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Sports Update: 2020 NFL Draft **Round 1** Report Card (4/24/20) By: Alex Wober

Cincinnati Bengals, Joe Burrow QB: After this past 2-14 season, it was wake up time for Head Coach Zac Taylor. The Bengals have not had a playoff win in 29 seasons, so now was the time to go get the quarterback of their dreams. A year ago Mel Kiper gave Joe Burrow a third-round grade, now he is going number one overall. Grade: A Washington Redskins, Chase Young DE: Riverboat Ron is back in action and he just added arguably the best prospect in the draft to an already good defensive line. The Redskins did not really need defensive linemen, but could not pass up on the best defensive prospect on the board. Grade: A+ Detroit Lions, Jeff Okudah CB: At pick number three, this was one a lot of people around the league thought would be traded. The Lions did not get the trade offers they wanted and went with an absolute stud at cornerback. I think he is one of the best cornerbacks coming in that I have seen in the last five years. After losing Darius Slay to Philadelphia in free agency the Lions wanted to solidify their secondary. Grade: A New York Giants, Andrew Thomas OT: One of the many offensive tackles coming into this draft, and a solid one to protect Daniel Jones. I had a feeling the Giants would surprise people a little, after the Daniel Jones selection last draft. Andrew Thomas is definitely a solid tackle, but he was not the best available tackle on the board in my opinion. David Gettleman did say coming into this organization that he wanted to build the offensive line. Grade: B Miami Dolphins, Tua Tagovailoa QB: Tank for Tua worked! They finally have the quarterback they wanted. In a division that no longer includes Tom Brady, the Dolphins knew that they had to get their guy this year. Now Tua, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, and Jarret Stidham represent the AFC East. Miami could have gone Herbert and were even rumored to trade up for a tackle, but they stayed and went with the guy they should’ve taken. Grade: B+ Los Angeles Chargers, Justin Herbert QB: With the recent departure of longtime Charger Philip Rivers, they needed a successor. Let's be honest, it is not Tyrod Taylor. Herbert is a massive guy, standing six feet six inches and has an incredible arm! He is coming to a team that has multiple weapons and can win now. Good pick by the Chargers. Grade: B+ Carolina Panthers, Derrick Brown DT: At number seven I was very excited for Carolina to finally get somebody to fill Luke Keuchly’s void, but I saw this coming. There were reports about the Lions liking Derrick Brown a lot but if he fell to Carolina they would not hesitate to select him, and that is exactly what happened. I think Isaiah Simmons would have been a more likeable pick by fans but Derrick Brown was the best defensive tackle on the board. Losing both Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy in free agency was a huge blow to the defense. Grade: A- Arizona Cardinals, Isaiah Simmons LB: I did not expect Simmons to fall to eight at all, but here we are. The Cardinals were in more need of an offensive tackle but this draft is full of them, and you just can not pass on someone who can immediately play in that defense. I consider this pick robbery, because the Cardinals got a steal for sure. Grade: A+ Jacksonville Jaguars, C.J. Henderson CB: This pick was a toss up to me between the Jaguars selecting a defensive end or cornerback. With Yannick Ngakoue wanting out of Jacksonville or the departure of A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey this pick was very easy for Jacksonville. Henderson who is a speedy, athletic corner who plays with a mad dog mentality hopefully can bring Jacksonville a presence in the secondary. After Okudah was taken in the draft, there were not many great corners left. Grade: B Cleveland Browns, Jeddrick Willis OT: After the Browns acquired right tackle Jack Conklin in free agency, they just needed to solidify the left side. Jeddrick Willis was a monster at Alabama and now he is protecting Baker Mayfield trying to get the Browns back on track. This was a no brainer that the Browns were selecting a tackle opposite of Conklin. Grade: A- New York Jets, Mekhi Becton OT: After the Jets averaged about three sacks per game last season, they had to get someone to protect Sam Darnold and open the trenches for Le’Veon Bell. I really thought a wide receiver would go here, but they wanted to sure up their offensive line and look to draft a receiver in the next round. Becton is one of the best tackles in the draft, and fills that huge void for the Jets. Grade: B+ Las Vegas Raiders, Henry Ruggs WR: You had to know Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock had something cooking for this draft. I think a lot of people had the Raiders selecting a wideout at this pick but I was not expecting them to take Ruggs with Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb available. Ruggs definitely comes in and helps their offense spread out but I do not think they snagged the best receiver on the board. Grade: C+ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tristan Wirfs OT: The 49ers traded down one spot with the Buc’s so they could draft the offensive tackle to protect Tom Brady. Tristan Wirfs was the number one tackle on my board and now will block for arguably the greatest quarterback of all time. I thought Tampa Bay was going to overload their receivers with Jerry Jeudy, but went with protection in a loaded receiver draft. They also did not have to give up much to move up one spot either. Grade: A San Francisco 49ers, Javon Kinlaw DT: The 49ers were playing chess while other teams were playing checkers. Getting a cheaper Javon Kinlaw to replace Deforest Buckner and getting a fourth round pick out of the trade with Tampa Bay is a steal in my books! Grade: A+ Denver Broncos, Jerry Jeudy WR: The Broncos were one of the teams that were interested in trading up for a receiver. Luckily, they did not have to and they patiently waited for stud wideout Jerry Jeudy. They now have Drew Lock, Courtland Sutton, and Jerry Juedy to space out the defense. Can’t forget Melvin Gordon and Phillip Lindsay in the backfield too. John Elway got his weapon for his new starting quarterback. Grade: A Atlanta Falcons, A.J. Terrell CB: The Falcons were also another team who wanted to trade into the top ten but could not find any suitors. They tried to get the third pick to draft Jeff Okudah and tried to get in front of Jacksonville to draft C.J. Henderson, but had no luck. They had to settle for Terrell after the recent departure of Desmond Trufant. Lots of mock drafts were having trouble deciding who was the third best cornerback in the draft, and Atlanta must have been sure Terrell was it. I did not think Terrell was a better prospect than Kristian Fulton or Trevon Diggs, plus K’Lavon Chaisson was still on the board. Grade: C- Dallas Cowboys, CeeDee Lamb WR: What a selection by Dallas this year. Somebody to put alongside Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup was smart after Dallas failed to make the playoffs last season. CeeDee Lamb was my number one wide receiver on the board, and Jerry and staff did not disappoint. Although they were very interested in trading up for a cornerback, the top two cornerbacks were already selected. Good decision on them to wait for a later round to select a cornerback. If they wanted Dak to resign this was definitely a step in the right direction. Grade: A+ Miami Dolphins, Austin Jackson OT: With Miami selecting Tua with their 5th overall selection, they knew they needed to draft someone to protect their franchise quarterback. Although Austin Jackson was not the best tackle on the board at the time, it was still smart that they selected a tackle for recently injured Tua. Grade: B- Las Vegas Raiders, Damon Arnette CB: The cornerback who played opposite of Jeff Okudah definitely saw quite a bit of action in college. Was he the best cornerback available on the board? Probably not, but the Raiders were in need of secondary members. Trevon Diggs or Kristian Fulton were better options on the board to me, but the Raiders do not own a second round pick and needed to get someone at that position. Grade: D+ Jacksonville Jaguars, K’Lavon Chaisson EDG: An absolute monster off the edge coming out of LSU. Someone who plays with a mamba mentality and can scare the boots off some offensive tackles. I really can't believe he fell this low, but Jacksonville has drafted exactly what they need. They got their Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue replacements in the first round. With Yannick getting traded most likely, this team could have up to three first round selections next year. A bright future for Jacksonville for sure! Grade: A+ Philadelphia Eagles, Jalen Reagor WR: Many sources around the league knew the Eagles would select a wideout or even trade up for one. They waited patiently at pick number 21, but did not select the wideout I expected. Justin Jefferson was expected to be an Eagle but the front office had a liking to Reagor more. With Alshon Jeffery coming off injury and Desean Jackson being an aging veteran, they needed to select a pass-catcher. Grade: C- Minnesota Vikings, Justin Jefferson WR: One of the more slept on wideouts in the draft but one that many teams had their eyes on. Minnesota traded Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills for this first-round pick, and needed to bring in someone to help Adam Thielen. Jefferson was incredible at LSU and showed how he can disrupt secondaries with his speed and crisp route running. Grade: B+ Los Angeles Chargers, Kenneth Murray LB: Los Angeles nailed their 6th overall pick and traded up to bring in a run stopping field general at this pick. With the Chargers defensive line and secondary filled, the only area to work on was linebackers after Thomas Davis was cut. Very smart of them to move up and select the best middle linebacker on the board. Grade: B New Orleans Saints, Cesar Ruiz IOL: The Saints have been so close to doing big things each season, and with Drew Brees close to retirement they need to win now! With veteran Max Unger retiring, they needed someone to fill that void. They have some of the best offensive tackles in the league but could use some interior help to minimize the pressure on Brees. They showed how much they needed an offensive lineman after the wildcard round. Grade: B San Francisco 49ers, Brandon Aiyuk WR: 49ers are still in their chess game if anyone was wondering as they traded up to select one of the few very good wideout prospects that was left in the draft. The 49ers were one game away from adding another Lombardi trophy to their shelf, and added two players at two positions they really needed to fill. John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan are in ultimate draft mode. Grade: B+ Green Bay Packers, Jordan Love QB: The Packers were a very good team last year, with a 13-3 record. Aaron Rodgers had a pretty good season and you would think the Packers were interested in getting a receiver to raise the intensity of the offense, but went with the long-term selection. If the Packers were smart they would have gone with someone to help win now. Short-term thinking it was not a great pick, but long-term it was. Grade: C- Seattle Seahawks, Jordyn Brooks LB: The Seahawks are known for trading their first round pick to stock up on more selections, but were unable to find a good trade suitor. According to John Schnieder and Pete Carroll, they really wanted to trade but were unlucky and selected the best player on their board”. Mainly, graded as a second day prospect but Seattle needed him more than people think. K.J. Wright is on his last year on contract and is getting up there in age, so they decided to select Brooks to learn from Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright. Patrick Queen was available on the board so I think he would’ve been a more logical pick to go with at linebacker. Seattle also has two second-round picks on day 2. Grade: D Baltimore Ravens, Patrick Queen LB: A position the Ravens were in need of after C.J. Mosely departed two seasons ago. One of the best linebackers in the draft and they got him at the end of the first round. Lamar Jackson is already giving him the nickname “Ray Lewis Jr.”, so they must be pretty excited about selecting him at 28. Grade: B Tennessee Titans, Isaiah Wilson OT: After losing Jack Conklin in free agency, they needed to sure up the right side for Tannehill and Derrick Henry. The Titans were one game away from the SuperBowl and have an outstanding defense to take them right back to the playoffs. Taking a tackle here was just what they needed, since most of the elite offensive tackle prospects were already taken. Grade: B+ Miami Dolphins, Noah Igbinoghene CB: I was almost sure Miami was trading up to select a backup running back for Jordan Howard but went in another direction to sure up their secondary. I thought DeAndre Swift was going here at 30, but the Dolphins were not in a hurry for a halfback. After adding safety Byron Jones in free agency they had to give him some help outside, but there were so many better options available on the board. Grade: C- Minnesota Vikings, Jeff Gladney CB: After long time Viking, Xavier Rhodes left in free agency the Vikings had another position in need of filling. Another 2nd day graded cornerback taken in the first round over Krsitian Fulton or Trevon Diggs, was not something I predicted to happen in the first round. Still filling a position of need but not with the best player on the board. Grade: C Kansas City Chiefs, Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB: Superbowl Champions had a great running show in the Superbowl with Damien Williams, but do not have a lot of depth behind him. Lesean McCoy is an aging veteran and just is not the “Shady McCoy” we remember. Helaire was solid at LSU but was not the first running back I expected to see off the board. Secondary and wideouts were more important for the Chiefs to select in my opinion. Grade: B-

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