The 2020 NFL Draft was truly an event to remember, whether it was the completely virtual environment that began in the home of Commissioner Roger Goodell or the teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Chargers and Miami Dolphins (the Green Bay Packers are yet to be decided) that got their franchise quarterback.
But after the first day, the value picks dominated this draft, as many solid players and potential Pro Bowl candidates were taken in the final two days of the draft, showing that even in a weird year, the college level once again produced a wealth of talent from which teams could choose. In this article we will go over those elements and show how talented players who didn’t make it past the first round took the league by storm and that it might be better for teams to invest more time in the final six rounds.
The following three players were selected after the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and they all surpassed their draft status, which is commendable for their respective teams. Other options not on this list, like wide receiver Darnell Mooney and safety Kamren Curl, produced at a higher level than expected in their rookie seasons and appear poised for solid NFL careers.
2020 NFL Draft: 3 Most underrated steels
Antonio Gibson, running back – Washingtonfootball team
After 66. Memphis, seeded 2nd in qualifying (2nd in the 3rd round), entered the competition as something of an unknown with Antonio Gibson. Although his athletic ability and ability to receive were duly noted, as he was considered a wideout rather than a typical running back, not much else was known about Gibson, but that did not stop Washington from selecting him.
All Gibson did in return was run for over 1,000 yards and 11 scores, establishing himself as Washington’s best back. Gibson amassed 795 yards on the ground while constantly finding holes behind a strong offensive line, and his 11 scores on the ground ranked seventh in the league last season.
Washington’s offense is what’s holding them back, and with the help of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and WR Curtis Samuel, they decided to try to improve it by surrounding Gibson with established talent. Plus, with their mid-round pick in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft, they can certainly add another offensive weapon to their game, including starting free safety Terry McLaurin.
The possibility of the front office opting for another RB with the Day 2 pick is not necessarily something that will hurt Gibson’s stock, but it will also do a lot to keep him fresh and maximize his potential performance while helping him stay healthy and on the field.
Gabriel Davis, wide receiver – Buffalo Bills
The second offensive player on this list is wide receiver Gabriel Davis, who has been playing an increasingly important role in Buffalo’s offense alongside Stephon Diggs and Cole Beasley. With former UCF Knight, who proved with a fourth-round pick (128th overall) that he can stay in this league, the Bills seem to have hit a home run with Davis.
Davis, who was not highly regarded coming out of high school (which is why he wasn’t selected until the fourth round), has become a key figure in the Bills’ offense, despite the rise of Diggs and the resilience of Beasley. The mentality of kicking QB Josh Allen is a similar deep threat to what Davis brings in, and while he could be the third option in the pecking order, it’s clear what Davis’ role could be from this year on.
In those 16 games, Davis caught 35 passes for 599 and seven touchdowns. The average is just over two receptions, just under 40 yards and just over 17 yards per reception. In Buffalo’s only postseason game last season, he had a large share of targets, with Allen throwing to him 11 times and hitting just four times for 85 yards.
Allen’s confidence in Davis is a good sign that he can move up as a sophomore, and we can expect more good things from the fourth-round pick who has already polished his NFL draft stock.
Tyler Bass, kicker – Buffalo Bills
Specialists can be better than expected – like Tyler Bass, a Georgia Southern product who was also drafted by the Bills and showed an excellent rookie campaign.
His 82.4 percent field goal percentage (28/34) combined with 96.6 percent extra points (57/59), and Buffalo hopes to maintain its kicking game for years to come. The 188. This sixth-round kicker has outperformed every other kicker in his NFL draft class, and although he’s from Georgia Southern, he may not have the typical look of a big school boy, but he’s proven that eye tests and high school decisions aren’t the right factors in determining whether players can succeed in the league.
Bass has a strong leg, he had six scoring chances of 50 yards or more (four attempts), and his career-high 58 yards in Week 10 against the Cardinals helped BSF lead by seven points.
The 2020 NFL Draft has certainly produced its share of stars and studs, but not all of them are coming out in the first round. Guys like Gibson, Davis and Bass, along with many others who hung around on the second and third day of the draft awaiting their selection and were forced to wait to live the dream of a lifetime, may have gotten exactly what they needed to break through.
Who are the most likely candidates to fill the role of undervalued selections this year?
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