As I crawled thru the barren-sportsless Corona Desert, desperately clinging to the last few precious ounces of my own bottled urine, a glorious oasis appeared on the horizon. Was it a mirage!? No! It was the the 2020 NFL Draft, and it was very real! And it was very glorious!
I leapt to my feet, slurped down the final drops of my warm pee rations and sprinted towards the only sports I’d seen in weeks—and likely the only sports we’ll see for weeks to come. There at the edge of the NFL Draft Oasis stood none other than Clyde Edwards-Helaire, waiting to welcome Donkey to the party (scroll to the bottom for my thoughts on CEH, I literally buried the lede). Anyway, here’s what else I saw during day one of the 2020 NFL Draft for fantasy football:
1.01 Joe Burrow | QB | Bengals – As expected, Burrow was taken with the number one overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. I noted in my top 20 dynasty quarterback rankings that I’m not fully sold on the young QB, but smarter people than I believe in him. This injection of hope into the veins of the long depressed Bengals franchise should raise the long term value of Tyler Boyd. Consider shopping him around in dynasty leagues as a “sell the news” candidate.
1.04 Andrew Thomas | OT | Giants – Some much needed athletic support for left nut Saquon Barkley and right nut Daniel Jones. This is both a short-term and long-term positive for both youngster’s fantasy values. Ink Saquon down as your #2 overall behind McCaffrey.
1.05 Tua Tagovailoa | QB | Dolphins – The fins land their quarterback of the future. Tua will likely take some patience as he recovers from hip surgery, but I love him long-term if he can figure out how to stay healthy—big ‘if.’ For 2020, I expect gunslinger Ryan Fitzpatrick to hold the Miami QB job down which is probably best case scenario for the fantasy outlook’s of DeVante Parker, Preston Williams, and Mike Gesicki.
1.06 Justin Herbert | QB | Chargers – The bolts also grab their quarterback of the future and there’s a decent chance we see him in 2020 when Tyrod Taylor struggles early. Remember Tyrod lost his job in Cleveland two years back to another rookie at the time, Baker Mayfield. The giant Herbert (6’6″/238 lbs) is at least something to dream on for Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Hunter Henry.
1.10 Jedrick Wills | OT | Browns – A nice investment in Baker Mayfield’s future. I’m buying Mayfield for a bounce back in 2020 since all the spring keggers were cancelled due to COVID-19. This is also an obvious positive for Nick Chubb who I have penciled in higher than most as my #5 RB for 2020.
1.11 Mekhi Becton | OT | Jets – This was the massive 364 pound dude who ran a 5.10 forty at the combine. According to Trey Wingo, the secret to his success is that his mom’s a soul food caterer. Becton will provide a necessary boost in protection for Sam Darnold and should also create a little more running room for LeVeon Bell, who averaged only 4.0 yards per carry last year.
1.12 Henry Ruggs III | WR | Raiders – Wow. It might be time for me to reassess my Ruggs hate. Never thought he’d go ahead of Lamb and Jeudy. But let’s remember, John Ross III was pick 1.09 in 2017—there’s so many parallels between these two that I’m developing several conspiracy theories on the topic. Have you ever seen Ruggs the 3rd and Ross the 3rd in the same room? Have you ever seen Ruggs and Putin in the same room?
1.13 Tristan Wirfs | OT | Buccaneers – You think Tom Brady may have had a little say in this pick? This is becoming a dream scenario for Brady’s fantasy outlook with Evans, Godwin, Gronk and now a new stud lineman at his side. This is also a big plus for whichever rookie running back the Bucs land on day two—I can tell you now, I’m going to like that RB.
1.15 Jerry Jeudy | WR | Broncos – This Denver offense that John Elway has assembled could be fun to watch for a long time. Drew Lock now has an amazing long-term supporting cast in Courtland Sutton, Noah Fant, Melvin Gordon and now The Judge. Jeudy will still be my #1 wide receiver in dynasty rookie drafts with this next guy hot on his tail . . .
1.17 CeeDee Lamb | WR | Cowboys – Yikes, great value pick for the Cowboys but it wasn’t exactly a position of need down in Jerryland. Speaking of Jerry, did you see his shit-eating grin when Lamb fell to him? Just disgusting. My initial reaction: this isn’t a great landing spot for Lamb’s fantasy outlook since Amari Cooper is now locked in for five years and Michael Gallup is still around for two more seasons. But I’ve never been the biggest Gallup fan and wouldn’t be shocked if Lamb quickly rises to the top of the Dallas pecking order. Maybe we’ll get a little discount on CeeDee in dynasty rookie drafts.
1.18 Austin Jackson | OT | Dolphins – Makes sense to bring in some protection for their new franchise QB in Tagovailoa who’s injury history has been more talked about than the 2020 toilet paper shortage. Also, not a bad thing for their current QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, RB Jordan Howard and whatever rookie running back the Dolphins add on day two.
1.21 Jalen Reagor | WR | Eagles – Bit of a surprise here. Really thought Philly would grab Justin Jefferson. But Reagor’s an explosive deep threat with plenty of upside in his own right, and this a perfect landing spot. Bump him back up your dynasty rookie draft boards if you moved him down after a mediocre combine performance.
1.22 Justin Jefferson | WR | Vikings – Jefferson and Reager were the big fantasy winners (other than Edwards-Helaire) landing on wide receiver needy teams with good quarterbacks. J-Jeff should immediately slot in as Kirk Cousins’ #2 opposite Adam Thielen. Who does #2 work for?
1.25 Brandon Aiyuk | WR | 49ers – I don’t love this landing spot for Aiyuk in a run heavy offense that already features George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. But then again, I didn’t love Aiyuk in the first place so no big loss. Unless he’s really good, then it’s my big loss.
1.26 Jordan Love | QB | Packers – Another curveball here as the Packers look to find Aaron Rodgers‘ successor and further the storied cheesehead quarterback lineage. I wasn’t a huge Love fan coming in, but there shouldn’t be any need for the Pack to rush him and learning from Rodgers on a relaxed timeline could be a very positive long-term development for J-Love.
1.29 Isaiah Wilson | OT | Titans – Good move by Tennessee here to upgrade the O-Line for Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry who both already looked great down the stretch in 2020. I like the BBQ Vrabel’s cookin’ down south. Speaking of Vrabel, did you see the two characters (sons?) standing behind him in his war room? Fascinating.
I’d read 10,000 words each on every person in Mike Vrabel’s house pic.twitter.com/MTZXP3QDej
— David Gardner (@byDavidGardner) April 24, 2020
1.32 Clyde Edwards-Helaire RB Chiefs – WOW! The first round ends with a shocker as Andy Reid throws caution to the wind and puts his quadruple cheeseburger down long enough to snag his running back of the future. Was it Jonathan Taylor? Nope. D’Andre Swift? Negative. Well then it must’ve been J.K. Dobbins, right? Wrong. Reid stuns the world by taking Clyde Edwards-Helaire, inserting a huge wrench in our dynasty rookie draft plans. Obviously we don’t yet know the landing spots of the other top RBs and Tampa Bay will be a juicy destination, but CEH is knocking on the door of 1.01 in dynasty rookie drafts. My first thought is to pretend I’m not home, but my second thought is, “Hey, maybe that’s the $200 case of toilet paper I ordered off Amazon!” Make no mistake, this is a fantastic landing spot and Andy Reid won’t be afraid to give his young running back a huge workload—see: Hunt, Kareem. I ranked Edwards-Helaire #10 in my top 10 pre-draft dynasty rookies, but he now has a very strong argument at 1.01 if you need immediate running back help.