Draft Day is finally here!
With pro days and in-person visits being canceled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, it was difficult to decide what direction teams were going to go. The task of also distinguishing between what team should do rather than what team will end up doing is a tall task for anyone completing a mock draft this year.
Here is Draft Core’s attempt of predicting all 32 picks with notes at the bottom of the post explaining the justification for why the pick was made. There are no trades also in this mock.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow QB LSU
2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young EDGE Ohio State
3. Detroit Lions: Jeffrey Okuduh CB Ohio State
4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa
5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert QB Oregon
7. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Simmons LB Clemson
8. Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills OT Alabama
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derrick Brown DT Auburn
10. Cleveland Brown: Andrew Thomas OT Georgia
11. New York Jets: CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma
12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
13. San Francisco 49ers: CJ Henderson CB Florida
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Mekhi Becton OT Louisville
15. Denver Broncos: Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama
16. Atlanta Falcons: Kristen Fulton CB LSU
17. Dallas Cowboys: K’Lavon Chaisson EDGE LSU
18. Miami Dolphins: Grant Delpit S LSU
19. Las Vegas Raiders: Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: A.J. Terrell CB Clemson
21. Philadelphia Eagles: Justin Jefferson WR LSU
22. Minesota Vikings: Jeff Gladney CB TCU
23. New England Patriots: A.J. Epenesa EDGE Iowa
24. New Orleans Saints: Patrick Queen LB LSU
25. Minnesota Vikings: Jalen Reagor WR TCU
26. Miami Dolphins: Josh Jones OT Houston
27. Seattle Seahawks: Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE Penn State
28. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma
29. Tennessee Titans: Zach Baun LB Wisconsin
30. Green Bay Packers: Denzel Mims WR Baylor
31. San Francisco 49ers: Laviska Shenault WR Colorado
32. Kansas City Chiefs: Trevon Diggs CB Alabama
Burrow (1st): Cincy finally gets the guy to turn the franchise around. He is a no doubt elite QB prospect; the best since Andrew luck.
Young (2nd): Washington have far more pressing needs, but the opportunity to select Chase Young at pick 2 is too good to pass up. He is a once in a generation prospect.
Okuduh (3rd): The draft starts at pick 3 once Burrow and Young are off the board. Detroit will likely trade out of this pick. Reports seem to indicate that the Lions love Okuduh which would help replace Darius Slay. Isaiah Simmons would be a better pick if they want to maximize the value of their pick.
Wirfs (4th): Do not see GM David Gettleman passing up the opportunity to add an elite OT prospect. Again, Simmons would be the better pick, but Wirfs has Hall of Fame potential if he puts everything together.
Tua (5th): There is a lot to like with Tua, but the cons are concerning. He has had his share of injuries, he is a left handed quarterback, and his Wonderlic score was less than stellar. Miami has been linked to Tua since the start of this past season. Don’t pay attention to the typical predraft smokescreens. If he falls past Miami and LA, Tua could experience an Aaron Rodgers like fall.
Herbert (6th): The 2nd best ranked QB in this class. Has an all-world arm reminiscent of Matthew Stanford. The concerns are he didn’t show dramatic improvement over his career at Oregon and he does not seem like a leader in the locker room. Ideally, he sits behind Tyrod in LA for a year so he can iron out some kinks in his game.
Simmons (7th): There has been much debate over what position he will play. His immense talent would be best utilized at the MLB position. Why not have the smartest, most athletic guy on the field running the show for your defense? He is no Luke Kuechly, but he offers an intriguing skill set for Carolina.
Wills (8th): Arizona already has a LT with DJ Humphries so sliding in Wills on the other side of the line makes a ton of sense. Wills is the most prepared to play right now out of all the OTs, just doesn’t have the immense ceiling of Wirfs or Becton.
Brown (9th): He is an elite run stuffer that is coming along as a pass rusher. Possesses elite strength and absolutely cannot be blocked one-on-one or he will takeover both 1st and 2nd down. Jags benefit with Brown falling this far.
Thomas (10th): Cleveland needs stability which is why Thomas will appeal more to them than Becton. The former Bulldog is also an easier projection to play LT than Becton who can play either position. Thomas isn’t better than Becton, but he is what Cleveland needs and offers a more stable skill set to mold moving further.
Lamb (11th): New York should be sprinting to the virtual podium and select Becton, but instead, they go with Lamb. For as great as Lamb is, Becton should have been the pick but the Jets cannot be trusted to make the correct pick based on past draft tendencies. Regardless, Darnold will be happy in tonight’s draft.
Jeudy (12th): Him and Lamb are going to be compared throughout the durations of their careers. It is not far fetched to proclaim Jeudy as the best route running prospect to ever enter a draft. What limits his ceiling is his one dimensional skill set. Ideally, you want your number one WR to hurt you in multiple ways which is why Lamb gets the slight nod over Jeudy. Raiders finally give Derek Carr a valid replacement for Amari Cooper.
Henderson (13th): Fans are going to want Ruggs or Becton, but the 49ers will address their secondary that Patrick Mahomes tore apart in the Super Bowl. Henderson is a big riser in the past few weeks and San Francisco pulls the trigger.
Becton (14th): Stunned how things have turned out the way they have, Tampa gets an absolute stud OT prospect at pick 14. Tampa is a reliable running back away from the best offense in the NFL.
Ruggs III (15th): Broncos get the perfect complement for Sutton and a speedster to take advantage of Drew Lock’s arm strength.
Fulton (16th): There are two ways you can attempt to stop Brady: 1. Stack up on pass rushers or 2. Load up your secondary. Atlanta elects to go with choice number two by selecting Fulton who replaces Desmond Trufant.
Chaisson (17th): Cowboys have lost both Taco Charlton and Robert Quinn and Chaisson possess the potential to be better than both to them. He is going to have to add different ways to get to the quarterback and contribute more to the run game, but Chaisson has all the athleticism you want for a modern day EDGE rusher.
Delpit (18th): Don’t put much stock into Delpit falling out of the 1st round like some mock drafts are suggesting. Is he the top 5 prospect that he was hyped up to be at the start of the season? No, but he still has the skill set to be a solid starting safety for 10+ years for Miami. Flores will love having Delpit running the show for his defense.
Kinlaw (19th): Kinlaw is a top 15 talent that dropped all the way to 19 to the Raiders. The former Gamecock is more of a presence rushing the passer than Brown, but is incredibly raw at this stage in his development. Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock are thrilled to snag Kinlaw to pair with their previous pick Jerry Jeudy.
Terrell (20th): Jaguars have needs across the board, but replacing Jalen Ramsey should be a main focus of the team. Similar to Henderson, Terrell is a fast riser and he sneaks into the top 20 with Jacksonville.
Jefferson (21st): Philly has struggled to get their WR2 figured out. It wasn’t Agholor. DeSean Jackson was hurt and is on the wrong side of 30. Last year’s 2nd round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside doesn’t look too promising. One of Joe Burrow’s favorite targets fills this big need for the Eagles.
Gladney (22nd): Gladney is a Mike Zimmer kind of corner. Physical, good at man coverage, and long arms are the defining traits of Gladney’s game. His development will need a year or two to fully manifest but what better teacher for Gladney to have than Zimmer.
Epenesa (23rd): Everyone is going to expect the Patriots to address Quarterback early, but New England likely does that in Day 2 when Belichick somehow turns Jake Fromm or Jacob Eason into the next elite quarterback. Epenesa fills New England’s other big need that’s not quarterback.
Queen (24th): Murray is a better prospect, but the Saints will take the prospect from the home state college instead. New Orleans lost AJ Klein to free agency and Queen can fill that spot for their defense.
Reagor (25th): It’s anyone’s guess what the order of WRs taken will be. Reagor makes sense for the Vikings because he has a similar play style to Stefon Diggs and less of a personality to manage also.
Jones (26th): Jones deserves to be mentioned among the elite offensive tackles of this class and could end up being better than some of the “Big 4” offensive tackles. Miami uses the last of their three 1st round picks to keep Tua upright.
Gross-Matos (27th): There’s no certainty that Clowney returns to the team so Seattle needs to have a replacement ready just in case. YGM is a boon or bust prospect, but Pete Carroll taps into the former Penn State EDGE rusher’s vast potential.
Murray (28th): Baltimore is in a position to select the best player that falls to them. The Ravens continue to get nice things and end Murray’s draft day fall.
Baun (29th): Tennessee lost a lot of front seven talent from their team that went on a surprising playoff run this past season. Baun has the versatility to play both 4-3 OLB and DE, as well as 3-4 OLB.
Mims (30th): Aaron Rodgers is going to love throwing passes to Mims. Packers finally give Rodgers a valuable option other than Devonte Adams.
Shenault Jr (31st): Head Coach Kyle Shanahan loves versatility and he is going to love having Shenault on his team. San Francisco did little to address the departure of Emmanuel Sanders. Shenault fills that void.
Diggs (32nd): Kansas City needs secondary help whether it’s a safety to pair with the Honey Badger or a cornerback to replace Kendall Fuller. Diggs is a former wide receiver that converted to cornerback so he is still learning the position but the sky is the limit once he does.