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  • Iestyn Withers

NFL Draft 2020 Preview: Team by Team

Updated: Aug 5, 2022

When the 2019 NFL season came to a close, no one would have thought we would be in this current situation. Yes, many people would have predicted the XFL failing once more, but few would have imagined it flourishing before collapsing due to a global lockdown. After all, the XFL was meant to fill the void between the NFL season ending and the 2020 draft. Thus, the days have felt longer and darker these past few weeks. But with a global pandemic comes a change to the plan. The XFL? Gone. Numerous Pro Days? Cancelled. The 2020 NFL Draft? Virtual. After months of trawling through countless mock drafts and podcasts, Draft Week is finally upon us and many people’s boundless opinions must become rooted in reality. Daydreams of your team’s “draft moment” become spliced with dark thoughts of busts and failures, and in a world of increasing pessimism even the most optimistic of fans are beginning to feel apprehensive. Let’s take a look at each franchise’s needs and analyse what moves they will look to make come Draft Day, focusing on picks within the first three rounds and the talents that may have their lives changed… albeit online. *Mock selections are informed by research into other mocks. The selections based on the best player available for that franchise in a realistic situation. Buffalo Bills

The Bills look like a relatively balanced and well-rounded team on paper. Trading for Stefon Diggs has addressed a notable need on offense, and with wide receiver covered GM Brandon Beane’s focus will shift to the defence. A defence that played exceedingly well last year, the lost of defensive tackle Jordan Phillips leaves an interior hole that would be look better if filled. Though the additions Quinton Jefferson and Vernon Butler in pre-season will probably prevent the Bills from reaching for a nose tackle at this point. The attention may well shift to the ageing edge rush Buffalo has, with a youthful investment in this position likely being valuable in the future. This will not stop the Bills trading for positional value however, with cornerbacks being highly valued in drafts gone by. As a whole, the Bills may be best served to take the “best player available” tact during the 2020 draft, remaining confident in the core of players they currently have. Without a first-rounder following the Diggs trade with the Vikings, the Bills possess picks 54 and 86. Unfortunately for Buffalo, the edge class is not as deep as previous years and thus they will likely be unable to get any value for the position at pick 56. That said, cornerback Bryce Hall has been following in many mock drafts following his ankle injury and could prove to be a steal at 56, whereas Mississippi State’s Cam Dantzler could also be a good fit despite average workout showings. At 86 the Bills will almost definitely be going the best player available route, but may also be able to find a decent defensive tackle with a bit of upside.

Mock Selections (if available): 54 – Bryce Hall CB Virginia, 86 – Khalid Kareem DE Notre Dame

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins have been the talk of the 2020 draft since the beginning of the 2019 season. Trading away their best players for draft capital, it was clear that the franchise was looking to undergo a “tanking” season. The phrase “Tank for Tua” became commonly used, and the Dolphins may still have a shot at the Alabama QB. That said, this is a Dolphins team that looks likely to have another dire year regardless of who is behind centre. With their interior offensive line signings during the off-season Miami can hope to rely on a more extensive playbook this year, but to feel completely comfortable they need to address their offensive tackles… on both sides. On the defensive front, ex-Patriot Kyle Van Noy is a very useful addition to the Dolphin’s pass rush, with that facet of their game being almost cringeworthy at times last year. Drafting someone to rush opposite Van Noy would give a lacklustre Dolphins defence a far more fierce aesthetic. With the likes of Byron Jones and Xavien Howard receiving exceptionally lucrative deals it is clear that Brian Flores’ team will be playing a lot of iso-man coverage, in which case adding to their defensive pressure would seem sensible. But all the talk still revolves around the QB position. If Tua Tagavailoa did not have injury concerns, the Dolphins would likely be trading up with the Redskins at 2 to secure their man. But the injury concerns are genuine and talk has switched to Miami being high on Oregon’s Justin Herbert. Taking Herbert at 5 is a reach – in anyone’s books – but some sensible trading might see the Dolphins leave the top 10 picks with an offensive tackle and the Oregon QB. The Browns are considering trading back from the number 10 pick if need be to secure their tackle, and with the draft capital the Dolphins possess – including picks 18, 26 and 39 – this may well be beneficial for both teams. In this position, the Dolphin’s would likely draft a tackle at 5 and if Herbert, or Tua, is available at 10 they could give up a picks 18 and 39 for the tenth pick. If the Dolphin’s continue with their current picks, they are highly likely to go with Tua Tagavailoa or Justin Herbert at number 5, but could also looking at Andrew Thomas, Jedrick Wills or Tristan Wirfs at offensive tackle. In the case of the former, the Dolphins will need to bring in a tackle with pick 18 or 26 and it is highly likely the premier crop of tackles will all be off the board. This could leave Ezra Cleveland or Georgia’s Isaiah Wilson going to the Dolphins, or Josh Jones from Houston if he falls to pick 18. However, if Miami go the offensive line route with pick 5 they may well look at Utah State’s Jordan Love as a first-round quarterback option. Love has a huge upside and could learn under the veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. Alternatively, the likes of Wisconsin’s Zack Baun and Iowa’s AJ Epenesa could fit the bill in terms of edge rushing. In the middle rounds of the draft, selecting a speedy running back would make sense given the power nature of Miami’s current backs.

Mock Selections (if available): 5 – Tristan Wirfs OT Iowa, 18 - Jordan Love QB Utah State, 26 – Zach Baun LB Wisconsin, 39 –Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB LSU, 56 – Ross Blacklock DT TCU, 70 – Ashtyn Davis S California New England Patriots It seems almost unbelievable to be discussing “Patriots” and “new QB” in the same sentence, but here we are. With Tom Brady swapping New England for Tampa Bay, the Patriots are left with man questions to answer. In Jarrett Stidham the Pats have a chance to let another ‘diamond in the rough’ quarterback take a shot at being great. Drafted 133rd in 2019, Bill Belichick has as good a chance as anyone to get the best out of the second year pro. Alternatively, veteran QB Brian Hoyer has a higher floor and may be a safer option for the Patriots. Regardless, this is a team that will want to draft a high-calibre quarterback within the next few drafts. The NFL Network’s Mike Giardi has reported late interest in Florida International’s QB James Morgan, and this could well be an option the Patriots choose to go down. Despite suspect decision-making, scouts have revelled at his release and this could be another “diamond in the rough” for Belichick to groom to be a starter. The Patriots held a videocall with Morgan early April so the rumour seems to have some weighting. That said, it will not matter who is at QB if the Patriots do not fix the numerous holes in their current team. With Brady gone, the smokescreen that had covered this Pats squad has faded away. First and foremost, the Patriots need to address the haphazard receiving crops they had last year and given whoever is at QB some more offensive weapons. But can New England afford to stockpile offensive talent when their defensive front lost Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins and Danny Shelton? This will be dependent on the direction the franchise wish to go. In the first few rounds there is an abundance of defensive speed and quickness, but the Patriots tend to favour brawn and brains and that can be found in the middle rounds. With selections at 23, 87, 98 and 100, the Patriots have a lot of draft capital within the middle rounds. This perhaps places more pressure on the selection at 23, and likely rules out taking a high-upside-but-requires-work quarterback like Jordan Love. A wide receiver option seems the most credible option with Baylor’s Denzel Mims or TCU’s Jalen Reagor representing good-value picks, whilst Laviska Shenault has huge potential but durability concerns. From pick 87, the Pats can look at middle-round QB prospects, as well as Ohio State’s linebacker Malik Harrison. Safety will likely be a position of interest too, and Tulsa edge Trevis Gibson and NC State defensive tackle Larrell Murchison could be useful pick ups as well. There could also be a shock pick up of kicker Rodrigo Blankenship in the third round if their draft board is looking scarce come picks 98 and 100.

Mock Selections (if available): 23 – Laviska Shenault WR Colorado, 87 – James Morgan QB Florida International, 98 - Albert Okquebunam TE Missouri, 100 – Davon Hamilton DT Ohio State New York Jets To put it frankly, the New York Jets are a team with an abundance of needs. Be it cornerback, wide reciever, offensive tackle or linebacker, the Jets need a lot of help. However, for a franchise seemingly riddled with uncertainty and apprehension, they are certain they have their QB in the form of Sam Darnold. Therefore, the priority needs to be helping him. Losing receiver Robby Anderson doesn't help that, but this draft class is stacked deep with wide receiver talent. This is why the Jets should prioritise an offensive tackle at pick 11. On any and every mock, there are three clear standout tackles. And Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs and Andrew Thomas are not lacking suitors. This may well leave the Jets narrowly missing out on the trio, which could in turn result in them reaching for Mekhi Becton. Not the worst move per se, the Jets would likely be better served drafting one of the top 3 receivers with the pick instead. Whether Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III or CeeDee Lamb, all would make the Jets a better team. In fact, the receiving corps is so barren that the Jets could go for any type of receiver imaginable. This decision may well be taken out of their hands by the team picking ahead of them, but if it is a decision between tackle and receiver the Jets should look to bring in one of the aforementioned OT trio. There will be instant impact receivers available in the second round, but the quality of tackle diminishes. With picks 11, 48, 68 and 79, the Jets have the potential to make their squad a lot stronger but need to draft smart. Mock Selections (if available): 11 - Jedrick Wills OT Alabama, 48 - Michael Pittman Jr WR USC, 68 - Bradley Anae LB Utah, 79 - Javaris Davis CB Auburn

Baltimore Ravens

If the season started today the Ravens would not have any dire needs. But with that said, there are roster spots where there’s room for improvement. It is clear for all to see that this draft class is deep with wide receiver and cornerback talent, and it is likely the Ravens look to improve their team here. Whilst a cornerback addition will likely come due to the positional value within the draft, Lamar Jackson could use a number-one receiver. Mark Andrews and Nick Boyle are good assets at tight end, whilst Marquise Brown and Willie Snead are decent offensive weapons. Nevertheless, this wide receiver draft class is stacked and should definitely be tapped into by Baltimore.

From a defensive perspective, the Ravens could use an upgrade at linebacker. LJ Fort is a capable and competitive player but pick 28 could likely be used to improve the position. Whilst offensively, Jackson could use some more protection on the interior offensive line. Marshal Yanda retired at guard – despite a stellar 2019 – and a failure to plug this gap could hinder this offence, as well as Lamar Jackson continued development.

With five picks within the first 3 rounds, the Ravens have a decent amount of draft capital and can look to add weapons to their team that would help their Superbowl aspirations. However, their first round pick is late round at 28, and therefore the majority of premier cornerback and wide receiver talent will be off the board. The Ravens would then be best served drafting a linebacker option. LSU’s Patrick Queen and Alabama’s Kenneth Murray are the most likely selections if available. If both are off the board at 28, Malik Harrison would be a reach and thus the Ravens may go receiver with Tee Higgins a potential option. In the later rounds, their will be numerous offensive line options available and the Ravens will likely have their own opinions on scheme and personality fit. The Ravens could also choose to address offensive line in the first round by drafting Michigan’s Cesar Ruiz.

Mock Selections (if available): 28 – Kenneth Murray LB Alabama, 55 – Laviska Shenault WR Colorado, 60 – Ben Bartch OG St Johns Minnesota, 92 – Alex Highsmith DE Charlotte, 106 – Logan Wilson LB Wyoming Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow. Next.

Okay, maybe we can go into this in a little more depth on this. Joe Burrow is the clear and obvious pick at number one and the Bengals will not deviate from that. So, bearing in mind this is a very bad team, what offensive needs to do they have to support Burrow? Getting 2019 first-rounder Jonah Williams healthy at left tackle should help and 2019 fourth-round guard Michael Jordan will be better in Year Two – well you would hope so at least. The remainder of their offensive line comprises of league stalwarts who have largely been fill in starters and role players for their careers. Burrow will need more if he is to develop and succeed at a quick rate.

With the impending arrival of Burrow, the Bengals went against brand to spend money on a flurry of free agents this off season. Drastically improving the defensive look of the team, cornerbacks Tare Waynes and Mackensie Alexander are clear improvements whilst safety Vonn Bell may be overpaid but has a high ceiling. Linebacker Josh Bynes was another useful asset and defensive tackle DJ Reader is a defensive stud.

Outside of offensive line help, Cincinnati could benefit from the deep wide receiver class in this year’s draft come days 2 and 3. In an ideal world AJ Green and Burrow develop a relationship that keeps the former at the Bengals long term, but John Ross will also need to stay healthy. Adding another receiving asset – or two – could be hugely beneficial for this franchise.

With pick 1 going to Burrow, the first pick of the second round is an interesting topic. Cezar Ruiz of Michigan is the only interior lineman that would be worthy of the 33 pick, so the Bengals may well be looking at receiver or linebacker here. Michigan’s Josh Uche would be a good fit for the latter, whilst there will be a number of receivers to pick from. Michael Pittman Jr seems pro-ready whilst Tee Higgins could fit well too. Neither will fall to pick 65.

Mock Selections (if available): 1 – Joe Burrow QB LSU, 33 – Cesar Ruiz C Michigan, 65 – Matt Peart OT Connecticut

Cleveland Browns Widely accepted throughout the league, the Cleveland Browns are in dire need of offensive line protection for QB Baker Mayfield. Last season did not go as planned for the highly touted Browns, as the former number one pick was sacked 40 times in 2019. The offseason signing of Jack Conklin helps to sure up the right tackle position, but left tackle remains priority number one heading into the draft. Outside of left tackle, the Browns could benefit from taking a linebacker and inside offensive lineman. It is clear that Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills and Andrew Thomas are the premier OT options in the first round, and if they are all off the board it would be a huge reach to select the likes of Josh Jones or Ezra Cleveland at number 10. Yes, both prospects are high level tackles, but the Browns would be better placed in this scenario to trade back and accrue more draft capital for their top-10 pick. In order to assure a trade down is not a tragic error, the Browns will have likely identified a line they won’t cross. The Philadelphia Eagles may look to move at the 21 spot, and it is widely believed that this is as far down as the Browns would risk going. The Browns already have four picks in the top 100 and thus the reward for a trade would need to make a lot of sense. Unfortunately for Cleveland and new GM Andrew Berry, only Andrew Thomas played LT at college with Wills and Wirfs playing on the right-side. It is likely Thomas gets taken prior to 10 and the Browns are forced to rethink or initiate their trade down. Elsewhere, the departure of linebacker Joe Schobert leaves a hole that needs to be filled with a draft selection, whilst taking a young safety could be valuable given the one-year deals that Karl Joseph and Andrew Sendejo were signed to this offseason. If the Browns are unable to take Andrew Thomas at 10, it is highly likely a trade down will occur and they will draft their namesake Ezra Cleveland from Boise State. If Cleveland is unavailable, or they trade down even further, Austin Jackson out of USC could be an option. With picks at 41, 74 and 97, the Browns will need to fill their holes based on the best available player at their positions of need. At 41 this could well lead Ashtyn Davis who is a raw but dynamic safety. However, due to tackling issues this past year there is the possibility that LSU’s Grant Delpit could fall out of the top-40 and the Browns would jump at the chance to sign him. Similarly, Troy Dye could fall out of the top-40 and the Oregon linebacker has the potential to improve Cleveland’s defence, with safety options later on in the draft.

Mock Selections (if available): 10 – Andrew Thomas OT Georgia, 41 – Grant Delpit S LSU, 74 – Akeem Davis-Gaither LB Appalaichan State, 97 – Hakeem Adeniji OG Kansas

Pittsburgh Steelers Perhaps one of the least talked about teams heading into the 2020 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the unenviable position of having very little draft capital. In fact, Pittsburgh first two picks in this year’s draft are at numbers 49 and 102. If the Steel City are to make the most of the draft, they will need to be incredibly smart – if not a bit lucky! The Steelers defence looks relatively strong and could probably be left alone in terms of their first two picks. Therefore the attention turns to their offence. The return of Ben Roethlisberger is part one of the master plan, and part two would be giving Big Ben another reliable receiving option. JuJu Smith-Schuster cannot do it all, and despite a decent rookie year, Pittsburgh can do better than Diontae Johnson. Behind an already steady O-line, the Steelers can afford to be in an “offence, offence, offence” mindset. With that being said, General Manager Kevin Colbert can take some steps to ensure the constant steadiness of the offensive line by signing a replacement for Ramon Foster following the veteran’s retirement. This could be sorted by drafting a guard or tackle, with current tackle Matt Feiler having had snaps at left guard during the 2019 season. Either way, offence is the focus. With no first-rounders following the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade last year, the Steelers will benefit from the fact that the wide receiver depth in this draft class will mean that valuable prospects will be available on Day 2. USC’s Michael Pittman Jr is widely regarded as “pro-ready”, although Florida’s Van Jefferson could produce instant impact as well. Additionally, Notre Dame’s Chase Claypool ranked top-10 in the 40 yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump and bench press at The 2020 Combine. Come 102, the Steelers may be tempted by QB Jake Fromm (if available) given the fact Roethlisberger is coming to the end of his career, however they would be better served by selecting LSU’s OT Saahdiq Charles or Oregon guard Shane Lemieux. Mock Selections (if available): 49 – Michael Pittman Jr WR USC, 102 – Shane Lemieux G Oregon

Houston Texans

Every notable player on Houston’s offence is locked up for at least the next couple years besides left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receivers Kenny Stills and Will Fuller. Tunsil will be resigned long term – that’s a given – and one would assume the Texans will be dying to hold on to their wide-outs given the bizarre trade of DeAndre Hopkins. That said, both Stills and Fuller may garner inflated interest and money in free agency so receiver should be a priority during the draft. The class is rich in receiving talent so Bill O’Brien may be able to wait until late day 2.

The Texans have no first-round pick – yes, the Hopkins trade should have at least got this – but will feel confident that can attempt to replace defensive tackle DJ Reader in the second round. Whoever is drafted will not have the impact Reader had, but finding a prospect who is both big and nimble would at least give the Texans someone to develop in their defensive mould.

Outside of receiver and defensive tackle, JJ Watt could use some help rushing the quarterback and there may well be some valuable pick ups come round three.

O’Brien would be best served using pick 4 on a defensive tackle with Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore or Missouri’s Jordan Elliott being useful additions. This would leave pick 57 for receiver or edge help, where O’Brien will likely have a toss up between wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr and edges Julian Okwara or Terrell Lewis.

Mock Selections (if available): 40 – Neville Gallimore DT Oklahoma, 57 – Terrell Lewis DE Alabama, 90 – Lynn Bowden WR Kentucky Tennessee Titans Coming off a stellar 2019 in which the Titans almost got to an improbable Superbowl, Tennessee has one of the most well-balanced rosters heading into 2020. In fact, the closest thing the Titans have to a glaring need is replacing Cleveland bound offensive tackle Jack Conklin. Whilst veteran Dennis Kelly can fill the gap, the chance to draft someone with better quickness and agility should be enticing. Furthermore, though he remains unsigned, the Titans look set to lose slot cornerback Logan Ryan. An integral part of an over-performing defence last year, Ryan’s football IQ will not be immediately replaceable. That said, the Titans could also benefit from additional support in the defensive line and this may lead their attention away from the stacked cornerback class in this year’s draft. In the later rounds, Derrick Henry could use a running back buddy to take some of the workload off of him. Durability anxieties will only grow with the amount Henry has carried the ball in both college and the NFL, a back that can take some of the bumps and bruises would potentially allow Henry to be more impactful – yes, a frightening thought given his 2019 stats. If seeking to replace Conklin at pick 29 then Boise State’s Ezra Cleveland would be a good pick-up, whilst a dropping Josh Jones would be a steal. Pick 61 could be used to combat the cornerback gap or bring in additional defensive help elsewhere, with impactful players available in most positions. In terms of running back support, it would seem wasteful for the Titans to draft one prior to pick 93 at the earliest. Mock Selections (if available): 29 – Ezra Cleveland OT Boise State, 61 – Amik Robertson CB Louisiana Tech, 93 – AJ Dillon RB Boston Indianapolis Colts

The colts are ALL IN for 2020. The signing of Philip Rivers should have been enough of a confirmation but trading the 13th pick for DeForest Buckner proved the Colts are in ‘win now’ mode. In fact, neither Rivers nor Jacoby Brissett are under contract after this year. The Colts are not planning for the distant future.

The arrival of Buckner allows the Colts to operate a four-man rush on defence, and the addition of an aggressive and quick edge rusher from the draft will only help the cause. Justin Houston and Kemoko Turay are both defence rushers, but if you are looking for pure speed they are not the men. However, the depth at defensive line may lead to Colts looking for cornerback help. With Kenny Moore operating in the slot, the Colts can dip in the wide talent pool of outside corners in this draft class.

Switching to the offensive front, Rivers would likely want a receiving tight end following the loss of Eric Ebron, and though Mo Alie-Cox has the potential to get better and better, Indy favour a three tight end package and would thus be served well by drafting one this year.

Pick 34 will almost certainly be used on a cornerback, and the depth within the draft class means there will still be some very good options available to the Colts. Bryce Hall, Trevon Diggs and Noah Igbinoghene seem likely choices. The majority of the draft’s tight ends will be available come pick 44, if not all of them, and the Colts should look for an Ebron replacement here. The Colts may be tempted to draft a future QB if Jake Fromm is still available come pick 75, but may be left to pick best player available if the middle-round quarterbacks have been taken.

Mock Selections (if available): 34 – Noah Igbinoghene CB Auburn, 44 – Hunter Bryant TE Washington, 75 – Jake Fromm QB Georgia

Jacksonville Jaguars It seems that the Jags are once again in rebuild mode. For an already depleted squad to be trading away Calais Campbell and AJ Bouye it seems as though the youngsters are the future. The squad itself still has the ability to get a handful of wins in the NFL, but it is easier to list the needs they don’t have rather than the needs they do.

Linebacker is definitely not a need following the arrival of Joe Schobert to partner Myles Jack and young prospects Dakota Allen and Quincy Williams. Offensive line is another area that needs little improvement if any, with Gardner Minshew need receiving support rather than protection.

Therefore, every other position is a possibility. Instead the focus should be on the type of players Jacksonville. Despite being in a supposed rebuilding phase, the pressure remains on head coach Doug Marrone to get more wins. The Jags are seemingly giving the reins to second-year QB Gardner Minshew and reliable route runners would be useful. Alternatively, the Jags could place a heavy focus on quick and aggressive defenders that will out-execute their opponents. With picks 9 and 20 the Jags have the potential to pick up valuable assets in both areas.

Pick 9 could be used to draft a premier receiver in Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb, but with the depth of receiver class the Jags may find it difficult to neglect the best corner on the board at the time – either Jeff Okudah or CJ Henderson. That said, Trevon Diggs and Bryce Hall could be corner options on day 2, as well as pass rush to replace Calais Campbell. This need could be filled with Yetur Gross-Matos in the first round, but could bring in the likes of Syracuse’s Alton Robinson on Day 2.

Mock Selections (if available): 9 – CJ Henderson CB Florida, 20 – Justin Jefferson WR LSU, 42 – Alton Robinson DE Syracuse, 73 – Marlon Davidson DT Auburn

Denver Broncos

Over his 5 starts last season, rookie QB Drew Lock showed enough promise to leave Broncos fans relatively happy about their future. On top of that, Lock will have more protection this season given the return of Ja’Wuan James from injury and the free agency arrival of Graham Glasgow. Offensive line will therefore not be an early round priority, but if a premier tackle falls to them it may be too hard to resist.

Ultimately, Denver may well be better suited to give Lock more targets and a deeper receiving corps. Courtland Sutton is primed to be the Broncos number one receiver but behind him there is little quality when it comes to impactful receivers. Noah Fant and Nick Vannett could use a third tight end to support them, but it should be expected that Jon Elway seeks a receiver first.

The offseason loss of Chris Harris is offsetted somewhat by the arrival of AJ Bouye but the cornerback war room could also use more supporting cast members. As mentioned, this year’s draft class is rich with receiver and corner talent so the Broncos should be able to find potential key players.

If any of CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs or Jerry Jeudy fall to 15 then expect Broncos to snap them up. Similarly, if the receivers are off the board but a premier offensive tackle is available they could go that route. Vic Fangio will likely be able to find a Day 2 cornerback for his defensive unit, though a dropping CJ Henderson could also go at 15. Later picks could then be used to further sure up the interior offensive line with many prospects to choose from.

Mock Selections (if available): 15 – Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama, 46 Javaris Davis CB Auburn, 77 – Troy Pride CB Notre Dame, 83 – Nick Harris C Washington, 95 – Robert Hunt OG Louisiana Kansas City Chiefs When you're the reigning Superbowl champions it is relatively safe to say your in good stead. Kansas City are in good stead. Despite a few departures from their roster, the Chiefs remain a team in Superbowl contention. With that said, the loses of Bashaud Breeland and Kendall Fuller need to be addressed within the draft. A traditional, prototypical corner can replace Breeland whilst a dynamic slot corner is probably the closest the Chiefs will get to replacing the underrated and undervalued Fuller. The Chiefs could also look to become even more dangerous offensively, adding further receiving weapons to the best receiving corps on the league. Whilst further pass rush on defence wouldn't be too upsetting for Chiefs fans - after all, the more sacks the better. Being at picks 32 and 63 likely won't bother the already stacked Chiefs, and they will take the best player available at their positions of need. This could lead to Alabama safety Xavier McKinney or TCU corner Jeff Gladney if they are available at pick 32, or a valuable offensive addition in the form of Michigan centre Cesar Ruiz. Following this, picks 63 and 96 can be used on the best potentially impactful player available. Mock Selections (if available): 32 - Jeff Gladney CB TCU, 63 - Willie Gay Jr LB Mississippi State , 96 James Lynch DT Baylor Las Vegas Raiders Fresh off their relocation to Sin City, the Las Vegas Raiders are a team with good draft capital this year. After a heavy focus on recruiting defensive starters during free agency, the Raiders seem a few pieces shy of a playoff-calibre squad. A positive performance in 2019 will have given the franchise hope and a stellar 2020 draft will give further reason to be optimistic about their first season in Las Vegas. Last year's number 4 pick Clelin Ferrell possesses rush ability more suited to the inside of the defensive line and thus investment in edge rush would be an improvement. Maxx Crosby has one side tied up so drafting a starting defensive edge gives the Raiders a young and impactful defensive line. In terms of offence, 37 year-old Richie Incognito will likely need a replacement to be groomed and this draft could be used to find a suitable person on the interior offensive line. Then there is the void left by the Antonio Brown saga. Zay Jones, Nelson Agholor, Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow are a potentially exciting receiving cohort, but the addition of a number one receiver would be a huge get. In a draft that has 3 top tier receivers, it may be hard to resist drafting one at pick 12 - despite the depth of the draft class. Jerry Jeudy would likely be the best fit but CeeDee Lamb is a premier talent as well. Both can make it downfield quickly and have shown exceptional route running ability. Pick 19 could then be used for defensive rush and K'Lavon Chaisson may be the prime choice here as Yetur Gross-Matos might be a reach. The Raiders' other picks in the first 3 rounds are between 80 and 91, and whilst they can pick up impactful players they wont get the premier talent at receiver or edge. Mock Selections (if available): 12 - Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama, 19 - K'Lavon Chaisson LB/DE LSU, 80 - KJ Hill WR Ohio State, 81 - Kyle Dugger S Lenoir-Rhyne, 91 - Hakeem Adeniji OG Kansas Los Angeles Chargers Perhaps the most interesting team in the 2020 draft, the Chargers could go down numerous routes. Highly touted and talked about is a draft with Washington or Detroit to get ahead of Miami in order to take Tua Tagavailoa. There is also talk that the Chargers stay put and take one of Tua or Justin Herbert, depending on who is available. But the Chargers, according to many experts, could start Tyrod Taylor and draft an offensive tackle or Isaiah Simmons at pick 6. In reality, the possibilities are relatively endless and it will be interesting to see the route they take. That said, throughout the draft the Chargers will be drafting in the shadow of many players slated to hit free agency in 2021. The likes of Joey Bosa, Desmond King, Melvin Ingram, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, Hunter Henry and Mike Pouncey are some of the most notable name on the LA roster, yet all are in final contract years. Though it is likely many will stay in Los Angeles, a few could leave and the Charger could be left ruing moves made in this year's draft. But instead of drafting for the future, the Chargers could also go all-in on a Superbowl run this season. Well, at least the additions of Chris Harris Jr, Linval Joseph and Bryan Bulaga would suggest that. Premier talents that are past 30 years old, and this means the Chargers may well be drafting for now. At pick 6, Tua would be the ideal situation, but the Chargers may well be left taking Oregon's Justin Herbert. With the size and arm, Herbert is a good prospect but in an ideal draft would not be a top-10 worthy pick. If this is the case, LA will be hoping luck is on their side and one of Patrick Queen and Kenneth Murray falls to pick 37 - which is unlikely. If not, the next linebacker option may well be Troy Dye of Oregon. Mock Selections (if available): 6 - Tua Tagavailoa QB Alabama, 37 - Troy Dye LB Oregon, 71 - Cam Akers RB Florida State Dallas Cowboys Much of the speculation and hoopla around the Cowboys this past season has revolved around new contracts for offensive stars Amari Cooper and Dak Prescott. Perhaps overshadowed by this, Dallas lost three defensive starters this off season with former pro-bowler and second team all pro cornerback Byron Jones heading to Miami, as well as the departures of Maliek Collins and Robert Quinn. This coincided with the loss of further defensive players in safeties Jeff Heath and Kavon Frazier, leaving a clear need for the Cowboys come draft day. Furthermore, Dallas has a new defensive coordinator in the shape of Mike Nolan and it is widely predicted that he will bring a scheme that is predicated on blitizing and pressure. In order to blitz, the Cowboys will need cornerbacks that can sufficiently cover one-on-one as well as a bull-rush defensive tackle. That said, the Cowboys still have some defensive strengths in the form of Anthony Brown and Chidobe Awuzie, plus the arrival of Gerald McCoy has improved the sturdiness of the inside D-line. The needs and gaps on defence are almost completed contrasted by a satisfactory offensive core, though a dynamic tight end could be useful. On the other hand, a slot receiver could prove a quality additional asset, whilst a speedy wide-out could allow Amari Cooper to slide into the slot. With top-100 picks at 17, 51 and 82, the Cowboys have draft capital to effectively plug their gaps and improve their team as a whole. This draft class is populated with many high-quality first or second round cornerback prospects, and Utah’s Jaylon Johnson would be a good addition. Jeff Gladney may be a reach at 17 due to his size, but the energetic TCU cornerback has a good upside. The likes of Kristian Fulton and CJ Henderson may well be considered if they are still on the board come pick 17 as well. On the other hand, if Javon Kinlaw was to fall to them it would be a hard opportunity to pass up. The Carolina defensive tackle is great at getting pressure on the QB and would likely fit well in Nolan’s scheme. The draft depth at the wide receiver position should ultimately mean a defensive focus for Dallas on day 1, but come Day 2 the likes of Michael Pittman Jr, Chase Claypool or Brandon Aiyuk could be great selections. Unlikely to all be available at the 51 spot, the Cowboys may have to go with best value at the position come their time on the clock. Mock Selections (if available): 17 – Jaylon Johnson CB Utah, 51 – Chase Claypool WR Notre Dame, 82 – Michael Ojemudia CB Iowa New York Giants The Giants find themselves at a very interesting spot in the 2020 draft. With the number 4 pick, the Giants are in a powerful position of not needing a quarterback in a draft that will likely see three QBs go in the top-10. Therefore, despite David Gettleman’s history of never trading down, the Giants should at least be listening – as will the Detroit Lions at 3. And if no one trades with the Lions, NYG will likely be getting multiple offers from the likes of the Dolphins, Chargers and Panthers, as well as a later first rounder like the Patriots. After all, if the Pats can get Tua at 4 they may well make a move.

Most likely, if the Giants do trade down, it won't be very far, but the picks they get could turn out to be valuable. That said, Gettleman would need to change the way he is wired to make this a reality. Therefore, there is as good a chance that the Giants stick at 4 and take the best available player (non QB).

In terms of needs, a replacement must be found for departed veteran right tackle Mike Remmers. This may mean that the Giants are apprehensive to trade outside of the top-10 at the risk of losing a premier offensive tackle option. In fact, Gettleman may well be infatuated by the size that Mekhi Beckton brings to the OT position and take the big man from Louisville that many have falling down their boards.

On top of finding men who can protect Daniel Jones, the Giants could use another who can catch his passes. Currently, 2019 fifth-rounder Darius Slayton has intriguing potential but at 6' 1", 190 pounds he is the biggest wide receiver the Giants have. This is a need that should be addressed within this draft. Despite the apparent needs for the Giants, Gettleman may find it hard to resist taking Clemson “freak” Isaiah Simmons at the 4 spot. Given he can play pretty much whatever you want him too, Simmons is a rare talent that could ultimately prove to be the best player in the draft. If the Giants GM can resist though, the likes of Andrew Thomas and Mekhi Becton become real possibilities, as does a trade down. Picks at 36 and 99 allow for 2 more selections in the first 100, although a trade down from 4 could likely add another second round pick. If they keep the number 4 pick, Lucas Niang and Austin Jackson could be OT options at 36 though don’t project as impactful starters day on , whilst Baylor’s 6”3, 207 pound receiver could be a steal if he drops to 36 and pick 4 was used on a tackle. Mock Selections (if available): 4 – Isaiah Simmons LB Clemson, 36 Lucas Niang OT TCU, 99 – Darrell Taylor DE Tennessee

Philadelphia Eagles The city of brotherly love loves its football team, but there is room for improvement following the franchise's 2019 performance. And with the best receiving draft class since 2014, the Eagles would likely benefit from dipping into it. That said, rumours are swirling around Philly potentially trading up. The Browns at the 10 spot would be the most receptive team, but what the Eagles would have to give up might not be worth it. The Eagles will be better served to stay at 21. Frankly, the Eagles squad is too old to be giving up an array of picks to move up in the first round and must benefit from a heap of draft capital in a deep draft class. Four picks i the first 3 rounds likely becomes 2 picks if they trade up, and instead the focus needs to be on accruing talent. It wouldn't be surprising to see the Eagles go the wide receiver route from pick 21, the likes of Denzel Mims, Jalen Reagor or Tee Higgins would be options though, trading back a few spots would probably land an extra late round pick as well as one of the three players. The need for speed and route improvement on offence is clear to see and improvements at wide receiver may have a trickle down effect on the offensive unit as a whole. When Philly's offence is ticking they are hard to stop, add some more pieces and cement that further. The Eagles will likely then switch their attention to the linebacker position, and Day 2 promises to still have many potentially impactful prospects available. A chance at Willie Gay Jr or Jordan Brooks would likely entice the Eagles front office, as well as adding quality to a fairly competent if average current linebacker group. Mock selections (if available): 21 - Jalen Reagor WR TCU, 53 - Jordan Brooks LB Texas Tech, 103 - Michael Ojemudia CB Iowa Washington Redskins The Redskins sit at the number 2 pick following a downright shocking 2019 season. With many areas of need it wouldn't be surprising for the Redskins to trade back in the draft and accrue extra picks. Firstly, they have only two picks in the first three rounds - that's not enough. Secondly, they will be given the opportunity to sign standout edge defender Chase Young - a tough player to pass up - but one edge rusher won't fix the Redskins many issues. If Washington stick at two it shouldn't be anyone other than Chase Young coming off the board. Even if the Redkins are not all in on QB Dwayne Haskins, you have to take the best player in this draft and that is Young. If this is the case, the Redskins would be best served to trade left tackle Trent Williams to a contender for a second round pick in order to enhance their rebuilding plan. Williams has refused to play for Washington and needs to be sent elsewhere. With their pick at 66 it would be a boost to Haskins if he is given another receiving weapon. Ideally, this would come at tight end and early third should allow for good positional value here. With Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis gone, this is an immediate hole that needs filling. With over 1000 receiving yards last season Florida Atlantic's Harrison Bryant could be a good fit for this offence but might be a reach here. Alternatively the Redskins could draft a tackle if Williams has been traded away. Mock selections (if available): 2 - Chase Young DE Ohio State, 66 - Prince Tega Wanogho OT Auburn Chicago Bears With no first-round picks, Chicago will need to use their selections wisely this year. The temptation will be there to take a receiver from this deep draft pool, but defensive needs must be fixed first. The departures of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Prince Amukamara leave gaping holes at safety and right corner and even if the Bears believe they have quality starters in recently signed ex-Steelers corner Artie Burns and fifth-year backup safety Deon Bush, they are in the final year of their contracts. With the defensive back talent in this draft, the Bears must draft smart and plug these holes.

With no more picks until pick 140, Chicago need to make the most of the two second rounders they have. This will likely see the hoping a safety drops to pick 43, potentially Grant Delpit or Antoine Winfield Jr. Both should go higher than 43, but there is a decent possibility that one may fall into the Bears lap. After that, pick 50 needs to be on a corner. There are countless great and/or impactful corners in this draft class and the Bears should have a few to pick from here - even in a worst case scenario. Auburn's Javaris Davis, Tulsa's Reggie Robinson and Ohio State's Damon Arnette could all potentially still be on the board. The Bears remain in a "win now" mindset and suring up the defensive backfield is priority number one. Mock selections (if available): 43 - Grant Delpit S LSU, 50 - Reggie Robinson III CB Tulsa Detroit Lions There have been rumours for months that the Lions could be trading down from pick 3. With the likes of the Dolphins and Chargers likely drafting a QB, the Lions could get a top-10 pick plus later picks to improve an overall weak squad. Furthermore, following the loss of Darius Slay the Lions can get cornerback Jeff Okudah further back than pick 3. No defence plays more man coverage than Detroit and for that to work, you must have elite quality corners. But just as easily, the Lions could stick at 3 and draft Jeff Okudah there without the risk of losing him. But what else could they do? Everyone knows Joe Burrow is going at number 1 to the Bengals. It is then highly likely that Chase Young goes to the Redskins at 2. With the Lions at 3, they have their pick of the rest of the draft. Potentially the second best player in this draft is Clemson linebacker/edge/corner all round athletic freak Isaiah Simmons, and the Lions could easily go with him. But what if teams try to trade with Detroit? And what if they say no? Could someone go above them to trade the Redskins at pick two? With no second round pick and numerous needs, the Redskins could use a bundle of picks and Miami might just give it to them. So, what if Miami trades up to 2 to take Tua and Chase Young falls to the Lions at 3. Can the Lions afford to bypass an elite talent like Young? Frankly, no. In terms of needs, departed right guard Graham Glasgow needs to be replaced. At wide receiver, vertical threats Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones are both in the final year of their contracts. Assuming Golladay is the priority, they likley won't be able to keep Jons. Slot man Danny Amendola is also playing on a one-year deal and will likely be gone as well. With a franchise QB that threw the greatest percentage of deep passes during the 2019 season than any other QB, a wideout with speed to burn is a must. If they have receivers that can consistently win the race downfield, Stafford can pace at the level we know he is capable of. Mock selections (if available): 3 - Jeff Okudah CB Ohio State, 35 - Lloyd Cushenberry OG LSU, 67 - Bryan Edwards WR South Carolina Green Bay Packers The Green Bay Packers will go into the 2020 draft with a total of ten picks, with GM Brian Gutekunst having the opportunity to fill the majority of his roster needs. Though each of Green Bay's first to third picks are late round, there should still be impactful and efficient players on the board. Add that fact that one of Green Bay’s needs are urgent or dire - the team is coming off a 13-win season - and the Packers can get even better come the start of the season. Having competed in the NFC Championship game last year, they would like to go one better and have a chance at a Superbowl as we start the new decade. One of the primary needs when it comes to competition and an upgrade is the right tackle position. Bryan Bulaga proved his premier tackle credentials last season and his departure in free agency weakens this roster. The Packers did bring in Rick Wagner from the Detriot Lions but they will need a long-term solution sooner rather than later. There are likely to be many options available come the end of the first round if the Packers place that value on the likes of Josh Jones, Ben Bartch and Ezra Cleveland, though they may wait til the second to draft a developmental prospect whilst Wagner fills the starting void. The Packers could also use another weapon in the pass catching department, with an infusion of speed the best route to go. Davante Adams is already a true number one receiver but Green Bay could take a punt on someone to be their immediate number two from this draft class. That said, the Packers do seem to hold their current cohort in high regard and Aaron Rodgers already has preferred receivers from under centre. A recurring need for Green Bay involves the linebacker position. Often playing with a defensive back heavy look, the Packers did bring in Christian Kirksey this off-season but would likely benefit from additional quality in what is likely their worst position. Good value will be available come Day 2 if the packers do go this route. The questions remains as to what Gutekunst thinks is the top priority in the draft. With pick 30 the Packers could go the wide-out route with Baylor's Denzel Mims or USC's Michael Pittman Jr good fits, whilst there will be a handful of tier 2 offensive tackles available. The Packers could then wait until the third round to draft a linebacker with a limited ceiling but the potential to still be impactful. California's Evan Weaver or Purdue's Markus Bailey would be valuable pick ups. Mock selections (if available): 30 - Denzel Mims WR Baylor, 62 - Prince Tega Wanogho OT Auburn, 94 - Evan Weaver LB California Minnesota Vikings Re-signing QB Kirk Cousins to a two year contract extension suggests the Vikings still believe they can 'win now'. But then again, they also traded wide receiver Stefon Diggs. The Vikings have a strong squad as a whole, but there are a few gaping gaps that need to be sewn shut. With 12 picks in the draft, the Vikings have the draft capital to make some great moves. Firstly, the aforementioned Diggs needs to be replaced. Adam Theielen cannot do it all and a credible and viable number two receiver needs to be found in the first round. The receiver class is supposedly very deep but the elite talents will be gone come Day 2. Additionally, the Vikings offence needs additional support on the interior offensive line. If Cousins has better protection, this Vikings team will have a better chance at deciding close games and progresses towards the Superbowl. Thankfully, this needn't be addressed on Day 1. With two picks in the first round, the Vikings may well look to go cornerback alongside receiver. The departures of Trae Waynes, Xavier Rhodes and Mackensie Alexander leave a depleted cornerback corps and teh Vikings likley need to draft at least two this year. LSU's Justin Jefferson and Clemson's Tee Higgins have been reported for the Vikings, but Baylor's Denzel Mims may also be a viable option. At corner the Vikings may bring in a 'new Diggs' in the form of Alabma's Trevon Diggs, but there will be numerous corners to choose from. With later picks the likes of Netane Muti and Damien Lewis could bulk up the interior offensive line. Realistically the Vikings could get three LSU players by drafting Jefferson, Lewis and cornerback Kristian Fulton. Mock selections (if available): 22 - Kristian Fulton CB LSU, 25 - Justin Jefferson WR LSU, 58 - Amik Robertson CB Louisiana Tech, 89 - Ben Bredeson OG Michigan, 105 - Netane Muti OG Fresno State Atlanta Falcons In an offence comprising entirely of former first-round picks, the Falcons still have flaws. Atlanta could still benefit from an elite slot receiver and a young upgrade on Alex Mack at centre. The better the portection fro Matt Ryan, the better the offence will tick. That said, the Falcons have urgent needs on the defensive front. The loss of Desmond Trufant means corner is a must, whilst a pass rushing defensive tackle would fit their four-man rush based scheme. Whilst this means the Falcons first rounder will be used on a cornerback most likely, the bull rush ability of Javon Kinlaw may be considered if available at 16. The positive news for Atlanta is that the deep cornerback class means a valuable option will be available come pick 47 on Day 2, but the elite corners will all go during round one. Ultimately, the prioritisation of position or player will determine the route that the top brass take come draft day. Whilst Javon Kinlaw is an enticing prospect, a falling CJ Henderson or LSU's Kristian Fulton would be great cornerback gets in the first round. The likes of Bryce Hall and AJ Terrell could fall out of the top-40 but that is far from guaranteed, whilst third round corners will likely need time to develop. Mock selections (if available): 16- Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina, 47 - Bryce Hall CB Virginia, 78 - KJ Hill WR Ohio State Carolina Panthers The departures of Cam Newton, Greg Olsen and Luke Kuechly suggest a full rebuild is in motion down in Carolina. Yes, Teddy Bridgewater has arrived on a big-money contract, but this is a Panthers team in need of players in many positions. That said, the acquisition of Robby Anderson and re-signing of Christian McCaffrey means Bridgewater does have offensive weapons to play with. Therefore, the majority of the Panthers rebuilding needs are on defence.

Relatively sparse at all defensive positions, cornerback may well be the biggest need. But with the numerous needs that are present, the Panthers are best served to take the best defensive player available come their first pick at number 7. Javon Kinlaw would be an interesting prospect as would Auburns Derrick Brown, whilst cornerbacks CJ Henderson and Jeff Okudah may both still be on the board. Another route to take might be Clemson's Isaiah Simmons, though there would be immediate pressure for SImmons to become the new Kuechly. Frankly, taking the best available defensive player throughout the draft may well be the right mindset for Carolina. The outlook is so bleak on the defensive side of the ball that quality additions at any and all positions would be useful. Mock selections (if available): 8 - Derrick Brown DT Auburn, 38 - AJ Terrell CB Clemson, 69 - Alex Highsmith DE Charlotte Tampa Bay Buccaneers TOM BRADY IS A BUC. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Following the landmark free agency acquisition of the all-time great Tom Brady, Tampa Bay enter this draft having brought Rob Gronkowski out of retirement as well. The mindset must be "give Brady what he needs." Right tackle Demar Dotson has gone and the Bucs may be tempted to draft a replacement to protect TB12. They may be better served trading for Trent Williams from the Redskins though. Having to likely cough up a second rounder for 7 time pro-bowler, Williams would provide more of an immediate impact than a rookie tackle. If the Bucs don't take this route, they would need to be very lucky for Jedrick Wills or Tristan Wirfs to fall to pick 14. They may well be forced to look elsewhere and a wide receiver would benefit their "win now" mentality. The Bucs could also look at drafting a defensive end though they would all be a reach this high. Improvements could also be made at corner and running back during the draft but the Bucs do have a lot of young talent across the board already. The best move would be the aforesaid Williams trade but if not a tackle is a draft priority. Mock selections if available: 14 - Jedrick Wills OT Alabama, 45 - Ross Blacklock DT TCU, 76 - Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB LSU New Orleans Saints With the most complete offence in the NFC, the Saints look set to go head-to-head in the NFC South with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Drew Brees has returned to win a Superbowl and the Saints are "all in" to win. Frankly, the defence is in equally good shape coming into the draft and any selections the Saints make will be good additions to an already great football franchise. Many mock boards have Utah State's QB Jordan Love going to the Saints and it will be interesting to see if the Saints go down this route of adding young prospects with high upsides and ceilings. This may include - as would be the case with drafting Love - selecting players to develop into starters that currently house ageing stars or players at the back-end of contracts. Defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins is in his contract year whilst cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Patrick Robinson are both on the wrong side of 30 years-old. It's hard to go wrong adding defensive line or cornerback depth, and the Saints may well just look to get the best developmental defensive prospects available at each picks. This draft is full of high ceiling prospects in need of development - on both sides of the ball - and the likes of QB Jordan Love, CB Jeff Gladney and LB Patrick Queen may be the options at 23. Further down the draft, the likes of CB Michael Ojemudia, edge Trevis Gipson and linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither would be valuable additions. Mock selections (if available): 23 - Jordan Love QB Utah State, 88 - Akeem Davis Gaither LB Appalachian State Arizona Cardinals

Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury loves wide receivers. With the addition of DeAndre Hopkins in the off-season, he has arguably the best wide-out in the league at his disposal. Throw in what should be a more productive and efficient season for QB Kyler Murray in his second year, and the offence is one or two parts away from being a very capable unit. Despite Kingsbury preference for 4 receiver sets, the Cardinals would benefit from adding a tight end in the draft. A receiving option with good blocking ability and tools would add a further cog and weapon for Murray. Fortunately for the Cardinals, this can be addressed in the middle rounds if need be and they can instead prioritise improving their defence. After giving up the most yards in the league last season, improvement is needed across the board but at interior defensive line and linebacker especially. With the eighth pick in the draft, Arizona have the potential to add one of Javon Kinlaw and Derrick Brown to their D-line and this would be a strong first step in addressing their pass rush. A commanding interior presence can then be further supported by drafting a corner or edge in round three. Arizona may be tempted to trade back from 8 and accrue picks but if they want an elite level defensive tackle there are only two to choose from. Mock selections (if available): 8 - Derrick Brown DT Auburn, 72 - Stanford Samuels CB Florida State

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams not having a first round pick again means they'll have to dig a little deeper for valuable players that can fit their needs. These needs mostly revolve around the departures during the off season - namely linebacker Cory Littleton and edge Dante Fowler Jr - though a lack of draft capital will make drafting immediately impactful players tricky.

Unlike most of the league, the Rams have built their team in a way befitting the NBA. Paying big money for their 'superstar' players and then trickling down to the rest, this has unfortunately resulted in valuable assets leaving to make what they are worth elsewhere. The aforementioned duo of Littleton and Fowler are prime examples of that, so drafting players on rookie contracts seems the best route to take. With the draft capital the Rams do have, the majority of it should be spent on defence. With needs in the D-line as well as the secondary, their 3 picks in the first 3 rounds need to be used wisely.

Finding a surefire contributor at linebacker at pick 52 is unlikley, though if Oregon's Troy Dye drops it would be a steal. Colorado's Davion Taylor looks a more realistic option in terms of being available outside the top 50 though the Rams may have to choose between Purdue's Markus Bailey or Appalachian State's Akeem Davis-Gaither. Instead, the Rams could go edge rusher at 52 and hopefully be choosing between Alabama's Terrell Lewis and Boise State's Curtis Weaver. Mock selections (if available): 52 - Terrell Lewis DE Alabama, 57 - Ashtyn Davis S California, 84 - Davion Tayor LB Colorado, 104 - Darnay Holmes CB UCLA San Francisco 49ers Coming off a Superbowl appearance, the "needs' of the 49ers are few and far between. A few young pieces in defence and some more weapons for franchise QB Jimmy G should be priorities. Emmanuel Sanders leaves a wide-out void following his move to the Saints, whilst starting guard Mike Person has also gone. Coming off success in the 2019 draft with picks Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel contributing significantly, the trade with Indianapolis to get pick 13 - losing DeForest Buckner - was a big off-season move. San Francisco will hope that success from the 2019 draft follows them to this year's edition, and that the loss of Buckner becomes worth it relatively quickly. In an ideal world, the pick-up of defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw at 13 would be a seamless transition from one ultra-talented lineman to another, but the aggressive pass rusher may well be off the board by then. Arguably, the D-line was the linchpin of San Fran's Superbowl run last year and it needs to be kept as consistent as possible. The re-siging of Arik Armstead helps that but Buckner needs to be replaced with a high-quality talent. If the 49ers choose to instead go about replacing Sanders first, there may well be one of - if not all 3 - the elite receivers in the draft class. Any of Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and CeeDee Lamb would add a further weapon for Garoppolo and further enhance an already strong offence.

Though the 49ers will likely not be too nervous about having no picks between 31 and 156, they need to ensure they pick up elite, ready to start talent in the first round. Kinlaw would likely be the best option at 13 given that the wide receiver class is deep enough to pick someone up at 31. The likes of Michael Pittman Jr, Denzel Mims and Brandon Aiyuk may be the best available options. Mock selections (if available): 13 - CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma, 31 - Justin Madubuike DT Texas A&M Seattle Seahawks The Seahawks pretty much revolve around QB Russell Wilson. If Seattle want to have continued success and have a run at the Superbowl, Wilson needs to be protected. Though the current O-line is solid across the board, an upgrade at tackle and guard could be pivotal in Seattle taking another step forward in 2020. That said, the offence cannot be relied on to win every game and the defence need to show more this season. To say their pass rush looked lacklustre at times last year would be kind and this needs to be addressed. Disrupting the opposition quarterback more often would allow Seattle's zone coverage scheme to have its best impact. Ideally, last year's first rounder LJ Collier has a standout year in 2020 but that is far from guaranteed. Despite having needs, Seattle could also choose to give Wilson more catching options and be heavily reliant on offensive production this season. Everyone is aware of the deep receiver class this year and the Seahawks may be tempted by a number of the wide out prospects. At pick 27 the Seahawks may see both AJ Epenesa and Yetur Gross-Matos still on the board, with both edge rushers being mocked in the first round consistently they will likely grab one. Picks 59 and 64 could come at a time that a select few good-level cornerbacks are still available, and if Virginia's Bryce Hall or Ohio State's Damon Arnette are available it would be hard for Seattle to turn them down. Mock selections (if available): 27 - Yetur Gross Matos DE Penn State, 57 - Saahdiq Charles OT LSU, 64 - Devin Duvernay WR Texas, 101 - Lamical Perine RB Florida

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23 abr 2020

An incredibly thorough piece of pleased I didn’t buy the NFL magazine now 😉

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