Everyone knew this year’s NFL Draft was going to be crazy with all of the operations being held from individual homes. The COVID–19 outbreak has forced us all to do things differently during this time.
News reporting, especially for this draft, was even a little scattered as there weren’t as many face-to-face meetings beforehand. That caused the mock drafts around the industry to be quite different from one another – and more importantly, there wasn’t a lot of people that nailed the picks in a semblance of order.
To put it in layman’s terms, you should probably be working on the cure for the coronavirus if you got at least 20 of these picks right.
The first two picks – QB Joe Burrow to the Cincinnati Bengals and EDGE Chase Young to the Washington Redskins – both went according to plan. However, the looming trade possibility between the Detroit Lions at No. 3 and Miami Dolphins at No. 5 was never put into motion. CB Jeff Okudah packed his bags for Detroit while QB Tua Tagovailoa took his talents to Miami.
In between the Okudah and Tagovailoa picks, Andrew Thomas going to the New York Giants at No. 4 was somewhat unexpected. Whether it was because of minimal reporting or an actual logjam of similarity in talents between the four best offensive linemen, it was argued that these hog mollies could have really been selected in any order.
Despite those similarities, another offensive lineman wasn’t selected until No. 10, when the Cleveland Browns took OL Jedrick Willis, Jr. That was followed by the New York Jets taking Mekhi Becton at No. 11 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers getting Tristan Wirfs at No. 13.
The Las Vegas Raiders may have a new home, but their stigma of thinking they are the smartest people in the room hasn’t changed. Once again, the Raiders reached on first-round picks, selecting WR Henry Ruggs III as the first receiver off the board at No. 12 and then taking CB Damon Arnette at No. 19. The latter of those two had a second- or third-round grade on most people’s boards.
That reach by the Raiders allowed the division-rival Denver Broncos to take WR Jerry Jeudy, who was most people’s top-graded receiver, at No. 15 while the Dallas Cowboys got the steal of the draft taking WR CeeDee Lamb at No. 17.
Speaking of teams disappointing their fans, the Philadelphia Eagles did it again. WR Justin Jefferson led the country last season at LSU with 111 catches to go along with 1,540 yards (third-most) and 18 touchdowns (second-most). Instead of selecting him, the Eagles went with WR Jalen Reagor from TCU. While Reagor is a fine playmaking receiver, Jefferson has prototypical WR1 qualities that would have finally given Philly QB Carson Wentz the guy he needed.
And then, there’s the fair question we can all ask the Green Bay Packers – what the hell were you guys thinking??? The Packers have failed to get QB Aaron Rodgers help historically during the first round — In fact, the last offensive skill player drafted by Green Bay in the first round was Rodgers back in 2005. Well, the Packers went ahead and traded up to QB Jordan Love of Utah State – yikes!
Last, but not least, the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs made a big splash at the end of the first round by taking RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire from LSU. He’s a guy that will certainly fit the bill in the Chiefs aerial-attack offense.
Thankfully, the NFL Draft took place and we were all able to consume some type of current sports on our TV sets. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come, and we’ll be getting back to normal shortly.