Friday, October 2, 2020

NFL 2020 Draft: Round 2 top picks and surprises

Rounds two and three of the 2020 NFL Draft took place on Friday night and there were again shocks and plenty of supposed ‘reaches’ and ‘steals’.

The Bengals again took the first pick, this time in the second round. They went out and got wide receiver from Clemson, Tee Higgins. The Bengals are trying now to build around Joe Burrow and take some of the pressure off A.J Green.

With Green, John Ross and now Higgins, they have three good wideouts and will be giving Burrow as much help as they can. With 2019 first round draft pick in tackle Jonah Williams yet to play a snap, he will also come in as a new addition to help protect Burrow.

Judging by the basketball tapes we saw on draft night, Higgins is clearly very athletic.

The Carolina Panthers went out and got Penn State defensive end Yetur Gross-Matos in the 38th overall pick. From what I could see in his tape, he looks like he could be a sleeper and a steal for Carolina, with his ability to pass rush and stop the pass.

The Panthers will add him to a defensive line also featuring first round pick defensive tackle Derrick Brown from Auburn. It is evident from these two draft picks the intent of new head coach Matt Rhule is to be good on the defensive side of the ball.

After Cam Newton’s departure, it was unclear who the Panthers were. Their first two picks being on the defensive line gives us an indication of where Rhule feels they need to improve.

The Broncos added a second wide receiver to their 2020 draft class with Penn State’s KJ Hamler joining Bronco Country.

The Broncos are clearly aiming to give quarterback Drew Lock as many weapons as possible to add to his encouraging end to the season.

Lock will have first round draft pick Jerry Jeudy and Hamler to throw to in addition to Courtland Sutton, not to forget getting running back Melvin Gordon to share the running load with Phillip Lindsay.

Jalen Hurts is for me the most interesting pick of the draft. He will become back up to Carson Wentz after being picked by the Eagles at 53rd overall.

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Wentz is clearly their guy after they gave him a new contact in the 2019 off season and traded away Nick Foles.

However, Wentz has never completed a season due to injury and 40 year old Josh Mccown played in Wentz’ absence in the NFC wildcard fixture in the 2020 play offs.

Wentz is a massive injury worry and head coach Doug Pederson no doubt had this in his mind when he picked Hurts. Pederson likes a trick play and with the Hurts mobility factor, perhaps we could see Hurts have a Taysom Hill ‘swiss army knife’ role in the team.

Another interesting team from rounds two and three is the Las Vegas raiders. In addition to getting Henry Ruggs III in round one, they went out and got two other wideouts in Lynn Bowden who can also play running back and Bryn Edwards.

I question this when there’s a lot bigger needs on the team. They already have running back Josh Jacobs and receiver Hunter Renfrow who did so well in 2018, so I question why they need two more wide receivers and a running back/receiver.

They should have looked at other needs, especially when the offensive line talent is so deep.

The Patriots didn’t make a single pick on day one but were active in day one and included two tight ends in their selection Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene.

Tight end has been a problem position since Rob Gronkowski left after the 2018 season and now they have added two second round tight ends. I question why two were chosen but perhaps the Patriots will go back to their Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez double tight end threat of the early 2010’s.

Finally, the Buffalo Bills went out and got running back Zack Moss. With the impressive season of Devin Singletary in 2019, it leaves the question of how this will impact ex-rugby union player Christian Wade.

The third all time English Premiership try scorer made the practise squad via the international player pathway programme and scored a touchdown on his first ever carry in a 2019 pre season game and almost scored a touchdown a week later.

He didnt make the 53 man roster and was hoping to make the grade in the 2020 season but this draft move puts his future in doubt.

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