The draft is upon us and we couldn't be more excited for a sporting event of any kind, but before we spend hours twisting our brains in knots trying to understand exactly what happened in the draft, why, and what it means for the future, let's look back. Making a list of each team's draft assets and just how we got here is a fun exercise and will certainly remind you of a few developments that you forgot in the furious pace of the NFL news cycle washing machine.
Draft Capital: 54-86-128-167-188-207-239
They traded #22 and some assorted third-day assets for Stefon Diggs. They are going for it while Josh Allen is on a rookie deal. It might blow up before it bears real fruit, but you have to like the acknowledgement of their unique situation and decisive action, especially when they had boatloads of cap room.
Grade: E for Effort
Draft Capital: 5-18-26-39-56-70-141-153-154-173-185-227-246-251
The Dolphins have two extra first round picks (18 and 26) because of the Minkah Fitzpatrick and Laremy Tunsil trades (with the bulk of the bounty in that trade coming next year) and a trade down in the second last year with the Saints netted them the #56 pick, which is basically a do-over of the second they dealt for Josh Rosen. No harm, no foul. They also got a fifth back that they sent to the Cardinals in the Rosen deal when they sent Kenyan Drake to Arizona last year. As Nick Korte pointed out in this excellent Overthecap.com piece estimating roster room for undrafted free agents, the Dolphins don't even have room for all of their draft picks.
How impressive is the Dolphins portfolio of draft capital this year?
They have 2 of the top 18, 3 of the top 26, 4 of the top 39, 5 of the top 56, and 6 of the top 70 picks. Thats over three times their natural allotment of capital in the top 26 and well over twice their natural share in the top 70. That’s how you make a 180 with a cruiseship. Remember they still have Houston’s first and second next year.
Grade: U for U-Turn
New England Patriots
Draft Capital: 23-87-98-100-125-172-195-204-212-213-230-241
Bill Belichick will surely regret dealing #55 for Mohamed Sanu, but he recouped Chicago’s fourth (#125) in a trade down where the Bears got David Montgomery and the Patriots got Damien Harris, and he has comp thirds for letting Trey Flowers and Trent Brown walk. The late second is classic Belichick hunting grounds, so he could be inclined to trade up to fill in that hole in his draft assets.
Update: The Patriots have traded a seventh round pick and Rob Gronkowski to Tampa Bay for a fourth.
Grade: R for Rose Colored Rutgers Glasses
New York Jets
Draft Capital: 11-48-68-79-120-158-191-211
The Jets added #68 from the Giants for Leonard Williams halfway through the season. It probably just accelerated a comp third in 2021 to a high third this year, but hey don’t look a gift horse in the mouth right? They got Kansas City's sixth for Darron Lee and gave up a seventh to Baltimore for Alex Lewis, which is looking like a very good deal for them.
Grade: H for Haha Gettleman
Draft Capital: 40-90-111-171-240-248-250
#26 is gone for Laremy Tunsil and Kenny Stills and it’s not even the majority of the compensation. DeAndre Hopkins is gone for Brandin Cooks, David Johnson and a bump from 57 to 40 (basically). The third O’Brien got for Clowney (along with Jacob Martin who is showing promise) became Gareon Conley. The comp third for Tyrann Mathieu became Duke Johnson Jr.
Grade: ? for Is There A Plan ?
Draft Capital: 34-44-75-122-160-193-197
Chris Ballard gave #13 for DeForest Buckner, which is a slam dunk when you have cap room falling out of your pockets. A true war daddy in his prime. Just in case not having a first bothers fans, Ballard got #34 in a trade down with Washington last year, when they dropped out of the first to allow Washington to get Montez Sweat. Ballard made another minor trade down and ended up getting Ben Banogu and Marvell Tell III along with the #34 for his #26. That #34 could become the main piece in a trade to move back into the first for Jordan Love if he falls.
Grade: N for Nice Job Ballard
Draft Capital: 9-20-42-73-116-137-140-157-165-189-206-223
The Jaguars are following the path of the Dolphins, with a lot of extra capital this year. #20 for Jalen Ramsey (and they have the Rams first and fourth next year). #137 for AJ Bouye. #140 for Nick Foles (how they got compensated for offloading that contract is beyond me), #157 for Calais Campbell. They even have Seattle’s 6th this year after they sent them a 7th last year that the Seahawks used to take John Ursua. The Jaguars should be a mover and shaker in the first round and the first half of the third day, with extra bullets in the first, fourth (two extra!), fifth, and sixth round.
Grade: W for Well, We’re Waiting Caldwell
Draft Capital: 29-61-93-174-224-237-243
A seemingly minor deal last year to send this year’s 4th to Miami for Ryan Tannehill changed the course of the franchise.
Grade: Y for You Miss All of the Shots You Don’t Take
Draft Capital: 28-55-60-92-106-129-134-170-225
They just keep doing it every year. Baltimore got #55 for Hayden Hurst, divided up the capital in their fourth round pick in the Hurst trade and to get Calais Campbell, got #170 from Minnesota for Kaare Vedvik last year, and #129 from New England for Jermaine Eluemunor. They also got a comp third and comp four for CJ Mosley and John Brown. So all in all the team has extra bullets in the second, third, and fourth rounds coming off of a season where they were a #1 seed in the AFC
Grade: O for Ozzie is Proud
Draft Capital: 1-33-65-107-147-180-215
The Bengals are one of two teams with no wrinkles on their draft board, only their seven natural picks.
Grade: B for Boring
Draft Capital: 10-41-74-97-115-187-244
The Browns got Houston’s comp third for Duke Johnson Jr to bolster their board, but otherwise just have their natural picks. They got Kareem Hunt for free to replace Johnson so that’s a big win. That could change if a rumored trade down in the first due to interest in Boise State OT Ezra Cleveland happens. They also gave up a fifth and a bump from seventh to sixth to Buffalo for Wyatt Teller in a move that will hopefully land them at least a band aid for the offensive line, if not a longterm starter for cheap, recouped Arizona's sixth for Jamar Taylor, and dealt their seventh to Tennessee for Taywan Taylor.
Grade: N for Berry/Stefanski new beginnings
Draft Capital: 49-102-124-135-198-232
Trading #18 for Minkah Fitzpatrick at the early in his second season will go down as a pivotal movement in franchise history and is by far the best trade of the numerous deals that have shuffled the first round this year. Their third round pick is Denver’s as part of the Devin Bush trade up last year. A cloudy lining to these two silver deals is the trade that sent #162 to Seattle for Nick Vannett. They did get a higher fifth from Jacksonville for Josh Dobbs that got bumped to Tennessee’s fourth in the Fitzpatrick deal, and comp pick 102 for tapping out of the Le'Veon Bell saga.
Grade: D for Defense wins titles, well at least games when your quarterback sucks
Draft Capital: 15-46-77-83-95-118-178-181-252-254
The Broncos haven’t been passive in setting up and using their 2020 draft capital. They got #83 as part of the Devin Bush trade down last year (taking Noah Fant later in the first and using the second they got from Pittsburgh to move up for Drew Lock). They got #95 and a small bump on the third day for Emmanuel Sanders, and then used the pick that got bumped up to the 49ers late fourth to get AJ Bouye. Denver also has a comp 5th for letting Billy Turner walk, but Turner started every game for the Packers last year.
Grade: E for Elway's Last Stand?
Kansas City Chiefs
Draft Capital: 32-63-96-138-177
In an odd twist, the Chiefs traded #64 to Seattle as part of the Frank Clark deal but got #63 back for Dee Ford. Ford wasn’t able to stay healthy last year, so this is looking acceptable for them coming off of a Super Bowl season. Their sixth and seventh round picks turned into Darron Lee and Jordan Lucas.
Grade: L for Lombardi Trophy
Los Angeles Chargers
Draft Capital: 6-37-71-112-151-186-220
Like the Bengals, the Chargers have just their seven natural picks. This was also the case last year. We’ll see if that changes on draft day when the team has to decide if they want to move up for the second quarterback.
Grade: Y for Yawn
Las Vegas Raiders
Draft Capital: 12-19-80-81-91-121-159
The Raiders get #19 as part of the bounty for Khalil Mack, although they also drop from 43 to 81 as part of the trade - a drop that looked like it would be a LOT steeper at this time last year. They also got #91 for Gareon Conley, which sets up a board that begs for a first round trade down with a gaping hole between 19 and 80 and three picks between 80 and 91. Mayock and Gruden crushed their first draft together no matter what you think of the Ferrell pick, and they have two swings in the first and three in the third to get their guys. Their sixth was turned into Trevor Davis and their seventh was dealt as part of the Mack trade, but it could have been a fifth if some unknown conditions were met, so that's a small win for the Raiders.
Grade: G for Get Excited Raiders Fans
Draft Capital: 17-51-82-123-164-179-231
The Cowboys are the best comp pick magicians of the 2020 draft. They got a comp 5th for letting Cole Beasley walk last year, signed Randall Cobb to a one year, five million dollar deal to replace Beasley, and will get a comp 5th for letting him walk to Houston this year. They also traded a sixth round pick for Robert Quinn and will get a comp fourth for letting him walk to Chicago this year.
Grade: L for Comp Pick Lemonade made out of No Cap Room Lemons
New York Giants
Draft Capital: 4-36-99-110-150-183-218-238-247-255
Dave Gettleman felt bad for Jets fans having to endure Adam Gase so he gave them #68 for Leonard Williams halfway through his walk year. They did get a comp third for Landon Collins and may well recoup a comp third for Williams in 2022 if they don’t sign Williams to a long-term deal, but the trade still looks like muddled thinking at best.
Grade: H for Haha Gettleman
Draft Capital: 21-53-103-127-145-146-168-190
The Eagles dealt 85 and 166 to Detroit to Darius Slay, which is offset by getting the 103rd pick as compensation for losing Nick Foles, getting a bump from the seventh to New England's fifth in the Michael Bennett deal. The Eagles also got comp fourths for Jordan Hicks and Golden Tate. The Eagles gave up the 88th pick of the 2019 draft for Tate, which the Lions moved up to 81 from to get Will Harris. The Eagles also gave up a sixth for Jordan Howard, but will get a comp 6th back next year for letting him walk. They don't have a seventh this year because it got bumped up to Atlanta's sixth in the Duke Riley/Jonathan Cyprien deal.
Grade: B for Big Play Slay
Draft Capital: 2-66-108-142-162-216-229
There’s a hole at #34 because Washington used their second this year to get back into last year’s first round to select Montez Sweat. If Sweat hits (which is more likely with Chase Young lining up at the other defensive end spot, assuming Sweat adjusts well to Rivera’s defense) then this could be a win-win. Washington also dealt Quinton Dunbar to the Seahawks for a fifth and traded their fifth to Carolina for Kyle Allen. One of those players is pretty good among starters at his position, the other isn’t. The net of those two trades is a big drop in the fifth round, but that is mitigated by the comp 4th the team got for Jamison Crowder. Washington's sixth was bumped down to Denver's seventh in the Case Keenum trade.
Grade: Q for Quarterback Controversy?
Draft Capital: 43-50-163-196-200-226-233
The Bears don’t have a first because of the Khalil Mack trade, but they also have their third (81) bumped up to the Raiders second (43), a significant gain in capital on the second day, but not as significant as we envisioned when the deal was made. Ryan Pace also gave away 111 to New England in a trade up for David Montgomery last year and 140 for Nick Foles. So the Bears have a huge gap on their board from 50 to 163. If they don’t trade down in the second, Pace must really love the prospects on the board at their picks.
Grade: P for Pace is three steps out on the Plank
Draft Capital: 3-35-67-85-109-149-166-182-235
The writing on the wall for a while that the Lions and Darius Slay were headed for a divorce. The team got picks 85 and 166 for him from Philadelphia, so we’ll watch a little closer when Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia decide what to do with those picks. They also traded Quandre Diggs for a fifth last year and then traded that pick to New England for Duron Harmon and a seventh, so we can compare Diggs and Harmon to see if the Lions were wise making that combination of moves in the secondary. They also gave up their seventh for Eli Harold, who is now a free agent.
Grade: N for New Look Secondary
Green Bay Packers
Draft Capital: 30-62-94-136-175-192-208-209-236-242
The Packers join the Bengals and Chargers among the most boring teams to look at in this exercise. Brian Gutekunst did do very well trading three players for late third day picks - Trevor Davis (to Vegas), Reggie Gilbert (to Tennessee), and Ty Montgomery (to Baltimore). Getting a bunch of extra late round darts ended up being accidentally brilliant in a year that will have a chaotic undrafted free agent signing period.
Grade: S for the Sixth and Seventh round belong to Green Bay
Draft Capital: 22-25-58-89-105-132-155-201-205-219-249-253
Rick Spielman got the 22nd pick and a fifth and sixth this year, and a fourth next year for Stefon Diggs and a seventh round, which is pretty good considering what Bill O Brien got for DeAndre Hopkins. Getting the extra third day pick and bump in the Diggs deal helps ease the pain of trading pick 170 to Baltimore for Kaare Vedvik in the preseason and not even keeping him on the 53 man roster. In the best comp pick magic trick of this year’s draft, Minnesota signed Sheldon Richardson to a one year, eight million dollar deal in 2018, let Cleveland sign him to a big dollar deal last year, and recouped a comp third (105). Take a bow, Rick.
Grade: W for Which Wide Receiver Will Minnesota Take?
Draft Capital: 16-47-78-119-143-228
The Falcons had their fifth bumped to Baltimore’s comp fourth as part of the Hayden Hurst deal and bumped their sixth to a seventh in the Duke Riley/Jonathan Cyprien swap with Philadelphia, leaving a big hole on their third day board (they also gave up their seventh for Jordan Richards), and they reportedly want to move up in the first round, so there could be some long waits for Falcon fans during the draft.
Grade: C for Cornerback Wanted
Draft Capital: 7-38-69-113-148-152-184-221
Grade: T for Teddy is Our Quarterback
New Orleans Saints
Draft Capital: 24-88-130-169-203
The Saints only have one wrinkle in this year’s draft capital - they dealt #56 to Miami in a trade up for center Erik McCoy, who started every game last year after Max Unger retired in the offseason. A trade up on day three didn’t pull from their 2020 pick allotment and landed them C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who also looks like a longterm starter. Mickey Loomis won’t sit on his laurels if he sees a player who can help them over the top what might be Drew Brees final season. The Saints also gave up their seventh round pick in the Eli Apple deal.
Grade: P for Pick up the Phone if Mickey Loomis is Calling
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Draft Capital: 14-45-76-117-139-161-194
The Bucs have one extra pick in the inaugural season with Tom Brady, a comp fourth recouped for letting Kwon Alexander walk and sign with San Francisco, who reportedly could be convinced to deal Alexander after 2019 fifth-round pick Dre Greenlaw looked great while Alexander was sidelined. They gave up their seventh last year when it was bumped to Philadelphia's 2019 sixth in the DeSean Jackson trade.
Update: The Bucs have traded a fourth round pick to the Patriots for Rob Gronkowski and a seventh
Grade: H for Help for Brady
Draft Capital: 8-72-114-131-202-222
The Cardinals gave up pick 40 and David Johnson for DeAndre Hopkins and getting to take Houston’s fourth this year instead of their fourth next year. That last part is helpful because the team used their fifth round pick on Jalen Thompson in the fifth round of the supplemental draft. Thompson had a good rookie year and it looks like that decision was a good one for the Cardinals. They also gave their extra fifth from the Josh Rosen deal back to Miami for Kenyan Drake in another move that already looks wise, and got New England's sixth for Korey Cunningham, while dealing their own sixth to Cleveland for Jamar Taylor.
Grade: H for Haha O’Brien
Los Angeles Rams
Draft Capital: 52-57-84-104-126-199-234
There’s a lot to sift through here. The Rams have no first round pick because of the Jalen Ramsey deal (and no first and fourth next year). They also sent their fifth to Jacksonville in the trade for Dante Fowler Jr, but will get a comp third back for Fowler next year, so that gambit will work out for them, especially if new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley can help Leonard Floyd hit after he was Floyd’s position coach in Chicago. The Rams traded the fifth they got for Marcus Peters to get the Aqib Talib contract off of the books. On the positive side of things, they got pick 57 for Brandin Cooks (but will have to give Houston a fourth in 2022) and they got a comp third for letting Rodger Saffold walk to Tennessee in last year’s free agency period.
Grade: S for Second Day is Sean’s Day
Draft Capital: 27-59-64-101-133-144-214
The Seahawks are never a team to sit on the sidelines when it comes to using trades to craft their roster and this year’s draft capital reflects that. They have the #64 pick as part of the Frank Clark trade. They traded their third to Houston for Jadeveon Clowney, but got a comp third for letting Earl Thomas walk, and also traded their fifth for Quandre Diggs mid-season to bolster the safety position weakened by the loss of Thomas. They also got a comp fourth to make up for Justin Coleman signing in Detroit. In perhaps their best sleight of hand, the Seahawks got the Steelers fifth round pick for Nick Vannett and dealt it to Washington for Quinton Dunbar. They also dealt their sixth to Jacksonville last year during the draft so they could take John Ursua in the seventh and dealt their seventh for Jacob Hollister.
Grade: I for Impressive
San Francisco 49ers
Draft Capital: 13-31-156-176-210-217-245
The 49ers got pick 13 for DeForest Buckner after deciding to extend Arik Armstead for less money than Buckner was due, so the Super Bowl runner up will have two first round picks, and they should be candidates to trade down from one or both as they have traded #63 for Dee Ford and #95 for Emmanuel Sanders. They also bumped their fourth (which Denver sent to Jacksonville for AJ Bouye) to Denver’s fifth, #156, so they have to wait from pick 31 to 156 unless they make a deal. Ford, Kwon Alexander, Matt Breida, Marquise Goodwin, and Jaquiski Tartt are also rumored to be on the block for draft picks, so there’s another angle they can try to get some picks on the second or early third day if they don’t trade down or out of the first round. They also got Detroit's seventh for Eli Harold.
Grade: B for Brother, Can You Spare a Second Day Pick