*** 2020 NFL MOCK DRAFT (3 rounds) updated Dec. 18. This mock draft will be updated occasionally. Check out old versions of this 2020 NFL Mock Draft in the archived mock section. Follow @walterfootball for NFL Draft updates. ***
Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
It's clear by now that Ryan Finley is not the long-term answer, so the Bengals will want to select a franchise quarterback with the top pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Tua Tagovailoa is no longer the option because of his devastating injury, but it doesn't even matter anymore, based on what Joe Burrow has accomplished.
Burrow has made quite the leap. He was actually not considered a first-round prospect back in September. Charlie Campbell reported that NFL Teams See a Day 2 Ceiling for Joe Burrow. Burrow has improved exponentially, and he's now the no-brainer No. 1 overall selection.
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New York Giants: Chase Young, DE/OLB, Ohio State
The Giants' defense is an abomination, and they also need help on the offensive line so that Daniel Jones doesn't keep fumbling twice every week. A No. 1 receiver can be obtained as well. New York is in a position to select the top player on its board to fill one of these three major needs.
Chase Young enjoyed a breakout season in the wake of Nick Bosa's injury in 2018, and has been very dominant this year. He's a very athletic edge player with great size (6-5, 265).
Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
I mentioned on our NFL picks podcast video...
...That I was going to steal this pick. I also like the theory that the Dolphins will take Tua Tagovailoa anyway because they've been targeting this whole time. The Dolphins can start Ryan Fitzpatrick for one more year as Tagovailoa heals from his devastating injury.
By the way, Charlie Campbell polled some teams on where they believe Tagovailoa will be chosen in the 2020 NFL Draft. To read about it, check out the NFL Hot Press.
Pick change; previously Justin Herbert, QB
Washington Redskins: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Trent Williams has vowed never to play for the Redskins again, and he has kept his word thus far. Washington needs a new left tackle to protect Dwayne Haskins.
Andrew Thomas has been very impressive, using his great athleticism and length. NFL personnel believe he has tremendous potential.
Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Darius Slay is a terrific cornerback, but the rest of Detroit's secondary has been horrible this season. They've needed an upgrade across from Slay for quite a while.
Jeff Okudah is a big, athletic, speedy cornerback with immense upside.
Arizona Cardinals: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
What a steal to get Jerry Jeudy at No. 6 overall! Larry Fitzgerald won't be around much longer, so the Cardinals need a No. 1 receiving option to complement Christian Kirk.
Jeudy is a height-weight-speed freak in the mold of a Julio Jones. He's the next great Alabama receiver, and he has a good chance of being a top-five selection. He may even go No. 3 overall.
New York Jets: Austin Jackson, OT, USC
The Jets need someone to help Sam Darnold, so both a No. 1 receiver (CeeDee Lamb) and a talented left tackle (Austin Jackson) make sense. The former happens to be the superior prospect, but I think the front office will value protecting Darnold.
Austin Jackson is a terrific athlete with quick feet and superb agility.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Isaiah Simmons, S/LB, Clemson
If you're looking for reasons why the Jaguars' defense has declined this season, you can point to Jalen Ramsey being traded and Telvin Smith removing himself from the team prior to the season. Jacksonville can find a replacement for Smith with this pick.
Isaiah Simmons flew all around the field and has been a physical presence for Clemson. He can play linebacker and safety.
Pick change; previously Kenneth Murray, LB
Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
I expect Philip Rivers to return for one more year, but the Chargers could select his successor in the 2020 NFL Draft. This would allow the Chargers a year to groom their new quarterback as Rivers says his farewell. He can still play at a high level at times, but he's regressing and clearly doesn't have much time remaining.
Justin Herbert has endured an up-and-down 2018 season. He was considered the top quarterback prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft before making the mistake of returning to school, where he risked injury and regression. We saw that regression from Herbert late in the 2019 campaign, so at this point, he might be lucky to be a top-10 choice.
Pick change; previously Justin Herbert, QB
Denver Broncos: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Courtland Sutton is a beast, but the Broncos have nothing else at receiver after moving on from Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in consecutive seasons. Drew Lock looks like he has some potential, so John Elway needs to give his young quarterback another weapon.
CeeDee Lamb is a terrific route runner with great hands. He's been amazing this year and is now the No. 2 receiver on my board.
Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, DE/DT, Auburn
The Panthers are getting an absolute steal with this pick, as Derrick Brown has the talent to be chosen in the top five. Carolina could use a long-term replacement for Gerald McCoy in the interior of its defensive line.
Brown has great size (6-5, 316) and tons of upside. He can be a great interior disruptor if he lives up to his potential. He had a chance to be a top-five pick (No. 5 overall?) in the 2019 NFL Draft before he returned to school. Brown has thrived this past season, and he was an absolute monster in the 2019 Iron Bowl.
Pick change; previously Isaiah Simmons, LB/S
Atlanta Falcons: A.J. Epenesa, DE/OLB, Iowa
The Falcons have needed to bolster the trenches for quite some time. I imagine they'd be highly interested in Chase Young or Derrick Brown if they can obtain one of them. In this scenario, they find a better edge rusher.
A.J. Epenesa was a five-star recruit who showed some major promise as a freshman, registering 4.5 sacks. He was excellent in 2018.
Pick change; previously Derrick Brown, DE/DT
Las Vegas Raiders: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
The Raiders wanted to have Antonio Brown as their top receiver in 2019, but their plans went awry. Here's a new No. 1 receiver to replace him.
Laviska Shenault drew rave reviews during spring practices preceding the 2018 campaign, and he didn't disappoint. The 6-foot-2 play-maker was college football's best receiver as a mere sophomore (at least prior to his injury.)
Indianapolis Colts: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State
You can never have enough dominant pass rushers, and the Colts could opt to use an early draft pick on a successor for Justin Houston.
Yetur Gross-Matos registered a ridiculous 20 tackles for loss in 2018. His potential is off the charts.
Pick change; previously A.J. Epenesa, DE
Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Perhaps the Browns will think twice about entering the season with Greg Robinson as their left tackle. They desperately need help on the offensive line.
At 6-7, 340, Mekhi Becton is a massive human being. Despite his size, however, Becton is athletic and flexible.
Philadelphia Eagles: Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
The struggles of Philadelphia's secondary have been well documented, and it was on full display in a Monday night near-loss to the then 2-10 Giants. I imagine the Eagles would pounce at the opportunity to select one of the top three cornerback prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft, especially after what happened in Miami.
Paulson Adebo has great size, coverage skills and play-making ability.