The 2020 Draft Who Owned It and Who Dropped The Ball!
Well the 2020 draft is now history and the remote format worked better than expected (well we thought it did). As is typical everyone and their dog has an opinion on the grades and we are no different. However, we have waited for a few days to ponder the decisions before making a knee jerk reaction (we still hate the Packers pick though). Anyway here are our opinions on the picks; it will be interesting to look back on these in a couple of years’ time.
- Cincinnati Bengals: QB Joe Burrow, LSU
Our Prediction – Joe Burrow
Grade: A. Hard to argue with this pick, after all, we would have gone the same way too had we been the GM we even predicted Burrow as a top 10 pick in 2020 in our 2019 SEC overview. Not sure where this leaves Andy Dalton – probably somewhere else but it was the right move. The Bengals could surprise a few and win some games in 2020; if the rest of their draft plays out anyway.
- Washington Redskins: EDGE Chase Young, Ohio State
Our Prediction – Chase Young DE Ohio State
Grade: A. They got arguably the best player in the draft. Hard to see this not working out. The Redskins front seven is going to be fearsome this year.
- Detroit Lions: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State
Our Prediction – Jeff Okudah
Grade: A. Best Corner in the draft and the biggest need for a slightly better than their 2019 record indicates Lions team. Sorting their leaky secondary was a must if they are to compete in the NFC North.
- NY. Giants: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia
Our Prediction – Tristran Wirfs OL Iowa
Grade: B. Right position maybe not the right player. Wirfs looks more NFL ready to us, however, in a couple of years, this pick will work out.
- Miami Dolphins: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama
Our Prediction – Tua Tagovailoa QB Alabama
Grade: A-. The only knock on Tua is his injury record and that’s the only thing stopping this pick from being an A+ in our book. If as we think the medical worries are overblown, this could be the best pick of the draft. Now all they need to do is put an OL in front of him!
- LA. Chargers: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon
Our Prediction – Justin Herbert QB Oregon
Grade: B+. Not ready to start in our opinion, but sit him behind Tyrod Taylor for most of the 2020 season and let’s see how he performs in 2021. The Chargers were never going to compete in 2020 so no loss.
- Carolina Panthers, DT Derrick Brown, Auburn
Our Prediction – Isaiah Simmons LB Clemson
Grade: A. There was no way Derrick Brown was falling out of the top 10 and like Ed Oliver last year he should prove to be a bargain. We still think that Simmons versatility would have suited them better though given star LB Luke Kuechly has retired.
- Arizona Cardinals, LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
Grade: A+. I bet the Cards didn’t expect to see him here. He can play practically anywhere on the defense – Linebacker, Safety, Slot Corner, heck he could even line up on the edge to rush the passer at a push. The only slight knock on him is his physical presence, 6′ 4″ but only 230 lbs. Still, a few months with the NFL conditioning coaches will soon get him bulked up a bit. Great pick and really good value here!
- Jacksonville Jaguars, CB CJ Henderson, Florida
Our Prediction – Derrick Brown DT Auburn
Grade: B+. This was probably let’s take the next guy on our board pick as DL would have made more sense. Still with Brown gone taking a top Corner is a good use of a top 10 pick.
- Cleveland Browns, OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama
Our Prediction – Mekhi Becton OL Louisville
Grade: B+. Position of need and not a lot to choose between the remaining OT’s. We thought Becton might be a better fit but he went next anyway.
- NY. Jets, OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
Our Prediction – Jerry Jeudy WR Alabama
Grade: B+. The Jets needed to put some talent around Sam Darnold and it was either going to be the OL or WR in round 1. Solid pick.
- LV. Raiders, WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama
Our Prediction – C.J. Henderson CB Florida
Grade: A. With the two stud Corners gone sorting their next biggest positional need was a good move. Personally we would have taken his Alabama colleague Jeudy, but both should be stars at the next level.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa
Our Prediction – Jedrick Wills OT Alabama
Grade: A. Tom Brady must be smiling right about now. Wirfs looks the most NFL ready of the top OT’s this year and should slot into the line as a starter straight away. He was well worth trading up for and we are surprised he slid this far.
- San Francisco 49ers, DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
Our Prediction – Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama
Grade: C+. We can see the need to replace DeForest Buckner but are not convinced that this was the best use of this pick. It’s not that Kinlaw is a bad player (we had him going a few picks later) however in our opinion they need a WR more and Jerry Jeudy was still on the board.
- Broncos, WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Our Prediction – CeeDee Lamb WR Oklahoma
Grade: A. We ranked him as the best receiver in the draft and expected him to be gone by now. He may be light but he has speed and the Broncos already have a big-bodied WR In Courtland Sutton for the Red Zone. We wouldn’t be surprised if he is in the conversations for Rookie of the year.
- Atlanta Falcons, CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson
Our Prediction – K’Lavon Chaisson LB LSU
Grade: B-. The Falcons have a fair few roster holes and we pegged Terrell as a mid-first-round pick. However, we still think they should have looked to the trenches first.
- Dallas Cowboys, WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Our Prediction – A.J. Terrell CB Clemson
Grade: A. The didn’t necessarily need a WR, but when a player of this quality slides to you then you have to pull the trigger; especially when the best Corners have already gone.
- Miami Dolphins, OT, Austin Jackson, USC
Our Prediction – Javon Kinlaw DT South Carolina
Grade: B. Both lines need strengthening and with the best DLmen gone, why not give Tua some protection. It may be 2021 before we see the best of him but it’s still a solid pick.
- LV. Raiders, CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State
Our Prediction – Xavier McKinney S Alabama
Grade: C+. Not a name we expected to see called in round one. The Raiders needed to stiffen their secondary but we think there were better options.
- Jacksonville Jaguars, DE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU
Our Prediction – A.J. Epenesa DE Iowa
Grade: A-. He would have been our pick too had we thought he would still be on the board. Sometimes you just get lucky and a player drops into your lap.
- Philadelphia Eagles, WR Jalen Reagor, TCU
Our Prediction – Tee Higgins WR Clemson
Grade: B-. Not a bad pick (we had Reagor going a little later in round one) however we think that a big power WR like Higgins would have suited them better.
- Minnesota Vikings, WR Justin Jefferson, LSU
Our Prediction – Trevon Diggs CB Alabama
Grade: A-. Solid pick. We expected him to end up at in Minnesota a few picks later as a Corner was the main priority. As it happens they traded the 25 pick away and still ended up with a top WR and a decent Corner so all’s well if you are a Vikings fan anyway.
- LA. Chargers (from the Patriots), LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma
Our Prediction – We had The New England Patriots taking Jordan Love QB Utah State
Grade: C+. First-round talent but they had to pay for the privilege of getting him. The grade reflects the amount it cost them to move up more than our expectations of how well Murray will play.
- Saints, C Cesar Ruiz, Michigan
Our Prediction – Zach Baun LB Wisconsin
Grade: C+. Good player but not a need hence the grade. They may come to regret not adding to their Defense given the NFC South figures to be really tough this year.
- San Francisco 49ers, WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona St.
Our Prediction – Minnesota taking Justin Jefferson WR LSU
Grade: A-. Great pick, we still maintain they should have taken Jerry Jeudy, but a shrewd move trading ahead of Green Bay to snatch a top WR who will take over from Emanuel Saunders in 2020. The rich just keep getting richer
- Green Bay Packers, QB Jordan Love, Utah State
Our Prediction – Jalen Reagor WR TCU at 30
Grade: E. We had to check our calendar to make sure it wasn’t April 1st when this pick came in! When we heard they had traded up we were sure it was for Tee Higgins, but no they decided they were so loaded on Offense that they had the luxury of picking 2023 or thereabouts starting QB now. Anyway, I am sure everyone is tired of hearing about this so all we will say is that Love will be a good QB and if the Patriots had taken him at 23 we would have given the pick a high grade (probably a B). The low grade reflects the current opportunity cost of not addressing needs on a team which were not that far off of a Super Bowl in 2019 and the potentially hacking off of your future HOF QB.
- Seattle Seahawks, LB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech
Expected Pick – Yetur Gross-Matos DE Penn State
Grade: C. The Seahawks really need a DE and we think Patrick Queen is a better prospect at LB if that’s how you want to go. Should work out but we don’t expect Brooks to be a day one starter.
- Baltimore Ravens, LB Patrick Queen, LSU
Our Prediction – Kenneth Murray LB Oklahoma
Grade: A-. Lack of experience is the only reason he fell this far. He looked the part last year and should slot straight into what is shaping to be a very good Ravens defense in 2020.
- Titans, OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia
Our Prediction – Patrick Queen LB LSU
Grade: B+. With the best Linebackers gone stiffening the OL was as good a move as any. He could easily be the Titans starting Right Tackle in 2020.
- Dolphins, CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn
Our Prediction – DeAndre Swift RB Georgia
Grade: C+. We would have preferred to see them fill a glaring need here rather than pick a player who probably won’t start barring injury issues – they already have a nice pairing at CB with Byron Jones & Xavien Howard.
- Vikings, CB Jeff Gladney, TCU
Grade: B. Not so much for the player as we stick with our view that they should have taken Trevon Diggs, however getting a bonus 4th & 5th round pick as well as filling a roster hole is good business.
Our original Prediction San Francisco 49ers – Josh Jones OT Houston
- Chiefs, RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU
Grade: C+. Ok, the Chiefs are loaded and can afford a luxury pick or two – but we are far from convinced that Edwards-Helaire is the best RB in the draft (we had him behind several others).
Our Prediction – A.J. Terrell CB Clemson
So there you have it our thoughts on round one. Congratulations to Arizona who we think got the best value and for Green Bay here is a big wooden spoon to stir your soon to be brewing Quarterback controversy pot with.