(Photo: New Orleans Saints)
NFL Draft 2020 is tonight at 8:00 PM ET, nationally televised on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network, and if you followed my work in the past with Streamline Media, I've done three different pieces over the past few months providing my own insight of what could happen in the draft:
Now that the day of the NFL Draft has finally arrived, it's time to release my final and official 2020 Mock Draft. (No mock trades) After the obvious No. 1 selection of Joe Burrow by the Cincinnati Bengals, who do the Washington Redskins take at the No. 2 spot? What do the Miami Dolphins do with their load of draft selections? Will the Detroit Lions trade their third pick? What do the New York Giants do at No. 4?
So many questions, and so little time to wait. It's Draft Day!
ANDREW POWELL'S FINAL AND OFFICIAL 2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT
No. 1 Cincinnati Bengals
POWELL'S PICK: QB Joe Burrow (LSU)
BETTING ODDS: N/A
We've known this for months now, but it became official when the Cincinnati Bengals contacted Joe Burrow to let him know he will be their No. 1 overall pick. As a result, Las Vegas has removed all betting regarding Burrow and the Bengals.
No. 2 Washington Redskins
POWELL'S PICK: DE Chase Young (Ohio State)
BETTING ODDS: Offense +550 | Defense -900
They'll certainly get some offers for the No. 2 overall pick, but I have a hard time seeing the Washington Redskins pass on a defensive piece such as Chase Young. Last season with the Buckeyes, the junior would rack up absolutely sexy numbers, compiling a total of 16.5 sacks, which happened to lead the nation. Along with that, Young would record six forced fumbles and 21 tackles for loss, and would do all of this in only 12 games. Many pundits have Young as the best player in this year's draft, so I doubt Washington, Dan Snyder and Ron Rivera will pass. Sportsbooks agree, with DraftKings having Young as a heavy -1430 favorite to be picked by the Redskins.
No. 3 Detroit Lions
POWELL'S PICK: CB Jeff Okudah (Ohio State)
BETTING ODDS: Offense +400 | Defense -600
There have been reports out there that the Miami Dolphins want to move up to the No. 3 pick, and they'd like to do so without giving up the fifth overall selection. And as a Miami Dolphins fan, I'd more than love to see that happen. Do I see it happening? No, but it would be a beautiful thing for the Fins to grab one of the QB's of either Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) or Justin Herbert (Oregon) and still have the fifth pick to work with. If anything though, I could see them landing the No. 3 pick by giving up the No. 5, which could happen with the Detroit Lions reportedly acting like that's the position that they're in.
With that being said, let's go ahead with the official order at the moment with the Detroit Lions at No. 3. (Especially considering I don't see a move happening. It's possible, sure, but I don't think they'll find a partner in the end.) If they decide to hold on to this selection or are forced to pick, I see them taking cornerback Jeff Okudah out of Ohio State, who is a great fit for the press coverage scheme of Matt Patricia. Over at William Hill, they have him listed as a -150 favorite to be a Detroit Lion.
No. 4 New York Giants
POWELL'S PICK: OT Jedrick Wills (Alabama)
BETTING ODDS: Offense -110 | Defense -110
As we've approached draft day, the speculation that general manager Dave Gettleman has been working to bring in Jedrick Wills has reached a boiling point. And to prove that, you have to point at the sportsbooks first. According to FanDuel, they have Wills listed as a -175 favorite to be selected by the New York Giants. Then you have William Hill, who have him placed at -188, a heavy favorite, to be the "First Offensive Lineman Drafted." And then back over at FanDuel, they have New York going with an offensive lineman with their first pick at -400 odds.
No. 5 Miami Dolphins
POWELL'S PICK: QB Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)
BETTING ODDS: Offense -925 | Defense +690
There's been a lot of talk out there that the Miami Dolphins might prefer Oregon's Justin Herbert over the likes of Tua Tagovailoa, but I have to disagree. Tagovailoa might not have the best history when it comes to injuries, but he does have talent to work with. And more importantly to an owner like Stephen Ross, he has marketability. (Something that Herbert doesn't have being from Oregon.) Tagovailoa is from Alabama, he's a national champion and his name is "Tua." The marketing takes care of itself on this one, and I think the Miami Dolphins will be looking at the quarterback to not just boost the team, but also the commercial appeal of their brand -- cha-ching! Expect the Dolphins to go in and invest big into Tagovailoa, and the sportsbooks agree with FanDuel listing him to be taken over Justin Herbert.
No. 6 Los Angeles Chargers
POWELL'S PICK: QB Justin Herbert (Oregon)
BETTING ODDS: Offense -700 | Defense +535
On paper, Justin Herbert has the potential to be a superstar quarterback in the NFL. He has great size at 6'6" and 237 pounds, while also having speed to go along with it. In the 40-yard dash in the NFL combine, he would run a time of 4.46. And not just that either, he's also got a stellar arm, which will obviously come in handy with the style of the modern-day National Football League. Herbert is the next best quarterback after Tagovailoa, and the sportsbooks agree (FanDuel) having him after Tua and above Jordan Love of Utah State at -950.
No. 7 Carolina Panthers
POWELL'S PICK: LB/S Isaiah Simmons (Clemson)
BETTING ODDS: Offense +185 | Defense -275
The head coach of the Carolina Panthers, Matt Rhule, believes that you should build your team around athleticism and the rest of it will take care of itself. With this being the case, Isaiah Simmons is right up his alley, being massively athletic, and so athletic, that it's actually quite a rarity. Under those circumstances, Rhule will most likely take the linebacker/safety. From there, development from the coaching staff will be the focus on Simmons, so overall, this will be a pretty solid pick for the Carolina Panthers and their plans.
No. 8 Arizona Cardinals
POWELL'S PICK: OT Tristan Wirfs (Iowa)
BETTING ODDS: Offense -315 | Defense +225
Over the offseason, the Arizona Cardinals would make the biggest splash by bringing in wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins from the Houston Texas for a steal. However, a Kyler Murray-Hopkins connection (and Murray-Fitzgerald for that matter) will only go so far without any protection from the line -- that's where Iowa's Tristan Wirfs comes in. The sportsbooks concur as well, with DraftKings having the Cardinals favored to take an offensive lineman at -200. Look for Arizona to stay on the offensive side and pick up some protection, for sure.
No. 9 Jacksonville Jaguars
POWELL'S PICK: DL Derrick Brown (Auburn)
BETTING ODDS: Offense +120 | Defense -175
There's been a lot of speculation that the Atlanta Falcons could make the trade up to No. 9 to grab themselves someone like Derrick Brown or Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson, but I see the Jacksonville Jaguars hanging on to the pick. They need to upgrade the defensive tackle position heavily, and with the best player left on the board at this point being a DL, why would they turn that down? The Jaguars take Brown.
No. 10 Cleveland Browns
POWELL'S PICK: OT Andrew Thomas (Georgia)
BETTING ODDS: Offense -600 | Defense +400
The Cleveland Browns will certainly focus on their offensive line, and the choice will be between Andrew Thomas or Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton. Either way, the Browns will find themselves an improvement, but with Thomas being the better prospect and potentially able to get picked higher in the draft, I see Cleveland taking Thomas if he falls to them. Over at DraftKings, that's what they see happening as well, with Thomas being a -305 favorite to land with the Cleveland Browns.
2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT: POWELL'S REMAINING FIRST ROUND PICKS
11. New York Jets: OT Mekhi Becton (Louisville)
12. Las Vegas Raiders: WR Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)
13. San Francisco 49ers: WR CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OT Josh Jones (Houston)
15. Denver Broncos: WR Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)
16. Atlanta Falcons: DT Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina)
17. Dallas Cowboys: CB C.J. Henderson (Florida)
18. Miami Dolphins: OT Austin Jackson (USC)
19. Las Vegas Raiders: LB Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma)
20. Jacksonville Jaguars: EDGE K'Lavon Chaisson (LSU)
21. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Denzel Mims (Baylor)
22. Minnesota Vikings: CB Kristian Fulton (LSU)
23. New England Patriots: DE A.J. Epenesa (Iowa)
24. New Orleans Saints: LB Patrick Queen (LSU)
25. Minnesota Vikings: WR Brandon Aiyuk (Arizona State)
26. Miami Dolphins: C Cesar Ruiz (Michigan)
27. Seattle Seahawks: CB Trevon Diggs (Alabama)
28. Baltimore Ravens: LB Zack Baun (Wisconsin)
29. Tennessee Titans: OT Isaiah Wilson (Georgia)
30. Green Bay Packers: WR Tee Higgins (Clemson)
31. San Francisco 49ers: CB A.J. Terrell (Clemson)
32. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Jeff Gladney (TCU)