Trades are the single most intriguing part of any NFL Draft. It will be no different for the 2020 iteration. Four of the first 32 picks have already been moved, but they all come at pick No. 18 or later.
Rest assured, plenty of picks inside the top 10 will get moved. Last year 12 picks in the first round changed hands. That includes the No. 30 being swapped three times.
This week’s mock draft might not explore trades that complex, but it makes some predictions about which teams could be moving around in the first round.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
2. Washington: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
When is the last time the first and second picks in the draft were so obvious before the NFL Scouting Combine? It might have been 2015, when Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota went first and second. Before them, it was probably 2010 with Sam Bradford and Ndamukong Suh. All that really means is that we should easily be able to predict the 2025 draft when the time comes.
TRADE: Miami sends pick Nos. 5 and 18 to Detroit for pick No. 3.
3. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Dolphins have plenty of draft ammunition to move up to get Tagovailoa. While the teams directly in front of them don’t need a quarterback, the teams behind them do. Instead of chancing things, they can shift some excess draft capital.
4. New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
If Miami does trade up to No. 3, the speculation with the draft starts with the Giants. If they can fight the right partner, they could even move back a few picks and still get a starter-level offensive tackle in the top 10. If they stay here, they could go after a superstar player like Simmons. New York’s defense is low on playmakers, and pass rusher Markus Golden is a free agent.
5. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
No team gave up more than Detroit’s 284.4 yards passing per game last season, and it was particularly bad down the stretch, allowing more than 300 yards per game in the final three weeks. The Lions need a lockdown cornerback like Okudah. They’d be justified in taking him third overall, so it would be a coup to drop back and get him and another first-round pick this year.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Barring a free agent signing, the Chargers definitely need Herbert in the first round this year. If they do, the rest of their offseason plan has to involve improving a porous offensive line.
TRADE: Jacksonville sends pick Nos. 9 and 42 to Carolina for pick No. 7
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Carolina Panthers): Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
If Brown doesn’t get selected in the first six picks, the Jaguars would be smart to jump up and not risk losing out on him. Jacksonville had one of the NFL’s worst run defenses last season, and Brown should help improve it. With two-first round picks because of the Jalen Ramsey trade, the Jaguars could get creative.
8. Arizona Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
If a couple of trades happen in front of them, the Cardinals could get lucky and have their pick of offensive linemen. Wirfs might be a right tackle, but he’s a sensational one. He has the athleticism teams covet and would help keep Kyler Murray upright.
9. Carolina Panthers: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
The best way for a new head coach to reshape a roster in his vision is to acquire draft picks. With a seven-year contract in hand, new Panthers coach Matt Rhule could take that approach to Carolina. Passing on Brown will be difficult, but getting an extra second-round pick this year could be worth it. While Kinlaw isn’t the run stuffer Brown is, he’s a standout talent who creates pressure up the middle.
TRADE: Las Vegas sends pick Nos. 12, 80, and a 2021 second-rounder to Cleveland for pick No. 10
10. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Another team with multiple first-round picks is the Raiders, who could also get creative. Specifically, they may want to get ahead of the Jets to take the wideout they prefer. That could be Jeudy, a smooth receiver who should make an impact immediately in the NFL.
11. New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
It’s true, the Jets could take an offensive tackle here, and it would be a fine choice. Sam Darnold has almost no weapons on offensem though. Robby Anderson, his best wide receiver, could sign elsewhere this offseason. Keeping Darnold’s pocket clean is nice, but he needs to throw someone the ball.
12. Cleveland Browns: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
Once again, the Browns have a new general manager and head coach, and they could take advantage of the draft’s offensive tackle depth and move down while getting extra picks. Whether it’s Wills, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, or Louisville’s Mekhi Becton, they should be able to find a starting tackle in this range.
13. Indianapolis Colts: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
Surprise! Love’s production dipped in 2019, but the Colts could get desperate after an up-and-down season from Jacoby Brissett once he replaced Andrew Luck. If the Colts convince themselves that Love really is the next Patrick Mahomes, they will jump on him in the top 15.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Look, of course the Buccaneers need to figure out quarterback and their pass rush. But year after year, this team manages to ignore the offensive line. Since 2016, Tampa Bay has drafted just two offensive linemen. Not two tackles or two guards. Two total in four drafts.
15. Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
We’re back to Ruggs landing in Denver. It just fits. Ruggs is a deep speed receiver, and Broncos quarterback Drew Lock is a deep-ball specialist. Next.
16. Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
If Epenesa is available for the Falcons, it’s hard to say no. The Falcons could lose Vic Beasley and Adrian Clayborn this offseason, and Takkarist McKinley is a free agent after the 2020 season. The pass rush situation for Atlanta is dire.
17. Dallas Cowboys: Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Don’t forget, after the 2018 season, people were gaga for Delpit. Like, top-five pick gaga. His 2019 was a bit of a letdown, but he was hurt and asked to play deep safety more often. When he’s healthy, he’s a playmaker.
18. Detroit Lions (via Pittsburgh via Miami): K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU
Despite adding Trey Flowers last offseason, the Lions still need someone who can get to the quarterback. Chaisson is a bit of a projection, but in the right system he can make an impact as a standup edge player.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago Bears): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
The Raiders took Trayvon Mullen in the second round last year and could find him a partner on the outside in the first round this year. Diggs is a big cornerback who can press and stick with speed receivers, even at 6’2.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: (via Los Angeles Rams): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Jaguars became a good team a couple seasons ago thanks to a stellar defense. With a second first-round pick in the draft, they can rebuild that side of the ball in a big way. Fulton has good size and speed for the position, and can play in the slot or outside.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
A run on defenders in front of them could be beneficial for the Eagles. That would allow a wide receiver to slip to them, whether it’s Shenault, Clemson’s Tee Higgins, or Penn State’s K.J. Hamler.
22. Buffalo Bills: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
The Bills lack a wide receiver with size who can make a difference. Higgins, at 6’4 with jump ball skills, checks that box. Higgins is going to get dinged in the draft because his speed is relatively normal. But few receivers can match him for his ability to go up and get the ball.
23. New England Patriots: Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
In any other year when they don’t have a second-round pick, the Patriots would likely move down. But strange things happen when a quarterback is at stake. In this case, it’s for the chance at landing a project player with upside in Eason. The Patriots could go from Drew Bledsoe to Tom Brady to a Drew Bledsoe clone.
TRADE: Miami sends pick Nos. 26 and 70 to New Orleans for pick No. 24
24. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans): Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The Dolphins really have the ammunition to do what they want in this draft. If they see a player they covet, they’d be smart to get him. Thomas has experience at both tackle spots and acquainted himself well on the left side the last two seasons.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Josh Jones, OT, Houston
Thomas and Jones both fell a little bit in this week’s mock draft, but never forget that no one really knows what’s going to happen on draft night. If Jones slides, the Vikings can stop his free fall at No. 25 and Riley Reiff can finally be moved off the left tackle spot.
26. New Orleans Saints: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
A trade for the Saints is the ideal because they have no second-round picks this year. If they miss out on Love and Eason, they could wait another year on a quarterback prospect. Instead, they could turn to the back part of the defense, where the team sorely lacks outside cornerbacks besides Marcus Lattimore. Sure, Janoris Jenkins is there, but he could be a money-saving cut.
TRADE: Kansas City sends pick Nos. 32 and 63 to Seattle for pick No. 27
27. Kansas City Chiefs (via Seattle Seahawks): Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
This trade was just as much about Seattle’s penchant for making deals than anything else. The Chiefs might want to move up to snag Queen before the Packers take him. Queen is a player I think will get hot leading up to the draft, and the Chiefs badly need linebacker help. The team’s other big need — running back — can be found at any point.
28. Baltimore Ravens: Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama
As a hybrid pass rusher, Lewis is the perfect fit for Baltimore. Lewis is a long and fast pass rusher who could replace Matt Judon if he leaves in free agency.
29. Tennessee Titans: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
The Titans didn’t pick up Jack Conklin’s fifth-year option, so that should tell you what they think of the 2016 first-round pick. On a team that prioritizes the run, it’s imperative Tennessee’s line remains strong. Jackson’s background is at left tackle, but he’s too good to pass up at No. 29.
30. Green Bay Packers: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Imagine forcing Aaron Rodgers to perform in the twilight of his career throwing to the likes of Jake Kumerow, Allen Lazard, Equanimeous St. Brown, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Get Rodgers a real receiver before it’s too late.
31. San Francisco 49ers: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
If Gladney does well for himself at the combine, he’s a player who could jump into the back part of the first round. Ahkello Witherspoon had a rocky third season, and the 49ers could look to bolster their talent in the secondary.
32. Seattle Seahawks: Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin
Baun isn’t a traditional edge rusher, but that didn’t stop him in 2019. He finished the season with 12.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss for Wisconsin, and his skill set as a speed linebacker standing up translates to the NFL.