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?

***

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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Cornerbacks/2020

Updated April 19, 2020. Pre-Draft.

2020 NFL Draft:  Top Rated CBs

1. Jeffrey Okudah*, Ohio State, 6-1/199

2. C.J. Henderson*, Flordia, 6-1/182

3. Trevon Diggs, Alabama, 6-2/195

4. Kristian Fulton, LSU, 6-0/192

5. Jeff Gladney, TCU, 6-0/187

6. Jaylon Johnson*, Utah, 6-0/181

7. John Reid, Penn State, 5-10/189

8. A.J. Terrell*, Clemson, 6-2/210

9. Bryce Hall, Virginia, 6-1/200

10. Amik Robinson*, Louisiana Tech, 5-9/172

11. Javaris Davis, Auburn, 5-8/179

12. Noah Igbinoghene*, Auburn, 5-11/196

13. Josiah Scott*, Michigan State, 510/172

14. Cameron Dantzler*, Mississippi State, 6-2/175

15. Darnay Holmes*, UCLA, 5-10/199

16. Kindle Vildor, Georgia Southern, 5-11/180

17. Reggie Robinson, Tulsa, 6-1/197

18. Troy Pride, Notre Dame, 6-0/185

19. Harrison Hand*, Temple, 6-0/192

20. Essang Bassey, Wake Forest, 5-10/185

21. Damon Arnette, Ohio State, 6-0/195

22. Lavert Hill, Michigan, 5-11/182

23. A.J. Green, Oklahoma State, 6-1/180

24. Dane Jackson, Pittsburgh, 6-0/190

25. Michael Ojemudia, Iowa, 6-0/200

26. Lamar Jackson, Nebraska, 6-3/215

27. Keith Washington, West Virginia, 6-1/180

28. Elijah Riley, Army, 6-0/205

29. Luq Barcoo, San Diego State, 6-1/175

30. DeMarkus Acy, Missouri, 6-2/195

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OTHER PLAYERS TO KEEP AN EYE ON:

  • Thakarius Keyes, Tulane, 6-1/195
  • Trajan Bandy*, Miami, 5-9/180
  • Javelin Guidry, Utah, 5-9/188
  • Myles Bryant, Washington, 5-8/179
  • Levonta Taylor, Florida State, 5-9/181
  • Stanford Samuels III*, Florida State, 6-2/185
  • Jalen Thompson, South Alabama, 6-0/185
  • Chris Williamson, Minnesota, 6-0/200
  • Jace Whitaker, Arizona, 5-10/185
  • Parnell Motley, Oklahoma, 5-11/180
  • Michael Jacquet, Louisiana, 6-2/215
  • Nevelle Clarke, UCF, 6-1/185
  • Kobe Williams, Arizona State, 5-10/169
  • Will Sunderland, Troy, 6-4/196
  • Christopher Frederick, Syracuse, 5-11/194
  • Amari Henderson, Wake Forest, 6-1/185
  • Chris Jackson, Marshall, 6-0/187
  • Damon Hayes, Maryland, 6-1/198
  • Jaron Bryant, Fresno State, 6-1/183
  • Hasan Defense, Kansas, 5-11/188
  • Delrick Abrams, Colorado, 6-3/180
  • Tino Ellis, Maryland, 6-1/193
  • Charles Oliver, Texas A&M, 6-2/202
  • Kyle Meyers, Florida State, 6-0/174
  • Tyrique McGhee, Georgia, 5-10/187
  • Debione Renfro*, Texas A&M, 6-2/198
  • D.J. Williams, Utah State, 5-9/175
  • Monquavion Brinson, Georgia Southern, 5-11/180
  • Rojesterman Farris, Hawaii, 6-1/180
  • Kevin McGill, Eastern Michigan, 6-2/195
  • James Pierre*, FAU, 6-2/185
  • Darreon Jackson, Arkansas State, 6-0/205
  • Daniel Brown, Nevada, 5-11/185
  • Cam’ron Kelly, No Carolina, 6-1/215
  • Scoop Bradshaw, Syracuse, 5-11/188
  • Linwood Crump, Temple, 6-0/175
  • Jessie Liptrot, Georgia Southern, 6-0/190

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SMALL SCHOOL PROSPECTS

  • Isiah Swann, Dartmouth, 6-0/190
  • Aretavious Hendrix, Stephen F. Austin, 6-0/192
  • Rashad Robinson, James Madison, 5-11/188
  • Manny Patterson, Maine, 5-10/180
  • Kiante Hardin, Pittsburg State, 5-11/180
  • Prince Robinson, Tarleton State, 6-0/190
  • Greg Liggs, Jr., Elon, 5-11/190
  • Michael Junker, Bemidji State, 5-10/180
  • Desmond Fairell, Carson-Newman, 6-0/185
  • Danial Shelton, Susquehanna, 5-11/190
  • Mercardo Anderson, Henderson State, 5-10/185
  • Jeff Hector, Redlands, 6-0/185
  • Justin Calhoun, Montana, 5-10/184
  • Javen Morrison, Alcorn State, 5-10/160

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*Denotes underclassman.

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QBRB | WR | TE | OT | OG | OC

Nat L. Faybian’s 2020 NFL Draft Players Position Rankings

DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | ST

College Football: Week 0 Miami at Florida

Miami Hurricanes (0-0) vs #8 Florida Gators (0-0)

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MIAMI HURRICANES | ATLANTIC COASTAL CONFERENCE

Coach: Manny Diaz

Miami Players to watch:

Senior MLB Shaquille Quarterman (6-1/235)

Quarterman is a three-time All-ACC linebacker.

As a true freshman, the Oakleaf High product racked up 84 total tackles, 10 for loss, 3.5 sacks and a fumble recovery for a touchdown: leading to freshman All-American honors. Durable and tough, Quarterman has started every game since he arrived at Coral Gables. Last year, as a junior, he tallied 82 tackles, 14 for loss, 5 sacks, and an interception. Over his career, Quarterman has been one of the most consistent and fundamentally sound linebackers in the nation.

**Sophomore TE Brevin Jordan (6-3/245)

New Offensive Coordinator, Dan Enos – lured to Coral Gables from Alabama – loves to incorporate the tight ends into the game plan. “He loves the tight ends,” said Jordan of Enos, “he loves to throw us the ball.” Jordan, a third team All-ACC selection last year, started 11 of Miami’s 13 games. He caught 32 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns. Look for him to double those numbers this year.

*Junior CB Trajan Bandy (5-9/188)

As a Sophomore, Bandy enjoyed a breakout  season, starting all 13 games and earning All-ACC third-team honors. He posted career-high totals in tackles (36), tackles for loss (4.5), interceptions (three), fumble recoveries (two) and passes defended (eight). Bandy wore the new “Turnover Chain” five times, more than any player. Quick and instinctual, look for Bandy to play almost exclusively at nickel/slot this year.

*Junior DE Jonathan Garvin (6-4/250)

With the departure of Joe Jackson(NFL), Miami will be looking for more production from the four-star defensive end. Garvin Started all 13 games opposite Jackson last year. He finished with 60 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and five PBUs. Garvin also added his first career touchdown on fumble return. He ranked fourth in ACC and second on team with 17 tackles for loss, and third on team with 5.5 sacks.

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FLORIDA GATORS | SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

Coach: Dan Mullen

Florida Players to watch:

Senior DE Jabari Zuniga (6-4/257)

Jabari Zuniga (92) looks to step out of Jachai Polite’s shadow in 2019.
Photo: UFA | Jay Metz

Zuniga appeared in and started all 13 games last year, recording 45 tackles on the season. He finished second on the team with 11.0 tackles-for-loss, 6.5 sacks and four quarterback hurries. With a new defensive scheme in place this year, look for Zuniga to use his explosive power and quick first step to rack up double digit sacks.

*Junior CB C.J. Henderson (6-1/191)

Regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in the entire country, new Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham said C.J. Henderson is the definitely the best cornerback he’s ever coached. Henderson started all 13 games last year, racking up 38 tackles, five tackles-for-loss, three sacks, two interceptions, team-high seven pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

*Junior QB Feleipe Franks (6-6/240)

Is this the year Feleipe Franks puts it all together? Highly touted out of high school, Franks arrived at Gainesville with prototypical size, a strong arm and endless potential, but has yet to turn those tools into production. However, Franks teammates are saying he’s found new confidence in HC Mullen’s system. Franks first must improve his decision-making and accuracy, while building on his ability as a running threat. He also might have to maintain confidence behind a rebuilt offensive line replacing four starters.

**Sophomore PK Evan McPherson (5-11/177)

Florida boasts one of the top special teams units in the country – and a lot of that has to do with placekicker Evan McPherson. McPherson was 50-50 last year on extra points; had a long of 48 yards; went 17 for 19 (89.5 percent) on field goals and led all freshmen in field goal percentage. McPherson was also Florida’s leading scorer with 101 points.

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Ben Hill Griffin Stadium – Grass
Gainesville, Florida

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Final Score: Miami Hurricanes 20 – Florida Gators 24

Miami Key Performers: Miami RB Deejay Dallas had 11 carries for 94 yards and one touchdown. | TE Brevin Jordan had 5 receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown. | Sophomore safety Gurvan Hall led the team with eight total tackles.

Florida Key Performers: Senior WR Josh Hammond had 4 receptions for 93 yards | The Florida defense had 10 sacks and five QB pressures on the day. | The defense also had five players with six total tackles.

ESPN wrote: Feleipe Franks was clutch one minute and confused the next, showing the kind of inconsistency that got him benched five times in two years. Franks made up for three inexcusable turnovers by accounting for three touchdowns, doing just enough to help the eighth-ranked Gators beat rival Miami 24-20 Saturday night in a wild and wacky opening game of the college football season.

Peach Bowl – Dec 29, 2018: Florida vs Michigan

#10 Florida Gators (9-3) vs #7 Michigan Wolverines (10-2)

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FLORIDA GATORS | SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

Coach: Dan Mullen

Florida Players to watch:

*Junior DE Jachai Polite (6-2/260)

Photo: Gatorcountry.com

Polite has put up some of the best DL numbers in Gator history. Polite led the SEC in fumbles forced with five and totaled 11 sacks and 16.0 tackles-for-loss. The junior entered 2018 with nine tackles-for-loss in 19 career games. In 2018, Polite also added 43 tackles, four pass breakups and three quarterback hurries. 

***Freshman CB Trey Dean (6-2/181)

Dean played in all 12 games and started eight, including the last five. He is second on the team with six pass breakups and has added 22 tackles.

**Sophomore CB C.J. Henderson (6-1/182)

Henderson recorded two interceptions, two forced fumbles and 30 tackles.  He also added seven pass breakups.  He has excellent closing speed.

Senior LT Martez Ivy (6-5/315)

Ivey garnered second-team AP and Coaches honors after helping the Gators average 426.7 yards of offense per game.  With his help, Florida logged eight 200-plus rushing attack games, matching its combined total from 2015-2017. The senior also helped Florida attain the program’s fourth-highest rushing yardage total since the start of 1990 with 2,514. 

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MICHIGAN WOLVERINES | BIG TEN CONFERENCE

Coach: Jim Harbaugh

Michigan Players to watch:

*Junior LB Devin Bush (5-11/233)

Photo: Detroit News

An elite athlete who can make a tackle in space and beat ball carriers to the sideline, Bush was named the Big 10’s defensive player of the year.   He totaled 79 tackles; 9 tfl; and five sacks, along with six pass breakups. He is a two-time Walter Camp All-American (first team, 2018; second team, 2017).

Senior DE Chase Winovich (6-3/253)

Winovich has the potential to not only burst through the any O-line, but stop whomever has the ball before he even gets a chance to get back to the line of scrimmage. Tackles-for-loss are his specialty. Winovich had 62 tackles, including a team-high 14 1/2 for a loss, and four sacks.

*Junior CB Lavert Hill (5-11/180)

Hill was named to the third-team All-America for the first time at Michigan. He was a consensus first-team All-Big Ten selection and a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. This season, he had one interception and five pass breakups.

*Junior CB David Long (5-11/187)

Long is one the best cover corners in the country, leading the nation in passer rating when targeted and yards allowed per coverage snap, according to PFF.

*Junior DE Rashan Gary (6-5/281)

Gary has signed with an agent and will not be playing.

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Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
No. 10 Florida 41, No. 7 Michigan 15