2020 NFL Draft Aftermath: Winners and Losers from the NFC East

Bruce Matson

Not everyone is safe from the wrath of the NFL Draft. For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. A talented player gets drafted to their new team and the incumbent starter is suddenly on the hot seat. It happens every year. The aftermath of the draft changes how we value a few players for fantasy football.

The NFC East has its winners and losers – some players left the draft unscathed and others are now worried about their job. With that being said, let’s take a look…

DALLAS COWBOYS

Round 1 – Pick 17: CeeDee Lamb, WR Oklahoma

Round 2 – Pick 19 (51): Trevon Diggs, CB Alabama

Round 3 – Pick 18 (82): Neville Gallimore, DT Oklahoma

Round 4 – Pick 17 (123): Reggie Robinson, CB Tulsa

Round 4 – Pick 40 (146): Tyler Biadasz, C Wisconsin

Round 5 – Pick 34 (179): Bradlee Anae, EDGE Utah

Round 7 – Pick 17 (231): Ben DiNucci, QB James Madison

WINNERDak Prescott, QB

The Cowboys received one of the biggest steals of the draft when CeeDee Lamb fell to them in the first round. Prescott becomes an instant winner with this pick. He receives another talented pass catcher to help boost the passing game. Lamb was considered by many to be the best wide receiver in the draft.

Per Pro Football Focus, Amari Cooper (2.29) and Michael Gallup (2.16) both finished last season ranked in the top ten in yards per route run. The only other wide receiver duo to make the top ten last year was Mike Evans (2.30) and Chris Godwin (2.24). Lamb joins the party after averaging an astounding 3.99 yards per route run at the college level. This has the makings to be one of the most efficient wide receiver groups in the entire league.

Prescott is going to thrive with the talent Lamb adds to the offense. Despite losing two significant pieces in free agency – Randall Cobb and Jason Witten – Dallas were still able to swoop down with one quick move and steal Lamb in the draft to upgrade their passing game.

The buck doesn’t stop with Lamb. Dallas was able to make another critical addition in the fourth-round when they drafted Tyler Biadasz who blocked for Jonathan Taylor at Wisconsin. With the loss of Travis Frederick, the team needed to add a promising prospect at center. If Biadasz develops into an integral piece to the offensive line, Prescott will have another feather in his cap from this year’s draft to give him more reasons why he should sign another contract with Dallas.

LOSER – Michael Gallup, WR

Gallup might not become a loser once the smoke clears, but as of right now, the addition of Lamb hurts his stock in fantasy. We should expect Lamb to claim more of an ownership of the passing targets as he progresses and that could easily happen during his rookie season. He could easily be the WR1 for a lot of teams. Gallup is very talented in his own right, but he doesn’t possess the draft capital and isn’t considered an elite level player just yet.

Lamb is going to get every opportunity to succeed. The odds of him not becoming a significant piece to the offense is slim to none. Gallup could see a large enough target share to be flex-worthy in fantasy. However, he’s projected to be the third wheel in this wide receiver trio.

Gallup needs Lamb to take over a majority of the 146 vacated targets leftover from Cobb and Witten’s departure. Vacated targets don’t usually directly correlate to the new receiving option, but it does help project how some of these players could receive their workload.

Dynasty owners need Kellen Moore to increase the team’s passing rates in order for all three of these wide receivers to be able to see enough volume to a be fantasy contributor. If the team doesn’t pass more, then we are going to see a lot of volatility from this group going forward.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Round 1 – Pick 21: Jalen Reagor, WR TCU

Round 2 – Pick 21 (53): Jalen Hurts, QB Oklahoma

Round 3 – Pick 39 (103): Davion Taylor, LB Colorado

Round 4 – Pick 21 (127): K’Von Wallace, S Clemson

Round 4 – Pick 39 (145): Jack Driscoll, T Auburn

Round 5 – Pick 23 (168): John Hightower, WR Boise State

Round 6 – Pick 17 (196): Shaun Bradley, LB Temple

Round 6 – Pick 21 (200): Quez Watkins, WR Southern Miss

Round 6 – Pick 31 (210): Prince Tega Wanogho, T Auburn

Round 7 – Pick 19 (233): Casey Toohill, EDGE Stanford

WINNER – Miles Sanders, RB

There was some speculation Philadelphia were pondering taking a running back in this year’s draft. The talent pool was deep and the right selection would have muddied the waters for Sanders’ fantasy value. Fortunately, for him, the Eagles pivoted away from drafting a running back. As a cherry on top, the team focused on drafting speedy wide receivers to help stretch the field which will help generate wider running lanes for Sanders to run through.

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Courtesy of DLF’s ADP Over Time

Sanders has naturally seen an increase in his dynasty value since his inception into the league. He is currently valued as the RB11 in startup drafts according to DLF’s ADP. With him not receiving any competition from the draft and free agency being as shallow as a baby pool, he will be locked into a heavy workload in 2020. Sanders will without a shadow of a doubt be competing for RB1 status this year and has a chance to finish his second season in the league as a top-five running back in fantasy.

LOSER – JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR

The Eagles spend a first-round pick on Jalen Reagor along with two late-round dart throws at the wide receiver position. They also traded for Marquise Goodwin. The common theme with all of their additions is speed. All of the wide receivers the team recently acquired can take the top off the defense.

Arcega-Whiteside is no longer the new shiny toy. He will be competing with Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert for red-zone targets. Reagor is currently the favorite to take over as the team’s main receiving option. As long as Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson are on the team, they will command a portion of the targets.

He will need to drastically improve from his rookie season if he wants to stick in the league. His rookie season woes might have just been him getting acclimated to the league, but according to Pro Football Focus, he averaged .55 yards per route run and had a 78.6 quarterback rating when targeted. His horrific rookie season made him a cheap buy in dynasty with a 164.17 ADP in startup drafts. Given his price point, he might be worth taking a chance on to see if he can turn things around.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS

Round 1 – Pick 2: Chase Young, DE Ohio State

Round 3 – Pick 2 (66): Antonio Gibson, RB Memphis

Round 4 – Pick 2 (108): Saahdiq Charles, T LSU

Round 4 – Pick 36 (142): Antonio Gandy-Golden

Round 5 – Pick 11 (156): Keith Ismael, C San Diego State

Round 5 – Pick 17 (162): Khaleke Hudson, LB Michigan

Round 7 – Pick 2 (216): Kamren Curl, S Arkansas

Round 7 – Pick 15 (229): James Smith-Williams, EDGE North Carolina State

WINNER – Dwayne Haskins, QB

The Redskins could have drafted Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert with their first-round pick. Instead, they showed they were committed to their young signal-caller, not selecting a QB at all. They added Steven Montez after the draft as an undrafted free agent. Weeks before the draft, the Redskins traded a fifth-round pick to the Carolina Panther for Kyle Allen. While he shouldn’t be considered a threat, the transaction is still noteworthy.

Haskins will get every opportunity to succeed. The only thing that will prevent him from being the team’s long-term option at quarterback is poor play. The Redskins won’t bring in another arm to compete for the starting quarterback spot unless Haskins gives them a reason to make a change.

In seven games during his rookie season last year, Haskins completed 58.6 percent of his passes and averaged 6.7 yards per attempt. He was sacked 29 times in nine games while having a quarterback rating of 76.1. Haskins will at least get another year to prove himself before the Redskins decided to bring in someone else.

LOSER – Derrius Guice, RB

The Redskins ultimately didn’t need to draft a running back since they have Guice, Adrian Peterson, Bryce Love, Peyton Barber, and JD McKissic on the roster. They still drafted Antonio Gibson in the third round at 66 overall – their second pick in the draft.

The decision makes sense. After all, Guice has struggled to remain healthy and the rest of the roster is riddled with gatekeepers. The team wanted to add some talent to the competition pool at the running back position.

Gibson is a highly athletic running back prospect. He ran a 4.39-second 40-yard ash at 228 pounds. He profiles as a receiving back at the next level and ran a lot of routes out of the slot which is a skill that will help the offense.

Guice isn’t a true loser. He just needs to stay healthy and play well. Gibson wasn’t drafted to take his place, but Guice could lose his job if he can’t stay on the field. It is Guice’s to lose.

NEW YORK GIANTS

Round 1 – Pick 4: Andrew Thomas, T Georgia

Round 2 – Pick 4 (36): Xavier McKinney, S Alabama

Round 3 – Pick 35 (99): Matt Peart, T Connecticut

Round 4 – Pick 4 (110): Darnay Holmes, CB UCLA

Round 5 – Pick 4 (150): Shane Lemieux, G Oregon

Round 6 – Pick 4 (183): Cameron Brown, LB Penn State

Round 7 – Pick 4 (218): Carter Coughlin, EDGE Minnesota

Round 7 – Pick 24 (238): TJ Brunson, LB South Carolina

Round 7 – Pick 33 (247): Chris Williamson, CB Minnesota

Round 7 – Pick 41 (255): Tae Crowder, LB Georgia

WINNER – Darius Slayton, WR

The Giants looked down the barrel of one of the deepest wide receiver classes in the history of the NFL Draft and with ten picks they decided to forgo drafting a pass catcher this year. Slayton was at risk of losing his spot on the depth chart because the Giants could have drafted multiple wide receivers.

Slayton will look to improve upon his rookie campaign where he caught 48 passes for 740 yards and eight touchdowns. His speed allowed him to be the team’s deep threat early in his career. He led the team with 1,181 air yards while averaging 14.1 yards per target. Even though he saw just a 16 percent target share, he still managed to own a 28 percent share of the team’s air yards. If this trend continues, Slayton could be a sneaky play in fantasy this year.

LOSER – Daniel Jones, QB

Jones isn’t really a loser from this draft. He did manage to get some extra help on the offensive line. For a young quarterback who is still adapting to the league, passing on this year’s talented wide receiver class doesn’t help his development. The Giants could have drafted a couple of wide receivers to help the passing game.

They had ten picks and could have spent a mid to late-round pick to add some depth on the outside. The Giants missed the boat by not seizing the opportunity to stack talent around their young quarterback. Jones should be fine, but his organization didn’t do their best to optimize his development.

bruce matson