs in the NFC East. He is definitely a good piece to rebuild around on defense and is predicted by many to have a Bosa-esque rookie year. Daniel Jones, Carson Wentz, and Dak Prescott beware. 

     Miami Dolphins (via DET): QB Justin Herbert, Oregon

This was tricky, and it will be until April 23rd, to predict which QB the Phins take. They will likely trade up to get their guy since they are competing with the Chargers. Media Day at the NFL Combine gave me my answer, at least. Tua Tagovailoa was given the cold shoulder by Miami during their first interview and he left ‘confused’ about it all. With his freak injury in the middle of last season with Alabama, the Dolphins could be skeptical about him and a draft-day trade with Detroit means they get their franchise QB in Justin Herbert.

     New York Giants: OL Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

For the love of all things holy, do not screw this up, Dave. The Giants GM said in a conference that he is “willing to listen to offers” for the 4th overall pick. Then again, he says a lot of bizarre things. An offensive lineman is necessary here, considering that Daniel Jones needs to be protected from the animal that was just drafted two picks prior. Tristan Wirfs proved that he was the most athletic OL in the class at the NFL Combine and it makes sense that he gets picked here. That being said, Giants fans would be happy with Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills Jr., or Mekhi Becton here as well.

     Detroit Lions (via MIA): LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

The Lions end up with a win-win here. They get picks from Miami to slide from 3rd to 5th and still get their guy in Swiss-army knife defender Isaiah Simmons. Claiming he can play anywhere in the back seven of a defense, Simmons ran a 4.39 40, had a 39 in. vertical, and an 11 ft. broad jump. Motor City gets its defensive piece to build around for the future.

     LA Chargers: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

No surprise here. The real surprise is the decision not to trade up to get their QB, but seeing that they could compete with Miami and the Lions and Giants won’t pursue a QB, the Chargers can keep their picks and sit pretty, grabbing another dynamic passer in Tua Tagovailoa. Tua has injury concerns but that shouldn’t outweigh the positives for him.

     Carolina Panthers: CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State

Carolina is in an interesting spot at number seven. They could upgrade any spot in the defense, especially the Luke Kuechly sized hole at linebacker. But, with Simmons off the board, the Panthers will likely choose between Jeff Okudah and DL Derrick Brown. Had James Bradberry resigned, the Panthers would likely draft Brown. Bradberry decided on free agency and, as a result, the Panthers grab one of the best defensive playmakers on this board.

     Arizona Cardinals: OL Mekhi Becton, Louisville

QB Kyler Murray cannot run forever. Eventually, the O-line needs to be juiced up, so why not start with a 6’7”, 364-pound behemoth who ran a 5.1 sec 40 at the Combine and told media that he can throw down reverse dunks without a problem. Who else to build around and to protect Kyler Murray from guys like Nick Bosa and Aaron Donald, who he will meet twice a year each.

     Jacksonville Jaguars: DL Derrick Brown, Auburn

News broke on Monday, March 2nd that 24-year-old Yannick Ngakoue would be placed under a franchise tag. This would keep him around for one year worth over $17 million. Ngakoue doesn’t want to play in Jacksonville and he may need some incentive to stay. Enter Derrick Brown, who falls into ‘Sacksonville’s lap and gets to play alongside Ngakoue to form a lethal one-two on the D-line.

     Cleveland Browns: OL Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama

Similar to the Becton-to-Arizona logic, Baker Mayfield needs to be protected so he can produce offense alongside stars like OBJ, Nick Chubb, and David Njoku. Wills isn’t necessarily a head-turning pick, but it’s one that needs to be made in order to keep Mayfield off the IL. A decision between Wills and fellow OL Andrew Thomas will need to be made here, but Wills had the better Combine statistically.

     New York Jets: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

If QB Sam Darnold and the Jets want to succeed, Darnold needs someone he can throw to. I fell in love with Henry Ruggs III during the Combine, where he had the best 40, vertical, and broad jump out of the other wideouts by far. He shattered my expectations and becomes the number one WR on my Mock Draft and goes to the Jets. Darnold gets his guy for years to come and the Jets emerge as possible contenders for the next AFC East crown.

     Las Vegas Raiders: QB Jordan Love, Utah State

Alright, bear with me. Derek Carr is not the future of the Raiders success. Jay Gruden needs to find a successor. Whether it be through Free Agency or the Draft, it happens this offseason. The Raiders have shown interest in signing Tom Brady, but if that falls through (I think it does), the Raiders pick up Aggies QB Jordan Love, who had a strong Combine and has even passed Justin Herbert on some other boards. He doesn’t pass him on mine, though.

     Indianapolis Colts: EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU

The Colts hope that Love falls into their lap so they can take him, but the Raiders pick him one spot before. Heartbreaking. However, the Colts are in need of some edge help on defense. K’Lavon Chaisson, with some proper guidance and experience, can be an absolute monster on any defensive front. He’s only 254 pounds, but he can still torment O-linemen on any team.

     Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

Tampa and Bruce Arians have prioritized defense over offense this offseason, especially considering the fact that he absolutely despises QB Jameis Winston. He’ll likely want to pass on OL Andrew Thomas in favor of an explosive DL in Javon Kinlaw. Despite not participating in the Combine, he has proven time and time again that his power and athleticism can be a true force.

     Denver Broncos: WR Ceedee Lamb, Oklahoma

Similar to John Elway, I thought long and hard about this decision as to who Denver picks to be Drew Lock’s costar in the Mile High. A true deep threat that can blaze by defenders or a quick and agile route runner with a lethal cut move. I ended up going with the deep threat in Ceedee Lamb simply because Hurts-to-Lamb looked more dynamic than Tua-to-Jeudy during the regular season. He simply looks and feels like a better wideout.

     Atlanta Falcons: CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama

Atlanta is in need of some pass coverage help, especially in a loaded NFC South division littered with elite pass catchers. Their secondary is young as is, but Trevon Diggs will add an instant jolt to that secondary. Stefon’s brother is a big physical corner that can quickly stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin.

     Dallas Cowboys: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

There are a few questions regarding the offense in Dallas for Jerry Jones to answer. One of them is what happens with Amari Cooper. If he gets traded away, a new WR1 is in order. Jerry Jeudy is a young option that can quickly deliver to the big stage. Dak Prescott, who is another question mark this offseason, could get a new favorite target in a quick route runner on the outside.

     Miami Dolphins: OL Andrew Thomas, Georgia

Justin Herbert gets his blindside tackle. Miami doesn’t give up their 2nd of three first-round picks and grab Andrew Thomas, who slides far down the board to a team that needs him the most. LT Laremy Tunsil was shipped to the Texans last season and it was an odd move. Nonetheless, Miami needed a blindside tackle and Thoma is the guy to protect their new franchise face.

     Las Vegas Raiders: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

The Raiders get a jolt on defense after grabbing a QB. In need of some linebacker help more than anything else, Kenneth Murray provides instant help for an aging linebacker core in Vegas. He’ll slide in the MLB slot and surround himself with Tahir Whitehead and Nicholas Morrow. The Raiders, who had a good draft last year, hopes to build on that with this year’s first round.

     Jacksonville Jaguars: OL Josh Jones, Houston

It’s officially Minshew Mania in Jacksonville, FL. It was announced this week that the Jaguars are officially putting QB Nick Foles on the trade block and look to move forward with QB Gardner Minshew II. This means that the Jags need a dynamic O-lineman to protect their guy. Josh Jones quietly had a good year as a Cougar and looks to build on that with Minshew behind him.

     Philadelphia Eagles: LB Zack Baun, Wisconsin

The Eagles are in desperate need of a linebacker. Enter Zack Baun. A weakside linebacker with incredible upside and explosiveness that the Eagles need. Easily the MVP of the Badger defense this season, he’ll partner with TJ Edwards to form a young and scary one-two down the middle.

     Buffalo Bills: EDGE AJ Epenesa, Iowa

Ed Oliver Jr. had an explosive rookie year for the Bills and he finally gets his co-star in AJ Epenesa. With 11.5 sacks and four forced fumbles last year, he is a true force. He and Oliver will prove to be a chaotic duo on the defensive line and will look to torment Sam Darnold, new QB Justin Herbert, and whoever suits up for the Patriots.

     New England Patriots: S Xavier McKinney, Alabama

Devin McCourty is aging. His replacement is a versatile do-it-all safety that can line up with big-name receivers and quickly slide himself into a starting role. McCourty can give proper guidance to the young gun, and a very promising Combine shows that this player has a high ceiling.

     New Orleans Saints: EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State

New Orleans not only gets a wingman alongside Cam Jordan, but they also may get their next Cam Jordan with this pick in the form of Nittany Lions edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos. With a strong Combine performance and incredible untapped potential, Gross-Matos brings plenty of punch to any D-line and he goes to an already bolstered Saints team.

     Minnesota Vikings: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

Minnesota likely won’t get Xavier Rhodes or Trae Waynes back for the Purple and Gold. In need of a playmaking corner, Minnesota grabs the best available guy in Kristian Fulton. With a 4.46 40 and a 35.5 vertical standing at 6’, Fulton showed off his skills at the Combine and proved why teams should not sleep on him to improve their defense.

     Detroit Lions (via MIA): DL Ross Blacklock, TCU

Along with Miami’s 5th pick, Detroit also grabs the 26th pick from the same trade. In need of a jolt on the D-line, Detroit grabs a mod podge player of power, speed, strength, and quickness. Ross Blacklock ran a 4.9 40 and showed us all that he is quick with his feet while still weighing in at 290 pounds. Blacklock should be a promising starter for the Lions, who also grabbed Isaiah Simmons earlier.

     Seattle Seahawks: DL Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma

Gallimore impressed everyone at the Combine by running a 4.79 40 and benching 23 reps of 225 pounds. He has tormented quarterbacks all season for the Sooners and the Seahawks have a gaping hole at defensive end with Jadeveon Clowney looking for a big check in free agency. Gallimore is agile enough to slide to the edge and could be a good fit for the remastered Legion of Boom.

     Baltimore Ravens: RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin

The first running back comes off the board as Baltimore picks up an explosive Jonathan Taylor that could form a two-headed monster in the backfield along with Mark Ingram II. He and fellow running back D’Andre Swift both entered the draft on the same day and, looking at the numbers side-by-side, Taylor simply had a better Combine than Swift. The Ravens complete all the pieces to their young offensive Big Three.

     Tenessee Titans: S Grant Delpit, LSU

The fourth LSU Tiger goes off the board in the first round and goes to a team that has a very young, very good backfield on defense. Grant Delpit, arguably the best safety in this draft, had a phenomenal year with the Bayou Boys. He won the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back of the year and proved just how good he is in the Combine.

     Green Bay Packers: QB Jacob Eason, Washington

Similar to 2018, a fifth quarterback will be selected in the first round. This season more than any other season was a sign that Aaron Rodgers is aging. He struggled in accuracy and quickness and relied heavily on other people to succeed. Green Bay needs to act fast to find Rodgers’ heir apparent. Jacob Eason turned heads this season, but he is easily forgotten in a class with Burrow, Tua, Herbert, and Love. The Cheeseheads quietly take their next Aaron Rodgers.

     San Fransisco 49ers: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson

With Emmanuel Sanders getting older and Deebo Samuel turning into a promising receiver, the Niners grab a 6’4” wideout that has been compared to AJ Green by some analysts. He could be very good for the Niners. Now imagine him next to Deebo and George Kittle while catching throws from Jimmy Garoppolo. Scary.

     Kansas City Chiefs: CB CJ Henderson, Florida

The last pick of the first round belongs to the Chiefs, and they’ll want to grab a cornerback to replace Kendall Fuller, who will head to free agency as one of the top dogs. With injury scares putting Bryce Hall out of the conversation, CJ Henderson becomes the obvious choice. The Gators corner put on a show at the Combine and will easily find a starting role in his first few years.