2020 NFL draft best picks by round, steals and impact players: Matt Bowen picks his favorites

Several extremely talented players found new football homes in the 2020 NFL draft. It was a great class, from Joe Burrow and Chase Young at the top of the first round right on down to the seventh-round value finds.

With all that upside and potential, there was obviously a lot to like from the selections on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I especially liked what the Ravens, Browns and Colts did over the course of the three days, but I'll leave the team grades to Mel Kiper Jr.

Instead, I wanted to highlight 25 picks in a few different categories that really stood out for me. Let's take a look at my five personal favorites, the best selection of each round, potential steals, quarterbacks who ended up in the right spot and players who are likely to contribute immediately in the NFL.

Jump to:
My favorite picks | Best by round
Steals | Top QB fits | Instant impact


Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts

Selected: Round 2, No. 34 overall, out of USC

Pittman has the physical makeup of a pro wide receiver. At 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds with 4.52 speed, Pittman can make plays in traffic on in-breakers, generate quickness out of his breaks and track the ball on vertical throws.

Now pair that skill set with Philip Rivers and the Colts' pass game. Head coach Frank Reich can get Pittman loose on underneath crossers, and Rivers will find the USC product off play-action between the numbers. And given those ball skills down the field, look for vertical shots and isolation targets for Pittman in the red zone.

Jeff Gladney, CB, Minnesota Vikings

Selected: Round 1, No. 31 overall, out of TCU

I've been looking at Gladney for a while because he has the competitive play style that I would love as a secondary coach. Give me the guys who want to challenge wide receivers. And in Minnesota, Gladney fits with Mike Zimmer's system.

The TCU product can find the ball as a zone defender in the Vikings' split-safety schemes, and the man-traits are there for Gladney to play sticky coverage in one-on-one matchups. He can run with receivers on crossers, battle outside on back-shoulder throws and transition on dig routes to find the hip of the wide receiver. And Gladney can blitz, too. You can bet that Zimmer will dial up some cornerback/slot pressures for him in 2020.

Cam Akers, RB, Los Angeles Rams

Selected: Round 2, No. 52 overall, out of Florida State