News 12 Sports Mailbag: Grading the 2020 drafts for the Giants, Jets and more
The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone with a very different feel to it, as Commissioner Roger Goodell delivered the picks from his basement and soon-to-be players reacted from their homes. News 12 Sports' Kevin Maher, Jamie Stuart and Rob Del Muro are breaking down their thoughts on the picks – who do you agree with?
Grade each team’s entire draft – break down what you liked/didn’t like
Giants: B+ ... I think they may regret not taking Isaiah Simmons in the first round. But you can't cry over it now. Andrew Thomas made a name for himself by coming up big in big games against SEC opponents. He'll need to do the same and do it quickly for the Giants offensive line. But no ghosts of Ereck Flowers with him. I liked how the Giants went all defense with their last five picks. 65% of NFL rosters last year were made up of players either drafted in the fourth round or later or not drafted at all. The Giants need at least three of those guys to make an impact.
Jets: B+ ... The decision to draft OL Mekhi Becton is a sign that they are not messing around with Sam Darnold getting his butt kicked. The offensive line was a glaring need. And without true play makers at wide receiver it has to give Darnold more time for plays to develop. Becton needs to blossom early. Most off all, we learned new GM Joe Douglas isn't afraid to take chances. He's been applauded for some of the trades he made and if fifth-round pick safety Bryce Hall can recover from a gruesome ankle injury, he could be one of the steals in this draft. Drafting Florida International QB James Morgan in the fourth round gets a big "EH" from me. It doesn't move my meter. I'd rather see a veteran as the backup to Darnold.
Eagles: B ... I love the gamble on QB Jalen Hurts in the second round. Do they need him? No. But Head Coach Doug Peterson is one of the best play callers around. He'll find a way to get Hurts on the field and make him successful.
Jets ... B+
Giants ... B
Giants ... B
ROB DEL MURO
Giants: B ... The Giants had their choice of any of the top offensive linemen at No. 4 and went with Andrew Thomas, solidifying their offensive line. This pick was important to protect their last two top picks - QB Daniel Jones and helping to open up holes for Saquon Barkley. Many experts had Thomas going later in their mock drafts - but it turns out he was the most coveted tackle in the draft. But that wasn't the Giants best pick. Getting Alabama safety Xavier McKinney in the second round was a huge score for Big Blue's defense. The playmaker is a first round talent that somehow slid to them at No. 36 and will be a big part of a defensive turnaround. While those were good moves, especially McKinney being a no-brainer, the Giants still didn't do anything to improve their pass rush. There are still some good edge rushers available in free agency and the G-Men have to sign one or two of them. Every Giants Super Bowl-winning team had an elite pass rush. I would've liked them to address that in the draft.
Jets: B ... The Jets had the luxury of waiting to see who fell in their lap at No. 11. Mekhi Becton - a freak athlete was there and will be protecting Sam Darnold for the foreseeable future. Becton has already become a fan favorite on Twitter and has all the tools to be a favorite on the field. You can make an argument that they needed a playmaking receiver as bad as offensive tackle, and watched 12 wide receivers selected before settling for Baylor WR Denzel Mims in the second round. So Darnold has time to throw, but who is he going to throw to? The Jets better hope they found a diamond in the rough. If I was Joe Douglas, I'd have traded up in the second round or into the bottom half of the first round to get a better WR. Darnold is entering a pivotal year 3 and has a lot of question marks at the skill positions.
Eagles: C ... The Eagles gave Carson Wentz $128 million - $32M a year - to be their face of the franchise quarterback. So there is no way you can convince me that using a second round pick on Jalen Hurts makes any sense at all. Wentz is still just 27 years old and still has his best years ahead of him. If he was in his mid 30s that's one thing, if it was a fifth or sixth round pick, that's fine, but second round picks are building blocks to championship teams. Philadelphia had other needs they could've filled there. Add to it that they used their first round pick on speedy WR Jalen Raegor - hoping he can be Wentz's newest weapon and it just all doesn't make sense.
Patriots: C ... I have a sneaky suspicion that the Patriots are tanking this season with the hopes of landing the top quarterback in next years draft - Clemson's Trevor Lawrence. One-year bridge between Tom Brady and Lawrence is a Jets fans worst nightmare.
Which draft choice(s) stand out as having the best chance to make a big impact?
Jets first round pick OL Mekhi Becton gets my nod here. Not only is he a very large and accomplished player, but he'll also be well schooled by some great veterans the Jets added in free agency. If he listens and plays it smart, he can be the bodyguard Sam Darnold needs for years to come. Plus, LI native D'Brickashaw Ferguson is only a phone call away and right down the hall at Jets headquarters. He'd be wise to pick Ferguson's brain.
Any other closing thoughts on the draft?
Kudos to the technicians and behind the scenes people who pulled off all of the remote cameras, Zoom interviews, etc. that made draft night fun to watch. I loved how the personal moments didn't just belong to the players. You saw the coaches and GM sharing the moments with their kids too. That was awesome.