2020 NFL Draft Ratings and Rankings, 16-9: Was Carolina’s all-defense draft the right move?

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and while there will still be flurries of signings of undrafted free agents, it’s time to hand out the grades for who nailed the draft, and who is left with more questions than answers. Here are my official draft rankings and ratings, from worst to first. 

16. Pittsburgh Steelers (54 out of 100)
Best Pick: Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame (Round 2, Pick 17)
Worst Pick: Kevin Dotson, OG, Louisiana (Round 4, Pick 29)
1-Sentence Analysis: Pittsburgh nailed it early, addressing two of their biggest needs at receiver and outside lineback in their first two picks, but the rest of their draft was a bit sketchy, as they didn’t grab a tight end, or a quarterback to groom in a division that has Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, and Baker Mayfield. 

15. New York Jets (55 out of 100)

Best Pick: Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor (Round 2, Pick 27)
Worst Pick: James Morgan, QB, Florida International (Round 4, Pick 19)

1-Sentence Analysis: The Jets passed on their pick of the litter from this year’s receiver class to get a monster in Mekhi Becton, and they still stole Mims off the board late in the second round, but things got confusing on day 3, when the Jets took a quarterback despite a promising Darnold under center, and they failed to draft any linebackers, most definitely a need for a New York team in an AFC East that’s there for the taking. 

14. Philadelphia Eagles (58 out of 100)
Best Pick: Davion Taylor, OLB, Colorado (Round 3, Pick 39)
Worst Pick: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU (Round 1, Pick 21)
1-Sentence Analysis: CeeDee Lamb came within four spots of the Eagles, but Philly didn’t make a move to trade up and watched him fall to the Cowboys, and then they grabbed Reagor, who I didn’t think was the best available by any means, but the Eagles redeemed themselves with a great pick in Jalen Hurts and an intriguing selection of Taylor, whose speed and versatility can make an immediate impact in their defense. 

13. Los Angeles Chargers (61 out of 100)
Best Pick: K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State (Round 7, Pick 6)
Worst Pick: Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame (Round 6, Pick 7)
1-Sentence Analysis: Anyone who watched our draft preview knows I mentioned Hill as a late round steal possibility so I love the move to get him in the seventh, pairing him up with Justin Herbert, but defensively, I thought the Chargers added great value in Kenneth Murray, but I’m not sure Alohi Gilman fits into their scheme athletically despite his great ball skills, and I would have liked to see LA pick up a cornerback to improve their grade.
12. Carolina Panthers (62 out of 100)
Best Pick: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn (Round 1, Pick 7)
Worst Pick: Kenny Robinson, S, West Virginia (Round 5, Pick 6)
1 Sentence Analysis: Matt Rhule didn’t mess around, drafting strictly on the defensive side, and I thought he killed it early with Brown, Yetur Gross-Matos, and Jeremy Chinn, but I felt that when he spent four of his final five picks in the secondary, he neglected to address needs at linebacker, which will need to be filled quickly for Carolina to compete in a division with Matt Ryan, Tom Brady, and Drew Brees. 

11. Dallas Cowboys (65 out of 100)
Best Pick: Trevon Diggs, Cornerback, Alabama (Round 2, Pick 19)
Worst Pick: Reggie Robinson III, Cornerback, Tulsa (Round 4, Pick 17)
1-Sentence Analysis: Most people gave Dallas heaping praise on their draft, and I found it to be a good draft, but a failure to address a need at safety, when there was good value available, and while taking CeeDee Lamb kept him away from Philadelphia, it stopped Dallas from getting an impact player on the defensive line, which I believe should have been prioritized earlier given the Cowboys’ surplus of offense. 

10. Las Vegas Raiders (66 out of 100)
Best Pick: Lynn Bowden, WR, Kentucky (Round 3, Pick 16)
Worst Pick: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State (Round 1, Pick 19)
1-Sentence Analysis: I’m a little higher on the Raiders’ draft than most, as I think Jon Gruden realized that the only way to beat the Chiefs is to just go blow-for-blow with them on offense, and he loaded up quarterback Derek Carr with an arsenal of weapons, including the speedy Henry Ruggs, swiss-army-knife Lynn Bowden, and Bryan Edwards of South Carolina, covering up some deficiencies in his defensive selections, namely picking Arnette in the first round and not drafting a linebacker. 

9. Denver Broncos (67 out of 100)
Best Pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama (Round 1, Pick 15)Worst Pick: Michael Ojemudia, CB, Iowa (Round 3, Pick 13)
1-Sentence Analysis: Drew Lock was smiling as he was supplied a bevy of weapons from the draft, and I thought, despite potentially reaching for the very athletic Ojemudia in the third round, Denver did a good job getting value in later rounds, recognizing that while they might make a playoff push this year, their real window to win probably starts closer to next year.

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