Louisiana State Tigers linebacker Patrick Queen (LB32) runs the 40 yard dash during the 2020 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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Menard's 2020 NFL mock draft: Saints land a Tiger

Mark Menard
April 20, 2020 - 5:22 pm
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1.  CINCINNATI: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

The surest thing in this draft. Burrow is coming off one of the greatest quarterbacking seasons in college football history. The Ohio native should end up back in his home-state to give the Bengals something that has been in short supply for them more often than not: hope.

 

 2.  WASHINGTON: Chase Young DE, Ohio State

After picking Dwayne Haskins in the first round a year ago, Washington isn't in need of a top quarterback prospect, making this a prime position where a QB-needy outfit like Miami might make a deal to move up and ensure they get their man. If they do pick here, it'll likely be on the draft's most elite pass rusher.

 

 3.  DETROIT: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

The Lions seem to already be gearing up to make this selection after trading away Darius Slay in the offseason, and nearly every mock I've seen has Detroit making Okudah the pick at #3.

 

 4. NY GIANTS: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

With the Giants heading into Year 2 of the career of last year's top 10 shocker Daniel Jones and a pitiful offensive line, the only question here is which O-lineman they might go with.

 

 5. MIAMI: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Social distancing may throw a wrench into the evaluation of Tagovailoa as a franchise-quarterback prospect, but there was a reason the "Tanking for Tua" notion had legs in South Beach last season, and if he falls into the Fins' laps at #5 without having to trade up, it would be a shame if they chickened out now.

 

 6. LA CHARGERS: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

With Philip Rivers headed to Indianapolis, the Chargers have a question mark at QB for the first time in over a decade. To fill the position, they spend the #6 pick on a Pac-12 stud who L.A. fans will be very familiar with.

 

 7. CAROLINA: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn     

The Panthers need to start rebuilding their defense, and Brown will be a sturdy building block right in the middle. Linebacker Isaiah Simmons wouldn't be a surprise in this spot either.

     

 8. ARIZONA: Jedrick Wills, Jr., OT, Alabama

With D.J. Humphries locked down on the left, the Cards need a bookend to help protect last year's No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray.

 

 9. JACKSONVILLE:  Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

The Jaguars land perhaps the most versatile defensive prospect available in 2020 in Simmons, a linebacker stout enough to rush the QB and rangy enough to drop back in coverage without being a liability.

 

10. CLEVELAND: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Greg Robinson failed miserably at protecting Baker Mayfield's blindside in 2019. The Browns need an upgrade, and they need it now.

 

11. NY JETS: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

With Robby Anderson's departure in free agency, Sam Darnold needs weapons,  and in a deep receiver class, Lamb gets the nod as the first one taken off the board.

 

12. LAS VEGAS: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Raiders are so desperate for a top-flight wideout, they took a shot on Antonio Brown last season. He ran himself out of the league, and the need remains for the Silver and Black. They rectify that by grabbing the smooth and steady Jeudy.

 

13. SAN FRANCISCO (via IND): Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

The receiver run continues with the Niners making Ruggs the second straight Crimson Tide alum off the board.

 

14. TAMPA BAY: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

The Bucs lured Tom Brady out of Boston with the prospect of top-flight weapons on offense, but now they also need to protect him. For that, they draft the Bulldogs top offensive lineman.

 

15. DENVER: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

The Broncos miss out on the draft's best offensive tackles, so instead they bolster the defensive trenches, adding Kinlaw to a stout bunch that already includes Bradley Chubb and Von Miller.

 

16. ATLANTA: K'Lavon Chaisson, LB, LSU

There's been a lot of success for Atlanta drafting prospects out of Baton Rouge, and they go back to the well to team Chaisson with fellow former Tiger Deion Jones.

 

17.  DALLAS: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

With Byron Jones gone, the Cowboys need a reliable #1 corner. Henderson could quickly grow into that role.

 

18.  MIAMI (via PIT): Austin Jackson, OT, USC

If Tua Tagovailoa is going to be their franchise quarterback, the Dolphins HAVE to keep him upright after two straight injury-plagued seasons in Tuscaloosa. For that reason, they grab USC's Jackson to shore up the line.

 

19.  LAS VEGAS (via CHI): Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

After going offense with their first pick of the first round, the Raiders go defense here, hoping Murray can help fill the void at linebacker left when they traded away Khalil Mack. Mack was shipped to the Bears. This pick comes from Chicago. Sometimes the universe balances out.

 

20. JACKSONVILLE (via LAR): A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

A similar bit of kismet is at play here for the Jags, who got this pick from the Rams when they sent Jalen Ramsey to the City of Angels. They fill that hole here, taking Terrell to be their new top corner.

 

21. PHILADELPHIA: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

The Eagles need help getting the ball downfield, and they hand Carson Wentz a shiny new toy by grabbing a wideout with a championship pedigree. Jefferson was a playmaker in Baton Rouge, and he'll be one in Philly, too.

 

22. MINNESOTA (via BUF): Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

Losing Everson Griffen in free agency informs this pick, and the Vikings grab a stout rusher to fill that gap.

 

23.  NEW ENGLAND: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

For the first time this millennium, the Patriots had into a season with uncertainty at the quarterback position. Is Jarrett Stidham the future in Boston? Maybe, but I think Bill Belichick wouldn't mind hedging that bet by adding the final QB prospect of 2020 with first-round value.

 

24. NEW ORLEANS: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

If Love was on the board, the Saints might have had an interesting decision to make. Thanks to the Pats, New Orleans is in a position where they can bolster a linebacking corps that looks uncertain behind All-Pro Demario Davis. Alex Anzalone and Kiko Alonso have both been sidelined by injuries too frequently to be reliable, and while he may be a bit undersized, Queen has shown dynamic athleticism that could do wonders for the Fleur De Lis D.

 

25. MINNESOTA: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

The Vikings lost receiver Stefon Diggs in free agency, but they re-up with the Diggs family here, grabbing his younger brother to plug a big hole at cornerback.

 

26.  MIAMI (via HOU): Josh Jones, OT, Houston

The third dip into the first-round pool is the same story as the second one was for the Dolphins. They must keep Tua Tagovailoa upright at all costs, so they grab Jones here to pair with Austin Jackson, completely remaking their offensive line in one advantageous first round.

 

27. SEATTLE: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

Epenesa is an intriguing pass-rushing prospect, and at #27, the Seahawks take a flyer as they look to remake their defense.

 

28.  BALTIMORE: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

The Ravens can't pass up on the value of Delpit falling into their laps at #28 and grab the safety who was considered a possible top 10 prospect before he returned to Baton Rouge for a shot at a national title last season, a goal he reached.

 

29. TENNESSEE: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The run of LSU Tigers continues here with Fulton headed to Nashville to help fill a void on a surprise playoff team from 2019 who is looking to improve even further this season.

 

30. GREEN BAY: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame

Value and need meet at a nice crossroads here for the Pack, who lost Jimmy Graham in free agency and missed out on signing Austin Hooper.

 

31. SAN FRANCISCO: Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin

The Niners' second pick of the first round is a value choice to help bolster a defense that's already one of the team's strengths.

 

32. KANSAS CITY: D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

With the final pick of the first-round, the Super Bowl champs add a do-it-all running back to their already extremely formidable offense, making sure the cupboard remains well-stocked for Patrick Mahomes.

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