BY HUNTER DONELSON
- Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
This is a no-brainer. Burrow put up the best college football season we’ve ever seen by a quarterback and his game has no lacking area. His swagger and confidence off the field is admirable. Cincinnati is in need of a quarterback and it doesn’t get better than Burrow.
- Washington Redskins – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
This year’s clear top prospect has fallen victim to the “team need” ideology and dropped to the second overall pick. Typically “dropped” and “second overall pick” don’t belong in the same sentence, but Young is an exception. His size, technique, and athleticism is something that we’ve only seen in current superstars and NFL greats. Washington’s getting themselves a steal (yes, I just used that term for the 2nd overall pick).
- Miami Dolphins (mock trade with DET) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
With recent reports saying the Giants have been spending an extended amount of time talking to Herbert, the Los Angeles Chargers would “prefer” Herbert over Tua, and that multiple other teams are looking to trade into the top 5, the Dolphins will have to trade up to No. 3 whether it’s for Herbert or Tua just for security purposes. But with Tua’s injury history many teams are beginning to be cautious. Herbert is just a step behind in terms of talent, if not equal.
- New York Giants – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Simmons may bring the most value to whichever team he is drafted to in this class. Simmons is equipped with a 6’4″, 238lb frame and 4.39 40 speed. His ability to play nearly any defensive position at that size will be huge, especially for a team that’s suffering on the defensive side of the ball as much as the Giants.
- Detroit Lions (mock trade with MIA) – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
With this trade, the Lions will get who they’ve been wanting all along as well as acquiring a couple more picks throughout the draft, including the 39th overall. As Okudah said in his viral press conference, he didn’t commit a single pass interference or holding penalty last season. Just a clean, lock down cornerback with great ball skills. It’s like getting Darius Slay right back onto the team.
- Los Angeles Chargers – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
After Philip Rivers’ departure, the Chargers were left with a poor quarterback situation. Tyrod Taylor isn’t bad, but he’s not the kind of guy you want starting for your franchise. With Miami turning away from Tua, the Chargers will be willing to take the chance and put Tua under a good system.
- Carolina Panthers – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Derrick Brown is considered the second best defensive line prospect by, well… everybody. But hasn’t really gotten much attention heading into the draft. Brown dominated SEC quarterbacks at Auburn using his strength and power to get up the middle with a quickness. He’s also a pretty solid run stopper too.
- Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
Wirfs proved his strength on the offensive line in his film but proved his athleticism in the NFL Combine. The Cardinals need somebody that can block downfield as well as block with the quarterback in the pocket. Wirfs ran a 4.85 40-yard dash while weighing in at 322 pounds. I definitely wouldn’t want to step in front of him.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
Kinlaw is one of the more underrated players coming into the draft. He seems to be more of a run stopper up the middle but had his share in getting to the quarterback last season for South Carolina. With this pick, Jacksonville will have replaced Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue with who they believe are solid candidates in Josh Allen and Javon Kinlaw.
- Denver Broncos (mock trade from CLE) – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
Courtland Sutton had a breakout season in 2019… but that’s about it. With their up-and-coming quarterback, Drew Lock, the Broncos have shown interest in trading up for the best available receiver, who they reportedly believe is Jerry Jeudy. I think Elway pulls the trigger on this one to help out his young QB.
- New York Jets – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
The Jets may very well go for a wide receiver here, but they need to worry about protecting Darnold before worrying about who he’s throwing to. This will not only help Darnold, but also their All-Pro running back that they’ve began to ruin in Le’Veon Bell. Wills is one of those massive, reliable offensive lineman that Alabama produces in every draft.
- Las Vegas Raiders – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
The biggest debate in college football last season was the question of who is better? Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb? And I’m not here to answer that question. But I can tell you that seeing them in the same division would be insane. The Raiders are in dire need of a receiver and Lamb seems to be their guy.
- San Francisco 49ers (via IND) – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
The 49ers lost Emmanuel Sanders in free agency but he was a big part of the passing game’s success while he was there. Although they’ll most likely trade this pick for more, holding onto it and drafting Ruggs wouldn’t be such a bad idea. The fastest player in the draft and a big downfield threat is what San Fran needs.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Thomas was arguably the top offensive line prospect before the combine, but after some great combine performances from other lineman he falls right into Tampa Bay’s lap. Now with Tom Brady, the Bucs are going to protect him at all costs and the more time he has to utilize those insane weapons, the worse off the rest of the league is.
- Cleveland Browns (mock trade from DEN) – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
The Browns have had a very successful offseason. They went and got another weapon for Baker Mayfield with Austin Hooper, but also acquired Jack Conklin in free agency. Adding Becton would only make them better. Maybe this is the year the Browns turn it around, but that answer relies on Mayfield. At least the Browns can say they’ve done everything they could for him.
- Atlanta Falcons – CJ Henderson, CB, Florida
CJ Henderson has done nothing but rise among fellow prospects. His ability to read the quarterback and make plays on the ball is unmatched but the most intriguing aspect of his game is his size. Standing at 6’1″ and weighing in at 205lbs, Henderson is large for his position. But that only helps him. With 4.39 speed, he can stay with nearly any receiver he faces.
- Dallas Cowboys – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Dallas has kept a heavy eye on the situation regarding Jamal Adams and the lack of a long-term deal with the Jets for nearly two years now. But they can’t rely on that kind of uncertainty and are in desperate need of a safety. Xavier McKinney has a solid build and is excellent in coverage.
- Miami Dolphins – Josh Jones, OT, Houston
This may be a bit early for Jones to come off the board but the Dolphins need offensive lineman. After drafting their franchise quarterback, they need to protect him. Jones needs to work on his angles and sitting on his punch but with his 6’5″, 320lb frame hauling a 5.2 40-yard dash, his athleticism alone will draw interest.
- Las Vegas Raiders – K’Lavon Chaisson, OLB, LSU
Ever since trading Khalil Mack, Jon Gruden has been looking to add pass rush to the defensive side of the ball. Chaisson is a raw prospect but proved himself with a big season at LSU. He’s slightly undersized but his speed off the edge makes up for it.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Delpit was the best defensive back in college football last season despite some slight inconsistency. His open field tackling could use a little bit of work for his position but he is very well above the rest when it comes to coverage among safeties.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
Nelson Agholor is out and the Eagles are thin on healthy, reliable receivers. Outside of Zach Ertz, Philadelphia hasn’t had a consistent pass catcher since DeSean Jackson’s first go-round. Justin Jefferson has the size, speed, and hands to almost immediately take over the WR1 role in Philly.
- Minnesota Vikings (via BUF) – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
The Vikings acquired this pick in the Stefon Diggs trade, and coincidentally this will be where they look for his replacement. Higgins is a 6’4″ deep threat, having him on deep routes and Adam Thielen playing the short game is quite the duo. Much like his Clemson predecessor DeAndre Hopkins, just throw it up and he’ll go get it. And we all know Kirk Cousins likes to just throw it up.
- New England Patriots – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
For the Patriots to be successful they’ll need to somewhat rebuild the offensive play style. The game has changed and Brady is gone. It’s time to modernize an offense that’s, well… outdated. Jordan Love is the perfect prospect to do so and if there’s anyone that can fix his high turnover rate, it’s Bill Belichick.
- New Orleans Saints – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
Murray is the undisputed number one inside linebacker in this year’s draft. The Oklahoma product can get into the backfield with a quickness averaging nearly 15 tackles for loss in his collegiate career. He’s a great tackler in the open field and can move from sideline to sideline like a defensive back. The Saints need help at LB and there’s no other choice but Murray.
- Minnesota Vikings – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
If Minnesota finding Diggs’ replacement with the very pick they traded him for wasn’t coincidental enough, how does drafting his younger brother with their next pick sound? On a serious note, Trevon Diggs showed out last year for Alabama. The Vikings could be finding a great compliment to Mike Hughes.
- Miami Dolphins – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
The last time Miami had a solid running back was back in 2016 when Jay Ajayi had a one-hit-wonder season. Although they did just sign Jordan Howard, Howard has always been terribly inconsistent. Swift is more of a pass-catching back as Howard is a power back. Miami will look to mimic the Saints’ backfield of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram in 2017.
- Seattle Seahawks – Cesar Ruiz, OG/C, Michigan
The Seahawks’ offensive line is getting more on the older side and they’ll need to draft and develop if they want to protect Russell Wilson. Ruiz will bring value to the team with his ability to play multiple positions along the offensive line.
- Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
Patrick Queen is a great inside linebacker and has often been compared to Kenneth Murray throughout the draft process. Baltimore is yet to find a consistent replacement for CJ Mosley but Patrick Queen seems like he could thrive in this role. Drafting a wide receiver would be an interesting move here but for now I’ll stick with defensive depth.
- Tennessee Titans – Yetur Gross-Matos, OLB, Penn State
The Titans did acquire Vic Beasley this offseason but Beasley has turned into a very inconsistent pass rusher. They’ve also lost other members of the defensive line and will need to get some kind of pass rush back. Yetur Gross-Matos wasn’t talked about much in college but may very well put the NFL on notice come September.
- Green Bay Packers – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
The Rodgers-Adams connection is explosive but it’s clear that the Packers offense is missing another weapon. They already have tall, redzone receivers with Allen Lazard and Marquez Valdes-Scantling so what they really need is a receiver with blazing speed. That’s Brandon Aiyuk.
- San Francisco 49ers – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
It’s believed the 49ers will trade both the 13th and 31st overall draft picks for more selections later on in the draft but it’s very unclear as to who/where they’ll trade them. If they do keep them, Jeff Gladney would be a great fit in San Fran. He’s great in coverage and could easily learn from Richard Sherman.
- Kansas City Chiefs – JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
Although the Chiefs offense doesn’t seem like it’s slowed down much since the absence of Kareem Hunt, there is a noticeable difference. Kansas City needs to take some pressure off of Mahomes and redevelop some kind of run game. It’s easy to fall in love with Damien Williams’ playoff heroics but his 45 yards per game in the regular season just doesn’t cut it. Dobbins could very easily become a Kareem Hunt-caliber player in the Chiefs’ system.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
- Indianapolis Colts – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
- Detroit Lions – Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
- New York Giants – Austin Jackson, OT, USC
- Los Angeles Chargers – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
- Carolina Panthers – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
- Detroit Lions (mock trade with MIA) – Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
- Houston Texans (via ARI) – Zach Baun, OLB, Wisconsin
- Cleveland Browns – Antoine Winfield Jr., CB/S, Minnesota
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Julian Okwara, OLB, Notre Dame
- Chicago Bears (via LV) – Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne
- Indianapolis Colts – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
- Denver Broncos – AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson
- Atlanta Falcons – Ashtyn Davis, S, California
- New York Jets – Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
- Chicago Bears – KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
- Dallas Cowboys – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
- Los Angeles Rams – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn
- Philadelphia Eagles – Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State
- Buffalo Bills – AJ Epenesa, DE, Iowa
- Baltimore Ravens (via ATL) – Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
- Miami Dolphins (via NO) – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
- Los Angeles Rams (via HOU) – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
- Minnesota Vikings – Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
- Seattle Seahawks – Jeremy Chinn, S, Mississippi State
- Baltimore Ravens – Lloyd Cushenberry III, C, LSU
- Tennessee Titans – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
- Green Bay Packers – Cole Kmet, TE, Iowa
- Kansas City Chiefs (via SF) – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
- Seattle Seahawks (via KC) – Terrell Lewis, OLB, Alabama
Check out more work from Hunter Donelson at his new site: https://thescoretable.wixsite.com/thescoretable