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Norris: Final 2020 NFL Mock Draft

Let me kick this off by thanking you all for your support this season and over the last few months. It’s obviously a weird draft process, unlike any we’ve seen before, so thanks for sticking with us. You’ve been great to me and the crew for years. It’s truly appreciated.

As always, this mock is a guess as to what will happen, not what I think should happen.

Burrow should enter the NFL surrounded by nice skill position players – Joe Mixon finished the year as one of the best backs in the league, A.J. Green has been underappreciated for a decade, Tyler Boyd is an ideal slot receiver… but Burrow will be protected by a line full of question marks. Can the Bengals ever change the perception of their franchise?

The Falcons reportedly called about this selection. Ron Rivera is defense to his core. With top picks and big money in Da’Ron Payne, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen, Ryan Anderson and Landon Collins among others… this better be a 49ers type defensive impact.

3. DETROIT LIONS – iDL Derrick Brown, Auburn
I’d guess 90 percent of mocks will project Okudah here. So I’ll go Brown. If it’s true, that’s an interesting dynamic of Matt Patricia prioritizing defensive line over coverage – which is different than the rest of the Patriots’ coaching tree.

4. NEW YORK GIANTS – T Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
I can’t get Dave Gettleman repeating “left tackle feet” out of my head. That only a handful of prospects possess them. Wirfs absolutely does, and he also has right tackle experience. A position he can lock down until sliding over to the left side?

5. MIAMI DOLPHINS – T Andrew Thomas, Georgia
All the buzz points to a tackle over a quarterback. Building a foundation for a passer to succeed before drafting their future quarterback.

I am less certain this is a quarterback than ever. But with the shape of the roster in a window to win right now, are you really going to potentially cap it with an adequate veteran quarterback at the wheel?

7. CAROLINA PANTHERS – CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State
I believe this comes down to Derrick Brown, Jeffrey Okudah and C.J. Henderson, so in some way Detroit helps make this selection. A trade down would be ideal, as the Panthers’ current defensive personnel verges on awful. They have one outside corner and one interior disruptor. On the entire roster.

8. ARIZONA CARDINALS – S/LB Isaiah Simmons
It might be possible to narrow this pick down to Wirfs, Okudah, Wills, Lamb and Simmons. I could totally see Keim pounce on Simmons as he’s searched for that player since drafting Haason Reddick.

9. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – iDL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
I’m sure the Jaguars would love to see Simmons fall to them here. Kinlaw is one player I’m having a very difficult time gauging. He might go top 10, he might fall to the Jaguars at 20.

10. CLEVELAND BROWNS – T Ezra Cleveland, Browns
This is a projected trade down with the Falcons, without actually swapping picks.

11. NEW YORK JETS – T Mekhi Becton, Louisville
I want the Jets to take a receiver here, but signs point to a tackle instead.

That’s at least four tackles off the board before the first receiver. The Raiders must surround Carr/Mariota with receivers.

13. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS – WR Henry Ruggs, Alabama
Kyle Shanahan adds the fastest receiver in this class. Ruggs could be so dynamic on manufactured touches and vertically in this offense.

14. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – T Jedrick Wills, Alabama
Keep Tom Brady inside of structure at all costs. Wills can immediately slide over and start on the right side.

15. DENVER BRONCOS – WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
A receiving trio of Sutton, Jeudy and Fant with Gordon and Lindsay in the backfield is a great setup for Drew Lock.

16. ATLANTA FALCONS – CB C.J. Henderson, Florida
This is a proposed deal to move up with the Browns. Dan Quinn has Florida ties, and the team obviously has a need at outside corner.

17. DALLAS COWBOYS – EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
It does not seem like Chaisson will get to pick No. 18 if he is on the board here at 17. Across from Demarcus Lawrence, the Cowboys could bet on Chaisson, Randy Gregory and Aldon Smith, hoping one or two hit.