The first round of the NFL draft took place without any particular technical problem on Thursday evening despite a format « Virtual » unprecedented because of the coronavirus pandemic. From the basement of his house in Bronxville, north New York, commissioner Roger Goodell announced the 32 picks for this first round. Each time, fans of the affected team appeared on a TV behind him from where they could be heard. The broadcast also gave pride of place to future pros, mostly at home in small groups, and to coaches and general managers, all at home, giving this event a rather particular intimate character.
Many have not hesitated to display their children or grandchildren on the screen. But the executives chosen by Jerry Jones (owner of the Dallas Cowboys), on his yacht, Kliff Kingsbury (coach of the Arizona Cardinals), in front of his huge bay window, or even Bill Belichick (coach of the New England Patriots), in a small dining room. to eat, were the ones that really marked the evening. The atmosphere was far from the excessiveness of Las Vegas, the place originally planned for this event and which will host it in 2021, has also announced Goodell.
Sportingly, there were no big surprises in terms of the first picks. Joe Burrow, the quarterback from Louisiana State, was the expected number 1, taking over the management of the Cincinnati Bengals. The lack of a transaction before the 13th pick gave a logical start to the draft. Originally from neighboring Maryland, Chase Young, the Ohio State line defender, will join the Washington Redskins (2nd choice) and his former Buckeyes teammate, Jeff Okudah (cornerback) takes over the direction of the Detroit Lions (3rd choice) .
Offensive lineman Andrew Thomas (New York Giants, 4th) and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (Miami Dolphins) round out the top 5. Fourteen years after refusing to sign Drew Brees (who then signed with the New Orleans Saints where he is still evolving) because of his shoulder surgery at the time, this time the Dolphins have chosen to hire a quarterback returning from injury since Tagovailoa (Alabama) is finishing his long recovery after a hip dislocation. Another expected quarterback, Justin Herbert (Oregon) was selected by the Los Angeles Chargers (6th pick).
Wirfs to protect Brady
After welcoming Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski into their squad, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were active in this draft, making a trade to climb one place (from 14th to 13th) to choose an offensive lineman, Tristan Wirfs, who will be tasked with protecting Brady.
Note that at the end of the first round (26th pick), the Green Bay Packers made an exchange to secure the services of a … quarterback: Jordan Love of Utah State. It’s a surprise for a team that has Aaron Rodgers, one of the most gifted QBs of his generation. Would history repeat itself in Wisconsin? In 2005, Rodgers was taken in 24th position behind Brett Favre, who would play his 15th season at 35. This year, Love will arrive in the shadow of Rodgers who is only a year and a season older than Favre at the time. The draft continues Friday night with the second and third rounds before concluding on Saturday for rounds 4-7.