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Dzwierzynski 2020 mock draft 3.0: two rounds and alternate scenarios

NFL draft

Mock draft season rolls on as we get closer and closer to the real thing, and that means it’s time for my third mock draft of the year.

While the top of the draft remains the same as I’ve prognosticated before, free agency and prospect stock shifts have created a big mix-up throughout the draft.

After two one-round mocks so far (which you can check out here and here) this one is a two rounder with a twist. Along with the 64 picks, I’ve also provided alternate scenarios for each pick, which are sensible replacements for the my actual picks. Additionally, each pick will have a brief explanation.

Mock draft 3.0:

Round 1

1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

This pick is not going to change and is as sure of a thing as you can get. Burrow is the best quarterback in this class and is a perfect fit for Cincinnati. His ability and attitude are exactly what the Bengals need right now. He’s going to get the best out of a promising wide receivers group and a rebuilding team.

Alternative: Trading back for multiple years worth of first-round picks

The Bengals aren’t going to trade this selection, but if they did it would take first rounders this year, next year and in 2022, at least. You can’t pass on a franchise quarterback at No. 1, and if you do it better be for a historic haul. But, again, this pick is a no-doubter.

2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

This is another obvious pick for Washington. The Redskins have a lot of holes to fill, including in their pass rush, and there’s no one in this class better to fix that than Young. Whether you stand him up or he puts his hand in the dirt, he’s going to make an impact. The Redskins improved defensively at the end of last season, but Young is the cornerstone for a true turnaround with a new defensive-minded coach in Ron Rivera.

Alternatives: Trade down; Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

To reiterate, the Redskins have plenty of needs. It’s hard to pass up on an elite talent like Young, but they could fill multiple holes bad adding more picks, especially since they don’t have a second rounder. Tagovailoa is also interesting, and it legitimately in play if the new regime doesn’t believe in Dwayne Haskins.

3. Detroit Lions – Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State

The first three picks of this draft all fall perfectly in line with top-end talent and team needs. The Lions just traded away their disgruntled No. 1 corner in Darius Slay and would have needed more help in the secondary regardless. In a division with elite receivers on each team Detroit needs someone who can match up with the likes of Davante Adams, Adam Thielen and Allen Robinson. Enter Okudah, the defensive back in the draft.

Alternatives: Trade up for Chase Young; trade up for Tua Tagovailoa

Detroit could also use more pass rush help, and if they value edge rusher over cornerback then a move for Young makes sense. There’s also Matthew Stafford’s future to account for. If he’s healthy and in the long-term plans then this is a moot point. If not, though…

4. New York Giants – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

The Giants have no choice but to protect Daniel Jones, or their major investment in him will be wasted. Wills is either the No. 1 or No. 2 offensive tackle in this class depending on which evaluator you look at, and he’s the top-ranked one in the 580 Sports Talk composite big board. Adding a tackle who can both protect the quarterback of the future and open holes for Saquon Barkley would be a great addition.

Alternatives: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia; Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

If you’re not going to take Wills, then the next best option (or better, potentially) is Thomas, who fills the exact same dire need. Despite adding linebacker help this offseason New York could use more assistance on defense, and Simmons is the best prospect available. That would force the Giants to take a tackle with their next pick, though.

5. Miami Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Tagovailoa has genuine superstar potential. His medicals look good so far, which means there’s nothing holding him back from being someone’s future franchise quarterback. He isn’t a perfect prospect, but Tagovailoa would be the best passer in Miami since Dan Marino retired. That says more about Tua’s strengths than that comment may seem. He will not last to the Dolphins’ next pick, they need to take him here.

Alternative: Trade up for Tua Tagovailoa

The only reason the Dolphins shouldn’t take Tagovailoa with the fifth pick is if they have intel that someone is going to take him earlier than that. You can’t miss this opportunity if you’re Miami, and it has the capital to make a trade up work if needs be.

6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The Chargers have done a great job of building their roster quickly through free agency, but given the age of several of their signings (players like Chris Harris and Bryan Bulaga, for example) it’s a win-now situation in L.A. I don’t love Herbert as a prospect, but he’s widely considered the next best quarterback in this class. That’s the one position the Chargers are missing, since Tyrod Taylor is simply a stopgap quarterback for now.

Alternatives: Trade up for Tua Tagovailoa; Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

It will take first-round picks for a couple of years, but the Chargers could jump the Dolphins for Tagovailoa if he’s who they want the most. Given my perceived gap in the quality as prospects, it would be a smart move. If Los Angeles is willing to ride solely with Taylor and add a quarterback later, shoring up the offensive line with Thomas would also be smart.

Mock Draft Monday: 2020 draft class quarterback rankings

7. Carolina Panthers – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Auburn’s Derrick Brown has been mocked here constantly, but Simmons offers a rare mix of skills and athleticism that Carolina can use in any number of ways. He can cover or play in the box as a safety, line up and cover the whole field as a linebacker and can do almost anything asked of him. Even without a perfectly defined position, anyone who watched Simmons’ career at Clemson knows he has the athleticism to make an immediate impact anywhere.

Alternatives: Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn; Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

There’s a reason Brown’s been mocked to Carolina over and over. A once-fearsome defensive line for the Panthers has dissipated in recent years, so Brown would add some firepower back to that group. Jeudy is also an interesting option, because he would immediately give new quarterback Teddy Bridgewater a No. 1 option outside.

8. Arizona Cardinals – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Before acquiring DeAndre Hopkins in the heist of the century, Jeudy (or another receiver) seemed like a great move for the Cardinals. That’s a less pressing need now after fleecing Bill O’Brien, though, so Arizona can focus on protecting Kyler Murray. Thomas is a big-bodied All-American who was the stalwart for one of the best offensive lines in the SEC this past season.

Alternatives: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa; Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama; CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Grades for this class’s tackles are all over the board with the top four, and the Cardinals could value Wirfs over Thomas. He also provides more versatility than Thomas. Jeudy or the other top receiver in 2020, OU’s CeeDee Lamb, could still be in play because both are Day 1 NFL starters. It just feels like more of a luxury for now.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

Brown is good enough that he should be able to supplant either Taven Bryan or Abry Jones right off the rip in Jacksonville. He doesn’t have the pass-rushing presence inside like an Aaron Donald or a Chris Jones, but he’ll improve the Jaguars’ run defense instantly and will at least aid their pass rush with his ability to eat space. His ability to slide out to the 5T and rush from the edge is also valuable in Jacksonville’s even front.

Alternatives: Trade up for Tua Tagovailoa; Jordan Love, QB, Utah State; Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Let’s get weird. Gardner Minshew is fun and good enough to fill in for now, but he’s not the guy to carry Jacksonville to contention. The Jags have two first-round picks this year, and that’s a good starting point to move up for a franchise quarterback in Tagovailoa. Or, if they want to stay put and love his potential, Utah State’s Jordan Love could be their QB of the future. Adding a second legitimate option next to D.J. Chark is also on the table with Jeudy.

10. Cleveland Browns – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Baker Mayfield is already in a tough spot in Cleveland. He’s on his third offense in three years with new coach Kevin Stefanski, and his offensive line’s gruesome year was a large part of why he struggled in 2019. Wirfs is the best offensive lineman available and is thus the best option for Cleveland. Wirfs was a college tackle and OT3 in this class, but he’s also a candidate to be moved inside in the NFL. Either way, the Browns need offensive line help badly and Wirfs fills the need.

Alternatives: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville; trade down

Again, grades for these offensive tackles have varied wildly, so the Browns could be bigger fans of the elite athleticism Becton brings. Cleveland also needs help on defense, so a move back a few spots to add a pick and potentially draft Houston’s Josh Jones (or another prospect) is a viable option.

11. New York Jets – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Do you notice a trend? The Giants, Cardinals, Browns and now the Jets: All teams with young quarterbacks who desperately need offensive line help. Teams across the league need to protect their biggest investments or they risk doing what bad teams have done to promising quarterbacks for years. It’s essentially what the Browns and Jets are known for. Becton’s combine was the stuff of history, with speed and measurables that turned heads. He’s got room to grow, but he’s good enough to press for a starting job in camp.

Alternatives: Josh Jones, OT, Houston; Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama; CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Please, protect your quarterback. If the Jets don’t like Becton then the smart thing to do is take Jones, the next best tackle, either at 11 or by trading back a few spots. The Jets also desperately need wide receiver help, considering their depth at that spot is the worst in the NFL. Jeudy or Lamb (or Alabama’s Henry Ruggs) would be an instant upgrade.

12. Las Vegas Raiders – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Finally, the best receiver in the class is off the board. Jeudy is a pristine route runner who has good hands and good explosiveness. All paired together, he’s going to make any quarterback happy. Whether its Derek Carr or Marcus Mariota throwing to him, the Raiders will have a great receiver to go along with a great running back and a great tight end.

Alternatives: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma; Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

It all just comes down to how the Raiders rank this class. Jeudy is my WR1, but Lamb is right on his heels and Ruggs is right there, too. If Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden prefer either of those two to Jeudy, expect them to come off the board at 12 instead. Either way, Las Vegas will have its pick of the litter.

13. San Francisco 49ers (from IND) – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

An interior defensive lineman seems logical here, considering San Francisco traded away a good one in DeForest Buckner to get the pick. However, Arik Armstead and Solomon Thomas can handle the middle of the defensive line. Instead, Ruggs is another option for Jimmy Garoppolo who can stretch the field. He’s a burner, but his hands and contested-catch ability is severely underrated. Simple throws to him in space in Kyle Shanahan’s offense can easily turn into splash plays.

Alternatives: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma; Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina

Ruggs and his speed seem like a great fit, but like Las Vegas above, San Francisco could value Lamb over Ruggs. Either would make the offense better. Should defensive coordinator Robert Saleh prefer someone else over Thomas on the defensive line, Kinlaw is still an option.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

Chaisson has all the potential in the world, with speed and athleticism that fits perfectly as an edge rusher in a 3-4 base defense. He didn’t have incredible production in college at LSU, but his impact and rise was obvious. In Tampa he likely won’t start Week 1, with Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul ahead of him on the depth chart, but that’s a great pair to learn behind (and a pair on short-term deals).

Alternatives: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State; Josh Jones, OT, Houston

Tom Brady is the starter for the next two years, but Love has the kind of arm that would thrive with some training under coach Bruce Arians. He could be the Bucs’ next quarterback when Brady’s contract expires. Shoring up a mediocre offensive line (22nd in adjusted sack rate last season) would also be wise here.

15. Denver Broncos – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

We’ve got a run on receivers. Drew Lock needs someone else to throw to other than Courtland Sutton, and Lamb is a perfect partner for him. His speed isn’t elite but he does have great explosion and acceleration, not to mention crisp routes and strong hands. His all-around game is why some teams and analysts consider him the top receiver on the board. Any of the top three receivers is a dream fit for Denver.

Alternatives: Josh Jones, OT, Houston; Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU; C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

You can see how many teams need offensive line help. Denver’s line has plenty of issues (although it did start to play better near the end of the year) and Jones is the best tackle on the board. With Chris Harris in Los Angeles Denver could also use secondary help, and both of the top cornerbacks in 2020 are still available.

16. Atlanta Falcons – Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina

Kinlaw is the best player available and a great value here. A strong defensive line rotation is always an asset, so pairing Kinlaw with Grady Jarrett and Tyeler Davison at defensive tackle will make the Falcons better. He has an incredible story and the perfect mindset to succeed at the next level. He offers enough explosion and power that Atlanta is going to get him on the field plenty, even if he’s not technically a starter instantly.

Alternatives: A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa; Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU; C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

The Falcons upgraded their pass rush in free agency by adding Dante Fowler, but you need more than that. Epenesa is a pro-ready EDGE that can split time with Takk McKinley. At corner, current presumed started Kendall Sheffield had a 47.5 PFF grade in his rookie season. Expect Atlanta to address that spot at some point.

17. Dallas Cowboys – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

Byron Jones out, Kristian Fulton in. Fulton is a sticky corner who’s at his best in man coverage. His strength won’t be in run support, but someone who’s as good in coverage as he is doesn’t need to compensate with being an elite tackler. Fulton is a major reason why LSU’s defense was so formidable last season. He should start right away across from Chidobe Awuzie.

Alternatives: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida; Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama; Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan

Henderson’s stock has risen late in the process and could viably be a better fit in Dallas’ eyes for what it wants to accomplish on defense. The Cowboys lost starting safety Jeff Heath to the Raiders in free agency, which opens rooms to add a player like McKinney. Ruiz feels like a bit of a reach, but with Travis Frederick retiring center is definitely a need.

18. Miami Dolphins (from PIT) – Josh Jones, OT, Houston

Miami fills its two biggest needs with its first two first rounders. Simply put, Jones is the best tackle available, and protecting Tagovailoa is crucial to the Dolphins’ long-term success. Jones will replace either Julie’n Davenport or Jesse Davis and be an upgrade, even though he still has some developing to do.

Alternatives: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama; D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia; A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

More on those first two alternatives later. Edge rusher has been a long-standing need for Miami, although the Dolphins did address that with free agent signings like Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson. You can never have too many pass rushers, though.

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from CHI) – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

Las Vegas has done a lot to build up its defense in the last two years, reconstructing its pass rush through the draft last season while fortifying its linebackers through free agency this year. Now it’s time to finish the project by upgrading at corner. Henderson has gained a lot of favor recently, with some draft experts considering him this year’s CB1. Like Fulton he won’t “wow” you when tackling, but he has great ball skills to more than make up for that.

Alternatives: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama; Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

The Raiders’ safeties are fine, but nothing special. The team likes Johnathan Abram, but he missed all but a couple snaps last season due to injury. Jeff Heath is a middling starter, while Damarious Randall is one his third team in four seasons. McKinney could improve that group. Offensively, adding another weapon couldn’t hurt for this offense, even if they already took one at 12.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LAR) – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

Yannick Ngakoue has made it clear he doesn’t plan to play on the franchise tag for Jacksonville, which leaves the cupboard bare on the edge outside of Josh Allen. Epenesa’s best fit is with the Jaguars’ even front, and his refined skills should help him contribute right away. He’s not the kind of athlete Chaisson is, but he provides good power coming off the edge.

Alternatives: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU; Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama; Grant Delpit, S, LSU

At some point in this draft the Jaguars will have to address their receivers, because their offense probably won’t look great if Minshew is throwing to Chris Conley as his No. 2 target. Jefferson would fit here. Jacksonville’s safeties are also an obvious weaknesses, which means either of the top two in this class would have an clear path to starting.

21. Philadelphia Eagles – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

No team needs a receiver more desperately than the Eagles do. They were bitten viciously by the injury bug last season, but it exposed a complete lack of depth in terms of weapons for Carson Wentz. Jefferson is projected as mostly a slot receiver but has the skills to play outside and still be a reliable option.

Alternatives: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU; Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor; Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Take your pick, just get the Eagles another receiver. Reagor’s speed and Mims’ all-around game would both fit in easily with Philadelphia. Higgins isn’t quite as good of a fit given his skill set, but he still fills the need.

22. Minnesota Vikings (from BUF) – Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

Minnesota’s cornerbacks were generally dreadful last season, specifically in the case of former All-Pro Xavier Rhodes. He’s out, the Vikings’ defensive backs coach is out and its time for coach Mike Zimmer to fix the secondary. Gladney is a great fit for Minnesota. He’s a long, super athletic corner who has plenty of collegiate experience (he played through his redshirt senior season). His eagerness to compete and fight in man is just what the Vikings need.

Alternatives: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson; Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson; Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State

There are a few other cornerbacks in this value range, with Terrell being the most realistic. It’s hard to imagine the team that just traded Stefon Diggs going after his brother (Alabama CB Trevon Diggs). We’ll get to Higgins later. The Vikings don’t usually spend high picks on EDGE players, but if they wanted to this time Gross-Matos fits their 4-3 base defense.

23. New England Patriots – Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State

The Patriots may be the hardest team to pick for in a mock draft this year. This is a team with numerous needs on both sides of the ball, most notably at quarterback. But they’re also changing quarterbacks for the first time in two decades, and we don’t know how they value Jarrett Stidham compared to prospects this year. In the end, I settled on Gross-Matos, an edge rusher with room to grow but with the kind of skill set New England likes who can line up in any base defensive alignment.

Alternatives: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State; Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma; trade down

If Bill Belichick and Josh McDaniels are drawn to Love’s potential then picking him would make sense. Even if he needs to sit for a year, the Patriots can start Stidham and still contend for the postseason. Defensively, Murray would go a long way toward replenishing a depleted (at best) linebackers room. Most realistically, though, the Patriots would be smart to move back a ways in this draft to collect more top-100 picks so they can fulfill more needs in a strange year by their standards.

24. New Orleans Saints – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

Linebacker is the most glaring need for New Orleans, so its convenient that the best two traditional linebackers should be on the board at 24 (discounting Isaiah Simmons and his all-over ability). Murray was the best player on a better Oklahoma defense last season (compared to recent OU history) and can make plays sideline to sideline. He’s got a nose for the ball, a high motor and won’t kill you in coverage.

Alternatives: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU; Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Murray and Queen are similar players and either on makes sense here for the Saints. As for the quarterback situation, Drew Brees isn’t going to play forever and coach Sean Payton already implied that this will Brees’ final year. Love is the best quarterback available and is an intriguing developmental prospect for Payton’s offense.

25. Minnesota Vikings – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

The Vikings are replacing one receiver with another, drafting Higgins after trading Stefon Diggs. A lot of Higgins’ success in college came more because of his innate athleticism and ability to fight for catches opposed to natural ability to get separation, but that shouldn’t be a massive concern going up against No. 2 corners (Adam Thielen is still clearly Minnesota’s top option). Kirk Cousins could use another target.

Alternatives: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor; Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan; Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin

Mims is likely the best fit at wide receiver in Minnesota’s offense if Higgins isn’t appealing to general manager Rick Spielman. Ruiz is a center by trade, but even shifting him to guard would strengthen the Vikings’ offensive line since Dakota Dozier is a below-average starter. Baun is an interesting case, an outside linebacker more so than an edge rusher but someone who still has strong pass rushing ablities.

26. Miami Dolphins (from HOU) – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Safety is arguably the weakest position group on the Miami defense, so the Dolphins shore that up with their final first-round pick and McKinney. He’s not necessarily a good tackler, but he’s always attacking the ball and that pays off with big hits and takeaways. He can play over the top or in the box, so he can reinforce the linebackers or support a good cornerbacks group.

Alternatives: Grant Delpit, S, LSU; D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia; Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan

McKinney and Delpit are similar in a lot of ways, most notably with their versatility, but the tie goes to McKinney because Delpit’s tackling left a lot to be desired in 2019. Still, you can understand why a team would like the Thorpe Award winner. Swift’s name will pop up later. The Dolphins could use some help on the interior part of their offensive line as well, considering Ted Karras is only on a one-year deal at center and, for some reason, they signed Ereck Flowers and intend to play him.

27. Seattle Seahawks – Cesar Ruiz, IOL, Michigan

Seattle’s projected starters at left guard, center and right guard currently are Jamarco Jones, Ethan Pocic and D.J. Fluker. Jones’ PFF grade last season was 49.2. Pocic’s was 43.3. Fluker’s was a comparatively amazing and still generally unimpressive. For the love of God, protect Russell Wilson. The Seahawks have neglected his protection team for far too long. Ruiz would start right away in Seattle, regardless of which spot he lines up in.

Alternatives: Austin Jackson, OT, USC; trade down

Seattle needs EDGE help, but there isn’t much in terms of value at 27. In terms of needs, Jackson is the best option available. However, he’s a project piece and that may not be the best course of action for a team looking to improve immediately. No team loves trading out of the first round more than the Seahawks, though, and it’s reasonable to think they’ll do so again, even though they already have two picks in the second round.

28. Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

In our mock draft scenario, Baltimore is taking whichever linebacker New Orleans passes on. That means Patrick Queen is a Raven. He’s another sideline-to-sideline, three-down linebacker who you can count on to make plays consistently. He isn’t the type of thumping big hitter you’re used to seeing with the Ravens (essentially, he doesn’t look like Ray Lewis) but he’ll be an on-field leader regardless.

Alternatives: Ross Blacklock, IDL, TCU; Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma

Their are plenty of options for the Ravens if they want to improve their front seven. Blacklock is has more positional versatility while Gallimore is a 1T, but Baltimore could find a way to use either on its defensive line.

29. Tennessee Titans – Ross Blacklock, IDL, TCU

Tennessee spent a high pick last year on defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, but it could help that group even more by adding a player like Blacklock. He can line up over at nose or slide to a defensive end spot. He’s powerful and has the vaunted high motor which will help the Titans set the tone up front. Joe Marino of The Draft Network said Blacklock’s best NFL comparison is Gerald McCoy, which is tremendous praise.

Alternatives: Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama; Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor; Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

Vic Beasley was signed this offseason as something of a reclamation project after he fizzled out in Atlanta, but he’s not nailed on as a long-term option on the edge. Lewis is a potential future piece there. If general manager Jon Robinson wants to give Ryan Tannehill another weapon, Mims or Aiyuk could get a look.

30. Green Bay Packers – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

The Packers need a weapon and Reagor fits the exact bill that Green Bay needs. He’s got tremendous speed, and is able to use both that and excellent footwork to separate. That’s perfect for Green Bay, which needs someone other than Davante Adams who can create space. His poor combine numbers shouldn’t scare off the Packers because he’s the kind of vertical threat Aaron Rodgers has to have.

Alternatives: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama; Austin Jackson, OT, USC; Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

Cornerback may not seem like a need, but the Packers could add some depth and true competition for CB2 Kevin King with a guy like Diggs. Jackson could be a future starter after developing for a year or two. You could pencil in Mims or Brandon Aiyuk here, too, since either will fill the glaring need at WR.

31. San Francisco 49ers – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

Diggs would immediately compete for a starting job with Emmanuel Moseby and Ahkello Witherspoon opposite Richard Sherman. He’s at his best in zone coverage, which should mesh well in San Francisco. He’s the best cornerback on the board, and at worst should provide good depth with high potential going forward.

Alternatives: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson; Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

If the 49ers want to address their cornerback need, Terrell is the next best available prospect after Diggs. And how about this for a spicy take. During the Tom Brady sweepstakes there were rumors floated around that Kyle Shanahan isn’t sold on Jimmy Garoppolo as his long-term quarterback anymore. That was nothing more than hearsay, but if that’s the case Shanahan could build up Love while Garoppolo stays with the first team for now. By the way, in 2021 Garoppolo would have just $2.8 million in dead cap if cut, and just $1.4 million in 2022.

32. Kansas City Chiefs – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

The Chiefs are extremely particular about who can play cornerback in their system, so they would have to love Terrell’s fit in order to take him here. That said, it’s definitely a need, especially if Kansas City doesn’t re-sign free agent Bashaud Breeland. Terrell is the best one on the board, so he’s the obvious selection.

Alternatives: Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin; trade down

If Kansas City doesn’t like Terrell or re-signs Breeland, Baun is just the kind of versatile player defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo loves. He can play all over as a linebacker and has the ability to line up on the edge to rush the passer. The Chiefs are also another prime candidate to trade down in the draft to add picks, considering they have just five total this year.

Round 2

33. Cincinnati Bengals – Zack Baun, OLB, Wisconsin

Baun isn’t a purely a linebacker or purely an edge rusher, but has traits in both departments that make him a versatile front-seven piece.

Alternatives: Grant Delpit, S, LSU; Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame

34. Indianapolis Colts (from WAS) – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Love finally comes off the board. Indianapolis has been tied to the Utah State product for a large portion of the draft process, back when it had a first-round pick and before it signed Philip Rivers. This gives the Colts a chance to find their quarterback of the future while an accomplished starter handles this season. If Love develops well, it should put the Colts in contention in the AFC South, at least, for years.

Alternatives: Trade up for Jordan Love; Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor; Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

The Colts may not be able to wait until 34 to get Love, as you can see from all the teams in the first round who may be interested in his potential for their future. Regardless of who’s throwing the ball, they’ll need better targets to throw to. Once again, Mims and Aiyuk are the best players available.

35. Detroit Lions – Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama

The Lions have been aching for pass rush help for a while, and if Lewis can figure it out he should be able to contribute at least on a rotational basis.

Alternatives: Austin Jackson, OT, IDL; Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma

36. New York Giants – Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota

After addressing their offensive line with the fourth-overall pick, this time the Giants work on the defense by taking Winfield, a late riser who’s generating a lot of buzz.

Alternatives: Austin Jackson, OT, USC; Lloyd Cushenberry, IOL, LSU

37. Los Angeles Chargers – Austin Jackson, OT, USC

Los Angeles addresses its offensive line with this pick. Jackson struggled in his final college game and needs to develop, but if he’s not a full-time starter Year 1 it may ease his transition to the league.

Alternatives: Lloyd Cushenberry, IOL, LSU; Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

38. Carolina Panthers – Neville Gallimore, IDL, Oklahoma

Gallimore flashed constantly but lacked total consistency at Oklahoma. He should still be able to play a role for the Panthers’ defensive line.

Alternatives: Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame; Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

39. Miami Dolphins – D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia

The Dolphins can afford spend one of their five picks in the first two rounds on a luxury pick, which a running back is. Swift and newly acquired Jordan Howard would make for a good pair of running backs in Miami.

Alternatives: Lloyd Cushenberry, IOL, LSU; Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

40. Houston Texans (from ARI) – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

This is such a deep class of wide receivers that while plenty of teams could use Mims, they’d be willing to wait for a later round to get a good target. This is a nice add for Houston.

Alternatives: Lloyd Cushenberry, IOL, LSU; Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

41. Cleveland Browns – Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Delpit was sensational in 2018 but wasn’t as impressive in 2019. He’s still got a big upside, though, and is going to be a big-time effort player wherever he ends up.

Alternatives: Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne; Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M

42. Jacksonville Jaguars – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

Now Jacksonville adds a weapon for Minshew, getting a high-upside receiver with big-play ability. Aiyuk and D.J. Chark can be dynamic together.

Alternatives: Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado; Jacob Eason, QB, Washington

43. Chicago Bears (from LVR) – Jacob Eason, QB, Washington

More fun with quarterbacks. Eason is a polarizing prospect, he’s got a massive arm and the traits of a franchise quarterback, but his college tape is littered with dumbfounding moments. His highs are extremely high, but his lows make him look like a backup at best. The Bears clearly don’t believe in Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles isn’t a permanent answer, but if the franchise believes in coach Matt Nagy they should be able to trust that he can work the kinks out of Eason’s game.

Alternatives: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State; Lloyd Cushenberry, IOL, LSU

There should be a good competition for Chicago’s CB2 after Prince Amukamara was released, and Arnette can certainly compete with the likes of Buster Skrine, Kevin Tolliver and Artie Burns for playing time. For some reason the Bears also signed Germain Ifedi this offseason, so interior offensive line help is a must.

44. Indianapolis Colts – Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado

Shenault has durability concerns, but his playmaking ability is unquestionable. The Colts could use a threat like him on their offense.

Alternatives: K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State; Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State

45. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Ronald Jones is a nice player at running back, but Taylor has a high floor, good football intelligence and immediate potential to start.

Alternatives: J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State; Lucas Niang, OT, TCU

46. Denver Broncos – Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

While not the best Ohio State cornerback in this class, Arnette had a nice final season in Columbus and can compete for a starting job in Denver.

Alternatives: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah; Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

47. Atlanta Falcons – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

Johnson’s a physical corner who does consistently battles his man in coverage. He’s got Day 1 starter potential in Atlanta.

Alternatives: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia; J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State

48. New York Jets – K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State

At just 5-foot-9 Hamler doesn’t have the build of a typical No. 1 receiver, but Sam Darnold and the Jets could definitely use his big-play ability.

Alternatives: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame; Michael Pittman, WR, USC

49. Pittsburgh Steelers – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame

T.J. Watt is a star and Stephon Tuitt is a competent complement, but it would benefit Pittsburgh to add some more pass rush depth. He’s a sizable edge presence at 6-foot-4, 248 pounds, and he should mesh well with the Steelers’ 3-4 base front. Not forcing him to start immediately should help his development, too.

Alternatives: Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M; Michael Pittman, WR, USC

50. Chicago Bears – Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne

A Division II player with great measurables and questionable production? Ryan Pace already has the card filled out.

Alternatives: Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal; Lloyd Cushenberry, IOL, LSU

51. Dallas Cowboys – Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal

Davis had a productive college career and can contribute in a Dallas safeties group with little depth and an inconsistent new starter in Haha Clinton-Dix.

Alternatives: Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois; Lloyd Cushenberry, IOL, LSU

52. Los Angeles Rams – Lloyd Cushenberry III, IOL, LSU

Sean McVay’s offense is dependent on play action and the run game, so when the Rams took a massive step back in their offensive line last season it stunted the whole operation. Cushenberry was the best player on the best offensive line in college football last season, and he’ll go a long way toward re-energizing L.A.’s offense. He should be a starting option at guard or center.

Alternatives: Shane Lemieux, IOL, Oregon; Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State

Cushenberry is the better prospect if the Rams want to address their line, but Lemieux is still available should general manager Les Snead consider him a better fit. After losing depth at linebacker, specifically with Cory Littleton leaving in free agency, Harrison is a good building block for that group’s future.

53. Philadelphia Eagles – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State

Philadelphia could use more pass rush support for Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. Weaver isn’t the best athlete off the edge but was a productive college pass rusher anyway.

Alternatives: Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State; Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

54. Buffalo Bills – Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia

For the first time in a long time, the Bills roster is actually in great shape. They effectively spent their first-round pick on Stefon Diggs (granted, with a couple additional picks as well) and can now focus on finishing off an already good secondary. Three of the four base starters in Buffalo’s secondary are high-quality starters, and Hall has the potential to be the same as a No. 2 corner. He’s hyper physical and led the country in pass breakups two years ago. He’d be a strong complement to Tre White in Buffalo.

Alternatives: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn; Cameron Danztler, CB, Mississippi State

Igbinoghene would be a project for Buffalo, but has massive upside because of he’s on the of the best athletes in the draft. Dantzler has good athleticism as well, but is on the smaller side.

55. Baltimore Ravens (from NE) – Shane Lemieux, IOL, Oregon

Baltimore’s run game could use some help inside after Marshal Yanda retired. Lemieux is at his best creating holes for running backs.

Alternatives: Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State; Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M

56. Miami Dolphins (from NO) – Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn

Wanogho hasn’t been playing football that long, relatively speaking, but his size and strength makes him an exciting option as a developmental tackle and potential future starter.

Alternatives: Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois; Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State

57. Houston Texans – Justin Madubuike, IDL, Texas A&M

Houston can use Madubuike as either a 3-4 defensive end opposite J.J. Watt or can play him over the ball at nose tackle. There have been some critiques about play-to-play effort, but if you trust your coaching you can still get the most out of him on a regular basis. He’s not just a space eater, either, as he racked up 11 sacks from the inside over the past couple of seasons.

Alternatives: Lucas Niang, OT, TCU; Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State

Bill O’Brien has done a masterful job of neglecting Deshaun Watson as both coach and general manager. Once again, Houston needs to address its offensive line at some point in this draft. Niang and Muti are the two best blocking options available.

58. Minnesota Vikings – Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State

While he has a concerning injury history, Minnesota needs help at guard and in terms of skill, Muti is good value late in the second round.

Alternatives: Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin; Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida

59. Seattle Seahawks – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU

We’ve already touched on how bad the Seahawks’ interior lineman are, but the tackles aren’t much better. Niang and his huge body can help that.

Alternatives: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia; Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida

60. Baltimore Ravens – Jordan Elliott, IDL, Missouri

Elliott may not be an instant contributor but projects well, and could see playing time in the future as a 3-4 defensive end after Derek Wolfe.

Alternatives: Bradlee Anae, EDGE, Utah; Michael Pittman, WR, USC

61. Tennessee Titans – Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

The Titans just gave Dennis Kelly a contract extension, but after a great college career Wilson would offer Tennessee a high ceiling at tackle.

Alternatives: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame; Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin

62. Green Bay Packers – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn

Igbinoghene has a high upside and could be a future starting corner, but will also be something of a project. The Packers could fall in love with his phenomenal athleticism, though.

Alternatives: Troy Dye, LB, Oregon; Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama

63. Kansas City Chiefs (from SF) – Troy Dye, LB, Oregon

Dye isn’t going to be a thumper in the middle or one of the best athletes for Kansas City, but he will be a consistent, rangy tackler, which the Chiefs could use.

Alternatives: Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin; Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan

64. Seattle Seahawks (from KC) – Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida

The Seahawks are still in the running to bring back Jadeveon Clowney, but could use another pass rusher with or without Clowney. Greenard is the best one on the board.

Alternatives: Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan; J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State


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