PREMIER MADDEN LEAGUE FIRST ROUND PICKS #17-32 GRADES PART TWO
Last time I talked about rookies, it was to talk about who were the stars of the class and who were the busts. Now that we are halfway through the year of PML and a lot has happened or changed. I want to dive in on all of the rookies that were selected in the first round of the 2020 draft. I’m going to give my personal grade on these rookies with how they are used and what kind of statistics they are putting up.
Pick #17 CeeDee Lamb WR – Dallas Cowboys: A-
Dallas looked to the heavens and said “God, give us something spectacular” and spectacular is what they got with CeeDee Lamb. He may not be the #1 receiver in the draft but he’s definitely a close second and had no business dropping this far in the draft allowing an already high powered Cowboys offense pick up another elite receiver. Lamb is currently at 564 yards with 4 touchdowns but the amazing thing about this kid is that he’s the only rookie receiver to currently not have a drop pass. Teams better make sure to double CeeDee or else he’s going to punish him with his amazing route running and hands.
Pick #18 Austin Jackson OT – Miami Dolphins: A
Another solid pick for the Dolphins in this class. Knowing that if they took Tua that it would be a risk to have him start behind their already weak line that they decided to pick up this stud in the mid of the 1st was a fantastic decision and boy did it pay off. Austin currently has 10 games played and he’s only allowed 1 sack. He’s not only just great in the passing game, he’s also a fantastic body to have in the rushing game helping his team gain over 1000 yards rushing already in the season. Austin has all the tools of becoming an all pro tackle one day he just needs more time to develop and that’s why I give this pick an A.
Pick #19 Damon Arnette CB – Las Vegas Raiders: C+
A lot of people were questioning the front office of the Las Vegas Raiders for making this pick and they had every right too. His lack of coverage skills is concerning for this team as he’s already starting as their #2 corner. He’s unable to press his man and if he does he’s going to get beat on the deep ball due to his slow speed, if you put him in zone coverage he won’t be able to defend his zone that great but he shows some strength when he’s in man coverage. The only part of this game where Arnette excels in is run defense as he currently has two forced fumbles, two tackle for losses, and 29 total tackles. This kid needs a lot of work put into him for him to not turn out into a first round bust, other wise he will just be known as a roleplayer who moves around the league.
Pick #20 K’Lavon Chaisson LE – Jacksonville Jaguars: C-
The Jaguars needed a fresh new defensive in to fill in for the departing Ngakoue but I don’t think Chaisson was the right decision to go with at pick 20. The rookie has really not had any impact on the field in the 7 games he’s played with only 19 tackles and 0 sacks. Chaisson has also been dealing with injuries this year and that could be a factor towards his poor performance but the Jaguars need to start pushing him harder so he can have success in this league. This is not a team that can afford a draft pick not panning out and it’s starting to look like it’s heading in that direction.
Pick #21 Jalen Reagor WR – Philadelphia Eagles: B+
I currently have Jaelen Reagor as my 3rd rated receiver in this years draft. He’s been playing lights out on this current Eagles team even though the team itself is playing performing. He’s third in rookie yards with 509 yards and a total of 4 touchdowns. I really think if Reagor was on any other team he’d have a shot at becoming an even better prospect but he’s currently stuck on the dying offense of the Philadelphia Eagles who are about to enter cap hell. The kid can become a prodigy if the Eagles offensive coordinator can get his head out of his ass.
Pick #22 Justin Jefferson WR – Minnesota Vikings: C
There’s just not a lot of stuff going on for this kid, he can’t seem to find his way open, he can’t hold onto the ball sometimes, and he can’t seem to stay on the field seeing how he’s injury plague. The Vikings desperately needed another number 2 at the wide receiver position after losing Diggs and Jefferson is looking like he can’t fill those shoes right now. If I was the Vikings coach I’d rest Jefferson until he’s completely healthy, his confidence comes back, upgrade him until he’s ready to be a starter, than start to gameplan him into your offense again because for the attributes Jefferson has there’s no way he should only be at 288 yards in 6 games. He can be a complete monster for this team if he balls out and hopefully that comes true in the future.
Pick #23 Kenneth Murray LB – Los Angeles Chargers: B+
This Chargers organization must be able to see into the future because both picks they made in the first round have turned out to be studs. Kenneth Murray has proven to the league that he is a force to be reckoned with and that’s undisputable. He’s been showing that not only can he can add a key piece in their already stacked pass defense, but that he’s unstoppable when it comes to the run defense. He’s already keyed in on 3 sacks this year with one force fumble and I can guarantee you that he’s not done yet. I rated him a B+ because he has so much speed that I feel like he could even be more of a factor when it comes to defending the pass and his full potential of that hasn’t been shown yet.
Pick #24 Cesar Ruiz C – New Orleans Saints: Unknown
I can’t really give too much of an analysis on Cesar because he’s only ever played 1 down in the NFL so far, but if it was up to me i’d put him in at a guard position on that aging saints offensive line and devlop him so he can become the stud I believe he can be. They already are not making the playoffs they might as well give their young rookies some reps so they can build him up into a better player.
Pick #25 Brandon Aiyuk WR – San Francisco 49ers: D
Brandon has so much potential that it doesn’t make sense to me that he’s not putting up the numbers that I believe he should be putting up. Besides from Deebo Samuel he’s clearly the second best receiver on this squad if you look at attributes in my opinion but he’s not playing like one. I’m not sure if the coach of the 49ers doesn’t have faith in him or he’s just not able to make the plays I believe he’s able to make. Either way with only 168 and 2 touchdowns this late in the season he’s making his case that he was the wrong pick to make in the 1st and that he’s turning out to be a bust.
Pick #26 Jordan Love QB – Green Bay Packers: D-
A very questionable pick indeed. Why did the Packers take Jordan Love when they have Aaron Rodgers? No one knows not even I could tell you. What I do know is though that he is starting currently and is not performing like a starting quarterback. He currently has 764 yards for 5 touchdowns with 11 interceptions in four games and yeah you can say he’s performing better than Aaron Rodgers was but the point is if you are going to take a quarterback in the 1st round that they should be performing they a starter quarterback and Jordan Love is currently not showing any of that in the four games he played so far. If I was the Packers I’d find a new offensive play caller and put Aaron Rodgers back in because Jordan Love is not that guy.
Pick #27 Jordyn Brooks LB – Seattle Seahawks: B+
Seattle needed another linebacker to play beside their elite Bobby Wagner so they decided to head in the direction of bringing in Jordyn Brooks. A lot of people were iffy at first with this pick but now halfway through the season the fans and team staff are loving this pick. This kid reminds me a lot of Wagner with his ability to not only play apart of the passing game but the run game too. His stats aren’t that far off from Wagners as he currently has 65 tackles 8 tackles for loss 1 sack and 1 interception. If you ask me this kid can become the next Bobby Wagner for this Seahawks defense and offensive players will fear for their lives when playing against him.
Pick #28 Patrick Queen LB – Baltimore Ravens: A-
Patrick Queen, although he is a rookie is one of, if not the best linebackers in the AFC right now. With astounding numbers for a rookie like 83 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, and 2 ints which he took one of those back for a touchdown. He’s quickly risen to fame on this already elite Ravens defense and has became a key part of their success. Out of all the linebackers in this draft surely you’d have to say that Patrick Queen was the best linebacker selected and he’s definitely going to become an all pro one day.
Pick #29 Isaiah Wilson OT – Tennessee Titans: B
Although Isaiah has been playing good football when he’s on the field but that’s the problem with him, he can’t seem to keep himself on the field. Out of the 12 games the Titans have played Isaiah has only played for 6 of them, and I have no clue if he’ll even play another down this season before the playoffs. The team have high hopes for this kid though, to be able to help in the passing game with protecting Ryan Tannehill, which he has down by only allowing 1 sack in 191 downs played, and has been a big help in the running game with his team having over 2000 yards rushed. If Isaiah can keep himself healthy, he will be a huge he contribution to this offensive line and to this team.
Pick #30 Noah Igbinoghene CB – Miami Dolphins: C-
With their third pick in the first round the Dolphins took Noah Igbinoghene, who hasn’t really had much impact on the field for them like their other starters but it’s because they are already pretty set at the corner position. Noah is just there to sometimes rotate into slot and also rotate into other positions on the field. There’s not much I can say about this kid other than he’ll become a good depth piece for this Dolphins team but I don’t think he’ll ever have that “X factor” that the Dolphins were hoping he would have.
Pick #31 Jeff Gladney CB – Minnesota Vikings: B+
The cornerbacks in this first round are all value starters but one of the corners that deserve to be picked higher in this draft is this kid Jeff Gladney. Minnesota struck a diamond this late in the first round and they can’t be any more relieved. After losing some key defensive pieces Gladney has came in and said “I’ll put this defense on my back” and that is what he has done. He’s among the top of the teams leaderboard for tackles with 56, and has also snagged himself three interceptions. He’s a key piece in both their run defense and pass defense. He still has a few things to work out like his ability to play better in zone coverage but once he manages to fix that he will be a good starting cornerback for this Vikings defense.
Pick #32 Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB – Kansas City Chiefs: C-
At the beginning of the year Clyde started off strong for the Chiefs, but as the weeks kept on going he started to drop off and hasn’t been seen since. Currently he’s rushed for 688 yards on 163 attempts for 5 touchdowns and averages 57.3 yards per game. That’s pretty horrendous for a starting running back in PML. I do believe his speed is a reason why he can’t seem to break off for better runs, there’s not much he can do in that aspect as you can’t “learn speed” but what he can do is learn how to break through the open holes his offensive line gives him or learn how to break tackles so he can grab those extra yards. At the end, I don’t see a long future for Clyde, definitely not at a starting position in the PML, maybe as a rotational piece for a team. Look for the Chiefs to try and replace him this offseason.