Projecting Every 2020 1st-Round NFL Draft Pick's Year 1 Impact

Tyler Brooke@TylerDBrookeSenior Analyst IIApril 30, 2020

Projecting Every 2020 1st-Round NFL Draft Pick's Year 1 Impact

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    Teams try to find the next generation of stars in the NFL draft's first round, and while all of this year's initial 32 picks might not play during their rookie seasons, a lot of them are expected to have a big impact.

    This year's class feels more star-studded than usual, with superstar quarterback Joe Burrow going No. 1. Meanwhile a plethora of exciting wide receivers, offensive tackles and cornerbacks flew off the board last Thursday.

    Predicting a first-rounder's immediate impact can be a crapshoot, but some key factors typically determine their projection. It always helps when a player goes to a team with a glaring hole at their position, as does the prospect's NFL-readiness. 

    Using film study, team fit and the scheme they're being drafted into, we can get a good idea of the rookie impact these players will have.

1. Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals

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    The Cincinnati Bengals had the easiest choice Thursday night, taking reigning Heisman Trophy winner and national champion Joe Burrow. They begin a new era by building around what should be their next franchise quarterback.

    Head coach Zac Taylor must be thrilled to land Burrow. As a young, offensive-minded coach, the 36-year-old should have no problem helping the QB make the NFL transition after Burrow spent last season working with then-LSU passing coordinator Joe Brady.

    Burrow will have plenty of weapons at his disposal. Receiver A.J. Green is locked in for at least one more season after being franchise-tagged, while young playmakers Tyler Boyd, Auden Tate and John Ross III showed serious flashes last season. The team also drafted Clemson standout receiver Tee Higgins in the second round.

    Almost every rookie quarterback will have growing pains, but given his situation, Burrow has the chance to take the league by storm right away.

    Projected Status: Offensive Rookie of the Year front-runner and Pro Bowl candidate

    Stat Projection: 3,900 passing yards, 29 passing TDs, 11 INTs

2. Chase Young, EDGE, Washington Redskins

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    The Ohio State Buckeyes continue to crank out premium pass-rushers, and if the Washington Redskins use him correctly, Chase Young might be the best of the bunch.

    Young was a one-man wrecking crew last season, racking up an absurd 16.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss in only 12 games. Along with imposing size (6'5", 264 lbs) and athleticism, Young has an extremely developed set of pass-rush moves and NFL-ready technique.

    That's great news for Washington, a team that already has talent among the front seven but could use another pass-rusher. Young won't have to do it all right away, with solid players such as Ryan Kerrigan and Montez Sweat taking a lot of the pressure off.

    It won't take long for the Ohio State prospect to find his groove. He's so explosive off the snap and does such a good job with using his hands to disengage from offensive linemen that those traits should naturally translate to the pros.

    Projected Status: Defensive Rookie of the Year front-runner

    Stat Projection: 48 tackles, 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles   

3. Jeff Okudah, CB, Detroit Lions

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    Detroit Lions fans were likely sad to see safety Quandre Diggs and All-Pro cornerback Darius Slay leave the past few months. However, the moves signaled a rebuild in the secondary, and the Lions got that rebuild off on the right foot by taking Jeff Okudah with the No. 3 pick.

    He was one of the best cornerbacks in college football last year, earning All-American honors with nine pass breakups and three interceptions. His play speed and ball skills are top-tier, and the draft process showed just how impressive of an athlete he is.

    His overall technique, footwork and elite hip fluidity make him one of the smoothest, most pro-ready cornerback prospects in recent drafts.

    Okudah will replace Slay as a full-time starter on the outside, and although it will be hard to live up to All-Pro expectations, the former Buckeye should be a reliable contributor for Detroit's defense right away.

    Projected Status: Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate

    Stat Projection: 55 tackles, four INTs, seven pass breakups

4. Andrew Thomas, OT, New York Giants

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    This year's offensive tackle class featured four guys with ridiculous upside. The New York Giants had their pick of the litter at No. 4 overall and felt confident in Georgia Bulldogs prospect Andrew Thomas.

    He was a reliable starter for Georgia and a highly touted offensive tackle prospect earlier than the others who were taken in the first round. He tested well at the combine and has ridiculous arm length at 36⅛", putting him in the 97th percentile among offensive tackles, per MockDraftable.

    Thomas might have landed in the most fun situation for a young lineman too. Not only will he get to block for a generational talent in Saquon Barkley, but he'll also protect a promising young quarterback in Daniel Jones. 

    New York has heavily invested in the offensive line over the past couple of seasons, and Thomas might finally solidify that unit. As a top-five pick, he should start immediately and could be a catalyst that turns the Giants offense into a real problem for opponents in 2020.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 16 games played

5. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins

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    Before the 2019 season, "Tank for Tua" was a real thing for Miami Dolphins fans. Although the team didn't lose enough games to secure the No. 1 pick, the quarterback Miami seemed to want almost a year ago was still there at No. 5.

    Tua Tagovailoa was one of the most scrutinized prospects during the predraft process after a gruesome hip injury ended his college career. There's a ton of speculation about how healthy Tagovailoa will be to start the 2020 season, but a March workout video showed the former Alabama quarterback moving well. 

    There's still a long road before Tagovailoa can step onto the field, but if healthy, he'll be a huge asset. His mental processing before and after the snap is NFL-ready, and his ball placement to all three levels of the field is as accurate as possible.

    Despite his skill set, the hip injury makes this one of the hardest rookie projections. It doesn't seem likely he'll step onto the field in Week 1, but he should quickly take the starting job once healthy and shake off the rust before settling into his NFL career.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter once healthy

    Stat Projection: 12 games played, 2,000 passing yards, 16 TDs, five INTs

6. Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers

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    The post-Philip Rivers quarterback competition will be interesting after the Los Angeles Chargers took Justin Herbert with the sixth overall pick.

    Born and raised in Oregon, Herbert was a four-year player with the Ducks and helped lead the program to a Rose Bowl victory as a senior. He has the physical measurements scouts drool over, coming in at 6'6" and 236 pounds, with 10-inch hands.

    Herbert has a strong arm and can throw from multiple angles. He can make some of the tougher throws outside the hash marks, and as pressure is coming, he shows solid poise when stepping into the pocket.

    However, Herbert is far from polished. His footwork has been inconsistent, as has his mental processing. It may not be the best move for the Chargers to start him right away as he continues to develop and learns a new playbook.

    The good news for the Chargers is that veteran journeyman Tyrod Taylor is ready to go. The training camp battle between Taylor and Herbert is sure to be intense, but like plenty of similar situations, it feels likely the Chargers will start the season with the veteran until the pressure becomes too much to let the rookie keep sitting.

    Expect Herbert to get playing time later in the year, but don't bank on any big numbers until at least his second season.

    Projected Status: Part-time starter

    Stat Projection: 10 games, 1,800 yards, 12 TDs, six INTs

7. Derrick Brown, DT, Carolina Panthers

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    The Carolina Panthers brought in an impressive draft class in preparation for their first season under head coach Matt Rhule. That haul started with Auburn's Derrick Brown.

    Defensive tackles aren't always considered top-10 picks, but Brown isn't a normal prospect. As an All-American and All-SEC selection last season, Brown dominated offensive lines in the toughest conference in football almost weekly. 

    He's a terrifying presence at 6'5" and 325 pounds with 34¼" arms. While his athletic testing wasn't that impressive at the combine, his on-field explosiveness and athleticism made him the No. 7 pick. He's so quick off the snap and has such a strong upper body that any offensive lineman who can't contain him right away will be in big trouble.

    Carolina's defensive front will be one of the league's most intimidating after Brown's addition. He'll join the reliable Kawann Short as well as promising young edge-rusher Brian Burns, who had a fantastic rookie year in 2019.

    Although interior defensive linemen don't always put up massive numbers, Brown should be a big-time asset for the Carolina defense.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 48 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles

8. Isaiah Simmons, Defense, Arizona Cardinals

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    There were rumors before the draft that the Arizona Cardinals were looking to trade out of the top 10. However, those scenarios were thrown out the window when Clemson's Isaiah Simmons was still on the board at No. 8.

    Even though he's one of the most athletic, versatile defenders in this year's class, other teams were more focused on finding their future quarterbacks or players with more defined positions. For the Cardinals, a prospect without a true defensive spot seemed like more of an asset than a deterrent.

    That versatility was well documented at Clemson, with Simmons playing at least 100 snaps at deep safety, nickel corner, in the box and even on the defensive line, according to Pro Football Focus. His testing at the combine was off the charts, coming in at 6'4" and 238 pounds while posting a blazing 40-yard dash of 4.39 seconds.

    Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph will be spending the next couple of months drawing up all kinds of ways to utilize his new weapon. And Simmons won't be the only player opponents will have to focus on, with established stars like Chandler Jones and Patrick Peterson also on the roster.

    For Simmons, there were few better landing spots in the top 10 for him, and he could quickly become one of the league's most electric defensive players.

    Projected Status: Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate and potential Pro Bowler

    Stat Projection: 105 combined tackles, 6.5 sacks, two INTs, two forced fumbles

9. CJ Henderson, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    The Jacksonville Jaguars put an emphasis on rebuilding their defense in this draft, and that started with taking Florida Gators cornerback CJ Henderson.

    Henderson was a first-team All-SEC selection this past season despite playing in only nine games because of an ankle injury and electing to skip the team's bowl game. He still finished the season with 11 pass breakups and three tackles for loss.

    After a modest season statistically, Henderson tore up the predraft process in posting a 40-yard dash time of 4.39 seconds and 20 reps on the bench press. The 6'1", 204-pound Henderson also has the ideal build for an outside cornerback. 

    Still, the effort wasn't always there on tape in 2019, especially when he tried to tackle. There might be some growing pains in that area when facing NFL receivers and running backs, but the Jaguars don't have Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye anymore, so they'll lean on Henderson to contribute right away.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 45 tackles, three INTs, nine pass breakups    

10. Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Cleveland Browns

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    The Cleveland Browns have been trying to find a replacement for future Hall of Fame offensive tackle Joe Thomas since he retired in March 2018. They're hoping that by signing Jack Conklin and drafting Jedrick Wills Jr., they'll solidify both tackle spots. 

    Wills was a brick wall at right tackle last season, starting all 13 games for the Alabama Crimson Tide and earning second-team All-American honors. His elite play strength allows him to blow back defenders at the point of attack as a run-blocker, opening up some big rushing lanes.

    In pass protection, defenders were hesitant to bull-rush Wills given his play strength. His hand usage against pass-rushers was also impressive, as he did a great job of countering pass-rushing moves to keep engaged with even the most impressive defenders in the SEC. His lateral agility wasn't bad by any stretch, but rushers could occasionally win the one-on-one matchup with inside moves.

    Among the top-tier group of offensive tackles, Wills was arguably the most pro-ready. That's great news for the Browns, who will likely throw him out there right away.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 16 games started

11. Mekhi Becton, OT, New York Jets

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    The New York Jets had big offensive needs, both at wide receiver and tackle. With a pair of tackles already off the board, the Jets grabbed Louisville's Mekhi Becton before the top-tier linemen were gone.

    Becton is massive 6'7" and 364 pounds, with 35⅝" arms. Even with that massive frame, the No. 11 pick posted a mind-blowing 40-yard dash time of 5.1 seconds.

    His tape showed a player who could move more than effectively both as a run-blocker and in pass protection. He engulfed second-level defenders in the ground game, tossing them around like rag dolls. In pass protection, his ability to kick out and gain depth quickly was impressive, and his size made it difficult for pass-rushers to get around him.

    With big money invested into running back Le'Veon Bell and the desire to keep developing quarterback Sam Darnold, the Jets made a smart move in drafting Becton. He will start right away, and it will be interesting to see if those impressive physical tools translate into a successful NFL career.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection 16 games started

12. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

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    Even with the Raiders moving to Las Vegas, it was only right that general manager Mike Mayock honored the legacy of former team owner Al Davis by taking the fastest player in this year's draft: Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III.

    The Crimson Tide had a handful of dynamic wide receivers last season, but not one was as explosive as Ruggs. He finished his college career with 1,716 yards and 24 touchdowns over three seasons, averaging an impressive 17.5 yards per reception.

    Athleticism was always on display for Ruggs in college, but his athletic measurements during the predraft process were eye-opening. He posted the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.27 seconds) at the combine while also posting an absurd 42-inch vertical.

    The Raiders desperately needed more weapons at wide receiver, and Ruggs will both stretch the field vertically and make big plays in open space with the ball in his hands. He wasn't the only weapon the Raiders drafted last week (Lynn Bowden Jr., Bryan Edwards), but he'll be the one Derek Carr will look for early and often next season.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 55 receptions, 850 yards, six TDs

13. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    After a dream offseason that landed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers both Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski, the franchise turned to protecting its new quarterback. Even though three offensive tackles went before the Bucs' pick at No. 13, they still landed a terrific one in Tristan Wirfs.

    He is probably the most fascinating offensive tackle prospect in this year's draft to watch on tape. He spent time at left and right tackle, even switching multiple times in the middle of games. 

    The big reason Wirfs can handle responsibilities on both sides is his functional athleticism. He posted a 40-yard dash of 4.85 seconds and an impressive vertical of 36.5 inches, which is a modern record for an offensive lineman, per's Dan Parr.

    Tampa Bay simply needed as much help on the offensive line as possible, and drafting a versatile lineman like Wirfs is a huge boost. It won't matter if he's a left or right tackle, but he'll start right away and protect Brady as a rookie.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 14 games started

14. Javon Kinlaw, DT, San Francisco 49ers

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    The San Francisco 49ers had easily the most terrifying defensive front in the league last year. However, after the trade of DeForest Buckner, they used the pick they acquired in that deal to replace the 2018 Pro Bowler at No. 13.

    Kinlaw was a first-team All-American in his final year with South Carolina, racking up six sacks in the middle of the defensive line. His 6'5", 324-pound frame makes him a scary matchup, whether he's playing at nose tackle or bumping out as a 3- or 5-technique.

    Athleticism, explosiveness and tenacity make Kinlaw exciting. However, he relied too much on talent in college, and his technique suffered because of that. Keeping his pad level low and continuing to work on his hand usage will be vital if he's to become a viable replacement for Buckner.

    San Francisco doesn't have to rush things with Kinlaw's development, however. The Niners already have plenty of talent on the defensive line, with Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa in tow, which will make it easier for the team to ease Kinlaw into things.

    Don't expect the South Carolina prospect to be handed the starting job, but keep an eye on his development as the team ramps up his snap count.

    Projected Status: Full-time contributor, eventual starter

    Stat Projection: 40 tackles, 3.5 sacks, one forced fumble

15. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Denver Broncos

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    The Denver Broncos found their starting quarterback last year in Drew Lock. This year, the draft focus was to surround their young, talented QB with as many weapons as possible.

    The Broncos were probably praying Jerry Jeudy would fall into their laps at No. 15, and that's exactly what happened. The former Crimson Tide receiver caught 145 passes over his last two seasons for 2,478 yards and 24 touchdowns.

    Jeudy developed into the most complete route-runner in this class. His footwork was impressive to watch on film, but he was even more dangerous with the ball in his hands, making defenders whiff with his creative moves in open space.

    Jeudy is the perfect complement to Courtland Sutton. Those two on the outside, paired with tight end Noah Fant and fellow draft pick KJ Hamler in the slot, will turn the Broncos passing attack into one of the more dangerous in the league.

    There's only one ball, but Jeudy should have no problem getting open to earn plenty of targets.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 75 receptions, 900 yards, seven TDs

16. A.J. Terrell, CB, Atlanta Falcons

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    The Atlanta Falcons have been in a funk since their Super Bowl loss after the 2016 season, but there is still talent on both sides of the ball. Adding a cornerback was a priority, however, and Clemson's A.J. Terrell was the one they liked the most of the players remaining.

    He was a long, aggressive press-man cornerback for the Tigers and earned All-ACC honors his final season, posting two interceptions and three pass breakups. He has nice size for the position at 6'1" and 195 pounds, with above-average athletic ability.

    However, Terrell is far from perfect. He was exposed early and often in the national championship game against LSU. His ball skills leave a lot to be desired, especially when going up for jump balls, and he can let receivers get behind him when dropping back in zone coverage.

    It's interesting to see a team with Dan Quinn's Cover 3 defensive philosophy take a press-man corner instead of a more natural fit for that scheme. However, a press corner can be an asset in certain matchups, and he provides a different skill set than his new teammate Isaiah Oliver.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter 

    Stat Projection: 55 tackles, two INTs, six pass breakups

17. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys

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    The Dallas Cowboys probably weren't expecting one of the big three wide receivers in this year's class to still be there at No. 17. They probably thought it was even less likely that arguably this year's best receiver prospect, Oklahoma's CeeDee Lamb, would be waiting for them.

    At Oklahoma, Lamb caught passes from Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray and Jalen Hurts. All three quarterbacks benefited from Lamb's playmaking, and the receiver finished his three-year career with numerous accolades to go along with 173 catches, 3,292 yards and 32 receiving touchdowns.

    Lamb has the top-end play speed and explosiveness to naturally create separation, even if his routes aren't the most developed. He has terrific hands and a huge catch radius that allow him to make highlight plays regularly, along with the breakaway speed after the catch to take it to the house.

    The Cowboys offense is loaded, as the wide receiver group includes Lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup. The ability to play on the outside or in the slot will allow Lamb to see the field right away and potentially put up video game numbers with Dak Prescott throwing him the ball.

    Projected Status: Offensive Rookie of the Year contender

    Stat Projection: 80 receptions, 1,100 yards, eight TDs

18. Austin Jackson, OT, Miami Dolphins

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    After taking Tagovailoa at No. 5, the Dolphins used their second pick in the first round to protect their new quarterback, taking offensive tackle Austin Jackson out of USC.

    With the big four offensive tackles off the board, the Dolphins went with Jackson's upside. At just 20 years old, he was one of the youngest players in this year's draft and showed flashes during his time with the Trojans of being a formidable player.

    The good news for Dolphins fans is Jackson has all the athleticism in the world to be a starting-caliber left tackle. But his technique is far from polished—whether it's his hand usage to counter pass-rushing moves or his footwork to keep his balance on vertical pass sets.

    Although Jackson could've gone somewhere to sit and develop those traits, he'll likely be thrust into the starting lineup right away, purely based on need for Miami. Some players thrive in a trial-by-fire situation, so we'll have see if Jackson can make the most of it.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 14 games started

19. Damon Arnette, CB, Las Vegas Raiders

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    The Ohio State Buckeyes could have had three cornerbacks drafted this year in Okudah, Shaun Wade and Damon Arnette. Wade returned to school, and while Okudah was almost a guaranteed top-five pick, few were expecting Arnette to also go in the first round.

    Overshadowed by his teammates, Arnette was still a second-team All-Big Ten selection with eight pass breakups and an interception as a senior. He has a solid frame for an NFL cornerback, coming in at 6'0" and 195 pounds, but his subpar arm length of just 30 inches is concerning.

    That lack of length will be an issue in press-man coverage, but Arnette's skill set stands out when playing in zone. He has good ball skills and ability to jump passes, and he does a good job of recognizing where the ball is going with strong instincts and awareness while reading the quarterback's eyes.

    Las Vegas doesn't have any stars at cornerback, but it invested a second-round pick last year in Trayvon Mullen. Mayock and Jon Gruden are hoping Arnette and Mullen will be a talented young outside pair to build their secondary around.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    State Projection: 40 tackles, one INT, four pass breakups

20. K'Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, Jacksonville Jaguars

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    The Jaguars' defensive rebuild continued in the first round with the selection of edge-rusher K'Lavon Chaisson at No. 20. The LSU prospect was most likely drafted as a replacement for Yannick Ngakoue, who has publicly asked out.

    Regardless of Ngakoue's future, the Jaguars got one of the premier edge-rushers in this class in Chaisson. After tearing his ACL in 2018, Chaisson returned in 2019 to earn All-SEC honors with 6.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss to help bring the Tigers a national championship.

    The 6'3", 254-pound Chaisson looks the part of an edge-rusher and has the relentless motor to keep offensive linemen on their toes all game. He has a great arm move and the play strength to collapse the pocket, as well as explosiveness off the snap to bend the edge.

    The LSU star's technique and discipline improved during his college career, especially with his hand usage, making him a much more pro-ready prospect. That's a good sign for Chaisson's playing time, but if Ngakoue is still there this season, the rookie may have to compete with the veteran and talented young pass-rusher Josh Allen for playing time.

    That might not be what Chaisson wants to hear, but it could be a good opportunity for the prospect to acclimate to the NFL.

    Projected Status: Full-time contributor, part-time starter

    Stat Projection: 55 tackles, 7.5 sacks, one forced fumble

21. Jalen Reagor, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

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    Wide receiver was a glaring need for the Philadelphia Eagles heading into the draft. Although a handful of options remained at pick No. 21, the Eagles felt TCU's Jalen Reagor was the best fit.

    Reagor was the Horned Frogs' most dynamic playmaker, finishing his final season as a second-team All-Big 12 selection who posted 43 receptions, 611 yards and five touchdowns. He was also an electric return man for TCU, averaging an absurd 20.8 yards per punt return with two touchdowns. 

    Despite some subpar quarterback play in college, Reagor's skill set was fully on display as a vertical speed threat who put a lot of stress on secondaries. His excellent lateral agility allows him to make sharp breaks at the route stem or make defenders miss in open space. While drops and ball security concerns showed up on film, the athleticism and developed route tree were also fully on display.

    Philadelphia might be the perfect landing spot for Reagor, as he'll get the opportunity to learn from another vertical threat in DeSean Jackson. There will be some added competition to secure a starting role after the team traded for former 49ers wideout Marquise Goodwin, but as a first-round pick, Reagor will be expected to contribute right away.

    Projected Status: Almost full-time starter, but full-time contributor

    Stat Projection: 58 receptions, 820 yards, five TDs

22. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings

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    There seemed to be a trend of teams trading star players for draft picks—and using those picks to take players at the same position. The Minnesota Vikings joined that wave by taking LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson after dealing Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills.

    Sometimes overshadowed by the younger Ja'Marr Chase, Jefferson was still a large part of LSU's electric passing game last season. The 21-year-old was tied for the FBS lead in receptions (111) while putting up 1,540 yards and 18 touchdowns.

    Jefferson projects well as an NFL slot receiver because of his quick release off the line of scrimmage and the ability to effortlessly shift gears in and out of his routes. Once the ball is in his hands, his excellent change-of-direction ability makes him elusive, and he has the toughness to finish catches and the strength to pick up extra yards.

    That skill set will mesh great with fellow receiver Adam Thielen, giving the Vikings a younger, much cheaper replacement for Diggs. Quarterback Kirk Cousins showed flashes of being a legitimate playmaker in Minnesota last year, and a safety net like Jefferson who can rake up receptions could be a great fit for the Vikings offense.

    Projected Status: Offensive Rookie of the Year dark horse

    Stat Projection: 85 receptions, 950 yards, six TDs

23. Kenneth Murray, LB, Los Angeles Chargers

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    After taking a quarterback to run the offense, the Los Angeles Chargers traded back into the first round to take linebacker Kenneth Murray to run the defense.

    Murray was the vocal leader for an Oklahoma unit that got a little more respect than usual as a Big 12 defense. As a third-team All-American and first-team All-Big 12 selection, Murray tallied 102 total tackles with 17 tackles for loss, four sacks and four passes broken up.

    His ability to quickly diagnose a play, and then use his impressive play speed to meet the ball-carrier, made him the clear front-runner to be the top inside linebacker in this class. Although he had solid play strength to stop ball-carriers in their tracks, his technique and base when taking on blockers could use work, especially when having to stack and disengage from significantly more talented offensive linemen.

    No prospect is perfect, but Murray has the tools and leadership qualities to be an immediate starter. He'll have talent in front of him in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, as well as help behind him in Derwin James and Casey Hayward. 

    The opportunities will be there for Murray to fill up the stat sheet and have a strong start to his NFL career.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 90 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, two INTs, three forced fumbles

24. Cesar Ruiz, OL, New Orleans Saints

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    The New Orleans Saints didn't have a lot of picks in this year's draft, but they made the most of them, starting with interior offensive lineman Cesar Ruiz in the first round.

    A lot of former Michigan offensive linemen were selected last week, but Ruiz was the first one off the board and for good reason. He was the top center in the country out of high school in 2017, per 247Sports, finding the field in all three seasons with the Wolverines and starting all 13 games in 2019.

    We talk a lot about defensive players being quick off the snap, but Ruiz gets into his pass set or flies into defenders once the play begins. He doesn't sacrifice pad level with that quickness, either, staying low and using that to win leverage battles to contain his assignment. His mental processing is strong as well, recognizing and picking up blitzes and stunts with ease.

    With experience at multiple positions, Ruiz will likely play guard with the Saints. Erik McCoy is an established starter at center, but New Orleans still needs help solidifying the interior of its offensive line.

    That versatility will help Ruiz in the long run as well as help him secure a starting role right away.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 16 games started

25. Brandon Aiyuk, WR, San Francisco 49ers

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    Losing Buckner and Emmanuel Sanders meant that the San Francisco 49ers needed to replace two of their most talented players. They did exactly that in the first round, taking Kinlaw at No. 14 and Arizona State wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk at No. 25.

    Aiyuk is a dangerous weapon that head coach Kyle Shanahan will be thrilled to utilize in 2020. The former Sun Devils receiver was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection, catching 65 passes for 1,192 yards and eight touchdowns. He was a dangerous returner as well, averaging 16.1 yards per punt return and 31.9 per kickoff return, making him a strong candidate to handle those duties for San Francisco.

    While Aiyuk doesn't explode off the snap, he's most dangerous once the ball is in his hands. He has great open-field vision to find lanes to maximize his yards after a catch, along with good elusiveness and play strength to pick up extra yards in a variety of ways.

    Shanahan should have no problem with getting Aiyuk the ball. The electric Deebo Samuel and Aiyuk will form one of the more interesting wide receiver duos in the league.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 65 receptions, 850 yards, seven TDs

26. Jordan Love, QB, Green Bay Packers

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    The biggest surprise of the first round came when the Green Bay Packers traded up to draft a quarterback. Despite a glaring need to find more weapons for Aaron Rodgers, the Packers took Utah State's Jordan Love to be the future Hall of Famer's eventual successor.

    The physical traits and tools are there for Love, but the former Aggies quarterback is far from a finished product. After a strong 2018, Love took be a big step back statistically in 2019, throwing for 3,402 yards, 20 touchdowns and 17 interceptions—way up from the six picks he threw the previous year.

    Love has a quick, smooth throwing motion and the pro-caliber frame at 6'4" and 224 pounds to turn heads. He has a strong arm and the mobility to escape the pocket and make accurate throws when on the run.

    However, the concerns on tape for Love were amplified in 2019. His decision-making was concerning at times, particularly when under pressure, and he had a hard time moving around the pocket to escape pressure without rolling out.

    The good news is that a lot of the things Love struggles with are things that Rodgers has made a superstar career out of. If Rodgers is willing to share some of his knowledge, it could do the first-round pick a lot of good.

    Just don't expect Love to see the field much outside garbage time, unless Rodgers gets hurt again.

    Projected Status: Full-time backup

    Stat Projection: Two games played, 140 passing yards, one TD, one INT

27. Jordyn Brooks, LB, Seattle Seahawks

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    Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

    The Seattle Seahawks already had some of the better linebackers in the league with Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright, but they clearly wanted another impact player in that group, taking Texas Tech's Jordyn Brooks at No. 27.

    Brooks' production was solid throughout his career with the Red Raiders, finishing college in 2019 as a second-team All-American. As a four-year starter, he amassed 360 total tackles, 32 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and two interceptions.

    Brooks has the mentality you want in a linebacker, meeting ball-carriers with passion and intensity. He has solid size at 6'0" and 240 pounds along with good play speed to roam the field from sideline to sideline. When it comes to facing blockers, he can do a good job of side-stepping them to get to the ball-carrier or using a proper base to launch into them and constrict rushing lanes.

    Gap discipline can be a concern for Brooks, but playing alongside established veterans like Wagner and Wright could do a young player a lot of good. He shouldn't have a problem putting up numbers as a rookie, but he'll need to work on limiting mental lapses to become a top-tier player.

    Projected Status: Part-time starter, full-time contributor

    Stat Projection: 75 total tackles, two sacks, one forced fumble

28. Patrick Queen, LB, Baltimore Ravens

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    Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

    An emotional, energetic inside linebacker feels like a fitting first-round pick for the Baltimore Ravens, and LSU's Patrick Queen is just that.

    Although he wasn't a full-time starter in his final season with the Tigers, Queen burst onto the national stage as the season wound down, making some highlight plays in the College Football Playoff. He finished the year with 85 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, three sacks and an interception. Four of those 12 tackles for loss occurred against Oklahoma and Clemson in the playoff.

    Queen doesn't have the size that other inside linebacker prospects have at 6'0" and 229 pounds, but he definitely has the athleticism, instincts and competitive toughness. His ability to quickly diagnose the play in front of him and attack gaps makes him such a disruptive force, and he brings plenty of pop once he meets the ball-carrier.

    The mentality and energy feels like a perfect fit for Baltimore's defense, which already has stars Earl Thomas, Marcus Peters and Calais Campbell. With so much talent around him, Queen can make the most of his abilities and fill the stat sheet early as a rookie.

    Projected Status: Defensive Rookie of the Year dark horse

    Stat Projection:  85 tackles, four sacks, two INTs

29. Isaiah Wilson, OT, Tennessee Titans

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    Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

    Isaiah Wilson wasn't the first Georgia offensive tackle taken in the 2020 draft, but the Tennessee Titans are hoping the No. 29 pick can solidify their offensive line after they lost Conklin to free agency.

    Wilson is another massive prospect, coming in at 6'6" and 350 pounds. He was a second-team All-American as a redshirt sophomore in 2019, despite missing time with an ankle injury.

    He projects best as a right tackle with that size and the play strength to help in the run game. Wilson does a great job of moving bodies at the line of scrimmage and sealing off defenders, creating some easy rushing lanes. Balance is an issue, and he could work on improving his hand usage, but his size negated some of those concerns in pass protection.

    The Titans are expecting Wilson to be the replacement for Conklin on the right side, which will be a tough task as a rookie. Still, with a terrific running back like Derrick Henry behind him, Wilson should pave the way for his back and find a full-time starting role in Tennessee.

    Projected Status: Full-time starter

    Stat Projection: 14 games started

30. Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Miami Dolphins

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    James Gilbert/Getty Images

    After focusing on offense with their first two picks, the Dolphins took a defender with their final Day 1 selection, grabbing Auburn cornerback Noah Igbinoghene at No. 30.

    As the son of track stars, the Tigers prospect was born to be a professional athlete. After starting his college career at wide receiver, Igbinoghene switched to cornerback before the 2018 season. He finished his final year at Auburn with 42 tackles, seven pass breakups and a kickoff return touchdown.

    With all the physical tools and athleticism to play cornerback, Igbinoghene is still extremely raw. That's understandable, considering he's only played the position for two years, and he'll continue to learn the nuances of the game as he gets more comfortable.

    Despite that, Igbinoghene's aggressiveness at the position can't be coached. He loves to fight receivers in press coverage and isn't afraid to get his nose dirty in run support.

    Don't expect Igbinoghene to start for Miami right away. The team just signed star free-agent cornerback Byron Jones and has other promising corners in Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain and Cordrea Tankersley. That'll give Igbinoghene the time he needs to develop while he slowly integrates into the defensive game plan.

    Projected Status: Part-time contributor

    Stat Projection: 20 tackles, three pass breakups, one INT

31. Jeff Gladney, CB, Minnesota Vikings

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    Even with legitimate talent in their secondary, the Minnesota Vikings still needed to add pieces to that unit given the talented quarterbacks in the NFC North. And in the wake of Xavier Rhodes' departure, TCU's Jeff Gladney looks like an ideal replacement.

    Gladney was an All-Big 12 selection last year, snagging an interception and breaking up an impressive 14 passes over 12 games. 

    The Vikings get a cornerback with a tenacious mentality and top-tier competitive toughness. He excels in press-man coverage, and he's a reliable tackler compared to a lot of the cornerback prospects in this year's class. While a couple of his pass breakups were dropped interceptions, Gladney does a great job of limiting separation in man coverage and anticipating route concepts. 

    He will likely be asked to start early in his NFL career, but he will have help behind him with ball-hawking safety Anthony Harris and Mike Hughes opposite him. Offenses may still target the rookie often in his first NFL season, but he should be able to hold his own.

    Projected Status: Part-time starter, full-time contributor

    Stat Projection: 38 tackles, seven pass breakups, one INT

32. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

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    Alika Jenner/Getty Images

    First-round running backs are a rarity these days. There almost wasn't one taken in Round 1 this year, until the Kansas City Chiefs selected Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of LSU with the final pick of Day 1.

    LSU's passing offense was one of the most explosive ever, but Edwards-Helaire made the running game terrifying for opposing defenses as well. Averaging 6.6 yards per carry as a junior, he finished with All-SEC honors, running for 1,414 yards and 16 touchdowns.

    Coming in at just 5'7" and 207 pounds, Edwards-Helaire has elite balance that allows him to stay upright through contact, picking up extra yards in bunches. He doesn't have elite top-end speed (4.6 40) but has solid burst and impressive lateral agility to make defenders whiff in open space. 

    Adding Edwards-Helaire will give the Chiefs another weapon in a lethal offense. There will likely still be a by-committee approach at running back, involving Damien Williams and Darwin Thompson, but given his skill set, Edwards-Helaire should receive the bulk of the snaps.

    Projected Status: Lead running back in committee

    Stat Projection: 200 carries, 960 yards, eight TDs; 25 receptions, 200 yards, two TDs


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