2020 NFL Mock Draft 2: Dolphins, Chargers land QBs of the future
theScore

With the 2019 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

As weird as it is to say so early in the draft process, anyone other than Burrow at No. 1 would mark a massive upset. You can go ahead and lock it in - at long last, Cincinnati gets its quarterback of the future. - Wilkins

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

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Young is a no-brainer pick for Ron Rivera and his staff. With Dwayne Haskins leading a young core of rising offensive talent, Washington can add a potential long-term difference-maker on defense. The former Buckeye is among the most polished and productive edge-rushing prospects in recent years. - Alessandrini

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

The Detroit Lions enter the offseason with two goals: Keep Matthew Stafford healthy and fix a beleaguered defense. They can address the latter in a big way by grabbing Okudah at No. 3. Undoubtedly the best cornerback in college football last season, the Ohio State star will immediately shore up the Lions' defensive backfield. - Belbeck

4. New York Giants - Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Taking a linebacker this early wouldn't normally be particularly well-received, but Simmons isn't just any linebacker. With the athleticism to play all over the field, including the slot and at safety, the Clemson standout is the ultimate modern defender. This pick would be the perfect way to start a much-needed rebuild for the Giants' defense. - Wilkins

5. Miami Dolphins - Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Miami will almost certainly address the quarterback position early, but assuming the pick will be Tua Tagovailoa in February is foolish. Dolphins owner Stephen Ross may see Herbert, an excellent passer in his own right, as a safer long-term prospect and the player who can turn his franchise around. The Oregon product likely locked himself into the top 10 with his strong Senior Bowl performance. - Alessandrini

6. Los Angeles Chargers - Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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The Chargers will run to the podium to take Tagovailoa after the Dolphins stun the football world and draft Herbert over the Alabama star. Prior to his significant hip injury this past season, Tagovailoa was thought to be the likely No. 1 pick. His ability to read defenses is as good as any quarterback entering the NFL in recent memory, and Tagovailoa's elite talent will make the transition from Philip Rivers a breeze. - Belbeck

7. Carolina Panthers - CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

The Panthers already have a pair of promising young receivers in DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel, so it might seem like the position isn't an area of immediate need. But adding a third pass-catcher should be a priority for a Joe Brady offense that dominated in receiver sets of three or more at LSU, and Lamb has the talent to be the No. 1 target in Carolina sooner than later. - Wilkins

8. Arizona Cardinals - Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

There are a number of options for Kliff Kingsbury and Co. in this spot, but the Cardinals can't go wrong with selecting the top defensive prospect available. Brown has been productive, and he possesses the athleticism and competitive toughness teams desire in an interior pass-rusher. Arizona ranked 24th in run defense and 17th in sacks this past season (despite Chandler Jones accumulating 19), so the Cardinals would welcome Brown's presence. - Alessandrini

9. Jacksonville Jaguars - Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

Fulton may be somewhat of a surprise pick this early, but the Jaguars desperately need help at cornerback, and he's the best available after Okudah came off the board. This pick also opens up lots of options for Jacksonville with veteran players, including potentially cutting cornerback A.J. Bouye to save over $11 million. - Belbeck

10. Cleveland Browns - Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

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Don't let a disappointing 2019 season fool you - Cleveland isn't far from playoff contention. Upgrading the offensive line will be imperative for getting there, though, and Thomas gives the Browns a potential Day 1 starter at left tackle. - Wilkins

11. New York Jets - Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Sam Darnold was the fourth-most sacked quarterback in 2019, so the Jets must put together a more successful plan to protect their franchise pivot. Enter Becton, who's rocketing up draft boards due to his strong hands and unique athleticism as a 6-foot-7, 369-pound left tackle. The Louisville product may be the upgrade New York desperately needs at the position. - Alessandrini

12. Las Vegas Raiders - Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

There's been a hole on the Raiders' wide receiver depth chart since Amari Cooper left, and the team will use its first pick since moving to Las Vegas on Jeudy. Perhaps the most polished wideout in the draft, the Alabama star will bring elite route-running skill to the AFC West club. Whether Derek Carr is throwing him the ball remains to be seen, but the Raiders will likely look early and often at Jeudy during games. - Belbeck

13. Indianapolis Colts - A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

Receiver is a consideration here, but the Colts instead get another important piece for the foundation of what they're building on the defensive side of the ball. Epenesa is an every-down edge defender who can provide a much-needed pass-rush upgrade both in the immediate and long-term future. - Wilkins

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama

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If the Bucs address the quarterback position in free agency or through a trade, Wills is the perfect player to target here. The All-SEC selection is already a top-tier run blocker, and he can immediately thrive at right tackle to begin his career. Whether it's Jameis Winston after returning or another passer, the Buccaneers must protect their quarterback better in 2020. - Alessandrini

15. Denver Broncos - Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

With Drew Lock emerging as the starter in Denver, the Broncos grab their talented quarterback a speedy deep threat in Ruggs. The Alabama standout averaged 18.7 yards per catch in 2019 while regularly showcasing his game-breaking potential. Pairing Ruggs with Courtland Sutton would give the Broncos a serious receiving duo in the AFC West. - Belbeck

16. Atlanta Falcons - Julian Okwara, DE, Notre Dame

The Falcons allowing Vic Beasley to walk away as a free agent this offseason tells you everything you need to know about his decline after a 15.5-sack campaign in 2016. A top pass-rusher to line up opposite Takk McKinley is the roster's most glaring need, and Okwara has all the athletic upside to be just that. - Wilkins

17. Dallas Cowboys - Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

There aren't many glaring needs on the Cowboys' roster, but adding a talented interior rusher could help take a stout defensive front to the next level under Mike Nolan. Kinlaw is a nice value pick at No. 17, as he possesses the athleticism and upside to be a top-15 selection. The defensive tackle missed the opportunity to shine in the Senior Bowl, but his stock will likely rise as we inch closer to April. - Alessandrini

18. Miami Dolphins (from PIT) - Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

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After grabbing Herbert at No. 5, the Dolphins give their new quarterback some protection by plugging in Wirfs out of Iowa. The hulking 6-foot-5, 320-pounder is one of the more athletic linemen in the draft, and he'll immediately reinforce a Miami offensive line that allowed a league-worst 58 sacks in 2019. - Belbeck

19. Las Vegas Raiders - Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

Using a first-round pick on a linebacker isn't the most popular move when accounting for position value, but when was the last time linebacker wasn't an issue for the Raiders? It's time to pay up to take care of a long-standing need, and Queen is the kind of athletic, every-down leader in the middle who can make the price worthwhile. - Wilkins

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) - Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Jacksonville shouldn't rule out double-dipping in the secondary. After selecting Fulton at ninth overall, the Jaguars add his talented LSU teammate Delpit. The star safety will add talent and versatility to a secondary in desperate need of an overhaul. Delpit can slide in next to Ronnie Harrison, giving the Jaguars one of the league's top safety duos right away. - Alessandrini

21. Philadelphia Eagles - CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

The injury-riddled Eagles secondary underperformed in 2019, and the team wastes no time addressing that by adding Henderson in the first round. The Florida star is excellent in man-to-man coverage, and he displayed solid ball skills in the loaded SEC this past season. - Belbeck

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

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Led by one of the league's best defenses, Buffalo's blueprint for success begins with surrounding Josh Allen with as many offensive playmakers as possible. Shenault is a physical specimen with as much upside as any pass-catcher in this draft. - Wilkins

23. New England Patriots - Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

McKinney is exactly the type of defensive back New England targets in nearly every draft. He's rangy, productive, and offers versatility while able to play in a number of coverages. Safety isn't the Patriots' top need heading into the offseason, but it would be difficult for Bill Belichick to pass on McKinney if he's available. - Alessandrini

24. New Orleans Saints - Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Taysom Hill may be a fun gadget player, but if the former BYU quarterback is among a team's best receivers, it's time to add some talent at the position. The Saints give star Michael Thomas some help on the other side with the addition of Higgins. The Clemson standout possesses an outstanding catch radius, and he consistently makes contested grabs in traffic. - Belbeck

25. Minnesota Vikings - Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

Minnesota already has one of the NFL's top receiver tandems, but the position is alarmingly thin behind Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Adding another dynamic pass-catcher like Reagor would make this offense incredibly difficult to defend in three-receiver sets. - Wilkins

26. Miami Dolphins (from HOU) - K'Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU

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Miami addressed its offense with the team's first two picks, and now the Dolphins get the opportunity to bolster a poor pass rush with the club's third selection. Chaisson is an explosive sack artist coming off a strong 2019 campaign, so his stock is rising. The Dolphins are desperate to add a player of his caliber after recording just 23 sacks in 2019. Adding a quarterback, offensive tackle, and defensive end with its three first-round picks would be a major haul for Miami. - Alessandrini

27. Seattle Seahawks - Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin

One of the most dynamic pass-rushers in the draft, Baun would give Pete Carroll a ton of options. Baun exploded onto the scene with the Badgers, posting 12.5 sacks during his final collegiate season. He could instantly impact a Seahawks unit that registered just two sacks per contest in 2019. - Belbeck

28. Baltimore Ravens - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Baltimore's No. 1 offseason need was made clear in a stunning one-and-done playoff exit as the AFC's top seed. Jefferson's size and physicality could make him the perfect complement to Marquise Brown and give Lamar Jackson a pair of dynamic receivers with whom he can grow long term. - Wilkins

29. Tennessee Titans - Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

Nearly every year we see a tall, athletic cornerback from a lesser-known school vault into the first round. Johnson could be that prospect in 2020. The versatile defender was named to the All Pac-12 First Team in each of his final two collegiate campaigns, and he offers experience as a man-cover corner with the ability to get his hands on a number of passes. Johnson fits Mike Vrabel's defense and fills a need for Tennessee. - Alessandrini

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

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Jackson probably isn't ready to start right away for the Packers, but the offensive tackle out of USC possesses lots of potential to eventually dominate. He'll add needed depth if veterans Bryan Bulaga or David Bakhtiari suffer injuries. - Belbeck

31. San Francisco 49ers - Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

As we saw in the Super Bowl, the Niners could use a tall, long cornerback with enough speed to keep up with the league's premier deep treats. Diggs is that player, and while his game needs a bit of fine-tuning, the Alabama product brings tons of upside as Richard Sherman's long-term replacement, and he's a perfect fit for Robert Saleh's scheme. - Alessandrini

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

The Super Bowl champions address one of the few needs for an otherwise outstanding roster, with Murray's ability as a sideline-to-sideline defender providing a major upgrade against the run. - Wilkins

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2020 NFL Mock Draft 2: Dolphins, Chargers land QBs of the future
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