Winners and Losers of the 2020 NFL Draft
It’s time to take a look back at the NFL draft. Some teams did really well, while others did not. Some players now find themselves in precarious situations. Here are my winners and losers from the weekend.
As much as I hate to say it, I really like Dallas’s draft class. They added a great receiver in CeeDee Lamb to give Dak Prescott another weapon and ease the load on Amari Cooper. Trevon Diggs and Reggie Robinson will make very solid additions to their secondary. Tyler Biadasz should eventually replace Travis Frederick at center. Neville Gallimore is a very underrated defensive lineman. He’s a productive player who may have been hindered by the defense he played on in college. They also got one of the steal of the draft with Utah DE Bradlee Anae at the end of the 5th round.
San Francisco 49ers
Trading away DeForest Buckner left a hole in their interior d-line. However, they used the pick they received for him to add the perfect replacement: South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw. Kinlaw is a very athletic interior defensive lineman, who can be a major factor in pass defense. They also made a trade for veteran, Pro Bowl offensive tackle Trent Williams from the Redskins. This trade was made as everyone found out longtime 49er Joe Staley had decided to retire. They found a perfect replacement in Williams without sacrificing experience. While they did a couple other things I liked, these are the 2 moves that had the most influence on adding San Francisco to the winners portion of this list.
The Vikings had a lot of picks, which would make it hard to screw up this draft. I don’t think enough people are talking about what Minnesota did. They got a great replacement for Stefon Diggs with LSU’s Justin Jefferson and added some good corners in Jeff Gladney and Cameron Dantzler. Gladney may have been a bit of a reach but has promise, and the value of the Dantzler pick balances that out. I was impressed with their Day 3. I think D.J. Wonnum was a big reach, but they got good, if not great, value with Kenny Willekes, Troy Dye, and James Lynch. In my opinion, Minnesota did very well.
The Ravens have been known to crush the draft, and they did it again. While I’m not as high on 1st rounder Patrick Queen as most, I really like the rest of it. J.K.Dobbins was easily one of my top 2 running backs in this class. He’s got a great blend of speed, power, and receiving ability while being a serviceable blocker. Justin Madubuike and Malik Harrison are prototypical, hard-nose Raven defenders. They added some good offensive linemen and stole SMU’s James Proche in round 6. Nicely done, Baltimore.
Honorable Mention: Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos
Green Bay Packers (more specifically Aaron Rodgers)
The Packers were in a prime position to add some weapons for Aaron Rodgers. Instead, they took his potential replacement. Much has been made of the parallels of the current situation and Brett Favre’s when Rodgers was drafted. They reached A LOT on most of their picks this year. They did not do anything to help their star player. In fact, they may be forcing him out.
After trading DeAndre Hopkins, Houston really needed weapons. Trading for Brandin Cooks may help a little bit, but he does not bring the same abilities as Hopkins. The Texans did not have many picks or their first round selection, making this draft even more difficult to salvage. They added a couple guys that can help on the defensive line but nothing else noteworthy. Very disappointing.
You don’t often see Seattle on this side of the list. Pete Carroll and John Schneider have a bit of a different drafting style than most teams. They tend to target very specific players and scheme fits that can often be seen as reaches. Usually, I’d give them the benefit of the doubt, but they reached a little too much for my liking in this one.
Rosen has been in the league 2 seasons and has already been replaced as a starting QB on multiple occasions. It may be time to start worrying about the former top 10 pick. With Miami drafting Tua Tagovailoa, the best case scenario for him is losing a close competition for the starting spot. With most other teams’ starters seemingly set, Rosen may have to face the reality of being a talented backup.
Plenty of other teams could have made these lists. In the end, these are the most impacted winners and losers from the 2020 NFL Draft.