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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Sam’s 2020 NFL mock draft 3.0: Free agent signings alter selections

Sam’s 2020 NFL mock draft 3.0: Free agent signings alter selections

How the free agency shake-up effects things
Publish Date: 03/19/2020
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The NFL canceled their draft day festivities in Las Vegas, but the NFL Draft will still occur on April 23 and run through April 25. The NFL Draft offers an opportunity for teams to improve or bolster their standing in the league. However, the NFL Draft is always a guessing game which can punish teams who select poorly.

After an active tampering period, the order for the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft looks different than it did a week ago. The San Francisco 49ers and Minnesota Vikings traded away players, and, in return, doubled their holdings in the first round. The altered rankings send several players tumbling out of the first round while drawing others back into the top 32 selections.

1. Cincinnati Bengals- Joe Burrow, QB LSU

Previous Pick in 2.0: Joe Burrow QB

Previous Pick in 1.0: Joe Burrow QB

Nothing can or should happen to alter this selection.

2. Washington Redskins- Chase Young, EDGE Ohio St.

Previous Pick in 2.0: Tua Tagovailoa QB

Previous Pick in 1.0: Chase Young EDGE

While Dwayne Haskins is not the long-term answer in Washington, the team decides to take the best available player instead of a quarterback.

3. Detroit Lions- Jeffrey Okudah, CB Ohio St.

Previous Pick in 2.0: Chase Young EDGE

Previous Pick in 1.0: Jeffrey Okudah CB

The Lions will inevitably part ways with Darius Slay, meaning they need a star cornerback. However, this pick could also turn into Isaiah Simmons.

4. New York Giants- Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa  

Previous Pick in 2.0: Jedrick Wills Jr. OT

Previous Pick in 1.0: CeeDee Lamb WR

Wills held the top offensive lineman spot for a while, but the tide is turning in Wirfs’ favor as we near draft day.

5. Miami Dolphins- Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama

Previous Pick in 2.0: Justin Herbert QB

Previous Pick in 1.0: Tua Tagovailoa QB

Some opportunities are too good to pass on. If the Dolphins do not draft Tagovailoa, they could set themselves back several years.

6. Los Angeles Chargers- Justin Herbert, QB Oregon

Previous Pick in 2.0: Jeffrey Okudah CB

Previous Pick in 1.0: Justin Herbert QB

With Tom Brady heading to Tampa Bay, the Chargers need a new plan at quarterback.

7. Carolina Panthers- Isaiah Simmons, LB Clemson

Previous Pick in 2.0: Isaiah Simmons LB

Previous Pick in 1.0: Derrick Brown DT

Luke Kuechly’s retirement leaves a hole at linebacker. Simmons is the most versatile player in the NFL draft, giving Carolina an absolute stud.

8. Arizona Cardinals- Jedrick Wills Jr., OT Alabama

Previous Pick in 2.0: Tristan Wirfs OT

Previous Pick in 1.0: Jedrick Wills Jr. OT

After trading for DeAndre Hopkins, the Cardinals should focus on protecting Kyler Murray.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars- CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma

Previous Pick in 2.0: Derrick Brown DT

Previous Pick in 1.0: Jerry Jeudy WR

The Jaguars can go in a lot of directions. Cornerback, safety, tight end, the defensive line, and the offensive line all need attention. However, pairing Lamb with DJ Chark is too much to resist.

10. Cleveland Browns- Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville

Previous Pick in 2.0: Mekhi Becton OT

Previous Pick in 1.0: Mekhi Becton OT

After adding Jack Conklin at right tackle, the Browns address their need at left tackle with Becton.

11. New York Jets- Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia

Previous Pick in 2.0: Jerry Jeudy WR

Previous Pick in 1.0: Andrew Thomas OT

The Jets will want to draft Jerry Jeudy, but the offensive line should always come first.

12. Las Vegas Raiders- Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama

Previous Pick in 2.0: CeeDee Lamb WR

Previous Pick in 1.0: Henry Ruggs III WR

Derek Carr needs some help alongside Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow.

13. San Francisco 49ers- Derrick Brown, DT Auburn

Previous Pick (Colts) in 2.0: Javon Kinlaw DT

Previous Pick (Colts) in 1.0: Javon Kinlaw DT

A rush on offensive linemen, quarterbacks, and wide receivers led to one of the draft’s few blue-chip prospects dropping into San Francisco’s lap. While the 49ers want a wide receiver like Henry Ruggs III, Brown is an excellent replacement for DeForest Buckner.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Javon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina

Previous Pick in 2.0: Andrew Thomas OT

Previous Pick in 1.0: Tristan Wirfs OT

With the top four tackles in the NFL draft already gone, the Buccaneers take the final available blue-chip prospect.

15. Denver Broncos- Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama

Previous Pick in 2.0: Henry Ruggs III WR

Previous Pick in 1.0: Isaiah Simmons LB

The Broncos pair Ruggs’ speed with Courtland Sutton’s size and physicality.

16. Atlanta Falcons- K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE LSU

Previous Pick in 2.0: A.J. Epenesa EDGE

Previous Pick in 1.0: K’Lavon Chaisson EDGE

After releasing veterans and losing free agents, the Falcons could go cornerback, EDGE, or running back here. Chaisson gives them an athletic pass rusher alongside Dante Fowler.

17. Dallas Cowboys- C.J. Henderson, CB Florida

Previous Pick in 2.0: Xavier McKinney S

Previous Pick in 1.0: Xavier McKinney S

The Cowboys want a safety, but teams can make do with questionable safety play. Cornerback is a priority.

18. Miami Dolphins (Via Steelers)- A.J. Epenesa, EDGE Iowa

Previous Pick in 2.0: K’Lavon Chaisson EDGE

Previous Pick in 1.0: D’Andre Swift RB

The Dolphins bet on finding a running back later in the draft while addressing their lackluster pass rush.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (Via Bears)- Kristian Fulton, CB LSU

Previous Pick in 2.0: Kenneth Murray LB

Previous Pick in 1.0: Patrick Queen LB

After adding Cory Littleton, the Raiders look for someone to pair with Trayvon Mullen in the secondary.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (Via Rams)- Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma

Previous Pick in 2.0: C.J. Henderson CB

Previous Pick in 1.0: C.J. Henderson CB

With three cornerbacks already off of the board, the Jaguars take the top available linebacker. Murray will serve as Telvin Smith’s replacement.

21. Philadelphia Eagles- Justin Jefferson, WR LSU

Previous Pick in 2.0: Kristian Fulton CB

Previous Pick in 1.0: Grant Delpit S

The Eagles took care of the safety position by retaining Rodney McLeod and shifting Jalen Mills to safety. The team still desperately needs help at wide receiver and cornerback.

22. Minnesota Vikings- Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama

Previous Pick (Bills) in 2.0: Laviska Shenault Jr. WR

Previous Pick (Bills) in 1.0: Justin Jefferson WR

Minnesota said goodbye to Mackensie Alexander, Xavier Rhodes, Marcus Sherels, and Trae Waynes over the past several days. Last year’s first rounder, Mike Hughes, looks unprepared for the spotlight. However, Diggs is a plug-and-play starter.

23. New England Patriots- Zack Baun, EDGE Wisconsin

Previous Pick in 2.0: Jordan Love QB

Previous Pick in 1.0: Cole Kmet TE

With the Brady era officially over, the Patriots could still swing on Jordan Love. However, Baun just seems like a player built for Bill Belichick’s team.

24. New Orleans Saints- Tee Higgins, WR LSU

Previous Pick in 2.0: Grant Delpit S

Previous Pick in 1.0: Brandon Aiyuk WR

The draft’s top safeties are still on the board, but the Saints give Drew Brees a legitimate second option at wide receiver.

25. Minnesota Vikings- Neville Gallimore, DT Oklahoma

Previous Pick in 2.0: Trevon Diggs CB

Previous Pick in 1.0: Jaylon Johnson CB

After releasing Linval Joseph, the Vikings need another menacing interior defensive lineman.

26. Miami Dolphins (Via Texans)- Austin Jackson, OT USC

Previous Pick in 2.0: D’Andre Swift RB

Previous Pick in 1.0: Kristian Fulton CB

Miami hopes Jackson and free agent signee Ereck Flowers can revive the offensive line.

27. Seattle Seahawks- Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE Penn St.

Previous Pick in 2.0: Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE

Previous Pick in 1.0: Ross Blacklock DT

After whiffing on L.J. Collier last season and failing to re-sign several defensive ends this spring, the Seahawks take a shot on Gross-Matos. The addition of Bruce Irvin could alter Seattle’s course.

28. Baltimore Ravens- Patrick Queen, LB LSU

Previous Pick in 2.0: Patrick Queen LB

Previous Pick in 1.0: Kenneth Murray LB

The Ravens should be ecstatic if one of the top two linebackers falls to them at 28. The team still needs a replacement for C.J. Mosley.

29. Tennessee Titans- Josh Jones, OT Houston

Previous Pick in 2.0: Justin Jefferson WR

Previous Pick in 1.0: A.J. Epenesa EDGE

Tennessee could go in a lot of directions. However, after adding Vic Beasley, they forgo drafting a pass rusher and try to replace Conklin.

30. Green Bay Packers- Laviska Shenault Jr., WR Colorado

Previous Pick in 2.0: Tee Higgins WR

Previous Pick in 1.0: Tee Higgins WR

Green Bay hoped to draft a replacement for Bryan Bulaga at right tackle, but a wide receiver offers better value for this selection.

31. San Francisco 49ers- Xavier McKinney, S Alabama

Previous Pick in 2.0: Zack Baun EDGE

Previous Pick in 1.0: A.J. Terrell CB

The 49ers did re-sign safety Jimmie Ward, but McKinney offers an upgrade at either safety position. San Francisco could also go cornerback or wide receiver at this spot.

32. Kansas City Chiefs- A.J. Terrell, CB Clemson

Previous Pick in 2.0: J.K. Dobbins RB

Previous Pick in 1.0: J.K. Dobbins RB

With Kendall Fuller returning to Washington and Bashaud Breeland and Morris Claiborne entering free agency, the Chiefs look for a starting cornerback.

Best Remaining

Ross Blacklock, DT TCU

Jeff Gladney, CB TCU

Grant Delpit, S LSU

Jordan Love, QB Utah St.

Brandon Aiyuk, WR Arizona St.

Denzel Mims, WR Baylor

Hunter Bryant, TE Washington

Cole Kmet, TE Notre Dame

J.K. Dobbins, RB Ohio St.

D’Andre Swift, RB Georgia

Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin

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