NFL Mock Draft 2020 Round 1 – part 4 (picks 25-32)

The end is in sight! Part 4 of my look at round 1 of the NFL Draft and we are into the final 8 picks. Some teams have already picked twice, some not at all. The top 4 wide receivers have all gone from the board but I think there is at least a 5th in these last few picks. Plus a few of last year’s top teams look for those elusive pieces which will help them challenge again next season.

Throughout this mock draft I’ve used the PFN Mock Draft Simulator to help work out potential trades and scenarios –

25. Minnesota Vikings “Free hit”

This is the Vikings second pick after they traded up to #19 to secure Henry Ruggs. With their second pick of the round they are free to take a defensive player to try and offset the losses in free agency. I think they will look to the secondary and another cornerback will come off the board – the question is which one? Three possibilities here I think – AJ Terrell, Kristian Fulton or Jaylon Johnson and I’m going with the latter as the best shutdown corner available here.

With the 25th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft the Minnesota Vikings select, Jaylon Johnson, cornerback, Utah.
26. Miami Dolphins “Build that offense”

The Dolphins are dipping in for the 2nd time here after moving up for Tua and dealing away pick 18 to the Redskins. Remember that trade also dealt away pick 39 so they will have to sit and wait after this until the bottom of the 2nd round. They might be open for business here with a team like the Texans or Bears – both of whom have 2x 2nd rounders but nothing in the first.

However, I think they should just go and get their running back to compliment Tua as and when he is starting. It is becoming less fashionable to take a running back in round 1 but it is a need for Miami even with Jordan Howard coming in from Philly in free agency.

So, with the 26th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft the Miami Dolphins select, D’Andre Swift, running back, Georgia.
27 Seattle Seahawks “What does Russ need?”

Picks (7) – 27, 59, 64, 101, 133, 144, 214

Seattle are set up quite nicely in terms of picks with two second rounders to follow this pick so I don’t see them trading – unlike last year where John Schneider, Seahawks GM, went trade happy to somehow turn 4 picks into 11. However, their later picks will probably put them out of range of the next level of offensive tackles or the premier interior linemen.

I’m going to pair them up with taking the first center off the board although they could quite easily go for the tackle spot.

With the 27th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft the Seattle Seahawks select, Cesar Ruiz, center, Michigan.
28 Baltimore Ravens “Use the window”

Picks (8) – 28, 55, 60, 92, 129, 134, 170, 225

The Ravens are in good shape but they cannot afford to rest on their laurels. Lamar Jackson is still in his rookie contract for now and they had an offense few teams could answer during the 2019 season. Defensively though they have had to use the franchise tag on Matthew Judon, so with some uncertainty there it provides the opportunity to go for a linebacker in round 1. And it just so happens there is a great one available at #28.

With the 28th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft the Baltimore Ravens select, Patrick Queen, linebacker, LSU.
29 Tennessee Titans “Trade away into 2nd?”

Picks (6) – 29, 61, 93, 174, 224, 243

The Titans are not blessed with many picks this year so they may well be open for business and trade down into the top of the second round. I like the idea of them trading with Detroit – a team I highlighted in part 1 as being under pressure to nail the draft. On PFN this could happen with the Lions offering up #35 and #67 (top of round 3) in order to secure the Titans #29.

However, the Titans will feel the loss of starting right tackle, Jack Conklin, and I think they may simply do the obvious in order to keep those running lanes open for Derrick Henry and to continue the renaissance of Ryan Tannehill. Looking at who has gone from the tackle class I think one player has been climbing boards of late and may just sneak into round 1.

With the 29th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft the Tennessee Titans select, Ezra Cleveland, offensive tackle, Boise State.
30 Green Bay Packers “Make Aaron happy”

Picks (10) – 30, 62, 94, 136, 175, 192, 208, 209, 236, 242

As we progress through round one it is not always easy to see which direction a team might go in as there are so many variables at play. Then there comes a team where you, at least, think it is obvious what they need to do. The Packers wide receiver corps is thin, and it needs a stud. I think the Packers can sit tight in round 1 and then right at the end here a 5th wide receiver gets his name called out. This is another player whose stock has rocketed in recent months and this is a pick which will make Aaron Rodgers very happy indeed – for a while at least.

With the 30th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft the Green Bay Packers select, Denzel Mimms, wide receiver, Baylor.
31 San Francisco 49ers “Open for business second time round”

Remember that the 49ers have already selected courtesy of the 13th pick from the DeForest Buckner trade. John Lynch and his team should be very happy with the result (Javon Kinlaw as a like for like replacement). They can now sit and wait for the phone to ring from a team looking to get up into the back end of round one.

Again I think there will be a few suitors for the pick including the Texans and Lions but actually the team that I think has capital it could use here is the Denver Broncos. Imagine the two John’s (Lynch and Elway) get on the phone and hammer out the following deal.

TRADE! – SF #31 for DEN #46, #77, #118 (verified by PFN mock simulator)

What could the Broncos do with the extra pick? Back when I mocked their original pick (CJ Henderson) I was aware that wide receiver was another position of need. With all the picks at their disposal they could wait until the second or third round but what if they wanted to make sure they got a quality wideout with the first 5 having already gone. Here we go then with the sixth wide receiver off the board in round one and it is a hometown pick for the Broncos!

With the 31st pick of the 2020 NFL Draft the Denver Broncos select, Laviska Shenault JR, wide receiver, Colorado.

I know his stock has fallen of late when he was injured during the combine which impacted his stats but he is a tough physical receiver with plenty of ability in yards after catch. The Broncos met with him at the combine and I think his versatility and competitiveness will appeal to Elway and co.
32 Kansas City Chiefs “Champions next move?”

Picks (5) – 32, 63, 96, 138, 177

The Chiefs are in a similar position to the 49ers one place above them. They may find some value in trading down into the second round in order to gain additional picks. If this were to happen then, unlike the 49ers, I doubt it would be with divisional rivals the Broncos.

For now, I’m going to leave the Chiefs here at #32 and I think they will look to the defense and it could either be for a cornerback (to offset the loss of Kendall Fuller in free agency) or it could be to shore up the run defense which was ranked 29th by DVOA last year. Looking at who is left on the board it was a toss up between Kristian Fulton (who I’d acknowledge has slipped down this mock scenario – I like him as a solid corner but not a 1st rounder) AJ Terrell (who I think is on the rise on some boards due to his toughness and aggressive play) or on the defensive line – Neville Gallimore, Ross Blacklock or Marlon Davison (I think the latter two fit Kansas 4-3 scheme better).

Ultimately I think Kansas can dip back in at #63 to find a player to help the run defense but you should take your cornerback soon as you can and Terrell’s versatility and toughness tip the balance for me.

So, with the 32nd and final pick of the 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft the Kansas City Chiefs select, AJ Terrell, cornerback,

And that’s it – all done, 32 picks made. Players who can dramatically change the fortunes of their new team. It has been a lot of fun working through my thoughts on each team – now I doubt that a lot of what I’ve put may end up happening but hopefully I’ve been able to articulate why I have made those choices. Can’t wait for draft night!

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