2020 NFL Mock Draft: Chargers, Saints trade up for QBs
theScore

With the 2020 NFL Draft just a few weeks away, theScore's Dane Belbeck, Daniel Wilkins, and Mike Alessandrini project the first round of selections.

1. Cincinnati Bengals - Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Burrow has been the obvious pick for the Bengals since the beginning of the draft process, and we can't see that changing. Cincinnati finally gets its franchise quarterback. - Wilkins

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

While trades are likely to shake up the top five, Washington opts to stay put and draft the 2020 class' premier defensive prospect. Young is arguably the top pass-rusher coming out of college we've seen in a handful of years and will instantly improve Ron Rivera's defense. The Redskins are better off giving Dwayne Haskins another year to prove himself. - Alessandrini

3. TRADE: Los Angeles Chargers (from DET) - Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

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From top to bottom, the Chargers have one of the best rosters in the AFC, with the biggest question at quarterback. They answer it by trading from No. 6 to No. 3 to grab the Alabama star as their offensive leader for now and the future. By all accounts, Tagovailoa's hip injury has fully healed, and the talent he flashed in college shows his potential for stardom in the NFL. - Belbeck

4. New York Giants - Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

The Giants should be doing everything they can to put Daniel Jones in a position to succeed. Wirfs, who could play tackle or guard at the next level, provides a much-needed upgrade to the offensive line in front of New York's young quarterback. - Wilkins

5. Miami Dolphins - Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Armed with three first-round picks, Chris Grier and the Dolphins decide not to trade up and land their quarterback of the future in Herbert. The Chargers' move to No. 3 may actually work to Miami's benefit, at least from the team's perspective, as it's rumored to be more interested in the former Oregon star than Tagovailoa. Either way, the Dolphins are a virtual lock to add a signal-caller with their first pick, wherever it may be. - Alessandrini

6. TRADE: Detroit Lions (from LAC) - Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

The Lions were likely to take Okudah at No. 3, so it's a huge win for Matt Patricia and Co. to move back three spots and still land the Ohio State star. He should immediately slide into a starting spot and give Detroit a lockdown corner in a division that features both Aaron Rodgers and Kirk Cousins. - Belbeck

7. Carolina Panthers - Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

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The Panthers waste no time finding a new leader in the middle of their defense following the retirement of Luke Kuechly. Simmons is, in many ways, the ultimate modern defensive weapon, possessing the kind of athleticism and cover talent that allows him to line up all over the field. - Wilkins

8. Arizona Cardinals - Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Arizona added its star receiver by acquiring DeAndre Hopkins, so it's time for Steve Keim to add a final piece to his team's blocking unit. Becton - at 6-foot-7 and 364 pounds - may not appear to fit Kliff Kingsbury's fast-paced offense, but the towering tackle moves incredibly well for his size. With Hopkins and Becton in tow, Kyler Murray would be set for a breakout sophomore campaign. - Alessandrini

9. Jacksonville Jaguars - Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

The Jaguars' defensive makeover continues in the 2020 draft with the absolute wrecking ball from Auburn. Jacksonville added talented edge rusher Josh Allen in the first round last year, and placing Brown in the interior gives them an anchor for years to come. - Belbeck

10. Cleveland Browns - Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Teams will try to avoid drafting for need, but a loaded class of offensive-line talent provides Cleveland with the perfect opportunity to match need and value. Thomas is a Day 1 starter at left tackle who solidifies the Browns' offense, both in the short term and as a cornerstone talent who can grow alongside Baker Mayfield for years to come. - Wilkins

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

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The Jets are likely to upgrade their offense here, so we have little doubt they would pass on the 2020 class' most dynamic receiver. Lamb offers elite upside and playmaking ability, and he would finally give Sam Darnold a legitimate No. 1 target. While improving Darnold's protection is imperative as well, the All-American wideout is simply too talented to let slip away. - Alessandrini

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

The Jets taking Lamb kicks off a run on receivers from this incredibly deep class. Jeudy is the best route-runner in this draft and will instantly become a favorite target for Derek Carr (or Marcus Mariota) in Jon Gruden's offense. His talent at separating in the Crimson Tide's offense last year should translate immediately to the professional level. - Belbeck

13. TRADE: Philadelphia Eagles (from SF) - Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

The 49ers should be looking to move back and recoup a few mid-round picks, and Philadelphia capitalizes on the opportunity to go up and get the receiver who can take the Eagles' offense to the next level. Ruggs' big-play ability gives him as high a ceiling as any playmaker in this draft. - Wilkins

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

With Tom Brady at the center of Bruce Arians' offense, expect the Buccaneers to target an offensive lineman early in this year's draft. Tampa Bay currently has a glaring hole at right tackle, a position that must be upgraded for Brady to thrive this season. It just so happens that Wills played on the right side at Alabama and is arguably the top overall player available here. We'd call it a perfect fit. - Alessandrini

15. Denver Broncos - CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

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The Broncos desperately require help at corner, and outside of Okudah, Henderson is the clear choice. The Florida star was a force in the SEC last season, and his services will be of use in a division featuring Patrick Mahomes and the high-flying Chiefs. - Belbeck

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

Atlanta is looking to retool its pass rush after moving on from former first-round pick Vic Beasley. Signing Dante Fowler on the edge was a solid start, and adding Kinlaw completes the offseason overhaul. The South Carolina product brings loads of upside to the interior alongside Grady Jarrett. - Wilkins

17. Dallas Cowboys - Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

With receivers and offensive tackles flying off the board early in the first round, Dallas should be able to land a top defensive prospect at No. 17. In this scenario, the Cowboys upgrade their secondary with Fulton. The LSU product isn't the most athletic cornerback, but he dominated the SEC's top receivers throughout the 2019 campaign. Fulton's addition also addresses the team's weakest roster group. - Alessandrini

18. Miami Dolphins - Austin Jackson, OT, USC

After grabbing their quarterback of the future with Herbert at No. 5, the Dolphins nab his protector at No. 18. Jackson is a bit of a project at the position but could be a steal in this slot if he reaches his potential in Miami. - Belbeck

19. TRADE: New Orleans Saints (from CHI via LV) - Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

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With Jordan Love still available this late in the first round, New Orleans moves up to land its quarterback of the future. Love's rare arm talent has drawn some loose comparisons to Patrick Mahomes, who many think the Saints would have drafted if he fell to them at No. 11 back in 2017. It would be a tough decision for New Orleans to select a player who can't contribute while Drew Brees is still playing, as the team remains firmly in Super Bowl contention, but having such a high-upside passer in place as his successor is too great an opportunity to pass up. - Wilkins

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) - Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

New Orleans jumped the Jaguars to nab Love, so Jacksonville will opt for arguably the top defensive prospect available once again. Doug Marrone's squad is in desperate need of upgrades throughout the secondary, and McKinney profiles as an excellent fit next to former Alabama teammate Ronnie Harrison. The Jaguars must continue to add blue-chip players to an unimpressive roster. - Alessandrini

21. TRADE: San Francisco 49ers (from PHI) - Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

Mims didn't enter draft season as a first-round pick, but after a strong showing in the Senior Bowl and combine, he rocketed into the upper echelon of receivers available. He's a great fit for Kyle Shanahan's offense and will give the 49ers another much-needed weapon in the passing attack. - Belbeck

22. Minnesota Vikings (from BUF) - K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

Minnesota will look to add a receiver after trading Stefon Diggs to Buffalo but, with this year's No. 2 edge defender still on the board, that can wait until the team's second of two first-rounders. Chaisson and Danielle Hunter give the Vikings a dynamic pair of pass-rushers they can build the defense around long term. - Wilkins

23. New England Patriots - Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

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Bill Belichick doesn't appear to value off-ball linebackers as much as other coaches do, but Queen is simply too talented to pass up here. The Patriots may be rebuilding for the first time in forever, and it's in their best interest to add core pieces to both units. New England can draft a quarterback on Day 2 to help fill the void left by Brady and select a top prospect in Round 1. - Alessandrini

24. TRADE: Las Vegas Raiders (from NO) - A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

Terrell is one of the most versatile corners in the draft, slotting into a variety of coverages with ease. Given Mike Mayock and Gruden's love of Clemson players, this seems like a natural fit at No. 24. - Belbeck

25. Minnesota Vikings - Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Minnesota fills the need created by the Diggs trade with Jefferson, an incredibly talented receiver who can line up all over the field. After an impressive combine performance silenced concerns about his long speed, one of very few questions about his game, the Vikings would be fortunate to land the LSU star this late in the first round. - Wilkins

26. Miami Dolphins (from HOU) - Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

The Dolphins addressed the offense with their first two selections and turn their attention to defense with their third. Gross-Matos represents excellent value at the end of the first round for Miami and addresses its biggest defensive need. The former Nittany Lion provides length and athleticism to Brian Flores' pass-rush unit. - Alessandrini

27. Seattle Seahawks - Cesar Ruiz, OL, Michigan

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Look at any Seahawks tape and the first thing you see is Russell Wilson scrambling for his life amid a suffocating pass rush. Seattle requires offensive-line help, and there are few players in the draft more reliable than Ruiz. He should instantly step in to anchor the unit and provide some stability for the star quarterback. - Belbeck

28. Baltimore Ravens - Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Baltimore has to find a way to upgrade the skill-position talent around Lamar Jackson, and Higgins might just be the perfect fit. A big-bodied target who can win above the rim, the Clemson product provides a strong complement to the explosive playmaking abilities of 2019 first-rounder Marquise Brown. - Wilkins

29. Tennessee Titans - Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

Tennessee secured breakout quarterback Ryan Tannehill long term and star running back Derrick Henry for at least 2020, so expect Mike Vrabel to focus on the defensive side of the ball early in this year's draft. With Malcolm Butler on the wrong side of 30 and Logan Ryan expected to sign elsewhere as a free agent, the Titans secure a long-term cornerback in Gladney to start opposite Adoree' Jackson or play the nickel. - Alessandrini

30. Green Bay Packers - Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

We are probably on the back end of Aaron Rodgers' prime, so it's crucial that the Packers surround the star quarterback with as much talent as possible. Green Bay does just that by grabbing the TCU speedster at No. 30. Reagor showed throughout his collegiate career that he's a threat to score every time he has the ball, something the Packers have sorely lacked in recent years. - Belbeck

31. San Francisco 49ers - Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M

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San Francisco isn't going to let the void created by the DeForest Buckner trade go unfilled. Madubuike adds yet another versatile defensive lineman to an already stacked group, bolstering the interior both in terms of pass-rush and run defense. - Wilkins

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

Andy Reid's offense should be firing on all cylinders again in 2020, so the Chiefs are likely to address their defense at the end of Round 1 should they stay put. While Kenneth Murray is a strong option, Kansas City would have a difficult time passing on a playmaking cornerback of Johnson's caliber. The Utah product could easily be off the board at this pick when it's all said and done, so the value is excellent. - Alessandrini

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2020 NFL Mock Draft: Chargers, Saints trade up for QBs
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