Here is the Final Mock Draft of the series, (Not allowing for trades) as the Miami Dolphins set out to dominate the 2020 NFL Draft by shear volume of picks. Trade up to #3? Trade up from #18 to get that much needed Tackle? All distinct possibilities. For now, we are beginning to settle on some truths, and the likely needs they will fill in round 1. It’s all about the Quarterback, Offensive Line, and the Ball carrier to help both, or could they wait till #39 to take their Back and go get the Safety in the first round?
Here is the view of the 1st round from one third of the Trio that makes up the Three Yards per Carry Podcast:
1. BENGALS – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
There has been rumors and innuendo of Burrow not wanting to go to Cincinnati, but all of that got put to rest at the NFL Scouting Combine. The Bengals get a “local” boy to lead the franchise for the foreseeable future.
2. REDSKINS – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State
New Head Coach Ron Rivera gets his Julius Peppers. The clear cut best defensive prospect goes to a team in desperate need of a reset, and all the rumors of a QB being taken at #2 to compete with Dwayne Haskins prove to be head fakes designed to entice a team into unloading a haul of assets to get up to #2.
3. LIONS – Jeff Okudah, CB,Ohio State
I originally had Isaiah Simmons going here, but with the trade of Darius Slay, drafting the best CB prospect of the last 3 drafts is elementary. Okudah plays right away and excels. Matt Patricia’s defense is much improved this offseason already, and gets a further boost here at #3.
4. GIANTS – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
I was tempted to put any one of three Tackles in Wirfs, Becton or Thomas here, so I went with Andrew Thomas who was for the better part of the last 18 months the near consensus top Left Tackle prospect for the 2020 draft. Nate Solder’s stint as the LT for Big Blue comes to an end soon, due to price tag and age (he is 32 years old), and Andrew Thomas steps right in.
5. DOLPHINS – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The worst kept secret anywhere. For the better part of two years, the Miami Dolphins have committed considerable resources to the pacific northwest contingent at QB (Herbert, Love) but with a keen eye on what is going on in Alabama. No secret they like him, and would take him here. Had it not been for Tua’s hip injury, he was a serious consideration at #1. Tagovailoa is not particularly athletic, and does nto posses a rocket arm. What he does have is uncanny anticipation, football smarts, and great intangibles that have traditionally translated well to the NFL.
6. CHARGERS – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Jordan Love here made a little sense due to rumor, and all the takes coming out of #DraftTwitter, but I’ll just go with the older consensus that Herbert was a top 3 QB prospect and the Chargers get theirs here at #6.
7. PANTHERS – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
This team is essentially starting over and Matt Rhule needs a leader on his defense. I can make an argument for Simmons being the best defensive player in this draft, and getting him at #7 is a gift. Newly minted at #7, this is a great beginning on the big rebuilding job being undertaken in Carolina.
8. CARDINALS – Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
The Cardinals just finished locking up their young LT, D.J. Humphries to a 3 year $45 Million extension, and now they get a versatile tackle (capable of spot duty as the LT) for the right side. Wills would theoretically complete a solid pass blocking book end tandem for 2nd year starter Kyler Murray.
9. JAGUARS – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
The complete makeover of the Jags defense continues. This time with a mammoth Defensive Tackle to compliment edge standout from the 2019 Draft, Josh Allen. This is a pretty good 2 year start on a makeover of what was once a talent laden defense.
10. BROWNS -Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Browns have been rumored to be in on any of about 4 different Tackle prospects, and this is as good a fit as any. With their previous LT Greg Robinson facing Free Agency and possible jail time, Becton falls nicely to the Browns at #10 to play LT while Jack Conklin slides right in at RT. Nice book ends.
11. JETS – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The Jets are in desperate need of Offensive line help, and get what many consider the best Right Tackle prospect in this draft. Wirfs can be a catalyst in the run game with Leveon Bell still being there for 2nd year HC Adam Gase.
12. RAIDERS – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The Raiders were much improved in 2019, but the disaster that was the WR corp. after the Antonio Brown debacle gets remedied by a guy that can do it all. Lamb will be a welcome addition for Derek Carr, or..Marcus Mariota?
13. 49ERS (via COLTS) -CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
How do you keep a position of strength from deteriorating due to age, departures? You inject new talent. The talent injections into San Francisco continue this year with a physical, athletic corner adept at man coverage, with good playmaking ability in zone.
14. BUCCANEERS – Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
The Bucs have a lot of the elements for a successful offense already in house, and I believe Arians just added Tom Brady to run the entire show. On defense, Devin White, Shaquil Barrett (he is a FA), Vita Vea and now Kinlaw to pair with Vea up front is a helluva start on improving what is an underrated defense.
15. BRONCOS – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Broncos continue their hot streak of finding offensive talent after unearthing undrafted Free Agent Phillip Lindsay, and drafting WR Courtland Sutton, OT Dalton Risner and TE Noah Fant. 2nd year QB Drew Lock gets even more help in Jeudy. Good looking and young offense, being built in Denver.
16. FALCONS – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
The Falcons need a lot of help on defense, and after taking two offensive linemen in Chris Lindstrom and Kaleb McGary in the 2019 draft, they turn their attention and resources to the defense with their 2020 1st round pick. An Edge player like Chaisson fits the bill.
17. COWBOYS – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
The Cowboys are in dire salary cap straits this offseason as all world CB Byron Jones leaves for Miami, Robert Quinn is gone to Chicago, and Randall Cobb goes to the Texans. This team suddenly has holes, and none bigger than at corner back. In Kristian Fulton, the cowboys get a highly intelligent, twitchy, speedy corner, adept at man to man coverage. In Fulton, the Cowboys soften the blow of losing Byron Jones.
18. DOLPHINS – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
The Dolphins brought in edge players, an all world CB in Byron Jones, and sprinkled in interior line help. They are severly lacking at Tackle and the run on tackles makes them a bit nervous, and they snap up Josh Jones out of fear, here at #18. Yes, the blind side is the RT. But free rushers right into your face as a left handed QB can be a bit distracting. Jones is a skilled, sleek, “Tunsil like” Lineman. He can be your left tackle for 10 years. You gotta do it.
19. RAIDERS – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
The first WOW moment of the draft. The rumblings surrounding the Raiders and Tom Brady were loud enough where you gotta think that Derek Carr’s job isn’t all that safe. The upside for Love is immense and a QB guru (or somebody that fancies himself a QB guru) like Jon Gruden would love to work with a prospect such as this.
20. JAGUARS – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Justin Jefferson joins DJ Chark to form a “all LSU” WR Tandem, and Chris Conley to form a pretty good WR group. Gardner Minshew gets more help with the trade of Nick Foles clearing the deck for the 2nd year QB.
21. EAGLES – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
The Eagles have serious issues in the secondary due to possible defections and injury, so it makes sense that they take what most consider, the best safety on the board. Many options for the Eagles here, but they save corner for later rounds and make sure their safety group is squared away with McKinney, and maybe…Rodney McLeod? (with the exodus of Malcolm Jenkins).
22. VIKINGS (via BILLS) – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
With the trade of Stefon Diggs, the Vikings have weakened what was a position of strength last year. They replenish the position with the Clemson standout to go with All Pro Adam Thielen. Kirk Cousins returns, and he returns to a healthier offensive line, and little turnover on his skill guys save for the trade of Diggs. This pick softens that blow.
23. PATRIOTS – Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia
With Tom Brady gone, do the Patriots package a bunch of picks to move up and take one of the top prospects at Qb? No. Not enough assets. The Patriots and Belichick are arrogant enough to think that they can just get a highly intelligent QB, adapt him to their system and move on. They may be right. They could be galactically wrong. But they are gonna try. Fromm is the perfect, consummate game manager with some sneaky arm talent that shows up from time to time. Patriots target, and land their QB of the foreseeable future.
24. SAINTS – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The new breed of Hybrid, do everything, sideline to sideline, linebacker makes his way right down the road to New Orleans, at a desperate position of need for a team that still has an open Super Bowl window.
25. VIKINGS – Antoine Winfield, S, Minnesota
How much sense does this make? A Winfield and Harrison Smith Safety tandem is pretty attractive. He played at Minnesota. His father was a 3x Pro Bowler at Corner for these very Vikings. What a match.
26. DOLPHINS – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
The Dolphins, for months, have been tied to a running back (Dobbins, Taylor, Swift, Edwards-Helaire) late in the first round, but further examination sees another position of need (Safety) thinning out, and a top prospect falling to them in Delpit. They go get their RB at #39.
27. SEAHAWKS – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
The Seahawks have tried a lot of different things to “solve” the RB position, including using a 1st round pick on Rashaad Penny a couple years back. Taylor is a very nice addition to a pretty stacked skill position group.
28. RAVENS – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
What do you give the team that has everything? How bout shore up that RB position on the best running team (mostly Lamar Jackson) in pro football? As time goes by, Lamar will run less out of self preservation, so it would be nice to have aback like Swift to take the reigns from an aging Mark Ingram.
29. TITANS – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
Titans already have a sledgehammer run game, (Henry is a FA however), and a superstar in the making at WR in A.J. Brown. Ruggs would compliment this group perfectly, especially since good deep ball thrower (never thought you would hear that right?) Ryan Tannehill returns.
30. PACKERS – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
So many ways you can go here. Packers have aging Tackles, and can use interior linebacker /Safety help. But we are in Aaron Rodgers last stand and run at another Super Bowl, and this is a tempting pairing. Shenault, to go with Davante Adams gives Rodgers an imposing pair of pass catchers. Super Bowl or bust for the Packers. This pick reflects that.
31. 49ERS – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
The run on WR’s hurts what would likely be a target for the 49ers in this spot. So they go BPA, and double up at cornerback. Bryce Hall as late as a year ago, was considered the #2 ranked CB prospect according to many. This is not overkill in the sense that Hall could redshirt a year, and be ready for 2021 as some, including Richard Sherman (he is a UFA in 21′) leave. An ankle injury clouded Hall’s future and drops him to #31 to a very lucky defending NFC Champions.
32. CHIEFS – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
The defending champs are a bit thin in the secondary, but thinner yet at linebacker. Having Murray drop to them at the bottom of the first round is rather fortunate. Immediate day 1 starter at #32 for the Chiefs.
Alfredo Arteaga (@Alf_Arteaga) is one-third of the trio that does the Three Yards Per Carry (@3YardsPerCarry) podcast.