SMPM'S NFL MOCK DRAFT 2020
Tom Makin takes us through every first round pick for the 2020 NFL Draft
As lockdown extends even further, you’d be excused for thinking that a delay was on the cards for the 2020 NFL Draft on April 23rd. Well, you’d be wrong. Sort of.
This year, following an official statement from league commissioner Roger Goodell, the event will go ahead as planned with each NFL team taking turns to select new players from a pool of the best college athletes in America. That means that, thankfully, there will at least be some sports activity happening somewhere in the world. This however comes with a catch; instead of the usual grandeur of the whole event, which last year saw 600,000 people attending various downtown Memphis venues, this year’s draft will be done completely remotely. This means drafted prospects will have to make do with simply smiling and celebrating from the comfort of their own isolation instead of walking across a stage to rapturous applause from the excited fans of their new team.
This mock draft aims to equip both the initiated and completely clueless NFL fan as best it can to navigate the 32 first round picks this year. The picks are completely based off my opinions, so if you disagree, please feel free to get in touch and let me know what you think.
- The NFL Draft allows all 32 teams of the National Football League to select one player, one at a time, to bring into professional American football from university-level sports. Teams select in an order determined by their performance in the previous season, with the worst performing team selecting first, and the winners of the Super Bowl choosing last. Teams may "trade" picks with each other, but expect for most teams to hold onto their first round pick for a chance at acquiring some of the most gifted young athletes in all of America -
Without further ado, with the 1st pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select…
1. Cincinnati Bengals - Joe Burrow, QB (LSU)
A no brainer. Joe Burrow’s successes last season for LSU was one for the ages, smashing numerous records en route to a national championship and receiving the highest honour any college player can receive in winning the Heisman Trophy, with the highest margin of votes in NCAA history. Throwing the football, Burrow showed arm strength, poise and class that seemed above and beyond anything we’d seen from a college quarterback before. The player has seen comparisons to Tom Brady (arguably the greatest quarterback of all time) and has been tipped to become one of the best ever himself. He is the ideal quarterback for a team in dire need of a spark, with the Bengals being the worst team in all of football last season.
Seem too good to be true? It could be. I have major reservations over Burrow, to the point I think it could be detrimental for both him and the Bengals if he went in this spot. This is a team in need of stars at every position, not just QB. They could trade out of this slot for a glut of picks to get more talent at other positions, with teams lining up to make this trade. I just don’t see it happening though. Burrow goes first, and I have what could be one of the worst predictions ever published on record.
2. Washington Redskins - Chase Young, DE (Ohio State)
By far and away, the Washington Redskins gets the best player in the draft. Chase Young's elite speed and destructive moves make him an absolute force on the defensive line, and his already impressive resume built up at Ohio State will prove to be an extremely attractive prospect for the new Redskins head coach, Ron Rivera. He’s the sort of player that could improve a defensive line from average to great, and could prove to be a real turning point for this underperforming franchise. Give Young a few years to work on and adapt a wider set of rushing skills under the Redskins’ more defensive system, and we could be seeing a serious player. The Redskins would need to get their heads checked if they passed up this opportunity.
3. Detroit Lions - Jeffrey Okudah, CB (Ohio State)
The Lions are in a position of power with this pick. Not only are they able to fill one of their most glaring needs at cornerback, but they’ll receive some very attractive trade offers for a pick so high in the draft order. The Miami Dolphins and the Los Angeles Chargers could both be in contention to move up, keen to take their preferred QB's as early as possible. This, like the Bengals’ situation, should be seriously considered so they can start to rebuild what is a listless franchise and take their franchise QB in this slot. This potential trade down for the Lions would come with a high probability of Jeffrey Okudah remaining available when they first come to pick in the Dolphin’s initial slot at 5, with a further chance to take another prospect later on. However, I see Detroit just cutting their losses and staying put to land their man. In Okudah, they’d have an NFL-ready, defensive cornerstone that will be a threat for years to come. With Matt Patricia at the reigns, Okudah will learn and improve at great level in his early career, setting him up for a long and successful career.
4. New York Giants - Tristan Wirfs, OT (Iowa)
The New York Giants are in a state of flux at the moment having moved on from the now retired Eli Manning last season. His successor Daniel Jones showed flashes of excellence in the few games he did play, even behind the Giants’ leaky offensive line. With a bit of reinforcing, however slight it may be, Jones will be set for a breakout year. The top linemen in this class look particularly strong, so all of them could slot in here and gladly do a good job. I've gone with Iowa's Tristan Wirfs ahead of everyone else.
Simply put, he is an athletic freak. He is 6"5, weighs 320 lbs and came first in almost every drill for offensive linemen at the NFL combine, including a particularly impressive 4.88 in the 40-yard dash. He’ll be perfect to build an O-line around and should be able to go from his preferred Right Tackle position across to the left, allowing New York some versatility while they rebuild their line.
5. Miami Dolphins - Tua Tagovailoa, QB (Alabama)
Perhaps the most intriguing prospect in the draft this year, Tagovailoa is coming off a season in which he dislocated his hip after being a pre-season Heisman trophy favourite. His injury has however dropped him below Burrow in the QB rankings, and arguably below Justin Herbert. This is less based on his skill and more as a result of a lack of game footage from this year. Early signs suggest the injury has healed enough for him to be in a position to play, but whether he is worth the risk remains to be seen. In my eyes, he is still a prime prospect and an absolute steal at 5. Miami are need of any spark they can get at QB, and with Ryan Fitzpatrick signed on for another year, Tagovailoa has one of the premier role models to learn behind. I think Miami take the risk and select their new face of the franchise, while holding onto all of their later picks.
6. LA Chargers - Justin Herbert, QB (Oregon)
And just like that, the 3rd quarterback in the draft is off the board. Justin Herbert surprised many when he chose to return to Oregon last year to see out his senior season with the Ducks, despite being widely tipped to go very early in last year’s draft. The decision backfired a little as Herbert couldn’t repeat his level of performance from the previous year, but still impressed enough to be considered a top 10 prospect. After consolidating his stock with an impressive combine performance, I think the Los Angeles Chargers would be mad to not take Herbert here. After bringing an end to Phillip Rivers’ impressive tenure in LA, it’s time to usher in a new era for the Chargers and pick their new franchise stalwart.
7. Carolina Panthers - Isaiah Simmons, LB (Clemson)
This is robbery. Desperate needs for teams drafting earlier means one of the best prospects in this draft falls all the way to 7th. In Isaiah Simmons, the Carolina Panthers will acquire a four-down linebacker capable of filling the gaping defensive void left after the shock retirement of their perennial Pro-Bowler, Luke Kuechly. He’ll need some time to adapt to patrol the middle of the field if that’s what Carolina have planned for him, but if he can learn and unlock some more of his potential, I think the Panthers have their new Kuechly.
8. Arizona Cardinals - Mekhi Becton, OT (Louisville)
Initially when I started writing this article before free agency, I had wide reciever CeeDee Lamb in this spot in the hope that he and Kyler Murray could combine to recreate their glory days from college at Oklahoma. Since the Cardinals went and snatched Deandre Hopkins away from the Houston Texans for a damaged David Johnson and a solitary second rounder (I’m honestly still in shock), they can afford to turn their attentions elsewhere to their dismal offensive line. (Ed: as a Cardinals fan myself - I approve)
Protecting Murray as he finds his feet in the NFL is a must and would allow him to unlock some more of his potential. I’ve gone for Mekhi Becton in this position as I feel his versatility offers the Cardinals some flexibility while they rebuild the line. If Becton’s weight can be managed and his quickness be trained, I think Arizona will have found themselves Murray’s protector for years to come.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars - Derrick Brown, DT (Auburn)
Jacksonville are a team with needs all over. They’re not the team they were a few seasons ago and find themselves seriously lacking. Perhaps their most desperate need, however, is on their defensive line. They have an ongoing tricky situation on the edge of their line with Yannick Ngakoue, who has openly said he wants to leave, but it is on the interior this team struggles. With this pick, the Jags pick up the best interior D-lineman in the draft with Derrick Brown. Having drawn comparisons to defensive great Reggie White, the All-American looks set to become a perennial Pro-Bowler and has the perfect mix of size and skill to become a real disruptive force for the Jaguars on defence.
10. Cleveland Browns - Jedrick Wills Jr., OT (Alabama)
Another franchise with a young QB, another pick spent on protecting him.
After a huge decline in his sophomore season following an impressive rookie year, Baker Mayfield has come under heavy criticism for his attitude and some of his decision making. He showed he was worthy of the first pick in the 2018 draft in his Rookie season, now he just needs a bit more protection to allow him to recover after last year’s decline.
Enter Jedrick Wills. Slightly less versatile than the offensive tackles taken previously, the second-team All-American was one of the most dominant in his position throughout the whole of last season. He’s slightly short for an offensive tackle, but what he lacks in size he more than makes up for in athleticism. Wills could easily be taken in place of either Beckton or Wirfs, but I feel like his skill set is better for the slightly sturdier Cleveland offensive line.
11. New York Jets - CeeDee Lamb, WR (Oklahoma)
These next two picks are virtually inseparable. The Jets are in a state of limbo at the moment; they’ve got all the pieces for a promising future in place, with some stellar veteran talent in important positions. They even seem to have a long-term QB solution in Sam Darnold. The direction they’re heading in is encouraging, but at the moment, they’re some way off serious playoff contention. For this reason, I see the Jets overlooking an area of need on the offensive line and going ahead with wide receiver Lamb. With this pick, they’ll have a bona fide electric playmaker both on the outside of the field and the inside. With very little to separate Lamb from Jerry Jeudy, I think Lamb’s extra edge will come in his elite production on every level of the field and his punt return skills. If the Jets can get this QB-WR tandem firing, they will see themselves catapulted into contention in a division without Tom Brady in it for the first time in just under two decades.
12. Las Vegas Raiders - Jerry Jeudy, WR (Alabama)
Another team in desperate need of an offensive spark, the newly relocated Las Vegas Raiders will want a star wideout following the ignominious departure of Antonio Brown last year, the man they had pegged in to fill this role. With the emergence of Josh Jacobs at RB in his rookie season, Las Vegas find themselves looking for the perfect complement at WR to give the roster a further spark. Even with the ongoing confusion at QB with Marcus Mariota and Derek Carr battling for the starting spot and their recent signing of Nelson Agholor, the Raiders will look to draft Jerry Jeudy. In many opinions he is the best WR in what is a very deep class, but for me he has slightly less appeal than Lamb above. His falling to this position is a massive win for the Raiders and Jeudy will become the roster’s number one target for many years to come.
13. S.F. 49ers [via IND] - Javon Kinlaw, DT (S. Carolina)
This was a surprising move for me at first. The Indianapolis Colts traded away this pick for Deforest Buckner, the San Francisco 49ers’ team MVP from last year, and in doing so passed up the opportunity to draft Jordan Love, their potential franchise QB. For San Francisco however, the move makes perfect sense. While their defensive line gets slightly weaker, they have an extra opportunity to make a play for Emmanuel Sanders’ replacement at WR while also being able to fill another need. I see this first pick of theirs being used to plug the gap left by Buckner, with the 49ers drafting Javon Kinlaw. While he isn’t a like for like replacement, Kinlaw has the tools to adequately fill this position. Ever the area of strength for the 49ers, inserting Kinlaw allows him time to grow in the NFL without the usual added pressure put on a first-round pick’s shoulders. This could be a very successful relationship.
14. TB Buccaneers - Andrew Thomas, OT (Georgia)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have Tom Brady. Let that sink in.
Tom Brady is no longer a Patriot. Bill Belichick is no longer his coach. The New England Patriots dynasty is over (hopefully). Signing the 43-year-old for two years shows the Bucs want to win, and they want to do it now. Brady leaving New England shows he wants to win differently and prove that he can do it without Belichick on the sideline. There’s no denying it though, Brady has fallen off a cliff when it comes to his ability. He was carried at times by the Patriots’ stellar defence, so if he can win here, he will have outlined himself as the greatest of all time. He’ll need protection though, so the Bucs draft Andrew Thomas out of Georgia to make four of the first 14 picks O-Linemen. Thomas is the best talent left and will slot straight into the Bucs’ starting line-up. Don’t read too much into this, Thomas is being brought in with the next two years in mind to keep Brady’s ageing frame in the best condition possible by limiting how much he gets hit. If he can do this and Brady brings Tampa a championship, anything Thomas provides after those two years will simply be a bonus.
15. Denver Broncos - Henry Ruggs III, WR (Alabama)
A lot has changed in Denver since Peyton Manning won Super Bowl 50. They haven’t had a winning record for the last three seasons, missing out on the playoffs by some margin each time. Things are starting to look up with the emergence of Drew Lock at QB and Courtland Sutton at WR last year. Add in Phillip Lindsay and you have an exciting core for the future. But why not make it more electric? Lock needs some legitimate deep threats to open up the Denver offense, and no one fits the bill better than Henry Ruggs III. At the combine, Ruggs ran the 40-yard dash in 4.27 seconds, a time only five people have bettered in the history of the combine. Even if some growth is needed in certain areas, his speed means that he will command constant attention which in turn will unlock Courtland Sutton’s skillset a bit more. This pick will really set Denver’s offence apart as one of the most exciting in the NFL.
16. Atlanta Falcons - K'Lavon Chaisson, Edge (LSU)
I know what you might be thinking: The Falcons just dropped a 3-year $48 million contract on an edge rusher (Dante Fowler) already, so why are they then drafting one too? The simple answer is their edge rushers just don’t have any fear factor to them. Outside of Fowler, none of the other names are recognisable since Vic Beasley left. Even Fowler himself is a wildcard this year, having just left a team with players who commanded more attention than he did. With K'Lavon Chaisson still on the board, Atlanta shore up both edges of their D-line and take some of the attention away from the more senior Fowler. With less pressure on himself, Chaisson should flourish with the Falcons and be a threat from the start.
17. Dallas Cowboys - CJ Henderson, CB (Florida)
On offence, Dallas had an offseason to remember as they managed to retain their franchise QB and his main weapon. This has unfortunately led their secondary to suffer as a result, with Byron Jones leaving the roster and depleting an area that the Cowboys already has needs in. Before the Jones move, I had Dallas pencilled in to draft a safety. Now, I see them using this pick to directly replace Jones and strengthen the cornerback position with CJ Henderson. The main positive they’ll get with Henderson is his speed, running a 4.37 at the Combine, which will marry perfectly with his interception ability to craft a perfect NFL corner. Easily the best CB in the draft this year, Henderson will be able to start straight away and will be ready to be the team’s premier corner in just a few short seasons.
18. Miami Dolphins [via PIT] - Grant Delpit, S (LSU)
With all of Miami’s needs, they could conceivably fill any position here. There are plenty of CBs, RBs and OTs still available, but not many that are worth spending such a valuable pick on. So instead, they’ll go safety and swoop in for Delpit. Having lost Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers last season in return for this pick, what better way to fill the gap? He didn’t take part in the combine at all but is still the only top-tier safety talent available. His production regressed a little for LSU last season as he played through an injury, but if he can reach his 2018 levels of performance then he could be a steal this late on. Delpit may need a bit of fine-tuning early on in his career, but if they can get him firing this will be an outstanding pick.
19. Las Vegas Raiders [via CHI] - Jeff Gladney, CB (TCU)
I still don’t quite believe that Las Vegas Raiders have this pick. Yes, they get to select another prospect in the first round. Most teams would be thrilled to have the chance. But to do it, they traded away Khalil Mack. The same one-man wrecking crew Khalil Mack. It still baffles me to this day. But that’s beside the point. The Raiders have a huge need at CB and will fill this hole with Jeff Gladney. With not much separating many of the remaining first round CB talent, Gladney gets the nod here due to his desire and work rate on the field. He doesn’t possess the biggest frame and tends to be sloppy when catching interceptions, but these are issues that can be appropriately worked around. His speed and three down ability make him an intriguing prospect ahead of his other rivals.
20. Jacks. Jags [via LAR] - Xavier McKinney, S (Alabama)
With their second pick in this draft, the Jaguars stay with defence and look to strengthen their secondary. Acquiring this pick through the Jalen Ramsey trade, there could be a temptation to go CB. Safety is however a more glaring need, and one that could be appropriately filled with the fifth Alabama player taken in the first round. With McKinney, the Jags will be getting a tough, versatile safety who is renowned for his high football IQ and playmaking ability. With the roster’s lack of recognised safeties, McKinney would become a first-year playmaker and a defensive cornerstone for a lacklustre defence.
21. Philadelphia Eagles - Justin Jefferson, WR (LSU)
The Eagles have a receiver problem. You need only look as far as last season where, despite making the playoffs, they dropped passes everywhere on the field. Just type ‘unlike Agholor’ into YouTube and see a Philly native claim he caught children being thrown from a burning building better than Eagles receivers caught the ball. Philly’s QB Carson Wentz needs a wider receiving arsenal, and Justin Jefferson looks like the perfect candidate. Questions remain over his production having come from an LSU team where Burrow’s play and his fellow receivers opened up the field for Jefferson. He has demonstrated great ability as an inside threat and has decent speed, but Jefferson would definitely be a work in progress throughout the season. If his potential can be unlocked, Jefferson will prove to be a nice option for the Philly passing game.
22. Min. Vikings [via BUF] - Denzel Mims, WR (Baylor)
The Vikings’ hands are tied with this first pick, having gained it from the Buffalo Bills in their recent trade for Stefon Diggs. Having said he no longer wanted to be in Minnesota, the Vikings had no choice but to cash in before his contract expired next offseason. Luckily for them, this trade came in time for one of the deepest WR drafts in recent memory. With another pick at 25, the Vikings will take Diggs’ replacement with this pick and select Denzel Mims.
23. N.E. Patriots - Jordan Love, QB (Utah State)
Welcome to 2020. The first season where Tom Brady isn’t a Patriot since 1999. So New England, what’s next? Belichick is still at the reigns, so he has a chance to cement himself as the greatest coach of all time by proving he doesn’t need his old talismanic QB. What better way to prove this than by drafting his successor? Up until the Colts traded away their earlier pick, I had Jordan Love as a top 15 talent. He is a leader on the field but is very much a project pick if he is to be selected. Love’s production declined last year and ,as such, he is facing a growing number of concerns surrounding his progression. His deep throwing is nowhere near good enough, but he has the arm strength to be a threat on every level on offence. I see the Patriots using their pick here on him but benching him for the first year to allow him some pressure free growth time. Belichick is famed for his QB work (Just look at what he did with Tom Brady) and I see Love becoming the latest in a long line of successful Patriot QB alumni.
24. New Orleans Saints - Kristian Fulton, CB (LSU)
Drew Brees is back for two more seasons with a single goal: win a championship at all costs. He has an offence that has some of the scariest threats in the game, with Kamara at RB and Thomas at WR. The recent addition of Emmanuel Sanders served only to strengthen this side of the ball, but some slight problems remain on the Saints’ D. In particular, they lack some top-quality CBs. You only have to look back a few seasons to the Minneapolis miracle to see that poor defensive play has often cost this team in big moments. This is not to say they’ve got a bad defence, but they’ve only got limited time left with Brees, so they need reinforcements at the corners now. As a result, I see the Saints drafting Fulton in from LSU. As a CB, he gets solid results and will be able to start straight away with some small off-season work. Slight concerns over his character remain after a tampered drugs test saw him to miss the whole of the 2017 season. However, if the Saints want their long-serving QB to have one last shot at winning it all, Fulton will go some way to locking up the Saints’ secondary and toughening up their defence.
25. Minnesota Vikings - AJ Epenesa, Edge (Iowa)
The Vikings could go CB here having seen 3 of their regulars from last year leave, however I feel they may be better placed taking the edge rusher they so desperately need following Eversen Griffin’s departure. AJ Epenesa seems to be the perfect fit for a defensive line that is looking to add a bit more bite for the next season. He tore through O-lines last season for Penn State, racking up 11.5 sacks in 13 games and forcing 4 fumbles in the same time frame. He may not have the full repertoire of moves just yet, but what he has shown so far in his fledgling college career should tempt the front office in to taking him here with this pick. With some slight adjustments, Epenesa could become a threat on a similar level to that of Griffen and would have to be considered a steal this low in the draft.
26. Miami Dolphins [via HOU] - D'Andre Swift, RB (Georgia)
With this selection, the Miami Dolphins get a franchise RB. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that D'Andre Swift should be a top 10 pick based on his talent in the position. He easily would be much higher up the board if the teams above this pick weren’t so desperate to fill gaping holes elsewhere. If the Dolphins can take an offensive tackle in the next round, Swift should be set to go, and Miami will suddenly look like a scary prospect. In only 11 starts and 3 injury hit games, Swift racked up 1,218 yards in an impressive senior season with an extra 216 yards through the air. With Tagovailoa next to him at QB, there should be more space for Swift to utilise in the run game in a similar way to the Ingram/Jackson dynamic that worked so effectively for the Baltimore Ravens last year. If he can sort out some of the issues he has with fumbling the ball, Swift may become an NFL weapon for his rookie QB. Look out for the Dolphins this year.
27. Seattle Seahawks - Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge (Penn State)
The Seahawks can be relatively content with NFL life at the moment. They have needs just like any other team, but none quite as glaring as other franchises. Their offence right now looks unstoppable and Wilson is a perennial MVP candidate. On defence, they need some help. No longer the legion of boom they used to be, the Seahawks take a policy of score more than they concede in many games and the offence often prop up the opposite side of the ball. If the Seahawks could pressure opposing QBs a little bit more (only Miami had less sacks last year) then they should see increasing results and a stingier D. With Gross-Matos, the Seahawks would be getting a perfect mix of power, aggression and agility with a high ceiling. He has some issues that will need to be worked on but if they can get this right, Gross-Matos will grow into his role in the NFL and could become one of the most consistent performers.
28. Baltimore Ravens - Patrick Queen, LB (LSU)
The Baltimore Ravens have had one of the best off-seasons so far out of all the NFL teams. They traded for veteran defensive lineman Calais Campbell at the cost of a single fifth round pick, a deal that could be more of a robbery than the Hopkins trade to Arizona. Along with this, they added some depth at relevant positions, building a nice team around unanimous 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson. Crucially however, they franchise-tagged edge rusher Matthew Judon. This means, not only do the Ravens maintain their defensive front from last year, they have a nice little trade piece should they require it. Retaining Judon means their roster has only two major needs in my opinion: OT and LB. While either could happen, I see the Ravens using this pick on finding their long-term middle linebacker in Patrick Queen. The sixth LSU prospect off the board, Queen looks set to be a force patrolling the middle of the field as a three down, sideline-to-sideline player. His impressive showings against some of the premier college programs this year at LSU show his potential further, outlining him as a truly exciting prospect for the Ravens to insert into their defence.
29. Tennessee Titans - Josh Jones, OT (Houston)
The Titans decided to bring back their QB-RB tandem that took them to the Conference finals last season, extending Tannehill and tagging Henry. This is a risk, given the doubts either will be able to repeat the levels of production they reached last year. They have needs on defence but if last year is anything to go by, any deficiencies that side of the ball can potentially be cancelled out by their offence if they fire on all cylinders. For this to happen, the Titans must add strength at Tackle, with Houston's Josh Jones the obvious choice this late on. He will likely be a first season starter due to a current dearth of talent at the position, but he will need a lot of work if he is to succeed in the league. He has some glaring issues when it comes to the pass game and his footwork often leaves little to be desired, but these problems are easily coachable and leave him as an intriguing prospect this late on. If he can hone some of his skills in his rookie year, there is no reason Jones can’t excel on the Titans’ line for years to come.
30. G.B. Packers - Laviska Shenault Jr., WR (Colorado)
It’s odd to think that in a few short years we may see an NFL without Aaron Rodgers playing for the Green Bay Packers. The ageing quarterback is still one of the game’s prime passers, but over the last few years has found himself in the unenviable position of lacking any real prime targets to pass to. Davante Adams is still on the roster, but he needs some desperate assistance if Rodgers is to get his hands on another Lombardi Trophy. Now, with the deepest receiver class in recent memory and Rodgers’ career slowly coming to an end, the Packers will use their first-round pick on Shenault Jr.. This versatile, pacey receiver will add a valuable weapon to the Packers’ receiving arsenal while simultaneously drawing attention away from Adams. He is a legitimate deep threat, one that should help to get the most out of Rodgers and his fabled arm strength. Shenault-Junior has one major drawback however, having missed large portions of time over the last two seasons and undergone two separate surgeries in 2019. This could make or break his NFL career but if he can stay healthy, expect Shenault-Junior to help bring another title to Green Bay.
31. S.F. 49ers - Brandon Aiyuk, WR (Arizona State)
San Francisco were within touching distance of another championship ring this year, before the brilliance of Kansas City's Mahomes and Reid yanked it out of their hands. After an offseason where the roster has largely remained the same, San Francisco find themselves in a position that allows for a more aggressive approach with their draft picks, and able to take some risks. With the departure of Sanders and the earlier pick that fills their D-line needs, the 49ers will almost certainly go with a wide receiver here. They’ll need a deep threat with reliable hands to slot into Sanders’ role, and in Brandon Aiyuk they’ll have their man. Originally a second-round talent, Aiyuk impressed me at the combine and took his chance to move himself up the board. He may not be the most initially impressive prospect, but he has a huge upside that could lead to him becoming a real star in this elite 49ers team. His impressive special team prowess could be his niche for his rookie year as he grows into his role, but with all his tools, Aiyuk should emerge as a solid player on this Super Bowl ready roster. He may even see some silverware coming his way early on in his career.
32. Kansas City Chiefs - Trevon Diggs, CB (Alabama)
What do you get a team that has it all? The most recent Super Bowl champions come into this offseason in the with a seemingly perfect roster. They lost a handful of players this offseason, but none that played a central role in their championship season. The Kansas City Chiefs, like the 49ers, can afford to be aggressive with this pick and select someone more as a project than a day one starter. In Trevon Diggs, they’ll have just that. With his brother Stefon now playing for the Buffalo Bills, Diggs finds himself in a better position to win the family’s first championship after landing in the perfect situation. Originally a WR in college like his brother, Diggs made the switch to the other side of the line-up in 2017 putting him in the unique position of having an idea of different routes opposition receivers will be running. There are rumours emerging that he may see his stock slump come draft day following disappointing meetings with team officials, but the athletic upside of Diggs is too much to turn down in my eyes. To be in such an impressive position having only been a CB for a few years means his deficiencies can be easily coached out, and Diggs could emerge as the most intriguing prospect of this draft should this be the case.
There it is. 32 picks as predicted by the analytical wonder-child Tom Makin. Make sure to tune in for the 2020 NFL Draft, starting Thursday 23rd April to see how well we managed to predict this round of selections!
Tom Makin is a 21 year old Geography student at King's College, London who wastes his weekends travelling the country playing hockey and watching unhealthy amounts of sport, film and tv.
Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based in London, England.
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