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Tabeek's 2020 NFL Mock Draft 9.0: Falcons trade up, pick top defender

2020_AF_DM_Mock-Draft_CP_trade

This is my second-to-last NFL mock draft this offseason and, I gotta say, I really like how this one came together.

And if you're a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, someone who has been reading and listening to reports speculating that the team might be interested in possibly moving up in next week's draft, I think you're going to like it, too.

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For the first time since I've been comprising mocks here at AtlantaFalcons.com, I'm projecting not one, but two (!) trades in my mock draft. And one obviously involves the Falcons.

Why now? Well, I think we're going to see some teams moving up into the top 10 and New England (with its 12 draft picks) and Atlanta (in need for a difference-maker on defense) make as much as sense as any to me. Same goes for Detroit and Arizona here – both teams have a lot of needs and would benefit from having extra picks.

So, without further ado, here is mock draft 9.0. Let me know how you feel about the pick here. Enjoy.

CIN-Mock5-Burrow
1
CIN
Bengals_table
QB Joe Burrow
LSU

The Bengals need a franchise QB and it's no secret they have eyes for the star out of LSU. Unless something unforeseen happens, Burrow appears to be a lock at No. 1.

WAS_Mock5-Young
2
WAS
Redskins_table
DE Chase Young
Ohio State

Young might be the closest thing to a sure thing in this draft class, so there's no way the Redskins will pass on the player who sits atop most draft boards.

M9_Patriots_Herbert
3
NE
Patriots_table
QB Justin Herbert
Oregon

TRADE (via DET): The Tom Brady-less Patriots, who have a total of 12 draft picks, make a deal with the Lions and trade up to snag their next franchise QB in Herbert.

M9_Giants_Simmons
4
NYG
Giants_table
LB Isaiah Simmons
Clemson

They might be tempted to take an offensive lineman here, but they won't pass on the do-it-all star from Clemson, who should make an immediate impact on defense.

MIA_Mock5-Tagovailoa
5
MIA
Dolphins_table
QB Tua Tagovailoa
Alabama

The Dolphins continue to overhaul their team and land Tagovailoa. Considering the recent reports about Tagovailoa's medical prognosis, it appears he'll be ready to go.

M9_Chargers_Love
6
LAC
Chargers_table
QB Jordan Love
Utah State

The Bolts usher in a post-Philip Rivers era (and new stadium) with what they hope is a new franchise quarterback in Love, who has tons of upside.

M9_Panthers_Brown
7
CAR
Panthers_table
DL Derrick Brown
Auburn

The Panthers have a number of holes to fill on defense and take the former Auburn star. Brown possesses rare combination of great size and quickness.

M9_Falcons_Okudah
8
ATL
Falcons_Table
CB Jeffrey Okudah
Ohio State

TRADE (via AZ): The Falcons pull the trigger on a trade to move up from the 16 spot and land the top cornerback in this class, which happens to be their biggest need. The price? Atlanta would give up the No. 16 pick and likely its second-round pick (No. 47 overall) and possibly exchange some later-round picks.

M9_Jags_Wills
9
JAX
Jaguars_table
OL Jedrick Wills Jr.
Alabama

A year after taking Jawaan Taylor, the Jaguars solidify their tackle spots by picking the former Crimson Tide star, who should be able to start from Day 1.

Browns_M1
10
CLE
Browns_table
OL Tristan Wirfs
Iowa

One of the Browns' top priorities is to improve their protection up front and bolster that offensive line. The former Hawkeye star is more than capable.

M9_Jets_Lamb
11
NYJ
Jets_table
WR CeeDee Lamb
Oklahoma

Do they need to protect Sam Darnold better? For sure, but he needs weapons, too, and they land perhaps the most explosive receiver in this class.

OAK_Mock5-Jeudy
12
LV
Raiders_table
WR Jerry Jeudy
Alabama

With the top-tier quarterbacks now off the board, the Raiders opt for a downfield threat. Jeudy is one of the best playmakers in this receiver-rich class.

M9_49ers_Kinlaw
13
SF
49ers_table
DL Javon Kinlaw
South Carolina

(via IND): They traded away DeForest Buckner, a former first-round pick. They jump on Kinlaw, the best pass-rushing interior lineman in this class.

M9_Bucs_Becton
14
TB
Bucs_table
OL Mekhi Becton
Louisville

The Bucs know they must protect their prized free-agent, QB Tom Brady. Becton has all of the physical tools and impressed at the combine.

DEN_Mock5-Ruggs
15
DEN
Broncos_table
WR Henry Ruggs III
Alabama

The Broncos need a downfield threat to pair with Courtland Sutton. Ruggs and his 4.27 speed should fit nicely.

M9_Cardinals_Thomas
16
AZ
Cardinals_Table
OL Andrew Thomas
Georgia

TRADE (via ATL): Kyler Murray was sacked too many times and they need a right tackle. Thomas began his college career at Georgia on the right side.

M9_Cowboys_Ruiz
17
DAL
Cowboys_table
OL Cesar Ruiz
Michigan

Surprised? Don't be. With Travis Frederick retiring unexpectedly, the Cowboys scoop up Ruiz, Mel Kiper's top-ranked interior offensive lineman.

M9_Dolphins_Chaisson
18
MIA
Dolphins_table
DE K'Lavon Chaisson
LSU

(via PIT): If Chaisson gets past the Cowboys at 17, the Dolphins will be sure to pounce on the edge rusher from LSU with freakish athletic ability.

Raiders_M1
19
LV
Raiders_table
LB Patrick Queen
LSU

(via CHI): Even though the Raiders signed a pair of linebackers in free agency, they take the explosive, instinctive star from LSU.

M9_Jaguars_McKinney
20
JAX
Jaguars_table
S Xavier McKinney
Alabama

(via LAR): The Jags upgrade the back-end of their defense with who many think is the best safety in this class.

M9_Eagles_Henderson
21
PHI
Eagles_table
C.J. Henderson
Florida

There's always that one player who takes a surprise tumble on draft day, and it happens to be Henderson here. Regardless, the Eagles are thrilled to land him.

M9_Vikings_Gross-Matos
22
MIN
Vikings_table
DE Yetur Gross-Matos
Penn State

(via BUF): The 6-foot-5, 266-pound Gross-Matos has the reputation for showing up in big games and brings a high motor coming off the edge.

M9_Lions_Epenesa
23
DET
Lions_table
DE A.J. Epenesa
Iowa

TRADE (via NE): Detroit uses the first of its draft-day haul from New England to start rebuilding the defense, adding Epenesa, a workhorse from Iowa.

M8_Saints_Fulton
24
NO
Saints_table
CB Kristian Fulton
LSU

With the NFC South loaded with talented quarterbacks and explosive receivers, the Saints take Fulton, who is considered to be "one of the stickiest man-cover corners in all of college football."

MIN_Mock5-Diggs
25
MIN
Vikings_table
CB Trevon Diggs
Alabama

The Vikings have lost three cornerbacks and two safeties so far in free agency. Taking the star from 'Bama makes sense here.

Dolphins_M1-3
26
MIA
Dolphins_table
DE Terrell Lewis
Alabama

(via HOU): Despite adding Lawson and Ogbah in free agency, Miami goes defense this time and takes Lewis, a tall and physical game-wrecker on the edge.

M7_Seahawks_Jefferson
27
SEA
Seahawks_table
WR Justin Jefferson
LSU

Edge rusher and offensive line are needs but Russell Wilson needs some more weapons at his disposal. Jefferson is a playmaker.

Ravens_M1
28
BAL
Ravens_table
LB Kenneth Murray
Oklahoma

There's not much Murray can't do from the middle linebacker spot. The ex-Sooner can play the run, cover and packs a punch when he hits.

M9_Titans_Baun
29
TEN
Titans_table
DE/LB Zack Baun
Wisconsin

Baun is a sideline-to-sideline wrecking ball who can also rush the passer well and Titans coach Mike Vrabel is extremely pleased to add him into the mix on D.

GB_Mock5-Mims
30
GB
Packers_table
WR Denzel Mims
Baylor

It seems like we say it every year, but ... Aaron Rodgers needs more weapons. The former Baylor star is a big target and stood out at the NFL combine.

M9_49ers_Higgins
31
SF
49ers_table
WR Tee Higgins
Clemson

With Emmanuel Sanders now in New Orleans, taking Higgins, who is big (red zone target), athletic and fast, makes sense for Kyle Shanahan's offense.

M9_Chiefs_Taylor
32
KC
Chiefs_table
RB Jonathan Taylor
Wisconsin

Adding Taylor, a one-cut-and-go type of runner who was extremely productive in college, seems almost unfair in this offense with Mahomes and Co.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here belong to Matthew Tabeek and and do not represent the opinions of the Atlanta Falcons' front office staff, coaches and executives unless it is noted otherwise.

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