With the Chiefs winning Super Bowl LIV, the draft order for the first round is now set for all 32 teams. Or should I say 28 teams? Four teams—Bears, Texans, Rams and Steelers—do not currently own first-round picks in 2020.
Plenty of uncertainties remain with nearly three months to go, but we can count on several draft-day trades when the draft rolls around in April. Given that, I’ve included a few proposed trades that make sense.
Here’s an updated look at how the first round could play out:
1. Cincinnati: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
All signs point to the Bengals moving on from Andy Dalton this offseason and making Burrow the face of the franchise. Winning the Heisman Trophy and leading LSU to a national championship, his toughness, poise under pressure and accuracy were on full display all season. Despite seven top-10 opponents on the schedule, Burrow broke SEC passing records (5,671 yards and 60 TDs) and completed at least 70% of his pass attempts in every game except the championship game against Clemson, where he accounted for 521 total yards, six touchdowns and no turnovers.
2. Washington: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
Like with San Francisco and Young’s ex-Ohio State teammate Nick Bosa last year, Washington benefits from the top-ranked prospect in the draft getting pushed down the board. While edge rusher may not be Washington’s biggest need, teams can never have enough of them. The former five-star recruit from the D.C. area (DeMatha High School) led college football with an Ohio State-record 16.5 sacks in only 12 games last season.
***PROPOSED TRADE*** 3. Miami: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
(Proposed trade: Miami sends 5th, 39thand 70th overall picks to Detroit for the 3rd overall pick)
As long as Miami’s doctors feel comfortable about the progress of Tagovailoa’s hip injury, the Dolphins may feel inclined to move up to secure their future franchise quarterback. Although owner Stephen Ross has expressed some concerns about Tua’s health, several teams in the top half of the draft—Chargers at 6, Panthers at 7, Colts at 13 and Bucs at 14—will contemplate using their first-rounder on a quarterback. When healthy, Tua has elite anticipation, accuracy and touch to all levels of the field; he’s expected to throw for teams prior to the draft.
4. N.Y. Giants: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
The Giants need one, maybe two tackles as right tackle Mike Remmers will be a free agent and left tackle Nate Solder has not lived up to the expectations of his massive contract. A two-year starter at right tackle over the past two seasons, Wills is a dominant run blocker that improved as a pass blocker in 2019.
***PROPOSED TRADE*** 5. Detroit: Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State
(Proposed trade: Miami sends 5th, 39thand 70th overall picks to Detroit for the 3rd overall pick)
This would be a no-brainer trade-back scenario for Detroit as they get the prospect I slotted to them in my previous mock and add two Day 2 picks. Not only were the Lions tied for a league-low seven interceptions in 2019, but Darius Slay is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season. Leading the Buckeyes with three interceptions in 2019, Okudah is a complete corner with an ideal blend of size (6’ 1”, 200 pounds), athleticism and fluidity to develop into a shutdown corner at the next level.
6. L.A. Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
As a 16-year veteran entering free agency with a declining skill set, it’d be reasonable to believe that Philip Rivers has played his last game for the Chargers. Maybe the Chargers “make a push” for Tom Brady, who turns 43 in April, but Herbert would give them a potential long-term solution who could learn behind Tyrod Taylor (or Rivers, or Brady).
7. Carolina: Derrick Brown, iDL, Auburn
The Panthers allowed a league-worst 5.2 yards per carry and 31 rushing touchdowns in 2019, but adding a dominant run defender like Brown would be a great first step towards remedying that. Kawann Short is 31 and missed nearly all of 2019, and Carolina could lose several interior defensive linemen due to free agency and/or salary-cap moves this offseason.
***PROPOSED TRADE*** 8. Las Vegas: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
(Proposed trade: Oakland sends 12th, 80th and 118th overall picks to Arizona for the 8th overall pick.)
Perhaps Mike Mayock won’t fork over the draft capital to move up, but the player-team match makes plenty of sense. The ultimate defensive chess piece, Simmons played 100-plus snaps each at defensive line, box linebacker, slot corner and free safety, as PFF notes, and had 104 tackles, 8.0 sacks, three interceptions and two forced fumbles in 2019.
9. Jacksonville: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Second-year receiver D.J. Chark Jr. had a breakout 2019 campaign (75/1,008/8), but the team needs more weapons for Gardner Minshew (or Nick Foles). A top-10 prospect on my board, Lamb has outstanding hands, body control and run-after-catch ability.
10. Cleveland: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Cleveland could be in the market to upgrade both tackle spots. Left tackle Greg Robinson was briefly benched midseason and is a free agent again while right tackle Chris Hubbard graded out as PFF’s 76th-best offensive tackle (out of 81 qualifiers) last season. A three-year starter at Georgia, Thomas has experience at both left tackle (2018 and 2019) and right tackle (2017).
11. N.Y. Jets: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
The Jets ranked bottom-three in Football Outsiders’ offensive line rankings in both run blocking (31st) and pass blocking (30th) in 2019. Becton has incredible agility and movement skills for a man his size (6’ 7”, 369 pounds), which led his former coach Bobby Petrino to once compare Bhim to Jonathan Ogden.
12. Arizona: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Both starting tackles—D.J. Humphries and Justin Miller—are impending free agents, although the team could use upgrades at both spots if they weren’t. Topping Bruce Feldman’s “Freaks List” in 2019, Wirfs would be an immediate upgrade at right tackle.
13. Indianapolis: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Injuries to T.Y. Hilton, who enters the final year of his contract, Devin Funchess and Parris Campbell limited that trio to 18 combined games in 2019. Ending his collegiate career on a high note (6/204/1 vs. Michigan), Jeudy is a polished route-runner with breakaway speed.
14. Tampa Bay: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
In his first season in Tampa, Shaq Barrett led the NFL in sacks (19.5). Although Bruce Arians has said that Barrett “ain't going anywhere” (and the feeling is mutual), Barrett is scheduled to become a free agent. In addition to Barrett, Jason Pierre-Paul (8.5 sacks) and Carl Nassib (6.0) are both impending free agents. The 20-year-old Chaisson has elite speed off the edge and came on late—4.5 sacks in final four games—leading LSU in sacks, tackles for loss and QB hurries in 2019.
15. Denver: Javon Kinlaw, iDL, South Carolina
With the top-four offensive tackles already off the board, I considered a speedster like Henry Ruggs here. The Broncos have five defensive linemen that are slated for free agency including Derek Wolfe and Shelby Harris. A first-team AP All-America as a senior, Kinlaw (6’ 6”, 310 pounds) has a nice combination of quickness and power and generated 10 sacks over the past two seasons, including six in 2019.
16. Atlanta: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
Only the Dolphins (23) had fewer sacks this season than the Falcons (28), who have announced they will move on from Vic Beasley (team-high 8.0 sacks). While not the most explosive off the line, Epenesa possesses a nice blend of power, length and heavy hands and closed 2019 with eight sacks and four forced fumbles over his final five games.
17. Dallas: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
The Dallas defense ranked top-10 in yards per pass attempt allowed, but their defense was tied with the Lions and Cardinals for the league low in passes intercepted (seven). Inconsistent tackling was an issue at times for Delpit, but he’s a rangy playmaker with eight interceptions and 24 passes defended in his three seasons in Baton Rouge.
18. Miami (via Pittsburgh): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
With so many team needs, the Dolphins can go in a number of different directions. Acquiring this pick in the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade, they use it to draft a replacement from his alma mater. A versatile defender capable of playing either safety spot as well as nickel corner, McKinney had three interceptions for the Crimson Tide in 2019.
19. Las Vegas (via Chicago): Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama
Even though tight end Darren Waller had a breakout season, GM Mike Mayock recently said the Raiders “don’t have enough speed.” Of course, the trade for Antonio Brown attempted to address that need. Few players can match the elite sub-4.3 speed of Ruggs, who scored on one of every four career touches at Alabama.
20. Jacksonville (via L.A. Rams): C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
The Jags own this pick (and others) from the Jalen Ramsey trade. The biggest knock on Henderson will be his tackling, but he possesses the length, elite speed and confidence to develop into a premiere cover corner at the next level.
21. Philadelphia: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
In many of the previous iterations of my mock I slotted a receiver here, but cornerback is as big of a team need. Aside from Avonte Maddox, all of the other Eagles cornerbacks will be free agents either this or next offseason, based on contract data from Spotrac. Fulton would immediately become the team’s most talented corner.
22. Buffalo Bills: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
The Bills signed a pair of smaller receivers—John Brown and Cole Beasley—last offseason and the duo combined for 139 catches for 1,838 yards and 12 touchdowns. Complementing Brown and Beasley well, Higgins is a big-bodied receiver with a large catch radius who attacks and high-points the football well. Higgins tied Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins for the most receiving touchdowns (27) in Clemson history.
23. New England Patriots: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
A three-year starter at Utah State, it was a disappointing final season for Love, who threw nearly as many interceptions (17) as touchdowns (20). That said, Love isn’t entirely to blame following a coaching change and roster that featured only two returning starters on offense. Regardless of whether Tom Brady is back in Foxboro in 2020, Love possesses all of the physical tools to be groomed into the team’s quarterback of the future.
24. New Orleans Saints: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
With the team’s three quarterbacks either unrestricted or restricted free agents, I projected Love here in my previous mock. Assuming that Drew Brees is under center for at least one more season, adding another playmaker opposite Michael Thomas makes sense. Built more like a running back than a wide receiver, Shenault’s physical style and acceleration make him dangerous after the catch.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Both Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander are scheduled to become free agents and the play of Xavier Rhodes has regressed significantly. Younger brother of Stefon, Trevon has ideal length for the position and led Alabama in pass breakups (eight) last season.
26. Miami Dolphins (via HOU): Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Not only do the Dolphins need to fill the void left behind when traded away Laremy Tunsil, but the team could use multiple upgrades on their offensive line, which finished last in Football Outsiders’ offensive line rankings in 2019. Jones was a four-year starter at Houston and has the quick feet and movement skills coveted in a left tackle.
***PROPOSED TRADE*** 27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
(Proposed trade: Tampa sends 45th overall pick in 2020 and a second-round pick in 2021 to Seattle for the 27th overall pick.)
Over the past seven drafts, the Seahawks have made just three first-round selections—Germain Ifedi (2016), Rashaad Penny (’18) and L.J. Collier (’19)—and they traded back from their original pick within the first round to make all three of those selections. Coming off a rare 30/30 (TD/INT) season, there’s a reasonable chance that Jameis Winston won’t be back in 2020. Perhaps the Buccaneers trade back from No. 14 to target Eason as opposed to trading back into Round 1, but Eason has the arm strength to fit well in Bruce Arians’ vertical passing attack.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Linebackers Josh Bynes and Patrick Onwuasor are both scheduled to become unrestricted free agents and the Ravens lost C.J. Mosley in free agency last offseason as well. A tackling machine for the Sooners, Murray has the instincts, non-stop motor and sideline-to-sideline range to become an impact defender.
29. Tennessee Titans: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
If the Titans and Derrick Henry are unable to agree to a deal to keep him in Nashville, Dobbins could step into his workhorse role. Breaking Eddie George’s single-season rushing record at Ohio State, Dobbins has tremendous vision, balance and power and is a capable receiver (22-plus catches in all three years in Columbus).
30. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
Outside of Davante Adams, Green Bay has struggled to find consistent production from its wide receiver corps. Coming off a breakout campaign (65/1,192/8), Aiyuk has the speed and open-field ability to turn any short pass into a big play.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Six of the team’s corners will be unrestricted free agents in either 2020 or ’21 including the team’s top-four corners in terms of snaps played. While he’s not the biggest corner (183 pounds), Gladney plays more physical than his weight and is exceptionally fast (4.34 forty). Gladney has five career interceptions and 26 passes defended over the past two seasons.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Damien Williams has been highly productive in the postseason (10 TDs in five games) for the Chiefs, but he missed five games in 2019, has yet to carry the ball more than 111 times in an NFL season and will be a free agent after the 2020 season. Perhaps this is a luxury pick for the Super Bowl champs, but Swift is an elusive runner with great burst and an accomplished receiver (73 career receptions).
Kevin Hanson joins SI for the 2020 NFL Draft season. His NFL Mock Drafts have graded as the most accurate over the past five years, per The Huddle Report. His 2015 NFL mock draft graded as the most accurate and his 2019 NFL mock draft was the second-most accurate out of 101 draft analysts.