NFL Draft Winners and Losers – 1st Round

Anthony Miller
I am currently an NFL Contributor for Infinity Sports Network as well as NFL Draft Contributor for NFL Draft Lounge. I also write about the NFL, XFL, and arena football for multiple websites.

The 2020 NFL Draft was a historical night as it was the first virtual draft ever conducted. For the most part, the presentations from ABC, ESPN, and NFL Network went smoothly. Some teams were successful, while others had a tough night. Even some players won big and fell hard after Thursday night. So who were the NFL Draft Winners and Losers?

1st Round Winners

Miami Dolphins

NFL Draft Winners and Losers
The Miami Dolphins made three first-round picks for the first time in franchise history. (Photos via @NFL)

Of course Miami was a big winner after three first round picks that should impact the team right away. Tua Tagovailoa was the number one quarterback before injuries. His upside and arm talent could make him the franchise quarterback Miami has been waiting for since Dan Marino. He won’t even be pressured to start right away with Ryan Fitzpatrick there. Tagovailoa can heal up for 2020 and then take over as the starter.

USC offensive tackle Austin Jackson landed to Miami at number 18 in the draft. It’s a great pick in the sense that they add protection for Tagovailoa which is what they need. Jackson displays good pass protection and should help protect Tagovailoa from being injured.

Miami made a trade with the Packers as they moved up to get Jordan Love. The Dolphins took advantage by adding more picks and selecting Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene. It was a bit of a surprise since they have Xavien Howard and Byron Jones at corner. Igbinoghene gives them more depth and could play in the nickel for them.

Justin Herbert

The Los Angeles Chargers knocked it out of the park in the first round. Their first pick could find himself in a good situation offensively. Justin Herbert has been regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in the draft. He didn’t wait too long for the Chargers to draft him.

Herbert will have time to sit behind Tyrod Taylor if the team doesn’t feel he’s ready to go. There is talent around him with Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Hunter Henry as his top pass targets. Austin Ekeler and Justin Jackson provide a good, young one-two punch in the backfield. A strong offensive line also should help the rookie quarterback out.

Minnesota Vikings’ Draft Picks

The Vikings arguably had one of the best nights of the teams in the draft. They got a steal with picking LSU receiver Justin Jefferson at number 22. The pick came from the Stefon Diggs trade with the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota found his replacement. Jefferson caught over 100 passes last season for LSU and proved to be a viable number one target. He should fit in with the Minnesota offense.

Just one pick before the end of the first round, the Vikings took a cornerback. TCU corner Jeff Gladney should be able to jump in and make an impact as a starter. Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes are no longer with the Vikings as they need depth. Gladney’s quickness with his feet makes him a top notch corner and should be one of their top corners.

Draft Losers

Philadelphia Eagles Draft Miss

It’s obviously too early to say that the Eagles reached on a receiver, but they missed out on a couple of good ones. CeeDee Lamb landed on the Cowboys’ lap and it made all the sense to draft him. The Cowboys passing game gets better, plus the Eagles won’t be able to draft Lamb. First big loss of the night for the Eagles.

Their second big loss can be debated and will be for months to come. Jalen Reagor is a big play guy with a ton of speed to him. It’s understandable why the Eagles picked him as they didn’t have the deep threat player on offense. Reagor could be that guy, but Justin Jefferson was still available and the Eagles might have missed out. 

Philadelphia had a chance to potentially get Reagor in the second round and pick a linebacker in the first round. It may take some time to figure out if the Eagles made the right move in the draft. The move feels like they reached on Reagor, but that will be a mystery until the next few seasons.

Aaron Rodgers

Poor Aaron Rodgers. He was excited for the Packers to go into the draft and help him on offense. That didn’t quite happen. Green Bay selected Jordan Love with their first round pick and even traded up to get him. The move probably didn’t sit well for Rodgers. It almost feels like deja vu for Rodgers.

Rodgers took over for Brett Favre after sitting on the bench for three seasons. Favre was heading into his late 30’s by that time. Rodgers is 35 and Love looks to be coming into a similar situation. Love will be sitting on the bench for awhile, but might be taking over at quarterback in the future.

Las Vegas Raiders

Typical Raiders picked a receiver with speed over overall talent. It’s hard to argue that Alabama receiver Henry Ruggs is a bad receiver because he’s got first round talent. Ruggs is the fastest receiver in the draft and will be a great deep threat receiver. The problem is he was the first receiver picked with others graded higher than him.

Jeudy and Lamb were considered to be better than Ruggs overall and were available. It has become apparent that the Raiders wanted a speedy receiver and wanted to take him. Once again, it appears the Raiders reached on a receiver like they did with Darrius Heyward-Bey. Ruggs should be a good receiver in the NFL, but the Raiders had better options. We’ll see how he’ll be and how he’s used in Jon Gruden’s offense. 

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