Nat L. Faybian’s 2020 NFL Mock Draft Version 3.0, Round 1

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Round 1

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Photo: © For The Win 

Nothing has changed in the past four months, Burrow still looks to be the first player taken in the NFL Draft and headed to Cincinnati.

2. Washington Redskins: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

Washington has a new defense-minded head coach in Ron Rivera. He’s got to be thrilled to start building the foundation of his defense with a player of Young’s caliber.

3. Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Quarterback Matthew Stafford was placed on I.R. with bone fractures in his back in December. The Lions went 0-8 without him in the starting lineup. Time to draft the quarterback of the future?

I wouldn’t be surprised. Conventional wisdom though says they take cornerback Jeff Okudah. Detroit’s pass defense was one of the absolute worst in 2019.

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QB | RB | WR | TE | OT | OG | OC

Nat L. Faybian’s NFL Draft Players Position Rankings

DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | ST

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4. New York Giants: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

The New York media has been reporting that Giants GM Dave Gettleman has fallen in love with Iowa tackle Trista Wirfs. Shortly after the Combine, I had written, “Wirfs showed enough athletic ability at the Combine for the Giants to feel comfortable moving him to the left side.” I’ll stand on that.

5. Miami Dolphins: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

With five picks in the first two rounds, Miami can load up in this draft. They have several options with this pick, including a quarterback, but they will most likely upgrade their offensive and defensive fronts as the rebuild continues.

Miami plays it safe, grabbing the top proven left tackle in the class. Thomas has long arms, a high football IQ, and rarely gets beat.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Photo: University of Oregon Athletics

Herbert had a very good Senior Bowl, followed by an excellent Combine. For those that questioned his leadership, Herbert really helped himself by returning to school and leading his team to No. 6 in the rankings. He’s got prototypical size, good pre-snap read, and has a strong arm.

7. Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

Carolina has a new head coach, Matt Rhule; and a new offensive coordinator, Joe Brady (of LSU fame). One would think that Rhule and Brady would be eager to starting adding additional weapons their offense right off the bat. However, Carolina had one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. Brown was the winner of the 2019 Lott IMPACT Trophy.

8. Arizona Cardinals: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Arizona has needs on both lines. Protecting last year’s number one overall pick, QB Kyler Murray, would seem to be a priority in this offseason. Wills is an excellent run blocker and an improving pass protector. He should continue to improve with good coaching.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

The Jags need help on the defensive side of the ball. They could go for a corner here, but linebacker is also a need for Jacksonville. Losing Telvin Smith (retirement) and Myles Jack (season-ending injury) last year really hurt this team. Simmons’ leadership and high character will be welcomed, along with his exceptional athletic ability.

10. Cleveland Browns: Mikhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Baker Mayfield, much like Kyler Murray, has found out he’s not in Oklahoma anymore. These guys are running for their lives play-after-play. Since Cleveland needs help all across the line, they’ll certainly find the best spot to plug the raw Becton into.

11. New York Jets: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

The Jets finished 26th in the league in sacks per attempt, Epenesa would be a great addition. One way to improve that number is to improve coverage down the field. Henderson had an excellent Combine and keeps moving up the boards because of his excellent playing speed.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Las Vegas needs a No. 1 receiver, Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy can do all the little things you want in a receiver. He seems to glide across the turf; has deceptive speed; shows excellent nuanced route running; possesses terrific hands; and remarkable body control. I like Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, a lot, too. I just think Jeudy is more ready to step in and be a No. 1 receiver.

13. San Francisco 49ers (from Indy): Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

The Indianapolis Colts sent the No. 13 overall selection to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.

I had Ruggs going to Indy with this pick prior to the trade. The question seems is it possible Ruggs could go before Lamb? 4.27 speed can do that.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: K’lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU

Almost all other mock drafts have Tampa Bay taking an offensive tackle. However, in this draft, the top four are already off the board. That leaves Tampa in a position where they could trade down for Josh Jones.

I would be inclined to think they’d take a DE/OLB hybrid like K’lavon Chaisson. Defensive coordinator Todd Bowles has his defense going in the right direction and expects a leap from year one to year two. Chaisson has a lot of upside, and could learn a lot from Shaq Barrett and JPP.

15. Denver Broncos: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Denver would be thrilled to land a potential top ten pick at fifteen. Lamb has exceptional body control, strong hands, and good long speed. Lamb also takes pride in his run blocking. Denver, much like Tampa, would like to grab a tackle here. So that’s still a possibility.

16. Atlanta Falcons: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

The Falcons are getting some pressure upfront with Jarrett, McKinley, and Beasley, but not enough. They finished 28th in the league in sacks. Getting some help along the defensive line should be a priority. Gross-Matos has prototypical build with long arms, quickness, and bend.

17. Dallas Cowboys: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

Dallas needs a stud upfront. We know that Kinlaw visited Dallas back at the end of February. Kinlaw is strong, athletic, and a known disruptor.

18. Miami Dolphins (from Pitt): Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Playing it safe, Miami finds their quarterback still on the board at No. 18. While Tua was cleared medically at the Scouting Combine, however, team’s would prefer their own doctor’s take a look before investing too much. I think Tua will be here at No. 18, other’s think he’ll be off the board by No. 5. We’ll see. It’ll be fun to watch!

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chi): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

Las Vegas GM Mike Mayock went to Alabama for his first pick and grabbed Crimson Tide WR Jerry Jeudy. With their second first round pick, the Raiders grab Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs. Diggs has a great combination of size, speed, and agility. He’s not a finished product, so he’s got the potential to get better.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR): Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Jacksonville looks to rebuild the backend of their defense. McKinney gets after the ball, either in the air or on the ground. He’s got a good football IQ and takes good angles to the ball. His coverage skills make him a full time player.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

The Eagles will look to bolster their defense. LSU has been putting quality linebackers in the NFL for a number of years now. Queen can blitz, is fluid in coverage, and has shown excellent sideline-to-sideline range. He can give the Eagles a powerful presence in the middle.

22. Minnesota Vikings (from Buf): Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU

Buffalo sent the 22nd overall pick, along with a fifth-round pick (No. 155 overall) and a sixth-round pick (No. 201 overall) in 2020, along with a 2021 fourth-round selection to Minnesota for WR Stefon Diggs.

The Vikings need to get better in their run defense. While Blacklock isn’t a stout anchor, he’s a quick-footed 3-tech that knows how to get in the backfield and disrupt the action.

23. New England Patriots: Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin

On draft day, Bill Belichick rarely does what you expect him to. What we do know is that the Patriots have a history of successfully utilizing versatile linebackers in their scheme. Baun fits that mold. He can rush the passer as easily as he can smother a tight end in coverage. He looks like a potential good fit here.

24. New Orleans Saints: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

I originally had New Orleans taking a quarterback with their first round pick: Drew Brees can’t play forever. After re-assessing their roster though I realized they don’t have an legitimate deep threat receiver on the roster, so they could so with Mims or Hamler. Higgins though would be too good to pass up here.

25. Minnesota Vikings: Antoine Winfield, S, Minnesota

Could Winfield be drafted before LSU’s Grant Delpit? It only takes one team to fall in love with a player. The Golden Gopher has a knack for always being around the ball. He understands his position and is a solid wrap up tackler. Winfield’s father, Antoine Sr., played nine seasons for the Vikings.

26. Miami Dolphins (from Hou): D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

If the Dolphins are able to get LB Isaiah Simmons; QB Tua Tagovailoa; and RB D’Andre Swift out of this draft, they would really improve their team. Even if Tua sits on the bench for a year while he learns the in’s and out’s of being an NFL quarterback, it’d still be a good haul.

I like Swift here over Taylor or Edwards-Helaire, I think he fits better with Miami’s conservative philosophy than the other two.

27. Seattle Seahawks: Austin Jackson, OT, USC

I heard Peter King say the other day that Seattle has traded their first pick eight years in a row. Sounds like there’s a trend. However, I’m not doing trades, so…

Seattle needs line help on both sides of the ball. Jackson has quick feet, good balance, and has excellent upside.

28. Baltimore Ravens: Kenneth Murray, ILB, Oklahoma

A quick, slippery, linebacker that plays fast and plays downfield. Gets good drop in coverage, closes quickly on the ball.

29. Tennessee Titans: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

Epenesa’s game is predicated on size and power. His stock dropped a little after a lack-luster Combine. Epenesa isn’t the flashiest, but he’s a dependable lunch bucket kind of player who is capable of putting up 10-12 sacks a year.

30. Green Bay Packers: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Packers took Rashan Gary and Darnell Savage in the first round in an attempt to shore up their defense. They could use someone to challenge for the corner spot opposite Jaire Alexander. In his three years on the field Fulton has shown he has enough talent to start at the next level.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn

After getting beat by Kansas City’s speed, John Lynch adds an ultra-fast speedster to his defense. Igbinoghene is the son of two Olympic athletes and possesses his own sprinter’s speed.

With a lack of picks, San Francisco is expected to trade out of this spot.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

The rich get richer. Kansas City could go defense with this pick. But when you have a 4.38 speedster sitting there, why not give Mahomes just one more target?

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Round 1 | Round 2 | Round 3

The 85th NFL Draft will take place from April 23-25, 2020, in Las Vegas on the iconic Las Vegas Strip.

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FBS 2019 A.P. All-American teams

FIRST TEAM

Photo: Arizona Sports

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Joe Burrow, senior, LSU
Running backs — Jonathan Taylor, junior, Wisconsin; Chuba Hubbard, sophomore, Oklahoma State
Tackles — Penei Sewell, sophomore, Oregon; Andrew Thomas, junior, Georgia
Guards — Wyatt Davis, sophomore, Ohio State; Kevin Dotson, senior, Louisiana-Lafayette
Center — Tyler Biadasz, junior, Wisconsin
Tight end — Harrison Bryant, senior, Florida Atlantic
Wide receivers — Ja’Marr Chase, sophomore, LSU; CeeDee Lamb, junior, Oklahoma
All-purpose player — Lynn Bowden Jr., junior, Kentucky
Kicker — Keith Duncan, junior, Iowa

DEFENSE

Ends — Chase Young, junior, Ohio State; James Lynch, junior, Baylor
Tackles — Derrick Brown, senior, Auburn; Javon Kinlaw, senior, South Carolina
Linebackers — Isaiah Simmons, junior, Clemson; Evan Weaver, senior, California; Micah Parsons, sophomore, Penn State
Cornerbacks — Derek Stingley, freshman, LSU; Jeffery Okudah, junior, Ohio State
Safeties — Antoine Winfield Jr., sophomore, Minnesota; J.R. Reed, senior, Georgia
Punter — Max Duffy, junior, Kentucky

SECOND TEAM

Photo: Scarlet and Game

OFFENSE

Quarterback — Justin Fields, sophomore, Ohio State
Running backs — J.K. Dobbins, junior, Ohio State; Travis Etienne, junior, Clemson
Tackles — Jedrick Wills Jr., junior, Alabama; Tristan Wirfs, junior, Iowa
Guards — Shane Lemieux, senior, Oregon; John Simpson, senior, Clemson
Center — Creed Humphrey, sophomore, Oklahoma
Tight end — Hunter Bryant, junior, Washington
Wide receivers — Devonta Smith, junior, Alabama; Michael Pittman, senior, Southern California
All-purpose player — Jaylen Waddle, sophomore, Alabama
Kicker — Rodrigo Blankenship, senior, Georgia

DEFENSE

Ends — A.J. Epenesa, junior, Iowa; Curtis Weaver, junior, Boise State
Tackles — Jaylen Twyman, sophomore, Pittsburgh; Jordan Elliott, junior, Missouri
Linebackers — Hamilcar Rashed Jr., junior, Oregon State; Zack Baun, senior, Wisconsin; Jordyn Brooks, senior, Texas Tech
Cornerbacks — Amik Robertson, junior, Louisiana Tech; Jaylon Johnson, junior, Utah
Safeties — Julian Blackmon, senior, Utah; Grant Delpit, junior, LSU
Punter — Braden Mann, senior, Texas A&M

THIRD TEAM

Photo: Dallas News

OFFENSE

Quarterbacks — Jalen Hurts, senior, Oklahoma
Running backs — Zack Moss, senior, Utah; AJ Dillon, junior, Boston College
Tackles — Calvin Throckmorton, senior, Oregon; Colton McKivitz, senior, West Virginia
Guards — Jonah Jackson, senior, Ohio State; Ben Bredeson, senior, Michigan
Center — Matt Hennessy, junior, Temple
Tight end — Charlie Kolar, sophomore, Iowa State
Wide Receivers — Omar Bayless, senior, Arkansas State; Rashod Bateman, sophomore, Minnesota
All-purpose player — Brandon Aiyuk, senior, Arizona State
Kicker — Nick Sciba, sophomore, Wake Forest

DEFENSE

Ends — Bradlee Anae, senior, Utah; Alex Highsmith, senior, Charlotte
Tackles — Leki Fotu, senior, Utah; Neville Gallimore, senior, Oklahoma
Linebackers — Logan Wilson, senior, Wyoming; Kenneth Murray, junior, Oklahoma; Malik Harrison, senior, Ohio State
Cornerbacks — Trevon Diggs, senior, Alabama; Luc Barcoo, senior, San Diego State
Safeties — Tanner Muse, senior, Clemson; Xavier McKinney, junior, Alabama
Punter — Sterling Hofrichter, senior, Syracuse

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2018 FBS A.P. All-American Teams

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2019 Bronko Nagurski Award: FWAA’s College Football’s Defensive Player of the Year

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) has annually chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993.

In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of a legendary two-way player from the University of Minnesota, Bronislaw “Bronko” Nagurski. Nagurski dominated college football then became a star for professional football’s Chicago Bears in the 1930s. He is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.

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THIS YEAR’S WINNER…

CHASE YOUNG, DE, OHIO STATE BUCKEYES

AP Photo|Nell Redmond

Ohio State junior defensive end Chase Young has been selected as the 2019 Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner as the nation’s top defensive player as award by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA).

While only appearing in 12 games, Young led the nation in sacks (16.5). His sacks accounted for negative 117 yards for opponents, another statistic he led the nation in.

Young tied for fifth in the nation with 21.0 tackles-for-loss. He had 46 total tackles, three passes defended, and seven forced fumbles on the season. Along with the Nagurski, Young took home the Chuck Bednarik Award this season, and he finished fourth in the Heisman voting.

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The 2019 Bronko Nagurski Award finalists included:

  • Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
  • J.R. Reed, S, Georgia
  • Isaiah Simmon, LB, Clemson
  • Antoine Winfield, Jr., DB, Minnesota
  • Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

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The 2018 Bronko Nagurski Award winner: Josh Allen

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Outback Bowl – Jan 1, 2020: Auburn vs Minnesota

#12 Auburn Tigers (9-3) vs #18 Minnesota Golden Gophers (10-2)

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AUBURN TIGERS | SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

Coach: Gus Malzahn

Auburn Players to watch:

Senior DT Derrick Brown (6-5/325)

Brown looks to be a top five pick in April’s NFL Draft. He was recently named the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He is a finalist for the Bednarik, Nagurski, Wuerffel, Outland, and Lott Impact awards. Brown recorded a season-high 3.5 tackles-for-loss in Auburn’s 48-45 Iron Bowl win vs. Alabama, giving him 12.5 for the season.

“Derrick is one of the best all-around football players in the entire country. Any position,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. “It’s not a coincidence he’s up for a lot of these awards. I expect him to win quite a few of them. He’s a real special player. He’s had an unbelievable year. He’s played his best football in the biggest games when they matter the most. That’s the sign of a great player.”

Senior DE Marlon Davidson (6-3/278)

Davidson led Auburn with 7.5 sacks, tying Brown for the team lead with 12.5 tackles-for-loss . Davidson and Brown, combined, have won the SEC Defensive Player of the Week award seven times, with Davidson leading 4-3 heading into the Outback Bowl. The individual competition has brought out the best in both, helping Auburn’s defense allow only 16.2 points per game.

*Junior MLB Kenny Britt (6-0/228)

“K.J. is a born leader,” linebackers coach Travis Williams says of Britt. “When he talks, people listen.” After a freshman year that saw the former 4-star prospect record only four tackles, the junior middle linebacker is now a key piece in Kevin Steele’s defensive. Britt finished 2019 third on the team with 61 total tackles and nine tackles-for-loss.

Senior SS Daniel Thomas (5-11/208)

Coming out of high school, Thomas really wanted to sign with Auburn, but didn’t have an offer. He was prepared to go to Minnesota. However, before he signed, he went to church and spoke with his pastor. He spoke to his pastor, Michael Crook, who asked him what he wanted. Thomas told him “I want to go to Auburn.” Crook stopped that night’s service and asked the entire congregation to pray for Thomas. “He told him, ‘You’re going to hear from them, and you’re going to have your offer,’” Daniel Thomas’ mother, Regina Thomas, told the Montgomery Advertiser. “And that’s just the way it happened.”

Forty-two games later, Thomas has racked up 193 total tackles, five interceptions, and caused three forced fumbles.

Senior FS Jeremiah Dinson (6-0/195)

After this sophomore season, Jeremiah Dinson made a move from nickel to free safety. He made that position his own last season and emerged as the cerebral leader of the secondary. Dinson considered declaring early for the NFL after last season, but he ultimately decided to return after leaning on input from his parents and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. Anchoring the Tigers secondary, Dinson led the team with 79 tackles. He also added two interceptions and two sacks.

Senior CB Javaris Davis (5-10/187)

Javaris Davis also contemplated leaving for the NFL after his junior season, but decided to return to Auburn and enhance his draft stock. As a junior, he recorded 41 tackles (three for loss), a sack and two interceptions. He also defended eight passes. His 2018 numbers just about mirror those he posted this season. As a senior, Davis has 41 tackles on the year, along with six passes defended.

Senior LT Prince Tega Wanogho (6-7/307)

Wanogho, a three-year starter at left tackle, has anchored Auburn’s offensive line, helping the Tigers score 50-plus points in three games this season. Originally from Nigeria, Wanogho came to the States to play basketball. He quickly transitioned to football, and has been growing in the game ever since. Wanogho credits his basketball background for his smooth footwork at left tackle.

“With speed, I’ve always said that I’m quick to recover. I have the feet for that. I’m also strong enough to handle any bull rush anyone can throw at me. I’m strong enough to fend that off. I can get into my stance and handle that,” Wanogho told Draft Wire in an exclusive interview. “Going back to my soccer and basketball days, I’ve been good with my feet my whole life. I’ve always been a natural in this department.”

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MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS | BIG TEN CONFERENCE

Coach: P.J. Fleck

Minnesota Players to watch:

**Sophomore WR Rashod Bateman (6-2/200)

Photo: John Autey|Pioneer Press

Sophomore receiver Rashod Bateman who was named the Big Ten’s Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year. Bateman, who was also one of 12 semifinalists for he Biletnikoff Award, has 57 catches this year for 1,170 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 1,170 yards is a single-season school record, eclipsing the previous record set by Johnson last season with 1,169 yards. His 11 touchdowns is one shy of the record 12 set by Johnson last season. 

Senior WR Tyler Johnson (6-2/200)

Johnson, who is the lone receiver from a Power Five conference to have consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, has 74 catches this year for 1,114 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 74 catches and 1,114 yards are school records for a senior and rank third and fourth, respectively in the Minnesota record book. He is one touchdown shy of tying the record he set last season with 12. 

**Sophomore QB Tanner Morgan (6-2/210)

Morgan is the first Minnesota quarterback to be on a Big Ten postseason team since the coaches voted Adam Weber All-Big Ten Second Team in 2008. Morgan has had one of the best seasons in school history for a Minnesota quarterback ever. He has set single-season records in passing yards (2,975), touchdowns (28) and consecutive games with a touchdown pass (13, dating back to last season).

Senior RB Rodney Smith (5-11/210)

Smith has rushed for 1,094 yards this year and eight touchdowns this year and rushed for more than 100 yards in five straight Big Ten games to start conference play. He is only the second running back ever to rush for more than 4,000 career yards and is the school record holder with 5,364 all-purpose yards. 

**Sophomore OL Blaise Andries (6-5/313)

Blaise Andries, who has started games at left tackle, left guard and right tackle this year, was named All-Big Ten Third Team to become the first Gopher offensive lineman to be honored by the conference since 2016. Andries, who has started every game, has blocked for a prolific Minnesota offense this year. The Gophers have thrown for a school record 3,014 yards and 28 touchdowns this year, while still rushing for 2,108 yards and 24 touchdowns. 

**Sophomore S Antoine Winfield (5-10/204)

Defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. was named the Big Ten Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year, becoming the first Gopher to ever receive the honor. Winfield, who is also one of five finalists for the Bronko Nagurski Award, was also named All-Big Ten First Team by both the coaches and media. 

Winfield leads the team with 83 tackles, which includes 58 solo stops. He also has 3.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks this year to go along with seven interceptions and two forced fumbles. Winfield’s seven interceptions tied a school single-season record and also rank fourth in the NCAA this year.

Senior DE Carter Coughlin (6-5/245)

Rush end Carter Coughlin was named All-Big Ten Second Team by both the coaches and media. Coughlin was also named All-Big Ten Second Team in 2018 by the coaches and media. 

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Outback Bowl
Minnesota 31, Auburn 24
Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, Florida
Jan 1, 2020 | 1 p.m. | ESPN 

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2018 Outback Bowl
Iowa 27, Mississippi State 22
Raymond James Stadium
Tampa, Florida

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