Alex Hale’s Mock Draft 3.0

The day has finally arrived, the NFL Draft is finally upon us and in our world today, it’s a much needed distraction.  It’s been the weirdest process in recent memory because of the Coronavirus outbreak.  Players have really had to bet everything on their Combine numbers and pure supply and demand at their position.  Players at weaker positions are playing their way into the Top 20 picks, and some players without workouts are slipping out of the first round.  It goes to show how important the entire process can be to a players’ stock.  But now all the pageantry is over, teams are ready to build their teams for the future and we’re ready with our final Mock Draft.

1) Cincinnati Bengals- QB Joe Burrow LSU

I’m not gonna waste much time on this pick.  Barring a ridiculous trade offer that the Bengals can’t say no to, Burrow is the pick.  No explanation needed.

2) Washington Redskins- DE Chase Young Ohio State 

Again I’m not gonna waste time on this explanation.  Unless Washington goes full-blown Washington and messing up this pick, there’s no way Washington can pass on Chase Young, who is the top player on the board.

3) Miami Dolphins (from Detroit)- TRADE: Miami trades #5, #26 and a 2021 3rd Round pick to Detroit in exchange for #3 overall pick and a 2021 5th Round pick- QB Justin Herbert Oregon

I firmly believe the Dolphins will try to pry the #1 pick away from the Bengals, but will fail.  Now they gotta make sure they don’t miss out on Justin Herbert, who is #2 on the QB board.  There’s buzz they could sit at #5 and take an OT.  But this team has whiffed as badly on QBs since Dan Marino’s retirement as anyone.  They can’t afford to do it again.  Herbert revived Oregon’s program and was a leader there that won them a Pac-12 Championship.  Trading up won’t be optimal, but this is why they’ve built draft capital.

4) New York Giants- LB Isaiah Simmons Clemson

This pick can go so many ways.  Dave Gettleman is going to leave everyone guessing until he’s on the clock Thursday night.  He very well could go with an OT and protect Daniel Jones, but Gettleman loves to build up his defense and probably will see more value in drafting an OT in the 2nd Round than passing on the athletically gifted and versatile Simmons.  If used correctly Simmons gives the Giants a huge weapon that can do everything, he wants to be used more as a pass rusher in recent reports, but I think it’s a smokescreen by a team to push him down.  Gettleman drafted Luke Kuechly and knows the importance of a game changing LB, which Simmons can become.

5) Detroit Lions (from Miami)- CB Jeffrey Okudah Ohio State

This shouldn’t be a hard pick for the Lions to make.  There will be the possibility of Derrick Brown being the selection, but the Lions shouldn’t overthink it.  Okudah will immediately replace Darius Saly and pairing him with Desmond Trufant will give the Lions a great CB tandem to build their defense around.  Adding 26 in trading back will give the Lions will have options to continue to build to their team.

6) Los Angeles Chargers- OT Andrew Thomas Georgia

With the concerns surrounding Tua, I believe Tua now will fall in the draft.  The Chargers seem to believe in Tyrod Taylor and probably will wait until the 2nd Round or maybe until 2021 to draft their Franchise QB.  The Chargers need a LT to build their O-Line with as they continue to struggle on the line.  The Chargers will pounce to continue to build their line and take the O-Lineman who is the safest pick of the bunch.  Andrew Thomas gives them a plug-n-play option to build on to protect Tyrod’s blind side and whoever they pick as their future QB whether it be in 2020 NFL Draft or 2021 Draft.

7) Carolina Panthers- CB CJ Henderson Florida

The Panthers as I’ve said have the most unpredictable pick in the Top 10.  They’re rebuilding and have a ton of holes.  One of their biggest problems is CB, especially after losing James Bradberry to Free Agency.  Depending on how they feel on their O-Line, they could go with CJ Henderson to fill the void.  There’s no reason to believe he can’t fill that void.  He can be a lockdown corner that the Panthers don’t even remotely have on their roster.  It’s kind of a reach, but Henderson’s soaring stock warrants the pick.

8) Arizona Cardinals- DT Derrick Brown Auburn 

The Cardinals sit in a good spot here, there’s multiple O-Lineman on the board and both interior D-Lineman on the board, plus trade options.  The rumor is that the Cardinals love Derrick Brown and will run to the podium if he’s on the board and why not?  The guy is a dominant force in the middle and a leader at Auburn who will anchor down the interior line for the Defense.  Having him hold down the defense and having Chandler Jones off the edge will create a defensive front along with an explosive offense that has the Cardinals primed to make big strides in 2020.

9) Denver Broncos (from Jacksonville)- TRADE: Denver trades #15 overall, 2 2020 3rd Round picks and a 2021 5th Round pick to Jacksonville in exchange for #9 overall pick WR Henry Ruggs Alabama

There’s been too much buzz around the Broncos moving up to get WR for me to not buy into it.  Denver will have to pay a hefty price to get up to this pick.  Fortunately, they own 3 3rd Round picks and will use 77 and 95 to get up to this pick.  The question is which WR will they take as they’re linked to all 3 Top WRs.  By team fit I’d say Ruggs is the perfect fit to go vertical opposite Courtland Sutton and taking pressure off Noah Fant, who is still developing as a TE.  For Drew Lock this gives him 3 passing targets, plus 2 RBs he can rely on giving the Broncos a very explosive offense going forward.  We might need to start apologizing to John Elway soon.

10) Las Vegas Raiders (from Cleveland)- TRADE: Las Vegas trades #12 overall and 2 3rd Round picks to Cleveland in exchange for #10 overall pick- WR Jerry Jeudy Alabama

I firmly expect the Browns to trade down from this pick in almost any situation.  With Ruggs off the board and the Jets primed to take a WR, there will be extreme demand for the pick.  The Browns will use to this to get teams to pay more than usual.  The Raiders sit at 12 and need to make a splash in their new hometown of Vegas.  They own 3 3rd Round picks and give Cleveland their back-to-back picks at 80 & 81 to make it happen.  Jon Gruden will want a polished WR who fits his West Coast style offense who can do it all and that’s Jerry Jeudy.  Putting Jeudy opposite Tyrell Williams gives the Raiders real weapons and options to make noise in AFC West.

11) New York Jets- OT Tristian Wirfs Iowa

The debate will rage on in the Jets War Room.  Do they take Ceedee Lamb?  Do they take the highest rated OT on their board to protect Sam Darnold?  Or do they trade down and risk filling any needs?  After their signing period, they can’t afford to miss out.  As great as Lamb can be in NY, they can’t make same mistake as other teams by not building their O-Line.  Wirfs at the very worst can hold down the Right side of the line, but has all the ability to move over to the left side.  For the Jets it just comes down to whether they like Wills or Wirfs better and Wirfs seems to be the more talented prospect.

12) Philadelphia Eagles (from Cleveland via Las Vegas)- TRADE: Philadelphia trades #21 overall, a 2020 2nd Round pick and 2021 2nd Round pick to Cleveland in exchange for #12 overall pick- WR Ceedee Lamb Oklahoma

Browns fans moan everywhere as the Browns trade down again, this time with Philly, who is hungry to get a WR.  There’s a legitimate case the Browns could sit back and take Andrew Thomas, but if the price is right, they have backup plans they can live with.  This is a steep price for Philly to pay, but the price is worth it to get Carson Wentz a premier WR talent.  He’ll fit perfectly into their offense giving the Eagles a WR who can beat you deep, in a crossing route, or even out physical a CB.  He’s the guy the Eagles have been missing and can’t miss out on.

13) San Francisco 49ers- DT Javon Kinlaw South Carolina

The 49ers miss out on all of the WRs, but they don’t totally lose out.  They traded DeForest Buckner to acquire this pick.  Buckner was a big physical freak on the interior line coming out of Oregon.  What’s Kinlaw?  A big, physical freak on the interior line coming out of South Carolina.  Adding Kinlaw to that D-Line will make sure the 49ers Defense don’t miss a beat.

14) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- OT Jedrick Wills Alabama

This is again a pick that doesn’t need too much explanation.  If Tom Brady could run to the Commissioner’s Basement and hand the card over himself I think he’d do it.  Wills may have been a RT at Alabama, but he’ll easily slide over to the left side giving the Bucs a solid LT to start to protect Tom Brady.  The Bucs get Brady and fill their biggest need with their first pick, can Tom Brady get any luckier?

15) Jacksonville Jaguars (from Denver)- EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson LSU

The Jaguars after collecting picks for #9 now can focus on filling in the holes in their roster.  With Yannick Ngakoue demanding a trade on a Franchise Tag, the Jaguars look to find his successor with their first of 2 1st Round picks.  Chaisson can be that guy with his explosive pass rushing ability and leadership qualities.  I’d worry about his run defense ability, but that’s not what the Jags would be drafting him for.  This pick makes it easier for Jags to trade Ngakoue.

16) Atlanta Falcons- CB Jeff Gladney TCU

Atlanta very well could try to move up to get CJ Henderson, but the price could be prohibitive to get Henderson.  The Falcons at this point could look to stay put and get the high upside Gladney.  Gladney has shown flashes of brilliance but needs to work on his consistency.  That’s pretty much his biggest problem.  If he can limit his mistakes in the NFL, not trading for CJ Henderson could work out well for Falcons.

17) Dallas Cowboys- C Cesar Ruiz Michigan

The Cowboys could look at Xavier McKinney here with Chaisson off the board.  But with the retirement of Travis Frederick, the Cowboys immediately replace him with Ruiz.  Ruiz was a constant force on the line at Michigan who played Guard and Center, so he can play multiple interior positions.  Ruiz can provide what the Cowboys need in their replacement and keep their line strong so that Dak Prescott has all the tools he needs to continue his success.

18) Miami Dolphins- OT Meckhi Becton Louisville

The Dolphins get lucky with circumstances.  Meckhi Becton apparently failed a drug test at the combine, which could push him down boards.  For the Dolphins they lucked until Laremy Tunsil once and now select Becton to protect Herbert’s blindside.  Becton has gotten support from people at Louisville to help revive his stock but with lack of interviews at this point the Dolphins see him fall right into their laps.  The Dolphins shouldn’t worry about this situation and just take Becton as walking out with Herbert and Becton is a great get for Round 1.

19) Los Vegas Raiders- CB AJ Terrell Clemson

After moving up to assure they get their WR, the Raiders will now look to add to their secondary.  The question is which CB they could take here.  Terrell was a crucial part of Clemson’s secondary being a tough corner who wasn’t fazed much, plus didn’t miss a game in 3 years.  He also performed well at the combine and comes in as a bigger CB at 6’1’’.  He’s aggressive in coverage, but he tends to get grabby with his hands which might result in problems at the next level.  For the Raiders, they had success with Trayvon Mullen coming from Clemson.  Teaming him with his former Tiger teammate could result in huge success.

20) Jacksonville Jaguars- CB Jaylon Johnson Utah

The Jaguars replaced Yannick Ngakoue with their first pick and now look to fill the void of Jalen Ramsey with their second pick.  Now Jaylon Johnson isn’t going to be Jalen Ramsey, but Johnson can be a solid starting CB in the NFL.  He was a talented corner who broke up 28 passes in 3 years at Utah and was an aggressive tackler and strong is press coverage.  He has some injury concerns and his aggressive tackling might cause issues.  For the Jags, it’s a solid pick as they revamp their Defense.

21) Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)- OT Ezra Cleveland Boise State

The Browns don’t trade down a 3rd time and get the guy they’re targeting.  After collecting 2 more 3rd Round picks and another 2nd Round pick, the Browns can get their OT and now can either use their picks or maneuver to fill needs.  Ezra Cleveland’s athleticism and fit in a Zone Blocking scheme that Kevin Stefanski will run is what makes this pick so popular.  Ezra is very raw with a ton of potential.  This won’t be a popular pick, but it’ll be a strong fit and with Bill Callahan, the Browns have as good of a chance as anyone to have Ezra reach his full potential in Cleveland.

22) Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo)- CB Damon Arnette Ohio State

There’s always that one reach.  Arnette is without a doubt a talented Cornerback, but Arnette is undersized and didn’t run a good 40 at the Combine.  With the depth at the CB position in the Late 1st-2nd Round, there’s a chance CBs could jump into the 1st Round.  The big thing with this pick is the Vikings won’t select Trevon Diggs after dealing his brother.  Arnette was a 3 year starter at OSU and was a constant impact player on defense.  He’s tough, strong in coverage and a willing tackler.  It’s not a sexy pick, but a solid pick that gets the Vikings a starter in secondary.

23) New England Patriots- QB Tua Tagovailoa Alabama

I NEED THIS TO HAPPEN.  The pick doesn’t require any more explanation.

24) New Orleans Saints- QB Jordan Love Utah State

The Saints very well could be looking for their future QB with this pick.  When it comes to Jordan Love, he could go as high as #5, but as low as this pick.  I doubt the Saints will pass on Love’s talent and upside.  The arm talent is clearly there, but his poise and anticipation need a lot of work.  Working behind Drew Brees will be extremely beneficial to him and by pure talent and upside, Love is the best choice for the Saints and Brees’ potential successor.

25) Minnesota Vikings- WR Justin Jefferson LSU

The Vikings fill their CB need with their first pick and now go after their replacement for Stefon Diggs.  Jefferson was the Vikings pick in Mock 1.0, playing him opposite Adam Thielen would give them a new dynamic duo for Kirk Cousins to throw to.  Throw Irv Smith Jr. and Kyle Rudolph with Dalvin Cook, the Vikings offense very much may not lose a step in 2020.

26) Detroit Lions (from Miami)- LB Kenneth Murray Oklahoma

The Lions after wisely trading down and getting value for #3 pick and snagging Jeffrey Okudah, the Lions double down on defense and take Kenneth Murray from Oklahoma.  I originally mocked Patrick Queen here, but Murray’s experience as a defensive leader and knack for living in the backfield, it fits more of Matt Patricia’s style of a linebacker over Patrick Queen being a one year starter and athletic playmaker.  For the Lions having Jeffrey Okudah and Kenneth Murray can transform Detroit’s defense into what Matt Patricia envisioned coming from New England.

27) Seattle Seahawks- EDGE Yetur Gross Matos Penn State

Seattle very well could be looking at a LT here as they still need help on the O-Line.  But with the uncertainty of Jadevion Clowney’s future, the Seahawks need to consider all options.  Gross Matos is a good choice here to replace him.  A constant force in the backfield at PSU, this pick won’t change from Mock 2.0 because it’s too logical of a selection for the Seahawks to make.

28) Baltimore Ravens- WR Denzel Mims Baylor

There’s a ton of speculation that the Ravens will use their first pick on Offense.  While ideally I think they will try to look at Interior O-Lineman, they might look in Round 2 to fill that with Cesar Ruiz off the board.  The Ravens could look elsewhere on offense.  As explosive as they are with Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews, they don’t have much depth behind them.  That’s where Mims can fit.  With his size/speed combination, him playing opposite Marquise Brown gives them two explosive playmaking WRs that teams have to gameplan for.  While he’s raw, the Ravens are excellent with utilizing players to their strengths.  Mims would only add to an offense that’s unpredictable and explosive.

29) Tennessee Titans- OT Isaiah Wilson Georgia

From Mock 1.0 on, I’ve mocked an Offensive Tackle to them.  There’s a ton of RT depth in this 1st Round for the Titans to pick.  Wilson coming from Georgia and their rushing attack, he fits perfectly into what the Titans want to do and he’s simply a plug-n-play fit for them.

30) Green Bay Packers- WR Jalen Reagor TCU

The Packers don’t get Denzel Mims and now have to look at other WR options.  Michael Pittman Jr. is the son of the former Running Back, his dad was a great dual threat back who could run and catch the ball, his son clearly acquired his receiving ability.  He has soft hands that any coaching staff would love to have as an option, add to that he’s got a great Football IQ.  His athleticism doesn’t blow you away, but that won’t matter when Aaron Rodgers is throwing you the ball.  Pittman gives Rodgers a 2nd WR option he can trust throwing the ball to opposite Davante Adams.

31) San Francisco 49ers- WR Tee Higgins Clemson

For the 49ers after missing out on the Top 3 WRs, the 49ers will address this with their 2nd pick.  Higgins has been the target at Clemson the past 2 years, especially in the redzone.  His size stands out and makes him a beast in jump ball situations.  He won’t burn you, but the 49ers have other receivers who can easily do that.  To add the big, physical Higgins opposite Deebo Samuel, a shifty route runner who can get himself open and the vertical attack of George Kittle, it gives the 49ers options in how they attack defenses.

32) Cleveland Browns (from Kansas City)- TRADE: Cleveland trades #41 overall and #80 overall (from Las Vegas) to Kansas City in exchange for #32 overall pick- LB Patrick Queen LSU

SURPRISE BROWNS FANS!  Andrew Berry coming from the Bill Polian tree knows how the board can play out and with his excess of picks acquired in trades moves back up to fill a major void at LB.  Patrick Queen may have been a 1 year starter at LSU, but he left a huge impact.  He’s an athletic specimen who is aggressive off the snap, but also has the fluidity to handle coverage and keep up with TEs.  After losing Joe Schobert, the Browns will look to add a LB and landing Queen adds an extremely high upside LB who will need coaching but the talent is there to pair him with Mack Wilson.

Round 2

33) Cincinnati Bengals- EDGE Zack Baun Wisconsin

34) Indianapolis Colts- OT Josh Jones Houston

35) Detroit Lions- RB Jonathan Taylor Wisconsin

36) New York Giants- OT Austin Jackson USC

37) Los Angeles Chargers- CB Trevon Diggs Alabama

38) Carolina Panthers- DT Neville Gallimore Oklahoma

39) Miami Dolphins- RB JK Dobbins Ohio State

40) Houston Texans (from Arizona)- DE AJ Epenesa Iowa

41) Kansas City Chiefs (from Cleveland)- RB D’Andre Swift Georgia

42) Jacksonville Jaguars- S Xavier McKinney Alabama

43) Chicago Bears (from Los Vegas)- S Antoine Winfield Jr. Minnesota

44) Indianapolis Colts- WR Brandon Aiyuk Arizona State

45) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire LSU

46) Denver Broncos- CB Kristian Fulton LSU

47) Atlanta Falcons- DT Ross Blacklock TCU

48) New York Jets- WR Michael Pittman Jr. USC

49) Pittsburgh Steelers- QB Jacob Eason Washington

50) Chicago Bears- CB Noah Igbinoghene Auburn

51) Dallas Cowboys- S Grant Delpit LSU

52) Los Angeles Rams- EDGE Terrell Lewis Alabama

53) Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia)- S Jeremy Chinn Southern Illinois

54) Buffalo Bills- EDGE Josh Uche Michigan

55) Baltimore Ravens (from New England)- LB Jordyn Brooks Texas Tech

56) Miami Dolphins (from New Orleans)- S Kyle Duggar Lenoir-Rhyne

57) Los Angeles Rams (from Houston)- OT Lucas Niang TCU

58) Minnesota Vikings- OG Lloyd Cushenberry LSU

59) Seattle Seahawks- OT Prince Tega Wanogho Auburn

60) Baltimore Ravens- OG Matt Hennessy Temple

61) Tennessee Titans- EDGE Curtis Weaver Boise State

62) Green Bay Packers- DT Marlon Davidson Auburn

63) Kansas City Chiefs (from San Francisco)- CB Cameron Dantzler Mississippi State

64) Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City)- S Ashtyn Davis California

To people effected all over the globe, please be safe.  Enjoy this weekend and take care of yourselves and each other.  Feel free to order in something nice to enjoy the Draft, boo the Commissioner nice and loud, and cheer on your team.  Take care of yourselves and each other through these times.

IT’S DRAFT DAY!

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