While the 2020 NFL draft will certainly have a different feel to it than past years, the buildup has remained the same. Fans of teams everywhere are hypothesizing the moves their clubs can make to get the most out of their draft selections.
It's a neverending cycle of wonderment, theories and trades that makes for one of the most entertaining times on the NFL calendar.
Draft guru and ESPN analyst Mel Kiper was back for another day filled with mock drafts and interesting tidbits on the upcoming 2020 NFL draft and its prospects. Kiper released his Mock Draft 3.0 on Tuesday with four former Tigers going in the first round, set to be held on April 23.
Joe Burrow (No. 1 overall, Cincinnati Bengals)
There really is no debate left here. Burrow is going to go No. 1 overall but the only question that remains is will the Bengals consider moving down in the draft. The rumor mill has been rife with speculation with the Miami Dolphins being the most recent team attached to the former LSU quarterback.
But for Kiper, this one's a no-brainer.
"Take Burrow and build your team around the Heisman-winning quarterback. Cincinnati already has a WR1 in A.J. Green and RB1 in Joe Mixon, and there are a few solid offensive pieces elsewhere, including the impending debut of 2019 first-round pick Jonah Williams, who missed all of last season with a shoulder injury but can step in immediately and protect Burrow's blind side."
The talk will continue to be there for the next month but it would take a monumental haul for a team to move up to No. 1 and select Burrow, and there's a good chance Cincinnati wouldn't move the pick regardless.
"With a great release, much better accuracy at all levels of the field and enough athleticism to maneuver the pocket to evade rushers, Burrow reminds me of Tony Romo," Kiper wrote in his top-25 prospects.
K'Lavon Chaisson (No. 16 overall, Atlanta Falcons)
The Falcons have become the most popular destination for Chaisson in recent mocks as he's coming off a 60 tackle, 6.5 sack season. While his potential and athleticism are off the charts, Kiper admits he's wary of taking the former LSU linebacker because of his small sample size and injury history.
"After fighting through injuries, Chaisson had just 9.5 sacks in his college career, but he has a high ceiling, flashing elite get-off at the snap with a few pass-rushing moves in his arsenal," Kiper wrote.
Chaisson infamously called himself the best player in the draft while answering questions from the media at the NFL combine. His confidence and high IQ will make Chaisson a valuable asset to whichever team selects him.
"I’m the most valuable player in this draft," Chaisson said. "When you hire someone, do you want someone that speaks one language or three languages? I can can speak three – rush the passer, drop in coverage, and I can play the run.”
Justin Jefferson (No. 21 overall, Philadelphia Eagles)
Another LSU player that's been linked to the same team by a number of different outlets, Jefferson is one of those plug in receivers that you can envision having success on any situation he's drafted to.
"He has a chance to be a top-15 pick now. Jefferson broke out last season, catching 111 passes for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns in a devastating LSU passing attack," Kiper said. "He's a really good player who could play out wide or in the slot."
Alongside Alshon Jeffery and Desean Jackson, Jefferson would give Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz a three-headed monster at receiver and that's not even including tight end Zach Ertz.
Patrick Queen (No. 28 overall, Baltimore Ravens)
Queen shot up draft boards as his postseason play en route to a national championship caught the eyes of talent evaluators and NFL clubs alike. His blend of speed and size at the linebacker position is a match made in heaven for any team looking to solidify the middle of its defense.
"Queen is a run-and-hit middle linebacker who has some coverage skills, though he can still improve there. He'll be an instant starter as a rookie," Kiper wrote. "He just constantly showed up on the film, making sure tackles and penetrating into the backfield."
At one point, LSU was considered to have as many as six first round draft selections but two members of the secondary have fallen out of the first round in recent mock drafts. Safety Grant Delpit and cornerback Kristian Fulton both decided not to go through the NFL combine drills, instead electing to wait for LSU's pro day.
With that now no longer an option, team meetings are the only remaining avenues for those two players to leave an impact with an organization outside of the film. Delpit and Fulton are both high quality players who likely won't last very long into the second day of the draft even if they don't go in the first 32 picks.