Banzet's 2020 NFL Mock Draft


By: J Banzet

I want to personally thank the NFL for making sure the draft will go on, albeit virtually, from April 23rd-25th. We need something live and sports-related to happen, so thank you to the NFL for giving us that. Fresh out of the Deandre Hopkins, Brandin Cooks, and Tom Brady acquisitions, let's get into my second mock draft of 2020 and my first for Under Review.

(Disclaimer: I do not predict trades in mock drafts, although I will say whether a trade is likely to happen with certain teams and picks.)

1) Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Don't expect a surprise here. ESPN's Todd McShay says there's at least a 95% chance nothing happens for the Bengals besides taking Burrow. It's simple for Cincinnati, so please don't mess it up. Make the smart move.

2) Washington Redskins

Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

Don't expect a surprise here, either. Tua Tagovailoa might be enticing for Washington if he were healthy, but the combination of unknown medical tests and an injury history ensure the Redskins that Young is the right move. Despite his nonexistence in the Big 10 Championship or the Fiesta Bowl, he's still the best overall player in the draft.

3) Detroit Lions

Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State


I'm almost certain some quarterback-needy team will trade up to this pick and select Tua Tagovailoa, but for now, the Lions will take Okudah and look for him to become the next Stephon Gilmore or Patrick Peterson type of player. Detroit needs a corner after losing Darius Slay, also.

4) New York Giants

Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson


I had New York selecting Mekhi Becton, the offensive tackle from Louisville, here in Mock Draft 1.0, and that would certainly make sense considering the Giants' recent draft picks (Saquon Barkley and Daniel Jones), but it's time to address the defense in the first round. ESPN's Louis Riddick says the description of Simmons is simple: "He's everything the Giants need." Versatility is his trademark, and considering the Giants' multiple defensive holes, Simmons takes care of all of them in one.

5) Miami Dolphins

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama


I just don't think there's a possibility of Tua making it to pick five, so that means Miami will need to move up if the gap between him and another quarterback is significant. The Dolphins need a quarterback, and even though they apparently LOVE Joe Burrow, there's just no logical way Cincy gives up the first pick. Tua is a darn good consolation prize, so barring any health disasters, Miami is getting someone who Trent Dilfer says is as talented as Dan Marino and Aaron Rodgers.

6) Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The Chargers haven't made any moves in free agency and currently have Tyrod Taylor slotted to start week one, so that can only mean one thing: LA is going to draft a quarterback. The Bolts don't have the ammunition or the desire to move up, and I think they'll be satisfied with who falls to them at six.I can't wait to see Herbert play in an offense that doesn't throw screens every three plays *cough cough Oregon cough cough.

7) Carolina Panthers

Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

I had the Panthers taking Isaiah Simmons in Mock Draft 1.0, and as a Panthers fan and season ticket-holder, I'm hoping Simmons falls to seven, but with the Giants maybe selecting him at four, the Panthers get another stud. Brown ranks as my fourth-best overall player in the draft and will start, and maybe be the best player, on a porous defense from day one in Carolina.

8) Arizona Cardinals

Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

It's almost guaranteed that Arizona will select an offensive tackle here. Not only did they fill a need at wide receiver with the trade for Deandre Hopkins, but they also need someone opposite DJ Humphries. Wirfs will be the starter at right tackle immediately. The Cards gave up 50 sacks in 2019, and despite that, QB Kyler Murray won Offensive Rookie of the Year.

9) Jacksonville Jaguars

Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina


Jacksonville can go one of two ways with this pick: defensive tackle or quarterback. They shouldn't go ahead with Gardner Minshew as the only option at quarterback, but there's reason to believe they don't see the need to draft a first-round quarterback this year with other holes on the defensive front. The Jags might choose to trade up for Herbert, but I love Kinlaw's versatility and collegiate production too much to let him go.

10) Cleveland Browns

Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

This offensive tackle group is SO deep, and despite Wirfs already being off the board, the Browns get to choose between three outstanding pass-protectors. Jedrick Wills plays right tackle, but the signing of All-Pro Jack Conklin filled that need. Andrew Thomas may be better now, but Becton's enormous size (6-foot-7 & 364 lbs.) and athleticism (5.2 40-yard dash) give him unparalleled potential.

11) New York Jets

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

This is also another one of those "no-brainers." Jeudy is the best receiver in the draft, and the Jets' biggest need is at wide receiver. It's that simple.

12) Las Vegas Raiders

Ceedee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Either Lamb or Florida cornerback CJ Henderson -- who I had at this pick in Mock Draft 1.0 -- will get picked here, but it's time to get Derek Carr a premier weapon at wide receiver. Lamb will rejuvenate a group who's current best player is Tyrell Williams.

13) San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis)

Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Bang bang bang. Just like that, the three clear best wide receivers are gone. San Francisco might look to trade up for a defensive lineman after losing Deforest Buckner, but I think GM John Lynch will be more than happy to have Ruggs fall into his lap. Jimmy Garoppolo needs another weapon, especially after losing Emmanuel Sanders to New Orleans, and Ruggs brings some juice to the Bay area.

14) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama

Tampa needs to try to win now with the addition of Tom Brady, and right tackle is a huge hole after the departure of Demar Dotson. Wills is the best natural right tackle in the draft and will start from day one on the Bucs' road to the Super Bowl.

15) Denver Broncos

Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Wide receiver remains an issue for Denver, but with all three of the "studs" already selected, the Broncos fill their second-most pressing need at left tackle. I love watching Thomas' tape at Georgia, and he only allowed one sack all season last year. There may be some bumps in the road early on, but Thomas certainly should be a quality NFL starter before too long.

16) Atlanta Falcons

CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

Atlanta has numerous needs on defense -- defensive end, linebacker, and corner -- and they get the second-best corner in the draft with Henderson. The drop-off from Okuhad and Henderson to the rest of the corners is significant, and losing Desmond Trufant in free agency makes this pick even more valuable.

17) Dallas Cowboys

Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Dallas doesn't have any super-pressing needs, but a few spots could use some help. Wide receiver is one, but Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup are a good enough duo to avoid using this pick to help them out. Corner also needs some help, but nobody available is worth this high of a pick. Enter McKinney from Alabama. Xavier Woods has proven to be a mediocre NFL safety, and Haha Clinton-Dix's contract is only for one year, so McKinney should play immediately and take over the back end for years to come.

18) Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh)

Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota

Miami needs to fill needs at offensive tackle and safety. All four premier tackles are gone, so the Fins should look to help Byron Jones and Xavien Howard in the secondary, and man oh man, Winfield can do it all; just go watch the Penn State tape. 

19) Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago)

Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

Selecting Ceedee Lamb at 12 filled one pressing need in Vegas, so now it's time for Gruden, Mayock, and company to find a corner. Some like Trevon Diggs or AJ Terrell, but Kristian Fulton has played like the third-best corner in this draft recently. He's broken up more passes in college football than anyone else in the past two seasons.

20) Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)

Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

A quarterback is awfully appealing here, and Jordan Love might be brought in to challenge Minshew, but the defense needs to be retooled. Kinlaw fills a need upfront, and now the Jags get the best inside linebacker in the draft. Losing Telvin Smith to retirement and seeing Myles Jack regress in 2019 make this pick a must.

21) Philadelphia Eagles

Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Three straight LSU Tigers come off the board, and this one is most likely to happen. Jefferson excelled in the slot in 2019 and fills a huge void for an Eagles franchise looking to return to Super Bowl form.

22) Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo)

Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

This pick comes from the Stefon Diggs trade, and although I had a defensive end going here in Mock Draft 1.0, the Vikings have more pressing needs at wide receiver and corner. Higgins was a stud at Clemson and will eventually take over for an aging Adam Thielen. 

23) New England Patriots

Jordan Love, QB, Utah State


I just don't see how New England can move into the 2020 season with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer as its quarterback options. No way. Albeit I wouldn't be surprised to see Love taken before, maybe long before, this pick, the Patriots need some life at quarterback, and the gunslinger Love makes sense.

24) New Orleans Saints

Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma

McShay and ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr., as well as my Mock Draft 1.0, all have Murray going 24th to New Orleans. It just makes sense. The Saints have a need in the middle of their defense and Murray fills it nicely.

25) Minnesota Vikings

AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson

It's really a toss-up between Terrell and Alabama's Trevon Diggs here, but I like Terrell more because of his experience. Diggs switched from wide receiver coming out of Avalon School in Maryland and is still learning the position, so I'll take Terrell's experience over Diggs' potentially-more talent, especially considering the pick here is going to be needed immediately.

26) Miami Dolphins (from Houston)

Josh Jones, OT, Houston

Another no-brainer here. If the Dolphins are going to draft a quarterback like Tua Tagovailoa with an extensive injury history, and their offensive line gave up a league-worst 58 sacks in 2019, pass protection is a must here at 26. Jones is the best available tackle and fills a pressing need.

27) Seattle Seahawks

K'Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU

The value here is simply too good to pass up. Chaisson is my second best edge-rusher in the draft, and getting him at 27 is an absolute steal. Seattle only sacked the quarterback a 29th-best 28 times in 2019, and that was with Jadeveon Clowney, who's contract is unknown at this point.

28) Baltimore Ravens

Cesar Ruiz, C/OG, Michigan

Some see the interior defensive line or middle linebacker as more-pressing needs, but the signing of Calais Campbell diminishes the need for a nose tackle and no linebacker ranks high enough on my board. Offensive guard, however, is a hole after the retirement of all-time great Marshal Yanda. Ruiz can play guard or center for Baltimore. 

29) Tennessee Titans

Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

Offensive tackle must be addressed at some point, but no tackle left on my board grades out high enough to be a first-round pick. The addition of Vic Beasley helps the pass rush in Nashville, but the Titans need some juice coming off the edge. Gross-Matos might need some time to develop his craft, but he has all the makings of a quality edge-rusher for years to come.

30) Green Bay Packers

Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU


It's finally time for the Packers to draft a wide receiver. Davante Adams needs help in giving Aaron Rodgers help, and there's a wide variety of players to pick from. Even though I have Denzel Mims rated as a better overall wide receiver in my positional rankings, Reagor is an absolute burner and will give Green Bay a deep threat they haven't had since Jordy Nelson. Green Bay may look to move up high enough to take a different receiver, though. 

31) San Francisco 49ers

Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn


Ruggs took care of the wide receiver need for the reigning NFC Champs, so now it's time to look at getting a corner to play opposite Richard Sherman. They may trade up to get Diggs or Terrell, but for the time being, they'll take the best available corner.

32)Kansas City Chiefs

D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

I had J.K. Dobbins, the running back from Ohio State, going here in Mock Draft 1.0. That was because the best back in the draft had already been selected. Swift is that guy. His versatility will be welcomed by Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.