After months of studying prospects’ tape and reading mock drafts, the 2020 NFL draft is finally here. As many expected, the Bengals took QB Joe Burrow with the No. 1 overall pick, and Washington took DE Chase Young with the second pick.
Below is our instant analysis and grades for every Round 1 pick.
1. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Joe Burrow
By all appearances, Cincinnati’s commitment to Burrow has been strong and steady from the start. The only reasonable knock on LSU’s 2019 breakout star is his lack of top-level arm strength, but that’s not to say Burrow can’t still make every throw. What sets him apart is how he gets to those throws. He sees and exploits the entire width of the field; he moves calmly, courageously and craftily within the pocket, and has good enough wheels to make plays outside of it. There’s no task in Zac Taylor’s zone-based, play-action-oriented offense that Burrow can’t perform. Getting him to quickly maximize the potential of those tasks will require better play at offensive line and wide receiver, areas the Bengals could address later in this draft but will also improve by default with wide receiver A.J. Green and 2019 first-round left tackle Jonah Williams returning to health. This can be a whole different Bengals offense in 2020.
2. Washington: EDGE Chase Young
Washington entered this draft with many needs, and pass rusher was not one of them. Tenth-year veteran Ryan Kerrigan still offers quality burst and bendability, and the team spent a first-round pick last season on Mississippi State’s Montez Sweat. Inside, defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis is coming off a quietly strong 2019 season, and alongside him are relatively recent first-round picks Jonathan Allen (2017) and Da’Ron Payne (’18). So no, Washington did not need Chase Young, but that doesn’t make them wrong for taking him. Sometimes talent is too immense to pass up. Many scouts see Young as the type of explosive difference-maker who only comes along once every few years. No team has ever rued having too many quality pass rushers, especially not if that team runs a 4-3 gap-based, zone-oriented scheme like new head coach Ron Rivera and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio are expected to install.
RedskinsReport: Washington Offers No Drama With Young at No. 2
3. Detroit Lions: CB Jeff Okudah
No team played more man coverage than the Lions last season, which is a philosophy that head coach Matt Patricia brought over from New England. In that same vein, Patricia also puts a huge emphasis on matchups, having specific corners travel almost everywhere with specific receivers week after week. You must have a true No. 1 corner to consistently do this. What reigning Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore has brought to New England, the Lions hope Okudah will bring to Detroit. He’s a slightly different style of corner than the physical Gilmore; what scouts liked most about Okudah is he has the agility to mirror wide receivers. The Lions, who like to have multiple safeties helping in coverage, often instruct their corners to play in the low hip pocket of their man. Okudah shined with that at Ohio State. The only negative here is Detroit GM Bob Quinn probably felt he could get a quality corner a few picks later in the draft, but he did not get an enticing enough package to trade down. Okudah is the first corner drafted in the top three since Seattle took Shawn Springs third in 1997. He can slide right into the role previously filled by recently traded veteran Darius Slay.
AllLions: Okudah Goes to the Lions at No. 3
4. New York Giants: OT Andrew Thomas
No surprise about the position but plenty of surprise about the player; few expected the 6'5", 320-pound Thomas to be the first offensive tackle taken. In a draft where so many teams need offensive tackle help and so many outstanding offensive tackle prospects are available, it’s surprising New York wasn’t able to trade down and get their guy later. GM Dave Gettleman does not have a history of trading down, but the Giants made it known that they were willing to deal. Obviously, the right offer did not come along, and so the Giants took the guy they like best. What’s to admire about Thomas: 36-inch arms, standout competitiveness, sound pass-blocking mechanics and overall composure. It will be interesting to see if the Giants view Thomas as a right tackle (his likely position for 2020) or a left tackle (his possible position for 2021, when up-and-down veteran Nate Solder could be a cap casualty).
5. Miami Dolphins: QB Tua Tagovailoa
Consider this the perfect world for Stephen Ross’s team. The wildly unfair “Tanking for Tua” slogan proved false, but only because the Dolphins played so much better in the second half of last season and fell all the way to No. 5 in the draft order. Tagovailoa’s late-season hip injury may have been a blessing in disguise, as none of the other QB-needy teams traded up to get him.
That hip is reportedly healed, and there is time for it to get even stronger as the Dolphins don’t need Tagovailoa to play right away. But it’d be a surprise if he’s not the starter come mid-November. The Dolphins are still in the early phases of a massive rebuild, and stopgap veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick can be counted on for at least a half-dozen of the type of head-scratching interceptions that get a quarterback benched.
Tagovailoa’s draft status also speaks to the expanding definition of an NFL quarterback. Ten years ago, a small-statured, good-but-not-great-armed QB would have never gone fifth overall. But football IQ, athleticism and intangibles have become even more valued at the position. Still, for Tagovailoa to succeed, the Dolphins must support him with a strong cast and crisply defined system. He projects to the NFL as more of a timing and rhythm passer than a Russell Wilson-style playmaker.
6. Los Angeles Chargers: QB Justin Herbert
Those around the NFL said the Chargers, who are well-stocked on defense, believe they will not have an opportunity to draft this high again anytime soon. And so they jumped at the franchise QB. Like predecessor Philip Rivers, Herbert is a classic “big, strong pocket passer,” but unlike Rivers, he can also make plays with his legs. The big concern is whether Herbert can be consistently accurate enough. He has a fastball and can make throws that many starting NFL quarterbacks cannot, but he was wild at times as a Duck, not unlike how Cam Newton or Josh Allen can be. Quarterbacks like that are best suited for a downfield passing attack that is supported by a sound run game. The Chargers have good front line pieces here in wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, plus tight end Hunter Henry, but they still need more depth and run game weapons.
7. Carolina Panthers: DT Derrick Brown
There’s a new coaching staff in Carolina, but the same old drafting philosophy—taking a big, strong defensive tackle in the early rounds. Brown has superb athleticism, given his thundering size. The question is if that athleticism extends far enough to make him a consistently high-level pass rusher. No matter how dominant he might be as a run defender, it’s hard to justify taking any defensive lineman in the top 10 in today’s NFL if he can’t get to the quarterback. But pairing Brown with Kawann Short will, at the very least, make the Panthers dominant inside and make life easier on Luke Kuechly’s replacement at middle linebacker.
AllPanthers: Breaking Down Derrick Brown's Fit on Panthers
8. Arizona Cardinals: OLB Isaiah Simmons
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.
AllCardinals: Run on Quarterbacks Helps Cardinals Land 'Elite' Simmons
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB C.J. Henderson
It’s pretty simple: The Jaguars were strapped for cap space and had to get rid of expensive veteran A.J. Bouye and, before that, soon-to-be expensive superstar Jalen Ramsey. So they did, and to compensate, they drafted the man some see as the best corner in this year’s class. One might argue that the Jags, who play a lot more Seahawks-style zone coverage than pure man-to-man, do not need to spend so heavily for a cornerback. But in that Seahawks-style scheme, the perimeter corners often have de facto man-to-man responsibilities. Henderson can perform those duties, via both press-man and mirror technique coverage.
JaguarReport: Jaguars take UF CB CJ Henderson at No. 9
10. Cleveland Browns: OT Jedrick Wills Jr.
The Browns must have been thrilled: The Giants’ surprising selection of Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and the top three quarterbacks getting snatched up in the first six picks left the man they likely had at the top of their board still available at pick No. 10. Wills played right tackle at Alabama but has the light feet and athleticism to transition smoothly to the left side. That would allow expensive free agent pickup Jack Conklin to stay at right tackle, where it took him four years to locate a comfortable set of mechanics as a Titan. In today’s NFL, the delineation between left and right tackles means very little (if anything), so the Browns can base these decisions strictly on what’s best for their two players.
If Wills pans out quickly, this Browns offense could suddenly meet the expectations that were placed on it a year ago. Quarterback Baker Mayfield will have the protection he lacked last season and he’ll be playing in a smart, QB-friendly scheme under new head coach Kevin Stefanski, throwing to a more familiar Odell Beckham and working with a balanced run game headed by Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. That’s a 25-point-per-game type lineup.
BrownsDigest: Browns Take Alabama OT Wills Jr. With No. 10 Pick
11. New York Jets: OT Mekhi Becton
By the end of last season, the Jets were playing with four backup offensive linemen, and that lineup actually played better than the starting unit had played. The point? They need more O-line talent. Becton has that. He’s the largest man to enter the league since right tackle Trent Brown, who earned a $36.25 million guaranteed contract with the Raiders in 2019. He played left tackle at Louisville, and plugging him in there would let ex-Seahawk George Fant, who was signed for three years and $27.3 million ($5.85 million guaranteed), play right tackle, where he’s probably better suited. Becton might have some pass-blocking mechanics to clean up, but he should be a Day One starter.
JetsCountry: Jets Draft Bekton to Complete Offensive Line Rebuild
12. Las Vegas Raiders: WR Henry Ruggs III
We learned last year that the Raiders badly want a stud wide receiver, and now they have one who can actually be counted on. Ruggs has effortless, jaw-dropping speed, and he can produce at all three levels. That’s notable because few offensive architects are as creative and diverse in three-level passing concepts as Jon Gruden. Ruggs also presents terrifying big-play potential on jet sweeps and quick screens.
Last season, the Raiders had far fewer 20-plus-yard air throws than most teams. That should change now—though to make the Ruggs pick fully worth it, you can bet Gruden will ride Derek Carr even harder about playing aggressively.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Indianapolis via San Francisco): OT Tristan Wirfs
If you’re going to invest in a 42-year-old Tom Brady, you need to fill your glaring hole at right tackle. Insert Wirfs, who was an efficient, compact starting right tackle for three years at Iowa. Though his measurables are mostly normal—he’s nearly 6'5" and has 34-inch arms—some feel that Wirfs’s playing style is better suited for the guard position. That’s an unlikely move for the Bucs, who have a quality left guard in Ali Marpet and spent a third-rounder on right guard Alex Cappa in 2018. Consider this a straightforward, value-needed selection.
14. San Francisco 49ers (from Tampa Bay): DT Javon Kinlaw
Many expected the Niners to find a replacement for departed wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders here, but that’s not how this organization thinks. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch understand that as long as they have quality route runners on the field, Shanahan’s play designs can win. Quality route runners can be found in Rounds 2-4, especially with a wide receiver class as deep as this one’s. (Plus, the Niners believe they found one last year in 2019 third-rounder Jalen Hurd, whom they love.)
What Shanahan and Lynch also understand is that, while their offensive system is not player-dependent, their defensive system is. Coordinator Robert Saleh’s scheme is predicated on having a potent four-man pass rush. The Niners rode that to a Super Bowl appearance last year. After financial constraints forced them to trade DeForest Buckner to the Colts, they needed to restock for this year. NFL draft expert Greg Cosell has said that Kinlaw is not a flawless prospect, but his best-case scenario is to develop into a Chris Jones type of force. That’s a helluva best-case scenario, and the Niners believe they have one of the NFL’s best defensive line coaches in Kris Kocurek.
All49ers: 49ers Trade Back, Scoop Up Javon Kinlaw
15. Denver Broncos: WR Jerry Jeudy
The Broncos have a budding star in “X” receiver Courtland Sutton, who can consistently win one-on-one downfield on the perimeter and hurt teams with in-breaking routes. But for their optimism in 2019 second-round quarterback Drew Lock to be fully realized, they needed a “Z” receiver—that guy who can go in motion, run every route at every level and contribute via yards-after-catch. Some feel that Jeudy is the best route runner coming out of college in this era. The Broncos addressed a glaring need with a stylistically perfect prospect, and they didn’t have to trade up to do it.
Mile High Huddle: Broncos Select Alabama WR Jerry Jeudy
16. Atlanta Falcons: CB A.J. Terrell
Terrell fits the long-bodied, rangy athletic profile of a cornerback in Dan Quinn’s Seahawks-style Cover 3 scheme. He changes directions soundly and can win through physicality or finesse. (In Atlanta, he’ll likely be encouraged to go with physicality.)
This selection could be viewed as a mild admission of underachievement from 2018 second-rounder Isaiah Oliver, who likely will now be cemented into the nickel outside corner role that he was demoted to down the stretch last season. Second-year pro Kendall Sheffield becomes the likely full-time slot defender. If all goes well, Atlanta will have three quality corners, which would allow them to maximize those Cover 3 zone concepts and continue to quietly dabble in more man-to-man than people realize.
Atlanta’s biggest need entering this draft was pass rusher—preferably an edge guy to align opposite free agent pickup Dante Fowler, which would enable Takk McKinley to slide inside. But this draft is light on ready-made first-round caliber pass rushers, and so Quinn and GM Thomas Dimitroff took the fuller value player.
Falcon Report: Terrell Could Upgrade Falcons' Secondary
17. Dallas Cowboys: WR CeeDee Lamb
With Randall Cobb joining Houston, the Cowboys needed a new slot receiver. What they smartly realized is if they found one who could also play the “Z” position, going in motion and aligning outside, that would allow them to slide pricey star Amari Cooper into the slot, where he’s guaranteed to avoid the press-jam coverage that sometimes gives him trouble. Even better is that Lamb himself can also play significant snaps inside, affording offensive coordinator Kellen Moore the ultimate flexibility with his first-round wide receivers. Expect to see even more of the creative pre-snap motioning and stack-release tactics from Moore this season.
Having Lamb and Cooper together almost assures that Michael Gallup, who is quietly developing into a nice “X” receiver, will often face one-on-one coverage. And in that same vein, it could mean lighter run boxes for Ezekiel Elliott. This is a quality pick with a potentially significant domino effect.
CowboyMaven: CeeDee to Big D: Cowboys Pick Talent Over Need
18. Miami Dolphins (from Pittsburgh): OT Austin Jackson
Let’s keep it simple: The Dolphins just drafted a quarterback who must be protected. They had an extremely limited offensive line in 2019, and signing free agent left guard Ereck Flowers alone was not enough to change things in 2020. So, they used their next first-round pick on an offensive lineman. Jackson likely wasn’t atop their offensive tackle board (there were rumors that they were trying to trade for the No. 3 overall pick), but he is a long-bodied, flexible athlete who showed competitiveness at USC.
19. Las Vegas Raiders (from Chicago): CB Damon Arnette
Even though defensive coordinator Paul Guenther plays a lot of zone coverage with two safeties back deep, he has always prioritizing having talent at cornerback. Guenther coached a trio of first-round corners when he was the defensive coordinator in Cincinnati (Dre Kirkpatrick, William Jackson and Darqueze Dennard), and now he has a 2020 first-round corner to pair opposite 2019 second-round corner Trayvon Mullen. (And Arnette was only selected because a free agent deal with another former first-round corner that they had acquired, ex-Giant/Saint Eli Apple, fell through.)
“But just one problem,” the critics say. “Arnette is not REALLY a first-round corner. Most mock drafts had him going in Round 2, maybe even 3.” Maybe that’s valid, and that’s certainly the type of thing that will ding Las Vegas’s draft grade. But GM Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden couldn’t care less, and they understand that to assume a guy will go later in the draft, you are—on some level—assuming you know 31 other teams’ draft boards. It’s not the worst thing to like a player (a LOT, presumably) and pick that player.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars (from LA Rams): OLB K'Lavon Chaisson
Just like with their previous pick, the Jaguars are filling a need that was brought about by a veteran departure. Or, an upcoming veteran departure, anyway. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue wants to get paid and has been very publicly campaigning for a trade. The Jags seem likely to give him one, even though Ngakoue is an explosive, top-shelf edge-bender and Jacksonville’s Cover 3-based defensive scheme cannot work without a quality four-man pass rush.
Chaisson won’t even be 21 until July, and naturally, much of his game still needs to be developed. But his raw talent is eye-popping, and the Jags, amidst a roster overhaul, can afford to be patient here. And if last year’s first-round pick, Josh Allen, builds on his encouraging rookie season, this defense can look forward to having one of the league’s most dominant edge-rushing tandems.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: WR Jalen Reagor
In critical pass situations last season, the Eagles often went to 12 personnel—two receivers and two tight ends. Yes, they have a pair of quality tight ends in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, but this personnel decision said more about what they had—or didn’t have—at wide receiver.
Reagor fills a gargantuan void. He was an explosive outside weapon at TCU who showed he can also move into the slot. While maybe not quite a pure burner through and through, he can still get vertical—a notable trait given that Carson Wentz is innately aggressive when it comes to pushing the ball downfield. Reagor also impressed scouts with some of his route running nuance—another notable trait given that Doug Pederson’s offense, when it’s functioning comfortably, is built on detailed route combinations.
22. Minnesota Vikings (from Buffalo): WR Justin Jefferson
At LSU, 109 of Jefferson’s 111 catches came from the slot. The Vikings, however, often play with just two wide receivers on the field (which usually means no slot position to fill) and likely see the 6' 3", 192-pounder as an outside weapon. Jefferson played with polish and a sound sense of tempo in LSU’s offense and should transition effectively to a new role in a Vikings scheme that will make heavy use of in-breaking routes off play-action. He is not as explosive as predecessor Stefon Diggs, but he’ll likelier be a happier camper to deal with.
23. Los Angeles Chargers (from New England): LB Kenneth Murray
Murray, with his prototypical size, athleticism, speed and explosiveness, was widely regarded as the best stack linebacker in this class. The Chargers entered this draft with two-down linebacker Denzel Perryman and erratic ex-Bengal Nick Vigil penciled in atop their base package depth chart, and only 2019 fourth-rounder Drue Tranquill as a capable passing down linebacker. It’s a simple case of injecting talent where talent is needed, and it creates options for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, who now has some depth and diversity to work with in the middle.
The only potential mark against this pick is that many see Murray’s blitzing prowess as a significant part of his value, and the Chargers are not a big blitzing defense. But maybe with Murray now paired with Derwin James, Bradley will get more aggressive.
24. New Orleans Saints: C Cesar Ruiz
The Saints do not have any glaring needs on offense or defense. Even though this is likely Drew Brees’s last season, and so one might think they’d be drafting for this year, the Saints are still set up for success down the road. Head coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis are keeping the big picture in perspective.
The two questions with Ruiz: When will he play? And where will he play? As far as the when: Right guard Larry Warford is in the final year of his contract and the team could actually save $7.75 million in cap space by cutting him now. That, however, would mean $5 million in dead money on the books, plus Warford is only 29 and is still playing at a high level. It’s entirely possible Ruiz could develop from the bench in Year One.
The where question is even more interesting. Left guard Andrus Peat was just signed to a big second contract and seems entrenched at that position, which means Ruiz will either play right guard or center. Ruiz says he is more comfortable at center but that’s where 2019 second-rounder Erik McCoy plays, and he’s coming off a solid rookie season.
Saints News Network: Payton Didn't Draft Ruiz to Be A Backup
25. San Francisco 49ers (from Minnesota): WR Brandon Aiyuk
The Niners must absolutely love Aiyuk. The evidence:
1) They are light on mid-round draft capital and presumably wanted to rectify that by trading one of their two first-round picks.
2) Quality receivers can be found later in this draft.
3) Shanahan’s scheme has proven it can work with “good, not great” wide receivers.
And yet, here the Niners are, trading up to pick No. 25 to get the Arizona State star. Scouts liked Aiyuk’s effectiveness operating on the move, which is a key characteristic in Shanahan’s timing-based offense. He also has shown he can align in a variety of positions.
26. Green Bay Packers (from Houston via Miami): QB Jordan Love
The biggest story of this draft, by far. Get ready for a whole offseason spent dissecting this move from every angle, then get ready for another one or two years of it afterward—presumably, that’s how long the Packers plan for Love to sit behind Aaron Rodgers.
Rodgers is notorious for remembering every slight, and by default, all the speculation about his and Matt LaFleur’s relationship gets rejuvenated after it had been put to bed by this team’s success in 2019.
Let’s just focus on the “for now:” Rodgers is still elite. He might not have the dazzling playmaking ability that he possessed a few years ago (particularly when it comes to getting outside the pocket), but he is still one of the three or four best football throwers in the world, and he’s smart. He got better in LaFleur’s system last season, as both quarterback and head coach did a wonderful job adjusting to each other and meeting in the middle, with LaFleur rolling out his scheme gradually and Rodgers reigning in some of his off-beat style dropbacks in turn.
Love has first-round tools, but inconsistent mechanics plagued him at Utah State, as did bizarre bouts of poor field vision. The Packers feel they can clean that up. Mechanics rarely get corrected once a guy reaches the NFL, but one of LaFleur’s specialties and greatest passions is teaching the details of throwing mechanics, and Love is in the unusual position of a first-round quarterback being groomed behind a superstar QB who likely still has multiple years of greatness left in him.
So for now … it’s business as usual for the Packers. Just with some PR work to massage.
PackersCentral: Back to the Future: Packers Take QB Jordan Love
27. Seattle Seahawks: LB Jordyn Brooks
Perennially underappreciated star veteran K.J. Wright is in the final year of his contract. Though he showed little sign of decline last year, it stands to reason the Seahawks might be willing to move on once his deal expires. (That’s largely how Seattle has approached 30-plus-year-old star defenders in the past.)
Bobby Wagner might seem old because he has been playing at such a high level for so long, but he doesn’t turn 30 until June and his contract runs through 2022. There is an opt-out after 2020, but it’s hard to fathom Seattle planning to go that route at this point. Wagner has shown no sign of decline on film. (Though remember, teams often start seeing a player’s decline up close in practice before that decline makes its way to the playing field.)
The Seahawks also drafted a future starting linebacker last year in Cody Barton, who has the coverage skills to maybe even push for all-important nickel snaps this season. So it’s not like things were looking bereft at linebacker for 2021 and beyond. So why take Brooks in the first round?
Recall that last season the Seahawks often played base 4-3 personnel, even against three-receiver sets. It was a highly unusual move in a nickel-heavy league, but it worked well, in part because Seattle is so comfortable playing zone. (4-3 vs. 3 WRs does not work well in man-to-man.) We assumed the 4-3 move was in part because Seattle did not have any great options at slot corner. But at pick No. 27, there were decent slot corner prospects on the board. And yet they still took Brooks. Is Pete Carroll planning to commit to the 4-3 approach long-term?
This will be a fascinating scenario to watch play out.
SeahawkMaven: Seahawks Surprise, Select LB Brooks
28. Baltimore Ravens: LB Patrick Queen
The Ravens entered the draft with no starting-caliber linebackers on their roster. Now they found one who has the athleticism to play on passing downs. Problem solved. Or, at least, potentially solved. Queen only started one season at LSU and the Ravens have a complex matchup-zone scheme that requires middle-of-the-field players to make reads and adjustments on the fly. The Ravens are also a proudly physical team and some scouts don’t regard Queen as that style of player.
It’s an incredibly tall order for this particular linebacker to step in and contribute right away on a Super Bowl-ready team. But Queen is gifted, he improved noticeably over the course of 2019 and the Ravens have one of the best young assistant coaches in the league in linebackers coach Mike Macdonald. And because the Ravens so often play with dime personnel—meaning six defensive backs and just one linebacker—Macdonald can focus solely on Queen when he’s on the field in dime (which, this team hopes, will be on a majority of snaps).
RavenCountry: Ravens Draft First LSU Player for the First Time
29. Tennessee Titans: OT Isaiah Wilson
It’s straightforward: When you’re a run-heavy team and you just lost your quality right tackle in free agency, it’s imperative you find a new quality right tackle. Quality offensive tackles require an early-round pick. Especially when that tackle weighs 350 and is athletic.
What’ll be interesting is to see if Wilson, at his size, can play at the NFL level with the needed quickness and mobility for Tennessee’s wide-zone blocking scheme. He wouldn’t be here if the Titans had many doubts that he could.
AllTitans: Titans Take Georgie Tackle Isaiah Wilson
30. Miami Dolphins (from Green Bay): CB Noah Igbinoghene
With just two years of cornerback experience, the converted wide receiver enters the NFL as a raw but supremely gifted prospect. The athleticism and competitiveness that Igbinoghene showed at Auburn are mandatory traits in the man-to-man-intensive scheme that Miami is aggressively investing in. With pricey ex-Cowboy Byron Jones and pricey incumbent Xavien Howard on the roster, it’s possible the Dolphins plan on grooming Igbinoghene for a role in the slot. At 5' 11", 198 he has the measurables to play inside or outside. More likely, though, is the Dolphins see raw talent that they’d like to groom and figure they’ll decide on a long-term role later in the process.
AllDolphins: Instant reaction to Dolphins drafting Igbinoghene
31. Minnesota Vikings (from San Francisco): CB Jeff Gladney
Minnesota badly needed help at defensive back after losing Xavier Rhodes, Trae Waynes and Mackensie Alexander earlier this spring. Mike Zimmer historically prefers to develop cornerbacks from the bench in Year One, but with so few quality corners on the roster, don’t be surprised if Gladney starts in 2020—perhaps in a nickel slot role, which plays to his skill set. Zimmer’s corners are always sound tacklers. That, and blitzing, were two things Gladney did well at TCU.
InsideTheVikings: Minnesota Selects TCU Cornerback Jeff Gladney
32. Kansas City Chiefs: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire
Few probably expected the short-but-not-small Edwards-Helaire to be the first running back taken. But the LSU product has the type of burst, lateral agility and quickness to create his own space as a runner, and he is a diverse weapon in the passing game.
A gripe with this pick is that you can almost always find a quality tailback in the middle rounds (yes, that old song) and there were good defensive backs still on the board. That includes Alabama’s Xavier McKinney, who would have been an excellent replacement (stylistically) for underappreciated departed free agent Kendall Fuller. But let’s remember: You don’t get the 32nd pick without doing a few things right as a franchise. It’ll be interesting to look back on this one a few years from now.
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