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NFL Draft Grades

2020 NFL Draft Grades: NFC

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: April 27, 2020, 12:55 am ET

DraftValue

The NFL Draft is mostly just a game of randomness, but there are ways to increase the odds in your favor -- trade down early, draft positions that matter early, draft for need when close to a Super Bowl, and draft best player available within reason when rebuilding. My draft grades will reflect these principles and heavily weigh what a team did in the first 150 picks because that’s where most production comes from (see chart). For that same reason, you won’t see grades for the picks after No. 150. Just assume they are an F and won’t contribute meaningful snaps. Let’s dive in:

 

 

NFC East

 

Cowboys (A-)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

16

WR CeeDee Lamb

A-

9

51

CB Trevon Diggs

B+

31

82

DT Neville Gallimore

B

83

123

CB Reggie Robinson

B

100+

146

C Tyler Biadasz

B

100+

179

EDGE Bradlee Anae

-

100+

231

QB Ben DiNucci

-

100+

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

No. 146

No. 164 and 2021 5th

B

 

Did Dallas really need another stud receiver? Not really. Are we mad that they grabbed the best receiver in the class? Hell no. Lamb has the potential to be the Cowboys’ No. 1 target by the end of the season -- yes, even over Amari Cooper -- and will be a total headache for opposing defensive coordinators. Expect OC Kellen Moore to get Lamb going in the screen game immediately to utilize his elite yards after the catch ability (11.0 YAC) while Michael Gallup works downfield. This pick should vault Dak Prescott back into the MVP discussion once again… The Cowboys were desperate for help in the secondary after losing CB Byron Jones, so finding Diggs in the middle of Round 2 was a quality value. He doesn’t have the raw speed to be a great corner, but he has the ball skills and size to be a rock-solid CB2 or average CB1. It was a nice find… Gallimore also fills a team need and has the theoretical upside of a Day 2 prospect. Despite weighing 304 pounds, he ran the forty 4.79 seconds (!), which shows on tape while in pursuit. His age (23) and minimal college production (6.5 TFLs, 4.0 sacks) kept Gallimore out of my top-50, but he has top-50 upside. He’ll be part of the interior defensive line rotation as a rookie… Robinson was around the ball a lot at Louisiana Tech (17 pass deflections) and showed 82nd percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism at the Combine. Transitioning to the NFL will be tough given the talent differences, but Robinson could win a CB3 job on his rookie contract… Biadasz was a first-round prospect this time last year, but injuries (hip surgery) derailed his value going into the draft. When healthy, he’s an NFL starter and the Travis Frederick replacement. It’s impossible to know if that will actually happen from afar.

 

 

Eagles (B)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

21

WR Jalen Reagor

C+

43

53

QB Jalen Hurts

A-

26

103

LB Davion Taylor

B-

100+

127

S K’Von Wallace

A

69

145

OL Jack Driscoll

B

100+

168

WR John Hightower

-

100+

196

LB Shaun Bradley

-

100+

200

WR Quez Watkins

-

100+

210

OT Prince Tega Wanogho

-

73

233

EDGE Casey Toohill

-

100+

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

No. 164 and 2021 5th

No. 146

B

No. 173 and 227

No. 164

B

No. 196, 200, and 223

No. 173 and 227

B

 

Reagor at No. 21 was a slight reach -- I think he best profiles as a lower-volume WR2 in the NFL -- but he fills a very specific need for Carson Wentz, so I’m fine with it. When Wentz was dealing in 2017, he had an average depth of target (aDOT) of 9.9 yards, but that plummeted to 8.1 yards last season because Philly didn’t have a receiver capable of winning downfield. If there’s one thing I know Reagor is capable of doing, it’s winning downfield. He’s in the rookie WR1 conversation for fantasy, and I say that as someone who thought Reagor was a second-round talent… I gave Hurts a 1st-2nd round grade. He’s a great runner and has very underrated accuracy as a passer. Is he perfect? No, but he has the statistical profile and mental makeup to develop into a starter, especially in this organization. In the meantime, Hurts can sub in on short-yardage situations and be valuable insurance to Wentz. Plus, Hurts’ contract is much cheaper than other backup options… Taylor is an 82nd percentile Adjusted SPARQ athlete with a ton of slot coverage experience for a linebacker. His read and react ability is a work in progress, but he has the profile of a sleeper linebacker who can be an asset in coverage. Not bad for a 103rd overall pick… Wallace is another quality mid-round selection with a ton of slot corner experience. He was highly productive at Clemson (81 tackles) and has 76th percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism. Wallace should be involved in subpackages as a rookie. This was one of my favorite picks… Driscoll has experience all across the offensive line but profiles as backup. 

 

 

Giants (B+)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

4

OT Andrew Thomas

B-

15

36

S Xavier McKinney

A-

21

99

OT Matt Peart

B+

93

110

CB Darnay Holmes

B-

100+

150

OG Shane Lemieux

B-

100+

183

LB Cameron Brown

-

100+

218

EDGE Carter Coughlin

-

100+

238

LB T.J. Brunson

-

100+

247

CB Chris Williamson

-

100+

255

LB Tae Crowder

-

100+

 

 

If GM Dave Gettleman received trade offers to move down at No. 4, he should have accepted, but this was still a solid pick. The Giants need to solidify the line to help Daniel Jones, who really struggles against pressure, and Thomas is an experienced left tackle with that nasty mentality that Saquon Barkley will love to run behind. Thomas isn’t as athletic as the other top tackles, but he is as safe as it gets in the top-10… McKinney was a 1st-2nd round prospect despite his 8th percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism. Coach Nick Saban gave him a ton of responsibilities at Alabama, which included playing box safety, free safety, slot corner, and blitzer off the edge. He’ll be a quality starter… Peart stands at 6-foot-7, has 99th percentile arms, and high-end foot speed (5.06 forty at 318 pounds). His athleticism and size make him an ideal offensive tackle project. Peart is a candidate to take over OT Nate Solder’s job in 2021… Holmes is a brilliant human and was an accomplished special teamer at UCLA, but his size (5’10/195) will likely limit him. Perhaps he wins the slot corner job. He should at least be a core special teamer… Lemieux is as experienced as it gets (four-year starter at Oregon), but his physical traits will likely keep him in a reserved role in the NFL. Expect him to be the top guard backup during his rookie contract.

 

 

Redskins (B)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

2

EDGE Chase Young

A

3

66

RB/WR Antonio Gibson

C+

97

108

OT Saahdiq Charles

C+

100+

142

WR Antonio Gandy-Golden

B

100+

156

C Keith Ismael

-

100+

162

LB Khaleke Hudson

-

100+

216

S Kamren Curl

-

100+

229

EDGE James Smith-Williams

-

100+

 

Everything (athleticism, production, tape) suggests Young will be a star in the NFL. That defensive line will be a top-eight unit this season. Potentially even better… Gibson is as raw as it gets (77 career touches) but his 4.39 speed and elite special teams production (28.0 yards per kickoff return) are intriguing traits. Washington announced him as a running back, not receiver, which lines up with what I saw on tape, but the receiving depth chart is more barren than the running back depth chart. He will likely be a low-volume gadget receiver as a rookie… Charles has Day 2 talent as a potential starting left tackle, but his off-field history gives him absolutely zero floor… Gandy-Golden is big (6’4/223) and productive (1,396 yards), but he faced a cupcake schedule and ran the forty in 4.60 seconds. He profiles as a low-volume downfield target. That’s a major position of need in Washington.

 

NFC North

 

Bears (C+)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

43

TE Cole Kmet

C-

57

50

CB Jaylon Johnson

A

23

155

EDGE Trevis Gipson

-

100+

163

CB Kindle Vildor

-

100+

173

WR Darnell Mooney

-

100+

226

OG Arlington Hambright

-

100+

227

OG Lachavious Simmons

-

100+

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

No. 155

2021 4th

B

No. 173 and 227

No. 196, 200, and 223

B

 

Kmet, by default, was my top-ranked tight end, but how can GM Ryan Pace make this pick after investing so much into the position the last couple of offseasons? The Notre Dame product is a classic inline tight end and has way more game than Jimmy Graham does in the year 2020. He should be on the field for most offensive snaps by the end of his rookie season… Johnson was a 1st-2nd round player on my board, so scooping him up at No. 50 is a major bargain unless his shoulder injuries kept him off other teams’ boards. Johnson is physical at the line of scrimmage and could be a CB1 if he stays healthy. This was the Bears' best pick by far.

 

 

Lions (D)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

3

CB Jeffrey Okudah

A-

4

35

RB D’Andre Swift

F

55

67

EDGE Julian Okwara

B

75

75

OG Jonah Jackson

F

100+

121

OG Logan Stenberg

D

100+

166

WR Quintez Cephus

-

100+

172

RB Jason Huntley

-

100+

197

DT John Penisini

-

100+

235

DT Jashon Cornell

-

100+

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

No. 75 and 197

No. 85, 149, and 182

C

No. 121 and 172

No. 109

B

 

After phone calls weren’t returned, Detroit made the correct decision by drafting a stud corner over a defensive tackle or linebacker, positions that are less valuable and more replaceable. Okudah is an elite corner prospect. He allowed 5.0 yards per target in coverage as a 20-year-old at Ohio State, and then tested in the 96th percentile at the NFL Combine. He’s a much cheaper alternative to Darius Slay… Swift will be a good pro, but using the No. 35 pick on a running back in a deep class is a total waste, especially with Kerryon Johnson in the building already. This will be a frustrating committee for fantasy, but Swift should be the 1A… Okwara underperformed at Notre Dame due to injuries (broken fibula), but he has a lot of juice off the edge and fills a position of need for the talentless Lions Defense. Okwara should be in the rotation as a rookie… Jackson was a first-team All-Big Ten recipient at Ohio State, but he tested in the 12th percentile at the NFL Combine (5.29 forty) and is already 23 years old. He profiles as a backup, which means he will likely start for the Lions… Stenberg is a tall offensive guard (6-foot-6) but that tends to hurt him more than help him. He has 18th percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism (5.30 forty) and will be a forgettable backup in Detroit.

 

 

Packers (F)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

26

QB Jordan Love

F

44

62

RB AJ Dillon

F

100+

94

TE Josiah Deguara

F

100+

175

LB Kamal Martin

-

100+

192

OG Jon Runyan

-

100+

208

C Jake Hanson

-

100+

209

OG Simon Stepaniak

-

100+

236

DB Vernon Scott

-

100+

242

EDGE Jonathan Garvin

-

100+

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

No. 26

No. 30 and 136

D

 

Instead of staying at No. 30 and drafting the highest-graded receiver in a loaded class, Green Bay opts to waste another year of Aaron Rodgers by drafting his eventual replacement even though they can’t get out of Rodgers’ contract for at least two years. Rodgers is rightfully pissed off, and to make matters even worse, Love isn’t even a good prospect! By the time Love sees the field as a starter, he’ll be halfway done with his rookie contract and will still need time to shake his poor decision making. This was a total surprise of a pick for all the wrong reasons… Dillon was the worst pick in the entire draft. He is an intriguing inside runner with 97th percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism, but that’s the most replaceable skill in the entire NFL, and he only has 21 career receptions. Even if Dillon is good, it won’t matter because Aaron Jones was already on the roster. The Packers also probably could’ve drafted him at No. 94, too… Not selecting a receiver with one of the top two picks was already a disaster, but they made matters worse by selecting Deguara, an undersized tight end who may play fullback in the NFL, in the third round. Deguara has 20th percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism.

 

 

Vikings (B+)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

22

WR Justin Jefferson

A

14

31

CB Jeff Gladney

C-

72

58

OT Ezra Cleveland

A-

48

89

CB Cameron Dantzler

C

100+

117

EDGE D.J. Wonnum

C+

100+

130

DT James Lynch

A-

82

132

LB Troy Dye

B

100+

169

CB Harrison Hand

-

100+

176

WR K.J. Osborn

-

100+

203

OG Blake Brandel

-

100+

205

S Josh Metellus

-

100+

225

EDGE Kenny Willekes

-

100+

244

QB Nate Stanley

-

100+

249

S Brian Cole

-

100+

253

OG Kyle Hinton

-

100+

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

No. 130, 169, 203, and 244

No. 105

B

2021 4th

No. 155

B

No. 225 and 2021 5th

No. 201 and 209

B

 

First off: Why the hell do you need to make 15 draft picks? Trade some of those suckers and move up into the third round… Losing Stefon Diggs hurts. Bad. But Jefferson is a darn good replacement and immediately slides into the Vikings’ 12-personnel base offense. He has experience in the slot and outside, plus wins downfield, which is where Kirk Cousins will miss Diggs the most. Jefferson is in discussion as the rookie WR1, especially with targets available and the defense looking worse in 2020… Minnesota moved down from No. 25 to 31 to fill their massive need at corner with Gladney, the 23.5-year-old press-man corner from TCU. Gladney is well-liked by sicko tape grinders, but he’ll nearly be 24 years old as a rookie, is small (5’10/191), and tested in the 27th percentile at the NFL Combine. I have my doubts that he turns into a true CB1, something the Vikings needed to address this draft… I thought I was going to be lower on Cleveland than the NFL, but he went later than my 48th overall ranking. He needs to get stronger to be a quality left tackle, but the team fit is perfect. His 91st percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism will be maximized in the Vikings’ zone-blocking scheme… Dantzler was better on tape than what his 5th percentile athleticism would indicate, but that’s really tough to overlook. Corners who run the forty in 4.64 seconds don’t last in the NFL… Wonnum is a 59th percentile athlete but never had more than 6.0 sacks in college… Lynch, on the other hand, led the FBS in pressures at Baylor and could win a starting job as an interior pass-rusher despite having tiny arms… Dye has a lengthy injury history, but he was a quality coverage linebacker at Oregon and could be a part of the rotation as a rookie if he can return from his knee surgery on time.