The 2020 NFL Draft Review: Virtual Insanity

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With the top part of the first-ever virtual NFL Draft going as planned, questions will be asked about much of the rest. It was exciting, and memorable. We update you in detail, ICYMI.

The 1st ever fully virtual NFL Draft happened over last weekend. And while no one was sure how it would come together, it did so without a hitch. Some high-ranking staff, and GMs either had their IT guys in RVs just outside their homes, or in their base of operations to ensure proper connectivity.

The thought had been that because of the possible glitches, in-draft trades would be down this year, and while that is partially true, the 1st round did see four draft-day trades. Six other 1st-round picks were traded prior to the draft.

The top of the draft went as planned, with the Bengals taking QB Joe Burrow at #1, Redskins took EDGE Chase Young, and the Lions selected CB Jeffrey Okudah at #3. This marks the 1st time that the top three players were from the same school. Albeit Joe Burrow did play at LSU last year, he was recruited to and chose Ohio State, starting his college career as a Buckeye like Young and Okudah.

The next QB to come off the board was Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, to the Dolphins at pick 5, which everyone had already guessed long before the draft. The Chargers took the 3rd QB with their pick, #6, Oregon’s Justin Herbert.

Offensive lineman took up two spots in the top 10, as Andrew Thomas for Georgia went to the Giants at 4, and Crimson Tide’s Jedrick Wills was picked by the Browns at 10.

Auburn’s DT Derrick Brown went to the Panthers at 7, Clemson’s LB Isaiah Simmons went to the Cardinals at 8, and Gators’ CB CJ Henderson stayed in north Florida with the Jaguars at the 9th pick.

Quarterbacks were the big story of this draft. A total of six were widely thought to have been possible 1st-round picks. Four were taken that night. Burrow, Tagovailoa, Herbert, and Jordan Love, who was the Packers selection at #26 overall.

The top three were expected. And while Love was looked at as 1st-round talent, his destination was highly debated. Not many believed the Packers were in the market. That was a stunner, as many picked Love to go to the Patriots, who ended up trading their top pick to the Chargers.

The next big story was the depth at the wide receiver position. Henry Ruggs, Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, Justin Jefferson and Tee Higgins were believed to be the cream of the crop, and any of those could be the 1st one off the board. The Raiders took the initial bite, selecting Henry Ruggs at 12, Jeudy went 3 picks later to their division rival Broncos.

Lamb was picked at 17 by the Cowboys, TCU’s Jalen Reagor was chosen by the Eagles at 21, Justin Jefferson went to the Vikings one pick later, and Arizona State’s Brandon Aiyuk capped off the night at 25 to the 49ers.

It would be 21 picks into the 2nd round before another QB would be selected. On the minds of fans everywhere were Jacob Eason, Jake Fromm, Jalen Hurts, and FIU’s James Morgan. These guys were big names at the collegiate level, but the question was, what can they do in the NFL? To many surprised faces, the Philadelphia Eagles took Jalen Hurts in the 2nd round.

Eason and Fromm were believed to better NFL prospects than Hurts by many. And the fact that the Eagles just re-signed their young QB, Carson Wentz one season ago, left many fans scratching their heads. Even more so than Packers fans. At least QB Aaron Rodgers has been in the league for a while, and the franchise has a history of drafting a QB with the intent of letting him sit for at least a year.

Almost half of the 1st round selections were from the SEC, the most in history (15). That included five from the national champions LSU Tigers, and four from Alabama. Five were from both the Big Ten and the Big-12 conferences, three from the Pac-12, three from the ACC, and one from the Mountain West.

The first-ever virtual NFL Draft was a hit, drawing a record 15 million viewers. It was unexpectedly entertaining, as many were not sure how the whole thing would work, without the fans, the bullpen, and war rooms. Without the handshakes or hugs shared between player to commissioner. Fans were asked to send in videos of them booing picks, EA Sports contacted the players, and animated the interaction with Roger Goodell that they had wanted, in an attempt to make the experience as normal as possible. And America responded.

Not just by watching, but the NFL and it’s partners held what they called, The Draft-a-Thon. A call-in and donate campaign to benefit 6 charities that are supporting those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Over $6 million was raised, and every penny will be matched by the league. Not to mention other efforts like the All-In Challenge, that offered and auctioned off memorabilia, tickets, dinners, and other experiences to raise money.

A record-setting weekend, that left a lot of us in wonder and excitement. Recap the whole thing at pigskinnut.com, where we lay out everything you need to know before and after the draft, a pick-by-pick tracker, with analysis from Austin Smith, and your up-to-the-minute news from all around the league.

Contact Info:
Name: Steve Fischkin
Email: Send Email
Organization: PigskinNut
Address: 13 Freneau Drive, Marlboro Township, NJ 07751, United States
Website: https://pigskinnut.com

Source: PressCable

Release ID: 88955865