2020 NFL Draft: Highlighting rookie matchups on NFL schedule

UNSPECIFIED LOCATION - APRIL 23: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this still image from video provided by the NFL, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow appears in Athens, Ohio during the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on April 23, 2020. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED LOCATION - APRIL 23: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this still image from video provided by the NFL, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow appears in Athens, Ohio during the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on April 23, 2020. (Photo by NFL via Getty Images) /

The 2020 NFL Draft is in the rearview, and the 2020 NFL schedule has been released. What are some of the top rookie matchups to look forward to?

The 2020 NFL Draft is over. The 2020 NFL schedule has been released.

Now we wait.

Although there is anything but certainty surrounding the 2020 NFL season, it seems clear that the league is going to do what it can to proceed with everything going according to plan as far as the schedule is concerned, no matter what kind of adapting to culture needs to be done.

We will all just have to wait and see what happens with all of that, but as of right now, the league is preparing for everything to go according to schedule. With that being the case, there are some fun matchups involving top prospects in the 2020 NFL Draft to look forward to.

Players like Joe Burrow and Chase Young will be in focus weekly, but let’s take a look at one game in each week of the 2020 season that will have plenty of 2020 NFL Draft intrigue.

Week 1: Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots

Although week one of the 2020 NFL schedule also features a potential matchup of two top-10 quarterbacks in Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert (Bengals vs. Chargers), the matchup between the Dolphins and Patriots featuring Tua Tagovailoa as Miami’s quarterback is must-see TV.

The old (Tom Brady) is gone and the new (Tagovailoa) has come. It’s a new era in the AFC East and if healthy, Tua Tagovailoa will be the best quarterback in the division before too long. This game represents a changing of the guard, potentially.

Week 2: Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns

Thursday Night Football must-see TV? Yes, for a change. Joe Burrow will be playing all of his home games in his home state, but this is a battle of Ohio teams in prime time, Burrow’s first-ever NFL primetime matchup.

He happens to be going up against another former no. 1 overall pick and Heisman winner in Baker Mayfield as well as a fellow top 10 draft pick, Jedrick Wills.

Week 3: Detroit Lions @ Arizona Cardinals

If not for injuries, the Detroit Lions could have been a lot more competitive than they were in 2019. Specifically, the team needs quarterback Matthew Stafford healthy.

The Arizona Cardinals are on the rise, especially after adding DeAndre Hopkins this offseason.

How about Hopkins vs. no. 3 overall pick Jeffrey Okudah? How about Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, and new running back D’Andre Swift up against Clemson star Isaiah Simmons, who could be tasked with blitzing Stafford, covering Golladay, and chasing after Swift in the running game?

Week 4: Philadelphia Eagles @ San Francisco 49ers

Two of the most talented rosters in the NFL meet up for Sunday Night Football in week four, and there are three 2020 first-round picks between them.

The 49ers will be hoping Javon Kinlaw, Nick Bosa, and Arik Armstead can terrorize Carson Wentz, who will now have the speedy Jalen Reagor to get the ball to in the Eagles’ high-flying passing attack.

Not only Reagor, but the Eagles drafted Jalen Hurts, who will be a factor on offense in packages this season, as well as speedy receivers John Hightower and Quez Watkins on day three.

Week 5: Las Vegas Raiders @ Kansas City Chiefs

Talk about speed offensively.

The Las Vegas Raiders have a collection of former Clemson and Alabama players offensively including 2020 first-round pick Henry Ruggs III who will try to help the Raiders keep up with Tyreek Hill, first-round running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Nothing like a little Alabama vs. LSU, NFL-style.

Week 6: Washington Redskins @ New York Giants

This could wind up being one of the best rookie matchups of the 2020 season:

Chase Young (Redskins) vs. Andrew Thomas (Giants).

The Redskins drafted Young to make life tough for Daniel Jones, and the Giants obviously drafted Thomas to help prevent him from doing that. These two prospects had three years of clean tape with consistent improvement and advanced technique and skills.

This will be a blast to see.

Week 7: Chicago Bears @ Los Angeles Rams

The Bears and Rams take each other on for a Monday Night Football matchup, and even though this may not be the premier matchup of week 7, it’s a chance to watch two teams with multiple second-round picks go head-to-head.

The Bears took tight end Cole Kmet (Notre Dame) and cornerback Jaylon Johnson (Utah) in the second round while the Rams selected running back Cam Akers (Florida State) and Van Jefferson (Florida).

It’s not out of the question that all four of those players would be starting for each of these teams by this point in the season.

Week 8: Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers

The prime time Thursday Night Football matchup features two NFC South teams with a lot to prove in 2020.

If you liked the defensive class in the 2020 NFL Draft, you’ll like this game a lot. Also, if you are a fan of the Auburn Tigers, this is the game for you.

The Carolina Panthers drafted Derrick Brown with their top selection while the Falcons used their second pick on his teammate, Marlon Davidson. Now, those two are division foes in the NFC South.

Between the Falcons and Panthers, this game features 11 rookies on the defensive side of the ball.

Week 9: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Dallas Cowboys

Although the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t have a first-round pick, they are a team that consistently picks impact rookies, and Notre Dame wide receiver Chase Claypool could be the next in line to make big plays in the passing game.

This mid-season matchup between two of the most storied NFL franchises also features one of the best rookie classes overall coming from Dallas. The Cowboys may have found starting players for the 2020 season in all of the first five rounds of the draft between wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, cornerback Trevon Diggs, defensive tackle Neville Gallimore, center Tyler Biadasz, and defensive end Bradlee Anae.

Many of those players will make up the new-look defense in Dallas going up against a talented Steelers offense.

Week 10: Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans

The week 10 Thursday Night Football matchup pits the Colts against the Titans, a divisional matchup with Philip Rivers and Ryan Tannehill leading their respective teams.

This game will also feature some of the new offensive firepower in Indianapolis, who used their two second-round picks on USC wide receiver Michael Pittman and Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor.

The Titans may have the biggest first-round reach and biggest second-round steal in the same draft. They managed to get Kristian Fulton at the bottom of round two after taking Georgia’s Isaiah Wilson in the first round to replace Jack Conklin.

Week 11: Cincinnati Bengals @ Washington Redskins

Up to this point, I’ve selected games will all different teams, but I’m breaking my rule for week 11.

This game features the top two picks in the 2020 NFL Draft — Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow and Washington’s Chase Young.

It doesn’t get more intriguing than that!

Week 12: New Orleans Saints @ Denver Broncos

The New Orleans Saints had a modest draft class in 2020 in terms of size (four players) while the Denver Broncos had 10 selections, one of the biggest classes in the league.

The Saints strategically moved around the board to get three players who could start for them in 2020 in center Cesar Ruiz, linebacker Zack Baun, and a potential steal in tight end Adam Trautman.

New Orleans adds those complementary offensive pieces to an already loaded offensive core, and heads to Denver to take on the young Broncos, whose top two picks in the 2020 NFL Draft were wide receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler.

If the Broncos’ offense is gelling at this point, this could be a highly entertaining offensive contest.

Week 13: Cincinnati Bengals @ Miami Dolphins

Joe Burrow vs. Tua Tagovailoa alert.

Enough said.

Week 14: Minnesota Vikings @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

One of the few non-prime time games for the Buccaneers, the Brady Bunch welcomes Kirk Cousins and the Vikings to town for a tremendous NFC early slate matchup.

The Vikings used their two first-round picks on LSU wide receiver Justin Jefferson and TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney while the Buccaneers traded up one spot to snag Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs.

Former Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield’s son — Antoine Winfield Jr. — is playing in this game for the Bucs.

Both of these teams had very balanced, intriguing all-around draft classes in 2020.

Week 15: Jacksonville Jaguars @ Baltimore Ravens

This game may not mean much for the 2020 standings (the Jaguars will likely be very bad) but this game has a lot of really talented 2020 draft prospects in it.

Starting with Florida cornerback CJ Henderson, the new CB1 for the Jaguars, going up against the high-flying Baltimore offense and wide receiver Hollywood Brown.

The Jags also have K’Lavon Chaisson coming off the edge with 2019 first-rounder Josh Allen, and second-round pick Laviska Shenault catching passes from Gardner Minshew.

The Ravens are hoping Patrick Queen can be a force in the middle of their defense while JK Dobbins could be taking over as the RB1 for this team by season’s end.

Week 16: Cleveland Browns @ New York Jets

If you liked watching film on the top offensive linemen in the 2020 NFL Draft, this is the game for you.

The Browns boast 10th overall pick Jedrick Wills, who is likely taking over their left tackle position.

Mekhi Becton was selected 11th overall by the Jets right after Wills and is one of the most physically dominant players in this class.

Could this game have low-key playoff implications? That would be interesting.

Week 17: Las Vegas Raiders @ Denver Broncos

Former Alabama  teammates Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III will get together for their second regular season matchup against each other in 2020 in a game that features a lot of rookie skill players at all of the sexy positions on offense:


  • Henry Ruggs III, WR
  • Lynn Bowden, WR/RB
  • Bryan Edwards, WR


  • Jerry Jeudy, WR
  • KJ Hamler, WR
  • Albert Okwuegbunam, TE
  • Tyrie Cleveland, WR

Next. 2021 mock draft: Let the tank for Trevor Lawrence begin. dark

These two teams added a lot of speed in the 2020 NFL Draft offensively, and this game should feature it.