NFL Draft’s good, bad and ugly

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As everyone rushes to grade the 2020 NFL Draft and offer their hot take, it is important to remember that drafts should be graded three years after they occur, not three days. With that said, here are some of my hits and misses from last week.

Hits

Dallas Cowboys: Perhaps the Jones family should draft from a yacht every year? Each time the Cowboys were on the clock, a stud landed in their lap.

CeeDee Lamb was ranked as the No. 6 prospect by Pro Football Focus and No. 7 by Rotoworld. The Cowboys got him at No. 17. Trevon Diggs was ranked as the No. 31 prospect by Pro Football Focus and No. 34 by Rotoworld. Dallas got him at No. 51. Neville Gallimore was ranked as the No. 51 prospect by Pro Football Focus and No. 45 by Rotoworld. The Cowboys got him at No. 82.

Baltimore Ravens: The rich got richer. After going 14-2 last season, Baltimore had six picks in the first three rounds of this year’s draft. Linebacker Patrick Queen and defensive lineman Justin Madubuike will likely be Day 1 starters.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: If you would have told Bruce Arians that Tristan Wirfs would be available at No. 13 and Antoine Winfield Jr. would be available at No. 45, he probably would have called you a liar.

Misses

Las Vegas Raiders: At some point, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock need to do a better job of assessing where their thoughts line up with the rest of the league.

On the morning of the 2019 NFL Draft, consensus mock drafts had Clelin Ferrell’s average draft position at pick No. 20. ESPN’s last consensus mock draft had him at No. 17. NFL.com had him at No. 22. USA Today had him at No. 24. The Raiders took him at No. 4.

How big of a surprise was the selection of Damon Arnette at No. 19 last week? Oddsmakers did not have a single offering on him. He was not on anyone’s radar as a first round selection. NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah had Arnette as the eighth-best cornerback. The Raiders took him at No. 19.

AFC West: When members of the Chargers, Raiders and Broncos wake up in the morning, they should have one question on their mind: How are we going to beat the Chiefs? Kansas City has won four-straight division titles and swept the AFC West last year.

The Chargers chose a quarterback, running back and wide receiver with three of their first four picks. The Raiders took three wide receivers in their first four picks. Three of Denver’s first four picks were on offense, including two wide receivers.

Who is covering Tyreek Hill? Who is blitzing Patrick Mahomes? The only team to have success against the Chiefs in the Andy Reid era was Denver in 2013-15, and they did it with defense.

See “NFL Draft could bring Vikings Help”

Green Bay Packers: You could do a whole separate issue of Gaming Today on the Packers’ draft.

Detroit Lions: Since 2010, the Lions have drafted a running back in the first or second round five times. The value of running backs in the NFL continues to diminish, yet the Lions keep selecting them. Detroit has used five draft picks on running backs over the last three years, including D’Andre Swift at the top of the second round on Friday night.

The Lions used a premium pick on a position where they already had adequate talent in Kerryon Johnson and Bo Scarbrough.

Chicago Bears: The biggest winner of the 2020 NFL Draft may end up being the Minnesota Vikings, because the other three teams in the NFC North missed the mark on a number of selections.

Tight end Cole Kmet was pegged as the No. 98 prospect by Pro Football Focus. The Bears took him at No. 43. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson enjoyed a fantastic career at Utah and was considered to be a first round talent, but he has suffered from shoulder ailments over the last two years and underwent shoulder surgery last month.

About the Author

James Bunting

James Bunting covers college basketball, baseball and the NFL for Gaming Today. He has worked as a freelance sports writer for several outlets over the last decade, focusing specifically on the sports betting industry in the last five years.

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