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10 winners & 8 losers from the 2020 NFL Draft

We break down the winners and losers following the 2020 NFL Draft.

South squad head coach Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half of the 2020 Senior Bowl college football game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.  Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 NFL Draft set records when it came to viewership, and there was a lot to take in. The virtual draft played out how we expected in some ways, but spectators were also thrown a few curveballs along the way. We break down the winners and losers of the draft here.

Winners

Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals got the top pick of the draft in Joe Burrow after he had what was arguably the best season we’ve ever seen from a college quarterback. Cincinnati might not have the most short-term success, but Burrow could be the foundation of the Bengals organization for the next decade or longer.

Tee Higgins

Higgins has idolized A.J. Green for nearly 10 years and went as far as to model his game after the Bengals star. Now he’ll get to join his role model as a part of Cincinnati’s receiving corps. He goes from Trevor Lawrence to another elite passer in Burrow.

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys had two receivers go over 1,000 receiving yards while Dak Prescott put together a career year in 2019. Now the’ve unexpectedly added a third option who has that same kind of upside in CeeDee Lamb. Dallas might have a top three receiving corp in the NFL alongside a top three running back in Ezekiel Elliott.

Kansas City Chiefs

Most people wouldn’t expect the reigning champs to make a splash in the draft, but the Chiefs grabbed the versatile Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the final pick in the first round. He adds yet another ripple to the Chiefs’ elite offense. Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes were thrilled at the possibility of landing him. It’s scary to think that the Chiefs could get better in 2020.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns addressed their weakness on the offensive line by getting a top prospect in Jedrick Wills. Getting him and Jack Conklin this offseason should be massive upgrades that will raise the potential of Cleveland’s ground game and aerial attack.

Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals didn’t have a ton of need for a linebacker, but pounced when they got the chance to select Isaiah Simmons. The top linebacker prospect in the draft adds plenty of versatility to a team that had one of the worst pass defenses in the league last year. It also got a promising offensive lineman in Josh Jones later than expected. He was once projected to be a first-round pick, so everything panned out in the end.

Denver Broncos

The Broncos might’ve had the worst receiving corps in the NFL in 2019 after trading Emmanuel Sanders to the San Francisco 49ers. It seemed like they were en route to the getting the third best pass catcher in the draft, but got 2020’s best route runner in Jerry Jeudy instead at No. 15, alongside the speedy K.J. Halmer and a potential new starting center. Drew Lock is getting everything on his wishlist.

Carolina Panthers

The Panthers made seven defensive selections to make amends for losing Luke Keuchly to retirement and James Bradberry via free agency. They got a sturdy player in Derrick Brown to hold down their defensive line and filled acquired young talent for the secondary as well. Carolina has enough talent on offense. It tackled its needs effectively.

Lamar Jackson

Jackson was electric during his MVP season in 2019 and got one of the best zone read running backs in college football. Could he and the Baltimore Ravens be even more dynamic offensively? Only time will tell, but things are looking up right now.

Washington

Washington didn’t do anything spectacular, but also didn’t make any wild decisions. It got the best pass rusher in the draft at No. 2. Chase Young is a perennial All-Pro prospect that will improve its defense significantly.

Losers

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers wanted some shiny, new wide receivers in the 2020 NFL Draft, but didn’t get that. Rather than giving their franchise quarterback some new weapons out wide, the Green Bay Packers opted to select Jordan Love and A.J. Dillon. Green Bay lost Jimmy Graham to free agency and Rodgers WR2 could be Allan Lazard or Devin Funchess. It’s not ideal for Rodgers to have the worst receiving corps in the NFC North for a second straight year.

New England Patriots

The Patriots’ quarterback room still consists of Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer. Their first pick was used on a safety who will likely serve as a backup to Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung. New England typically doesn’t draft very well, but it failed to address some serious problems — including the need for wide receiver depth.

Chicago Bears

The Bears confused everyone by getting Cole Kmet when they already have a million tight ends on their payroll. He was their first pick of the draft but is not needed. There were more pressing moves that Chicago could’ve made.

Tyrod Taylor

Taylor could be about to lose his job to a rookie for the second time in three years. He lost out to Baker Mayfield in Cleveland and now appears poised to be replaced by Justin Herbert, who the Los Angeles Chargers selected with the No. 6 pick in the draft. The nine-year veteran can’t catch a break.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles selecting Jalen Hurts was one of the most shocking things that happened in the 2020 Draft. Having depth at quarterback is important for the team with the oft-injured Carson Wentz under center, but Philadelphia needed more offensive firepower. Hurts could’ve been taken later.

Basically every home that wasn’t Kilff Kingsbury’s

Kingsbury drew a lot of attention for his beautifully designed home on day 1 of the NFL Draft, and the abodes of other head coaches paled in comparison. The internet loved the Cardinals coaches’ flex and the jokes that came from it.

The Houston Texans secondary

There were some talented defensive backs up for grabs in this draft. Houston gave up the fourth most passing yards (4,276) in the NFL last year and the fourth most passing touchdowns (33). But the Texans didn’t draft a defensive back until the fourth round. That decision might come back to bite them.

Seattle Seahawks fans

The Seahawks made some perplexing moves on days one and two. They reached by getting Jordyn Brooks at No. 27, and he didn’t hadn’t even talked to them since the NFL scouting combine. He was making pasta when his call unexpectedly came through. That doesn’t seem like a good sign. Seattle also moved up to select Darrell Taylor when more productive edge rushers were were on the board. Seahawks fans were hoping for some more exciting moves. Maybe the ownership’s choices will pan out, but fans weren’t happy during the draft.