The 2020 NFL Draft is in the books, with the Cowboys and Ravens among those worthy of significant praise for the classes the rookie classes they assembled.
The NFL Draft is done for another year and, for all the focus on the quarterbacks at the top, the performance of a couple of playoff teams improved the chances of the same franchises making deep postseason runs in 2020.
However, there are a few teams who can now afford to dream of a successful start to the new decade after extremely impressive drafts.
It is difficult to judge a draft class until they hit the field and, in these uncertain times, it is not known when this crop of rookies will get that chance.
But on first blush, there are five franchises whose efforts in this draft stand out.
The Ravens let the board come to them, and it paid in spectacular fashion as they replenished a roster that was already among the league’s elite.
Patrick Queen was a gift who never should have made it to the 28th-overall pick. He fills a desperate need at linebacker and will start day one.
The merits of spending high picks on the running back position remain up for debate but second-rounder J.K. Dobbins’ elusiveness makes him an ideal complement to Mark Ingram.
Justin Madubuike was a value pick in the third round and adding his versatile pocket-pushing presence to a defensive line already bolstered by the acquisition of Calais Campbell seems unfair.
Devin Duvernay gives Jackson another speedy target at wide receiver. He figures to do much of his work from the slot but, along with Marquise Brown, will force defenses to further respect the deep ball. James Proche looks a steal at wideout in the sixth round after successive 1,000-yard seasons to end his career at SMU.
Further depth at linebacker came in the form of Ohio State’s Malik Harrison, while Tyre Phillips and Ben Bredeson could compete to fill the void left at guard by Marshall Yanda, though Ben Powers is the presumptive favorite to replace the eight-time Pro Bowler.
Baltimore capped things off by ending Iowa safety Geno Stone’s surprising fall to the seventh round. The ballhawk joins a secondary that already features Marcus Peters, Earl Thomas and Marlon Humphrey.
The Ravens did an excellent job of attacking the weaknesses laid bare in the Divisional Round let-down against the Tennessee Titans and have a roster that looks primed for another championship run.