2020 NFL Draft

2020 NFL Draft First Round Grades

The first round of the draft is in the books. I literally wrote that sentence for SEO purposes as you obviously know that. Here’s some grades:

#1 Cincinnati Bengals – QB Joe Burrow, LSU B+

I’m sure putting a B+ will be met with rational responses. Look, A’s are by definition “outstanding” selections. The Bengals literally just didn’t fuck this up. They took the best quarterback with the #1 pick, and he is a really good prospect. Moving on.

#2 Washington – Edge Chase Young, Ohio State B

See above, mostly. Washington really should have traded this pick. However, considering Detroit didn’t strike a deal to move down there probably wasn’t an offer. Of course, telling the whole universe you won’t be moving off the pick doesn’t exactly entice people to send you serious offers.

#3 Detroit Lions – CB Jeffrey Okudah, Ohio State B

Well, I started off 3/3 in my mock, so there’s that. I didn’t think there would be a trade, and there wasn’t. I’m genuinely curious what, if any, offers were made to Detroit.

This is essentially the same analysis as Washington. They took the best prospect on the board. It hits a need. They should have traded back.

#4 New York Giants – OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia B

I almost want to give the Giants an A just because Gettleman didn’t take a punter or something. Gettleman believes Thomas is the best tackle in the class, ok, sure. None of us know. Most people think the top four are interchangeable so what’s it even matter? He took his guy. Again, New York should have traded back, but I don’t know what offers were made.

#5 Miami Dolphins – QB Tua Tagovailo, Alabama A-

I got the quarterback wrong. Damn it. Anyway, I think this grade is tricky. They made the right move, 100%, but I do think it is fair to question Tua’s long term durability, even if there’s no way to possibly predict the future. He’s well worth the gamble, and Miami didn’t move up to get him. However, there’s a bit of the Burrow analysis here as they shouldn’t get too much credit for simply not fucking this up. A- feels right.

#6 Los Angeles Chargers – QB Justin Herbert, Oregon C-

Herbert belongs in the back, back portion of the first round. Taking him 6th overall is just ridiculous. The only saving grace here for the Chargers is they’re shooting their shot on a quarterback.

#7 Carolina Panthers – DT Derrick Brown, Auburn D

I just. I.. just. How do you pass on Isaiah Simmons for a run stuffing defensive tackle in 2020? Seriously, how does that happen?

Good lord.

#8 Arizona Cardinals – LB/S Isaiah Simmons, Clemson B+

I guess I’m a tough grader, I dunno. Look, Simmons is a weapon for Arizona. Just, here:

But according to Ian Rapoport, the Falcons tried to get up to this pick for Henderson. I had that exact scenario in my mock, except Simmons was off the board, and that’s reportedly why Arizona wouldn’t give up the pick. I don’t know what Atlanta offered, so it’s hard for me to say they should have taken the deal, but they shouldn’t have just hung up the phone because Simmons fell to them.

#9 Jacksonville Jaguars – CB C.J. Henderson, Florida B

I can’t blame the Jaguars for doing this. There was a consensus around there being a big drop off at corner after Henderson. Fine. I just don’t understand why the NFL hates Jeudy and Lamb so much. I don’t get it. Why wouldn’t the Jaguars want to add one of them? Or, if you’re going the “tap into the top tier of a position before the drop off” route with this pick, take one of the tackles?

At least Henderson is a corner.

#10 Cleveland Browns – OT Jedrick Wills Jr., Alabama B+

I had Wills as the best tackle in the draft, and thought he would go fourth. Getting him here is nice. Again, though, Cleveland didn’t really do anything, they just let this come to them and didn’t mess it up. I don’t understand why Cleveland isn’t more aggressive about getting Trent Williams. Maybe it’s the medicals during the pandemic thing, but I would have loved to see them just take on of the receivers or bail out of this pick knowing they’d lined up a Trent trade.

#11 New York Jets – OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville C-

I think Becton is really overrated. As in much closer to a second rounder than 11th pick of the draft overrated. Passing on Jeudy and Lamb for Becton is insanity. Don’t @ me.

At least they messed up at offensive tackle?

#12 Las Vegas Raiders – WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama B-

[Scroll Star Wars text]

The ghost of Al Davis lives! Forget Jeudry or Lamb, Ruggs ran a 4.2! Anyway, we all know a receiver was coming in the first for Vegas. They took their favorite one. Fine. I don’t know how you end up thinking Ruggs is better than Jeudy and Lamb, but whatever.

#13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (F/SF) – OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa B

The Bucs sent 14 and 117 to San Francisco for #13 and #245. That is quite the price to flip up a single pick.

Now, of course, everyone is going to say it’s totally worth it because Wirfs was the last of the “top 4” tackles and is bound to be really good, right? He’s not guaranteed to be really good, he just profiles as someone that will be very good. He could easily be awesome, sure, but I generally speaking don’t like trading up. This isn’t an exception, and I don’t really like it, but I can understand the thought process behind it at least.

If San Francisco ended up unable to find a different trade partner, Tampa gets Wirfs at 14. If the 9ers trade the pick to someone, that someone would be specifically looking to leap Tampa for Wirfs in order of Tampa to get screwed. It’s possible that would have been the market for the pick, which is exactly what I projected in my final mock, someone trading into this spot to grab the last of the “top 4” tackles right in front of Tampa. Who knows who was calling the 9ers though, and FFS Josh Jones is still available heading into Day 2.

#14 San Francisco (F/TB) – DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina B+

Not only did I have the 9ers bailing out of 13 for someone coming up to get the last of the “top 4” tackles, but also taking Kinlaw later on. Granted, it was at 18, not 14, and they weren’t passing on Jeudy or Lamb in my fake scenario, but I want like 67% daps.

Anyway, this is obviously the 9ers drafting Buckner’s replacement and trusting they’ll find a receiver later in the draft in a loaded receiver class.

I don’t like the 9ers passing on Jeudy or Lamb, I do like them picking up a free 4th rounder to get the guy they were going to take anyway, and I like Kinlaw as a prospect. B+ seems appropriate.

#15 Denver Broncos – WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama A

Elway gambled he didn’t need to move up for Jeudy and won. Lock now gets the best route runner in the draft with legit deep speed to throw to. Jeudy has no business falling to 15.

#16 Atlanta Falcons – CB A.J. Terrell, Clemson C

Siri, define needs based drafting.

#17 Dallas Cowboys – WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma A+

God good this receiving core. I don’t know why the NFL hates CeeDee Lamb, but whatever. He has no business getting to 17, and now this passing attack is unstoppable.

#18 Miami Dolphins (F/PIT) – OT Austin Jackson, USC C

Austin Jackson doesn’t belong anywhere near the first round. I hate traits-based-but-was-bad-in-college prospects, especially at offensive tackle. But if you’re gonna shoot your shot do it at one of the four premium positions, which Miami is doing here.

#19 Las Vegas Raiders (F/CHI) – CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State F

Except in this instance. Arnette belongs in the third round. He’s old and slow. Even if you’re absolutely infatuated with him, work the board. Trade down. Build up more picks. How the fuck is Mayock so bad at this?

#20 Jacksonville Jaguars – Edge K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU C

I’m not surprise by this, as I had the Jags taking Gross-Matos in my final mock. I suspect receiver and offensive line will be big targets for Jacksonville on Day 2. In a weird edge class, they take the freaky Chaisson. Like Becton, I think he’s more 2nd round than 20th overall, but at least they reached at a premium position.

#21 Philadelphia Eagles – WR Jalen Reagor, TCU B

The Eagles took a receiver, shocking. We all thought it would be Jefferson, and we all (?) have Jefferson rated higher. But Reagor is a legit speed threat so I can’t really hate on Roseman for thinking he’s better, I just disagree.

#22 Minnesota Vikings (F/BUF) – WR Justin Jefferson, LSU B+

I had Jefferson to Minnesota in my final mock and wrote this:

“Jefferson appears to be the consensus fourth receiver behind the top three. His route running ability may make Minnesota view him as an immediate contributor.”

  1. 1. Quoting yourself in an article is amazing.
  2. 2. Roseman really ruined the fourth receiver off the board thing, thanks dude.
  3. 3. It’s clear the Vikings were going to replace Diggs at some point in the first, but I do believe they see Jefferson’s route running as an immediate contributor attribute, as opposed to chasing the upside of Mims or something.

#23 Los Angeles Chargers (F/NE) – LB Kenneth Murray F

  1. 1. I had the Chargers trading into this spot in my final mock, so you can now call me Lord of the Mocks (let’s ignore that it was for Jordan Love).

2. LOL Image trading 37 and 71 to go up and get an off ball linebacker after taking a big, mobile quarterback with accuracy issues in the top 10 instead of surrounding him with like offensive lineman or another receiver just because. Oh wait, the Bills did literally that in 2018.

In sending picks 37 and 71 to New England for 23, the chargers lost 4.5 points worth of draft value according to the Chase Stuart draft chart, which is the equivalent of the 113th pick of the draft. So Belichick created the 113th pick out of thin air.

#24 New Orleans Saints – IOL Cesar Ruiz, Michigan D+

The Saints, who are in perpetual win now mode, made a long term decision? I just don’t understand this. They effectively spent two second round picks on Erik McCoy last year, just shelled out for Andrus Peat, and have Larry Warford on the roster. With Warford a free agent in 2021 this would appear to be his replacement?

But, like, why? I think Ruiz is the best IOL in the draft, is a good prospect (though a reach here), and I’m not advocating drafting for need, but this makes no sense to me. Patrick Queen is on the board. There’s plenty of receivers and corners worth this pick and you can never have enough of those. Just, why?

#25 San Francisco (F/MIN) – WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State B-/C+

Let’s make one thing clear; I LOVE this fit. Aiyuk in Shanahan’s offense, my god. However, what is going on here? Lynch, who already had a shortage of picks, sent away 31, 117, and 176 for 25 to take a receiver in a loaded receiver class? Is anyone else understanding this?

The 49ers realized a net negative of 4.6 points worth of draft capital. That’s the 112th pick of the draft. You can sit here and say, “well, the two trades effectively cancel out and they got Kinlaw and Aiyuk” and from 30,000 feet that looks pretty, but just because they created extra capital already doesn’t mean they have to go spend it. Do you have to go spend your poker winnings at a casino?

#26 Green Bay Packers (F/MIA/HOU) – QB Jordan Love, Utah State, D

GOD. Why does Green Bay fucking hate Aaron Rodgers so much? Jesus christ just draft the dude a receiver for once in your lives. Moving up for Love, while setting pick 136 ablaze, is terrible by itself before factoring in the opportunity cost of NOT taking a receiver.

#27 Seattle Seahawks – LB Jordyn Brooks Texas Tech, F

Can Seattle make a normal pick for once? Seriously. Like what the fuck? I liked this dude for a third rounder. They really took a run stuffing off-ball linebacker with a first round pick in 2020.

What blows my mind is that in 2006 Pete Carroll went for it on 4th and 1 with LenDale White at midfield against Texas because he knew if he gave Vince Young the ball back he was screwed. He was 10 years ahead of the 4th down revolution. But the Seahawks run more than anyone, run on first down more than anyone, and draft Jordyn Brooks in the first round for his run stuffing abilities. I just don’t understand.

#28 Baltimore Ravens – LB Patrick Queen, LSU B+

Good value, hits a need. Not much more to explain on this one. I got this in my mock too, woot.

#29 Tennessee Titans – OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia, C

From my mock:

“And here is your “wait, what?” pick of the first round. I should probably listen to all the reports that have Ezra Cleveland going higher in mocks, and also have Josh Jones come off the board before Wilson as well, but Wilson is consistently listed as a name that will be draft before the public expects.

This is based on the theory that Jon Robinson thinks the best fit for his team is a mauling run blocker that plays right tackle.”

  1. 1. I was correct to not listen to those reports.
  2. 2. I truly believe Robinson pigeonholed himself into replacing Conklin with this pick
  3. 3. Imagine if instead of tagging a running back Robinson kept Conklin and used this pick, on, like, a good player?

#30 Miami Dolphins (F/GB) – CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn B-/C+

I am not big on Igbinoghene, and I certainly don’t think he is the best corner on the board at this junction. However, I can’t really blame the Dolphins for doing this. You never have enough corners, slot corners are starting players now, and Igbinoghene fits what they want to do on defense. If he hits, or is even just like pretty good, this corner trio is ridiculous.

#31 Minnesota Vikings (F/SF) – CB Jeff Gladney, TCU A-

See, this is working the draft Mayock. Minnesota likely had eyes for Gladney at 25 but moved down, picked up 117 and 176, and still walked away with their top corner on the board. It’s not rocket science.

#32 Kansas City Chiefs – RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU F

I do not care that this is a perfect fit. I do not care that Andy Reid thinks this dude is better than Brian Westbrook. Andy Reid has proven he can take any running back and make them successful in his system. He could just draft a dude in the 5th. He could just roll with Damien Williams.

The Chiefs came in with five (FIVE!) picks in this draft and didn’t trade down from their most valuable asset. Oh, and instead of taking a corner like Trevon Diggs, which they badly need and is a premium position, they took a running back.

I don’t care CEH is the 1.01 in fantasy dynasty drafts, or that he is going to win you a fantasy title, or that the Chiefs are gonna end up winning the Super Bowl next year and you’ll scream about how this pick made an impact because CEH had 150 total yards against the Saints. This is just bad team building.

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