Long-time evaluators will quickly tell you that matching a prospect's talents to the proper scheme is the most important part of the scouting process. Scouts must be able to properly assess the strengths of every prospect's game and plug him into the right scheme category to ensure his success.
That's one of the reasons why I couldn't wait to take a little time to review the draft list to see which players are in the best situations for their talents. It would be easy to find a ton of those matches in the first round -- indeed, one of the players I listed below did come off the board on Day 1 -- but I believe there are a number of players picked outside of Round 1 with the potential to emerge as stars in systems that are ideally suited for their talents.
With that in mind, here's my list of 10 players who landed with teams that best fit their talents:
Drafted No. 26 overall (Round 1)
To the chagrin of many Packers fans, the team traded up to get their quarterback of the future at the end of the first round. The Utah State standout is a unique combination of A-plus arm talent, athleticism and improvisational skills that could make him a star in the league. While the skeptics point to his disappointing 2019 season (20:17 TD-to-INT ratio) as a major concern, Love posted a 32:6 TD:INT ratio as a sophomore in 2018, exhibiting patience, poise and discipline as a pocket passer surrounded by experienced playmakers and a creative play-caller. In Green Bay, Love will have at least a year or two to sit behind Aaron Rodgers and become the player that captivated scouts' imaginations prior to the 2019 college football season. If Packers coach Matt LaFleur can smooth out the rough patches in Love's game while helping the young playmaker retain the aggressive approach that conjured up loose comparisons to Patrick Mahomes, the Packers could extend their unprecedented run of extraordinary quarterback play into the 2030s.
Drafted No. 58 overall (Round 2)
Offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's zone-based scheme is dependent upon a group of athletic offensive linemen with outstanding movement skills working in unison. Cleveland gives the Vikings a much-needed book-end blocker with agility, balance and body control on the edges. He capably seals the edges on outside runs while showing the quickness and mobility to latch onto defenders on the second level. With his nimble feet and outstanding balance also showing up in pass protection, he'll be a difference-maker on the Vikings' offensive line.
Drafted No. 55 overall (Round 2)
Despite fielding the NFL's top-ranked rushing attack with Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards thriving behind dual-threat QB Lamar Jackson, the Ravens upgraded their RB1 spot with the addition of Dobbins. The 5-foot-9, 209-pounder is a dynamic runner with outstanding vision, balance and body control. He rushed for 2,000-plus yards during his final season at Ohio State while exhibiting the strength, stamina and endurance to carry the load as a workhorse runner. With Ravens' runners averaging 5.09 yards per carry in Jackson's 22 career starts, Dobbins could play at a Pro Bowl level as a rookie in a read-option offense that routinely gashes defenses lacking discipline at the point of attack.
Drafted No. 52 overall (Round 2)
The Florida State standout is a perfect match for Sean McVay's zone-based running game as a one-cut runner with body control, balance and burst. Akers quietly put together a pair of 1,000-yard seasons behind a suspect offensive line due to his creativity, toughness and stamina. With the Rams, he steps into a better situation with a scheme that suits his talents and a coach looking to reclaim his title as one of the game's best play designers. If the Rams also tap into his explosive skills as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, particularly in the screen game, Akers could quickly become a household name as one of the best young running backs in football.
Drafted No. 65 overall (Round 3)
It's hard to find tackling machines with ballhawk skills in the NFL, but the Bengals might've landed a unicorn in the Wyoming standout. Wilson finished his career with 400-plus tackles and 10 interceptions while exhibiting outstanding instincts, awareness, and diagnostic skills as a sideline-to-sideline defender. He is one of the few linebackers with a combination of athleticism, anticipation and ball skills to thrive as an underneath playmaker in a zone-heavy scheme. If the Bengals hand Wilson the keys to their new-look defense early in Year 1, we could see the unit make significant progress by the end of the 2020 season.
Drafted No. 74 overall (Round 3)
Credit Sean Payton and Co. for aggressively moving up the board (14 spots) to pick up a linebacker who many thought might've gone late in Round 1. Baun possesses a rare combination of pass-rushing ability and coverage skills, and he is an explosive QB hunter off the edge. He has a knack for winning on the corner, and his natural pass-rush skills could enable the Saints to use him frequently on blitzes. As an active sideline-to-sideline defender with excellent range, Baun gives Dennis Allen a hybrid defender to help mix up his defensive game plan.
Drafted No. 54 overall (Round 2)
The Bills' return to prominence has been fueled by a blue-collar roster that's loaded with talented worker bees -- and Epenesa should become one with the hive in no time. The 6-5, 275-pounder is a productive power rusher with strong hands and underrated movement skills. He finished his three-year career at Iowa with 26.5 sacks, including 22 over the past seasons, while displaying a variety of moves and counters that could enable him to reach double-digit sacks annually as a pro. That past production and future potential were why I had him as the No. 2 edge player in his class. With his ability to rush from the inside as a three-technique on passing downs, the Bills have added a versatile high-motor defender to a frontline that wears down opponents with relentless energy and persistence.
Drafted No. 179 overall (Round 5)
The Cowboys didn't address their need at edge rusher until the fifth round, but they might've landed a potential starter in Anae. The Utah product, who I had as the fifth-best edge player in the 2020 class, is an energetic rusher with exceptional first-step quickness and snap-count anticipation. As an explosive speed rusher with a high-revving motor and relentless spirit, he overwhelms blockers ill-equipped to deal with his suddenness off the ball and fanatic effort. Given his nasty temperament, polished rush skills and versatility, Anae could make an immediate impact on a defense that's expected to feature more hybrid looks under new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan.
Drafted No. 64 overall (Round 2)
First-year Panthers coach Matt Rhule is all about speed, energy and playmaking ability on the defensive side of the ball. Chinn checks off all of the boxes as a big-bodied safety with linebacker-like physical dimensions and cornerback cover skills. The Southern Illinois standout is a sideline-to-sideline defender with blitz skills and natural ballhawking instincts. In a defense in desperate need of playmakers (see Carolina's all-defense draft haul), Chinn's versatility and big-play ability could make him the foundational block Rhule builds the defense upon over the next few years.
Drafted No. 139 overall (Round 4)
It's hard to find a cornerback with the athleticism, instincts and toughness to play nickel corner in the NFL. That's why Raider Nation should quickly embrace Robertson as one of their future stars on the defensive side of the ball. The 5-8, 187-pounder is an aggressive tackler on the perimeter with a fearless approach to contact that will raise the level of physicality throughout the defense. In addition, Robertson's superb ball skills, anticipation and awareness should enable him to make a number of plays in the passing game as a "see ball, get ball" defender. If the Louisiana Tech star can quickly master the nuances of the playbook, he should be in prime position to make an immediate impact as a sub-package player in Paul Guenther's defense.