By Charlie Campbell – @draftcampbell
April 30 2020
The Dolphins got some real steals on the final day of the 2020 NFL Draft through some astute picks by general manager Chris Grier. Georgia guard Solomon Kindley is big, strong, nasty, and a quality athlete for his size. He slid because of weight concerns, but if his weight is in check, he could be a plug-and-play starter for Miami. Kindley has the potential to be a very good starting guard in the NFL if he doesn’t play too heavy.
In the fifth round, Miami added a good defensive end Jason Strowbridge. He is a tough run defender with size and strength who also has some quickness and athleticism to get after the passer. Strowbridge shows upside and could be a steal. Fellow fifth-round pick Curtis Weaver could be a situational pass rusher, and he is an overachiever who gives a great effort. Seventh-round wide receiver Malcolm Perry also has upside and could earn a roster spot. The Dolphins did an excellent job of finding players who could contribute from Day 3.
Howie Roseman made probably the worst pick in the 2020 NFL Draft by taking Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round, but he did make some quality selections on the third day of the draft. The best one could end up being Auburn offensive tackle Prince Tega Wanogho. Wanogho has a top-16 skill set, but he fell because of makeup concerns. At the end of the sixth round, Wanogho could be a massive steal if he focuses on football, because he has the talent to be a franchise left tackle in the NFL.
Other third-dya picks who were nice selections include speed receivers Quez Watkins and John Hightower. Both of them can really run, and they will upgrade the playmaking ability of Carson Wentz’s receiving corps. Clemson safety K’Von Wallace should provide some safety depth, while Auburn offensive tackle Jack Driscoll could be a solid backup right tackle. Seventh-round linebacker Casey Toohill is a dangerous pass rusher who needs to get stronger, but he could be a good developmental player. While Roseman is going to have a hard time explaining the Hurts pick in the years to come, at least he fortified Philadelphia’s depth and took some potential steals on Day 3.
I really like what the Broncos did on the final day of the draft. Landing Albert Okwuegbunam in the fourth round was an absolute steal. The Missouri tight end has the best skill set of any tight end in the 2020 NFL Draft with the talent of a first- or second-round pick. He could be a dynamic mismatch receiving tight end to be paired with Noah Fant. After Okwuegbunam, the Broncos landed a quality inside linebacker prospect with Wake Forest’s Justin Strnad. He could be a nice fit for competition and depth in the middle of Vic Fangio’s defense. Sixth-round guard Netane Muti has upside potential to grow into a contributor, while seventh-round wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland could be a solid backup who also becomes a valuable special teams contributor. Denver had an excellent 2020 NFL Draft from start to end, and the franchise’s haul from Day 3 was an excellent finish.
It’s hard to really label any team a loser for Day 3 of an NFL draft because over 60 percent of third-day picks don’t work out in the NFL. In the late rounds, those odds go up even higher, with 80-90 percent of sixth- and seventh-rounders not panning out. Thus, I don’t have serious criticism of Carolina for here about Day 3.
That being said, I didn’t like what the Panthers did on the last day of the 2020 NFL Draft. Fourth-round pick Troy Pride was an okay selection, but there were better cornerbacks available, like Tulsa’s Reggie Robinson. Pride never played up to his skill set at Notre Dame and lacked consistency. I’m not confident those issues can be fixed in the NFL. Fifth-rounder Kenny Robinson went a couple of rounds too high in my opinion. I feel that taking Baylor defensive tackle Bravvion Roy was a waste of a sixth-round pick. He should have gone undrafted, and Carolina turned down taking a potential starting offensive tackle in Auburn’s Prince Tega Wanogho. For where the Panthers landed him, I think seventh-round pick Stantley Thomas-Oliver was their best selection. He has a skill set with cover skills, and it would not surprise me if he ends up being their only player who sticks from their third-day group.
Carolina general manager Marty Hurney is an excellent drafter and has a superb eye for talent. It feels like Hurney pushed the draft on Days 1 and 2, when the Panthers made some great picks, but on Day 3, it feels like Hurney allowed new head coach Matt Rhule to take his guys. Rhule has very little NFL experience, and the third-day picks were some reaches on players who look more like undrafted free agents, with the exception of Thomas-Oliver. Hopefully for the Panthers, the lessons of Day 3 could end up being a good learning experience for the new Carolina coaching staff.
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