Grading the 2020 NFL Draft First Round Draft Grades

It happens every year. The first round of the draft ends, it is almost always terrible in someway, and almost immediately after it, the leagues many alleged experts release their draft grades. Some sports writers admit that they hate draft grades, but there are editors and advertisers to please and clicks to be generated, and so they begrudgingly let everyone know that they think it’s done but share their opinions anyway.

Well we here at Deadsplinter (and by “we” I mean “me”) want in on some of that sweet post-draft clickage. So here are out 2020 NFL First Round Draft Grades of the 2020 First Round NFL Draft Grades.

1.) The Ringer

The Ringer’s “The 2020 NFL Draft First-Round Grades” post is fairly standard, boilerplate fair from the only site that might kinda-sorta be able to replicate something that looks like what your former favorite sports vertical used to be able to create. The hot takes are decidedly missing here, but they receive bonus points for a sweet, sweet Arrested Development anecdote when describing the Seahawks once again reaching for a player in the first round. Danny Kelly snuck that one in there for folks like me, and I appreciate that.

Grade: B-

2.) SB Nation

I appreciate Dan Kadar for keeping his analysis of the first round punchy instead of clouding up my page with loads of forty times and talk about how much TAPE he watched and WHAT THE FILM SAYS about a player. He receives extra bonus points for giving the Cowboys a C+ for their selection of Cee Dee Lamb, because fuck Jerry Jones and fuck his fucking yacht, and they are one of the few people on this list will to give people actually bad grades, smacking down the Packers for their baffling decision to bypass a bunch of teams who didn’t need a quarterback to select Jordan Love, in what is an apparent effort to keep Aaron Rodgers pissed off forever.

Grade: B++

3.) Bleacher Report

Fuck slideshows.

Grade: F—

4.) CBS Sports

Pete Prisco writes this article like someone who doesn’t want to be writing an article about draft grades 5 minutes after the draft is over. He too gave the Packers a D for drafting a guy who, again, probably would’ve been there in the second round, since just about everyone who needed a quarterback had already drafted a guy, and who the fuck is Aaron Rodgers supposed to throw to anyway? But his overreliance of the word “kid” to describe players irks me for reasons that I can’t articulate, but nevertheless hurt his grade.

Grade: A C- Paper with a Note from the Teacher Saying “I Know You Can Do Better”

5.) For The Win (USA Today)

Now this is more like it! These are the scorching hot takes that cause football fans to froth with rage at the keyboards. Falcons, you get an F! Panthers, you just got declawed because you get an F! Screw giving the Seahawks a pass for the dumb pick they make every year, they get a big ol’ fat F! Sure, they gave the Cowboys an A, but I’m willing to overlook that because Steven Ruiz is the only one who was willing to break from the pack and actually write how the fuck he feels, instead of being afraid that giving someone a bad draft grade is going to invite either a bunch of lamewad fans or some league office spook to cause him trouble. Plus he wrote these live instead of waiting until after the draft . For the Win, indeed.

Grade: Three Whole Gold Stars!


How the fuck does the NFL grade itself? It’s like trusting your kid to grade his own paper when he’s being playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons instead of paying attention to his Zoom class.

It’s bad enough that the NFL made a captive audience desperate for something, literally anything to watch sit through nearly a half an hour of self-aggrandizing wankery before the Cincinnati Bengals were on the clock. It’s bad enough that the NFL has even managed to brand booing Roger Gooddell. Former NBA commissioner David Stern was an asshole of the highest degree, but at least he never pretended he liked hearing thousands of people boo him. He had his contempt for NBA fans written all over his face. The fans hated him, he hated the fans, and they fucking respected each other for it.

Roger Gooddell telling people on a Zoom call to boo him with all the charisma of a blade of fucking grass is a convenient way to make it seem like the booing of the NFL commissioner is just good-natured fun, and not actual fan rage at a man who has stumbled blindly through numerous league controversies and has built a career on exploiting players, carrying the owner’s water, and denying CTE exists. Oh sure, they’ll let players wear (league approved) pink shit in October, they salute service while taking money from the very people we’re supposed to be saluting, They make and token gestures like not letting teams wear different helmets to give the illusion they care. But they’ll also deny CTE exists like your racist grandpa denies climate change because it’s snowing outside. Grading their own draft allows them to control the narrative, and also sets a baseline around which the other draft grades that aren’t written in the moment are judged. It’s just another exercise in fucking branding. It’s gross. Why the fuck do I keep watching this shit again?

Plus, they do this shit in alphabetical order instead of by order of the first round. Who the fuck does this? Who the fuck likes this? You can’t even say this was a tactic to get more clicks, because it’s just an article, not a slideshow you can sell ads on. Who ever the fuck Chad Reuter is, he grades the draft like a dude who knows giving a bad draft grade will get him a talking to by someone in the league offices who wants to PROTECT THE SHIELD. The first line of his article is also a defense of draft grades, which, as we’ve already established, are totally fucking pointless. Turrible. JUST TURRIBLE.


About KC Complains A Lot 135 Articles
KC Complains A Lot is another refugee from Deadspin. He enjoys writing and not caving to pressure from herbs.


    • I mean, you have to give it up to the Packers for finding innovative new ways to infuriate Aaron Rodgers. I think their choices were between “drafting a QB in the first round” or “kicking his dog”, so at least they made the humane choice.

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