Image Credit: Tammy Anthony Baker
Joe Burrow was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals as the number one pick in this season’s NFL Draft. The virtual draft held its first round overnight and featured as many twists and turns as we would expect.
The first overall pick went to the Cincinnati Bengals, who surprised no one by selecting Louisiana State University quarterback (QB) Joe Burrow. Burrow, the most recent winner of the Heisman Trophy (given to college football’s best quarterback) was the near unanimous pick for the Bengals. Burrow’s good sense of pressure in the pocket and leadership have been consistently mentioned by scouts and coaches and his selection means the Heisman winner has been selected 1st overall for three years running.
Washington wasted little time in selecting defensive end (DE) Chase Young from Ohio State with the second overall pick. Young has been picked out by many as the best overall player in the draft. Young dominated at Ohio State and Washington will be glad that they’ve got a three down pass rusher who can easily shape games.
We have been debating whether Tua would go to the Dolphins or if they would skip the QB they’ve been tied with since September. We finally got our answer as Tua was selected by the Miami Dolphins. Tua is another great scrambler who can cause a headache for defences with unpredictability. He’s also the first left-handed QB to be drafted since Kellen Moore (who is now the Cowboys’ offensive coordinator). Tua going to the Dolphins left the Chargers with the easy choice of selecting Justin Herbert from Oregon.
The Raiders have made a past of surprising with their pick. Again, ‘The Raider Unknown’ became Henry Ruggs III, the first wide receiver (WR) taken off the board was expected to be the third WR to go. Not that Ruggs isn’t a great prospect, a tremendous athlete and speed merchant who will slot right into the Raider ideology.
Our first trade of the night saw Tampa Bay move up one spot and switch places with the San Francisco 49ers. Tampa picked Tristen Wirfs, a much needed move to protect Tom Brady. The offensive tackle (OT) is powerful and quick and should have a long career in the league. I also need to mention that before the draft, he laid out the red carpet for his mother in front of their house. So I’m already rooting for him.
Arguably, the first reach of the draft, again came from the Las Vegas Raiders. CB Damon Arnette was taken when a lot didn’t view him as the best corner available, some didn’t view him as a first round pick. Again, this is nothing against the Raiders or Arnette, who can play inside and outside cornerback and shows a good football IQ.
The next trade was between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Chargers for pick 23. Any rumours of the Patriots getting a QB on the first night of the draft went as the Chargers used their second pick of the night on Kenneth Murray, the linebacker (LB) from Oklahoma. Murray is a strong playmaker and just what the Chargers needed. The Patriots get the Chargers 2nd and 3rd round picks, the Chargers meanwhile will be hoping less is more.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is now one year older than Brett Favre was when Rodgers was drafted by the side in 2005. Green Bay are once again looking to the future, skipping WR options to select QB Jordan Love from Utah State. Many thought the Packers may look to get Rodgers help with a wide receiver, instead, they got his replacement. Like Rodgers, do not expect to see Love for a few years as the Rodgers era comes to an end at Lambeau Field.
The first round may have been completed, but there are still six rounds with 223 picks to go. Rounds two and three start tonight at midnight. Then rounds four through seven will begin at 5pm on Saturday.
The first round NFL Draft is over, but the season is just beginning. The NFL have committed to playing the season in full for the time being. The schedule is set to be released no later than May 9th, preseason games start on August 6th and the regular season of the 2020 NFL season will (hopefully) get underway in September.