Sure, the Cincinnati Bengals are locks to select former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow with the first overall pick in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft, but after that, who knows what could happen! Could Ron Rivera, Jack Del Rio and the new regime in Washington shock everyone by passing on Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the second overall pick? Could some quarterback-needy team entice the Detroit Lions into trading the third overall pick? Will Tua Tagovailoa end up in Miami as has been widely speculated or could the LA Chargers beat the Fins to the punch?
Odds On Where The Top NFL Draft Picks Will Land
J. Burrow drafted #1 overall -4500
J. Burrow not drafted #1 overall +1800
Will the Bengals bungle it by passing on Burrow after saying they are completely committed to taking the championship-winning former LSU signal-caller? Nope. Believe it or not, this pick is such a lock selection that not even director of player personnel Duke Tobin can mess it up. Burrow played high school football in Ohio he showed some serious NFL talent a year ago while passing for a stunning 5,761 yards with 60 TD passes and six interceptions. No way does Cincy pass on Burrow as they get set to part ways with longtime veteran Andy Dalton. It’s seemingly a good fit for both the player and the team. Sure, it’s gonna’ cost you a cool $4500, but Burrow is a lock to go first overall.
J. Okudah drafted #3 overall +145
J. Okudah not drafted #3 overall -175
It once seemed like the Detroit Lions were a lock to take former Ohio State cornerback Jeffrey Okudah with the third overall pick in the draft, but things have changed recently. Reports say that GM Brian Quinn is listening to offers from other teams. Could Detroit keep the third overall pick and go for Tua Tagovailoa as the heir apparent to Matt Stafford?
Could the Lions find a likely trade partner with a Miami team that owns the fifth overall pick has multiple other early picks? Is it possible the Los Angeles Chargers make an offer that Detroit can’t refuse? I’m going to say the Lions pass on Okudah at No. 3 and trade back with either Miami or the LA Bolts and get their man at No. 5 or No. 6.
T. Tagovailoa drafted #3 overall +275
T. Tagovailoa not drafted #3 overall -365
Pretty much every early mock draft had Tagovailoa going to the Miami Dolphins with the fifth overall pick, but that’s no longer the case, even if Dolphins GM Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores are in love with the former Alabama star. The LA Chargers could make an offer to the Lions that puts them in the driver’s seat at No. 3 or Miami, with a ton of draft capital, could choose to move up two spots to ensure they get their guy. I think its highly likely that the Lions try to acquire a few more picks to help their rebuild by trading back a few spots so either Miami or L.A. lands Tua with the third overall pick.
C. Young drafted #3 overall +600
C. Young not drafted #3 overall -1050
The Redskins have been widely expected to take Ohio State defensive end, Chase Young, with the second overall pick – and I suspect that’s exactly what they’ll do after hiring no-nonsense former Panthers head coach Ron Rivera who is a defensive-minded leader. However, since the Skins have no GM and they’ve blown it on several occasions with Bruce Allen calling the shots, I guess anything’s possible. The Skins could use the second overall pick to nab a quarterback. They could also trade the pick to a tea desperate for a franchise quarterback while moving back a few spots. In the end though, Rivera will select Young, a player that’s been widely considered to be the best in the entire 2020 NFL Draft. No way do the Skins pass on a player that has perennial Pro Bowler written all over his career. Young is off the board by the time the third pick takes place.
I. Simmons drafted #3 overall +800
I. Simmons not drafted #3 overall -1475
If you haven’t seen much of the former Clemson superstar, then you should know that Isaiah Simmons is a sideline-to-sideline playmaker of the highest order. Having said that though, I don’t see any way he goes third overall in such a quarterback loaded draft. If Detroit keeps the third overall pick, they could go for Simmons although I think head coach Matt Patricia would be wise to implore GM Brian Quinn to nab cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, particularly after parting ways with Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay during the free-agent signing period.
D. Brown drafted #3 overall +1350
D. Brown not drafted #3 overall -2775
Derrick Brown, the former star defensive tackle at Auburn is in the same boat as Isaiah Simmons. Brown looks like he has the talent to become a perennial Pro Bowler, but in a draft where Burrow and Young are virtual locks to go first and second and a handful of projected franchise quarterbacks available to several quarterback-needy teams, Brown won’t go off the board until somewhere around the 10th overall pick, although he is a mountain of a man!
Okudah/Tua/Young/Simmons/Brown #3 overall -2375
Any other player drafted third overall +1250
Even with all of the potential trade scenarios on the board, I don’t think there’s any way that one of the five players featured in this fun-filled wager isn’t going to be picked with the third overall pick. The Lions could keep the third pick and go for Jeffery Okudah or they could look to draft their successor to Matthew Stafford. Detroit could trade the pick to a handful of quarterback-needy teams who would then almost certainly go for Tua Tagovailoa. Last, but not least, if Chase Young doesn’t go second overall, there’s no way he could slip to the third pick right?
J. Herbert second quarterback drafted +215
Any other quarterback drafted second -275
J. Herbert draft position over 5½ -155
J. Herbert draft position under 5½ +125
There’s been a lot said about Herbert, the former signal-caller at Oregon. However, after the strong-armed signal-caller put on a show at the senior bowl and backed that up with another impressive performance at the NFL combine, there’s almost no way that he doesn’t go inside the top five picks. If the Lions trade the third overall pick, either Miami or the LA Chargers could go for Herbert over Tua Tagovailoa because of lingering concerns about the hip injury he suffered late last season. Herbert has been knocked for a lack of on-field leadership skills, but he can definitely sling the ball as well as any quarterback in this draft. There’s a shot Herbert could be the second quarterback picked, although my guess is that he’ll be the third QB picked. Still, Herbert will almost certainly be off the board by the time the sixth picks rolls around.
D. Swift first running back drafted -200
Any other running back drafted first +163
J. Taylor first running back drafted +180
Any other running back drafted first -240
I’ve got two wagers in the spotlight here since they’re both centered around the first running back being taken in this year’s draft. Former Georgia star D’Andre Swift and former Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor are universally expected to be the top two running backs picked in the 2020 NFL draft, with almost every draft pundit predicting that Swift will be the first back off the board, followed in short order, by Taylor. While Swift racked up 1,218 rushing yards and 24 scores last season, Taylor has been setting records almost since he walked on to the campus at Wisconsin. Taylor rushed for 1,977 yards and 13 scores as a freshman and backed that up by putting up 2,194 yards and 16 scores as a junior in 2018. A year ago, Taylor ran for 2,003 yards and 21 scores. For me, Taylor is the best back in this year’s draft, but the fleet-footed Swift will still be the first running back taken. Either back is a possibility for Miami at No. 18 or No. 26, Baltimore at No. 28 or the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs at No. 32.
C. Lamb first wide receiver drafted +170
Any other wide receiver drafted first -215
There’s been a lot of speculation on whether former Oklahoma star CeeDee Lamb will be the first wide receiver taken or whether it will be Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy. Lamb put up 62 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 scores in 2019 while Jeudy had 77 catches for 1,163 yards and 10 touchdowns. While Jeudy is known for his exceptional route-running, Lamb is simply explosive and excelled despite not having another first-round talent opposite him as Jeudy did with teammate Henry Ruggs also expected to go in the first round of this receiver-rich draft. I personally think it’s a no-brainer that CeeDee Lamb goes first overall, possibly to the Jets at No. 11 while Jeudy goes to Las Vegas one pick later.
J. Hurts drafted in second round +155
J. Hurts drafted in any other round round -185
Last, but not least, I’ve got to offer up some thoughts on former Alabama and Oklahoma signal-caller Jalen Hurts. While Hurts won one national championship during his sophomore season at Alabama and helped the Tide reach the national CFP three times before transferring to Oklahoma where he passed for 3,851 yards with 32 TD passes and eight interceptions last season while finishing second in the Heisman Trophy race. I personally think Hurts is a winner of the highest order and one whose skill set would fare well in today’s NFL where mobility is a must for almost every quarterback not named Tom Brady. Still, Hurts has been projected as a third-round pick because he struggles once he gets past his first read. Then again, many pundits believe Hurts could go in the second round, possibly to New England with the 45th pick as the heir apparent to Tom Brady if Jarrett Stidham doesn’t answer the bell this coming campaign. Other possible landing spots could be with Detroit, Indianapolis or Jacksonville. I’m going with Hurts to be picked in the second round even if the third round has generally been the consensus for when he’ll be picked.