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2020 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation takes a draft-week look at the first round

NFL: OCT 28 Dolphins at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2020 NFL Draft kicks off tomorrow. SB Nation’s Dan Kadar took a look earlier this week at the first round, projecting the 32 picks to be made on Thursday night. Kadar admits he has a final mock draft coming out tonight, but this 2020 NFL Mock Draft should be fairly close to what he thinks will happen in the first round.

Looking at the Miami Dolphins’ first pick in the round, Kadar sees the team skipping Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and selecting Oregon’s Justin Herbert. He explains, “In the last week or so, momentum for Miami’s first pick in the first round has changed from quarterback to offensive tackle. While that is possible, it’s hard to argue taking a blocker over a potential franchise quarterback.”

I still feel like Tagovailoa is the pick here, as Miami has been targeting him for two years. Could it be Herbert? Sure. It just feels like all the discussion of tackles and Herbert are smoke screens to keep Tagovailoa in play for the Dolphins.

Jumping to the 18th pick, Kadar has Miami looking at one of my favorite picks for the team. I love Alabama safety Xavier McKinney and how he can fit with the club, and Kadar sees that too. He writes of the pick, “The Dolphins have just about rebuilt their secondary, giving safety Eric Rowe a three-year deal in December and signing coveted free agent cornerback Byron Jones this offseason. The team can finish rounding out the secondary with McKinney. He would give them a safety who can play over the top or come down into the box.”

The Dolphins come back on the clock with the 26th pick, and Kadar passes on what is likely the team’s top need at this point, offensive tackle. Instead, he has them adding Georgia running back D’Andre Swift. He states, “While some like J.K. Dobbins of Ohio State, I prefer Swift due to his speed and elusiveness. Even though the Dolphins just gave Jordan Howard a two-year deal, he was disappointing in Philadelphia last season. Kalen Ballage, taken in the fourth round in 2018, has been a non-factor thus far.”

Swift does makes sense for the Dolphins, giving them the elusive running back to balance the power back Miami has in Howard, but adding an offensive lineman, like Boise State tackle Ezra Cleveland (27th to the Seattle Seahawks) or Georgia’s tackle Isaiah Wilson (29th to the Tennessee Titans) could be the pressing need at this spot. The Dolphins have two second-round picks, so building the offensive line can be the focus there, but Dobbins could also still be on the board at that point, and Miami seems to like him as a runner.

We will take a look at Kadar’s final mock draft tomorrow morning in the countdown to the actual draft.