NFL Draft Expert, Mike Detillier, shares his early NFL Draft first-round projections with the Saints News Network.
"Some of these selections will change due to the additions in veteran free agency and I see a few trades late in Round One… but here’s my early look." Mike Detillier
1. Cincinnati Bengals- Joe Burrow-QB, LSU
Burrow is back in Ohio and the major cog in a rebuilding situation. But expect one team to make a huge play to trade up for Burrow at draft time.
2. Washington Redskins- Chase Young-DE, Ohio State
Young is Julius Peppers Part-II for the NFL. He gives Ron Rivera quite the playmaker coming off the edge.
3. Detroit Lions- Jeffrey Okudah-CB, Ohio State
This will be the target spot for teams looking to move up to get Tua… Okudah is a tremendous cover cornerback with speed, length and 1st rate ball skills.
4. New York Giants- Isaiah Simmons-LB, Clemson
The Giants need help upfront along the offensive line, but you just can’t pass on this dynamic force on the defensive side of the ball. Simmons is an athletic freak of nature and his speed and football instincts are off the charts.
5. Miami Dolphins- Tua Tagovailoa-QB, Alabama
His health is going to be in question, but he is indeed a left-handed version of Drew Brees.
6. Los Angeles Chargers- Justin Herbert- QB, Oregon
Herbert has all the physical tools to be quite the signal-caller for the Chargers.
7. Carolina Panthers- Derrick Brown-DT, Auburn
Derrick is a dominating inside force as a pass rusher and also versus the run. Both much needed areas to upgrade in Carolina.
8. Arizona Cardinals- CeeDee Lamb- WR, Oklahoma
This reunites the OU connection of Kyler Murray to CeeDee Lamb.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars- Javon Kinlaw-DT, South Carolina
Javon is one impressive inside player who can push the inside pocket and clog up the interior rushing lanes. Kinlaw is one tough and talented defensive lineman.
10. Cleveland Browns- Jedrick Wills, Jr.-OT. Alabama
The Browns need help upfront to protect QB. Baker Mayfield and Wills gives them a big piece of the offensive line puzzle.
11. New York Jets- Mekhi Becton-OT. Louisville
Just like the Browns- the Jets need a left tackle to protect QB. Sam Darnold and Becton is quite the enforcer on the edge at 6-7 and 360 pounds.
12. Las Vegas Raiders- Jerry Jeudy-WR, Alabama
Jeudy gives the Raiders a legitimate big-play athlete at WR. and someone who is dangerous after the catch. Jeudy is scary good out on the field.
13. Philadelphia Eagles traded up with Indianapolis Colts- Henry Ruggs III-WR, Alabama
* I feel the Colts deal this pick back-most likely to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Colts end up with their QB. of the future with Jordan Love. The Eagles get one of the speediest players in the draft and a stretch-the-field target for Carson Wentz.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- K’Lavon Chaisson-OLB/DE, LSU
The Bucs can score points, but they need guys that can be difference-makers on defense. The edge rushers for the Bucs would be Chaisson and Shaquil Barrett…. and Devin White in the middle. Pretty damn strong.
15. Denver Broncos- Laviska Shenault-WR, Colorado
When healthy Laviska scared the daylights out of opponents due to his speed, his ability to make people miss in space and he can stretch the field. Shenault will be a great downfield target for Drew Lock.
16. Atlanta Falcons- A.J. Epenesa-DE./OLB, Iowa
The Falcons need to add a top pass rusher coming off the edge. The last two seasons Epenesa has recorded 22 QB. sacks and 8 forced fumbles. The Falcons need that element on defense coming off the corner.
17. Dallas Cowboys- Grant Delpit-FS, LSU
Delpit fought off injuries throughout the 2019 season for LSU, but the talented Tiger is a very good cover safety, he has great range and he can blitz off the edge. He needs to upgrade his run defense skills/tackling, but when healthy he is a force in the secondary.
18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh Steelers)- Andrew Thomas-OT, Georgia
Someone needs to protect Tagovailoa and Thomas is a 1st rate pass blocker and also a force as a run blocker.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago Bears)- Zack Baun-OLB, Wisconsin
Raiders GM Mike Mayock loves players who are gifted athletes, play with passion and go all-out on each snap. The Raiders pick the former high school quarterback turned outside linebacker in Baun.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)- C.J. Henderson-CB, Florida
There is a big hole at cornerback for the Jaguars and the speedy and talented Henderson fills in that huge hole.
21. Indianapolis Colts deal back in Round 1 with the Philadelphia Eagles - Jordan Love-QB, Utah State
* I have the Eagles trading up for the speedy Henry Ruggs and Love becomes the future for the Colts at quarterback. Frank Reich will have some refinement work to do with Love, but he is a very gifted passer with the ability to extend plays with his legs.
22. Buffalo Bills- Brandon Aiyuk-WR, Arizona State
Aiyuk averaged 18.3 yards per catch last season for the Sun Devils with coverage rotated to his side of the field and the Bills need another offensive weapon to aid QB. Josh Allen. Brandon can also help the Bills in the return game.
23. New England Patriots- Tristan Wirfs- OT, Iowa
The Patriots always look long term and Wirfs would be a great addition to the Patriots offensive line. And Bill Belichick is close with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz.
24. New Orleans Saints- Kenneth Murray-LB, Oklahoma
It would be hard to pass on LSU’s Justin Jefferson or Clemson’s Tee Higgins, but I believe the Saints try to address their need at wide receiver via free agency. Age and injuries have the Saints looking for a young playmaking linebacker and Murray is that guy.
25. Minnesota Vikings- Josh Jones-OT, Houston
The Vikings had some real difficulties at times in 2019 protecting Kirk Cousins and Jones is a very athletic big man who projects to left tackle. This is a tough choice between Jones and USC’s Austin Jackson, but I give the nod to Jones.
26. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans)- D’Andre Swift-HB, Georgia
Swift gives the Dolphins a hard-charging back with excellent receiving skills and he has an extra gear in space to break the long runs. Swift is one of my favorites in this draft class.
27. Seattle Seahawks- Xavier McKinney-S, Alabama
McKinney is a tough guy out on the field, versatile, he has excellent coverage skills and he comes up the seam quickly to help out in run support.
28. Baltimore Ravens- Terrell Lewis-OLB, Alabama
The Ravens need to upgrade their edge pass rushing skills and they get a long, lengthy athlete with pass rush potential in Lewis.
29. Tennessee Titans- Trevon Diggs-CB, Alabama
Diggs has been a bit inconsistent at Alabama, but he has excellent size, long arms and good ball skills. The Titans will like his match-up ability against the bigger ends in the league.
30. Green Bay Packers- Justin Jefferson-WR, LSU
When QB Joe Burrow needed a big third down conversion he looked in the direction of Jefferson at LSU. He was outstanding making the big catch for LSU and he gives Aaron Rodgers another dangerous downfield weapon.
31. San Francisco 49ers- Tee Higgins-WR, Clemson
GM John Lynch adds another offensive playmaker to team up with Deebo Samuel at wide receiver for the 49ers. Jimmy G. would have Samuel, tight end George Kittle and the speedy Higgins to throw to in the future.
32. Kansas City Chiefs- Kristian Fulton-CB, LSU
LSU middle linebacker Patrick Queen may come into play here, but you never have enough good cover cornerbacks and Fulton is a steal this late in Round 1.
Early 2nd Round Projections…
33. Cincinnati Bengals- Patrick Queen-ILB. LSU
34. Indianapolis Colts (from Wash. Redskins)- Justin Madubuike-DT. Texas A&M
35. Detroit Lions- Ross Blacklock-DT. TCU
36. New York Giants- Austin Jackson-OT. USC
37. Los Angeles Chargers- J.K. Dobbins-HB. Ohio State
38. Carolina Panthers- Jaylon Johnson-CB. Utah
39. Miami Dolphins- Yetur Gross-Matos-OLB. Penn State
40. Arizona Cardinals- Marlon Davidson-DE./DT. Auburn
Mike Detillier is the editor and publisher of Mike Detillier's NFL Draft Report. Since 1985, Mike has done scouting and research on the top college football players available for the annual pro draft.
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Purchase Mike Detillier's 2020 M & D Draft Guide at www.mikedetillier.com .
Mike Detillier, based in southern Louisiana, is editor and publisher of Mike Detillier's NFL Draft Report. He's also the college and pro football analyst for WWL 870 AM Radio in New Orleans, a sports columnist for several newspapers and Web sites, and a frequent guest on radio and television programs across the country.