GEARY: Round 1 winners and losers

The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft came and went Thursday night, and did so without any major hiccups to the broadcast, other than how long it ultimately dragged out for. Several teams made some big splashes, but the lack of trade movement was the real disappointing factor of the first round.

The hype around the Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins looking to move around the board, I think we got our hopes up to be let down. Although it was a little boring at times, teams got better, and others left last night with more questions than answers.

Here are some of my winners and losers of Round 1:



Pick No. 1: Joe Burrow – QB – LSU

The Bengals secured, arguably, the best quarterback prospect to be drafted since Andrew Luck and find themselves with an opportunity at No. 33 overall to find additional protection for Burrow in his rookie season. Get A.J. Green locked up, secure the bag for Joe Mixon and add another wide receiver in the third and the Bengals are in a really good position in the AFC North, considering where the Pittsburgh Steelers are with Ben Roethlisberger and the Cleveland Browns, well, being the Browns.


Pick No. 9: C.J. Henderson – CB – Florida

Pick No. 20: K’Lavon Chaisson – EDGE – LSU

The Jaguars moved on from cornerback Jalen Ramsey last year and found his potential replacement the very next offseason. They also paired their 2019 first round defensive end Josh Allen with the second-best edge rusher in the class with LSU’s K’Lavon Chaisson. Bravo, general manager David Caldwell. It certainly won’t be easy to replace Ramsey, but in Henderson they get a high-upside cover corner who will benefit from having one of the most dynamic pass rushing combinations in the league. They will likely move on from running back Leonard Fournette before the start of the season, but I like how the Jaguars have been able to sort of rebuild on the run.


Pick No. 17: CeeDee Lamb – WR – Oklahoma

I love the CeeDee Lamb pick from a value standpoint. Any time you can secure the top wide receiver in a given draft class all the way at 17, you have to feel good. Having said that, Lamb’s presence while the Cowboys were on the board forced them to overlook an obvious trade back to add assets to create better competition in their defensive backfield. They’re likely now the most dynamic passing offense in the league, which they’ll need, because they’ll likely have to score 30 points per-game to stay in games.


Pick No. 12: Henry Ruggs III – WR – Alabama

Pick No. 19: Damon Arnette – CB – Ohio State

Are we sure the ghost of Al Davis wasn’t present during the first round? Picking the drafts fastest receiver and reaching on an Ohio State corner has Al’s fingerprints all over it. I thought they had an opportunity to get a more nuanced wide receiver like Jerry Jeudy or CeeDee Lamb at No. 12, which I would have liked much more. At the end of the day, I just think both guys are tools guys and the Raiders’ draft script has been puzzling from the start of the Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden era.



Pick No. 5: Tua Tagovailoa – QB – Alabama

Pick No. 18: Austin Jackson – OT – USC

Pick No. 30: Noah Igbinoghene – CB – Auburn

They were a winner after securing Tua Tagovailoa, but the remaining two first round picks were both reaches, which turned the tide of the Dolphins’ draft. With Houston’s Josh Jones and Boise State’s Ezra Cleveland still on the board, I just didn’t see the need to reach out for offensive tackle Austin Jackson. Then they moved back and took Auburn’s Noah Igbinoghene instead of LSU’s Christian, Fulton who was still available. This whole draft revolves around the success of Tagovailoa, and many will give the Dolphins good grades simply because of the volume of picks they’ll have. However, it’s quality over quantity, and they failed to bring enough quality in the first round.


Pick No. 16: A.J. Terrell – CB – Clemson

What a disappointment for the Falcons. Maybe the worst kept secret of the draft was the Falcons’ desire to move up the board to secure either a top offensive tackle or the second-best cornerback. Instead, they are unable to find a partner to move up with, they’re forced to stand pat and take the draft’s third best cornerback. For all the hype about maybe getting into the top-five, the Falcons really disappointed.


Pick No. 27: Jordyn Brooks – LB – Texas Tech

Why does it feel like the Seahawks do this every single year? How they remain successful with how poorly they draft is really a testament to Russell Wilson. I mean, Jordyn Brooks? A pick before Patrick Queen? What?


Pick No. 26: Jordan Love – QB – Utah State

What are the Packers doing? A great opportunity to add a weapon for Aaron Rodgers on the other side of Devante Adams should have at the very top of their list. Instead, they traded up to secure the most controversial quarterback in the draft, and a guy that I didn’t see making his way into the first round. Maybe the Packers caught wind that there were teams looking to move back into the first from the second round? Either way, you pissed off your franchise quarterback, who sure is closer to the end than the beginning, but this was the guy that brought you to the NFC Championship Game just a few months ago. Not adding talent to help this year in a very slim championship window is gross mismanagement.

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