The 2020 NFL Draft provided a welcome dose of familiarity in a strange world. Before the NFL calendar gets quiet again, here's one thought on all 32 teams coming out of the draft:
Baltimore Ravens: Second-round pick J.K. Dobbins' arrival is bad news for Mark Ingram's fantasy numbers. Dobbins reminds me of Emmitt Smith, a steady, three-down option who knows how to set up defenders and will consistently get more than what's blocked. Ingram should still have a role with the run-first Ravens, but he's unlikely to top 200 carries again.
Buffalo Bills: Running back Devin Singletary was a home-run third-round pick a year ago by the Bills. They may have hit another with Singletary's new tag-team partner, Zack Moss. As great as Singletary looked in 2019, Buffalo's offense is better off with him sharing his workload. Moss is a slasher, a tough runner who finishes off defenders and can beat them to the edge. Josh Allen suddenly has one of the better supporting casts in the AFC.
Cincinnati Bengals: Wyoming's Logan Wilson was the fifth third-round linebacker taken by the Bengals in the last six years. Most have been busts, which means that Wilson is already in line to start on passing downs. There's a lot to be excited about on offense in Cincinnati, but linebacker is one of many big question marks on defense.
Cleveland Browns: The draft came and went with Olivier Vernon still on the roster. The Browns didn't draft a defensive end, so it would appear Vernon is staying put ... unless general manager Andrew Berry finishes a snazzy first offseason by signing Jadeveon Clowney. If Clowney signs with a team after early May, he won't be counted toward next year's compensatory-pick formula. Keep an eye on whether Clowney buzz picks up after that.
Indianapolis Colts: I doubt Jacoby Brissett will be traded following the selection of Washington quarterback Jacob Eason in the fourth round on Saturday. The Colts owe Brissett big guaranteed money, and he provides a fallback plan if Philip Rivers gets hurt. Brissett was likely in his final year with the Colts even before Eason was taken. But if the Colts believed Eason could help the team this year, they would have taken him before No. 122 overall.
Jacksonville Jaguars:The staredown between the Jaguars and Yannick Ngakoue may just be getting started. General manager David Caldwell's saying that no team offered anything for Ngakoue and that they would "welcome him back with open arms" shows that they want to keep him. Caldwell is right: Ngakoue's options are limited. His $17.8 million franchise tag is nearly four times his career earnings, so a holdout into the regular season appears very unlikely.
Kansas City Chiefs: When Andy Reid says that Clyde Edwards-Helairecompared favorably to Brian Westbrook as a prospect, fantasy football antennae should stand up straight. Just don't expect Super Bowl hero Damien Williams to completely vanish. Reid has always preferred a running back committee, even during much of Westbrook's peak.
Las Vegas Raiders: This proved to be an incredible offseason for quarterback Derek Carr. The focus on offense in the draft (of the Raiders' seven picks, four were offensive players, and three of their first four selections were receivers), however, left holes in the defense, even if surprise first-round cornerback Damon Arnette helps right away. GM Mike Mayock can only fix so much, and the defense could still be a year away from average, meaning Carr's offense will need to carry this team.
Los Angeles Chargers: It shouldn't be surprising that coach Anthony Lynn loved quarterback Justin Herbert. In many ways, Herbert ideally projects as a rich man's Tyrod Taylor. Herbert's athleticism will be incorporated into the offense, and Lynn will appreciate his Tyrod-like caution when it comes to preventing turnovers. (Herbert may also share Taylor's inconsistent accuracy and feel for the position.)
Miami Dolphins: Brian Flores is the right coach for this team, if it wasn't obvious enough already. Adding 11 draft picks to an already young Dolphins roster will maximize Flores' ability to teach and mold a group in his image. The players who survive to a second contract will be Flores Guys, and it's clear that he values many of the same traits as his old boss in New England, with versatility and defensive back play being a priority in Miami.
New England Patriots: What an offseason for Jarrett Stidham. After staying out of the premium QB market in free agency, the Patriots spoke loudly again about their belief in the second-year pro with their inactivity at that position in the draft. Instead, they continued to build up their defense with versatile front-seven players, in addition to adding two tight ends in the third round (Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene) for Stidham to throw to. Those tight ends' success could go a long way toward determining whether a relatively undermanned Patriots attack has enough juice in 2020.
New York Jets:From the first pick to the last, Jets GM Joe Douglas' draft made a lot of sense. He found talented playmakers (wideout Denzel Mims in Round 2 and safety Ashtyn Davis in Round 3) at great values and loaded up with five picks in the third and fourth round. Even quarterback James Morgan was a fun risk-reward gambit as the future backup to Sam Darnold. If the Mock Draft Graders are to be trusted, the Jets are turning a corner.
Pittsburgh Steelers: There was talk among draftniks of moving Notre Dame wideout Chase Claypool to tight end because of his size (238 pounds), but the Steelers made it clear that's not the plan for him in Pittsburgh. Like Martavis Bryant with more size and less drama, Claypool fits right in with a tradition of Steelers wideouts alongside Ben Roethlisberger who do their best work down the field.
Tennessee Titans: GM Jon Robinson will be counting on his first three draft picks to play immediate roles. First-round tackle Isaiah Wilson is the favorite to start at right tackle and replace free-agent departure Jack Conklin. Second-round cornerback Kristian Fulton should get snaps right away at a position group with very little depth and third-rounder Darrynton Evans has a clear path to replacing Dion Lewis as Derrick Henry's complementary back.
Arizona Cardinals: No. 8 overall pick Isaiah Simmons looks like a can't-miss prospect. I just hope the Cardinals have a better plan for him than they did for Haason Reddick when they took him in the first round three years ago. GM Steve Keim loves first-round 'tweeners -- remember Deone Bucannon? -- but hasn't been able to maximize their versatility. Defensive coordinator Vance Joseph did not get results last season, and it's worth wondering if he'll have job security if the Cardinals struggle again.
Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons made it to Super Bowl LI with a deep receiver crew whose members all fulfilled different roles, providing a blueprint many teams followed in the ensuing years. That's partly why I was so surprised they passed on CeeDee Lamb at No. 16 overall. While the Falcons' starting duo of Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley is strong, it's not like they are deep at the position. Taking cornerback A.J. Terrell instead felt like passing on talent for need because the Falcons' previous gambits at cornerback haven't worked out.
Carolina Panthers: The Panthers used all seven of their picks on defensive players, which is the first time that's happened in the modern era of the draft. For all the fascination regarding Matt Rhule's spicy offense, the team's defensive staff, led by Phil Snow, does not have a lot of NFL experience. Now they've acquired a lot more promising talent, even if they still look awfully thin in the secondary.
Chicago Bears: With only two picks in the first four rounds, the Bears could use immediate production from second-rounders Cole Kmet at tight end and Jaylon Johnson at cornerback. Neither position is easy to transition to, but there are starter snaps available at each spot, despite veteran TE Jimmy Graham's contract. Kmet has good receiving skills and a frame that could still add 10-15 pounds.
Dallas Cowboys: I loved the Cowboys' draft, but the team's inability to pick up a premium pass rusher before finally taking Bradlee Anae in Round 5 puts a lot of pressure on Aldon Smith and/or Randy Gregory to help this season coming off suspensions -- they are both waiting to be reinstated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Smith hasn't played in the NFL since 2015, and Gregory has only played 28 games in five seasons. Dallas is very thin opposite DeMarcus Lawrence at defensive end otherwise.
Detroit Lions: From the selection of running back D'Andre Swift this year and Kerryon Johnson in 2018 to the interior line picks that GM Bob Quinn has made in the last few years, the Lions have invested a lot of capital in improving their running game -- but they have yet to see great results. Quinn needs that vision to come together this season. Swift is the type of talent who can put the team's running game over the top.
Los Angeles Rams: With a promising draft out of the way, I'm curious to see how the Rams handle the rest of this offseason. Jalen Ramsey, Cooper Kupp and safety John Johnson are all entering their contract years. Ramsey reportedly said when he arrived in Los Angeles that he wouldn't hold out in 2020, but the Rams may want to avoid an Aaron Donald-like saga with him before it happens.
Minnesota Vikings: GM Rick Spielman had one of those drafts that looks almost too good on paper, with value meeting need up and down the draft board. With Everson Griffena free agent, defensive end is one area the team is thin at for the first time in the Spielman era, so they should look to add a veteran or two after the draft.
New Orleans Saints: Keep an eye on the Saints' backup quarterback situation. There's been some chatter on #SaintsTwitter about the team having interest in Jameis Winston after the draft. Whether that's smoke or not -- and a lot of Jameis-related smoke has been wrong this offseason -- it would be a smart move by Winston to learn from a master and set himself up as a possible successor. It would also end all of Sean Payton's hype about Taysom Hill being the next Steve Young. (UPDATE: NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported early Sunday morning that New Orleans is expected to sign Winston to a one-year deal.)
New York Giants: The arrival of No. 4 overall pick Andrew Thomas (along with third-round tackle Matt Peart) puts an expiration date on Nate Solder's disastrous contract with Big Blue. But will the end come this offseason or next? It would be odd to move Solder to right tackle at this point in his career, but it would be equally strange to delay moving Thomas to his ultimate position on the blind side. Cutting or trading Solder would save money and open up a little cap space, easing some of the pain that would come from cutting him a year from now.
Philadelphia Eagles: First-rounder Jalen Reagor won't go down as the most controversial Eagles pick of the weekend, but he is the most important. The explosive -- if inconsistent -- receiver from TCU has a clear path to a starting role if he can get up to speed. Alshon Jeffery may not be ready for the season following Lisfranc surgery, and the Eagles remain thin at the position on the outside. Don't be surprised if the team still adds another veteran to the mix as insurance.
San Francisco 49ers:The acquisition of left tackle Trent Williams in a trade with Washington on Day 3 of the draft was more important than any pick the 49ers made, at least when it comes to their 2020 title hopes. Tackle Joe Staley kept his impending retirement a secret until Saturday, perhaps so the 49ers could retain leverage in trade talks and mystery when it came to their draft pick. (There was a report that the 49ers considered trading up from No. 13 for a tackle, but they wound up moving down to No. 14 to select Javon Kinlaw.) While Williams comes with some injury risk, when at his peak, he's been the most physically dominant left tackle in football. His nastiness fits right in with a 49ers team that loves to bully opponents. GM John Lynch has done a fantastic job balancing long-term thinking with short-term goals this offseason.
Seattle Seahawks: The selection of first-round linebacker Jordyn Brooks was a surprise, but not because of what it said about the Seahawks' defense. No team keeps all three linebackers on the field for all three downs more than Seattle, and Brooks' selection indicates that could remain true even after K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner are no longer around. Pete Carroll and John Schneider have their critics on draft weekend, but zigging while the rest of the league is zagging is often a sound approach.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: It was a little bit of a surprise the Bucs passed on such a deep running back class in the second round, although I can't fault the selection of safety Antoine Winfield Jr. at No. 76 overall. Third-round pick Ke'Shawn Vaughn was not in the top tier of backs, but he was notably a strong pass protector in college. Perhaps that's why he caught GM Jason Licht's eye -- because this season is all about maximizing Tom Brady's strengths.
Washington Redskins: The Williams trade from Washington's perspective was a tax that Ron Rivera was forced to pay for the sins of the Bruce Allen regime. Considering how hopeless (and exhausting) the situation looked on Friday, acquiring a third-round pick in 2021 and a fifth-rounder this year from San Francisco was a reasonable haul. Fourth-round pick Saahdiq Charles, meanwhile, will be one candidate to replace Williams.