Winners and losers from 2020 draft

By | April 26, 2020

ARIZONA: The 2020 draft was a success from the Cardinals perspective even before the first picks started coming off the boards on Thursday after they stole veteran WR DeAndre Hopkins away from Houston for a second-round pick this year and a 4th next year. However, the breaks just kept falling the Cardinals way. They snapped up LB/S Isaiah Simmons, a legit top 5 prospect when he slipped to them at the 8th pick. Same in the third when OT Josh Jones, who didn’t figure to get out of the first round, was still on the board when the Cardinals picked. They then added a couple of big, physical DTs in the 4th in Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence and got LB Evan Weaver, a hard-working tackling machine in the 6th. Nice touch in the 7th to select local RB Eno Benjamin, who should provive some depth in the backfield. Grade: A

DALLAS: Not sure why WR CeeDee Lamb slipped all the way to the 17th pick, but the Cowboys weren’t asking any questions and snapped up the former Oklahoma star who many observers rated as the top receiver available and a likely top 10 candidate. The Cowboys then got CB Trevon Diggs and DT Neville Gallimore in the 2nd and 3rd rounds respectively, a full round later than where they had been projected to go. The Cowboys also did a nice job in moving up to grab C Tyler Biadasz with the final pick of the 4th round; he’ll get the first chance to replace another former Badger C Travis Frederick who announced his retirement just before the draft. Grade: A

BALTIMORE: A year after getting dynamic young QB Lamar Jackson late in the first round last year, the Ravens found something of Ray Lewis clone to QB their defense with the 28th pick this year in tough, athletic Patrick Queen. They also more speed to the offense with the additions of RB J.K. Dobbins in the second and WR Devin Duvernay in the 3rd, while DT Justin Madbuike and LB Malik Harrison were also good value in the third. WR James Proche may have been the best pick in the 6th round. Grade: A-

MINNESOTA:

 

BUFFALO: Good thing that the Bills were able to trade for WR Stefan Diggs, one of the best young receivers in the game prior to the draft, because they didn’t necessarily get much this past weekend. DE A.J. Epenesa, the Bills second round pick, was very productive in college but may struggle to get to the QB at the next level because of limited speed and athleticism, while third round RB RB Zack Moss looks more like a back-up. WR Gabriel Davis was a nice pick in the 4th and QB Jake Fromm in the 5th was at least interesting, but for the most the Bills final grade for 2020 will depend largely on what Diggs can provide. Grade C

CHICAGO: If the jobs of the Bears’ football ops guys were indeed on the line with the 2020 draft, they might want to start polishing up their resumes. The one word that comes to mind in ‘brutal’. The Bears didn’t pick until the middle of the second and ultimately selected TE Cole Kmet with the 43rd pick. Kmet was the top ranked player at the position this year and won’t cost much to move over to Chicago from South Bend, but the Bears just signed veteran free agent TE Jimmy Graham and had multiple other needs. CB Jaylon Johnson, the Bears other second rounder is a nice player if healthy, but he’s coming off a serious foot injury. And did the Bears really have to trade up to get OLB Trevis Gipson in the 5th. And we are still trying to figure out whether Arlington Hambright and Lachavius Simmons, taken in the 7th round, are really offensive linemen and partners in a law firm somewhere. Grade D

ATLANTA: The Falcons appeared to reach for need when they selected CB A.J. Terrell with the 16th pick. He’s a nice player with some length and recovery speed, but that seems a little high, especially with some other very good players still on the board. Second-round DE Marlon Davidson will bring some versatility to the defensive line, but isn’t likely to contribute much to the pass rush which is what they really needed. C Matt Hennessey was great value in the third; in fact, he was easily the Falcons best pick, but there three final picks were uninspiring. Grade: D-