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2020 NFL mock draft: What the fallout of Tua Tagovailoa going No. 2 to Washington could look like

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A potential bombshell was dropped at the NFL Scouting Combine. What happens if Washington doesn’t draft Chase Young?

An illustration of NFL QB prospect Tua Tagovailoa yelling in his Alabama uniform, superimposed on a  gray and black background with “MOCK” in aqua letters
Where Tua Tagovailoa will end up is one of the biggest question marks of the 2020 NFL Draft.

The NFL Scouting Combine is a wrap, and it’s leading to some serious speculation about the second overall pick.

We all know that the Cincinnati Bengals are poised to take LSU quarterback Joe Burrow first overall. But headlines were made when new Washington head coach Ron Rivera spoke to the media about his intentions with the second pick in the draft.

“Everything is an option,” Rivera said when asked about Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. “We’re not closing the door on anything.”

For now, that opens things up to discussion about Washington not taking Ohio State’s Chase Young. Here’s a look at how that could alter the first round, as well as some players who helped their stock at the combine.

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Offseason needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, offensive tackle, linebacker

Forget that silly false narrative — Burrow has no problem playing for the Bengals. Adding to that, Bengals player personnel director Duke Tobin all but shot down the notion of trading the first pick in the draft. Put that together and the case is even stronger that Burrow is the No. 1 pick.

2. Washington: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Offseason needs: Offensive tackle, pass rusher, wide receiver, cornerback

You can’t dismiss the fact that Rivera was not part of the organization when it drafted Dwayne Haskins last year. And while Rivera said a team can win with Haskins, this seemed like much more of a damning quote.

“He’s not anointed, that’s for sure,” Rivera said during his media session. “I expect him to come in and compete and work, and we’ll see what happens.”

3. Detroit Lions: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

Offseason needs: Cornerback, defensive tackle, pass rusher, wide receiver

No one will be happier if Tagovailoa goes second than the Lions. That leaves Young, the best player in the draft, for them. After giving Trey Flowers a five-year, $90 million contract last offseason, the Lions would have a lot of money tied up in their pass rush. But defensive ends of Young’s caliber make it worth it.

4. New York Giants: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Offseason needs: Offensive tackle, pass rusher, linebacker, cornerback

Simmons, somehow, exceeded expectations at the combine with his insane workout. Call him a Derwin James clone. Or a taller Thomas Davis. No matter the comparison you prefer, Simmons is going to be a star in the NFL.

5. Miami Dolphins: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Offseason needs: Quarterback, pass rusher, offensive tackle, running back, cornerback

Herbert stole the show during the quarterback portion of combine workouts, but not so much that he becomes one of the first two quarterbacks off the board. But if Tagovailoa is the No. 2 pick, the Dolphins could sit back at No. 5 and take Herbert.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Offseason needs: Quarterback, offensive tackle, cornerback, guard

Arguably no team will be hit harder by Tagovailoa going second than the Chargers. It would mean there’s a strong possibility on missing out on Herbert and going into next season either starting Tyrod Taylor or a free agent signing. Whomever is the quarterback in Los Angeles needs an improved line. If the Chargers can fix their line and add a couple of pieces here and there, they could be one of the surprise teams in the NFL next season.

7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

Offseason needs: Linebacker, defensive tackle, cornerback, quarterback

If three quarterbacks go in the first five picks, the Panthers can find themselves in position to get one of the draft’s elite players. Brown, at 325 pounds, is a powerhouse defensive tackle who can stuff the run and get after the quarterback. As new head coach Matt Rhule reshapes Carolina’s roster, Brown could be the centerpiece on defense.

8. Arizona Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Offseason needs: Offensive tackle, defensive tackle, wide receiver, pass rusher

It’s hard to decide who had the single most impressive combine, but you can’t go wrong saying it was Wirfs. He set a record for offensive linemen in the broad and vertical jumps, and he had the fast 40-yard dash time of all blockers in Indy this year. That was all at 320 pounds, too. Wirfs’ athleticism is legendary. The craziest thing? It’s all evident when you watch him play.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Offseason needs: Cornerback, wide receiver, linebacker, safety

Okudah had a brief injury scare at the combine, but it in no way should impact his draft stock. If the Jaguars target a defensive player and Simmons is gone, Okudah should get the nod over anyone else. He can lock down lead receivers for Jacksonville, and take a lot of the pressure off veteran A.J. Bouye.

10. Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Offseason needs: Offensive tackle (both sides), safety, linebacker, slot cornerback

Becton tipped the scales at the combine at 364 pounds and still managed to run the 40-yard dash in 5.1 seconds. That’s a lot of force at play. More importantly, Becton has shown he uses his size against defenders, both at the edge and in space.

11. New York Jets: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Offseason needs: Pass rusher, offensive tackle, wide receiver, cornerback

Leading up to the start of free agency, there are rumors of the Jets being the landing spot for Titans right tackle Jack Conklinunless they are not. What happens with Conklin will determine what the Jets do with the 11th pick. If Conklin signs elsewhere, the Jets could take the fifth offensive tackle in first 11 picks. In most drafts that would be ridiculous. But in any other year, a player like Thomas would be in contention for the first five picks.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Offseason needs: Wide receiver, cornerback, linebacker, quarterback

The Raiders could have their pick of wide receivers if we do see a big run on offensive tackles. Raiders general manager Mike Mayock explained what he’s looking for in a wide receiver, and Lamb fits the bill nicely.

13. Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Offseason needs: Quarterback, wide receiver, offensive tackle, defensive lineman

The Colts seem poised to sign a veteran quarterback this offseason, with Philip Rivers the likeliest possibility. If that happens, the Colts will be in win-now mode. With a good offensive line and solid running game, Indianapolis’ offense could be rounded out with a sure thing of a wide receiver like Jeudy.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

Offseason needs: Quarterback, pass rushing defensive tackle, pass rusher, offensive tackle

Kinlaw sat out the combine because of tendinitis, but it shouldn’t ding his draft prospects. For the Buccaneers, Kinlaw would give them the type of pass-rushing interior defensive lineman that they need next to Vita Vea.

15. Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Offseason needs: Wide receiver, offensive tackle, cornerback, linebacker

Although Ruggs didn’t break John Ross’ 40-yard dash record, he still had an excellent combine. That means the discussion point will be about whether or not he’s jumped over Jeudy or Lamb. The Broncos should hope not. Ruggs is a perfect complement to Courtland Sutton and would give Denver a strong wide receiver duo.

16. Atlanta Falcons: K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU

Offseason needs: Edge rusher, interior pass rusher, cornerback, offensive tackle

Whether it’s Takkarist McKinley or Vic Beasley, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has shown he has a preferred type of pass rusher. This draft’s version is Chaisson, a speedy standup rusher with good athleticism.

17. Dallas Cowboys: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Offseason needs: Safety, cornerback, defensive tackle, pass rusher

With the fate of Amari Cooper, Byron Jones, and Dak Prescott up in the air, the Cowboys are the most intriguing team going into free agency. What happens with that trio will determine the direction Dallas takes in the first round. Jones is the most likely to leave, putting defensive back squarely at the top of the team’s needs. McKinney bowed out of the combine with cramps, but he’s considered by many as the top safety this year.

18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh Steelers): A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

Offseason needs: Quarterback, pass rusher, offensive tackle, running back, cornerback

If Epenesa slips past Atlanta and Dallas, the Dolphins should pounce. While they do need offensive line help, good pass rushers are hard to come by. Epenesa can play inside or outside for the Dolphins.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago Bears): Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

Offseason needs: Wide receiver, cornerback, linebacker, quarterback

While everyone is rightfully excited about what the offensive linemen and wide receivers did at the combine, it’s easy to overlook Murray’s performance. He ran a 4.52-second 40 and had good vertical, bench press, and broad jump numbers. There’s some ambiguity to his exact position as a linebacker, but the Raiders need a talent like him on their defense.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars: (via Los Angeles Rams): Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Offseason needs: Cornerback, wide receiver, linebacker, safety

Jefferson was a first-round player before the combine and did well to bolster his draft status. Jefferson is a stellar slot receiver with speed and sure hands.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

Offseason needs: Wide receiver, cornerback, linebacker, safety

There was plenty of speculation from NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah during the combine broadcast that Henderson is a top-15 pick. If he happens to drop to this range, the Eagles should snag him. Philadelphia has multiple free agent cornerbacks, and Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones just haven’t developed as expected.

22. Buffalo Bills: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

Offseason needs: Pass rusher, big wide receiver, interior defensive lineman, cornerback

With Tee Higgins sitting out the combine and Laviska Shenault limited by injury, Reagor could rise ahead of them in April. Reagor may not be the 6’2 or 6’3-type of receiver the Bills need, but he plays bigger than his 5’11 size, and he showed it with a 42-inch vertical leap.

23. New England Patriots: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Offseason needs: Pass rusher, tight end, offensive tackle, quarterback

Even if the Patriots get Tom Brady back, or acquire a veteran quarterback, they should strongly consider Love if he’s available. Love is a project, but the Patriots could refresh their franchise if he’s coached up correctly.

24. New Orleans Saints: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

Offseason needs: Cornerback, interior offensive lineman, wide receiver, quarterback

A cornerback will be intriguing here, but in Drew Brees’ final years, the Saints could stack their offense for a Super Bowl push. Shenault didn’t do much in Indianapolis and has to undergo surgery. In other words, you have to trust what Shenault did at Colorado to justify a first-round pick.

25. Minnesota Vikings: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

Offseason needs: Cornerback, offensive line, defensive tackle, wide receiver

If Jackson and Houston’s Josh Jones are both available, the Vikings should flip a coin and choose whichever one it lands on. Both are a step below the top four offensive tackles, but have starting ability as rookies. Jackson is a quick blocker and handles speed rushers nicely. In a division with Khalil Mack, Za’Darius Smith, and potentially Young, the Vikings will need that type of blocker.

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

Offseason needs: Quarterback, pass rusher, offensive tackle, running back, cornerback

If the Dolphins come out of the first round with a new starting quarterback, pass rusher, and offensive tackle, that’s an A+ draft. That’s right, we’re already talking about draft grades.

27. Seattle Seahawks: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

Offseason needs: Pass rusher, wide receiver, interior offensive lineman, offensive tackle

Going into the combine, people were sleeping on the massive Wilson. Maybe it’s because he was only a redshirt sophomore and sat out Georgia’s bowl game. But the long-limbed, 350-pound right tackle looked good at the combine and may have pushed his way into the first round.

28. Baltimore Ravens: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

Offseason needs: Linebacker, wide receiver, pass rusher, cornerback

I’m sticking with this pick from last week. Queen suffered a hamstring injury at the combine, yet still put up a 4.5 in the 40. That shows his athleticism to a degree. It’s the type of athleticism Baltimore needs on defense.

29. Tennessee Titans: Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame

Offseason needs: Pass rusher, offensive tackle, quarterback, tight end

A leg injury limited Okwara to only doing the bench press at the combine, which is unfortunate. Several teams in this range are after a pass rusher, but Okwara might slide over concerns about his health. If he does, Tennessee could take a chance in the back for the first round and find a partner for Harold Landry.

30. Green Bay Packers: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

Offseason needs: Wide receiver, linebacker, offensive lineman, tight end

This would be a great spot for either Jefferson or Reagor, but both were gone in this scenario. This is actually a tough draw all around for the Packers. The best offensive linemen and linebackers are all gone, and there isn’t a tight end worth a first-round pick this year. Aiyuk is a fringe first-round player with his ability to get deep and make a play after the catch.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Offseason needs: Safety, cornerback, offensive lineman, linebacker

Despite an impressive showing by Lenoir-Rhyne’s Kyle Dugger at the combine, I’m still sticking with Delpit to the 49ers. With Jimmie Ward potentially gone in free agency, the 49ers can find his replacement near the end of the first round.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

Offseason needs: Linebacker, cornerback, running back, offensive lineman

Between Fulton, Clemson’s A.J. Terrell, or Mississippi State’s Cameron Dantzler, the Chiefs should have some solid cornerback options with the 32nd pick. Fulton had 25 passes defensed the last two seasons and comes out of an LSU program that knows how to develop secondary players.