Grading Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft: Picks 17-32

The first round of the NFL Draft has come and gone. Here is a quick recap and analysis of the picks made in the second half of the round.

Rd 1, No. 17: Dallas Cowboys select: WR Ceedee Lamb, Oklahoma

Grade: A-

Ceedee Lamb will be a great fit in Dallas because he can stretch the field and create openings for himself. A big physical receiver who can fight for the ball whether it be in the slot or end zone, Lamb has incredible hands. Lamb can take some of the pressure off Amari Cooper. This also allows Cooper to go down field more often as Lamb can take the slant plays. 

Round 1, No. 18: Miami Dolphins select OT Austin Jackson, USC

Grade: B+

The Miami Dolphins were in desperate need of an offensive lineman. With Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills, and Mekhi Becton off the board before No. 18, the Dolphins needed to reach for Jackson, who has been labeled to have vast potential with great footwork and recovery skills. This grade would be higher if they were able to trade down or select Jackson with their later first-round pick. 

Round 1, No. 19: Las Vegas Raiders select DB Damon Arnette, Ohio State

Grade: C

The Las Vegas Raiders love to reach for defensive players. Damon Arnette was projected to go in the second round. He is a good corner and has the perfect build to play the position in the NFL. Arnette is tremendous at deflecting the ball, and is best utilized when in zone coverage. This grade is low, but the Raiders were in need of a corner. They just could have waited until the middle to late second round for Arnette. 

Round 1, No. 20: Jacksonville Jaguars select EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson, LSU

Grade: B+

A great first step and tremendous athleticism allows Chaisson to abuse opposing offensive lines. Able to rush the quarterback with ease, Chaisson can also turn into coverage. Being able to do both is incredible for a linebacker and is always in high demand. Chaisson is extremely intelligent on the field, having incredible awareness as he is able to adjust mid-play. Chaisson will be paired with Josh Allen, which should in turn become a great linebacker duo for years. 

Round 1, No. 21: Philadelphia Eagles select WR Jalen Reagor, TCU

Grade: B-

With receivers such as Denzel Mims, Brandon Aiyuk, and Justin Jefferson still available, this pick scratches heads. Although there may have been better receivers still available, Reagor still fits the major need at receiver that the Eagles and Carson Wentz desperately needed last season. Reagor is also able to help on special teams, becoming a two-way player for the Eagles.  

Round 1, No. 22: Minnesota Vikings select WR Justin Jefferson, LSU

Grade: A-

After trading away a disgruntled Stefon Diggs, the Vikings quickly find their replacement. Justin Jefferson was a part of the Joe Burrow offensive explosion. He extends plays after the catch, and has incredible hands no matter how tight the coverage is. Although not the fastest receiver, he is still able to find ways to create space.  

Round 1, No. 23: Los Angeles Chargers select LB Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma

New England Patriots trade pick to Los Angeles Chargers

Grade: B+

Los Angeles had a tough season in 2019. The defense, however, was not the reason they played as bad as they did. Now, they add a pass-rusher in Kenneth Murray, who is a speedy linebacker. He is able to cover the whole field almost instantly, but does struggle with misdirection plays. Murray can easily attack the quarterback with his speed and quick power. This pick now bolsters their defense and allows some relief help to defensive end Joey Bosa.  

Round 1, No. 24: New Orleans Saints select C Cesar Ruiz, Michigan 

Grade: B

Cesar Ruiz is a versatile offensive lineman. He is able to play both guard and the center position. Ruiz has great hand placement and is able to hold his own during double teams. This pick helps fortify the offensive line, thus helping Drew Brees.  

Round 1, No. 25: San Francisco 49ers select WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State

Minnesota Vikings trade pick to San Francisco 49ers

Grade: B+

San Francisco was in need of a receiver after Emmanuel Sanders left for New Orleans this offseason. Aiyuk has tremendous hands and can catch any ball thrown to him. He is arguably one of the better catch and run receivers in the draft and can also help on special teams as a returner. 

Round 1, No. 26: Green Bay Packers select QB Jordan Love, Utah State

Miami Dolphins trade pick to Green Bay Packers

Grade: A

Although not the most talented quarterback, Love is a great pick for the Packers. Aaron Rodgers in recent years has been banged up. Adding a raw quarterback in Love will give Rodgers two or three more years as the starter in Green Bay. Green Bay is in dire need of offensive weapons, but this pick is for the future as Rodgers can not play forever. Love has a great arm but is not very accurate. Learning under Rodgers is the right scenario for Love. 

Round 1, No. 27: Seattle Seahawks select LB Jordyn Brooks, Texas Tech

Grade: B

A very smart linebacker, Brooks is able to self-diagnose plays. He is a very fast and aggressive attacker and should help provide pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. Although Brooks does have injury questions, he will help the Seahawks pressure the quarterback more often, especially with Jadeveon Clowney’s future in Seattle up in the air.  

Round 1, No. 28: Baltimore Ravens select LB Patrick Queen, LSU

Grade: B

The Baltimore Ravens needed a receiver that could play the slot position. The defense is already packed and adding Queen only deepens their depth. Queen is an athlete through and through. A very smart ballhawk cover linebacker, he will provide great coverage in the middle of the field. The Ravens are again boosting their defensive culture and making sure there are no holes in their defense. 

Round 1, No. 29: Tennessee Titans select OT Isaiah Wilson, Georgia 

Grade: B-

Isaiah Wilson is physically gifted as he is very powerful blocking defenders. However, his footwork is a bit sloppy and he is still a very raw talent. The Titans are in a win-now window and they used a first-round pick on a player that needs to develop over a few seasons. The team could have gone playmaker here on offense by drafting a receiver or reassuring their defensive line. 

Round 1, No. 30: Miami Dolphins select DB Noah Igbinoghene, Auburn 

Grade: C+

Igbinoghene is an amazing athlete, as it runs in his very accomplished family. However, this pick seems a bit too early for his talents. He was projected in the late second round, and the Dolphins already have two great corners. Igbinoghene is a great defender who is able to deflect passes but has trouble catching the ball consistently. A raw prospect, he will need time to develop as he is still learning the position. 

Round 1, No. 31: Minnesota Vikings select DB Jeff Gladney, TCU

Grade: B

With teams such as the Raiders and Dolphins pre-drafting corners so early in the round, the Vikings had to take Gladney before he was gone. Gladney is arguably the second or third best corner in the draft as he can cover, deflect, and is the most competitive player on and off the field. Gladney can be an immediate starter and the Dolphins and Raiders will be disappointed they missed out on him. 

Round 1, No. 32: Kansas City Chiefs select RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, LSU

Grade: B+

The Chiefs were in desperate need of a run game last year. Inconsistency really dragged the offense down. Although Patrick Mahomes is a great talent, having a solid run game would help Mahomes spread the field better. Edwards-Helaire is a quality elusive runner and is very shifty. He is able to create space and find small holes to extend the play. Edwards-Helaire is also an exceptional receiver and should be a great fit catching screen passes from the magician Mahomes.

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