The unfortunate reality of the NFL is that often times, a team can only end up with one first-round pick to fill a need. For many teams who pick high in the NFL Draft, they end up having to use cost-analysis or take the best player available for their first pick. While strengthening one area, the team can’t address every need with a premium talent. In the 2020 NFL Draft, this happened to several teams. Here are the five teams with the most glaring weaknesses passed on in the first round.[sv slug=mocksim]
Arizona Cardinals – Defensive Line
The Arizona Cardinals took defensive weapon, Isaiah Simmons, with the eighth overall pick after being connected to players like Derrick Brown and CeeDee Lamb for weeks. Simmons is a great player who will add a unique skill set to the Cardinals defense that was a total sieve over the middle last season. While Simmons gives a weak defense a much-needed boost, the Cardinals have a huge problem upfront. Their defensive line remains a glaring weakness for the team.
19 of the team’s 40 sacks came from Chandler Jones by himself. They added Jordan Phillips from Buffalo, who recorded 9.5 sacks last year, but the rest of the returning team outside of Jones posted nine sacks last year as a whole. Simmons is also at his best when the defensive line ahead of him clears the runway for him to affect the play, as he’s not great at getting off of blocks.
If Arizona wants to maximize the Simmons selection, selecting an impact defensive tackle on the second day would be a smart addition. They do not have a second-round pick at the moment due to the DeAndre Hopkins trade. There are a number of options for the Cardinals at pick 72, including Baylor’s James Lynch, Ohio State’s Davon Hamilton, Utah’s Leki Fotu, or Arkansas’s McTelvin Agim.
New York Jets – Wide Receiver
The Jets wisely decided to invest in protecting Sam Darnold and took the behemoth from Louisville in Mekhi Becton to likely play left tackle. The stalwart tackle will protect Darnold’s blindside, but Darnold needs some playmakers to throw to, especially after losing Robby Anderson in free agency. While they return players like Jamison Crowder and added Breshad Perriman in free agency, the Jets need a true WR1 and more dynamic talent added to their receiving group.
The Jets will have to wait a while in round two for a WR with pick 48, and there are a few teams that could take a receiver before they get a chance. Colorado’s Laviska Shenault, USC’s Michael Pittman Jr., and Clemson’s Tee Higgins could all be on the board at 48 to potentially become the team’s WR1.
Dallas Cowboys – Secondary
While Dallas ended up pulling off the biggest heist of the 2020 NFL Draft in taking CeeDee Lamb, they left their secondary wide open. After losing one of the best corners in the NFL in Byron Jones, the Cowboys simply have a gaping hole in their secondary. Chidobe Awuzie and Jourdan Lewis are good players, but there was a massive drop-off between Jones and the rest of the group. Their safety room of Xavier Woods, HaHa Clinton-Dix, Donovan Wilson, and Darian Thompson is in dire need of an upgrade as well. While taking Lamb was a phenomenal pick, the secondary is a glaring weakness remaining in the 2020 NFL Draft
Dallas will have to wait until pick 51 but could end up with a quality player at corner or safety at that spot. At CB, LSU’s Kristian Fulton, Utah’s Jaylon Johnson, Alabama’s Trevon Diggs, or Mississippi State’s Cameron Dantzler could all be options to explore. At safety, LSU’s Grant Delpit, Lenoir-Rhyne’s Kyle Dugger, and Cal’s Ashtyn Davis could be on the board to consider as well.
Seattle Seahawks – Offensive Line
Seattle had the most out-of-the-blue pick of the first round after taking Texas Tech LB Jordyn Brooks. This comes at the expense of investing along their offensive line, where tackle is a huge void that this team is in desperate need of. Left tackle Duane Brown is creeping up in age, and the team could look to cut him next year given his contract. The Seahawks have no answer at right tackle after losing George Fant and Germain Ifedi in free agency.
Seattle doesn’t pick until 59th overall, and the well of offensive tackles could dry up quickly by then. Auburn’s Prince Tega Wanogho or UConn’s Matt Peart could be on the board at 59. Either would be a wise investment for a team that desperately needs to protect Russell Wilson.
Kansas City Chiefs – Cornerback
The Kansas City Chiefs took RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire out of LSU as the final pick of the first round. While Edwards-Helaire is an outstanding talent who will make their already potent offense even deadlier, the Chiefs left their cornerback position bare. Bashaud Breeland and Chavarius Ward are the only two players left with significant playing experience, but neither are top corners. In a division with duos like Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, and Tyrell Williams and Henry Ruggs III, quality cornerbacks are essential to defend these talented playmakers.
Kansas City has pick 63 in the second round, which could leave top-tier corners well off the board by the time the pick comes around. Alabama’s Trevon Diggs or Virginia’s Bryce Hall could both be on the board for the Chiefs to improve upon a glaring weakness.
Los Angeles Chargers – Wide Receiver
Detroit Lions – Defensive Line
Jacksonville Jaguars – Wide Receiver
Philadelphia Eagles – Cornerback
AJ Schulte is an NFL Draft Analyst for PFN. You can follow him on Twitter @AJDraftScout.