The first day of the 2020 NFL Draft is over, and there was definitely an element of surprise that came with Thursday night’s events. Some teams made moves that could make them a lot better in 2020 than they were in 2019. Others swung and missed when presented a chance to make upgrades. We break down the winners and losers Round 1 here.
If you get the top pick in the NFL Draft, you’ll probably come out of day one as a winner. The Bengals got the best football player in the country in Joe Burrow. He’s their franchise quarterback of the future and can lead them into a new era alongside while A.J. Green eases his transition.
The Cowboys needed a third wide receiver to play alongside Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup, but got a star rather than a role-player. Dallas selected CeeDee Lamb out of Oklahoma with the No. 17 pick, which is a steal considering he was arguably the top wideout in the draft. Dak Prescott has yet another weapon to work with after a career year in 2019.
The Jaguars addressed two key needs in the draft. They replaced Jalen Ramsey by selecting C.J. Henderson out of Florida, who was considered the second best cornerback in the draft. They also nabbed a versatile pass rusher in LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson, with Yannick Ngakoue appearing to be headed out the door. Jacksonville has some talented youth to build its defense around.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have added yet another versatile weapon to their backfield. LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire will join Damien Williams in the backfield of the reigning Super Bowl champs. He rushed for 1,414 yards last season and also caught 55 passes for 453 yards. Kansas City made a splash with the No. 32 pick and have a lot to look forward to in 2020.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers were one win away from reaching the Super Bowl last year and are desperately in need of pass catchers. Davante Adams and Aaron Jones can’t carry the passing game alone, and Jimmy Graham is out the door. Drafting Jordan Love at No. 26, who likely won’t play for a few years, won’t help a contender in the near future. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers organization can’t be happy about this one.
The Falcons were interested in trading up for a top five pick earlier this week but weren’t able to. They went with Clemson’s A.J. Terrell in the middle of the first round instead. They needed a cornerback after the best two were off the board, but they could’ve gotten pass rushers who could be more productive than Terrell instead.
Six cornerbacks were selected in the first round, but not a single safety was drafted. Guys like Alabama’s Xavier McKinney, Grant Delpit, and Antoine Winfield Jr. were projected to be first-round picks in mock drafts, but teams were higher on other players. It’s unclear what caused these players to slide, but at least one of them should find a new home on day two. Too many teams need help in their secondaries.