The NFL draft is over and done with, so there’s only one thing to do: look forward to the same time next year! The 2020 draft may be far away, but there’s no such thing as looking too far ahead in draftland. The order is determined by Vegas’s projected win totals for each team, so no, I don’t just think your team is going to be bad this year. Players will dramatically rise and fall over the next 12 months, and some guys listed won’t even sniff an NFL field. The draft positions will shift every which way as some teams are better or worse than projected, and more still trade their picks.
Still, I endeavor to give you all an idea of what the top prospects for 2020 look like, and this will accomplish just that. Here’s my 2020 Mock Draft, 1.0.
1. Miami Dolphins- Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama- Miami may have traded for Josh Rosen, but this is still clear-cut. Tua has absolutely lit up the college football world since taking over for Jalen Hurts, and teams have been counting down the days until he’s draft-eligible. He has ridiculous arm strength, accuracy, and the ability to scramble if things get dicey in the pocket. He has every trait — tangible and intangible — teams look for in a quarterback. If the Dolphins like Rosen, they’ll take Tua and find a trade partner- which won’t be hard, given how highly regarded he is as a prospect. If they decide Rosen isn’t fit for the gig after a yearlong audition, they have Tua to lean on for the foreseeable future. He’ll pair well with Christian Wilkins as the faces of the franchise.
2. Cincinnati Bengals- Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon- It’s very likely Herbert would’ve been a top five selection this year had he declared for the draft. As is, he is the second-best QB in the 2020 draft, and the Bengals need someone to take over for Andy Dalton (finally), and Ryan Finley isn’t nearly as good of a prospect, even if they did trade up to grab him in the fourth round this year. Herbert has the size, athleticism, and arm strength of an NFL quarterback. Like many physically talented college quarterbacks, he relies on his arm a bit too often at Oregon and will need to work on his coverage recognition at the NFL level. He hasn’t had a signature standout season like Tua, but he still has the potential to be a high-level starter for Cincinnati.
3. Arizona Cardinals- Walker Little, OT, Stanford- Little is a rare athletic prospect at left tackle who could become a stalwart on the left side for a long time in Arizona. At 6’7” and 300 pounds, Little can run a 4.4 40-yard dash. That is simply ridiculous. Consistency has been a bit of an issue while Little has been at Stanford, but he’s talented and athletic enough that he warrants consideration as a top-three pick, even if he’s a lineman. Arizona must invest in protection for their franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray, and Little has the measurables to be an all-time great in that regard.
4. New York Giants- Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama- Jeudy is the latest in the long line of big, fast, and talented receivers that Alabama produces on a yearly basis. He was the nation’s best receiver in 2018, winning the Biletnikoff Award and posting 68 catches for over 1,300 yards and 14 touchdowns. He’s the best receiver in the draft, and the Giants need to give their future franchise QB in Daniel Jones as many weapons as possible. Jeudy is a stud, and will round out the offensive core nicely for Big Blue.
5. Oakland Raiders- Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia- After dedicating their hoard of 2019 draft picks to rounding out the weak spots in their team, Jon Gruden gets a new quarterback to mold and moves on from Derek Carr. Fromm had a stellar freshman year where he led his team to the National Championship game, and built upon that to make for an impressive 2018, throwing for 2,761 yards and 30 TDs with only six interceptions. Fromm and Hebert are 2A and 2B in this QB class, and the Raiders would love either one. Fromm has the makings of a quality starting QB, and may have a higher ceiling than most realize.