Arizona Cardinals

1 (8). Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons

3 (72). Houston offensive tackle Josh Jones

4 (114). Utah defensive tackle Leki Fotu

4 (131). LSU defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence

6 (202). California linebacker Evan Weaver

7 (222). Arizona State running back Eno Benjamin

Overview: DeAndre Hopkins represents the Cardinals’ second-round pick after Arizona acquired him in a pre-draft robbery of beleaguered Texans GM/HC Bill O’Brien. No defense struggled to cover tight ends more than Arizona’s last year; Simmons is the antidote in a division where the Cardinals draw George Kittle, Tyler Higbee/Gerald Everett, and Greg Olsen/Will Dissly twice per year. Tackle-needy Arizona riskily passed on Jedrick Wills, Tristan Wirfs, and Mekhi Becton at No. 8 overall, only to end Jones’ surprising slide early in the third round. Jones should get every opportunity to beat out turnstile RT Justin Murray. Fourth-rounders Fotu (6’5/330) and Lawrence (6’2/308) inject beef into Arizona’s thin interior defensive line. Round seven brought Benjamin, a crafty back who caught 77 passes over the last two years and can push Chase Edmonds for No. 2 duties behind Kenyan Drake. After using their draft capital to land Hopkins, Simmons, and Jones, the Cardinals should be ecstatic with their offseason.

Grade: A-

 

Atlanta Falcons

1 (16). Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell

2 (47). Auburn defensive end Marlon Davidson

3 (78). Temple guard/center Matt Hennessy

4 (119). Fresno State linebacker Mykal Walker

4 (134). California safety Jaylinn Hawkins

7 (228). Syracuse punter Sterling Hofrichter

Overview: The Falcons embarrassingly began their draft with an entirely needs-based reach, bypassing superior prospects CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson, and K’Lavon Chaisson to fill their glaring cornerback hole. Terrell was rated by Sports Info Solutions as this draft’s No. 15 overall corner. Not the 15th overall player in the draft. The 15th cornerback. Prioritizing need over talent has been a fixture of GM Thomas Dimitroff’s tenure and helps explain Atlanta’s maintenance of mediocrity; the Falcons have won eight games or fewer in five of the past seven seasons. Davidson is a tweener 300-pound defensive end who will have to convert to defensive tackle. Had the Falcons done the right thing and taken Lamb at No. 16, they could have laid claim to one of the NFL’s most stacked offenses and had their pick of Trevon Diggs, Jaylon Johnson, and Kristian Fulton at No. 47. Atlanta’s lone value pick, Hennessy should push James Carpenter to start at left guard and could emerge as C Alex Mack’s heir apparent. The Falcons rounded out day three by overdrafting off-ball LB Walker, probable career special teamer Hawkins, and a punter.

Grade: D-

 

Carolina Panthers

1 (7). Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown

2 (38). Penn State edge rusher Yetur Gross-Matos

2 (64). Southern Illinois safety Jeremy Chinn

4 (113). Notre Dame cornerback Troy Pride

5 (152). West Virginia safety Kenny Robinson

6 (184). Baylor defensive tackle Bravvion Roy

7 (221). Florida International cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver

Overview: After using free agency to bolster a potentially underrated offense, the Panthers committed every single one of their 2020 draft picks to a defense that lost top CB James Bradberry, star MLB Luke Kuechly, and sack leader Mario Addison. An interior dominator in the SEC, Brown lends credibility to a defensive front seven enemy rushing attacks relentlessly plundered throughout 2019. Gross-Matos and Chinn both generated first-round buzz during the pre-draft phase and were value picks by Carolina. Day three brought a trio of intriguing secondary prospects and 332-pound behemoth Roy, who played for Matt Rhule at Baylor. An exceptional athlete with 4.4-flat speed, Pride could tag team with Donte Jackson to give Carolina one of the NFL’s fastest cornerback duos if coached up properly. Robinson picked off seven passes in two seasons at West Virginia, then starred for the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks this spring. I think Rhule’s first draft showed commitment and direction and netted the Panthers numerous year-one starters. I also like that Carolina held onto Curtis Samuel amid reported trade offers.

Grade: B

 

Chicago Bears

2 (43). Notre Dame tight end Cole Kmet

2 (50). Utah cornerback Jaylon Johnson

5 (155). Tulsa defensive end Trevis Gipson

5 (163). Georgia Southern cornerback Kindle Vildor

5 (173). Tulane wide receiver Darnell Mooney

7 (226). Colorado guard Arlington Hambright

7 (227). Tennessee State offensive tackle Lachavious Simmons

Overview: Short on premium picks after trades involving Khalil Mack, David Montgomery, and Nick Foles, the Bears nevertheless emerged from round two with quality selections of in-line TE Kmet and first-round talent Johnson, who fell in the draft due to three known shoulder surgeries. Kmet will be called on to correct GM Ryan Pace’s Adam Shaheen mistake, while Johnson should win a starting job quickly opposite Kyle Fuller. Offensive line was arguably Chicago’s biggest pre-draft need, however, and Pace didn’t select a lineman until the seventh round. He passed on Boise State T/G Ezra Cleveland, LSU OG Damien Lewis, Houston OT Josh Jones, and Temple G/C Matt Hennessy, among others. Gipson is a work-in-progress edge rusher, Vildor a speedy if undersized small-school corner, and Mooney a Taylor Gabriel clone. Pace’s continued failure to upgrade Montgomery’s run blocking and Foles/Mitchell Trubisky’s protection damages this draft’s grade, but Kmet and Johnson keep it out of the basement.

Grade: C-

 

Dallas Cowboys

1 (17). Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb

2 (51). Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs

3 (82). Oklahoma defensive tackle Neville Gallimore

4 (123). Tulsa cornerback Reggie Robinson

4 (146). Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz

5 (179). Utah edge rusher Bradlee Anae

7 (231). James Madison quarterback Ben DiNucci

Overview: The Cowboys spent basically the entirety of the three-day event drafting a pick or three behind the needs-reaching Falcons, staying true to their own board, and amassing incredible value. Obvious by-the-board pick Lamb didn’t theoretically fill a major need, but he was reportedly Dallas’ No. 6-overall player, and Lamb’s addition strengthened a strength to further solidify the Cowboys’ offense among pro football’s elite. Ex-WR Diggs combines high-end size and length with natural ball skills and could have easily gone on the back end of day one. Gallimore freakishly blazed 4.79 at 304 pounds before the draft and projects as a rotational up-field penetrator. Robinson warranted round-two consideration based on his ideal blend of size, ballhawking production, and 92nd-percentile athleticism. Biadasz has a real chance to develop into Travis Frederick’s near-term replacement, while Anae tallied 30 sacks across four seasons in the Pac 12. The Cowboys put on a masterclass of hammering value and still addressing almost all of their biggest weaknesses. No roster improved more during the 2020 draft.

Grade: A+

 

Detroit Lions

1 (3). Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah

2 (35). Georgia running back D’Andre Swift

3 (67). Notre Dame edge rusher Julian Okwara

3 (75). Ohio State guard Jonah Jackson

4 (121). Kentucky guard Logan Stenberg

5 (166). Wisconsin wide receiver Quintez Cephus

5 (172). New Mexico State running back Jason Huntley

6 (197). Utah defensive tackle John Penisini

7 (235). Ohio State defensive tackle Jashon Cornell

Overview: The Lions used the No. 3 pick to solidify their three-cornerback set of Okudah, Desmond Trufant, and Justin Coleman, then spent most of the rest of the draft picking run-game and run-defense contributors. Swift will be an immediate asset in Detroit, but scatback Huntley was overkill in the fifth round, and the Lions prioritized back-to-back offensive guards in rounds three and four. For a team so short on pass rush, Penn State EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos, TCU DT Ross Blacklock, and Tennessee DE Darrell Taylor would have made more sense than Swift near the top of round two. Okwara is coming off a broken leg. Cephus ran in the 4.7s at the Combine, then 4.6s at his Pro Day. Jackson and Stenberg both tested as well below-par athletes before the draft. Beyond Okudah, the Lions failed to improve their roster at positions that move the NFL needle despite having four picks in the top 75 and nine overall.

Grade: C-

 

Green Bay Packers

1 (26). Utah State quarterback Jordan Love

2 (62). Boston College running back A.J. Dillon

3 (94). Cincinnati tight end/fullback Josiah Deguara

5 (175). Minnesota linebacker Kamal Martin

6 (192). Michigan offensive lineman Jon Runyan

6 (208). Oregon center Jake Hanson

6 (209). Indiana guard Simon Stepaniak

7 (236). TCU safety Vernon Scott

7 (242). Miami edge rusher Jonathan Garvin

Overview: To explain away this sorry excuse for a draft, GM Brian Gutekunst went into damage-control mode after day two by passing the buck onto second-year coach Matt LaFleur. “He’s talked to you guys repeatedly about how much he’d like to run the ball and have the pass work off that,” Gutekunst told reporters. “Matt really wants to tie everything to the run game and off the run game, and these guys will help us do that.” Not only did LaFleur potentially alienate the franchise’s most valuable player by trading up for a turnover-prone project quarterback in the first round, LaFleur’s obsession with outdated offense influenced the team to severely overdraft two-down banger Dillon and H-back/fullback Deguara with its remaining top-100 picks. Including the fourth-rounder (No. 136) surrendered to move up for Love, the Packers spent their top-four selections on three backups/role players. Due to a troubling history of knee injuries and pass-coverage limitations, Martin was a projected undrafted free agent. Runyan’s short arms and small hands foreshadow a move from tackle to guard. Hanson lacks power, length, and athleticism. Even if Love develops into a franchise quarterback, the process behind his selection and most of the rest of this draft was dubious at best and downright irresponsible at worst.

Grade: F

 

Los Angeles Rams

2 (52). Florida State running back Cam Akers

2 (57). Florida wide receiver Van Jefferson

3 (84). Alabama edge rusher Terrell Lewis

3 (104). Utah safety Terrell Burgess

4 (136). Purdue tight end Brycen Hopkins

6 (199). Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller

7 (234). Baylor linebacker Clay Johnston

7 (248). Miami of Ohio kicker Sam Sloman

7 (250). Clemson guard Tremayne Anchrum

Overview: The Rams drafted without a first-round pick for the fourth consecutive year after dealing what became No. 20 overall to Jacksonville as part of the Jalen Ramsey trade. (Their last first-round pick was Jared Goff.) One year after trading up for Darrell Henderson in round three, the Rams selected Akers in round two in an obvious over-expenditure at one of football’s lowest-impact positions. Los Angeles continued to waste its day-two draft capital on possession-slot WR Jefferson, a redundancy behind Cooper Kupp in an already loaded pass-catcher corps. Lewis, Burgess, and Hopkins were all rock-solid values in rounds three and four, saving some face. Hopkins’ blend of athleticism and college production was almost unrivaled in this year’s tight end class, and Gerald Everett’s contract expires after this year. Still, the Rams should have taken more aggressive steps to fill their numerous defensive voids rather than going so heavy on offensive skill players at positions where they already had more-than-passable talent and depth. This organization appears to have fallen victim to shiny-toys syndrome.

Grade: C-

 

Minnesota Vikings

1 (22). LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson

1 (31). TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney

2 (58). Boise State guard/tackle Ezra Cleveland

3 (89). Mississippi State cornerback Cameron Dantzler

4 (117). South Carolina defensive end D.J. Wonnum

4 (130). Baylor defensive end James Lynch

4 (132). Oregon linebacker Troy Dye

5 (169). Temple cornerback Harrison Hand

5 (176). Miami wide receiver K.J. Osborn

6 (203). Oregon State guard Blake Brandel

6 (205). Michigan safety Josh Metellus

7 (225). Michigan State edge rusher Kenny Willekes

7 (244). Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley

7 (249). Mississippi State safety Brian Cole

7 (253). Washburn center Kyle Hinton

Overview: The Vikings took an extreme-volume approach to this draft after sending Stefon Diggs to Buffalo in exchange for four picks (three this year), then adding additional fourth- and fifth-rounders in a day-one trade down with San Francisco. Late on day two, the Vikings acquired the Saints’ fifth-, sixth-, and seventh-round selections to drop from No. 105 to No. 130. GM Rick Spielman is filling out the back end of his cap-strapped roster with cheap rookie deals after doling out so many high-priced contracts at the top. Regardless of what you or I think about the identities of Spielman’s selections, this is a savvy form of roster building. Although his skill set is a bit redundant with Adam Thielen’s, Jefferson was perhaps this draft’s most NFL-ready receiver. Neither is a vertical dominator, but both run sub-4.5 and can win inside and out. The Vikings need Gladney and perhaps Dantzler to play right away, too, in a being-rebuilt secondary that parted with each of its top-three corners this offseason. Each of Spielman’s first six picks affect the passing game, earning points for position-value drafting. Cleveland – a first-round talent on pass protection alone – is one of the biggest keys to this draft for a team that annually struggles to keep the pocket clean. All told, the Vikings brought in five defensive backs, three pass rushers, three offensive linemen, two wide receivers, one linebacker, and one backup quarterback.

Grade: B+

 

New Orleans Saints

1 (24). Michigan center Cesar Ruiz

3 (74). Wisconsin linebacker Zack Baun

3 (105). Dayton tight end Adam Trautman

7 (240). Mississippi State quarterback Tommy Stevens

Overview: Entering the draft as one of the NFL’s most talented teams, the Saints took a low-volume, short-term-thinking approach and acquired 75 percent of their four-man class in trades up. They sent a 2021 third-round pick to Cleveland in order to climb 14 spots for Baun. To jump from No. 130 to 105 for Trautman, New Orleans sent its fifth-, sixth, and seventh-round picks to Minnesota. The Saints gave the Texans their 2021 sixth-rounder to pick Stevens at No. 240. I fully trust Sean Payton knows what he’s doing, but this strategy only hurts the Saints’ draft grade. I would have liked the Ruiz selection much better had New Orleans not overpaid to retain LG Andrus Peat. A fringe day-one talent, Baun was an excellent draft-slot value, but the price to add him was hefty for a player who probably will primarily play off-ball linebacker in DC Dennis Allen’s scheme. Trautman was one of the best small-school prospects in this draft but, again, cost quite a bit to acquire. At best, this draft brought the Saints one or two near-term contributors and three long term. And they gave up two future draft picks along the way.

Grade: C-

 

New York Giants

1 (4). Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas

1 (36). Alabama safety Xavier McKinney

3 (99). Connecticut offensive lineman Matt Peart

4 (110). UCLA cornerback Darnay Holmes

5 (150). Oregon guard/center Shane Lemieux

6 (183). Penn State linebacker Cam Brown

7 (218). Minnesota linebacker Carter Coughlin

7 (238). South Carolina linebacker T.J. Brunson

7 (247). Minnesota cornerback Chris Williamson

7 (255). Georgia linebacker Tae Crowder

Overview: Dave Gettleman has now conducted eight drafts as an NFL GM, executing 54 picks. And he still has not once traded down. Criticism of Gettleman’s stubbornness aside, he began this draft with a bang in rounds one through four. Thomas was the highest-floor member of a loaded tackle class, projects as a colossal year-one upgrade on the right side, and figures to replace Nate Solder on Daniel Jones’ left by 2021, when Peart should be ready to take over on the right. McKinney’s sub-par speed (4.63) and redundancy with Jabrill Peppers make him a slightly questionable roster fit, but Gettleman surely saw McKinney as presenting too much value to pass up, and DC Patrick Graham should be able to make room for both. During the pre-draft phase, McKinney was often mentioned as a poor man’s Isaiah Simmons, on whom Gettleman passed to select Thomas fourth overall. Holmes stands 5-foot-10, 195 with short arms, but his ball skills, aggressiveness, and plus tackling ability make him a viable slot-corner candidate. Gettleman went all in on off-ball linebackers on day three. After hammering skill-position players over the last two offseasons, Gettleman opted for meat and potatoes in this year’s draft.

Grade: B

 

Philadelphia Eagles

1 (21). TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor

1 (53). Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts

3 (103). Colorado linebacker Davion Taylor

4 (127). Clemson safety K’Von Wallace

4 (145). Auburn offensive tackle Jack Driscoll

5 (168). Boise State wide receiver John Hightower

6 (196). Temple linebacker Shaun Bradley

6 (200). Southern Miss wide receiver Quez Watkins

6 (210). Auburn offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho

7 (233). Stanford edge rusher Casey Toohill

Overview: Unsuccessful in their alleged attempts to trade up for receiver help, the Eagles resorted to multiple spins of the wideout wheel. Reagor (4.47), Hightower (4.43), Watkins (4.35), and Marquise Goodwin (4.27) – acquired from San Francisco in a harmless sixth-round swap – all have speed-merchant backgrounds, and there’s probably a better-than-even chance GM Howie Roseman hits on at least one. The Eagles were ripped for spending their second-round pick on a backup quarterback, but no NFL team has had better experiences with No. 2 signal callers, and neither Carson Wentz’s injury history nor Hurts’ dual-threat upside should be taken lightly. Philly entered the draft needing a speed infusion in the middle of its defense. They got it in Taylor – this year’s No. 4 athlete among off-ball linebackers – and Wallace, this year’s fourth-most athletic safety. Another high-end athlete for his position, Driscoll is a right tackle/guard prospect whose 33-inch arms likely cost him at least a round. Developmental LT Wanogho played on the same Auburn line and likely would have gone multiple rounds earlier if not for medical concerns. I really liked the high-volume nature of this draft, the approach of throwing multiple darts at receiver rather than the Eagles putting all of their eggs in one basket, and the middle-round selections of elite athletes to energize DC Jim Schwartz’s defense. Philly’s grade is improved by its pre-draft trade for Darius Slay, which cost just third- and fifth-round picks.

Grade: B+

 

San Francisco 49ers

1 (14). South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw

1 (25). Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk

5 (153). West Virginia offensive tackle Colton McKivitz

6 (190). Georgia tight end Charlie Woerner

7 (217). Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings

Overview: The 49ers’ haul also includes LT Trent Williams, cheaply acquired from Washington for this year’s fifth-rounder and a 2021 third-round pick. Longtime LT Joe Staley announced his retirement during the draft. Kinlaw will play a major role in replacing DeForest Buckner at far less monetary cost, while Aiyuk’s dynamic after-catch game perfectly suits Kyle Shanahan’s offensive strategy. Late on day three, the Niners grabbed an intriguing big-slot prospect in Jennings, another post-catch winner. San Francisco’s low-volume approach was similar to the Saints’ as teams that entered the draft with upper-echelon roster talent and emerged with only a few probable short- or long-term contributors. But the Niners’ haul was superior in that it banged out bigger needs and should yield more immediate results.

Grade: B-

 

Seattle Seahawks

1 (26). Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks

2 (48). Tennessee edge rusher Darrell Taylor

3 (69). LSU guard Damien Lewis

4 (133). Stanford tight end Colby Parkinson

4 (144). Miami running back DeeJay Dallas

5 (148). Syracuse edge rusher Alton Robinson

6 (214). Florida wide receiver Freddie Swain

7 (251). LSU tight end Stephen Sullivan

Overview: Perennially a controversial team when it comes to the draft, the Seahawks began this one on brand by reaching for Brooks, whose addition confirms Seattle will continue to leave three off-ball linebackers on the field at one of the NFL’s highest rates. Brooks is built stocky (6’0/240) and was not lauded for his coverage skills at Texas Tech. The Seahawks surrendered the 101st pick to climb 11 spots for Taylor, something of an underachiever with modest college production but exciting traits. Lewis’ mauling game fits Seattle’s philosophy of targeting pile-pushing offensive linemen, and he is athletic enough to develop into a quality pass protector after showing too many inconsistencies there at LSU. Two day-three tight end picks seemed like overkill with Greg Olsen, Will Dissly, and Jacob Hollister already rostered, although the former is in his final NFL season, and the latter could easily leave in 2021. Robinson is a 72nd-percentile athlete whose production sunk as a senior after a dominant junior year. Seattle’s grade is improved by acquiring FS Quandre Diggs and CB Quinton Dunbar for fifth-round picks.

Grade: B-

 

Tampa Bay Bucs

1 (13). Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs

2 (45). Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr.

3 (76). Vanderbilt running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn

5 (151). Minnesota wide receiver Tyler Johnson

6 (194). Nebraska defensive tackle Khalil Davis

7 (241). Temple linebacker Chapelle Russell

7 (245). Louisiana-Lafayette running back Raymond Calais

Overview: Rob Gronkowski is also part of this haul after Tampa Bay acquired him from New England in a pre-draft swap of fourth- and seventh-round picks. The Bucs began their draft by aggressively trading up one spot with San Francisco to bolster Tom Brady’s pass protection. The sacrifice was dropping from No. 117 in the fourth round to No. 245 in the seventh. This year’s most athletic offensive lineman, Wirfs will replace Demar Dotson at right tackle in year one and could eventually succeed overpaid Donovan Smith on the blindside. Winfield’s playing mentality is very similar to his three-time Pro Bowl father’s as an undersized striker and takeaway specialist who wins on instincts, ball skills, and intensity. Vaughn overcame putrid blocking to average nearly six career yards per carry in the SEC and is an instant passing-game upgrade on Ronald Jones. Johnson’s college tape reminded me of Miles Austin. Including Gronk, the Bucs should get four first-year starters and four long-term contributors from this class.

Grade: B

 

Washington Redskins

1 (2). Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young

3 (66). Memphis receiver/running back Antonio Gibson

4 (108). LSU offensive lineman Saahdiq Charles

4 (142). Liberty wide receiver Antonio Gandy-Golden

5 (156). San Diego State center Keith Ismael

5 (162). Michigan linebacker Khaleke Hudson

7 (216). Arkansas safety Kamren Curl

7 (229). NC State defensive end James Smith-Williams

Overview: The Redskins’ grade is hurt by acquiring only a 2020 fifth-rounder and 2021 third-round pick in exchange for seven-time Pro Bowl LT Trent Williams, then exiting the draft without anything resembling adequate protection for Dwayne Haskins’ blindside. The Skins also gift-wrapped top CB Quinton Dunbar to Seattle for a fifth-round pick. Williams and Dunbar were disgruntled, but those situations arise far less for functional franchises, and neither trade netted dysfunctional Washington a favorable return. As for the actual draft, Young was a no-brainer pick at No. 2. After handling only 77 college touches, Gibson was better suited as a day-three luxury pick for a competitive team than a top-70 selection by a rebuilder. Charles was suspended six games for disciplinary reasons in 2019, and his short arms will likely force Charles to convert from tackle to guard. Small-school day-three receivers with 4.6 speed like Gandy-Golden have nonexistent hit rates. Washington entered the draft with glaring holes at offensive line, defensive back, tight end, and wide receiver, and did very little to fill them.

Grade: D+