Biggest winners and losers from the NFL Draft's first round
There weren't many surprises to begin the 2020 NFL Draft, but rest assured there were some intriguing developments as the night went on.
Now that the first round of the draft is in the books, we can take a look back at the winners and losers from Thursday night.
We’re No. 1! Bengals get Joe Burrow
The Cincinnati Bengals did what everyone expected, nabbing Joe Burrow with the first overall pick. Burrow led the LSU Tigers to a national championship this past season and will take over a Bengals offense that has some talented pieces.
It’s fun to speculate which teams might throw everything in a trade offer to secure the first overall pick, but in the end, there was no suspense here.
The Bengals weren’t going to trade down, and any pre-draft drama involving the top six selections seemed to fade away quickly when everything began to fall the way most pundits expected.
Dolphins reel in Tua Tagovailoa
Bettors who backed Under 5.5 on Tua Tagovailoa’s draft position had a nice win Thursday.
There had been rumblings that Tagovailoa could fall out of the top five picks due to concern over his past injuries, to the point where bettors seemed to believe Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert could have been taken ahead of the Alabama Crimson Tide product.
Tagovailoa is an immense talent, and the Dolphins didn’t back away, selecting him fifth overall. Miami also bolstered its offensive line by picking Austin Jackson at No. 18, and improved its secondary with TCU corner Noah Igbinoghene from Auburn at No. 30.
They remain in an enviable position on Friday, with the 39th and 56th overall selections.
Surprise! Henry Ruggs III was the first receiver off the board
CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy were expected to be the first receivers selected Thursday, but as we’ve said before, the draft can be full of surprises.
Henry Ruggs III didn’t have the same numbers as Lamb and Jeudy, but he had a blistering 40-yard dash time at the NFL Combine. Once a long shot to be the first receiver selected, it suddenly became apparent that this was becoming a legitimate option for bettors looking for additional value.
On Thursday, commissioner Roger Goodell called Ruggs’ name first out of such a talented and highly touted group of receivers. He’ll join the Las Vegas Raiders, who entered the draft in need of a receiver.
Vikings get help at receiver, corner back
The Minnesota Vikings came out of the first round as one of the winners, addressing two major areas of concern.
After trading Stefon Diggs to Buffalo earlier this offseason, the Vikings had a need at receiver, and Justin Jefferson out of LSU fell to them with the 22nd overall pick.
Jefferson had a breakout season with the Tigers, working alongside quarterback Joe Burrow, with more than 1,500 yards receiving and 18 touchdowns.
The depth of talent at the receiver position in this draft class worked in the Vikings’ favor. They were also able to add a corner back, selecting TCU product Jeff Gladney with the 31st pick. They also added some additional mid-round draft picks, after trading down to 31st overall in a deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
That’s a tidy bit of work from the Vikings.
Colts not feeling the Love
The Indianapolis Colts didn’t have a first-round pick this year – they traded it to San Francisco for defensive lineman DeForest Buckner – and that may have been costly if they were searching for a quarterback of the future.
The Colts were reportedly interested in quarterback Jordan Love out of Utah State, and tried to trade their way into the first round, but nothing came of it.
The Green Bay Packers did get a deal done, however, trading up to 26th overall and selecting Love – the apparent successor now to Aaron Rodgers.
That’s a tough loss for the Colts. And now it serves up a juicy storyline around the Packers quarterback situation going into the 2020 season.
And we don’t mind that.
For the Colts, there are more options at quarterback on Day 2 of the draft, such as Jalen Hurts out of Oklahoma.
Sweating the Over/Under on running backs taken 1st round
The first running back selected in this year’s draft came on the very last pick of the first round.
Anyone that wagered on the total number of running backs taken in Round 1 was sweating this one right to the end.
The total was set at 0.5, and there were running backs ranked as first-round picks, but the issue was that many teams had other positional needs that required immediate attention, which put the Over in jeopardy.
It went down to the wire, but the Over on running backs selected first round hit when the Kansas City Chiefs surprised many by drafting LSU product Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the 32nd pick.
Pre-draft projections had D’Andre Swift as the running back most likely to go first.