Marino's 2020 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

I implore you to read the lede in every article, but especially in Mock Drafts. Chances are that you’ve already buzzed past it to scroll down and see if you like the pick I gave your team. If you are reading this, then you are everything that is right in this world. 

Mock Drafts that are written prior to a finalized draft order are usually met with heated feedback from readers regarding how the draft order is decided upon. It’s often the case that readers believe the author slotted the teams in the order he/she believes they will ultimately be picking, but the truth is the order is based on current reverse Super Bowl odds. 

If you are a Draft Dudes Podcast listener then you are aware that Kyle Crabbs and I predicted every game for the 2019 NFL season. In doing so, we have a draft order based on those results and that is exactly what I used to write this mock draft. If you aren’t a Draft Dudes listener, I kindly ask that you change that and give us a try. We have a lot of fun and talk ball. Who doesn’t like that? 

I’ll write several Mock Drafts between now and my final edition where I look to claim my second all-time Huddle Report Mock Draft accuracy championship. Use this as a starting point for where team needs may end up and the range these prospects could be selected. 

As always, I don’t just write articles and then hit the golf course. I’m here to engage so please hit me up on Twitter with all your feedback, comments and questions.

Each prospect name is clickable to read multiple scouting profiles from our staff members.

1. Arizona Cardinals, WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

Year One of the Kingsbury-Murray Era is likely to features its share of ups and downs. Should Arizona end up with the top pick overall, trading back would likely be an attractive option but it's September and I’m nowhere ready to start projecting trades in mock drafts. 

With that in mind, let’s get Murray a true No.1 wide receiver. An explosive, twitchy and dynamic athlete, Jeudy has exceptionally quick feet and is an easy separator. He’s rapid, fluid and capable of putting corners in a blender. Combine that with exceptional post-catch ability and ball skills, Jeudy possess every trait imaginable in a No. 1 receiver in today’s NFL

2. Cincinnati Bengals, QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

I like a lot of the top talent eligible for the 2020 NFL Draft, but my absolute favorite prospect is Tagovailoa. His comfort in the pocket and ability to function amid chaos is a beautiful sight. He is an accurate passer to all levels of the field and he features that same “playmaking instinct” that you find in the last two No. 1 overall picks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. 

Time for the Bengals to get out of quarterback purgatory and give head coach Zac Taylor a franchise guy to build his offense around. 

3. Miami Dolphins, QB Justin Herbert, Oregon

Are there any other options? The Dolphins haven’t made all these moves recently to not come out of the 2020 Draft with a franchise quarterback. Ideally for Miami, the Dolphins would earn the No. 1 overall pick and have its pick of the litter but between Herbert and Tua, there isn’t a consensus top quarterback at this point. 

Herbert features exceptional physical tools, plenty of starting experience and the overall makeup of a dynamic starting NFL quarterback. 

4. New York Giants, EDGE Chase Young, Ohio State

In Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson and BJ Hill, Dave Gettleman has assembled a trio of tanks along the Giants’ defensive line. What’s missing is anything dynamic to generate pass rush off the edge. Enter Chase Young. 

Young is a blend of size, strength, fluidity and explosive quickness that profiles as a top edge rusher at the next level. For New York to gain ground on the Eagles and Cowboys, game-changing talents have to be added and Young fits the bill. 

5. Jacksonville Jaguars, WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma

You can talk about Dede Westbrook all you want but every NFL team has a Westrook-esque weapon on its offense. There is no playmaker on this Jaguars’ offense that will cause an NFL defensive coordinator to lose a second of sleep over figuring out how to stop. Committed to Nick Foles as the quarterback moving forward, he deserves to be surrounded with better weaponry. 

Prior to 2019, Lamb racked up 111 receptions for 1,965 yards (17.7 average) and 18 touchdowns despite not necessarily being the No. 1 receiver with Marquise Brown also in the mix at Oklahoma. His ball skills and body control are elite traits while has hands and route running prowess are also outstanding. He makes the best adjustments to the football of any receiver I have scouted for the 2020 class.

6. Oakland Raiders, EDGE AJ Epenesa, Iowa

One year after drafting Clelin Ferrell in the top five, the Raiders still need more at defensive end and it’s a position worth investing a premium selection on. 

Epenesa is exactly the type of defensive end we’ve come to learn Paul Guenther prefers. While some teams want the twitchy, bursty and flexible ends, Guenther has traditionally gravitated towards the heavy-handed, long and powerful edge defenders that can really compromise the width of the pocket and squeeze gaps. That’s Epenesa to a t. 

7. Washington Redskins, OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia

With the Trent Williams situation unresolved, Washington has a massive hole at left tackle. While not having a sound option at left tackle is an issue for any team, it’s especially concerning for the Redskins who just invested a first round pick in a quarterback that lacks mobility in Dwayne Haskins. 

Thomas is such a clean projection to the next level. A four-star recruit, Thomas has started all 28 games at left tackle since he set foot on campus. A 2018 All-SEC First Team Selection, Thomas was a Second Team All-American as a true sophomore. He has the size, mobility, power and technique to become one of the best tackles in football. 

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, S Grant Delpit, LSU

I know the Bucs selected six defensive backs across the last two drafts but none of them are a good enough reason to not make Delpit the choice in this scenario. With top edge rushers Chase Young and AJ Epenesa off the board, this is truly a best player available pick and it happens to come on defense which is still very much under construction in Tampa. 

Along the lines of Jamal Adams and Derwin James, Delpit is do-everything safety that creates scheme diversity because of his versatility. He has game-changing ability as an impact defender that would add another exciting building block on defense to go with Devin White. 

9. San Francisco 49ers, CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford

I love Adebo and he’s my top corner prospect at this point. He’s fluid, instinctive, physical, smart and showcases outstanding ball skills - everything you’re looking for in a No. 1 corner. Has Ahkello Witherspoon plateaued? What’s left in the tank for Richard Sherman? Is there any reason to ever believe Jason Verrett can stay healthy? 

With that many legitimate questions at the position, cornerback is a need for San Francisco. Oh, and there’s that whole John Lynch-Stanford connection. 

10. Detroit Lions, CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

I feel like we’ve been talking about Detroit finding an answer opposite Darius Slay for a decade now and it’s time to settle things once and for all with a top prospect like Fulton. Justin Coleman should be a great addition for the Lions, but he’s most effective as a slot corner. 

Fulton is an outstanding press-man corner with natural mirroring skills. His ball skills are excellent and he’d be the ideal complement to Slay. Finally. 

11. Denver Broncos, C Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin

To replace Matthew Paradis, Denver is counting on Connor McGovern to fill the void who also happens to be playing on an expiring contract. With the Broncos being very deliberate in recent years to solidify its offensive line, investing a top pick on a center of Biadasz’s caliber makes sense. 

Biadasz is a game-changing interior blocker that comes with the coveted Wisconsin pedigree. He offers incredible play strength, mobility and football intelligence that destins him for a career littered with Pro Bowl Honors.

12. New York Jets, OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa

In Kelvin Beachum and Brandon Shell, the Jets have surrounded franchise quarterback Sam Darnold with replacement-level starters at offensive tackle and both have contracts that expire after the season. Time to add some talent and Wirf is insanely gifted. 

Wirfs is a prototype in terms of size but he has rare mobility and devastating power to go with looking the part. He’d be an outstanding addition to give New York a long-term solution on its offensive line where there currently are very few. 

13. Indianapolis Colts, QB Jordan Love, Utah State

In the aftermath of Andrew Luck’s sudden retirement, Indy handed out a contract extension to Jacoby Brissett and agreed to terms with Brian Hoyer on a three-year contract -- neither of those moves preclude the Colts from being in the quarterback market of next year’s draft. 

While Love has some processing improvements that are needed, his physical traits are exceptional. A year behind Brissett could position him to take over the offense in 2021. 

14. Tennessee Titans, C Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma 

I was blown away by Humphrey’s 2018 tape as a redshirt freshman in his first game action. Showcasing exceptional power at the point of attack, he blocks with and edge while showcasing a finishers mentality. His hands are powerful and his anchor is stout in pass protection. I like what he’s shown in terms of hitting blocks on the move and his overall mobility is impressive. 

Humphrey could be a big upgrade to the interior of the Titans' line.  

15. Carolina Panthers, DL Derrick Brown, Auburn

At first glance, you may be surprised to see me having Carolina going with a defensive linemen. Before I get into why it makes sense, understand that Brown at No. 15 is incredible value. He has Chris Jones/Fletcher Cox like upside. 

While there’s a lot to like about Carolina’s defensive line rotation, there are questions beyond this season. Mario Addison, Bruce Irvin, Gerald McCoy, Vernon Butler and Kyle Love are all set to be free agents after the season and it’s time to continue adding talented youth to the mix. 

16. Buffalo Bills, EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU

Buffalo has a unique player in Lorenzo Alexander that fills an important role for one of the league’s best defenses. Alexander plays SAM linebacker in 4-3 base defense but also provides the Bills with a versatile pass rusher from both the inside and outside. The list of players that can do that and do it well only includes Alexander. A critical team leader, Alexander is 37 and his status is year-to-year at this point. 

Chaisson is the type of talent that can fill the Alexander role for Sean McDermott. While he needs to develop his pass rushing skill set, every important tool in terms of length, power, flexibility and burst are present for him to emerge. And despite him lacking experience, he’s already proven his ability to win in space. He's exceptionally gifted.

17. Baltimore Ravens, WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado

Baltimore added several new weapons around Lamar Jackson in the last two drafts but the opportunity to insert Shenault into the mix isn’t one that should be passed up. 

A three-level threat, Shenault is the type of weapon that can be deployed in a variety of ways. You can funnel the passing game through him volume targets and have him to create, hand the ball off to him or ask him to get behind the secondary. He’s an exciting blend of size, strength and athletic ability.

18. Minnesota Vikings, CB Jeffery Okudah, Ohio State

Minnesota loves drafting cornerbacks in the first round and this one makes a lot of sense. First, Okudah is arguably the best player on the board in this scenario and corner is a sneaky need for the Vikings. With Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander playing on expiring contracts, Minnesota could be in the market. 

Okudah has rapid feet, fluid hips and wonderful body control that make him a high upside option for man coverage duties. If he makes more plays on the ball in 2019, he won’t be around at this point of the Draft. 

19. Seattle Seahawks, LB/S Isaiah Simmons, Clemson

This would be a dream come true in Seattle. A perfect fit in terms of the size and athletic ability component that Seattle always covets, Simmons would provide the Seahawks with a highly versatile chess piece for Ken Norton Jr.’s defense. 

Whether using him in split zones as a safety, man coverage against tight ends or as a traditional weakside linebacker, the possibilities are endless for Simmons. He can fill the Kam Chancellor role with a better athlete. 

20. Dallas Cowboys, S Xavier McKinney, Alabama

In a division that features the likes of Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert and Evan Engram and tight end, McKinney is the perfect piece to add to the defense to serve as a matchup eraser. 

While Dallas is building a fairly complete roster, Jeff Heath continues to be a starter at safety and it's time to upgrade. A versatile defender, McKinney has the physical gifts needed to win in deep zones, man coverage and playing closer to the line of scrimmage. I know some Cowboys fans are high on Donovan Wilson but he isn’t a good enough reason to not consider a talent like McKinney. 

21. Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans, OT Lucas Niang, TCU

While Miami certainly received a king’s ransom for Laremy Tunsil, the reality is that one of the picks acquired for him will need to be used on his replacement. Regardless of what young quarterback Miami commits to, he’s going to need a vastly upgraded offensive line. 

Niang is massive, mobile and powerful with all the makings of premier NFL blindside protector with some technical development. 

22. Los Angeles Chargers, RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia 

You know head coach Anthony Lynn is going to want to have a talented feature back and the relationship with Melvin Gordon is souring as his contract is set to expire. Why pay Gordon a mega deal that he will demand when you can just draft his replacement and invest in a younger option?

Swift is a nuanced runner with tremendous power, vision, burst, receiving skills and tremendous character to boot. 

23. Oakland Raiders via Chicago Bears, LB Dylan Moses, Alabama

The second level of the Raiders defense severely lacks range which is a problem in today’s NFL where offenses attack defenses with pace and space. That issue can be solved with the addition of Moses.

Yes, Moses is going to miss the entire season with an ACL tear in August, but he proved enough last season with Alabama to be deserving of a first round pick. With linebackers Myles Jack and Jaylon Smith suffering ACL tears during their final college seasons and having great starts to their respective careers, there is a blueprint for success with Moses. Both Smith and Jack recently inked massive contract extensions. 

24. Atlanta Falcons, EDGE Alton Robinson, Syracuse

Investing premium assets to create the edge rushing tandem of Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley, the duo hasn’t lived up to expectations. Opportunities have to be created for Beasley to get home and McKinley has been anything but consistent. Beasley’s contract expires after the season and that promises to be a challenging negotiation given his inconsistency. 

Atlanta could just draft his replacement in Robinson who has the athleticism, length and flexibility to be a standout edge rusher in Dan Quinn’s defense. 

25. Cleveland Browns, OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama

Cleveland’s been aggressive to build up the overall talent on the roster but it has come at the expense of the offensive line. With so many dynamic offensive weapons and an exciting young quarterback in Baker Mayfield, John Dorsey has to get serious about fortifying things up front to not waste them.

Leatherwood is kicking out to left tackle this season and he has the skill set to thrive. Featuring terrific length and athleticism, Leatherwood has outstanding power. He’s scheme-versatile and is building the pedigree of an early NFL starter. He could be the long-term answer at left tackle in Cleveland. 

26. Pittsburgh Steelers, WR Henry Ruggs, Alabama

Part of taking advantage of the open window to win with Ben Roethlisberger is making sure he was the weapons in the passing game necessary to keep the offense in Pittsburgh explosive. Right now when it comes to receiver, it’s JuJu Smith-Schuster and some young guys Pittsburgh is hopeful will emerge.  

While Jerry Jeudy gets most of the hype when it comes to the Bama wide receiver corps, there isn’t much of a drop off when it comes to Henry Ruggs. He’ll test with rare speed at the Combine and present a weapon that very few - if any - players on opposing defenses can keep pace with. And Ruggs isn’t just a fast guy, his football skills are present at a high level. Pop on the tape and you’ll see a guy that can win in contested situations and features excellent ball skills. I love the way he competes as a blocker, route runner and with the ball in his hands

27. Green Bay Packers, CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson

The Packers’ have invested heavily in its secondary in recent drafts but despite those efforts, the 36 year old Tramon Williams is still being asked to play on every down. Kevin King has been inconsistent and Josh Jackson has yet to grab meaningful playing time. 

While Jaire Alexander looks like a star in the making, adding Terrell to the mix would give Green Bay one of the most exciting young corner tandems in football. Terrell is a standout in man coverage with superb mirroring skills, quick feet, fluid hips and an aggressive demeanor. 

28. Los Angeles Rams, CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama

The Talib-Peters duo that was expected to be among the best corner tandems in the league hasn’t proven to be the case. Both have been inconsistent and Talib was limited to just eight games last season due to injury while both are on expiring contracts. 

Diggs is long, rangy and physical with tremendous ball skills. He would add much-needed youth to the Rams cornerback room that is likely to be rebuilt in the offseason. 

29. New England Patriots, DL Raekwon Davis, Alabama

New England loves long-levered, versatile and heavy handed defensive linemen and that’s exactly what they’d be getting in Davis. Built like San Francisco 49ers superstar defensive linemen DeForest Buckner, Davis features a stout anchor and fluid mobility in every direction. 

There is some technical nuance needed to maximize his physical gifts and become a more consistent playmaker but Davis has considerable upside at the next level. 

30. New Orleans Saints, WR Jalen Reagor, TCU

At wide receiver, Drew Brees has Michael Thomas and ??? Exactly - nothing that exciting. To maximize what’s left in the tank for Brees, New Orleans should bolster its pass catching options. 

Whether as a route runner or with the ball in his hands, this is a dude that create all kinds of space for himself. Featuring world-class speed, Reagor is a true home run threat that can get vertical. What’s unique about Reagor is his body composition for a guy with so much juice. He doesn’t have a diminutive frame by any means and features plenty of thickness and muscular definition. He has some cleaning up to do with his hands and needs to showcase more physicality, but Reagor is a dynamic football player.

31. Kansas City Chiefs, CB Bryce Hall, Virginia

I love the strides Kansas City has made this past offseason to improve the defense but there’s still more work to be done. From a draft perspective, I’m a big fan of 2019 second round pick Juan Thornhill and pairing him with his former teammate Bryce Hall would be tremendous. 

Hall checks a LOT of boxes. He's long, athletic, physical and brings exceptional ball skills to the table. He’s been dominant in coverage, making routine plays on the ball and working from a variety of techniques. A converted wide receiver, Hall offers an exciting ceiling given his newness to the position and how he's already performing.

32. Philadelphia Eagles, LB/S Hamsah Nasirlideen, Florida State

I love the idea of getting Jim Schwartz a chess piece like Nasirlideen that can serve as a matchup eraser. He can play in deep zones, man coverage, split zones or as a traditional weakside linebacker. 

Listed at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Nasirildeen features great length and an exciting frame to grow into. His stocky build is noticeable from the waist down and it’s apparent that he isn’t anywhere near maxed out in the upper half. He’s an explosive and fluid mover in all directions, rounding out his highly appealing physical skill set. Nasirlideen led FSU in tackles in 2018 and should continue his development this season as he boosts his draft stock.

Written By:

Joe Marino

Director of Administration

Director of Administration & Senior NFL Draft Analyst for The Draft Network. Co-host of the Draft Dudes podcast. Member of the FWAA.