7:30 AM ET
Todd McShayESPN Senior Writer
- 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.
FIVE TEAMS THAT IMMEDIATELY IMPROVED
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.