When is the right time to come back and re-grade a class draft? some do it after a full season, while others wait three seasons. Let’s find a happy middle ground for the 2020 NFL Draft class, re-examining how players have performed two years into their careers.
There’s certainly a lot of room for development for these guys, but a two-year sample can show us who has improved and even taken advantage of opportunities as they came along.
Reading: 2020 nfl draft grades now
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we’ll include the pff draft rating given on the heels of the 2020 nfl draft and why we might look at it differently today.
jump to a team’s 2020 draft class reevaluation:
arz | atl | blt | wheeze | car | cin | chi | key | den | dal | stop | gb | hello | ind | jax | k c | lvr | lacquer | lar | mine | minutes | not | not | new york | new york | fi | hole | nd | sea | tuberculosis | ten | wft
round 1 (8): lb isaiah simmons, clemson round 3 (72): t josh jones, houston round 4 (114): di leki fotu, utah round 4 (131): di rashard lawrence, lsu round 6 (202): lb evan weaver, cal round 7 (222 ): rb eno benjamin, arizona state
then: a+ now: c-
this loot looked promising immediately after draft weekend, but simmons and jones haven’t been as good as they needed to be. Simmons played better this year and got a lot more experience, which at least keeps his future on an upward trajectory. benjamin has been a nice addition to the running back rotation, but the rest of the group has been disappointing. Trading his second-round pick for Deandre Hopkins essentially saves the class.
round 1 (16): cb a.j. terrell, clemson round 2 (47): di marlon davidson, auburn round 3 (78): c matt hennessey, temple round 4 (119): lb mykal walker, ash stateround 4 (134): s jaylinn hawkins, cal round 7 (228): p sterling hofrichter, syracuse
then: b now: b+
After some early struggles in their freshman year, this class had a solid 2021, at least from the guys near the top. aj terrell has emerged as one of the best cornerbacks in the nfl, leading the league in coverage with a mark of 90.1 this season. Matt Hennessey, meanwhile, raised his PFF rating from 47 as a rookie to 77.1 last year. davidson has still been disappointing, but terrell’s dominance raises the rating for this class.
round 1 (28): lb patrick queen, lsu round 2 (55): rb j.k. dobbins, ohio round 3 (71): di justin madubuike, texas a&m round 3 (92): wr devin duvernay, texas round 3 (98) : lb malik harrison, ohio state round 3 (106): iol tire phillips, mississippi state round 4 (143): iol ben bredeson, michigan round 5 (170): di broderick washington, texas tech round 6 (201): wr james proche, smu round 7 (219): s geno stone, iowa
then: b now: b-
I don’t want to be too harsh on this class as dobbins would probably carry this group as a big difference maker if he didn’t get hurt this season. However, Queen and Harrison struggled for the second straight season, and Duvernay is not a consistent playmaker in an arcade where he has the opportunity. I’m hopeful that the dobbins can get back in shape and run this class, but most still have room for improvement.
row 2 (54): edge a.j. epenesa, iowa round 3 (86): rb zack moss, utah round 4 (128): wr gabriel davis, ucf round 5 (167): qb jake fromm, georgia round 6 (188): k tyler bass, southern georgia round 6 (207): wr isaiah hodgins, oregon round 7 (239): cb dane jackson, pittsburgh
then: a- now: b
I want to give this draft an “A” solely for Gabe Davis’ four-touchdown performance in the AFC Championship Game. in all seriousness, davis has been great, epenesa has improved since a poor rookie season, and dane jackson stepped in when tre white left for the season. Moss saw fewer carries and fewer yards this season. All in all, I find this to be a good class for late round steals.
round 1 (7): di derrick brown, auburn round 2 (38): edge yetur gross-matos, penn state round 2 (64) :s jeremy chinn, siu round 4 (113):cb troy pride jr., notre dame round 5 (152):s kenny robinson jr., wvu* round 6 (184): di bravvion roy, baylor round 7 (221): cb stantley thomas-oliver iii, fiu
then: b now: a-
Although their improvements were small, both brown and yetur-gross matos played better in 2021. brown improved their overall defensive rating from 61.0 to 64.1, and gross-matos improved their overall defensive rating from 54.7 to 63 ,9. With those two players trending up and the incredible value the team got from Jeremy Chinn, I’d still say this is one of the best newsletters of 2020.
round 2 (43): te cole kmet, notre dame round 2 (50): cb jaylon johnson, utah round 5 (155): edge trevis gipson, tulsa round 5 (163):cb kindle vildor, south georgia round 5 (173): wr darnell mooney, tulane round 7 (226):t arlington hambright, colorado round 7 (227): iol lachavious simmons, state of tennessee
then: b+ now: b
While kmet hasn’t been inspiring, there’s reason to believe it could all change with a better offense under chicago’s next coach. The same can be said for Darnell Mooney, who continues to look like a gem of this kind. Additionally, Jaylon Johnson has displayed starting-caliber cornerback play for two seasons and has emerged as a defensive leader.
round 1 (1): qb joe burrow, lsu round 2 (33): wr tee higgins, clemson round 3 (65): lb logan wilson, wyoming round 4 (107): lb akeem davis-gaither, app state round 5 (147): edge khalid kareem, notre dame round 6 (180): t hakeem adeniji, kansas round 7 (215): lb markus bailey, purdue
then: a now: a+
joe burrow is amazing. His elite passing grade of 90.9 in 2021 (after a torn ACL) was second only to Tom Brady. Higgins just posted his first 1,000-yard season, and Wilson, Davis-Gaither and Bailey are all contributing players for an AFC championship team. this was a home run draft.
round 1 (10):t jedrick wills, alabama round 2 (44):s grant delpit, lsu round 3 (88): di jordan elliott, missouri round 3 (97): lb jacob phillips, lsu round 4 (115): te harrison bryant, fau round 5 (160 ): iol nick harris, washington round 6 (187): wr donovan peoples-jones, michigan
then: a+ now: a-
elliott feels like a flop on this draft, but the rest are good or still very promising. Willis was very solid as a young starting tackle, and Bryant was good, just buried in a tight end depth chart. Donovan Peoples-Jones saw starting action after the Odell trade. he wouldn’t give it an “a+”, but it still looks like a big booty.
round 1 (17): wr ceedee lamb, oklahoma round 2 (51): cb trevon diggs, alabama round 3 (82): di neville gallimore, oklahoma round 4 (123): cb reggie robinson, tulsa round 4 (146): iol tyler biadasz, wisconsin round 5 (179 ): edge bradlee anae, utah round 7 (231): qb ben dinucci, james madison
then: a+ now: b+
We may not give trevon diggs defensive player of the year around here, but we do recognize the impact he’s had as a second-round pick. lamb ceedee on top has been as good as advertised. Though some of the deep guys haven’t panned out (they need more from Gallimore, who had just a 49.1 rating last season), they beat up the best players.
round 1 (15): wr jerry jeudy, alabama round 2 (46): wr k.j. hamler, penn state round 3 (77): cb michael ojemudia, iowa round 3 (83): c lloyd cushenberry iii, lsu round 3 (95): di mctelvin agim, arkansas round 4 (118): te albert okwuegbunam, missouri round 5 (178): lb justin strnad, wake forest round 6 (181): iol netane muti, fresno state round 7 (252): wr tyrie cleveland, florida round 7 (254): edge derrek tuszka , ndsu
then: a+ now: b+
This seemed like a very strong class in the days after the draft, but it hasn’t been as stellar as we’d hoped. Jeudy has been good when he was healthy, but the lack of a good QB game has hampered his and Hamler’s potential from the start. Cushenberry really struggled as a rookie, but at least he bounced back last season. ojemudia was injured for most of 2021 but played well when he was out. he hasn’t lived up to the “a+” rating we gave him draft weekend, but he’s still a good bunch.
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round 1 (3): cb jeffrey okudah, ohio state round 2 (35): rb d’andre swift, georgia round 3 (67 ) : edge julian okwara, notre dame round 3 (75): g jonah jackson, ohio round 4 (121): g logan stenberg, kentucky round 5 (166):wr quintez cephus, wisconsin round 5 (172): rb jason huntley, state of new mexico round 6 (197): di john penisini, utah round 7 (235): di jashon cornell, ohio
then: a now: b
There were plenty of reasons to get excited about this class when draft weekend ended, but it hasn’t been pretty since. although swift’s overall pff rating was lower this year compared to last, he put in two really strong performances before a shoulder injury ended his momentum this season. After tough rookie years for Jackson and Okwara, both bounced back in a big way during their sophomore seasons in the league. As for the top of the draft, Okudah seemed overwhelmed in his rookie season and tore his achilles tendon in 2021. The injury isn’t Okudah’s fault, but he needs to play better than he’s shown.
green bay packers
round 1 (26): qb jordan love, state of utah round 2 (62): rb a.j. dillon, boston college round 3 (94): te josiah deguara, cincinnati round 5 (175): lb kamal martin, minnesota round 6 (192): ot jon runyan, michigan round 6 (208): iol jake hanson, oregon round 6 (209): iol simon stepaniak, indiana round 7 ( 236): db vernon scott, tcu round 7 (242): jonathan garvin border, miami (fla.)
then: d now: d-
jon runyan has developed into a solid player for the packers along the offensive line, playing more than 1,100 snaps at guard last season. corridor a.j. Dillon has seen solid niche production offered in his running back rotation with an 86.1 overall rating on the year. however, all other selections hurt the rating here, including what is still considered a massive change and a miss with jordan love.
round 2 (40): di ross blacklock, tcu round 3 (90): jonathan greenard edge, florida round 4 (126): ot charlie heck, unc round 4 (141): cb john reid, penn state round 5 (171): wr isaiah coulter, rhode island
then: c+ now: c-
blacklock improved last season, but was upping an unplayable 30.2 rating in 2020 to a 50.4 rating in 2021. however, greenard saw his rating drastically improve from 51.9 in 2020 to 82.9 in 2021. greenard started in the 12 games he was active in and he seems like the only success story of this group.
round 2 (34): wr michael pittman jr., usc round 2 (41): rb jonathan taylor, wisconsin round 3 (85): s julian blackmon, utah round 4 (122): qb jacob eason, washington round 5 (149): iol danny pinter, ball state round 6 (193): di robert windsor, penn state round 6 (211): cb isaiah rodgers, umass round 6 (212): wr dezmon patmon, washington state round 6 (213):lb jordan glasgow, michigan
then: b now: a-
Taylor has been everything the Colts could have asked for, especially this season after rushing for more than 1,800 yards and finishing as one of the most valuable offensive players in the league. Michael Pittman Jr. established himself as no. The No. 1 wide receiver with a 1,000-yard season, and safety Julian Blackmon was starting to play very well before getting injured. the foals had great successes in this group.
round 1 (9): cb c.j. henderson, florida round 1 (20): edge k’lavon chaisson, lsu round 2 (42): wr laviska shenault jr., colorado round 3 (73 ): di davon hamilton, ohio round 4 (116): ot ben bartch, st. john’s round 4 (137):cb josiah scott, michigan state round 4 (140): lb shaquille quarterman, miami (fla.) round 5 (157 ) : s daniel thomas, auburn round 5 (165): wr collin johnson, texas round 6 (189): qb jake luton, oregon round 6 (206): te tyler davis, georgia tech round 7 (223): cb chris claybrooks, memphis
then: to now: c
This draft class had a shaky first season, and it looks even worse after year 2. Henderson isn’t even on the team anymore, Shenault took a big step back this season, and Chaisson followed up a disappointing rookie year with a disappointing second year. There isn’t much of a saving grace from this group, but the coaching situation has been dire, so all is not lost.
kansas city chiefs
round 1 (32): rb clyde edwards-helaire, lsu round 2 (63): lb willie gay jr., mississippi state round 3 (96): ot lucas niang, tcu round 4 (138): cb l’jarius sneed, la tech round 5 (177): edge michael danna , michigan round 7 (238): cb thakarius keyes, tulane
then: b- now: b+
The fact that snead and gay are staple contributors for bosses in 2021 are the defining qualities of this swag. edwards-helaire hasn’t been worthy of that draft’s rb1 crown, but niang was fine when he played this season (his first season of action from him). Michael Danna has also been a rotating contributor since the last few rounds. they failed at the top, but what followed has been good.
round 1 (12): wr henry ruggs iii, alabama round 1 (19): cb damon arnette, ohio round 3 (80) : rb lynn bowden jr., kentucky 3rd round (81): wr bryan edwards, south carolina 3rd round (100): s/lb tanner muse , clemson round 4 (109): iol john simpson, clemson round 4 (139): cb amik robertson, la tech
then: c now: d-
Of the seven players who were recruited in this class, four aren’t even on the team anymore. Not all of that was under the raiders’ control, but it’s hard to look at this list of names and feel good about it. Edwards has a decent role in the wide receiver room and Simpson is a starter on the offensive line, but neither has been high-impact.
chargers of the Angels
round 1 (6): qb justin herbert, oregon round 1 (23):lb kenneth murray, oklahoma round 4 (112): rb joshua kelley, ucla round 5 (151): wr joe reed, virginia round 6 (186): s alohi gilman, notre dame round 7 ( 220): wr k.j. hill, ohio
then: c- now: a-
kenneth murray, joshua kelley and alohi gilman have played but not necessarily well the last two years. Justin Herbert makes up for almost everything, though. Sure, the decision between Herbert and Tagovailoa was taken out of their hands when the Dolphins drafted Tua, but Herbert was still the pick, and he already looks like one of the best young quarterbacks in the game. he is a franchise changer for the chargers.
LOS ANGELES RAMS
round 2 (52): rb cam akers, florida round 2 (57): wr van jefferson, florida round 3 (84): edge terrell lewis, alabama round 3 (104): s terrell burgess, utah round 4 (136): te brycen hopkins, purdue round 6 (199): s jordan fuller, ohio state round 7 (234): lb clay johnston, baylor round 7 (248): k sam sloman, miami (ohio) round 7 (250): ot tremayne width, clemson
then: c now: b
jordan fuller followed up a strong rookie campaign with an even better year last season. Van Jefferson has stepped in and played well since Robert Woods was injured, while the Cameramen somehow bounced back from a torn Achilles earlier in the season to play valuable plays for them down the stretch. this is shaping up to be a good class for rams.
round 1 (5): qb tua tagovailoa, alabama round 1 (18): t austin jackson, usc round 1 (30): cb noah igbinoghene, auburn round 2 (39): iol robert hunt, louisiana round 2 (56): di raekwon davis, alabama round 3 (70 ): s brandon jones, texas round 4 (111): iol solomon kindley, georgia round 5 (154): di jason strowbridge, uncle round 5 (164): edge curtis weaver, boise state round 6 (185): ls blake ferguson, lsu round 7 (246): qb/wr malcolm perry, navy blue
then: a- now: c+
The jury is still out on Tagovailoa, but things are not going in the right direction for the no. 5 overall pick, especially with herbert going one pick after him. As for the rest of the bunch, Robert Hunt seems to be the best of the bunch, but Austin Jackson and Noah Igbinoghene have been underwhelming thus far. The Dolphins also got a solid season from Raekwon Davis in 2020 before regressing last year. the arrow in this class points in the wrong direction.
round 1 (22): wr justin jefferson, lsu round 1 (31): cb jeff gladney, tcu round 2 (58): t ezra cleveland, boise state round 3 (89): cb cameron dantzler, mississippi state round 4 (117): edge d.j. wonnum, south carolina round 4 (130): edge james lynch, baylor round 4 (132): lb troy dye, oregon round 5 (169): cb harrison hand, temple round 5 (176): wr k.j. osborn, miami (fla.) 6th round (203):t blake brandel, oregon 6th round (205): s josh metellus, michigan 7th round (225): edge kenny willekes, michigan state round 7 (244):qb nate stanley, iowa round 7 (249): s brian cole ii , mississippi state round 7 (253): iol kyle hinton, washburn
then: a now: b+
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justin jefferson’s pick speaks for itself as jefferson is one of the best receivers in the entire league. Dantzler followed up a strong rookie season with another strong year in 2021, and Ezra Cleveland increased his PFF rating with another year of starting experience. many players in this one, but the important ones at the top have hit.
new england patriots
round 2 (37): s kyle dugger, lenoir-rhyne round 2 (60): edge josh uche, michigan round 3 (87): edge anfernee jennings, alabama round 3 (91): te devin asiasi, ucla round 3 (101): te daltonkeine, virginia tech round 5 (159): k justin rohrwasser, marshall round 6 (182): iol michael onwenu, michigan round 6 (195): ot justin herron, estela forest round 6 (204): lb cassh maluia, wyoming round 7 (230): iol dustin woodard, memphis
then: b now: c+
Micael Onwenu’s fifth round steal is the crown jewel of this class for the Patriots. The two tight end picks proved fruitless, especially with Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry now on the roster. kyle dugger played better last season, and there are still positive vibes with uche.
new orleans saints
round 1 (24): iol cesar ruiz, michigan round 3 (74): lb zack baun, wisconsin round 3 (105): te adam trautman, dayton round 7 (240): qb tommy stevens, mississippi state
then: b now: c
It’s been a slow start to Ruiz’s NFL career, rating in the 50s in each of his first two seasons. Baun didn’t see much playing time this season, and Trautman wasn’t reliable. the final verdict is not for this class, but they need their best days ahead.
new york giants
round 1 (4): t andrew thomas, georgia round 2 (36): s xavier mckinney, alabama round 3 (99): t matt peart, connecticut round 4 (110): cb darnay holmes, ucla round 5 (150): iol shane lemieux, oregon round 6 (183 ):lb cam brown, penn state round 7 (218): edge carter cosslin, minnesota round 7 (238): lb t.j. brunson, south carolina 7th round (247):cb chris williamson, minnesota 7th round (255): lb tae crowder, georgia
then: a now: b+
After a shaky start to their rookie seasons, this class seems to have bounced back in a big way. Andrew Thomas put together a terrific sophomore season at tackle after a terrible rookie year. xavier mckinney makes the difference when health and pearl have been solid.
new york planes
round 1 (11): t mekhi becton, louisville round 2 (59): wr denzel mims, baylor round 3 (68): s ashtyn davis, california round 3 (79): edge jabari zuniga, florida round 4 (120): rb la’mical perine, florida round 4 (125): qb james morgan, fiu round 4 (129): ot cameron clark, charlotte round 5 (158): cb bryce hall, virginia round 6 (191): p braden mann, texas a&m
then: b+ now: b+
Becton had an impactful rookie season but missed most of his 2021 campaign due to injury. mims had every chance to become a basic receiver on that team and he didn’t. Zuniga and Perine played sparingly in 2021, so there wasn’t much to judge, but Bryce Hall played over 1,100 snaps at cornerback with solid play. It’s not a hugely impactful class outside of becton and hall as consistent starters, but it’s not a bad one either.
round 1 (21): wr jalen reagor, tcu round 2 (53): qb jalen hurts, oklahoma round 3 (103): lb davion taylor, colorado round 4 (127): cb k’von wallace, clemson round 4 (145): ot jack driscoll, auburn round 5 (168): wr john hightower, boise state round 6 (196): lb shaun bradley, temple round 6 (200): wr quez watkins, south mississippi round 6 (210): ot prince tega wanogho, auburn round 7 (233): casey toohill edge, stanford
then: a- now: b
Jalen Hurts was doubted and doubted and doubted (he still is), but he continues to play his quarterback mark well. he posted a 77.1 overall offensive rating last season with an 89.6 rushing rating. Reagor’s pick has been a disaster, especially with Justin Jefferson’s name right behind him in the draft. k’von wallace has also shown some good stuff like deep; he just hasn’t played much.
round 2 (49): wr chase claypool, notre dame round 3 (102): edge alex highsmith, charlotte round 4 (124): rb anthony mcfarland jr., maryland round 4 (135): iol kevin dotson, louisiana round 6 (198): s antoine brooks jr., maryland round 7 (232): say carlos davis, nebraska
then: b- now: a
It’s hard to really say that Claypool had a bad year when he played inside one of the most limited passing attacks in the league; he will be fine highsmith and dotson have become good players on both sides of the trench. There weren’t many picks on this tour, but there have been good results so far.
San Francisco 49ers
round 1 (14): di javon kinlaw, south carolina round 1 (25): wr brandon aiyuk, arizona round 5 (153 ):ot colton mckivitz, west virginia round 6 (190): te charlie woerner, georgia round 7 (217): wr jauan jennings, tennessee
then: b+ now: b
It’s hard to give kinlaw a bad rating given the number of injuries he’s suffered, but he hasn’t looked completely healthy even when he was on the field and therefore hasn’t been a factor. Aiyuk has looked good when Garoppolo can give him the ball, and Jennings has become a solid option in that receiving room.
round 1 (27): lb jordyn brooks, texas tech round 2 (48): edge darrell taylor, tennessee round 3 (69): iol damien lewis, lsu round 4 (133):te colby parkinson, stanford round 4 (144): rb deejay dallas, miami fla. round 5 (148):edge alton robinson, syracuse round 6 (214): wr freddie swain, florida round 7 (251): te stephen sullivan, lsu
then: c- now: b-
Brooks has played well, including leading the Seahawks in tackles over Bobby Wagner in 2021, but he still needs to be better in coverage. On top of that, Taylor had 6.5 sacks last season. Lewis had a bit of a down year after a strong rookie season at right guard, as he switched to left guard and battled injuries in 2021. There’s every reason to be hopeful of a bounce back.
tampa bay buccaneers
round 1 (13): t tristan wirfs, iowa round 2 (45): s antoine winfield jr., minnesota round 3 (76): rb ke’shawn vaughn, vanderbilt round 5 (161): wr tyler johnson, minnesota round 6 (194): di khalil davis, nebraska round 7 (241): lb russell chapel, temple round 7 (245): rb raymond calais, louisiana
then: a- now: a+
wirfs turned first-team pro last season at right tackle after an incredible rookie season. As for Antoine Winfield, the Bucs don’t win the Super Bowl without him, and he continued to be a very effective and important piece of Tampa’s security rotation. Vaughn and Johnson haven’t been very impressive, but they saw playing time down the stretch because of injuries. this draft was stellar for them.
round 1 (29): t isaiah wilson, georgia round 2 (61): cb kristian fulton, lsu round 3 (93): rb darrynton evans, app state round 5 (174): edge larrell murchison, nc state round 7 (224): qb cole mcdonald, hawaii round 7 (243): cb chris jackson, quarterback
then: c+ now: c-
isaiah wilson isn’t even in the league right now. that lady pushes down the rating of this draft a lot. kristian fulton played better this season after struggling to get on the field as a rookie.
washington football team
round 1 (2): edge chase young, ohio round 3 (66): rb antonio gibson, memphis round 4 (108): ot saahdiq charles, lsu round 4 (142): wr antonio gandy-golden, freedom round 5 (156): iol keith ismael, state of san diego round 5 (162): lb khaleke hudson, michigan round 7 (216): s kamren curl, arkansas round 7 (229): edge james smith-williams, state of north carolina
then: b now: a-
chase young, antonio gibson and kam curl make up the identity of this draft class. Young has been as good as you’d expect in his first two seasons, and Gibson has become the ultimate all-around weapon for them. As for curl, he’s been a seventh-round gem as a starter for two years at safety. this class is even better than it looked on draft night.