Do you miss live sports as much as I do? Well strap in, because the closest thing we’re going to get to it is happening tonight.
It's the 2020 NFL Draft! Instead of watching Aaron Judge and Steph Curry right now, we will have to settle for Roger Goodell, possibly in a basement that’s nicer than my entire neighborhood.
In anticipation of this momentous event (lots of cutaways to college kids in their living rooms?) I have put together my second annual mock draft. Last year I really screwed the pooch, but in my defense, I’m pretty sure at least a third of the GMs in the NFL are complete morons too (I’m looking at you Dave Caldwell). This year should be no different. In fact, NFL Insider Ian Rapoport said an unnamed NFL GM told him the mocks drafts this year were “wronger than ever.” What do I take away from this? There’s a guy who uses the word “wronger” out there who holds an entire franchises’s future in his hands.
But, I digress. If I get more than half of these right, I’ll watch “Joker” Friday night. If you’re a frequent listener of the Funny Business Podcast, you’ll know what that means. If not, I probably seem like a wimp.
1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) - Joe Burrow, QB LSU
There’s a 99.99% chance this is the pick. It has to be. For this long suffering franchise, they finally have their guy under center. Maybe.
2. Washington Team (3-13) - Chase Young, Edge Ohio State
The best player in the draft falls into the Washington’s lap, and as a Giants fan, I am furious about it. We will have to find a way to block this guy. But more on that later.
3. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) - Jeff Okudah, CB Ohio State
Detroit has a ton of holes to fill, so pretty much any position should be in play here, even QB. But I’m going with Jeff Okudah for back to back Ohio State players in the top 5, and a replacement for the recently traded Darius Slay.
4. New York Giants (4-12) - Tristan Wirfs, OL Iowa
I told you we have to block Chase Young, right? Protecting Daniel Jones and opening holes for Saquon Barkley has to be the priority right now. This draft is absolutely loaded with offensive linemen, so this has to be the pick. I’m giving Wirfs the edge over the other top guys because he seems like the most fundamentally sound player, so I think that will entice Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge to pull the trigger on the big guy from Iowa. (Side note: I really like Isaiah Simmons a lot here, but it’s not as safe of a pick for the Giants, so I think they go OL. I hope I’m wrong).
5. Miami Dolphins (5-11) - Justin Herbert, QB Oregon
Miami’s owner wants Tua, but head coach Brian Flores and GM Chris Grier both came from New England, and Darth Belichick would never pick a QB this high, or one with so many questions. Herbert is the guy, because they desperately need a QB and he’s a tall guy.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) - Jordan Love, QB Utah State
Here’s my first attempt at being “wronger.” A lot of mocks have either Tua or Herbert going here to fill an obvious need at QB. But what if Herbert goes first, and then LA gets scared by Tua’s health concerns? It could happen!
7. Carolina Panthers (5-11) - Isaiah Simmons, LB/S Clemson
New Head Coach Matt Rhule will be salivating over Simmons still being on the board outside the top 5. For a team with a ton of holes all over the defense, the versatile Simmons can fill several.
8. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) - Jedrick Wills, OL Alabama
I almost mocked a WR here to make Arizona’s offense even more potent after the Deandre Hopkins trade, but after I thought about it I made the safer pick. Protecting Kyler Murray over giving him another weapon ultimately wins.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) - CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma
I think it’s more likely that the Jags trade back to acquire more draft capital, but also I already slammed Dave Caldwell in the intro, so who knows if he can even be trusted to do that? If they’re going to start Uncle Rico at QB again this year, he needs weapons.
10. Cleveland Browns (6-10) - Mekhi Becton, OL Louisville
I’m a little worried that Baker Mayfield won’t be able to see over the tallest lineman in the first round, but I think they need to take the risk. He’s never going to develop if he doesn’t have time to throw.
11. New York Jets (7-9) - Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama
The Jets need offensive line help, and receiver help, and this draft is chock full of both. I’m giving them a receiver first, because I think there’s more depth at OL, so they can address that later.
12. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) - Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama
Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are in dire need of playmakers, so I’m going with back to back Crimson Tide receivers, to help out whoever is under center in Sin City next season (more on that later).
13. San Francisco 49ers (via 7-9 Indianapolis Colts) - Derrick Brown, DL Auburn
The 49ers acquired this pick in exchange for DeForest Buckner, so Jon Lynch does the most boring thing possible and uses it to replace him.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) - Andrew Thomas, OL Georgia
Gotta protect Brady. He’s the same age as Al Bundy during the first season of “Married… With Children.”
15. Denver Broncos (7-9) - CJ Henderson, CB Florida
The Broncos let Chris Harris Jr walk this offseason, so they really need somebody opposite AJ Bouye.
16. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) - K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge LSU
The Falcons are going to take their yearly stab at a pass rusher early in the draft. Hey at least their new uniforms are absolutely atrocious, so it won’t be the worst thing on the field each week.
17. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) - Xavier McKinney, S Alabama
With Tua still on the board, Stephen Jones will have to find a way to sabotage his dad’s remote draft technology. Maybe just open a word document on his laptop and tell him it’s his draft board. Anyway, they’ve needed a safety for a decade.
18. Miami Dolphins (via 8-8 Pittsburgh Steelers) - Josh Jones, OL Houston
Miami has the QB, and with the run on WRs earlier, they’re not able to get him a weapon just let. Protecting him might be more important anyway.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via 8-8 Chicago Bears) - Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
Finally! A guy who was projected to go first overall in many mocks during the season last year finally sees his free fall stop. Does Jon Gruden need him after signing Marcus Mariota this offseason, while also having the other guy (Derek something) still under contract? Absolutely not. But what they do need is a true face of the franchise. Plus re-teaming him with his college teammate Jeudy is just too good to pass up.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via 9-7 Los Angeles Rams) - Javon Kinlaw, DL South Carolina
The Jags have their offensive weapon, so now they address the trenches. At this point I would take the highest rated player on either side of the ball.
21. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) - Tee Higgins, WR Clemson
This might be Carson Wentz’s last chance to prove that he can be “the guy” so we might as well let him do it with some new toys. Any other year, Higgins might sniff the top ten, but this year’s class is just too good.
22. Minnesota Vikings (via 10-6 Buffalo Bills) AJ Epenesa, Edge Iowa
Even if Everson Griffen does come back next year, which seems unlikely, they need to get more help up front on defense.
23. New England Patriots (12-4) Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge Penn State
As I mentioned before, Belichick is not going for a QB in round one, not that there’s one worth taking at this point. Hell, he doesn’t even dip into the still deep pool of receivers left. No, the man who still maintains that Lawrence Taylor is the best player he ever coached grabs a player to pair with Chase Winovich off the edge and continues to terrorize the young QBs in the AFC East.
24. New Orleans Saints (13-3) - AJ Terrell, CB Clemson
With their Super bowl window rapidly closing, the Saints opt to fill one of the few holes they have left after they let Eli Apple walk this offseason. I’m tempted to give them a WR here, but that seems like an unnecessary luxury pick.
25. Minnesota Vikings (10-6) - Justin Jefferson, WR LSU
After trading away Stefon Diggs this offseason, the Vikings find Adam Thielen’s new running mate with their second pick in the first round.
26. Miami Dolphins (via 10-6 Houston Texans) - Patrick Queen, LB LSU
After giving the Dolphins their QB of the future and a tackle to protect him, I’m giving Miami a true difference maker on defense. In an ideal world, he’s the captain of their defense for years to come.
27. Seattle Seahawks (11-5) Austin Jackson, OL USC
If they aren’t able to lure Jadeveon Clowney back to town, I think an edge rusher should be in play here. For the meantime, I will continue the run on offensive linemen, giving Pete Carroll a versatile player who might have to switch positions at the next level, but offers a ton of upside nonetheless.
28. Baltimore Ravens (14-2) Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma
The tradition of game changing linebackers continues in Baltimore. Honestly the more I think about it, the more I think Murray doesn’t make it out of the top 15. But the way things shake out in my mock (again, trying to be wronger), he’s here and the Ravens snatch him up.
29. Tennessee Titans (9-7) - Ross Blacklock, DL TCU
This is mostly a value pick for the Titans. They surprisingly have few holes to fill, so here they go with the best front seven guy on the board.
30. Green Bay Packers (13-3) - Brandon Aiyuk, WR Arizona State
Green Bay’s receivers are Devante Adams and… Jeff something, maybe? Aaron Rodgers is still the youngest of the elder statesmen at QB, but that can go south incredibly quickly without help. Aiyuk was made for this offense, and it’s a gift that he’s falling right into their lap.
31. San Francisco 49ers (13-3) - Grant Delpit, S LSU
The super bowl runners up shore up the back end of their defense, hoping for a game changing player that can stop people like Pat Mahomes and Tyreek Hill if they can get back to the biggest stage.
32. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) - D’Andre Swift, RB Georgia
The defending champs have under $200 in cap space available (seriously, look it up), so I would prefer that they trade back out of this spot to get more picks and avoid the more costly first round contract. But for the sake of this mock, I’ll have them stay put and take the best RB on the board to pair with that already potent offense.