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2020 NFL mock draft: Draft week is finally here — and so are the rumors

We still know the first two picks, but some new names are emerging right before the draft.

A black and white collage of NFL Draft prospects Isaiah Simmons (Clemson LB), Joe Burrow (LSU QB), and Chase Young (Ohio State DE), with the words “MOCK DRAFT” in the background surrounded by stars
Isaiah Simmons, Joe Burrow, and Chase Young will all be NFL players as of April 23.

The week of the 2020 NFL Draft is finally here, and the rumors are running wild. Almost every team has been mentioned in trade talks, pointless Wonderlic scores are leaked, and some players have become hot names at the finish line.

Below is the latest look at how the first round could play out. Look for one final mock draft on Wednesday evening.

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

In their history, the Bengals have taken five quarterbacks in the first round of the draft. From Greg Cook to Carson Palmer, the results have been uneven. Which side will Burrow fall on?

2. Washington: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

Like Burrow to Cincinnati, this pick has been locked in for months. Young is the best player in the draft, and Washington can build its franchise in the mold of the 49ers with numerous first-round picks up front on defense.

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

I’m not sure this pick will happen third overall, or deeper down after a trade by the Lions. But Okudah is a better fit than defensive tackle Derrick Brown of Auburn for what the Lions need right now.

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

While there’s plenty of buzz about Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons being the pick here, an offensive tackle still makes more sense. You can’t take a quarterback and running back high in the first round and make them play behind a subpar offensive line.

5. Miami Dolphins: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

In the last week or so, momentum for Miami’s first pick in the first round has changed from quarterback to offensive tackle. While that is possible, it’s hard to argue taking a blocker over a potential franchise quarterback.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Like the Dolphins’ pick, there has been some scuttlebutt about this choice not being a quarterback. Maybe it’s all a heavy smoke screen being laid down.

7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

I continue to be stuck on Brown to Carolina over Isaiah Simmons because the Panthers were so bad last season at stopping the run. Since linebacker Luke Kuechly left, they certainly haven’t gotten better. While Simmons could help replace Kuechly, Brown can be the first point of attack up the middle.

8. Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

This pick has become popular for a potential trade spot to a team in need of a quarterback. The idea is to get ahead of the Jaguars if Herbert or Tagovailoa is still available, in case they’re not totally sold on Gardner Minshew. With both of them gone, the Cardinals could hold at No. 8 and take a starting right tackle.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Who makes a bigger impact for the Jaguars: Simmons or Florida cornerback CJ Henderson? My opinion is Simmons, who would add speed and versatility to Jacksonville’s defense.

10. Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

If Becton is available for the Browns, they shouldn’t hesitate to take him despite the recent news about him failing a drug test. But if that does bother Cleveland — and it might considering the team’s past draft picks — it could take Andrew Thomas of Louisville.

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

This pick could very well be a wide receiver. The Jets are dangerously thin at the position. But the Jets finished 29th in the NFL last season at allowing sacks. If that continues, Sam Darnold could turn out to be a broken and wasted pick.

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

There’s nothing the Raiders would love more than having their choice of wide receivers at No. 12. Lamb, with his ability after the catch, would take pressure off Derek Carr to make precise throws.

13. San Francisco 49ers (via Indianapolis Colts): CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

Here’s the first real twist of this mock draft, with the 49ers taking Henderson over a wide receiver. Although the defense led San Francisco to a Super Bowl last season, what happened when Patrick Mahomes had two fourth-quarter touchdown passes has to sting.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Jones, OT, Houston

If the Buccaneers want one of the top four offensive tackles in the draft, they’ll likely have to trade up to get one. If not, they’ll be picking from the second tier of tackles to protect Tom Brady. Maybe it’s Austin Jackson of USC or Ezra Cleveland of Boise State. For me, it’s Jones.

15. Denver Broncos: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Even though the love affair with Henry Ruggs III would end with this pick, Jeudy is just the better player. He’s a precise route runner with excellent hands and speed after the catch.

16. Atlanta Falcons: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

This pick was almost shifted back to K’Lavon Chaisson of LSU, but after acquiring Dante Fowler, the Falcons could look to bolstering the interior of their defensive line with Kinlaw.

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

The Cowboys would love to see Chaisson available when they pick. If it’s not him, it could be Alabama safety Xavier McKinney. Chaisson would give the Cowboys a long and fast edge rusher who seems to be just scratching the surface of his potential.

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

The Dolphins have just about rebuilt their secondary, giving safety Eric Rowe a three-year deal in December and signing coveted free agent cornerback Byron Jones this offseason. The team can finish rounding out the secondary with McKinney. He would give them a safety who can play over the top or come down into the box.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago Bears): A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

As the draft has gotten closer, more reports have Terrell as being the third cornerback taken. That could be as high as the Raiders’ second first-round pick. Terrell was a durable 30-game starter at Clemson with experience in press and off coverage. He, along with Trayvon Mullen, would give the Raiders a nice young pair of cornerbacks.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars: (via Los Angeles Rams): Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State

This is the Yannick Ngakoue replacement pick. The real drama will be if the veteran defensive end gets traded during the draft, and what the Jaguars could get for him.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

The Eagles badly need speed at wide receiver, and they would certainly get it with Ruggs. The greater issue is about whether or not the team will trade up from No. 21 to get him.

22. Minnesota Vikings (via Buffalo Bills): Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

This mock draft has seen the wide receivers slip a little, and that would be a good thing for the Vikings. Jefferson was a star in the slot last season, but his skillset should allow him to play on the outside for Minnesota.

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

This remains one of the most confusing picks of the entire draft, and one of the most confusing players. It seems like Love could just as easily go near the top 10 or drop out of the first round. His range is all over the place.

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

If the top four quarterbacks are gone, the Saints should let the position come to them later in the draft. That could lead them to one of two linebackers: either Queen or Kenneth Murray of Oklahoma.

25. Minnesota Vikings: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

The Vikings have five of the first 105 picks in the draft this year, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see two of them dedicated to cornerback. That’s how desperate the Vikings are to improve that unit.

26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston Texans): D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

While some like J.K. Dobbins of Ohio State, I prefer Swift due to his speed and elusiveness. Even though the Dolphins just gave Jordan Howard a two-year deal, he was disappointing in Philadelphia last season. Kalen Ballage, taken in the fourth round in 2018, has been a non-factor thus far.

27. Seattle Seahawks: Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State

Over the past couple of weeks, it’s apparent that Cleveland will be a first-round pick. He’s a high-level athlete for an offensive tackle, and he could even go inside the top 20.

28. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

If Queen is gone already, the Ravens could go with Murray instead. He’s a high-effort, off-ball linebacker who would give the Ravens the athleticism they need at linebacker.

29. Tennessee Titans: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

More people are latching on to Wilson to the Titans in the final days leading up to the draft. It’s a slight reach, but for a playoff team, that is excusable.

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

There could be options like Denzel Mims of Baylor and Tee Higgins of Clemson available for the Packers, but they already have big receivers like them (Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown). Aiyuk would give them a receiver who can vary his routes, work the underneath game, and get deep.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

If the 49ers don’t take a wide receiver with the 13th pick, they can still get a good one with the 31st pick. That’s the type of scenario that could prevent the 49ers from trading back. Mims is a big receiver who would pair well with Deebo Samuel.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

Although Diggs is raw, cornerbacks with his level of pure talent don’t typically fall out of the first round. The Chiefs need to bolster their secondary, and Diggs won’t have to be the No. 1 cornerback for the Super Bowl champions.