Night one of the 2020 NFL Draft was certainly one to remember. Things got off to a relatively unsurprising start, with Joe Burrow, Chase Young, and Jeffrey Okudah coming off the board. However, that’s when the run of tackles began with Andrew Thomas out of Georgia going to the Giants at 4th overall. When the dust settled, 6 tackles had been selected in the first round. While Thomas was a bit of a surprise as the first off the board, the next three were far from it, with Jedrick Wills heading to the Browns, Mekhi Becton to the Jets, and Tristan Wirfs to the Bucs. Isaiah Wilson closed out the night for tackles, going to the Titans at 29th. Given the amount of talent at the position as well as the deep need across the league, it was a big night for offensive linemen handling duties on the outside.
Not to be outdone, the depth and quality at wide receiver was on full display as well, with 6 receivers going on night one. Henry Ruggs III surprised some as the first receiver taken on the night, going to the Raiders at pick 12 to supply Derek Carr with a true burner who can both stretch the field as well as provide a dynamic weapon with the ball in his hands. The Broncos will pair Jerry Jeudy with stellar receiver Courtland Sutton to make one of the nastiest receiver tandems in the league. The biggest surprise in that top group was the fall of CeeDee Lamb who couldn’t slip past 17, where Jerry Jones snatched him right out from under the undoubtedly salivating Eagles to add him to an already strong receiver room.
Perhaps most surprising on the night was the trade up by the Green Bay Packers to make the selection of Utah State QB Jordan Love as the future successor to Aaron Rodgers. While Love is a player who needs to develop and will do well to sit for a year or two to grow as a passer, Aaron Rodgers isn’t known for warm fuzzy feelings, and seems unlikely to be interested in a mentor type relationship with a guy whose goal will be to take his job. That could certainly make for some interesting storylines over the coming season for a team that had several needs offensively and is certainly inside a window as a potential contender.
Given the class it doesn’t come as a total surprise, but no safeties were taken in the first round of this draft. There are sure to be several taken on day two, where many are perhaps better suited. Additionally, running backs were passed over until the selection of Clyde Edwards-Helaire to the Chiefs at the end of the first round, further underscoring the league’s move away from highly rating the position. There is certainly talent to be found there as well, and with backs like J.K. Dobbins and D’Andre Swift still on the board, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them go early on day two.
Perhaps the biggest surprise is that there wasn’t any real major technological hitch in the proceedings on night one. Given the circumstances and the hurdles they had to overcome, the broadcast was a strong success, even without a crazy amount of drama on display in terms of surprise picks or wild moves. The 2020 NFL Draft is off to a strong start. Day two should be just as exiting!