Loading scores...
NFL Draft Grades

2020 NFL Draft Grades: AFC

by Hayden Winks
Updated On: April 26, 2020, 12:32 pm ET

AFC South

 

Colts (C)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

34

WR Michael Pittman

B

36

41

RB Jonathan Taylor

C-

52

85

S Julian Blackmon

B-

100+

122

QB Jacob Eason

B

89

149

OG Danny Pinter

B

100+

193

DT Robert Windsor

-

100+

211

DB Isaiah Rodgers

-

100+

212

WR Dezmon Patmon

-

100+

213

LB Jordan Glasgow

-

100+

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

No. 41

No. 44 and 160

C

No. 85, 149, and 182

No. 75 and 197

B

No. 212 and 213

No. 182

B

 

Pittman should immediately slide into a starting role alongside T.Y. Hilton, especially if the Colts run more 11-personnel with Philip Rivers. The USC product has sure hands, 4.52 speed at 6’4/223, and is coming off a 101-catch season. If not for his age (23), Pittman would have been discussed as a potential first round talent. Picture Pittman in the Mike Williams role… Taylor is an elite running back prospect (4.39 speed and one billion yards at Wisconsin), but are we really trading up for a running back early in the second round in the year 2020? What makes it worse is that Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines are a good enough tandem to hold down the fort. With that said, Taylor is the rookie RB1 or RB2. He’s going to be good… Blackmon is a quality third-round flier. He was PFF’s No. 5 safety last season after playing corner at Utah in seasons prior, but he is coming off a knee sprain. If healthy, he can make starts as a rookie. Just expect some rookie mistakes as he continues learning the position… Eason’s poor accuracy and mobility are bad enough to bet against him becoming an NFL starter, but maybe Rivers can teach him a thing or two this season. Drafting a quarterback this late rarely will get a bad grade from me… Pinter has 94th percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism (4.94 forty) but will be 24 years old as a rookie. That’s pretty old for a project. At least he can move well.

 

 

Jaguars (B+)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

9

CB C.J. Henderson

B-

22

20

EDGE K’Lavon Chaisson

A-

16

42

WR Laviska Shenault

B+

35

73

DT DaVon Hamilton

C-

100+

116

OT Ben Bartch

B

100+

137

CB Josiah Scott

B

100+

140

LB Shaquille Quarterman

B

100+

157

S Daniel Thomas

-

100+

165

WR Collin Johnson

-

100+

189

QB Jake Luton

-

100+

206

TE Tyler Davis

-

100+

223

CB Chris Claybrooks

-

100+

 

If there was a team that needed to make 12 picks, it’s Jacksonville. Henderson fills a massive need and has elite upside because of his 91st percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism (4.39 speed at 6’1/204), but he’s not a “can’t miss” prospect based on his 2019 tape. He was a poor tackler and gave up 10.5 yards per target in coverage while arguably showing iffy effort. Henderson has shadow corner upside, but he needs to put it all together… Chaisson was a rock-solid pick given Yannick Ngakoue’s situation. He’s only 20 years old and has elite bend around the edge. Chaisson needs development with his pass-rushing plan, but the upside and traits are there… Shenault was an elite producer as a sophomore (9.6 receptions per game) but was crushed by concerning injuries as a junior and was limited to a “within 10 yards” role at Colorado. I fear he’ll be wasted in Jacksonville, but there’s no questioning his upside given his athleticism. He might start from Week 1. Please stay healthy… Hamilton was a late-bloomer at Ohio State and has questionable burst, but he was productive as a redshirt senior (6.0 sacks, 10.5 TFLs). He’s a power over finesse guy… Bartch, Scott, and Quarterman will be decent depth options and could make starts early. Nothing really notable about any of them.

 

 

Texans (C+)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

40

DT Ross Blacklock

C

60

90

EDGE Jonathan Greenard

B

91

126

OT Charlie Heck

B

100+

141

CB John Reid

D

100+

171

WR Isaiah Coulter

-

100+

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

No. 136 and 141

No. 111

A

No. 126

No. 136, 248, and 250

B

2021 6th

No. 240

B

 

If I included the offseason trades, Bill O’Brien would have received an F from me, but I didn’t want to double count after he was roasted all quarantine… Blacklock has a lot of supporters from highly reputable media analysts like Daniel Jeremiah, but I just didn’t see the same things. He only had 3.5 sacks and 9.0 TFLs as a redshirt junior after coming off an Achilles injury, and tested in the 21st percentile at the NFL Combine. Not exactly the profile of a top-40 player to me. Expect Blacklock to start as a three-tech immediately… Greenard will be a 23-year-old rookie and only has 34th percentile Adjusted SPARQ athleticism, but he plays with a lot of energy. He profiles as a rotational edge rusher in the NFL. Learning behind J.J. Watt should be helpful... Heck is a towering offensive tackle (6-foot-7) and tested in the 80th percentile at the Combine. He needs development -- he played tight end in high school -- but is a worthwhile gamble on Day 3... Reid is only 5'10/187 pounds and ran the forty in 4.49 seconds, a combination that resulted in a 25th percentile Adjusted SPARQ ranking. He'll try to compete for a starting job as a slot corner. I have my doubts that he can hang.

 

 

Titans (B)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

29

RT Isaiah Wilson

B-

40

61

CB Kristian Fulton

A-

32

93

RB Darrynton Evans

B-

96

174

DT Larrell Murchison

-

100+

223

QB Cole McDonald

-

100+

243

DB Chris Jackson

-

100+

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

2021 6th

No. 237

B

 

Wilson received a second-round grade from me and many other analysts because he’s a below-average athlete, but I rounded up his grade for the ideal team fit. He will start immediately as RT Jack Conklin’s replacement and has always been better as a mauling run-blocker than pass protector, which fits the Titans’ culture and offensive identity… Not only is Fulton good (6.6 yards per target allowed in coverage) and athletic (4.46 speed), but he also fills the Titans other massive need at corner. He walks into a starting role with CB Logan Ryan likely gone and offers a more physical presence to their undersized secondary… Evans has been a running sleeper of mine all draft season because he’s young (21), productive (1,480 rushing yards), and fast (4.41), and I can’t complain about the landing spot. He’s an ideal complement to Derrick Henry and is skilled-enough as a receiver to play passing downs as a rookie. With Henry playing on the franchise tag, Evans has a lot of sleeper appeal in dynasty leagues. 

 

 

AFC West

 

Broncos (A-)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

15

WR Jerry Jeudy

B+

12

46

WR KJ Hamler

A-

37

77

CB Michael Ojemudia

C-

100+

83

IOL LLoyd Cushenberry

A-

42

95

DT McTelvin Agim

B-

100+

118

TE Albert Okwuegbunam

B+

80

178

LB Justin Strnad

-

100+

181

OG Netane Muti

-

100+

252

WR Tyrie Cleveland

-

100+

254

EDGE Derrek Tuszka

-

100+

 

Broncos GM John Elway had one objective this draft: Give Drew Lock enough weapons in 2020 to figure out if he's the long-term starting quarterback. Mission accomplished. I personally would have drafted CeeDee Lamb instead of Jeudy but still find the pick a great one. He can play inside or outside, win downfield or underneath, and can be a go-to target or complementary option. Jeudy's route running is elite, and the fit is good enough for Jeudy to be in the rookie WR1 discussion... Hamler is undersized (5'9/178) and tied for the FBS lead in drops (12), but he has 4.3s speed, was productive at Penn State (904 yards, 8 TDs), and is only 20 years old. He can win vertically from the slot or outside, plus return kicks. He's the perfect No. 3 receiver behind Courtland Sutton and Jeudy... Ojemudia played right corner at Iowa and mostly played in zone coverage, so his transition to the NFL could be tricky. He does have the speed (4.45) and size (6'1/202) of a starting corner and did only allow 5.0 yards per target as a senior. He will be a depth option as a rookie... Cushenberry was voted as LSU's MVP last season and is a 61st percentile Adjusted SPARQ athlete. He is a mauler in the run game and pass-blocked a lot more than most interior offensive linemen in college. Cushenberry profiles as a quality NFL starter. Getting him at No. 83 was great value... Agim didn't live up to his high school recruiting rank but tested in the 88th percentile at the NFL Combine and lands in a great spot with Vic Fangio in Denver. He could develop into a decent starter within a few seasons... Okwuegbunam led the SEC in receiving touchdowns (11) as a freshman three years ago with Lock as his quarterback at Missouri. Albert O wins downfield because it takes a minute for his big body to get moving, but this is another weapon for this aerial offense. He's a quality backup to Noah Fant, who is going to be a star.

 

 

Chargers (D)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

6

QB Justin Herbert

C+

5

23 

LB Kenneth Murray

B-

25

112

RB Joshua Kelley

C-

100+

151

WR Joe Reed

-

100+

186

S Alohi Gilman

-

100+

220

WR KJ Hill

-

100+

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

No. 23

No. 37 and 71

D

 

I’m conflicted with the Herbert pick. On one hand, he plays the most valuable position and has high-level tools including mobility, but he also lacks the accuracy and decision-making of the top quarterback prospects. He profiles as an average starter in my opinion -- getting to play with all of the Chargers’ weapons raises his ceiling and floor -- but I have to ding the pick because they were in striking distance of drafting Tua Tagovailoa, who by every measure is in a tier above Herbert. Getting Tua with the third pick was a better alternative… The Chargers traded their starting left tackle for a guard this offseason, and then drafted a quarterback at No. 6 who plays much better in a clean pocket than while under pressure. When they traded up, I thought it was going to be for an offensive tackle (Ezra Cleveland), but they instead draft a linebacker when the defense is already loaded with talent. Murray is going to be a quality starter. He’s just not a true difference maker and didn’t fill the biggest need on the roster (LT), which went completely unaddressed the entire draft… Kelley will operate as the 1b to Austin Ekeler in the Chargers’ never-ending committee backfield. He was a productive runner at UCLA (1,000+ yards twice) and has enough speed (4.49 forty) to win that 5-12 touch role as a rookie. He’s a late-round handcuff and could even be a goal-line vulture.

 

 

Chiefs (B-)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

32

RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire

C+

54

63

LB Willie Gay

B

63

96

OT Lucas Niang

B+

74

138

S L’Jarius Sneed

B+

100+

177

EDGE Michael Danna

-

100+

237

CB Bopete Keyes

-

100+

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

No. 237

2021 6th

B

 

I’m very conflicted with the Edwards-Helaire pick at No. 32 overall. I’m against running backs in the first round because there are quality options in Rounds 2-4, but I can’t lie, this fit is dreamy and the Chiefs don’t have many needs -- they are returning 20-of-22 starters. Edwards-Helaire has more value than just about all running back prospects because he’s so wicked as a receiver out of the backfield. I’m not talking about just turning check downs into first downs either. I’m talking as a legit route runner, not to mention his ability to run between the tackles. Edwards-Helaire will probably finish as a fantasy RB1 in this offense and will be seen as an “A” selection by the common fan, but the reality is a prospect like RB Darrynton Evans would have produced similar results and is a whole lot cheaper… Gay is a complete wild card -- he literally punched one of his college quarterback teammates -- but he has quality-starter upside and could make rookie year starts. His 4.46 speed and 39.5-inch vertical are quite rare for someone his size (6’1/243), and he brings the wood as a tackler… Niang could have been a first round left tackle prospect if he was healthy. He didn’t allow a sack in 44 games at TCU and moves well for a 6-foot-6 player, but Niang had hip surgery a few months back. If he rebounds, the Chiefs got a starter at a premium position at No. 96 overall... Sneed played safety and corner in college but best profiles at corner in the NFL. He has 4.37 speed and a 41-inch vertical, and doesn't have safety size. His athletic profile alone makes Sneed a worthwhile Day 3 selection, especially because it's a major position of need for the Chiefs. There's a non-zero chance he makes starts this season.

 

 

Raiders (C+)

Pick

Player

Grade

Player Rank

12

WR Henry Ruggs

C+

13

19

CB Damon Arnette

F

71

80

WR/RB Lynn Bowden

C+

100+

81

WR Bryan Edwards

B

77

100

S Tanner Muse

C+

100+

109

OG John Simpson

B+

85

139

CB Amik Robertson

A-

70

 

Trade Received

Trade Sent

Grade

No. 100, 139, and 172

No. 91 and 159

B

No. 109

No. 121 and 172

B

 

Ruggs is going to be a good player in Las Vegas. His value will be more than his box score production because his 4.27 speed will make things easier for the rest of the offense, but I had to ding the Raiders for the opportunity cost with this pick. WR CeeDee Lamb would’ve been my preferred selection here, especially for this offense that was 31st in percentage of passes that traveled 20+ yards… I gave Arnette a Round 3 grade because he will be 24 years old as a rookie, tested in the 30th percentile athletically (4.56 forty), and has had maturity issues in college. However, his on-field play last season was really, really good, as evidenced by his 5.5 yards per target allowed in coverage. He’s a classic boom-bust pick, but one that should have been made on Day 2, not Day 1 when CB Jaylon Johnson and others were on the board… Bowden has a Swiss-army knife skill set with experience at just about every offensive position, but it sounds like he will be a pass-catcher out of the backfield after the Raiders announced him as a running back. It’s a bad pick if he takes Josh Jacobs off the field… Edwards was a record-setting receiver at South Carolina, but he’s a boom-bust player given his injury history (broken foot, meniscus, concussions, etc). If healthy, he can work his way into the starting 3-WR lineup as a gadget-like target that fits well with check down machine Derek Carr… Muse was Clemson’s Special Teams Player of the Year a few years back and has the speed (4.41 forty) and on-field energy to be a decent backup as a hybrid linebacker/safety… Simpson is a big guard with long arms, but his agility and overall speed are questionable. If he starts, Simpson will be more effective as a run-blocker than pass protector… Robertson is way undersized (5’8/187) but plays with a ton of heart and confidence. He only allowed 6.4 yards per target in coverage at Louisiana Tech and picked off 14 passes. He’s a special teamer and depth option at corner.

 

NFC grades will be posted Monday. Check out my top-100 rankings and scouting reports in the meantime.