August 4, 2020

Lynq Sports

bet on it

Arizona Cardinals

Grade: A-

Reaction: The Cardinals were able to address some key needs for their team. They upgraded a bad defense with a stud in Isaiah Simmons. The Cardinals also got great value in the third round drafting offensive tackle Josh Jones. The only thing keeping this from being an elite draft class is the fact that I don’t think the Cardinals did enough to address their offensive line issues. And let’s be honest, there’s nothing more important to a young quarterback’s development than having a good offensive line. – Austin

Atlanta Falcons

Grade: D+

Reaction: The Falcons were in prime position to address their biggest issue on their team which was pass rush. Not only did they neglect that need, but they reached on a player who would have probably been available with their next pick. A.J. Terrell and Marlon Davidson both felt like reaches and that’s not what you should be doing with your first two picks. In fact, A.J. Epenesa was available at their second pick too, and they still went with Davidson. As for the rest of their draft, I liked the pickup of Hennessy since Alex Mack is getting old and the Walker and Hawkins pickups were decent as well. All isn’t lost for the Falcons but they absolutely failed to address their biggest need. – Zack

Baltimore Ravens

Grade: A+

Reaction: In typical Ravens fashion, they were once again able to come away with an elite draft class. I love the pick of Patrick Queen at linebacker; a bit undersized but will be able to run with any tight end in pass coverage. I think a huge steal for the Ravens was drafting J.K. Dobbins. I think Dobbins will be the best running back in the draft class and gives the Ravens a running back that can score any time he touches the ball. – Austin

Buffalo Bills 

Grade: A-

Reaction: For a team without a first round pick, Buffalo did a great job at getting some serious value for their picks. Snagging Epenesa late in the second round and Zack Moss late in the third were two steals while addressing positions of need. The Bills stacked up depth at wide receiver with UCF’s Gabriel and an 1,100 yard, 13 touchdown player in Isaiah Hodgins from Oregon State. Fromm is an interesting fit in Buffalo but could help Josh Allen develop while being competent if a backup role. I’m also a fan of Tyler Bass who didn’t have a great year this year but was very accurate with a good leg over the course of his college career. With plenty of linebacker help still unsigned in free agency, the Bills are sitting pretty as the best team in the AFC East. – Zack

Carolina Panthers

Grade: A-

Reaction: It wasn’t the sexy draft you were expecting from the Panthers, but it was the right one. Their defense was horrible last year, so what did they do this year? They spent every draft pick they had this year on the defensive side of the ball. That isn’t something you were expecting from a rookie head coach, especially one coming from the run and gun of the Big 12. The only knock I have on this draft class is maybe they could have taken a playmaker on day 3 of the draft because that offensive is very thin at the skill positions. – Austin

Chicago Bears

Grade: B-

Reaction: It’s tough to get real value out of a draft in which you only have two picks in the first five rounds, but Chicago didn’t do too bad. I would have liked to see some minor adjustments in their first two picks, maybe going safety and wide receiver instead of Cole Kmet at tight end and Jaylon Johnson at cornerback, but the players are fine. Kmet joins a crowded tight end position and should emerge as a pass catching threat while Johnson has potential to be a starter at some point next season. As for the rest of the draft, Trevis Gipson is a great pickup and can get after the quarterback while Kindle Vildor will be a quality backup corner. Mooney wasn’t terribly productive at Tulane but should get reps consistently. The back end linemen could turn out well if they make the roster but there’s really no telling with 7th round offensive linemen. – Zack

Cincinnati Bengals

Grade: B+ 

Reaction: The Bengals did what they were supposed to do, draft the best quarterback available with the number 1 overall pick. So the rest of their draft class was just a bonus. Although I think they could have done more to protect Joe Burrow, which is why I gave them a lower grade. Third-round pick Logan Wilson will probably end up being a starter at linebacker for the Bengals and is a good player with upside. But the Bengals had the chance to take an offensive tackle, Josh Jones, at this pick, and could have cut Bobby Hart. If Bobby Hart has to start for the Bengals again this year, I don’t like Burrow’s chances for making it to year 2. – Austin

Cleveland Browns

Grade: A+

Reaction: I’m really not sure the Browns could have done any better with this draft considering the absolute value they got at every pick. Getting Wills at 10 was a no-brainer and Delpit, an absolute monster at safety, in the second round was perfect for Cleveland. Jordan Elliott can do just about everything from the defensive tackle spot and Jacob Phillips was the leading tackler for LSU. At the time of the draft Harrison Bryant was my 3rd ranked tight end and Nick Harris was my 7th ranked center, both value picks for their position in the draft. Finally, getting Donovan Peoples-Jones in the 6th round is a ridiculous steal. He has a chance to be a star with the offensive weapons Cleveland has and he should be on the field in most empty packages Cleveland puts together. I loved every pick in this draft and I think every player will be a starter for Cleveland within two seasons. – Zack

Dallas Cowboys

Grade: A

Reaction: As a Giants fan, this pains me to write, but I loved what the Cowboys did in the draft. Having wide receiver CeeDee Lamb fall to them at 17 is just absurd. Then to add insult to injury, they were still able to land a top tier cornerback in Trevon Diggs. You would think that would be enough, but Jerry Jones didn’t get a 250 million dollar yacht by not taking chances. So with their fourth-round pick, the Cowboys took center Tyler Biadasz. Biadasz had some bad medical reports coming into the draft, but if he can stay healthy Jerry found a replacement for Travis Frederick. – Austin

Denver Broncos

Grade: A-

Reaction: Denver made huge improvements all over the field but did especially well with their receiving corps and second levels of defense. Jerry Jeudy falling all the way to 15 for Denver is incredible mismanagement by the 14 teams who picked ahead of them, so Denver must be ecstatic. Then, grabbing K.J. Hamler for a slot weapon made them even deeper. More, you say? Alright. Albert Okwuegbunam was the fastest tight end at the combine with terrific hands and Tyrie Cleveland is a solid utility player who could be used in tons of different packages. Michael Ojemudia was a bit of a reach in my book but Iowa generally puts out good pros, so he should be solid next to A.J. Bouye. Lloyd Cushenberry III will be a nice addition along the offensive line and Netane Muti has a chance to be the best guard in this entire class. As for the defense, Denver bolstered the pass rush with Justin Strnad and Derrek Tuszka, both decent value for their draft positions. McTelvin Agim has the potential to be a starter this season although it is unlikely that he takes over Shelby Harris’s position. – Zack

Detroit Lions

Grade: C

Reaction: The Lions seem like a franchise without a direction. Their draft class was all over the place and looked more like a team going for a playoff run then rebuilding. The first mistake the Lions made was not putting out more smoke screens that they were taking a quarterback. You couldn’t leak that maybe Matthew Stafford is more hurt then you thought, and you’re going to take Tua at this pick. That was the Lions’ first mistake in the draft, then taking running back D’Andre Swift in the second-round was their second. Taking a running back here didn’t fill a need for the Lions, and should have been spent on more of a position of need. I do like the two maulers of guards the Lions got in Jonah Jackson and Logan Stenberg. After this draft class, I would expect some firings to be happening in the front office before the next draft. – Austin

Green Bay Packers

Grade: F

Reaction: I was really looking forward to seeing how much this Green Bay offense could improve over the course of a weekend, but instead the Packers, once again, made some of the worst draft decisions of the year. A new regime doesn’t matter as they traded up to pick Aaron Rodgers’ eventual replacement in the first round, a player who would have still been available had the Packers stayed put. Then in the second round they picked up A.J. Dillon, a running back out of Boston College who has absolutely no chance to make any significant impact other than pushing Rodgers closer to asking for a trade. Tight end Josiah Deguara was a gross reach for the third round. I was fine with the Martin, Runyan, and Hanson picks at inside linebacker, guard, and center, respectively, but after that it was more of the same. Stepaniak, Scott, and Garvin were all picks that will struggle to make the team. This was an unmitigated disaster from top to bottom. – Zack

Houston Texans

Grade: C-

Reaction: Can you give the Houston Texans draft class a grade? I mean it’s not like head coach/general manager Bill O’ Brien cares about the draft. He freely traded  away draft picks and doesn’t even get a first-round pick back for one of the best players in the NFL. Up until a month before the draft, the Texans weren’t even picking until the third round of the draft. Overall the Texans had 5 selections in this draft and were able to address some needs. I loved the pick of defensive tackle Ross Blacklock; he will be an immediate upgrade on the defensive line. Still the Texans’ inability to draft a cornerback before the fourth round showed me that they probably shouldn’t have traded away all their draft picks. I would say Bill O’Brien should be fired for incompetence, but we all know this won’t happen. – Austin

Indianapolis Colts

Grade: B+

Reaction: I was a big fan of the Colts draft, especially with the offensive weapons they ended up with. Michael Pittman will be an instant starter and perfect complement to T.Y. Hilton. The Colts then blew it out of the water with the Jonathan Taylor pickup. Taylor was arguably the best back in this draft and should be an OROY candidate behind that offensive line. Jacob Eason was a smart pickup for great value in the 4th round considering he was my 4th ranked quarterback, and I trust whatever this front office thinks about Danny Pinter. Dezmon Patmon should be able to see some snaps this season but shouldn’t be too impactful. On the other side of the ball, Julian Blackmon should be a solid center fielder in the secondary and Robert Windsor will play well behind DeForest Buckner. Isaiah Rodgers is a ballhawk out of UMass and Jordan Glasgow should be able to play some snaps. – Zack

Jacksonville Jaguars

Grade: B+

Reaction: The tank is on for the Jaguars, as they look to throw away the 2020 NFL season. So this draft was an excellent opportunity for the Jags to get a head start on the rebuild. The Jaguars nailed both of their first-round picks in cornerback CJ Henderson, and defensive end K’Lavon Chaisson. The second-round pick of wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. provides a stud playmaker on the outside for quarterback Gardner Minshew. The only flaw I could find in this draft class was the Jaguars’ inability to land a young talented offensive lineman. – Austin

Kansas City Chiefs

Grade: B

Reaction: The Chiefs only had six picks this draft and it’s tough to make significant upgrades when you just won the Super Bowl, but they did regardless. The final pick of the first round should have given every other team an “Oh, *bleep*” moment when the Chiefs got CEH out of LSU because he’s clearly going to be a game breaker for that offense, not like they had enough already. I liked the Willie Gay Jr. pick in the second round despite my ranking him lower. He had off the field issues but was dominant when healthy. I felt as though Lucas Niang was great value in the third round and L’Jarius Sneed ought to be able to learn from Tyrann Mathieu and Juan Thornhill. Mike Danna and Thakarius Keyes probably won’t see much of the field this season but have a chance to learn from some great coaches and players. – Zack

Los Angeles Chargers

Grade: D+

Reaction: The post-Phillip Rivers Chargers era has officially begun in Los Angeles, as the Chargers took their quarterback of the future in Justin Herbert. Herbert is a big strong-armed quarterback, who can make a throw in the NFL, yet he struggled his senior season in college. The Chargers then decided to trade back into the first round and take linebacker Kenneth Murray. This was a shock to me because the Chargers aren’t a team that should be giving away extra picks to move up to take a linebacker. These extra picks should have been spent on protecting your investment at quarterback. Overall this draft class will solely be based on the development of Justin Herbert, so that’s the only pick that matters. – Austin

Los Angeles Rams

Grade: C-

Reaction: This slightly below average grade isn’t because of the players that the Rams took, it’s about where they took them. For their first pick they took Cam Akers. Over J.K. Dobbins. That’s flatly a terrible decision. Then five picks later they took Van Jefferson over Denzel Mims. Again, horrible decision making. The rest of the draft is fine starting with the Terrells. Terrell Lewis should be very productive for the Rams given their lack of linebackers and Terrell Burgess ought to be able to make an impact this season. Brycen Hopkins will be another good pass catching option at tight end. I liked the Jordan Fuller pick at safety because he should also be an instant impact player which is rare for a 6th rounder. I wasn’t too fond of Clay Johnston because of his injury history but he is productive when healthy. Samuel Sloman grew more accurate over his college career and will probably be the Week 1 starter, while I was very fond of the Tremayne Anchrum pick and believe he was the best value of the entire Rams draft. – Zack

Las Vegas Raiders

Grade: A-

Reaction: General Manager Mike Mayock must have been pinching himself draft night when all 3 of the top receivers were still on the board when the Raiders were picking. Ultimately the Raiders decided to go with Henry Ruggs III, which is an excellent pick as scouts have compared him to Tyreek Hill. The Raiders then addressed their need at cornerback with the selection of Damon Arnette. On day 2 of the draft, the Raiders also grabbed two more wide receivers. This is the Raiders sending a message to Derek Carr that he has no more excuses. I would have preferred if the Raiders had used one of those third-round picks on a linebacker or interior defensive linemen. But who am I to argue with Mike Mayock, this guy has been evaluating talent longer than I’ve been alive. – Austin

Miami Dolphins

Grade: A

Reaction: The best thing the Dolphins did in the draft was stand firm and take Tua at 5. They have their quarterback and can’t be called out for not making the right decision at the time. I was a bit puzzled at Austin Jackson being the 5th tackle off the board but he’s a big body and should be able to start this season. Igbinoghene was another odd pick considering the need at safety and the Dolphins having two of the highest paid corners in the league already, But Brian Flores loves press coverage guys who are wildly athletic and that’s what Igbinoghene is. I loved the Robert Hunt pick in the second round as he should be an immediate starter while Raekwon Davis will have a shot to do the same on the defensive line. Brandon Jones was another great pick from the Dolphins and should step into a starting role sometime this season. Solomon Kindley will do the same at the other guard position. Jason Strowbridge and Curtis Weaver will help rebuild the pass rush as Strowbridge was decent at UNC and Weaver was a game breaker at Boise State. For my money, Weaver is the best value in the Dolphins draft. Blake Fergusen was an interesting pick at long snapper in the sixth round but Malcolm Perry out of Navy was a great way to cap the draft. – Zack

Minnesota Vikings

Grade: A+

Reaction: The Vikings entered this offseason in salary cap hell; this forced them to trade away or cut a bunch of expensive veterans. So getting this draft right was crucial for the Vikings, and let me tell you I think the Vikings nailed. My favorite pick for the Vikings was wide receiver Justin Jefferson. Jefferson fills the immediate void left by Stefon Diggs at half the cost. The Vikings were also able to get value in the second round in offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland. Cleveland will start from day one for the Vikings and fits their zone run scheme perfectly. To be fair the Vikings did have 15 picks entering this draft, so it’s hard to have a bad draft when you get that many chances to find a superstar. – Austin

New England Patriots

Grade: B-

Reaction: I was very fond of the first three picks out of the Patriot’s camp. The decision not to address the offense too early was interesting but I believe Belichick wants to make sure that defense is ready to compete for next season. Kyle Duggar is a very versatile safety who can soak up tackles from the top of the formation and will probably take over kick returning duties as well. Josh Uche can slide around the first and second level but thrives as a pass rusher, a position New England was in dire need of. Anfernee Jennings will also help get pressure on the quarterback from his outside linebacker position. Belichick loves to use tight ends and while Asiasi and Keene are both good players I felt there were much better tight ends still on the board. We’ve all heard of the controversial kicker by now, but tattoos aside, Rohrwasser is absolute money from all over the field. The back end of the draft was mainly to add depth to the offensive line through Onwenu, Herron, and Woodard. Wyoming’s Cassh Maluia did slip in as a backup linebacker, but I doubt we’ll be hearing any of their names called too many times. – Zack

New Orleans Saints

Grade: D

Reaction: The Saints must have seen something in this year’s draft class that no one else did because they only made 4 selections in the draft. The Saints also didn’t address any glaring needs with their draft selections. Taking center Cesar Ruiz, instead of a wide receiver, or cornerback is perplexing to me. I do love their third-round pick of Zach Baun. Baun will be able to provide a much-needed pass rush. The Saints were also able to add a big, physical, quick tight end in Adam Trautman. The Saints are an older team, so I thought they would have used this draft to get younger, but instead decided to take only 4 players. So I can’t wait to see how this turns out for them down the road. – Austin

New York Jets

Grade: A+

Reaction: It’s rare that we can give the Jets props for anything but they deserve a ton of respect for this draft. Mekhi Becton falling to them was a gift and they were wise to take him considering he’s the biggest player in the draft and will be a ridiculous challenge at tackle. Denzel Mims was one of the fastest players in the draft and should give Sam Darnold a decent downfield target. Ashtyn Davis was my third ranked safety and might be able to slide in immediately next to Jamal Adams in the secondary. The Florida picks in Jabari Zuniga and La’Mical Perine were interesting but I think they could work out. Zuniga can really get after the quarterback when he’s healthy and Perine could be a Le’Veon Bell style runner if he has a better offensive line. James Morgan out of FIU was another interesting pick at quarterback but he should be able to beat out either David Fales or Mike White for a backup spot. Cameron Clark is a very strong run blocker and could work his way into the starting line with a good start to the season. Bryce Hall is a great value pick in the fifth round. He was my ninth ranked cornerback and has serious potential with Jamal Adams having his back. Finally, Braden Mann was the best punter in the draft and will likely be a very useful player for the Jets this season. Adam Gase and Joe Douglas ought to be very happy with what they came out with. – Zack

New York Giants

Grade: B

Reaction: As a Giants fan, this draft didn’t break my soul like last year but also didn’t light it on fire either. Their first-round pick of offensive tackle Andrew Thomas was the safe choice. Thomas is a left tackle who is going to start for years to come, but this pick could have been something special. I loved what the Giants did on day 2 of the draft. The selection of safety Xavier McKinney was spectacular. They were also able to find great value in the third-round with tackle Matt Peart. Peart is probably a year or two away from starting, but if it means the Giants can cut Nate Solder, I’m excited. On the third day of the draft, general manager Dave Gettleman was back to his old ways of throwing drafts at a position and hoping he finds someone who can play. Gettleman used 4 picks of his picks on linebackers, after signing 2 linebackers in free agency. Some of these draft picks should have been used on more players like guard Shane Lemieux. All I can say is please, let this be the last Dave Gettleman draft that I have to suffer through. – Austin

Philadelphia Eagles

Grade: D

Reaction: I was not very fond of who the Eagles were drafting in this class. I was fine with the positions they were targeting but I didn’t like what they were getting from their picks. Jalen Reagor is a fine wide receiver but he’s flatly not the 4th best pass catcher in this class. The Eagles value their backup quarterback spot and maybe they really liked Jalen Hurts, but I felt this was a huge reach for the player. Davion Taylor was close to the best available outside linebacker but there were very many good inside linebackers left as well, a position of arguably a greater need. K’Von Wallace was a fine pick to fill in at safety, but then it was back to the same as Philly took John Hightower when Donovan Peoples-Jones was still available. The picks past this, ILB Shaun Bradley, WR Quez Watkins, OT Prince Tega Wanogho, and DE Casey Toohill were fine picks, but the front end of this draft was a disaster for the Eagles. – Zack

Pittsburgh Steelers

Grade: C

Reaction: The Steelers didn’t have a first-round pick this year, because of the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade. At the time the trade was made the Steelers were looking at a top 10 pick. What we didn’t realize was that Fitzpatrick was a beast; he single handedly turned that defense around and kept the Steelers in the playoff race until week 17. The Steelers came out winners in that trade, but in the draft, I felt like the Steelers were losers. Wide receiver Chase Claypool is a big, physical, fast wide receiver and will help the offense get back on track. But after that third-rounder linebacker, Alex Highsmith is a developmental project. This pick should have been spent on an offensive tackle to help keep an aging Ben Roethlisberger upright and healthy. – Austin

San Francisco 49ers

Grade: B+

Reaction: Like we discussed earlier, it’s tough to be very productive with very few picks in a draft, but San Francisco did a very good job getting value in positions of need with their five picks. Two of their picks were firsts and with them they secured Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk. Kinlaw will start in DeForest Buckner’s old position as a game breaker and Brandon Aiyuk will be a great jump ball option next to Kittle and Samuel. Jumping all the way to the 5th, 6th and 7th rounds, we see Colton McKivitz, Charlie Woerner, and Jauan Jennings come off the board. McKivitz will be a versatile backup on the offensive line while Woerner should mainly be blocking or a 3rd-read option on pass plays. Jennings should be able to get some decent snaps considering his size and untapped potential and could actually be a sleeper breakout candidate. – Zack

Seattle Seahawks

Grade: C-

Reaction: Well, it’s about time that the Seattle Seahawks finally kept a first-round pick. But if I’m being honest with you, they probably should have traded down; because I don’t believe linebacker Jordyn Brooks is a first-round talent. The Seahawks also reached for defensive end Darrell Taylor in the second round. This reach hurt even more because it cost the Seahawks an extra pick on day 3. It’s hard to find anything to like from this draft class, but if I had to pick it would be guard Damien Lewis. Anytime you can get a starting offensive lineman from the National Championship team, that’s always a plus. – Austin

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Grade: A-

Reaction: Tampa’s draft is just very fun to me. To kick things off they picked up the most athletic big man in the draft in Tristan Wirfs who should dominate the line, especially on screen plays. Then we get another freak athlete in Antoine Winfield Jr. who absolutely hunts heads from the top of the defense. Ke’Shawn Vaughn is an incredible runner, who despite playing at Vanderbilt, was two yards off hitting 1,300 from scrimmage this season. He has good hands so Brady should be using him often. Tyler Johnson won’t be a starter but he’s going to end up as one of the best backup receivers in the league. Kahlil Davis, Chapelle Russell, and Raymond Calais will all be backups at their positions but getting additional depth on defense and running back are all good decisions. – Zack

Tennessee Titans

Grade: B

Reaction: After making the AFC championship game last season, the Titans used the draft to fill some holes left from free agency. The Titans’ biggest loss was starting offensive tackle Jack Conklin, so the Titans decided to draft tackle Isaiah Wilson. Wilson fits the Titans run-first offense perfectly but will struggle in pass protection against speed rushers. Wilson will also be pressed into service immediately when he could probably benefit from sitting for a year. My favorite pick for the Titans was running back Darrynton Evans in the third round. His blazing 4.41 speed gives the Titans a dynamic player out of the backfield. Hopefully Evans can make an immediate impact and lighten the workload of Derrick Henry. Overall the Titans had a solid draft and went need over talent which isn’t always a bad thing. – Austin

Washington Redskins

Grade: B-

Reaction: This grade doesn’t really align with the quality of players that Washington got, but instead with their positional needs. Taking Chase Young was a no-brainer. I liked them addressing wide receiver with Antonio Gibson and Antonio Gandy-Golden. But past those positions, there wasn’t a big alignment with need. I trust Ron Rivera to know what he’s after, but beefing up the offensive line, pass rush, and safety weren’t exactly what I thought of as targets for Washington. That isn’t to say that I don’t like Saahdiq Charles and Keith Ismael because I think they’ll be very solid along the offensive line. I very much like Camren Curl at safety and Khaleke Hudson should be a starter at outside linebacker. James Smith-Williams Will be a good backup in the pass rush, but those positions just don’t make sense to me. I felt as though getting a solid corner and securing better options at running back and tight end were more important to evaluate Dwayne Haskins. It’s possible that Rivera and company have already made up their mind about some of these spots and felt like they could address them in other avenues, but this draft was loaded and I was surprised they didn’t take advantage of that. – Zack