The first round is over, and most of the NFL’s teams have made franchise-altering choices. Who are the winners and losers of the 2020 NFL Draft?
Day One Winners and Losers of the 2020 NFL Draft
Winner: Dallas Cowboys
Just before the draft, it was reported that Jerry Jones would be handling the draft alone. While its usually not a good idea to give all power to one team decision-maker, especially an owner, the Cowboys were able to draft CeeDee Lamb. Lamb was regarded as the best receiver by many analysts. His ability to use physicality and make plays at the catch point will pair very nicely with Amari Cooper‘s skill set. Lamb and Cooper are also perfect fits for traditional X and Z wide receiver roles. The Cowboys picked up not only one of the best receivers, but one of the best prospects in the entire draft. Lamb will more than likely become a great player in the NFL and outproduce his draft selection.
Loser: Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks are well known in the draft community for their often surprising first-round picks, and selecting Jordyn Brooks made this year was no different. Before this, Brooks was nearly not talked about going in the first round at all. Though opinions vary, the majority of analysts had a third or fourth round grade on Brooks. The Seahawks could have gotten a lot more value with this pick. Linebacker isn’t the most pressing need the Seahawks have, and there were still more talented linebackers on the board.
Winner: Denver Broncos
Similar to the Cowboys, the Broncos were able to improve their team by having a top-end wide receiver fall into their lap. Jerry Jeudy has unbelievable explosiveness in his feet, allowing him to create separation in his routes rather easily. This will immensely help Drew Lock, as Jeudy will be able to get consistently open for him, and he can develop as a passer along with a star wide receiver. The Broncos got a great value pick at 15, and Jeudy also fits their needs and offensive scheme well.
Loser: Atlanta Falcons
Days before the draft, rumors began to heat up about the Falcons possibly trading up, though reports varied in whether they were trading into the top 10 or top 5. This was more than likely for either Jeff Okudah or C.J. Henderson. Unfortunately for the Falcons, they missed out on both of them. This led to them reaching on a cornerback in A.J. Terrell. Terrell isn’t a bad player at all, but he was not worth this high of a first-round selection. There were also other cornerbacks on the board that fit better in Dan Quinn’s cover 3 defense. Terrell’s issues with grabbing players before the catch point and dealing with physicality at the catch point could be exposed at the next level. Overall, the Falcons trapped themselves into needing a starting cornerback right away; however, there were much better value picks on the board.
Winner: Arizona Cardinals
Before the draft, many projected offensive players to the Cardinals, but not many expected Isaiah Simmons to be on the board at this point. The Cardinals defense really needed to acquire more talent on the defensive side; bringing Simmons in does precisely that. The Cardinals have already taken multiple chances on hybrid defenders in Haason Reddick and Deone Bucannon. Though both of these experiments failed, Simmons is significantly more talented than both of them. The Cardinals finally got the hybrid defender they have been looking for.
Loser: Tennessee Titans
Isaiah Wilson going in the first round wasn’t a huge surprise on draft night. However, Wilson is easily the most polarizing prospect in this draft class. Some analysts viewed him as a first-round player, while others believed he should go on Day 3. There’s a good reason behind this, as Wilson has all the physical traits desired in a power style tackle. However, his technique is lacking in many areas. The Titans are hoping to improve upon these issues, but the league struggles to develop offensive linemen, and this pick is far too risky.
Winner: Kansas City Chiefs
It’s scary to think about the Chiefs offense getting even more talented, but it just did again with a significant upgrade at running back in Clyde Edwards-Helaire. He can basically do it all as a running back, and there are very few negative aspects about his game. Andy Reid also likes running backs that have good vision, contact balance, third-down ability, and consistently fight for every yard. He found exactly what he wanted in Edwards-Helaire. Running backs often end up being hard to justify in the first round; however, Edwards-Helaire’s fantastic skill set paired with the best offense in the league gives endless possibilities.
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