FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 20th, 2020

PETER KING UNVEILS HIS 2020 FIRST-ROUND MOCK DRAFT & SPEAKS TO NFL COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL IN THIS WEEK’S “FMIA” COLUMN

“This draft, with every other major sport shut down, is under a historic microscope.” – King

“I believe that this draft in particular is about hope…Football does a great job of bringing communities back together again, and giving them a diversion.” – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to King

“My pick is based on Miami choosing to go conservative here instead of trying to hit a triple in the gap by picking Tua Tagovailoa.” – King on having Miami trading up to No. 3 to select Oregon QB Justin Herbert

“Because your team never finishes 3-13, you never have a chance to get one of the best quarterbacks in the college game. Until Tagovailoa’s hip popped out of the socket last November” – King on having New England trading up to No. 13 to select Tua Tagovailoa

ProFootballTalk.com Provides the Latest Free Agency and Draft News and Updates; Florio & Simms on PFT Live Weekdays at 7 a.m. ET on NBCSN

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 20, 2020 – With the 2020 NFL Draft beginning this Thursday, Peter King unveils his 2020 first-round mock draft in this week’s edition of Football Morning in America, available now exclusively on NBCSports.com. King also speaks with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell about the set-up and importance of this year’s draft.

This week on NBCSN, Lunch Talk Live with Mike Tirico continues each weekday at Noon ET, followed by The Rich Eisen Show at 1 p.m. ET. King joins Lunch Talk Live today and The Rich Eisen Show on Friday. NBC Sports Football Flex, a one-hour show featuring the most topical news and analysis from NBC Sports’ digital football content, begins daily at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN. For more information on NBCSN’s weekday programming, click here.

Additionally, ProFootballTalk.com continues to provide the latest free agency news and NFL insider Mike Florio and analyst Chris Simms provide offseason and NFL Draft updates on PFT Live.

The following are highlights from this week’s edition of Football Morning in America:

2020 NFL DRAFT

King on teams drafting from home: “It’s a pain for teams, of course, but competitively, it’s the same for everyone…In the last 10 days, I have not heard a coach or GM, even off the record while gathering informational chum for my mock, complain about the inconvenience of drafting alone and from home.”

King on hosting the draft during the coronavirus pandemic: “After 9/11 and after Katrina, football teams in New York and Washington, and the football team in New Orleans, were very important in the comebacks of their cities…This crisis is different, because the virus is not an event that happened and went away…This draft, with every other major sport shut down, is under a historic microscope.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to King: “I believe that this draft in particular is about hope. It restores hope for every fan, for every club, for the teams itself…Football does a great job of bringing communities back together again, and giving them a diversion at a time when people are really looking for something positive and looking toward the future, and looking to be inspired.”

Goodell on the importance of this draft: “I think it’s going to be judged by, can we demonstrate that we adapted?…And doing that in a way that also gave back to our communities through our Draft-A-Thon. And also highlighting some of the people who’ve been the real heroes in our communities.”

KING’S 2020 FIRST-ROUND MOCK DRAFT

1) Cincinnati: LSU QB Joe Burrow 17) Dallas: Alabama S Xavier McKinney
2) Washington: Ohio St. edge Chase Young 18) Miami: Iowa edge A.J. Epenesa
3) *Miami: Oregon QB Justin Herbert 19) Las Vegas: LSU CB Kristian Fulton
4) New York Giants: Iowa T Tristan Wirfs 20) Jacksonville: LSU WR Justin Jefferson
5) *Detroit: Ohio St. CB Jeff Okudah 21) Philadelphia: Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III
6) Los Angeles Chargers: Georgia T Andrew Thomas 22) Minnesota: Alabama CB Trevon Diggs
7) Carolina: Auburn DT Derrick Brown 23) **San Francisco: Houston T Josh Jones
8) Arizona: Clemson defensive player Isaiah Simmons 24) New Orleans: Clemson CB A.J. Terrell
9) Jacksonville: Florida CB C.J. Henderson 25) Minnesota: Clemson WR Tee Higgins
10) Cleveland: Alabama T Jedrick Wills 26) Miami: USC T Austin Jackson
11) New York Jets: Louisville T Mekhi Becton 27) Seattle: Penn State DE Yetur Gross-Matos
12) Las Vegas: Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb 28) Baltimore: Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray
13) **New England: Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa 29) Tennessee: Georgia T Isaiah Wilson
14) Tampa Bay: South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw 30) Green Bay: USC WR Michael Pittman, Jr.
15) Denver: Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy 31) ***Dallas: Michigan C Cesar Ruiz
16) Atlanta: LSU edge K’Lavon Chaisson 32) Kansas City: TCU CB Jeff Gladney
* Trade between Miami and Detroit  
** Trade between New England and San Francisco  
*** Trade between San Francisco and Dallas  

 

King on Justin Herbert to Miami at No. 3: “My pick is based on Miami choosing to go conservative here instead of trying to hit a triple in the gap by picking Tua Tagovailoa. Because the Dolphins have done a good job hiding their intentions, I won’t be shocked either way.”

King on Andrew Tomas to the Chargers at No. 6: “For four days, until 4 p.m. Sunday, I had Tua Tagovailoa in this spot…But I made the switch for a couple of reasons. Anthony Lynn doesn’t view Tyrod Taylor as a bridge quarterback…I think it’s more important to build the best football team rather than have the best marketing plan.”

King on Isaiah Simmons to Arizona at No. 8: “This is a first in Peter King Mock Draft History. I’ve never before labeled a player defensive player…He’s likely going to be a hybrid safety/linebacker/edge player in the NFL.”

King on CeeDee Lamb to Las Vegas at No. 12: “Maybe the toughest call I had to make Sunday evening, having the Raiders bypass Tua Tagovailoa for Lamb. I did it because I keep hearing both Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden are intrigued with new backup Marcus Mariota; adding Tagovailoa might be the best thing for 2023, but it’s not so great for 2020.”

King on Tagovailoa to New England at No. 13: “Truly: I have no indication, no inside information, that says he’d do this. It’s simply a guess. But think if you’re (Bill) Belichick. Because your team never finishes 3-13, you never have a chance to get one of the best quarterbacks in the college game. Until Tagovailoa’s hip popped out of the socket last November.”

King on Utah St. QB Jordan Love: “I think I could find a team in the first round, or a team high in the second that might want to trade up, to slot in Utah State quarterback Jordan Love in my mock first round.”

King on undrafted free agents: “The most interesting part of this draft, to personnel people, is what will happen when round seven is over…Scouts and coaches on cell-phone and video-conference chats, tethered to the main office by another video-conference feed, mentally sprinting to keep track of players who fly off the board.”

2020 NFL DRAFT DETAILS

King on the draft open: “When the draft telecast kicks off Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET, you’ll hear from a familiar person: (Peyton) Manning will voice a two-and-a-half-minute piece paying tribute to those on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, and on football and its place in the country in these times. I’m told it’ll hit a range of emotions and end in hope.”

Goodell on fans booing: “It’s a big part of the draft. I personally love the engagement with our fans. That [booing] is included. For us, we had to think through, ‘How are we going to bring the fans into the event?’”

Goodell on what he told draft prospects when outlining the in-home technology they have for the broadcast: “I said, ‘Listen, we would all love to be in Las Vegas under normal circumstances. That’s not the case. But I don’t want you to think in your home with just a few family members, and not in Las Vegas, that the world’s not watching – and that you can’t have an impact on your community, because you will.’”

King on donations: “The general managers in the league agreed to give $1,000 per pick ($256,000, based on 255 picks plus one Supplemental Pick last summer) to the league’s Draft-A-Thon fundraiser… I was told by a league official that Eagles GM Howie Roseman spearheaded the cause, and that it has extended to the head coaches too.”

Read the full FMIA column here and catch the weekly Peter King Podcast here.

The following are additional highlights of NBC Sports’ NFL coverage:

    • Lunch Talk Live: NBC Sports’ hour-long, daily sports talk show, which is hosted by Mike Tirico, continues each weekday at Noon ET on NBCSN. Today’s featured guests include King, Chase Young and Ravens RB Mark Ingram.
    • The Rich Eisen Show: Rich Eisen, a four-time Sports Emmy studio host nominee and NFL Network’s first on-air talent, brings his Los Angeles-based The Rich Eisen Show to NBCSN on weekdays at 1 p.m. ET. Today’s guests include Mike Florio and QB coach and former NFL QB Jordan Palmer.
    • Click here for more information on Lunch Talk Live, The Rich Eisen Show, and NBC Sports Football Flex.
    • PFT Live: Mike Florio and Chris Simms preview the NFL Draft and discuss team
    • On the Simms Unbuttoned podcast this week, Simms speaks with LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Clemson DB Isaiah Simmons, Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb, and Florida CB J. Henderson.

 

A new “Football Morning in America” posts every Monday morning exclusively on NBCSports.com through the NFL season. It was announced in May 2019 that King signed an exclusive agreement with NBC Sports Group that included writing a weekly Monday morning NFL column for NBCSports.com; making regular appearances on NBCSN’s and NBC Sports Radio’s PFT Live with Mike Florio; and continuing to contribute to Football Night in America, the most-watched studio show in sports.

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