Farnsworth’s NFL Mock Draft 2.0: First Local Picked Is A Ute
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In anticipation of one of the biggest NFL Drafts for local players in a long time, Sam Farnsworth, KSL Sports anchor, put together his Mock NFL Draft 2.0.
This is the second edition, you can see his first edition here.
1 – Bengals
QB Joe Burrow, LSU – No change here. Bengals need a QB and Burrow is the best on the board.
2 – Redskins
EDGE Chase Young, Ohio State – As valuable as it is to grab a franchise quarterback when the opportunity arises, it’s just as valuable to grab a franchise pass rusher when the opportunity is there. In 2020 the opportunity is there for the Redskins. The Redskins have depth on the D-line and they need to address cornerback early in the draft. That’s why in my first mock I had Washington going with Okudah. It will be really hard to pass on Young, the number one rated player in the Draft when they are staring at his name on the board.
3 – Lions
CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State – Darius Slay was the face of the Lions defense the past seven seasons at Cornerback. He left the only NFL franchise he knew for a new job in Philadelphia. Jeffrey Okudah will help the Lions forget quickly about Slay. He is the top CB in the draft by a long shot and could be the Lions lockdown corner for the better part of a decade.
4 – Giants
T Tristan Wirfs, Iowa – I still have the Giants taking a tackle to help protect their young QB Daniel Jones. I initially had them taking Mekhi Becton, who I believe is the number one true left tackle in the draft. But Wirfs may have a higher ceiling. He started a majority of his games on the right side at Iowa but does have experience on the left side and should be able to make the transition in the NFL pretty quickly.
5 – Dolphins
QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama – No need of the Dolphins to trade up. They’ll still get their guy in QB Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick and they still have two more first-round picks to play with.
6 – Chargers
QB Justin Herbert, Oregon – No more Phillip Rivers. The Chargers need a new franchise QB. Utah State’s Jordan Love could be an intriguing option here but that would be a bit of a reach, in my opinion especially with Justin Herbert still on the board. Herbert is the “safer” pick and will have a crack at the Chargers job in year one with Tyrod Taylor as his main competition.
7 – Panthers
LB/S Isaiah Simmons, Clemson – Simmons could easily go as early as fourth on draft day. At number seven, the Panthers take the best defensive player available. Simmons likely will play linebacker in the NFL but has the versatility to compete at safety as well with his 4.39 40 speed.
8 – Cardinals
DL Derrick Brown, Auburn – The Cardinal’s defense was pretty bad in 2019. It gave up the most yards in the league and was in the bottom nine teams in rush yards allowed. Brown, arguably the most NFL ready player in the draft, will make an instant impact in an area that desperately needs the help.
9 – Jaguars
LT Mekhi Becton, Louisville – The Jags defense is a top priority and with one other first-round pick (number 20) they will get a top DL or DB still. But with Becton, he can immediately start at left tackle which allows Cam Robinson to switch to guard. A better offensive line should equate to more improved production from young QB Gardner Minshew.
10 – Browns
LT Andrew Thomas, Georgia – The Browns still see an opportunity to give Baker Mayfield a franchise tackle for his blindside. Andrew Thomas becomes that guy.
11 – Jets
WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama – Can you see that smile? Yeah… that’s Sam Darnold’s mug after seeing the Jets get him the best wide receiver in this 2020 draft class. There a lot of good receivers in this draft so the Jets may think of going after an offensive lineman and taking a WR later. There may be other good receivers later, but there won’t be another Jerry Jeudy.
12 – Raiders
WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma – The Raiders will continue the run on receivers in this draft. They have their choice of CeeDee Lamb or Henry Ruggs III here. In my first mock I had them taking Ruggs as the first WR in the draft mainly as a rivalry move to keep the Broncos from getting the guy they want. But this time, they’ll go with Lamb who will start right away for Oakland.
13 – 49ERS
WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama – Jeudy is gone. Lamb is gone. Kyle Shanahan is still liking what he sees on his board at wide receiver and goes for the blazing speed of Henry Ruggs III. Shanahan’s mind is already racing with all the ways he’ll incorporate Ruggs into his offense.
14 – Buccaneers
T Jedrick Wills, Alabama – The Bucs still need someone to protect the GOAT’s front side down in Tampa. Jedrick Wills is still the guy that will slide into the 14th spot on draft day.
15 – Broncos
CB C.J. Henderson, Florida – The Broncos really want a wide receiver with this pick. But if the draft stays true to my “Mock 2.0” then the Broncos will be fine waiting a bit later to get wide receiver help with this deep class. Instead, they will use the 15th pick to help fill what Chris Harris Jr. left behind. Heck, C.J. Henderson even has the same initials! (Sort of.)
16 – Falcons
EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU – The Falcons were waiting for C.J. Henderson to fall into their laps. But now that he’s gone they switch focus to one of the top pass rushers in 2020 and grab Chaisson.
17 – Cowboys
EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State – The Cowboys want a pass rusher as well. Chaisson was my choice for this pick in Mock 1.0. So now, they go for Gross-Matos who averaged 8.5 sacks the last two seasons at Penn State.
18 – Dolphins (from Steelers)
DL Javon Kinlaw, S. Carolina – With the second of three first-round picks the Dolphins go off the board a bit and take a player that is too hard to pass on. Kinlaw could be a top 10 pick and with another pick not too far off, the Dolphins are still sitting pretty in 2020.
19 – Raiders (from Bears)
DL Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma –Oakland still needs to find a long term solution on the interior D-line and I still have them going with Neville Gallimore here. If the Dolphins pass on Kinlaw to address a position with greater need then the Raiders would likely go with Kinlaw. But in this mock… Kinlaw is in South Beach, Gallimore is in Vegas.
20 – Jaguars (from Rams)
CB Kristian Fulton, LSU – Remember, the Jags got this draft pick in the trade that sent CB Jalen Ramsey to the Rams. The Jags also traded fellow CB A.J. Bouye to the Broncos. The Jags will still go for Kristian Fulton at number 20. A wide receiver will come on day 2.
21 – Eagles
WR Tee Higgins, Clemson –Alshon Jeffery was the Eagles top wide receiver in 2019 and he recorded just 43 receptions for 490 yards. So Tee Higgins becomes the future in the Eagles passing game. He provides the Eagles with a versatile option that can lineup at any of the receiver spots at the line of scrimmage.
22 – Vikings (from Bills)
CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah – If you saw my first mock then you saw me make a move that doesn’t completely make sense other than it was kind of a fun thought. Drafting CB Trevon Diggs after trading his brother Steffon Diggs away. But if the Vikings really want a cornerback that can hold down that position for the next 7-8 seasons, Jaylon Johnson is the answer at number 22. He’s smart, is great in space and has the speed to stay with any receiver on the outside.
23 – Patriots
QB Jordan Love, Utah State – The Patriots offense is in rebuild mode. Jordan Love has had pre-draft meetings with teams like the Dolphins, Packers, Colts and Raider but according to reports, the Patriots are still doing their homework on Love and are interested in the possibility of adding him to a quarterback room that includes Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer. Love has the most upside of those three and could win the job before the season begins.
24 – Saints
LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma – The Saints go with the best available player at this point and for me, that player for the Saints would be Murray. Kiko Alonso tore his ACL for the third time in his career and so it would make sense to add to the linebacker corps. Murray is a guy who has been compared by some to former BYU linebacker and current 49er Fred Warner.
25 – Vikings
EDGE A.J. Epenesa, Iowa – Everson Griffen leaves Minnesota after 10 seasons which opens up the opportunity for the Vikings to take A.J. Epenesa, a guy they hope will lock down the pass rush for another 10 seasons.
26 – Dolphins (from Texans)
RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin – In my first mock I had the Dolphins taking Taylor at number 18. Turns out they didn’t have to act so soon to get their next running back. With him available at 26, the Dolphins still get the top RB on the board.
27 – Seahawks
OT Austin Jackson, USC – Seahawks want a pass rusher. But they also have to do better for Russell Wilson up front. Jackson is looked at as a raw, but very talented tackle entering the NFL.
28 – Ravens
S Xavier McKinney, Alabama – The Ravens still go with the best player available with this pick and for me, that player is still safety Xavier McKinney. They need to address the future with Earl Thomas entering his 11th season.
29 – Titans
DL Ross Blacklock, TCU – With Jurrell Casey out (traded to the Broncos) the Titans could use this pick to add to the defensive line in the base 3-4 defense they run. Ross Blacklock is still the best defensive lineman available with this pick.
30 – Packers
WR Justin Jefferson, LSU – If New England doesn’t bite the hook on Jordan Love, then this could be the landing spot for the Utah State quarterback. But, Aaron Rodgers will be smiling on draft night when he sees the Packers using a pick on a receiver that hauled in 111 catches (1st in FBS) for 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns for the national champion LSU Tigers in 2019.
31 – 49ERS
TRADE OUT – The Niners need picks. The Broncos have picks to give.
BRONCOS SELECT: T Josh Jones – Former Ute Garett Bolles hasn’t worked out. If the Broncos wait any longer they won’t find a tackle much better than Bolles in this draft. Now is the time to go for Josh Jones, someone who will start week one protecting Drew Lock’s blindside.
32 – Chiefs
CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson – The Super Bowl champs biggest need going into the 2020 draft would be at cornerback. After several departures, the Chiefs are left thin at CB and will go with a CB from the school that has pumped out draft picks at that position every year since 2009. Jeff Gladney from TCU might also be of interest with this pick.
Utah Locals In The NFL Draft
S Terrell Burgess, Utah – 3rd Round
Burgess’ draft stock has been on the steady incline this offseason. He should be taken off the board no later than the middle of the third round, in my opinion. The Broncos need a wide receiver and having traded two picks to get back up into the first round, they may not be interested in a safety anymore on day two. The Browns are a team to keep an eye on for a potential new home for Burgess.
EDGE Bradlee Anae, Utah – Late 3rd Round
The Utes all-time leader in sacks will have a bright NFL future as a defensive end or a pass-rushing linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. His biggest knock in rushing the QB is that he doesn’t quite have the flexibility and bend around the edge that you like to see in the elite pass rushers. But scouts love his toughness and attitude on the field. I think there’s a good chance the Jets would show interest in Anae with the 79th pick or even the Falcons with the pick right before that. I think it’s more likely that we see Anae picked by the Giants or Steelers late in the round with their respective compensatory picks.
RB Zack Moss, Utah – Late 3rd-4th Round
Moss is among the top five or six running backs in the draft but we have also seen the overall value of RBs in the NFL dropping in the past few seasons. Best case scenario is a team like Rams taking Moss in the 2nd round with the 104th overall pick. But I think his landing spot is going to be somewhere in the fourth round between Atlanta’s pick at 119 and Buffalo’s pick at 128.
(FYI… The Rams have a pick at 126)
S Julian Blackmon, Utah – 4th round
If Julian Blackmon didn’t suffer such an unfortunate injury at the PAC-12 Championship game we would be discussing him as a day two selection. Still, he was 2nd team AP All-American in his first season as a safety in 2019 and is a high value pick by the fourth round or later. His versatility (played CB before senior season) will be appealing to teams in need of depth at safety and a possible nickel back. I would look between pick 114 (Arizona) and pick 118 (Denver) as the area in the fourth round where Blackmon’s market will heat up. The Cardinals, Browns, Bucs and Broncos all need draft help in the secondary.
DL Leki Fotu, Utah – 5th-7th Round
Fotu is the big, tough, brawny guy that most NFL teams want plugging the middle on their defensive live. He stops running backs in their tracks and he has the power to push offensive lineman back into the pocket. One of his biggest knocks is that he doesn’t provide much pass rushing value and he’s slow to get out of his stance on the snap which means he could slide as far as the 7th round and maybe won’t be drafted at all. I think that is the least likely scenario for Fotu. The Colts will be looking later in the draft for D-line help and with one pick in the 5th (160) and two in the 6th (193, 197) that could be the landing spot for Fotu.
LB David Woodward, USU – 5th-7th Round
The things that NFL teams love about David Woodward are his football IQ and his toughness. He is all over the field because he quickly recognizes his assignments and where he needs to be and when he gets there he usually packs a punch. In a few years down the road I think people will look back at the 2020 Draft and say, “Woodward wen how late? That was a steal!” I think the Panthers, who have the second and sixth picks in the 5th round, would show interest in Woodward as would the Bills who have the 21st pick in the 5th round.
LB Francis Bernard, Utah – 7th Round/Undrafted
A lot of draft reports knock Bernard for his inconsistency. He’ll make one great play and then get caught off guard on the next. Teams still like him for his play recognition and how quick he is to recognize which direction the play is going. Having been a running back certainly helps in that regard. With nine compensatory picks added on to the end of the seventh round, there’s a chance that a team or two will use one of those picks on Bernard. I think the most likely scenario for him is being one of the first linebackers and one of the more coveted linebackers as a UFA the day after the draft ends.
Undrafted Free Agent Signees Or Training Camp Invites
- EDGE Tipa Galeai, Utah State
- DL John Penisini, Utah
- DB Javelin Guidry, Utah
- K Dom Eberle, Utah State
- QB Tyler Huntley, Utah
- DB Dayan Ghanwoloku, BYU
- RB Ty’Son Williams, BYU
- RB Gerold Bright, Utah State
- S Austin Lee, BYU
- OL Darrin Paulo, Utah