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2020 NFL mock draft: Predicting the first two rounds with trades

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The NFL draft is nearly impossible to predict, so let’s try and do exactly that, forecasting the first two rounds of the 2020 draft.

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Mock drafts are a lot of fun to make, but they can be very challenging and time consuming to make. Not to mention, they can also be very wrong.

It’s nearly impossible to predict exact what will happen in the NFL draft, as the amount of trades that go into each event shake up the draft order tremendously. Throw in a handful of head-scratching selections in each round, and it’s clear that the actual draft ends up looking fairly different to the consensus mock choices heading into the weekend.

Nonetheless, it’s an enjoyable process, and with the 2020 NFL draft just two days away, why not take a stab at what might happen around the league?

In this mock draft, I will be forecasting the first two rounds of the draft, and I will include a handful of trades that I could potentially see happening. These picks are not necessarily what I would do, but rather what I expect other teams to do. My finalized big board will indicate where I personally view each of these prospects, but this mock draft is simply a guess as to how I think the draft will go.

Without further hesitation, here is my two-round mock draft for the upcoming 2020 NFL draft.

Round 1

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Because of course.

2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

This one should be a lock.

3. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

With the chaos surrounding Tua Tagovailoa’s injury, I’m not sure if a team trades up to No. 3 for him or Justin Herbert here. The Lions stay put and get their man in Okudah, a potential All-Pro corner to replace Darius Slay.

4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

This pick is the first crapshoot on the board, as it could end up being Isaiah Simmons or whichever of the top four offensive tackle the Giants have as their top guy. Simmons is a stud, but they need better protection for Daniel Jones, and Wirfs is a physical specimen with Day 1 impact and a high ceiling.

5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

I could very realistically see this pick not being Tua with his concerning medicals and the unusual circumstances of this draft, but the Dolphins have been on the #TankforTua train for quite some time, and they should finally get their man.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

If the Herbert-to-Miami rumors prove to just be a smokescreen, then the Chargers should scoop him up right afterwards to secure their potential franchise quarterback.

7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Losing Luke Kuechly to retirement was a huge blow for Carolina’s defense, but they manage to get another linebacker in the freakishly athletic Simmons, who would give them a franchise cornerstone on defense for the Matt Rhule era.

8. Atlanta Falcons (via Cardinals, projected trade): Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

There are rumors the Falcons could trade up when the draft rolls around, so they could move up to No. 8, jumping the Jaguars to get an interior defender with elite traits like Kinlaw.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

When you get rid of Jalen Ramsey, you’re going to need to find a replacement. Henderson would give the Jaguars a lengthy and fluid cornerback with good ball skills to help rebuild their defense.

10. Denver Broncos (via Browns, projected trade): Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Broncos are currently on the outside looking in on the top receiver prospects, so they trade up with Cleveland to secure an elite route runner and dynamic athlete in Jeudy. He and Courtland Sutton would give the Broncos one of the best young receiver duos in the league.

11. New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

An offensive tackle is certainly enticing here, but the Jets have one of the worst receiving groups in the league. Lamb is a big, athletic and flat-out dominant receiver who could be a legitimate No. 1 weapon for Sam Darnold right out of the gate.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Not to be left out in the cold on the run on receivers, the Raiders snag Ruggs, a dangerously speedy and explosive receiver who would give the late Al Davis palpitations.

13. San Francisco 49ers (via Colts): Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn

Although they missed out on the top three receivers, the 49ers can still get a top-notch (and cheaper) replacement for DeForest Buckner in Brown. He gives the defending NFC champs a powerful and quick interior defensive line to keep that unit at the top of the league.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

The Buccaneers have the weapons for Tom Brady to throw to, but they need to build up their offensive line. Wills is a strong and polished blocker who would be a slam-dunk pick if he falls this far in real life.

15. Cleveland Browns (via Broncos, projected trade): Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

What a perfect situation for the Browns. They trade back, acquiring a third-round pick and other assets from Denver, all while getting to pick the athletic behemoth Becton, whom they likely would’ve taken at No. 10, anyway.

16. Arizona Cardinals (via Falcons, projected trade): Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Another example of a team getting incredible value at offensive tackle in a trade back, the Cardinals acquire Atlanta’s second-round pick and get a pro-ready tackle like Thomas to protect Kyler Murray in what could be a big sophomore year for him.

17. Dallas Cowboys: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

The board lines up perfectly for the Cowboys, who would likely do backflips if they could stay put and draft the explosive Chaisson to complement DeMarcus Lawrence off the edge.

18. Miami Dolphins (via Steelers): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Although Miami went defense-heavy in free agency, they could still stand to improve at safety, and McKinney is a good value pick here who would help out their coverage considerably.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Bears): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Raiders have a nice young piece in Trayvon Mullen at cornerback, but they need another starter, and the fluid Fulton would complement the 2019 second-round pick perfectly.

20. New England Patriots (via Jaguars, projected trade): Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Determined to get their man, the Patriots jump in the draft to make sure the Saints can’t pass them up to take Love, an admittedly risky quarterback prospect with as high of a ceiling as any quarterback in this class. Can he be a worthy heir to the GOAT?

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Wide receiver is an area of concern for the Eagles, and Jefferson was an ultra-productive target for LSU this past season. His fluidity and top-notch ball skills make him worth a look for Philadelphia here.

22. Minnesota Vikings: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

With Stefon Diggs gone, the Vikings are razor-thin at receiver outside of Adam Thielen. Mims gives them an elite size-speed prospect with a very high ceiling and a proven track record of development year after year.

23. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Patriots projected trade): Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma

An explosive interior defender with top-notch athleticism, Gallimore would give the Jaguars some much-needed talent at defensive tackle, and trading back would give them even more draft picks, a strategy they have already shown an inclination towards this offseason.

24. New Orleans Saints: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

Despite missing out on a potential long-term replacement for Drew Brees, the Saints could still address another need by stating in the state of Louisiana to add the explosive Queen to their defense.

25. Minnesota Vikings: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackenzie Alexander are all out of Minnesota, which gives the Vikings an excuse to draft a first-round cornerback again. They desperately need talent there, and Terrell would give them length, fluidity and physicality.

26. Miami Dolphins (via Texans): Josh Jones, OT, Houston

After using their first pick on a quarterback, the Dolphins will need to beef up their offensive line to protect Tua in the long run. Jones is an athletic and sizable tackle prospect with a high ceiling at the next level.

27. Seattle Seahawks: Cesar Ruiz, OL, Michigan

The Seahawks have needed offensive line help for quite some time, and with a plug-and-play starter like Ruiz available, they would be wise to pull the trigger on drafting a lineman early.

28. Los Angeles Chargers (via Ravens, projected trade): Austin Jackson, OT, USC

The Chargers decide to take the same approach as the Dolphins, adding an athletic offensive tackle in Jackson to protect their new franchise quarterback, even trading up into the first round to do so.

29. Tennessee Titans: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State

Harold Landry is making strides in his young career, but the Titans need another pass rusher alongside him, and Gross-Matos would give them an athletic one-two punch off the edge.

30. Green Bay Packers: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

A wide receiver could very well be the pick here for Green Bay, but the athletic and productive Murray would be very good value this late in the first round, especially at a position of need.

31. Detroit Lions (via 49ers, projected trade): A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

A.J. Epenesa is a Matt Patricia pick if I’ve ever seen one. Eager to get their man, the Lions trade up into the first round to secure a partner on the edge to form a scary duo with Trey Flowers.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin

While the Chiefs could look to add a running back here, they can likely find good value there on Day 2. Baun would give them an explosive and versatile athlete who can rush the passer and move around in space.

Round 2:

33. Cincinnati Bengals: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

34. Indianapolis Colts (via Redskins): Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

35. San Francisco 49ers (via Lions, projected trade): Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

36. New York Giants: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama

37. Baltimore Ravens (via Chargers, projected trade): Lloyd Cushenberry, OL, LSU

38. Carolina Panthers: Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan

39. Miami Dolphins: D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

40. Houston Texans (via Cardinals): Ross Blacklock, DL, TCU

41. Cleveland Browns: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

42. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

43. Chicago Bears (via Raiders): Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota

A versatile defensive back with top-notch intelligence and range in coverage—as well as toughness in the box and an intense style of play—Winfield makes up for his 5-foot-9 frame by being an absolute playmaker in the secondary. He and Eddie Jackson would form a dangerous safety duo for the Bears.

44. Indianapolis Colts: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington

45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

46. Denver Broncos: Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama

47. Arizona Cardinals (via Falcons, projected trade): Justin Madubuike, DL, Texas A&M

48. New York Jets: Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State

49. Pittsburgh Steelers: K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State

50. Baltimore Ravens (via Bears, projected trade): Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

51. Dallas Cowboys: Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois

52. Los Angeles Rams: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

53. Philadelphia Eagles: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

54. Buffalo Bills: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State

55. Chicago Bears (via Ravens, projected trade): Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn

The Bears trade back a handful of spots, securing a fourth-round pick and another late-round selection in the process. While very tempting to go with an offensive player here, the value of the athletic and physical Igbinoghene might be too good to pass up at this stage of the draft.

56. Miami Dolphins: Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame

57. Los Angeles Rams (via Texans): Matt Hennessy, OL, Temple

58. Minnesota Vikings: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame

59. Seattle Seahawks: Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn

60. Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne

61. Tennessee Titans: Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn

62. Green Bay Packers: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC

63. Kansas City Chiefs (via 49ers): Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU

64. Seattle Seahawks (via Chiefs): Lucas Niang, OT, TCU