News & Analysis

PFF 2020 NFL Mock Draft: Tua Tagovailoa, Chase Young lead the way at Nos. 1 and 2

Mock draft season is officially underway. This is the first of what we like to call a PFF GM Mock. Instead of predicting what they (NFL GMs) will do, we’re telling you what we (the PFF draft team) would do with every pick. The fit should be fairly obvious for every pick, so we’ll be breaking down how each player has performed through the first couple weeks of the 2019 season.

Note: Draft order is based on Vegas Super Bowl Odds

1. QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama | Miami Dolphins

It’s going to be like this until Tua shows any signs of slowing down. Through two weeks, the Alabama QB has a passing grade of 89.5 with three big-time throws and no turnover-worthy plays.

2. Edge Chase Young, Ohio State | Cincinnati Bengals

The quarterback class after Tua has done little to inspire confidence in us. With that in mind, the Bengals bolster their defense with the blue-chip edge defender who already has three sacks and four other hurries on only 38 pass-rushing snaps in 2019.

3. WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama | Washington Redskins

Jeudy dropped a couple of balls this past week against New Mexico State, but he’s being featured in the Alabama offense more heavily than ever before. He’s had double-digit targets in both games after only seeing that many targets in a game twice his first two seasons. 

4. CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State | Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Teams have been challenging Okudah more this year, and that hasn’t been a good thing for opponents. The Ohio State corner’s five coverage stops this season are already more than he had in all of 2018.

5. Edge AJ Espenesa, Iowa | New York Jets

He hasn’t exactly faced world-beaters in Miami (OH) and Rutgers, but Epenesa has still answered the bell on a bigger workload. He’s already got 10 pressures and is on pace 150-plus more snaps than he played last season (412).

6. OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia | New York Giants

As it stands right now, Thomas is the highest-graded offensive tackle in the country through two weeks. He’s allowed only one hurry on 39 pass-blocking snaps and has been even more physically dominant as a run-blocker.

7. S Grant Delpit, LSU | Detroit Lions

His ability to stick with receivers isn’t in question, but Delpit’s ability to bring them to the ground still is. He’s whiffed on two of his nine tackle attempts already this season after he missed 16 of 81 attempts in 2018. 

8. OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa | Arizona Cardinals

While Thomas is the highest-graded tackle in the nation so far, Wirfs is the second-highest. The fluidity with which he moves is almost unfair for a player that’s arguably the strongest in the country. 

9. WR Jalen Reagor, TCU | Oakland Raiders

TCU’s only had one game so far (Arkansas Pine Bluff), and Reagor did himself no favors dropping two of his seven catchable targets (in his defense they were off-target throws). Reagor still made an Arkansas Pine Bluff corner look like he was running through mud on a deep post touchdown late in the third quarter.

10. QB Justin Herbert, Oregon | Denver Broncos

Herbert finally comes off the board after yet another small performance in a big game. Of course, Herbert followed that up by torching Nevada, but that’s been his MO his entire career. With all the arm talent in the world, his refusal to take chances downfield is concerning. 

11. WR Laviska Shenault, Colorado | Buffalo Bills

It’s been slow pickings early on for Shenault, who’s hauled in 8-of-12 targets for 79 yards and a touchdown. The good news is his targets haven’t been near as gimmicky this season. His 10-yard average depth of target this season is way up from his 6.6 last year.

12. CB Bryce Hall, Virginia | Indianapolis Colts

The Virginia corner has been thrown at five times so far through two games and given up one catch – a checkdown underneath his zone – for six yards. Hopefully, QBs finally learn their lesson about targeting Hall.

13. WR Ceedee Lamb, Oklahoma | Jacksonville Jaguars

Lamb has taken over the reins from Marquise Brown and isn’t letting go. His yards per route is up to 4.75 this season from 2.94 a year ago. Business as usual. 

14. CB Kristian Fulton, LSU | Carolina Panthers

Fulton’s ankle was obviously hampering him after reinjuring it against Texas, but he still left the contest with three forced incompletions and a coverage stop. Hopefully, the ankle won’t be a factor coming SEC play.

15. DI Derrick Brown, Auburn | Tennessee Titans

We wanted to see more consistency from Brown as a pass-rusher this season and even though the season is still young, he hasn’t delivered in that regard. Brown has been credited with only one hurry on 66 pass-rushing snaps so far. The flashes of dominant power are still present, and he gets a slight pass for facing an Oregon line that is one of the tops in the country.

16. LB/S Isaiah Simmons, Clemson | Atlanta Falcons

Simmons has been targeted six times in coverage this season, and those targets have gone for a grand total of 19 yards. His positional designation will be interesting, as Clemson mixed it up and had him line up at deep safety for 29 snaps this past week.   

17. OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama | Miami Dolphins

Leatherwood looks far more comfortable at left tackle this season than he did at right guard in 2018. He’s allowed only one pressure through two games and has been one of the biggest movers up PFF’s draft board.

18. CB CJ Henderson, Florida | San Francisco 49ers

Henderson has all the ability in the world, but his laissez-faire demeanor is rare for a top-tier corner. I’ll take the results, though. Henderson has allowed one catch for 20 yards on five targets this season.

19. CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama | Pittsburgh Steelers

With fewer than 500 snaps to his name before 2019, Diggs was a player we liked a lot but pumped the brakes on pushing as a top prospect before we saw him play more football. Now that we have, he’s made our first-round. Diggs had a beautiful interception Week 1 and on his only catch allowed this season, he had his hands raking the catch point. 

20. DI Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina | Seattle Seahawks

Kinlaw has been as advertised with already two sacks and four hurries on 42 pass-rushing snaps in 2019. He’s also got the highest pass-rushing grade in 2018 of any returning interior defensive lineman.

21. Edge Julian Okwara, Notre Dame | Baltimore Ravens

Louisville did a good job of scheming to slow down the talented Notre Dame pass-rusher in his only outing this season. He was held to only one hit and one hurry on 22 pass-rushing snaps.

22. OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas | Cleveland Browns

Cosmi’s seamless transition from right tackle to left this season has been eye-catching. On 113 pass-blocking snaps, he’s allowed only two pressures and played extremely well against an NFL prospect in LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson.

23. WR Henry Ruggs, Alabama | Minnesota Vikings

Ruggs hasn’t seen the rock travel his way much yet with only eight targets so far on the season. He proved he still has a second gear that’s as fast as anyone’s in the country, though, with an electric 39-yard catch and run this past week.

24. Edge Curtis Weaver, Boise State | Oakland Raiders

Weaver is back to stuffing the PFF stat sheets. He has two sacks, two hits and five hurries already on only 44 pass-rushing snaps. His versatility is going to be a problem for opposing offenses at the next level.

25. CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford | Los Angeles Chargers

Adebo continues to be a PBU machine. After leading the nation with 19 a year ago, he already has three in two games this year (along with a pick). With his wingspan and ball skills, you’ll be seeing him mocked to press cover-3 defenses a ton this year.

26. WR Tee Higgins, Clemson | Green Bay Packers

Higgins continues to make highlight-reel grabs routinely. This time he adjusted to and caught a pass that was tipped by a defender mere feet in front of him. He’s already hauled in two of three contested catches this season, as well.

27. TE Jared Pinkney, Vanderbilt | Dallas Cowboys

Pinkney looked back to his dynamic self against Purdue this past week, hauling in three of his four targets for 61 yards. His numbers, however, may never get off the ground this season, as the quarterback situation for Vanderbilt doesn’t look pretty.

28. IOL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin | Los Angeles Rams

It’s been a middling start for Biadasz, who only has a 59.5 overall grade at the moment. I’m not going to push the panic button just yet, though, as his body of work the last two years of elite grades carries far more weight.

29. DI Marvin Wilson, Florida State | Philadelphia Eagles

Wilson looks to have taken his game to another level as a junior. His 92.4 pass-rushing grade is the highest in college football at the moment, and he’s earned pass-rushing grades of 90.0-plus in each game.

30. WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State | New Orleans Saints

Wallace’s YAC ability will fit in nicely with the Saints screen game. The Oklahoma State wideout leads all receivers in college football with 208 yards after the catch so far.

31. OL Netane Muti, Fresno State | Kansas City Chiefs

After an Achilles injury, Muti is back at guard and thriving once again. He’s only allowed one pressure against two Power 5 schools in USC and Minnesota. 

32. QB Joe Burrow, LSU | New England Patriots

Overreaction? Maybe. But through two weeks, Burrow has arguably the two best performances of any QB in the country this season.The difference in how he commands the LSU offense is night and day from a year ago. That confidence has led to pinpoint accuracy all over the football field, as his adjusted completion percentage went from 70.9% in 2018 to 87.9% this year.

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