The 2020 NFL Draft is here and although the proceedings are going to be virtual, the goal is the same for all 32 teams: load up on talent.
Draft day is always an exciting time for fans, but the 2020 NFL Draft will be even more crucial for sports fans. With sports on an indefinite hiatus due to the outbreak of coronavirus, this year’s draft provides fans with something to fill the time.
LSU quarterback Joe Burrow and Ohio State defensive end Chase Young are likely to go one and two, respectively, but the rest of the draft could go a million different ways.
Here are ESNY’s live first-round results.
No. 1 Cincinnati — Joe Burrow, QB, LSU
No surprise here whatsoever. The Heisman Trophy winner put together one of the best seasons for a college quarterback in history, leading the Tigers to a National Championship victory and a perfect season.
Now it’s up to Burrow, 23, to turn around a Cincinnati Bengals franchise that is looking to rebuild around the kid from southeast Ohio. The Joe Burrow era in Cincinnati is underway
No. 2 Washington — Chase Young, DE, Ohio State
Much like Burrow, this was another no-brainer. Chase Young is probably the best prospect in the draft all things considered. After putting together an absolutely dominant junior season for Ohio State (16.5 sacks, 21.0 TFL), Young cemented himself as the best defensive player in the draft.
If not for Cincinnati’s desperate need for a quarterback, Young might have gone first overall.
No. 3 Detroit — Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State
Well, we have another Ohio State Buckeye going in the top three. Young and Okudah shared the field last season while Burrow was a quarterback for the Buckeyes before transferring to LSU.
The top two picks shouldn’t overshadow Okudah. He’s a physical corner who can play up in the faces of any receiver. The Lions needed an upgrade in the secondary and Okudah is all that and more.
No. 4 NY Giants — Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
The first three picks were more or less expected. Burrow and Young were locks to go one and two, respectively. The only way the Lions weren’t taking Okudah was if they traded out of that pick for a quarterback-needy team.
With a few different options, the Giants decided to go with offensive tackle Andrew Thomas. Tristan Wirfs and Jedrick Wills Jr. were the tackles who most had going to the Giants in mock drafts, but Dave Gettleman gets his man. His high floor should make him a plug-and-play guy at right tackle from day one.
No. 5 Miami — Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama
The Miami Dolphins might have just drafted the best quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft. Yes, it’s hard to argue with Burrow’s production at LSU, but Tagovailoa is going to be an absolute stud if he’s healthy.
He burst onto the scene when he came into the second half of the 2018 National Championship and led the Crimson Tide to a comeback win over Georgia. He’s a technician with the football and although injuries dropped his draft stock, the Dolphins could be making out like bandits with this pick.
No. 6 LA Chargers — Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Justin Herbert has everything that NFL teams want in a quarterback: big body, rocket arm, and enough speed to make some plays outside the pocket. After the Chargers parted ways with Philip Rivers, they needed to draft the quarterback of the future at some point.
Herbert checks all the boxes and as is tradition in the NFL Draft, quarterbacks are flying off the board.
No. 7 Carolina — Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Teams can rarely go wrong when taking a big ol’ defensive lineman from the Southeastern Conference. Derrick Brown is the first defensive tackle off the board.
He should be instrumental in revamping Carolina’s run defense. The Panthers were 29th in opponent rushing yards per game.
No. 8 Arizona — Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
Isaiah Simmons is the first guy in this draft to really fall. He was projected to go as high as four to the Giants, but New York went with offensive line help instead.
Simmons is listed as a linebacker, but that doesn’t really do his game justice. He can play the traditional middle linebacker spot, but he can play in coverage, rush the quarterback, and just about everything in between. He’s truly a positionless defensive player.
No. 9 Jacksonville — C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
The Miami native who played his college ball for the Florida Gators is staying put in the Sunshine State. He’s athletic enough to make tackles on the outside, but he’s at his absolute best in coverage.
Any cornerback going in the top-10 of the draft is expected to come in and be an immediate contributor. It’s a pass-first league and Henderson is a huge get for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
No. 10 Cleveland — Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama
The Cleveland Browns have their quarterback—Baker Mayfield—and weapons on weapons for the outspoken passer. Adding some protection seems like the right move here.
Wills could have gone as early as pick No. 4 to the Giants, but quarterbacks and defense dominated the top 10. Cleveland picks up a guy who can help protect Mayfield’s blindside.
No. 11 NY Jets — Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Mekhi Becton is a high-ceiling tackle with jaw-dropping athleticism. His 5.10 40-yard dash time is downright absurd considering his 6-foot-7, 368-pound frame. General manager Joe Douglas said he was the top player on the team’s board when they were on the clock.
Although he has unreal athleticism and potential, he does have bust potential that’s worth mentioning. He needs to work on his pass-blocking technique, but if the Jets believe they can develop him, he could be heading to Canton one day.
No. 12 Las Vegas — Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
It was only a matter of time before a team took one of the elite wide receivers. The fact that Ruggs is the first pick was somewhat surprising, but given Raiders head coach Jon Gruden’s affinity for speedsters, this pick shouldn’t come as a huge shock.
No. 13 Tampa Bay (via SF & IND) — Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa
The New England Patriots—excuse me—the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have more than enough playmakers for Tom Brady. The draft strategy was obvious: Add protection for the soon-to-be-43-year-old Brady.
Wirfs could have gone much earlier in this draft, but he’s falling into the perfect situation. The Hawkeye standout is going to play for the best quarterback of all-time and an up-and-coming team in the NFC.
No. 14 San Francisco (via TB) — Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
San Francisco could have gone a few different ways with this pick, but they’re looking for some muscle in the trenches. Javon Kinlaw racked up 6.0 sacks and 6.0 tackles for loss in the SEC. He should be able to come in and add some depth to the interior for the 49ers.
No. 15 Denver — Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
The wide receivers are starting to fly off the board, but the first two are both from Alabama. Jeudy might be best route runner in the draft this year and he should be a major piece for the Broncos.
He put up double-digit touchdowns and over 2,400 receiving yards over his last two seasons with the Crimson Tide. The young Drew Lock has an elite target.
No. 16 Atlanta — A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson
The Atlanta Falcons need a lot of things, but cornerback was probably at the top of the list. A.J. Terrell struggled at times against the top-tier college receivers, but he still has incredible upside as a cover corner.
No. 17 Dallas — CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma
Big 12 receivers are always scary considering how poor the defenses are in that conference, but CeeDee Lamb appears to be the real deal. Strong route runner, major speed, and excellent hands. Lamb should make for a dynamic combination with Amari Cooper in Dallas.
No. 18 Miami (via PIT) — Austin Jackson, OT, USC
After going with the injury-prone Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 5 pick, it only makes sense that the Dolphins do everything in their power to give him some protection. If Lamb or Jeudy fell to this spot, they might have gone with the dynamic playmaker. But when both of those guys were off the board, it only made sense to go with a lineman.
No. 19 Las Vegas (via CHI) — Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
Another first-round pick, another Buckeye. Damon Arnette might not have the tremendous upside of Jeff Okudah, but he’s a stud in his own right. Ohio State consistently produces top-flite cornerbacks and Arnette should be no different.
No. 20 Jacksonville (via LAR) — K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU
Although K’Lavon Chaisson ended up falling down draft boards to the 20th pick, he’s got top-10 talent. The Jaguars’ relationship with Yannick Ngakoue is cooked and they needed to figure out a way to replace his production off the edge. Chaisson is exactly that.
No. 21 Philadelphia — Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
Jalen Reagor’s meteoric rise up draft boards is due in large part to his ridiculous athleticism. Philly needed a wide receiver like nobody’s business and Reagor should plug that hole for head coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz.
No. 22 Minnesota (via BUF) — Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU
This pick is a bit of a head-scratcher. Not because of Justin Jefferson’s talent, but more because of his fit with Minnesota. Adam Thielen is a slot-receiver extraordinaire and Jefferson took a vast majority of his reps in the slot at LSU. The Vikings must be banking on his talent translating to all parts of the field.
No. 23 LA Chargers (via NE) — Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
There was some speculation that the Chargers would go with Isaiah Simmons with the No. 6 pick and look for a quarterback later in the first or on day two of the draft. Instead, Los Angeles goes with Herbert early and fills their need at linebacker with Murray.
No. 24 New Orleans — Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan
Cesar Ruiz is a big boy and it never hurts to take those guys when you’re a team that’s set up like the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees and company are looking to retool and reload for another run at a Super Bowl and Ruiz adds depth to the offensive line.
No. 25 San Francisco (via MIN) — Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
It took some time for teams to take a chance on a wide receiver in this draft, but now they’re flying off the board. Brandon Aiyuk is the sixth wideout to go in the first round and he should be money in Kyle Shanahan’s high-powered offense.
No. 26 Green Bay (via MIA & HOU) — Jordan Love, QB, Utah State
If the first-round didn’t have enough intrigue, this pick should move the needle. Much like Aaron Rodgers was taken as Brett Favre’s long-term replacement in 2005, Love appears to be the future in Green Bay.
It’s highly unlikely that Rodgers takes this pick in stride. It’s more likely that he’ll take this choice as a slight and come out in 2020 with a lot to prove. That’s not the worst thing in the world because Love is seen as a project who might need one or two years to learn from the sidelines. The Utah State product is the fourth quarterback off the board.
No. 27 Seattle — Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
The Seahawks could have gone a few different directions with this pick, but they opt for the dependable inside linebacker. Jordyn Brooks has speed on speed, as evidenced by his 4.54 40-yard dash time. Head coach Pete Carroll will find a way to utilize Brooks in Seattle.
No. 28 Baltimore — Patrick Queen, LB, LSU
The Baltimore Ravens may have just told Roger Goodell to give them the best SEC defender available. The LSU linebacker is a guy who can play sideline to sideline. The speed of the NFL should be no issue for Patrick Queen.
No. 29 Tennessee — Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
Two tackles from Georgia are going in the first round. Andrew Thomas went with the fourth-overall pick and Isaiah Wilson is going with the fourth-to-last pick int he first round. He’s raw and needs to work on his technique, but he has tremendous upside.
The Titans already have a dominant line so Wilson should be able to join an experienced group without having to carry his teammates.
No. 30 Miami (via GB) — Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn
The Miami Dolphins use a late-first rounder to add to a strength with Noah Igbinoghene, who can play cover on the outside and the slot, but he’s also a possible threat in the return game. He’s likely to play the nickel with Xavien Howard and Byron Jones manning the outsides. There won’t be too much pressure on him to dominate from day one and he can grow into his role.
No. 31 Minnesota (via SF) — Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Jeff Gladney is the fourth corner to go in the first round and although he’s not a huge guy at 5-foot-10, he’s physical enough to bang with NFL wide receivers. He’s a plug-and-play guy for Minnesota who should help shore up the Minnesota secondary.
No. 32 Kansas City — Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU
The defending Super Bowl champs are in prime position to make another run at a championship next season. As long as they have Patrick Mahomes, they’ll always be a contender. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is a receiving back who can offer up Mahomes another option in the passing game. Edwards-Helaire is the 15th player from the SEC, which sets an NFL record for the first round.