Robert Garcia’s 2020 NFL Mock Draft — Quarantine Edition!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, someone once sang, and this year it's about as crazy as any draft we’ve covered. Fans are about to get up close and personal with every NFL general manager’s basement, living room or man cave. We’re going to get to see which franchises scouting departments did their work as pro days and personal visits were wiped out thanks to COVID-19.
This year’s draft is loaded with depth as there are a legit thirty-plus first round talents on my board. No position is deeper or as talented as the wide receiving class. As I mentioned in my Top 40 prospect rankings, this year’s talent should rival the great wideout classes of 1988, 2001 and the gifted class of 1996, led by Marvin Harrison and Terrell Owens.
I really love this group! There is a bona fide depth of talent, and the crème de la crème is comprised of four prospects who each bring a specialized skill set to the position. Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy is as polished a route-runner as I’ve scouted coming out of school, while Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb has movement skills after the catch that are second to none.
Another Alabama product Henry Ruggs has world class speed--he ran a 4.27 at the combine, and is a dangerous threat as a kick returner. My favorite wideout is LSU’s Justin Jefferson. Some scouts have him penciled in as a slot receiver, but I see Jefferson’s game more in line with former Viking, Stefon Diggs. Both receivers can play the slot or outside, can take you both deep and across the middle of the field. Jefferson ran a 4.43 forty, killing any notions about his lack of deep speed.
I mocked four quarterbacks in the first round, led by Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow of LSU. He will be followed by Oregon’s Justin Herbert and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa. Nevada’s Jordan Love could slide out of the first round as there are questions surrounding his development and how long it could take him to contribute.
With four teams having multiple picks, I expect to see a bevy of trades as teams attempt to acquire the player of their choice or extra draft picks. The buzz starts with the second pick and don’t be surprised to see the trading flood gates open as the first round comes to a close.
Expect a big run on offensive tackles early and as that fizzles out, the attention will turn to the wide receivers. Corners should start coming off the board in the bottom third of the round.
Time to take a look at my annual 600 ESPN El Paso NFL Mock Draft. I actually projected trades this year, so this should blow up pretty quickly.
1. Cincinnati – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
2. Washington – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
3. Detroit – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
4. N.Y. Giants – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
5. Miami – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
6. LA Chargers – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
7. Carolina – Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson
8. Tampa Bay (trade with Cardinals) – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
9. Jacksonville – Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn
10. Cleveland – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
11. NY Jets – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
12. Las Vegas – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
13. San Francisco – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
14. Arizona (trade with Buccaneers) – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
15. Denver – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
16. Atlanta – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
17. Dallas – K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
18. Miami – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
19. Minnesota (trade with Raiders) – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
20. Jacksonville – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
21. Philadelphia – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
22. Las Vegas (trade with Vikings) – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
23. New England – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
24. New Orleans – Jordan Love, QB, Nevada
25. Minnesota – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
26. Miami – Cesar Ruiz, C/G, Michigan
27. Seattle – Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
28. Baltimore – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
29. Tennessee – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
30. Green Bay – Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
31. San Francisco – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
32. Kansas City – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Follow Robert Garcia on Twitter @DraftCheese