The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone, and for some fans, it was a great 3 days, while for others, it’s left them head scratching and wondering what in the world their teams front office was thinking this week. Here are my grades for each team’s draft haul of 2020.
Selections: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson (Round 1, Pick 8), OT Josh Jones, Houston (Round 3, Pick 72), DL Leki Fotu, Utah (Round 4, Pick 114), DL Rashard Lawrence, LSU (Round 4, Pick 131), LB Evan Weaver, California (Round 6, Pick 202), RB Eno Benjamin, Arizona State (Round 7, Pick 222)
The Cardinals stayed put at 8th overall and took a potential generational player to be the centerpiece of their defense in Isaiah Simmons, choosing to upgrade their defense over the offensive line, which I felt was their biggest need. Then they come out in the 3rd round and grab Josh Jones, who had a 1st round grade for a lot of people. The value of a 1st round tackle in the 3rd is a huge win in my book. Lawrence and Fotu provide great depth to the interior defensive line, and Eno Benjamin has a similar play style to Kenyan Drake, making him a perfect backup.
Selections: CB AJ Terrell, Clemson (Round 1, Pick 16), DL Marlon Davidson, Auburn (Round 2, Pick 47), OL Matt Hennessey, Temple (Round 3, Pick 78), LB Mykal Walker, Fresno State (Round 4, Pick 119), S Jaylinn Hawkins, California (Round 4, Pick 134), P Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse (Round 7, Pick 228)
The Falcons needed to add defensive pieces, especially on the defensive line and defensive back, which they got in Terrell and Davidson with their first two selections. Terrell at 16 is a reach, which hurts the value of the pick. Matt Hennessey adds to a young offensive line, and they added more defensive depth later in the draft. They got pieces but left a lot on the table.
Selections: LB Patrick Queen, LSU (Round 1, Pick 28), RB JK Dobbins, Ohio State (Round 2, Pick 55), DL Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M (Round 3, Pick 71), WR Devin Duvernay, Texas (Round 3, Pick 92), LB Malik Harrison, Ohio State (Round 3, Pick 98), OL Tyre Phillips, Mississippi State (Round 3, Pick 106), OL Ben Bredeson, Michigan (Round 4, Pick 143), DL Broderick Washington, Texas Tech (Round 5, Pick 170), WR James Proche, SMU (Round 6, Pick 201), S Geno Stone, Iowa (Round 7, Pick 219)
The rich get richer. Baltimore needed linebackers and added two of the best in Queen, an athletic weakside backer with great athleticism, and Harrison, an old school run stopper. JK Dobbins steps into an already dominant run game and adds a pass catching element and most importantly, a rookie contract. Duvernay and Proche give Lamar Jackson more weapons at receiver outside of Hollywood Brown. The Ravens strengthened needs they had and built on strengths they already had.
Selections: DL AJ Epenesa, Iowa (Round 2, Pick 54), RB Zach Moss, Utah (Round 3, Pick 86), WR Gabriel Davis, UCF (Round 4, Pick 128), QB Jake Fromm, Georgia (Round 5, Pick 167), K Tyler Bass, Georgia Southern (Round 6, Pick 188), WR Isaiah Hodgins, Oregon State (Round 6, Pick 207), CB Dane Jackson, Pittsburgh (Round 7, Pick 239)
Prior to the draft, the Bills moved their 1st round pick and a few others for Stefon Diggs, so that is a win right off the bat. Getting Epenesa in the 2nd round is a great value, and adding Moss, a tough runner to compliment Devin Singletary in their backfield is a big win. Josh Allen gets more receiver help with Hodgins, and Buffalo gained a reliable backup quarterback in Jake Fromm, who fell to them in the 5th round. With Josh Allen’s physical style of play, you want to have a smart and tested backup like the former Georgia star. The Bills addressed their needs well in this draft and got great depth.
Selections: DL Derrick Brown, Auburn (Round 1, Pick 7), Edge Yetur Gross-Matos, Penn State (Round 2, Pick 38), S Jeremy Chinn, Southern Illinois (Round 2, Pick 64), CB Troy Pride, Notre Dame (Round 4, Pick 113), S Kenny Robinson, XFL (Round 5, Pick 152), DL Bravvion Roy, Baylor (Round 6, Pick 184), CB Stanley Thomas-Oliver, Florida International (Round 7, Pick 221)
The Panthers needed to remake their entire defensive line after losing 4 players to Buffalo and Dallas this offseason. Derrick Brown will be a bully in the middle of the line, and Gross-Matos adds another high upside pass rusher across from Brian Burns. Chinn, Pride, and Robinson provide great depth in the defensive backfield as well. Passing on Isaiah Simmons is tough, but Brown is still a great pick.
Selections: QB Joe Burrow, LSU (Round 1, Pick 1), WR Tee Higgins, Clemson (Round 2, Pick 33), LB Logan Wilson, Wyoming (Round 3, Pick 65), LB Akeem Davis-Gathier, Appalachian State (Round 4, Pick 107), Edge Khalid Kareem, Notre Dame (Round 5, Pick 147), OL Hakeem Adeniji, Kansas (Round 6, Pick 180), LB Markus Bailey, Purdue (Round 7, Pick 215)
You can’t go taking Joe Burrow, but the wins came in the later rounds. Tee Higgins gives Burrow a reliable, go up and get it receiver to eventually take over for AJ Green, who is likely gone after this year. Wilson, Davis-Gaither, and Bailey provide starters and depth at linebacker which the Bengals desperately need, and Kareem is an underrated pass rusher who was productive in college. Overall, a solid start to the Bengals rebuild.
Selections: TE Cole Kmet, Notre Dame (Round 2, Pick 43), CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah (Round 2, Pick 50), Edge Trevis Gipson, Tulsa (Round 5, Pick 155), CB Kindle Vildor, Georgia Southern (Round 5, Pick 173), OL Arlington, Hambright, Colorado (Round 7, Pick 226), OL Lachavious Simmons, Tennessee State (Round 7, Pick 227)
I am as big a Cole Kmet fan as there is, but you just signed Jimmy Graham to a big deal and didn’t truly address the offensive line until the 7th round, so the Bears missed out on a lot of value. Johnson is a good pickup for the secondary. Overall, the Bears could have done a lot more with the few picks they had.
Selections: OT Jedrick Wills, Alabama (Round 1, Pick 10), S Grant Delpit, LSU (Round 2, Pick 44), DL Jordan Elliot, Missouri (Round 3, Pick 88), LB Jacob Phillips, LSU (Round 3, Pick 97), TE Harrison Bryant, Florida Atlantic (Round 4, Pick 115), OL Nick Harris, Washington (Round 5, Pick 160), WR Donovan Peoples-Jones, Michigan (Round 6, Pick 187)
Based on potential, I think this could go down as one of the best draft hauls from this class. Jedrick Wills was my top offensive tackle prospect and will be a plug and play starter at left tackle, forming a solid offensive line opposite Jack Conklin on the right side. Grant Delpit could be the steal of this draft if he plays like he did in 2018. If this is the 2019 Delpit, then they wasted a 2nd rounder on a safety that doesn’t tackle well and has trouble staying on the field. Cleveland added depth to linebacker, tight end, offensive line, and wideout. Peoples-Jones as a 6th round pick is someone to keep an eye on, as he has the athletic profile to be a dominant NFL receiver, but lacks the college production. The Browns may have hit a homerun with this class.
Selections: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma (Round 1, Pick 17), CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama (Round 2, Pick 51), DL Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma (Round 3, Pick 82), CB Reggie Robinson II, Tulsa (Round 4, Pick 123), OL Tyler Biadasz, Wisconsin (Round 4, Pick 146), Edge Bradlee Anae, Utah (Round 5, Pick 179), QB Ben Dinucci, James Madison (Round 7, Pick 231)
CeeDee Lamb falling to Dallas at 17 is the steal of the draft in my eyes. Adding Lamb to a wide receiver room with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup allows Dallas to move all 3 in and out of the slot, allowing Lamb time to develop while also taking pressure off of Cooper. Dallas got future starters in Diggs, Gallimore and Biadasz, and Bradlee Anae was a top 10 pass rusher for me, so getting him in the 6th round is fantastic value for Dallas.
Selections: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (Round 1, Pick 15), WR KJ Hamler, Penn State (Round 2, Pick 46), CB Michael Ojemudia, Iowa (Round 3, Pick 77), OL Lloyd Cushenberry, LSU (Round 3, Pick 83), DT McTelvin Agim, Arkansas (Round 3, Pick 95), TE Albert Okwuegbunam, Missouri (Round 4, Pick 118), LB Justin Strnad, Wake Forest (Round 5, Pick 178), OL Netane Muti, Fresno State (Round 6, Pick 181), WR Tyree Cleveland, Florida (Round 7, Pick 252), Edge Derrek Tuszka, North Dakota State (Round 7, Pick 254)
John Elway believes in Drew Lock, and gave him a ton of weapons to help in his development. Getting Jerry Jeudy without moving up is a huge win and adding Cushenberry and Muti to the interior offensive line will help sure up Lock’s protection. With Chris Harris leaving in free agency, I would have liked to have seen Denver do more for the defensive backfield.
Selections: CB Jeff Okudah, Ohio State (Round 1, Pick 3), RB D’Andre Swift, Georgia (Round 2, Pick 35), Edge Julian Okwara, Notre Dame (Round 3, Pick 67), OL Jonah Jackson, Ohio State (Round 3, Pick 75), OL Logan Stenberg, Kentucky (Round 4, Pick 121), WR Quintez Cephus, Wisconsin (Round 5, Pick 166), RB Jason Huntley, New Mexico State (Round 5, Pick 172), DL John Penisini, Utah (Round 6, Pick 197), DL Jashon Cornell, Ohio State (Round 7, Pick 235)
The Lions draft started off solid by picking Okudah at 3rd overall, giving them a franchise corner to build a defense around. Had they managed to move back a few picks and get him, this grade would be higher. D’Andre Swift adds another dangerous element to their running attack, but after that pick they took a few too many reaches. Detroit got 2 studs, although you can argue that they needed Swift, but then left a lot of talent on the table.
Green Bay Packers
Selections: QB Jordan Love, Utah State (Round 1, Pick 26), RB AJ Dillon, Boston College (Round 2, Pick 62), TE Josiah Deguara, Cincinnati (Round 3, Pick 94), LB Kamal Martin, Minnesota (Round 5, Pick 175), OL Jon Runyan, Michigan (Round 6, Pick 192), OL Jake Hanson, Oregon (Round 6, Pick 208), OL Simon Stepaniak, Indiana (Round 6, Pick 209), DB Vernon Scott, TCU (Round 7, Pick 236), Edge Jonathan Garvin, Miami (Round 7, Pick 242)
The Packers won 13 games last season and made the NFC Championship game. They needed wide receivers and tight ends to catch passes for Aaron Rodgers. With their first two selections, they took a backup quarterback and a backup running back. Rodgers should be, and probably is, pissed. Overall, they added some depth on the offensive line and defense, but they did nothing to help them win now.
Selections: DL Ross Blacklock, TCU (Round 2, Pick 40), Edge Jonathan Greenard, Florida (Round 3, Pick 90), OT Charlie Heck, North Carolina (Round 4, Pick 126), CB John Reid, Penn State (Round 4, Pick 141), WR Isaiah Coulter, Rhode Island (Round 5, Pick 171)
Ross Balcklock is a good player, but he has injury concerns and I’m not sure he is the best scheme fit for Houston. After that they got some depth pieces. They didn’t have much to begin with, but overall this isn’t a draft class that will keep their star quarterback Deshaun Watson from leaving, which is exactly what he plans on doing.
Selections: WR Michael Pittman Jr, USC (Round 2, Pick 34), RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin (Round 2, Pick 41), S Julian Blackmon, Utah, (Round 3, Pick 85), QB Jacob Eason, Washington (Round 4, Pick 122), OL Danny Pinter, Ball State (Round 5, Pick 149), DL Rob Windsor, Penn State (Round 6, Pick 193), DB Isaiah Rodgers, UMass (Round 6, Pick 211), WR Dezmon Patmon, Washington State (Round 6, Pick 212), LB Jordan Glasgow, Michigan (Round 6, Pick 213)
Love the Michael Pittman pick, as he adds size to their receiving core, and taking Jonathan Taylor to run behind their dominant offensive line is a fantastic move and should terrify the AFC South. The steal of this class may be getting Eason in the 4th round. With a rocket arm like his, and a chance to learn behind Phillip Rivers for a year, Indy may have gotten their quarterback of the future.
Kansas City Chiefs
Selections: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU (Round 1, Pick 32), LB Willie Gay Jr, Mississippi State (Round 2, Pick 63), OT Lucas Niang, TCU (Round 3, Pick 96), S L’Jarius Sneed, Louisiana Tech (Round 4, Pick 138), Edge Michael Danna, Michigan (Round 5, Pick 177), CB Bopete Keyes, Tulane (Round 7, Pick 237)
As good as CEH will be in the KC offense, I can’t condone a team taking a running back in the 1st round, especially when they have barely any corners on their roster. Gay wasn’t the best linebacker available, but he was the best athlete, which fits what KC likes. Best pick is Niang in the 3rd round.
Las Vegas Raiders
Selections: WR Henry Ruggs III, Alabama (Round 1, Pick 12), CB Damon Arnette, Ohio State (Round 1, Pick 19), WR Lynn Bowden, Kentucky (Round 3, Pick 80), WR Bryan Edwards, South Carolina (Round 3, Pick 81), S Tanner Muse, Clemson (Round 3, Pick 100), OL John Simpson, Clemson (Round 4, Pick 109), CB Amik Robertson, Louisiana Tech (Round 4, Pick 139)
I love how the Raiders started with Henry Ruggs III, giving them their own Tyreek Hill to go against the Chiefs with. The next pick, Arnette, I did not love so much. Not in round 1. Maybe in round 3 or 4. Arnette was the 4th corner taken and was not even in my top 10. That’s way too much of a reach for me. Lynn Bowden and Bryan Edwards are good players but taking 3 wide receivers in your first 4 picks just doesn’t sit right with me. They hit well late with Muse, Simpson, and Robertson, great depth in the defensive backfield and a potential starting guard.
Los Angeles Chargers
Selections: QB Justin Herbert, Oregon (Round 1, Pick 6), LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma (Round 1, Pick 23), RB Joshua Kelley, UCLA (Round 4, Pick 112), WR Joe Reed, Virginia (Round 5, Pick 151), S Alohl, Gilman, Notre Dame (Round 6, Pick 186), WR K.J. Hill, Ohio State (Round 7, Pick 220)
Was Justin Herbert worth the 6th overall pick? That remains to be seen, but I don’t personally think so. Love that they traded up for Kenneth Murray, who in that defense could be a Pro Bowler as a rookie. K.J. Hill could be a 7th round steal after a highly productive career at Ohio State. The Chargers made some good moves, but their hopes lie with Herbert.
Los Angeles Rams
Selections: RB Cam Akers, Florida State (Round 2, Pick 52), WR Van Jefferson, Florida (Round 2, Pick 57), Edge Terrell Lewis, Alabama (Round 3, Pick 84), S Terrell Burgess, Utah (Round 3, Pick 104), TE Brycen Hopkins, Purdue (Round 4, Pick 136), S Jordan Fuller, Ohio State (Round 6, Pick 199), LB Clay Johnston, Baylor (Round 7, Pick 234), K Sam Sloman, Miami of Ohio (Round 7, Pick 248), OL Tremayne Anchrum, Clemson (Round 7, Pick 250)
The Rams needed a lot of help in this draft, but the top priority should have been the offensive line, and they waited until the 248th pick to work on that. Akers is a day 1 starter, but he may have a similar career with the Rams as he did in college, running behind a bad offensive line at Florida State. The Rams are still trying to compete in the NFC West but didn’t do a lot to help themselves.
Selections: CB CJ Henderson, Florida (Round 1, Pick 9), Edge K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU (Round 1, Pick 20), WR Laviska Shenault Jr, Colorado (Round 2, Pick 42), DL Davon Hamilton, Ohio State (Round 3, Pick 73), OT Ben Bartch, St Johns (Round 4, Pick 116), CB Josiah Scott, Michigan State (Round 4, Pick 137), LB Shalquille Quarterman, Miami (Round 4, Pick 140), S Daniel Thomas, Auburn (Round 5, Pick 157), WR Collin Johnson, Texas (Round 5, Pick 165), QB Jake Luton, Oregon State (Round 6, Pick 189), TE Tyler Davis, Georgia Tech (Round 6, Pick 206), CB Chris Claybrooks, Memphis (Round 7, Pick 223)
The Jaguars knocked it out of the park with their 1st and 2nd round picks. Henderson and Chaisson are day 1 starters on the defense, and Shenault gives them another play maker on offense. Davon Hamilton was a huge reach in the 3rd round, as he projects as a space eater in the NFL at best, and there were better defensive linemen available. Day 3 saw some good developmental pieces in Bartch, Quarterman, and Johnson. Overall, a good draft for the Jags, who didn’t reach for a QB.
Selections: QB Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (Round 1, Pick 5), OT Austin Jackson, USC (Round 1, Pick 18), CB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn (Round 1, Pick 30), OL Robery Hunt, Louisiana-Lafayette (Round 2, Pick 39), DL Raekwon Davis, Alabama (Round 2, Pick 56), S Brandon Jones, Texas (Round 3, Pick 70), OL Solomon Kindley, Georgia (Round 4, Pick 111), Edge Jason Strowbridge, North Carolina (Round 5, Pick 154), Edge Curtis Weaver, Boise State (Round 5, Pick 164), LS Blake Ferguson, LSU (Round 6, Pick 185), WR Malcolm Perry, Navy (Round 7, Pick 246)
Miami got the quarterback they wanted and didn’t move up. That’s a huge win in my book. The rest of the draft was, ok. Austin Jackson was a reach, but they did need to get a tackle so I understand the pick. Igbinoghene was a talent pick, not a need pick, which I can respect, but adding a 3rd corner while you have so many other holes is concerning for me. Picking up Matt Breida in a trade with the 49ers was a very good move. Overall, Miami added some talent, but I felt they could have gone in other directions.
Selections: WR Justin Jefferson, LSU (Round 1, Pick 22), CB Jeff Gladney, TCU (Round 1, Pick 31), OT Ezra Cleveland, Boise State (Round 2, Pick 58), CB Cameron Dantzler, Mississippi State (Round 3, Pick 89), Edge D.J. Wonnum, South Carolina (Round 4, Pick 117), DL James Lynch, Baylor (Round 4, Pick 130), LB Troy Dye, Oregon (Round 4, Pick 132), CB Harrison Hand, Temple (Round 5, Pick 169), WR K.J. Osborn, Miami (Round 5, Pick 176), OL Blake Brandel, Oregon State (Round 6, Pick 203), S Josh Metellus, Michigan (Round 6, Pick 205), Edge Kenny Willekes, Michigan State (Round 7, Pick 225), QB Nate Stanley, Iowa (Round 7, Pick 244), S Brian Cole II, Mississippi State (Round 7, Pick 249), OL Kyle Hinton, Washburn (Round 7, Pick 253)
Justin Jefferson falling to the Vikings was a best-case scenario for the Vikings, and it happened. Then they get Jeff Gladney at the end of the 1st, trading back and gaining capital. This was about as well as day 1 could have played out for them. I was not a fan of the Ezra Cleveland pick, but they added key defensive pieces after that with Dantzler, Lynch, Dye and Willekes. This was a great haul for great value for the Vikings.
New England Patriots
Selections: S Kyle Dugger, Lenoir Rhyne (Round 2, Pick 37), Edge Josh Uche, Michigan (Round 2, Pick 60), Edge Anfernee Jennings, Alabama (Round 3, Pick 87), TE Devin Asiasi, UCLA (Round 3, Pick 91), TE Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech (Round 3, Pick 101), K Justin Rohrwasser, Marshall (Round 5, Pick 159), OL Mike Onwenu, Michigan (Round 6, Pick 182), OL Justin Herron, Wake Forest (Round 6, Pick 195), LB Cassh Malula, Wyoming (Round 6, Pick 204), OL Dustin Woodard, Memphis (Round 7, Pick 230)
Typical Patriots draft, they skip the big sexy names and take the D2 defensive player of the year and some other depth pieces on both sides of the ball. Best move may be Asiasi, who has the size and athleticism to step into the starting tight end role day one and make an impact.
New Orleans Saints
Selections: OL Cesar Ruiz, Michigan (Round 1, Pick 24), LB Zach Baun, Wisconsin (Round 3, Pick 74), TE Adam Trautman, Dayton (Round 3, Pick 105), QB Tommy Stevens, Mississippi State (Round 7, Pick 240)
When you only walk out of the draft with 4 players, typically that’s not good. But for the Saints, they made the most of it. Ruiz is a long term, high quality starter in the NFL, Baun is a versatile defensive player who can play on the edge and linebacker, and Trautman gives them a strong weapon at tight end who can add to the passing game and block. Tommy Stevens presents a Taysom Hill type quarterback that they like. Despite the low number of players, the Saints got some studs.
New York Giants
Selections: OT Andrew Thomas, Georgia (Round 1, Pick 4), S Xavier McKinney, Alabama (Round 2, Pick 36), OT Matthew Peart, UConn (Round 3, Pick 99), CB Darney Holmes, UCLA (Round 4, Pick 110), OL Shane Lemieux, Oregon (Round 5, Pick 150), LB Cameron Brown, Penn State (Round 6, Pick 183), Edge Carter Coughlin, Minnesota (Round 7, Pick 218), LB T.J. Brunson, South Carolina (Round 7, Pick 238), CB Chris Williamson, Minnesota (Round 7, Pick 247), LB Tae Crowder, Georgia (Round 7, Pick 255)
After a lot of speculation, the Giants stood pat at 4th overall and took a true left tackle in Thomas, who will be a long-term starter for New York. Then they added McKinney to man the safety position, another 1st round value in round 2. Day 3 saw them add depth a lot of depth to the linebacker spot. For the Giants, the 1st round was going to define this draft, and taking Thomas maximizes the value of Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley, so that’s a good day in the big apple.
New York Jets
Selections: OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville (Round 1, Pick 11), WR Denzel Mims, Baylor (Round 2, Pick 59), S Ashtyn Davis, California (Round 3, Pick 68), Edge Jabari Zuniga, Florida (Round 3, Pick 79), RB La’Mical Perine, Florida (Round 4, Pick 120), QB James Morgan, Florida International (Round 4, Pick 125), OL Cameron Clarke, Charlotte (Round 4, Pick 129), CB Bryce Hall, Virginia (Round 5, Pick 158), P Braden Mann, Texas A&M (Round 6, Pick 191)
I talked to a Jets fan this week and he actually smiled when talking about the draft and the team, that’s a first. Becton has the highest ceiling of any tackle in this draft class, and Mims, a fast, big bodied receiver, fell to them at the end of the 2nd round. Ashytn Davis may become a corner in the NFL, but his athletic ability makes him a great pickup for the defensive backfield. Day 3 wasn’t exciting, but this was a win for Jets fans.
Selections: WR Jalen Reagor, TCU (Round 1, Pick 21), QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma (Round 2, Pick 53), LB Davion Taylor, Colorado (Round 3, Pick 103), S K’Von Wallace, Clemson (Round 4, Pick 127), OT Jack Driscoll, Auburn (Round 4, Pick 145), WR John Hightower, Boise State (Round 5, Pick 168), LB Shaun Bradley, Temple (Round 6, Pick 196), WR Quez Watkins, Southern Mississippi (Round 6, Pick 200), OT Prince Tega Wanogho, Auburn (Round 6, Pick 210), Edge Casey Toohill, Stanford (Round 7, Pick 233)
My only F of the day goes to the Eagles, who left Justin Jefferson on the board at 21 for a player with drop issues. Strike 1. Then, with a roster that while still very talented, needs a lot of help to compete, they took a backup quarterback! This is a team who should be able to compete for a division title, and when healthy maybe make a Superbowl run, and they left basically all the talent of the 1st two rounds on the table. That’s an F in my book.
Selections: WR/TE Chase Claypool, Notre Dame (Round 2, Pick 49), Edge Alex Highsmith, Charlotte (Round 3, Pick 102), RB Anthony McFarland, Maryland (Round 4, Pick 124), OL Kevin Dotson, Louisiana Lafayette (Round 4, Pick 135), S Antoine Brooks Jr, Maryland (Round 6, Pick 198), DL Carlos Davis, Nebraska (Round 7, Pick 232)
It’s hard to get a good grade when you have limited picks and don’t start until 49th overall, so expectations weren’t high for Pittsburgh heading into this. Claypool adds a new, move tight end element to their offense which should improve significantly with Big Ben returning from injury, but after that, they didn’t find much in terms of day 1 impact.
San Francisco 49ers
Selections: DL Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina (Round 1, Pick 14), WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State (Round 1, Pick 25), OT Colton McKivitz, West Virginia (Round 5, Pick 153), TE Charlie Woerner, Georgia (Round 6, Pick 190), WR Jauan Jennings, Tennessee (Round 7, Pick 217)
The 49ers traded DeForest Buckner, an All-Pro defensive lineman, just to replace him with Kinlaw. I don’t understand that move, especially when Jerry Juedy and CeeDee Lamb were available. Aiyuk is a nice add as he essentially gives them a second Deebo Samuel, giving that offense 2 guys who are monsters when it comes to yards after the catch. Perhaps the biggest win of the day was getting Trent Williams from Washington, for just a 3rd and a 5th round pick.
Selections: LB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech (Round 1, Pick 27), Edge Darrell Taylor, Tennessee (Round 2, Pick 48), OL Damien Lewis, LSU (Round 3, Pick 69), TE Colby arkinson, Stanford (Round 4, Pick 133), RB DeeJay Dallas, Miami (Round 4, Pick 144), Edge Alton Robinson, Syracuse (Round 5, Pick 148), WR Freddie Swain, Florida (Round 6, Pick 214), TE Stephen Sullivan, LSU (Round 7, Pick 251)
Similar to the Patriots, this was a typical Seattle draft. They started with a player no one thought would be taken in the 1st round in Brooks, then reached on a defensive lineman who had traits to be successful in Taylor, and then an inside offensive linemen with questionable athleticism in Lewis. Again, typical Seattle draft and one of these guys will hit.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Selections: OT Tristan Wirfs, Iowa (Round 1, Pick 13), S Antoine Winfield Jr, Minnesota (Round 2, Pick 45), RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Vanderbilt (Round 3, Pick 76), WR Tyler Johnson, Minnesota (Round 5, Pick 161), DL Khalil Davis, Nebraska (Round 6, Pick 194), LB Chapelle Russell, Temple (Round 7, Pick 241), RB Raymond Calais, Louisiana-Lafayette (Round 7, Pick 245)
The Bucs wanted to get one of the top 4 tackles in this class, and they got my 2nd ranked one and only needed to trade up 1 spot to do it, and then they had the best safety in the draft fall to them at 45. Adding a pass catching running back in Vaughn was the icing on the cake as the Bucs got Tom Brady what he needed and improved their defense.
Selections: OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia (Round 1, Pick 29), CB Kristian Fulton, LSU (Round 2, Pick 61), RB Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State (Round 3, Pick 93), DL Larrell Murchison, North Carolina State (Round 5, Pick 174), QB Cole McDonald, Hawaii (Round 7, Pick 224), DB Chris Jackson, Marshall (Round 7, Pick 243)
While Isaiah Wilson has work to do in his pass blocking, he is a huge force in the run game, which is exactly what Tennessee needs, making him a solid 1st round pick and a good replacement for Jack Conklin. Fulton falling to them in the 2nd is a fantastic value pick, and they added a few nice depth pieces later in the draft.
Selections: Edge Chase Young, Ohio State (Round 1, Pick 2), WR/RB Antonio Gibson, Memphis (Round 3, Pick 66), OT Saahdiq Charles, LSU (Round 4, Pick 108), WR Antonio Gandy-Golden, Liberty (Round 4, Pick 142), OL Keith Ismael, San Diego State (Round 5, Pick 156), LB Nhaleke Hudson, Michigan (Round 5, Pick 162), S Kamren Curl, Arkansas (Round 7, Pick 216), Edge James Smith-Williams, North Carolina State (Round 7, Pick 229)
Washington took a loss by only managing to pick up and 3rd and a 5th for Trent Williams, but otherwise had a pretty ok draft. Getting the best player in the class in Chase Young got them off to a solid start. Antonio Gibson may play running back or wideout, but either way he will be an offensive threat, and Saahdiq Charles has a lot of potential as a starting tackle, if he can avoid off the field issues.