Kevin Hanson's 2020 NFL Mock Draft- Updated: Tuesday, March 19th
|The Huddle Report tracks NFL Mock Draft Accuracy and EDSFootball's Kevin Hanson ranks T-1st among experts tracked over the past five years. In addition, his 2015 NFL mock was the most accurate among the 113 tracked that year.|
Continuing our way-too-early 2020 NFL Mock Draft, here are picks 17-32:
17. Houston Texans (Draft History): Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville Cardinals
The Texans have one of the league's worst offensive lines and Deshaun Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times in 2018. Even if they invest in improving the unit in the 2019 NFL Draft, they may need to use additional draft capital in 2020 to shore up their protection for Watson. With excellent movement skills for a man his size (6-7, 355), Becton would be an upgrade over Julie'n Davenport, who graded out as PFF's 73rd-best offensive tackle (of 80 qualified) in 2018.
18. Pittsburgh Steelers (Draft History): Dylan Moses, LB, Alabama Crimson Tide
Most 2019 mock drafts have the Steelers drafting linebacker Devin Bush or a cornerback. If the Steelers use their first-round pick on a cornerback (or a position other than linebacker), Moses could fill the void created by the injury to Ryan Shazier.
- MORE: Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 Mock Draft Database
19. Atlanta Falcons (Draft History): Trey Adams, OT, Washington Huskies
Significant injuries in consecutive seasons (ACL and back) have led Adams to return to Washington for a redshirt senior season. The importance of staying healthy and teams being comfortable with his medical evaluations can't be understated, but Adams has the size, athleticism and technique to move his way back into the Round 1 conversation.
20. San Francisco 49ers (Draft History): Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson Tigers
The 49ers traded up in the second round for Dante Pettis and he had a productive rookie season, but the 49ers could use a true No. 1 type receiver. As a key part of the high-flying Clemson offense led by Trevor Lawrence, who seems destined to be the No. 1 overall pick in 2021, the 6-foot-4 Higgins had 59 catches for 936 yards and 12 touchdowns.
21. Los Angeles Chargers (Draft History): Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama Crimson Tide
The Chargers had four cornerbacks play 400-plus snaps in 2018 and two of them -- Trevor Williams (UFA) and Michael Davis (ERFA) -- are slated for free agency in 2020. Then again, a team can never have too many cornerbacks especially as the Chargers look to fend of the high-octane Chiefs offense for AFC West supremacy.
22. Dallas Cowboys (Draft History): Albert Okwuegbunan, TE, Missouri Tigers
We should see multiple (as many as three) tight ends go off the board in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. With 17 scores over the past two seasons, Albert O. could be the first tight end off the board in 2020 and fills a need for the Cowboys. Dallas got a few productive games from Blake Jarwin and lured Jason Witten out of retirement to return on a one-year deal to help mentor the team's young tight ends, but the position group would get a significant upgrade with Okwuegbunan.
23. Minnesota Vikings (Draft History): Tommy Kraemer, OL, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Like many others, I have the Vikings using their 18th-overall pick on an offensive lineman in my 2019 NFL Mock Draft. But that shouldn't preclude them from investing in the offensive line early in 2020 as well.
24. Green Bay Packers (Draft History): Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama Crimson Tide
Ruggs is fast. (How fast is he?) Per Matt Zenitz of AL.com, Ruggs ran the 40-yard dash "in the 4.25 range" at Alabama's junior Pro Day earlier this month. As a sophomore, Ruggs finished 2018 with 46 catches for 741 yards and 11 touchdowns.
25. Indianapolis Colts (Draft History): Isaiah Simmons, S, Clemson Tigers
With versatility to play both linebacker and safety, the 6-foot-2, 230-pound Simmons led the national champs with 89 tackles in 2018. Paired with ball-hawking free safety Malik Hooker, the Colts would have a young talented safety tandem with the addition of Simmons.
26. Oakland Raiders (Draft History): Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson Tigers
The ACC Offensive Player of the Year, Etienne rushed for 1,658 yards (8.1 YPC) and 24 touchdowns for the national champs as a sophomore. With both Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin free agents, the Raiders have a need for a lead back although Josh Jacobs is often linked to the Raiders with one of their two later first-round picks in 2019.
27. Philadelphia Eagles (Draft History): Kenny Willekes, DE, Michigan State Spartans
A former walk-on and second-year starter, Willekes led the Big Ten with 20.5 tackles for loss and had a national-leading 23 QB hits, per PFF. Even though the Eagles have contractual control of Derek Barnett and Brandon Graham through 2021 and 2022, respectively, you can never have too many pass-rushers. Plus, Chris Long, who played 685 snaps last season, will be a free agent in 2020 and Graham will be 32 years old entering the 2020 season.
28. Cleveland Browns (Draft History): Abe Lucas, OT, Washington State Cougars
With left tackle bookend Andre Dillard set to be a first-round pick in 2019, could Lucas follow in his footsteps? Named to USA Today's All-Freshmen team, Lucas received some high praise from Dillard. "That kid is just some kind of robot or demigod, because he's just the most naturally talented, athletic kid I've seen since I've been here," Dillard said in September. "It almost looks effortless."
29. New Orleans Saints (Draft History): Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin Badgers
Center Max Unger unexpectedly announced his plan to retire and the team signed Nick Easton to a four-year contract, but Biadasz would be an upgrade over Easton. Biadasz was PFF's top-graded center prospect as his run-blocking grade was second nationally only to teammate Beau Benzschawel and he allowed just 11 pressures out of 333 pass-blocking snaps.
30. Kansas City Chiefs (Draft History): Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU Tigers
Many project the Chiefs to address their secondary with their first round in the 2019 NFL Draft, but it's possible that they double-dip with back-to-back first-round cornerbacks. Only the Bengals allowed more passing yards in 2018. Given the explosiveness of their own Patrick Mahomes-led offense, Kansas City's defense was one of 10 NFL defenses with an opponent pass-play percentage greater than 60 percent.
31. Los Angeles Rams (Draft History): Trey Smith, OT, Tennessee Volunteers
Per coach Jeremy Pruitt, "Trey plans on playing football one day again." The former five-star recruit earned Freshman All-American honors in 2017, but blood clots in his lungs sidelined him twice in 2018 -- for six months in the offseason program and then again in October. Health should be priority number one.
Based on talent and provided his health cooperates, Smith could be selected much earlier than this. That said, the Rams had one of the best offensive lines in football in 2018, but they are down two interior starters from last year and Andrew Whitworth turns 38 towards the end of the 2019 season.
32. New England Patriots (Draft History): Collin Johnson, WR, Texas Longhorns
No franchise can match the success of the Patriots over the past 15 or so years. One area where the Patriots have fallen short is with highly-drafted wide receivers. Since 2003, they have drafted five wide receivers within the first three rounds -- Bethel Johnson, Chad Jackson, Brandon Tate, Taylor Price and Aaron Dobson -- and none of them has reached 75 career receptions. A likely Day 2 selection had he declared for the 2019 NFL Draft, Johnson gives the Patriots the big-bodied (6-6, 220) receiver they currently lack.
> Go back to picks 1-16 in our 2020 NFL Mock Draft
> Check out our 2019 NFL Mock Draft
> For more NFL mocks, check out our NFL Mock Draft Database
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