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Bales’ NFL Draft Winners and Losers

The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft is complete, and there were quite a few surprises. I outline a few of my favorite and least favorite picks of the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. 

 

Favorite Picks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers traded up only one spot with the San Francisco 49ers. Personally, guaranteeing Tristan Wirfs would have been worth quite a bit more than they dealt. There were four elite offensive tackle prospects in this draft, and it looked as if they were all going to go in the top 10 at one point before Thursday night. That clearly didn’t happen. The surprising part was the Wirfs, who was one of the favorites to be the first offensive tackle off the board fell to Tampa Bay with the 13th overall selection. He was the fourth offensive tackle selected. 

Wirfs will immediately slide into the starting right tackle position. He’s an upgrade for Brady and company, making Tampa Bay’s offense that much more dangerous. The key to this selection is that Wirfs fell due to the depth of the position. If he was selected fourth overall by the New York Giants, no one would have questioned the decision. Instead, Tampa Bay gets a steal in the teens. 

Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

One of the best teams in the NFL got even better after last night. The Baltimore Ravens held firm on their position in the draft, selecting who I believe is the top middle linebacker in this draft. Surprisingly, Patrick Queen wasn’t even the second middle linebacker selected in this draft. 

He’s expected to slide into a starting role from day one for Baltimore. He’s an athletic linebacker, who immediately upgrades an already solid defense. Queen has the potential to become a difference-maker in the second level of Baltimore’s defense, and this type of drafting is one of the reasons Baltimore is going to be a top NFL team for years to come. 

 

Least Favorite Picks

Seattle Seahawks – Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech

The Seattle Seahawks always seem to draft anyone they want whenever they want. They don’t seem to abide by the boards of other teams, simply drafting whoever they want at that pick. That was the case once again in this draft. While Jordyn Brooks has the potential to be a starting linebacker in the NFL, Patrick Queen was available with this pick. At worst, Seattle could’ve traded down and still selected Brooks. 

Brooks is expected to slide into the starting weak side linebacker slot for the Seahawks. Drafting for need makes sense, but that isn’t enough to change this being one of my least favorite picks of the first round, especially with Seattle being known for trading down in the first round.

Miami Dolphins – Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn

This is one of the most peculiar picks of the first round. I had a handful of cornerback prospects rated ahead of Noah Igbinoghene at this point in the draft. Jeff Gladney was selected the pick after Igbinoghene, while Kristian Fulton, Trevon Diggs, and Jaylon Johnson all remained on the board. This was one of the clearest reaches on day one of the NFL Draft. 

On top of this being a reach, it makes very little sense for Miami. They are a team with a number of holes throughout their roster. Cornerback isn’t one of them, though, as they have the tandem of Byron Jones and Xavien Howard. Igbinoghene is an athletic player that will gradually get better as he takes more reps at cornerback, but reaching for one of your strongest positions with a number of holes throughout the roster turns this into one of the worst picks of the night.

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