The 2020 NFL Draft began last night, missing the glitz and glamour of the Vegas Strip and the Bellagio Fountains. Instead, NFL executives, team personnel, players, prospects and fans all tuned in from their couches. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced selections from his basement in Westchester County, New York.
The first 32 picks passed along over the course of nearly four hours, and the NFL landscape started its next evolution.
NFL Draft: Recap
The intrigue in the NFL Draft really started at No. 3 with Detroit, but nothing dramatic happened. The Lions took CB Jeff Okudah from Ohio State. Afterwards, the New York Giants selected Georgia OT Andrew Thomas.
The Miami Dolphins muddled minds over the last week with talk of trades, tackles and anyone other than Tua. However, when it came down to it, the Dolphins took Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 5 overall selection. Miami later took USC OT Austin Jackson at No. 18 to protect Tua.
Aloha 🤩 pic.twitter.com/mS5lFH3nxN— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 24, 2020
From there, Justin Herbert (Chargers), Derrick Brown (Panthers), Isaiah Simmons (Cardinals), CJ Henderson (Jaguars) and Jedrick Wills (Browns) came off the board. It was an uneventful Top-10, one which didn’t see a trade for the first time since 2015 despite heavy speculation.
Here Come the Trades
Surprises began to unfold outside the Top-10, however. The Jets took OT Mekhi Becton at No. 11, then the Las Vegas Raiders made Henry Ruggs III the first WR off the board at No. 12. Then, as the run on OTs was happening, Tampa Bay traded up to take Tristan Wirfs to protect Tom Brady.
San Francisco used the No. 14 overall, which they received from the Bucs, to take South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw.
The other trades during the NFL Draft took place in the 20s. New England traded out of the first round, sending No. 23 to the Chargers (who took Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray). The Patriots received No. 37 and No. 71 from LA.
Another deal happened later when the Dolphins dealt No. 26 overall to Green Bay so the Packers could take Aaron Rodger’s heir apparent, Jordan Love. This was a surprise, though, considering the Packers have not drafted a wide receiver in the first since 2002, and Rodgers was hoping for a skill position player.
Aaron Rodgers on @PatMcAfeeShow: "We haven't picked a skill player in the first round in 15 years, so that would be kind of cool."— Matt Schneidman (@mattschneidman) April 24, 2020
Rodgers says whoever the pick is, he'll track down his phone number and welcome him to the team tonight — if the Packers don't trade out.
The 49ers traded up to Minnesota’s No. 25 overall to select Arizona State WR Brandon Aiyuk. San Francisco surrendered the Nos. 31, 117 and 176 in the deal.
Run on Wide Receivers
Aiyuk was the sixth receiver off the board. The first was a surprise, with the Raiders taking Ruggs. Next was Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy to Denver at No. 15. Subsequently, CeeDee Lamb (No. 17 to Dallas), Jalen Reagor (No. 21 to Philadelphia) and Justin Jefferson (No. 22 to Minnesota) followed.
A few surprises came in the teens as well during the NFL Draft. Atlanta selected Clemson CB AJ Terrell at No. 16. And the Raiders took another CB, Damon Arnette out of Ohio State, at No. 19. Neither player was rated as a first round pick.
The final 12 picks of the first round split evenly between offense and defense.
The Jaguars made LSU edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson their pick at No. 20. Then the first interior offensive lineman came off the board at No. 24 when New Orleans drafted Michigan C Cesar Ruiz.
The final five picks of the first round featured a few surprises. Seattle took Texas Tech LB Jordyn Brooks at No. 27, ahead of LSU LB Patrick Queen. The Ravens selected Queen at No. 28.
Tennessee took OT Isaiah Wilson from Georgia at No. 29, perhaps a reach. And the Dolphins followed with their third first-round pick, taking Auburn CB Noah Igbinoghene despite clear needs elsewhere. Minnesota selected TCU CB Jeff Gladney at No. 31, and the Chiefs added LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire to close out the first round.
NFL Draft: Records
The SEC shattered a draft record with 15 players selected in the first round. The previous record of 12 was shared by the ACC (2006) and SEC (2013, 2017).
LSU broke an SEC record for most first-round picks with five. The previous record was four, held by LSU (2007) and Alabama (2017, 2018). The University of Miami still holds the record for most players draft in the first round. The Hurricanes saw six players drafted in 2004.
SEC set another pair of records with six Top-10 selections and 10 Top-20 selections.
LSU is four picks shy of setting a new program record for players drafted. The Tigers saw nine players taken in 2013 and 2014. They have a shot at Alabama’s SEC record of 12 players (2018).
NFL Draft: Tidbits
- Burrow became the 33rd quarterback selected No. 1 overall. He was also the third consecutive Heisman Trophy winner to be chosen at the top of the NFL Draft.
- Burrow joined Cam Newton (2011) as the only players to be the No. 1 pick after winning the National Championship and Heisman Trophy.
- Ohio State has five Top-5 selections since 2016, most of any school. (Young, Okudah in 2020; Nick Bosa, 2019; Denzel Ward, 2018; Joey Bosa, 2016).
- Detroit selected a CB in the first-round for the first time since 1998 (Terry Fair).
- The Dolphins had drafted only three first-round quarterbacks in franchise history prior to selecting Tua No. 5 overall. Two of the three became Hall of Famers (Bob Griese, 1967; Dan Marino, 1983; Ryan Tannehill, 2012).
- The SEC is the only conference in history to have two quarterbacks drafted in the Top-5 of the same draft.
- Aaron Rodgers is 36 years old. Shortly after he was drafted in 2005, Brett Farve turned 36 years old as well.
- Prior to drafting Patrick Queen, the Baltimore Ravens had never selected a player from LSU.
- Player Selections by Conference: SEC (15), Big Ten (5), Big 12 (5), ACC (3), Pac-12 (3) and Mountain West (1).
- Player Selections by School: LSU (5), Alabama (4), Ohio State (3) TCU/Georgia/Auburn/Oklahoma (2).
- Draft record for players from a singe school is 17 (Texas, 1984).
- The six OTs taken in the first-round are the most since 2015. Most first-round OTs all-time is seven (2008).
- Six WRs drafted in the first round has happen in 2015, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2001 and 1988. Most all-time is seven (2004).