NFL execs debate the biggest surprises and steals from the 2020 draft

The 24 hours after the 2020 NFL draft included a flurry of draft grades, instant analysis and reports detailing how the picks went down.

Now that the event is two weeks old, teams have had time to properly digest what happened. Themes have emerged. Strategies are more clearly defined. And executives have a deeper understanding of what exactly their peers did over three days of selections.

ESPN reached out to nearly a dozen execs and coaches about the steals, the shocks and the head-scratchers that will help define this year's draft.

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Questionable calls | Sneaky steals

Did the Miami Dolphins do enough?

Armed with 14 picks -- including five in the first two rounds -- the Dolphins were positioned to forge a new direction for the franchise. They filled a lot of holes, acquired some talent and generally earned respectable marks in the media (one NFL.com breakdown gave Miami an A-, while ESPN's Mel Kiper gave the Fins a B).

But Miami's draft elicited a few "meh" responses from NFL personnel evaluators.

"Felt that with a team with so many resources to control the draft, they made some good value picks but also reached on some guys unnecessarily," one veteran NFC scout said.

An AFC exec pointed to the first-round selections of USC tackle Austin Jackson (No. 18 overall), Auburn corner Noah Igbinoghene (No. 30) and Texas safety Brandon Jones (No. 70) as reaches -- good players who probably would have been available later.

The Dolphins did a masterful job with smokescreens surrounding the No. 5 pick, which they used on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. But they had the capital to maneuver up and down like no one else. The Dolphins chose the sensible route, making most of their moves on Day 3, most notably acquiring San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida. In the first round, Miami moved back four spots with Green Bay to take Igbinoghene, whom some considered more of a Day 2 pick.

One NFC exec gave the Dolphins a "C-plus" overall, but noted Tagovailoa might be the best offensive weapon in the draft, with shades of Russell Wilson.

"If Tua pans out, then that will solve a lot of their issues," the exec said. "When he's healthy, he plays the game at a fast pace that's made for the modern NFL."