Now that the 2020 NFL season is officially behind us, let’s review the 2020 draft in Monday Morning Quarterback style. Los Angeles Chargers’ QB Justin Herbert was named offensive rookie of the year, but who else thrived this year? In this article, we’ll identify a handful of 2020 draft steals and players who appear to be busts.
The more you know, the stronger your chances are for achieving online betting success. Our sportsbook strives to provide as much raw data and quality sports betting speculation as possible. The genesis of NFL betting is found in draft choices, and these youngsters often have an immediate impact on the outcome of games.
RBs Jonathan Taylor (Colts) and Antonio Gibson (WFT) were the true stars to emerge from the 2020 running back class. Both Taylor and Gibson helped to power their respective teams to the postseason behind strong performances. However, most of the offensive players selected in the 2020 draft were wide receivers.
Jonathan Taylor among RBs since Week 11:
📈 Rushing Grade – 90.4 (2nd)
📈 Rushing Yards – 819 (2nd)
📈 10+ yard runs – 28 (1st) pic.twitter.com/CZpC581hdH
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) February 15, 2021
35 WRs Taken in 2020: Jefferson Moving On Up
The 2020 draft class contained 35 wide receivers, which was the most in any offensive category drafted. The only position that produced more picks were linebackers. The obvious steal of the whole bunch is Justin Jefferson, who the Minnesota Vikings selected with the 22nd overall pick.
Most weeks as the highest-graded WR this season:
⭐ Justin Jefferson – 4
⭐ Davante Adams – 4 pic.twitter.com/PXrgKTAe3R
— PFF (@PFF) February 16, 2021
Four WRs were chosen before Jefferson in the first round, starting with Henry Ruggs III going to Las Vegas at #12. Then Jerry “Drops” Jeudy was chosen by Denver at #15, CeeDee Lamb went to Dallas with pick #17. Finally, Philadelphia selected Jalen Reagor (bust) at #21, just ahead of Jefferson.
Would the Eagles have made the playoffs with Jefferson’s insane production? Jefferson’s rookie campaign yielded 88 catches for a whopping 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns for the Vikings. When compared to Reagor’s 31 receptions for 396 yards and one lonely TD for the Eagles, it makes one think.
Many believe that the wrong Justin won the offensive ROY award. Of the 50 allotted rookie of the year votes, Herbert received 41 while the remaining nine went to Jefferson. Jefferson broke Hall of Famer Randy Moss’s rookie receiving record for the Vikings in the fourth quarter of Week 17. This young man is the top steal of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Other WRs of special note are Tee Higgins of Cincinnati and Chase Claypool of Pittsburgh. When Burrow was healthy for the Bengals, he and Higgins hooked up for 42 receptions, 629 yards, and four touchdowns. It’s clear that Burrow and Higgins have a very bright future in Cincinnati.
Claypool wowed us with his four-touchdown performance against the Eagles, and the ceiling on this young man is very high. Another product of Notre Dame who seems destined for greatness in Pittsburgh (see Jerome Bettis), Claypool is just getting started. He finished his rookie campaign with 62 catches for 873 yards and nine TDs.
Most yards after the catch among rookie WRs:
🔸 Justin Jefferson – 450
🔸 Chase Claypool – 333
🔸 CeeDee Lamb – 312
🔸 Tee Higgins – 304 pic.twitter.com/i3nuLgg6qd
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 10, 2021
The Buffalo Bills also scooped up a wonderful bargain by choosing WR Gabriel Davis with the 128th pick. Buffalo solidified three core offensive positions in the draft by selecting RB Zack Morris (86th), Davis (128th), and kicker Tyler Bass (188th). All three of these players were integral in getting the Bills to the AFC Championship game.
Young Leads 2020 Defensive Class
Washington Football Team DE Chase Young was the overwhelming winner of the NFL defensive rookie of the year award. Young is a beast, and was well worth the #2 overall pick for Washington. The Ohio State product is the anchor of a nasty defense, and is one of the central reasons that the WFT made the playoffs. Young finished with 32 tackles, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and was a general nuisance for offenses.
An @OhioStateFB player has won four of the past five NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year awards:
2016: DE Joey Bosa
2017: CB Marshon Lattimore
2019: DE Nick Bosa
2020: DE Chase Young
Quite a run for the Buckeyes.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) February 7, 2021
Safeties Jeremy Chinn (Panthers) and Antoine Winfield Jr. (Buccaneers), and LB Patrick Queen (Ravens) are forces to be reckoned with. These gentlemen all received at least one vote for defensive ROY, and Winfield Jr. walked away with a championship ring. Chinn is the only one of this core four to miss the playoffs this past season.
Disappointments at QB and the O-line
OK, it’s a little too soon to label the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa as a “bust”, but he’s certainly a disappointment. It’s easy to imagine Miami in the AFC Championship game if they had Herbert behind center rather than Tagovailoa/ Fitzpatrick. Tagovailoa ended his rookie season with 1,871 passing yards, 11 TDs, and five interceptions during his platoon with Fitzpatrick.
(Tua Tagovailoa didn't get a lot of help as a rookie) pic.twitter.com/vO9UE0pY45
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) February 9, 2021
The Dolphins are seriously considering trading for Texans’ QB Deshaun Watson, so there’s that. Another underachieving first-round pick comes out of Miami, and I’m talking about offensive tackle Austin Jackson. The Dolphins used their 18th overall pick to draft Jackson, but he spent most of the year sidelined by injury.
Speaking of first-round OL disappointments, let’s look at Isaiah Wilson of the Tennessee Titans. Wilson has been a hot mess from the very beginning off the field, while only seeing a handful of snaps on the field. The 29th overall pick in 2020, Wilson was placed on the COVID-19 list twice for violation of social distancing policy.
Wilson followed up that atrocious behavior by being caught doing donuts drunk in an intersection, prompting a DUI arrest. This guy seems like he’s nothing but trouble, and the Titans likely wish they had made a different choice. It’ll be interesting to see if Wilson is in Tennessee, or anywhere in the NFL, next season.
Isaiah Wilson, the Titans first round pick last year out of Georgia, looks like one of the all time NFL draft busts. Titans may cut him after four total snaps: https://t.co/X2aYLRLTcC
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) February 16, 2021
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