Even though it has been nearly a month since all sports have been canceled or postponed, the NFL draft has given writers and fans plenty to talk about. After a year where rookies like A.J. Brown and Nick Bosa helped their team get to the playoffs, NFL teams will be looking to add their own difference-makers. Without a doubt, this draft will be an interesting one due to the virtual format. Some picks like Joe Burrow to the Bengals can be penciled in, but surprises may certainly occur. Let’s get to it.
Round 1, Pick 1: Cincinnati Bengals select Joe Burrow, QB LSU
A no-brainer pick for the Bengals. Burrow set numerous CFB records last year, all while playing in the toughest conference in the league. With an explosive supporting cast around him on the Bengals, Burrow is expected to be the front-runner for OROY.
Report: Bengals have maxed out meeting time with Joe Burrow https://t.co/GUylLqCT5J
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) April 13, 2020
Round 1, Pick 2: Washington Redskins select Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama
While Chase Young is a better prospect, the new Redskins brass simply can’t pass up the potential that Tua presents, even with his injury issues. Dwayne Haskins had a poor rookie year and to compete in a potentially loaded NFC East next year, an improvement at QB is needed.
Round 1, Pick 3: Detroit Lions select Jeff Okudah, CB Ohio State
The Lions have an enviable draft position in this scenario, as they get their pick of the best defender in the draft. Even though the signed Desmond Trufant to replace Darius Slay, Bob Quinn will run to the podium to get Okudah, the best CB in this draft who will lock down his half of the field.
Round 1 Pick 4: New York Giants select Chase Young, EDGE Ohio State
The best prospect in the draft ends up falling to the Giants, and this selection would be both BPA and at a spot of need. While better protection is needed for Daniel Jones, the selection of Chase Young would be huge for the Giants’ young, aggressive defense.
Round 1, Pick 5: Miami Dolphins select Isaiah Simmons, LB Clemson
While Miami is unable to get the top 2 QBs in the draft, Simmons is a quality consolation prize. He is an extremely talented defender who could play multiple positions on Josh Boyer’s new 3-4 defense. While there are some concerns about his block shedding abilities, Simmons is versatile enough to carve out playing time in his rookie year.
Isaiah Simmons: 4.39
Patrick Queen: 4.50
Kenneth Murray: 4.52https://t.co/6Dg0kWJ7ai
— PFF (@PFF) March 1, 2020
Round 1, Pick 6: Los Angeles Chargers select Justin Herbert, QB Oregon
While the Chargers have stated that they’re moving forward with Tyrod Taylor, I just can’t see them passing up on Herbert to replace Phillip Rivers. Herbert didn’t show the improvement in his senior season that many expected, but still has all the skills necessary to be the signal-caller in LA.
Round 1, Pick 7: Carolina Panthers select Derrick Brown, DT Auburn
After losing both Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe in free agency, grabbing a DT is a must for the Panthers in this draft. Enter Derrick Brown, who some scouts even view as the best defender in the draft. The Panthers could also go with a CB here.
Round 1, Pick 8: Arizona Cardinals select Jedrick Wills, OT Alabama
After trading for Deandre Hopkins, WR is no longer a need for the Cardinals. While upgrades need to be made to their porous defense, offensive line help is a must for Kyler Murray. Wills is a plug and play starter at right tackle.
Round 1, Pick 9: Jacksonville Jaguars select C.J. Henderson, CB Florida
After trading away Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, the Jags have a clear hole at CB they have to fill in the first round. Henderson is an athletic freak who has the talent to be a top man corner in the NFL. If it wasn’t for a down year in 2019 with injury and tackling issues, he would be challenging Okudah as the top CB in the draft.
Round 1, Pick 10: Cleveland Browns select Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville
One of the clear issues for the Browns last year was the abysmal offensive line that led to Baker Mayfield’s regression. While Becton is far from a perfect prospect, he has the size and speed necessary to become a 15-year left tackle in the NFL. Moreover, he is easily the best run-blocking offensive lineman in this draft.
Mekhi Becton and Quenton Nelson are the 2 best finishers in the run game that I’ve evaluated since 2003. https://t.co/DQ88lxloJ2
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 13, 2020
Round 1, Pick 11: New York Jets select CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma
Offensive line was a big need for the Jets, but signing George Fant and letting Robby Anderson walk has left a huge hole at WR. After Sam Darnold’s up and down 2019, Gang Green will be looking to add playmakers into the fold. Lamb has great size, speed, and catch radius to be the #1 for the Jets.
Round 1, Pick 12: Las Vegas Raiders select Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama
The Raiders are yet to replace Amari Cooper at WR, and drafting Jeudy does just that. The Alabama products both have very similar play styles. Jeudy would add a spark to the Las Vegas offense due to his pristine route-running and acceleration.
Round 1, Pick 13: San Francisco 49ers (from Colts) select Henry Ruggs, WR Alabama
The 49ers don’t have many holes, but weapons for Jimmy Garoppolo are needed after his streaky 2019 season and playoffs. Henry Ruggs has world-class speed and is very similar to the guy he’s replacing, Emmanuel Sanders.
Henry Ruggs III is one of the top WRs in this draft class despite his 5’11” frame.
"You think about all the teams that have been burned by Tyreek Hill. And now there's a version of him without off-field issues. That's a top-10 pick."
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 8, 2020
Round 1, Pick 14: Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Tristen Wirfs, OT Iowa
While working on the defense is a must for the Bucs, they simply cannot pass up Wirfs, who will be a day 1 starter at RG or RT. Wirfs is one of the most athletic linemen to come out in recent years and will solidify the right side of the line for Tom Brady.
Round 1, Pick 15: Denver Broncos select Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia
The Garrett Bolles experiment is clearly a failure for the Broncos and an upgrade is needed. While Thomas’s stock has fallen, he is still an OT with a very high floor who can play either tackle spot. His pass protection needs work, but he will be a mauler in the running game for Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay.
Round 1, Pick 16: Atlanta Falcons select Kristian Fulton, CB LSU
It’s high time that the Falcons address the defense, which has been leaky for many years. In fact, their projected starting lineup on offense is made up of all first-rounders, which shows the neglecting of the defense. While he’s more technically flawed than recent “DBU” cornerbacks, Fulton has improved over the 2019 season and will fit perfectly into the Falcons’ man coverage scheme.
Kristian Fulton vs Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and Tee Higgins:
3 Pass breakupspic.twitter.com/ypM8tgTg60
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 13, 2020
Round 1, Pick 17: Dallas Cowboys select Javon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina
While the Cowboys did sign Gerald Mccoy and Dontari Poe in free agency, those two are well past their prime. Having Kinlaw next to Demarcus Lawrence gives Dallas a strong pass rush from the line.
Round 1, Pick 18: Miami Dolphins (from Steelers) select K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE LSU
While Chaisson isn’t as polished as other EDGE players in this draft, he has enormous potential given the fact that he hasn’t been playing as long as other prospects. He would be a great building block on Miami’s rebuilding defense.
Round 1, Pick 19: Las Vegas Raiders (from Bears) select A.J. Terell, CB Clemson
This may be a slight reach, but Terell has boom-or-bust potential at CB. Furthermore, the Raiders could reunite him with former Clemson teammate Trayvon Mullen, who might have a breakout season next year.
Round 1, Pick 20: Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams) select Xavier McKinney, S Alabama
Without a doubt, the Jaguars’ defense needs to be rebuilt, as they lost key cogs over the last year. McKinney is a well-rounded safety who would pair well with Ronnie Harrison.
Xavier McKinney calls out ESPN's NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.
— Charlie Potter (@Charlie_Potter) April 7, 2020
Round 1, Pick 21: Philadelphia Eagles select Tee Higgins, WR Clemson
The Eagles receiving core has been a mess for a long time, and an infusion of talent is necessary there. Tee Higgins is a big target that could start from Day 1 across Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson.
Round 1, Pick 22: Minnesota Vikings (from Bills) select A.J. Epenesa, DE Iowa
Epenesa had a down year in 2019 with issues over his play speed, but he is a polished technician who would be a great addition to the Vikings D-Line. He could play as a 4-3 end to replace Everson Griffen and also slide in to play as a 5-technique defensive tackle on third downs.
Round 1, Pick 23: New England Patriots select Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma
While the Patriots could target Jordan Love at this spot, but they’re better off replacing their departed members on defense and waiting for a 2021 QB prospect like Trevor Lawrence or Justin Fields. Murray is a 3-down linebacker who would form a fearsome duo with Dont’a Hightower.
Round 1, Pick 24: New Orleans Saints select Patrick Queen, LB LSU
After signing Emmanuel Sanders, the Saints can afford to go BPA here. Queen is a Louisiana Native who has the athleticism and instincts necessary to become a key cog in the Saints’ defense.
LSU LB Patrick Queen never allowed a reception longer than 20 yards on 488 career coverage snaps. pic.twitter.com/hz7EIBqOSL
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 8, 2020
Round 1, Pick 25: Minnesota Vikings select Justin Jefferson, WR LSU
After trading Stefon Diggs, WR is definitely a need for the Vikings. Justin Jefferson is a well-rounded route runner who complements Adam Thielen well.
Round 1, Pick 26: Miami Dolphins (from Texans) select Josh Jones, OT Houston
Julie’N Davenport definitely isn’t the future at left tackle, and the Dolphins have a dire need at that spot after trading Laremy Tunsil. Jones’ stock has been rising since the Senior Bowl and he has all the tools necessary to be a rock for the Dolphins offensive line.
Round 1, Pick 27: Seattle Seahawks select Cesar Ruiz, C Michigan
After trading for Quinton Dunbar, the biggest need for the Seahawks is offensive line (again). Ruiz is a mauler at Center who would protect Russell Wilson for years to come. If necessary, he can slide to guard as well.
Round 1, Pick 28: Baltimore Ravens select Zach Baun, LB/EDGE Wisconsin
With the uncertain future of Matthew Judon, Baun would be great in the Ravens defense. They could also look to target a Right Guard here to replace the retired Marshal Yanda.
Round 1, Pick 29: Tennessee Titans select Ross Blacklock, DT TCU
Trading Jurell Casey to the Broncos opened up a massive (literally) hole at Defensive Tackle for the Titans. Blacklock and last year’s first-rounder, Jeffery Simmons, would form a fearsome young duo on the defensive line.
Round 1, Pick 30: Green Bay Packers select Laviska Shenault Jr., WR Colorado
While Green Bay did sign Devin Funchess, he is coming off of an ACL tear and more weapons are needed for Aaron Rodgers. Shenault is one of the most underrated WR prospects in this draft due to his athleticism and YAC ability. If it weren’t for his injury concerns, he would definitely go in the top half of the first round.
Yards per route vs. man coverage leaders for WR class over past two seasons:
1. Laviska Shenault Jr. 4.98
2. Tee Higgins 4.25
3. Easop Winston Jr. 3.75
4. Jauan Jennings 3.52
5. K.J. Hamler 3.43
— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) April 7, 2020
Round 1, Pick 31: San Francisco 49ers select Jeff Gladney, CB TCU
After addressing WR earlier in this scenario, the 49ers could look to shore up a secondary that got exposed by Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl. Gladney is a competitive ballhawk who could add another element to their defense.
Round 1, Pick 32: Kansas City Chiefs select Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama
The Chiefs get a steal here in Diggs, who is a WR turned CB with outstanding potential. He has elite size for the position to pair with his ball skills and technique. If it wasn’t for his injury this year, he would certainly go higher in the draft. CB is a huge need for the Chiefs after losing Kendall Fuller in free agency.
Round 2, Pick 33: Cincinnati Bengals select Grant Delpit, S LSU
Round 2, Pick 34: Indianapolis Colts (from Redskins) select Denzel Mims, WR Baylor
Round 2, Pick 35: Detroit Lions select Neville Gallimore, DT Oklahoma
Round 2, Pick 36: New York Giants select Austin Jackson, OT USC
Round 2, Pick 37: Los Angeles Chargers select Ezra Cleveland, OT Boise State
Round 2, Pick 38: Carolina Panthers select Netane Muti, OG Fresno State
Round 2, Pick 39: Miami Dolphins select Jordan Love, QB Utah State
Round 2, Pick 40: Houston Texans (from Arizona Cardinals) select Jaylon Johnson, CB Utah
Round 2, Pick 41: Cleveland Browns select Antoine Winfield Jr., S Minnesota
Round 2, Pick 42: Jacksonville Jaguars select Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn State
Round 2, Pick 43: Chicago Bears (from Raiders) select Jalen Reagor, WR TCU
Round 2, Pick 44: Indianapolis Colts select Josh Uche, EDGE Michigan
Round 2, Pick 45: Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Deandre Swift, RB Georgia
Round 2, Pick 46: Denver Broncos select Noah Igbinoghene, CB Auburn
Round 2, Pick 47: Atlanta Falcons select Jordan Elliott, DT Missouri
Round 2, Pick 48: New York Jets select Lucas Niang, OT TCU
Round 2, Pick 49: Pittsburgh Steelers select Brandon Aiyuk, WR Arizona State
Round 2, Pick 50: Chicago Bears select Justin Madubuike, DL Texas A&M
Round 2, Pick 51: Dallas Cowboys select Damon Arnette, CB Ohio State
Round 2, Pick 52: Los Angeles Rams select Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin
Round 2, Pick 53: Philadelphia Eagles select Bryce Hall, CB Virginia
Round 2, Pick 54: Buffalo Bills select Jabari Zuniga, EDGE Florida
Round 2, Pick 55: Baltimore Ravens (from Patriots) select Jordan Elliott, DT Missouri
Round 2, Pick 56: Miami Dolphins (from Saints) select Lloyd Cushenberry III, C LSU
Round 2, Pick 57: LA Rams (from Texans) select Van Jefferson, WR Florida
Round 2, Pick 58: Minnesota Vikings select Ashtyn Davis, S California
Round 2, Pick 59: Seattle Seahawks select Jonathan Greenard, EDGE Florida
Round 2, Pick 60: Baltimore Ravens select Troy Dye, LB Oregon
Round 2, Pick 61: Tennessee Titans select Isaiah Wilson, OG Georgia
Round 2, Pick 62: Green Bay Packers select Cameron Dantzler, CB Mississippi State
Round 2, Pick 63: Kansas City Chiefs (from 49ers) select Zack Moss, RB Utah
Round 2, Pick 64: Seattle Seahawks (from Chiefs) select Matt Peart, OT Connecticut
University of Florida Players
C.J. Henderson, CB
Without a doubt, C.J. Henderson will be the highest drafted player from Florida in this draft. While his junior campaign wasn’t perfect, he still showed the traits required to be a shutdown corner. However, what truly solidified his first-round standing was his performance at the NFL Combine. Henderson was a top performer in nearly every category and has been trending up draft boards since.
Jabari Zuniga, EDGE
Even though Zuniga struggled with injuries all season, he was explosive when he was able to get on the field. Similar to Henderson, he had a great combine, which has been pushing him up draft boards. Zuniga has one of the highest ceilings of any EDGE player in this draft due to his athleticism and frame but will need to stay healthy to achieve it.
Van Jefferson, WR
Even in a stacked WR class, Jefferson has been making noise in the last couple of months. It started with the senior bowl, where he showed smooth route-running ability as well as blazing speed. To be honest, he has every trait necessary to be a star WR in the NFL but just didn’t have the production at Florida. However, this says more about Florida’s depth at WR than Jefferson’s skill. A foot injury knocked him out of the combine, but with an impressive showing there he may have been a dark-horse first-round pick. The only knock on him is his age (23), but Jefferson will certainly be ready to start for most teams.
Johnathan Greenard, EDGE
Even though Greenard only played a year in the Swamp, he immediately became a fan-favorite. While not as athletic as fellow EDGE prospect Zuniga, Greenard is a technician who knows how to get to the QB. The SEC sack leader is one of the safest picks at EDGE in this draft and has one of the highest floors as well.
Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama
Jeudy is easily the most polished receiver in this draft. The Deerfield Beach Native doesn’t have CeeDee Lamb’s catch radius or Henry Ruggs’ speed but is the safest WR pick in the draft. Aside from the QBs, Jeudy is definitely the front runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Josh Uche, EDGE Michigan
The Miami native is definitely one of the most versatile players in this draft. He’s a raw prospect who only started a game in his senior season, but has a ton of potential. He can play a plethora of positions but is most suited to play EDGE in a 3-4 scheme.
Damon Arnette, CB Ohio State
While Arnette was born in Texas, he grew up in Ft. Lauderdale. He attended the prestigious St. Thomas Aquinas High School, which has produced NFL talents such as Joey Bosa, Michael Irvin, and Lamarcus Joyner. He flew under the radar at Ohio State due to the presence of Okudah on the other side of the field but is an underrated DB in his own right.
Zack Moss, RB Utah
The Hialeah Gardens native is flying under the radar due to a strong Day 2 RB class but might be the most pro-ready. In fact, the main reason that Moss isn’t receiving as much buzz as other prospects are mainly because he played in the PAC-12. He is a well-rounded RB and could end up being a draft steal.