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Grades and Analysis for Every First-Round Pick in the 2020 NFL Draft

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Via Clutchpoints


It is crazy to think that the 2020 NFL offseason is the only thing that is keeping us sports fans sane. The offseason has seen 43-year-old Tom Brady go to the Buccaneers, Rob Gronkowski come out of retirement and be traded to the Buccaneers, Philip Rivers to the Colts, DeAndre Hopkins traded to the Cardinals and many other moves that would have been unthinkable going into last season. The 2020 draft was an interesting one and most teams improved significantly. Shout out Zoom and ESPN for honestly doing a pretty good job under the current circumstances. Here are my grades and analysis for every pick of the first round.

 

#1 Cincinnati Bengals

Gerald Herbert/AP


QB Joe Burrow- LSU

Broadway Joe. Joe Burrow is a superstar and it is crazy to think that he was not even on many people's radar just one year ago. The 2019 Heisman winner put together one of the best college football seasons of all time and his confidence is through the roof. He is sneaky athletic and is a slam dunk pick to become the face of the Cincinnati Bengals. Go tigers.

Grade: A+

 

#2 Washington Redskins

AP Photo/Jay LaPrete


DE Chase Young- Ohio State

The Redskins finally made the no brainer pick and got the best player in the draft. Chase Young is a monster and just makes the Redskins defensive line even better. Young will alleviate our weak secondary and he is by far the best pass rusher in the draft. Montez Sweat and Jonathan Allen’s value will skyrocket and Young will be the main player that opposing teams will have to create a game plan for. The Redskins have many needs on both sides of the football but could not pass up on a once in a generation talent. If Young pans out to be the player that he is capable of he will become one of the greatest Redskins of all time.


Grade: A+

 

#3 Detroit Lions

Jay LaPrete/Associated Press


CB Jeff Okudah- Ohio State

He is the best cornerback to come out of the draft. Okudah had a dominating season at Ohio State and his size and speed allow him to match up against top receivers in the league. He is flexible and is primed to become a lockdown corner in the NFL. He is an all-around corner and is one of the best tacklers in this draft. He is great against the run and the pass and has shown he will show up in big situations. ­­The Lions have many holes but picking Okudah will provide a huge boost to the worst pass defense in the league.

Grade: A

 

#4 New York Giants

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

OT Andrew Thomas- Georgia

The Giants know that they have to build off one of the best running backs in the league with Saquan Barkley and second-year quarterback Daniel Jones who had a solid first season. The Giants were expected to take a lineman, but Thomas was a surprising pick this high up in the draft. He has experience at the left and right tackle but is probably going to slot in as a right tackle in the NFL. He was not the most athletic, quick, and powerful tackle but he is solid and has a good upside, but the Giants missed an opportunity of trading back and still being able to draft Thomas.

Grade: C+

 

#5 Miami Dolphins

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press


QB Tua Tagovailoa- Alabama

The Miami Dolphins are set up beautifully for the future. They have three first-round selections in this draft and two picks in the second round. After being labeled as one of the worst teams in football history in early 2019 the Dolphins ended up 5-11 and even beat the Patriots on the road 27-24 in week 17 in a must-win game for the Patriots. After much debate, the Dolphins selected Tua Tagovailoa. The lefty is a winner, with tremendous feel in the pocket, a rocket for an arm, and pinpoint accuracy. The upside is tremendous, but the injury history is a real concern that raised many flags for most organizations.

Grade: B

 

#6 Los Angeles Chargers

Christian Petersen/Getty Images


QB Justin Herbert- Oregon

The Philip Rivers era for the Chargers is now over and their selection signaled a new beginning in Los Angeles. The Chargers overall have a very solid squad and if they continue to build up their offensive line and let Austin Ekeler shine they can be a contender in 2020. Herbert had a tremendous year for the Oregon Ducks and showed his loyalty by taking a big risk and staying for his senior season. Herbert’s arm and athleticism allow him to have great potential as a starter and even though he sometimes made questionable decisions this was the right selection for the Chargers.

Grade: B

 

#7 Carolina Panthers

Michael Woods/Associated Press

DT Derrick Brown- Auburn

It is a new era for the Panthers. Teddy Bridgewater is now the franchise quarterback and Cam Newton is still looking for a job. New coach Matt Rhule was a great college coach with Temple and Baylor and got a massive deal to become the Panthers coach. Brown is a game-changing tackle and shined the brightest against the best opponents he faced. He is known for his great attitude and consistency. He is a powerful defensive force and has shown flashes of becoming one of the best defensive tackles in the NFL.

Grade: A-

 

#8 Arizona Cardinals

Richard Shiro/Associated Press


OLB Isaiah Simmons- Clemson

The Arizona Cardinals will be an intriguing team in 2020 with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins being the faces of the franchise. Isaiah Simons fits on every single ballclub in the NFL. He can impact the football game in many different ways and is so versatile and fast you can line him up at many different spots in the NFL. This was a great pick for Arizona after shining at Clemson and Simmons will be a part of a young Arizona Cardinals team that will be looking to compete in the near future.

Grade: A

 

#9 Jacksonville Jaguars

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CB CJ Henderson- Florida

It seems like a century ago when Blake Bortles and the Jaguars battled against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the 2018 AFC Championship game narrowly losing 24-20. The Jaguars have been terrible the past two seasons and are looking to turn the corner. This selection out of Florida fills up a huge hole that the Jaguars lost after shipping Jalen Ramsey to the Rams in the middle of last season. The high school running back became a star at Florida and was a great coverage corner. It was surprising to see him selected this early but if he improves his tackling he will be a solid corner in the NFL. Not many corners are better than Ramsey, and Henderson may not have that upside, but he could be a solid NFL corner for years to come.

Grade: B-

 

#10 Cleveland Browns

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press


OT Jedrick Wills Jr.- Alabama

The Cleveland Browns are an interesting team. They have been a miserable franchise for many years and were supposed to take a big step forward last season. After another subpar year, many are casting doubt over the future of the Browns. Wills will be a left tackle for the Browns and they now have two great tackles to protect Baker Mayfield. He has great feet and size to help this Cleveland ballclub especially with their two great running backs in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. The Browns surrounding Mayfield with bulky and talented lineman should allow him to succeed and if Baker has another lackluster season the Browns may be searching for a quarterback in the next year or two.

Grade: A-

 

#11 New York Jets

Mekhi Becton Getty Images


OT Mekhi Becton- Louisville

The New York Jets had the best offseason in their past ten seasons all due to one reason. Tom Brady is finally gone. The Jets have a solid quarterback, Le’Veon Bell, and some great pieces on the defensive side including superstar safety Jamal Adams. It was tempting for the Jets to pick a flashy wide receiver, but they decided to select one of the biggest players in NFL history. No one should be 364 pounds and be able to run a 5.1 40-yard dash. Becton was a monster at Louisville and in my mind was the best lineman in this draft. He will sure up Sam Darnold’s blindside and even though I would have drafted a receiver I respect this selection.

Grade: B+

 

#12 Las Vegas Raiders

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press


WR Henry Ruggs III- Alabama

I am all in on the Jon Gruden era for the Las Vegas Raiders. Time will only tell if Derek Carr is the franchise QB for the Raiders and I have some questions about him, but Ruggs will be a huge target for the Raiders beginning in 2020. In my mind, Ruggs was the second-best wide receiver in the draft but you cannot go wrong with a player like him. His speed is blinding, and he will compete with Tyreek Hill as the fastest receiver in the NFL. He is versatile and has some room to grow as a deep threat but has so much potential to become a star. He will also free up room in the box for second-year star running back Josh Jacobs in 2020.

Grade: B-

 

#13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Trade from San Francisco 49ers)

Jeffrey Becker USA Today Sports


OT Tristan Wirfs- Iowa

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are Superbowl contenders going into 2021. Yes, I said it. Tom Brady is not even close to what he used to be but with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski at his disposal the Buccaneers are a real threat in the NFC. The Buccaneers traded up one pick to get this lineman to protect Brady as Tampa’s line struggled last season. He has struggled at certain points in college, but his athleticism and physical talent provide the Buccaneers with an absolute steal at this point in the draft.

Grade: A

 

#14 San Francisco 49ers (from Indianapolis Colts then trade with Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Sean Rayford AP


DT Javon Kinlaw- South Carolina

The San Francisco 49ers went from one of the worst teams in the league a couple of years ago to runner up in the 2020 Superbowl. They have their franchise QB in Jimmy Garoppolo (who I am not sold on but that is a different story), a great defense, the best tight end in football in George Kittle, and a solid receiving core. Kinlaw is a great defensive tackle and will fill big shoes in replacing Buckner and he is also a younger and cheaper option that has a lot of room to grow. 49ers GM John Lynch worked his magic by getting a pick from the Colts then swapping it with the Buccaneers, and the 49ers got their guy to pair up with superstar Nick Bosa.

Grade: A-

 

#15 Denver Broncos

Vasha Hunt/Associated Press


WR Jerry Jeudy- Alabama

The Denver Broncos are an interesting team going into next season and GM John Elway found his quarterback of the future in Drew Lock in 2019. I do believe Drew Lock will be a franchise quarterback for the future and Jeudy is a great player to compliment Denver. Jeudy has been called the best route runner in the draft and he was my second-best receiver coming into this draft. Jeudy is a solid player that has room to grow but I feel like his explosion off the line will get better and he will become a borderline pro bowl receiver in the next few years.

Grade: B+

 

#16 Atlanta Falcons

Mike Ehrmann, Getty Images


CB A.J. Terrell- Clemson

The Atlanta Falcons had a horrible start last season but ended the year hot. With Julio Jones and Matt Ryan, the Falcons will always be a threat to win any game. Todd Gurley’s best years are behind him, but he is a candidate to have a nice bounce-back year. The Falcons selected A.J. Terrell as the third cornerback selected. He has a lot of upside but has had some problems being too aggressive and containing wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. Terrell has the athleticism and the heart of a winner, but the Falcons could have looked at other directions and a safer selection with this pick.

Grade: C+

 

#17 Dallas Cowboys

Charlie Riedel/Associated Press


WR CeeDee Lamb- Oklahoma

The Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones have not made the NFC Championship game since 1995. They locked up superstar running back Ezekiel Elliot but have still not locked up quarterback Dak Prescott. Dallas has many needs on the defensive side with Leighton Vander Esch taking a step backward last year and Byron Jones leaving to sign a huge deal with the Miami Dolphins. The Cowboys went with taking another offensive weapon and snagged the best wide receiver in the draft with the 17th pick. Lamb is a superstar and did not get the attention he deserved in college due to Oklahoma not playing the same competition as Alabama. Dak Prescott now has many weapons at his arsenal. I am sure it was tempting for Jerry Jones to not go with someone to sure up their defense, but the Cowboys made the right decision to snag a receiver this late with his kind of talent.

Grade: A-

 

#18 Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburg Steelers)

Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy


OT Austin Jackson- USC

The Miami Dolphins are in a great position to strengthen their team in many different aspects with their three picks in the first draft. They got their quarterback with the 5th pick, and now snag a lineman to help protect him with the 18th pick (thanks Goodell for spoiling it). Jackson was a solid tackle for USC and the Dolphins got a true left tackle with great foot speed and athleticism. He struggled at certain points at USC and only 20-year-old it will be interesting to see if he will start right away for the Dolphins. This was the right move for the Dolphins to get a lineman for Tua and Jackson is a little bit of a project, but it is overall a solid selection for Miami.

Grade: B+

 

#19 Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago Bears)

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports


CB Damon Arnette- Ohio State

The Las Vegas Raiders had two picks in this year’s draft after having three first-round picks last season. Arnette originally decided to leave Ohio State after his junior season, but after encouragement from family, he returned. After the first two cornerbacks were selected many analysts did not know who would be selected third, but Arnette was snatched up by the Raiders. Arnette faces a lot of questions about his technique but he is competitive and could develop into a solid cornerback for the Raiders in the next few seasons.

Grade: B-

 

#20 Jacksonville Jaguars (from Los Angeles Rams)

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports


OLB K’Lavon Chaisson- LSU

The Jaguars got their replacement for Ramsey with their earlier selection and went with a linebacker with their second pick in the first round. He had five sacks in his last three games and shined brightest when it matters most. Many fans will love to see the Jaguars thrive with icon Gardner Minshew II behind center and this pick will help this team in many aspects. Chaisson was a great athlete who can pass rush, cover receivers, and cover the run. He is a great piece for this Jaguars defense, and he does not have many holes. The Jaguars got a steal that will be versatile to pair with their other talented defensive lineman.

Grade: B+

 

#21 Philadelphia Eagles

Kevin Jairaj


WR Jalen Reagor- TCU

The most glaring need on the Philadelphia Eagles is wide receiver. In 2019 they had a terrible receiving core and it got worse as the season went on. They still have many holes in their defense, especially with their linebackers. The Eagles got their wide receiver with selecting Reagor as the fourth wide receiver selected in this draft. He flew up the draft boards later than others and has a lot of talent that could translate well to the NFL. I would have selected Justin Jefferson with this pick due to Reagor being a little undersized and not running a great 40 time at the combine. The Eagles addressed their biggest need but selecting him over Jefferson could burn them in the future.

Grade: C+

 

#22 Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo Bills)

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports


WR Justin Jefferson- LSU

The Minnesota Vikings are a very solid organization that will look to contend once again next season. They have a top 10 receiver in Adam Thielen, a solid quarterback in Kirk Cousins, and a star running back in Dalvin Cook. Justin Jefferson had a tremendous season for the NCAA Champion LSU Tiger’s and thrived in the slot receiver role. Jefferson was my fourth-best rated wide receiver in this draft, but with this deep class of receivers, Jefferson will still be a great addition to the Minnesota Vikings after trading away Stefon Diggs.

Grade: A-

 

#23 Los Angeles Chargers (Traded from New England Patriots)

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ILB Kenneth Murray- Oklahoma

The Los Angeles Chargers made a trade with the Patriots to acquire another pick in the first round. Murray is a great selection for the Chargers and they now have a linebacker they can build around in the future. Murray can play all downs and in many different defensive sets. The Chargers are a very good team and I do not doubt that they will be back to contending next season. They have arguably one of the best defensive players in the league in Joey Bosa and Murray will pair well with Bosa to scare opposing offenses in the future.

Grade: A

 

#24 New Orleans Saints

Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press


C Cesar Ruiz- Michigan

The New Orleans Saints were one of the best teams in football last season but had an embarrassing loss to the Vikings in the divisional round of the playoffs. Drew Brees is still an elite player and has a few solid years left in him. Michael Thomas has solidified himself as the best wide receiver in the game and Alvin Kamara is an elite running back. Ruiz prefers the center position, but he can also play guard. He is versatile and fairs well in the running game and passing game. He was the best interior lineman in this draft, but it is an interesting pick with Erik McCoy being a solid starting center. Ruiz will be a starting guard for this Saints squad going into next season and was the right pick.

Grade: B+

 

#25 San Francisco 49ers (Traded from Minnesota Vikings)

SunDevils.com


WR Brandon Aiyuk- Arizona State

The 49ers traded a lot of assets to move up six slots in the draft to strengthen up one of their biggest areas of weakness. The 49ers selected wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and he was a very good receiver for Arizona State. Aiyuk is a little undersized but has a huge wingspan to help him haul in catches. The 49ers lost Emmanuel Sanders and did a good job to trade up in the draft to nab Aiyuk. He was a great playmaker especially after the catch and the 49ers did a pretty good job with this pick in a big area of need. This was the 6th wide receiver drafted in the first 25 picks in the draft and Aiyuk is a great talent that can be a great weapon for them starting next year.

Grade: B

 

#26 Green Bay Packers (Traded from Miami Dolphins, Dolphins previously had pick from Houston Texans)

Jeremy Brevard USA Today Sports


QB Jordan Love- Utah State

WOW. The Green Bay Packers traded up in the first round to snag up the fourth-best quarterback. Love had a great season two years ago for Utah State but did not play a lot of great competition. Love struggled some last year and has a lot of question marks, but the talent is there. I do not see Aaron Rodgers being happy with this selection at all and the Packers also failed to get more weapons for Rodgers. They were in the NFC Championship game last season but got demolished by the 49ers. The Packers must have liked Jordan Love a lot but with Rodgers probably having four good seasons left in him this is a very interesting pick. This will also surely make Mr. Discount Double Check not a happy camper in any way, shape, or form, and I am very intrigued to see how Rodgers responds to this.

Grade: D+

 

#27 Seattle Seahawks

Rick Scuteri AP


ILB Jordyn Brooks- Texas Tech

The Seattle Seahawks once again made the playoffs last season and Russell Wilson was still an elite quarterback. Their defense is always their biggest strength and some people think Brooks is a late-round steal. Brooks is a strong linebacker that can fly and is a great tackler. The Seahawks could have selected someone to bulk up the line or give Wilson another weapon, but Brooks is a good pick. He has some holes in his game and could have gone later in the draft, but Brooks is a good talent that could be a great addition to an already very solid Seattle Seahawks defense.

Grade: B+

 

#28 Baltimore Ravens

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ILB Patrick Queen- LSU

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens quieted the haters last year having one of the most successful regular seasons in their history. Jackson was a superstar for the Ravens and was the clear-cut MVP. He was great running the ball but also did well passing making huge improvements from 2018. The Ravens got killed by the Tennessee Titans in the divisional round and chose to draft standout linebacker Patrick Queen from LSU. Like many of his teammates, he showed up in the biggest moments and showed good hands for a linebacker while displaying his quickness. Queen will be a solid linebacker to match up with this great defense.

Grade: A-

 

#29 Tennessee Titans

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OT Isaiah Wilson- Georgia

The Titans rode the back of running back Derick Henry in the playoffs, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill proved he could get the job done. The Titans defense and rushing attack led them to the AFC Championship Game, and they were up by 10 points in the second quarter against the Chiefs. Mahomes later took over and the Chiefs went on to become Super Bowl Champions. I loved this Titans ballclub and they went with a stud offensive lineman in Isaiah Wilson. He can be a dominant run blocker for this run-heavy team but has a lot of room to grow especially with his feet and in the passing game. If he puts it all together he is to be a good offensive lineman in the future for the Tennessee Titans.

Grade: B

 

#30 Miami Dolphins (from Green Bay Packers)

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CB Noah Igbinoghene- Auburn

The Miami Dolphins made a good move in this trade swapping with the Green Bay Packers. With their third pick in the first round, the Dolphins selected a cornerback which came as a surprise. They signed Byron Jones to a huge deal and signed another solid corner Xavien Howard last year. This cornerback is a solid selection that will work inside for the Dolphins and should help them have a very solid cornerback core. It is an interesting selection because it is one of their strong positions and he is very unexperienced due to him being a former wide receiver. He struggled with picking the ball off and overall has a lot of room to grow.

Grade: C+

 

#31 Minnesota Vikings

AJ Mast AP


CB Jeff Gladney- TCU

The Minnesota Vikings made their defense even stronger with this selection. He has some injury history and a little bit of a concern with his knee. He will probably start for the Vikings and he has a lot of upside for this ballclub. He has to refine a lot of his skills and will work with the good coaching staff in Minnesota but overall this is a pretty good selection for the Vikings, and they have had a successful first round.

Grade: B+

 

#32 Kansas City Chiefs

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RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire- LSU

The Kansas City Chiefs were one of the best teams in football last year and they are going to be a very elite team in the long run. Mahomes won his first Superbowl and hopefully will get a lot more chances. The Chiefs have solidified their defense and they have a lot of weapons on the offensive end. They have also done a terrific job in retaining most of their starters and stars for the future. With the last selection in the first round, the Chiefs went with a running back. Damien Williams is a solid running back that can start on a lot of football teams, but the Chiefs wanted to add another piece to the backfield. He is a great fit for this offense and was perfect for LSU last year. He is only 5’8 but is very shifty and can catch the football out of the backfield. He is a good player with a lot of room to grow especially with pass protection, but the Chiefs made the right choice.

Grade: B+

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