2020 NFL Mock Draft

Lance Zierlein NFL mock draft 2.0

By Lance Zierlein |

NFL Media draft analyst

Published: March 20, 2020 at 10:26 a.m.

Before you get too worked up about this mock draft not looking like everyone else's, it's important to share my philosophy on these exercises.

First off, drafts almost never go the way we expect. In the first couple of mocks I put together, I always try to anticipate/create potential surprises and then see how my board begins to fall based upon those contingencies.

I believe that Joe Burrow is likely headed to the Bengals ... but what if he's not? Who might come up and make a run for Burrow, and how would a trade at the top impact the rest of Round 1? These are questions I like to ask and answer in early iterations of my mock drafts.

So, with the first wave of free agency in the books, here's my updated mock for Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft:

  1. Pick No.
    1
    QB
    LSU
    Projected trade to Dolphins
    PROJECTED TRADE WITH BENGALS. If there is any sense in Cincinnati that Burrow doesn't want to be a Bengal long-term, then the team should listen to offers. An NFL executive I consulted with felt that including all three of Miami's first-round picks in this deal would be too much, so I'm sending Cincy Pick Nos. 5 and 18, as well as second-round selections.
  2. Pick No.
    2
    DL
    Ohio St.
    Young's physical makeup is rare, as is his junior-year production (16.5 sacks in 12 games). While defensive ends (and former first overall picks) like Jadeveon Clowney and Myles Garrett had the physical tools coming into the league, Young has been out here eating on the field consistently.
  3. Pick No.
    3
    QB
    Alabama
    Projected trade to Chargers
    PROJECTED TRADE WITH LIONS. The Chargers are headed into a new stadium without much fanfare at the QB position, unless they move up three spots and secure this talented lefty, who should become the face of their franchise by 2021.
  4. Pick No.
    4
    OL
    Louisville
    Massive and athletic are descriptors we don't often see used in the same sentence, but the Louisville left tackle is that guy. The Giants could go with Isaiah Simmons or Jedrick Wills in this spot, as well.
  5. Pick No.
    5
    QB
    Oregon
    Projected trade to Bengals
    PROJECTED TRADE WITH DOLPHINS. With the Bengals trading back in this scenario, it's worth noting that head coach Zac Taylor and his staff should have a feel for Herbert after working with him at the Senior Bowl in January. If they liked what they saw, it might be enough to allow them to accept this trade and make this pick.
  6. Pick No.
    6
    CB
    Ohio St.
    Projected trade to Lions
    PROJECTED TRADE WITH CHARGERS. With the trade of Darius Slay to the Eagles, the Lions will be ready to turn in the card for Okudah. He's a talented, twitchy CB1 who has room to get even better.
  7. Pick No.
    7
    OL
    Alabama
    Wills is an instant plug-and-play starter at right tackle -- and sources at Alabama believe he has the ability to switch to left tackle if called upon to help protect Teddy Bridgewater.
  8. Pick No.
    8
    LB
    Clemson
    The guess here is that Arizona won't be expecting to see Simmons on the board, but if he is, he may be too enticing to pass up. Plugging in an OT here is an easy move, but Tristan Wirfs doesn't offer the same potential impact as Simmons.
  9. Pick No.
    9
    DL
    Auburn
    Selecting Josh Allen was a terrific move for the Jaguars last year. Following that up with a disruptive interior lineman would be a step in the right direction for a team looking to re-establish its defensive identity.
  10. Pick No.
    10
    OL
    Iowa
    Athletic tackle who has experience on both the left and right sides. With Jack Conklin in the fold now, Wirfs gives the Browns a chance to protect Baker Mayfield with a pair of quality bookends.
  11. Pick No.
    11
    WR
    Oklahoma
    Sam Darnold gets the top receiver on the board and a player who can line up inside or outside as he attacks on all three levels.
  12. Pick No.
    12
    WR
    Alabama
    Pristine route runner with good speed and explosiveness. He can be a field stretcher or a volume target, depending on the matchup.
  13. Pick No.
    13
    DL
    South Carolina
    DeForest Buckner is gone ... and in his place steps another long-limbed, physical freak. Build the fronts and the rest falls into place.
  14. Pick No.
    14
    OL
    Georgia
    Thomas has experience at both left and right tackle. He plays with a gritty demeanor while offering gets-guys-blocked value in pass protection.
  15. Pick No.
    15
    WR
    Alabama
    Now Drew Lock has a legitimate field stretcher to back safeties up and create even more room for emerging WR1 Courtland Sutton.
  16. Pick No.
    16
    CB
    Florida
    Henderson is a smooth outside cornerback with a tremendous combination of speed and fluidity to help bolster the Falcons' coverage on Day 1.
  17. Pick No.
    17
    Dallas selects a slithery edge rusher who put together his best work over the second half of the 2019 season. He should inject some spice into the Cowboys' pass rush.
  18. Pick No.
    18
    LB
    Oklahoma
    Projected trade to Bengals
    PROJECTED TRADE WITH DOLPHINS. The former Oklahoma linebacker can play in the middle or outside. He's fast, can cover and brings an alpha demeanor to the unit.
  19. Pick No.
    19
    CB
    Clemson
    The Raiders have done a nice job filling some of their holes via free agency, but they still need corner help and Terrell fits the winning culture that GM Mike Mayock covets.
  20. Pick No.
    20
    QB
    Utah St.
    If Love is still on the board here, it might be hard for the Jaguars to pass on the boom-or-bust prospect with loads of talent.
  21. Pick No.
    21
    Jefferson has excellent ball skills and was terrific when working from the slot in 2019. He can play inside or outside and offers an upgrade for the offense.
  22. Pick No.
    22
    DL
    Penn St.
    With Everson Griffen exploring free agency, the Vikings could look to fill the void here. Gross-Matos is an ascending defensive end with traits and rush potential waiting to be developed.
  23. Pick No.
    23
    LB
    LSU
    Figuring out what Bill Belichick is going to do isn't getting any easier. However, Queen is tough and fast. He could become the new leader of the defense by next year.
  24. Pick No.
    24
    WR
    Baylor
    With no second-round pick this year, the pressure will be on the Saints in Round 1 to find a wideout who can stretch the field and take pressure off of Michael Thomas.
  25. Pick No.
    25
    The Vikings know they can find receiver talent outside of the first round, but finding an interior pass rusher like Blacklock won't be as easy.
  26. Pick No.
    26
    OL
    Houston
    Jones didn't display the kind of athleticism I expected to see from him at the NFL Scouting Combine (he may have carried too much weight). He has legitimate left tackle upside but a lower floor.
  27. Pick No.
    27
    Athletic tackle prospect who is picking up steam in certain scouting circles, but he needs to get stronger and more consistent with technique.
  28. Pick No.
    28
    LB
    Wisconsin
    Baun offers rare LB/edge versatility that will fit nicely with Baltimore's needs. He's fluid moving in space and has real edge-bending talent as a rusher.
  29. Pick No.
    29
    CB
    TCU
    The Titans must get better in the back end and there is no question that Gladney is one of the most tenacious ballhawks in this draft.
  30. Pick No.
    30
    WR
    TCU
    Reagor has explosive field speed and is a sudden target underneath. He could become an early favorite of Aaron Rodgers.
  31. Pick No.
    31
    CB
    Alabama
    Diggs didn't test at the combine, but his size, length and ball skills could still be enticing for the 49ers, even if they never get to time him in the 40-yard dash.
  32. Pick No.
    32
    RB
    Georgia
    This is theft. Grabbing a three-down talent like Swift makes it even tougher to slow the champs.
  33. 2019 NFL Mock Draft Central