xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement

2020 NFL mock draft (Version 1.0): Where will the wide receivers fall in a loaded class?

After the NFL regular season ended Sunday, the order for the top 20 picks in the 2020 NFL draft is set.

Here are The Baltimore Sun’s projections for each pick in the first round, which begins April 23 in Las Vegas. (Picks 21 through 32 are projected.)

Advertisement

1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14): Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

The Bengals have plenty of holes, but this is an easy one. Take the Ohio native with elite pocket presence and start building a team around him.

2. Washington Redskins (3-13): Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

With Young, the rebuilding Redskins could have one of the most dominant defensive lines in the league. It doesn’t hurt that the former DeMatha star is from the D.C. area, too.

3. Detroit Lions (3-12-1): Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Pairing Okudah with Darius Slay gives the Lions an elite cornerback tandem. Detroit’s defense ranked as one of the worst in the league in 2019.

4. New York Giants (4-12): Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

The Giants are in desperate need of a playmaker on defense. Simmons can provide a versatile presence in the middle of the field and even rush the passer.

Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to pass during a game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa looks to pass during a game Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt/AP)

5. Miami Dolphins (5-11): Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

The Dolphins control this draft with three first-round picks. The first one should be easy. Though it didn’t land at No. 1, Miami can still take the quarterback many predicted would be available at the top of the draft before the season. Questions linger about Tagovailoa’s health, but he’s shown plenty to be worthy of this pick.

6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11): Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The end of the Phillip Rivers era is here. Herbert has analysts split on his potential as a franchise quarterback, but his raw arm strength and athleticism could be too tempting to pass up.

7. Carolina Panthers (5-11): Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn

Depending on what happens with Cam Newton, the Panthers could decide to trade up for a quarterback or take one at this spot. If Newton stays, expect Carolina to improve its defensive front.

Advertisement

8. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1): CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

The Cardinals’ leading receiver in 2019 was 36-year-old Larry Fitzgerald. Lamb can team up with his old college quarterback Kyler Murray to take Kliff Kingsbury’s offense to the next level.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10): Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

If the Jaguars are lucky enough to see the top offensive lineman fall this far, they should pounce.

Iowa offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs plays against Iowa State on Sept. 14, 2019.
Iowa offensive lineman Tristan Wirfs plays against Iowa State on Sept. 14, 2019. (Justin Hayworth/AP)

10. Cleveland Browns (6-10): Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

It’s not the sexy pick many Browns fans are probably hoping for, but Cleveland must protect Baker Mayfield better if it wants to catch up to the Ravens in the AFC North.

11. New York Jets (7-9): Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

If quarterback Sam Darnold is going to flourish, he needs weapons. Jeudy, the draft’s best route runner, would give the Jets a solid receiving corps when Quincy Enunwa and Chris Herndon are healthy next season.

12. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9): Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

After the Antonio Brown trade didn’t work out as planned, the Raiders have a glaring hole at wide receiver. Higgins brings size (6 feet 4), speed and a wide catch radius to Las Vegas.

13. Indianapolis Colts (7-9): Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

T.Y. Hilton’s injury showed just how much the Colts need another playmaker at receiver. Shenault has a big body (6-2, 220 pounds) that can complement Hilton’s game-breaking speed.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9): Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

A defensive playmaker might be a better pick at this spot, but the need at offensive line is too strong to ignore.

LSU safety Grant Delpit (7) covers Auburn wide receiver Sal Cannella (80) in the first half in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019.
LSU safety Grant Delpit (7) covers Auburn wide receiver Sal Cannella (80) in the first half in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (Gerald Herbert/AP)

15. Denver Broncos (7-9): Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Considering the run on offensive talent that will probably happen above them, the Broncos could end up with their pick of top defensive players. Delpit could shore up a secondary that could lose star cornerback Chris Harris Jr. to free agency.

16. Atlanta Falcons (7-9): A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

One of the worst defenses in the league needs some fresh blood. Epenesa might not have the high-end athleticism teams covet, but his relentless pursuit makes him a force.

17. Dallas Cowboys (8-8): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

Free agency might not be kind to Dallas’ secondary. Fulton can help fill some big holes.

18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh): Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin

If the Dolphins land their quarterback of the future, expect them to invest in linemen to protect him.

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

If the Raiders end the first round with a wide receiver and middle linebacker, Jon Gruden will be a happy man.

South Carolina defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw (3) warms up before a game against Vanderbilt Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Columbia, S.C.
South Carolina defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw (3) warms up before a game against Vanderbilt Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019, in Columbia, S.C. (Sean Rayford/AP)

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams): Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

The Jaguars rode a dominant defensive front to the AFC championship game in 2017. Kinlaw, Calais Campbell and Josh Allen would be a scary group.

21. Tennessee Titans (9-7): D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

With 23 pending free agents, the Titans won’t be picky. One of those in Derrick Henry, who Tennessee could look to replace if they don’t want to meet his asking price.

22. Buffalo Bills (10-6): Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

With such a loaded receiver class, Buffalo would do well to give Josh Allen another target.

23. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7): Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson will be back in 2020, but did you see who caught passes for the Eagles in Week 17?

24. Minnesota Vikings (10-6): Xavier McKinney, CB, Alabama

A cornerback is a safe bet for Minnesota. The Vikings have drafted four in the first or second round since 2013.

LSU linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson and teammates celebrate a defensive stop against the Oklahoma Sooners during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.
LSU linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson and teammates celebrate a defensive stop against the Oklahoma Sooners during the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Gregory Shamus/Getty)

25. Seattle Seahawks (11-5): K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

Jadeveon Clowney will probably be re-signed, but the Seahawks could lose a lot of line talent to free agency.

26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston): Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

A quarterback, an offensive lineman and a pass rusher: the building blocks for a rebuilding team.

27. New England Patriots (12-4): Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

The Patriots could easily jump at the chance to pick a receiver in a loaded class, but depth at offensive line might be a higher priority.

28. New Orleans Saints (13-3): Devonta Smith, WR, Alabama

Michael Thomas can only do so much. Backup quarterback Taysom Hill finished with almost as many catches (19) as the next leading wide receiver, Ted Ginn (30).

29. Green Bay Packers (13-3): Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

Behind Davante Adams, the Packers’ receivers have left a lot to be desired. Expect Green Bay to take advantage of the bounty of receiving talent available.

Alabama defensive back Trevon Diggs (7) checks with a teammate as he lines up against LSU during the second half Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Alabama defensive back Trevon Diggs (7) checks with a teammate as he lines up against LSU during the second half Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (Vasha Hunt/AP)

30. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

The Chiefs could lose as many as three cornerbacks to free agency. Diggs is the type of athlete who can go toe-to-toe with top wideouts.

Advertisement

31. San Francisco 49ers (13-3): CJ Henderson, CB, Florida

Given the amount of defensive talent that might still be available, the 49ers could choose to bolster their secondary. Trading down might make more sense, considering their next pick doesn’t come until Round 5.

32. Baltimore Ravens (14-2): Julian Okwara, DL/EDGE, Notre Dame

A pass rusher is the Ravens’ most obvious need. Unfortunately, this class doesn’t offer a ton of talent in that area, which means the Ravens could select the best player available, regardless of position, or even trade down.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement