It seems like every day now that we are faced with doing something that seems somewhat routine very differently due to the COVID-19 outbreak that has brought the world to a halt. With cities, states, and counties shut down and people prevented from gathering in large quantities, the 2020 NFL Draft was forced to adjust and go virtual for the first time ever. The first round went very smoothly. Other than a few technical delays and absences of the commissioner greeting players as they walk up on stage, fans will not have noticed much of a difference in the experience of the broadcast.
Recapping the First Round of the 2020 NFL Draft
First Round Winners
New York Jets – Pick 11: Mekhi Becton
It has been ten years since the Jets have fielded a playoff team. While many positions have been in a disaster the past ten years, including the Head Coaching position, the offensive line has been one of the few consistent bright spots. In the past four years, the line has been in a state of decline. Mekhi Becton is an athletic specimen. He stole the show at the NFL Combine when he weighed in at 364 and ran a 5.11 40. Mekhi has an incredible ceiling and will allow the Jets to finally get better production out of Le’Veon Bell, protect Sam Darnold, and be a force on that rebuilding offensive line for the next decade.
Las Vegas Raiders – Pick 12: Henry Ruggs III, Pick 19: Damon Arnette
Henry Ruggs is just what the Raiders need to keep up with the high-powered Kansas City Chiefs offense. He fits the Raiders’ trend of drafting guys with elite speed but is capable of so much more. Ruggs is a “Catch and Run” receiver and fits in perfectly with what now looks to be a rebuilt offense at the skill positions. Damon Arnette may not be an elite day-1 starter, but his experience and ability to hold up well in coverage on the other side of Jeffrey Okudah showed that he can fill the largest need of the Las Vegas Raiders. Las Vegas had its name called a third time on the first day of the draft as Roger Goodell announced Vegas would be the host of the 2022 NFL Draft after losing this year’s draft to a nationwide shutdown.
Best Pick: Jets – Mekhi Becton
2020 NFL Draft First Round Losers
Miami Dolphins – Pick 5: Tua Tagovailoa, Pick 18: Austin Jackson, Pick 30: Noah Igbinoghene
A year ago, Tua Tagovailoa was the consensus number one pick. But, as we all have learned recently, a lot can happen in a year. A lot can happen in two months, just look at how different our world has become since the Combine in Indy back in February. Tagovailoa has the tools to succeed as a quarterback in the NFL. The issue with the Miami Dolphins using the fifth pick to, essentially, dub him the future of the franchise is the shell that he plays within.
Leading up to last night’s selection, some have referred to the quarterback as having “bones of glass”. Injuries are a part of football, but consistent injuries limit careers and eventually end them. Andrew Luck made the decision a year ago and immediately impeded the Indianapolis Colts‘ ability to consistently win football games. Tagovailoa has pinpoint accuracy and he is going to need it because the Dolphins’ receivers are a downgrade in comparison to the talent he played with at Alabama. Late in the first round, the Dolphins went with a corner who does have a ton of talent with a very high ceiling. It’s just that corner just wasn’t a need for the rebuilding Dolphins.
Green Bay Packers – Pick 26: Jordan Love
Jordan Love isn’t a terrible player by any analysis, but the decision to go with a quarterback with this pick is somewhat of a head-scratcher. Love is going to need some time to develop and he will have some time to do that with Aaron Rodgers. The problem with this pick is that Rodgers wants to win NOW and there are needs that the Packers need to address in order to give him that opportunity.
Tennessee Titans – Pick 29: Isaiah Wilson
In a year full of early-round talent at the offensive tackle position, Isaiah Wilson’s name didn’t make the list. The first round is a time to fill an immediate need. Players selected this early are often able to play and contribute right away. Tennessee does need an offensive tackle but there were larger needs. Corner and edge rusher/linebacker should have been addressed based on who was available. Yetur Gross-Matos should have been the pick here for Tennessee. Wilson is going to need time to develop. If that never happens then the “Oh-So-Close Titans” just wasted an opportunity to strengthen their already playoff-ready roster.
Worst Pick: Titans – Isaiah Wilson
Main Photo: Embed from Getty Images