D. Led’s Mock draft 4.0: Falcons sit tight and get Henderson

Florida Gators defensive back C.J. Henderson (1) is a reported Falcons target in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Florida Gators defensive back C.J. Henderson (1) is a reported Falcons target in the 2020 NFL Draft.

On our path to the NFL draft, here’s the fourth mock draft from Atlanta Journal-Constitution Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter. The official and final Mock draft will be posted on Wednesday. The draft is set for Thursday through Saturday. 

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has traded up in the first round five times over 12 drafts.

But this may be the draft to just sit back and take the best player available AND fill their need at cornerback:

Here’s how the first round will shake out:

1. Cincinnati Bengals (2-14) – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU: He led the Tigers to the national championship with a spectacular season.

2. Washington Redskins (3-13) – Chase Young, DE, Ohio State: He's the top pass rusher in the draft.

3. Detroit Lions (3-12-1) – Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State:  Esteemed Detroit Free Press Lions beat writer David Birkett was asking about Okudah, Derrick Brown and Isaiah Simmons this week on conference calls. Tempted to switch to Brown here.

4. New York Giants (4-12) – Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama: The Giants have to address their offensive line and get some protection for quarterback Daniel Jones. Wills has moved ahead of Tristan Wirfs and Andrew Thomas at tackle.

5. Miami Dolphins (5-11) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama: Teams know that Tagovailoa can play, but must determine if he can stay healthy. The Miami Herald confirmed a report of hidden broken wrist injury.

6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11) – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon: The Chargers said goodbye to Philip Rivers and want a mobile quarterback. Herbert showed that he's mobile enough in Oregon's Bowl game and at the Senior Bowl.

7. Carolina Panthers (5-11) – Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson: New Panthers coach Matt Rhule, who hung out with the media at the Senior Bowl and is an all-around cool guy, has been taking about position-less players a lot lately.

8. Arizona Cardinals (5-10-1) – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa: The Cardinals need to get some protection for quarterback Kyler Murray.

» MORE: Andrew Thomas plans to keep making music in the NFL

9. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10) – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn: Don't buy the smokescreen that the Falcons are looking to trade up to get Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson. They can sit at 16 and get him. But if Brown drops to here, Jaguars general manager David Caldwell's cel phone will be chirping. The Falcons could zoom up the virtual board to get the Lanier High product.

10. Cleveland Browns (6-10) – Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville: The Browns signed Jack Conklin in free agency, but still need offensive line help. Becton was the talk of the combine with his fast 40-yard dash time. At 364 pounds, he ran the 40-yard dash in a blazing 5.1 seconds.

11. New York Jets (7-9) – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama: He averaged 19 yards a reception over his career. The Jets start a run on wide receivers. 

12. Las Vegas Raiders (7-9) – CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma: The Raiders pick the big play-making receiver.

13. San Francisco 49ers (from 7-9 Indianapolis Colts) – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina: Kinlaw, who's 6-foot-6 and 309 pounds, can play all spots along the defensive line. He will replace DeForest Buckner, who was traded to the Colts.

» ALSO: Kinlaw sees the light at the end of the tunnel

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-9) – Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia: He was the winner of the SEC's Jacobs Blocking Trophy, UGA's first recipient of the award in 21 years.

15. Denver Broncos (7-9) – Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama: The Broncos need to add some weapons on offense.

16. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) – C.J. Henderson, DB, Florida: The Falcons must replace Desmond Trufant and will hope that tighter pass coverage will help the pass rush.

17. Dallas Cowboys (8-8) – Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama: The Cowboys must revamp their secondary in this draft and selecting McKinney would kick things off nicely. The former Roswell High standout was named second-team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association, Sporting News and Walter Camp.

18. Miami Dolphins (from 8-8 Pittsburgh) – D'Andre Swift, RB, Georgia: Swift became the fifth running back in UGA history to rush for more than 1,000 yards in back-to-back seasons. He left school with 2,885 yards rushing and 666 yards receiving. He ranks seventh on Georgia's all-time rushing list, just behind Lars Tate (3,017) and just ahead of Knowshon Moreno (2,734).

» ALSO: Swift has competition for "top back" in the draft

19. Las Vegas Raiders (from 8-8 Chicago) – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma: The Raiders get some defensive help.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from 9-7 Rams) – K'Lavon Chaisson, LB/DE, LSU: Chaisson measured at 6-3 and weighed 253 pounds at the combine.

21. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) – Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU: The Eagles are desperate at wide receiver. He caught 111 passes for the Tigers last season.

22. Minnesota Vikings (from 10-6 Buffalo) – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson: The Vikings must replace Stefon Diggs.

23. New England Patriots (12-4) – Jordan Love, QB, Utah State: With Love still on the board, the Patriots take a shot at getting Tom Brady's replacement.

24. New Orleans Saints (13-3) - Patrick Queen, LB, LSU: The Saints can add to their already-stout defense.

25. Minnesota Vikings (10-6) – A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa: The Vikings must replace Everson Griffen. Epenesa is stout against the run.

» REVIEW: All of Thomas Dimitroff's Falcons draft picks

26. Miami Dolphins (from 10-6 Houston) – Joshua Jones, OT, Houston: After trading Laremy Tunsil last season, the Dolphins must restock the tackle position.

27. Seattle Seahawks (11-5) – Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State: Like the Falcons, the Seahawks are looking for pass-rush help.

28. Baltimore Ravens (14-2) – Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin: The highly productive running back ran the 40-yard dash in 4.39 seconds at the combine.

29. Tennessee Titans (9-7) – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor: At 6-3 and 207 pounds, Mims ran the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds.

30. Green Bay Packers (13-3) – Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State: After going to junior college, he played two seasons for the Sun Devils and finished with 98 catches for 1,666 yards and 11 touchdowns. He's excellent at getting yards after the catch and turning short passes into long-gainers.

31. San Francisco 49ers (13-3) – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU: Slight reach. He is the son of Montae Reagor, a former NFL defensive tackle from 1999-2007. He played in 99 games and made 46 starts. Jalen Reagor is a dynamic game-breaking wide receiver, who amassed 148 catches for 2,248 yards and 22 touchdowns in three seasons.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama: He was second-team all-SEC last season. He is the brother of Bills wide receiver Stefon Diggs.


Quarterbacks: Joe Burrow leads classTop 10
Running backs: Cam Akers' life lessonTop 10
Tight ends:  Harrison Bryant top prospect Top 10 
Guards/Centers:  Solomon Kindley a late-rounderTop 10 
Offensive tackles:  Austin Jackson's life lesson | Top 10 
Wide receivers: Jeudy or Lamb  | Top 10
Defensive tackles: Brown, Kinlaw stand outTop 10
Defensive ends: A 'generational' talentTop 10
Linebackers: Simmons a position-less LBTop 10
Safeties: Loaded with Georgia talent | Top 10
Part 11: Special Teams
Part 12: Cornerbacks


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