By Gabby Goodwin || Managing Editor
The 2020 NFL Virtual Draft has come and gone, and whether it was a pair of teams shockingly taking quarterbacks early, or one team making crazy trades, the past three days have been nothing but filled with surprises for football fans across the country. According to CBS Sports, these are some of the most surprising moments from the 2020 Draft:
- Jalen Hurts, coming off a 2019 season at Oklahoma with a total of 5,000 all-purpose yards and 52 touchdowns, was surprisingly selected by the Eagles with the 53rd pick in the draft. Unlike the other quarterbacks selected before him, Hurts is joining a team who already has its franchise quarterback, Carson Wentz, who, currently, is signed through the 2024 season. That being said, however, Wentz has missed the Eagles’ last three postseasons due to injury, including the team’s Super Bowl win in 2017. Therefore, while surprising to most, the acquisition of Hurts gives the Eagles an insurance policy should Wentz get injured again.
- In addition to the Eagles’ Hurts pick that shocked the country, the Packers too, took the opportunity to draft a new franchise QB this draft season. The Packers, who, just last season, advanced to the NFC Championship Game, were expected to use their 30th pick on either a receiver or a linebacker. Instead, however, they traded the pick to the Dolphins in exchange for the 26th pick, which they used to draft Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. With Packers franchise QB Aaron Rodgers only 36 and coming off a season that saw him throw 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions, this pick was surprising considering Love was among the top-ranked quarterback prospects in the draft.
- Rarely is a team able to land five players in one draft that could be potential long-term starters, but that’s exactly what the Cowboys did this draft season. They landed receiver CeeDee Lamb in the first round, cornerback Trevon Diggs in the second round, defensive lineman Neville Gallimore in the third round, center Tyler Biadasz in the fourth round, and edge rusher Bradlee Anae in the fifth round. With the selection of Anae, one of the top-100 prospects in CBS Sports’ pre-draft rankings, Dallas made one of the biggest steals in the draft with the 179th pick. And, while a great draft doesn’t guarantee success, the Cowboys have put themselves in a position to make a run at their first Super Bowl in a quarter century.
Despite the NFL holding its first-ever virtual draft in history, there were no major issues. Twenty-nine trades were made over the course of three days and the actual time of the draft did not exceed the usual norm. Saints Head Coach, Sean Payton, said he hopes to see incorporation of the virtual draft in the future, as “the fan loves to see a little bit more of the interaction with each of these draft picks in their houses rather than in some setting where they’re all in their suits” (CBS Sports).
Gabby Goodwin is the Managing Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.