2020 NFL Redraft | A Treasure Trove of Pro Bowlers

by Al Scherer · NFL Draft

The 2020 NFL draft had become a treasure trove of Pro Bowl talent by the end of the 2022 season. Unfortunately for several teams, especially those that passed on Justin Jefferson and on Jalen Hurts twice, exactly who that talent would be wasn’t quite so clear in April 2020.  So, with the benefit of hindsight, let’s see how the top of the 2020 NFL Draft might have looked with a do-over. This is a 2020 NFL Redraft!

1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow QB LSU (Actual: Joe Burrow QB LSU)

The 2022 NFL Conference Championship games featured three of the top four fantasy-scoring QBs. The No. 4 QB, Josh Allen, and his Bills were eliminated from the playoffs by Burrow’s Bengals. It’s no secret that dominant passing teams win.

Cincinnati had selected offensive linemen in the first rounds of the prior two drafts yet finished 2019 as the league’s lowest-scoring team. So, heading into 2020, they simply could not pass (pun intended) on Burrow, who had just won a national title while throwing 60 TDs which is still the most prolific season in NCAA history. After losing half his rookie season to injury, Burrow has returned to form. He’s led the Bengals to 22 wins in the last two seasons, highlighted by Super Bowl and AFC Championship appearances. Joe’s been top-4 in Accuracy Rating and top-2 in Deep Ball Accuracy each of the past two years. He sits No. 6 in the PlayerProfiler QB Dynasty Rankings and remains a solid first-overall pick.

2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, DE Ohio State (Actual: Chase Young, DE Ohio State)

In 2018, Washington had gone offense, selecting QB Dwayne Haskins in the first round and WR Terry McLaurin in the third round. Sure, Haskins had a bad rookie season, but his final season numbers at Ohio State – 4,831 passing yards and 50 TDs against just eight interceptions – nearly mirrored Burrow’s final year at LSU.

So, in 2020, Washington turned to the defensive side of the ball, selecting unanimous First Team All-American edge rusher Chase Young out of Ohio State with the idea of bookending him with 2019 first-rounder, DE Montez Sweat. As a rookie, the Young pick paid off handsomely – he was AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and a Pro Bowler. But, after a disappointing start to 2021, Young tore his ACL and lost the rest of that season plus most of 2022.

Only two edge rushers were selected in the 2020 first round. Additionally, no DE from any round in that class has to date outperformed Young. So, with the hope that the talents will return, Washington again goes Young.

3. Detroit Lions – Justin Jefferson, WR LSU (Actual: Jeff Okudah, CB Ohio State)

Detroit’s actual 2020 pick, Jeff Okudah, has been a good starter and sits as PlayerProfiler’s No. 21-ranked CB, No. 73 in Yards per Target Allowed, and No. 50 in Fantasy Points per Target Against. The thing is, though, you want more than decent from the No. 3 overall pick.

While it’s true the 2019 Lions had no defense – they had given up the second-most yards in the league – they didn’t have any offense beyond Matthew Stafford, either. Stafford finished top-5 in Yards per Attempt, QBR, and Fantasy Points Per Game in 2019. He did this despite throwing to Pro Bowler (!) Kenny Golladay, 34-year-old Danny Amendola, and 29-year-old Marvin Jones. When Stafford was lost after Week 9, the entire Lions’ offense disappeared. They lost every game the rest of the way.

Much Needed Playmakers

Those Lions needed playmakers, so in this redraft, they select the best receiver from the 2020 class. Before we say who that is, let’s start by saying who it isn’t: Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb, or Jalen Reagor. Several NFL brain trusts, after months of rigorous data analysis, film study, and debate, chose all of those WRs before the Vikings selected Justin Jefferson.  If they’d only subscribed to PlayerProfiler, we could have saved them a lot of time and money.

In this re-draft, the Lions give Stafford someone to throw to, selecting Jefferson, the LSU Tigers’ receptions leader in 2018 and again in their 2019 national championship season.  While it’s been a long time since a receiver was selected as high as No. 3 overall, the last time was by these same Lions back in 2007. Go check it out and then come back. That turned out pretty well for the Silver and Blue. With this selection, Matthew Stafford stays in Detroit and leads the Lions to the 2021 playoffs.

4. New York Giants – Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia (Actual: Andrew Thomas, OT Georgia)

After suffering through five double-digit-loss seasons in the prior six years, the 2020 Giants needed a lot of work on both sides of the ball. Having drafted skill position players in the first round of the prior three drafts, they decided to bolster their offensive line, selecting All-American Andrew Thomas out of Georgia. Although Thomas struggled his first two years, and a year ago many would have argued for Tristan Wirfs, under Brian Daboll’s tutelage Thomas had a much-improved 2022. Thomas earned second team All-Pro honors as a 24-year-old left tackle.

5. Miami Dolphins – Jalen Hurts, QB Oklahoma (Actual: Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama)

Although Nick Saban chose Tua Tagovailoa over Jalen Hurts in Tuscaloosa, the Associated Press chose the latter as their third-team All-American QB on the strength of 3,851 passing yards and another 1,298 rushing yards plus 52 total touchdowns and a 2020 FCS championship appearance. While Tagovailoa posted 98th-percentile or better College QBR and YPA, Jalen Hurts was right there with him, posting 95th-percentile or better in both marks as well. Despite Hurts posting 2,292 more total yards, 18 more touchdowns, and a better team record than Tagovailoa in their final college seasons, Tagovailoa was selected top-5. Hurts fell to Philadelphia 48 picks later.

In the NFL, Hurts and Tagovailoa have been comparable passers. Each player has completed over 62 percent and has thrown twice as many TDs as INTs. The huge difference, of course, has been the running game and Tua’s injuries. While no one could have predicted the latter, Hurts 1,600 more rushing yards and 20 more touchdowns propels him to PlayerProfiler‘s No. 3 dynasty QB ranking.  Hurts is the modern NFL QB and, in this redraft, the much better choice for Miami. Instead of teams “Tanking for Tua,” NFL teams should have been “Hurting for Hurts.”

6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB Oregon (Actual: Justin Herbert, QB Oregon)

The last place 2019 Chargers weren’t as bad as their record suggested. The Chargers were top-10 in both yards gained and yards allowed. Their passing game was led by 38-year-old Philip Rivers, All-Pro WR Keenan Allen, and a rising RB star in 24-year-old Austin Ekeler. It was time to go get their quarterback of the future.

While Herbert’s college competition was not nearly that of Tua Tagovailoa‘s, the Ducks’ top 2019 receiving threat, Johnny Johnson III, was no Jerry Jeudy, Devonta Smith, or Henry Ruggs. Without much of a supporting cast in Eugene, the strong-armed, 6-foot-6 Herbert posted over 10,000 passing yards and 108 total touchdowns. Taking the No. 3 QB off the board, the Bolts stick with Herbert.

7. Carolina Panthers – Tua Tagovailoa, QB Alabama (Actual: Derrick Brown, DT Auburn)

The Panthers’ actual 2020 pick, Derrick Brown, was a first-team All-American tackle and an Outland Trophy finalist at Auburn. He was a model citizen, winning the 2019 Lott IMPACT Trophy for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community & Tenacity.

Carolina entered the 2020 draft with a strong pass defense but were dead last in rushing yards allowed per attempt and in rushing touchdowns, so they tried to address that problem. But, in his three years as a Panthers starter, Brown has yet to either force or recover a fumble and has a total of six sacks. This is not the productivity teams are looking for in a top-10 pick. The Panthers already possessed an adequate defense in 2020. Offensively, they were led by Christian McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and to a lesser extent, Robbie/Robby/Chosen Anderson and Curtis Samuel.

Therefore, the Panthers would have been better served to add a capable QB on a rookie deal rather than trotting out, as they did, the likes of Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, an aging Cam Newton, and Baker Mayfield.  They’d be in a much better place today with Tua Tagovailoa distributing the ball. Had this redraft pick been made, McCaffrey would still be a Panther and Moore wouldn’t be a Bear.

8. Arizona Cardinals – CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma (Actual: Isaiah Simmons, ILB Clemson)

Sure, coming out of Clemson, Simmons was a first-team All-American. He has become a decent starter. But, again, decent – in this case, two forced fumbles and a sack a year – doesn’t cut it.

When the Redbirds’ 2022 leading receiver, the diminutive Marquise Brown, and the guy that is supposed to be their leading receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, tie for No. 50 among WRs with three TDs apiece – all the while being thrown to by the team’s former No. 1 overall pick, Kyler Murray – that team has a passing game problem.  In this redraft, the Cardinals enter the 21st century and select CeeDee Lamb.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama (Actual: C.J. Henderson, CB Florida)

True lock-down corners are worth the early picks it takes to get them. Jacksonville’s 2020 first-round selection of C.J. Henderson, though, wasn’t. Slowed by injuries and outplayed by Tyson Campbell, Jacksonville moved on from Henderson less than two years into his NFL career. Here, the Jags stay the course but change the player. The Jaguars select Stefon Diggs‘  little brother, 6-1 third-team All-American and second-team All-SEC cornerback.  On the other hand, an ineffective 2020 draft may have helped, at least in a small way, in keeping the Jags bad enough to select Trevor Lawrence the following year.

10. Cleveland Browns – Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa (Actual: Jedrick Wills, OT Alabama)

The 2019 Browns weren’t all that bad. They had an efficient run game led by Pro Bowler Nick Chubb backed by Kareem Hunt. The passing game was fair, with Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham each surpassing 1,000 yards at 14 yards a catch. Looking to provide blindside protection for Baker Mayfield, they took All-American Jedrick Wills out of Alabama. Never mind that they needed a left tackle, and Wills had exclusively played on the right side in Tuscaloosa. Because he had been the blind-side tackle for lefty Tua, Cleveland assumed he could easily move across the line to protect Baker.

Wills has been a starter for Cleveland, so he’s been fine. However, he’s not reached the Pro Bowl level of several other 2020 draftees. While Tristan Wirfs also played more right tackle than left in college, he played a bit on both ends of the line at Iowa and is now a two-time All-Pro.  The Browns go with Wirfs.

11. New York Jets – Jedrick Wills, OT Alabama (Actual: Mekhi Becton, OT Louisville)

After a strong rookie season in which he started 13 games, Becton injured his right knee twice and played just one game in the last two years. Given a do-over, the Jets, who had no offense in 2019, stay with a tackle but go with another that’s been able to stay on the field.

12. Las Vegas Raiders – Tee Higgins, WR Clemson (Actual: Henry Ruggs III, WR Alabama)

While the 2019 Oakland Raiders had a decent passing game, it was almost entirely reliant on their tight end, Darren Waller. So, in 2020, the Raiders elected to bolster the offense by drafting the fastest WR out there, Henry Ruggs III. Though he had little college output – he was the third passing option on his team and caught only 40 catches as a junior, his 4.27 (100th-percentile) 40-Yard Dash helped him become the first WR off the board.

While Higgins obviously doesn’t have nearly Ruggs’ speed, Higgins has productivity. Higgins was a solid College Performer with a great 19.8 (93rd-percentile) College Yards per Reception and 18.6 (95th-percentile) Breakout Age as Trevor Lawrence‘s favorite target and has proven himself a capable NFL receiver.

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ezra Cleveland, OT Boise State (Actual: Tristan Wirfs, OT Iowa)

The 2019 Bucs couldn’t run at all. Though they piled up the passing yards and scores with Jameis Winston at the helm, he turned it over so many times the Buccaneers couldn’t take it anymore and let him walk to New Orleans before the 2020 season. There isn’t a proven NFL QB remaining in this redraft, so Tampa stays at tackle. Wirfs doesn’t last to No. 13 here. Cleveland, a late 2nd-round Vikings selection who has started Minnesota’s last 34 games, is a solid next-best option.

14. San Francisco 49ers – Derrick Brown, DT Auburn (Actual: Javon Kinlaw, DT South Carolina)

In 2020, San Francisco, coming off a 13-3 season, had few weaknesses. Kinlaw, their choice after a trade with Tampa, hasn’t done a lot when on the field with just 1.5 sacks to date. When the 49ers gave a boatload of money to 2023 free agent Javon Hargrave, it showed they’d go in another direction with this pick given the chance.

In this redraft, they stick at defensive tackle and add the steady-if-unspectacular Brown.

15. Denver Broncos – Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama (Actual: Jerry Jeudy, WR Alabama)

The 2019 Broncos had a bottom-five passing attack in both yards and scores. Though they didn’t have a quarterback (no, Joe Flacco didn’t count), there wasn’t a proven difference-maker on the roster. Courtland Sutton was their only wide receiver with more than 370 receiving yards, so the Broncos went for yet another speedy Alabama WR, Jeudy, who had finished his college career with consecutive 1,100+ yards, double-digit score,s and a greater than 70-percent catch rate. Though he has yet to consistently live up to the advance billing, he still offers promise and was a good pick.

16. Atlanta Falcons – A.J. Terrell, CB Clemson (Actual: A.J. Terrell, CB Clemson)

Averaging almost 15 starts a season since he’s come in the league, the Falcons stick with the long, athletic Terrell.

17. Dallas Cowboys – Brandon Aiyuk, WR Arizona State (Actual: CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma)

Lamb is long gone by pick 17 of this redraft, so the Cowboys go with the best available WR at this point – the electric, dominant college star Aiyuk.

18. Miami Dolphins – Jonah Jackson, OG Ohio State (Actual: Austin Jackson, OT USC)

Austin Jackson has been a disappointment for the Dolphins. He’s struggled to find a home on the offensive line with a mix of injuries and uninspiring play. The 2019 Dolphins gave up the most points in the league and couldn’t run on anyone, so they needed help on both lines.  Let’s give them a different Jackson – this time Jonah, who has started 45 games in Detroit and reached the Pro Bowl in 2021.

19. Las Vegas Raiders – Antoine Winfield, S Minnesota (Actual: Damon Arnette, CB Ohio State)

Arnette was cut by the Raiders in 2021 following off-the-field issues. Therefore, the Raiders must go in another direction.  Keeping their focus on the defensive backfield, they take Winfield, who has started 42 games in his three seasons in Tampa and has a Pro Bowl appearance on his resume.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Darrell Taylor, DE Tennessee (Actual: K’Lavon Chaisson, DE LSU)

Chaisson has only started 11 games over his three seasons in Jacksonville. Taylor has averaged eight sacks per year in the past two seasons as a Seahawk and forced four fumbles in 2022. He’s a better choice to bolster the Jaguars’ defensive front.

21. Philadelphia Eagles – Michael Pittman, WR USC (Actual: Jalen Reagor, WR TCU)

In 2019, the Eagles had a top-12 passing attack. Their output, though, was overly-reliant on tight ends – Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. In this redraft, the Eagles are spared the embarrassment of selecting Reagor a pick before Justin Jefferson. What they actually saw in Reagor, who had finished No. 16 in the Big 12 in receiving yards that they couldn’t see in the top receiver in the draft class, we may never know. Certainly, the Vikings didn’t if you’ve seen that video.

With Jefferson gone in this redraft, though, the Eagles select the best available WR, 2nd Team All-American Michael Pittman out of USC.

22. Minnesota Vikings – Jalen Reagor, WR TCU (Actual: Justin Jefferson, WR LSU)

Sorry, Vikings fans. Jefferson doesn’t last anywhere close to No 22 in this redraft. Just for fun, I’m going to have them select Reagor here. Actually, kidding aside, Reagor wasn’t terrible in college, with an 18.7 (94th-percentile) Breakout Age, 28.1-percent (85th-percentile) College Target Share and 36.7-percent (76th-percentile) College Dominator ranking.

And his closest comp of Christian Kirk. Sure, he hasn’t done anything in the NFL, but the Vikings do like him enough they’ve gone out and got him in real life anyway.

23. Los Angeles Chargers – Jeremy Chinn, S Southern Illinois (Actual: Kenneth Murray, LB Oklahoma)

In three NFL seasons, Murray has forced one fumble and recorded one interception and two sacks. This is not nearly enough. Let’s stay on the defense, where the Chargers select Chinn. He’s a great athlete who finished No. 2 in the 2020 NFL AP Defensive Rookie of the Year Rankings and has started 42 games for Carolina.

24. New Orleans Saints – Cesar Ruiz, C Michigan (Actual: Cesar Ruiz, C Michigan)

Ruiz has started 40 games in his three NFL seasons. That’s what you want with your first-round picks. Nice selection.

25. San Francisco 49ers – Laviska Shenault, WR Colorado (Actual: Brandon Aiyuk, WR Arizona State)

Aiyuk is already gone in this redraft.  The 49ers’ weakness, if you can call middle-of-the-pack a weakness, was their receiving corps. They really had nothing beyond George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. Samuel led their WRs with only 57 catches and three touchdowns.  So the Niners stay at wide receiver here. With the closest comp of A.J. Brown and decent college metrics, they select the slightly larger although far less productive receiver in Shenault.  If anyone can get something out of the still-24-year-old Shenault, it’s the 49ers.

26. Green Bay Packers – Jordan Love, QB Utah State (Actual: Jordan Love, QB Utah State)

By the time you see this, Aaron Rodgers will be a Jet. Or retired. Or hopefully anything but a Packer. The next 2020 rookie QBs to be drafted that are still on our redraft board are Jacob Eason and James Morgan.  Neither of them will work. The Packers have to select someone in the event that Rodgers ever does leave. Love remains the best option.

27. Seattle Seahawks – Jordyn Brooks, ILB Texas Tech  (Actual: Jordyn Brooks, ILB Texas Tech)

A starter for 33 games the last two years, Seattle stays with Brooks.

28. Baltimore Ravens – Patrick Queen, ILB LSU  (Actual: Patrick Queen, ILB LSU)

Queen was No. 3 in NFL AP Defensive Rookie of the Year and has started 50 games in three NFL seasons. Good pick.

29. Tennessee Titans – Jeff Okudah, CB Ohio State (Actual: Isaiah Wilson, OT Georgia)

The Titans’ offense was just fine in 2019, top 10 in scoring, top-12 in yardage. Their pass defense, though, was below average in both yardage and points allowed. The Titans, though, elected to boost their offensive line anyway. Wilson played one game in his rookie year, faced some off-field issues, was released, and has since been released by two more teams.

In this redraft, the Titans work on that pass defense, looking for an eventual replacement for Malcolm Butler whose 2020 age-30 season would be his last. While Okudah hasn’t lit up the stat sheet in Detroit, he is an adequate starter, which is good enough.

30. Miami Dolphins – Jonathan Taylor, RB Wisconsin (Actual: Noah Igbinoghene, CB Auburn)

What, is it too hot to run in Miami? The 2019 Dolphins’ “leading” rusher was Ryan Fitzpatrick with 243 yards. In 2020, it’d be Myles Gaskin with 584. Since most of the difference-making wideouts are already taken in this redraft, here the Dolphins take the best RB to come around in years.  Yes, we’re not supposed to take running backs in the first round but talent is talent. The Dolphins add Jalen Hurts and Jonathan Taylor. They win this draft!

31. Minnesota Vikings – Kristian Fulton, CB LSU (Actual: Jeff Gladney, CB TCU)

Jeff Gladney was released in August 2021 following off-the-field issues.  Fulton hasn’t put up a lot of numbers but has made 24 starts for the Titans in the last two seasons.

32. Kansas City Chiefs –  D’Andre Swift, RB Georgia (Actual: Clyde Edwards-Helaire LSU)

Last but not least, it’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire.  Well, Kansas City has shown that you can win a Super Bowl with a seventh-round running back. Apparently, having a Hall of Fame quarterback helps your chances of winning a Super Bowl. Even still, if Kansas City was dead set on drafting an RB in this redraft, the uber-efficient and talented D’Andre Swift is the choice. Any of J.K. Dobbins, A.J. Dillon, or Antonio Gibson would have been an upgrade. As an added bonus, Swift fantasy managers in this redraft world won’t lose sleep because the Chiefs don’t sign Jamaal Williams or David Montgomery.

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