The unprecedented time that we are going through right now as a planet has affected all areas of life, football being one of them. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced the NFL to rethink the way the 2020 Draft is being held. Their solution? 3 nights filled with awkwardly long pauses over video calls, never seen before footage of Roger Goodell’s basement and of course, the new wave of college draft picks ready to etch their names into the NFL history books.
As the dust settles upon what has been an exciting couple of days, there will be existing NFL players as well as draft selections either ecstatic or miserable with their teams’ selections.
1. Derek Carr, QB, Las Vegas Raiders
Despite the rumors of Gruden preferring to go in another direction for the relocated Raiders, Mike Mayock ultimately made the decision to pick the first wide receiver in this talent loaded class: Henry Ruggs III. The former player for the Alabama Crimson Tide has devastating 4.27 speed, paired with a smooth and slick route-running ability perfect for deep routes or quick inside slant. Not only does Carr keep his job, but he also gets a brand new weapon for his growing arsenal including two other receivers drafted in the 3rd, Lynn Bowden (Kentucky) and Bryan Edwards (South Carolina).
2. Jordan Love, QB, Green Bay Packers
This pick is puzzling on the basis that Aaron Rodgers still has at least 3-4 years left in the league and is playing at a high level. The Packers are also coming off a 13 win season, so to take a quarterback in the first round seems confusing. What makes even less sense is that there is little clarity over who are the top 3 receivers on the depth chart outside of Davante Adams.
However, from the standpoint of Jordan Love, a raw prospect with a cannon for an arm, this is the perfect destination. This is because the former Aggie will get time to improve his worrying accuracy levels and learn from one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, all whilst earning a first-round pick’s salary!
3. Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams
With a void in the Rams’ backfield following the cut of former AP Offensive Player of the Year Todd Gurley, they needed to find a new man for the job. Their options: roll with Malcolm Brown, who saw only 69 carries in 2019, or pick a running back in the draft. L.A. was the ideal landing spot for Akers as he will have little struggle in winning the starting job. He will also see considerable time on 3rd down too, as Brown, who will back him up, is not a pass-catching back. Akers will add value to this newly-homed side with his lateral speed, explosiveness, and good hands.
4. Drew Lock, QB, Denver Broncos
Scary is an understatement when it comes to talking about this Broncos offense. The additions of respected wideouts Jerry Jeudy and K.J Hamler along with LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry III have just made Drew Lock’s sophomore campaign in the NFL a whole lot easier. These new rookies joined up with the existing stars Courtland Sutton, Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay should provide Lock and the Broncos with an exciting future.
5. Jalen Hurts, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
Jalen Hurts is not a second-round caliber quarterback. Roseman’s questionable decision, however, is welcomed with open arms by the former Alabama and Oklahoma QB. Hurts will see meaningful playing time in Year One when Wentz injures himself (as is customary at this point) as well as on the field with Wentz. Pederson hinted that they will explore using Hurts and Wentz in a similar capacity to how the Saints have successfully used Hill and Brees. Either way, Hurts will not have to wait long to take his first NFL snap or receive his first NFL pass.
1. Nick Foles, QB, Chicago Bears
As the most likely QB out of himself and Trubisky to win the job, Foles will have been watching the draft with excitement wondering which new receiver(s) the Bears will draft, as they are in need of wideouts. What he would have not expected is for the Bears to draft a 10th tight end. Considering Claypool, Hamler, Mims were on the board while many receivers were still undrafted, picking Cole Kmet over them makes no sense at all. Ryan Pace will have a tough job explaining this one to the Super Bowl MVP… The only receiver they did draft was Darnell Mooney out of Tulane, no one to be excited about.
2. A.J Epenesa, DE, Buffalo Bills
At the end of the day, his combine performance really damaged his draft stock. A.J Epenesa was thought of by many league figures to be a first-round talent and the second pass rusher taken off the board before his sub-par combine performance. He let himself down and fell short of the mark, especially with his 17 rep bench press. Clearly, GMs did not like the show he put on as he fell to the Bills in the 2nd round at pick 54.
3. Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Finally, the reign of painful averageness at the QB position ends for the Bengals. Joe Burrow will be the Bengals signal-caller come Week 1 after being selected number #1 overall. He will be taking over from Dalton, who will be bench-warming for the foreseeable future. His future is now in the balance as Dalton will need to find himself a new team via trade or his impending free agency if he ever wants to be a starting quarterback ever again.
4. AJ Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers
Dillon will not carry the football very much in Green Bay, period. Other than Rodgers, Aaron Jones was the Packers’ best offensive player last season, putting up 1558 all-purpose yards. With Jamaal Williams there as well, Dillon will struggle to get carries. Another perplexing pick from the Packers.
5. Grant Delpit, SS, Cleveland Browns
Seeing the 2019 Jim Thorpe Award fall to the bottom of the 2nd round was a huge surprise for all fans of the college game. Yes, the supposed best defensive back in America was not a first-round pick. Whilst Cleveland got themselves a steal, Delpit was a first-round talent who was pushed out due to an abundance of offensive stars.