SDS Roundtable: Which SEC 1st-round pick in 2020 NFL Draft will have best rookie season?
Each SDS roundtable discussion involves the SDS staff providing individual answers and comments to questions covering a wide range of sports and non-sports topics. In this discussion, we ask the question: What SEC player taken in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft will have the best rookie season?
Previous roundtable discussions:
- If you could change 1 thing about college football, what would it be?
- What are you watching right now?
- Who is your favorite SEC football player of all-time?
- What are your 3 favorite postseason moments involving SEC teams?
- Which 4 SEC athletes are on your Mount Rushmore?
- What is your most painful sports memory?
- The greatest team I ever saw …
- Which school’s all-time position group is the best in SEC history?
- Who are your way-too-early picks to make the College Football Playoff?
- If and when the SEC expands, which 2 teams should it add?
- Who is your pick to win the SEC East, SEC West in 2020?
- Who is your favorite player from every SEC program?
- Who is your favorite SEC personality to follow on Twitter?
- Which SEC program produced best pro sports duo?
- Which prop bet would you risk stimulus check on?
- Which former assistant is first to beat Nick Saban?
- Which SEC helmet absolutely needs to be redesigned?
- Which Day 2 or 3 SEC pick will have best NFL career?
A bit of background …
A record 15 SEC players were selected in the 1st round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Odds are favorable that at least a couple will contend for the Offensive and Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Which player do we think will have the best rookie season?
Jon Cooper, SDS co-founder
My favorite pick of the first round was Baltimore’s selection of LSU linebacker Patrick Queen. It’s not a really sexy pick, but it’s an awesome one that will stand the test of time. Queen should have a marvelous NFL career. He’s not an overly big linebacker at 6-foot, 230 pounds, but he’s a ball hawk who plays with a physical edge. I absolutely love the fit for Queen on Baltimore’s defense, and he should have an opportunity to make an instant splash in 2020.
Connor O’Gara, Senior national columnist
Let’s go with the last pick of the first round, Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
This was such an ideal landing spot for the former LSU star. He gets to play for the defending champs who are loaded with an elite quarterback and weapons on the outside who can stretch the field. Sound familiar? Edwards-Helaire will be used by one of the best offensive minds in Andy Reid, and he’ll get a chance to showcase his full skill set from the jump. Nobody walked into a situation with better surroundings than Edwards-Helaire.
He can be every bit the player that Josh Jacobs was for the Raiders last year. Shoot, Edwards-Helaire will be more involved in the passing game. He’s a modern running back who has the agility, power and determination to become a fan favorite in Kansas City. Immediately. Everyone in that LSU locker room raved about Edwards-Helaire and soon, so will the Chiefs.
Take whatever those odds are for him to win NFL Rookie of the Year.
Adam Spencer, Newsletter editor
It depends on how you define “best.” If you go by team success, then Clyde Edwards-Helaire is the easy pick. I think the Chiefs will be back in the Super Bowl this coming season, and Edwards-Helaire should at least play a part in the Kansas City offense. He’s yet another weapon Patrick Mahomes will have at his disposal. The Chiefs’ offense will be insane this year.
But if we’re talking pure stats, give me Jerry Jeudy. The Broncos have a guy in Drew Lock who can sling it. And they drafted another receiver (KJ Hamler) in the second round. It’s going to be a “prove it” year for Lock, so he’d be wise to get it in Jeudy’s hands early and often this season. I’ll predict 70 catches, between 800-900 yards and half a dozen touchdowns for Jeudy this season.
Chris Wright, Executive editor
One of my biggest peeves about draft analysis is the notion that teams should always draft the best player available, regardless of position.
That’s nonsense. You should always draft the player your team needs the most.
In the Jaguars’ case, selecting Florida’s CJ Henderson was a perfect marriage of taking the best possible player available and a player your team needs the most.
Henderson is a lockdown corner. No, he’s not as physical as Jalen Ramsey and never will be. Thank goodness, he doesn’t run his mouth nearly as much, either. I doubt he throws his QB under the bus, shows up to camp in a Brinks truck or calls 28 starting QBs in the league “trash.”
The Jaguars cleaned house in this draft. It was long overdue. The biggest takeaway from the weekend is they’re as tired of the drama as their fans are.
But they didn’t just draft good guys. They drafted outstanding players who don’t act like knuckleheads on Saturday nights.
Henderson joins a reimagined defense soon to be led by Josh Allen, who led all rookies with 10.5 sacks in 2019. They added K’Lavon Chaisson later in the 1st-round.
As good as Chase Young is, it’ll be a monumental upset if Henderson were to win the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year award. But rookie defensive backs don’t lack for opportunities. Quarterbacks love to pick on them.
Henderson will be a step-in starter. He already said he welcomes the challenge of taking on — and taking out — the opponent’s No. 1 receiver. That’s what Ramsey did, well, when they lined up on his side of the field, anyway.
The Jaguars need Henderson to be Ramsey 2.0 — minus the mouth.