by Austin Silvey @SilveyESP
While the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft wasn’t as “action-packed” as most had anticipated, it wasn’t without some shock and awe. But who came out of Thursday night victorious? Here is my ranking of the 25 teams who drafted in round one....
1. LA CHARGERS
The Chargers were the big winner Thursday night for many reasons. One being they got what I consider to be QB1 of this draft to replace Philip Rivers. They also traded back into the first round with the Patriots to get one of the top linebackers, in Kenneth Murray, who fills a need defensively.
They will probably stick with Tyrod Taylor this coming season as starting QB while Herbert learns and develops. But they are now setup nicely to compete in the AFC west for years to come; and even potentially in 2020.
Adding Murray to an already young & talented defense that includes guys like Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Derwin James, Chris Harris, and more is almost unfair.
2. DALLAS COWBOYS
While teams continued to skip over CeeDee Lamb and he crept ever closer to that 17th slot, the Cowboys couldn’t turn their pick in fast enough when it got to them.
The third WR has been a consistent question in Jerry World. And while there are other positions of need they could have addressed, they couldn’t pass up the best wide receiver in this draft, after falling right in their lap, to fill out their talented skill position group.
3. BALTIMORE RAVENS
The addition of Patrick Queen sures up a position of need with a fantastic player that is just beginning to find himself. Queen had a breakout year at LSU and is still developing his overall skillset. The natural athleticism is intriguing enough and once he comes into full form he will be a special force on their defense.
4. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Kingsbury and Murray showed flashes of brilliance together last season and look to continue their upward trajectory in 2020. They added Nuk Hopkins in free agency which solidifies their offensive firepower but they still need to address the offensive line and continue to sure up their front seven defensively.
An athletic and versatile freak like Simmons is a great piece to start with.
5. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
When you immediately replace DeForest Buckner with Javon Kinlaw and Emmanuel Sanders with Brandon Aiyuk, you’re doing it right.
6. MINNESOTA VIKINGS
I consider Justin Jefferson as WR2 in this draft class because of how well-rounded his game is. He played inside at LSU but I believe he has the capability to play outside as well. A great fit with Minnesota.
The Vikings also added Jeff Gladney to help begin to revamp their depleted secondary. Gladney is my CB3 and could end up being one of the best players to come out of this draft class when all is said and done.
7. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
The Bucs addressed the weakest part of their new offense by drafting Tristan Wirfs, a right tackle out of Iowa, who is extremely athletic & explosive. Must protect Brady.
8. GREEN BAY PACKERS
Aaron Rodgers is the new version of the old version of Brett Favre in Green Bay. The Cheeseheads drafted Jordan Love with their first round pick and traded up to do it. Rodgers is currently 36, just one year older than Farve was when they drafted Rodgers out of Cal.
9. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
The Chiefs offense was already dynamic last year as they made their way to a Super Bowl Championship. Now they add Clyde Edwards-Helaire to the mix, who is not only dynamic as a runner but also as a receiver out of the backfield. Just another toy for Mahomes & Reid to play with.
10. CAROLINA PANTHERS
The interior defensive front needed filling quickly and the Panthers landed an absolute monster to do it in Auburn’s Derek Brown. He may have small hands but they are heavy and quite a handful to deal with.
11. NEW YORK JETS
They need to get weapons for Darnold but what good is it to do that when nobody is protecting Darnold? Due to the Browns ineptitude one spot ahead of them, the Jets landed the OT with the highest ceiling in the mountain of a man Mekhi Becton.
12. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
The Jags have taken a turn for the worst as a franchise but their first round picks help quiet some of the noise....for now at least. I’m sure Yannick will go bashing on Twitter again soon enough. But they managed to snag the second best corner (CJ Henderson) and edge rusher (K’Lavon Chaisson) in this draft to begin their long journey to rebuilding.
13. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - Jalen Reagor (WR) is a great addition to a worn down receiver room in need of some speed and versatility.
14. DETROIT LIONS - When you lose a top corner in the league like Darius Slay, you replace him with the top corner in the draft....Jeff Okudah.
15. DENVER BRONCOS - They passed on CeeDee Lamb but Jerry Jeudy was the guy they wanted and he will do well opposite of Courtland Sutton with Drew Lock at the helm.
16. WASHINGTON REDSKINS - Chase Young gives the Redskins one of, if not the best defensive fronts in the NFL. They are absolutely loaded.
17. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - New Orleans is the one team that didn’t have a lot of glaring weaknesses or spots to address coming into this draft so they could afford to do whatever. They went with drafting the top interior offensive lineman in Cesar Ruiz.
18. CINCINNATI BENGALS - They did what we knew they would do....they got their Tiger King.
19. ATLANTA FALCONS - They addressed a position of need with a really good player in AJ Terrell but it was still a bit of a reach at 16.
20. NEW YORK GIANTS - Gettleman likes his big guys and he drafted the top OT in this draft class to help protect Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley.
21. TENNESSEE TITANS - The Titans love big bodies and physicality.....so Isaiah Wilson. Imagine being the defender who has to try and get by Wilson and then tackle Derrick Henry....
22. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS - No surprise they went WR with one of their two picks. Thought they would go Lamb or Jeudy but when you have to see Tyreek Hill twice a year it makes sense to draft a guy with similar speed & playmaking ability as Henry Ruggs III has. It is a copycat league after all.
But to draft a CB 19th overall, who is valued more towards the third round, with at least three or four better options available is questionable at best.
23. MIAMI DOLPHINS - You are a franchise in rebuilding mode, who is still years away from competing for anything and needs a QB now. So you draft the riskiest one of the bunch who is frail as they come and is fresh off of a rare hip injury that could ultimately end his career before it even begins.
Then you follow it up by drafting another position of need at OT with a guy who missed a lot of time to donate bone marrow to his sister (which is an awesome story) and has to get much stronger in Austin Jackson. He has great upside and once he’s back to full health he will be incredible.
And last but not least you draft a CB at 30 who is small, and valued more in early to middle of day 2, with better options available. Clearly they’re focused on building for the future but why set yourself up with “risky potential” when you had opportunities at all those spots for better players that can contribute right away?
24. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - At this point I think they just like to be oddballs. Jordyn Brooks is a good player anywhere from the middle towards the end of day 2. Anywhere in round one he is a long reach.
25. CLEVELAND BROWNS - When you bring in a high-caliber RT in free agency like Jack Conklin, you‘re in dire need of a Left Tackle, and with the 10th pick in the draft you take.....another right tackle.....you lose.
Jedrick Wills is a great player and is a plug-and-play RT on any team from day one. Many think he can make the transition to LT eventually but he has only ever played on the right and is built better for it.
When you need a LT and could have had Mekhi Becton but you pick Wills, you finish last in the draft rankings for round one.