Two Green Browns Podcast, have provided us with a superb NFL Draft 2020 list of predictions
No. 1 – JOE BURROW – LSU
Shock Horror the Bengals take their version of the “Tiger King” Joe Burrow. Just throw on his performance i the championship game and you ll see all you need tot see with Burrow. He had the most magical performance dropping dimes left right and centre on a team that was well heralded in its own right with first round picks a plenty in Clemson. His Heisman procession in the voting states was historic as was his PFF rating who rated him the top QB they have ever scouted just above Baker Mayfield. Burrow does come with is questions marks . He has a small sample size. Was it Joe Burrow or Joe Brady that made that Offence tick. At the start of the year he was thought of as a mid round prospect at best following his transfer from Ohio State in 2018. His Eyes can drop a little but to be honest taking his performance last year into account he has few flaws based on that system. Lets see how he is based in Zach Taylor system at the next level but he is the clear 1st overall pick and Canadian sportsbooks have him an unbackable 1/25 to secure the top spot.
No. 2 – CHASE YOUNG – The OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
Washington will have a wrecking ball Defensive Line packed with high round talent. Chase Young is seen as the cant miss talent in this draft. I don’t buy into the “he goes missing in big games” chat. He is maybe not as accomplished as the Bosa Bros. but he is a fantastic Edge that will cause havoc. Ron Rivera will be salivating at the thought of getting him to pair with Montez Sweat, Daron Payne & Jonathan Allen. Chase Young stats over the stretch after his suspension (ridiculous suspension from the NCAA) are cited as a reason for questions with him. This is pure box score watching. A slight glimpse at any game sees him double and tree teamed through out and to be honest these concerns are a case of paper never refused ink.
No. 3 – TUA TAGOVAILOA – ALABAMA
(Trade with Detroit for Picks 5, 26 & 70)
The Dolphins get spooked by the Raiders and The Pats and their propensity to want to move up here to potentially grab a QB. They pay ever so slightly over the odds by Jimmy Johnsons trade calculator but to get their man and with the boodle of picks they have this makes sense. Also factoring in their cap space for this coming year Im not sure they can afford to pay 3 first round picks, & 2 second round picks after splurging in Free Agency ( 22 million left in Cap but Rookies projected to cost almost 20 million) this trade even taking a QB higher will give them roughly 2 million in cap relief also. Tua is what Tua is. He is incredibly accurate and has the swagger needed to play QB in the NFL. The dark cloud of big time injuries to his lower extremities throw a question on his durability. Hip, ankle and surgeries on both have caused draft nicks to say he will fall but I don’t think Miami pass up the chance here.
No. 4 – ISAIAH SIMMONS – CLEMSON
Gettleman has never traded down. Gettleman has never taken an OT in the first round. I cant buy that they are trading for any other reason that he needs more time to figure out how the technology works. Gettleman is a see best player take best player GM and while he may have a road to Damascus moment and break from tradition Im expecting him to take his playmakers here and that is arguably the most versatile and freakish player in the Draft Isiah Simmons. Simmons for me while he has positional versatility he will need to take a position and make it his at the NFL level. People talk abut Hybrid players shuffling between LB and SS positions and even into the DE position (ala Derwin James) but this approach to “Positionless Defences” at this stage of the NFL is theoretical as opposed to proof of concept. Simmons is a great player don’t get me wrong and the Giants get themselves a great LB here, but remember he cant play 3 positions at once so pick a spot for him at the next level.
No. 5 – JEFF OKUDAH – The OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
(Trade with Miami for Picks 5, 26 & 70)
Take the best Corner back for a defensive minded Head Coach is my thinking here. Is a super trade down and to still pick up a player as talented as Okudah. He is for me the best CB in this draft and the chatter of CJ Henderson going above him as the draft gets closer is media talk. Okudah to Detroit was made envelope more set in stone after Detroit traded Darius Slay to Philly. They need to replace their top corner with another on a cheaper contract. They also pick up pick 26 and 70 to mould their Defence and take advantage of the deep WR class.
Los Angeles Chargers
No. 6 – JUSTIN HERBERT – OREGON
The Chargers are a loaded Franchise. The have talent everywhere. IF they can stop having catastrophic injuries and bad luck they have depth everywhere to make a great run this year, save for QB. We lived through the Tyrod Taylor short spell in Cleveland and he looked like a player that was afraid to fail and his play was short and indecisive. They have added to their OT room with Brian Bulaga and seem to like Trey Pipkins who they took 3rd Round last year. He started 4 games in the run in last year and graded around league average. They have also added XFL standout player Storm Norton at LT who is a Hulking man to give competition at LT. I toyed with going Andrew Thomas here and with Justin Herbert but I think in the end I need to take the QB as it is a position of glaring need. Herbert has questions over his leadership skills and whether he has the head to play in the NFL. His physical attributes are outstanding and he blew people away at the Senior Bowl with his ability and range of passing. I Just think they take him and allow James Campen, Oline coach, to do his thing with the mouldable Tackles they have just like he did in green Bay
No. 7 – DERRICK BROWN – AUBURN
The Panthers need DLine help and they take Derrick Brown here. Would be made for a 3-4 Defence and could play Nose or DE in that team. He graded no lower than 85 in PFF grades over the last 3 years. He issued as a run stopper and a lot of chat about his pass rush at the next level is something to think about. I think the Panthers need to take this pick to even out their team. I think there s a temptation to go Tackle here but picking up Okung and having Taylor Moton on the Right Side along with last years 2nd round pick Greg Little means that they will be more inclined to allocators resources to the Defensive Line.
No. 8 – TRISTAN WIRFS – IOWA
The Cardinals shore up protection for Kyler. They paid DJ Humphries a tonne in the offseason and also brought back Marcus Gilbert but they they punce on the Uber athletic WIrfs out of Iowa. He will fit the Wide Zone scheme that Kingsbury employs and his combine has shot him into the lexicon. The thought is that he may kick inside to Guard to start his career and even if he does that’s still a massive win for the Cardinals as he is an upgrade on both guards they have. Ideally I think Marcus Gilbert becomes the swing tackle and Wires gets a chance to start at RT and the Cardinals will have a very balanced OLine going into 2020. More time to pass to DeAndre Hopkins, Kirk and Fitz for Kyler.
No. 9 – JERRY JEUDY – ALABAMA
Jacksonville just released Marquise Lee their productive WR from last year and I think that show their hand for the pick here at 9. They take Jerry Jeudy. 6’ 1” 193lbs and who plays very like OBJ he is a real upgrade on any of the receivers that they currently have. Accounted for 2740 yds from 159 receptions in College he is also a YAC guys like OBJ. He will compliment the pure speed they have in Chark and Westwood and will allow Chris Conley to come in and mess well in shorter and intermediate distances. He won’t need to be “the guy” straight off the batt but he has all the potential to be that guy and give Gardner Minshew another target while Jacksonville try to figure out if he is their man or not. If he is great . If not then they have a wonderful corps for Fields or Lawrence next year.
No. 10 – CEEDEE LAMB – OKLAHOMA
(Trade with Cleveland for 15, 77, 95)
The Jacksonville Jags spook the Broncos into Action with the Raiders and San Francisco picking before them. They move up and give away 2 of their 3rd rounders in the process. This trade ticks all the boxes on Jimmy Johnsons trade calculator and also doesn’t diminish their pick pool too much as they still have a 2nd and a 3rd along with numerous picks in the later rounds. Denver are sticking with Drew Lock as they think they have found magic in the 2nd round last year. giving him CeeDee Lamb is a massive shot in the arm for his production. Pairing him with Courtland Sutton gives them real options to compliment their running game with Melvin Gordon and Pat Lindsay and lest we forget Noah Fant ,Troy Fumagali and the injury ravaged Jake Butt at TE who progressed as the year went on last year. also having players like DaeSean Hamilton to play in the slot and Tim Patrick a very consistent player to rotate in and out this offence becomes scary overnight
No. 11 – JEDRICK WILLS – ALABAMA
The Jets could go any which way here and I think they go with the nasty Jedrick Wills. He is huge and dominating and will be a massive part of their run game straight away. Dane Bruglar has him as the tip tackle in the draft and that is hard to argue looking the tape. Joe Douglas has brought in George Fant to play LT and they have pieces for RT but I think Wills comes in and starts there immediately to shore up the line infant of Darnold. The Jets could go WR here after losing Robbie Anderson but I think Wills is too appealing and they roll the dice on day 2 for a WR
Las Vegas Raiders
No. 12 – HENRY RUGGS III – ALABAMA
Gruden gets speed. Al Davis gives the thumbs up from Heaven. The Raiders have their man. No franchise has a fascination with pacy WRs like the Raiders and even under a new roof in a new city they stick to tradition and Gruden gets another weapon for Mariotta or Carr whoever wins that battle. They will have a very good blend of talents in the WR room with Agholor, Tyrell Williams and Zay Jones providing a veteran presence for Ruggs to come in and get the highlight reel over the top plays. he Raiders have amassed a very talented team in FA but neglected CB and their depth there is not the best. However I think Ruggs will be too much to pass up to make a splash in a new market.
San Francisco 49ers
No. 13 – CJ HENDERSON – FLORIDA
The Niners need to make plans for Richard Sherman and while they have some pieces in reserve to go with Witherspoon they will need a proper understudy as Sherman ages. You cant rely on Jason Verrett to be your next man up. Sherman got badly beaten time after time in the SB and allowed Sammy Watkins to get valuable yards. Taking Henderson who is a great Man Scheme player with great length to come in and share reps. Henderson is not a perfect prospect and his tackling technique and the lack of violence gets flagged. He does however attack the ball i the air and his ball skills are fantastic.
Tompa Bay Buccaneers
No. 14 – JAVON KINLAW – SOUTH CAROLINA
Great story behind this guy and his desire to make things happen in his life. Blew up the practice sessions in the Senior Bowl before a flagged knee injury took him out of the game and also meant he could not participate at the Combine. He is a legitimate bazooka off the line and he can move in any direction. A great pass rushing interior piece for Tampa to stock up their defence after an almost historic bast on the Offence bringing in TB12 and most recently trading for Gronk. I dunno will Tampa (TOMpa) reap the rewards from a 42 year old QB and a TE coming off a year out and minus the bulk needed to play his type of game but it will be fun to watch and Kinlaw should give them piece of mind when Tom and his Offence are off the field.
No. 15 – ANDREW THOMAS – GEORGIA
My Brown are on the block and they get a home run in Andrew Thomas. I played the board as I saw it not knowing if a trade down would leave Thomas off the board for them and it hasn’t. A lot is made of this Tackle class. Its loaded. I was (and think Cleveland are too) fully prepared to trade further down and take Ezra Cleveland but when my best pure Left Tackle is on the board at 15 I had to pounce. This along with 2 Day 2 picks the Browns can use to upgrade Safety and Line Backer along with bring in anther Wide Receiver put them in a great space roster wise. Getting Thomas will not only allow us to bring out the old “THOMAS 73” Jerseys again it will allow Baker Mayfield to sleep tight knowing he has two very solid and functional bookends on the line to go with Bittonio and Tretter through the middle.
No. 16 – KLAVON CHAISSON – LSU
The Falcons could have gone a few directions here but getting a DE that is a speed rusher to rotate with McKinley who has under whelmed is important. Chaisson didn’t have the production but his technique was pretty good. He can also drop into coverage something that they liked to get McKinley to do but he struggled with. Personally I don’t really like Chaisson as I feel he is too slight for a 4-3 but I think he is a fit for Atlanta here as he can bulk up and contribute alongside Mckinley and new signing Dante Fowler to give Atlanta a very scary front 4 rotation.
No. 17 – JEFF GLADNEY – TCU
Dallas lot Byron Jones in free agency and they need to replace him. I toyed with giving them a WR here but I settled with Gladney. He stays in Texas and he is a super fit for man coverage and with Mike Nolan saying he wants a mix of both types of players to form his scheme I think Gladney will dove tail with Chidobe Awuzie proficiency in zone coverage. Gladney while he didn’t pick off a tonne of balls in college in 2019 he had 12 Pass Defenced which was a 100% upturn on his previous years.
No. 18 – MEKHI BECTON – LOUISVILLE
The Dolphins at 18 look to protect Tua so they take a Tackle that has played on both sides of the line in College. Becton is a physical freak and someone that if Football doesn’t pan out Vince McMahon will love in the WWE. I have concerns about him none less his flagged drug test at the combine and the fact that while running his outstanding 40 time at the combine he did pull up lame afterwards. His hulking frame and athleticism is his biggest trait but it could prove to be his biggest downfall also. He is a steal from a ceiling point of view at 18 for the Dolphins.
No. 19 – TREVON DIGGS – ALABAMA
Diggs is a brother of Stefan Diggs so pedigree is not in question. In sure he has had some good battles covering his bother while waiting for Thanksgiving dinner playing catch in the yard over the years. He is a taller CB and god knows the Raiders need CB help. The have Trayvon Mullen who they drafted last year along with Nevin Lawson signed from the Lions in 2019 who was not the most famous man to swing a helmet and using it as a weapon in the 2019 year. He only got 1 game ban though as it was not on TV but this not what this article is about. Diggs comes in and gives the Raiders another very good stable option at Corner. At 6’2” he has the length that DCs crave i the NFL and he has good size at 207lbs also. Unfortunately his size and weight don’t lend themselves to his tackling as he doesn’t use these attributes well. He is a fantastic zone coverage player and someone that Gruden won’t hesitate to fall in love with.
No. 20 – JORDAN LOVE
Im not sure they can go into the season with Gardner Minshew and Joshua Dobbs as their only QB options. Minshew Mania swept the nation but it Peters out and Im not sure he is the guy in Jacksonville. With the leagues propensity to discard 1st round picks after one year recently I think Jacksonville eill kick the tyres on Jordan Love and see if he is that Pat Mahomes type or if he is a Deshone Kizer type who’s big arm is better on tape than in real life. Love would be the best QB on their roster and short of picking up Jameis or Cam I think they would be foolish not to take a QB here.
No. 21 – JUSTN JEFFERSON
Is Carson Went the man in Philly? He’s not very durable but when he is on the field and cooking he is a very watchable. Why not give hm more options. They are crying out for WR help and I think they double dip at the position this year in a stacked draft. I have them taking Jefferson after his great run down the stretch to College Championship glory last year. He is assured and a very decent route runner who can play X,Y or Z receiver in Doug Pedersens offence. He has the speed to go over the top but needs to refine his technique down field to maintain separation. He has superb hands and will be an immediate contributor and a steal at 21 in the draft for Philly.
No. 22 – AJ TERRELL
I wanted to give them Trevon Diggs but Im sure his brother would have tainted his view of Minnesota so I went with AJ Terrell instead. They need help in coverage and getting someone that can mirror the WR very well and has good instinct to cold the receiver without getting handsy down filed is great for the Vikings . He will struggle in tackling as we saw in the College Championship game where he left a sour taste in peoples mouth but his skills are there and he can play. Some Vikings fans may find this underwhelming and I can see why but the board didn’t break for them and I prefer Terrell over Fulton of LSU of the CBs that were left.
New England Patriots
No. 23 – KENNETH MURRAY
No-one has said a bad word about Kenneth Murray from a character stand point. THE NFL are very high on his character and I think Bill brings him in and he takes over Jamie Collins and Kyle Van Noy and he doesn’t miss a beat. Bill will love him and to be honest there isn’t a lot more to say as I think this is a super fit for the Pats.
New Orleans Saints
No. 24 – AJ EPENESA
The Saints are hard to draft for. I wanted to give them another WR but it would have been a reach I think at this point. I would have loved to see Michael Pittman Jr go there as he is Michael Thomas long lost brother from a play standpoint. Having the two of them on the one team would be magic to see. I came down on giving them Epenesa though as I don’t think his testing is as big a detractor from what Ive seen him do on tape. He can play inside or out and I think in he could rotate nicely in there with Cam Jordan, Davenport , Rankins and Onyemata to give the Saints a front four akin to San Franciscos last year. A dominate group for sure. IF they could do that and maybe pick up Pittman in the second round they will be a massive shout for the SB in 2020. Maybe Brees will then be able to ride off into the sunset.
No. 25 – JALEN REAGOR
The Vikings lost Stefon Diggs and there is no getting away from that this offseason. They are up against the cap also and need to find a way to pay Anthony Harris if they are serious about franchise tagging him. I toyed with giving them Xavier McKinney here but I felt that Reagor could help offset the loss of Diggs straight away. He is dynamic and he can beat coverages and is explosive. The Vikings offence will not change much now that Stefanski is gone to Cleveland as Kubiak is back in the seat so having a piece that can be a Z or a slot player to stop teams from double teaming Thielen will be important.
No. 26 – YETUR GROSS MATOS
More Defence for Detroit. Gross Matos has some allegations behind him but from a play stand point he is very impressive and I like this landing spot and number i the draft for him. Very long player that has a lot going for him he will need to stay focused as the mental side of things can let him down. Pair him up with Trey Flowers with Romeo Okwara behind him and Detroit could have a very nice DE rotation there.
No. 27 – ZACH BAUN
Make as tonne of sense here after losing Clowney (for now anyway) Zach Baun is a stereotypical Wisconsin LB who does a bit of everything at a slighter frame. He is very adept at rushing the passer and can also play in Coverage off the edge He is very twitchy and has great hands given he is undersized as a pass rusher he is adept in counter moves against bigger hog mollies. Probably not a 3 down player in the league to start with. Its not to say he cant tackle or be a run defender its just that’s not where he excels.
No. 28 – PATRICK QUEEN
They missed out on Kenneth Murray and they will be raging. They may not even go Patrick Queen at this ice and go for Texas Tech Jordan Brooks who is more akin to the same style as Murray in the way he tackles and gobbles up space. Ive pegged them with Patrick Queen though because he is a very intelligent player. He gets to the ball and makes plays. Great mover and has sideline to sideline ability swell. It pains me to give the Ravens someone I feel that will help them against the Browns but for them to pass up a 3 down Linebacker like this would be very un-Ravens of them.
No. 29 – ISAIAH WILSON
Right Ive gone a bit off script here. They need to replace Jack Conklin cause he is now up at our place in Berea thankfully. I gave them the best Right Tackle fro ma run game point of view that was left. Wilson is unstoppable in the run game. He blocked for a plethora of Running backs at Georgia all to great aplomb. He is a mountain of a man and will get lateral for you in a zone scheme at a push. he won’t really need to as Derrick Henry is a pure Power rusher and Wilson will create holes for him at will but he is a scheme versatile player should the Titans need to move on from the Power game and from Henry after his franchise stage this year. Remember he will be 27 during the coming year and has a lot of miles on the clock.
Green Bay Packers
No. 30 – DENZEL MIMS
Wide Receiver is always a need for the Packers. Since the heady days of Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings and Jermichael Finley the Packers have struggled for a pass catching corps that can propel them back to the Super Bowl. Mims is a riser in this draft due to his size speed and very importantly his blocking ability. Everyone is now looking for a Debo Samuel type player and Mims projects closest to that in this draft. He is 6’3” but being from Baylor he would not be expected to be a route technician as they don’t teach route running there in that Air Raid system. He has a super catch radius and when getting deep could provide a really eye-catching option for Rogers when making plays out of structure. As always Green Bay need options in the Hail Mary game and he will be hard pressed to be beaten at the high point aswell as the ball in the air is his speciality.
San Francisco 49ers
No. 31 – TEE HIGGINS
49ers pick up help on the outside in Higgins. He hasn’t provided the best testing numbers and he is a guy that just gets the job done. He is a different body type to the other WRs in rotation there like Pettis and Goodwin but then again he doesn’t have anything like their speed they possess. San Faran will need to go Wr here I think as the mystery surrounding the lack of sightings of Dante Pettis in 2019 grows. Higgins is a high pointer and a bigger receiver but doesn’t hold up well i the blocking game and with the propensity for opening lanes for their cavalcade of running backs he will need to improve here. give him a back shoulder fade and he will catch it every day though so if played to his strengths h could be a great asset to Jimmy G.
Kansas City Chiefs
No. 32 – KRISTIAN FULTON
Lastly the Super Bowl Champs take Kristian Fulton. Muddy waters around his suspension but I don’t think this lends him to falling much further. 6 foot 200 lbs he has good size for the NFL. good at the line and over the first 5 yards can get handsy if needed to prevent clear separation. Has a great burst of pace and sustainable speed to counter guys over the top. Saying that while he will get to where the ball is he may not always have the skills to locate it and get turned. Leaves INTs and elections on the field when in good positions. Will excel in man coverage straight away and provides needed rotation competition for Breshaud Breeland and Chavarius Ward. It seems mad but going into the 2020 season it may not be out of the realms of possibility that prior to the draft KC has the worst Linebacker and Corner back rooms in the league and are relying on their uber talented safeties to over perform. Drafting Fulton could help change that