Post Senior Bowl entire first round 2020 NFL mock draft

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‘Tis the season for another 2020 NFL mock draft.  While this site concentrates mostly on Dolphins-centric news, today we will look at the entire first round.

With the Dolphins holding three picks in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, they are a key factor in how the first night of the draft will play out.  However, the Dolphins’ picks do not exist in a vacuum.  Twenty-seven other teams will be making picks in the 1st round and those selections will affect who is available for the Dolphins when they pick as we will see in this latest 2020 NFL mock draft.

For the purposes of this mock draft, no trades will be predicted.  (Hence the fall of Tua Tagovailoa.  )Picks will be made based first on current team needs than ‘best available player’.

Pick #1 Cincinnati Bengals:  Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

I don’t see them trading the pick or selecting a non-quarterback with the pick so assuming they don’t “Bungles” the pick, Burrow will become the newest face of the franchise.

The 2020 Heisman Trophy winner, Burrow completed 76% of his passes while putting up an impressive 76/11 TD to INT ratio and leading the Tigers to the Bowl College Championship.

The big questions surrounding Burrow are (1)  Why, if he’s “elite”, couldn’t he beat out starter Dwayne Haskins at Ohio State and (2)  Was his senior year at LSU a ‘fluke’ and/or a product of having a ton of weapons at his disposal?

Pick #2 Washington Redskins:  Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

While there have been ‘whispers’ about the Redskins possibly “pulling a Rosen”, and moving on from Haskins after one year, it’s highly unlikely.  Like most teams at the top of the draft, the Redskins have a ton of needs and Young would fill a major need at defensive end.

Young is the latest in a long line of talented pass rushers to come out of Ohio State over the last decade.  As his sack numbers show (30 1/2 in three years), Young can wreck a pocket/game.  An underrated part of his game is, even at only 265 pounds, he can also do a good job setting the edge against the run.

Pick #3  Detroit Lions:  Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Many ‘experts’ in the NFL community believe the intrigue of the draft begins at this pick.  While it is possible this pick could be traded, no trades are allowed in this mock so the Lions keep this pick.

With QB Matthew Stafford coming off back surgery, it’s hard to see him going somewhere else via trade this offseason.  Meanwhile releasing the QB would result in $32M in dead cap space and would cost the Lions $10M against that cap.  For a team that currently has less than $40M in available space, that seems highly unlikely.

While the Lions probably will draft a possible successor in this year’s draft, it won’t be at #3.  Instead, head coach Matt Patricia gets the kind of “swiss-army knife” he had for all those years when he was the DC in New England.

Simmons can, and has, played at all three levels of the defense in his time at Clemson.  He can defend the run (16.5 tackles for loss), rush the passer (8 sacks) and his 3 INTs and 8 passes defended in 2019 show his ability to cover in space.

Pick #4  New York Giants:  Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

After trading away Olivier Vernon, the Giants’ top priority is finding a pass rusher.  Unfortunately, the fourth pick in the draft is way too high for the next highest pass rusher in the draft.

For a team that was 28th in passing yards allowed (264 yds/game) and tied for 25th in interceptions (10), a player like Okudah would be an immediate upgrade at the cornerback position.  At 6’1″, 200 pounds, Okudah has the size and speed to be a #1 corner in the NFL.

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