The dust is settling on the 2020 NFL draft, and naturally, that means draft grades. Every team’s draft haul is and will continue to be picked apart by all corners of football media.
The general consensus on the 2020 draft is that the Baltimore Ravens and Dallas Cowboys won the weekend. But what about the other end of the spectrum? Which teams did the worst?
According to NFL.com, the bottom-feeders this year are the Seahawks, Steelers, Patriots and Packers.
Green Bay, in particular, really struggled. They received a ‘D’ for their inability to surround quarterback Aaron Rodgers with more talent. Instead, they added his future replacement, Utah State quarterback Jordan Love, in the first round. Not great.
“But you have to imagine [Rodgers] is absolutely livid right now — and it’s hard to blame him,” NFL.com’s Gennaro Filice wrote. “The Pack spent their second-round pick on a hulking power back and their third-rounder on an H-back, while failing to snag a single receiver in a draft class that’s purportedly historically deep at the position. Is Green Bay becoming … a run-first operation?”
The Packers weren’t alone at the bottom of the class. Believe it or not, the Patriots’ draft class ranked 31st.
“No one’s earned the right to be confident more than Bill Belichick,” wrote Dan Parr, “but this Patriots draft felt sort of … well, arrogant. They didn’t bother to address needs at quarterback or wide receiver and took a kicker when it was still early in the fifth round, making Rohrwasser the first specialist selected in 2020.”
There was an expectation that the Patriots would add Tom Brady’s replacement in this year’s draft but that always seemed a bit unfair. Good teams don’t force major decisions — like quarterback — in the NFL draft. Belichick has never shied away from selecting a quarterback even when the team didn’t need one. So the fact he didn’t take one in 2020 when the team has its biggest need at the position in 20 years suggests he wasn’t high enough on any of the prospects who were available when the Patriots were on the clock.
New England received a C- for their efforts from NFL.com, a grade that was largely based on the quarterback-less haul.
The Steelers class lacked “juice,” Parr said, while the Seahawks had a “questionable use of draft resources” after selecting Texas Tech linebacker Jordyn Brooks in the first round, per Filice.
We won’t know the true grade for any of these draft classes until two or three seasons from now. Maybe Love becomes the next Rodgers in Green Bay. If he does, he’ll end up being the best pick of Round 1. Maybe Brooks becomes a tackling machine in Seattle and a perennial Pro Bowler. That’s great first-round value. And perhaps the Patriots already have a quality starting quarterback on their roster (or have a plan to add one later this summer).
The players from the 2020 draft, not the analysts in the media, will be the real graders for this class. They’ll have their chance to justify their draft slot soon enough.