2020 NFL Draft Preview

Draft will proceed online on April 23


Tammy Anthony Baker/Wikimedia Commons

Joe Burrow (projected number 1 overall pick), SELU vs LSU at Tiger Stadium, September 8, 2018.

Harrison Kemmer, Reporter

With the first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft the Cincinnati Bengals select… On April 23 at 7:00 p.m., football fans everywhere will finally have the answer to that question. Many experts predict that Joe Burrow, out of LSU, will end up being drafted by the Bengals, and honestly, I can’t see anyone but Burrow being drafted number one. 

The draft happens every year and the coronavirus won’t change that… but it will severely impact it. Las Vegas was the original site for the draft and it has now been changed to people’s homes. 

The NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will announce the first round picks from his basement at his house in New York. Instead of meeting all together, the staff of teams will meet virtually and each team will have a designated drafter. The drafter will report the pick to the NFL’s official Microsoft channel and then Goodell will announce the pick.

The Dallas Cowboys have the 17th pick in the draft, and they need major help on defense. Options like Jeff Okudah from Ohio State and Isaiah Simmons out of Clemson will not be there of course, but C.J. Henderson from Florida and K’Lavon Chaisson from LSU might. 

C.J. Henderson would provide much needed assistance at cornerback, (Byron Jones signed with the Miami Dolphins in free agency) as he had six interceptions and 93 total tackles at Florida. 

With Robert Quinn gone to the Chicago Bears, K’Lavon Chaisson could jump in and make a dynamic pass rushing duo with DeMarcus Lawrence. Chaisson had 9.5 sacks and 92 total tackles at LSU. 

Another player that has been linked to Cowboys talk is defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos. The Penn State alum was a force to be reckoned with at Penn State as he had 111 total tackles and 18.5 sacks. He could possibly provide more help then K’Lavon Chaisson could, but at this point the Cowboys need to draft whichever of the three listed is left. I predict they will draft the former Gator C.J. Henderson.

Locally, TCU has three top prospects entering the draft: defensive tackle Ross Blacklock, cornerback Jeff Gladney, and wide receiver Jalen Reagor. Blacklock is a 6 foot 4, 305-pound beast who provides run stopping help on the interior of the defensive line. 

Gladney is a 6 foot, 183-pound corner. He had 146 total tackles in college which shows that most guys won’t break his grasp. Pair that with five interceptions and you have a late first to early second-round pick. 

Jalen Reagor is a 5 foot 11, 195-pound speedster. He is one of the most dynamic players with the ball in his hands and he has an insane leaping ability. He can climb the ladder to make any catch. He had 148 receptions for 2248 yards and 22 touchdowns at TCU. 

I see Blacklock going to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 20th overall pick, Gladney going to the San Francisco 49ers with the 31st overall pick, and, this is a stretch, Jalen Reagor going to the Baltimore Ravens with the 28th overall pick. 

10 Pick Mock Draft

Pick 1: Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Cincinnati, do not overthink this. As an Andy Dalton fan it is hard to admit, but you need quarterback help. Joe Burrow won the Heisman last year and threw for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns. Burrow, and others, are going to be the help they need to get the Bengals over the hump and win a playoff game for the first time in 29 years.

Pick 2: Washington Redskins – Chase Young, Edge rusher, Ohio State

Chase Young is the best player in the draft and he will most likely fall to the second pick. With defensive issues last year, the Redskins need reinforcements. Young could provide that in a big way. He is a 6 foot 5, 245-pound monster who recorded 16.5 sacks last year. He is extremely athletic and is by far and away the best pass rusher in this year’s draft. 

Pick 3: Miami Dolphins (trade with Detroit Lions) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

It is very hard to predict trades in mock drafts, but this seems like a real possibility. If the Dolphins don’t trade up, I don’t think they will get Tua. If the Lions keep the third pick then I think they would draft Tua because of Matthew Stafford’s health issues. The Dolphins need a signal caller and Tua would fit well with Miami. He threw for 7,442 yards and 87 touchdowns with only 11 interceptions in college. The only concern with him is that he was injured in each of his last two seasons. 

Pick 4: New York Giants – Isaiah Simmons, Linebacker, Clemson

It is Mr. Versatile himself. Simmons can play anywhere on the field and he showed it at Clemson. Along with linebacker he played defensive end, cornerback, and safety while racking up 238 tackles. He reminds me of Troy Polamalu who played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2003-2014. Polamalu was forced to play linebacker for a season and did a good job in the role. Simmons has said he watches Tyrann Mathieu because of his versatility and he wants to learn the ins and outs of Mathieu’s game. The Giants will be drafting a future all-pro linebacker who will give their defense a much-needed boost. This will be first-year head coach Joe Judge’s first big decision.

Pick 5: Detroit Lions (trade with Miami Dolphins) – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State 

It all worked out for the Lions. They got their guy Jeff Okudah along with another first-round pick from the Dolphins which they acquired in the trade. Jeff Okudah is the best corner in the draft and he will fill a massive hole on the Lions’ defense. Defensive-minded head coach Matt Patricia will mold Okudah into an all-pro corner. Okudah had an awesome career with Ohio State as he had 83 tackles and his three interceptions all took place last year. 

Pick 6: Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon 

This man will have the best career out of anyone in this draft class. He is a 6 foot 6, 237-pound gunslinger who threw for 10,541 yards and 95 touchdowns as a Duck. He also ran for 560 yards and 13 touchdowns. A guy of his size is hard enough to bring down in the pocket, but as a runner it is even harder. The Chargers need a quarterback after Philip Rivers signed with the Indianapolis Colts in free agency and Herbert should fill that hole for the next 15 or so years. If he doesn’t start right away, he will get to learn from veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Herbert has the best potential of any quarterback in the draft and the Chargers are getting a steal with the sixth pick. 

Pick 7: Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn 

This is new head coach Matt Rhule’s first pick with the Panthers and he wants to make it count. With losses like Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe on the defensive line, they have a big gap on the defensive side of the ball. Why not fill that with a 6 foot 5, 318-pound monster out of Auburn. Brown can stop the run and he can get to the quarterback a few times a year. He will be a big presence on the d-line for years to come and will give the Panthers a boost on defense after linebacker Luke Kuechly retired this offseason. 

Pick 8: Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

In desperate need of protecting the young Kyler Murray, the Cardinals should select the 6 foot 5, 322-pound offensive tackle out of Iowa. He is a very dependent tackle who rarely allows sacks, which the Cardinals need; they allowed over 3 sacks a game on average last year. In a division where good pass rushers are on all teams, Wirfs will be a huge help. Arizona has to face Aaron Donald, Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Dee Ford, and possibly Jadeveon Clowney each twice a year. Kyler will be well protected with Tristan around. 

Pick 9: Jacksonville Jaguars – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

In order to properly evaluate a young quarterback, you need to give the QB time in the pocket so he is not running for his life on the field. The 6 foot 7, 364-pound tackle will provide time and more time for Gardner Minshew II. Not only is he huge, he also ran a 5.10 40-yard dash which is unheard of for a man of his size. A failed drug test will probably not hurt his stock, as the new CBA does not punish marijuana use. Overall, Becton will provide some major stability on an offensive line that needs some.

Pick 10 – Denver Broncos (trade with Cleveland Browns) – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Rumors have been going around that the Broncos are looking to trade for the 8th or 10th pick, and I think they will trade for the ladder. In desperate need of a wide receiver to go alongside Courtland Sutton, they will move up to grab Jeudy. Jeudy runs the best routes out of any receiver in the draft and he will not make it to the 15th pick, the Broncos original pick. He is not as fast as his Alabama counterpart Henry Ruggs, but he has more precision and better hands. He will make an instant impact for the Broncos and will provide young QB Drew Lock another weapon to throw the ball to.