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2020 NFL mock draft (Version 6.0): Three-round projections after scouting combine

The annual NFL scouting combine has come and gone.

While some players boosted their stock with outstanding performances in Indianapolis, others raised questions about their potential as NFL contributors before the draft begins April 23 in Las Vegas.

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Here are The Baltimore Sun’s projections for each pick in the first three rounds, including projected compensatory selections:

Height and weight measurements recorded at 2020 combine

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1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU (6-foot-3, 221 pounds)

During combine interviews, Burrow put to bed the rumor that he’d refuse to play for the Bengals or try to get himself traded to another team. He didn’t throw during drills, but he didn’t need to after putting together one of the best seasons ever for a college quarterback. Even his small hands won’t knock him out of the top spot.

2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State (6-5, 264)

New coach Ron Rivera and Co. have an interesting decision here. Young might be considered a luxury pick for a team that already has a pretty good defensive line and bigger needs elsewhere, but he’s the kind of player that demands so much attention and elevates the performance of the rest of the defense. The fact that Young might make the Redskins ignore a trade down or a quarterback such as Tua Tagovailoa shows just how highly regarded he is.

3. Detroit Lions: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson (6-4, 238)

If the Lions don’t trade down, Simmons is an enticing athlete to help fix Detroit’s woeful defense. Matt Patricia is the type of coach who will want to prove he knows how to best use a Swiss Army knife such as Simmons, who lined up as a linebacker, slot corner and safety in college and even rushed the passer. His explosiveness was evident at the combine, as he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds, the second-fastest time for a linebacker since 2006, and recorded a 39-inch vertical jump, better than all but seven of this year’s wide receivers.

4. New York Giants: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State (6-1, 205)

Though the Giants’ biggest need is at offensive tackle, they can’t pass up the opportunity to add a potential shutdown corner to a defense that was second worst in the NFL in Football Outsiders’ DVOA efficiency metric. Okudah suffered an injury after a hard fall at the combine, but it wasn’t serious and he later returned to drills, posting a 4.48 40-yard dash and a 41-inch vertical jump, tied for second best among corners.

5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (6-0, 217)

Tagovailoa reportedly received overwhelmingly positive reports from teams who examined his surgically-repaired hip at the combine, the one concern that kept him from being a top-five pick. His injury history raises some red flags, but the efficiency he showed as a college passer can’t be denied. Miami will have an interesting choice between Tagovailoa and fast-risers Justin Herbert and Jordan Love.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon (6-6, 236)

Even if the Chargers decide to target a veteran quarterback such as Marcus Mariota or hand the starting job to Tyrod Taylor, the future of the position needs to be addressed, and having a top-10 pick helps. Herbert showed the arm strength and athleticism at the combine that scouts fell in love with, even if he didn’t make as many big plays in college as one would like to see. He would benefit from a year on the sideline learning the details of being an NFL starter.

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7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn (6-5, 326)

New coach Matt Rhule said he wants to coach Cam Newton, so maybe the idea of trading the one-time MVP has been ruled out. If that’s the case, the Panthers can go after the best player available, and that’s Brown, who has developed into a disruptive pass rusher from the inside and can shore up the Panthers’ problems defending the run.

8. Arizona Cardinals: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma (6-2, 198)

It’s hard to shake the idea of Lamb and quarterback Kyler Murray reuniting in the NFL, especially under Air Raid disciple Kliff Kingsbury. Lamb isn’t thought of as a speed merchant, but he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds at the combine. Add that to his ball skills and ability to break tackles, and the Cardinals have a potential star on their hands.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina (6-5, 324)

The Jaguars were second worst in the NFL in rushing defense DVOA in 2019, and Marcell Dareus and his bloated contract aren’t expected to be back in 2020. Kinlaw, who didn’t participate in combine drills after a dominant performance at the Senior Bowl, can make an immediate impact.

10. Cleveland Browns: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama (6-4, 312)

Greg Robinson protected Baker Mayfield’s blindside last season, and it’s safe to say he won’t be back after getting busted with 157 pounds of marijuana in his car while crossing the Canadian border. Wills, who showed off his explosiveness at the combine, is considered the best offensive line prospect in this top-heavy class.

11. New York Jets: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville (6-7, 364)

Will the Jets make the responsible pick here or be tempted by a wide receiver or edge rusher? It’s an interesting decision. On one hand, Becton can help shore up a line in need of a major overhaul. On the other hand, New York could be passing on potential stars such as Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy or LSU edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson. We’ll see what second-year general manager Joe Douglas prioritizes.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama (6-1, 193)

Tyrrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller represent a fine group of pass-catchers. But add Jeudy and his game-breaking speed, strong hands and ankle-breaking route-running ability to the mix, and the Raiders offense becomes a force to be reckoned with. We’ll see if Derek Carr and Jon Gruden can take advantage.

13. Indianapolis Colts: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State (6-4, 224)

There’s a good chance the Colts go after a veteran signal-caller such as Phillip Rivers or even longtime nemesis Tom Brady, but that shouldn’t stop them from picking a quarterback in this draft. Love impressed at the combine with his arm talent, and some evaluators think he has the potential to be a top-10 pick despite his pedestrian college numbers and poor decision-making. A year learning the ropes as a backup might be what’s best for his development.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa (6-5, 320)

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This spot might even be considered too low for Wirfs, who put on a show at the combine with a 4.85 40-yard dash, a record 36.5-inch vertical jump and a record-tying 10-foot-1 broad jump. His 40 time was the fastest among this year’s offensive linemen, while his vertical jump set a modern combine record for offensive linemen and was higher than all but 15 receivers. That’s the kind of athleticism that should help solve some issues on the Buccaneers’ line.

15. Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama (5-11, 188)

Ruggs’ 40-yard dash was one of the most highly anticipated moments of the combine, and he didn’t disappoint, coming close to breaking the event record with a blazing 4.27, just behind current Bengals receiver John Ross’ 4.22. He needs to work on his release, but he can provide value on underneath routes and give the Broncos a home-run threat to take some attention away from Courtland Sutton.

16. Atlanta Falcons: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU (6-3, 254)

With Vic Beasley Jr. and Adrian Clayborn hitting free agency, a team that ranked second overall in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate in 2019, beating blocks within 2.5 seconds 53% of the time, will need to find another edge rusher. Chaisson has the frame, athleticism and speed to be a potential star.

17. Dallas Cowboys: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa (6-5, 275)

Robert Quinn and four other defensive linemen are set to hit free agency, leaving Dallas thin up front. Epenesa’s disappointing combine performance might cause him to slip a little in the first round, with teams more likely to take a chance on a better athlete, but he’s still one of the best edge rushers in this class based on his production and what he’s shown on tape.

18. Miami Dolphins (via Steelers): Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia (6-5, 315)

It’s a safe bet that the Dolphins will address their offensive line with one of their three first-round picks. Thomas is scouting website Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded offensive lineman in this year’s class, so this would be tremendous value in the middle of the first round.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (via Bears): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama (6-0, 201)

The Raiders’ pass defense was third worst in DVOA in 2019. Strong safety Karl Joseph played well after 2019 first-round pick Johnathan Abram went down, but he’s a pending free agent. McKinney is the type of versatile safety that is extremely valuable in today’s NFL, with an ability to play in the slot, cover the deep middle of the field and make plays at the line of scrimmage.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Rams): Patrick Queen, LB, LSU (6-0, 229)

Linebacker Myles Jack looked as if he could be a steal when he was picked in the second round in 2016, but it hasn’t worked out in Jacksonville. Telvin Smith has been outstanding, but he hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Queen is the type of sideline-to-sideline athlete that can solidify a talented defense that took a major step backwards in 2019.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: CJ Henderson, CB, Florida (6-1, 204)

The Eagles would have several standout receivers still on the board in this scenario, but the possibility of picking the second-best corner in this class and taking a receiver in the second or third round makes much more sense. Henderson graded poorly in 2019 because of injuries, but he’s still considered an elite talent with the size, ball skills and speed to be a quality corner.

22. Buffalo Bills: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson (6-4, 216)

Josh Allen made strides in his second season, but he rated as one of the NFL’s least efficient starting quarterbacks, with a minus-3.7% Completion Percentage Above Expectation, per NFL’s NextGen Stats. Higgins is a master at making circus catches, and his size would give the Bills a much-needed jump-ball threat deep down the field and in the red zone.

23. New England Patriots: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado (6-1, 227)

Shenault’s 40-yard dash time of 4.58 seconds might be considered a disappointment to some, but it’s pretty rare to see 227-pound receivers move that fast. His ability to break tackles on short catch-and-run routes and stretch the field vertically would add a dynamic outside threat to a Patriots offense that lacked its usual punch last season.

24. New Orleans Saints: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU (6-1, 202)

Jefferson and the Saints are a match made in heaven. It’s just a matter of whether he falls this far. The Saints got little production from any receiver not named Michael Thomas in 2019, particularly from the slot. Jefferson had the most catches and most yards from the slot of any college player last season, and showed his burst on tape is to believed with a 4.43 40-yard dash.

25. Minnesota Vikings: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama (6-1, 205)

The Vikings need a corner, and who better than the brother one of their biggest stars? Stefon’s younger sibling has the prototypical size, length and strength, and his instincts made him a star in Tuscaloosa. Diggs can help turn a good Vikings defense into a great one.

26. Miami Dolphins (via Texans): D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia (5-8, 212)

Would the Dolphins really target a running back with one of their first-round picks? In terms of value, this might not be the best use of their resources. But the opportunity to take the best running back on the board in Swift, who has excellent vision and above-average pass-catching skills, and stabilize what has been a revolving-door at the position is a worthwhile endeavor.

27. Seattle Seahawks: Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State (6-5, 266)

The Seahawks still have to negotiate a deal with Jadeveon Clowney, and even if he does return, there’s not much depth on the defensive line. Gross-Matos isn’t polished yet as far as technique and pass-rush moves, but his high-end traits are worth taking a chance on.

28. Baltimore Ravens: Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin (6-2, 238)

The Ravens value versatility perhaps more than anything else when it comes to finding defensive players. Baun’s future in the NFL is as an off-ball linebacker, but he was one of the nation’s best pass rushers when the Badgers asked him to be. The ability to bring pressure off the edge on one play and cover the middle of the field the next is exactly what defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale and the Ravens are looking for. If there were questions about his strength at 238 pounds, he answered them with 24 reps of 225 pounds in the bench press, which ranked third among linebackers at the combine.

29. Tennessee Titans: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin (5-10, 226)

Taylor was already well-regarded after back-to-back seasons with 2,000 rushing yards in college, but he boosted his stock at the combine with a 4.39 40-yard dash, joining Saquon Barkley as one of just two running backs since 2014 to run 4.40 or faster at 225-plus pounds. He also finished in the top 11 among running backs in the vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill and short shuttle. As good as Derrick Henry’s 2019 season was, he’s about to become expensive. Taylor can offer similar value on a cheap rookie deal.

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30. Green Bay Packers: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU (5-11, 206)

Aaron Rodgers needs weapons, and Reagor is one of the most explosive receivers in this loaded class. With a 4.47 40-yard dash, 17 bench press reps and 42-inch vertical jump, tied for second among wideouts, he showed the top-end athleticism that would make him a home-run threat in any offense. Pairing him in the slot next to Davante Adams could be deadly.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Grant Delpit, S, LSU (6-2, 213)

It almost seems unfair for the 49ers to land a player that many considered one the nation’s best coming into the 2019 season. Delpit started slow and his missed tackles became a glaring problem, but he rebounded down the stretch and has always had outstanding instincts and anticipation. If Jimmie Ward leaves in free agency, Delpit can step in immediately.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma (6-2, 241)

With some of the top corners off the board, the Chiefs can add an athletic piece to the middle of their defense in Murray, who tested as one of the most explosive linebackers at the combine. Anthony Hitchens and Damien Wilson graded as below-average players in 2019, according to Pro Football Focus, so the defending champs could use an upgrade at linebacker.

Round 2

33. Cincinnati Bengals: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

34. Indianapolis Colts (via Redskins): Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame

35. Detroit Lions: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

36. New York Giants: Josh Jones, OT, Houston

37. Los Angeles Chargers: Ross Blacklock, DL, TCU

38. Carolina Panthers: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

39. Miami Dolphins: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama

40. Arizona Cardinals: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

41. Cleveland Browns: Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota

42. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

43. Chicago Bears (via Raiders): Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic

44. Indianapolis Colts: Marlon Davidson, EDGE, Auburn

45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jordan Elliott, DL, Missouri

46. Denver Broncos: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

47. Atlanta Falcons: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

48. New York Jets: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC

49. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama

50. Chicago Bears: Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne

51. Dallas Cowboys: Hunter Bryant, TE, Washington

52. Los Angeles Rams: Lucas Niang, OT, TCU

53. Philadelphia Eagles: K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State

54. Buffalo Bills: Cesar Ruiz, C/G, Michigan

55. Atlanta Falcons (via Patriots): John Simpson, G, Clemson

56. Miami Dolphins (via Saints): Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

57. Houston Texans: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU

58. Minnesota Vikings: Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma

59. Seattle Seahawks: Tyre Phillips, OT, Mississippi State

60. Baltimore Ravens: Justin Madubuike, DL, Texas A&M

61. Tennessee Titans: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State

62. Green Bay Packers: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech

63. Kansas City Chiefs (via 49ers): Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech

64. Seattle Seahawks (via Chiefs): Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn

Round 3

65. Cincinnati Bengals: Mailk Harrison, LB, Ohio State

66. Washington Redskins: Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina

67. Detroit Lions: Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan

68. New York Jets (via Giants): Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame

69. Carolina Panthers: Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn

70. Miami Dolphins: Lloyd Cushenberry III, C/G, LSU

71. Los Angeles Chargers: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

72. Arizona Cardinals: Ashtyn Davis, S, California

73. Jacksonville Jaguars: Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame

74. Cleveland Browns: Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming

75. Indianapolis Colts: Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri

76. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State

77. Denver Broncos: Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State

78. Atlanta Falcons: Zack Moss, RB, Utah

79. New York Jets: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

80. Las Vegas Raiders: Jabari Zuniga, EDGE, Florida

81. Las Vegas Raiders (via Bears): A.J. Green, CB, Oklahoma State

82. Dallas Cowboys: Stanford Samuels III, CB, Florida State

83. Denver Broncos (via Steelers): Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State

84. Los Angeles Rams: Anfernee Jennings, EDGE, Alabama

85. Philadelphia Eagles: Terrell Burgess, S, Utah

86. Buffalo Bills: Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah

87. New England Patriots: Alton Robinson, EDGE, Syracuse

88. New Orleans Saints: Shane Lemieux, G, Oregon

89. Minnesota Vikings: Robert Hunt, G, Louisiana-Lafayette

90. Cleveland Browns (via Texans): Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama

91. Las Vegas Raiders (via Seahawks): Troy Dye, LB, Oregon

92. Baltimore Ravens: Netane Muti, G, Fresno State

93. Tennessee Titans: Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida

94. Green Bay Packers: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame

95. Denver Broncos (via 49ers): Damien Lewis, G, LSU

96. Kansas City Chiefs: Cam Akers, RB, Florida State

97. Philadelphia Eagles (compensatory): Jason Strowbridge, EDGE, North Carolina

98. New England Patriots (compensatory): Antoine Brooks Jr., S, Maryland

99. Baltimore Ravens (compensatory): Van Jefferson, WR, Florida

100. New England Patriots (compensatory): Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA

101. New York Giants (compensatory): Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU

102. Houston Texans (compensatory): James Lynch, DL, Baylor

103. Seattle Seahawks (compensatory): Leki Fotu, DL, Utah

104. Pittsburgh Steelers (compensatory): Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton

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