NFL 2020 Draft Round 1 Grades
Pick 1: Joe Burrow QB, LSU
This was the pick they had to make even though they have more holes than swiss cheese. I believe Burrow will be the starter for eight to ten years but will not be great due to his situation with bad management, lack of talent around him, and coaching.
Pick 2: Chase Young DE, Ohio State
I feel once again this was a no brainer pick. Young is by far the most physically gifted player in the draft and will be a force to be reckoned with for the next decade. He will be the cornerstone for an improving defense in Washington. Young should be the front runner to win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.
Pick 3: Jeff Okudah CB, Ohio State
This was the best cornerback in the draft by a wide margin and will help to improve a secondary which ranked 12th last year. Okudah has quick feet and the smoothest hips we have seen in years. He should be a true lockdown corner and an inexpensive alternative to Darius Slay.
New York Giants
Pick 4: Andrew Thomas OT, Georgia
Thomas was my 2nd rated offensive tackle for me coming into the draft. Thomas fills a huge need for the Giants as Nate Solder is not living up to his contract. Thomas has great size and from all accounts amazing hands. He will sure up the Daniel Jones’ blindside for years.
- Pick 5: Tua Tagovailoa QB, Alabama
- Pick 18: Austin Jackson OT, USC
- Pick 30: Noah Igbinoghene CB, Auburn
The Dolphins started the draft by taking their new franchise quarterback and followed that pick up by taking an offensive tackle that I believe will start on the right side but within two years has the potential to develop into a starting left tackle and protect that franchise QB for years to come. Lastly, they took a DB who should develop into a very good third option for one of the best tandems of CB’s in the league.
Tua if not for the hip injury would have still been the first overall pick. If healthy he can be their franchise quarterback for years to come. He has the arm strength, field vision, athleticism, and anticipation to be GREAT. Jackson is a project but has such huge upside. If he develops to his potential he could be the answer to protect Tua’s blindside for the next ten years. Igbinoghene has good size and is an upgrade as a third option at DB. With Xavien Howard and Byron Jones already locked up, the Dolphins secondary is going to be tough to throw on next season.
Los Angeles Chargers
- Pick 6: Justin Herbert QB, Oregon
- Pick 23: Kenneth Murray ILB, Oklahoma
Going into the draft the Chargers biggest need was to replace Phillip Rivers at quarterback. While I feel he is the biggest project out of the three QB’s taken I also see him with the best chance for success due to his situation.
The Chargers also traded back into the first round to drat Murray to play in the middle of a defense that is going to lock down opposing offenses tighter than a jail cell. Murray was my top-rated linebacker coming into the draft so to get him where they did is just immense value. Herbert was kind of an unknown to me until after he was drafted and I really looked at some tape of him. I feel he will be a good QB for years and if he lives up to his potential could be great. Murray was probably my second favorite player in the draft behind Chase young. If you watch game film of him, he shows up at the right place and time every time.
Pick 7: Derrick Brown DT, Auburn
While defensive tackle was high on the list of needs for the Panthers I would have liked for them to go offensive tackle instead. But you can’t argue taking a top-five player in the draft at 7. Brown will step right into a run-stopping role for Carolina and should play for a long time in the middle of the D line.
Pick 8: Isaiah Simmons OLB, Clemson
One of the most physically gifted athletes in the draft. Simmons is one of the most versatile defenders in this draft and will most likely see time at safety and outside linebacker. This makes him a very valuable piece to a defense that ranked dead last and has to improve from last year if they want to compete for a playoff spot.
- Pick 9: CJ Henderson CB, Florida
- Pick 20: K’Lavon Chaisson DE, LSU
The Jaguars had a need at cornerback but I think they reached with this pick at nine. However, taking Chaisson at 20 saved the first round for the Jaguars. Henderson was a reach at nine but he filled a huge need for them losing both starting CB’s from last year. He has the potential to be a solid starter for them. Chaisson has an explosive first step which will allow him to make an impact right away for Jacksonville and should be a great addition to Josh Allen who had 10.5 sacks last year to lead all rookies.
Pick 10: Jedrick Wills OT, Alabama
I will admit to watching more film on Willis than any other player since I am a lowly Browns fan. Wills is an absolute mauler and is going to be able to play immediately. Willis is going to make an impact right away and along with free-agent signing Jack Conklin, the Browns offensive line should be much improved.
New York Jets
Pick 11: Mekhi Becton OT, Louisville
While tackle is a need it won’t matter if Sam Darnold doesn’t have anyone to throw the ball to. Becton has great size, length, and speed and according to the Jets he was the number two tackle on their board. However, if I was drafting for the Jets I would have gone wide receiver.
Las Vegas Raiders
- Pick 12: Henry Ruggs III WR, Alabama
- Pick 19: Damon Arnette CB, Ohio State
Raiders do it again!! Needing to add weapons for Carr, taking a wideout was obvious but they took the wrong guy. Maybe Al Davis made this pick from the grave. They also took Ohio State’s cornerback Damon Arnette who should but a good player but they just picked him way too early. Ruggs has very explosive speed but not much else after that. Arnette while having good size, above-average speed, and good hips struggled to be consistent. Lamb or Jeudy should have been chosen here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick 13: Tristan Wirfs OT, Iowa
The Bucs addressed a need in Wirfs. While he possesses elite potential according to most scouts, his footwork on tape is sloppy and fits better in a zone scheme. While many had Wirfs as their top tackle on the board I had him fourth behind the guys taken. If Tampa was going to trade up they should have traded up earlier and taken one of the other big uglies.
San Francisco 49ers
- Pick 14: Javon Kinlaw DT, South Carolina
- Pick 25: Brandon Aiyuk WR, Arizona State
While it was a good bet that the 49ers were going defense, most thought it would be a CB but I don’t think anyone thought a player of this caliber would be available. There is no way the 49ers could have passed on Kinlaw and they needed to replace Buckner. In Kinlaw, the 49ers got a much cheaper option. However, what confuses me, with two very talented CB’s left in the draft they chose a WR that has inconsistent hands and plays shorter than the six feet he’s listed at.
Pick 15: Jerry Jeudy WR, Alabama
This was a dream situation for the Broncos. Wide receiver was a huge need and a top-two wideout in the draft fell to them. Jeudy is as polished and smooth a WR that we have seen in the past twenty years. Paired with Cortland Sutton the Broncos will have a great duo on the outside for years to come.
Pick 16: A.J. Terrell CB, Clemson
This pick fits the Falcons need since Desmond Trufant is longer there leaving a huge hole at CB. Terrell fits the press-zone scheme that Atlanta uses and is an effective press corner. However, he has issues with consistency and is pushed around by bigger receivers giving the impression he needs to add some more muscle.
Pick 17: CeeDee Lamb WR, Oklahoma
This pick was a head-scratcher. Not due to Lamb’s talent but because of positional need. Lamb is the number one WR on my board so the Cowboys got a stud here. Lamb is an outstanding route runner, has great body control, and very strong hands. The reason the Cowboys are receiving such a low grade for such a great player is they had so many needs that could have been filled at this pick and just went for the shiny penny.
Pick 21: Jalen Reagor WR, TCU
They went for their biggest need but not only did they take the wrong guy but they failed to trade up to land Lamb. Reagor has good top-end speed, makes defenders miss, and breaks tackles. But he has short arms and is not able to win 50/50 balls which is what Wentz and the Eagles need desperately.
- Pick 22: Justin Jefferson WR, LSU
- Pick 31: Jeff Gladney CB, TCU
The Vikings two biggest needs coming into the draft were WR and CB. And they addressed both needs in the first round. Jefferson is a big, strong, and physical player who should compete for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Gladney will start right away in the depleted Vikes secondary.
New Orleans Saints
Pick 24: Cesar Ruiz C, Michigan
This was not seen as a need for the Saints but they did get the best true center in the draft. Ruiz has long arms, massive hands, and a very good balance. However, the Saints confused everyone with this pick.
Green Bay Packers
Pick 26: Jordan Love QB, Utah State
Such a slap in the face to a Hall Of Fame quarterback that is not at the end of his prime. Especially when the Packers are in need of more weapons. Love has all the tools to be great so the grade is not because of Love’s skillset but rather due to such a strong positional need around Rodgers. Love has above average escapability, big hands, and a big arm.
Pick 27: Jordyn Brooks OLB, Texes Tech
If I’m completely honest I didn’t see any film on Brooks before the Seahawks drafted him. Brooks has good speed and burst into the gaps and also seems to be a sure tackler. He should be a good replacement for Kendricks who it looks like Seattle is not going to resign.
Pick 28: Patrick Queen ILB, LSU
This was the biggest hole in what was a great defense last year. Having lost both of their ILB’s in free agency Queen was a huge addition. Queen is a great three-down linebacker who has great range and cover skills. Coaches at LSU say he was the tempo setter for them.
Pick 29: Isaiah Wilson OT, Georgia
Right Tackle was arguably the biggest need for the Titans after losing Conklin to the Browns. Wilson is a bigger than life tackle at 6’7″ and 350lbs. He has big hands and great arm length which makes him very tough to beat around the corner.
Kansas City Chiefs
Pick 32: Clyde Edwards-Helaire
An Embarrassment of riches for the defending Super Bowl Champions with no real pressing needs they had the luxury of drafting a running back. Edwards-Helaire is a great finisher seemingly punishing defenders who try to tackle him. He runs low to the ground and has outstanding contact balance. He is also able to make defenders miss even though he has below average top-end speed.
Last night was alot of fun. Who do you think won or lost the night? Were you happy with what your team did?