Grading every team’s picks in the 2020 NFL draft


The 2020 NFL draft was like no other, with the commissioner and team evaluators (and their kids, and their dogs) checking in from their homes to make the 255 picks from Joe Burrow to Mr. Irrelevant, Tae Crowder.

Which teams fared the best over the past three days? Our draft grades below:

ARIZONA CARDINALS

1 (8). Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson
3 (72). Josh Jones, T, Houston
4 (114). Leki Fotu, DT, Utah
4 (131). Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU
6 (202). Evan Weaver, LB, California
7 (222). Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State

The Isaiah Simmons pick does not address a major need for Arizona, but it was a chance to add supreme, diverse talent. The question is, Where will he play? We know the uber-versatile Clemson star can operate at almost any position—that’s why he was drafted as high as he was. But in Arizona’s 3-4, one-gap-based scheme, will he be seen more as a cover linebacker or as a hard-hitting safety? The Cardinals themselves may not yet fully know (though they wouldn’t have drafted Simmons No. 8 overall if they didn’t at least have a hunch). Pairing him with Budda Baker gives Arizona two dynamic movable chess pieces, which will help a defense that has struggled mightily on third down.

Offensively, if we treat DeAndre Hopkins as Arizona’s second-round pick, that boosts their draft by a whole letter grade. And it shouldn’t be a bad grade to begin with considering they found a new right tackle in Josh Jones. The third round is much later than many expected the Houston product to go. With Marcus Gilbert being 32, having some injury history and entering the final year of his contract, Jones was a no-brainer selection for Cardinals GM Steve Keim.





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