Quarterbacks and offensive tackles dominate the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft
The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft returned some normalcy to the sports world, even if commissioner Roger Goodell's basement does not quite exude the same glitz as the Las Vegas Strip.
With the coronavirus pandemic forcing the draft to be held remotely with NFL general managers, coaches and scouts isolated in their homes instead of inside team complexes, the virtual draft ran smoothly – and without much drama early on Thursday.
In what has been widely expected for weeks, and possibly months, the Cincinnati Bengals selected LSU Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick.
Burrow led LSU to the national title last season, completing 76.3 percent of his passes for 5,671 yards and an FBS-single season record 60 touchdowns to just six interceptions.
The second pick also went exactly like how many draft experts had predicted for weeks, with the Washington Redskins drafting Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young.
Young led the FBS with 16.5 sacks and six forced fumbles in 2019, and was regarded to be the most talented player in the draft class – even ahead of Burrow.
If not for Burrow's incredible 2019 season and because of Tua Tagovailoa's injury concerns, the latter may have challenged for the top spot in the 2020 draft.
Tagovailoa became the second quarterback off the board when he was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the fifth pick.
One pick after Tagovailoa, the Los Angeles Chargers took Oregon QB Justin Herbert – just the third time since the 1970 merger three quarterbacks were chosen in the top six picks.
Three teams that had selected quarterbacks in the first round of the last two drafts, used the 2020 draft to beef up their offensive lines to protect their young, franchise QBs.
The New York Giants (Daniel Jones at six in 2019) picked Georgia tackle Andrew Thomas at fourth overall, the Cleveland Browns (Baker Mayfield at one in 2018) selected Alabama tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. with the 10th pick, and the New York Jets (Sam Darnold third in 2018) used the next pick to select Louisville tackle Mekhi Becton.
After this run on tackles, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took part in the first trade of the draft to insure their new – and aging – quarterback would also stay upright. They moved up one spot in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers to select Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs at 13 to shore up the offensive line in front of Tom Brady.
The next trade came 10 picks later as Brady's old team, New England Patriots, dealt pick 23 to the Chargers – who selected Oklahoma linebacker Kenneth Murray. The Patriots received a second and third-round pick from the Chargers and now have five of the first 100 picks of the 2020 draft and 13 overall.
While it is possible New England could use one of those picks to draft Brady's replacement, the Green Bay Packers have chosen the heir apparent to 36-year-old Aaron Rodgers, trading up from 30th to 26th to select Utah State quarterback Jordan Love.
The opening round concluded with the defending Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs selecting the first running back to bookend the first round with LSU picks, taking Clyde Edwards-Helaire – the 14th player drafted out of the SEC.
Wide receiver is considered to be the deepest position in the draft, and six went in the first round – but none until 12, when Alabama's Henry Ruggs III became the first player ever selected by the Raiders in their new home of Las Vegas.
While Las Vegas was not able to host the draft festivities this year, Goodell announced that the city has been awarded the 2022 draft, with the commissioner saying, "We think you deserve another shot".
First round selections:
1. Joe Burrow (Cincinnati Bengals) 2. Chase Young (Washington Redskins) 3. Jeff Okudah (Detroit Lions) 4. Andrew Thomas (New York Giants) 5. Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins) 6. Justin Herbert (Los Angeles Chargers) 7. Derrick Brown (Carolina Panthers) 8. Isaiah Simmons (Arizona Cardinals) 9. CJ Henderson (Jacksonville Jaguars) 10. Jedrick Wills Jr. (Cleveland Browns) 11. Mekhi Becton (New York Jets) 12. Henry Ruggs III (Las Vegas Raiders) 13. Tristan Wirfs (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) 14. Javon Kinlaw (San Francisco 49ers) 15. Jerry Jeudy (Denver Broncos) 16. A.J. Terrell (Atlanta Falcons) 17. CeeDee Lamb (Dallas Cowboys) 18. Austin Jackson (Miami Dolphins) 19. Damon Arnette (Las Vegas Raiders) 20. K'Lavon Chaisson (Jacksonville Jaguars) 21. Jalen Reagor (Philadelphia Eagles) 22. Justin Jefferson (Minnesota Vikings) 23. Kenneth Murray (Los Angeles Chargers) 24. Cesar Ruiz (New Orleans Saints) 25. Brandon Aiyuk (San Francisco 49ers) 26. Jordan Love (Green Bay Packers) 27. Jordyn Brooks (Seattle Seahawks) 28. Patrick Queen (Baltimore Ravens) 29. Isaiah Wilson (Tennessee Titans) 30. Noah Igbinoghene (Miami Dolphins) 31. Jeff Gladney (Minnesota Vikings) 32. Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Kansas City Chiefs)