Written by Bobby Greco
With the 1st round of the virtual NFL Draft 2020 officially in the books, it’s time to figure out who made strides in improving their team and who left us scratching our heads. First though congratulations to everyone involved in this year's virtual draft, I would say you pulled it off pretty flawlessly. Also well done Commissioner Goodell and Budweiser for the #BooTheCommish campaign, what a great idea that was. Now to the draft. The beginning of the draft was pretty uneventful, as teams did what was expected. Then midway through things started to pick up. Though there wasn’t much shuffling around as far as trades go, there were a lot of surprising picks. Which if you ask me, is going to lead to a wild day 2. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, let’s first take a deeper look into round 1.
L.A. Chargers, Pick 6 Justin Herbert(QB), Pick 23 Kenneth Murray(LB): The Chargers really had the best round by drafting the hopeful future of the franchise and trading back into the round to get a stud middle linebacker. Though I am not the biggest fan of Herbert, he is extremely smart and he doesn’t need to be the starter this season. That should really help develop into a more accurate passer and allow him to get all the kinks out of his game. Murray will be an instant starter, he is a big physical LB who brings a real toughness to an already good front seven. He is a do it all linebacker too and the best pure linebacker in the draft.
Dallas Cowboys, Pick 17 CeeDee Lamb(WR): Dallas didn’t really fill a need here, but I think they had one of the best picks because of the impact it made. Yes, Dallas is now going to have a very tough offense to stop, but this pick has repercussions for the NFC East as a whole. I had Lamb ranked as my number 1 WR, so the fact he was still there at 17, he was just too good to pass up. Picking Lamb also took him away from every other team in their division and WR is a major need for all of them. I know this is the deepest draft class in a long time and there will be good options going forward, but improving your team and hurting the rest of your division is an instant winner for me.
Arizona Cardinals, Pick 8 Isaiah Simmons(LB): The Cardinals got a huge win with Simmons falling into their lap. I personally think Simmons is the best defensive player in this draft, even better than Chase Young and the fact he was still there at number 8 is truly shocking. Arizona is now getting the centerpiece of their defense for the foreseeable future and the type of player who instantly makes them better, he should have the kind of impact Tremaine Edmunds made for the Bills two years ago. Simmons though is even better than Edmunds was, so the Cards should be celebrating for sure. Simmons is not just a great player, he is a great leader too and should take control of the defense pretty quickly.
Note: I know many people may want to put Miami in here and they had a good 1st round, but I don’t think they are winners because I think they missed good opportunities with their 2nd and 3rd picks.
Las Vegas Raiders, Pick 12 Henry Ruggs III(WR), Pick 19 Damon Arnette(CB): Vegas had a chance to make a really big splash last night, but instead kind of belly-flopped. Even though I think they drafted two big needs for them, they just chose questionable players. I actually like Ruggs as a player, I just don’t think he fits what the Raiders need. Ruggs has the potential to be the next Tyreek Hill, but it’s not enough to make him the first receiver off the board, especially because the Raiders need a true number 1 WR. People like Lamb, or Jeudy for instance. As far as Arnette goes, that was a huge miss for me. He wasn’t even a top 5 corner in my opinion and there were much better options on the board, not only at CB either, Las Vegas had the chance to get one of the top LBs too. After such a good draft last season, the Raiders brain trust really disappointed last night.
Philadelphia Eagles, Pick 21 Jalen Reagor(WR): Again it’s not the position I have a problem with, it’s the player taken. Reagor is a good player, but there were and still are better receivers there. Honestly, this seems like Nelson Agholor all over again. He is super athletic and a big-play threat, but doesn’t have good ball skills and he’s not the most competitive player. Philly is a team that has had a lot of receiving issues the last couple years and they need a go-to guy every play, Reagor just isn’t that guy. Especially when there were people Justin Jefferson and Brandon Aiyuk still there for the taking.
Overall it was a pretty good round and I can’t complain too much, so I won’t. There were a couple more picks I didn’t like, but they were ones I understood. With all that being said, I can’t wait to see what night 2 has in store for us.