- Me ‘n Seamus – May 21, 2020
- Horatio’s DFO 2020 Will Never End Mock Draft 2.0 And Open Thread – April 23, 2020
- Horatio’s ‘Let’s Try To Get 5 Out Of 32 This Year, Dumbass’ Mock Draft – April 6, 2020
This year’s NFL draft runs from April 23-25 and will be a somewhat more subdued ceremony than in recent years, in that teams will be drafting remotely. It’ll still be on TV, (I assume; I mean ESPN has got to show something besides old Michael Jordan games, right?), and we’ll all watch because we’re desperate for anything remotely connected to live sports by now, even if it’s a bunch of middle-aged white men making bad guesses about the future via telephones. Since the draft is going forward, and since I’m the resident DFO draft expert, (i.e. only one willing to type this stupid thing up every year while going 4-32), here’s 2020’s mock draft.
1. Cincinnati Bengals
Top Needs: QB, OL, LB, TE, WR
The pick: Let’s not waste any time here. Unless Joe Burrows, QB, LSU, decides to pull an Elway-Manning maneuver and force a trade, he’s going to the Bengals here. They desperately need a QB, whether or not The Red Rocket stays or goes. Burrows is the best QB available, he seems like a legitimately good prospect, (although Mike Brown will probably fuck that up by getting his offensive line at KMart to make up for what he’ll have to pay Burrows), and this is a relatively easy pick.
2. Washington Redacteds
Top Needs: OL, TE, WR, CB, edge rusher
The pick: Ohio State DE Chase Young. CBSSports, which employs Pete Prisco, is saying that Washington will “shake things up” and draft Tua Notgunnabetakenhere, although at least this guy admits he’s doing it because he’s there’s no more sports and he’s bored. Fair play to you, good sir. There’s also some noise about Washington sending the pick to Miami for their 5th and several others, looking to fill several holes in one shot, just like if Houston were trying to get through the 500 a little quicker. Just like the Houston 500, however, the Washington fans are going to go home hurt, more than a little disappointed, and out a lot of money for not much of an experience. But not because Washington traded the pick. I don’t see anyone wanting to give up a bunch of picks to move up three spots to draft a QB who broke his hip and has a history of serious ankle injuries as well, mostly because the Bears don’t have a first round pick this year. No, word is that lil’ Danny is infatuated with Young, and for once that seems like good judgment.
3. Detroit Lions
Top Needs: CB, DL, OL, RB, WR
The pick: Dan Paar, the guy I stole the team needs from this year, has a great line about the Lions’ strategy for fixing their defensive problems having been hiring washed up Patriots, which worked so well that they were dead last in pass rush last year. Matt Patricia does very much appear to be in over his head as a head coach and is probably one more 3-12-1 year away from getting to put the degree in aerospace engineering to work in the real world. It’s one thing to fail as a head coach, but when you got the job because of your supposed prowess as a defensive genius and then produce one of the worst defenses in the league, well people are gonna wonder. It doesn’t help when everyone blasts you in the ass on their way out the door.
A lot of places, (SI, Sidelion Report), have the Lions trading down from this spot, usually to Miami for several picks, including Miami’s 1st round pick at 5. I’ve seen it so much that I’ve become convinced it will happen, so I’m going to say that Detroit will address their top need and take The Ohio State CB Jeffrey Okudah, but probably at 5, not at 3.
4. New York Football Giants
Top Needs: OT, edge rusher, S, WR, TE
The consensus around the media seems to be that the Giants could do, well, pretty much anything. Take one of three OLs and protect your investments in Jones and Barkley? Yes! Take Clemson’s freak, (in a good way), LB and shore up a defense that gave up 28+ points a game? Yes! Take the top WR in the draft and give Jones something else to do besides fumble? Yes! These and many other options are yours when you’re the New York Football Giants, and if you could somehow work out a way to do all of them at once, they’d have a pretty good team. Rules being rules, however, they have to do this one at a time. I find many of the arguments for the LB persuasive but I can’t get away from the idea that, when your OL sucks as much as the Giants does, and when your last top picks were RB and QB, you can’t pass up a chance to try to fix that line. I say the pick comes down to Becton, Wills and Iowa OL Tristan Wirfs. I’ll give Wirfs the slightest of edges just based on his seeming to get the most press lately.
5. Miami Dolphins
The pick: Most people seem to have Miami taking a QB with their first pick. They also seem the most likely trading partner for the Lions, so they’re probably making this pick at 3. After Burrows the top 2 QBs are Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oregon QB Justin Herbert. Recent reports about Tagovailoa’s progress have been positive, and things being equal he’s probably the better prospect of the two but if I’m Miami’s GM or coach or owner I’m just not anxious to use my first of three first round picks on a QB with a history of serious hip and ankle injuries.
6. San Diego Chargers, Because Fuck You, That’s Why
Top Needs: QB, OT, LB, edge rusher, TE
The pick: The Chargers are run by idiots, so they’ll have no problem overlooking Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa‘s handicapped parking permit and drafting him with the 6th pick. They need a QB, since Rivers took his talents, and enormous family, to Indianapolis. They can sign some stiff to fill in for a year, tank the next season, then let a hopefully healthy Tua take over with another series of high draft picks to help him out. In truth Herbert and Tagovailoa will both be gone by 6, it’s just a matter of which goes where.
7. Carolina Panthers
Top Needs: DL, CB, edge rusher, OL, LB
The pick: New head coach Matt Ruhle is an offensive-minded guy, but he’s also a head coach whose best defensive player, Luke Kuechly. retired after getting hit in the head 1-to-112 times too many. Given that situation, and if he’s still around, I don’t see Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons getting past Carolina.
8. Arizona Cardinals
Top Needs: OL, edge rusher, DL, TE, DB
The pick: The Cardinals can do pretty much whatever they want here. Their fleecing of the now leading candidate for NFL Moron of the Year Bill O’Brien, in the DeAndre Hopkins trade, makes this a successful off-season no matter what happens in the draft. That said, they need to keep Kyler Murray upright long enough for Hopkins to get open, something they failed to do 50 times last year. While that same article points to a PFF article that says nearly half of those sacks were Murray’s own fault, I suspect that the Cardinals wouldn’t be anxious to admit that they might have screwed up with their second high QB pick in as many years, and instead will look to get Murray some more time to work out his mistakes. Louisville OT Mekhi Becton gets the slightest of nods over Bama’s Jedrik Willis, simply because Becton already played for a team named the Cardinals and would have one less thing to adjust to. More importantly he’s 6’7″, 368 lbs., and I read he put up a 5.1 40 at the NFL combine.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Top Needs: CB, DL, edge rusher, OL, RB
The pick: This is another pick where I saw some things about Jacksonville trading down, most likely with Tampa Bay, getting some additional picks and then taking a CB in the mid-teens. That makes some sense, but what makes more sense in my twisted and ill-informed opinion is that Jacksonville is not going to ignore prospects like South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw or Auburn DT Derrick Brown, especially after losing Calais Campbell. I give Brown the nod here because I remember seeing him play a couple of times and he seemed like he knew what he was doing. Don’t say I don’t do my research. I mean, I don’t, but it would be awfully rude of you to say it.
10. Cleveland Browns
Top Needs: OT, S, LB, DL, WR
The pick: If this draft has so far worked out the way I think it will, (the Sun will explode before that happens), Cleveland will fall over themselves trying not to disconnect the conference call while screaming “Alabama OT Jedrik Willis!!! We’ll take Jedrik Willis!!!” The Browns did sign the top T, Jack Conklin, and really-good-TE-who-I-dropped-way-too-early in FF last year, Austin Hooper as free agents, but it makes too much sense not to add a top OL-prospect, at a cheap rookie rate, to that haul and give Baker Mayfield some time to do what he does best: make questionable decisions that lead to glorious results or horrible fuck-ups.
11. New York Jets
Top Needs: WR, edge rusher, OT, CB, RB
The pick: I was originally all set to send the Jets one of the top three WRs, the two kids out of Alabama or Clemson’s go-to guy. But the thing about those picks is that they’d address an obvious need and would make Jets fans happy. And the Jets simply do not do that. Nope, they’re going to take Georgia OT Andrew Thomas, a 6’5″, 320 lb. monster who had a hell of a career at Georgia, which plays in the SEC, which is essentially the NFL’s AAA program. Jets fans, wanting special boy Sam D’uhrnold to have someone to throw to, will lustily boo their computer screens, but the twist to this pick by the Jets is that it’s actually a good one.
12. Las Vegas(!) Raiders
Top Needs: WR, CB, DL, OL, LB
The pick: The Raiders have lost Amari Cooper and Antonio Brown in consecutive years, although it must be stressed for very different reasons, and they really need someone for Derek Carr to throw towards, if not exactly to. I have the distinct feeling that Gruden would like to be done with Carr, and Oaklan,uh, Vegas, trading their two 1st round picks to move up and grab one of the top three QB prospects wouldn’t stun me. That said, Vegas probably doesn’t have what it takes to move up past more desperate teams, so here they sit, needing a WR and with the top-3 all still in a virtual Green Room, sitting at least 6 metaphorical feet from each other. Of those three Alabama WR Henry Ruggs ran the fastest 40 time, at 4.27, so even though my beloved nerds over at Walter Football have him as the third-ranked WR, (but still a first round talent), I’ll go with him on the theory that you can take the team out of Oakland, and LA, and then Oakland again, but you can’t take the Davis gene wading pool out of the draft room, and the fastest WR is always going to be the one taken first.
Please note that I SI agreed with me, at least at this point, for the exact same reasons. Don’t say Al Davis doesn’t have a legacy.
13. San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis for DeForest Buckner)
Top Needs: WR, OL, DL, CB, S
The pick: There’s some thought that the 49ers will address defensive needs with this pick, but I don’t see why they would have traded a still young DeForest Buckner to get this pick and then use said pick to get what they probably already had in Buckner. Defense wasn’t what kept the 49ers from winning the Super Bowl last year, (that was mostly Kyle Shanahan not knowing how to play with a lead), and a kick in the ass to the offense wouldn’t hurt. Jimmy G is just too darn handsome not to every possible benefit of the doubt, and the 49ers found a RB last year in Raheem Mostert, so I think they go with a WR, and Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb is the top-rated one left on the board, and in fact the top-rated one overall, despite his middling 4.5 40.
I could run 20 in 4.5.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Top needs: OT, RB, DL, QB, S
The pick: Well, not a QB, that’s for goddamn sure. In case you were living under a rock, Tom Brady left New England for the sunnier, more MRSA-ridden climate of Tampa Bay, only to find out that MRSA is the least of everyone’s problems these days. Tampa Bay would love to bolster their O-line to protect their slightly-less-than-brand-new 43-year-old QB, but in this mock draft I’ve already distributed the top 4 O-line prospects and their doesn’t seem to be anyone worthy of a 14 pick at that position left. Nor is there a RB with that kind of potential. It would seem, then, that Tampa Bay’s options are to trade up to try to get one of the top O-line guys, (and I’ve seen them mentioned in connection with Jacksonville for just that reason), trading down and picking up additional picks to go with either a lesser O-line prospect or top-RB prospect at a more justified draft position. Or they could figure that their offense is good enough and look to South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw to start doing something about their defense. Really, as long as I get to see Brady in the classic Bucco Bruce Creamiscles I’m good with whatever they do.
15. Denver Broncos
Top needs: WR, OL, CB, LB, S
The pick: Todd McShay, who knows far more about these things than I do, says that the Broncos will go O-line in the large form of Andrew Thomas. In the fantasy world that I live in, however, Thomas is busy coming to terms with the fact that when you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet for life, and in fact all four top O-line prospects are long gone. There is, however, a very good fall back option available in Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy, (so good, in fact, that I’m likely to change this when I inevitably throw together a hasty pile of crap and call in Draft 2.0), so if he is, (he won’t), Denver takes him and pairs him with Courtland Sutton and all of a sudden Denver’s got an offense.
Just to show you what a crapshoot the draft is, McShay went 9-32 in 2019, and that was one of the best results out there. The fact is, no one knows what’s going to happen beyond the first 2-3 picks.
16. Atlanta Falcons
Top needs: DB, LB, edge rusher, OL, RB
The pick: I’m not putting any thought of my own into this. When your fan page is called ‘The Falcoholic’ I will defer to them every time. Their consensus is that the team needs defense, which I think has been the case for the three years I’ve done these things, (which is probably not a good sign), but beyond that there seems to be some disagreement. Someone over there has an active imagination and thinks that the Falcons will be able to a) swing a trade with the Jets for the 11th pick, and b) somehow still find Isaiah Simmons there. Not likely. The more realistic split in opinion is between Florida CB CJ Henderson and LSU DE K’Lavon Chaisson. Chaisson has the way cooler name, which is my usual tie breaker, but Dave Paar told me that Atlanta need secondary help more, and Dave hasn’t let me down yet, so I’ll send Henderson to Atlanta.
17. Dallas Cowboys
Top needs: Edge rusher, CB, OL, WR, S
The pick: I have a lot of thoughts on the Cowboys’ offseason moves, some of them even printable, (did we really need another wife-beating alcoholic?), but I need to save something for the preseason previews, assuming we actually have a season to preview. But this mock draft thing gets unwieldy as it is, so let’s cut to the chase: Dallas’s top two needs are CB and Edge, so whoever Atlanta doesn’t take at 16 will go to Dallas at 17. In this case that’s LSU DE K’Lavon Chaisson. Here’s a willfully blind Cowboys fan thinking that the Cowboys are going to trade up to 8 to get Jeff Odukah, which would be great, except Odukah isn’t getting out of the top 5.
Here’s a fun reach for Cowboys fans: Michigan Cesar Ruiz. Travis Frederick just retired, in part due to remaining issues with an autoimmine disease. You may recall the Cowboys reaching for Frederick in the first round of the 2013 draft when he was considered a third round talent. Lots of people, including the genius currently tapping out this little opus, yelled about how bad a pick that was. Well, we were all wrong, Travis was great, he’ll be missed, and what better way to try to replace him then with another reach for a Big-10 center? I like this so much I may very well swap these picks in version 2.0, but Chaisson is getting a lot of love here, too much to ignore.
18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh for Minkah Fitzpatrick)
Top needs: QB, OL, RB, S, edge rusher
The pick: If Miami took Tua with the #5 pick they should probably draft an orthopedic surgeon here and hold their collective breath. If they took Herbert they should focus on other needs. If they took Tua or Herbert because they traded up with Detroit then odds are the Lions are making this pick. Gonna cheat a little here: if the Dolphins still have this pick they take LSU S Grant Delpit. The offensive line and RB help they need will be there at 26 or lower and aren’t rated high enough to draft here, which is probably reason enough for Miami to include #18 if they feel they have to move up to get their QB of future disappointing returns. If Detroit has the pick they make a bit of a reach for Texas A&M DT Justin Madubuike.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago for Khalil Mack) (Holy Christ are the Bears bad with the draft or what!?)
Top needs: WR, CB, DL, OL, LB
The pick: I’m at a bit of a loss here, and I suspect the Raiders will be as well. If they take a WR with their first pick, as I have them doing and remain convinced that they will, they’re going to be here in an odd position where no one’s available for a position of need that fits #19. There’s a couple of guys they could reach for who supposedly have first round talent but character issues. Ordinarily that’s not even an issue for the Raiders, (who am I kidding? no one in the NFL gives a shit about character), but after Antonio Brown came in, set everything on fire and then left before playing snap, I think they might be a but more cautious than in years past. This seems like a pick that gets moved, but for the sake of the argument I’ll say that the Raiders take the best remaining CB without character issues, Alabama CB Trevon Diggs.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams for Jalen Ramsey)
Top needs: CB, DL, edge rusher, OL, RB
The pick: Jacksonville, which was hoping to get Diggs, slaps the table loud enough for their mother to yell into the basement that if they can’t control themselves better not only will they have to leave the draft early there will be no Fortnite later. Properly chastened, Jacksonville takes the top remaining option, LSU CB Kristian Fulton. Fulton is actually ranked as the 6th CB, but 3 of them are already drafted and the other two seem to have character issues that are code for “might kill someone some day.”
Top needs: WR, OL, LB, CB, S
The pick: How do you replace Nelson Agholor, short of putting a stone statute on rails and push it around while Carson Wentz hits it in the hands with spiral after spiral, only to see each ball drop to the ground? The consensus seems to be that you draft LSU WR Justin Jefferson and worry about whether he’s just a slot receive later.
22. Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo for Stefon Diggs)
Top needs: CB, WR, edge rusher, OL, S
The pick: Minnesota needs CB help desperately, but I just gave the last one who didn’t come equipped with a giant, blinking, red warning light to Jacksonville at 20. Minnesota did just lose a disenchanted Stefon Diggs to Buffalo for this pick, so why not replace him cheap with Clemson WR Tee Higgins, a 6’4″ mismatch waiting to happen for those jump balls in the corner of the end zone. You like that Kirk Cousins, you know damn well you like that.
23. New England Patriots
Top needs: QB, TE, LB, DL, WR
The skinny: And so it begins. Our long national nightmare is over, (replaced by Covid-19, or long international nightmare), as Father Time and Mother Salary Cap finally force the Patriots to part ways with Tom Brady. I, for one, look forward to the Patriots getting better draft positions than this in the coming years. My guess is that the most likely option here is Belichik trading out of this spot to pile up more picks later to address a myriad of needs that New England has suddenly, and hilariously, developed. There’s some talk of BYU QB Jordan Love being drafted here, but Love was recently rated the most overrated QB prospect and Darth Hoodie is too smart to go that route. No, in the unlikely event that the Patriots keep this pick they’ll probably take either LSU LB Patrick Queen or Iowa DE AJ Epenesa. Epenesa gets the nod here just because I read that Belichick likes Kirk Ferenntz, and Belichick has a known history of nepotism.
I really think, however, that this pick gets moved.
24. New Orleans Saints
Top needs: LB, OL, S, CB, QB
The pick: If LSU LB Patrick Queen is still around at 24 he won’t be at 25. Hometown kid, wrecking ball linebacker who happens to address the Saints most pressing need? C’mon, that just doesn’t happen, and it probably won’t, as my draft aren’t known for their accuracy.
Top needs: CB, WR, edge rusher, OL, S
The pick: This guy, I call him Alabama S Xavier McKinney, because that’s his name. He’s the top-rated safety, and I kind of forgot about him. Really instills confidence in my picks, doesn’t it? He could swap places with Delpit in the real draft, or version 2.0 of this thing. The only reason he’s lasted this long is that not that many teams seem to have pressing needs at safety this year, although it’s certainly possible that someone will take him earlier and figure that safety and cornerback are pretty much the same. Which they most definitely are not. Anyway, Minnesota took a WR with their first pick, there are no CBs left who aren’t risks, and the remaining guys at edge and OL seem like reaches here. Safety it is, and McKinney, (or Delpit for that matter), seem like pretty good consolation prizes.
26. Miami Dolphins (via Texans for Laremy Tunsil)
Top needs: QB, OL, RB, S, edge rusher
The pick: It was probably too early at 18 to try to bolster a hideous running game, but it’s not at 26. I give Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor the slightest of edges over Georgia’s De’Andre Swift, because Taylor reportedly “blew up” the combine, and NFL teams love that shit. Just ask perennial All-Pro and Hall of Famer Mike Mamula!
Hang on, I’m getting something in my earpiece…Oh. Oh my. Well, I’m sure your career will be different, Mr. Taylor!
27. Seattle Seahawks
Top needs: Edge rusher, OL, DL, S, RB
The pick: The Seahawks haven’t used a first round pick since 2011, so if you’re a betting man, (Hippo and Litre look up from their Nicaraguan Premier League sheets), the safest option is that another team, perhaps the Packers, as suggested in that link, will be making this pick. If the Seahawks do make this pick they’re looking edge, reportedly mostly at the Epenesa kid I sent to New England, but failing that either Alabama DL Raekwon Davis, a 6’6″, 311 lb. monster, or Pedo State DE Yetur Gross-Matos, who allows me to make a Pedo State referene, thereby getting the nod.
28. Baltimore Ravens
Top needs: LB, OL, WR, edge rusher, DL
The pick: I like the insanity of fan blogs thinking that Jerry Jeudy is going to be around, even allowing for a trade with Minnesota for the 22nd pick, a pick that Minnesota would themselves use in a cocaine heartbeat if Jeudy were still around. Hmmm, that’s good delusion right there! I myself am not prone to such delusions, (other than thinking that I might ever get more than 4 of these picks right), and have no such concerns about a top 3 WR still being on the board. But Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray is, and as he addresses the biggest need for Baltimore off he goes to the Inner Harbor. Don’t stray too far, Kenneth!
Top needs: Edge rusher, DL, OL, CB, RB
The pick: The Titans lost Jack Conklin to free agency. They went as far as they did, (bless their overachieving, beating-New-England, little hearts), because of an insane running game, and last time I checked you need an offensive line to do that. Mike Vrabel presumably loves defense more, but unless they trade down here I think any pick for defense would be a reach. On the other hand USC OT Austin Jackson is described by some* as having the “skill set of a franchise left tackle”, so that seems like a sensible pick.
*Some** have described me as “intelligent, handsome” and “someone any girl would be lucky to go out with.”
30. Green Bay Packers
Top needs: TE, WR, OL, LB, CB
The pick: Aaron Rodgers isn’t getting any younger, and probably isn’t getting any easier to deal with. So the Packers brass needs to keep him as happy as he is when avoiding a long weekend with family. The receiving corps seems to consist of Davante Adams and whoever Rodgers isn’t mad at at that particular moment, so some help is in order there. Baylor WR Denzel Mims could take some coverage off of Adams, some anger away from Rodgers, and a whole heap of stress from the front office. And with that pick, of course
31. San Francisco 49ers
Top needs: WR, OL, DL, CB, S
The pick: If the Packers don’t take Mims San Francisco could do a lot worse than taking him here and giving Jimmy G two first round receivers to overthrow. Some have this pick going to the Colts in an effort to get some additional picks in the later rounds. All that said, and assuming the 49ers keep the pick, 31 seems like a good time to take chance at TCU DT Ross Blacklock, a guy said to have first round potential aside from injury concerns. Defense is a strength anyway, they traded Bruckner for a WR they really need, and if they can catch lightning in a bottle with Blacklock then they basically got CeeDee Lamb for nothing.
Top needs: CB, OL, LB, RB, TE
The pick: The Chiefs need a cornerback, and Auburn CB Noah Igbinoghene is apparently something of a fast-rising Cinderella story. The Chiefs are coming off their first Super Bowl in 50 years, and they have a great offense led by the most dynamic player in the game. Fuck it, pick up that glass slipper and let’s go for ribs. I’m starving!