Before you get too worked up about this mock draft not looking like everyone else's, it's important to share my philosophy on these exercises.
First off, drafts almost never go the way we expect. In the first couple of mocks I put together, I always try to anticipate/create potential surprises and then see how my board begins to fall based upon those contingencies.
So, with the first wave of free agency in the books, here's my updated mock for Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft:
**PROJECTED TRADE WITH BENGALS.** If there is any sense in Cincinnati that Burrow doesn't want to be a Bengal long-term, then the team should listen to offers. An NFL executive I consulted with felt that including *all three* of Miami's first-round picks in this deal would be too much, so I'm sending Cincy Pick Nos. 5 and 18, as well as second-round selections. </content:power-ranking>
**PROJECTED TRADE WITH LIONS.** The Chargers are headed into a new stadium without much fanfare at the QB position, unless they move up three spots and secure this talented lefty, who should become the face of their franchise by 2021. </content:power-ranking>
**PROJECTED TRADE WITH DOLPHINS.** With the Bengals trading back in this scenario, it's worth noting that head coach Zac Taylor and his staff should have a feel for Herbert after working with him at the Senior Bowl in January. If they liked what they saw, it might be enough to allow them to accept this trade and make this pick. </content:power-ranking>
Wills is an instant plug-and-play starter at right tackle -- and sources at Alabama believe he has the ability to switch to left tackle if called upon to help protect Teddy Bridgewater.
The guess here is that Arizona won't be expecting to see Simmons on the board, but if he is, he may be too enticing to pass up. Plugging in an OT here is an easy move, but Tristan Wirfs doesn't offer the same potential impact as Simmons.
Sam Darnold gets the top receiver on the board and a player who can line up inside or outside as he attacks on all three levels. </content:power-ranking>
Pristine route runner with good speed and explosiveness. He can be a field stretcher or a volume target, depending on the matchup.
DeForest Buckner is gone ... and in his place steps another long-limbed, physical freak. Build the fronts and the rest falls into place. </content:power-ranking>
Thomas has experience at both left and right tackle. He plays with a gritty demeanor while offering gets-guys-blocked value in pass protection.
Henderson is a smooth outside cornerback with a tremendous combination of speed and fluidity to help bolster the Falcons' coverage on Day 1.
Dallas selects a slithery edge rusher who put together his best work over the second half of the 2019 season. He should inject some spice into the Cowboys' pass rush.
**PROJECTED TRADE WITH DOLPHINS.** The former Oklahoma linebacker can play in the middle or outside. He's fast, can cover and brings an alpha demeanor to the unit. </content:power-ranking>
The Raiders have done a nice job filling some of their holes via free agency, but they still need corner help and Terrell fits the winning culture that GM Mike Mayock covets.
If Love is still on the board here, it might be hard for the Jaguars to pass on the boom-or-bust prospect with loads of talent.
Jefferson has excellent ball skills and was terrific when working from the slot in 2019. He can play inside or outside and offers an upgrade for the offense.
Figuring out what Bill Belichick is going to do isn't getting any easier. However, Queen is tough and fast. He could become the new leader of the defense by next year.
The Vikings know they can find receiver talent outside of the first round, but finding an interior pass rusher like Blacklock won't be as easy.
Jones didn't display the kind of athleticism I expected to see from him at the NFL Scouting Combine (he may have carried too much weight). He has legitimate left tackle upside but a lower floor.
Athletic tackle prospect who is picking up steam in certain scouting circles, but he needs to get stronger and more consistent with technique.
Baun offers rare LB/edge versatility that will fit nicely with Baltimore's needs. He's fluid moving in space and has real edge-bending talent as a rusher.
The Titans must get better in the back end and there is no question that Gladney is one of the most tenacious ballhawks in this draft.
Reagor has explosive field speed and is a sudden target underneath. He could become an early favorite of Aaron Rodgers.
Diggs didn't test at the combine, but his size, length and ball skills could still be enticing for the 49ers, even if they never get to time him in the 40-yard dash.
This is theft. Grabbing a three-down talent like Swift makes it even tougher to slow the champs.