Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

2020 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Miller's Post-Trade Deadline Predictions

Matt Miller

In the wake of the NFL trade deadline, we're getting a clear sense of which teams are in playoff contention, which teams aren't, and who is rebuilding for the future by selling off players and hoping for losses that will become better draft positioning.

Welcome to draft season.

Week 9 is the turning point in the NFL calendar. By now, most teams are already preparing for January—whether that's a playoff run or scouting trips to the Senior Bowl with an eye on the upcoming free-agency and draft periods.

It's also when draft season officially kicks off for many fanbases. Winless Bengals and Dolphins fans are already more worried about Tua Tagovailoa's ankle than they are about their team's games each week, unless they're rooting for losses. 

With the draft-order picture becoming clearer and team intentions also coming into focus, it's time to update our 2020 NFL mock draft. Who will your team land?

        

Latest episode of Stick to Football has the guys break down the trade deadline, latest NFL wins and losses, stock up and stock down for some high-profile 2020 draft prospects, a deeper look at this mock draft's top 10 and more. Check it out here

1. Cincinnati Bengals

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

The Pick: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama

The race to be the NFL's worst team has many contenders, but as of now, the Cincinnati Bengals would hold the No. 1 overall pick due to record and strength of schedule. That would allow new head coach Zac Taylor to select whichever quarterback he wants and start to build on offense, which is what he was hired to do.

The Bengals don't have the NFL's worst quarterback situation, but they clearly plan to move on from Andy Dalton (who they benched Tuesday) to get younger, cheaper and better at the position. Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa has dealt with an ankle injury that could scare off scouts by the time his full medical evaluation is done at the NFL Scouting Combine in late February, but he's the clear-cut QB1 in the 2020 class for now.

The Bengals might be tempted by the amazing pass-rushing skills of Ohio State edge-rusher Chase Young or the rare skills of Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, but bad teams drafting first overall generally take quarterbacks. That's what the Bengals do here.

2. Miami Dolphins

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

The Pick: QB Joe Burrow, LSU

The Miami Dolphins' plan to tank the 2019 season and acquire early draft choices has worked so far, but what happens if they don't secure the No. 1 overall pick and the ability to draft the quarterback of their choosing?

That's what happens here with the Dolphins coming in at No. 2 overall. And they're in a tricky situation with the draft's two best players (Young and Jeudy) available but their glaring need at quarterback staring them in the face.

Dolphins general manager Chris Grier likely sold team owner Stephen Ross on the plan to ship out valuable players like Laremy Tunsil in order to lose games and draft a franchise quarterback early, so that's what the Dolphins must do with their first of three selections in Round 1.

LSU's Joe Burrow has been this season's biggest riser following a strong finish to the 2018 season. Burrow is a gunslinger who takes chances without turning the ball over and has the natural leadership and charisma everyone loves at the position. Burrow might not have the hype that Tua did heading into the season, but no quarterback is playing better than him right now.

3. Washington Redskins

Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

The Pick: Edge Chase Young, Ohio State

When is it time to go "best player available" over drafting for need? With superstar edge-rusher Chase Young on the board, the time is right now for the Washington Redskins.

Left tackle, wide receiver and help in the secondary would rank higher on Washington's list of needs, but Young is too good to pass up. Even though the Redskins selected Montez Sweat in the first round last year, Young has to be the pick if he's available.

The biggest question in Washington is who will be making this pick and who is coaching the team. Could a new coach come in and demand their own quarterback, a la Kliff Kingsbury? Absolutely, which would be unfortunate considering Dwayne Haskins hasn't even made his first start yet, but anything is possible in the NFL. 

Instead, the Redskins could hire a coach who liked Haskins pre-draft and will work with him, which allows them to draft the best player in the class at No. 3 overall. 

4. Atlanta Falcons

Jay LaPrete/Associated Press

The Pick: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State

Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy is the best player remaining on the board. But as long as the Falcons have Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley, a first-round receiver isn't a need or even a luxury selection they'll make.

Instead, the Falcons can look at the next-best player available and fill a massive need on defense.

Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah is picture-perfect from a scouting perspective. He has ideal size (6'1", 200 lbs) and quickness, and he plays the game with a tough mentality both in coverage and in run support. He's the closest to Jalen Ramsey the league has seen in quite some time.

That's why he ranks as the top cornerback prospect to come out of Ohio State in the last decade.

5. New York Jets

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

The Pick: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama

The New York Jets have to upgrade their offensive line to protect quarterback Sam Darnold, but they should do so in free agency so they can spend their top-five pick on a true game-changer.

Alabama's Jerry Jeudy would immediately give Darnold a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver to work with. His route-running ability, play after the catch and smooth movements on the field earned him a comparison to Odell Beckham Jr. That's exactly what Darnold and the Jets need.

With a projected four selections in the top 75, the Jets can afford to take the best wide receiver prospect most scouts have seen since Julio Jones, build the offensive line through free agency, and then draft cornerbacks and pass-rushers in the second and third rounds.

6. New York Giants

Brett Carlsen/Associated Press

The Pick: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia 

The New York Giants must address the future at left tackle to help facilitate Daniel Jones' development and to keep him healthy for the future. General manager Dave Gettleman rarely spends early-round picks on offensive linemen, but he has to change it up this year and attack the line.

Georgia's Andrew Thomas has excellent size and power at 6'5" and 320 pounds. The biggest scouting question is whether he's a true 6'5" and how long his arms measure. The Giants might not care once they see how well he protects the pocket and start to imagine him opening holes for Saquon Barkley in the run game.

Considering Gettleman's past history, he might lean toward Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons or Alabama wide receiver here Henry Ruggs III. But Thomas makes the most sense given the Giants' needs.

7. Denver Broncos

Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The Pick: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa 

The Denver Broncos have a glaring question mark at quarterback with 2019 second-rounder Drew Lock on IR to start the season and veteran Joe Flacco clearly not the answer. But short of Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes behind the Broncos' terrible offensive line, no young quarterback could single-handedly solve this team's offensive woes.

Because of that, the Broncos should go all-in on improving the offensive line this offseason. They started doing so last offseason by signing free agent Ja'Wuan James and drafting guard Dalton Risner, but they still need more help.

Enter Tristan Wirfs.

A right tackle at Iowa, NFL scouts and this writer believe he can hang at left tackle in the NFL thanks to his quickness off the snap and his power as a finisher. Wirfs has been tested by NFL-caliber pass rushers on the right side of the Hawkeyes' offensive line in the Big Ten and has proved his ability to play highly at the next level.

8. Cleveland Browns

Richard Shiro/Associated Press

The Pick: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson 

The Cleveland Browns miss out on the elite offensive tackles in the class, but they land in a spot that allows the front office to address the defense with an instant-impact star who has excellent versatility.

Isaiah Simmons started his Clemson career at safety—you might remember him dominating in the team's win over Alabama in the 2019 CFP National Championship—before moving down in the box to linebacker.

At 6'4" and 230 pounds, Simmons has unique skills perfectly suited for the NFL. He can play the run with fantastic speed to the sideline, line up in slot coverage, rush off the edge and play in deep coverage.

As teams start to try to take away run-pass options, running quarterbacks and quick passing over the middle, linebackers like Simmons will become even more coveted. Unleashing his speed on Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson might be the only way for the Browns to get back into contention in the AFC North.

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tyler Kaufman/Associated Press

The Pick: S Grant Delpit, LSU 

This has to be a typo, right? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers passing on a quarterback?

It isn't a typo. It's what many NFL insiders believe will happen.

It's easy to listen to Bruce Arians defend Jameis Winston (and throw his receivers under the bus) and see that the head coach believes in the quarterback. Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht signed an extension in August that takes him through the 2023 season, which means there won't be a regime change that would result in a new quarterback coming in.

If Arians is sold on Winston, he'll be the Buccaneers' quarterback in 2020. He'll likely be on a heavily incentivized short-term deal, but it's nonetheless becoming less likely that Tampa will replace Winston with an early-round pick.

That opens the door for Licht, Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles to keep building on defense. The team famously passed on safety Derwin James for defensive tackle Vita Vea in the 2018 draft and will now have a chance to add a similar prospect in LSU's Grant Delpit.

Delpit isn't a natural ball hawk, but his ability to erase the run game and play well in man coverage is perfect for the Jamal Adams role in Bowles' defense.

10. Los Angeles Chargers

Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

The Pick: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, who turns 38 in December, will be a free agent after this season. It's fair to ask about his future with the team and what the Chargers—who have drafted only four quarterbacks since trading for Rivers in 2004 and only one (Charlie Whitehurst) in the top 100—plan to do in the future.

With a rare selection early enough in the first round to consider a quarterback, the Chargers must investigate the position. Oregon's Justin Herbert, a senior with a big right arm and good mobility, is the kind of player general manager Tom Telesco and head coach Anthony Lynn could fall in love with.

Herbert has his doubters among NFL scouts, but his raw tools are impressive enough to potentially push him into the top 10. If he's here for the Chargers, they would be wise to jump on a quarterback of the future.

11. Oakland Raiders

John Amis/Associated Press

The Pick: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama

The Raiders want speed on offense. That much is obvious with the failed move to bring in mercurial receiver Antonio Brown. The Raiders were reportedly connected to New York Jets speedster Robby Anderson on the trade market, according to Connor Hughes of The Athletic, but no deal materialized prior to Tuesday's trade deadline. Head coach Jon Gruden wants to open up his offense, and he needs the speed to do it.

Alabama wideout Henry Ruggs III has speed for days. Scouts buzz in private conversations about the chances that he'll break the NFL Scouting Combine 40-yard dash record (4.22 seconds, held by John Ross III).

Ruggs isn't just a burner, though. He's an accomplished, established receiver who both stretches the field and also shows refined route running and big-play potential after the catch.

If Gruden wants to stretch the field, there's no one in the 2020 draft class better suited to do it than Ruggs.

12. Miami Dolphins (from Steelers)

Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The Pick: Edge A.J. Epenesa, Iowa

After selecting the quarterback of the future at No. 2 overall (Joe Burrow), the Miami Dolphins flip sides and begin looking at building their defensive line.

Pairing an outside pass-rusher with 2019 first-rounder Christian Wilkins is the move for a team with a defensive-minded head coach in Brian Flores.

Flores should take one look at the 6'6", 280-pound A.J. Epenesa and see a player who can line up on the edge of the defense but also kick inside on passing downs. He has the size, technique and power to affect the offense from multiple alignments. That's perfect for Flores, who can deploy him like a Trey Flowers-esque pass-rusher.

With three selections in Round 1, the Dolphins don't have to panic to draft a wide receiver or offensive lineman. They can instead play the board and take the best, most impactful players available.

13. Oakland Raiders (from Bears)

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The Pick: LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

With two selections in Round 1 thanks to the Khalil Mack trade—but no picks in Round 2—the Raiders need to address their needs while also keeping an eye on value and positions of strength in the draft class.

Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray has shot up draft boards this season while showing the speed and instincts to match his production that landed him on the NFL radar in 2018. Murray is the answer to nickel defense, and he can stay on the field on all three downs thanks to his speed and strength.

The Raiders have missed at linebacker for a decade, including the decision to sign Vontaze Burfict. Drafting Murray to play in front of safety Johnathan Abram finally secures the middle of the field defensively.

14. Arizona Cardinals

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

The Pick: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma 

Larry Fitzgerald has to be thinking about retirement, which means the Arizona Cardinals have to be thinking about drafting a true No. 1 wide receiver. They selected Christian Kirk in Round 2 of the 2018 draft and chose three receivers in 2019, but none of them have shown the ability to be Kyler Murray's go-to option as of yet. 

Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb isn't the fastest player in the draft class, but he's a fierce route-runner and excels after the catch with big play after big play. From a production and playmaking standpoint, he's been the best receiver in college football this year. At 6'2" and 189 pounds, he has DeAndre Hopkins-esque talent.

The offensive line could be a consideration here as well, but it remains to be seen how new head coach Kliff Kingsbury will value the offensive line in the NFL. His offenses at Texas Tech relied on athleticism and big line splits to create space in the running game—something that's working in the NFL, even as his quarterback takes a pounding.

If the Cardinals do prioritize the offensive line here, Alabama's Alex Leatherwood or USC's Austin Jackson would make plenty of sense.

15. Philadelphia Eagles

Richard Shiro/Associated Press

The Pick: WR Tee Higgins, Clemson

The Philadelphia Eagles badly need to add speed at the wide receiver position. But with Henry Ruggs III off the board and no true speedsters left to consider, they will gladly settle for a sure-handed 6'4" prospect in Tee Higgins.

Higgins, who looked like a runaway for WR1 in the 2020 class two years ago, has cooled off to some extent as Clemson develops other wide receivers. His traits are still Round 1-caliber, though, and good testing will only further push him up the board in a class of receivers that isn't overwhelmingly big. 

16. Jacksonville Jaguars

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

The Pick: OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama

The Jacksonville Jaguars are surprising many opponents thanks to a healthy Leonard Fournette, the emergence of DJ Chark Jr. and the strong play of rookie Gardner Minshew II. They'll have to use the two first-rounders they own in this draft to close the gap with the rest of the AFC South.

The biggest, most immediate need is at left tackle, where Cam Robinson has struggled since a solid start to his career. A right tackle at Alabama, Robinson doesn't have the quickness to consistently succeed on the left side. That's where Alex Leatherwood, a player with experience at both tackle spots, comes into play.

Leatherwood has already proved this year that he has the quickness teams need at left tackle. In his first season on the left side after playing right tackle while Jonah Williams was on the roster, Leatherwood has a nice mix of power, agility and poise in his pass sets. He's a plug-and-play left tackle option for the Jaguars.

17. Tennessee Titans

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

The Pick: QB Jordan Love, Utah State

The Marcus Mariota era appears to be over in Tennessee. Ryan Tannehill may stick around as a bridge quarterback until a new one is ready to play, but barring a shocking trade or free-agent signing, the Titans must address the position in the 2020 draft.

Utah State's Jordan Love is the riskiest of the first-round quarterback prospects, but he also offers the highest potential. He's shown a big arm with loose mechanics and good playmaking skills while being surrounded by subpar talent offensively. 

That leads to Love trying to force plays and do too much, but his believers look at that and see a Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson style to his play. His critics see a turnover machine. 

The truth might be closer to the middle, but no quarterback in the 2020 class offers the playmaking skills combined with arm strength that Love does. He's the anti-Mariota with his aggressive, fast-paced style.

That might be enough for the Titans to believe he's exactly what they need after years of underwhelming quarterback play.

18. Detroit Lions

Sam Craft/Associated Press

The Pick: DL Derrick Brown, Auburn

The Detroit Lions are starting to contend for a playoff spot under head coach Matt Patricia. They just need to put on the finishing touches.

Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown is ranked No. 8 overall on my most recent big board, which makes him an absolute steal in the middle of the first round. At 6'5" and 318 pounds, Brown is ideal for Patricia's defense given his ability to both stop the run and get after the quarterback. Throughout the 2019 season, he has been by far the most impactful defensive tackle in the nation.

The Lions could look at cornerbacks here as well, but staying true to value while also picking up a position of need is the Bob Quinn way.

19. Carolina Panthers

Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

The Pick: CB CJ Henderson, Florida

Former Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman didn't believe in drafting cornerbacks early. New general manager Marty Hurney does, and he will when looking at the 2020 cornerback class, especially with James Bradberry set to become a free agent after the season.

The Panthers have needs on the offensive line, but the potential to add the No. 2 cornerback in the class is too tempting here. Florida's CJ Henderson is aggressive in coverage and has shown the ball skills needed to be a true starting cornerback on the outside in the NFL.

Coaches at Florida rave about Henderson's mentality, toughness and leadership. As the Panthers start to move toward a potential future without quarterback Cam Newton, the defense will have to carry a bigger load. Henderson helps with that.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Rams)

Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

The Pick: CB Kristian Fulton, LSU

The run on cornerbacks has begun, and the Jacksonville Jaguars know it's time to get involved.

Using one of the picks they acquired in the Jalen Ramsey trade, the Jaguars grab a rock-solid cornerback who is ready-made for the NFL. Fulton is physical, smart, technically sound and has the character coming out of LSU that pro teams are already raving about.

Fulton doesn't have the high-end potential that Ramsey had, but he brings solid, tough, no-nonsense play. This is a Tre'Davious White-type cornerback who can be expected to have that type of instant impact.

Using draft picks to further support whomever is playing quarterback could also be the play here, but grabbing key defensive starters is how the Jaguars can remain competitive.

21. Dallas Cowboys

Sean Rayford/Associated Press

The Pick: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina 

Free agency will have a major role—perhaps more so than for any other franchise—in determining what the 2020 draft looks like for the Dallas Cowboys.

With quarterback Dak Prescott, wideout Amari Cooper and cornerback Byron Jones all playing on expiring contracts, the Cowboys could be faced with replacing stars in the first round instead of bolstering a good roster.

The smart money is on Prescott and Cooper being back—even if one is under a franchise tag and the other is signed to an extension—and the team looking to replace Jones and other spot starters. With a deep cornerback class already somewhat diluted by the first 20 selections, the Cowboys would likely go with a "best player at a need" route. That’s where one of my favorite players comes in: Javon Kinlaw.

A senior defensive tackle, Kinlaw is among the most aggressive players in college football. He has intense power and quickness out of his stance and is able to push the line of scrimmage or split gaps to get after the quarterback.

The Cowboys clearly have a need at defensive tackle after making a trade for Michael Bennett. Drafting Kinlaw gives them a serious boost from the middle of the defensive line.

22. Miami Dolphins (from Texans)

John Bazemore/Associated Press

The Pick: RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia 

Earlier in this mock draft, the Dolphins grabbed a quarterback (Burrow) and a star pass-rusher (Epenesa). With their final first-rounder, the front office can go a number of directions, but having the draft's best running back still available makes this an easy selection.

One of the best ways to help a young quarterback is to give him a three-down threat at running back who can keep defenses honest. Georgia's D'Andre Swift has a skill set like Alvin Kamara coming out of Tennessee. His ability to win with outside speed, great hands and enough inside power to run in any type of offense makes him a valuable threat at the end of Round 1.

There is no position the Dolphins shouldn't consider here, but GM Chris Grier should go with the best player available and one that will boost the offense.

23. Kansas City Chiefs

Tony Avelar/Associated Press

The Pick: CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford

The Kansas City Chiefs made no moves at the trade deadline, instead opting to save valuable draft picks and cap space for a vital offseason in which star quarterback Patrick Mahomes and defensive tackle Chris Jones might receive contract extensions. That puts the pressure on the draft as this team looks to load up for another Super Bowl run.

The Chiefs have needs across the board on defense, with linebacker and safety being the biggest weaknesses moving forward. Given the impending free agency of cornerback Kendall Fuller and the value of the position, that becomes the biggest need.

Stanford's Paulson Adebo attracts the football like honey attracts bees. He's constantly around the ball and has shown an expert ability to flip the field and create turnovers. That's exactly what the Chiefs need behind a pass rush that should be fierce once fully healthy.

24. Minnesota Vikings

Mark Lomoglio/Associated Press

The Pick: OL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin 

The Minnesota Vikings offense is vastly improved with a healthy Dalvin Cook at running back and the addition of Gary Kubiak as offensive advisor. That has helped cover up an offensive line that still needs help.

Wisconsin's Tyler Biadasz is the best interior run-blocker in the nation and has the skill set to play both guard spots and center. He's a mean mauler at the point of attack and has excelled at getting to the second level to block linebackers. That points to a good transition to a zone-blocking scheme like the one run in Minnesota.

Depending on what the Vikings do in free agency, they could be looking at secondary pieces here instead. But for now, interior offensive line is once again a focal point.

25. Buffalo Bills

Paul Sancya/Associated Press

The Pick: WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan 

The Buffalo Bills need major help at wide receiver, even as John Brown posts incredible numbers through the first half of the season. This offseason, they need to focus on adding help for quarterback Josh Allen.

The run on wide receivers early in this mock draft leaves Buffalo slightly reaching for Donovan Peoples-Jones, who has struggled this season with an injury and then with some routine drops. However, he's also a deserving first-rounder based on traits and potential.

It's a gamble, but a player with Peoples-Jones' talent shouldn't be on the board this late.

At 6'2" and 208 pounds, Peoples-Jones has enough size for the Bills' offense. And unlike other available targets (Colorado's Laviska Shenault Jr., for one), he has shown the route-running skills needed to make a quick adjustment to the NFL.

26. Indianapolis Colts

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

The Pick: Edge K'Lavon Chaisson, LSU

The official figures aren't in yet, but the Indianapolis Colts are projected to be among the league leaders in available salary-cap space in 2020, according to Over the Cap. They could splurge in free agency, but they might sit tight and spend frugally while continuing to build through the draft, much like they did last year.

The draft is where general manager Chris Ballard is at his best. He'll be looking for instant-impact players who have high athleticism and good value positionally. That lines up perfectly for LSU edge-rusher K'Lavon Chaisson.

Chaisson suffered a torn ACL in LSU's season opener in 2018, but he has shown excellent quickness and hand use this year while still shaking off the rust of a lost season. With the Colts having some good young depth at the position (Kemoko Turay, Ben Banogu), this might be too much of a luxury pick, but Ballard knows the defense needs speed and an accomplished pass rush to survive the AFC.

27. Seattle Seahawks

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

The Pick: S Xavier McKinney, Alabama 

The Seahawks could target a pass-rusher here with Jadeveon Clowney and Ezekiel Ansah both set to hit free agency, but they did draft L.J. Collier in Round 1 last year and could hope to keep Clowney long term. If so, shifting the focus to the secondary isn't a classic John Schneider move this early in the draft, but it is one the front office has to consider.

Alabama safety Xavier McKinney has been overshadowed by the team's explosive offense, but the work he has done at free safety in the Nick Saban defense is eye-opening. McKinney has ideal size (6'1", 200 lbs) and is showing the range in coverage to play anywhere from Cover 0 to Cover 4.

Most importantly for Seattle, McKinney has the versatility to play both free and strong safety. With the team high on 2019 second-rounder Marquise Blair, McKinney is the perfect running mate while allowing Quandre Diggs to be the nickel and dime safety.

28. Green Bay Packers

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Pick: WR Laviska Shenault Jr., Colorado

Get. Aaron Rodgers. Targets.

It's really that simple.

The Green Bay Packers have one of the most talented quarterbacks of all time and are rolling him out with a ragtag cast of wide receivers while Davante Adams is injured. Even once Adams returns, the Packers are a far cry from full strength at a key position in head coach Matt LaFleur's offense.

Think of the Los Angeles Rams as the type of offense LaFleur wants to run. What he doesn't have right now is anyone in the Brandin Cooks role as a playmaker who can beat defenses with speed. The Packers can add that by selecting Colorado's explosive yards-after-catch phenom Laviska Shenault Jr.

Shenault isn't a prototypical receiver who will line up in the X position and run a basic route tree. Instead, he'll line up all over the formation and dominate on jet sweeps and screen packages. He might need his touches schemed more than he'll create them on his own, but that can work in LaFleur's offense, and he would give Rodgers a playmaker much like he previously had in Randall Cobb.

29. Baltimore Ravens

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Pick: LB Dylan Moses, Alabama

This is a match made in heaven, as Baltimore seems to be where all Alabama players land in the NFL draft.

This one also happens to be a major position of need, as the Ravens miss linebacker C.J. Mosley in the middle of the defense.

Moses, who is out of the 2019 season with a torn ACL, was the top-ranked draft-eligible linebacker before suffering the injury in August. It's fair to speculate that he'll have recovered in time to show some progress at the late-February NFL Scouting Combine.

That should be good enough to get him back into the first round, where a lucky team like Baltimore can get excellent value on a starting "Mike" linebacker from day one.

30. New Orleans Saints

Gary McCullough/Associated Press

The Pick: DL Marvin Wilson, Florida State 

The quarterback position will be the elephant in the New Orleans Saints' draft room.

Drew Brees will turn 41 in January. Teddy Bridgewater is set to become a free agent. Taysom Hill hasn't proved himself to be a viable quarterback option.

As a result, we can't rule out a Jake Fromm selection here. However, it feels like the Saints will be prepared for life after Brees with a Bridgewater signing if it comes to that.

If the Saints have their quarterback situation squared away, their defensive line could use reinforcements. Florida State's Marvin Wilson has dominated in the ACC this season even as his team struggles. He's a first-step penetrator with excellent awareness and quick hands that allow him to knife through blockers at the point of attack.

The Saints could target a wide receiver here, but with a run on the position already eliminating all of the top-end talent, going for the best player available who can fill a need is the better move for a team in the midst of its Super Bowl window.

31. San Francisco 49ers

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

The Pick: CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama

The San Francisco 49ers likely won't have many needs when the 2020 offseason begins. Unless Joe Staley retires, which would move right tackle Mike McGlinchey to the left side of the offensive line, the Niners don't have a clear must-have roster spot to upgrade.

That's great news for general manager John Lynch, as the 49ers can begin looking at filling future needs ahead of retirements, regression and free agency. As a result, they should target cornerback early on. 

Richard Sherman has been brilliant this season, but he will turn 32 at the end of March. Opposite Sherman, the team has a good player in Ahkello Witherspoon who has shown tremendous potential, but he's been slowed by a foot injury this season.

Staying ahead of needs is crucial for a team with a defense good enough to keep it competitive for a long time. Trevon Diggs' 6'2", 207-pound frame and legitimate starter speed should catch the attention of 49ers scouts, as he's a perfect fit for defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's scheme.

32. New England Patriots

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Pick: OT Austin Jackson, USC

You can never predict what the Patriots will do in the NFL draft, but that's especially true this year given the impending free agency of star quarterback Tom Brady.

With Brady seemingly stuck on playing until he's 45, quarterback isn't a need for the Patriots as of now. That could change quickly, though.

No matter who is playing quarterback, the Patriots have to look at upgrading their offensive line this spring. Offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia has worked wonders with the players given to him, but the Pats must add younger, healthier and cheaper talent at some point.

Austin Jackson is a quiet name in scouting circles right now, but the junior left tackle's stock will eventually heat up. He's 6'6", a legitimate 310 pounds and has wowed on tape with athleticism, length and a mean streak you rarely see in more athletic tackles.

If he's available at No. 32 overall, the Patriots have to consider adding him given the injury history of Isaiah Wynn and the overall need for upgrades on the offensive line.

   
×
Bleacher Report
(120K+)