Although it will be without an in-person audience, the 2020 NFL Draft continues on this April and promises to be as entertaining as ever. Several teams hold multiple picks in the first round, including Miami (3), Jacksonville (2), Minnesota (2) Las Vegas (2) and San Francisco (2), who will help determine the way the talent will fall in the first 32 picks.
Equally entertaining will be how the Packers’ board shapes up, picking near the end of round one at 30th overall, and the directions their rivals choose. Detroit is in a unique position with the third overall pick and quarterbacks on the board. Likewise, Minnesota will own two choices within the eight picks before Green Bay.
As the countdown to the draft ticks down, here is Shawn’s first stab at how the draft will unfold without projected draft-day trades and some reasoning behind those picks.
Shawn’s 2020 NFL Mock Draft
|2||Washington||Chase Young||DE||Ohio State|
|3||Detroit||Jeff Okudah||CB||Ohio State|
|4||NY Giants||Isaiah Simmons||LB||Clemson|
|6||LA Chargers||Justin Herbert||QB||Oregon|
|9||Jacksonville||Javon Kinlaw||DT||South Carolina|
|11||NY Jets||Andrew Thomas||OT||Georgia|
|12||Las Vegas||Jerry Jeudy||WR||Alabama|
|13||San Francisco||CeeDee Lamb||WR||Oklahoma|
|14||Tampa Bay||Jedrick Wills||OT||Alabama|
|19||Las Vegas||Patrick Queen||LB||LSU|
|22||Minnesota||Yetur Gross-Matos||DE||Penn State|
|23||New England||Chase Claypool||WR||Notre Dame|
|24||New Orleans||Jordan Love||QB||Utah State|
|30||Green Bay||Ross Blacklock||DT||TCU|
|31||San Francisco||AJ Terrell||CB||Clemson|
|32||Kansas City||Grant Delpit||S||LSU|
Ross Blacklock is a name surging toward the end of round one in recent mocks and he makes sense for Green Bay despite not being a personal favorite. The Packers’ defense really struggled against the run last season, counting on young players like Tyler Lancaster and Montravius Adams to develop alongside Kenny Clark. Neither made their expected impacts, nor did rookie Kingsley Keke or Dean Lowry, who both failed to register a sack in 2019.
Blacklock has a good blend of size and athleticism on the line and the Packers’ brass has never shied away from those type of players in round one, citing the difficulty of finding big men who can move. Blacklock is praised for his high motor and pass-rushing qualities for the five-technique, but may have the versatility to move inside when needed and eventually grow into a stronger run defender. Several receiving and offensive tackle targets of value are off the board at this point and there is no true first-round tight end. The Packers certainly could trade down here, but if not, the Packers elect to take Blacklock.
- While Denzel Mims is not a personal favorite of this author either, his role and fit in Minnesota without Stefon Diggs could be terrifying if the whole package comes together. Pair the freaky athletic Mims with Yetur Gross-Matos, who replaces Everson Griffen, in round one and the Vikings have a high-upside start to the draft. Another player to watch for Minnesota late in round one? Safety Antoine Winfield, Jr., a former Golden Gopher and son of a former Viking Pro Bowler.
- The Lions have one of the more intriguing selections in the first round this year. With one route, they could go with Jeff Okudah as an immediate replacement for Darius Slay. On another, they could trade the selection to a quarterback-needy team and get a handsome return to re-build the roster. Yet another route would be to take a quarterback themselves. Detroit has a few years left on the extension it signed with Matthew Stafford, but does have a potential out in 2021. Could the Lions take a chance on a potential All-Pro in Tua Tagovailoa and allow him the opportunity to fully recover from injury while Stafford starts the 2020 season?
- Speaking of quarterbacks, a bit of an unknown in terms of where he will ultimately go in the draft is Jordan Love. In this version, he falls to pick 24 where New Orleans jumps at the option to groom Love as Drew Brees’s replacement. The size, arm, and mobility of Love is tantalizing for Sean Payton’s offense and there is not a need to rush Love’s development. He makes more sense for New Orleans than he does for New England the pick before. But could a desperate team take the plunge and trade up much higher into the first round to secure Love after the first three signal callers are off the board?