Editor's note: Draft order is as of Dec. 16.
With 15 weeks of the 2019 NFL season in the rearview mirror, teams are really starting to look ahead to the 2020 NFL draft in Las Vegas. I'm joining them with my first mock of draft season for all 32 first-round picks, starting with the one-win Bengals and culminating with the powerhouse Ravens.
This is, of course, an early look at Day 1. For context, eventual 2019 No. 1 pick Kyler Murray wasn't even a lock to enter the draft at this point last year. And though we can officially check the college football regular season off the draft-process checklist, plenty lies ahead over the next four months.
The draft order -- which was projected for this exercise using ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) through Week 15 -- will shift as NFL teams finish the season. Underclassmen, denoted below with an asterisk, must declare for the draft by the Jan. 20 deadline. Team needs will shift through free agency and trades. And, of course, player evaluations will fluctuate throughout bowl season, pro days and the combine.
Even so, let's project Day 1 selections for 2020. Here's our first run at all 32 first-round picks since May's way-too-early predictions.
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
Accuracy, toughness and pocket awareness -- the total package. That's what the Bengals would get with Burrow in their first No. 1 overall pick since Carson Palmer in 2003. Andy Dalton isn't owed any guaranteed money in 2020 and could be released, and Ryan Finley didn't look like the long-term answer in his terrible three-game stint as starter. It's time to get Zac Taylor a quarterback to build around.
Chase Young, DE, Ohio State*
The Giants need help everywhere, especially on defense. Enter Young and his 16.5 sacks. New York hasn't had anyone hit double-digit sacks since 2014 (Jason Pierre-Paul, 12.5), and Young is the best edge-rushing prospect I've seen since Von Miller entered the draft. The Heisman Trophy finalist would be a fantastic get for this rebuilding club.