2020 NFL Draft: Stallions and Scallions

Since "Heroes and Zeroes" is already taken — originally by the short-lived FOX newsmagazine show "Front Page" way back in 1993 — here are the "Stallions and Scallions" from the 2020 NFL draft.


Miami Dolphins — An easy call in that they had so many picks in general, and so many early picks in particular — they had 11 picks all told, including three in the first round and two in the second — but they avoided any major head-scratchers, and would have had an even dozen picks had they not traded a fifth-round pick to the 49ers for running back Matt Breida, who may lack size, but scooted a 4.38 at Georgia Southern's Pro Day in 2017 after having been snubbed from the combine. Look for them to be an issue in the suddenly wide-open, post-Tom Brady AFC East in 2020.

Philadelphia Eagles — A rare tip of the draft cap to Howie Roseman, who found out that Jalen Reagor showed up to the combine nearly 10 pounds overweight and then ran a 4.22 at a "private" workout held between the combine and the draft. Elicited big-time head-scratching with their selection of quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round, but acquired three other wide receivers after drafting Reagor — Marquise Goodwin, obtained from the 49ers in return for switching sixth-round picks (4.27, at the 2013 combine), Quez Watkins, runner-up among WRs at this year's combine (4.35), and the "laggard" of the contingent, John Hightower (4.43 — poor baby!). DeSean Jackson is going to have more mentoring to do than Lucille Ball had 'splainin' to do — and there will be no more excuses for Carson Wentz.

Green Bay Packers — Their placement herein will shock many readers — but Aaron Rodgers is a very old and creaky 36 and the team needs to prepare for life after him, drafting Jordan Love after trading up in the first round to get him, just like they prepared for life after Brett Favre when they drafted Rodgers in 2005. Second-round pick A.J. Dillon was panned as "reachy," but the Packers had no big back on their roster, and no other such back ended up getting drafted at all.

Detroit Lions — Have not finished in the top half of the league in rushing offense since Barry Sanders retired — in 1998! — so they drafted running back D'Andre Swift in the second round after using their first-round pick (third overall) on cornerback Jeff Okudah to replace Darius Slay, who was traded to the Eagles.

Los Angeles Chargers — After toying with the idea of entering the 2020 season with Tyrod Taylor as their starting quarterback, they came to their senses and drafted Justin Herbert. And if that was not enough, they had another first-rounder, thanks to a draft-day trade with New England — and that was spent on highly-regarded linebacker Kenneth Murray. Anthony Lynn, who is near the top of everyone's list of endangered head coaches for 2020, has just been given a fair opportunity to save his job.

Baltimore Ravens — Combined quantity (their 10 picks were exceeded only by Minnesota's whopping 15, Jacksonville's 12, and Miami's 11) with quality (Mel Kiper, Jr. rated their draft as the best in the entire NFL, despite where they had to pick because of their 14-2 record in 2019). Another awesome draft for general manager Eric DeCosta.


Los Angeles Rams — Went without a first-round pick for the fourth consecutive year. That approach didn't work for George Allen or (even worse) Mike McCormack back in their day — and neither free agency nor the salary cap existed back then. With both in existence today, said approach is even more inadvisable because of the experience-based wage scale that was the centerpiece of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement that almost caused a lockout. They also have to stare down the barrel of the dreaded 20th Overall Pick (which goes to the best non-playoff team) Jinx — and the fact that they traded that pick (to Jacksonville for Jalen Ramsey) does not absolve them of the jinx.

Chicago Bears — Another team lacking a first-round pick — and 10 tight ends on the same team? When they finally did get to make a pick, it was Cole Kmet — a tight end!

Buffalo Bills — They were the last team to make a pick, at #54 overall — due to their having squandered their first-rounder on the vastly overrated Stefon Diggs, whom the Vikings snagged in the fifth round in 2015. And why waste even a fourth-round pick and a sixth-round pick, respectively, on two arch-possession receivers — Gabriel Davis and Isaiah Hodgins?

Houston Texans — Not only no first-round pick, but only five picks overall. Only the Saints, with four, had fewer.

San Francisco 49ers — Like the Texans, they had only five picks — and with only three of the last 26 Super Bowl runners-up having gotten past the Elite Eight the following season, a team in that situation needs to be both bold and smart if they can be expected to overcome that obstacle. And trading up in the first round to land one velocity-challenged wide receiver (Brandon Aiyuk) and then drafting an even more velocity-challenged receiver (Jauan Jennings), albeit in the seventh round, is neither.

New England Patriots — Bill Belichick should have played it safe and drafted Love, instead of trading out of the first round and as a result entering the season with Jarrett Stidham as his starting quarterback. There is a thoroughbred racehorse named Eight Rings after the number of Super Bowl titles that Belichick has won. Suffice it to say that nobody will have named a different horse Nine Rings by this time next year.

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