Despite COVID-19, the NFL Draft took place virtually and managed to pull in record TV rankings. Roger Goodell getting booed was out of the picture in this new virtual format, but the natural curiosity of seeing which player your team picks still remained high.
The Cincinnati Bengals selected Heisman trophy winner Joe Burrow with the first pick to start off the night. Many know Burrow from when he famously struck a pose and lit up a cigar after winning the National Championship this past season.
In the following 32 picks, three teams selected a quarterback, Burrow being the only to market himself in the cigar department. Cincinnati trusts Burrow to improve upon last year’s two-win season.
For the Denver Broncos, the importance on draft-night was different as they looked to add pieces around their explosive new quarterback, Drew Lock, who emerged on the scene last year in the Broncos final five games.
Sophomore Derek McCormick was delighted with Denver selecting Jerry Jeudy. The 6’1 wide receiver showcased his talents in three years at Alabama, winning the National Championship his freshman year and being awarded the Fred Biletnikoff Award his sophomore year.
“I was hoping to see the Broncos get a talented wide receiver, so I was happy with our pick," McCormick said.
The draft viewership peaked when the Miami Dolphins were on the clock with the fifth pick and snagged Tua Tagovailoa off the board. Miami had three picks in the first round and look to take advantage of the weakened AFC East.
With TV viewership at an all-time high, we can only assume the draft gave fans a sense of optimism that the season will stay on track to start this fall. Fans can continue to speculate, but commissioner Roger Goodell said he expects the 2020-2021 season to be "on time."