NFL Draft 2020: Round-Up and Talking Points

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The 2020 NFL draft has been and gone with all prospects being assigned a team or looking to impress as an undrafted free agent.

Roger Goodell at the virtual NFL draft of 2020

Fortunately for those in charge of the first ever virtual draft, the only issues were presenters occasionally talking over one another as there was no mayhem in terms of the picks.

They can also be over the moon at the figures with a record 55 million viewers tuning in, making it the most watched NFL draft ever.

Many of the picks went as expected however there a few surprises, especially in the QB market.

Here’s a round-up of the draft and some major talking points in the run-up to the season.

Which Teams Took a Quarterback?

Tua Tagovailoa is drafted by the Miami Dolphins

Going into the draft, many teams had a QB issue that urgently needed clearing up in the draft.

The Cincinnati Bengals, who released veteran Andy Dalton in the post-season, used their number 1 pick to unsurprisingly draft LSU’s Joe Burrow.

Also, in unsurprising fashion, the Miami Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa, however didn’t need to trade-up in order to claim their man.

Justin Herbert was drafted sixth by the LA Chargers and will compete against Tyrod Taylor for the starting job.

One of the biggest surprises coming out of the QB class is Jordan Love, who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers have future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers at their helm and it was clear he needed weapons going into the season.

So, what do the Packers do? Use their first pick to draft another QB.

The Philadelphia Eagles also surprised some by drafting Jalen Hurts, who will no doubt play second fiddle to Carson Wentz.

Jacob Eason was drafted in the fourth round by the Indianapolis Colts and will have a few years to prepare himself to eventually take over from Philip Rivers.

Winners and losers of the 2020 NFL Draft

Packers Coach Matt LeFleur Speaks with a player after a game

At the top of the pile, the Minnesota Vikings had a fantastic draft and it couldn’t have been much better for Mike Zimmer.

Not only did the Vikings manage to end up with 16 picks, they utilised them incredibly well and filled positions that needed to be filled.

Wide receiver Stefon Diggs was traded to the Buffalo Bills, however he has been replaced by the brilliant Justin Jefferson.

They also picked up a couple of cornerbacks to replace Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes and reinforced their already above average defensive line.

Another team picking up players in needed positions were the Dallas Cowboys.

CeeDee Lamb as a rookie will still be an upgrade on the aging Randall Cobb, and their defence has been much improved in the secondary and across the defensive line.

With winners of the draft also come losers.

The Packers went 13-3 last year and unfortunately for the Cheeseheads, succumbed to the San Francisco 49’ers in the NFC Championship.

They could have really made a statement that the team were ready for a Super Bowl challenge and well, their draft did the complete opposite.

The focus was too much on the future with their picks, and no receivers were picked up for Rodgers. Current odds of 18/1 for the Packers to win the Super Bowl in 2021 reflects the fact that nobody was overly impressed by their efforts in this year’s draft.

The Houston Texans, who traded away star receiver DeAndre Hopkins last month, came away with just five picks.

Ross Blacklock was a solid pick up in the second round, but they really didn’t do much else in what has been an offseason that is going from bad to worse.

Over in New England, Patriots fans weren’t too impressed by the fact that management did not manage to find a quarterback to replace the departing Tom Brady in the draft. However, reports suggest that they have picked up two undrafted QBs in the form of J’Mar Smith from Louisiana Tech and Brian Lewerke from Michigan State.

Any other business?

NFL coaches share a joke at the 2020 NFL Draft

The virtual draft definitely went better than expected, and we even got to see sights we aren’t used to.

Head coaches, owners and general managers had cameras fitted into their living areas to show us the process, or what there was of it, behind the draft.

Many embraced the extra screen time, such as Bill Belichick’s dog Nike who has now become an internet favourite.

Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury also tweeted out his “War Room” which seemed a not-so-subtle brag about his home.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones also came to us live from his $250 million super yacht.

The draft was noticeable for it’s high amount of quality wide receivers, with 35 picked altogether.

13 of these were drafted by the end of the second round, a draft record.

The Carolina Panthers, who had a really poor defence last season, became the first team to ever devote all of their picks to defensive players.

A final interesting statistic which emerged after the draft that will interest all undrafted players – there are 15 undrafted players in the Hall of Fame compared to just 13 players who were drafted first.

Jordan is a journalism graduate with a background in sports journalism covering football across a number of online publications, who now works in Gibraltar producing content for Mansion.
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