Well, that was exciting! There were plenty of surprises that developed on the first day of the 2020 NFL Draft. The good news is that due to these surprises, several talented players expected to be gone after Day 1 are still on the board. Now is the time for your team to pounce. There are still some tremendous talents on the board waiting to be picked in Rounds 2 and 3 and we are here to preview them all.
I explore some of my favorite players below, but you can find a recap of every pick made in Round 1 as well as the best players available according to our CBS Sports aggregate rankings in our draft tracker, which will follow every pick as it’s made throughout the weekend.
1. D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
Swift was the best running back prospect in this year’s class in my eyes. He is a great pass catcher and is solid in pass protection. The Georgia product has an uncanny ability to make defenders miss in space.
2. A.J. Epenesa, DL, Iowa
Epenesa sliding out of the first round is likely something that he did not anticipate when he declared, as he is a strong player with consistent pass-rushing production. His issue is that he does not possess the explosiveness that teams want to see from a first-round selection.
3. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
Zero safeties were taken in the first round, which comes as a bit of a surprise. Teams will find several options available to them in Rounds 2 and 3. McKinney also has the flexibility to play nickel.
4. Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma
Gallimore is an active defender that occasionally loses gap contain. He took tremendous strides from 2018 to 2019 but still has room for improvement. A team will be lucky to add him Friday.
5. Grant Delpit, S, LSU
Delpit is a first-round caliber talent when healthy. He was fantastic in 2018 but took a large step back in 2019. His tackling was poor, but he blamed that on an injured ankle. He is a boom-or-bust prospect.
6. Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Gross-Matos is not going to jump off the page with his explosiveness. He is a strong player that has consistently produced in the Big Ten. It is a weak edge rusher class, and teams will be lining up for his services.
7. Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
It is no surprise that Higgins fell out of Round 1. His lackluster offseason combined with his injury history precipitated a slide. Higgins would be a great fit for the Colts in Round 2. He uses his body well downfield.
8. Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
Cleveland won NFL combine week but teams were not willing to take a chance on him in Round 1. He is a really athletic player, but teams likely are worried about how he will hold up on the edge.
9. Zack Baun, LB, Wisconsin
Baun is a versatile linebacker that can play inside or outside. I love the way that he is able to get off blocks. The Wisconsin native is a savvy player as well.
10. Josh Jones, OT, Houston
It may come as a surprise that Jones was not selected Thursday night. He is a strong tackle prospect that performed well at the Reese’s Senior Bowl. One lucky team could land him later than expected.
11. Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
There were no tight ends taken in Round 1. Kmet displays some Gronk-like tendencies. He is not overly fast or athletic ,but he is strong and presents himself well as a pass catcher. His blocking improved as the season progressed.
12. Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Stefon’s little brother did not find a landing spot on Day 1. He is a gifted athlete that fits the mold of what Seattle has been looking for at the cornerback position: long and lean.
13. Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Mims was arguably the biggest winner of the pre-draft process. He is a big wide receiver with above-average athleticism. I could see the Colts being interested in him as well.
14. Ross Blacklock, DL, TCU
Two Horned Frogs went in the first round but Blacklock was not one of them. There are a handful of defensive tackles that could come off the board in Round 2, and Blacklock is right there with the best of them.
15. Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan
Michigan did not maximize Uche’s potential as a pass rusher. His best is yet to come. It is a relatively weak edge rusher class so teams in need will look in the direction of the Wolverine.
16. Ashtyn Davis, S, California
Davis is a really smart player battling some injuries. Teams having less exposure to him leading up to the draft could impact his stock. The talent justifies a selection in Round 2.
17. Terrell Lewis, EDGE, Alabama
Lewis is a developmental edge rusher. He is long, lean and explosive. With that being said, he is also battling some injury concerns. It could prevent him from being taken as early as he deserves.
18. Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
Weaver produced sacks at Boise State. He does a great job getting off blocks and using his hands to get to the quarterback. Weaver strikes me as an ideal fit in Buffalo.
19. Jeremy Chinn, S, Southern Illinois
Chinn has been described as a poor man’s Isaiah Simmons, as he is built like a linebacker but plays the safety position. His athleticism and explosive traits will not force him to change positions.
20. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Fulton is more like Greedy Williams than Tre’Davious White. He does not trust his technique downfield, and that leads to penalties. Tackling is a concern as well. He is a worthwhile risk in the middle-to-late portion of Round 2.
21. Lloyd Cushenberry, G/C, LSU
Cushenberry was a stalwart on that LSU offensive line protecting Joe Burrow. He has a strong anchor and offers flexibility as a center. The Colts, Bears and Steelers stand out as potential fits.
22. Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
Shenault dealt with injuries last season but is supposedly all clear. There are few better with the football in their hands. Several receiver-needy teams are still out there after Round 1, so he will have no shortage of suitors.
23. Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
Akers had to do a lot himself last season because the Seminoles’ offensive line was porous. Akers took a lot of hits but his speed, lower body strength and pass-catching prowess will appeal to teams.
24. Robert Hunt, OG, Louisiana-Lafayette
Hunt played right tackle for the Ragin’ Cajuns but projects as a Pro Bowl-caliber guard. He dealt with an injury as well but should be ready to rock for training camp. He has an ideal frame with above-average athleticism.
25. Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Injuries are the name of the game with Hall. When healthy, he is a first-round caliber talent. His ability to find the ball downfield is special. Teams could land a steal without having to use a first-round pick on the talented corner.