Round 1 NFL Draft Recap

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Hudson Ridley ‘22

Round 1 NFL Draft Recap

 

The first round of the 2020 NFL draft took place last night and left us lots to talk about it. There were some surprises for sure so lets break down how each pick went. For the first round I will be giving analysis of these picks. For rounds 2-7, I will give letter grades for each pick. 

 

Pick 1 – Joe Burrow – Bengals – QB

The former LSU quarterback was the unanimous best quarterback in this year’s draft. The Bengals let Burrow know he would be selected on Wednesday so there would be no surprise. Burrow doesn’t have much help in Cincinnati so don’t expect him to dominate right away, but with the right additions he could be spectacular. 

Pick 2 – Chase Young – Redskins – DE

The Ohio State product is my pick for the best player in this year’s draft. Young is already a complete defensive end who is sure to wreak havoc in the capital city. A surprisingly great pick from an organization that is notoriously bad at drafting.

Pick 3 – Jeffrey Okudah – Lions – CB

The second Ohio State player off the board is guaranteed to be a solid player for years to come. Okudah presents the perfect opportunity for the Lions to finally make something out of their defense.

Pick 4 – Andrew Thomas – Giants – OT

This pick certainly came as a shock to many. Thomas is a very talented player but the Giants made two mistakes with this pick. Even though they needed an offensive tackle Thomas certainly was not the best on the board. Add that to the fact that a run blocking athletic tackle would have helped but that is not what Thomas is.

Pick 5 – Tua Tagovailoa – Dolphins – QB

The quarterback from Alabama has shown tremendous upside ever since his freshman year. He has all the talent in the world, the only concern for him is his health. Tua is coming off of multiple college injuries that could come back to haunt him.

Pick 6 – Justin Herbert – Chargers – QB

Former Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is one of the most physically impressive quarterbacks the draft has seen in years. Herbert has a rocket for an arm and is fairly mobile. He also stands at 6 foot 6 inches. 

Pick 7 – Derrick Brown – Panthers – DT

Brown’s name won’t jump out to you on the stat sheet but he’s a tremendously gifted player. As a run stopping defensive tackle at Auburn Brown recorded very few sacks. This is the perfect pick for the Panthers as they lost both of their starters at that position.

Pick 8 – Isaiah Simmons – Cardinals – S/LB/DE

Simmons is my personal pick for a standout player in this draft. This Clemson Product possesses elite size, strength, and speed. He also plays 3 different positions and is not only the best safety in this draft but also the best linebacker and the second best pass rusher.

Pick 9 – C.J. Henderson – Jaguars – CB

While Henderson is certainly one of the best corners in this year’s draft, picking this corner from Florida might not have been the best possible move. The Jaguars have lost most of their defense and missed out on Simmons by one pick. The smartest move would have been to trade down or draft one of the surplus of offensive tackles at that spot.

Pick 10 – Jedrick Wills Jr. – Browns – OT

Wills did a tremendous job at Alabama and is by far the best mix of run and pass blocking in this year’s draft. Even though Wills played mostly at right tackle, the arrest of left tackle Greg Robinson might force him to play at left tackle.

Pick 11 – Mekhi Becton – Jets – OT

Becton was an absolute monster at Louisville and was the biggest player at the combine this year. Despite his size he was able to run a 5.11 second 40-yard dash. This pick is a major surprise as the Jets desperately need receiver help. Nevertheless with his size and speed he’s sure to help Le’Veon Bell cause an avalanche in that run game. 

Pick 12 – Henry Ruggs III – Raiders – WR

Ruggs was not the top wide receiver from his own school of Alabama but is very good regardless. His combination of size and speed reminds me a lot of Tyreek Hill which is a very big compliment. An interesting choice by the Raiders but not a bad one.

Pick 13 – Tristan Wirfs – Buccaneers – OT – (Trade with SF)

Wirfs sliding this far is a total surprise. This Iowa prospect has linebacker level athleticism with a 36 inch vertical. He would make any running team extremely happy but unfortunately for the Bucs they aren’t a running team. However, Wirfs will help with blocking on Tom Brady’s favorite pass, the screen.

Pick 14 – Javon Kinlaw – 49ers – DT – (Trade with TB)

Even though Kinlaw would be replacing DeForrest Buckner he’ll be adding to the log jam at that position. The 49ers could have added Jeudy or Lamb for much needed wide receiver support but decided to go a different way.

Pick 15 – Jerry Jeudy – Broncos – WR

The Broncos have not only secured the steal of the first round but possibly one of their best draft picks in years. Jeudy has all the qualities of Julio Jones and was ranked as the best wide receiver in this year’s draft. With Sutton on one side and Jeudy on the other, John Elway has done a perfect job of making Drew Lock a little more comfortable.

Pick 16 – A.J. Terrell – Falcons – CB

The Falcons did the best they could after missing out on C.J. Henderson but didn’t end off to bad. Terrell is a lockdown corner from Clemson who starred in two national championship games in a row. He’s made for big moments and has Pro-bowl potential.

Pick 17 – CeeDee Lamb – Cowboys – WR

Even though the Cowboys didn’t need wide receiver help they couldn’t resist. This wide receiver from one state north in Oklahoma is a perfect combination of size, speed, shiftiness, and leaping ability. I’m sure Jerry Jones is thrilled.

Pick 18 – Austin Jackson – Dolphins – OT

Coming into the 2019-2020 season Jackson was regarded as the best tackle in the NCAA. While his draft stock has dropped a little he’s still a tremendous prospect. Miami needs all the help they can get so this pick definitely works.

Pick 19 – Damon Arnette – Raiders –  CB

Arnette was the number two corner at Ohio State but was equally impressive. The Raiders had to move one down on the draft board after the corner they wanted had already been picked, and while Arnette is a downgrade he still had tremendous upside. 

Pick 20 – K’Lavon Chaisson – Jaguars – DE

K’Lavon is one of the many LSU prospects in this year’s draft. Chaisson is a perfect replacement for Yannick Ngakoue who continues to request a trade. This will prove to be a solid addition to a major defensive rebuild.

Pick 21 – Jalen Reagor – Eagles – WR

TCU’s Jalen Reagor is certainly a great wide receiver but why he went over Justin Jefferson is mind blowing, and while certainly Reagor’s numbers are not as eye popping because of QB play he’s just not on that level.

Pick 22  – Justin Jefferson – Vikings – WR

Jefferson was another one of the great draft steals in the first round. He’ll be heading from one end of the Mississippi river to another to replace a big hole at wide receiver. He was one of the stars on the reigning national champion LSU Tigers and could be just as dominant at the NFL level.

Pick 23 – Kenneth Murray – Chargers – LB – (Trade with NE)

After filling the QB spot the Chargers needed the best available player preferably a linebacker. Luckily for them Murray fell right into their laps. As a verstitle field general linebacker he’s a perfect way to replace veteran linebacker Thomas Davis. 

Pick 24 – Cesar Ruiz – Saints – C

The Saints basically have all the pieces in place so offensive line help was the right way to go. Ruiz wasn’t spectacular in college, but in a weak draft class of centers he’s as good as it gets.

Pick 25 – Brandon Aiyuk – 49ers – WR – (Trade with MIN)

In his time at Arizona State Aiyuk flew way under the radar. This is a great way to fill in a damaged wide receiver corps after the loss of Emannuel Sanders in free agency. Aiyuk is not only a bigger bodied receiver but when he uses his 40 inch vertical he’s a cornerback’s worst nightmare.

Pick 26 – Jordan Love – Packers – QB – (Trade with MIA) 

Packers fans and some sports talk figures may hate this pick but in the long term it makes perfect sense. Love is certainly a gamble with a ceiling of Patrick Mahomes and a floor of a poor man’s Jamies Winston. Time will only tell which one he’ll be.

Pick 27 – Jordyn Brooks – Seahawks – LB

The Seahawks were set on getting a linebacker and at this point they could have gone with two great prospects. They ended up choosing Brooks over Queen which may be a better fit for their system. Could this be the first piece to revive the legion of boom?

Pick 28 – Patrick Queen – Ravens – LB

The Ravens got exactly what they needed with Patrick Queen. He can cover an insane amount of ground very quickly. That may prove to be one of the last pieces the Ravens need to make a championship run.

Pick 29 – Isaiah Wilson – Titans – OT

Wilson is an absolute bulldozer at the tackle spot and when paired with Derrick Henry will be an absolute force. He’s also great at blocking in play action which is where most of the pass game comes from for the Titans.

Pick 30 – Noah Igbinoghene – Dolphins – CB

Igbinoghene uses his superb awareness as a former wide receiver to diagnose plays early. He’s great at sniffing out screens and is not easily shaken in man coverage. A solid first step this year for a massive defensive rebuild. 

Pick 31 – Jeff Gladney – Vikings – CB

Gladney is a very physical corner who’s just as good in coverage as he is in pass rush. Gladney uses strength and speed to rush the quarterback. The Vikings could’ve used someone who is more coveraged focussed but they’ll take what they can get after losing most of their secondary.

Pick 32 – Clyde Edwards-Helaire – RB

While Edwards-Helaire might not be the best and most talented running back in the draft he’ll fit well into the Chiefs system. He won’t be spectacular in the run game but he’ll thrive on screen passes, and will be an excellent bail out option on Patrick Mahomes scramble plays.