- Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.
Two rounds. Sixty-four picks. Let’s jump into my NFL Mock Draft 4.0, projecting first- and second-round picks in the 2020 NFL draft.
We’re just over a week away from Round 1 (Thursday, April 23 at 8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ABC/ESPN App), and I wanted to go a little deeper than my Mock Draft 3.0. You’ll notice a few changes in the first 32 picks based on what I have heard lately, and then I predicted picks 33-64, from Cincinnati to Seattle. I tried to fill post-free agency needs and also follow my rankings to find value picks.
Check out the SportsCenter special around my Mock Draft 4.0 on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN, followed by a replay at 6 ET on ESPN2.
1. Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU | Highlights
The Bengals are in a great position to reset their franchise and take the Heisman Trophy winner, who is the clear best quarterback in this class. Burrow should energize a franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since 1990. Now, can Cincinnati get anything in a trade for Andy Dalton, or will it cut him after the draft?
2. Washington Redskins
Chase Young, DE, Ohio State | Highlights
Unless Washington trades back to try to add more picks — and it would take a huge haul, as I mentioned in my mailbag last week — I’m sticking with Young, a sensational edge rusher and one of the most NFL-ready defenders I have graded in the past few years. Ron Rivera’s defense has some talent, and now all eyes are on quarterback Dwayne Haskins in Year 2.
3. Detroit Lions
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State | Highlights
After trading away Darius Slay, the Lions brought in Desmond Trufant, but he’s no longer a No. 1 corner. Okudah could be that guy, and he’d instantly help the league’s last-ranked pass defense. Detroit could solicit trade offers to add valuable picks, but Matt Patricia is 9-22-1 in two seasons as coach, so he needs to win now to keep his job. His best bet might be taking the draft’s best cornerback.
4. New York Giants
Isaiah Simmons, OLB, Clemson | Highlights
The Giants should take an offensive tackle with one of their first two picks, but I wouldn’t pass on Simmons, who has rare athleticism and versatility. Stick him at outside linebacker and let him chase down ball carriers, rush the passer and cover tight ends. Simmons never has to leave the field. New coach Joe Judge will love him.
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