Herbert or Burrow? Redrafting the 2020 First Round

The 2020 NFL Draft will take center stage this Sunday when 2 of the biggest stars from the draft class square off for the very first time. The 6th overall pick and reigning offensive rookie of the year will take his Chargers to Cincinnati to battle former Heisman trophy winner and #1 overall pick Joe Burrow. It took some front office malpractice for Herbert to fall to the Chargers at 6. In this 2020 first-round redraft, TheSportsWave journalists Theo Bachman, Garrett Cowdrey, and Andrew Brewer will play the role of GM and will rectify some of these mistakes. This redraft will also identify some late-round steals, that will now move up into the first round.

#1 Cincinnati Bengals: Quarterback Joe Burrow

While Justin Herbert has been slightly better than Joe Burrow to start their careers, it’s hard to imagine the Bengals taking anyone else with the first overall pick. Burrow has already become the face of the Bengals franchise and was highly influential in the team’s first-round draft choice this past spring when they took Jamar Chase. Chase and Burrow have rewarded Cincinnati by giving them one of the best teams and most explosive offenses they have had in years.

#2 Washington Football Team: Quarterback Justin Herbert

The Bengals selecting Burrow makes this pick easy for the Washington Football Team. They initially opted for the safe pick and took defensive rookie of the year Chase Young. Knowing what we know now, offensive rookie of the year Justin Herbert is the pick at 2. In Washington, Herbert is a franchise QB. With a more than capable QB throwing him the ball Terry McLaurin surpasses 1,600 yards receiving and the Washington Football Team is instantly capable of competing with Dallas for the NFC East crown.

#3 Detroit Lions: Defensive End Chase Young

The selection seems pretty apparent with the two best quarterbacks off the board and Chase Young still on the board. While no one can call Jeff Okudah a ‘bust’ yet, the Lions would have died if Young was still on the board in 2020. As for Okudah, the second-year cornerback has only started seven games because of a ruptured Achilles; thus, the jury is still out on Okudah. On the other hand, Young has proven himself to be a generational talent. The torn ACL is devastating, but I do not doubt that Young can return to his defensive rookie of the year self.

#4 New York Giants: Offensive Tackle Tristan Wirfs

The Giants were easily the most offensive line needy team in this draft, and they get to choose whichever one they want here. I can confidently say that this would be Tristan Wirfs, as he has produced the most out of this offensive line class and would be a staple of the Giants O-Line, protecting Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley very well.

#5 Miami Dolphins: Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson

The Tua experiment hasn’t been a complete waste of time, but he hasn’t shown enough flashes to justify leaving such an elite wide receiver talent on the table. Through his first 27 NFL games, Jefferson has accumulated over 2400 yards receiving. While the Dolphins exit the top without a QB, they get an all-pro talent and still have enough future capital to take some more swings.

#6 Los Angeles Chargers: Offensive Tackle Andrew Thomas

This time the Chargers aren’t fortunate enough to have Justin Herbert fall in their laps with the sixth pick. With the best quarterback prospects off the board, the Chargers attack an area of need on the offensive line. This is a tough call between Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton, and Andrew Thomas. Wills and Becton outplayed Thomas in year one, but in year two, Thomas has been the best of 3, partly due to Becton’s season-ending injury. The Chargers opt for the player that has played the best most recently and that is Thomas.

#7 Carolina Panthers: Defensive Tackle Derrick Brown

If I could do over this do-over draft, I would not select Derrick Brown. Evaluating defensive tackles can be extremely difficult since most of their performance does not rely on specific stats but their impact on the o-line. Unfortunately, Derrick Brown is about as streaky as a Don Coryell’s offense. Brown destroyed the Giants in week seven with a sack and two TFL’s. However, the big moments end there for Brown. The talent is undoubtedly there, but after getting benched in week 12 against Miami, time might be running out for him. With a draft this thin at the defensive line position, the Panthers roll the dice again on Brown and will hope that his high-level play shows up more consistently.

#8 Arizona Cardinals: Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb

The Cardinals were rumored to be looking at receivers in this draft already, but they snagged defensive rover Isaiah Simmons, instead. This time around, though, they won’t pass up on a guy like Ceedee Lamb. It is hard to imagine anyone stopping a Cardinals offense with the addition of Lamb, as he and Hopkins would feast on opposing defenses. Uniting this Oklahoma receiver with an Oklahoma quarterback in Kyler Murray is too exciting to resist at pick eight.

#9 Jacksonville Jaguars: Cornerback AJ Terrell

The Jaguars initially used this pick on cornerback CJ Henderson who has already been shipped out of town by the new regime. However, with their mulligan, the Jaguars land AJ Terrell-a proper shutdown corner. Terrell currently holds the top PFF coverage grade amongst all corners and is also #1 in yards allowed per reception with 6.5.

#10 Cleveland Browns: Offensive Tackle Jedrick Wills

The Browns stick with their original pick in Wills, an essential factor in Cleveland’s run game success in 2020. Unfortunately, the entire Browns offense has been anemic in 2021 with injuries and drama everywhere, and Wills has taken a step back with his play. Still, Wills showed enough flashes as a rookie that you have to believe he can turn it around and play at a high level for many years to come.

#11 New York Jets: Offensive Tackle Mekhi Becton

Another pick left unchanged; the Jets get their giant tackle again. Although injuries have derailed his chance to make a genuine difference for the Jets, nobody can deny his talent. If Becton can turn into the same solid force D’Brickashaw Ferguson was during the Rex Ryan era, the pick will be, without a doubt, a success. However, the injuries continue to keep him off the field, and with him expected to miss another game this week, the Jets might look elsewhere for lineman help.

#12 Las Vegas Raiders: Safety Jeremy Chinn

The Raiders initially used this pick on Henry Ruggs, whose character and decision-making have him looking at a future without the NFL. This was a very tough pick to make as I was in between Chinn, Diggs, and Winfield here. I ended up going Chinn because his versatile playstyle would bode well for the Raiders, and he is criminally underrated. In addition, the Raiders could use both a linebacker and safety here, so I decided that giving them Chinn would provide them with both potentially, even if it is an under-the-radar pick. Finally, this year, Johnathan Abram has been picked on as the weak spot of the Raiders defense, so getting Chinn in his place should cover up some of those big pass plays.

#13 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cornerback Trevon Diggs

The Buccaneers made a huge splash with this pick by landing Tristan Wirfs, who went #4 overall in this redraft. Instead, they will use this pick to address the cornerback position, a position the Buccaneers were counting on washed-up Richard Sherman to play at one point this season. The Bucs land the best young playmaking corner in the NFL with Trevon Diggs. The Bucs linebacker corps and front four pressure would only enable Diggs to take more risks in coverage and ultimately make more plays.

#14 San Francisco 49ers: Safety Antoine Winfield Jr.

One of the best defensive players in this draft, the Bucs hit a home run when they originally drafted Winfield Jr. in the second round. The Niners opt for Winfield Jr. here over their original pick in Javon Kinlaw because of his overall effectiveness and playmaking ability. In 9 games this season, Winfield has two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.

#15 Denver Broncos: Wide Receiver Jerry Jeudy

In this redraft scenario, the Broncos have virtually two options: 1. Give up on Drew Lock after one season and choose Tua 2. Stick with the original decision to give the offense more weapons. Either option seems feasible. In my world, though, Jeudy remains the pick. Jeudy hasn’t shown up in the stats yet, except with the drops. However, it is hard to imagine that he won’t break out soon considering his talent and the Broncos upcoming schedule of games against the Chiefs and Bengals. Additionally, hopefully in this scenario, the Broncos put themselves in position to take Justin Fields or Mac Jones in 2021.

#16 Atlanta Falcons: Running Back Johnathan Taylor

Picking any running back in the first round is risky, but Jonathan Taylor is as worthy as anyone. The Falcons desperately need a workhorse back as they have been flipping a coin between Mike Davis and their utility man Cordarelle Patterson for the lead back role all year. This pick was going to either be running back or offensive line, and there is not an offensive lineman on the board that is even close to Taylor. Therefore, this pick was made with plenty of confidence. This year Taylor has changed the Colts offensive identity and has put the team on his shoulders and carried them into the thick of a playoff race.

#17 Dallas Cowboys: Cornerback Jaylon Johnson

The Cowboys originally took wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, who is long gone at this point of the draft. However, on Thanksgiving, we saw the Cowboys corner backs get exposed, specifically Anthony Brown. Jaylon Johnson has been one of the best single coverage corners in the NFL this season and has blossomed into a stud for the Bears.

#18 Miami Dolphins: Offensive Tackle Michael Onwenu

The Dolphins initially took tackle Austin Jackson with this pick, contributing to the 2021 Dolphins having one of the worst offensive lines we have ever seen. However, in this redraft format, the Dolphins can steal Onwenu away from Bill Belichick and set themselves up for a decade of success at the tackle position. In addition, a great run blocker Onwenu would give the Dolphins offense a new identity that could benefit a young quarterback.

#19 Las Vegas Raiders: Linebacker Isaiah Simmons

Damon Arnette was a disaster for the Raiders in every sense of the word. Most draft analysts considered Arnette a tremendous risk character before the draft and after those same concerns were vividly realized. Luckily for the Raiders, they have the chance to redo their mistake. Isaiah Simmons is that redo. For the Cardinals, Simmons is the staple that holds their defense together. He has started every game this season while registering 77 tackles and three forced fumbles on a defense that ranks 5th in the NFL in yards allowed. In this make-shift world, the Raiders need that athleticism desperately for a defense that ranks 20th. The back to back first round selections of Simmons and Chinn gives the Raiders two players with the range to cover from sideline to sideline.

#20 Jacksonville Jaguars: Linebacker Patrick Queen

This pick was originally K’Lavon Chaisson, a linebacker that was a position of need. All that needed to be done here was replace Chaisson with a player that has produced more while still filling a significant position of need in Queen. This was a relatively easy pick, and it gives the Jaguars precisely what they need with a tackling machine at linebacker in Patrick Queen here at pick twenty.

#21 Philadelphia Eagles: Wide Receiver Michael Pittman Jr.

Perhaps the biggest mistake of the entire first round, pick 21 is where the Eagles infamously picked Jalen Reagor one spot ahead of Justin Jefferson. Jefferson isn’t making it back to them in this redraft, but the Eagles can lock down Michael Pittman, who has been showing flashes of being a #1 wide receiver in Indianapolis. While he does have Johnathan Taylor to keep defenses honest, Pittman has put up 800 yards and 5 touchdowns this year while being keyed on as the primary target by opposing secondaries. Pittman has also established a good connection with the man who was the Eagles QB1 at the time of the 2020 draft, Carson Wentz.

#22 Minnesota Vikings: Cornerback Jeffrey Okudah

The Vikings dedicated multiple 2020 draft choices to the cornerback position with Jeff Gladney and Cam Dantzler. In this redraft, the most talented corner prospect in the class falls to them at 22. Okudah looked like a sure thing shutdown corner but has gotten on the field for just ten games in his first couple seasons. With another pick coming later in the first round, the Vikings take a massive swing on an unknown commodity with loads of potential.

#23 Los Angeles Chargers: Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa

Unfortunately for the Chargers, since they lost out on their franchise player, they must settle for the next best thing. Tua Tagovailoa. Honestly, I’m surprised Tua lasted this long in this redraft. In the meantime, the Chargers need a quarterback, and Herbert is not available. Despite being ruthlessly criticized by literally every single media pundit ever to exist, Tua’s tenure with the Dolphins has been, for lack of a better word, decent. Miami’s coaches deserve a lot of that blame for their terrible treatment of both him and Jacoby Brissett. However, I believe under the right offense (A lot of RPO’s), Tua can become a top-15 quarterback. All it takes is the right offensive mind and practice.

#24 New Orleans Saints: Quarterback Jalen Hurts

I was praying that Tua would fall to this pick, especially since his pro comparison was Drew Brees, but the Chargers snagged him at 23 in this redraft. That left it between Jalen Hurts and Darnell Mooney. This was a tough decision, but I ended up going Hurts. I see how Sean Payton uses Taysom Hill, and he would have an absolute blast with a guy like Hurts at QB. If anyone can get the most out of Jalen Hurts, it is Sean Payton, so let’s send Hurts to the Big Easy.

#25 San Francisco 49ers: Defensive Tackle Javon Kinlaw

The 49ers originally took Kinlaw 14th overall to fill a huge area of need after the team traded DeForest Buckner. Kinlaw has not been a smashing success, but this draft severely lacks talent on the defensive front. The 49ers run it back with Kinlaw and hope for different results.

#26 Green Bay Packers: Wide Receiver Tee Higgins

This time with the infamous Jordan Love pick, the Packers get a weapon for Aaron Rodgers. Higgins has averaged over 60 yards a game over his two seasons in the NFL and his work in the slot would make him a perfect fit for the Green Bay offense.

#27 Seattle Seahawks: Wide Receiver Darnell Mooney

With most excellent draft prospects gone, the Seahawks get to choose from a fury of decent/near-pro bowl-level players. In Jordyn Brooks, the Seahawks original selection got a very average starting linebacker on an unimpressive defense. On the other hand, Mooney could have sparked Seattle’s offense and provided Wilson with a much-needed weapon. Despite inconsistent quarterback play, Mooney has hauled in 46 receptions for 694 yards in 2021. Only Tyler Lockett has had more yards and receptions than him for Seattle. Thus, in this redraft, the Seahawks select Darnell Mooney.

#28 Baltimore Ravens: Safety Julian Blackmon

This is back-to-back picks where the guy I thought was a perfect fit got snagged by the team a selection ahead in this redraft. Mooney would have been very nice, but instead, Baltimore would be scrambling for more of a “best player available” type of pick now. Julian Blackmon fills that title as a very talented and underrated safety. We know that Baltimore has a good defense, but safety is somewhat of a position of need here, so we’ll take Blackmon and be pretty satisfied.

#29: Tennessee Titans: Linebacker Logan Wilson

The Titans used this pick on Isaiah Wilson, which was a giant swing and a miss. In this redraft, they take a different Wilson, one of the steals of the 2020 draft. Wilson has put up big numbers as the Bengals starting middle linebacker this year, posting 89 tackles and four interceptions through his first 11 games.

#30: Miami Dolphins: Running back D’Andre Swift

The Dolphins used this pick on corner Noah Igbinoghene, but they are OK at cornerback with Xavien Howard and Byron Jones on the roster. This pick leaves the Dolphins without a franchise QB, but they can now pitch an offense with D’Andre Swift and Justin Jefferson to quarterbacks on the free agent and trade market. Swift is a great pass catcher, is explosive in the open field, and has made due running the ball behind a subpar offensive line in 2021.

#31 Minnesota Vikings: Safety Kyle Dugger

Another draft prospect turned violent criminal, Jeff Gladney, was nothing short of a disappointment for the Vikings, and he was cut following an August indictment. Fortunately for the Vikings, they get a do-over. While Xavier Woods has not been a terrible safety across from Harrison Smith, better options are available. Kyle Dugger is that better option. The Patriots were desperate for a replacement from Patrick Chung and found it with Dugger. Similarly, the Vikings were desperate for a safety opposite Harrison Smith after Anthony Harris left and Kyle Dugger can be that replacement. Nobody can deny Dugger’s value on the Patriots, and potentially, in this scenario, the Vikings

#32 Kansas City Chiefs: Guard Damien Lewis

Offensive line struggles are ultimately what did the Chiefs in during the 2020 season as they were unable to block the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl. Their original pick of Clyde Edwards-Helaire had little to no effect on the team’s championship aspirations. Since being drafted, Lewis had started every possible game for the Seahawks and was named to the 2020 all-rookie team.

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