Just days away from draft week, my mock features some new names you might not be familiar with. This is always an interesting time in the pre-draft process, with intel and smoke screens coming fast and furious.
I'll provide one last mock next week before the 2020 NFL Draft kicks off, but here is how this no-trade model worked out today. Have at it.
The Bengals may get offered a king's ransom for the rights to select Burrow. Even in that scenario, I can't see them accepting a deal. The Ohio-reared Burrow returns home to the Buckeye State.
My colleague Bucky Brooks recently used the phrase "gold jacket" to describe Young on NFL Network. It's not that crazy. One general manager told me Young could have an even greater impact than reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa just had in San Francisco.
Okudah screams "Patriot Way." He's all business, a student of the game and completely deflects attention when it comes to others raving about his play. Lions general manager Bob Quinn, vice president of player personnel Kyle O'Brien and head coach Matt Patricia were all brought up through the Pats system. Good fit here. Goodbye, Darius Slay. Hello, Jeff Okudah.
Many, many years ago, Dolphins team doctors failed free agent Drew Brees on his physical and the Saints ended up signing him shortly thereafter. No one's failed Tua Tagovailoa on his physical -- at least that I know of -- but there's enough uncertainty and whispers around the league about what the Dolphins are doing here that I'll present an alternative option. Herbert -- big arm, healthy, Academic All-American and Senior Bowl/combine show-stealer -- could be a more attractive Door No. 2.
GM Tom Telesco treats this stuff like government secrets, and I get the feeling he takes real pride in throwing everyone for a loop seemingly every single year. The Chargers could go a variety of ways here, regardless of whether Tua is on the board. The thought of featuring Derwin James and Isaiah Simmons behind Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa is awfully tempting. As is drafting one of the top offensive tackles. Tagovailoa to Los Angeles at No. 6 would be a good fit for all parties involved. Tyrod Taylor for a year; Tua from there. But this is a guess. I repeat -- a guess.
Matt Rhule highly values character, leadership and speed. Add in the local tie-in, and Simmons falling to No. 7 would be a great fit for the Panthers' rebuild under a new regime.
The possible pairing of Kyler Murray with former Sooner teammate CeeDee Lamb became far less likely after the DeAndre Hopkins trade. Insert Brown, an anchor for the Cardinals' defensive line. The Auburn product could have left school early last year, but he returned and improved his draft stock immensely.
There's a lot of love for Henderson in the scouting community, and I've spoken to coaches who say he's got some juice to him that Jeff Okudah might not. Both could be top 10 picks, and the Jaguars -- who parted ways with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye over the past six months -- would gladly scoop Henderson up here.
Another offensive tackle off the board, and this one is considered a Day 1 starter. Cleveland, still in need of offensive line help even after the Jack Conklin signing, is in a good spot to nab one of the top OTs in this class.
If Wills, Wirfs, Becton or Andrew Thomas is still on the board at No. 11, I believe the Jets will go offensive line over wide receiver. A mountain of a man who measured in at 6-foot-7, tipped the scales at 364 pounds and ran a 5.1 40-yard dash, Becton would be the left (or right) tackle to protect Sam Darnold.
Keeping Tom Brady upright in 2020 has to be the most important thing for Tampa's offense. The Bucs' offensive line isn't bad, but they could use another talented big body. Thomas could go as high as the top 10 if there's a run on tackles, though he's viewed by most teams as the fourth OT off the board.
There's talk of the Broncos moving up in the first round to get one of the top wide receivers. If things play out this way, and they don't have to trade, this may be the ideal situation for Denver. Jeudy is the top wide receiver on at least a few teams' boards.
I've heard top-10 buzz on Kinlaw, but he is still an unfinished product on the field. Off the field, his story is as inspiring as any in this class -- and he's an adult well beyond his years. Great fit for the Falcons, who added a pass rusher in Dante Fowler Jr. during free agency. Plug Kinlaw into a defensive line that already has a lot of young, hungry talent, and Atlanta's pass rush could be one to worry about.
This may be a lot earlier than where some other mocks have McKinney going, but I think he fills an immediate need for the Cowboys' defense. Capable of playing either safety spot, he's a versatile game-changer who's definitely NFL-ready with a high football IQ. The losses of Byron Jones and Jeff Heath really thinned out Dallas' secondary, but McKinney has the kind of advanced skill set to help fill the void on Day 1.
After getting their quarterback at No. 5, the Dolphins take this opportunity to beef up Justin Herbert's protection. Adding Jones -- a 6-7, 320-pounder, who logged four seasons as Houston's starting left tackle -- would be perfect. He's been a late-in-the-process riser who could end up coming off the board within the top 15 picks.
Is linebacker a dire need for the Raiders, a team with real concerns at corner and safety? Probably not, especially with what they did in free agency. But if you're looking for a leader of the unit for the long-term future, there may be no better franchise cornerstone and leader than Murray. General managers and coaches have raved about his interviews, and he also happens to be a sideline-to-sideline LB who crushed the combine. A Day 1 starter at OU, Murray was a team captain by his sophomore season. Mike Mayock prides himself on acquiring leaders through the draft.
Everyone's thinking wide receiver -- no matter what -- at No. 21 for the Eagles, but that's not how Howie Roseman typically rolls. Queen is viewed even higher than Kenneth Murray on some teams' boards, and I could see Philadelphia going with an immediate game-changer on defense. Despite just one big season at LSU, Queen tore it up, and can roam sideline to sideline with ease. This would be a big swing -- especially with Justin Jefferson still on the board -- but I think the linebacker group is a lot thinner than the receiving corps.
Trade Stefon Diggs and end up with Jefferson with one of the four picks acquired? Not bad if it works out this way for Minnesota. Jefferson put up eye-popping numbers last season at LSU, but there were skeptics on his speed heading into the combine. He then ripped off a 4.43 40-yard dash, dazzled in interviews and showed why he's the fourth-best wideout -- at least -- in this draft.
First time you've seen Bryant's name in the first round of a mock draft? Don't be shocked -- I can see it happening. New England has tried to get Jared Cook and Hayden Hurst in back-to-back offseasons, with no success. Bryant is a big body who can both catch balls and block. He isn't Gronk, but no one is. What he can be is a building block for whomever Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels groom to be the QB of the future.
The love for Aiyuk in league circles is a lot stronger than what we're hearing in the media. In speaking with multiple GMs, even with the deep wideout class, Aiyuk is expected to come off the board in Round 1. I've got him going to New Orleans, a team that has very few holes, but could use one more receiver if the Saints are going to make a run for Drew Brees' elusive second Super Bowl ring this season. Michael Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Aiyuk would form a very dangerous 1-2-3.
I haven't seen Cleveland mocked to go in the first round anywhere else yet, but the 6-6 tower had an outstanding combine, and I've heard he's been great in the virtual interviews throughout this process. There's legitimate top-20 talk around his name now, but I think 25 to the Vikings seems to be a good fit.
I got crushed (virtually!) by Dolphins fans for slotting Swift to them with this pick in my last mock draft, but I'm sticking with it. Swift does it all and can impact Miami's offense in a way that Josh Jacobs did for the Raiders a year ago. He's going to be the best player available here, and whether the market value of running backs has diminished or not, that shouldn't affect rookies who will make far less than veterans looking for second contracts. Swift is tough, fast, strong and can both catch and block. He'd be a great addition to Miami's backfield.
Gross-Matos is 6-5, 266 pounds and an athletic specimen. Penn State's best defensive lineman over the last two years can get to the passer and stop the run. I don't see him escaping the first round. The Seahawks need more juice off the edge, even if they ultimately end up re-signing Jadeveon Clowney.
The Ravens don't move up and still get one of the top defensive linemen in this class. He's 6-5, 275 pounds and all business. A versatile athlete who, in his high school days, was all-state in football, all-state in the discus and a 1,000-point scorer in basketball. He made plays as a freshman, and then got significantly better as a sophomore and a junior. The adoring word at the combine was that he plays "mean." Ravens DC Don "Wink" Martindale could be the perfect match.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Wilson took his talents to Athens, where he was one of the most agile offensive linemen in college football a year ago. With the loss of Jack Conklin and a great desire to keep giving Derrick Henry the rock in Arthur Smith's offense, this could make a whole lot of sense. Google Wilson's high school footage. He's about 300 pounds and takes snaps as a Wildcat quarterback.
The 49ers will have the phone lines (or whatever form of communication teams are using in this virtual draft) open here, as they don't hold a second-, third- or fourth-round pick at the moment. This is an ideal spot for a team that wants to trade up and secure that fifth-year option on a first-round pick. If the 49ers stay put, I see Blacklock as a good fit. He's now two years removed from a 2018 Achilles injury and is one of the few dominant interior defensive linemen in the draft. Is he DeForest Buckner? No. Not yet, at least.
The Chiefs are returning 20 of 22 starters next season. In other words ... watch out! If they opt to go best player available, Ruiz may very well be that guy. Capable of playing either center or guard, he's an intelligent player who can both help protect Patrick Mahomes and be a mauler in the run game. Kansas City can go anywhere with this pick, but offensive line is never a bad choice.