It was another stay at home, quarantinafiable (no, that’s not officially a word) weekend. Only this time, we had some real sports to view. Sure, it was all virtual and not an actual live sporting event with thousands of people attending. But let’s take this one day at a time, as so many athletes will say during his/her press conferences. The 2020 NFL Draft is officially in the books – and the history books – for that matter. It was a real fascinating watch and something I will always remember. Naturally, with another draft down, it is time to reveal my 2020 NFL Draft Winners.
Heck, we all do it, right? It’s fun to predict which team put together the best draft, only to later look back to see how right (or more likely, wrong) we all were.
In my case, I purposefully waited more than 72 hours to let this year’s draft sink in. That, plus to wait out any straggler trades or free agency signings to pour in.
In the end, my list didn’t change that much.
Here are my 2020 NFL Draft Winners, each receiving a GOLD STAR, because hey, that’s the norm here at The Wife Hates Sports. We are talking those shiny stickers you used to receive on your homework as a kid. Remember those? Of course you do!
2020 NFL Draft Winners – Gold Stars Edition
An already strong NFC team added talented pieces in key need areas. Stefon Diggs moves on in a deal to Buffalo and the Vikes replace him with LSU standout Justin Jefferson in the first round. Jefferson could be the steal of the first and key to a deep Vikings playoff run. In addition, Minnesota followed the Jefferson pick by taking Jeff Gladney (CB – TCU) and Ezra Cleveland (OT – Boise State). The later rounds saw an interesting Big Ten trio come off the board: Josh Metellus (S – Michigan), Kenny Willekes (DE – Michigan State) and Nate Stanley (QB – Iowa). Throw in speedy track star WR Dan Chisena (Penn State), who signed as an undrafted free agent, with a nose for making nearly every tackle on special teams.
Is anyone else itching to see the Broncos face the champion Chiefs in the upcoming season? Because I am! Sure, there are likely to be some growing pains as these offensive rookies get acclimated to the NFL. Look at this potent and youthful Denver offense:
- QB – Drew Lock – 2nd round pick 2019 and a promising finish to the season
- WR – Courtland Sutton – 2nd round pick 2018 – one of the most talented receivers in the NFL
- Jerry Jeudy (WR – Alabama) – 1st round pick 2020 – talented star ready to shine in NFL
- KJ Hamler (WR – Penn State) – 2nd round pick 2020 – Big Ten Speedster and playmaker
- TE – Noah Fant – 1st round pick 2019 – big bodied pass catching monster
- RB – Phillip Lindsay and Melvin Gordon (Royce Freeman, too)
This isn’t even mentioning the key pieces added as depth to both the OL and TE position. The Broncos could (and should) be a very exciting team.
If acquiring DeAndre Hopkins wasn’t enough, Kingsbury was the talk of the virtual draft. Not for the picks the team made, but for the images of his crib.
— T̷R̷O̷Y̷ ̷H̷U̷G̷H̷E̷S̷ (@TommySledge) April 24, 2020
Then again…. as for the picks…
The Cardinals made some moves of their own – and without a top-notch realtor. The most notable draft selections in the desert include:
- Isaiah Simmons (LB – Clemson) – The beastly playmaker slipped to the Cards at pick #8
- Josh Jones (OT – Houston) – A value need in the 3rd round and someone a team like the Redskins should have grabbed with an earlier pick in the 3rd
- 4th Round – Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence are intriguing and talented DT picks
- Evan Weaver (LB – Cal) – Led all of College Football with 182 tackles – don’t doubt that production
We know the Colts had money and draft capital to be able to make some additions to an already solid roster. Philip Rivers arrives and isn’t far from retirement. There’s a need to surround him with additional weapons – and the Colts did that on offense (and defense, too):
- Michael Pittman Jr. (WR – USC) – A necessary big target to place alongside T.Y. Hilton
- Jonathan Taylor (RB – Wisconsin) – A physical big-time runner to anchor an offense
- Jacob Eason (QB – Washington) – Big arm and a potential future with a few years to learn
- Robert Windsor (DT – Penn State) – A game wrecker and a bargain in the 6th round
- Rodrigo Blankenship (K – Georgia) – Undrafted FA was one of the more reliable kickers in CFB
Talk about filling needs with players that fit the mold! The Ravens did it again and are sure to be an absolute force this coming season. Last year ended with a disappointing early playoff exit, but the additions of Patrick Queen, J.K. Dobbins and Devin Duvernay are sure to help prevent that from happening a second time. That is, if super weapon Lamar Jackson is able to stay healthy and remain as productive as he was last season. Let’s also not discount the additions of Malik Harrison and Justin Madebuike, among others. This Baltimore team is loaded.
New Orleans Saints
Last but not certainly least, there is the Saints. Many will focus on the teams with a high volume of quality picks (e.g. Dolphins in 2020). In my case, there is much needed praise in New Orleans. With minimal picks, the Saints might have delivered the highest percentage of quality picks in the entire draft:
- Cesar Ruiz – The center was a first round pick and sure to be a future anchor to the NO offensive line
- Zack Baun – Fell into their laps, it’s that simple – and the numbers don’t lie (12.5 sacks and more)
- Adam Trautman – Many considered him to be the best tight end in a weak draft class at the position
- Tommy Stevens – Physical with great legs and a strong arm, he’s basically Taysom Hill 2.0.
Sticking with the Penn State theme, as undrafted free agents, the Saints added former PSU WR Juwan Johnson (Oregon) and steady punter Blake Gillikin
Honorable Mentions: Bucs, Panthers, Lions, Bengals and Dolphins
There are 32 teams, each with unique drafts. We can’t possibly match with every selection. Who do you have as your 2020 NFL Draft Winners? Sound off in the comments below!
Oh, and as always, thank you for visiting The Wife Hates Sports!
Image Credit: gopsusports.com