Winners and Losers of the 2020 NFL Draft
The 2020 National Football League (NFL) Draft is officially in the books, and it was one of the most captivating and surprising Drafts in recent memory.
The 2020 National Football League (NFL) Draft is officially in the books, and it was one of the most captivating and surprising Drafts in recent memory. Whether it be the Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers producing 14 drafted players, tying the all-time record, or the drafting of 37 wide receivers during the seven rounds, this NFL Draft was a unique experience that made this peculiar offseason a little bit easier to handle. However, at the end of every Draft, there are winners and there are losers.
Winner: Jordan Love
With maybe the most surprising pick of the entire NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers traded up into the first round to select Utah State University quarterback Jordan Love with the 26th pick. This pick took every NFL fan by surprise, as the Packers already have two-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Super Bowl Champion Aaron Rodgers at the helm, and Rodgers doesn't seem as though he is near the end of his playing career.
For Love, landing in Green Bay was the ultimate win. Firstly, Love will be paid a first-round pick salary to be a backup. That in itself is enough to make him a winner, but there is more going his way. Coming into the Draft, front offices saw Love as a prospect with lots of potential, but they had a sense that he would need substantial time to fully develop into a starting-caliber quarterback.
Now, Love will most likely not start a game for the Packers until he beats out Aaron Rodgers for the starting job, which will not be for a few seasons given Rodger's ability. Meanwhile, he has the opportunity to watch one of the most talented quarterbacks of all time and learn from Rodgers, rather than being thrown into the starting role with no offensive weapons at his disposal, hindering his development.
Loser: Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles had a very strange Draft, especially in the early rounds. In the first round, the Eagles addressed a team need at wide receiver, but selected Jalen Reagor from Texas Christian University (TCU) who was widely expected to go in the second round. Not only that, but wide receiver Justin Jefferson was still available who most considered to be a much better prospect. Reagor has potential in the NFL, but the pick definitely felt distasteful considering the options.
In the second round, the Eagles took The University of Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. The pick was one of the most indefensible picks of the Draft. If the Eagles don't believe in Wentz, that would be a legitimate reason to draft Hurts. But if that is not the case, which most Eagles fans would say, it appears the Eagles wasted a second round pick on an unnecessary backup quarterback. In the third round, instead of taking a much needed cornerback that they could play next to star Darius Slay, the Eagles drafted linebacker Davion Taylor from the University of Colorado Boulder. Taylor was not expected to be drafted around that pick, and also didn't resolve a team need as much as a cornerback, wide receiver, or offensive lineman would have, making Taylor a confounding pick in two ways. Meanwhile, the team's divisional rival, the Dallas Cowboys, had possibly the best draft in the NFL, making the Eagles' odd decisions look worse heading into the 2021 season.
Winner: New York Jets Fans
The New York Jets are known to usually draft "safe" players who often don't pan out. Mark Sanchez was supposedly a safe pick, as were Leonard Williams, Daron Lee, and countless other players who have disappointed but were called safe picks in the moment. For Jets fans, the disappointment doesn't stop at taking "safe" players, because throughout their history, the Jets have consistently been one of the worst performing teams in the NFL Draft, passing on all-time great players like Dan Marino and Warren Sapp.
However, new General Manager Joe Douglas turned the fortunes of Jets Nation around. In the first round, the Jets took offensive tackle Mekhi Becton with the 11th pick. Standing at 6'7" and 364 lb, Becton combines excellent size with athleticism, giving him massive potential. The Jets could have taken offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, which many would have considered the safer option. Breaking from precedent, the Jets took a player who might take more time to get his feet wet in the NFL but with greater upside. The Jets seemingly chose their franchise offensive lineman, a role they haven't filled since center Nick Mangold stopped playing in 2017.
In the second round, the Jets took speedy wide receiver Denzel Mims, a present for quarterback Sam Darnold. After having one of the best pre-draft processes, Mims has huge potential in the NFL centered around his amazing catching ability and catch radius. Throughout the seven rounds, the Jets not only addressed their needs, but did so in a way that Jets fans have not seen in a long time. With Sam Darnold heading into his second season in Head Coach Adam Gase's offense, and with more depth at wide receiver, offensive tackle, and on the defensive line, Jets fans are now extremely excited about what is to come for their team.