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2021 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Miller’s Early Projections Ahead of NFL Season – Bleacher Report

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    Draft season is here, but it will be a unique one. In fact, based on conversations with scouts, coaches and agents over the summer, one thing is certain: No one knows what to expect.

    “How do we evaluate a class in which maybe half the guys are playing?”

    “What happens if seniors use the extra year of eligibility the NCAA is offering?”

    “How do you scout players without seeing them in person?”

    There are more questions than answers at this point, but that hasn’t prevented scouts from scouting, and it won’t prevent us from doing the work, either. The show must go on, and it will as the top 500-plus players in the nation will be evaluated, graded and valued between now and the late-April 2021 NFL draft.

    At first glance, this class is strong. It’s good at quarterback with at least three franchise-caliber players. It’s also strong (again) at running back and wide receiver. Throw in a top-heavy and deep offensive tackle class and a great safety group, and this starts to look like one of the better all-around classes since maybe 2017.

    There hasn’t been a lot to get excited about in 2020, but we’re thrilled to share the first mock draft of the season with you.

    Draft order based on Las Vegas sportsbook Super Bowl betting odds.

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    This is not a shot at Gardner Minshew II. The second-year signal-caller could very well emerge as the franchise quarterback in Jacksonville and lift this team out of quarterback purgatory to a place where it’s able to instead focus on rebuilding a bad offensive line.

    But if Jacksonville holds the No. 1 overall selection the 2021 NFL draft, it would likely be because Minshew didn’t get the job done. The roster is young and promising on the defensive front seven, but earning the first pick in the draft would open the door for a quarterback some scouts believe is the most talented they’ve ever evaluated.

    Trevor Lawrence has been tabbed a savior at the position since he arrived at Clemson, and some would say he hasn’t lived up to expectations from a statistical perspective with 66 touchdowns to 12 interceptions in his two seasons at the helm. It’s hard to imagine that not being good enough, but that’s where Lawrence sits right now with scouts and fans expecting him to break records with every throw.

    Smart evaluators are looking at what Lawrence does well. He’s an impressive athlete at 6’6″ and 220 pounds with room to fill out his lean frame. He’s an accomplished and tough runner willing and able to beat defenses (see Ohio State) with his legs. But he’s also a smart, savvy and crafty passer who rarely makes mistakes with his decision-making, clock management or ability to read the defense.

    While I’m not ready to anoint Lawrence as the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning, he is the overwhelming favorite to be the first pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

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    Sam Hodde/Associated Press

    Much like the Jacksonville Jaguars, if the Washington Football Team is selecting at No. 2 overall, it likely means they would move on from second-year quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr.

    But again, this is not a shot at Haskins, who is a talented and capable quarterback. It’s more a reflection of where the Super Bowl odds have this team and what direction it would go in this scenario.

    So, how about Trey Lance? In his 2019 breakout campaign, he was responsible for 42 touchdowns and no interceptions—28 passing and 14 rushing. Turning on his film, you’ll think it’s a highlight breakdown instead of his full games. He’s athletic and strong-armed, and he gives you a Deshaun Watson-at-Clemson vibe. It’s exciting.

    The downside is that Lance has started just one year in college, and his 2020 season is being limited to one game against Central Arkansas (for now). Is that enough tape for scouts to pick apart an FCS quarterback? There will be questions about his dominance against lesser competition while on an elite team.

    All we can do for now is evaluate what’s there, and Lance’s tape is exceptional.

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    Ron Jenkins/Associated Press

    Unlike the situations in Jacksonville and Washington, it’s highly unlikely a poor record in Cincinnati would mean moving on from Joe Burrow. Instead, one year after selecting the superstar quarterback, the Bengals are tasked with building an offense around the No. 1 overall pick.

    The offensive line in Cincinnati isn’t terrible, but there is room for improvement. One quick fix would be selecting a left tackle and allowing 2019 first-rounder Jonah Williams to play at the right tackle position. This would allow the five best linemen to get on the field while putting Williams in a position most scouts believed he was best suited to play coming out of college.

    The top left tackle on my board comes from Oregon, where, as it stands today, we won’t see football this fall.

    That shouldn’t affect Penei Sewell’s draft stock. A two-year starter at Oregon, he has the combination of athleticism and strength that teams fall for quickly. Yes, there are already questions about arm length, but in selecting Williams before him, the Bengals showed they’re more concerned with play than measurements.

    Sewell protecting Burrow’s blind side is the move the team has to make if the Bengals are locked in at No. 3 overall.

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Teddy Bridgewater has a chance to finally lock down a long-term starting quarterback job with new head coach Matt Rhule and offensive coordinator Joe Brady. But if the Panthers are at No. 4 overall (like others), it’s likely they will consider a potential upgrade at the sport’s most important position.

    That’s where Ohio State’s talented Justin Fields enters.

    If there isnt a 2020 season, it remains to be seen what he would do after one year starting for the Buckeyes—he could return to Columbus for another season or enter the NFL draft waters—but there is already excitement around his talent following a season in which he threw for 41 touchdowns and just three interceptions.

    The Panthers have needs along the offensive line that could make them a fit for Sewell if they get solid quarterback play from Bridgewater. But in that case, they’re probably not selecting fourth overall.

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    Thomas Graning/Associated Press

    What’s one thing Sam Darnold doesn’t have that he badly needs? A No. 1 wide receiver.

    Denzel Mims was a fun prospect as a second-round pick out of Baylor, but he lacks the polish as a route-runner that LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase brings to the fold.

    Already declared for the 2021 NFL draft as an opt-out player, Chase emerged as a rockstar last season in a breakout 20-touchdown campaign as the LSU offense caught fire. His 4.40-second 40-yard-dash speed and physical route-running at 6’0″ and 208 pounds should allow for an easy transition to the NFL and make him perfect as a breaking route-runner for Darnold and the New York Jets offense.

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    Barry Reeger/Associated Press

    New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman loves linebackers, especially ones who are 6’3″, 245 pounds and running a rumored 40-yard dash of 4.43 seconds. That’s the type of linebacker who will move scouts to the edges of their seats.

    An opt-out player for the 2020 season, Parsons produced sophomore tape rich with plays in space that showcase his ability to run down ball-carriers, drop into coverage and impressively rush off the edge. Like a pre-injury Jaylon Smith at Notre Dame, he is a three-down eraser at linebacker.

    The Giants are a team with needs along the offensive line and in the secondary, but a playmaker like Parsons will be too tempting for Gettleman to pass up.

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    The rebuild of the Miami Dolphins has been impressive. Head coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier have put the team into position to compete in the AFC East ahead of schedule. Now, with two more picks coming in the 2021 first round, the franchise is poised to put together a draft class that will make it a complete team.

    Grabbing the top pass-rusher in the draft class from their own backyard is something the Dolphins should get on board with. An opt-out player for the 2020 season, Rousseau was a sight in 2019 with 19.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks coming from the edge and the nose. With a 6’7″, 265-pound frame, he is ready for Flores’ defense right now.

    After loading up on linemen in the 2020 draft and patching holes via free agency on defense, the Dolphins might just be one elite pass-rusher away from a division title.

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    John Bazemore/Associated Press

    The run on opt-out players continues with the talented Caleb Farley from Virginia Tech.

    An athletic marvel at 6’2″ and 207 pounds, Farley was timed on GPS running 24.16 mph by the Hokies’ coaches. He also grabbed four interceptions in his sophomore season and had 16 passes defensed. Farley isn’t just an athlete; he’s a player.

    At No. 8 overall, the Raiders are outside the range necessary to consider a quarterback in Round 1 and have drafted well enough at other positions to not have a true need. Farley’s value and the continual need to add to and address the secondary makes him a smart pick.

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    If you liked Henry Ruggs III last year—or if you’re a fan of Tyreek Hill—you’re going to love Jaylen Waddle.

    The Alabama wide receiver might actually be faster than Ruggs and is a yards-after-catch king. Alabama coaches told us he has the fastest first step they’ve ever seen, and Jerry Jeudy told me last spring that Waddle is unbeatable in a 20-yard dash.

    The Lions have solid playmakers at receiver but nothing like Waddle. It’s time to get Matthew Stafford the help he deserves.

    The chunk-play ability of Waddle is what’s been missing in Detroit.

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    Just one season after Alabama wide receivers were drafted as the first and second off the board at the position, the Crimson Tide nearly repeat in 2021 with the first two again. LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase went first this in this mock, but Nick Saban is still pretty good at his job with the next WRs being Crimson Tide players.

    DeVonta Smith isn’t like Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III or Jaylen Waddle, though. He’s a leaner build at 6’1″ and 175 pounds and is more of a possession-style receiver with the strongest hands of the four first-rounders from Tuscaloosa. There will no doubt be concerns about his skinny frame, but the playmaking we saw from him in 2019 would have made him a first-round candidate had he entered last year’s draft.

    For Miami, which already grabbed Gregory Rousseau earlier in the round, adding a potential star like Smith to pair with his old quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, is too rich to pass up.

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    Michael Thomas/Associated Press

    The Garett Bolles experiment isn’t working.

    As good as the Denver Broncos are starting to look and as well as John Elway has drafted, one area where the team must look to improve in 2021’s draft is at left tackle. With a franchise quarterback seemingly in place with Drew Lock, it’s time to protect him.

    Texas left tackle Samuel Cosmi has all the agility, balance and burst you want in the position, but he does lack play strength that conditioning coach Yancy McKnight is no doubt working on as we write this. If he can develop more functional strength and find his balance to match it, he could make a run at Penei Sewell as the best tackle in the 2021 class.

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    Sam Hodde/Associated Press

    The Arizona Cardinals have an offense that’s must-see television, but the offensive line still needs to be addressed. That’s even after re-signing and restructuring the deal of left tackle D.J. Humphries and drafting Houston’s Josh Jones in the third round.

    The answers to Kliff Kingsbury’s offensive needs could be hiding in Fargo, North Dakota, where senior left tackle Dillon Radunz will, as scheduled now, only play one game this season. The showdown against Central Arkansas isn’t quite the matchup we had anticipated against Oregon, but it will remind scouts of the power and balance Radunz brings to the table.

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    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    After loading up on the offensive line in 2019 and then addressing the defense well in 2020, general manager Thomas Dimitroff can look at the board with pick No. 13 overall and add an explosive and exciting threat to his offense to close out Matt Ryan‘s career at quarterback with a talented cast of characters.

    Moore, who has opted out for the 2020 season, burst onto the scene as a true freshman in 2018 and was virtually unstoppable as a receiver, returner and runner. Even though he battled injuries and was limited to four games in 2019, he has scored 16 total touchdowns in 17 career games.

    A player who can take a short pass and turn upfield to score from anywhere is something the Falcons—despite having one of the best receiver corps in the NFL—don’t have.

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    The Chargers are a talented team in a talented division, which is why they’re projected at No. 14 overall even with one of the best defenses in the league.

    Closing the gap on the Kansas City Chiefs will come as the Chargers offense grows to a point at which it can keep pace in shootouts, but also as the offensive line gets to a level at which it can keep the Las Vegas Raiders’, Denver Broncos’ and Chiefs’ pass-rushers at bay.

    Adding a quality tackle to the right or left side is needed. Alex Leatherwood has played on the right side at Alabama prior to the 2020 season but will get a chance to prove himself on the blind side this year. Another solid season could cement him as a top-15 pick and make him an early target of the Chargers in Round 1.

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    Stacy Bengs/Associated Press

    After adding quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick, the Jaguars are poised to add a weapon for the franchise passer with the selection received for trading Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams.

    Bateman would join a cast of receivers that could be decimated by free agency as Keelen Cole, Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley are all on expiring contracts. Jacksonville would still have DJ Chark Jr. and rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. in roles Bateman would support beautifully.

    The best way to help a young quarterback is to protect him and give him weapons. In Bateman, the Jaguars would have an excellent underneath and breaking route-runner to pair with Lawrence as they start their careers.

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    Here’s another Alabama player in the first half of the first round, and this one has a chance to find himself in the top five picks by April if he continues his solid play.

    The NFL is in the blood of Patrick Surtain II after his father had a brilliant 11-year career with the Miami Dolphins and Kansas City Chiefs in the late ’90s and early 2000s. The son of the three-time Pro Bowler has all the tools and talent needed to excel. At 6’2″, he is also bigger than his father’s 5’11” frame. 

    The Browns have had bad injury luck at cornerback with Denzel Ward and Greedy Williams, which is why a versatile cover man like Surtain who can play cornerback or safety is an easy selection based on value, need and talent.

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    At No. 17 overall, the Chicago Bears find themselves out of the quarterback race and right back into purgatory at the position. But the good news is they are finally done sending early picks to the Las Vegas Raiders for Khalil Mack, so the team is at least in position to start plugging holes with premium picks.

    The biggest non-quarterback need comes along the offensive line, where the tackle position hasn’t been prioritized enough. Upgrading over Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massie makes sense from a football, salary-cap and roster-age perspective. If the Bears can do so in Round 1, it’s an easy pick.

    Michigan’s Jalen Mayfield has opted out for the season, but his experience on the Wolverines offensive line and his traits as a mover and blocker are Round 1-caliber. He’s a plug-and-play upgrade on the Chicago line.

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel has done a fantastic job building a team in his own image. As such, look for him to continue prioritizing the trenches and defense in Round 1. Grabbing a top-tier cornerback from his alma mater wouldn’t hurt, either.

    Wade is an ideal replacement for Logan Ryan, who left the team in free agency after the 2019 season. Like Ryan, Wade has the ability to play inside and outside cornerback and could easily transition into the Titans’ defensive scheme as a dime or nickel corner and then acclimate to an outside position.

    Wade needed the 2020 season to show he could handle full-time reps on the outside, but unless the Big Ten changes positions and allows a season, he will be betting on his potential to still land in the top 20 selections.

    On talent and potential, he belongs. But he could use another season of tape before he’s considered a Round 1 lock.

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    Tony Avelar/Associated Press

    We know the Green Bay Packers aren’t drafting a wide receiver in Round 1 even if they should, but what they can and should do is draft to protect whoever is at quarterback in 2021.

    The Pac-12 might not be playing (for now), which could hurt the stock of Stanford left tackle Walker Little. He was my top tackle on the board before the 2019 season started, but a knee injury cost him that campaign. Without a 2020 season, his stock could now be damaged by a lack of tape.

    What’s out there on Little is very good, though. His sophomore tape was first-round-caliber, and as long as teams are comfortable with where his knee is at after almost two years of not playing, his technique and upside are as good as any blocker the Packers could hope to find this late in the draft.

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    John Raoux/Associated Press

    Sometimes when evaluating a player, you’re watching them and taking notes, and a dream NFL fit comes to mind. That’s the case with Alabama running back Najee Harris and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    A big back at 6’2″ and 230 pounds, Harris has the size and power to easily handle the cold-weather, hard-nosed running style the Steelers have made popular since Franco Harris was running the ball.

    But what the new Harris does so well out of the backfield is add value as a receiver. That’s where the new age meets the old school and makes this Heisman candidate a great potential fit as the Steelers offense looks to transition to a new era with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger seemingly in his final few years.

    A quarterback of the future is definitely a consideration, but the 2021 class currently features three first-rounders, and all of them are well off the board by now.

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    John Amis/Associated Press

    The Minnesota defensive line is pretty darn exciting with Danielle Hunter and Yannick Ngakoue punishing quarterbacks off opposite edges. What could make it even more fun is a penetrating presence at defensive tackle.

    Jordan Davis is the top interior defensive lineman in the 2021 class and among the most exciting underclassmen in the nation. The Georgia defense is loaded with talent, but it all revolves around Davis in the middle.

    His tape as a sophomore last season was full of dominant flashes. If he takes the next step in 2020, his 6’6″, 310-pound frame could make him a Javon Kinlaw-type prospect and a top-10-graded player.

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    Ric Tapia/Associated Press

    Linebacker might not seem like the biggest on-paper need for the Buffalo Bills, but evaluators on staff feel it’s an area that needs more help. Adding Dylan Moses next to Tremaine Edmunds would give the Bills two linebackers who never have to leave the field and can attack whatever personnel grouping AFC East foes put into the huddle.

    Moses made the somewhat surprising move to return to Alabama after missing the 2019 season to injury, but getting back onto the field and showing what he can do post-injury is important to his draft stock.

    As of now, he has shown the potential to be a top-10 pick, but injury questions have him available in the back half of Round 1 in this early look.

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    Nell Redmond/Associated Press

    Here’s another opt-out player, and this is a fun one.

    Sage Surratt dominated the 50-50 ball in college and was a savior for Wake Forest football with his ability to get vertical and make something out of nothing. Even at 6’3″ and 215 pounds, he plays bigger and is a consistent jump-ball winner and middle-of-the-field warrior.

    You might be thinking that sounds a lot like a player the Colts selected in Round 2 of the 2020 draft: Michael Pittman Jr. And they are similar. But those similarities can work together as Surratt and Pittman could box out and overwhelm cornerbacks and safeties with breaking routes and big plays. Throw in the upside of Parris Campbell and the future at wide receiver in Indianapolis could be very exciting.

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    Sean Rayford/Associated Press

    The New York Jets bucked tradition and drafted a wide receiver earlier in Round 1, but they now find themselves back in familiar territory by addressing the secondary.

    The cornerback position in New York is unsettled, featuring some promise in reclamation projects like Quincy Wilson and Pierre Desir—capable starters who could benefit from a new scene. But there is still a need for the future. A 6’1″ cornerback with a pro-ready 205-pound frame like South Carolina’s Jaycee Horn would fit right into the mold—big, fast, athletic players at every position—Joe Douglas wants as general manager.

    No one can feel confident about who the Jets head coach will be in 2021, but the type of player the general manager wants is starting to come into focus, and Horn fits the description perfectly.

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    Chris Pietsch/Associated Press

    The 2021 safety class figures to be a very good one—something you’ll see throughout this mock draft—but after an early look at game film, the best is Oregon playmaker Jevon Holland. The Eagles need him.

    At 6’1″ and 200 pounds, Holland has center fielder size and range. He also has an eye for the football after grabbing nine interceptions in two seasons. Even without a Pac-12 schedule on the books for 2020, he is game-ready for Sundays with a skill set that should beautifully transition to the pros.

    The Eagles are also in a position to think about edge-rushers here, but the early look at the 2021 class shows that the pass-rusher group is much stronger in Round 2 than in Round 1. 

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    The New England Patriots are always a hard team to predict. We never truly know what Bill Belichick is up to, and the front office is notoriously tight-lipped when it comes to leaks. The best you can do is study team needs and trends and try to match players to the organizational philosophy.

    That’s the case with a punishing blocker in Trey Smith. The Patriots surprised many when they used the franchise tag on left guard Joe Thuney, which could open the door for a rookie to slide in should the team move on after the season.

    Smith is a former top high school prospect who excelled at tackle as a true freshman before stepping away for a season with blood clots and returning in 2020 as a powerful guard prospect. If his medicals are clear, he has tape that could land him in the top half of Round 1.

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    Ben McKeown/Associated Press

    Oregon safety Jevon Holland received plenty of love above for his nine career interceptions, so we have to talk about the 12 picks Syracuse safety Andre Cisco has pulled down in 21 games. No safety in college football is better playing the ball. And at 6’0″ and 209 pounds, he also has the size to hold up in a tough NFC East.

    To date, the Cowboys haven’t made a move on Earl Thomas or any other safety available, but team owner Jerry Jones has to be eyeing the future while evaluating the roster and the 2021 draft class. If Cisco is available, he’d be an immediate upgrade in Dallas.

    With a roster largely set for the future, the Cowboys can be adventurous (like they were in 2020 by drafting CeeDee Lamb) and get the best player available while taking care of future needs.

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The quest to find a quality running back in Tampa knows no ends.

    The team has drafted Ronald Jones II and Ke’Shawn Vaughn in the first 76 picks of the last three drafts, and it signed LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette as free agents. And yet, it still doesn’t seem like head coach Bruce Arians is satisfied.

    A quick and easy answer is a do-it-all speed back with the soft hands and football IQ quarterback Tom Brady demands at the running back position. Dating back to his first year as a starter with J.R Redmond coming out of the backfield all the way up to the James White-era Super Bowl dominance, we’ve seen Brady love and rely on backs as pass-catchers.

    The difference with Etienne is the speed he brings, which makes him a legit house-call threat with the football in his hands.

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The New Orleans Saints struck gold the last time they added a wide receiver from Ohio State (Michael Thomas in 2016); maybe it’s time to try again?

    Chris Olave plays so much bigger and stronger than his 6’1″, 188 pounds would indicate. He’s a tough route-runner and has the timing, vision and courage to be excellent on underneath and breaking routes. He also has enough juice in his game to take those short passes and power his way to plus yardage.

    The Saints could be eying a quarterback of the future here, but outside of a slight reach (as of now) for Florida’s Kyle Trask, there isn’t an easy candidate to fill that role.

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    Vasha Hunt/Associated Press

    Some players are meant to play for certain NFL teams. That’s the case with Alabama’s powerful redshirt sophomore, Christian Barmore.

    Weighing in at 6’5″ and 310 pounds, Barmore can play anywhere along the three-man defensive front and would bring the versatility and athleticism that are so crucial to the Ravens’ defensive scheme. Watch what Calais Campbell does for the defense this season because it would be a seamless transition to No. 58 for the Crimson Tide.

    With few on-paper needs, the Ravens can once again sit back and collect talents who make them a perennial contender.

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    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    The 49ers did the right thing by locking up safety Jimmie Ward, but the veteran is more of a do-it-all player in the secondary and less of a true over-the-top safety. That’s where general manager John Lynch can tap into the traits that made him a nine-time Pro Bowler and evaluate a deep class of safeties in the 2021 crop.

    Texas junior Caden Sterns came to campus with big expectations at a university known for churning out Jim Thorpe Award candidates. And while he hasn’t brought home hardware of his own yet, his athleticism is better than we’ve seen from a Longhorns safety since Earl Thomas left Austin as an underclassman.

    Sterns’ athleticism, football IQ and budding leadership skills should make him a Lynch favorite.

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    It seems general manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid have devalued the cornerback position despite it being the team’s biggest on-paper need. Of course, if you can find players like Charvarius Ward on the scrap heap, then why draft them early?

    The Chiefs still need cornerbacks, but they also need help on the interior of the offensive line. Veach’s philosophy has been to give quarterback Patrick Mahomes all the weapons and protection he needs, which is why the move to address the guard position over defense in Round 1 is likely.

    Wyatt Davis is a mauler at guard, but he’s also athletic enough to work in the Chiefs’ zone-heavy blocking scheme. He can get after linebackers, he can peel and trap, and he can pull. His agility, vision and all-around blocking game would be an ideal boost for Mahomes and incoming rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

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    Chris Jackson/Associated Press

    33. Jacksonville Jaguars: TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State

    34. Washington Football Team: TE Kyle Pitts, Florida

    35. Cincinnati Bengals: EDGE Joseph Ossai, Texas

    36. Carolina Panthers: OT Spencer Brown, Northern Iowa

    37. New York Jets: EDGE Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest

    38. New York Giants: CB Marco Wilson, Florida

    39. Miami Dolphins: RB Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State

    40. Las Vegas Raiders: IOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma

    41. Detroit Lions: IOL Rashawn Slater, Northwestern

    42. Miami Dolphins (from Houston Texans): DL Jay Tufele, USC

    43. Denver Broncos: CB DJ Daniel, Georgia

    44. Arizona Cardinals: CB Israel Mukuamu , Washington

    45. Atlanta Falcons: S Trevon Moehrig, TCU

    46. Los Angeles Chargers: S JaCoby Stevens, LSU

    47. Los Angeles Rams: LB Jabril Cox, LSU

    48. Cleveland Browns: LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame

    49. Chicago Bears: QB Kyle Trask, Florida

    50. Tennessee Titans: EDGE Chris Rumph II, Duke

    51. Green Bay Packers: WR Justyn Ross, Clemson

    52. Pittsburgh Steelers: IOL Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC

    53. Jacksonville Jaguars (from Minnesota Vikings): OT Teven Jenkins, Oklahoma State

    54. Buffalo Bills: CB Tariq Castro-Fields, Penn State

    55. Indianapolis Colts: OT Jackson Carman, Clemson

    56. Seattle Seahawks: EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan

    57. Philadelphia Eagles: EDGE Shaka Toney, Penn State

    58. New England Patriots: DL Tyler Shelvin, LSU

    59. Dallas Cowboys: DL Marvin Wilson, Florida State

    60. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: EDGE Patrick Jones II, Pitt

    61. New Orleans Saints: LB Chazz Surratt, North Carolina

    62. Baltimore Ravens: S Paris Ford, Pitt

    63. San Francisco 49ers: EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington

    64. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Tutu Atwell, Louisville

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    65. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford

    66. Washington Football Team: OT Alaric Jackson, Iowa

    67. Cincinnati Bengals: LB Pete Werner, Ohio State

    68. Carolina Panthers: WR Nico Collins, Michigan

    69. New York Jets: IOL Ben Cleveland, Georgia

    70. New York Giants: OT Trevor Reid, Louisville

    71. Miami Dolphins: WR Tamorrion Terry, Florida State

    72. Las Vegas Raiders: DL Tommy Togiai, Ohio State

    73. Detroit Lions: DL Rashad Weaver, Pitt

    74. Houston Texans: WR Charleston Rambo, Oklahoma

    75. Denver Broncos: LB Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Oregon State

    76. Arizona Cardinals: IOL Deonte Brown, Alabama

    77. Atlanta Falcons: RB Chris Evans, Michigan

    78. Los Angeles Chargers: DL LaBryan Ray, Alabama

    79. Los Angeles Rams: EDGE DeAngelo Malone, Western Kentucky

    80. Cleveland Browns: WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State

    81. Chicago Bears: S Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State

    82. Tennessee Titans: WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina

    83. Green Bay Packers: LB Charles Snowden, Virginia

    84. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Robert Rochell, Central Arkansas

    85. Minnesota Vikings: S Kary Vincent Jr., LSU

    86. Buffalo Bills: WR Tyler Vaughns, USC

    87. Indianapolis Colts: EDGE Tyree Johnson, Texas A&M

    88. New York Jets (from Seattle Seahawks): LB Monty Rice, Georgia

    89. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Elijah Molden, Washington

    90. New England Patriots: CB Josh Jobe, Alabama

    91. Dallas Cowboys: LB Garret Wallow, TCU

    92. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Kyler Gordon, Washington

    93. Cleveland Browns (from New Orleans Saints): EDGE Boye Mafe, Minnesota

    94. Baltimore Ravens: EDGE Jayson Oweh, Penn State

    95. Washington Football Team (from San Francisco 49ers): RB Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis

    96. Kansas City Chiefs: OT Chandon Herring, BYU

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Draft post-lottery

NBA mock draft post-lottery edition: Who will the Timberwolves select No. 1 overall? – USA TODAY

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The 2020 NBA draft lottery is in the rear-view mirror, with the order of the top 14 picks now finalized. The Minnesota Timberwolves won the No. 1 pick, while the Golden State Warriors will select No. 2. The Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers round out the top five.

The New York Knicks were undoubtedly the biggest loser in the lottery, falling to No. 8 despite a 9% chance of winning the top pick and 37% chance picking in the top four.

Unlike last year, the No. 1 pick isn’t as obvious as Zion Williamson. Which player will hear his name called first by Adam Silver and head to Minnesota? It won’t be as easy as talent level or career ceiling when an immediate star is needed.

Here is USA TODAY Sports’ NBA mock draft 3.0 based on the finalized order of teams following the lottery.

1. Minnesota Timberwolves • Anthony Edwards • Georgia • Freshman • Shooting Guard • 6-4 • 225 pounds

Edwards is an explosive scorer with immediate All-Star ability and two-way upside, making him the front-runner to hear his name called first. He’d be an ideal fit in Minnesota to play alongside All-Stars Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell. In a game against Michigan State, he put up 33 points in one half. Edwards’ stat line — 19.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds — doesn’t do him justice. 

2. Golden State Warriors • Obi Toppin • Dayton • Redshirt Sophomore • Forward • 6-9 • 220 pounds

The Warriors don’t need the same foundational pieces other lottery teams do, so Toppin is the most appealing choice here based on his immediate upside. At 22, Toppin is older than most of his counterparts, and his high motor and highlight-reel dunking translate perfectly with Steph Curry in the open court. USA TODAY Sports’ national college basketball player of the year can do a mix of everything, including stepping out on the perimeter and mastering pick-and-rolls. 

3. Charlotte Hornets • LaMelo Ball • Illawarra Hawks (Australia) • Point Guard • 6-7 • 180 pounds

Ball would give the Hornets an electrifying player to excite the fan base right off the bat. The 6-7 point guard only played 12 games in Australia’s National Basketball League, but it was enough to entice a plethora of NBA scouts and rewrite the narrative his father had poorly written. He has a quick-trigger jumper that still needs more accuracy, but his floor vision is on par with his brother, Lonzo.

4. Chicago Bulls • James Wiseman • Memphis • Freshman • Center • 7-1 • 240 pounds

Had he not had his career with the Tigers cut short, Wiseman would have been a national player of the year finalist, averaging around 20 points and 10 rebounds for a then-top 15 team. The athletic big man left the team in December halfway through an NCAA suspension. He’d provide the Bulls with a dynamic big man who could complement Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. 

5. Cleveland Cavaliers • Killian Hayes • Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany) • Point Guard • 6-5 • 185 pounds

Hayes is a dynamic and crafty playmaker from France who greatly evolved during his pro season in the top league in Germany in 2019-20.

6. Atlanta Hawks • Deni Avdija • Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel) • Small Forward • 6-9 • 220 pounds

No longer a sleeper on draft boards, the overseas prospect with great size can play multiple positions, and his versatility should be hard to pass up for Atlanta. He has a wide-ranging skill set and was an MVP of the FIBA Under-20 European Championship.

7.  Detroit Pistons • Onyeka Okongwu • USC • Freshman • Forward • 6-9 • 245 pounds

Okongwu averaged 16.2 points and 8.6 rebounds for the Trojans in 2019-20, showing prowess on the glass and low block. His production and rim protection will be hard to pass up for Detroit.

8. New York Knicks • Tyrese Haliburton • Iowa State • Sophomore • Point Guard • 6-5 • 175 pounds

New York could use a play-making point guard. His numbers (15.2 points per game, 6.5 assists, 42% from 3-point ranger) in 2019-20 are intriguing. Haliburton has the overall skill set to be the Ja Morant of this draft class. 

9. Washington Wizards • Isaac Okoro • Auburn • Sophomore • Forward • 6-6 • 225 pounds

The wing has athleticism and a wingspan that could make him an elite defender at the next level, shutting down opposing perimeter forces. That’s a big void for Washington, one of the worst defensive teams in the league. 

10.  Phoenix Suns • Cole Anthony • North Carolina • Freshman • Guard • 6-3 • 190 pounds

The Tar Heels had an unexpectedly horrific campaign and Anthony’s knee injury played a major part. His lone NCAA season provided enough of a sample size of his tenacity and unique poise.

11. San Antonio Spurs • Devin Vassell • Florida State • Sophomore • Forward • 6-7 • 195 pounds

Vassell was one of the most improved players in all of college basketball, spearheading the Seminoles to their first ACC regular-season title. His game ideally translates as a 3-and-D player in the league. 

12. Sacramento Kings • Aaron Nesmith • Vanderbilt • Sophomore • Forward-Guard • 6-6 • 213 pounds

Nesmith could blossom into something special soon. He was already considered one of the best 3-point shooters last season (52.2%). His season, in which he averaged 23 points, was cut short after 14 games due to a right foot injury.

13. New Orleans Pelicans • Precious Achiuwa • Memphis • Freshman • Guard • 6-9 • 225 pounds

Achiuwa possesses the strength to thrive in the NBA, even as a rookie. That will help him on defense and rebounding, but he will need to develop better as an offensive player. He averaged 15.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 1.9 blocks.

14. Boston Celtics (from Memphis Grizzlies) • Saddiq Bey • Villanova • Sophomore • Forward • 6-7 • 216 pounds

Bey was the Wildcats’ best player with a breakout sophomore campaign, averaging 16.1 points and shooting 45% on 3-pointers. He’d be an ideal fit as a role player on any NBA team. 

15. Orlando Magic • Kira Lewis Jr. • Alabama • Sophomore • Guard • 6-3 • 165 pounds

Lewis led Alabama in scoring (18.5 per game) and assists (5.2 per game) and shot 45.9% from the field, 36.6% on 3s and 80.2% from the foul line. He has a great handle and uses it well, with speed to beat defenders off the dribble.

16. Portland Trail Blazers • Patrick Williams • Florida State • Freshman • Forward • 6-8 • 225 pounds

Williams didn’t start one game and didn’t average double figures for the Seminoles but has potential and the attributes: quick, explosive, strong, athletic. He should be able to defend multiple positions in the NBA. Developing a 3-point shot will help his game.  

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Brooklyn Nets) • Tyrese Maxey • Kentucky • Guard • 6-3 • 198 pounds

Maxey (14 points per game) was the key piece on a Wildcats team coach John Calipari felt was a national title contender. His shot needs work, but he has gifts that can’t be taught, namely his clutch ability.

18. Dallas Mavericks • R.J. Hampton • New Zealand Breakers (Australia) •  Forward • 6-5 • 188 pounds

Hampton didn’t benefit from his time in Australia’s top pro league like LaMelo Ball did, and his game would have been better spotlighted in the NCAA. But the tools (length, quickness, agility) are there even if the intangibles (jumper, ball-handling, IQ) aren’t mastered yet. 

19. Brooklyn Nets (from Philadelphia 76ers) • Theo Maledon • ASVEL (France) • Point guard • 6-4 • 175 pounds

Maledon will have plenty of things to work on to adapt to the NBA after in France. He needs to bulk up in strength and expand his offensive game, but his defense looks promising.

20. Miami Heat • Josh Green • Arizona • Freshman • Guard • 6-6 • 210 pounds

Green played alongside other talented freshmen at Arizona and established himself with his 3-point shot and ability to find his spots in half-court sets. He really improved from 3-point range in the final month of the season (13-for-27) and could turn into a solid two-way player.

21.  Philadelphia 76ers (from Oklahoma City Thunder) • Aleksej Pokusevski • Olympiacos (Greece) • Forward • 7-0 • 205 pounds

Pokusevski has intrigue as a 7-footer who can handle the ball, pass and drive to the rim. He’s just 18 and does not have a lot of top-level pro experience in Europe. He needs to work on his shot and get stronger so he can absorb contact, but there is a skill set that makes him an appealing NBA prospect.

22. Denver Nuggets (from Houston Rockets) • Jalen Smith • Maryland • Forward • 6-10 • 225 pounds

Smith considered leaving after his freshmen season, but returning gave him a chance to showcase his talent. He rebounds, runs the court, blocks shots and can score. He has good hands and footwork, and while he does damage in the low post, he can step out and shoot 3-pointers.

23. Utah Jazz • Isaiah Stewart • Washington • Freshman • Forward • 6-9 • 250 pounds

Stewart became a consistent big man with promising potential as a finisher and rim protector. That won’t translate right away in the NBA, but he will blossom in a few years. Stewart is strong and tough to defend in the low post, averaging 16.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.2. blocks.

24. Milwaukee Bucks (from Indiana Pacers) • Tre Jones • Duke • Sophomore • Guard • 6-3 • 185 pounds

Jones, whose brother Tyus also went to Duke and now plays for the Memphis Grizzlies, defends, flourishes in the open court, is a willing passer with strong court vision and can score going to the rim. He will need to work on this 3-pointer.

25. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Denver Nuggets) • Jaden McDaniels • Washington • Freshman • Forward • 6-9 • 200 pounds

McDaniels will be a fit in the modern NBA because of his defensive versatility, but he needs to develop as a shooter. He has a strong network to help him adjust to the pros, including his cousin, former NBA star Juwan Howard.

26. Boston Celtics • Jahmi’us Ramsey • Texas Tech • Freshman • Guard • 6-4 • 195 pounds

Ramsey’s athleticism and perimeter defense will get him by, initially. He remains unproven, however, as a consistent scorer. He has a nice shot from outside and made 42.6% of his 3s.

27. New York Knicks (from Los Angeles Clippers) • Zeke Nnaji • Arizona • Freshman • Forward • 6-11 • 240 pounds

Another freshman from Arizona, Nnaji possesses solid footwork and a nice touch at the rim in the low post, and he runs the court to get in position offensively. He shot 57% from the field and is comfortable at the foul line.

28. Los Angeles Lakers • Nico Mannion • Arizona • Freshman • Point Guard • 6-3 • 190 pounds

Playing for a mediocre Arizona team without much of a supporting cast, Mannion (14 points and 5.3 assists per game) was bogged down by Pac-12 teams’ scouting reports that focused on him. If he can shoot better in the pros, that will add to his play-making on his solid pick-and-roll game.  

29. Toronto Raptors • Vernon Carey Jr. • Duke • Freshman • Forward • 6-10 • 270 pounds

The college basketball freshman of the year and second-team All-American, Carey has the strength, size and great hands, making him difficult to defend in the low post. He’s also a strong rebounder (especially on the offensive glass) and shot blocker.

30. Boston Celtics (from Milwaukee Bucks) • Leandro Bolmaro • Barcelona (Spain) • Small forward • 6-7 • 200 pounds

Part of Argentina’s next generation of talent, Bolmaro plays on the wing where he can handle the basketball as a play-maker both for himself and teammates. He also has the ability to work hard defensively.

Follow reporter Scott Gleeson on Twitter @ScottMGleeson

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Angels Draft

Angels Draft: Biggest First Round Draft Busts in Halo’s History – Halo Hangout

Brandon Wood #3, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Brandon Wood #3, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The MLB Draft is a hit and miss proposition, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have enjoyed a few such missed during their draft history.

In the world of gambling, there are always winners and losers. In the world of Major League Baseball, there is perhaps no bigger gamble than the yearly MLB Draft.

As is the case with all organizations, the Angels have had their fair shares of successes and failures in the draft. In fact, the first three first-round picks in franchise history only produced one player that played at the Major League level. And out of the first six first-round picks, they saw a grand total of 5.8 wins above replacement. Over 59 years, the team has made 66 picks in the first round and 16 never made it to the big leagues.

Of course, even among the draft failures that the Angels have seen over the years, not all are created equal. Some busts have been bigger than others, but which are the biggest in team history, in terms of first-round picks?

Brandon Wood – 2003 Draft

There may be no further disappointment in terms of prospect potential than that of Brandon Wood. Selected by the Angels with the 23rd overall pick in the 2003 MLB Draft, Wood quickly rose through the minor league ranks after a huge 2005 season where he hit .321/.381/.667 with 43 home runs and 116 RBI between High-A and Triple-A. That performance had him ranked as the #3 overall prospect in the game prior to the 2006 season.

Unfortunately, expectations and reality don’t always add up. Wood struggled with his transition to the game’s highest level. The Angels gave him his first shot at the majors in 2007, and he would see time with the team each year through 2010. However, a propensity for strikeouts hurt and he would only slash .168/.197/.259 with the Halos. He would be waived prior to the 2011 season. Wood would spend the next three seasons bouncing around waivers between five more franchises and would be out of baseball after 2014.

Kaleb Cowart – 2010 Draft

Kaleb Cowart is perhaps an interesting case in failure. Not only has he failed once with the Angels, but he even came back around for another shot.

Cowart was the team’s first-round pick in the 2010 MLB Draft when the Angels chose him with the 18th overall selection. Originally a third baseman, Cowart was slow to develop, but eventually made his way to the majors in 2015. However, he quickly proved that he was at best a Quad-A player, one that succeeds at the upper level of the minors but can’t pull it together in the big leagues. In parts of five seasons with the Angels, Cowart has hit .176/.238/.292 and carries a 29.8% strikeout rate.

After being cut loose by the Angels in the winter of 2018, the Mariners picked Cowart up off waivers and tried to convert him into a two-way player. However, they too waived him after one season, and after a stop with the Tigers, the Angels selected him again prior to the 2019 season. He’s not signed to a minor league deal with the Yankees, but he’ll be hard-pressed to add to his -1.3 bWAR.

Danny Goodwin – 1975 Draft

The Angels have held the first overall pick in the MLB Draft just twice in the organization’s history. Once that pick worked out extremely well for the team (we’ll get to him in a minute). The other time team wasn’t so lucky.

Since the draft was instituted in 1965, only once has a player been selected twice with the first overall pick. Danny Goodwin was originally picked by the White Sox with the first overall pick in 1971 but chose not to sign. The Angels again made him the first pick in 1975 after he graduated from Southern University. With that kind of pedigree, one would almost assume that Goodwin was a can’t miss prospect.

Unfortunately for the Angels and Goodwin, that pressure never amounted to success. He did play in parts of seven seasons at the big league level, including three with the Angels. However, Goodwin ultimately hit just .236/.301/.373 with 13 home runs and 81 RBI over 707 plate appearances. To add insult to the matter for California, they never once used him in the field during his time with the organization, and he was ultimately worth just -1.7 bWAR for his career. The Angels traded him for Dan Ford in 1978

With the 10th overall pick in 2020, will the Angels make a smart choice that proves to be a cornerstone for years to come or will they flop on draft day? We won’t know for years to come, but we’ll be watching closely when they call out their pick.

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Draft upgrades

2020 NFL draft upgrades – Todd McShay’s biggest team improvements and best late-round finds – ESPN

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  • Todd McShayESPN Senior Writer

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    • ESPN College Football and NFL Draft Analyst
    • Joined ESPN in 2006
    • Played quarterback in high school and was a backup QB for the University of Richmond.

It was really hard to miss the 2020 NFL draft as I recovered from coronavirus, but I am fortunate to be healthy now. I can’t even express in words how much I appreciated all of the support. Thank you so much to everyone who reached out; it really meant a lot. (You can hear more about it on a special edition of The Adam Schefter Podcast.)

But even two weeks later, I do have some lingering thoughts on how the draft unfolded. Better late than never, right? As I watched from afar, a handful of teams really impressed me with what they did, and some Day 3 picks particularly stuck out as excellent fits.

So here are some of my takeaways from the 2020 draft, including five teams that did the best job in immediately upgrading their rosters and five late-rounders who could play key roles right out of the gate as rookies this season.

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Team upgrades | Late-round contributors

FIVE TEAMS THAT IMMEDIATELY IMPROVED

Dallas Cowboys

What a tremendous opening two nights of the draft for Dallas. And it started at No. 17 overall. Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb was nothing short of a gift for the Cowboys there. He’s just so good after the catch, and he’s a strong route runner with great instincts. The Cowboys’ offense led the NFL with 431.5 yards per game last season, and now Dak Prescott has Lamb alongside Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Ezekiel Elliott. That’s a nightmare for defensive coordinators.

Then Dallas came back on Friday with cornerback Trevon Diggs out of Alabama, followed by defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, Lamb’s Oklahoma teammate. Diggs brings versatility, ball-hawking and tight press-man coverage skills. He’s likely a starter as a rookie and helps pad the free-agency loss of Byron Jones in a secondary that has struggled. Diggs had three interceptions for the Crimson Tide in 2019, while the Cowboys managed just seven — tied for the lowest total in the NFL. And Gallimore is explosive in the middle of the defensive line. His tape was a bit inconsistent, but the 304-pounder ran a downright silly 4.79 in the 40-yard dash at the combine and flashes the ability to drive offensive linemen back and get off blocks. I expect him to play in some form of rotation and show off his playmaking traits.



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Draft Ranking

Ranking draft classes, 1-32: Ravens, ‘Boys thrive – NFL.com

Why provide instant grades on the selections of prospects who have yet to take an NFL snap? Well, you’re reading this, aren’t you? Considering the makeup of every roster and the factors surrounding each pick, Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr attempt a division-by-division assessment of the 2020 NFL Draft. Keep in mind that these grades are based on draft hauls alone — picks traded for veteran players were not taken into account. Click here for those full breakdowns.

Below you’ll find a ranking, from 1 to 32, of the 2020 draft classes.

» Round 1: (No. 28 overall)
Patrick Queen, LB, LSU.



» Round 2: (55)
J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State.



» Round 3: (71)
Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M; (92)
Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas; (98)
Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State; (106)
Tyre Phillips, OG, Mississippi State.



» Round 4: (143)
Ben Bredeson, OG, Michigan.



» Round 5: (170)
Broderick Washington, DT, Texas Tech.



» Round 6: (201)
James Proche, WR, SMU.



» Round 7: (219)
Geno Stone, S, Iowa.

PARR: Baltimore somehow managed to find amazing value in almost every round. It seems unfair that they do this year after year, really. Queen fills the void that had been lingering since
C.J. Mosley departed last offseason and will go sideline to sideline, wreaking havoc with his explosiveness despite being undersized. Dobbins adds another dose of electricity to the
Ravens‘ highly charged backfield and the value was too good to pass up, even if there were more pressing needs. Oh, and you better believe Eric DeCosta did work with
four third-round selections, pouncing to add — you guessed it — nice value in the middle portion of the draft. Harrison is a downhill attacker who will complement Queen at ‘backer, and Madubuike will help keep blockers off of those two. We’re intrigued by Duvernay, who could become a spark plug in the slot if he improves as a route runner. There are Hall-of-Fame worthy shoes to fill at guard following the retirement of Marshal Yanda, but Phillips and Bredeson seem like perfect fits for the
Ravens‘ power running game. We approve of the decision to trade up in Round 6 for Proche, who has the ball skills and competitiveness to be much more productive than his athletic traits would lead you to believe. And how about landing Stone with pick 219, nearly
100 slots lower than
where Jeremiah valued him? There were the only team that had his top value pick in two different rounds. Well done,
Ravens.

» Round 1: (No. 17 overall)
CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma.



» Round 2: (51)
Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama.



» Round 3: (82)
Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma.



» Round 4: (123)
Reggie Robinson II, CB, Tulsa; (146)
Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin.



» Round 5: (179)
Bradlee Anae, Edge, Utah.



» Round 7: (231)
Ben DiNucci, QB, James Madison.

FILICE: What a difference
drafting on a $250 million mega yacht makes! Jerry Jones spent the virtual draft aboard the Bravo Eugenia, a predictably glitzy setting for the league’s ultimate showman owner. But separated from COO Stephen Jones, vice president of player personnel Will McClay and new head coach Mike McCarthy, Jerrah was flying without a parachute. Nobody was there to snatch the draft card out of the boss’ hand, should he have been tempted to do something like
drafting Johnny Manziel over Zack Martin. No matter. The Star King absolutely crushed this draft, logging immense value in each of his first six picks while simultaneously filling roster needs. Lamb was a gift from the Draft Gods. It’s a player you just
have to pick in the second half of Round 1, regardless of how your draft needs stack up. But the real brilliance of the
Cowboys‘ draft is how they found ways to fill holes after making the quasi-luxury pick at wide receiver. Diggs was a cornerback many mocked to Dallas at No. 17 — instead, the
Cowboys landed him 34 slots later. Gallimore received some first-round buzz during the pre-draft process — Dallas nabbed him midway through the third. And then on Day 3, the ‘Boys made a number of need-based selections who could significantly outproduce their respective draft slots. Robinson’s a long, strong cover man who excelled in multiple coverages at Tulsa and posted some enticing numbers in Indy. Biadasz took a step back last season at Wisconsin due to injuries, or else he would’ve been long gone by the time Dallas came on the clock at No. 146. Now he’s tossed into the center battle with veteran
Joe Looney and 2019 third-rounder
Connor McGovern. If Biadasz can get right again, the
Cowboys could end up replacing one Badgers pivot (the recently retired
Travis Frederick) with another. And Anae enters the NFL with a pretty refined pass-rushing arsenal, which should help Dallas replace the 11.5 sacks and 13 TFLs that left with
Robert Quinn in free agency.

» Round 1: (No. 22 overall)
Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU; (31)
Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU.



» Round 2: (58)
Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State.



» Round 3: (89)
Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State.



» Round 4: (117)
D.J. Wonnum, Edge, South Carolina; (130)
James Lynch, Edge, Baylor; (132)
Troy Dye, LB, Oregon.



» Round 5: (169)
Harrison Hand, CB, Temple; (176)
K.J. Osborn, WR, Miami (Fla.).



» Round 6: (203)
Blake Brandel, OG, Oregon State; (205)
Josh Metellus, S, Michigan.



» Round 7: (225)
Kenny Willekes, Edge, Michigan State; (244)
Nate Stanley, QB, Iowa; (249)
Brian Cole II, S, Mississippi State; (253)
Kyle Hinton, OG, Washburn.

FILICE: Since he started running Minnesota’s drafts back in 2007, Rick Spielman has impressively
drafted 16 Pro Bowlers. Still, his past few prospect hauls haven’t proven nearly as fruitful as the glory classes of 2015 and prior. Consequently, we’ve seen an uptick in heat on the GM’s seat. Prior to January’s
Wild Card Weekend upset of the Saints, Spielman received
a public vote of confidence from
Vikings owner Mark Wilf. But the fact remains that the GM’s contract — like that of head coach Mike Zimmer — is set to expire after the 2020 season. So this sure feels like a make-or-break draft class for Spielman. At this moment — days after the picks were made and long before anyone’s set to take a real, live NFL snap — I think Rick nailed it. And not just because he made half the picks in the entire draft. (OK, 15 to be exact.) The
Vikings‘ first three selections could very well produce three Day 1 starters. Jefferson replaces
Stefon Diggs opposite
Adam Thielen in the receiving corps, while Gladney and veteran CB
Mike Hughes will hit the starting lineup following the departures of
Xavier Rhodes and
Trae Waynes. Cleveland might claim the tackle slot opposite
Brian O’Neill, kicking
Riley Reiff inside to guard and giving Minnesota the most athletic bookend duo in the league — a highly enticing possibility, given how much the
Vikings‘ outside-zone scheme relies on OL mobility. One Day 3 pick to keep an eye on is Dye. A long, athletic linebacker with legit coverage chops, the 6-foot-3 231-pounder led Oregon in tackles during each of the past four seasons. He might be limited to special teams duty in Year 1, but don’t be surprised if Dye eventually joins
Eric Kendricks and
Anthony Barr in the starting lineup, giving the Vikes a versatile linebacking corps ideally suited to the modern game.

» Round 1: (No. 8 overall)
Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson.



» Round 3: (72)
Josh Jones, OT, Houston.



» Round 4: (114)
Leki Fotu, DT, Utah; (131)
Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU.



» Round 6: (202)
Evan Weaver, LB, Cal.



» Round 7: (222)
Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State.

FILICE: Three years ago, Steve Keim spent his first-round pick on hybrid defender
Haason Reddick. When asked how the Temple product would fit into Arizona’s defense, the
Cardinals general manager gushed: “That’s the beauty of it — it doesn’t matter,” Keim said at the time. “We’ll find a place for him. Whether it’s early as a rusher or as a stack-backer, he has got enough skills to be a difference maker for us, and
we’ll find the right place for him on our defense.” Three years and 20 starts later, Reddick remains a man without a role. In fact, before the draft last week, The Athletic’s Michael Lombardi said the former No. 13 overall pick’s “another guy for the
Cardinals that
they would gladly move on from.” Oof. Now Arizona faces the same kind of questions about the 6-foot-4, 238-pound freak of nature with the 4.39 40-yard dash. How will Simmons be deployed in Vance Joseph’s defense? “He’ll be a linebacker,” the defensive coordinator said. “But we drafted this guy because of what we saw him do at Clemson. So, the things he did there, he’s going to do for us also. As far as covering tight ends, and again,
he’s going to be a problem solver. Obviously, each game plan is different and, as problems come along and he can solve them for us he will definitely be a candidate to do those things for us.” Now, it must be pointed out that, while the Reddick experiment has been a complete failure, the
Cardinals do have multiple success stories on the position-player front.
Tyrann Mathieu became a Defensive Player of the Year candidate as a roving playmaker,
Deone Bucannon briefly served as the LB/S prototype and
Budda Baker — drafted 23 picks after Reddick — continues to redefine the safety position. Here’s hoping Joseph and Co. have the right plan to maximize Simmons’ rare skill set. Something I’m fairly certain of: Arizona got a steal in Day 2
and Day 3. Jones, a battle-tested left tackle with NFL traits, had no business lasting until Round 3. And Benjamin, an open-field nightmare who came off the board in Round 7, could hit some home runs in the wide-open space created by Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.

» Round 1: (No. 1 overall)
Joe Burrow, QB, LSU.



» Round 2: (33)
Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson.



» Round 3: (65)
Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming.



» Round 4: (107)
Akeem Davis-Gaither, LB, Appalachian State.



» Round 5: (147)
Khalid Kareem, DE, Notre Dame.



» Round 6: (180)
Hakeem Adeniji, OG, Kansas.



» Round 7: (215)
Markus Bailey, LB, Purdue.

PARR: Our one quibble with the
Bengals‘ draft was the decision to wait until Round 6 to address the offensive line after not adding to it in free agency, but overall, this was nice work. Sure, the Burrow pick seems like a no-brainer, but it’s still a great one that instantly rejuvenates the franchise. He’s coming off the best year
ever by a college quarterback. And Cincinnati was smart to add another weapon for him to kick off Round 2. Higgins could become another
A.J. Green in due time, but for now, they get to team up together, creating a tandem that could do a lot of damage to defenses. Linebacker was this team’s biggest need on defense, and we’re fans of all three players they selected at the position, even though we would have probably turned to the offensive line over Davis-Gaither in Round 4. Wilson is a future starter, and Bailey could provide tremendous value for a seventh-round pick if he’s able to stay healthy. Kareem isn’t going to wow anyone with explosiveness or athleticism, but he can provide solid depth off the edge. We liked what the
Bengals did when they finally selected an offensive lineman. Adeniji has a chance to develop into a starting guard and was
Jeremiah’s top value of Round 6.

» Round 1: (No. 9 overall)
CJ Henderson, CB, Florida; (20)
K’Lavon Chaisson, Edge, LSU.



» Round 2: (42)
Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado.



» Round 3: (73)
DaVon Hamilton, DT, Ohio State.



» Round 4: (116)
Ben Bartch, OT, St. John’s (Minn.); (137)
Josiah Scott, CB, Michigan State; (140)
Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami.



» Round 5: (157)
Daniel Thomas, S, Auburn; (165)
Collin Johnson, WR, Texas.



» Round 6: (189)
Jake Luton, QB, Oregon State; (206)
Tyler Davis, TE, Georgia Tech.



» Round 7: (223)
Chris Claybrooks, CB, Memphis.

PARR: Jacksonville came into this draft in rebuilding mode and did a fine job of adding a boatload of talent while also filling most of its top needs. There was a glaring void at corner following the trades of
Jalen Ramsey and
A.J. Bouye, so the Henderson pick made plenty of sense — and the same goes for the Chaisson selection, with
Yannick Ngakoue
wanting out of town. Landing the second-best corner
and edge rusher in the draft? That’ll work. Shenault’s stock took a hit during the evaluation process due to durability concerns. He offers a lot of upside but a lower floor, too. If it all comes together for him, the
Jaguars could come away with three first-round values from this draft. Hamilton went a little earlier than expected, but has a chance to develop into a starter, and we loved the Bartch pick. Don’t sleep on the undersized Scott as a future starting nickel corner, either. We wouldn’t have minded seeing the Jags gamble on a prospect with a little more upside than Quarterman late in Round 4, but he should be a decent backup at inside ‘backer. GM Dave Caldwell added more depth at positions of need later on Day 3, but the main takeaway here is he ended up tying for the league-high by drafting eight players from NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah’s
top 150 prospects, including three of his top 36. This is good news for Duval County.

» Round 1: (No. 5 overall)
Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama; (No. 18) USC OT
Austin Jackson; (No. 30) Auburn CB
Noah Igbinoghene.



» Round 2: (39)
Robert Hunt, OL, Louisiana; (56)
Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama.



» Round 3: (60)
Brandon Jones, S, Texas.



» Round 4: (111)
Solomon Kindley, OG, Georgia.



» Round 5: (154)
Jason Strowbridge, DE, North Carolina; (164)
Curtis Weaver, edge rusher, Boise State.



» Round 6: (185)
Blake Ferguson, LS, LSU.



» Round 7: (246)
Malcolm Perry, RB, Navy.

PARR: This was the
Dolphins‘ draft to control. They entered it with the most picks in the league, including three first-rounders, and used the capital about as well as they could. We like the risk they were willing to take with their first selection. Tagovailoa’s potential was too great to pass up, even with the injury concerns. Jackson and Igbinoghene went earlier than many expected them to, but in those two players, Miami might have a future starting left tackle and a tough, competitive, physical nickel back — you need to be good at those spots to win in today’s NFL. We’re not here to
strongly dock the Fins for those decisions, even if a case can be made that they were reaches. The Igbinoghene pick foreshadowed the
Dolphins‘ theme for Day 2 of the draft, as the master plan of adding tough, physical, powerful talent was fully revealed with the selections of Hunt, Davis and Jones. Big fan of the work they did on the defensive line on Day 3, landing a
Senior Bowl standout (Strowbridge) and a potential steal in Weaver, who didn’t allow below-average explosiveness to keep him from racking up 34 sacks over the past three seasons. Last but not least, Perry — he of 2,017 rushing yards last season — has a chance to earn a spot as a versatile contributor who can help on offense and special teams. Now, the merits of drafting a long snapper might be debatable, but all in all, a really nice haul here.

» Round 1: (No. 3 overall)
Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State.



» Round 2: (35)
D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia.



» Round 3: (67)
Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame; (75)
Jonah Jackson, OG, Ohio State.



» Round 4: (121)
Logan Stenberg, OG, Kentucky.



» Round 5: (166)
Quintez Cephus, WR, Wisconsin; (172)
Jason Huntley, RB, New Mexico State.



» Round 6: (197)
John Penisini, DT, Utah.



» Round 7: (235)
Jashon Cornell, DT, Ohio State.

FILICE: After spending months broadcasting across the universe that the
Lions were open for business at No. 3, GM Bob Quinn ended up keeping the pick and taking the right player. Considering need, positional value, scheme fit and talent of the actual prospect, the Okudah selection was completely/appropriately predictable. The same
cannot be said about Detroit’s second-rounder. Despite the fact that the
Lions haven’t finished in the top half of the league in rushing offense since Barry Sanders’ retirement last millennium, Detroit was rarely mentioned as a potential landing spot for Swift. Perhaps because this same
Lions regime aggressively targeted
Kerryon Johnson via second-round trade-up just two years ago. Or maybe it was all that presumptuous pre-draft chatter about Swift being
the only first-round back in this class. Once that designation actually applied to
Clyde Edwards-Helaire on draft night, though, and Swift fell into the second round, the
Lions pounced. As you can surmise by the grade atop this blurb, I’m not here to lecture anyone about the folly of spending valuable draft currency on a running back. In fact, I applaud this pick. Johnson, who has a lengthy injury history going back to his Auburn days, has missed nearly half the games in his two NFL seasons. And while
Bo Scarbrough was a pleasant surprise down the stretch of a lost season, let’s not pretend his 4.2 yards per carry portended future stardom. With all due respect to
Pro Bowl wideout
Kenny Golladay, this offensive roster isn’t exactly bursting at the seams with electric playmakers. Swift brings exciting juice to the run
and pass games. Early in Round 3, Quinn attempted to fill a void that’s marred Patricia’s defense two years running: edge rush. In a draft class light on top-end sack artists, Okwara could end up as a third-round coup. Quinn and Patricia also continued their passion project of rebuilding the offensive line with a pair of mid-round guards: one who specializes in pass blocking (Jackson) and one who belligerently mauls opponents in the ground game (Stenberg).

» Round 1: (No. 10 overall)
Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama.



» Round 2: (44)
Grant Delpit, S, LSU.



» Round 3: (88)
Jordan Elliott, DT, Missouri; (97)
Jacob Phillips, LB, LSU.



» Round 4: (115)
Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic.



» Round 5: (160)
Nick Harris, C, Washington.



» Round 6: (187)
Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan.

PARR:
Baker Mayfield has to be resting easier these days. GM Andrew Berry gifted him with a massive upgrade at the tackle spot, signing
Jack Conklin in free agency to man the right side, and then he went out and drafted a new left tackle with the 10th overall pick. Wills was the top player at his position on many boards. He should be protecting the blindside for the next decade. The next-biggest need for this club was at safety, and Berry checked that box by plucking Delpit. Concerns about his tackling knocked him out of the first-round conversation, but there’s still plenty to like about his game as a fast, instinctive free safety. We see a lot of upside in the Elliott pick. He can provide a push from the inside. We’re not as enthusiastic about the Phillips selection. Linebacker was a need and Phillips led a talent-rich LSU defense in tackles last season, but he might not become more than a backup/special-teams contributor at the next level. We wouldn’t have minded seeing the
Browns go in a direction other than tight end to start Day 3 with
Austin Hooper and
David Njoku (who just had his
fifth-year option picked up despite his disappointing 2019 season) already on the roster. That said, have you seen NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein’s comp for Bryant?
It’s George Kittle! So, we’re not going to argue with taking a shot on that kind of player. Harris provides some depth on the interior O-line, and Peoples-Jones was worth a flyer in Round 7 even though he never lived up to his billing at Michigan.

» Round 1: (No. 14 overall)
Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina; (25)
Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State.



» Round 5: (153)
Colton McKivitz, OT, West Virginia.



» Round 6: (190)
Charlie Woerner, TE, Georgia.



» Round 7: (217)
Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee.

FILICE: Sometimes, in the wake of the three-day team-building bonanza that is the NFL draft, it’s hard to wrap your head around the thinking that went into a particular franchise’s overall haul. That is most definitely
NOT the case with San Francisco’s 2020 draft class. Every pick had a purpose. With all the money the
49ers have poured into their definitive position group — defensive line —
DeForest Buckner unfortunately ended up being the odd man out. The Niners just couldn’t pay him the money he was due, so they flipped him for a first-round pick … and then used that pick on a younger, cheaper version of Buckner in Kinlaw. Like Buckner,
Emmanuel Sanders was another talented veteran the Niners just couldn’t fit into their salary cap. So they let him walk to New Orleans … and used their second first-round pick on a prime playmaker at wideout in Aiyuk. San Francisco mitigated the retirement of franchise stalwart Joe Staley by
trading for Trent Williams, but they still needed depth at the tackle position. Insert McKivitz, who has experience on the left and right side — and could be San Francisco’s swing tackle in Year 1. Meanwhile, anyone who’s watched Kyle Shanahan’s offense of late knows how crucial a role
Kyle Juszczyk plays. Well, the versatile H-back’s getting up in age and heading into the last year of his contract. Could Woerner be groomed as the eventual replacement? And lastly, Jennings is exactly the kind of YAC monster Lil Shanny loves to feature. Don’t dwell on the 4.72 40 — he has steal potential as a big-slot playmaker. Calculated drafting from stem to stern.

» Round 1: (No. 13 overall)
Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa.



» Round 2: (45)
Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota.



» Round 3: (76)
Ke’Shawn Vaughn, RB, Vanderbilt.



» Round 5: (161)
Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota.



» Round 6: (194)
Khalil Davis, DT, Nebraska.



» Round 7: (241)
Chapelle Russell, LB, Temple; (245)
Raymond Calais, RB, Louisiana-Lafayette.

FILICE: So, what’s it gonna be, Bucs fans:
Tompa Bay or Tampa Brady? GM Jason Licht continues to do everything in his power to put the new franchise face in the best possible position to succeed, using three of his first four picks on offensive needs. Wirfs looks like a plug-and-play starter at right tackle, with supreme athleticism and the biggest lower body I’ve ever laid eyes on at the NFL
Scouting Combine. (Seriously,
this man is a far superior species to me.) Round 3 frankly felt a little rich for Vaughn — RB
Zack Moss‘ violent, all-around game seemed a lot more enticing at that point — but the
Buccaneers needed another backfield presence to join
Ronald Jones II, and apparently the one-cut Vandy product was their guy. Johnson could be the final piece to Tampa’s loaded pack of pass catchers, as a big slot who runs the kind of nuanced routes Brady will appreciate. The one defensive player Licht snatched in the first five rounds is a gem. A versatile safety who’s perfect for today’s game, Winfield hits like
his dad and has the playmaking instincts you’d expect from someone who grew up in NFL locker rooms. “When I was younger my dad would lay in his bed with his laptop, and I would be sitting right next to him watching film,”
Winfield said at the combine. Todd Bowles is gonna have fun with this newbie.

» Round 1: (No. 4 overall)
Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia.



» Round 2: (36)
Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama.



» Round 3: (99)
Matt Peart, OT, Connecticut.



» Round 4: (110)
Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA.



» Round 5: (150)
Shane Lemieux, C/OG, Oregon.



» Round 6: (183)
Cameron Brown, LB, Penn State.



» Round 7: (218)
Carter Coughlin, Edge, Minnesota; (238)
T.J. Brunson, LB, South Carolina; (247)
Chris Williamson, CB, Minnesota; (255)
Tae Crowder, LB, Georgia.

FILICE: After beginning each of the previous two drafts with a bold pick —
Saquon Barkley at No. 2 in 2018 and
Daniel Jones at No. 6 in ’19 — Dave Gettleman played it safe this time around, taking the high-floor offensive tackle who should help maximize those audacious actions of yesteryear. Thomas didn’t put on the kind of attention-grabbing combine spectacle of some of the other Big Four tackles, but he was a highly decorated starter on a talented Georgia team during each of his three years in Athens. And hey: He was Pro Football Focus’ top-rated offensive tackle in this class. Dave Gettleman …
analytics acolyte?! New York rightfully continued to pour resources into the offensive line with the third-round pick of Peart (a developmental tackle with promising raw traits) and the fifth-round selection of Lemieux (who could make a push to start at center in Year 1). And the
Giants backed up the free-agent signing of CB
James Bradberry with two more intriguing additions to the secondary. After hitting on a hybrid safety out of Alabama early in the second round five years ago (Landon Collins), the
Giants went back to that same Tuscaloosa well for McKinney. And he might not be the only rookie starter in Big Blue’s defensive backfield. Nickel cornerback is essentially a starting position in today’s NFL, and many evaluators —
NFL Media’s Bucky Brooks included — think Holmes has the physical profile to excel in that role on Sundays.

» Round 1: (No. 11 overall)
Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville.



» Round 2: (59)
Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor.



» Round 3: (68)
Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal; (79)
Jabari Zuniga, edge rusher, Florida.



» Round 4: (120)
La’Mical Perine, RB, Florida; (125)
James Morgan, QB, Florida International; (129)
Cameron Clark, OG, Charlotte.



» Round 5: (158)
Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia.



» Round 6: (191)
Braden Mann, P, Texas A&M.

PARR: Yes, we know there’s low-floor potential with Becton. We also have heard that he’s a 6-foot-7, 364-pound mountain of a man who mauls people. So,
Sam Darnold can rest a little easier at night (and hopefully won’t have to wonder if Iowa OT
Tristan Wirfs, who went a couple picks later, would have been the better pick at No. 11). Oh, and GM Joe Douglas found a good value in Round 2 even after trading down, enhancing Darnold’s supporting cast again with the addition of Mims. If he can master a more complex route tree than he was asked to run at Baylor, look out. Douglas then turned to his defense, snagging one of the middle-rounders who generated the most buzz this spring. This will be a great pick if it all comes together for the freakishly athletic Davis, dubbed the draft’s ”
mystery man” by one general manager last month. The
Jets might have reached a bit to fill a need with the Zuniga pick. The production (18.5 career sacks in four seasons) doesn’t jump off the page, but injuries were a bugaboo. Perhaps Gregg Williams can coax the most out of a player who certainly has shown flashes. Douglas must have enjoyed his time scouting in the Sunshine State, as he added a couple more Florida men to start Day 3. Perine, who can churn out tough yards, was a fine choice to fill a need behind
Le’Veon Bell. We also weren’t bothered by the decision to take a shot on the big-armed Morgan as a backup for Darnold. Same goes for how Douglas closed things out on in the draft’s last few rounds, checking off needs and finding nice value once again with Hall in Round 5.

» Round 1: (No. 7 overall)
Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn.



» Round 2: (38)
Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State; (64)
Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois.



» Round 4: (113)
Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame.



» Round 5: (152)
Kenny Robinson, S, West Virginia.



» Round 6: (184)
Bravvion Roy, DT, Baylor.



» Round 7: (221)
Stantley Thomas-Oliver III, CB, Florida International.

FILICE: If you watched the 2020
NFL Draft for five minutes, you heard the phrase “Rhule Restoration” 10 times. So, what exactly is that, besides snappy alliteration? Well, in the first draft of the Matt Rhule era, Carolina’s
Rhule Restoration consisted of carpet-bombing the defense with draftees — ALL THE DRAFTEES. The
Panthers became the first team in the common-draft era to use all of their picks on defensive players. It’s actually not that surprising, either. Carolina finished 31st in scoring defense last season. … And then one of the very best players in franchise history — linebacker Luke Kuechly —
abruptly retired. … And then the
Panthers‘ CB1
signed a mega-deal with the Giants. … And then they lost four experienced disruptors up front (
Mario Addison,
Bruce Irvin,
Dontari Poe and Vernon Butler), as well as
Eric Reid in the back end. Long story short, Carolina came into this draft with
serious needs on all three levels of the defense. In Round 1, the
Panthers passed on do-everything playmaker
Isaiah Simmons in favor of a stout anchor to build around (Brown). In Round 2, they snagged a toolsy edge rusher to hunt opposite last year’s first-round pick,
Brian Burns, and then traded back into the round to score Chinn, an intriguing hybrid who feels like store-brand Simmons. The most notable Day 3 addition was Pride, who could push for early playing time in a cornerback rotation currently topped by the inconsistent
Donte Jackson and the awesomely named/minimally proven
Corn Elder. Rhule Restorers … MOUNT UP!

» Round 1: (No. 15 overall)
Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama.



» Round 2: (46)
KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State.



» Round 3: (77)
Michael Ojemudia, CB, Iowa; (83)
Lloyd Cushenberry, C, LSU; (95)
McTelvin Agim, DT, Arkansas.



» Round 4: (118)
Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri.



» Round 5: (178)
Justin Strnad, LB, Wake Forest.



» Round 6: (181)
Netane Muti, OG, Fresno State.



» Round 7: (252)
Tyrie Cleveland, WR, Florida; (254)
Derrek Tuszka, edge rusher, North Dakota State.

PARR: Love the way the
Broncos kicked off their draft, snagging a Pro Bowl-caliber complement for
Courtland Sutton and arguably the class’ WR1. That was only the beginning of John Elway’s tour de force when it came to adding help for one of the draft’s biggest winners,
Drew Lock, who made it clear he
appreciated the effort by blasting out the cool sunglasses face emoji via Twitter shortly after the
Broncos plucked another receiver with their second pick. Hamler can flat out fly, giving Denver the field-stretcher it needed. We would have liked to see the team draft a tackle at some point, but the squad did add help for the interior O-line. Cushenberry is a plug-and-play starter at center and Muti could prove to be a tremendous value at guard if he can stay healthy (played in just 19 games over four seasons due to injury). There’s no denying there’s some significant bust potential with a few members of this class, including the polarizing Okwuegbunam, which is why we tempered our enthusiasm for the group a bit. Plus, Ojemudia went surprisingly early, coming off the board at No. 77 after coming in at No. 148 on NFL Network draft guru Daniel Jeremiah’s list of the
draft’s top 150 prospects. But there’s a lot to like here.

» Round 2: (No. 34 overall)
Michael Pittman, WR, USC; (41)
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin.



» Round 3: (85)
Julian Blackmon, S, Utah.



» Round 4: (122)
Jacob Eason, QB, Washington.



» Round 5: (149)
Danny Pinter, OG, Ball State.



» Round 6: (193)
Robert Windsor, DT, Penn State; (211)
Isaiah Rodgers, CB, Massachusetts; (212)
Dezmon Patmon, WR, Washington State; (213)
Jordan Glasgow, LB, Michigan.

PARR: There was no action for Indy in Round 1 after dealing its top pick to the Niners for
DeForest Buckner, but the
Colts got busy on Day 2, making a couple selections that should bring smiles to the faces of
Philip Rivers and his many children. Pittman might even remind Rivers of his old go-to guy with the
Chargers, Vincent Jackson. The former Trojan has the size to go up and get it. Now, close your eyes for a second and imagine Taylor running behind
Quenton Nelson and Co. … Do you see a mess of defenders being pushed backward and a bruising back pummeling them? I do. Indianapolis could soon be home to the league’s model power run game after Taylor, who racked up 6,000-plus rushing yards in three college seasons, joins forces with that front five. The Blackmon selection didn’t have the same sizzle as Chris Ballard’s first two picks. It seemed a little early for my taste, given his inconsistency in his first season after moving from corner to safety, but I can understand wanting to add depth in the secondary. Some folks were expecting Eason to go in Round 2, so we can’t argue with the value in the fourth round. He gets to sit behind Rivers — and this won’t be a bad pick even if he never becomes more than a decent backup, given how late the
Colts were able to get him. Glasgow has a chance to carve out a role as a special-teams ace. It would have been nice to see Indy add another young edge rusher at some point.

» Round 1: (No. 24 overall)
Cesar Ruiz, C, Michigan.



» Round 3: (74)
Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin; (105)
Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton.



» Round 7: (240)
Tommy Stevens, QB, Mississippi State.

FILICE: Heading into the draft, New Orleans didn’t have a single glaring need. With an NFL-best 37 wins over the past three regular seasons, the
Saints boast as well-rounded — and battle-tested — a roster as there is in the NFL today. So it’s no wonder they chose to package picks in multiple trade-ups, leaving the draft with the league’s smallest prospect haul. How does the class grade out? Not too shabby. Spending a first-round pick on an interior offensive linemen isn’t exactly sexy, but that doesn’t mean it’s senseless. Ruiz was the top pivot in his recruiting class out of high school, started at guard and center during three fine years of play in Ann Arbor and hits the NFL ready to start on Day 1. (Incumbent right guard
Larry Warford and his hefty cap hit appear to be on borrowed time.) Baun gives New Orleans a versatile linebacker in the
Kyle Van Noy mold. He can provide pressure off the edge, but also has the athleticism and awareness to hold his own in coverage. And Trautman’s an intriguing developmental prospect as a true Y tight end. At 6-5 and 255 pounds, he’s equal parts receiver and blocker, but his transition from the FCS to the NFL is gonna take time. Small class, big potential.

» Round 2: (No. 54 overall)
A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa.



» Round 3: (86)
Zack Moss, RB, Utah.



» Round 4: (128)
Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF.



» Round 5: (167)
Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia.



» Round 6: (188)
Tyler Bass, K, Georgia Southern; (207)
Isaiah Hodgins, WR, Oregon State.



» Round 7: (239)
Dane Jackson, CB, Pittsburgh.

PARR: Brandon Beane took care of his biggest need last month, giving up a package of picks, including this year’s first-rounder, for WR
Stefon Diggs. However, we’re grading purely on the work done on draft weekend here (their grade would be higher if the Diggs deal was being taken into account). Beane still did a good job with his remaining capital, though! He found a first-round-caliber player late in Round 2. Epenesa was once considered a likely top-15 pick, but fell out of favor with the draft cognoscenti due in part to an NFL
Scouting Combine workout that didn’t inspire. That said, he filled Buffalo’s top need entering the draft and was one of the best values in the draft,
according to NFL Network draft expert Daniel Jeremiah. We like it, and can say the same thing for the selection of Moss, a violent runner who fills the void left by
Frank Gore. Now, we would have preferred to see Buffalo go with a corner with its first pick on Day 3 (
Josiah Scott?
Amik Robertson?) with
Josh Norman in decline and playing on a one-year deal, but we understand the allure of continuing to add weaponry for
Josh Allen, and the
Bills did find value at the corner position with the selection of Jackson in the final round. Davis has the size and catch radius to snag Allen’s throws downfield and Hodgins is another tall tree who can go up and get it. The Fromm pick was an eyebrow-raiser, but we can’t argue with the value. Weird things happen on Day 3, as we were also surprised they decided to reel in Bass in Round 6, but hey, he was arguably the best kicker in the draft. Sorry,
Stephen Hauschka.

» Round 1: (No. 2 overall)
Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State.



» Round 3: (66)
Antonio Gibson, RB/WR, Memphis.



» Round 4: (108)
Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU; (142)
Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty.



» Round 5: (156)
Keith Ismael, C, San Diego State; (162)
Khaleke Hudson, LB, Michigan.



» Round 7: (216)
Kamren Curl, S, Arkansas; (229)
James Smith-Williams, Edge, North Carolina State.

FILICE: At the end of the day, Washington made the pick everyone anticipated at the beginning of the year. Young is widely considered the top overall player in this draft class. Tossing him into a defensive front that already includes a trio of recent first-round picks (
Montez Sweat,
Daron Payne and Jonathan Allen), the underrated Matt Ioannidis
and four-time Pro Bowler
Ryan Kerrigan immediately gives Ron Rivera’s
Redskins an identity: QB NIGHTMARE FUEL. Bruce Allen left behind a roster that still has plenty of holes, but new defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has a game-wrecking group to work with up front. Building strength on strength is underrated. But after the no-brainer pick at No. 2, Washington made three straight boom-or-bust selections. Gibson’s a hybrid playmaker with 4.39 speed, but he only posted one year of serious production at Memphis (see: 12 touchdowns on just 71 touches). And how different is he from one of last year’s pleasant surprises,
Steven Sims Jr.? Are their skill sets redundant? Meanwhile, just minutes after Washington ended the
Trent Williams saga by
trading the disgruntled left tackle to the 49ers for a pair of mid-round picks — man, Mr. Allen sure botched this … — the ‘Skins drafted the left tackle from the 2019 national champion LSU Tigers. Charles is a talented prospect, no doubt, but there’s a reason he was still available on Day 3. He missed six games in 2019 due to disciplinary issues and three in 2018 due to injury. Gandy-Golden’s an intriguing physical specimen out wide at 6-4 and 223 pounds, but the former Liberty Flame is obviously taking a big step up in competition.

» Round 1: (No. 12 overall)
Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama; (No. 19) Ohio State CB
Damon Arnette.



» Round 3: (80)
Lynn Bowden, RB, Kentucky; (81)
Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina; (100)
Tanner Muse, LB, Clemson.



» Round 4: (109)
John Simpson, OG, Clemson; (139)
Amik Robertson, CB, Louisiana Tech.

PARR: Ruggs might not be the prototypical WR1 with size, but we’re not sure how much that matters because he’s fast enough to run past just about every defender he’ll encounter, and it’s lazy to suggest he’s simply a deep threat. We have no issue with Vegas rolling the dice on him even with
Jerry Jeudy and
CeeDee Lamb still on the board. Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden filled their biggest need with the pick and now
Derek Carr has no excuse for failing to throw the ball downfield. And credit to the decision makers for not stopping there when it came to upgrading the QB’s supporting cast. A receiver turned quarterback for Kentucky last season, Bowden will start off as a running back for the
Raiders, but it’s a safe bet we’ll see him lining up in the slot, too. He brings the type of edge this team covets. A foot injury kept Edwards from working out at the NFL
Scouting Combine, but if his hands improve, he has the size and strength to become a nice complementary piece in this recharged receiving corps. NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein’s player comp for him (
former Bears first-round bust David Terrell) is terrifying, though. Now, Arnette at No. 19 was not as big of a reach as some are making it out to be, but it was still a little rich for my blood given that the second-best edge rusher in the draft (K’Lavon Chaisson) was still available, among other options that intrigued me more than the Ohio State corner. That said, corner was the team’s biggest need other than receiver. We’re very fond of the Robertson pick. The competitive streak runs strong in the undersized slot man who shouldn’t be underestimated.

» Round 1: (No. 16 overall)
A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson.



» Round 2: (47)
Marlon Davidson, DL, Auburn.



» Round 3: (78)
Matt Hennessy, C, Temple.



» Round 4: (119)
Mykal Walker, LB, Fresno State; (134)
Jaylinn Hawkins, S, Cal.



» Round 7: (228)
Sterling Hofrichter, P, Syracuse.

FILICE: Over the course of the pre-draft process,
Jeff Okudah was widely considered the top cornerback prospect, while
C.J. Henderson established himself as CB2. But the third-best corner in this class? That was a hotly debated topic. When the
Falcons weighed in with their decision — taking Terrell, an Atlanta native, at No. 16 overall —
many disapproved, including ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., who said the team “reached for a need, plain and simple.” I have a sneaking suspicion there’s some recency bias at play here. Terrell, after all, had a rough night at the office in his last game, the College Football Playoff National Championship. On the brightest stage of his playing career, Terrell was torched by LSU wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. But let’s be honest: Who
didn’t get torched by Ja’Marr Chase? The Biletnikoff Award winner caught 84 passes for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns — with the latter two marks setting SEC records — and he’s poised to be a very highly selected player in the 2021 draft. Outside of that tough outing, Terrell acquitted himself pretty darn well on the island. He’s long (6-1) and fast (4.42 40), too. And with everyone screaming “REACH!!” upon his selection, the 21-year-old should enter the NFL with a pretty big chip on his shoulder. Very interested to see how his career plays out.

» Round 1: (No. 29 overall)
Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia.



» Round 2: (61)
Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU.



» Round 3: (93)
Darrynton Evans, RB, Appalachian State.



» Round 5: (174)
Larrell Murchison, DT, North Carolina State.



» Round 7: (224)
Cole McDonald, QB, Hawaii; (243)
Chris Jackson, DB, Marshall.

PARR: With
Jack Conklin‘s departure leaving a hole at right tackle,
Titans GM Jon Robinson found a massive human to fill it. At 6-6, 350 pounds, Wilson can maul folks off the edge, but the technique and footwork are going to have to be more consistent for this pick to pay off. Right now, it looks like at least a slight reach. On the other hand, Fulton was a value late in Round 2. He’s a nice fit who can help replace
Logan Ryan. The
Titans filled another need with Evans, who should be fun to watch as a speedy, one-cut runner to complement
Derrick Henry‘s power. I’m not seeing much to be excited about on Day 3 for Tennessee. Murchison could fit into a rotation on the interior D-line and McDonald is going to have to tighten up his delivery to have any shot of making it as a backup. I was surprised Robinson didn’t take an edge rusher in this draft, as I viewed it as one of the team’s biggest needs.

» Round 2: (No. 52 overall)
Cam Akers, RB, Florida State; (57)
Van Jefferson, WR, Florida.



» Round 3: (84)
Terrell Lewis, Edge, Alabama; (104)
Terrell Burgess, S, Utah.



» Round 4: (136)
Brycen Hopkins, TE, Purdue.



» Round 6: (199)
Jordan Fuller, S, Ohio State.



» Round 7: (234)
Clay Johnston, LB, Baylor; (248)
Sam Sloman, K, Miami (Ohio); (250)
Tremayne Anchrum, OG, Clemson.

FILICE: Draft for need or take the best player available? It’s the age-old draft debate — and one that’s top o’ mind with Los Angeles’ draft class. For most of last season, the O-line was viewed as a chief culprit in L.A.’s offensive reversion. Consequently, after the
Rams didn’t bring in any new offensive linemen in free agency, you figured they’d toss some early draft capital at the problem last week. Not so much. GM Les Snead waited until his final selection — a compensation pick at No. 250 overall — before adding a blocker. So I guess the
Rams will be running it back with the same unit
Pro Football Focus ranked 31st last season. That is a failure. So why does the grade not reflect that sentiment? Well, putting the O-line issues aside for a second, the first four players Snead selected really tickled this draft grader’s fancy. In a quietly loaded RB class, Akers got lost in the shuffle. The former five-star recruit routinely produced behind a porous offensive line at Florida State — which could be good training for his pro career, if the
Rams‘ O-line doesn’t shape up quick. Jefferson’s exactly the kind of polished route runner you’d expect from the son of
a former NFL receiver/current NFL receivers coach. He should provide immediate returns for detail-oriented
Rams coach Sean McVay. In a thin pass-rushing class, Lewis is a first-round talent who just needs his body to cooperate. And Burgess is a multi-talented defensive back who could fill a number of roles for the
Rams, starting in Year 1. Long story short: Snead inexplicably ignored a major need … but added four potential rookie difference makers elsewhere.

» Round 1: (No. 32 overall)
Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU.



» Round 2: (63)
Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State.



» Round 3: (96)
Lucas Niang, OT, TCU.



» Round 4: (138)
L’Jarius Sneed, S, Louisiana Tech.



» Round 5: (177)
Michael Danna, edge rusher, Michigan.



» Round 7: (237)
Thakarius Keyes, CB, Tulane.

PARR: There might not have been a better fit in the draft than Edwards-Helaire and the
Chiefs. Quibble with taking a running back in the first round if you’d like, but Andy Reid has his new Brian Westbrook (or,
gulp, perhaps an even
better version of the former All-Pro). CEH is the dynamo K.C. didn’t technically need (yes, the offense was already great) but will certainly get the most out of. We didn’t
love anything else about what the
Chiefs did, but that’s not really surprising considering their flexibility was pretty limited, as they entered the draft tied for the fewest selections in the league (five). There’s a case to be made that they should have added a true corner earlier than Round 7, but that might be where Sneed, a safety last season at Louisiana Tech, ends up playing. Gay was one of the stars of the NFL
Scouting Combine, but will he be able to put it all together and challenge for a spot atop the depth chart next season? Niang is coming off November hip surgery, but he has the tools to become a starter. On the other hand, seeing Danna, who wasn’t considered a lock to be drafted, go in Round 5 was a surprise. This isn’t a bad haul, but the excitement about it wore off for us after Day 1, which probably means this will be a great group.

» Round 1: (No. 6 overall)
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon; (23)
Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma.



» Round 4: (112)
Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA.



» Round 5: (151)
Joe Reed, WR, Virginia.



» Round 6: (186)
Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame.



» Round 7: (220)
K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State.

PARR:
Chargers GM
Tom Telesco said this week that he would have taken whichever of the top three quarterbacks fell to him at No. 6, which is a refreshingly candid comment, albeit probably not the strong vote of confidence
Justin Herbert would like to hear. Anyway, Herbert was undoubtedly picked earlier than where he was ranked on most boards, but that happens with quarterbacks all the time. If they couldn’t trade down and feel confident they’d still get Herbert, they had to stick and pick. It’s going to be interesting to see how much time the team gives him before he sees game action with
Tyrod Taylor atop the depth chart for now, and whether Herbert becomes more comfortable with being aggressive as a passer. As for the surprising decision to trade back into Round 1, we like Murray, a three-down linebacker who will make plays all over the field. However, we’re not certain that sitting out Day 2 in order to get him was the best move for a team that still has a glaring need at left tackle (a position it didn’t address in this draft). L.A. found some depth/special teams help on Day 3, starting with a player who can help make up for the loss of
Melvin Gordon. Kelley helped himself with his performances at the
Senior Bowl and NFL
Scouting Combine. Landing Hill in Round 7 has a chance to be a good value. The guy is Ohio State’s all-time catch leader and was projected to go two or even three rounds earlier by some draftniks.

» Round 1: (No. 21 overall)
Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU.



» Round 2: (53)
Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma.



» Round 3: (103)
Davion Taylor, LB, Colorado.



» Round 4: (127)
K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson; (145)
Jack Driscoll, OT, Auburn.



» Round 5: (168)
John Hightower, WR, Boise State.



» Round 6: (196)
Shaun Bradley, LB, Temple; (200)
Quez Watkins, WR, Southern Mississippi; (210)
Prince Tega Wanogho, OL, Auburn.



» Round 7: (233)
Casey Toohill, Edge, Stanford.

FILICE: While the selection of Reagor over
Justin Jefferson took some by surprise, the TCU wideout is more of the deep threat Philadelphia clearly needed. Remember how quickly the air came out of this offense once
DeSean Jackson went down last season? The
Eagles needed another (younger) home-run hitter, and that’s exactly what Reagor is. (Don’t fret about the somewhat-ordinary 4.47 40-yard dash in Indy; Reagor’s play speed might be up there with any prospect not named
Henry Ruggs III in this class.) While Philly’s decision to take Reagor over Jefferson raised a few eyebrows, the
Eagles‘ second-round pick left mouths agape across the country. Is No. 53 overall really the place to draft a backup quarterback who needs development as a thrower? Related question: If the
Eagles are so worried about Wentz’s long-term availability, why’d they hand him a nine-figure extension that included
a record-setting $107.9 million in guarantees less than a year ago? Yes, we know: You want to be
“a quarterback factory.” That’s a nice thing to aspire to, but this roster sprung leaks all over the place last season. Might wanna concentrate on plugging more of those — like linebacker, a position that’s befuddled this franchise in a post-Jeremiah Trotter world. Philadelphia took a swing at LB in the third round, but Taylor’s still extremely raw, as religious commitments
kept him from playing football games on the Sabbath until the past few years. Let’s finish on a positive note, though: Wallace looks like a potential steal at No. 127, especially for a team that needs secondary help.

» Round 2: (No. 43 overall)
Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame; (50)
Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah.



» Round 5: (155)
Trevis Gipson, Edge, Tulsa; (163)
Kindle Vildor, CB, Georgia Southern; (173)
Darnell Mooney, WR, Tulane.



» Round 7: (226)
Arlington Hambright, OG, Colorado; (227)
Lachavious Simmons, OG, Tennessee State.

FILICE: Chicago throwing
a two-year, $16 million deal at over-the-hill TE
Jimmy Graham was one of the bigger head-scratchers in free agency. And then Ryan Pace turned around and spent the team’s top pick on Kmet, adding a 10th tight end(!) to the
Bears‘ roster. Chicago waived
Dax Raymond on Monday, bringing the TE clown car’s occupancy back to single-digit passengers, but what’s going on here? Are the
Bears trying to exorcise the demons of
the Greg Olsen trade? Publicly trolling Mike Martz? Cornering the TE market in a fantasy draft? How about using the No. 43 overall pick to address a
true offensive need on the line? Seven picks later, Pace
did home in on the defense’s biggest void — cornerback — with the selection of Johnson. Given his alluring mix of physical traits, ball skills and cerebral play, the Utah corner might be a steal at No. 50 overall. Then again, Johnson was only available there because he’s fresh off his third shoulder surgery. In the fifth round, Chicago took a couple swings at small-school speedsters — a CB in Vildor (4.44 40-yard dash) and a WR in Mooney (4.38) — and Pace has a nice track record of finding talent in the middle rounds (SEE:
Eddie Jackson,
Adrian Amos,
Nick Kwiatkoski,
Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard). The sixth-year GM needs some hits in this draft class, or else the Halas McCaskey fam
could hit the eject button.

» Round 2: (No. 40 overall)
Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU.



» Round 3: (90)
Jonathan Greenard, Edge, Florida.



» Round 4: (126)
Charlie Heck, OT, North Carolina; (141)
John Reid, CB, Penn State.



» Round 5: (171)
Isaiah Coulter, WR, Rhode Island.

PARR: The stench of some of Bill O’Brien’s trades wafts over this draft class, but it’s a solid, albeit unspectacular, group. Blacklock was a fine value in Round 2. He should eventually be able to help the pass rush from the interior, but he’s going to have to be more consistent against the run — a key factor for a guy who will be lining up across from the power running games of Jacksonville, Indianapolis and Tennessee. Houston came back for the edge help it needed with the selection of Greenard, who went a little earlier than we expected. Heck should be a serviceable swing tackle, at worst. Reid’s another guy who came off the board sooner than we anticipated, but his competitiveness gives him a chance to make up for what he lacks in size. The best pick from this group might turn out to be Coulter, a developmental prospect with the tools to become a starter. All in all, needs were addressed, even though we might quibble with the order in which they received attention. This was a decent haul given the limited value the
Texans had in draft capital.

» Round 1: (No. 27 overall)
Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech.



» Round 2: (48)
Darrell Taylor, Edge, Tennessee.



» Round 3: (69)
Damien Lewis, OG, LSU.



» Round 4: (133)
Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford; (144)
DeeJay Dallas, RB, Miami (Fla.).



» Round 5: (148)
Alton Robinson, Edge, Syracuse.



» Round 6: (214)
Freddie Swain, WR, Florida.



» Round 7: (251)
Stephen Sullivan, TE, LSU.

FILICE: One thing’s for sure: The
Seahawks draft to the beat of their own drum. Brooks had his fans in league circles. Directly following the pick, virtual draft maestro Trey Wingo observed, “Well, this is interesting, because I had one coach tell me this week, ‘I wish people would stop putting
Jordyn Brooks in their mock draft —
we love this kid, we don’t want everybody to know him.” The tackling machine’s Texas Tech tape is indeed fun. Yet still: The notion of spending a first-round pick on a downhill thumper — without established coverage skills — seems like a questionable use of draft resources in 2020. Especially when off-ball linebacker wasn’t an immediate need for this annually contending team. On Day 2, Pete Carroll and John Schneider looked to infuse both lines with some much-needed talent. Taylor brings the length and strength Seattle desires off the edges. The only problem is he remains unrefined as a playmaker/finisher despite five years of service in the SEC. Lewis is an absolute road-grader in the ground game at 327 pounds. The only problem is he remains somewhat of a liability in pass pro, which isn’t ideal for the preservation of franchise superman
Russell Wilson.

» Round 2: (No. 49 overall)
Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame.



» Round 3: (102)
Alex Highsmith, edge rusher, Charlotte.



» Round 4: (124)
Anthony McFarland, RB, Maryland; (135)
Kevin Dotson, OG, Louisiana.



» Round 6: (198)
Antoine Brooks Jr., S, Maryland.



» Round 7: (232)
Carlos Davis, DT, Nebraska.

PARR: Before you tweet something derogatory about us,
Steelers fans, just know that the grade would be higher if we were taking into account the
Minkah Fitzpatrick trade and move up to snag
Devin Bush last year, which cost them valuable capital in this year’s draft. We’re sticking exclusively to grading 2020 draft hauls in this exercise, folks. The good news is that even with limited flexibility, the
Steelers were still able to pick up some intriguing talent. The class is just a little short on juice, and they didn’t address a significant need on the defensive line until the final round. Pittsburgh added a massive target for
Ben Roethlisberger in Claypool, although he doesn’t offer much sizzle after the catch. Highsmith is a nice sleeper pick. He will get at least a year to add some needed size and strength behind
T.J. Watt and
Bud Dupree, who is playing on the franchise tag in 2020. McFarland’s flashes have been something to behold — he shredded Indiana and Ohio State for 200-plus yards rushing in consecutive games in 2018. If he can stay healthy and figure out how to flash on a more consistent basis, this will be an excellent selection, but it was a little bit surprising to see them gamble on him within the first 125 picks. Dotson was the first player picked who wasn’t invited to the NFL
Scouting Combine. Flip on the tape and you’ll see a blocker with the power to make his way into a starting lineup down the road. Brooks can be an immediate help on special teams.

» Round 2: (No. 37 overall)
Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne; (60)
Josh Uche, LB, Michigan.



» Round 3: (87)
Anfernee Jennings, edge rusher, Alabama; (91)
Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA; (101)
Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech.



» Round 5: (159)
Justin Rohrwasser, K, Marshall.



» Round 6: (182)
Mike Onwenu, OG, Michigan; (195)
Justin Herron, OL, Wake Forest; (204)
Cassh Maluia, LB, Wyoming.



» Round 7: (230)
Dustin Woodard, C, Memphis.

PARR: No one’s earned the right to be confident more than Bill Belichick, but this
Patriots draft felt sort of … well, arrogant. They didn’t bother to address needs at quarterback or wide receiver and took a kicker when it was still early in the fifth round, making Rohrwasser the first specialist selected in 2020. Belichick has said the decision to pass on drafting a QB 10 times ”
wasn’t by design,” so that sounds like he didn’t
hate the talent at the position in this draft. He just didn’t feel compelled to take one in a year where he’s riding with
Jarrett Stidham and
Brian Hoyer. Alrighty then. The Pats did address several voids with their selections after trading out of Round 1 and picking up an extra pick, though. Dugger provides some much-needed youth at safety and while he comes from a small school, he looked like a guy who belonged when he faced all-star competition at the
Senior Bowl. Uche, another
Senior Bowl standout, appears to be a good fit with raw athletic tools that Belichick can mold. Jennings drew a comp to former Patriot
Kyle Van Noy from
colleague/draft guru Lance Zierlein, so it would seem he landed in the right place. New England had to add at tight end, and finally did in Round 3, trading up for both Asiasi and Keene, which were somewhat surprising decisions given that there were arguably better prospects at the position available at both spots. The decision to add depth to the O-line later on Day 3 made sense. Overall, there were things to like and things to question in this class.

» Round 1: (No. 26 overall)
Jordan Love, QB, Utah State.



» Round 2: (62)
AJ Dillon, RB, Boston College.



» Round 3: (94)
Josiah Deguara, TE, Cincinnati.



» Round 5: (175)
Kamal Martin, LB, Minnesota.



» Round 6: (192)
Jon Runyan, OG, Michigan; (208)
Jake Hanson, C, Oregon; (209)
Simon Stepaniak, OG, Indiana.



» Round 7: (236)
Vernon Scott, DB, TCU; (242)
Jonathan Garvin, Edge, Miami (Fla.).

FILICE: Palace intrigue in Titletown!

By now, you’ve heard all the juicy anecdotes surrounding Green Bay’s stunning, STOP-THE-PRESSES selection of Love. But let’s quickly review, because the drama here runs
thick:

— On draft day,
Aaron Rodgers shared his Round 1 wishes with former punter/current sports talker Pat McAfee: “We haven’t picked a skill player in the first round in 15 years,
so that would be kind of cool.” The
Packers responded by … trading up to draft his eventual replacement.


— Of Rodgers’ 364 career touchdown passes, exactly one
has landed in the hands of a first-round pick. (
A 1-yard toss this past December to
Marcedes Lewis, a former first-round pick
of the Jacksonville Jaguars.)


— Supreme
Packers scribe Bob McGinn offered his thoughts on the sitch in
a piece on The Athletic after the draft:
Public niceties aside, my sense is (head coach Matt) LaFleur, fresh from a terrific 13-3 baptismal season, simply had enough of Rodgers’ act and wanted to change the narrative. With a first-round talent on the roster, the Packers would gain leverage with their imperial quarterback and his passive-aggressive style.


— Supreme
Packers icon Brett Favre offered his thoughts on the sitch in an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show after a conversation with Rodgers: ”
Tom Brady, and myself, Joe Montana and Peyton Manning, just to name a few, finished their career elsewhere. … I think you’re going to see that trend more and more, and
I think Aaron will finish somewhere else.”

Well alright! Now, to Rodgers’ credit, Love said the two-time league MVP reached out to him on Friday to offer congratulations. Good on Rodgers. But you have to imagine he’s absolutely livid right now — and it’s hard to blame him. The Pack spent their second-round pick on a hulking power back and their third-rounder on an H-back, while failing to snag a single receiver in a draft class that’s purportedly historically deep at the position. Is Green Bay becoming … a run-first operation? When you add everything up, it’s impossible not to be utterly obsessed with the …

Palace intrigue in Titletown!

Follow Gennaro Filice on Twitter @GennaroFilice.

Follow Dan Parr on Twitter @TheDan_Parr.



































































































































































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Draft Lottery

2020 NBA Draft Lottery and combine indefinitely suspended due to coronavirus pandemic – CBS Sports

The NBA has delayed the upcoming NBA Draft Lottery and NBA Draft Combine indefinitely, according to a release from the league.

The two events that annually serve as the true beginning of draft season were scheduled to take place in Chicago this month, but in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic that has overtaken the nation, holding such events simply is not safe. Those events are not the only ones in danger, though. The NBA was already reportedly considering delaying the actual draft, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, it is expected that it will be done eventually. 

Functionally, it almost has to be given these delays. The NBA cannot hold a draft without establishing a draft order, and the lottery is their method of doing so. Theoretically, they could simply hold the lottery as late as draft day itself, but doing so would give teams almost no time to prepare or negotiate trades. As far as the combine goes, the amount of travel and physical contact necessary for it to be held as it normally would is simply not feasible given current social distancing guidelines. 

With the season currently in a holding pattern since its mid-March suspension, the draft is likely in similar purgatory. Ideally, it would be held immediately after the end of an eventually-concluded season as it typically is, but until the NBA establishes a new timeline, such a prediction would be irresponsible. Assuming teams have no way of working out prospects in person, the league will have to establish a new infrastructure for prospect evaluation. 

Theoretically, this is possible. The NFL recently held its draft as scheduled, and while it was fortunate enough to at least have part of its offseason to conduct typical workouts and a combine, plenty of the pre-draft period was handled remotely. The NBA is in a position in which it may have to do the same. There is no telling when this pandemic will end or even weaken, and that uncertainty is going to force the league into a number of uncomfortable positions. Altering schedules was an inevitability. The league simply made it official today. 

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Draft Patriots

Patriots draft pick Justin Rohrwasser vows to remove tattoo associated with controversial group – Fox News

New England Patriots draft pick Justin Rohrwasser said Monday he is going to remove a tattoo associated with a so-called anti-government group.

Rohrwasser told CBS Boston the tattoo, linked to The Three Percenters, doesn’t represent who he is and that he got it when he was 18. He said he didn’t know what the ink symbolized before he got drafted over the weekend.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: EACH NFL DRAFT 2020 SELECTION

“I went on to Twitter and I saw the tweet. I saw that someone had taken a picture of me and put it with my tattoo and linking me to some horrific events, you know, obviously Charlottesville and these horrible things,” he told the station, adding that it never came up when he played at Marshall University.

Rohrwasser initially said he was going to cover up the tattoo, but changed course over the last few days.

“As soon as I saw what it was linked to on Saturday, it was exactly that time I knew I had to get it totally taken off my body. I said cover it up [to reporters], but I want to get it removed from my body. It’s shameful that I had it on there ignorantly,” he said.

NFL DRAFT 2020: GRADING EVERY TEAM’S INCOMING CLASS

Justin Rohrwasser was taken in the fifth round on Saturday. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Justin Rohrwasser was taken in the fifth round on Saturday. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

“I’m sorry for all my [friends and] family that have to defend me. Putting them in that compromising position is one of the biggest regrets I’ll ever have, so to them, I’m sorry. I’m going to learn from this. No matter what, it’s not who I am, hopefully you’ll all find that out.”

Last year, Rohrwasser’s told The Herd Zone his tattoos were “all random.”

Rohrwasser, a fifth-round draft pick, said Saturday the Patriots are getting a guy who is a “hard worker and somebody who is going to chase after the best version of themselves and a good teammate.”

CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM

He hit 85.7 percent of his field goals last season at Marshall.

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Draft Minnesota

2020 NFL Draft: The Minnesota Vikings and Pick #22 – Daily Norseman

With the 2020 NFL Draft less than a week away, I wanted to carry over a bit of our history series for regular season games and take a look at who the Minnesota Vikings have selected throughout their history with the same picks they currently hold in the 2020 NFL Draft. We’ll start with the first selection they have at #22 overall, the pick they acquired from the Buffalo Bills in the trade for Stefon Diggs.

This is also going to be one of the easier ones to do, as the Vikings have only selected at pick #22 once in team history. The guy they got at that pick, however, turned out to be a pretty good one.

Pick #22 is where the Vikings acquired the services of Florida wide receiver Percy Harvin in the 2009 NFL Draft. Harvin was the fourth wide receiver off the board that year, behind Darrius Heyward-Bey (#7), Michael Crabtree (#10), and Jeremy Maclin (#18).

Harvin made an impact for the Vikings immediately, as he was the recipient of Brett Favre’s first touchdown pass as a Viking, a 6-yard score in Minnesota’s season-opening rout of the Cleveland Browns. He also had a big 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the “Metrodome Miracle” win over the San Francisco 49ers, making him the first player in Vikings history to score touchdowns in each of his first three career games.

Harvin would go on to win the Rookie of the Year Award for his performance in 2009, a season that saw him catch 60 passes for 790 yards and six scores and add in two kick return touchdowns.

Harvin would play four seasons with the Vikings, with his final season cut short by an ankle injury. He was then traded to the Seattle Seahawks during the 2013 offseason for a 2013 first-round pick, a 2013 seventh-round pick, and a 2014 third-round pick. He finished his career with the Vikings with the most kick return touchdowns in team history with five, a mark that was later tied by both Cordarrelle Patterson and Marcus Sherels. He accounted for 29 touchdowns in his four seasons in purple.

Can the Vikings get a player of Harvin’s caliber at #22 in the 2020 NFL Draft? It certainly would be nice if they could.

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Draft McGinn's

McGinn’s NFL Draft Series: Scouts on top quarterbacks – The Athletic

This is the 36th year Bob McGinn has written an NFL Draft Series. Previously, it appeared in the Green Bay Press-Gazette (1985-’91), the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (1992-’17) and BobMcGinnFootball.com (2018-’19). Through 2014, scouts often were quoted by name. The series reluctantly adopted an all-anonymous format in 2015 at the request of most scouts.

This is the third of our nine-part series. Today, we dive into quarterbacks. You can find offensive linemen here and wide receivers and tight ends here. 

On a scale of 1 to 10, what would be your level of concern regarding Tua Tagovailoa’s injury history?

A total of 18 executives in personnel were asked that question over the last three weeks, and their responses indicated deep-seated worry about the short- and long-term future for the left-handed quarterback from Alabama.

With 10 as the high end of the scale, the average for the panel was 7.6. There were three 10’s,…

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