Redrafting the Top 10 picks of the 2010 NFL Draft

The 2010 NFL Draft Class was known for a very disappointing group of quarterbacks and impressive defensive depth. We re-drafted the top 10 picks of that draft class, and found that there were some accuracies, but we saw some movement, with one player moving up from the fourth round and into the top ten.

These picks were made assuming the team would generally still want to address the same position – hence why sixth-rounder Antonio Brown doesn’t make the list, as there were no receivers taken until pick #22 in 2010. If there was not a suitable first round draft pick within a certain position, the pick was made taking into account the best available players and/or their next biggest need. Did your team make a mistake, or did they correctly identify the pick?

1. St. Louis Rams – Earl Thomas (Original Pick: Sam Bradford)
Bradford did end up being the best quarterback of the 2010 draft, but that wasn’t saying much, as the class was filled with busts at the position. Tim Tebow lit things up for a season, but he quickly fizzled. Bradford won 18 games over parts of five seasons for the Rams and then bounced around to three other teams, but he hasn’t played since 2018. So despite the Rams desperately needing a quarterback, there simply wasn’t one worth taking with the first overall pick. So they’ll address their next biggest need in the secondary with Texas defensive back Earl Thomas (don’t mind the recent headlines). Earl Thomas has been a staple of the Seattle secondary, which is unfortunate for the division rival Rams, who now face him twice a year rather than having them as their defensive cornerstone. 

2. Detroit Lions – Ndamukong Suh (Original Pick: Suh)
The Lions made the right choice in talent by picking Suh, who to this point has been the best defensive tackle of this very solid draft class. Character wise is a different question, but if we’re looking at on field production, taking the Nebraska star here was the right pick. 

3.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Geno Atkins (Original Pick: Gerald McCoy)
McCoy was a great pick, but Atkins competes for Suh for being the best defensive tackle of this class. He was an absolute steal in the fourth round for the Bengals, so he jumps up to third overall in this redraft. McCoy is good – Atkins is better. 

4. Washington Redskins – Trent Williams (Original Pick: Williams)
Best tackle in the draft class, and he’s played 120 games with the ‘Skins. Solid franchise tackle picked up at #4 here. 

5. Kansas City Chiefs – Devin McCourty (Original Pick: Eric Berry)
This isn’t much against Berry, who was a spectacular asset for Kansas City, but McCourty is still  playing, and has been a franchise player for the New England Patriots. Obviously due to factors outside his control, Berry was unable to play consistently after 2016, and this was a deep class of defensive backs, so the Cheifs go with McCourty here at 5th overall. 

6. Seattle Seahawks – Russell Okung (Original Pick: Okung)
By overall value, Okung was the right pick for the Seahawks in this situation – the tough pill to swallow for Seattle fans is that Okung developed consistency after leaving the Legion of Boom. His best three-year stretch was from 2016-2018 with the Broncos and Chargers, but the Seahwaks needed a tackle and picking up the Oklahoma State product was a great move, even if didn’t work out perfectly. 

7. Cleveland Browns – Joe Haden (Original Pick: Haden)
A lot of the teams in first round did get their pick right, as Haden was a great selection  – unfortunately for the Browns, he has had a career resurgence with division rival Pittsburgh. However, Haden gave the Browns probably the two best seasons of his career in 2013-2014, and with a lot of teams seeking secondary help, he’s solid value at seventh overall, with McCourty and Thomas off the board. 

8. Oakland Raiders – Sean Lee (Original Pick: Rolando McClain)
Sean Lee has become a franchise linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, but at the time, the Penn State product was not considered one of the top five at his position in his class. Instead, the Raiders went with McClain, whose career was over in four years. Outside of some injury problems, Sean Lee has been a huge asset for Dallas, and Oakland would love to get this one back. 

9. Buffalo Bills – C.J. Spiller (Original Pick: Spiller)
Running backs don’t have a long shelf life in the NFL, so Spiller’s seven-year career, mostly spent with Buffalo, is very solid, and he was the best back in a pretty shaky group in this 2010 draft. The Bills wanted help in the backfield, and Spiller, drafted out of Clemson before they became Goliaths in college football, gave the Bills his three best seasons from 2011-2013, including a Pro-Bowl effort in 2012. 

10. Jacksonville Jaguars – Gerald McCoy (Original Pick: Tyson Alualu) 

Alualu was a solid, if unspectacular, defensive tackle for the Jaguars, and he is still playing today, but as mentioned previously, this was a ridiculously deep class of defensive tackles. McCoy was originally taken third overall, but with the true value of Geno Atkins revealed, he’s here for the taking with the tenth pick. A six-time Pro-Bowler and one time All-Pro, McCoy has been a defensive stalwart for the Buccaneers, and he is simply the superior pick to Alualu, who has never had a Pro-Bowl season despite his impressive longevity.

The Ultimate 2020 NFL Draft

Look everyone wants to have the perfect NFL Draft, but it never works out that way. There are busts, late round steals, and a variety of unpredictable circumstances that ruin everyone’s draft plans. That being said, this article will try to create the ultimate 7-round draft, identifying the best value pick in each round. We will also include a For the purpose of this draft, let’s just assume the team making this draft has dire needs at every position, and that they can pick anywhere in the round. Because why not, it’s fun.

Round 1 – Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State
For my first pick, I’m going with the most dominant player in the draft. Tough call between him and the versatile Isaiah Simmons, but Young just disrupts the game in a way I’ve never seen. I’ve seen top ranked edge rushers like the Bosa brothers and Josh Allen tear up the NFL early in their careers, and that’s why I’m picking Young.

Round 2 – D’Andre Swift, Running Back, Georgia
I need the best back in the draft, and Swift somehow is still available hear in the second round, so Swift becomes the first piece of my offense. Easy pick.

Round 3 – Josh Jones, Offensive Tackle, Houston
I would normally prioritize the O-line earlier, but with Jones slipping into the third round, I felt I could wait a little bit. With Andrew Thomas, Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills Jr., and Mekhi Becton gone early in the first round, I’m grabbing Jones hear for good value.

Round 4 – Jacob Eason, Quarterback, Washington
If I’m rebuilding my franchise, I need a quarterback, a fickle position at best. That’s why I didn’t go for Burrow, Tua, or Herbert in the first round, and so I’m going with a physical specimen in Eason. In the fourth round, to get a guy with a lot of untapped potential seems like a solid pick.

Round 5 – Bryce Hall, Cornerback, Virginia
Back to the defense, and I’m headed for the secondary. Bryce Hall was a potential day 2 pick, so I’m excited with this fifth-round pick-up. Hall was part of a stingy Virginia defense, and he’s most definitely the best cornerback available.

Round 6 – Alohi Giman, Safety, Notre Dame
This was the toughest round for me, as I wanted to find a linebacker, but I just struggled to find elite value at the position, and I think the ball-hawking Gilman provides me with some interesting talent in the secondary, and he’s been a leader for a tough Notre Dame defense, so he will be a good late-round addition.

Round 7 – KJ Hill, Wide Receiver, Ohio State
Absolute steal here. My team needs a big time receiver to help us, but with such a deep receiver class, I waited until the 7th round and found a gem in Hill, a playmaker out of Ohio State.

Undrafted Free Agent – Hunter Bryant, Tight End, Washington

I had bigger priorites in the second and third round, when Cole Kmet and Adam Trautman, the top two tight ends on my board, were picked, and I just did not feel like I was getting a ton of value, until I found Bryant still hanging around after the conclusion of my seven round draft. Easy pickup for me here, as the Washington tight end played with Eason, and their connection could be interesting for my rebuilding team.

How would your draft have gone? Email us at collegetalking@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter @college_talking to let us know!

2020 NFL Draft Ratings and Rankings, 8-1: Bengals and Jaguars near the top, but who’s #1?

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and while there will still be flurries of signings of undrafted free agents, it’s time to hand out the grades for who nailed the draft, and who is left with more questions than answers. Here are my official draft rankings and ratings, from worst to first. Here are my top eight!
Note: Especially in the top eight, the ‘worst’ pick was usually just a position I felt didn’t need to be addressed as soon as it was. It very rarely has anything to do with the player, unless there was a clear steal available that the team passed on.

 8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Rating 67 out of 100)
Best Pick: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa (Round 1, Pick 13)
Worst Pick: Tyler Johnson WR, (Round 5, Pick 16)
1-Sentence Analysis: I was confused why the Bucs traded up one spot in the first round to get Wirfs, who the 49ers probably weren’t targeting, but they still took the right guy there, and they filled most of their needs, really nailing their first three picks in my opinion, but I would have liked them to the defensive tackle position earlier, as adding a 5th-round receiver to the strongest part of their team does little to improve their chances of winning right away. 

7. Houston Texans (Rating 68 out of 100)
Best Pick: Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU (Round 2, Pick 8)
Worst Pick: John Reid, CB, Penn State (Round 4, Pick 35)
1-Sentence Analysis: I’ll stand up for Bill O’Brien here, as I actually didn’t think Houston bombed the draft like many say they did, picking up a great talent in Blacklock, a late-round flier at receiver Isaiah Coulter, and some decent value in the trenches to both adequately fill needs and build for the future, although they probably could have done better at cornerback, as Virginia’s Bryce Hall was still available. 

6. Miami Dolphins (Rating 72 out of 100)
Best Pick: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama (Round 2, Pick 24)
Worst Pick: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn (Round 1, Pick 30)
1-Sentence Analysis: Miami was superb with attention to detail, filling lots of little holes – they even added a really good long snapper to shore up their special teams – with pretty good value, adding intriguing prospects for much of the draft, although I think I would have preferred to see Miami get a playmaker cornerback with some bigger upside with their first round pick. 

5. Baltimore Ravens (78 out of 100)
Best Pick: Patrick Queen, ILB, LSU (Round 1, Pick 28)
Worst Pick: Tyre Phillips, OT, Mississippi State (Round 3, Pick 42)
1-Sentence Analysis: The Ravens are entering a championship-or-bust window, and they excelled in picking up guys that look NFL-ready, securing huge steals in Queen, and running back JK Dobbins, and several others, filling most of their needs – Phillips is a great developmental pick, he just seemed to fit outside the ‘win-now’ mode Baltimore is in, considering they spent a third-rounder on him. 

4. Cincinnati Bengals (81 out of 100)
Best Pick: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson (Round 2, Pick 1)
Worst Pick: Khalid Kareem, DE, Notre Dame (Round 5, Pick 1)
1-Sentence Analysis: Adding Higgins to give Burrow an immediate weapon was a stroke of genius, and the Bengals did a great job filling needs and finding great value along the way, as Kareem gets the nod as ‘worst pick’ largely because he, in my opinion, has the lowest ceiling, but he could still be a decent impact player for the Bengals. 

3. Jacksonville Jaguars (82 out of 100)
Best Pick: K’Lavon Chaisson (Round 1, Pick 20)
Worst Pick: Laviska Shenault Jr (Round 2, Pick 10)
1-Sentence Analysis: Jacksonville came in with a wealth of draft picks and they filled most of their major needs, making a great call on Chaisson to fill a hole at linebacker in the first round, getting great value at receiver in Collin Johnson in the fifth round, grabbing a sixth-round quarterback to keep some competition for Gardner Minshew, and the only thing I would have liked to see is prioritizing a tight end selection earlier than the 6th round (Cole Kmet was available when they took Shenault).

2. Arizona Cardinals (89 out of 100)
Best Pick: Josh Jones, OT, Houston (Round 3, Pick 8)
Worst Pick: Evan Weaver, ILB, California (Round 6, Pick 23)
1-Sentence Analysis: Arizona was able to surprisingly grab defensive swiss-army-knife Isaiah Simmons with the eighth overall pick, and despite not picking until the third round, got amazing value in Jones while filling their biggest need, and they went on to add a pair of intriguing defensive tackles that should fill a hole for the Cardinals, as, all-in-all, my only minor complaint is their refusal to go get another wide receiver for Kyler Murray, but their earlier trade for DeAndre Hopkins helps alleviate that grievance.

1. Minnesota Vikings (91 out of 100)
Best Pick: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU (Round 1, Pick 22)
Worst Pick: Cameron Dantzler, CB, Mississippi State (Round 3, Pick 25)
1-Sentence Analysis: The Vikings had 14 draft picks and did well to cover all their needs, getting a steal at receiver in Jefferson, trading back and getting a good corner in Jeff Gladney, another major steal at offensive tackle in Ezra Cleveland, and that was just the start of an excellent weekend for Minnesota, whose biggest (and very minor) regret may be taking two cornerbacks in their first four picks, but you can still argue it was a position of need, and Dantzler is a very good prospect.

2020 NFL Draft Ratings and Rankings, 16-9: Was Carolina’s all-defense draft the right move?

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and while there will still be flurries of signings of undrafted free agents, it’s time to hand out the grades for who nailed the draft, and who is left with more questions than answers. Here are my official draft rankings and ratings, from worst to first. 

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (54 out of 100)
Best Pick: Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame (Round 2, Pick 17)
Worst Pick: Kevin Dotson, OG, Louisiana (Round 4, Pick 29)
1-Sentence Analysis: Pittsburgh nailed it early, addressing two of their biggest needs at receiver and outside lineback in their first two picks, but the rest of their draft was a bit sketchy, as they didn’t grab a tight end, or a quarterback to groom in a division that has Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, and Baker Mayfield. 

15. New York Jets (55 out of 100)

Best Pick: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor (Round 2, Pick 27)
Worst Pick: James Morgan, QB, Florida International (Round 4, Pick 19)

1-Sentence Analysis: The Jets passed on their pick of the litter from this year’s receiver class to get a monster in Mekhi Becton, and they still stole Mims off the board late in the second round, but things got confusing on day 3, when the Jets took a quarterback despite a promising Darnold under center, and they failed to draft any linebackers, most definitely a need for a New York team in an AFC East that’s there for the taking. 

14. Philadelphia Eagles (58 out of 100)
Best Pick: Davion Taylor, OLB, Colorado (Round 3, Pick 39)
Worst Pick: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU (Round 1, Pick 21)
1-Sentence Analysis: CeeDee Lamb came within four spots of the Eagles, but Philly didn’t make a move to trade up and watched him fall to the Cowboys, and then they grabbed Reagor, who I didn’t think was the best available by any means, but the Eagles redeemed themselves with a great pick in Jalen Hurts and an intriguing selection of Taylor, whose speed and versatility can make an immediate impact in their defense. 

13. Los Angeles Chargers (61 out of 100)
Best Pick: K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State (Round 7, Pick 6)
Worst Pick: Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame (Round 6, Pick 7)
1-Sentence Analysis: Anyone who watched our draft preview knows I mentioned Hill as a late round steal possibility so I love the move to get him in the seventh, pairing him up with Justin Herbert, but defensively, I thought the Chargers added great value in Kenneth Murray, but I’m not sure Alohi Gilman fits into their scheme athletically despite his great ball skills, and I would have liked to see LA pick up a cornerback to improve their grade.
12. Carolina Panthers (62 out of 100)
Best Pick: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn (Round 1, Pick 7)
Worst Pick: Kenny Robinson, S, West Virginia (Round 5, Pick 6)
1 Sentence Analysis: Matt Rhule didn’t mess around, drafting strictly on the defensive side, and I thought he killed it early with Brown, Yetur Gross-Matos, and Jeremy Chinn, but I felt that when he spent four of his final five picks in the secondary, he neglected to address needs at linebacker, which will need to be filled quickly for Carolina to compete in a division with Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees. 

11. Dallas Cowboys (65 out of 100)
Best Pick: Trevon Diggs, Cornerback, Alabama (Round 2, Pick 19)
Worst Pick: Reggie Robinson III, Cornerback, Tulsa (Round 4, Pick 17)
1-Sentence Analysis: Most people gave Dallas heaping praise on their draft, and I found it to be a good draft, but a failure to address a need at safety, when there was good value available, and while taking CeeDee Lamb kept him away from Philadelphia, it stopped Dallas from getting an impact player on the defensive line, which I believe should have been prioritized earlier given the Cowboys’ surplus of offense. 

10. Las Vegas Raiders (66 out of 100)
Best Pick: Lynn Bowden, WR, Kentucky (Round 3, Pick 16)
Worst Pick: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State (Round 1, Pick 19)
1-Sentence Analysis: I’m a little higher on the Raiders’ draft than most, as I think Jon Gruden realized that the only way to beat the Chiefs is to just go blow-for-blow with them on offense, and he loaded up quarterback Derek Carr with an arsenal of weapons, including the speedy Henry Ruggs, swiss-army-knife Lynn Bowden, and Bryan Edwards of South Carolina, covering up some deficiencies in his defensive selections, namely picking Arnette in the first round and not drafting a linebacker. 

9. Denver Broncos (67 out of 100)
Best Pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama (Round 1, Pick 15)Worst Pick: Michael Ojemudia, CB, Iowa (Round 3, Pick 13)
1-Sentence Analysis: Drew Lock was smiling as he was supplied a bevy of weapons from the draft, and I thought, despite potentially reaching for the very athletic Ojemudia in the third round, Denver did a good job getting value in later rounds, recognizing that while they might make a playoff push this year, their real window to win probably starts closer to next year.

Aidan Thomas’s 2020 NFL Draft 3 Winners and Losers: Where does Jake Fromm go from here?

Winners 

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers absolutely killed this draft, picking up guys that I think could be high-impact players at every stage of the draft, and that was without a pick on Day 2. Without trading up, LA snared Justin Herbert at pick #6, a QB who many consider to be the most pro-ready. They traded up for a second first-round pick, and they grabbed Kenneth Murray, potentially the best linebacker in the class. Then, they picked up UCLA running back Joshua Kelley, who has good speed and great potential as a pass-catching back, a do-it-all swiss army knife in Virginia receiver Joe Reed, Notre Dame safety Alohi Gilman – a gritty defender with great ball skills –  and finally a complete and utter steal in KJ Hill out of Ohio State. Every single one of these players, I believe, can make LA’s 53-man roster. Justin Herbert tossing to Keenan Alllen, Mike Williams, and KJ Hill. Joe Reed returning kickoffs – Austin Ekeler working with Josh Kelley at running back, Alohi Gilman eventually slotting into the secondary or a key special teams role, and Murray rushing inside with Joey Bosa coming from the edge? Chargers aren’t going to be picking 6th again for a while

LOSERS

Jake Fromm

I really didn’t understand Fromm’s decision to go pro this year. He had no foreseeable challenger for his job at Georgia, and he was going to have a chance to be one of the best QBs in the SEC, after playing second fiddle to Tua and Burrow. He might even have chased a national championship. Instead he threw himself into a quarterback draft class that was loaded at the top as a middling prospect. Fromm was the 8th quarterback off the board, and he went in the 5th round to Buffalo, where Josh Allen is locked in at quarterback for the foreseeable future. I don’t see Fromm challenging the more physically talented and mobile Allen for the #1 job, and he’s not the type of athlete you can throw into special packages like you could with Jalen Hurts, so Fromm may just find himself on the bench for a long time to come. 

WINNERS

Division II Football

It’s becoming increasingly rare for DII prospects to be high selections in the draft, as Kyle Dugger out Lenoir-Rhyne became the first to be selected in the first three rounds of the draft since 2006 (according to Boston.com), taken off the draft board at 37th overall by the New England Patriots. It’s just one player, but it’s huge for Division II to prove they can still produce elite prospects, as retaining top players can be a problem for players seeking a professional future. 

LOSERS
Aaron Rodgers/Green Bay Packers

I don’t know what the Packers were doing in this draft. General Manager Brian Gutekunst said before the draft that while the receiver class was deep, he wasn’t just going to hope someone fell into their laps late, adding that he “didn’t expect us to wait around”. Aaron Rodgers mentioned it ‘would be nice’ for the Packers to draft a skill position player in the first round, something they haven’t done in 15 years. Not only did Green Bay not draft a receiver, their first two picks were spent on Jordan Love, a quarterback who will sit behind Rodgers for a few years, and AJ Dillon, who while a great runner, joins a crowded backfield. They gave Rodgers one weapon in the passing game, taking tight end Josiah Deguara. Deguara is good, but Green Bay left arguably the second best tight end in the class, Dayton’s Adam Trautman, on the board with this pick. With a closing window to win and a Hall of Fame quarterback asking for more weapons, Green Bay didn’t deliver, and now they will struggle to remain even close to the top of the cutthroat NFC.

WINNERS
Jacob Eason

Look, Eason probably wasn’t thrilled about slipping all the way into the middle of the fourth round, but he found his way into a near-perfect situation. The Washington and former Georgia signal-caller was selected by the Indianapolis Colts, where he finds himself in a quarterback room with Philip Rivers and Jacoby Brissett. Their selection of Eason likely signifies the exit of the latter, or at very least, gives the fourth-rounder a chance to battle it out for the backup job. That part is under his control, at which point he could be the backup to Rivers, learning under an experienced starter. Rivers is under contract for just a year, so Eason, if he impresses, could have a chance to take the reigns within a year. Consider that to the situation of Fromm, and it’s a dream. Eason can just make his slip in the draft a chip on his shoulder and convert that frustration into proving himself worthy of becoming Rivers’ heir apparent in Indianapolis.

Losers
Dayton
Alright this one’s a little strange, and it can more universally be applied to small-name football schools. Dayton tight end Adam Trautman was ranked as the 2nd best tight end on the board, and he was regarded as a potential second-round pick. It largely depended on when Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet was taken, and after Kmet departed the board for the Chicago Bears early in the second round, Trautman seemed in a good spot. Yet Trautman watched three more tight ends get selected, before he finally heard his name called at the very end of the third round by the New Orleans Saints. You can call Dayton a winner for getting their first draft pick in 43 years, but the reality is Trautman should have gone way before he did, and the selection of tight ends from bigger football schools like UCLA, Virginia Tech, and Cincinnati just showed a lack of trust from NFL teams in picking up Trautman. For small schools like Dayton looking to compete against bigger name schools, it’s a tough recruiting blow to see such a slide from their best player since the 1970s.

2020 NFL Draft Rankings and Ratings, 24-17: Should Detroit have gone for a quarterback?

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and while there will still be flurries of signings of undrafted free agents, it’s time to hand out the grades for who nailed the draft, and who is left with more questions than answers. Here are my official draft rankings and ratings, from worst to first. Here are teams 17-24 in our rankings:

24. Tennessee Titans (43 out of 100)
Best Pick: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia (Round 1, Pick 29)

Worst Pick: Darrynton Evans, RB, Appalachian State (Round 3, Pick 29)

1-Sentence Analysis: Evans is really a casualty here as he’s a decent fit in Tennessee, but it seems to me that the Titans could have done better in addressing major needs at outside linebacker, or adding a weapon at tight end for Ryan Tannehill to utilize – not a bad draft, I’m just left with some questions about Mike Vrabel’s plans. 

23. Seattle Seahawks (47 out of 100)
Best Pick: Darrell Taylor, DE, Tennessee (Round 2, Pick 16)
Worst Pick: Jordyn Brooks, OLB, Texas Tech (Round 1, Pick 27)
1-Sentence Analysis: Maybe the Seahawks know something we don’t, but it seems like they could’ve gotten Brooks in the third round and definitely in the second, but at least their trade up in the second round netted them Taylor, addressing a big-time need at defensive end. 

22. Buffalo Bills (49 out of 100)
Best Pick: AJ Epenesa, DE, Iowa (Round 2, Pick 22)
Worst Pick: Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF (Round 4, Pick 22)

1-Sentence Analysis: A lot of people thought Buffalo had a good draft, but I just feel like after two solid value picks in Epenesa and Zach Moss, it was pretty mediocre for the Bills, who added multiple receivers to an already-strong receiving core, added a quarterback they simply don’t need and likely won’t play, and failed to grab any kind of impact player on defense after Epenesa, particularly at OLB. 

21. New York Giants (49 out of 100)
Best Pick: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama (Round 2, Pick 4)
Worst Pick: Matt Peart, OT, UConn (Round 3, Pick 35)
1-Sentence Analysis: The Giants were expected to go after an offensive tackle but to go for two in three rounds, and taking Andrew Thomas over Mekhi Becton, Jedrick Wills, and Tristan Wirfs, seemed unnecessary and questionable given their various holes, especially at the linebacker position. 

20. Chicago Bears (50 out of 100)
Best Pick: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame (Round 2, Pick 11)
Worst Pick: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah (Round 2, Pick 18)
1-Sentence Analysis: This isn’t a knock against Johnson, who is a second round talent, but it seems like after a great first pick in Kmet, the Bears would have been better to use their second and final pick of the first two days to address a more prominent need than adding cornerback depth.
19. Detroit Lions (50 out of 100)
Best Pick: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State (Round 1, Pick 3)
Worst Pick: Logan Stenberg, OG, Kentucky (Round 4, Pick 15)
1-Sentence Analysis: I thought Detroit was rolling early with Okudah, Swift, and Okwara, and then after grabbing a guard in Jonah Jackson, I thought Detroit made a significant error with their second fourth round pick, where I believe drafting a quarterback, given their clear issues behind Stafford, should have been done, especially with Jacob Eason still on the board, instead of picking up another guard. 18. Los Angeles Rams(51 out of 100)
Best Pick: Terrell Lewis, OLB, Alabama (Round 3, Pick 20)
Worst Pick: Van Jefferson, WR, Florida (Round 2, Pick 25)
1-Sentence Analysis: After no Day 1 picks, the Rams largely did a good job addressing needs with great value picks on day 2, but I didn’t like spending a second round pick on a wide receiver in general, given their two returning 1000-yard receivers and need for improvements at the guard position.
17. Cleveland Browns (51 out of 100)
Best Pick: Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama (Round 1, Pick 10)
Worst Pick: Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic (Round 4, Pick 9)
1-Sentence Analysis: I think Cleveland did a great job getting value with each pick, but I also think they could have done better to address bigger needs, as I think going best available only goes so far when you have playoff aspirations, which the Browns undoubtedly do.

NFL Draft Rankings and Ratings, 32-25: Saints bring up the rear in 2020 NFL Draft

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and while there will still be flurries of signings of undrafted free agents, it’s time to hand out the grades for who nailed the draft, and who is left with more questions than answers. Note: The worst pick noted by each team is very rarely an indication of the player, but rather the time of the draft, alternatives available at the time of the pick, or fit with the team that picked them.
Here are my official draft rankings and ratings, from worst to first. Here are teams 32-25 in the rankings:

32. New Orlean Saints (17 out of 100)
Best Pick: Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton (Round 3, Pick 41) 
Worst Move: Losing almost all Day 3 draft capital
1-sentence analysis: With a defense that needed some help, the Saints put three out of four picks into their offense, trading away virtually every remaining pick to jump up and grab Trautman, who, while good, will not assist New Orleans’ patchy secondary. 

31. San Francisco 49ers (20 out of 100)
Best Pick: Colton McKivitz, OT, West Virginia (Round 5, Pick 9)
Worst Pick: Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina (Round 1, 14)
1-sentence analysis: Kinlaw is a beast, but so was DeForest Buckner who they traded to get the pick, leading the 49ers to replace a sure thing with a less sure thing, all while missing out on their pick of any of the three elite

30. Washington Redskins (34 out of 100)
Best Pick: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State (Round 1, Pick 2)
Worst Pick: Antonio Gibson, WR, Memphis (Round 3, Pick 2)
1-sentence analysis: The Redskins came in needing to address their defense, and although they got an elite talent in Young, they drafted only one other defensive player prior to Round 7, leaving their fans to question what needs the ‘Skins really filled this weekend. 

29. Kansas City Chiefs (38 out of 100)
Best Pick: Lucas Niang, OT, TCU (Round 3, Pick 32)
Worst Pick: Willie Gay Jr, ILB, Mississippi State (Round 2, Pick 31)
1-Sentence Analysis: Gay is a great player, but I more question the fit in Kansas City, and whether they could have gotten him later, as the Chiefs neglected to address a pressing situation in their secondary until Day 3, but at least they got a strong running back and a tackle with big-time upside to protect Mahomes. 

28. Atlanta Falcons (39 out of 100)
Best Pick: Marlon Davidson, DT, Auburn (Round 2, Pick 15)
Worst Pick: Jaylinn Hawks, S, California (Round 4, Pick 28)
1-Sentence Analysis: The Falcons were reaching all weekend long, taking guys way before they were expected to fill holes, while leaving better players on the board and failing to add help at defensive end or outside linebacker, two needy positions in Atlanta.

27. New England Patriots (41 out of 100)
Best Pick: Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA ( Round 3, Pick 27)
Worst Pick: Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech (Round 3, Pick 37)
1-Sentence Analysis: Asiasi was a great pick, but to leave Trautman on the board in favor of Keene is a travesty, and overall, the Patriots just didn’t do much exciting, trading out of the first round and taking a lot of late-round guys unlikely to make an immediate impact. 

26. Indianapolis Colts (42 out of 100)
Best Pick: Michael Pittman, WR, USC (Round 2, Pick 2)
Worst Pick: Julian Blackmon, S, Utah (Round 3, Pick 21)
1-Sentence Analysis: The Colts got some great value early in Pittman and Jonathan Taylor, but in spending four of their first five picks on offense, Indy failed to do much about their defense, which could be in rough shape in 2020.

25. Green Bay Packers (43 out of 100)
Best Pick: Josiah Deguara, TE, Cincinnati (Round 3, pick 30)
Worst Move: Not getting a wide receiver
1-Sentence Analysis: Green Bay would have nailed this draft if they were rebuilding, but they are coming off a 13-3 season so getting a lot of high-ceiling guys that don’t fit positional needs, while failing to address a gaping need at wide receiver leads to a poor grade.

Andrew Degeorge Mock Draft #1

In our first released mock draft, we are publishing Andrew Degeorge’s mock draft. He’s got one stunner left out of the first round and some interesting picks for certain teams. Check out his full mock first round here.

1: Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, Quarterback, LSU 

  • The general consensus first overall pick, the Bengals hope they nab their franchise quarterback here at #1.

2: Washington Redskins: Chase Young, Defensive End, Ohio State

  • The Redskins need a lot of help, so they get possibly the most dynamic player in the draft in the dominant edge rusher out of Ohio State. 

3: Detroit Lions: Jeff Okudah, Cornerback, Ohio State

  • In our latest podcast, Degeorge declared his belief that Okudah will be a top-5 cornerback in the NFL by the end of his rookie season. If that’s the case, the Lions have a defensive cornerstone for their franchise rebuild. 

4: New York Giants: Jedrick Willis Jr, Offensive Lineman, Alabama

  • The Giants have their quarterback (Daniel Jones) and running back (Saquon Barkley) in place for the future, so now they take a step towards protecting their skill position players by snagging the best tackle in the draft. 

5: Miami Dolphins: Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon

  • Although the Dolphins are widely thought to be pursuing Tua, in this mock, Miami takes Herbert, who is regarded to possibly be the most pro-ready quarterback after starting four seasons at Oregon. 

6: Los Angeles Chargers: Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Georgia

  • The quarterback situation in Los Angeles is uncertain, but the thought process is here is that before going after their signal-caller, the Chargers ensure they have decent protection in place for their guy. It also makes a lot of sense if Herbert is off the board, who the Chargers might nab if he’s available here. 

7: Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown, Defensive Tackle, Auburn

  • The Panthers’ hope for a quick rebuild took a step back with Luke Keuchly’s retirement. While they can’t replace such a generational talent, they’ll take Brown, regarded by most as the best defensive tackle in the draft.

8: Arizona Cardinals: Tristan Wirfs, Offensive Tackle, Iowa

  • An intriguing pick. A year ago, many might have said this would be a place for the Cardinals to grab more weapons for Kyler Murray, but the emergence of Lamar Jackson has showed that dual threat quarterbacks can thrive without truly elite weapons. Rather, the Cardinals prioritize protection for Murray, grabbing a highly regarded tackle in Wirfs. 

9: Jacksonville Jaguars: Isaiah Simmons, Linebacker, Clemson

  • Minus Jacksonville’s strange one-year resurgence, they’ve been stuck in a rut for a while, and it is unclear as to what they need to fix. They’ll start by working to fix an uninspired defense by drafting Clemson’s jack-of-all trades. Simmons lined up at a variety of positions and has been compared to Taysom Hill except for a defense.

10: Cleveland Browns: Mekhi Becton, Offensive Tackle, Louisville Cardinals

  • Becton has been projected to go as high as fourth, but this draft is murky when it comes to offensive tackles, as it is unclear which teams value which players the most. Becton is most certainly a top-10 talent, and the Browns hope he can protect Baker Mayfield’s blind side and help allow their offense to fulfill their potential.

11: New York Jets: Ceedee Lamb, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

  • The Jets are widely assumed to be looking to secure a top talent at wide receiver to complement Robby Anderson. Their defense is improving and Sam Darnold appeared to be coming into his own late, so this pick may come down to choosing between Lamb and ‘Bama receiver Jerry Jeudy. Jets go with Lamb, largely due to his experience both in the slot and out wide. 

12: Las Vegas Raiders: Grant Delpit, Safety, LSU

  • Delpit is almost undoubtedly the best safety in the draft, but it is unclear which team has a pressing need for such a talent. The Raiders may not necessarily need a safety, but they could use a playmaker on defense, so they may simply go with the best available pick here. 

13: Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Alabama

  • Is Jacoby Brissett the Colts’ quarterback of the future? That is unclear, and the Colts may not be convinced they’ll find an heir at #13, so instead, they snag an elite offensive talent in Jeudy, who can line up across from T.Y. Hilton and wreak havoc on opposing defenses.

14: Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier McKinney, Safety, Alabama

  • This may be one of the most surprising picks in this mock, as Tampa Bay doesn’t have a clear need for a safety, and McKinney hasn’t projected as a first rounder in many drafts. Yet, in this draft, it is Tampa Bay going back to their defense – a statement in Jameis Winston’s job security? – and take probably the second-best safety available to improve their pass defense, as their run defense is already among the best in the league.

15: Denver Broncos: Kristian Fulton, Cornerback, LSU

  • The LSU championship defense boasted some elite talent in their secondary, and the Broncos grab a key piece from the Tigers’ defense here. The Broncos seem convinced that Drew Lock is their quarterback, so they’ll look at the other side of the ball. While Denver’s ferocious defenses of the past have been centered on an elite pass rush, they may try to lock down the secondary first this time around. 

16: Atlanta Falcons: Yetur Gross Matos, Defensive End, Penn State

  • The likelihood that Matos goes this high may be unlikely, but the Nittany Lions’ defensive end may be the most underrated defensive end in the draft, as most draft profiles say Matos could be a prolific defender once he fills out his frame and gains some more experience. The Falcons are looking to contend in 2020, and this pick suggests they hope Matos’ upside plays out and turns him into a productive starter. 

17: Dallas Cowboys: CJ Henderson, Defensive Back, Florida

  • Henderson has been graded as a high second round pick by multiple evaluations. But the Cowboys are desperately seeking answers after a disappointing 8-8 season, and they may look to resign some offensive stars and fix their defense through the draft. With a high number of defensive players headed for free agency, the Cowboys may jump to grab a starter out of the self-proclaimed “DBU” in Gainesville. 

18: Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh): Klavon Chaisson, Linebacker, LSU

  • Miami has already grabbed Justin Herbert as their franchise quarterback of the future, and here with their second of three first-round picks, the Dolphins attack another major need by grabbing an edge-rusher from LSU’s championship defense. Chaisson is an explosive and versatile defender who could be a fine return for Minka Fitzpatrick, the Pro-Bowler that Miami traded for this pick.

19: Las Vegas Raiders (via Chicago): Kenneth Murray, Linebacker, Oklahoma

  • The Raiders dipped into LSU’s elite secondary with their first pick of the first round, and they head for Oklahoma’s defensive unit to snag Kenneth Murray, a very curious prospect. The Raiders will want a new wide receiver, but they figure with a deep draft of pass-catchers, they’ll have a chance to do that in later rounds. They snag Murray who some scouts are high on his natural talent, but some question his decision making and discipline.

20: Jacksonville Jaguars: Justin Jefferson, Wide Receiver, LSU

  • The Jaguars feel confident their first pick in Simmons is a swiss-army-knife who can plug many of their defensive holes, so they go back to the offensive side of the ball. Is Justin Jefferson an elite wide receiver, or did he benefit from Joe Burrow’s historic senior season? The Jaguars are betting on the former, allowing Jefferson to line up across from D.J. Chark and offer quarterback Gardner Minshew another dangerous option going down the field. 

21: Philadelphia Eagles: Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver, Clemson

  • The Eagles are an extremely talented team in many areas, and they remain committed to Carson Wentz who put up really good numbers with a cast of wide receivers that no average NFL fan could name. Philadelphia goes to the draft to pick up an elite receiver as they hope to become the standard in the NFC East, and maybe the NFC as a whole. 

22: Buffalo Bills: Laviska Shenault Jr, Wide Receiver, Colorado

  • The Bills really want a receiver to give their young quarterback Josh Allen a weapon, and Shenault is an intriguing option at #22. Projected as a late first round pick, Shenault offers explosiveness and versatility, but he needs to sharpen up on specific skill sets. Many evaluators criticize his route-running, as Shenault has too much experience as a do-it-all guy for the Buffaloes. The Bills have the defense, they have their quarterback, and now they give him a weapon as they seek a very elusive playoff win next season. 

23: New England Patriots: Henry Ruggs III, Wide Receiver, Alabama

  • With the status of Tom Brady in complete limbo, this pick is highly interesting for the Patriots. They could draft a quarterback, but they either assume Brady is coming back, or trust Jarrett Stidham to lead the charge for a year. So instead of going after a signal-caller, they’ll try to give whoever is under center some more weapons. Complementing Mohamed Sanu, Julian Edelman, and last year’s first-round N’Keal Harry, Ruggs brings elite athleticism to the table for the Patriots. 

24: New Orleans Saints: Jacob Eason, Quarterback, Washington

  • What New Orleans really wants is a wide receiver to complement their stud in Michael Thomas, but they may feel that anyone worth a first-round pick if off the table already, so they’ll further muddle up their quarterback situation by taking Eason, the former Georgia quarterback who has tantalizingly great arm talent. The Saints have some options between Brees, ‘quarterback’ Taysom Hill, and backup Teddy Bridgewater. But depending on who they bring back in free agency, they could start grooming Eason to take over in a few years. 

25: Minnesota Vikings: Jordan Love, Quarterback, Utah State

  • This would be a surprise pick, as the Vikings aren’t known to be in the market for a quarterback, but this could be an interesting pick with an eye to the future. The Vikings have a window to win and they picked Kirk Cousins as their signal-caller to bring them to the promised land. After going 18-13-1 the past two seasons, the Vikings may be wondering if they have maxed out their potential with him and want to take Love, the most promising quarterback by arm strength and physical talent, but a work-in-progress based on his feel for the position and immature decision-making. 

26: Miami Dolphins (via Houston): Javon Kinlaw, Defensive Tackle, South Carolina

  • The Dolphins have three first round picks and they’ve used the first two on a quarterback and linebacker. Regarded as a strong day-1 target, Kinlaw has absurd physical traits that allow him to make some incredible plays. With Justin Herbert or maybe veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick tossing the ball to young star Devante Parker, the Dolphins are excited to address some defensive needs and get a high-ceiling prospect in Kinlaw. 

27: Seattle Seahawks: Patrick Queen, Linebacker, LSU

  • Queen balled out for the Tigers in the National Championship game, a great stage to boost your draft stock on. With plenty of defensive needs, the Seahawks would do well to get Queen, a stud linebacker that many view as a Day 1 starter next season.

28: Baltimore Ravens: Terrell Lewis, Outside Linebacker, Alabama

  • Baltimore’s most glaring need is an edge rusher, which makes Lewis a natural fit. After being torn apart by Derrick Henry in the playoffs, the Ravens snag the Crimson Tide star, who excels in setting the edge against the run, with an excellent ability to disengage blockers and pursue the ball. Some injury history certainly raises questions, but Lewis has first-round abilities. 

29: Tennessee Titans: Trevon Diggs, Cornerback, Alabama

  • The Titans made their magical run with a dominant run game and elite defense. While working to resign Derrick Henry, they’ll turn to the draft to maintain their strong defense and take Diggs, who has only played defense exclusively for three years after coming to Alabama as a receiver recruit. Diggs has excellent athleticism and excelled in zone coverages. His man-to-man efforts are mediocre, but there’s hope for improvement. Diggs could certainly be a starting corner within a year or two. 

30: Green Bay Packers: Marlon Davidson, Defensive End, Alabama

  • This is a wildcard of a first pick as Davidson has gotten mixed reviews as a rusher at Alabama. While the physical gifts are there, Davidson’s technique has been criticized as incomplete and not maximizing his tools correctly. However, the Packers probably feel that an elite defense is the best way to compete with their semi-stagnant offense, so they snag a potentially dynamic player in Davidson. 

31: San Francisco 49ers: Jeff Gladney, Cornerback, TCU

  • The secondary is the most glaring need for the 49ers who have done well through the draft and free agency to build an offense around Jimmy Garoppolo and an elite defense led by Nick Bosa. The secondary lacks major playmakers, and Gladney brings explosive footwork and thrilling potential to the field. The taste of Patrick Mahomes’ 21-point fourth quarter is still sour in San Francisco, and they’ll look to bring some young talent to the weakest part of their roster. 

32: Kansas City Chiefs: AJ Espenza, Outside Linebacker, Iowa

  • This might be a match made in heaven for the Chiefs, who would very much like to grab a playmaker on the front seven. Epenesa is most certainly a playmaker having recorded 22 sacks and 30.5 tackles for loss to go with eight forced fumbles and seven pass deflections. There’s some concerns about lateral quickness from the 6’6 Hawkeyes star, but he aboslutely has the talent the Chiefs may be searching for on draft day.