For those of us who live under a rock, last night was the first round of the NFL draft. I shouldn’t have to say that, but a friend of mine did text me asking if it was last night. Last night was… weird. Roger Goodell was probably drunk and featured an outfit change. When it comes to the actual picks, some fans were very high on their selections, while others were less thrilled. Let’s look at every pick and give you some 2020 NFL Draft grades, both for immediate payoff and the future!

1. Cincinnati: Joe Burrow, Quarterback

Joe Burrow NFL Draft Grade

Joe Burrow, the guy the Bengals knew they were taking for months and still took seven minutes to pick. Burrow might have the lowest ceiling of the top three quarterbacks, but also has the highest floor. That low ceiling may be an area of concern, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be successful. “Burreaux” can step in day one and have moderate success, and doesn’t have the injury concerns that come with Tua. This was a good pick, and if the Bengals can improve the team around him, they will be scary.

Current grade: B+

Future grade: A-

2. Washington: Chase Young, Edge

Chase Young was the best prospect in this draft. He can get after the quarterback, but also has the ability to play the run. Adding Young to this front seven helps create one of the most fearsome defensive units in the NFL, and will lead to a lot of success in Washington for years to come. Now, if only Haskins could learn to throw a ball.

Current grade: A+

Future grade: A+

3. Detroit: Jeff Okudah, Cornerback

Detroit seems like it can’t do anything right. After it was reported Detroit was aggressively trying to trade back, they couldn’t find a partner and went with the expected pick. While it would have been better to see them take a lineman to keep Stafford’s back in tact, replacing Darius Slay was a solid move. Okudah will be great roaming the Detroit secondary, at least until he gets sick of Patricia and requests a trade.

Current grade: B

Future Grade: D- (let’s be honest, he will want a trade before his contract is up)

4. New York Giants: Andrew Thomas, Offensive line

To put it bluntly, I love this pick. Andrew Thomas has one of my highest current and future NFL draft grades. One of New York’s top concerns the past few years was getting line help. With their franchise quarterback in Danny Dimes and transcendent running back Saquon in place, having a solid o-line is a great move. Thomas showed an exceptional ability to block the run and the pass in his four years as a starter at Georgia, and I had him as my number one lineman. Who knows, maybe Saquon won’t have to coach his blockers anymore.

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Current grade: A+

Future grade: A+++

5. Miami: Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback

Yes, Tua has been hurt a lot. Yes, he had some great weapons at Alabama that Miami doesn’t have. No, that doesn’t mean he will fail. This kid has a great attitude, can read a defense, make the throws, and his mobile. With any prospect, there is a risk of injury, and I would be concerned starting him day one. But Miami has it’s best quarterback since Marino, so at least they didn’t overthink this one.

Current grade: A-

Future Grade: A+ (if he stays healthy)

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert, Quarterback

Justin Herbert NFL Draft Grade
Photo Credits: Chargers Wire

Justin Herbert is a project, and with more immediate needs (offensive line), Herbert will be judged if that comes back to bite them. However, Herbert helps long term, especially if the coaching staff isn’t sold on Taylor. The Chargers already have a good team in place, and Herbert could be the missing piece to get them to the playoffs… just not this year. I think Herbert will be fine, but as mentioned, they have a talented team in place and a tackle would have helped them reach the playoffs this year. As Herbert develops and they improve that line, this team will age like a good whiskey (I hate wine, so we’re going with whiskey here).

Current grade: C

Future grade: A-

7. Carolina: Derrick Brown, Defensive tackle

Derrick Brown fills a need and is a fine player. He plays with power, and can be the centerpiece on a defense. However, I don’t see him as being great. Brown will always be a good player, but I am not sure if he will ever be great.

Current grade: B

Grade later: B+

8. Arizona: Isaiah Simmons, Linebacker

I really wanted Simmons to go to Carolina at seven. He can play anywhere on the field, and will end up being great. I don’t love this pick right now, as it would have been nice to see Airzona pick up Wills or Wirfs to help the 29th run blocking in the league. Their pass protection is not terrible, but was not helped by Kyler being charged with the most “own sacks” this season (23). With that being said, Simmons was the best available, and I don’t hate the Cardinals for taking him.

Current grade: B-

Future grade: B+

9. Jacksonville: CJ Henderson, Cornerback

With Derrick Brown and Isaiah Simmons being taken the two picks prior, Jacksonville kind of got hosed. Instead of panic trading back, however, they got the second best corner in the draft, replacing Ramsey and Bouye. Henderson has some concerns, such as tracking the ball with his back to the quarterback and tackling, but with proper mechanics these can be taught. His phenomenal athleticism will make this easier to learn.

Current grade: B+

Future grade: B+

10. Cleveland: Jedrick Wills, Offensive Tackle

Jedrick Wills NFL Draft Grade
Photo Credits: Browns Wire

Cleveland has all the skills players it could want on offense, and some solid defensive guys as well. With a new coach coming in, keeping Baker upright and clearing lanes for Chubb and Hunt was a top priority. Wills was part of the passing revolution at Bama, but still showed an ability to run block. Wills’s scouting report does indicate he disengages from blocks too quickly at times and has shown a tendency to over extend. This would take some work, but technique can be taught.

Current grade: B+

Future grade: A

11. New York Jets: Mekhi Becton, Offensive tackle

After a failed drug test, some thought Becton might slide in the draft. Apparently that wasn’t the case, and the Jets got their guy to protect Darnold. Becton is a monster, weighing in at 364 pounds with terrifying athleticism. The tape shows his technique is raw at times, but he has the best combination of size and athleticism in the draft to end up being the best lineman taken.

Current grade: B+

Future grade: A+

12. Las Vegas: Henry Ruggs III, Wide receiver

The ghost of Al Davis channeled himself through Davis and Mayock last night, taking the fastest guy in the draft as opposed to the best. Ruggs to start his career will be rough. He will find NFL defensive backs will be better equipped to keep up with him, and won’t be able to use his breakaway speed to mask some deficiencies at receiver. This pick could work out, but a team who would use Ruggs as the third option would have been a better fit.

Current grade: D

Future grade: B

13. Tampa Bay: Tristan Wirfs, Offensive lineman

TOMpa got their guy. After concerns someone else would trade to 13 and take Wirfs after he fell, Tampa made a move. Building up that line would be the goal of this draft. One lineman won’t immediately make this line good, but Wirfs is a good start. They also didn’t have to trade up to get one of the top lineman.

Current grade: A+

Future grade: A+

14. San Francisco: Javon Kinlaw, Defensive tackle

After trading DeForest Buckner, the Niners needed a replacement. I think Kinlaw will be a solid defender and can help bring some youth to the team, and with the top two corners off the board it makes sense not reaching on someone. However, a receiver to replace Sanders would have been perfect here, and with Lamb and Jeudy still on the board, this is a bit of a head scratcher. Kinlaw will show his worth over time, but it will always be a “what if” after not taking a receiver.

Current grade: C

Future grade: B

15. Denver: Jerry Jeudy, Wide receiver

Jerry Jeudy Broncos
Photo Credits: Broncos Wire

Denver had more pressing needs. They could have taken a linebacker to play alongside Miller, or a corner to improve their secondary, and not addressing that could come back to bite them. However, when a great player falls in your lap, you don’t overthink it. With Sutton, Fant, Lindsay, and Gordon, Jeudy slides right in and will compete with Kansas City for the most explosive offense.

Current grade: B+

Future grade: A+

16. Atlanta: AJ Terrell, Cornerback

Oh my god do I hate this pick. It does address a need a corner for the team, but Terrell doesn’t fill the need. They could have gotten a better pass rusher here, which was also a need. If they really loved Terrell, Atlanta could have traded back to get more picks and still taken Terrell, or even Diggs. LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase exposed Terrell in the National Championship, giving up two touchdowns. He won’t be a horrible defender, but his average athleticism won’t allow him to hide his issues early on. He could be an average starter in a few years, but there were better options available.

Current grade: C

Future grade: C+

17. Dallas: CeeDee Lamb, Wide receiver

Jerry did it! After it was reported he would be drafting alone with “no one to stop him,” Dallas fans went into full on panic mode. Luckily, Vegas took Ruggs, so that allowed CeeDee to fall to 17. While Dallas could have used a cornerback, or anything on defense, I am going to use the same logic here I used for Denver: don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. CeeDee, Amari, and Zeke will be a great trio… if Dak sticks around. It also removes Philly’s chances of trading up for him, so it’s a win-win.

Current grade: A

Future grade: A+

18. Miami: Austin Jackson, Offensive tackle

Austin Jackson is very raw, sometimes struggling in passing situations. If Miami sticks to the plan and “redshirts” Tua this season and Jackson develops, this could end up being the steal of the draft. Those are a lot of “ifs” though. Jackson will be a competent lineman in a few years, but this is a bit of a reach currently.

Current grade: C-

Future grade: B

19. Las Vegas: Damon Arnette, Cornerback

Damon Arnette was a huge reach at 19. Vegas could have traded back in (or out of the) the first and still gotten him. However, I don’t think Arnette will be bad. He is a physical corner with an attitude, and that fits the Raider way from days of old. That physicality will hurt, as he can be a bit “grabby,” and he doesn’t have great speed, which will lead to a lot of PI calls. This pick won’t help now, but might help later.

Current grade: D

Future grade: C+

20. Jacksonville: K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge

Chaisson is labeled a “Boom or Bust prospect.” He has the tools to be a good NFL player. He’s smart, athletic, good size, and a good leader. He struggles against the run, but could bulk up and improve this. So why could he be a bust? He could not stay healthy. Chaisson missed all of 2018 with a torn ACL, and a few games last year with an ankle injury. Who cares? A player has a 90% chance to come back to pre-injury strength after an ACL reconstruction, and an ankle injury could just be bad luck. Chaisson is a top ten pick who fell due to injury. If Chaisson can improve his run defense, Jacksonville has a great edge rusher for years to come.

Current grade: B

Future grade: A+

21. Philadelphia: Jalen Reagor, Wide receiver

Jalen Reagor NFL Draft Grade
Photo Credits: Eagles Wire

I don’t love this pick, but you could argue Reagor was best available and fills the number one need. Reagor is an athletic freak, and his 4.47 40 time at the combine is misleading. He ran a 4.22 at his Pro Day, and that’s what teams will get. His athleticism isn’t a concern, but there are concerns. Reagor struggled against press and strong quarterbacks, and someone as athletic as he is should be better at contested catches. This isn’t necessarily something that can be taught easily, as it would require a change in mindset when it comes to being hit. Speaking of his mindset, he also has a bit of OBJ in him, and some say he got noticeably frustrated with QBs at times. Hopefully DJax can mentor Reagor so he can be the Eagles only receiver in a few years like DJax now.

Current grade: C+

Future grade: B

22. Minnesota: Justin Jefferson, Wide receiver

The Vikings needed to replace Stefon Diggs going into last night. They don’t necessarily need a day one starter, but they need a contributor in a few seasons. Jefferson needs to improve his separation and he was only okay at catching contested balls in college, but “okay” in college becomes “bad” at the next level as defenses improve. Jefferson was the best available, and is a great locker room guy. Will do what you need him to, and doesn’t complain about catches. With an offense poised to lean on the run and Thielen, Jefferson has time to develop without all the focus being on him.

Current grade: C

Future grade: B

23. Los Angeles Chargers: Kenneth Murray, Linebacker

For a Big Twelve defensive player, Kenneth Murray is pretty good. He is reasonably athletic, but coaching will need to work on his instincts and play recognition for him to be a MLB. He’s not quite strong enough to be an outside linebacker either, so LA will have to focus on one of those issues for him to be worth the trade up.

Current grade: B-

Future grade: B+

24. New Orleans: Cesar Ruiz, Center

New Orleans built pretty well now. They were a bad call away from the Super Bowl two years ago, and bad coverage from the NFC championship two out of three years. A linebacker here could have made sense to help the defense, but with Murray gone and concerns about Queen’s size, I understand not going in that direction. Given New Orleans reported love of Hill, passing on Love makes sense. Ruiz won’t start day one, but will be a solid interior lineman (regardless of where they play him,) and once he bulks up can anchor the line for Hill in a few years.

Current grade: C+

Future grade: A-

25. San Francisco: Brandon Aiyuk, Wide receiver

Brandon Aiyuk is a good finesse receiver, but not physical at all. Aiyuke excelled as a punt/kick returner, and these skills are apparent in how he plays. Let him catch is short and make gain yardage that way. He’s not a great deep threat, as physical coverage throws him off (especially deep.) Mims would have been a better pick here to complement Goodwin.

Current grade: C

Future grade: C

26. Green Bay: Jordan Love, Quarterback

Jordan Love Packers
Photo Credits: Packers Wire

The talk of Twitter after last night: Green Bay trades up for Jordan Love. Most people hate this move, and right now it looks awful. Green Bay needs weapons for Rodgers to get him another ring, which they could have done last night staying at 30 and taking Mims or Higgins. However, Green Bay likes sitting quarterbacks, and any Packers fan who’s mad probably forget the situation when they got Rodgers. Bad move now, but it is a Packers move and will pay off in four years.

Current grade: F

Future grade: A

27. Seahawks: Jordyn Brooks, Linebacker

Brooks isn’t a bad player and he can learn from Wagner and KJ Wright, and could develop into something. However, with Clowney’s home next year not decided, a pass rusher made more sense. Yetur Gross-Matos was available after shooting up draft boards, and even if Clowney comes back, that would create a terrifying pass rush.

Current grade: C+

Future grade: B

28. Baltimore: Patrick Queen, Linebacker

Patrick Queen will become the centerpiece of the Baltimore defense. He has a lot of growing to do after only being a one year start, shown by his occasional poor timing and recognition. As he develops and learns from Harbaugh and CJ Mosley, however, he will make people regret passing on him.

Current grade: B-

Future grade: A

29. Tennessee: Isaiah Wilson, Offensive tackle

Wilson fits Tennessee’s system and replaces Jake Conklin well. Wilson is a big, run blocking tackle for the team who is bringing back the running back. However, Wilson struggles with athletic edge rushers. As time goes on and Henry (he carries the ball a lot) breaks down, Tennessee will look to pass more, and that will require a more pass blocking tackle. I’m not saying he can’t develop into that (he only has two years of college ball experience), but it looks like he’s primarily a run blocker.

Current grade: B

Future grade: C+

30. Miami: Noah Igbinoghene, Cornerback

Noah (I’m not typing his last name twice) is very raw, only playing corner for two years. A lot of his knocks come from his lack of experience, as he’s an athletic freak and a good tackler. Miami’s a young team with some good veterans. They can develop Noah while having him learn from Byron Jones and Xavien Howard.

Current grade: C+

Future grade: A

31. Minnesota: Jeff Gladney, Cornerback

Gladney is a smart player who can read what the receiver and quarterback are trying to do. He’s a good blitzer and tackler. However, he is undersized and can be picked on by bigger receivers. The biggest question about Gladney is can he keep calm on the field, as he got into some trouble after a fight with an Iowa State receiver. Gladney fills a need now, but will give up big plays to bigger receivers.

Current grade: B

Future grade: B+

32. Kansas City: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Runningback

Clyde Edwards-Helaire has one of my lowest NFL Draft Grades, and here’s why. If a team fills a need with a decent player, I generally don’t give them a horrible grade. However, I hate this pick. Edwards-Helaire is a decent player with big game experience. He’s going to an offense that focuses on the pass, like LSU this season, and is a good pass catcher. However, he should not have been the first back taken. De’Andre Swift would have been perfect here. He’s a better runner, which would help the Chiefs. I don’t think Edwards-Helaire will struggle much, but he won’t do as well as Swift would have.

Current grade: D-

Future grade: C+

About Author

Kev

I drink, I like math, and I will use stats to prove a point, but the most important metric is "is he a dog?" So, come along for the terrifying ride that is my thought process, and maybe you'll learn a few things along the way.

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