- I’ll start off with a few player and team matches that I love. The first one that comes to mind is offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs to Tampa Bay (and that is even factoring in the trade up). When you sign Tom Brady you obviously commit to going all-in for a Super Bowl. Wirfs is an instant starter on that offensive line and one of my favourite tackles in the class. I don’t know if the Bucs’ plans will all work out magically this year, but the thought process behind it appears solid.
- Receiver CeeDee Lamb going to the Dallas Cowboys is another great fit - assuming Mike McCarthy emphasizes the pass game more than the run game. Everyone loves talking about Ezekiel Elliott’s importance in that offense, but from my vantage point I think the Cowboys would be best suited now to create a dynamic pass-oriented attack. Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb should be a great duo, with Michael Gallup as a third option. I’m not confident McCarthy will get the best out of all of them but it certainly will be fun if he can.
- Many of you know that I really liked Jeff Gladney as a potential Titans selection, and while he didn’t land in Tennessee he definitely found a good home. At 31st overall, the Vikings got an underrated player in my opinion.
- One player-team match that I really dislike is Mekhi Becton to the New York Jets. Its not necessarily a bad pick. Becton has so much potential that some team was bound to fall in love with him. However, going to the Jets with Adam Gase is the most concerning part. Gase has been touted as an “offensive genius” for years and there just isn’t much proof at that at this point. Will he and his staff be able to develop Becton (and the rest of that offense)? I remain skeptical.
- I really hope Tua Tagovailoa stays healthy, because he can be a special quarterback if that happens. Miami started off the night strong with the Tua selection. Taking offensive tackle Austin Jackson at 18 was definitely a bit more surprising. They must have been very concerned that the second tier of tackles would start going, but in the end the only other one selected was Isaiah Wilson.
- Regarding Wilson, the fit in Tennessee was pretty obvious. The Titans want to physically beat you down and Wilson can do just that. We’ve seen what this team was like without a good offensive line before...and it is not good. In my opinion, Wilson is ideally your third tackle this year, getting some game reps in heavy sets. He can demolish guys off the line of scrimmage. His pass protection certainly will need work before he is a starter.
- In theory, I understand why Matt LaFleur would want Jordan Love at quarterback. If you think of the Kubiak-Shanahan-McVay coaching tree, they all use a lot of play action and rollouts in their offense. The issue is that its unlikely Love’s accuracy will drastically improve in the NFL and that is going to be a problem regardless of offensive system. LaFleur’s will certainly help him, but it appears to be a major hurdle to overcome. Compound that with already having Aaron Rodgers and its hard to justify selecting Love. Moving up to make that pick was even worse!
2020 NFL Draft First Round Thoughts: Perfect Matches, Quarterbacks, and Isaiah Wilson
By Daniel R