The NFL Draft started the way most pundits thought it would with the Cincinnati Bengals selecting LSU Quarterback Joe Burrow with the first pick in the draft. Despite the warning from Daniel Jeremiah, of the NFL Network, that the media was "more wrong than they have ever been before", the first three picks in the draft went just like almost everyone thought it would on draft night. The Washington Redskins selected Ohio State defensive phenom, Chase Young, followed by the Detroit Lions taking the best cornerback in the draft in Ohio State cornerback, Jeff Okudah. The Giants were the one team in the Top 5 that most draft analysts could not get a read on due to their many needs. Some analysts believed the Giants would go with dynamic linebacker/safety/cornerback Isaiah Simmons of Clemson. However, right before the draft, I was on the phone with one of our mock draft analysts, Vladimir "Playmaker" Cadet, who is also a serious Giants fan, and he said they would bypass the linebacker and go with an offensive lineman. He was right, as the Giants choose to invest in protecting their young quarterback, Daniel Jones, with the selection of Georgia offensive tackle, Andrew Thomas. The Dolphins, Chargers, and the Panthers all followed suit with the selection of quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, and defensive tackle Derrick Brown, respectively. There was some talk that the Dolphins War Room would be divided and would lean towards the less risky quarterback and select Oregon's, Justin Herbert. Conversely, they went with the player that most scouts believe has the highest upside of all the quarterbacks available in this year's draft. The versatile defensive chess piece Clemson linebacker, Isaiah Simmons, went to the Arizona Cardinals, followed by the Jaguars selecting cornerback C.J. Henderson. The Browns realized their need to revamp their offensive line this off-season, they signed offensive tackle Jack Conklin and with the 10th pick in the draft they selected, one of the most fluid big men in the draft, Jedrick Wills.
The 6'7, 364-pound offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, was the first player selected outside
of the top 10, going to the New York Jets. Protecting quarterback Sam Darnold and opening holes for running back Le'veon Bell was a priority for the Jets, the selection of Becton shows their commitment to their offensive weapons. Most believed that an Alabama wide receiver would be the first wide receiver taken in the draft. However, NFL fans and analysts were surprised when that wide receiver was the speedster Henry Ruggs III and not Jerry Jeudy. Jerry Jeudy would not have to wait long to hear his name called going just a few picks later to the Denver Broncos at the 15th pick. The first trade in the draft came at the 13th pick between the San Franciso 49ers (Received Pick 14 and Pick 117) and the Tampa Buccaneers (Received Pick 13 and Pick 245). Tampa Bay moved up to select the best remaining offensive lineman, Tristan Wirfs. The 49ers choose to replace Defensive Tackle Deforest Buckner with the selection of South Carolina Defensive Tackle, Javon Kinlaw. The Atlanta Falcons were rumored to be in the cornerback market, and most thought they would move up to select Florida's C.J. Henderson. They were not able to move up, so with the 16th pick in the draft, the Falcons selected Clemson's top cornerback, A.J. Terrell. The Cowboys have had a hard time finding an effective wide receiver outside of Amari Cooper, that will not be a problem any longer with the selection of wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. The Dolphins, The Raiders, and the Jacksonville Jaguars rounded out the Top 20 selecting, offensive tackle Austin Jackson, cornerback Damon Arnette, and K'Lavon Chaisson respectively. Arnette was once thought of as a second-round talent, but if you evaluate the tape, he is a first-round talent; he is fluid in coverage and extremely technically sound.
The Eagles surprised many by passing on LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson and going with TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor. Jefferson would not have to wait long to hear his name called after Reagor, as he went to Minnesota with the 22nd pick in the draft. The Chargers moved ahead of the New Orleans to select the top linebacker in the draft in Oklahoma's Kenneth Murray. The Chargers traded the 37th and the 71st pick in the draft to the New England Patriots, in exchange for the 23rd pick. While many believed the Saints would select a playmaking linebacker if they had the chance to select either Murray or Patrick Queen, with Queen on the board, the Saints choose to go with Center Ceaser Ruiz. The Green Bay Packers saw quarterback Jordan Love, of Utah State, falling down the draft boards, and they decided to move up to the 26th pick in the draft to grab the quarterback most believe compares favorably to Patrick Mahomes. A slight surprise pick in the draft was CB Noah Igbinoghene, selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 30th pick in the draft. Most believed no running backs would go in the first round of the draft, however, the Chiefs gloriously ended the first round of the draft selecting Lousiana State University running back, Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
It was a tremendous first-round, however, there are still so many talented players left on the board. Championship teams are built yearly in the second and third rounds of the draft. Most notably, Georgia running back D'Andre Swift, LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton, Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor, and LSU safety Grant Delpit. Most believe there will be a run on skill position players in the second round. Playmaking talents like Penn State's K.J. Hamler, Clemon wide receiver Tee Higgins, and Colorado's Laviska Shenault will all be great addtions to any teams they are added to in the second or third round. There will definitely be some surprises in the second round of the draft. Quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Jacob Eason could be motivate some teams to move up in the draft. Most pundits would be surprised to see one or both of them not selected on Day Two. Here is a quick ook at the possible Top Ten selections in the second round of the 2020 draft.
33. Bengals - OT Ezra Cleveland, Boise State
The Bengals look to strengthen their offensive line and protect their investment in Quarterback Joe Burrow.
34. Colts- WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
The Colts are selecting for the first time in this draft and grab a big 6'4 receiver to pair with T.Y. Hilton in Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins.
35. Lions- OT Josh Jones, Houston
The Lions could not pass on cornerback Jeff Okudah, even though there is a need to address the offensive line. The Lions address the offensive line with the selection of offensive tackle Josh Jones.
36. Giants – CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
Giants fans understand that there was a need to address the offensive line and keep Daniel Jones safe in the pocket. However, most fans were hoping for some help on defense. The Giants address one of their needs with the selection of one of the best corners on the board in LSU cornerback Kristian Fulton.
37. Patriots – TE Cole Kemet, Notre Dame
The Patriots just traded away formerly retired tight end, Rob Gronkowski, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They have been rumored to have a lot of interest in Notre Dame tight end Cole Kemet. They started the draft without a second-round pick but traded back to 37 because they believed their guy would still be available. They select Cole Kemet as the heir to Gronk.
38. Panthers – CB Jaylon Johnson, Utah
The Panthers lost their best cornerback, James Bradberry, in the off-season. Earlier in the draft, the Panthers selected DT Derrick Brown, correctly predicted by Ross Jackson on our NFL Mock draft, as they look to strengthen their defense in a division suddenly loaded with talent. They continue to address their needs on defense with the selection of the Utah cornerback.
39. Dolphins – RB D'Andre Swift, Georgia
The fall for D'Andre Swift stops with Miami early in the second round of the draft. Tua and Swift will form a great pair to jump-start this new-look offense in Miami.
40. Texans – RB Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin
The Texans traded for running back David Johnson this off-season, but most believe his days as a dominate running back in the NFL are behind him. If the Texans are looking for a future workhorse running back they should look no further than running back Jonathan Taylor. There is a suspicion that they trade up to target Swift, but if they are unable to move up Taylor is still a great value in the second round.
41. Cleveland Browns – S Grant Delpit, LSU
The Browns' infatuation with LSU players will show up again in the second round of the NFL draft. Earlier in his college career, most thought Safety Grant Delpit was a Top 10 talent. Grant suffered multiple injuries and showed inconsistencies in his ability to tackle ball carries, which explains why he is still available at this point in the draft. Time with Greedy Williams, Odell Beckham, and Jarvis Landry should relight a fire under Delpit. A focus Delpit could make this a steal of the second round.
42. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma
For the last two years, the Oklahoma Sooners have produced the first overall picks in the draft in quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray. Jalen Hurts, falling to the second round, breaks that Sooners' streak, but he falls to a great situation in Jacksonville. Gardner Minshew played well as a rookie, but Hurts would be an upgrade at the position. The Jaguars select the Oklahoma star with their first pick in the second round.