We all knew that this 2020 NFL Draft would be totally different than anything we have seen before. Due to the circumstances of today’s world, the Draft was a virtual one as general managers, coaches and players all stayed in the comforts of their own home.
Outside of being a Houston Texans fan (Who had no first round picks), the biggest thing I missed the most (besides watching my team pick) was hearing the loud boo’s drown out the sound of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as he tried to speak.
However, even with no fans in attendance, the drama was still just as jam packed as ever. Between falls and surprises, there was plenty of takeaways from Thursday night’s first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
1. CeeDee Lamb is a Cowboy Baby
As many of you know by now, I am no Dallas Cowboys fan. But I must give credit where credit is due. I thought Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb would be the first wide out off the board, but things did not shake out that way. In typical Raiders fashion, they went with the speed of Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III with the 12th pick and then the Denver Broncos winded up taking his Alabama wide receiver teammate Jerry Jeudy just three picks later. And of course, with CeeDee still on the board at seventeen, the Dallas Cowboys swooped him right up. Jerry Jones strikes again and this time, it was from his multi-million-dollar yacht. By the way, it looks like CeeDee Lamb already has pro bowl type hand speed as he snatched his cell phone away from his girlfriend on national television.
2. Texas Tech Linebacker Jordyn Brooks Ends a Long Streak
I don’t know about you, but did anyone know the last time a Texas Tech defensive player was taken in the first round? You would have to go all the way back to 1983 when nose tackle Gabriel Rivera was taken with the 21st overall pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was a long 37 years, but Jordyn Brooks put that streak to an end as he was taken by the Seattle Seahawks with the 27th overall pick. Perhaps the crazy thing is that he was the second Big 12 linebacker taken in the first round but ill get to that a little bit later. I was surprised to see Jordyn go that high due to everyone having him penciled in as a second or possible third round guy, but I get where Seattle is coming from here. Not many linebackers at his size can cover sideline to sideline and tackle in space like Jordyn can. He was a guy who I said would have a long successful NFL career and I think Seattle would be a great place for him to start that journey.
3. The Texas Drought
When you think about the most talented teams each season, Texas is a team who is always near or at the top of that list in the Big 12. Nearly every season they pull in the best recruiting class, yet they seem to always find a way to underachieve. Besides on the field results, look no further the NFL draft the last seven years. Do you know how many first-round selections Texas has had in that time frame? The answer is just one and that was defensive tackle Malcom Brown back in 2015 when he went 32nd overall to New England. That’s flat out embarrassing and I know Tom Herman is trying to change that, but it is still mind boggling that with all that high school talent coming in, guys are not being developed as properly as they should. Maybe that will change for the 2021 Draft but at this point, who knows.
4. Defense, Defense and More Defense
It is no secret that the Big 12 gets a bad reputation for playing defense. Year to year we see college football “experts” like Jim Mora Jr. bashing the conference at every chance he can get on national television. And while that could be true for some years, we saw quite a bit of a change in defensive play this past season in the Big 12. Teams were not lighting up the scoreboard as much and when you look at the overall defensive numbers, they were better than in previous seasons. No matter what you want to call it, we saw a shocking transformation on Thursday nigh as there were three Big 12 defensive players (Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray-Chargers, Texas Tech LB Jordyn Brooks-Seahawks and TCU CB Jeff Gladney-Vikings) all get selected in the first round. And since the start of this modern Big 12 (2012-present) that is the most defensive players selected in the first round. Not to mention with TCU’s Ross Blacklock and Oklahoma’s Neville Gallimore still on the board, is it possible we could see a total of five Big 12 defensive players selected with the top 35 or 40 picks?
5. What a Night
I hate to be the guy who starts waving pom poms and screams corny cheer chants but the Big 12 had one hell of a Thursday night. While the conference had back to back number one overall picks in 2018 and 2019 (Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray), they turned out to be the only Big 12 first round picks of their class. But that changed this year as a total of five Big 12 players were taken in the first round which was the most since the 2012 NFL Draft. And believe it or not, the Big 12 was tied for second with the most players taken as the Big Ten also had five players selected in the first round. But keep in mind, the SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 all have at least two and in some cases four more teams than the Big 12 does. It was a memorable first round and hopefully that trend will continue as the years go on. I want to congratulate these players who were taken in the first round.
- Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb- Dallas Cowboys (17th overall)
- TCU WR Jalen Reagor-Philadelphia Eagles (21st overall)
- Oklahoma LB Kenneth Murray-Los Angeles Chargers (23rd overall)
- Texas Tech LB Jordyn Brooks-Seattle Seahawks (27th overall)
- TCU CB Jeff Gladney-Minnesota Vikings (31st overall)