2020 N.F.L. Draft: What We Learned

Written by on April 24, 2020

The 85th N.F.L. draft might need lacked the glitz of the Las Vegas Strip and bro-hugs with Roger Goodell, however the first digital draft in league historical past nonetheless had its soccer pyrotechnics. There have been a couple of chip pictures, like quarterback Joe Burrow getting picked first general by the Cincinnati Bengals. However there have been additionally loads of different surprises and intrigue — not all of it generated by the Raiders.

Right here’s what we discovered:

Favre, umm, didn’t take it kindly when Inexperienced Bay drafted Rodgers with the 24th decide in 2005. The Packers traded as much as choose Jordan Love at No. 26, not as a result of they envision him succeeding Rodgers this season, and even in 2021. The job nonetheless belongs to Rodgers, 36, who’s beneath contract via 2023. However Inexperienced Bay, at a primary draft spot, didn’t ignore different areas of want — large receiver, particularly — in order that Love can again up Rodgers indefinitely.

It is a perfect scenario for Like to be taught and hear, supplied Rodgers treats Love higher than Favre, and Inexperienced Bay followers, did him as a rookie. Rodgers spent three years backing up Favre earlier than taking up at quarterback, and now Love would possibly do the identical to Rodgers.

Maybe Rodgers can fend off Love, as Tom Brady did in New England with Jimmy Garoppolo, forcing Inexperienced Bay to deal the Utah State quarterback for different belongings. The Packers didn’t enhance their 2020 crew on Thursday evening, and Rodgers — when not questioning why the crew hasn’t picked an offensive talent participant within the first spherical since, effectively, him — absolutely questioned how he now suits into the Packers’ long-term plans.

The Dolphins, regardless of razing the roster, won a few games last season — and nonetheless drafted the quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, it was reportedly tanking for. That’s some good karma proper there. Miami’s grand plan began taking form throughout free company, when it lured cornerback Byron Jones, linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Elandon Roberts and the defensive finish Emmanuel Ogbah. However it didn’t really come to fruition till Thursday evening, when the crew may expend a number of the draft capital it had compiled.

Miami took Tagovailoa at No. 5 and their future left sort out, Austin Jackson of Southern California, at No. 18 earlier than buying and selling down and including an athletic nook, Noah Igbinoghene of Auburn, at No. 30. And so they’re not carried out: The Dolphins have three picks Friday, when the second and third rounds are held, and 9 (!) on Saturday, for rounds four via 7.

Jackson will bolster an offensive line that allowed 58 sacks final season, and Igbinoghene slides into probably the most improved secondary within the A.F.C. East. However Tagovailoa is the centerpiece, and for a crew that’s been looking for a quarterback since Dan Marino retired, he represents an altogether becoming alternative.

By shedding expertise final low season, the Dolphins selected an unpopular rebuilding path. They have been chided and lampooned. It was a threat as a result of bizarre issues occur within the N.F.L. and even dangerous groups win typically. Ultimately, that technique led them to Tagovailoa, who, due to well being and sturdiness issues, is hardly a protected decide. However the Dolphins have been rewarded for his or her aggressiveness as soon as, and now they hope they are going to be once more.

The Tom Brady period could also be over in New England, however don’t expect coach Bill Belichick to change. The Patriots had the 23rd decide within the first spherical, however moderately than use the spot to improve at, say, quarterback, it traded the decide to the Los Angeles Chargers and acquired a second-round decide (37th general) and a third-round decide (71st general) in return.

There’s a way to Belichick’s trades. The Patriots had traded a second-round decide final season to get large receiver Mohamed Sanu, and haven’t made a first-round decide in 4 of the previous eight years. Now they’ve 13 picks over the next two days of the draft.

However as my colleague, Invoice Pennington, famous, the Patriots will in all probability need to commerce a prime participant to create wage cap area. They at present have about $1 million in cap area, which isn’t sufficient to signal even their incoming draft class. However packaging, for instance, the All-Professional guard Joe Thuney with a precious 2021 decide would unlock $15 million in cap area.

The last word foreign money in any debate concerning the strongest school convention is what number of gamers find yourself within the N.F.L. This 12 months, the Southeastern Convention was undeniably the winner, with 17 of its gamers chosen with the primary 32 picks of the draft. 9 of these picks got here from L.S.U., the nationwide champions, and Alabama. Auburn, Clemson and Georgia every had two gamers chosen. Three Ohio State gamers have been chosen Thursday, together with the second (Chase Young) and third (Jeff Okudah) picks over all.

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