The most surprising picks in this year’s NFL draft
The NFL off-season can be a lonely place for football fans. That, of course, makes it vital to find other fun things to do in the spare time you have. Playing a sport yourself or working out at the gym are good options. Or, if you are the less active type, you could make use of your smartphone to play online games or to try your hand at making some ticket money at online casino apps in New Jersey that will be handy when the season starts.
One bright spot for all fans of the NFL during every off-season, however, is the draft. While 2020’s virtual draft might have been a bit different than usual, it still gave us plenty to talk about afterward.
One point that always raises lots of discussions is the surprising picks teams make in the draft or players not being snapped up as expected. But which were the most surprising picks in the 2020 NFL draft?
Clyde Edwards-Helaire to the Chiefs
With a glut of first-round talent reported in this year’s draft, it is no surprise that some choices caused headlines. The Kansas City Chiefs certainly made a splash when surprisingly picking running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire on Day 1 of the 2020 NFL draft. The major shock here was that pretty much everyone thought that D’Andre Swift from Georgia was considered as the best running back in the draft this year and would be snapped up first. This was not to be the case, though, as he ended up at pick number 35 with the Lions.
But what prompted the Chiefs to make this surprise move? When you look at his college career, it is not so shocking. Edwards-Helaire clocked up 2,000 all-purpose yards last campaign and came with glowing reviews from the coaching team at LSU. While it might have been a surprise pick at the time, it should work out well for the Chiefs.
Isaiah Simmons not going in the top five
As well as who was picked up in this year’s draft, there were some surprises around who wasn’t selected or who didn’t go as high up the order as expected. Simmons is tipped to turn into an elite level linebacker by many pundits and has the talent to play all over the field. He enjoyed an excellent spell with the Clemson Tigers at college, and this looked to be enough to see him picked very high up in the draft. In the end, he went at pick number 8 to the Arizona Cardinals.
That certainly raised a few eyebrows with those who have him as someone who should make his presence felt during his rookie NFL year. It seems like the Cardinals got a real steal with other teams passing on this player before them! Next to Chase Young, he is arguably THE rookie defender who will shine in the coming season.
OL Cesar Ruiz picked by the Saints
Let’s be clear here – Ruiz was a monster in his position for Michigan at college and is by no means a poor choice. It was just a surprising one, as many believed the New Orleans Saints would go for a playmaker as their top priority. They certainly were not pegged as taking an interior linesman as their first pick in 2020’s draft. Adding more quality in Ruiz’s position should help with the running game, which the team loves to utilize regularly. It was just a confusing choice as the Saints seem quite well stacked in this part of the field, with both Andrus Peat and Erik McCoy being hard to displace.
Austin Jackson to the Dolphins
The Dolphins made a great move for Tua Tagovailoa in this year’s draft, but the decision to also draft offensive tackle Austin Jackson looks a bit more suspect. Many certainly did not have him down to go as high up as number 18. While the Dolphins need reinforcements in this part of the field, Jackson was still a surprise choice. Clever edge rushers gave him problems at times in his college career, so you feel the better ones in the pro game will steamroller him. He does not look the strongest either and is not great with his hands. All in all, it was a surprise pick for a player who may well not have what it takes to make it in the pro game.
2020 NFL draft threw up some real curveballs
The above shows just what a wild ride this year’s draft was – and we haven’t even mentioned surprise choices like the Raiders going for Damon Arnette or Jordan Love being nabbed by the Packers. What all this does show is that football is as vibrant as ever and will be back and firing on all cylinders in the new season.