NFL 2020 Draft First Round Recap

The first round of this year’s NFL Draft did not disappoint. This was the first draft since 2015 where there were no trades within the top 10. There was also a fair share of drama, with the Cowboys stealing away Eagles’ fans desired pick and the Packers trading up to draft a quarterback. Catch up here on any excitement you missed. 

1.)Bengals: QB Joe Burrow (LSU)

No surprises here. The Bengals were clear from the beginning that Burrow was their guy and that they weren’t gonna budge on their pick. Everyone knows Burrow is a star, now it’s time to see how he handles the pressure of being handed the keys to a franchise.

2.)Redskins: DE Chase Young (Ohio State)

Also no surprises here. Young is arguably one of the most put-together players in the draft, and rightfully so. His 16.5 sacks this past season makes him a menace on defense. There were plenty of teams expressing interest in the Redskins pick but just like the Bengals, they weren’t budging. 

3.)Lions: CB Jeff Okudah (Ohio State)

The Lions needed to fill the hole in their starting cornerback position after the departure of Darius Slay to Philadelphia. This was a solid pick for Detroit considering that Okudah is the top cornerback in this draft and can easily be groomed for the starter spot.

4.)Giants: OT Andrew Thomas (Georgia)

The Giants were rumored to be open to trading down, but clearly, they never received the right offer. New York could have easily traded down and still landed this pick, but either way, they were able to address their needs at the offensive tackle position. 

5.)Dolphins: QB Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama)

Where Tua would land was the talk of the draft. With a recent injury history, many were speculating if the Dolphins would pick him up or if they would pass on him just like they did to Drew Brees. It was expected that if the Dolphins pass, Tua would fall way down in the draft due to a lack of need for quarterbacks. However, the Dolphins got their guy and the fans seem to be thrilled.

6.)Chargers: QB Justin Herbert (Oregon)

This was another pick that people were speculating about. It was unknown whether the Chargers would stick with Tyrod Taylor as their starter or if they would start fresh with a new man under center. Herbert is a solid pick for the Chargers, he’s full of talent and with some simple mechanical adjustments, he’ll easily be a star.

7.)Panthers: DT Derrick Brown (Auburn)

This is an excellent pick for the Panthers. Brown’s massive 6’5 and 325-pound frame makes him a force to be reckoned with up front. The Panthers are definitely in rebuild mode, but Brown being on the same line with 6’3, 315-pound makes this Panthers defense a problem. 

8.)Cardinals: LB Isaiah Simmons (Clemson)

The Cardinals could have gone in many directions with this pick. They were rumored to be in talks with receiver CeeDee Lamb, who would’ve been a great match with former Sooner QB Kyler Murray. Instead, Arizona took the defensive route with their pick. While Simmons is a skilled player, but he knows how to play all over the field, so what position he’ll fall into raises a red flag for uncertainty.

9.)Jaguars: CB CJ Henderson (Florida)

Jacksonville stuck by the book with this pick. One of their biggest needs was cornerback, and with the number one CB in this draft already selected, they went with the next best option. With the departures of Ramsey and Bouye, Henderson has some big shoes to fill alongside Tre Herndon.

10.)Browns: OT Jedrick Wills (Alabama)

While the Browns have plenty of holes in their roster, their offensive line was something that needed to be addressed immediately. With the surprising selection by the Giants, Cleveland was able to select arguably the best tackle in the draft. 

11.)Jets: OT Mekhi Becton (Louisville)

Many saw Becton as a risky picked after his drug test was flagged at the combine. But, his 6’7, 364-pound frame made him a hard pick to turn down. The Jets could have taken the wide receiver route to give Sam Darnold some help, but this pick makes sense to fulfill general manager Joe Douglas’ promise of an offensive line rebuild. 

12.)Raiders: WR Henry Ruggs III (Alabama)

This draft is bursting at the seams with wide receiver talent, which makes it surprising to see it the first to go outside of the top ten. This pick was a no-brainer for the relocated Raiders who decided to choose speed, (Ruggs ran a 4.27 at the combine), to fill their need at the receiver position. 

13.)Buccaneers: OT Tristan Wirfs (Iowa)

Tampa Bay was in search of protection for 43-year old quarterback Tom Brady, and their need gave us the first trade of the draft. The Buccaneers traded up from 14th to 13th with San Francisco, (via IND), to get their guy. Tampa Bay gave up 47 sacks last season and they clearly wanted to take the steps to prevent that again this season.

14.)49ers: DT Javon Kinlaw (South Carolina)

San Francisco was able to add even more depth to their strong defensive front with this pick. Kinlaw will be replacing DeForest Buckner who was traded to the Colts which gave them the 13th overall pick that they traded away. 

15.)Broncos: WR Jerry Jeudy (Alabama)

Another no-brainer pick here. The Broncos needed serious help at the receiver considering that Emmanuel Sanders was traded to the 49ers in October and still finished the season with the second-most catches for the Broncos.

16.) Falcons: CB A.J. Terrell (Clemson)

The Falcons needed someone to fill the shoes of Pro-Bowl corner Desmond Trufant. Terrell’s size and speed make him the perfect candidate to fill this hole for Atlanta who gave up the second most yard per pass attempt last season. 

17.) Cowboys: WR CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma)

This pick was a huge surprise. It was already a surprise to see Lamb drop this far down in the draft, and it was even more surprising to see him go to Dallas. Dallas has some serious defensive needs and with an already stacked offensive core, this pick seemed to be some payback to the Philadelphia Eagles who drafted Dalla’s desired 2018 pick, tight-end Dallas Goedert in 2018.

18.)Dolphins: OT Austin Jackson (USC)

The Dolphins have full control of their own destiny in this draft. With 14 picks, Miami can address any and every hole in their roster and then some. After giving up 58 sacks last season, Miami was able to get some help to protect their new franchise quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

19.)Raiders: CB Damon Arnette (Ohio State)

The Raiders addressed another hole in their roster with this selection. Many draft boards had Arnette going in the second round, but his style of play compares well with Jeff Okudah, making this an easy choice for Las Vegas.

20.)Jaguars: OLB K’Lavon Chaisson (LSU)

If you haven’t been active on Twitter lately, you might not have seen how adamant defensive end Yannick Ngakoue has been about wanting out of Jacksonville. So to replace the soon to be gone Ngakoue, Jacksonville went with the best pass-rusher in the draft. Chaisson is an extremely versatile player which is an impressive skill for someone his size.

21.)Eagles: WR Jalen Reagor (TCU)

This pick was shocking, to say the least. With Ruggs and Lamb already off the board, it seemed logical that the Eagles would pick Justin Jefferson to address their need at wide receiver. However, the Eagles made it clear with this pick that they were looking for a receiver with explosive speed, which helps make this pick make sense.

22.)Vikings: WR Justin Jefferson (LSU)

With the Eagles passing on Jefferson and with Diggs traded to Minnesota, it was pretty clear who the Vikings were going to take with this pick. Jefferson is without a doubt the best slot receiver in this draft and the Vikings would have made a huge mistake if they passed on him.

23.)Chargers: ILB Kenneth Murray (Oklahoma)

Many draft boards and analysts expected the Chargers to take a linebacker in this draft, and they were able to fulfill this goal earlier than expected with the Patriots trading this pick to take them out of the first round. Murray was a force to be reckoned with at Oklahoma and it should come as no surprise to fans if he takes over the starter position.

24.)Saints: C Cesar Ruiz (Michigan)

Head coach Sean Payton was very adamant about the Saints’ need for a center. It is expected that Ruiz will train under current center Larry Warford who is currently in the last year of his contract.

25.)49ers: WR Brandon Aiyuk (Arizona State)

San Francisco got another chance in the first round after trading picks with the Minnesota Vikings. With Emmanuel Sanders signing with the Saints, the 49ers had a spot to fill. By selecting Aiyuk, San Francisco now has a new deep ball threat for Jimmy Garoppolo.

26.)Packers: QB Jordan Love (Utah State)

This pick shocked just about everyone, but the timing of it makes sense. The Packers traded up past three teams who definitely weren’t looking to draft a quarterback in order to get Love. Many fans were stunned about this pick because no real indication has been given about Rodgers’ wanting to retire or wanting to go to another team. However, Rodgers was drafted when Farve was around the same age that he is now, so it’s clear that the Packers have found his successor.

27.)Seahawks: ILB Jordyn Brooks (Texas Tech)

This pick makes sense for Seattle due to their uncertainty at the pass rush position. With K.J. Wright not getting any younger and with Bruce Irvin only being temporary at this position, it makes sense that Seattle would draft a younger replacement.

28.)Ravens: ILB Patrick Queen (LSU)

Many expected Queen to be taken much higher than 28th, but luckily he fell right into Baltimore’s lap. He clearly already fits in well with his future teammates, with QB Lamar Jackson dubbing Queen as “Ray Lewis Jr.”

29.)Titans: OT Isaiah Wilson (Georgia)

Tennessee needed to fill the roster spot of Jack Conklin who went to the Browns in free agency. Coming in at 6’7 and 350-pounds, Wilson makes sense for the Titans due to Georgia and the Titans’ offense being centered around the run game.

30.)Dolphins: CB Noah Igbinoghene (Auburn)

Miami already is already strong at the cornerback position, but this pick given to them by the Packers gave them the opportunity to add even more depth at this position. This was a simple choice for the Dolphins to make, with general manager Chris Grier stating that Igbinoghene was the highest-rated player that they had left on their board.

31.)Vikings: CB Jeff Gladney (TCU)

This was obviously a pick the Vikings needed. They immediately needed to address their problems at cornerback, and after trading picks with San Francisco to land in this spot, it only made sense that they would go the cornerback route.

32.)Chiefs: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (LSU)

The final pick of the first round came as a bit of a surprise. Many draft boards had D’Andre Swift as the first running back to go. But Edwards-Helaire took that title and was the only running back drafted in the first round this year. With this pick the Super Bowl champs add even more depth to their roster, making them a serious threat to defend their title. 

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