2020 NFL Mock Draft: CFP stars off the board early and often
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With the 2019 regular season complete and the 2020 NFL Draft just a few months away, theScore's Dane Belbeck, Daniel Wilkins, and Mike Alessandrini project the first round of selections.

1. Cincinnati Bengals - Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

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After a record-breaking season in the SEC, Burrow has emerged as the favorite to go first overall this April. The Bengals and head coach Zac Taylor opted against selecting a franchise quarterback early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but they get their guy here. - Alessandrini

2. Washington Redskins - Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State

After taking their quarterback of the future last year in Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins, the Redskins grab his former teammate with the No. 2 pick in 2020. One of the best pass-rush prospects to hit the professional ranks in recent memory, Young has Defensive Rookie of the Year potential written all over him in Jack Del Rio's defense. - Belbeck

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

The Lions' offense should be just fine when Matthew Stafford and Kerryon Johnson are back healthy. The defense is another story. Detroit using its top pick on the best cover corner in this draft would go a long way toward addressing its issues on that side of the ball. - Wilkins

4. New York Giants - Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

With Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley in the fold, Dave Gettleman can afford to select the best player available at No. 4. Right now, that's Thomas. Combining athleticism, technique, and play strength, the Georgia blocker has all the tools to evolve into a top-tier left tackle. The Nate Solder experiment has lasted far too long. - Alessandrini

5. Miami Dolphins - Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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If Tagovailoa doesn't suffer a severe hip injury in 2019, there's a good chance he's the No. 1 pick instead of Burrow. Instead, concerns over his health see the prolific Alabama passer drop to No. 5, where the Dolphins rush to the podium to draft him. The Hawaiian-born signal-caller might sit for a year to get fully healthy, but his elite ability to read coverages will be on full display once he takes the field. - Belbeck

6. Los Angeles Chargers - Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

One way or another, it's starting to seem like Philip Rivers' time as the Chargers' quarterback is over. A team with this much talent isn't going to pick this high very often, so the time to draft his replacement is now. Herbert has NFL arm talent and the ability to get out of the pocket and make plays with his legs. - Wilkins

7. Carolina Panthers - Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

We're not entirely sure who will be under center for Carolina in Week 1, but adding a player of Jeudy's caliber is never a bad idea. With the top three quarterbacks off the board, the Panthers opt for the best-player-available approach. - Alessandrini

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

The offensive line will be a critical area for the Cardinals to target this offseason after they allowed the sixth-most sacks in the league during Kyler Murray's rookie campaign. Wills was a star with Alabama this season, developing into a clear top-10 pick. He won't make it past No. 8 with Arizona on the clock. - Belbeck

9. Jacksonville Jaguars - Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

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The Jaguars need to address the secondary after Jalen Ramsey forced his way out of Jacksonville. Fulton's ability in man coverage has already earned him consideration as one of the best corners in this class, and he'd be a nice fit in Ramsey's old spot opposite A.J. Bouye. - Wilkins

10. Cleveland Browns - Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Expect Simmons' stock to soar over the next few months, as the Tigers linebacker is among the most explosive athletes in his class. He's darn good at football, too, and Cleveland could use an upgrade next to Joe Schobert. Simmons may be the final piece of the puzzle to take the Browns' defense to the next level. - Alessandrini

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

The best thing for quarterback Sam Darnold's development is a stud No. 1 receiver, and the Jets get just that with Lamb at No. 11. The Oklahoma star is an incredibly physical pass-catcher who terrorizes the opposition with his yards-after-catch ability. That should make him a fan favorite in New York. - Belbeck

12. Las Vegas Raiders - A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

The Raiders took major steps toward upgrading their defensive front by drafting Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby in last year's draft, but they can't stop there. Epenesa is another big-bodied base end who could help elevate the pass rush as the team heads to Las Vegas. - Wilkins

13. Indianapolis Colts - Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

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Chris Ballard and Co. have other needs to address, but Brown is simply too talented to pass on here. Indianapolis has made a habit of nailing value selections in the draft, and this one is no different. The Lott IMPACT Trophy winner would solidify an already stout defensive line. - Alessandrini

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Grant Delpit, S, LSU

This pick is about as easy as it gets. The Buccaneers' secondary was among the NFL's worst in 2019, and Delpit is one of the best safety prospects in recent memory. The LSU star will be a Day 1 starter for a Tampa Bay defense that desperately needs his instincts and strength. - Belbeck

15. Denver Broncos - Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

Cornerback should be a primary offseason focus for the Broncos, especially if they're unable to re-sign Chris Harris in free agency. Either way, Diggs could give Vic Fangio's defense a new No. 1 cover man to build around on the back end. - Wilkins

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

Kinlaw's stock has risen greatly since the 2019 season began, and the explosive interior defender could work his way into the top half of Round 1. With developed skills as a pass-rusher and run defender, Kinlaw is a perfect fit for Dan Quinn's defense. - Alessandrini

17. Dallas Cowboys - Shaun Wade, CB, Ohio State*

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Wade lacks experience at outside cornerback, but his versatility was on full display at Ohio State throughout 2019. His elite ball skills make him a quarterback's worst nightmare, and he's also shown ability as a tackler in the run game. Wade brings instant credibility to the Cowboys' defense, regardless of who's coaching in Dallas next season. - Belbeck

*Wade announced his return to Ohio State after this mock draft was published.

18. Miami Dolphins (from PIT) - Julian Okwara, DE, Notre Dame

After getting their quarterback of the future at No. 5, the Dolphins use their second of three first-round picks to address the second-most valuable position on the field. Okwara is one of the top pass-rushers in this class, and his stock should really begin to soar once he shows off his freak athleticism at the combine. - Wilkins

19. Las Vegas Raiders - Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Speed, speed, speed. Making a new home in Las Vegas, the Raiders must add playmakers to their offense in order to compete in a tough AFC West. Ruggs fits the bill and then some, offering the field-stretching ability Jon Gruden's squad desperately lacked in 2019. - Alessandrini

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) - Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Clemson star will immediately team with D.J. Chark and Dede Westbrook to give the Jaguars a formidable trio of receivers. Higgins excels in contested-catch situations and has the versatility to line up all over the field. - Belbeck

21. Philadelphia Eagles - Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

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NFL teams, particularly the best ones, don't allow themselves to fall into the trap of drafting only for need. For the Eagles, however, this one is just so glaring it'd be a mistake to pass on the opportunity. Hall could be a major upgrade for a secondary that played a lead role in holding Philly back in 2019. - Wilkins

22. Tennessee Titans - Yetur Gross-Matos, OLB, Penn State

Gross-Matos is a name to monitor as the combine approaches, as his athletic profile and long arms will surely spark the interest of a number of NFL squads. Tennessee will be in the hunt for a long-term piece opposite Harold Landry, and the Penn State product feels like an ideal fit here. - Alessandrini

23. Buffalo Bills - Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

Josh Allen made some solid strides in his second season with the Bills, and the addition of Shenault gives him another weapon to continue that growth in 2020. The Colorado star is arguably the toughest receiver in the draft, a trait that will immediately endear him to fans in Buffalo. - Belbeck

24. Minnesota Vikings - Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

The Vikings have the quarterback and the skill-position talent to field a high-powered offense. Further upgrades on the offensive line will be key to maximizing Minnesota's potential, and Wirfs represents just that at either tackle or guard. - Wilkins

25. Miami Dolphins (from HOU) - D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

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How about a backfield companion for Tua? Miami goes back to the offensive side of the ball with its third first-round pick, adding a dynamic playmaker who fills a major position of need in Swift. If any running back has a shot at being selected on Day 1, the Bulldogs star is the best bet. - Alessandrini

26. Seattle Seahawks - Jonathan Greenard, DE, Florida

Greenard broke out as a graduate transfer with the Gators, playing his way into the first-round conversation. The stud pass-rusher fits Pete Caroll's defense to a tee and is the perfect replacement for Jadeveon Clowney should Seattle lose Clowney this offseason. - Alessandrini

27. New England Patriots - Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

New England goes with a first-round receiver for the second time in as many years, pairing Reagor with 2018 top pick N'Keal Harry in an effort to solve its increasingly concerning issues in the passing game. Quarterback could also be a consideration in this spot, whether or not Tom Brady is back for another year. - Wilkins

28. New Orleans Saints - Shane Lemieux, G, Oregon

Arguably the top interior lineman in the 2020 class, Lemieux will likely receive a first-round grade from a number of teams. New Orleans doesn't have many needs on its balanced roster, but bolstering the blocking unit would make Alvin Kamara and Co. all the more dangerous. - Alessandrini

29. Kansas City Chiefs - Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

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Andy Reid adds yet another piece to his offensive track team with the blazing running back from Clemson. Etienne clocked a sub-4.40 time in the 40-yard dash as a senior in high school and has been blowing past defenses across college football for three years. The Chiefs' offense is already borderline impossible to slow down, and the addition of Etienne only makes that task tougher. - Belbeck

30. Green Bay Packers - Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama

Receiver is the most obvious need, but the Packers must also prioritize an interior defensive line that's been gashed in the running game this year. Lining Davis up alongside Kenny Clark would help strengthen that weakness, and his ability to penetrate makes Davis a fantastic complement to the dynamic duo of Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith on the edge. - Wilkins

31. San Francisco 49ers - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Yes, seven receivers in the first round is entirely possible. In a star-studded class, Jefferson deserves to hear his name called in Round 1 after an incredible 2019 campaign. The LSU product offers the size and downfield ball-tracking that the 49ers' receiving corps currently lacks. - Alessandrini

32. Baltimore Ravens - K'Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU

Another Tigers product on a hot streak, Chaisson elevated his game in 2019 and could find himself a top-32 selection. The athletic pass-rusher fills a major need on Baltimore's defense and will be viewed as one of the better players available in this spot. - Alessandrini

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2020 NFL Mock Draft: CFP stars off the board early and often
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