The 8 best late-round steals in the 2020 NFL Draft, including picks by Cowboys and 49ers

Sporting News

The 2020 NFL Draft provided a lot of value picks on Day 3. With several teams making questionable prospect reaches during Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday night, a lot of top talent slipped into Saturday's selections in Rounds 4 through 7.

Several of the best late-round steals this year were wide receivers representing arguably the deepest modern class ever for the position. Others teams got steals because of injury concerns that couldn't be alleviated before the draft.

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Which teams made out like bandits with players they had no business getting near at the end of their drafts? Here are eight picks that stood above the rest:

The best late-round steals from the 2020 NFL Draft

Cowboys: Tyler Biadasz, G/C, Wisconsin (fourth round, No 146 overall); DE Bradlee Anae, Utah (fifth round, No. 179 overall)

The Cowboys sang "Catch a Falling Star" all throughout the draft, starting with Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb in Round 1 and Alabama cornerback Trevon Diggs in Round 2. They got two players at positions of need who could have gone as early as mid-Round 2.

Jerry Jones got Biadasz (6-4, 314 pounds) to continue the fine tradition of Badgers interior blockers that worked so well for him with now-retired center Travis Frederick. Some teams were scared by reports of past knee and hip injuries, which was a big mistake.

Anae (6-3, 257 pounds) is a relentless pass-rusher but his limitations in technique and agility relegated to him to teams with 4-3 base defenses. That works out fine for the new hybrid defense of coordinator Mike Nolan; the team needed a complement to DeMarcus Lawrence to help replace Robert Quinn.

Jets: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia (fifth round, No. 158 overall)

Hall is on track to be fully healthy after season-ending left ankle surgery, but many teams didn't want to take the risk. The Jets were the beneficiaries and landed a 6-2, 202-pound prospect who is made to start on the NFL perimeter. He filled a pressing need for New York. Hall was slated for the first round before the injury.

Buccaneers: Tyler Johnson, WR, Minnesota (fifth round, no. 161 overall)

The Buccaneers needed another big-bodied target to complement Mike Evans outside when Chris Godwin works the slot in 11 personnel. Johnson isn't the blazer free-agent departure Breshad Perriman was, but he's the type of perimeter receiver who has meshed well with Tom Brady. Johnson (6-1, 206 pounds) is physical and positions his body in ways to impose his will on the end of routes. He fights hard for the ball, giving him looks of a tough possession and red-zone target.

Dolphins: Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State (fifth round, No. 164 overall)

This pick shouldn't be lost in Miami's massive haul that included a ton of defensive help for Brian Flores. Weaver was highly productive in college (13.5 sacks last season) but some teams were concerned he did it against lesser competition and that his moves wouldn't reap the same rewards in the NFL. He is a high-energy pass rusher with untapped upside as he makes the jump.

Browns: Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Michigan (sixth round, No. 187 overall)

The Browns also needed a complementary outside receiver to Odell Beckham Jr. with Jarvis Landry being their main man in the slot. Like Johnson, too many worries about top-end speed probably caused him to slip. Peoples-Jones (6-2, 212 pounds) can be a big possession target with the potential to slide inside, which would allow the Browns to be more versatile with Landry's routes.

Eagles: Prince Tega Wanogho, OT, Auburn (sixth round, No. 210 overall)

After trading Halapoulivaati Vaitai to the Lions, the Eagles took a couple of developmental tackles late behind Andre Dillard and Lane Johnson: Wanogho and his bookend at Auburn, Jack Driscoll. You can bet some teams were scared about Wanogho's raw skills, thinking he can't put it all together to be a polished NFL player. That's overlooking his ability to learn quickly, however. Wanogho needs to work hard on his technique and footwork to maximize his natural, fluid athleticism, but he's willing to put it in the time.

49ers: Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee (seventh round, No. 217 overall)

The 49ers were excited to land big playmaker Brandon Aiyuk in the first round, but don't sleep on their final pick, yet another wideout unfairly knocked for not having top-end speed. Jennings (6-3, 215 pounds) won't be a game-breaker in the NFL, but he could make the team as reliable big inside target behind Deebo Samuel, Aiyuk and Kendrick Bourne.

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