The day has finally come — it’s time for my final 2020 PFF NFL Mock Draft.
It will be a historic draft with COVID-19 keeping everyone home for the three-day event. That doesn’t mean we’re going to see a shortage of movement, though, as I see five trades going down in Round 1. Once again, this is what I believe will happen, not necessarily what I would do.
1. Cincinnati Bengals — QB Joe Burrow, LSU
We’ve been mocking this ever since Burrow tore up Florida’s talented secondary. Burrow’s accuracy gives him a high floor in the NFL, and the Ohio native will give Paul Brown a much-needed boost in ticket sales.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 86.1
2. Washington Redskins — Edge Chase Young, Ohio State
The optics of passing on someone like Chase Young — who looks every bit a Hall of Fame-type prospect — would make it hard for the Skins to trade this pick away. Being “the general manager who passed on Young” isn’t the way Doug Williams wants to start his tenure, even if Young won’t fix their problems overnight.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 77.3
3. Los Angeles Chargers (via Detroit Lions) — QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
The Chargers were the laughing stock of the NFL for not being able to sell out their soccer stadium in L.A. They need something to energize their fan base quickly, and a personality like Tua at the QB position does that overnight. When he’s healthy, Tua is every bit worth it.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 79.9
4. New York Giants — T Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Dave Gettleman has a type, and that type is Mekhi Becton. He’s big, athletic and physical — there’s no doubt Becton has all the tools to become an elite tackle in the NFL.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 35.2
5. Miami Dolphins — QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
Sometimes pre-draft smoke is just that, but other times it is an actual fire. I’m guessing Herbert to the Dolphins is the latter. A four-year starter with a cannon is usually a recipe for getting drafted highly in the NFL. The lack of any sort of big-game performance would terrify me, though.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 47.4
6. Detroit Lions (via Los Angeles Chargers) — CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State
The Lions dip back and still get their guy. There’s no reason not to move back a few spots if Okudah is their target at No. 3 anyway, as the Giants and Dolphins aren’t in the cornerback market.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 91.2
7. Carolina Panthers — DI Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Kinlaw can be a cornerstone-type building block for the Panthers and offers pass-rushing tools no other defensive tackle in this class can match.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 53.6
8. Atlanta Falcons (via Arizona Cardinals) — CB C.J. Henderson, Florida
Henderson’s reportedly above Okudah on a number of boards around the league. Athletically, he’s as good as it gets — that doesn’t last long in the draft.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 62.3
9. Denver Broncos (via Jacksonville Jaguars) — WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 89.8
10. New Orleans Saints (via Cleveland Browns) — LB/S Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
The Saints have mortgaged future picks for three consecutive drafts, and now they make it a fourth. They don’t have many needs on the roster, but linebacker qualifies as one of them.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 66.5
11. New York Jets — T Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama
This is a dream scenario for the Jets, who don’t have to do anything to get Sam Darnold some massive help in pass protection. They can’t roll into 2020 with what they currently have and still expect Darnold to take the next step.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 51.1
12. Las Vegas Raiders — WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Lamb simply does everything well. With Jeudy’s reported knee issues, Lamb may be seen as the “safer” of the two on draft day.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 91.1
13. San Francisco 49ers (via Indianapolis Colts) — DI Derrick Brown, Auburn
No wide receiver! The 49ers take advantage of Brown’s mini-fall and beef up their interior to keep a strength a strength. Brown is also NFL-ready from a physical perspective.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 49.1
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — T Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Thomas has the best grading history in pass protection of any tackle in this class, and the Bucs need help there ASAP. They may even get antsy and move up to make sure it happens.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 62.2
15. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Denver Broncos) — WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
The Jaguars can address any position on their roster, so it’s pure B.P.A. here. Jeudy runs routes like a seasoned vet already and can win at all levels of the field.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 92.5
16. Arizona Cardinals (via Atlanta Falcons) — T Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Wirfs suffers a mini-fall, as some reportedly see him as a guard in the NFL. He can start at tackle for my team any day, though. The Cardinals get help for Kyler Murray here.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 85.9
17. Dallas Cowboys — Edge K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
The Cowboys are in an odd spot value-wise with their needs here and are a candidate to trade down on Thursday night. Chaisson has the physical tools of an NFL edge defender but none of the production to date.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 45.0
18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers) — T Austin Jackson, USC
Jackson is yet another project, but the Dolphins don’t exactly need finished products with their strategy of late. What they can’t do is subject Justin Herbert to Julie'n Davenport and Jesse Davis‘ play at both tackle positions.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 44.5
19. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears) — CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson
Terrell fits what defensive coordinator Paul Guenther does schematically, and he fits what Mike Mayock likes from a personality/program perspective. The Raiders knock out their two biggest needs here.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 58.9
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles Rams) — QB Jordan Love, Utah State
I won’t fault the Jaguars for taking as many chances as they can at the quarterback position. This pick wouldn’t even preclude them from taking one next year. Rather, it just gives them another shot at finding “the guy.”
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 55.3
21. Philadelphia Eagles — WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
Linebacker might be a bigger need, but they can’t let their receiving corps once again devolve into what we saw at the end of last year. Jefferson combines speed with ball skills that fit with Carson Wentz.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 55.0
22. Minnesota Vikings (via Buffalo Bills) — CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah
Johnson is Mike Zimmer’s type of cornerback with how feisty he plays the game. He’s not only an in-your-face physical press corner at the line, but he’s also instinctive in off-coverage, as well.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 69.2
23. Green Bay Packers (via New England Patriots) — WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
Brian Gutekunst makes a play to move up for the third consecutive draft. This time it’s for that all-important explosiveness that they really don’t have in their receiving corps at the moment.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 70.9
24. Cleveland Browns (via New Orleans Saints) — T Ezra Cleveland, Boise State
The Browns still get their tackle, even if he’s still a bit of a project. Cleveland has off-the-charts movement skills but has yet to be elite in pass protection even though he went against Mountain West competition.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 44.1
25. Minnesota Vikings — Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
Aiyuk is a YAC monster who can separate down the football field. Vikings fans might get Cordarrelle Patterson flashbacks, but Aiyuk has been a more physical route-runner already.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 50.3
26. Miami Dolphins via Houston Texans — DI Ross Blacklock, TCU
The Dolphins go back to their defensive line and get some juice to pair with Christian Wilkins’ power. Blacklock is another guy who could get the project label, but he will be scary once he figures it out.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 45.3
27. Seattle Seahawks — T Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
Wilson is a horse of a tackle at 350 pounds, and he can move the line of scrimmage with the best of them. His pass protection, though … let’s just say it’s not quite worth a first-round pick yet.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 44.4
28. Baltimore Ravens — LB Patrick Queen, LSU
Queen sees a bit of a mini-fall, as there are a ton of linebacker options on Day 2. However, the Ravens’ massive need for explosiveness at the position makes Queen a perfect fit here.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 50.1
29. Tennessee Titans — Edge Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State
With a couple of undersized edge defenders penciled in as Tennessee’s starters at the moment, Gross-Matos brings more prototypical size and length to the table.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 45.3
30. New England Patriots (via Green Bay Packers) — Edge Josh Uche, Michigan
Uche’s versatility will be put to good use in Bill Belichick’s defense. He can rush from anywhere despite his size and he did so at Michigan.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 46.9
31. San Francisco 49ers — T Josh Jones, Houston
Jones — and his “average” physical tools by this class’ standard — falls to the back of the first. He’ll start at guard but looks like Joe Staley’s eventual replacement.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 64.6
32. Kansas City Chiefs — IOL Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
The Chiefs are on the verge of making Patrick Mahomes the highest-paid player in the game, so it might be wise to protect that investment. Ruiz is young and already exceptionally sound in pass protection.
PFF Mock Draft Simulator grade: 44.2
Summary (Courtesy of PFF’s Mock Draft Simulator)