The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is in the books. We followed along from start to finish. Here’s how the whole thing unfolded:
-The least surprising development of the 2020 Draft looks like it’s going to come to fruition:
Bengals president Mike Brown officially welcomed LSU QB Joe Burrow to Cincinnati on Wednesday, one day before the Draft. Brown sent Burrow a letter that said, amongst other things, that he looks forward “to building championship football teams with you for many years to come.”— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 23, 2020
-Burrow goes No. 1, as expected. (To follow specific picks, check out our draft tracker.) Good pick for the Bengals -- the safe play. If everything goes according to plan, he’ll be their guy for the next 10 years. Burrow tells ESPN, “to jump up to No. 1 overall is crazy to me. It’s a dream come true."
-Chase Young, a classic defensive end out of Ohio State, goes second to Washington. One of Bill Belichick’s favorite descriptions of dominant defensive players is “disruptor,” and Young is a classic disruptor. Sets the edge, gets after the passer, a handful for any offensive line. If Burrow is a no-brainer top pick, Young is a really good second choice. Montez Sweat and Young are a good pair of ends for the Washington defense. Detroit is on the clock.
-Lions go with Jeff Okudah, a defensive back out of Ohio State, at No. 3. Second straight OSU product taken. (Third straight if you count Burrow’s limited time at OSU.) Best cornerback in the draft -- another safe, smart move.
-At No. 4, the Giants take Andrew Thomas, an offensive tackle out of Georgia. But of a surprise here, but it’ll make Daniel Jones happy. Ex-Patriot Chris Slade was his high school coach.
-Miami takes Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa at No. 5. Tank for Tua can officially be considered a success! The Patriots could -- theoretically -- get their chance to see Tua twice this season in the AFC East. (Or maybe he spends the year behind Ryan Fitzpatrick as an understudy.) Can’t wait to see if he can hold up from a medical perspective. Bold move for Brian Flores and the Dolphins.
-Justin Herbert to the Chargers at No. 6. Back-to-back quarterbacks off the board. Herbert continues a lineage that includes Dan Fouts, who was also an Oregon guy. (To follow the full draft tracker, click here.) Carolina is on the clock.
-Carolina takes Derrick Brown, a defensive tackle out of Auburn. Big guy who should be an anchor in the middle for the Panthers for years to come. Another good, safe pick.
-At No. 8, Arizona takes OLB Isaiah Simmons out of Clemson, a guy who can line up at multiple spots on defense. The Cardinals could theoretically have Chandler Jones at one edge and Simmons at the other. Good combo.
-Jaguars select C.J. Henderson, a cornerback out of Florida at No. 9. Seen multiple people peg him as the second-best CB in the draft. Good cover corner who should immediately step in and start for Jacksonville. The Browns are on the clock at No. 10. Lots of interesting names who could fit in Foxborough who are still on the board, guys like Kenneth Murray or A.J. Epenesa.
-Cleveland takes Jedrick Wills, an offensive tackle out of Alabama, at No. 10. Big, smart, tough offensive lineman for a team that needed help up front. Keeping Baker Mayfield happy. This likely takes them out of the running for Trent Williams -- could that help out New England?
-The Jets take Louisville tackle Mekhi Becton at No. 11. Back-to-back offensive tackles -- at 6-7 and 364 pounds, he’s the biggest guy taken so far. Finished the 40 in 5.1, which is ridiculous.
-The No. 12 pick is Henry Ruggs III, the insanely fast receiver out of Alabama. Feels completely appropriate for the Raiders to take a guy who has terrific speed. Wonder if we get a run at the receiver position sooner rather than later -- Jerry Jeudy and Cee Dee Lamb are still on the board.
-TRADE: Adam Schefter is reporting that the Bucs will jump up to No. 13 (the original pick belonged to the Niners). Tampa needs to fortify the offensive line -- do they go tackle?
-Offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs out of Iowa is the pick for the Bucs at 13. I have to believe this move was made with Brady in mind. You have to do what you can to keep that quarterback upright, am I right? (Matt Light, Nate Solder and Trent Brown know what we’re saying.) Best offensive tackle left.
-The Niners choose Javon Kinlaw at No. 14, a defensive tackle out of South Carolina. Big dude who can play a few different spots -- a long defensive lineman who is still pretty strong. Nine picks until New England.
Alabama's QB, RT and two WRs off the board in the first 15 picks— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) April 24, 2020
-With the 15th pick, Denver goes receiver, taking Jerry Jeudy. Love this choice for the Broncos. Great quickness, smart, and an efficient route runner. Denver got itself a really talented pass catcher.
-The Falcons go defense, picking cornerback A.J. Terrell out of Clemson at No. 16. Have to believe that with Brady going to the Bucs and the continued excellence of Drew Brees, other NFC South teams are going to continue to invest high value picks in defensive backs. I mean, it’s not the only reason, but at the same time it’s probably not coincidental. Dallas is on the clock.
Clemson CB A.J. Terrell burst out onto the scene with a Pick 6 of Tua in the title game 2 years ago. Got beat up a bit by Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase in this year's title game. Ends up at No. 16. Good, safe pick. "He's a sniper," Brent Venables told me.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) April 24, 2020
-The Cowboys are the Cowboys, which means CeeDee Lamb is the obvious pick. More speed at receiver for Dallas. Just a layup of a choice for Dallas at No. 17. Three receivers taken with the last six picks. A lot of the high-end WR talent is off the board, but New England still had a lot of interesting possibilities as it sits there at No. 23.
-The Dolphins are back, and they take offensive tackle Austin Jackson at No. 18 out of USC. Good, solid, safe pick. If it all comes together, this guy will be Tua’s best friend for the next decade.
-At No. 19, the Las Vegas Raiders (that still sounds really odd) choose Damon Arnette, a defensive back out of Ohio State. This is a head-scratcher. Not a lot of first-round love for this guy throughout the pre-draft process.
-Linebacker K’Lavon Chasisson goes to Jacksonville with the 20th pick for the Jags. Really like this pick -- a versatile defender who was an important part of the LSU defense last season. Good call by Jacksonville. It now goes Philadelphia, Minnesota, and New England.
-The Eagles get themselves a wide receiver, going with Jalen Reagor out of TCU at No. 21 overall. Makes a lot of sense for a team in need of depth at WR.
Patriots without 1st round pick under Belichick— Jake Levin (@JakeTLevin) April 24, 2020
2000-traded for Belichick
2009-traded back, wound up with Darius Butler, Brandon Tate, other picks
2013-traded back, wound up with Jamie Collins, Logan Ryan, Josh Boyce
2017-traded for Brandin Cooks
-New England swung a deal with the Chargers, sending its first-round choice for a second- and third-round pick. At No. 23, Los Angeles takes Kenneth Murray, the linebacker out of Oklahoma. Murray was a guy our man Jim McBride had mocked to the Patriots, for what it’s worth.
-The Saints take Cesar Ruiz at No. 24 out of Michigan. Another good, solid pick -- a high-quality offensive lineman for Drew Brees and New Orleans.
-San Francisco makes a deal with the Vikings, which means the Niners are on the clock at No. 25. San Francisco took defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw earlier in the evening. Are they going WR with this choice? A lot of quality pass catchers still on the board.
-Brandon Aiyuk goes at No. 25 to San Francisco. Second straight year an Arizona State wide receiver goes in the first round, and third receiver taken in the last five choices.
-Green Bay is on the clock after a deal with Miami. Do the Packers keep the wide receiver train rolling? I would have to imagine they need some sort of pass catcher.
-At No. 26 -- stop hollering at the screen in back of you, Mr. Commissioner -- the Packers take Jordan Love. Now THIS is really interesting. Love has the most boom-bust potential of this draft, in my opinion. Big arm, a wild-roller coaster ride statistically through college, but undeniable talent. And how will he mesh with Aaron Rodgers? Lots of questions when it comes to a guy who I think is the most polarizing prospect of the first round.
And I know what you might be thinking.....
-With the 27th overall choice, Seattle goes with Jordyn Brooks, a linebacker out of Texas Tech. Guy was a sideline-to-sideline tackling machine. Reminded me a little of Jerod Mayo in college.
-Baltimore takes LSU LB Patrick Queen at No. 28. Love this pick. The Ravens land a quality defender who should be able to contribute immediately.
Ravens history with 1st round LBs?— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 24, 2020
THEY. DON'T. MISS.
1996 Ray Lewis (Hall of Fame)
1997 Peter Boulware
2003 Terrell Suggs
2014 C.J. Mosley
All of them:
Started 5+ years
Made 4+ Pro Bowls
Recorded 400+ tackles
Now, LSU's Patrick Queen
-Such a Titans’ move -- Tennessee takes Isaiah Wilson, a tackle out of Georgia. More size (6-6, 350) up front. Vrabel knows you build a team from the inside out. Three picks left in the first round. (By the way...what the heck was going on at the Vrabel house?)
-Miami has its third pick of the first round, and it goes with corner Noah Igbinoghene at No. 30 out of Auburn. On paper, the Dolphins’ secondary is really impressive.
-With the 31st overall pick, Minnesota goes corner, taking TCU’s Jeff Gladney. Back-to-back CBs here at the end of the first round.
-The Chiefs will put the wraps on the first round. Have to imagine they are going defense here, right?
-Or maybe not. Clyde Edwards-Helaire to Kansas City at No. 32. A favorite of mine throughout the pre-draft process, this LSU product is a really dynamic offensive presence. A lot like a Kevin Faulk or James White kind of player, but can still play on all three downs. Love this guy, and he should have real success in the Kansas City system.
Christopher Price can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at cpriceglobe.