2020 NFL Draft Live Coverage/Analysis

It’s finally here! With so much uncertainty, especially at the top, this figures to be one of the most exciting and shocking drafts in recent memory. Throughout the first round, we’ll go through every pick, with live grades/analysis.

Before the draft starts, he is my official “what I think happens” mock draft:

  1. CIN- QB Joe Burrow
  2. WSH- EDGE Chase Young
  3. DET- CB Jeff Okudah
  4. NYG- OT Tristan Wirfs
  5. MIA- QB Justin Herbert
  6. LAC- QB Tua Tagovailoa
  7. CAR- Playmaker Isaiah Simmons
  8. ATL (Trade)- CB CJ Henderson
  9. JAX- IDL Derrick Brown
  10. PHI (Trade)- WR CeeDee Lamb
  11. DEN (Trade)- WR Jerry Jeudy
  12. LV- WR Henry Ruggs III
  13. MIA (Trade)- OT Andrew Thomas
  14. TB- OT Mekhi Becton
  15. NYJ (Trade)- OT Jedrick Wills Jr.
  16. ARI (Trade)- IDL Javon Kinlaw
  17. DAL- EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson
  18. SF (Trade)- WR Justin Jefferson
  19. LV- CB Jaylon Johnson
  20. JAX- CB AJ Terrell
  21. CLE (Trade)- OT Ezra Cleveland
  22. MIN- WR Denzel Mims
  23. NE- OT Josh Jones
  24. NO- WR Jalen Reagor
  25. MIN- CB Jeff Gladney
  26. MIA- IOL Cesar Ruiz
  27. SEA- S Xavier McKinney
  28. BAL- LB Kenneth Murray
  29. TEN- CB Kristian Fulton
  30. GB- LB Patrick Queen
  31. SF- IDL Ross Blacklock
  32. KC- S Antoine Winfield Jr.

Now, lets get to the picks, with instant grades, as well as a revised grade after a day of contemplating and looking at the rationale of each selection:

#1 Pick: Bengals Select QB Joe Burrow, LSU

burrow
Photo Cred: Fox News

Grade: A+

Revised Grade: A+

We’ve known this was going to be the pick since the season ended, but now, it’s official; the Bengals have selected LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick. With his elite accuracy, anticipation, pocket presence, and poise, Burrow may very well be the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. The Bengals have been waiting for a true franchise quarterback for years, and finally, they have a legitimate franchise quarterback that will change their franchise. For the sake of their future, I’m extremely happy that they didn’t overthink this pick, and didn’t trade down.

#2 Pick: Redskins Draft EDGE Chase Young

chaseyoung
Photo Cred: Riggo’s Rag

Grade: B-

Revised Grade: B

Also to no one’s surprise, the Redskins have selected Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young with the 2nd overall pick. Based off of pure talent alone, Young is probably the best player in this year’s draft. However, as we’ve discussed repeatedly , even elite edge rushers don’t make enough of an impact, and for Young to justify this pick, he’ll have to reach his ceiling. It’s hard to fault the Redskins too much, considering how talented of a player Young is. However, if they seriously did turn down reasonable trade offers for this pick, I’m extremely against that; their roster is too thin on talent, especially on offense, to stand pat and expect an edge rusher to be a difference-maker for a team that won just two games last season

#3 Pick: Lions Select CB Jeff Okudah

okudah
Photo Cred: Pride of Detroit

Grade: A

Revised Grade: A+

Though there were rumors that they could trade this pick or take Derrick Brown, the Lions have come away with their top target with the third overall pick. A rare cornerback prospect with length, athleticism, and man-coverage skills, Jeffrey Okudah is a perfect fit for head coach Matt Patricia’s man-heavy scheme. Additionally, he shores up Detroit’s pass coverage, which is by far the most important aspect of defense. It would’ve been great for them to trade down, but regardless, they got the player who was the best fit for them; the Lions have a very sneaky roster in terms of talent going into next season.

#4 Pick: Giants Select OT Andrew Thomas

andrewthomas
Photo Cred: Fox News

Grade: B

Revised Grade: B

It was expected that the Giants would take an offensive tackle, but it’s a mild surprise that they’ve selected Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. Defensive playmaker Isaiah Simmons would’ve been the pick for me, but New York also needs to do what they can to see if Daniel Jones can be their franchise quarterback, and protecting him makes sense. Even though Jedrick Wills is my top offensive tackle, it was very close between him and Thomas, while Thomas is probably the most refined pass-protector in this draft. Obviously, you wish they could’ve traded down, but stuck with this pick, this was their second-best option in my mind, and I’m never going to fault a team for improving their quarterback’s surrounding cast.

#5 Pick: Dolphins Select QB Tua Tagovailoa

tuadolphins
Photo Cred: New York Post

Grade: A

Revised Grade: A

Tanking for Tua worked! Despite being stuck with the 5th overall pick, the Dolphins didn’t have to trade up to select their franchise quarterback, as Tua Tagovailoa is officially a member of their organization. Despite his injury concerns, the Alabama product’s incredible accuracy and refinement make me confident he has a good chance to be at least a fringe top-ten quarterback. Miami does have a lot of picks, but in a very weak division, it was unlikely they were going to be in position for them to draft Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence next season, so this was the logical decision. Now, they’ll need to protect him and supply him with more weapons, but luckily for them, they didn’t have to give up any draft capital to draft him.

#6 Pick: Chargers Select QB Justin Herbert

justin-herbert-oregon
Photo Cred: CBS Sports

Grade: F

Revised Grade: F

The rumors heading into the draft were that the Chargers wanted one specific quarterback, and now, it’s clear it was Justin Herbert. Los Angeles has selected the Oregon product with the 6th overall pick, making him their new franchise quarterback. Herbert has the arm strength and athleticism that are extremely intriguing, but his failure to go through progressions, as well as his reluctance to use his tools, are very concerning. I personally don’t see him developing into a future starter, especially with the Chargers’ current offensive line. I’m expecting him to sit for a season behind Tyrod Taylor, and maybe this works out for a team that rarely has a top-ten pick. However, this wasn’t the right quarterback, and I fear that they just damaged all of the tremendous roster building they’ve accomplished.

#7 Pick: Panthers Select IDL Derrick Brown

NCAA Football: Advocare Classic-Auburn vs Oregon
Photo Cred: Cards Wire- USA Today

Grade: F

Revised Grade: D-

Rather than selecting rare defensive playmaker Isaiah Simmons, the Panthers have opted to build through the trenches; they’ve drafted Derrick Brown with the 7th overall pick. Brown, from Auburn, is one of the top players in this draft. However, he’s also more of a run defender, and plays one of the least valuable positions in the NFL. Even if he reaches his ceiling, this pick won’t be worth it whatsoever, and isn’t a good look whatsoever for a new regime in Carolina. Brown will be a top-20 player in this draft when it’s all said and done, but this pick was made with a complete disregard for positional value.

#8 Pick: Cardinals Select Defensive Playmaker Isaiah Simmons

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Louisiana State
Photo Cred: Empire Sports Media

Grade: A+

Revised Grade: A+

Folks, the Cardinals have come away with the steal of the draft so far. Isaiah Simmons, in my opinion, is the most valuable non-quarterback prospect in this year’s draft, and as I recommended them doing, Arizona passed on an offensive tackle for a player who can definitely improve their pass coverage. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s offensive scheme places less value on the offensive line, but he can’t compensate for their lack of defensive talent. Simmons is a blue-chip player, and drafting him caps off what has been a very exciting offseason for the Cardinals in terms of adding star talent.

#9: Jaguars Select CB CJ Henderson

CJHenderson
Photo Cred: The Riot Report

Grade: B-

Revised Grade: B-

CJ Henderson had been rumored to be a future top-ten pick, and that’s now officially the case. The Jaguars have selected the Florida cornerback with the 9th overall pick, which isn’t much of a surprise after they decided to keep the pick. I’m not as high on Henderson as others, considering his struggles this past season, but I do like the fit with him in Jacksonville’s cover-three scheme. I would’ve preferred for them to improve their offense, and circle back to cornerback, but this is much better than them adding a defensive tackle, and his ceiling is enormous.

#10 Pick: Browns Select OT Jedrick Wills Jr.

wills
Photo Cred: The News-Herald

Grade: A

Revised Grade: A

Rather than trading down, the Browns decided to stand pat and grab who, in my opinion, is the best offensive tackle in this draft. Alabama’s Jedrick Wills will need to make the conversion to left tackle, but in head coach Kevin Stefanski’s zone-blocking scheme, I don’t think that’ll be a problem; he protected Tagovailoa’s blindside in college. Cleveland came into the offseason needing to fix their offensive line, and between Wills and Jack Conklin, they’ve certainly accomplished that. Suddenly, I’m very excited about their direction moving forward, and am happy they decided to select him over a more unrefined tackle in Mekhi Becton.

#11 Pick: Jets Select OT Mekhi Becton

becton
Photo Cred: ESPN

Grade: C-

Revised Grade: C-

The fall for Tristan Wirfs continues; the Jets have passed on the Iowa tackle to select Mekhi Becton. Coming from Louisville, Becton’s size-athleticism combination is unheard of, which is why he’s such a hyped-up prospect. However, he’s a project, as he struggled with his limited true pass sets in college, which isn’t ideal for the Jets; they need someone who can protect Sam Darnold now. I’m happy that they went for an offensive tackle, but if they were going to take Becton, they should’ve just gone for a receiver- Wirfs looked like the clear pick, as he’s a much more refined player.

#12 Pick: Raiders Select WR Henry Ruggs III

ruggsIII
Photo Cred: Bleacher Report

Grade: B

Revised Grade: B

The first wide receiver off the board wasn’t CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy, after all; the Raiders have drafted Henry Ruggs III with the 12th overall pick. With his 4.27 40-yard dash speed, Ruggs is a dynamic athlete, and is more than your traditional deep threat. However, he’s not on the same level as Jeudy or Lamb, in my eyes, and Las Vegas needed a true #1 receiver. I’m happy they were committed to adding weapons for Derek Carr, but this wouldn’t have been the receiver I would’ve taken.

#13 Pick: Buccaneers (Via 49ers) Select OT Tristan Wirfs

tristanwirfs
Photo Cred: Bergen Record

Grade: A-

Revised Grade: A-

The Bucs, in desperate need of a new offensive tackle, made certain that they got their guy, trading up one spot to select Tristan Wirfs. Coming out of Iowa, Wirfs has freakish athletic traits, but unlike Becton, is a pretty refined player, and will be an immediate starter for the Bucs. In most cases, I wouldn’t recommend trading up for a non-quarterback, but the compensation (4th for 7th pick swap), is marginal enough for me to not weight that too push, especially with a team like the Dolphins looming as a potential trade-up team. Simply put, Tampa Bay’s offense is absolutely loaded, and they should be ecstatic that Wirfs, rather than Becton, was the offensive tackle that they were able to select.

#14 Pick: 49ers Select IDL Javon Kinlaw

kinlaw
Photo Cred: Ebony Bird

Grade: D+

Revised Grade: C-

In an absolutely stunning development, the 49ers have passed on each of the top receivers for interior defender Javon Kinlaw. Now, the South Carolina product is a very intriguing prospect who is a very powerful player with a high pass-rush ceiling, but as we said with Brown, he doesn’t play a valuable position. Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb had a chance to make a massive difference for the 49ers, but instead, they continue to invest way too heavily in their defensive line. San Francisco’s regime is usually smart, but this is one mistake they continue to make. At least they got a free fourth-round pick!

#15 Pick: Broncos Select WR Jerry Jeudy

NCAA Football: Auburn at Alabama
Photo Cred: Broncos Wire

Grade: A+

Revised Grade: A+

It appeared to be a certainty that the Broncos would have to trade up to select a top receiver in this draft, but thanks to the Jets and 49ers passing on receivers, they’ve been able to land an extremely polished receiving prospect. Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy’s separation ability is off the charts, and is a perfect fit for Drew Lock, who is a vertical passer, but perhaps isn’t the most accurate quarterback. The Broncos have had a fabulous offseason, and now, they’ve landed the complement to Courtland Sutton that they needed. This was legitimately the best-case scenario for them.

#16: Falcons Select CB AJ Terrell

terrell
Photo Cred: SB Nation

Grade: B+

Revised Grade: B+

When it’s all said and done, the Falcons didn’t trade up for a cornerback; they ended up staying put with pick #16, and using it on Clemson cornerback AJ Terrell. Though Terrell isn’t a well-regarded prospect by everyone, he does have the athleticism and man-coverage skills to thrive in Atlanta’s defensive scheme. Now, if I were them, I would’ve seriously entertained drafting CeeDee Lamb, and completing a dominant receiver duo, but I understand why they made this pick. This is a very safe selection, but a very logical one.

#17 Pick: Cowboys Select WR CeeDee Lamb

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Baylor vs Oklahoma
Photo Cred: Raiders Wire- USAToday.com

Grade: A+

Revised Grade: A+

The Cowboys definitely needed long-term help in the secondary, but you can’t pass on a blue-chip receiver. CeeDee Lamb’s ball skills and run after catch ability made him the best receiver in this draft, in my opinion, and he had no business falling to the 17th overall pick. As much as Dallas could’ve used a cornerback, it’s all about drafting the most valuable player available, and that’s what the Cowboys have done here. Well done, Jerry Jones.

#18: Dolphins Select OT Austin Jackson

austinjackson
Photo Cred: NFL Mock Draft

Grade: C-

Revised Grade: D+

The Dolphins got their quarterback, and now, they’ve secured the services of an offensive tackle, selecting Austin Jackson with the 18th overall pick. Just 20-years-old, Jackson has a lot of room to grow, and has tons of athleticism. However, he certainly isn’t ready to start right away, especially after he struggled against top-tier pass rushers at USC. I like the position, but I wish Miami would’ve gotten a more polished player.

#19 Pick: Raiders Select CB Damon Arnette

arnette
Photo Cred: Pro Football Network

Grade: C-

Revised Grade: C-

The Raiders have pulled off a stunner, making Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette the fourth corner taken with the 19th overall pick. Arnette was rated as my #10 cornerback, and although I saw him as a player worth taking in the first round, based off of positional value, that’s in an ideal world where all teams take into account positional value. He’s not on the same level as the other cornerbacks in this draft, is already 23-years-old, and if Las Vegas truly coveted him, they definitely should’ve traded down.

#20 Pick: Jaguars Select EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson

chaissonjags
Photo Cred: The Draft Wire-USAToday.com

Grade: D-

Revised Grade: D

The Jaguars have committed to bolstering their defense, bringing in athletic edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson with the 20th overall pick. Coming out off LSU, Chaisson was seen as the second-best edge rusher, according to most evaluations. However, he only received a 72.7 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, and if he wasn’t able to produce in college, why should he be expected to against superior competition? Jacksonville continues to prioritize their defense over their offense, and although I’m okay with the Henderson pick, I haven’t loved their strategy whatsoever.

#21 Pick: Eagles Select WR Jalen Reagor

NCAA Football: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Texas Christian
Photo Cred: Colts Wire

Grade: B

Revised Grade: B

The Eagles decided not to trade up for a receiver, and instead, have selected receiver Jalen Reagor. Reagor, despite his combine time, is the type of athletic playmaker that the Eagles really needed, and although he isn’t an all-around receiver yet, can get better over time. I see him as the long-term replacement for DeSean Jackson, and a gimmick player for them right away. He wasn’t the best available receiver on the board, in my opinion, but I’m all for taking shots on athletic offensive weapons, so I won’t fault Philadelphia too much for improving on the perimeter.

#22 Pick: Vikings Select WR Justin Jefferson

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Oklahoma vs Louisiana State
Photo Cred: Bengals Wire

Grade: B+

Revised Grade: A-

The Vikings have found their Stefon Diggs replacement; they’ve drafted receiver Justin Jefferson with the 22nd overall pick. Part of a dynamic offense at LSU, Jefferson was extremely productive. However, a lot of his production was schemed, and most of it came out of the slot- he can’t be expected to be as productive right away. However, in Minnesota’s offensive scheme, which runs a lot of two receiver sets, I do like this pick, as this was probably the best receiver available. It’s not a game-changing pick, and I would’ve rather had them just keep Diggs, but it’s a smart one that clearly took t positional value into account.

#23 Pick: Chargers (via Patriots) Select LB Kenneth Murray

kennethmurray
Photo Cred: Canal Street Chronicles

Grade: F

Revised Grade: F

In a stunning move, the Chargers have traded up to the 23rd overall pick, sending a second and third-round pick to the Patriots, in order to draft linebacker Kenneth Murray. The Oklahoma product is very athletic, but his instincts in both zone coverage and run defense are very unrefined, and I didn’t see him as a high-end prospect at all. Not only did the Chargers select a player who I definitely don’t believe should’ve been in the first round, but they traded up to do so, and bypassed greater long-term holes at tackle, cornerback, and receiver. Simply put, this has been a disastrous draft for them.

#24 Pick: Saints Select IOL Cesar Ruiz

cesarruiz
Photo Cred: The Denver Post

Grade: F

Revised Grade: D+

The Saints have pulled off a stunner, bolstering the interior of their offensive line by taking center Cesar Ruiz. The Michigan product is a solid prospect with the ability to play center, but when accounting for positional value, he was by no means a first-round, or even a second-round prospect. New Orleans needed to prioritize positions such as quarterback, receiver, or cornerback with their limited finances, and this is an awful pick for them.

#25 Pick: 49ers (via Vikings) Select WR Brandon Aiyuk

aiyuk
Photo Cred: Philadelphia Inquirer

Grade: B-

Revised Grade: B

Rather than trade back, the 49ers have actually decided to trade up to the 25th overall pick, selecting receiver Brandon Aiyuk. The Arizona State product isn’t a very refined player, but he’s dynamic with the ball in his hands, and that’s what head coach Kyle Shanahan was looking for in his offense. Yet, was it worth trading up? Laviska Sheanult Jr. is essentially a better version of him, and rather than add picks, San Francisco is losing picks. I haven’t been a fan of their first-round strategy whatsoever, even though I love the fit with Aiyuk and the 49ers.

#26 Pick: Packers (via Dolphins) Select QB Jordan Love

jordanlove
Photo Cred: CBS Sports

Grade: B-

Revised Grade: B-

In what is easily the most shocking selection of the first round, the Packers have traded up to the 26th overall selection, sending a fourth-round pick to the Dolphins to make sure they could land Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. A very risky quarterback prospect, Love’s arm talent, improvisation, and pocket presence are off the charts, but he’s a volatile player who needs to improve his decision making drastically. Yet, this feels a little too soon to be taking a shot on a quarterback, as Aaron Rodgers isn’t a free agent until 2024. By then, they won’t have much time to make a decision about Love’s future, making this is more of a pick that they should’ve made in the middle rounds, not in the first round. The pay-off could be huge, but I’m not a huge fan of the fit.

#27: Seahawks Select LB Jordyn Brooks

jordynbrooks
Photo Cred: Inside The Iggles

Grade: F

Revised Grade: F

The Seahawks may have no traded up, but that didn’t prevent them from making a surprising pick. They’ve not only bypassed offensive tackle, cornerback, and a pass rusher for a linebacker, but Jordyn Brooks, of all players. To be fair, Brooks is a very sound run defender, who can make an impact as a blitz-weapon as well. However, he’s a very unrefined player in coverage, and if this means that Seattle is going to play more base defense, they’re going to continue to be exposed; they needed to transition into more of a nickel defense. Both in terms of positional value and just the value of the prospect, this is a massive reach.

#28 Pick: Ravens Select LB Patrick Queen

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Oklahoma vs Louisiana State
Photo Cred: Chiefs Wire

Grade: C

Revised Grade: C+

To the surprise of none, the Ravens have added a linebacker to their defense, selecting Patrick Queen with the 28th overall pick. With his athleticism and coverage ability, Queen is someone who definitely can impact the passing game. However, linebacker is a risky position to select in the first round, and is also not a super valuable position. The LSU product can be a great player, but Baltimore went 14-2 without a linebacking core, and to continue to become more dominant, they could’ve added more playmakers to the offense. I don’t hate this pick, but it’s one that leaves me slightly unsatisfied.

#29 Pick: Titans Select OL Isaiah Wilson

isaiahwilson
Photo Cred: Dawg Nation

Grade: D

Revised Grade: D

After deciding to stand pat with the 29th overall pick, the Titans have selected offensive lineman Isaiah Wilson. Listed a 350 pounds, Wilson is an enormous player with a lot of power in his game. However, he needs a lot of work in pass protection, and may be best served as a guard, especially in Tennessee’s zone-blocking scheme. If that’s the case, then this is an even greater reach for them, as they passed on a first-round caliber tackle in Josh Jones and multiple cornerbacks and receivers to select him. I’m usually okay with using resources to plug up the offensive line, but this was a missed opportunity for them.

#30 Pick: Dolphins Select CB Noah Igbinoghene

igbinoghene
Photo Cred: News-Press

Grade: B-

Revised Grade: B-

Continuing to invest in their secondary, the Dolphins have selected Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene with the 30th overall pick. Although Igbinoghene wasn’t close to being the top cornerback on the board, his athleticism and man-coverage abilities actually make him a very ideal fit for Miami, and his previous success in the slot is intriguing. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him perform at a high level for the Dolphins, and although I wanted them to double-up at offensive tackle with Josh Jones, I’m happy to see them continue to bring in players at valuable positions. If he pans out, their secondary will be incredible.

#31: Vikings Select CB Jeff Gladney

AP All-Big 12 Football
Photo Cred: Raiders Wire

Grade: A+

Revised Grade: A+

Even after trading down, the Vikings were able to select a player I would’ve recommended drafting even if they had stood pat at pick #25. With his instincts and off-coverage ability, Jeff Gladney was built to play in head coach Mike Zimmer’s defense, and even if he’s not the largest of players, he plays with a lot of physicality. Minnesota came out of this draft with a first-round caliber receiver and cornerback, which is exactly what they were supposed to do, and they even added some middle-round capital. They’re easily one of the winners of the first round.

#32 Pick: Chiefs Select RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

clydeedwards-helaire
Photo Cred: New York Post

Grade: F

Revised Grade: F

I should’ve seen it coming; after months of dismissing the possibility of the Chiefs taking a running back, they’ve selected one in LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Edwards-Helaire may very well end up being the most valuable running back prospect in this draft, given his receiving abilities, but it’s still a running back, and the Chiefs are far too tight on future cap space to make such a luxury pick. With a solid offensive tackle, multiple defensive backs, and a couple nice receivers on the board, they had an opportunity to continue to bolster their roster for the short-term and long-term, but they’ve done neither with this selection.

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