NFL Analysis


17 min read

2020 NFL Draft Do-Over: 5 Quarterbacks Go Top-10

2020 NFL Re-Draft

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Original pick: Burrow

We could get weird in plenty of places during this redraft, but this won’t be one of them. The selection of Joe Burrow completely changed the trajectory of the Cincinnati Bengals, and he’s been one of the best quarterbacks in the league when he’s on the field.

2. Washington Commanders: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

Original pick: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

The Washington Commanders drafted Dwayne Haskins 15th overall the previous season, but given some of the disagreements inside the building about taking the quarterback at the time, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see them take another swing at a much better prospect the following year.

Justin Herbert would solve the future quarterback problems for Washington and play for a franchise that was only slightly more cursed than the Chargers. He would pair with Terry McLaurin for potentially one of the league’s most fun QB-WR combos.

3. Detroit Lions: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

Original pick: Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Drafting Justin Jefferson here would pair him with Matthew Stafford, who was coming off one of the best half-seasons of his career before a back injury that cut his 2019 short. The 2020 Detroit Lions could have used a top receiver because Kenny Golladay only played five games. Marvin Jones led the team with 978 yards.

Jefferson would be an immediate impact player on that passing offense. He had 1,400 yards as a rookie in Minnesota, and with the passing volume that the Lions would have, those raw numbers might have been even bigger in Detroit.

4. New York Giants: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

Original pick: Thomas

With the quarterbacks still on the board, the New York Giants should go with one of them, but there’s no way the 2020 Giants were giving up on Daniel Jones after one season … they’re still not after five seasons.

Andrew Thomas started slowly as a rookie but has been among the top tackles in the league since his sophomore season. He was a second-team All-Pro in 2022, and it wouldn’t be shocking if there’s a first-team All-Pro season in the future. That’s a pick the Giants will gladly make again.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa
Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (1) waves to fans while leaving the field after the Dolphins' game against the Washington Commanders at FedExField. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

5. Miami Dolphins: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

Original pick: Tagovailoa

We’re cheating a little here to keep everything the same, so eventually, this 2023 version of the Miami Dolphins offense appears because it’s just too much fun. Tua Tagovailoa had ups and downs during his first few seasons in the league, but there were always flashes. His ability to keep the 2021 version of the offense at least average was a significant achievement.

Over the past two seasons, Tagovailoa is second among quarterbacks in EPA per play, per TruMedia.

In the actual draft, Tua over Herbert could be debated — and will continue to be — but with how this draft has played out, the Dolphins would easily make this pick again.

6. Los Angeles Chargers: Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma

Original pick: Herbert

In 2020, Shane Steichen was the offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers. We saw what Steichen built around Jalen Hurts during the 2021 and 2022 seasons with the Eagles.

The Chargers building around a quarterback run game on top of Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Hunter Henry could have made this one of the most explosive offenses in the league.

7. Carolina Panthers: Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Original pick: Derrick Brown, iDL, Auburn

Drafting Jordan Love could have given the Carolina Panthers some direction in the first year under Matt Rhule. With offensive coordinator Joe Brady and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the Panthers were a top-10 offense by DVOA late into the season. But the panic to get a “franchise” quarterback caused the Panthers to cut Bridgewater and trade for Sam Darnold.

With Love waiting behind Bridgewater, there would be less panic and the Panthers would have more draft picks to help build out the foundation of the roster. Carolina would also not have to trade up in this past draft for Bryce Young. Love could have eventually stepped in with D.J. Moore, Robbie Anderson, Christian McCaffrey and a decent offensive line.

8. Arizona Cardinals: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

Original pick: Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk and CeeDee Lamb. The Arizona Cardinals just traded a second-round pick for Hopkins in March but adding Lamb to the mix would give Arizona one of the league’s deepest receiving corps.

There would be some overlap with Fitzgerald and Kirk due to their best work coming in the slot but in an offense that wanted to spread out and run 10 personnel, there would be plenty of ways to make things work.

Fitzgerald was 37 during the 2020 season and Kirk had two years left on his rookie contract. Hopkins and Lamb would be one of the most dominant receiving duos a team could build around.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

Original pick: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

Chase Young still comes out as the first defensive player drafted but it’s hard to place him over the top offensive players to start the draft. Young has made an impact when he’s on the field but injuries have been a factor.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are still trying to figure out their pass rush situation deep into the 2023 season, so any upside from Young would be welcomed. Since 2020, Jacksonville ranks 18th in pressure rate but just 31st in sack rate.

Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Jedrick Wills (71) is introduced before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts at FirstEnergy Stadium. (Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

10. Cleveland Browns: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Original pick: Wills

Jedrick Wills had his 2023 season cut short midway through the year and had some lingering injury issues during his first few NFL seasons, but nothing would stop the Cleveland Browns from making this pick again. 

After making the switch from the right to the left side, Wills has been a constant for the Cleveland offensive line that has been one of the best in the league since his arrival. 

11. New York Jets: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State

Original pick: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Jamison Crowder (59) and Braxton Berrios (37) led the 2020 New York Jets in receptions. The previous season, it was Crowder (78) and Le’Veon Bell (66). The Jets' offense desperately needed a receiver, though it’s tough to know if any single receiver could help this version of the Jets' offense.

Brandon Aiyuk spent his early seasons in the Kyle Shanahan doghouse, but he has been one of the most productive receivers in the league since he got a full-time role. He has the fifth-best overall receiving score since 2020, according to ESPN Analytics’ receiver tracking metrics.

12. Las Vegas Raiders: Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

Original pick: Henry Ruggs, WR, Alabama

The Las Vegas Raiders took some swings in this draft and none of them worked.

At the time, the Raiders were coming off a season with the league’s worst overall defense and pass defense by EPA per play. There was an attempt to grab cornerbacks later in the draft, but here they’ll grab Jaylon Johnson, who is having an All-Pro season for the Bears in 2023.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Original pick: Wirfs

Tristan Wirfs is better than the 13th player in this draft — he’s one of five with a first-team All-Pro selection — but there’s a difference between ranking the best players and how a draft (even a redraft falls).

After three seasons at right tackle, Wirfs bounced over to the left side and has remained one of the best players at the position while playing in front of a quarterback who holds onto the ball a bit longer than Tom Brady did during his Tampa Bay Buccaneers tenure.

14. San Francisco 49ers: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

Original pick: Javon Kinlaw, iDL, South Carolina

With Aiyuk off the board, the San Francisco 49ers move their wide receiver selection up and take Tee Higgins. Higgins could be a No. 1 on any team — he might be in 2024 if he hits free agency — and he’d be a big, physical presence for the San Francisco passing game.

If there was a knock on Higgins coming out of college, it was a lack of separation. That has proven to not be an issue in the NFL because Higgins has proven to be one of the league's best contested-catch receivers. Sliding into the schemed openings of a Shanahan offense would lessen those concerns even more. 

Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell
Atlanta Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell (24) breaks up a pass intended for Green Bay Packers wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks (13) in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sept. 23, 2023. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

15. Denver Broncos: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

Original pick: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Denver Broncos could have used some help at cornerback, where Michael Ojemudeia (a third-round pick in this draft) led the position in snaps played during the 2020 season. 

A.J. Terrell has been inconsistent after following up an All-Pro-worthy 2021 with a disappointing 2022 then rebounding in 2023, but his high quality of play is well worth the pick here. Terrell could hold down one side and still allow the Broncos to select Patrick Surtain in the 2021 draft to form a top-tier cornerback duo.

16. Atlanta Falcons: Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota

Original pick: Terrell

With Terrell gone, the Atlanta Falcons stick in the secondary and shore up safety. Keanu Neal was playing more in the box and there wasn’t much left deep for the Falcons. The defense ranked 27th in EPA per play against deep passes in 2020.

Antoine Winfield has proven versatility to play deep safety and in the slot, two positions that would help the Falcons to this day. He also leads all defensive backs in sacks since coming into the league with 13. 

17. Dallas Cowboys: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

Original pick: Lamb

The Dallas Cowboys eventually drafted Trevon Diggs in the second round, so they got him with their first pick in the redraft. 

Diggs is still a polarizing player in coverage. During his breakout 2021 season, he gave up a ton of yards but made up for it with his interceptions. His 2022 season was a little more consistent on a down-to-down basis but the turnovers didn’t come as often. Then his 2023 season ended after just two weeks.

Diggs’s style of play works well for what the current version of the Cowboys defense does — create constant chaos — and given the extension Dallas gave Diggs in the offseason, it’s  more than happy betting on the chaos to continue.

18. Miami Dolphins: Jonah Jackson, OG, Ohio State

Original pick: Austin Jackson, OL, USC

The Miami Dolphins tried to beef up the offensive line here and it worked eventually. Austin Jackson has gradually improved and was given an extension this season. But in the redraft, Miami gets a guard who made an impact from the start.

Jonah Jackson, Detroit’s third-round pick, made the Pro Bowl in his second season and has been a positive as an interior pass protector, a place the Dolphins have had some issues.

19. Las Vegas Raiders: L’Jarius Sneed, CB, Louisiana Tech

Original pick: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

Las Vegas comes out of this redraft with a completely revamped secondary thanks to Johnson and L’Jarius Sneed

Sneed has been a revelation for the Chiefs as a fourth-round pick and has developed into the team’s top corner. He split time between the slot and outside over his first three seasons and has transitioned to a shutdown outside corner in 2023. He’s 10th among cornerbacks with at least 200 coverage snaps in yards allowed per coverage snap. 

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman
Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. (31) works to push Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. (11) out of bounds Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars: Michael Pittman, WR, USC

Original pick: K’Lavon Chaisson, EDGE, LSU

Michael Pittman is a perfect short-to-intermediate receiver who could have fit with Gardner Minshew — that connection is working with the 2023 Colts — and translated seamlessly to working with Trevor Lawrence. Pittman has a big body to work in contested situations and can catch and run for a big play.

The Jaguars eventually drafted Laviska Shenault in the second round, but this gives Jacksonville a much better overall receiver who fits much better as a go-to option the team lacked at the time.

21. Philadelphia Eagles: Kyle Dugger, S, Lenoir-Rhyne

Original pick: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

Kyle Dugger is one of the league’s most versatile defenders. Throughout his career, he’s played well in the box, slot and deep. He moves like a defensive back and looks and hits like a linebacker. Since he’s come into the league, he’s fifth among defensive backs in pressures, per TruMedia.

For a Philadelphia Eagles defense that has mixed and matched at safety and hasn’t put a ton of stock in linebackers, Dugger would be the perfect player to bounce around and help plug all of those holes.

22. Minnesota Vikings: Alex Highsmith, EDGE, Charlotte

Original pick: Jefferson

As much as the Minnesota Vikings — or any team — could have used Justin Jefferson, this team desperately needed pass-rush help. So with Jefferson long gone in this redraft, that’s where they go. 

Highsmith leads this draft class with 28.5 sacks. It should be noted Minnesota’s actual fourth-round pick, D.J. Wonnum, is having a breakout 2023 season and is third with 23 sacks.

Highsmith has been able to take advantage of playing across from T.J. Watt in Pittsburgh and he’d get the presence of Danielle Hunter in Minnesota. Still. Highsmith has nine sacks with Watt not on the field.

23. Los Angeles Chargers: Josh Metellus, S, Michigan

Original pick: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

There might not be a more versatile defender than Josh Metellus. This season, Metellus has played 18.4 percent at the line of scrimmage, 31.9 percent in the box and 38.7 percent in the slot, per TruMedia

He also averages about five snaps per game as a deep safety. He’s rushed the passer on 17.1 percent of his pass snaps this season and leads all defensive backs with 22 pressures, per TruMedia.

24. New Orleans Saints: Michael Onwenu, OL, Michigan

Original pick: Caesar Ruiz, OC, Michigan

The New Orleans Saints’ pick of Cesar Ruiz looked like it could have worked early but things faded after his rookie season. Even after the Saints gave Ruiz an extension in September, they could use an upgrade at the position.

Drafting Ruiz was strange at the time. Erik McCoy had been drafted the previous season and played well at center. The original expectation was for McCoy to move, but eventually, Ruiz was the one who transitioned to guard.

Michael Onwenu has been one of the league’s most underrated offensive linemen since he stepped on the field. He played three positions during his rookie season, bounced around between both guard spots afterward, and has played mostly at right tackle in 2023.

Defensive tackle Justin Madubuike
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) drops back to pass as Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (92) moves in during the first half at SoFi Stadium on Nov. 26, 2023. (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)

25. San Francisco 49ers: Justin Madubuike, iDL, Texas A&M

Original pick: Aiyuk

This is a check-in to see if you’re aware of the season Justin Madubuike is having. He’s second, behind only Nick Bosa, among all defenders in quarterback hits with 30. He has 12 sacks, which is 11th in the league. He has a case to be an All-Pro as an interior defender this year.

Madubukie is everything the 49ers had hoped to get from Javon Kinlaw.

26. Green Bay Packers: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

Original pick: Love

With a quarterback of the future not an option, and few enticing wide receiver options, the Green Bay Packers grab in-state running back Jonathan Taylor to pair with Aaron Jones. 

Green Bay went this route by drafting A.J. Dillon in the second round of this draft but here, the Packers get the better running back.

27. Seattle Seahawks: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Original pick: Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech

This selection does a whole bunch of things for the Seattle Seahawks. First, it gives the defense a versatile safety who can play near the line, in the box, in the slot and deep. Grant Delpit has dealt with some injuries throughout his career but he was having a career year in 2023 with an extension to match.

Having Delpit would fill the hole Seattle eventually filled by trading for Jamal Adams three months after this draft. Without a trade for Adams, the Seahawks would save a ton of money, a ton of draft picks and a ton of headaches. 

28. Baltimore Ravens: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

Original pick: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

Patrick Queen was overwhelmed as a first-round linebacker until Roquan Smith was added to the Baltimore Ravens roster, which allowed Queen to play to his strengths as a downhill defender and blitzer. Even with Smith making Queen better, that’s not the type of investment needed here. If linebacker was still on the table, Logan Wilson could fit here.

Instead, we’ll pair DC Wink Martindale with Xavier McKinney a few years early. McKinney has proven to be a good safety, capable of playing in the box and having the range needed to play on the back end of an aggressive man-heavy, blitzing defense.

29. Tennessee Titans: Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois

Original pick: Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia

Jeremy Chinn is another “queen on the chessboard” player who can move around and play on all three levels of the defense. He was runner-up for defensive rookie of the year in 2020 and looked improved in 2021 but some injuries slowed him down over the past two seasons.

Still, the upside for Chinn is there, and moving around in a Mike Vrabel defense given the strengths up the spine for this 2020 Tennessee Titans squad could unlock more potential.

30. Miami Dolphins: Kam Curl, S, Arkansas

Original pick: Noah Igbinoghene, CB, Auburn

The versatile safety was en vogue during this draft and they did not disappoint. Kam Curl was a seventh-round pick for Washington and has been the most consistent piece of the up-and-down Washington secondary.

Curl is an effective blitzer and plays well in the box. He’s nearly evenly split his time between the box and playing deep this season. Curl would join a Brian Flores defense here that would continue to unlock his versatility.

31. Minnesota Vikings: Tyler Biadasz, OC, Wisconsin

Original pick: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU

Tyler Biadasz, a fourth-round pick for the Cowboys, is one of the 13 players in this draft class with a Pro Bowl nod. He’s stepped in as a plus center for Dallas. 

Biadasz would replace Garrett Bradbury, who despite some recent improvements, has struggled in pass protection for much of his Vikings career. Biadasz has held up well in pass protection and has been one of the better run-blocking centers.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: D.J. Wonnum, EDGE, South Carolina

Original pick: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, LSU

The Kansas City Chiefs still find themselves in a weird spot here. The Edwards-Helaire pick was a mistake but trying to improve the offense and give them a  receiver like Gabe Davis, Jerry Jerudy or Darnell Mooney still feels uninspiring. Bumping up a pick like Willie Gay or Michael Danna also feels off.

Instead, Kansas City adds an edge rusher for a team that was able to create pressure but not turn it into sacks in the years after their Super Bowl. D.J. Wonnum is having an impressive 2023 and is second in this class behind Highsmith in pressures since they came into the league.