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Big change at No. 2 in RJ’s second mock NFL draft

While the rest of the sports world is on hiatus, the NFL is still set to host the draft in Las Vegas from April 23 to 25.

That’s certainly subject to change, but the league is likely to go through with the process even if it’s moved out of public view.

Either way, the Review-Journal will provide several updates on how the first round will play out.



Here is our second mock draft. While there are several trade possibilities mentioned, we kept each team selecting in their current spot for the purposes of this exercise. That will change as the date draws closer.

This is our best current guess at each selection, with a notation in parentheses of where that player was slotted in our first mock draft.

1. Cincinnati Bengals — Joe Burrow, QB, LSU (1)

Nothing changes here. Cincinnati is set to bring the Heisman Trophy winner back to his native Ohio even after there was brief speculation he would try to maneuver his way elsewhere.

2. Washington Redskins — Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama (5)

Tagovailoa seems to be fully recovered from his hip and ankle injuries, and it’s becoming clear the Redskins whiffed on Dwayne Haskins last year. The early run on quarterbacks could set off a trading frenzy for the rest of the top 10.

3. Detroit Lions — Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State (2)

The Lions need a defensive back and Jeff Okudah is clearly the best of the bunch. But Young is the best player in this draft and could help cover the rest of the defensive deficiencies. It’s likely Detroit would look to trade out of this spot if the top two spots went in this direction. The opportunity for a team to draft Young could bring back a big haul.

4. New York Giants — Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson (4)

The Giants could also look to trade out of this spot. Simmons was already a coveted prospect before he had a phenomenal combine. That only solidified his stock. If they do trade down, it would allow the Giants to grab an offensive tackle later in the first round and pick up additional draft capital.

5. Miami Dolphins — Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon (6)

The Dolphins need a franchise quarterback and are believed to covet Tagovailoa. They settle for Herbert here, which could prove to be a benefit in the long run. He may possess the most physical ability and best pro frame of the group.

6. Los Angeles Chargers — Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State (3)

The Chargers likely expect Herbert to be available here and would almost certainly look to trade down if he’s not. They settle on the best player available here. Okudah also fills a need as a bookend to star corner Casey Hayward on the outside.

7. Carolina Panthers — Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn (7)

The Panthers need to get a whole lot better on defense and that starts with the interior of the line. While the Panthers could use a quarterback, there’s no use reaching if the top three are gone and a playmaking anchor on the defensive line is just sitting there.

8. Arizona Cardinals — Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville (14)

Becton was expected to wow scouts at the combine. He didn’t disappoint. The massive 6-foot-7, 364-pounder ran a ridiculous 5.11 in the 40-yard dash after a dominant career at Louisville. He won’t last long on draft day.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars — Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina (9)

This might be a bit of a reach, but the Jaguars need to build their defense and he’s a good start. It’s almost certain they will make moves either up to grab one of the defensive prizes or down to a team seeking offensive help.

10. Cleveland Browns — Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa (10)

Wirfs did nothing but help his stock with a tremendous effort at the combine. The Browns were a mess last year despite all the talented skill players. The struggles of their tackles were one of the most glaring issues.

11. New York Jets — Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama (8)

The Jets could certainly use a weapon for developing quarterback Sam Darnold. They could also elect to protect him. Wills projects as a plug-and-play option and an anchor of the offensive line.

12. Raiders — Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama (12)

It’s possible the Raiders address their glaring need for a No. 1 receiver in free agency. It’s even more possible Jeudy is long gone at this point in the draft. If he’s there, it would be a wise move to make him the first draft pick in the Raiders’ history in Las Vegas and give whoever is taking snaps next season an elite weapon on the outside.

13. Indianapolis Colts — Jordan Love, QB, Utah State (new)

The Pat Mahomes comparisons are getting a bit out of control, but there is no doubt Love has scouts lusting after him. There is still some simmering rumors about Andrew Luck returning. But barring that unlikely scenario, the Colts will need a quarterback.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia (15).

This is more of a need pick for the Buccaneers, who miss out on the run of elite tackles by a few spots. The Bucs’ reported pursuit of Tom Brady seems to indicate they think they’re close to competing for a title, which might change their mindset.

15. Denver Broncos — CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma (11)

The Broncos would likely be thrilled to have a choice between Lamb and Henry Ruggs III as a weapon for young quarterback Drew Lock. Lamb gets the edge.

16. Atlanta Falcons — C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida (21)

He’s a perfect fit with the Falcons, who are in need of a corner and Henderson is the clear best of the rest behind Okudah. Atlanta is fortunate to be picking here. The Cowboys would almost certainly eye Henderson with the next selection.

17. Dallas Cowboys — Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama (20)

McKinney appears to have taken the lead over LSU’s Grant Delpit in the race to be the first safety off the board. He can help in coverage on the back end of the defense and is comfortable around the line of scrimmage.

18. Miami Dolphins — K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU (18)

His numbers at LSU won’t jump off the page, but his presence is impossible to miss on film. He may have been the best player on an incredibly talented defense and his offseason work is doing nothing to hurt him. The way he is trending, he may be long gone by this point.

19. Raiders — Patrick Queen, LB, LSU. (19)

The Raiders are almost certain to seek out a linebacker in free agency. They have a glaring need at the position. For now, he’s the best player at the position and could be a mainstay in the middle of the field for years to come.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars — Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama (13)

The Jaguars have so many holes on defense, but that doesn’t mean they are comfortable with their current situation on offense. If an elite talent like Ruggs did fall to them at this spot, it would be difficult to pass up after addressing defense with their first pick.

21. Philadelphia Eagles — Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU (new)

The Eagles have a glaring need for a speedy playmaker on the outside. Enter Jefferson and his 4.43 40-yard dash from the combine and impressive production for the Tigers. This should be an easy call for Philadelphia.

22. Buffalo Bills — Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson (new)

The run continues on a deep pool of wide receiver prospects. Higgins had a phenomenal pro day for scouts at Clemson and may benefit from other prospects not getting the same opportunity with all the cancellations and restrictions on scouts over the next few weeks.

23. New England Patriots — Grant Delpit, S, LSU (17)

Do they re-sign Tom Brady and try to make one last run or enter rebuilding mode. There’s a lot of questions about this team entering free agency that can’t be answered until No. 12 makes a decision. If Devin McCourty indeed hits free agency, this pick makes way too much sense either way.

24. New Orleans Saints — Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma (24)

Their window is closing with each passing year as Drew Brees gets closer to retirement. That makes it important to fill needs in the draft, which is what they do here with Murray. He’s stout against the run and can also serve as a blitzer. He’s adequate in coverage.

25. Minnesota Vikings — Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU (new)

He is soaring up draft boards after answering a whole lot of questions with a phenomenal combine. He could help plug the middle for a Vikings team in need of a defensive anchor.

26. Miami Dolphins — D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia (26)

There is a real hesitation about taking running backs in the first round, but this is a unique situation. Miami has three first-round picks and a glaring need for a bellcow back after the ground game produced next to nothing last year. Plus, Swift is the best player available for a team desperate for talent.

27. Seattle Seahawks — Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State (27)

The Seahawks’ defense was a far cry from the dominant group of the past, perhaps best exemplified by their inability to get to the quarterback. Seattle ranked next-to-last in sacks. Gross-Matos should help fix that while also being serviceable against the run.

28. Baltimore Ravens — Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State (new)

A bit of a surprise, but he had a very good combine and would seem to fit what the Ravens look for in a linebacker. He’s strong against the run and comfortable as a blitzer, though he needs work in coverage.

29. Tennessee Titans — Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama (new)

Tennessee was strong in the secondary last season, but enters free agency with two of its top three corners without contracts. It could quickly become an area of need. Diggs is the best one available here.

30. Green Bay Packers — Josh Jones, OT, Houston (30)

Green Bay doesn’t figure to have too many years left of Aaron Rodgers at an elite level, so it would probably be wise to keep him upright and healthy as long as possible. Jones did nothing to hurt his draft stock at the combine after a spectacular Senior Bowl.

31. San Francisco 49ers — Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan (new)

The health of starting center Weston Richburg is a major question mark this offseason. Ruiz is the top interior lineman available in this draft, though they can probably trade back into the second round and still get him.

32. Kansas City Chiefs — Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU (16)

He is starting to slip down draft boards, but the physical talent is tough to ignore. With several contracts expiring, the Chiefs figure to have a need at the position after the dust settles in free agency. Fulton’s skill set translates well to the NFL. Kansas City could end up with a steal.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AdamHillLVRJ on Twitter.

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