2020 NFL Draft: 12 Biggest Surprises, Packers and Eagles Taking QB Early to Virtual Mental Health and More


The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone, and although we break down all the ramifications of the 255 choices made in the days and weeks to come, we take a moment in the afterglow to pick up on the biggest surprises in weekend project. Whether it’s a pair of teams curiously taking shifts at the start, or a team doing crazy transactions while another crazy trader stayed put, or even the draft itself making it three days without major hiccups , there was a lot of the most exciting football weekend that took us by surprise.

Here is an overview of the 12 most surprising moments of the project, starting with the biggest surprise of day 1.

1. Packers write a new QB franchise, forward receivers

Before the repechage, the Packers, who last season made it to the NFC championship game, had to use the 30th pick on a receiver or linebacker. Instead, they traded the picks to the Dolphins in exchange for the 26th pick, which they used to take over Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. While Love was among the top hopes in the draft quarterback, the choice was surprising given the Packers’ position needs and the fact that Aaron Rodgers is only 36 and has had a season that saw him make 26 touchdowns against just four interceptions.

Although they eventually drafted a linebacker (taking Kamal Martin of Minnesota in the fifth round), the Packers did not use any of their nine picks on a receiver. Rodgers, who hoped Green Bay would use his first-round pick on a skill position player, is unlikely to please.

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2. The ball carrier selected on Day 1, and it is not Andre Swift

The only ball carrier who could have been selected Thursday evening was Georgian Andre Swift, considered the best ball carrier in this year’s draft (Jonathan Taylor also taken into account). Will Brinson of CBS Sports actually asked the chefs to select Swift with the 32nd pick during one of the fake Mondays at CBS Sports headquarters.

Although the Chiefs backed down, it was not Swift who was taken over by the Lions with the 35th pick. Instead, Kansas City selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who collected nearly 2,000 versatile yards last season while helping LSU win the national title. Edwards-Helaire will now seek to complement Damien Williams, who scored the decisive game in the Chiefs’ victory in the LIV Super Bowl.

“We just think he’s a hell of a player,” said Chiefs head coach Andy Reid of the decision to bring Edwards-Helaire back for the first time in the first round, via Pete Sweeney of SB Nation. “I know some of the LSU coaches. They talk so much about him, just like the coaches who played against him. Brett Veach has just done a phenomenal job of handling this and working through it, putting us in a position where we could take it. My hat goes to his guys who broke our lines so that we can get information about him. He has this enormous heart and capacity. When you put on the tape, one of those guys jumps at you. “

3. Jalen Hurts goes to… the Eagles?

Jalen Hurts’ choice in the second round was not a surprise, at least for some people. Hurts after all has just had a 2019 season in Oklahoma that saw him amass more than 5,000 multi-purpose yards and 52 touchdowns while finishing near the top of the Heisman Trophy vote.

What was surprising was that Hurts was selected by the Eagles with the 53rd draft pick. Unlike the other quarters selected before him, Hurts is heading for a team that already has their franchise quarterback at Carson Wentz, who is currently engaged in the 2024 season. That said, Wentz has missed the last three seasons of the Eagles with an injury, including the team’s Super Bowl comeback in 2017. When Wentz fell just before the 2019 playoffs, the Eagles were forced to start Josh McCown, who led the attack on Philadelphia. just nine points from their loss to the Seahawks.

Although it was a surprising decision, the Hurts acquisition provides the Eagles with insurance if Wentz continues to struggle to stay on the pitch.

4. Seahawks don’t negotiate in first round

General manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll who move Seattle’s first round pick have become an annual first round tradition. Four times since 2013, the Seahawks have withdrawn from the first round. Seattle also traded in the back of the first round in three of the previous four projects.

On Thursday evening, Seattle, for the first time since 2011, used its first choice in the first round. With the 27th choice, the Seahawks responded to their need for linebacker, taking Jordyn Brooks of Texas Tech. The selection of Brooks was also surprising, as Seattle succeeded Patrick Queen of LSU, a top-ranked prospect who was selected by the Ravens with the closest choice.

5. The bears take another close end with the first choice

Chicago had nine tight ends at the start of the 2020 draft. Despite this, the Bears used their first pick (43rd overall) to select tight end Notre Dame Cole Kmet. Although Kmet – who caught 43 assists and six touchdowns in his lone year as a college starter – was the best hope in the draft, it was certainly a confusing decision as the Bears had to use that choice on an offensive lineman or a defensive back.

When explaining why he made the choice, Bears general manager Ryan Pace called Kmet a “classic Y-tight end,” which means he will see considerable time on the line. melee. Pace also said that Kmet is a good addition to veteran Jimmy Graham, who was signed earlier this offseason.

“He goes very well with Jimmy, goes very well with Demetrius [Harris] “Said Pace, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “We are delighted to take this position and make it a force, and they all do different things. “

6. Cowboys land five potential long-term starters

It is rare for a team to find five players in a single draft who could be potential long-term starters. But that’s exactly what the Cowboys did in this draft, receiving wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in the first round, cornerback Trevon Diggs in the second, defensive lineman Neville Gallimore in the third, center Tyler Biadasz in the fourth, and edge defender Bradlee Anae on the fifth. .

Lamb, who was considered one of the top three receivers in the draft, was not expected to be on the board so late in the first round, and the Cowboys pivoted from their original plan to take on the featured playmaker. Diggs and Gallimore, considered potential talents for Day 1, were seized by the Cowboys on Day 2. And after adding to their offensive line (one of the biggest items on the draft wish list Dallas) with Biadasz’s selection, Dallas made one of the biggest draft flights when they selected Anae – one of the top 100 prospects in CBS Sports’s preliminary design rankings – with the 179th pick .

While a big project doesn’t guarantee success, it’s safe to say that the Cowboys have put themselves in a position to race their first Super Bowl in a quarter of a century.

7. Broncos, Raiders can’t stop catching pass catchers

While everyone expected the Broncos and the Raiders to address their respective receiver positions during the repechage, few people expected the two teams to choose six combined receivers. The Raiders, who made Henry Ruggs III the first wide receiver with 12th overall, then selected Lynn Bowden Jr. of Kentucky and Bryan Edwards of South Carolina with 80th and 81st picks.

Like their AFC West counterpart, the Broncos also passed their first pick on a receiver, taking Jerry Jeudy with the 15th pick. Like Las Vegas, Denver did not stop there, as they also picked KJ Hamler in the second round and Tyrie Cleveland in the seventh round, while picking up tight tight winger Albert Okwuegbunam in the fourth round. That’s a lot of weapons for young quarterback Drew Lock.

New Denver players will be looking to complete the 2019 Pro Bowler Courtland Sutton while quickly gaining rapport with second-year quarterback Drew Lock. The new Raider receivers will join a list that already includes veteran Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow.

8. The saints leave on day 3, then return for QB

At the end on day 2, Sean Payton and the Saints traded their four day 3 choices to the Vikings to select former Dayton tight end Adam Trautman with the 105th choice. While it looked like the Saints’ draft in 2020 was already over before the start of the last day, New Orleans made a late trade, sending a sixth round pick in 2021 to the Texans to select Tommy Stevens, a 6 feet 7 inches, 229 pounds. Mississippi state quarterback with 240th pick. Stevens, who also spent four seasons at Penn State, threw 11 touchdowns and five interceptions in his only season with the Bulldogs.

While the trade in all of their picks from day 3 on Friday night was surprising in itself, the Saints’ decision to return to day 3 to take a quarterback – when the team already has Drew Brees and Taysom Hill – was just as surprising.

9. Jacob Eason falls on day 3

Although he is the fifth best quarterback and the 44th best player in the CBS Sports draft ranking, former Washington quarterback Jacob Eason did not hear his name called until day 3 of the draft. And when Eason’s name was finally called, the team that picked him up with the 122nd pick was the Colts, a team that already counts Philip Rivers and veteran Jacoby Brissett.

Like Hurts, Eason, who had a prolific 2019 season for the Huskies after starting his college career in Georgia, will have to start his NFL career as a backup quarterback. Eason’s plight, however, is at least partially the result of the current shift market, as several talented former franchise quarters are still looking for their next opportunity.

Eason, unlike Hurts, should have the opportunity to play as soon as possible, with Rivers only signing in the 2020 season.

10. Jake Fromm caught after James Morgan

No quarterback suffered a longer fall on the day of the draft than the Georgian Jake Fromm, who was the eighth quarterback and 167th player selected in the repechage. Among the quarters before Fromm was former Florida international quarterback James Morgan, who was selected by the Jets with the 125th pick.

Fromm’s drop in the draft can probably be partly attributed to his unimpressive performance in the February NFL game, as Fromm couldn’t find his rhythm by launching at unknown receivers. Fromm was unable to compensate for his substandard combine after the cancellation of Georgia Pro Day due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like Hurts and Eason, Fromm was selected by a team that already has a starting quarterback in place to Josh Allen, who helped lead the Bills to a 10-6 record in their second season at Buffalo. And although the starting job is to be lost for Allen, it is not an exaggeration to believe that Fromm could have an opportunity at some point in the near future, as Allen’s style of play as a signalman makes shaking things up in the racing game opens it. for other shots, many other shifts do not have to be taken.

11. Patriots kick, but no quarterback

While they selected former Marshall kicker Justin Rohrwasser, who himself was a big surprise when the first kicker was selected, in the fifth round, Bill Belichick chose not to use his 10 draft picks on the quarterback post. That means Belichick and the Patriots will chase Cam Newton or Jameis Winston in free agency, try to acquire Bengal veteran Andy Dalton, or ride with Jarrett Stidham as the starting quarterback.

The Patriots signed a rookie quarterback shortly after the draft, agreeing to a deal with former Louisiana Tech quarterback J’Mar Smith.

12. The virtual draft has no problems

As mentioned above, the project did not present any major problems although it was the very first virtual project. A total of 29 transactions were executed over three days, while the actual project time did not exceed the usual standard.

Fans also seemed to enjoy the very first virtual draft, with Bill Belichick’s Husky, Kliff Kingsbury’s living room and Roger Goodell lounge chair become instant social media sensations.

Saints head coach Sean Payton said on Saturday that the league should incorporate parts of the virtual project into future projects.

“It went so well, and I know there is a way you are used to doing things, but I wouldn’t be surprised if maybe adjustments were made,” said Payton on ESPN, via Larry Brown Sports. “I think the fan likes to see a little more of the interaction with each of these draft picks in their homes rather than in a setting where they are all in their suits. “


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