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The Virtual NFL Draft

By: Jack Gottlieb

This year’s NFL draft was very different than those of past years. With the coronavirus pandemic continuing to sweep the nation, the only plausible way to conduct the draft was virtual. Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL analysts did a great job in providing entertainment to the desperate sports fanatics. The draft itself was rather predictable. Given the new virtual way of conducting the draft, there were far fewer trades than there are most years. Despite this, it was still entertaining and finally gave sports fans a night of new professional sports footage.  

The Bengals started the draft by taking Heisman quarterback Joe Burrow from LSU. A slam dunk talent, Burrow had a magical championship season with the LSU Tigers. Chase Young, who is arguably the most talented in the draft, went second to the Washington Redskins. He was a beast for the Buckeyes last year and follows the Bosa brothers into the league. Jumping ahead a few picks, the Miami Dolphins selected former Alabama quarterback Tua Tuagavoilla. Tua has major injury concerns, but I think his talent and precision passing will translate to success at the next level. The Packers shockingly traded up to select Jordan Love with the 26th overall selection. This doesn’t make much sense to me, given Aaron Rodgers’ continued success and the fact that he has at least four quality seasons left in him. Instead of adding more pieces to win now, the Packers elected to think about five years from now. This is not the first time Aaron Rodgers hasn’t got what he wanted in the draft. In fact, throughout his career, Aaron has thrown 1 touchdown pass to a first-round pick. The Packers really could have used another weapon outside of Davante Adams. Lastly, a team I thought improved most through the draft,  was the San Francisco 49ers. This offseason, the 49ers traded the expensive pass rusher, DeForest Buckner, to the Colts for their first-round pick. With this pick, the 49ers were able to draft stud defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw. A far cheaper alternative on a rookie deal, Kinlaw will continue the 49er’s defensive dominance. With their own first-round pick, the 49ers address a major need with the selection of wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Finally, the 49ers were able to acquire seven-time pro bowler Trent Williams for third and fifth-round picks. 

As some teams recently got word that their training camps will be able to happen, with proper safety protocols in place, it looks like the next NFL season will not go the way of the MLB this year. So, with the NFL season hopefully around the corner, look for teams to continue to address different needs as they work to expand their rosters and fight for a Super Bowl championship.

Photo courtesy of latimes.com.

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