The Atlanta Falcons and Washington Commanders will be playing each other on Sunday in Washington. These two teams have one thing in common, they both can high-five each other as they were the only successful teams to draft a defensive star in the first round.
The 2020 NFL Draft, especially the first round, was clearly an offensive draft, but on the other side of the ball, the majority of players were busts.
Falcons and Commanders were successful in 2020 draft, unlike the 12 other teams
The draft can be a scary event for NFL teams, it is a time when you can either waste a pick or nail a pick. It can turn your franchise around or it can set your franchise back. Well, out of the teams that took defenders in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Falcons and Commanders are the two teams that can celebrate their picks.
Obviously, this is a league where players have to develop. Sometimes players come out flying high and sometimes they take years to fly high, but as of now, the Falcons and Commanders are the only teams who took defenders in the first round of the draft two years ago that has had a successful career.
Here are the defenders drafted in the first round in 2020:
- Pick 2: Chase Young DE – Commanders
- Pick 3: Jeff Okudah CB – Lions
- Pick 7: Derrick Brown DT – Panthers
- Pick 8: Isaiah Simmons LB – Cardinals
- Pick 9: C.J. Henderson CB – Jaguars
- Pick 14: Javon Kinlaw DT – 49ers
- Pick 16: A.J. Terrell CB – Falcons
- Pick 19: Damon Arnette CB – Raiders
- Pick 20: K’Lavon Chaisson DE – Jaguars
- Pick 23: Kenneth Murray LB – Chargers
- Pick 27: Jordyn Brooks LB – Seahawks
- Pick 28: Patrick Queen LB – Ravens
- Pick 30: Noah Igbinoghene CB – Dolphins
- Pick 31: Jeff Gladney CB – Vikings
Chase Young and A.J. Terrell have set themselves apart from the rest. In fact, you could make an argument that A.J. Terrell is the only success because Chase Young doesn’t quite have the stats that many expected and he has struggled with injuries.
There are players like Derrick Brown and Isaiah Simmons who have shown signs of stardom but the majority of them have not lived up to their expectations by any stretch of the imagination.
And to think that the Atlanta Falcons were criticized at the time for “reaching” on A.J. Terrell. It goes to show you how things are never certain during the draft.