2020 Round 1 Grades

1.Bengals – Joe Burrow (QB-LSU) A+

The Bengals did the right thing. They rejected trade options from the Dolphins and have found their franchise QB.

2.Redskins – Chase Young (DE-Ohio State) A+

Another top pick. The Redskins got the best player in the draft and now have the best D-Line in the league. The Broncos won the Superbowl based solely on their defence, the Redskins will not reach those hights, but playoffs are possible.

3.Lions – Jeff Okudah (CB-Ohio State) A

The early part of the draft was full of good safe picks. A replacement for Darius Slay will help, but the defence can’t be solved by one player.

4.Giants – Andrew Thomas (OT-Georgia) B

The safest pick at tackle in the draft. He will be a solid starter for a long time, but he will not be as dominant on swings and pulls as Wirfs or Becton, or as technically sound as Wills. Still a good pick, and with this year’s circumstance, safe is probably the way to go.

5.Dolphins – Tua Tagovailoa (QB-Alabama) C+

If healthy, Tua would be the top pick (at least top 3). However, I would not take a chance on an injury prone QB. Tua may be electric for a few games a season or for a few years but there is a feeling that his career will sadly be derailed by injury, I would not have taken the chance and waited for next year.

6.Chargers – Justin Herbert (QB-Oregon) C

Not a fan of Herbert, he is usually late on his throws leading to incompletions or hits on WRs which could have been avoided. I hope he proves this evaluation wrong.

7.Panthers – Derrick Brown (DT-Auburn) B+

Brown will be recking interior O-Lineman for years to come. A DT to collapse the pocket in a division with Drew Brees and Tom Brady is a good idea. However, I would have liked Isaiah Simmons better for the Panthers, hence a B+.

8.Cardinals – Isaiah Simmons (LB-Clemson) A

This front seven is going to be great. Chandler Jones, De’Vondre Campbell and now Simmons. This pick helps solidify a defence which needed to improve to help the offense.

9.Jaguars – CJ Henderson (CB-Florida) B

The second CB in the draft finds a home trying to replace Ramsey or Bouye. There is a lot of pressure on Henderson to come in and be a star instantly with the Jags losses, but with the Jags rebuilding, the organization probably does not mind if he does not become a star immediately.

10.Browns – Jedrick Wills (OT-Alabama) A-

A technically sound tackle who can play opposite Jack Conklin. He will be facing talented pass rushers in the AFC North (TJ Watt, Carl Lawson) and the Browns need him to keep Mayfield upright. I think he was the best option for them left on the board.

11.Jets – Mekhi Becton (OT-Louisville) B+

Le’Veon Bell and Sam Darnold will love this pick, very much like the Brown pick of Wills, he was probably the best option for them (better than taking a WR). The only issue is some worry with the health of his knees, but he should be a solid starter for years to come.

12.Raiders – Henry Ruggs III (WR-Alabama) B+

Again, another solid pick. People seemed surprised the Raiders took Ruggs, but the Raiders love taking speedy guys and Gruden has always loved an outside burner. This pick was meant to be, I just don’t think he is the best WR in the draft.

13.Buccaneers (from SF) – Triston Wirfs (OT-Iowa) A

A bit of a fall for Wirfs has him end up in Tampa, he will be protecting Brady, who needed help in the draft to keep upright on gameday. Wirfs is an athletic tackle who can swing out for screens and to help the outside run game. All help take pressure off of Brady and help the run game. Good pick.

14.49ers (from TB) – Javon Kinlaw (DT-South Carolina) B

Kinlaw is a direct replacement for Deforest Buckner who they used to acquire the 13th pick (now this pick). Quick hands will allow him to dominate O-Lineman, however, with Jerry Jeudy still on the board, will they regret taking Kinlaw here.

15.Broncos – Jerry Jeudy (WR-Alabama) A+

The second to last A+ grade of the first round, Jeudy was the best WR in the draft. A position of need for Broncos was WR, especially in the slot to complement Courtland Sutton on the outside. There was rumours they might trade up for a WR, instead they got the best one in the draft without trading.

    16.Falcons – AJ Terrell (CB-Clemson) C+

A good, long, lanky corner for the Falcons who needed all the help on defence they could get. Just have issue with the option of Chaisson or Murray here but if Terrell becomes a NO.1 corner then it was a good pick, but he isn’t the same level as Okudah or Henderson.

17.Cowboys – Ceedee Lamb (WR-Oklahoma) B+

I like Lamb a lot, and with Zeke, Cooper and Gallup already occupying the offense, the Cowboys will be a nightmare on offense, however, defence is where they seemed to need help. With Chaisson and Murray available, they maybe should have gone there.

18.Dolphins (from PIT) – Auston Jackson (OT-USC) B

Has a high upside, and the Dolphins need serious help on the O-Line, especially once Tua starts with his injury history. The issue is that Jackson did not play as well last year as people would have hoped. He did have a good reason (donating bone marrow to his sister) but it means he’s a project, projects never have a guaranteed success and the Dolphins could have taken a surer prospect later.

19.Raiders (from CHI) – Damon Arnette (CB-Ohio State) D+

Arnette was not seen as a first-round talent. Instead a day 2 guy. I cannot believe that the Raiders could not find a trade partner for this pick. Move back and get the guy a bit later and collect picks. Instead they reached for him, they better hope he turns out to be a quality corner.

20.Jaguars (from LAR) – K’lavon Chaisson (LB-LSU) A-

Good pick for the Jags. A very good pass rusher who the Cowboys somewhat unexpectedly passed on. He can bring versatility to the rebuilding Jags defence.

21.Eagles – Jaleon Reagor (WR-TCU) C

With Justin Jefferson still on the board, the Eagles went for speed with Reagor. A small receiver who apparently “fits Wentz’ skill set better” according to the Eagles. Better hope he does as the Vikings moved swiftly in behind and Eagles fans will always compare Reagor to Jefferson.

22.Vikings (from BUF) – Justin Jefferson (WR-LSU) A

They needed a WR to replace Stephon Diggs and they did just that. Jefferson will fit right into the offense. Keeping the passing game strong will help Dalvin Cook run teams into submission. A great pick.

23.Chargers (from NE) – Kenneth Murray (LB-Oklahoma) A+

The last A+ pick of the draft. Murray will bring so much talent on the pitch and value off of it. A great player who now is on a defence with Derwin James and Joey Bosa. A great pick, it did take an early 2 and 3 to get him but it is probably worth it.

24.Saints – Cesar Ruiz (C/G-Michigan) B+

A smart pick from Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis. He could bump Eric McCoy to guard or take up that post himself. Protecting Drew Brees in his last season (or two) is paramount for the Saints success.

25.49ers (from MIN) – Brandon Aiyuk (WR-Arizona State) B

Good wide receiver with a massive wingspan for his 6ft frame. I like the pick but moving up to grab a second tier WR when many are still left on the board (even going into day 2) seems a bit much. But another weapon for Jimmy G will always help.

26.Packers (from MIA) – Jordan Love (QB-Utah State) D

Get Rodgers some weapons outside of Davante Adams. Don’t pick an inconsistent QB which will create distractions (through no fault of his own, it’s the media) for the entire season. Rodgers does not want to answer questions all year about his successor … in 4 years time. They did this with Farve and Rodgers but that was a different time and Farve was much more into retirement talk. Not a good pick and it’s not Love’s fault.

27.Seahawks – Jordyn Brooks (LB-Texas Tech) C-

They reportedly trade to do their yearly trade down but could not find a partner this time. So, they did their yearly alternative of selecting a guy that was supposed to be a mid-second. The Seahawks need to rebuild their defence and Brooks may be the centrepiece, but I feel there were better options (Patrick Queen).

28.Ravens – Patrick Queen (LB-LSU) B+

Not many holes on the Ravens roster so a best player available pick who plays a position which isn’t a strength is as good as it can get for the Ravens. Good solid pick.

29.Titans – Isaiah Wilson (OT-Georgia) B-

The Titans needed a tackle with the loss of Conklin in free agency, so they went with Wilson. A big 6ft 7in frame will help him dominate edge rushers and open lanes for the bowling ball Derrick Henry. Other tackles (such as Josh Jones) were available. Hopefully, the Titans made the best choice.

30.Dolphins (from GB) – Noah Igbinoghene (CB-Auburn) B-

A good corner for the Dolphins to add to Xavien Howard and Byron Jones. This creates a monster secondary and if McKinney is still available at 39, I fully expect the Dolphins to pull the trigger and see Flores follow his former boss Belichick and build from the backend. However, would Gladney or Diggs have been a better option?

31.Vikings (from SF) – Jeff Gladney (CB-TCU) A-

I loved Gladney at corner. I had him as the 3rd ranked corner of this class. A smaller but tough corner from TCU who they can pair with Mike Hughes (if he improves) to create a good CB tandem. Gladney did have to recover from a torn ACL and LCL in 2015 so there is naturally a possible injury worry but he has gone without a serious injury since,

32.Chiefs – Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB-LSU) A The rich get richer in Kansas. I love Edwards-Helaire, RBs will need to continue to be duel threat and he is exactly that. He might not have top end speed but instead has quickness and burst. He dominated for LSU last year and he just adds another weapon for the Chiefs.

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