2020 NFL Mock Draft: WR Run Starts With CeeDee Lamb

The 2020 NFL Draft is less than two weeks away. Let's take a look at Frankie Taddeo's latest mock draft to see how the first round could play out.
Author:
Publish date:

1. Cincinnati Bengals: QB, Joe Burrow, LSU

The oddsmakers are no longer posting any betting odds since they believe it’s a foregone conclusion that the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow will be the first player off the board. The Bengals hope Burrow’s addition will lead to a new foundation in Cincinnati thanks to a healthy A.J. Green and versatile Joe Mixon. Sports Illustrated’s Bengals Maven James Rapien recently highlighted that one of the greatest Cincinnati quarterbacks in team history, Boomer Esiason, believes that Burrow to Cincinnati could be a lot like another great Ohio athlete playing in his home state. "I equate him to when LeBron James came out of high school his senior year and the Cavaliers had the top pick," Esiason said.

2. Washington: DE, Chase Young, Ohio State

The defensive line is one place where first-round picks often make an immediate impact (see: Nick Bosa). The star Buckeye had a stellar junior season that saw him lead the nation with 16.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and 21 tackles for loss in just 12 games. Barring a last-minute shock, Washington will grab the player who many draft experts have rated as the best overall prospect in the entire draft.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense +350; Defense -500)
Young Draft Position Odds Betting: 2.5 (Over +415; Under -875)

3. Detroit Lions: CB, Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State

Nearly every draft expert has Okudah as the top ranked corner in this year’s draft. Dating back to 1999, 10 cornerbacks out of Ohio State have been selected in the first round of the NFL Draft (no other school has more than five during that span). According to SI’s Buckeyes Maven Bruce Hooley: Okudah's selection at No. 3 would match the highest by a Buckeyes' defensive back (Shawn Springs, Seattle, 1997) and make him the seventh player from the OSU secondary taken in the first round since 2014. There’s been growing speculation that the Lions could trade down with a team looking to jump up to acquire either Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama or perhaps Oregon’s Justin Herbert. Detroit made the decision to trade Slay to the Eagles based upon their strong belief that Okudah would be sitting there when they are on the clock. He is an ideal fit for Matt Patricia’s press coverage scheme.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense +400; Defense -600)
Okudah Draft Position Odds Betting: 4.5 (Over -140; Under +110)

4. New York Giants: LB, Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

The Giants allowed the third-most points per game in 2019 (28.2) while surrendering the sixth-highest completion percentage (70.9%) and the fifth-most passing yards (4,376). As Sports Illustrated Giants Maven Patrica Traina highlighted, the Giants have been busy this offseason attempting to reshape a roster that underwhelmed in 2019 (4-12) following a 5-11 campaign in 2018. Adding a player like the Butkus Award winner, who is built for today's NFL and offers a unique skill set, could improve their defensive woes remarkably. The Giants last selected a linebacker in the first round of the NFL Draft back in 1984, when they tabbed Carl Banks out of Michigan State. As we know, the Giants drafted the best game-changing linebacker in NFL history in Lawrence Taylor with the second overall selection in the 1981 NFL Draft. If it's not Simmons, expect Big Blue to go offense and grab the best offensive tackle in Iowa’s Tristian Wirfs.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -110; Defense -110)
Simmons Draft Position Odds Betting: 6.5 (Over +120; Under -160)

5. Miami Dolphins: QB, Justin Herbert, Oregon

Herbert has all the tools of a prototypical NFL prospect: size (6-foot-6, 237 pounds), speed (4.46 40-yard dash) and superior arm strength. Herbert is favored to land with the Los Angeles Chargers at odds of +150 followed closely by the Dolphins at +160. Where there's smoke, there’s fire.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -925; Defense +690)
Herbert Draft Position Odds Betting: 6.0 (Over +135; Under -155)

6. Los Angeles Chargers: QB, Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

The Chargers' “Virtual War Room” goes crazy in a six-feet apart celebration with no high-fives or hugs. As reported by SI’s Alabama Maven Christopher Walsh back on March 19, the National Playmakers Academy posted tweets with videos of Tagovailoa throwing footballs to various receivers during organized passing drills. That’s enough to convince the Chargers who are elated to see the new face of the franchise they need with the opening of SoFi Stadium just fall into their lap.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -700; Defense +535)
Tagovailoa Draft Position Odds Betting: 3.5 (Over -185; Under +155)

7. Carolina Panthers: DL, Derrick Brown, Auburn

Brown is the prototypical NFL run-stuffer at 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds that NFL scouts and GMs crave as cornerstones of their interior lines. The comparisons to Fletcher Cox of the Philadelphia Eagles are the most accurate and is the type of player worth considering in the top 10. Brown is a defensive tackle with a rare combination of size and disruptive traits that makes him nearly impossible to neutralize at the point of attack. He’s also a high character guy off the field as well, which was recognized when he received the 2019 Lott IMPACT Trophy awarded annually to College Football’s best defensive player in both character and performance. “Impact” is an acronym for: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community, and Tenacity. The award is named in honor of College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back, Ronnie Lott.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense +185; Defense -260)
Brown Draft Position Odds Betting: 8.5 (Over -125; Under +105)

8. Arizona Cardinals: OT, Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

The Cardinals made the single biggest splash of the 2020 offseason stealing superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texans. According to SI’s Cardinals Maven Mason Kern, “the moves the Arizona Cardinals have made in the offseason have been with the goal of reducing the necessity of focusing on one position for their No. 8 pick in the first round of the NFL Draft.” With Hopkins now part of the roster, Mason believes Arizona will target either one of the top offensive line prospects. At 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year has scouts drooling over his potential. My sources here in Vegas say that if Dave Gettleman and the Giants decide to take Wirfs at No. 4., Alabama’s offensive tackle Jedrick Wills is the most likely pick.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -315; Defense +225)
Wirfs Draft Position Odds Betting: 8.5 (Over +105; Under -125)

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: DT, Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina

According to our SI South Carolina Gamecocks Maven, Chaunte'l Powell, Kinlaw has the raw tools and skill to develop into the best pass rusher in this year's draft. There won’t be a long wait between Brown and Kinlaw hearing their names called. A player as talented and big as Kinlaw makes perfect sense in the middle of a line that features two dominant edge rushers in Yannick Ngakoue (for now) and Josh Allen.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense +120; Defense -175)
Kinlaw Draft Position Odds Betting: 13.5 (Over -110; Under -110)

10. Cleveland Browns: OT, Jedrick Wills, Alabama

The Browns made former Tennessee Titans right tackle Jack Conklin the centerpiece of their free agent class with a three-year, $42 million contract. Now they continue to shore up the protection in front of Baker Mayfield by drafting the most pro-ready offensive tackle in the draft. A stout offensive line is the biggest priority for the Browns to find a way to better protect Mayfield and get his confidence back up. The Browns do just that in landing a player many compare to Eagles All-Pro Jason Peters.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -600; Defense +400)
Wills Draft Position Odds Betting: 9.5 (Over -110; Under -110)

11. New York Jets: WR, CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

If the draft shapes out like this then Joe Douglas and the Jets will be disappointed when they see their top two rated offensive tackles (Wirfs and Wills) off the board. The Jets' two biggest needs are offensive tackle and a play-making wide receiver to help the development of Sam Darnold. According to my sources, in this scenario the Jets could grab the rumored No. 1 wideout on their board in CeeDee Lamb. After losing Robby Anderson to Carolina, the Jets select the 6-foot-2, 198-pound star who instantly becomes the best receiver on their roster.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -500; Defense +350)
Lamb Draft Position Odds Betting: 13.5 (Over +130; Under -175)

12. Las Vegas Raiders: WR, Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

The Raiders need star power in their first season in Las Vegas and they get that in one of the best route-running wide receivers to come into the NFL in decades. Jon Gruden gets a play-maker to help raise the level of play of Derek Carr and a Raiders offense that disappointed last season.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -275; Defense +190)
Jeudy Draft Position Odds Betting: 12.5 (Over +110; Under -140)

13. San Francisco 49ers : WR, Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

San Francisco fans vividly remember what Tyreek Hill did in Super Bowl LIV. His speed to get behind the defense single handedly changed the outcome of the game. With that fresh in the 49ers' mind, they land the player who has many of the same attributes in Alabama’s Henry Ruggs. His 4.27 speed will give Jimmy Garoppolo an electric deep-threat that can take the top off a defense. The 49ers will replicate what Hill does taking handoffs out of the backfield and add another dimension to their special teams returning punts and kick returns.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -205; Defense +145)
Ruggs Draft Position Odds Betting: 14.5 (Over +105; Under -125)

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OT, Mekhi Becton, Louisville

Tampa Bay looks to shore up the protection in front of Tom Brady and does that by landing one of the best offensive tackles in the draft in the 6-foot-7, 360-pounder out of Louisville. His size and speed just jumps off the tape and his power in the run blocking game is probably the best of any offensive tackle in this class. Several NFL scouts have called him “a dancing bear with a nasty side”. Tom Brady exalts in Derek Jeter’s 30,000-foot mansion after seeing his team land a top lineman that can help limit hits to his 42-year old body.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -210; Defense +150)
Becton Draft Position Odds Betting: 8.5 (Over -140; Under +110)

15. Denver Broncos: OT, Andrew Thomas, Georgia

The Broncos have needs at wide receiver, cornerback and offensive line. Thomas has shown the ability to play multiple positions along the line and he may be asked to play guard for the Broncos. A three-year starter at left tackle for Georgia, Thomas enters the NFL with the pedigree of playing in a pro scheme while competing against the best opponents college football has to offer. He has played both tackle spots at the collegiate level and in 2019 earned first-team Associated Press All-American and first-team all-conference honors after starting 13 games at left tackle.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -260 Defense +185)
Thomas Draft Position Odds Betting: 10.5 (Over -130; Under +100)

16. Atlanta Falcons: OLB, K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU

Chaisson’s athleticism enables him to be one of the best edge pass rushers in the draft. His speed, quickness, and ability to bend will make him a major headache for opposing offensive tackles. The oddsmakers have the Falcons favored heavily (-490) to go defense with their first-round pick and I totally agree. Atlanta wants to add another pass rusher, even with Dante Fowler and Takk McKinley already on the roster. Chaisson is an explosive edge rusher who can also play the run and drop back in coverage.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense +350; Defense -490)
Chaisson Draft Position Odds Betting: 17.5 (Over +100; Under -120)

17. Dallas Cowboys: CB, C.J. Henderson, Florida

The Cowboys lost top cornerback Byron Jones in free agency. SI’s Florida Gators Maven Zach Goodall recently highlighted that Henderson is exactly what any team wants in a man coverage cornerback. Elite top-end speed is a key component of Henderson's game and he proved that speed at the NFL Combine by posting an upper echelon 40-yard dash among cornerbacks since 1999. “Jerry’s World” adds arguably one of the two best cornerbacks in the draft.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense +300; Defense -425)
Henderson Draft Position Betting Odds: 16.5 (Over -110; Under -110)

18. Miami Dolphins (via PIT): S, Xavier McKinney, Alabama

The Dolphins come to their second of three first-round selections having already added their franchise quarterback. Now it's time to continue to rebuild the roster. Regarded as one of the top safeties, the two-year starter at Alabama was highly productive racking up five interceptions, two TD returns, six sacks, five forced fumbles and 11 tackles for loss over the last two seasons. The comparisons to Earl Thomas make the Dolphins look to McKinney and focus back on the offense later in the round. McKinney will join a defense that was transformed via free agency with the additions of CB Byron Jones and LB Kyle Van Noy. He will fit in nicely in a potentially dominant secondary that also consists of standout cornerback Xavien Howard.

McKinney Draft Position Odds Betting: 24.5 (Over -110; Under -110)

19. Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI): LB, Patrick Queen, LSU

It's very possible that after landing a star wide receiver at No. 12, general manager Mike Mayock trades down here. However, if the Raiders stay put, Queen (6-0, 225), who produced 85 tackles, 12 tackles for losses, three sacks and an interception for National Champion LSU Tigers, fills one of the Raiders' needs at linebacker.

Queen Draft Position Odds Betting: 23.5 (Over -110; Under -110)

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR): DE, A.J. Espensa, Iowa

With all the talk that disgruntled Jaguars pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue could be moved, Iowa’s A.J. Espensa makes total sense. His production took a big jump in 2018 as the powerful and aggressive defensive end notched 10.5 sacks (most in Big 10), 16.5 tackles for loss (most on the team), and four forced fumbles. As a junior, Epenesa once again turned in a dominant season in the Big Ten. In 2019, Epenesa recorded 11.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles. According to our SI Jaguars Maven John Shipley, Epenesa compares favorably to players like Calais Campbell or Cameron Jordan, who he believes could be the Jaguars’ choice at No. 9 over Kinlaw. I have him falling to the Jags at No. 20.

Espensa Draft Position Odds Betting: 31.5 (Over -110; Under -110)

21. Philadelphia Eagles: WR, Justin Jefferson, LSU

Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor missed a combined 24 games last year. Agholor is now wearing Silver and Black in Las Vegas and Jeffery’s future in Philly is muddled to say the least. In 2019, the 6-foot-1, 203-pound LSU receiver hauled in 111 balls to go along with 18 touchdowns. Jefferson followed up his incredible season with a great combine performance and is exactly what Carson Wentz needs to get the Eagles' attack back to an elite level.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -200; Defense +150)
Jefferson Draft Position Odds Betting: 21.5 (Over -110; Under -110)

22. Minnesota Vikings: CB, Kristian Fulton, LSU

At the NFL Combine, Fulton clocked in with a 4.46 40-yard dash and 35.5-inch vertical jump, both among the best marks for cornerbacks in this year's draft class. SI’s LSU Tigers Maven Glen West recently noted that in Kevin Hanson’s latest mock draft, 13 LSU Tigers landed within the first five rounds. He highlights that Fulton lands with the Vikings at No. 25 after losing Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander in the offseason. In Sports Illustrated’s updated Top 100 Big Board 2.0, he checks in at No. 20.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense +150; Defense -225)
Fulton Draft Position Odds Betting: 24.5 (Over -110; Under -110)

23. New England Patriots: WR, Denzel Mims, Baylor

With a total of 12 draft picks, including four in the top 100, New England will have a chance to replenish a roster that most notably lost arguably the greatest quarterback in league history. Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, and N’Keal Harry are a solid wide receiver trio. However, Edelman will be 33 years old in 2020, Sanu is coming off of offseason ankle surgery and Harry still needs time to develop. Mims has been rising up draft boards after scoring 28 touchdowns in three seasons. Mims is a 6-foot-3 target who ran a 4.38 40-yard dash and has all the makings of a diamond in the rough. After losing Van Noy in free agency, linebacker Kenneth Murray is also in strong consideration here.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -140; Defense +115)
Mims Draft Position Odds Betting: 33.5 (Over +125; Under -165)

24. New Orleans Saints: LB, Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

Murray grew up idolizing Ray Lewis and his game is very similar, making plays in coverage and against the run. At 6-foot-2 and 241 pounds, he has the speed to run down ball carriers and the size to defend in the box against the run. This kid dominated Oklahoma and he will fit in great alongside Demario Davis in the middle of the Saints defense.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -130; Defense +105)
Murray Draft Position Odds Betting: 21.5 (Over -120; Under +100)

25. Minnesota Vikings: WR, Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State

The Vikings traded talented, but often disgruntled wide receiver Stefon Diggs to Buffalo. With their second selection in the first round, Minnesota lands one the true risers in the draft in Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk spent the first two years of his college career dominating the junior college football ranks at Sierra College in Rocklin, California. In 2019, the senior wide receiver caught 65 passes for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns and shined as a return man. Don’t be surprised to hear this kid’s name called in the first round.

Aiyuk Draft Position Odds Betting: 32.5 (Over -135; Under +105)

26. Miami Dolphins: RB, D’Andre Swift, Georgia

D’Andre Swift is arguably the best running back in this entire class who is incredibly shifty and is one of the best pass-catching running backs in the draft. Sports Illustrated Georgia Bulldogs Maven Brooks Austin recently highlighted that Swift has garnered a lot of attention from some all-time greats at the position such as Thurman Thomas and Maurice Jones-Drew. In SI.com's latest Big Board projection, Swift is ranked as the 21st overall prospect. Miami could go offensive line here, but I just can’t see them passing on adding arguably the best running back to an already amazing draft that potentially sees them land the quarterback of the future as well as arguably the best safety.

Swift Draft Position Odds Betting: 30.5 (Over -110; Under -110)

27. Seattle Seahawks: DE, Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State

In his sophomore and junior seasons, the explosive defensive end posted 34.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks. The 6-foot-5, 266-pound edge rusher would be the first Nittany Lion selected in the first round since Saquon Barkley went No. 2 overall in 2018. The Seahawks could lose star defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney to free agency and the talented Nittany Lion helps fill that potential void.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense +135; Defense -180)
Gross-Matos Draft Position Odds Betting: 26.5 (Over -125; Under +105)

28. Baltimore Ravens: LB, Zack Baun, Wisconsin

The Baltimore Ravens enter the 2020 NFL Draft with inside linebacker being one of their most pressing needs. In 2019, Baun finished among the nation’s leaders with 19.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks. He’s shown the ability to play both in the middle and around the edge as a versatile run stopper and pass rusher. He will fit in perfectly in Baltimore.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -125; Defense +105)
Baun Draft Position Odds Betting: 32.5 (Over -125; Under +105)

29. Tennessee Titans: CB, Trevon Diggs, Alabama

Trevon, the younger brother of Buffalo Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs initially followed his older sibling’s path, playing wide receiver in his first season at Alabama. He eventually made the switch to the defensive side of the ball as a sophomore at head coach Nick Saban's urging. As a senior, Diggs earned third-team all-American honors when he recorded three interceptions, a team-high eight passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and 37 tackles. The Titans could go offensive tackle here, but after re-signing Dennis Kelly I think they focus on the secondary.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense +100; Defense -120)
Diggs Draft Position Odds Betting: 28.5 (Over +110; Under -140)

30. Green Bay Packers: WR, Tee Higgins, Clemson

The oddsmakers strongly (-285) believe the Packers will look to get Aaron Rodgers some help on the offensive side of the ball in the opening round. TCU’s Jalen Reagor is also in consideration here, but I believe Green Bay will look to Tee Higgins as the new weapon to play opposite Davante Adams. SI’s Packers Maven Bill Huber is a big fan of the talented Clemson standout. Huber noted that Higgins stated his game “closely models Julio Jones and A.J. Green.” That’s a lofty standard for sure. If he lives up to that billing, Rodgers will be a nightmare for opposing defenses that already have their hands full scheming to slow down Adams.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense -285; Defense +180)
Higgins Draft Position Odds Betting: 32.5 (Over -160; Under +130)

31. San Francisco 49ers: CB, A.J. Terrell, Clemson

After landing the much-needed star wideout at No. 13, the 49ers look to shore up the back end of one of the league’s best defenses. SI’s Clemson Tigers Maven Zack Lentz highlights that Terrell “didn’t have his best game against LSU in the national championship, and his draft stock has fallen in many experts’ opinion.” Lentz believes Terrell profiles as a potential first-round pick, but surmises that the second round could be a more realistic position post-combine. If anyone can get this kid’s confidence back to where it should be and advise him on improving his techniques it's Richard Sherman. That one poor performance on the national stage is the only reason why he is still on the board.

Terrell Draft Position Odds Betting: 33.5 (Over +100; Under -125)

32. Kansas City Chiefs: C/G, Cesar Ruiz, Michigan

Ruiz is an athletic interior offensive line prospect who moves exceptionally well in space for a 6-foot-3, 300-pounder. He’d help solidify the protection in front of arguably the best quarterback in the league in Patrick Mahomes and the ground game in Kansas City for years to come. If Georgia running back D’Andre Swift or Iowa defensive end A.J. Espensa were to slip, the Chiefs would likely be the team to stop their possible fall into the second round. In that scenario, the Chiefs would strongly consider Swift with the lack of a long-term deal for starting running back Damien Williams beyond the 2020 season.

SI Crystal Ball Betting Odds: (Offense +120; Defense -160)
Ruiz Draft Position Odds Betting: 35.5 (Over -110; Under -110)