First Round NFL Draft Winners and Losers

First Round NFL Draft Winners and Losers

Written by on April 22, 2020

With the first round of the 2020 NFL draft in the record books, now is a perfect time to examine which teams took their first round picks ‘to the house’ and which teams fumbled their opening round selections. Whether it was a safe pick that was expected or a stunning move that surprised, let’s find out which teams got it right and which teams will likely be hurt by their draft night miscues and NFL Draft Odds.

Five Teams That Took Their First Round Picks ‘To The House’

Miami Dolphins

No team had more first round picks than the Miami Dolphins and thankfully for their win-starved fan base, the Dolphins got it mostly right on draft night. First, they stuck to their guns by selecting Alabama star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth overall pick. The Fins are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback and no signal-caller in this year’s draft has as high of an upside as Tagovailoa in my opinion. Miami also added two players that could become longtime fixtures at some point in the near future in USC tackle Austin Jackson at No. 18 and Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene at No. 30.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jags have been a complete mess the last two seasons, but they got it right on draft night by selecting gifted Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson with the ninth overall pick before grabbing LSU linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson with the 20th overall pick. Both players should start right away in Jacksonville and both have plenty of Pro Bowl potential.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys were expected to be looking for a defensive back with its opening round pick, but with CeeDee Lamb still on the board at No. 17, Jerry Jones made the right move by grabbing the super athletic former Oklahoma wideout. Now, the Boys have an offense that looks like it could put up a ton of points with Lamb opposite Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper and star running back Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield with quarterback Dak Prescott under center.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

You’ve got to be kidding me right? There’s no way in hell that Tampa Bay should have even had a shot at landing the best tackle in this year’s draft, but that’s exactly what happened as Iowa star Tristan Wirfs fell out of the top 10 and right into Tampa Bay’s lap at No. 14. Wirfs excels at pass blocking and for now, that will be more than good enough to make him a staple of the Buccaneer’s offensive line for years to come.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals walked away from the first round as undeniable winners by simply not blowing their first round selection. Instead of trading down for multiple picks, Cincinnati stayed the course they said they were always on by selecting LSU star Joe Burrow first overall. While Burrow might not be the best quarterback in this draft class in five years, he was the ‘safe’ pick and is his leadership skills may be unrivaled by anyone in this draft class.

Five Teams That Fumbled Their First Round Picks

New York Giants

Following their surprise selection of tackle Andrew Thomas, the Giants said they had the former Georgia star as the top-rated tackle in this year’s draft. That’s funny though, seeing as how everyone else – and I do mean everyone – had Thomas ranked as the fourth best tackle in this year’s draft.

Philadelphia Eagles

Everyone knew that my hometown Eagles needed help at the wide receiver position, but no one expected them to take

TCU wideout Jalen Reagor at No. 21. With LSU star Justin Jefferson and other elite receivers like Clemson’s Tee Higgins still on the board, Philly over-reached for Reagor, the ninth-highest rated receiver in this year’s draft class. Talk about fumbling the ball!

New York Jets

Yes, Louisville left tackle Mekhi Becton is talented enough to have been a top 15 selection, but with Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs till available at No. 11 I think the Jets selected the wrong tackle to protect Sam Darnold. Oh, and then there’s the fact that  Becton’s combine drug test was flagged by the league.

Atlanta Falcons

Yes, the Falcons needed help on the defensive side of the ball, but I think they over-reached in picking Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell at No. 16 when higher-rated defensive stars like LSU linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson and Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray were still on the board. While the Falcons didn’t really need to upgrade their receiver position, it sure would have been scary as hell seeing Oklahoma star CeeDee Lamb on the field with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.

New Orleans Saints

It’s hard to rip on a New Orleans organization that generally drafts very well, but the Saints blew it by selecting Michigan center Cesar Ruiz with the 24th pick in the draft when they could have used some help at linebacker or wide receiver more. LSU linebacker Patrick Queen or Clemson wideout Tee Higgins would have been a better fit for New Orleans in my estimation.