Well, it was fun while it lasted. The 2020 NFL Draft has come and gone, and with it, the next crop of talent will begin their journey. After the seven-round event, some exciting new storylines have been introduced into the NFL. We have some players trying to follow in the footsteps of their fathers, like Minnesota’s Antoine Winfield Jr., or Michael Pittman Jr. out of USC. While others will be representing an entire country when they take the field, like Pittsburgh’s new receiver Chase Claypool from Ontario, Canada.
Needs were filled by the majority of franchises. Some teams, however, should be gearing up for either a hefty load of undrafted free agents or be willing to make some calls for their future. A contender can be made or destroyed in a night, and for some teams, their contention will be coming to a close.
The draft is made for teams to address both long and short term needs. For several rosters, the long term goals will help, but the shorter ones are going to be harder to replace. Not every need can be met in the draft, leaving a hole for the future that could take time to address.
Usually, roughly 20 teams will have a chance to contend for a playoff spot year in and year out. After a promising offseason for these rosters, let’s look back and see what every franchise forgot to grab during the past seven rounds.
Team needs post-2020 NFL Draft
Arizona Cardinals: Secondary running back
When you add an All-Pro wide receiver and three stud selections, you’ll be an overnight contender as well. Things could be on the rise for the Red Sea following an offseason that saw the team add DeAndre Hopkins for a second-round selection. Both Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons and LSU’s Rashard Lawrence should be quality additions to a defense that finished 32nd a season ago.
The one need the Cardinals could have addressed was in their run game. Kenyan Drake has been inconsistent in a starting role, while Chase Edmonds finished with nearly half as many receiving yards as on the ground. Perhaps Eno Benjamin can be that change of pace back, but if not, the team should have addressed the need earlier.
Baltimore Ravens: Edge rusher
Kansas City is built for the now. Baltimore is built for the then. Once again, Eric DeCosta wowed his way into producing one of the top classes overall. The additions of Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison address their weakness at the linebacker position, while J.K. Dobbins will be the finishing touch to a delightful 1-2 combo with Mark Ingram.
The only real knock on Baltimore is the fact that they never added an extra pass rusher. With Matt Judon on the franchise tag, rumors began to spread that the team would consider dealing him come draft weekend. Instead, now they will be forced to offer him something to keep him around another season. Perhaps that was their plan all along, but someone like Alabama’s Terrell Lewis could have been a quality selection in the third round.
Then again, it’s not Ozzie Newsome drafting anymore.
Buffalo Bills: Cornerback
Buffalo should be heading into the season with little needs on either side of the ball. That said, while Tre’Davious White is a top-10 cornerback, Levi Wallace could have used a push to improve after an average season. With multiple chances to use a top pick on a plethora of talent, they waited until the seventh round to take Dane Jackson.
The Bills made plenty of smart moves this offseason with free agency and trading for Stefon Diggs. Both Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa and Utah’s Zack Moss should play early contributor roles for the franchise. Still, why take Gabriel Davis over a standout cornerback such as Virginia’s Bryce Hall?
This won’t break the team, but it certainly could have helped.
Cleveland Browns: Offensive guard
Let’s give credit to the Browns. They didn’t budge for Trent Williams. Andrew Berry made an impressive slew of picks early by addressing the blindside with Jedrick Wills and the defense with the Bayou Bengals’ Grant Delpit and Jacob Phillips. Overall, the team has the tools to become a contender in no time.
If there’s one area Cleveland could have addressed, it would be at offensive guard. Wyatt Teller hasn’t transitioned as well as the team hoped when he joined from Buffalo. St. John’s Ben Bartch was still available and has the tools that Baker Mayfield would have loved in pass protection. Instead, the team added a third tight end option with Hunter Bryant.
Small picks like that in a rigorous division could come back to bite Berry’s behind next offseason.
Dallas Cowboys: Tight end
Up until the fifth round, there wasn’t a terrible selection from Jerry Jones. Maybe we should let him draft alone more often? The team added “best player available” CeeDee Lamb to an already explosive offense while replacing Byron Jones with Trevon Diggs. Neville Gallimore is a long term starter in the trenches, while Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz should be in the running to replace former Badger Travis Frederick.
It’s not a glaring need, but adding another tight end to the mix could have helped. Dalton Schultz has only tallied 13 career catches, while Blake Jarwin has six career scores. Maybe LSU’s Thaddeus Moss or Washington’s Hunter Bryant could have added some competition to the roster.
Credit to Dak Prescott, since he’ll have a kitchen sink to throw to, but a tight end could have helped. The additions of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Gerald McCoy brought stability on defense. Maybe a rookie tight end could have competed on offense.
Denver Broncos: Linebacker
Without a doubt, the Broncos are going to contend for a wild card spot this upcoming season. John Elway already was all-in on Drew Lock before the draft with the additions of Melvin Gordon and Graham Glasgow. The former quarterback added more to the second-year gunslinger with wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and K.J. Hamler, plus offensive lineman Lloyd Cushenberry.
Perhaps the team should have turned the attention away from Lock with the addition of Albert Okwuegbunam and focused on their pressing need at linebacker. While a friendly target during their days in Columbia, perhaps Elway could have helped the former Mizzou star by adding someone such as Oregon’s Troy Dye, who could have added another element to their defense.
Let’s hope that 2020 is the season Josey Jewell or Alexander Johnson figures it out.
Green Bay Packers: Wide receiver
This is the second simplest one on the board. Last season, Aaron Rodgers had to rely on horrendous wide receiver play and Aaron Jones as the No. 2 weapon with Devante Adams. You’d think after being a game away from the Super Bowl, the goal would be to give the former MVP some nice weapons.
Instead, they drafted his replacement early and added another element to their run game. Didn’t Matt LaFleur come from Sean McVay’s offensive mind? Instead of addressing the No. 2 need, the team didn’t even add a pass-catcher that could play on the outside.
This is going to not only drive Rodgers crazy but fans as well. In a loaded wide receiver draft class, how do you not add a single one, especially when that’s your top need?
Continue to see the rest of the contending teams and their post-2020 NFL Draft needs.