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2020 NFL mock draft: How things look after NFL free agency

With a lot of the big moves made in NFL free agency, let’s see how that might impact the NFL draft.

Getty Images/Pete Rogers Illustrations

With NFL free agency slowing down, and every one sitting at home with nothing to do, what better time than now for me to jump on and give you a “post” (it’s not really post but a lot of big stuff has gone down) NFL free agency mock draft.

There’ve been a bunch of moves this offseason that will have drastic impact on the draft and how aggressive teams might be in moving around the board. Will the Patriots stay put at 23 or move up to get a franchise quarterback? What will the 49ers do with their new-found TWO first round picks? Same with the Vikings. There’s a lot of space for wild speculation and we all know that that is the world I love to operate in.

Before we get to my mock, I hope everyone is safe and doing their part to help prevent the spread of this epidemic. Stay home and safe, not just for yourself but for thousands of other people you could impact.

Anyways, here’s Wonderwall...

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Never. Changing.

2. Washington: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

In my post-combine mock I had the Dolphins trading up for Tua with the notion that Washington might try and play up the fact that they cooooould take Tua and that they maybe don’t have the utmost faith in Dwayne Haskins. I don’t think that’s going to happen and Washington might not want to pass on someone as good and disruptive as Young.

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

The Lions traded away Darius Slay and while they signed veteran corner Desmond Trufant, they still need a lot of help in the secondary (the entire defense really needs help). Okudah is the clear number one corner in this draft and would make an impact in Detroit day one.

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

TRADE: Chargers trade 6, 37 to Giants for 4

SHOULD HAVE TANKED HARDER MIAMI! The Chargers have been SO adamant that they are heading into 2020 with Tyrod Taylor under center that it has me thinking they have something up their sleeve. They’re opening a new stadium, announcing new jerseys and logo, go get Tua and make him the face of the new LA Chargers.

5. Miami Dolphins: Isaiah Simmons, EVERYTHING, Clemson

The Dolphins are in a panic here with their boy Tua off the board and rather than take Justin Herbert here, I think they decide to bring back the tank in 2020 (2 Tank 2 Trevor) and take the best available player and that is Simmons. He’d be the perfect chess piece for Brian Flores’ now revamped defense.

6. New York Giants (via Chargers): Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Even with the trade down, the Giants still get their man to help sure-up their offensive line. Wirfs would instantly start and be an upgrade at tackle for the G-men.

7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

The Panthers have been all in on offense this offseason adding Teddy Bridgewater and Robby Anderson. Now they turn to the defense and add a run-stuffing, pass-rushing big man in the middle of their defensive line.

8. Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama

Kyler Murray needs to be able to stand in the pocket and throw to DEANDRE FREAKING HOPKINS BECAUSE BILL O’BRIEN IS AN IDIOT AND KLIFF KINGSBURY AND THE CARDINALS ARE GODDAMN GENIUSES.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

The Jaguars could certainly take a corner here after trading away A.J. Bouye but they also traded away Nick Foles meaning they are firmly on Gardner Minshew II Mania Boulevard. Go get your young quarterback a game breaking receiver. Why not?

10. Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

The Browns offense is again loaded with weapons after adding Austin Hooper to the mix. Becton would sure-up the offensive line and give Baker Mayfield and time and confidence to sit in the pocket and utilize all the talent around him.

11. New York Jets: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Jets signed George Fant to a big deal meaning they probably won’t look to go offensive tackle here. With Tom Brady out of New England, the AFC East is ripe for the picking. The Bills went out and got themselves a number one receiver in Stefon Diggs, now the Jets do the same with Jeudy.

Southern Miss v Alabama Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

And the run on receivers continues. I have faith that Ruggs can be a WR1 by himself and the Raiders certainly could use a legit number one threat. Pairing him with Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow doesn’t sound the most intimidating but that’s a very good trio of receivers.

13. San Francisco 49ers (via Colts): CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

I know I’m the one who made this mock and I could’ve made one of Jeudy or Lamb fall to the 49ers here but DAMN I wish that had naturally happened. Both of those guys would be amazing in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, especially Lamb. Still, Henderson is an excellent corner who can learn under Richard Sherman who’s a free agent at the end of 2020.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Now that the Buccaneers have Tom Brady under center, they need to make sure they can keep him upright and healthy. Going tackle is the clear move and Thomas is the best name still on the board.

15. Denver Broncos: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

John Elway just can’t help himself. Yes the Broncos have said that Drew Lock is their guy blah blah blah, but you’re gonna tell me Elway is going to pass on a 6-foot-6 QB who can thrown 60-yards downfield flat footed? Yea, that’s not happening.

16. Atlanta Falcons: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

The Falcons helped their outside pressure signing Dante Fowler Jr. to a big time deal and now they address pressure up the middle getting Kinlaw who can lineup all over the defense and consistently push the pocket.

17. Dallas Cowboys: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

McKinney can play all over the field and could help replace Byron Jones who left to sign a monster deal with the Dolphins.

18. Miami Dolphins (via Steelers): Josh Jones, OT, Houston

The Dolphins have invested a bunch into their defense and pass rush this offseason, signing Shaq Lawson, Emmanuel Ogbah, and Kyle Van Noy, and then of course getting Simmons back at number 5. So instead of defense, the Dolphins look to build their offensive line with Jones who’s an athletic power blocker who could push into the starting lineup.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Bears): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

Normally the pick here is Kenneth Murray at linebacker but the Raiders have filled that hole signing Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski. That leaves corner as the biggest need for this defense and Las Vegas is happy to have Fulton sitting there waiting for them.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams): K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

The Jaguars traded away Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue is less than pleased to have received the franchise tag. In my mind, the Jaguars could go either Chaisson or A.J. Epenesa here but I went Chaisson to more or less replace Ngakoue.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Sticking with Jefferson here since the Eagles have done a whole bunch of nothing at the wide receiver position in free agency and need some serous help there. Jefferson would quickly become another young offensive weapon to pair with Carson Wentz and Miles Sanders.

22. Minnesota Vikings (via Bills): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

It might be a little awkward to draft Stefon Diggs’ brother after just trading him, but the Vikings need help at corner after losing/releasing most of their starting squad and Diggs would be an instant contributor for them.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 05 Utah State at LSU Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

23. New England Patriots: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Here’s what I wrote in my last mock:

Regardless if Tom Brady comes back to New England (which he will, let’s all relax... I SAID RELAX EVERYONE), the Patriots need to get themselves a future franchise quarterback. Love showed the athleticism at the combine that is a must in today’s quarterback and a strong arm to boot.

*sigh*

24. New Orleans Saints: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

The Saints brought in Emmanuel Sanders to be that number two receiver they’ve been desperately searching for, leaving this pick open to go defense. Gladney has the height and quickness to lock down opposing receivers and brings the punch in the run game.

25. Minnesota Vikings: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Minnesota has a big ol’ hole at number two receiver after trading Diggs and Higgins can help fill that. He’s a big receiver who can make plays downfield and will catch everything that Kirk Cousins tosses near him. He’ll make a great partner to Adam Thielen working out of the slot.

26. Carolina Panthers: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

TRADE: Panthers send 38, 69 to Dolphins for 26

The Panthers continue to build their defense, adding hopefully the Luke Kuechly replacement for the middle of their defense and get ahead of the Ravens, Chiefs, and Packers who could all use a rangy linebacker like Queen.

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

Maybe the Seahawks will bring back Jadeveon Clowney, but the Hawks NEED pass rushing help after only recording 28 total sacks last year. Gross-Matos recorded at least 8 sacks in his last two collegiate seasons and can make an impact in the run game as well.

28. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

Somehow the Ravens yet again get the exact perfect defensive player missing from their team. Murray can make plays all over the field and will plug in and play day one without a hiccup.

29. Tennessee Titans: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

The Titans have made a few moves along their defensive line, trading away Jurrell Casey and signing Vic Beasley. Epenesa can bump inside and adds another young piece to go along with last year’s first round pick Jeffery Simmons.

30. Green Bay Packers: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

It’s not a super sexy pick, but the Packers need to make sure Aaron Rodgers is protected, especially with Bryan Bulaga leaving in free agency. Jalen Reagor or Denzel Mims also make sense for the Packers at wide receiver, but one of them might be able to sneak their way to Green Bay in the second round.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

With Emmanuel Sanders out of the building, the 49ers could use another wide receiver to pair with Deebo Samuel and newly-signed Travis Benjamin. Shenault would be yet another offensive weapon for Kyle Shanahan to deploy in his offense and the amount of motion, screens, sweeps he could do with Shenault and Samuel would make defense’s heads spin.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama

There’s some risk with Lewis who suffered season-ending injuries in both 2017 and 2018 but he was healthy for 2019 and racked up six sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss. Just another solid piece on an emerging defense for the defending champs.